Marriage Matters: Navigating the Holidays

By: Ashton Cude

It’s Wedding Wednesday and time for another installment in our Marriage Matters series. I don’t know about y’all, but I looked at my calendar and did a double take this morning. Thanksgiving is next week! I love the holidays and can’t wait for everything the season holds. At the same time, the holidays can be a huge challenge for married couples. Last year was our first year married and I was surprised how draining the holidays were for us. Below are a few words of advice to help you navigate the holidays with your spouse well.


Put each other first:

The holidays are supposed to be about family and the ones you love, but as a married couple, you will be pulled in so many different directions during the holidays. Between work, each of your families, friends, gift shopping, budgeting, decorating, and traveling, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Andrew and I are very blessed to both have parents who are understanding and respectful, but I’ve heard horror stories. Remember that you and your spouse are a family now. Scripture says “leave and cleave” for a reason. Always consider your spouse and be willing to compromise. If you have one family member or side of the family that is continually creating conflict, you need to sit down and have a grown-up conversation with them. Figure out what boundaries work well for you as a couple and stick to them. In all the hustle and bustle, remember to find ways to show love to your spouse.

Don’t get caught in comparison:

I had what we in the South call a “come apart” last year in the Hobby Lobby Christmas section. It was my first time decorating my own home for Christmas and I wanted it to look like a Southern Living photo shoot. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Remember that you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else. The people who come into your home won’t remember every little ornament and knick knack; they will remember how they felt while they were there. Especially if you are a newlywed, don’t put pressure on yourself to make your house look like the women around you who have been decorating their houses for decades. The same goes for gift giving and holiday plans. Comparison prevents you from being grateful and reflective on your own blessings, which is what the holidays are all about.

Slow down and take it in:

The holiday season is when we make so many of our memories. No matter how much you remember to slow down, it will go by so fast. Don’t forget to step away from the noise every so often and look around you. I’m always so moved when we read in the Christmas story that after giving birth in a stable, with the shepherds rushing to find them and spreading the word about the baby in the manger, Mary “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) What a wonderful example from a woman who had probably the craziest holiday season in world history.

I hope these words will be an encouragement for you as we enter this holiday season. May it be filled with joy, laughter, and much thanksgiving. We’ll continue to share festive content with you throughout the next couple of months.





Friday Favorites: Knowing Your Neckline

By: Taylor Clark

Happy Friday, folks! We are swiftly approaching the holiday season, and good golly are we excited! For all of you without a rock on your hand, this time of year often provides significant others with all sorts of opportunities to propose. If you’re already engaged, the holidays mean that the whole family is in town, so you can bring the full squad dress shopping. Either way, the quest for the perfect dress is likely on your mind. We understand that this decision can be overwhelming, so we’ve dedicated this Friday Favorites to neckline education. Hopefully, the knowledge you gain will help ease your mind and make dress shopping a memorable experience for you!

Monique Luhullier “Liza”: Straight Across Neckline

The straight across strapless neckline of this Monique Luhullier is very slimming for the bust. For women with broad shoulders, the straight across neckline softens and accentuates their décolletages. This neckline is also ideal for brides with longer necks, especially if they are hoping to accessorize their look with a bold statement.


Jim Hjelm 8505: V-Neckline

A V-neck dress, such as this Jim Hjelm A-line, is the ideal shape for brides with either a B or C cup. It is also stunning on brides with broad shoulders or those with hourglass figures. For our petite brides, a V-neckline can create the illusion of height and make the bust appear more defined. While our featured gown boasts of a dramatic deep V-neckline, there are also more modest choices.


Ellis of London class 11428: Sweetheart Neckline

This sweet and timeless Ellis of London gown features a neckline of the same qualities. The sweetheart neckline is universally flattering: It enhances the curves bustier brides naturally possess while creating the illusion of curves on brides with smaller chests. This neckline also elongates the neck and torso. If you are concerned about showing too much cleavage, a semi-sweetheart neckline is a more modest cut that still provides the aforementioned benefits.


Olia Zovozina Custom Cut: High Neckline

This Olia Zovozina was custom-designed for Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson’s rehearsal dinner. It features a high neckline that is sophisticated and chic. This neckline is ideal for women with broad shoulders and smaller busts, but it can still be flattering and gorgeous on bustier brides, too. An up-do is recommended for this neckline so as not to overwhelm the décolletage.


Casablanca “Peony”: Bateau

The bateau neckline of this Casablanca two-piece gown is flattering for brides with pronounced collar bones. Pear-shaped brides can balance their voluptuous hips with this neckline. For brides with broad shoulders, this neckline may not be the ideal cut. Smaller busts will appear more full and defined with a bateau neckline.


Justin Alexander 8814: Portrait

Similar to the bateau neckline, a portrait cut is ideal for brides with very prominent collar bones. It also helps slenderize fuller arms. The portrait neckline may not be optimal for bustier brides since the excess amount of fabric often makes the décolletage appear too bulky. With that being said, an illusion portrait neckline, like that found on this Justin Alexander gown, softens the bustline enough for larger-chested women to look dainty and refined.


The perfect gown will make you feel your most confident and beautiful. Finding the neckline that flatters your body type is one of the first steps in accomplishing this goal. Remember, it is in your best interest to be willing to try a variety of styles. Bridal fashion is a whole other ball game, so don’t be surprised if the neckline you thought you would hate ends up being the one you choose. In the end, what’s most important is that you’ve found the dress you love to marry the person you love above all else. We feel so humbled to work in an industry that allows us to be professional hype girls for our brides, and we can’t wait for you to experience the loving atmosphere of Meant To Be. Schedule an appointment with us soon, and we promise to help make your dress shopping experience as special as you!

Xo, Taylor






by Ashton Cude

Hello world! It’s Wedding Wednesday once again! While we’re still enjoying the fall colors and sipping our hot cider, we can’t help but notice a little chill in the air. As they say on Game of Thrones…winter is coming! Today we’re talking about winter wedding trends. For all our winter brides, these should all be things you still have time to incorporate into your special day. We’re featuring some gorgeous photos taken by our friend Kelsey Malicote from dream photography team The Malicotes and glammed by Dana of Pink Lou Lou. Read on to see some prettiness and find out some simple ways to incorporate the season into your wedding day.



Spring and fall have cardigans and wispy scarves. But winter has the cozy market cornered. Consider draping yourself in a gorgeous faux fur wrap or tartan plaid pashmina during outdoor photos or at the reception. In addition to having a practical use, these wraps photograph beautifully, as you can see above.



We always preach that as a bride, you can wear whatever gown you want, whenever you want to wear it. However, there is something to be said for dressing for the season. Sleeved gowns truly shine in winter weddings. If you’re interested in sleeves but don’t want to wear them all day, consider a bolero. Boleros add sleeves to a dress and can be removed if you desire.



Sure, serving hot beverages in winter isn’t exactly innovative, but classics are classic for a reason. It’s so comforting to warm up with coffee, hot chocolate, or cider on a cold winter’s day. Consider adding a hot cocktail option to the bar menu. A beverage bar with add-ins like marshmallows, peppermint sticks, and cinnamon sticks can be both pretty and cost-effective. (Images via Pinterest)



Y’all. Don’t even get me started on velvet and sequins in a winter wedding. Incorporate rich fabrics in your winter wedding to add a touch of luxury. This can be done as simply as through a velvet ribbon or sequin table runner. If you want to feature them more prominently, consider velvet or sequins for the bridesmaids. Winter events are often associated with more formality, so you can go as all out as you want!



The deep greenery of winter plants will add elegant color to your wedding palette. Don’t be afraid to get creative! It’s not just evergreens and poinsettias that are available in winter. Did you know magnolias also bloom later in the year? Greenery stands out and makes a big statement in a winter wedding.

That’s the scoop on winter weddings! Some regions may get crazier, but here in the South we like to put our own twist on things while keeping with tradition. For any brides-to-be crushing on this styled shoot, the dress Liz is modeling is “Nicole” by Nouvelle Amsale. It’s currently available at Meant to Be with a fitted crepe skirt. The fun tulle was added with a Heidi Elnora tulle skirt. Keep coming back for more winter wedding goodness!






By: Taylor Clark

Well, y’all, you made it through another week, and your reward for this feat is a Friday Favorites that will leave you feeling all sorts of glamorous. We’re spotlighting Hayley Paige, one of our favorites designers here at Meant To Be and our sister store, Twirl. Hayley’s whimsical and galactic designs are nothing short of iconic within the bridal world, and we are so pleased to be the only two shoppes in Kentucky to carry her intricate collections. Not only do her masterpieces dazzle in person, they also photograph extraordinarily. But don’t just take my word for it – scroll through our blog for all the proof you need!

Blush by Hayley Paige: Kalea

This mermaid by Hayley Paige features an ivory botanical lace that overlays a nude bodice and delicately rests upon a full tulle skirt. The plunging scalloped V-neckline is complemented by the intricate strap detailing on the back. Hayley’s whimsy and creativity shine through in this sassy, nontraditional number.


Hayley Paige: Celine

The simple and flowy chiffon skirt of this A-line is offset by the extreme glamour of its bodice. With an illusion cap sleeve, floral rhinestone embellishments, and low open back, this Hayley Paige daintily dazzles, perfectly blending elegant simplicity with bold beading.


Hayley Paige: Arlo

The rhinestone-encrusted hologram bodice of this tulle ballgown adds galactic charm to an otherwise classic silhouette. Complete with a crisscross geometric back, Arlo has all the unique details to cement its position as a quintessential Hayley Paige gown.


Blush by Hayley Paige: Val

Sweet and timeless, this organza and lace A-line is a bridal dream. With a V-neckline, illusion cap sleeve, and keyhole back, Val is classic and ethereal. And don’t think we missed that delicate satin trim on those cap sleeves; they add another dimension of femininity and grace that have us swooning!


We hope you enjoyed this week’s spotlight designer. Hayley Paige is one of the premier designers in the bridal industry, and MTB is proud to bring her designs to the bluegrass. In terms of the blog, we have some new and exciting directions for Friday Favorites, and our plan is to spotlight a different designer every month. If you have a collection that you fangirl over, let us know! We are always looking for input from our brides, and we cannot wait to show you the multitude of designers we have at MTB. Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Xo, Taylor






Happy first day of November, ya’ll! Anyone else staring at their calendar trying to figure out where this year went? We’re back this week with another real Meant to Be Bride! Leslie and Stephen tied the knot last September on a family farm in Georgetown, KY. Keep reading to hear more about their story, their day, and to get all the details on their wedding vendors.


Can you give us a glimpse into you & your hubs's love story?

Stephen and I met at Keeneland where we were celebrating our first Derby event. A few years before that we worked together at Lowe’s, but to be fair we didn’t really know each other so it doesn’t really count, right? I was tailgating with friends. He was tailgating with friends. Our friends were friends with one another. You know how tailgating works. I recognized Stephen at Keeneland and we started talking. I’m pretty sure it was my dancing skills that slid my way into his heart. After that it was time for our first date. We both assumed it was going to last no longer than an hour. First date jitters. When our date was over he walked me to my car and we talked for hours. I remember telling my oldest brother about him and I said, “I’m going to marry him”. He said I sounded crazy. I was never one of those people who felt like I would just know. But with Stephen I knew. We met at the perfect time.


What was it about your dress that made you realize it was "the one?" Was it what you expected to love/wear? Favorite memory from dress shopping? 

I had always wanted my dress to be handmade, but weddings can be stressful and that was unrealistic. Meant To Be to the rescue! It was literally…. meant to be. I knew in my mind what style I wanted. I wanted lace, but not all over. I didn’t want strapless. And I didn’t want a dress that I had seen already. I tried on several styles to see how different dresses looked and to get a feel for them. One of my favorite parts was the one on one experience! It truly felt special. When I stepped into “the one” I felt comfortable. It had the perfect amount of lace. It had a high neckline. I knew right away that I wouldn’t be messing with it throughout the night because of how comfortable I felt. And it didn’t look like any dress I had ever seen. I love my dress. I feel like it was made for me.


What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?

One of my favorite memories from our wedding day was the location. It was at my families’ farm so it felt very special and because so many family members were there it was like a big family reunion. The property once belonged to my great grandparents. Their house still stands. It means a lot that their house and property are in our pictures. I can’t put the feeling into words. While Stephen and I walked the property, months leading up to the wedding I was able to share stories with him of events that happened whether it was family Christmas, fishing with Grandpa Tucker, or sledding with my cousins. The location was special because Stephen’s family could share that space with my family. Another memory I will never forget was the dancing. We love to dance…now if we’re any good is up for debate. I wanted to make sure that I talked to everyone who was there especially because some people came from far distances, but I wanted to make sure I got to dance at my own wedding. The kids had so much fun. My favorite dancing moments were when our best man slid down the dancing floor to the kick line to Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. I relive that day over and over. It was the best day ever.


What has been the best thing about marriage so far?

I have never been happier. I know it sounds silly and people tell us to enjoy the “honeymoon phase”, but I truly have never been this happy. If you’ve ever met Stephen you would understand. He just brings happiness out of me. I was happy before, but once we were married I guess it was realizing we get to spend the rest of our lives together.


Any pieces of wisdom or advice you'd like to share with future brides, engaged gals, or newlyweds like yourself?

 I have 3 pieces of advice:

-Read The 5 Love Languages. We received it as a wedding gift and I began reading it immediately. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a good read. I highly recommend it whether you’re engaged, a newlywed, or already married. (We agree with Leslie! Click here to read a Marriage Matters post on this topic.)

-If you are planning a wedding, and don’t have the budget for a wedding planner (or maybe if you do), don’t be afraid to ask for help. I am not one to ask people for help, but I had so many friends and family members who were very helpful. Even if it is something small like an opinion or to pick something up for you. You might be amazed at who is willing to help you out.

-Enjoy it. Enjoy the planning and all the wedding festivities, but more importantly enjoy your day! Everyone kept telling me that it would go by so fast. They were right! I took in all my surroundings. I literally stood at the venue and looked around. I recommend making an itinerary to help schedule out your day (if you don’t have a planner doing that for you), but go in with a carefree attitude in case things don’t go exactly as planned.


How sweet is this couple? Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Schlumpf! Keep checking back with us for more Real Meant to Be Brides, wedding tips, and marriage wisdom. Below, enjoy photos of more of the details from Leslie and Stephen’s wedding, as well as a list of the vendors who helped make it all happen:

Bridal Gown: Meant To Be Boutique

Venue: Dawson Family Farm

Photographer: Rainwater Photography

Hairstylist: Andrea Hall Studio (Sola Salon Studios)

Cake: Bit of Whimsy Cakes Becky Holman

Tent: Goff Tents & Events

Florist: Goff Tents & Events

Caterer: City Barbeque

Grooms and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse