Weddings

Post Pregnancy Plan Week 3

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What I like to think my brain looks like after a workout

Hi Everyone,

This week I’m at the half way mark of my 6-week Online Post-Pregnancy Plan. Myself, Frankie and Jodie have all been sick with colds, coughs and ear infections so it’s been a fairly challenging week. I haven’t been able to exercise much because I’ve been so sick which was disappointing because I was really getting into my stride in week 2 and feeling the benefits of it. As I said in the Week 1 post I find that exercise is great for my mood and mindset and helps to keep me positive even on days when I’ve had very little sleep. So I’m definitely feeling the affects of not getting to do my workouts much and am really looking forward to getting back to it asap.

I haven’t measured myself as I don’t want to be disappointed if this past week has stalled my progress but I’m feeling stronger and my jeans are fitting better too. I also haven’t done a picture comparison this week as there isn’t enough of a difference yet to really notice but I  am looking forward to comparing in the final week.

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    When you’re sick and only snuggles from your baby sister will do

I did stick to the meal plan as much as possible even though I wasn’t sharing much on Snapchat – there isn’t time to make food look pretty when you’re living in a blur of snot and Neurofen! I found having all of the food I needed for the week in the house, as well as two evening meals frozen and ready, really helpful in the middle of all the madness though and it can only help to be eating healthily when you’re sick and don’t have much time to pay attention to yourself. Almost all of the food on the plan is easy to prepare but even at that I struggled some days as everyone needed me so much and we all have days or weeks like that. So I took the easy option sometimes which meant having Cully and Sully soup from a tub a couple of days rather than my own homemade soup as well as snacks like the Good 4 U Super Bites when I couldn’t manage to nut butter a few rice cakes (yes that’s how insane it can be some days with a sick 2 year old and a newborn!).

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One of my favourite quick snack foods

Winter wedding season is in full swing and we had a friend’s wedding over the weekend in The Mill House in Slane (fab venue btw). I often get asked by people signing up to do my plans what they should do if they have a wedding on during the 6 weeks. My answer is always the same. Go and enjoy! Life is too short to be sitting at a wedding dinner not able to eat this and that or enjoy a drink or dessert. Normally (when not so bet down with sickness) I would do a really tough workout the day before and after and be extra good with my meals so that I feel I’ve really “made room” for a more indulgent meal like you’d get at a wedding. While I’m on the subject of weddings I might as well add in that I will be running a separate general population online plan in January which is very popular with brides-to-be and their bridal parties so if you’d like to know more about that you can leave your email address here and I’ll get back to you with more details very soon.

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Wedding ready but unfortunately my sickness caught up on me later in the day

I’m getting such lovely feedback from everyone, particularly when it comes to what I’m talking about on Snapchat. I snapped a lot in the past week about the pressure women feel to get back into shape after having a baby as it was something that I hadn’t realised affected so many and wanted to offer a little bit of advice. That advice included not to pay any attention to family members (who say the CRUELEST things it seems), not to let yourself get distracted from your own progress by comparing yourself to others and also not to feel mammy-guilt if you want or need to take time out to look after yourself and your health and fitness. I got such a great response from my Snapchat followers that I’m strongly thinking of having a Motivational Meet-up in Laois in the New Year. I’ll be posting more about this at a later stage but would absolutely love to help other Mammies and women in general to reach their health and fitness goals in 2017.

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Snapchat @mrskbomb

Thanks for reading,

Bríd x

 

Introduction to my Summer of Vlogging

Here’s a short introductory post telling you a little bit about what I hope to vlog about over the coming months (but as explained in this video I’m just going to call them videos because I HATE the word VLOG!!). I’m also telling a little about what’s in store for the online courses over the summer too.

To add your name to the mailing list for more information about the online courses go here.

Brídx

Say I Do, For Syria

Do you know what I love? Spending money. And do you know what makes spending money even more fun? When you’re spending it on lovely things for your wedding. And do you know what makes it even more fun again? When the spending of the money helps other people. Because the majority of the time when I’m spending money I’m hurting people. Myself and my bank manager mainly. We both get over it eventually but still it’s rare that anyone gets helped by my spending. Which is why the event that I’m writing about today is so fabulous because it allows brides-to-be to spend their little hearts out for a brilliant cause which will help a ridiculous amount of people.

So what is it?

I Do, For Syria and is predominently a sale/auction of pre-loved wedding attire where you can pick up amazing dresses, accessories etc for ridiculously good prices. There are sample dresses from the likes of Myrtle Ivory, Folkster, Smart Brides and Jeutonic as well as dresses from as recent as this year which have been donated by past brides. All of the money raised is going straight to the Irish Red Cross working on the frontline with Syrian refugees. It is the brainchild of Róisín Kelly of the blog How to be an Adult.

I Do For Syria

 

Can I have a look at the dresses beforehand?

You can indeed. I’ve included a sneak peak at a couple of them below but if you head over to the Facebook page I Do, For Syria you can check out all of the dresses, their details and guide prices.

AoifeBridesmaids dresses

 

What if I already have my dress or I’m already married? Can I still go?

Eh ye ya can! Firstly the spot prizes are just incredible. There’s so many I could go on forever but included are prizes like:

– a voucher for Hippenings (decor delights for party people)

– a €500 voucher from The Wedding Picture Co.

– a brand new surface tablet from Microsoft!! (I HAVE to win this!)

Some of them are bridal related but some would be great regardless of if you’re getting married or not. On the night, which will be MC’d by Xposé’s Aisling O’Loughlin, there’s going to be a fashion show, makeup artists, hair stylists, bubbly, music, and loads more so it’s going to be a really glam, girlie night out too.

When is it on?

Wednesday 28th of October at 7pm

Where is it on?

House Dublin on Leeson Street

Tickets?

€21.65 and can be purchased here.

You never need an excuse to get your bridal party together for a bit of fun but if you did then this would be the perfect one. Hope to see you there!

 

Bríd

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Roisin

Fit Bride Marian’s Big Day

Kiss

When Marian Lewis walked up the aisle earlier this year she was one happy woman. The most obvious reason was that Pádraig, the man she loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with, was waiting at the top. But there was also another reason she felt like bursting with happiness and that was that she looked and felt a million dollars. A few months earlier when Marian joined up to my online course I convinced her that it was worth all of her efforts to achieve that feeling and be the absolute stunner of a bride that she wanted to be. She did so well that the poor lady doing her alterations had to tell her off as she explained she couldn’t make the dress any smaller! You can read about her online story here.

Marian & Mother of Praguw Marian & Dad

Marian & Mam

As an only child she spent the morning getting pampered at home in Roscrea with her parents, two bridesmaids and flowergirl before heading off to meet her man. Marian and Pádraig’s wedding took place on a beautiful day in St. Cronan’s church in Roscrea in May and they partied the night away afterwards in The Sheraton Hotel in Athlone. Check out her fabulous day below captured so well by Denis Vahey Photography in Cashel as well as details of all of her wedding vendors. If you’d like more information about my online fitness courses head over here and leave your details.

Church Marian & Hubby Pew Ends

Rings Sheraton Slippers

Marian and Hubby Veil Cake Topper

 

Dress: Smart Brides, Portlaoise

Veil & Tiara: Smart Brides, Portlaoise

Alterations: Midland Bridal, Kilcormac

Hair: Bridal Hair by Marie, Clonmel

Makeup / General Beauty: Emily’s Beauty Rooms, Rathdowney

Bridal Car: James Dalton

Rings: Voltaire Diamonds, Dublin

 

Home Fitness – Top 3 Pieces of Equipment

It’s been a busy few weeks for me as I’ve been setting up my new online fitness course. It kicked off this week and I have a lovely dedicated crew on board. As well as a balanced diet plan, each week I send them exercise sessions that they can do both in the gym and at home, depending on their preference. While all of the workouts can be done without equipment I have advised them to purchase a few small pieces to help them achieve better results. I decided to share on the blog some of these pieces so that people can see how it’s possible to get fit without spending lots of money or wasting time travelling. As the winter months approach getting outdoors can get harder also. You can spend as little or as much as you want when it comes to home equipment but the suggestions below aren’t very expensive and generally stocked in most big towns as well as online. See the video below for examples of exercises you can do with each piece.

Exercise Mat

Pink Mat

A good, thick exercise mat will never go to waste (not like a big awkward stability ball – anyone else have one of those in the corner of their room doing NOTHING?!). While you can usually pick up a thin mat for next to nothing you’ll pay for it in discomfort. The mat I’m using in the video above is from Physioneeds and costs approximately €50 but you’d nearly sleep on it it’s that comfortable. Similar can be found in Argos but Physioneeds are very fast with delivery. As you can see from the video clip you can pretty much use your mat for anything whether you’re looking to do cardio or resistance exercises.

Dynaband

Pink Dynaband

Untied this is a great piece for arms, shoulders and upper back for both strengthening and stretching. To help work your legs you can tie it up and use in various ways including as shown in the video. I get my dynabands from McSport but locally you can usually get them in the likes of Elverys, TKMaxx or Argos for less than €10. This is also a great little piece of equipment to pack if you’re going be travelling.

Kettlebell

Kettlebells

This is a very small but versatile piece of equipment which you can see from my video. I have a variety of weights but would use the 8 and 12kg’s most often. I use mine for both cardio and resistance exercise. I get my kettlebells from D8 Fitness in Dublin. Most sports shops supply them now too. Generally the fitness equipment suppliers will be a little cheaper than the sports stores. The average price of an 8kg kettlebell is €30.

You can spend lots of money on machines like a treadmill, stationary bike or crosstrainer but they aren’t necessary as you will see from my videos and I would only advise buying one if you are certain that you will use it and not have it become a clothes horse as often happens. If you’d like to get more information on my next online fitness course please go here and leave your details.

Hope you found this helpful!

Bríd

Online Fitness Course Starting September 2015

Róisín’s Story

  Click here to read success stories 

I have been working hard on the online plan for the past few weeks and am delighted to share the details.

Please read the following carefully before deciding whether this plan is suitable for you. Places will be limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Your place can only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Start Date: Mon 21st Sept 2015.

The information that you need to prepare for the start date will be emailed to you in the week prior to the start date so that you can do your first food shop.

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: €100

What is included?

– A weekly exercise plan will be provided. There will be two different workout routines each week and a video demonstration of all exercises including teaching and safety points will be included. Each participant will be sent an email weekly with a Dropbox link to the video. Each routine is 20-30 minutes in duration and I will be advising that you exercise 4-6 times per week. There will be layered levels of exercise intensity demonstrated for different fitness levels.

– A food plan which includes real food choices for the real world. This is not a diet but rather a healthy eating plan. A template will be provided for planning your weekly meals and your shopping list. A clear explanation of your food options will be provided to help educate you on making better food choices.

– A Facebook support group that will allow course members to interact, share tips, and encourage each other. Support and accountability are very important when undertaking a plan like this and your group, as well as myself, will help to provide these things.

– Daily contact with me through the support group. I will be logging on every day to answer any questions you might have as well as giving motivational advice throughout the course.

What do I need?

– New mothers will need to have had their post-pregnancy check-up and have received medical clearance to exercise. If you have any specific post-pregnancy concerns you can contact me to discuss before committing.

– All participants will need to read the relevant terms, conditions, statements, and screening procedures. In order to proceed with the online course all participants will have to confirm via email that they have read the relevant paperwork and have medical clearance (further details will be provided should you choose to partake).

– All routines can be completed without equipment however a mat, dynaband and a weight of approximately 5-12kg are recommended to help you achieve the best results. The routines can be performed in your own home, indoors or outdoors, but if you are already a gym member you can do them there either.

– I recommend that you take your body measurements and a video demonstration of how to do so will be provided. For accountability all measurements can be posted to the support page or privately by email to myself and photographs included if you are comfortable to do so.

In addition I encourage all participants to chose an item of clothing that is currently too tight but which they would like to be able to fit comfortably into by Christmas and share this with the group if they wish. Weighing yourself on a scales is not recommended but is a personal choice.

Who is this plan not suitable for?

– Anyone with a disability, impairment or ailment which prevents them from engaging in active or passive exercise that is detrimental to heart, safety or comfort.

– Unfortunately at this time the plan does not take into account specific dietary requirements eg. If you are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, diabetic

– Pregnant women (however please note that should you fall pregnant during the 12 weeks an alternative routine can be provided once medical permission to exercise has been received.)

The response to this course has been unbelievable. I’m very excited about helping you all to achieve your goals. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please make sure that you have notified me of your intention to join this course before making payment.

You can make your payment here

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Please choose a category and click the Buy Now button below. The cost is €100.



The Fit Bride’s Breakfast

FBB

From the day I got engaged to the day I walked down the aisle I was obsessed with all things bridal and wedding (I probably still am actually but I think that’s obvious). I loved finding any excuse to have a day out with my bridal party in the build up to the big day. Days like dress shopping, bridal shows, venue hunting, an impromptu trip down to Bride of Franc’s café and shop in Cork and even a ‘for the hell of it’ overnight trip to London. None of our trips were of the fit and healthy nature however and that got me thinking about organising a bridal experience with a difference for brides-to-be. When I ran my idea past some soon-to-be brides that I know (and as a 29 year old woman that is MANY) they loved it and so The Fit Bride’s Breakfast was born.

BREAKFAST FIT WITH BRID TUBE

After a lot of planning and preparation to get my lovely venue up to bridal standard the day began to take shape. A clear out of my own bridal bits and pieces, a couple (ok four!) trips to IKEA and a stop off at Moss Cottage in Dundrum and I had what I needed to transform. I was amazed at the response to it. Originally I had planned on keeping the numbers very small but relented because I’m not very good at saying no. And so we had a lovely sized group together for our first event. The morning kicked off with tea and coffee and a light, healthy breakfast which included fruit from Keelings, yoghurt from Glenisk and the tastiest yoghurt toppers from Wyldsson (who personalised their tubes for me!)
DOES EATING LESSWHOLE GROUP

Now I’m fairly well used to standing in front of big crowds when I’m teaching my classes but this time there were no burpees or loud music to hide behind. My lovely group were seated and all eyes were on me so you could say I was a little nervous. We discussed the common myths and misconceptions when it comes to healthy eating and fitness, including how often you should exercise and what are the best things to do as well as what are the best food choices. We looked at the different wedding dress shapes and styles that brides chose and the body parts that they are often conscious of when wearing these dresses. I was just starting to relax when my time was up and I handed over to the next speaker.

AILEEN TALKREMARKABLE BEAUTY LOGOREMARKABLE BEAUTY LAYOUT 2

Aileen Coffey from Remarkable Beauty was next up to talk to the ladies. Aileen is a mobile beauty therapist and offers a wide range of services including skincare, nails, tan and much more. Her speciality is her pamper party which is popular with hen parties, bridal parties and all the other girly events you can think of. She talked to the group about the stages of beauty prep that a bride should consider leading up to her big day. She also showed the group her fabulous mobile tanning booth as well as some of her lovely products. Sometimes a bride can think she knows what she needs to be doing to prepare herself for the big day but an expert like Aileen will always have a few extra handy tips.

MARY KEARNS AT WORK

MARY KEARNS AT WORK 2

Next was Mary Kearns from Mary’s Hair Studio in Rathdowney. Mary is well known for her amazing wedding styles and as a bride-to-be herself (who is admittedly hair obsessed) she knows how important it is to feel confident with both the style you choose and how well it will hold up for the day. This bride can testify that her styles will hold up for the whole weekend if you want them to! Mary works from her really pretty studio but will also travel to a bride’s house or hotel if they wish. She also spoke about caring for your hair in the lead up to the big day as well as how to manage your veil or headpiece later in the night when she’s not around to help.

RUTH MAKEUPRUTH BERGIN IN ACTION

Our final speaker was makeup artist Ruth Bergin. A graduate of LA College of Creative Arts and currently working for Inglot, Ruth showed the group two very different bridal looks, a more natural and the other a bit stronger. One of the biggest concerns for brides-to-be is how to maintain, throughout the day, the flawless look created by a makeup artist in the morning so Ruth gave some advice on products that you should bring with you to your reception.LOVE

As you can see from the pictures our morning was captured elegantly as always by photographer Eddie Kavanagh. I had meant to make a list of the little details that I wanted captured but he didn’t miss a thing.

MARY PLACING SMART FEATHERSMART BRIDES LOGOMARY PLACING SMART VEIL

We were also very lucky to have a selection of veils and headpieces to show off Mary’s hairstyles with and they came from Smart Brides Designer Outlet in Portlaoise. They were also kind enough to send a stunning Jenny Packham dress to show off to the brides too as well as some of the gorgeous jewellery that they sell. I wanted to take everything they sent, particularly the dress, and run for my life!

MARIAN LALOR WINNER FIT WITH BRID MARTINA FINNERTY WINNER MARY'S HAIR

KAREN O'MAHONY WINNER REMARKABLE BEAUTY SARAH MULHALL WINNER EDDIE

Prize winners

We rounded off the morning with some spot prizes which included a goodie bag of Wyldsson topper tubes from myself, a blow-dry from Mary, a full-body tan from Aileen and a voucher for an engagement shoot with Eddie. It was so nice to get such positive feedback from everyone who came and I loved chatting to everyone afterwards. I’m looking forward to having some of the ladies join me on the 12 week online course starting in September and there will definitely be another breakfast in the future.

WIRE HEARTDRESSERLOVE HEARTS

P.S I was getting asked a lot of questions on Snapchat about where I got some of the bits and bobs I used to decorate the venue so here you go:

BuntingFavour Lane

Wire Love Hearts – I can’t remember sorry – but you could try Nook and Cranny in Portlaoise for similar

Wicker Love Hearts – Pennys last year but these are easy enough to get

Miniature Peony ChalkboardsMoss Cottage, Dundrum

All material – IKEA

If there’s anything else that I haven’t included let me know!

Bríd

Amazing Arms Anywhere

At this time of the year us ladies are all about our arms, not necessarily because we’ll get to show them off to any great extent in Ireland with our unpredictable weather, but there will be the odd wedding and hopefully a holiday thrown in too.

I’m all about being able to exercise any time, any place with limited or no equipment. In this video clip I have given two exercises that require external weight and two which only require your body weight. For the two that require external weight I have given three options for you to use at home. The first being a kettlebell or dumbbell (mine is 8kg but use what suits you), the second being your baby (mine was not co-operating and anyway he’s getting too bloody heavy for me) and thirdly an old handbag filled with any heavy stuff you can find around the house. I do a lot of bodyweight and dynaband exercises when working my arms as they can get bulky very quickly and that’s just personally not the look I like for myself. I’ll do a dynaband post soon.

I would usually do 10-15 repetitions of each of these exercises and do 3-4 sets.

Upright Row

PullupsFrankie Pullups
Handbag Pullups

– Works your shoulders and front of upper arms.
– Perform slowly and with control.
– Keep your core strong (bellybutton to spine, pelvic floor lifted) throughout.

Single Arm Row

KB Row

– Works the side of your upper back, front of your upper arm and back of your shoulder.
– Again slow and controlled and try to tense the muscles in your arm at the top of the row.
– Keep your elbow in close to your rib cage as you slide past it.

Press Up

Press Ups

– Works your chest, the back of your upper arms and the front of your shoulders
– Be sure that you aren’t dropping your mid-section when lowering – if so drop down to the modified version on your knees.
– Lower slowly and to a right angle at your elbow and return to top a little faster.

Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips

– Works the chest, back of your upper arms and front of your shoulders
– Hard version – extend legs so that you are balancing on your heels
– Easy version – bend knees at 90 degrees
– Dip slowly, lift a little faster

Have a look at the video link below to see these exercises in motion.

Bríd

My Fit Wedding

My Fit Wedding

When I got engaged in October 2011 it was the start of nearly 18 months of just the best fun. I’m my mother’s only girl and we were both so excited to get planning the big day. As with most brides the dress was one of the most important things to me. I stocked up on all the magazines and luckily Pinterest was just after coming on the scene too so I had loads of inspiration (aka I could be found scrolling through bridal inspiration boards at 3am). I came across this Mikaella dress early in 2012 and loved it.

My Fit Wedding

The Dress

Of course the fact that I was neither the models shape nor height didn’t put me off and I began to search for stockists in Ireland. I found Amoré Bridal in Cork had it, went to try it on and adored it even more. None of the regular sizes it came in were a perfect fit but I was happy that it could be altered and anyway I had some plans to work on my shape between then and my wedding date in March 2013. I decided not to order it until I had tried a few more dresses. Only one other dress came close to it even though it was a completely different style – backless and a big skirt. In the end I thought of which dress himself would love the most and the Mikaella came out on top.

My Shape

Even though I would have what most people would consider to be a slim figure, I’m a strange shape. I have very little in the way of curves including no waist or chest and have a wide back. I’m quite straight up and down except for my bum which, with a lot of glute-specific exercises, can be made bigger quite easily. I have learned from a young age how to fake the chest (thank you Penny’s big padded bras!) and so I felt this dress would be good for working a little behind and sculpting nice arms. Owing to the fact that I exercise a lot both through my job and by choice I have to be careful with my arms. They can tend to get quite bulky looking if I build too much muscle. I know this is a look that many women pursue but I personally don’t love it on me.

My Fit Wedding

My Fit Wedding

The Exercise

In my bootcamp classes we do a lot of interval training with exercises like mountain climbers, sprints, kettlebell swings and burpees. In my Pilates classes I was getting to work on my core muscles and strengthening my arms and legs. In addition to this I was running regularly, usually between 5 and 10km, 2-3 times per week.

I stuck to 8kg kettlebells when doing upper body exercises like shoulder presses, chest presses and rows. I did a lot more bodyweight work like press ups and tricep dips as well as resistance band work like lateral raises and flys for my upper back.

One way to build your bum is to work with heavy weights and low repetitions. I would have been doing a lot of trap bar deadlifts (60+kg), weighted vest lunge walks (20kg), as well as squats and elevated lunges with 2x12kg racked kettlebells. You can build your bum without heavy weights too it just requires doing more repetitions. Using a resistance band is a great way of working your glutes also. There are benefits to both and I now do more bodyweight/banded exercises than I do heavy weighted ones. When I look back at the build up to my wedding I’m so jealous of all of the time I had to dedicate to my body!

My Fit Wedding
Hen Party Madness

The Hen Parties

My official hen party was in Cork in January of 2013. I had picked a fab little white dress for the main night out but when I looked back at the pictures the following week I realised that I had overdone things a bit and had lost too much weight. It was probably a combination of being busy with work and planning the wedding. Again not the look I was going for so I was determined to put back on some weight and curves. This is something that often happens to brides-to-be. Everyone wants to stun people on their big day but for the right reasons.
I needn’t have worried because in those last few weeks there were so many days out to do this and that for the wedding and they always resulted in a big lunch somewhere too. Those days out with the girls are all part of the excitement of planning a wedding. I taught classes right up to the night before my wedding and was also thrown a number of surprise hen parties by my bootcamp ladies. I think they used it as an excuse to bring as much food into one of my classes as they could possible get away with!

A little too thin at my hen
A little too thin at my hen

Finally the big day arrived. That morning my mother and stepmother helped to slip me into my dress…ehhmm big fat lie….they had to absolutely beat me into the dress. It was so tight I could hardly breathe but I felt so good in it and didn’t care. I loved the shape and how it made me feel. I cared a little more when travelling in to the church though. Sitting was not going to be my friend that day. Neither was climbing the steps onto the altar with even the priest asking me whether I might suffer a Jennifer Lawrence-esque wardrobe malfunction. Dinner later in the day, as well as all the gorgeous desert food that followed, made things even more difficult. The boning cutting the hips off me but again I felt fab and that was all that mattered.

My Fit Wedding
Plenty of sweets to challenge the dress

I won’t be one of those women who sell her dress. I love looking at it now and again and keep swearing that I’ll try it on again someday but I don’t want to depress myself because post baby I very much doubt it would be too easy to get it on. I was so glad I made the effort to get the body I wanted for my wedding. I would urge all brides-to-be to do whatever it takes to have no regrets when you look back at yourself in your dress on that special day. Hopefully it will be the only wedding dress you ever get to wear and you deserve to feel a million dollars in it.

My Fit Wedding

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