Big Day Small Talk Episode 5: Real Bride Erika

Where better to get advice than from someone who’s been there? Recently. And someone who’s utterly delightful! Today we’re chatting with our real bride, Erika, about her gorgeous (and big) Summer wedding. Erika has great tips for embracing the challenges of wedding planning, what to prioritize, and how to stay centered and focused on the joys of the occasion. Erika was a wonderful bride to work with and we knew she’s have a great perspective on planning your big day!

Erika’s gown was by Essense of Australia. Her bridesmaid dresses were by Hayley Paige Occasions.

Photos by Alisha White Photography.

Hey guys!  Welcome to another episode of Big Day Small Talk.  We're here talking with one of our real brides, Erika.  And we're just kinda going to dish about wedding planning, and tips from a real bride who has been there.  So, welcome to big day small talk!  Let's do it!  Can't wait! 

What do you do?  I work at Pro Rehab in Evansville.  And so does Dane. 

What are you doing for your first anniversary?  One of our gifts from our wedding was an AirBNB gift card.  So, we're going to go on a little weekend getaway to a little cabin.

What are you currently binge watching?  Well, we're huge bachelor and bachelorette fans.  Like, die hard.  So at our wedding he gave me a rose and said "Will you accept this rose?"It was very cheesy, but it is our thing. 

So, here we are.  I'm sitting down with Erika, who is now Erika Mauer, who had her wedding last year and who, at the time of filming is just coming up on her first anniversary.  Where was your ceremony and where was your reception?  So, we got married in a church.  We're both from big catholic families so that was very important to us.  Saints Peter and Paul in Haubstadt, Indiana.  Love that church.  His parents got married there and it is beautiful.  So, like, it's a win-win.  Now, do you actually remember the ceremony, or looking back is it kind of a blur?  I remember I, like, sprinted down the aisle.  I didn't realize it, and then I was like "slow down, take in the moment".  But then once I got in there and I sat down, I made myself take a deep breath and just take it all in.  Tell me about your reception venue?  Where was it?  That was at Discovery Lodge.  So, how many guests did you have? That's the thing.  I didn't have a choice.  That's what I thought...I'm like, "Double Catholic wedding, big number of guests, right?"  So, my mom is one of ten, and his dad is one of twelve.  So our guest list was lilke 575.  What's great is the fact that The Discovery Lodge can hold so many people and it still is pretty.  It's homey.  Ok, so wedding colors?  What were they?  So, many people don't know this either, but my mom's colors were black in her wedding.  She was a bit of a trailblazer for her time!  My favorite color is black.  You came today wearing black.  It's classic, it's timeless, I thought I'm for sure having black bridesmaid dresses, even in the dead of summer.  And every bridesmaid who I ever talk to who is asked to wear a black dress is excited.  It looks great with any hair color, every skin tone.  Everyone has a black shoe in their closet they can wear with it.  I also love that it just makes the bride stand out.  So tell me about your gown shopping experience.  Did you do a ton of pinning? Did you do a ton of research?  No.  I had followed House of White way before.  And I remember exactly how it went down.  I was sitting in Olive Garden, and I just happened to look at a story of yours.  So, I saw this dress.  It's Essense of Australia.  And my dress was very simple, form fitting, again I feel like it was timeless.  It didn't take away from me so much.  I remember I was with my grandma and I was like "this is my dress".  I had an appointment that Saturday.   It was the first dress I tried on, and I just melted.  I love the way that you styled it.  What makes a wedding dress come alive is how a bride does her hair, does her jewelry, her veil choice.  We saw the earrings when I was here and I said "I have to have these".  And you know, we customized them because I wanted them to match my ring.  And then there was a matching bracelet that matched the earrings, and that's what Dane gave me for our wedding.  So it's like all these pieces you collected as it got closer to the wedding.  I think a piece of jewelry from the groom is such a sweet sentiment.  But I'm the type of person who's like "I have it picked out..."  Like, I'm nudging you.  Would you say that your wedding day look was what you thought you'd get married in?  Yes.  So tell me about the guys.  Did they do tuxes?  They did tuxes.  We were a little bit torn between doing a suit that they could keep and a tux.  And I thought black of course.  It's classic, and it's going to go.  And then in my mind I thought it would be this big black blob, and then me.  So, we decided to go with the dark blue with the black lapel.  Oh, I love that.  We went the rental route.  The company we went with was in Huntingburg Indiana.  It's called NP Tux.  And they came to our house and fitted everyone.  I've heard of that.  We had pizza and beer at our house and the guys had a guy's night.  Was there a moment where you had a freakout?  Not on the day.  Not at all.  It was wonderful.  It was stressful back to the tux thing.  The guys were measured and then they got them the week of the wedding.  And some didn't fit.  And that last minute; I'm such a planner.  So I'm like ok, I've got all my ducks in a row and then the Wednesday before we're kina scrambling.  It's one of those things where it's kind of the name of the game, but you wouldn't know it because you've never planned a wedding before.  You've never rented ten tuxes before.  So, word of advice to brides watching.  Altering menswear like that takes minutes.  It's one of those things where the other side of it, the business side, they're used to it.  What would you say is the money best spent, best investment for your wedding.  100% photo and video.  Hands down.  Every wedding photographer and videographer watching this is like "Amen".  If I wouldn't have done that I would have regretted it.  You will never get that moment back.  Honestly, you can't look at the price tag because it is priceless.  Photos by Alisha White Photography.  Looking back on those photos, the quality.  And I have heard horror stories of my dear friends, and I want to cry for them, because they say "I don't like my pictures...I maybe like 2 or 3 out of all of them".  And I love every single one of mine.  I totally agree.  You can't skimp.  And little things, too, that add up that I thought weren't necessary that I thought I'll use that money in a better way.  There's no rule book.  I think that's how you make your wedding your own.  If weddings were all the same they wouldn't be fun.  What's one piece of advice you share to brides?  Wake up earlier than everyone else.  And just take a moment to yourself.  That's what I did.  I remember us talking and like "we need to wake up at this time, and we've everything lined out" and I was like "I'm going to set my alarm 15 minutes before".  And in that moment, I thought the entire world was asleep but me.  And I just sat there and thought "How blessed am I?"  All 575 people who traveled and came here and are committed to being here for me and Dane.  It just allows you to center yourself and collect yourself.  That's a great piece of advice.  I feel like that's something I've never heard someone advise to brides.  Usually I feel like it's something like "Elope!" or "Don't do it!" I feel like that's a very small thing you can do for yourself on your wedding day that will have big impact.  I feel like I could talk so long.  I feel like you did so many things right for your wedding.  I feel like you were so intentional with everything.  And you enjoyed it so much.  I feel like every time you came into the store, which, we saw you a lot.  I was in head to toe House of White.  From the garter!  Inside and out.  You were a beam of light every time you came in.  And sometimes we see brides and you can just see the weight of wedding planning right on their shoulders.  And that's ok.  It's ok to feel that way.  But I feel like you went into it with the intention of being joyful.  I always tell brides, if they're feeling down or stressed or overwhelmed, take a step back right in that moment and think How can I make this better.  Because this is all supposed to be the best time in your life.  Well this has been so fun talking with our real bride Erika Mauer.  You're coming in for a bridesmaid appointment tomorrow.  So this is not goodbye.  This is see you tomorrow.  Thank you so much for checking in for another edition of Big Day Small Talk!  We'll see you next time!