Stop Itchy Pregnancy Belly! Three Easy, Natural and Quick tips to Prevent and Relieve Itchiness

Since my belly started stretching at around 20 weeks into this pregnancy I’ve had seriously itchy belly (especially around where my belly piercing was!). Seeing that it was/is winter, my skin was super dry already — I needed to nourish it any way I could. Here is what I’ve used to survive those crazy itchy belly spells. These are all totally personal remedies and not medical advice. Please be sure to consult your doctor for any medical questions!

P.S. These links below are affiliate links.


For INSTANT relief:

  1. Olive Oil — I discovered this when I was working at the studio one day and had no cream, my belly was all of a sudden SO itchy I could have screamed. I was literally ready to put butter on it (though that grossed me out, ha!) and I saw my saving grace on the kitchen counter — extra virgin olive oil. I figured since people use coconut oil on their skin why couldn’t I use olive oil to help my poor itchy pregnant belly. Holy relief Batman! It’s such a thick oil it instantly soothed my skin and created a layer of hydration that lasted for hours. Strangely enough, I also saw my skin tone even out after I started using it! 

    PROS: If you get the extra virgin kind, it’s already cold pressed, made without preservatives, you can easily buy organic, and it’s so much less expensive than the special belly creams. Personally, it works better for me. It even cleared up a little rash I had on my upper chest overnight. That was something that creams (prescribed and over the counter) couldn’t do and my handy dandy EVOO seemed to take on with ease. After doing some research I’ve also discovered that it’s lipid restoring which is important when your skin is stretching so quickly.

    CONS: You smell like a salad (though, that could be a pro?). You have to really rub it in, all over, in a circular motion and then let it soak in, otherwise you’ll get oil on your clothes which isn’t fun!

    VERDICT: I use olive oil every day now on my belly after I get out of the shower in the morning and before I go to bed at night. I use it during the day if my belly starts itching too. 



  1. Drink tons of water: This is an obvious one, but if you’re not drinking enough water your skin isn’t getting the hydration it needs. Dry skin means itchy skin! Drink water whenever you can — I bring a water bottle with me wherever I go. I love this one. Make it easy on yourself to drink enough water: whenever you feel hungry, before you eat, just have a small glass of water to quench your thirst. I’ve replaced all of my liquids except “treat” drinks that I super crave (coffee and ginger ale) with filtered water. It’s really healthy, and keeps me hydrated. I’ve also found that when I’m dehydrated I’m especially sluggish, so water has also helped with my crazy pregnancy fatigue, too! 

  2. Collagen powder/pills — this basically hits your skin from the inside, and helps with elasticity. Personally, I prefer the pills to the powder as they have no taste, but I do put the powder in smoothies to get a little extra boost. This is more of a long term idea, but I definitely feel and see a difference in my skin when I take them versus not! I read about this on blogs, saying that it helps prevent stretch marks. I have no idea if it’s true as I haven’t gotten any, but my pregnancy isn’t over yet... however, it has helped with my itchy belly! 

So there you have it! My 3 favorite easy itchy belly remedies. For fast relief break out that olive oil, for long term care, hydrate with water ALL DAY, and try collagen pills! 


  1. I’ve switched my shower gel to shower oil. I absolutely LOVE this one, and it’s pregnancy and baby safe.

  2. I also can’t rave enough about the Sugar Momma body scrubs! It’s made with natural oils and sugar. I went through a massive tub of it in less than a MONTH! I loved it so much. It’s called Sugar Momma Scrubs and you can get them HERE.



Miscarriage at 7 Weeks + Surviving the Storm

I never thought I’d join this club. To be honest, I never thought I’d even have to share about this. And really I don’t have to. No one is telling me that I do. But deep down. It needs to be out of me. So here goes. 

About a month ago I had a miscarriage at 7 and a half weeks.

Pyk and I photographed by Valeriya Maltsava

Pyk and I photographed by Valeriya Maltsava


When you go into trying to have a baby you think thoughts like:

“I’m not going to tell anyone we are trying, I don’t want pressure from anyone, I’ve got enough from myself.”

“What if it takes a while?’

“What if it never happens?”

“What if the thing I’ve dreamed about (being a mom) for so long isn’t in my near future?”


There are deeper and darker thoughts that I don’t even want to get into once you start actively trying to have a baby. At some point I even envied people who it just ”happened” to. Silly, really, because unless everyone involved is ready for it, and unless you want it, there always seems to be victims in those situations. 


And then one day, shortly after starting to try, it happened. 

I was pregnant. 

And it was wonderful. 


Those first few weeks are strange and beautiful. All of a sudden your body is changing in miraculous ways and all you can do is cheer it on by eating healthy, taking vitamins, and avoiding all the millions of things you need to once your pregnant. 


Our days were filled with smiley side-glances between Pyk and I. Talking about the baby… boy? Girl? Names we loved.. him asking me to stop drinking coffee.. me conceding and drinking decaf maybe once or twice a week for a taste fix. Little things. Feeling my body change from the inside. This whole feeling of getting ready. A feeling of never being alone. 


I’ll never ever forget the day I told my mom, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy. We told our parents and our closest friends who had just had babies. “Just in case”.  Then I told Pyk one day that I was going to tell my cousins, I didn’t care if the news would probably then spread around my family, but that if something happened, I’d need them to support me. 


The day before I had planned to tell them I was waiting for Pyk to meet me after a shoot to go out for lunch. I took a quick bathroom visit before heading to the restaurant when I saw the faintest spotting and had some cramping. 


I unraveled. 


Quickly calling the doctor we got an emergency visit with her that afternoon and what do you know? There’s a beautiful little shrimp in there, with a beautiful little heartbeat. My whole life changed. My whole existence was something bigger. I’ve never ever lived a moment more magical.  We should have recorded the heartbeat. There was never so beautiful a sound. 


We went home with lighter hearts and I rested for that evening. Over the course of the night I had more and more pain until it was absolutely unbearable and woke Pyk up to tell him we needed to go to the hospital. 


I knew. 

I didn’t want to know. 

But I knew. 

Somehow the little heartbeat would have already gone on. 


The most painful thing wasn’t the excruciating physical pain of the miscarriage. But seeing the empty ultrasound only 12 hours after seeing it full of life. 


I remember the message I sent to our family and friends, “Our little shrimp wasn’t made for this world. We were so lucky to have loved him/her for the last 7 weeks.” 


And it’s true. We are so lucky. And I wish I could change that message, because we still love our little 7. That won’t ever change. That will always be my first pregnancy. And we will forever love that little soul.


I read a book recently that a friend sent to me. It talks about all the little unborn babies in heaven being raised by angels, just waiting to meet us one day. It’s a beautiful thought, comforting that one day we’ll meet her/him. 


It sounds silly really, I mean, 7 weeks isn’t long. And really, the little shrimp wasn’t even the SIZE of a shrimp, just a cluster of cells. But the thing is, you cannot measure love in weeks, or in number of cells, or in number of tears shed. 


After the miscarriage I can only describe it as emptiness. 

A void of feeling. 

A physical void in your body. 

A whole future, changed. 

A whole life together you had imagined, gone.  


It was like screaming into a cave without any sound echoing back. Just loud silence. 

I feel silly over a month later still breaking down in tears in the metro, or just while washing my face. But it’s not. It’s really not silly. It’s normal. 


Miscarriage feels like the most awful hurricane right above you, when it happens. And you and your partner are just sitting there, in it. No umbrellas. No cover. Feeling exactly like the storm itself, thinking how could it have been sunny yesterday? 

Then your family comes with umbrellas. They sit with you. Hold you. Cover you. But rain is still coming from every direction, bouncing off the ground and sweeping in from all sides. Everyone is feeling the storm.

As time goes on, the clouds get lighter and the rain lets up little by little. But the thing is, the storm, even when lessens, seems to follow you. Catching you off guard without an umbrella. 

Those damn sun showers can be killer. 

And all you can do is hope with every pore, fiber, and being, that one day, there will be a rainbow. 


**To everyone out there who has felt this kind of loss. I see you. I’m with you. And if ever you need an umbrella. I’m here.**

Post script: To be honest, before this I didn’t realize how many women have had miscarriages. It’s more normal than not, yet before you’re in it, you don’t know that. I’ve spent hours in forums and on blogs reading other people’s experiences. And it helped so much. I wanted to write this to both get it out, and to give back even just a little of what I got. 

Notes From the Bride: Why I Don't Have Post Wedding Blues

Our wedding(s) were spectacular in their own ways..

Prepping them? Well, some would call it a labor of love.. but it sort of just felt like labor. 

In hindsight, we complicated our lives and had sky high expectations of perfection. 

Please, future brides, don't do that. 

We enjoyed our three(!!) weddings enormous amounts. For me, living as an expat, they gave me an incredible chance to spend a ton of time with my extended family which was absolutely a blessing. Those small moments, making endless mojito popsicles with my cousins, ordering my bouquet 3 days before our NY wedding with my aunt, saying a little prayer together before our Bordeaux wedding with my friend and MUHA. I'll never forget them. Ever. 

Those moments make up a huge part of the wedding experience because they're so much more profound than the 100, 1 minute identical conversations you'll have on the day of your wedding ("Congratulations! You look beautiful, how are you? I'll let you go say hello to everyone else, we'll chat later." And then you never get to chat) 

Maybe it sounds ungrateful, but honestly, I'm not going to apologize for wanting better conversation than small talk with the people I love most in the world. That was the thing I absolutely didn't like about the wedding, you have all of these people giving you so much love through their presence, words, and overall energy, and I didn't feel like I could properly thank them, ever, or show them enough gratitude for being there on a day that was so special to me.

It felt, unbalanced. 

I've struggled really hard with trying to get over these feelings and one by one, see all of our friends and family and spend quality time with them, just to thank them for supporting us, lifting us up, and their unending love. It'll take years, a lifetime perhaps. 

But really right now what we are doing is enjoying being together again. This time a bit more bonded then before, but with none of the stress of planning a big event. Now each time we go and visit my in-laws it's just hanging out, and not checking off endless to-do lists. Now when I talk to my cousins, it's catching up and joking around, not asking for advice because I'm stressed. Our life has gone back to being simple. Our free time has gone back to revolving around enjoying time with our families and friends, and traveling. 

Engaged was great, but marriage? Even better.

Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful. 

Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful. 

Notes From the Bride: The Highlights from Our Wedding Day(s) AND OUR WEDDING VIDEO!!

There are so many things I’ve already forgotten but these are what have stayed months later as highlights (video at the end!!):

Bordeaux, Town hall:

(Photos in this section by my amazing associate photographer, Valeriya

Venue: Bordeaux Town Hall and My In Laws home

My dress: Banana Republic)

- My cousins flying in 1-2 weeks before the weddings to be with us. That extra time was sacred!!

- Our best friends flying in for our town hall wedding (my bff came straight from the airport to the town hall with her husband!!) To see her there when we first said "Oui" was absolutely amazing. I'm so grateful. 

My bff and I being silly

My bff and I being silly

- Tents in my in-laws backyard covering us from the crazy rain as we danced into the night. The rain didn’t matter. 

- My father-in-law opening SO many bottles of wine

- My mother in-law making our favorite sorbets for dessert


- My cousin playing and singing a few songs for Pyk and I


- Looking around and thinking how lucky we are

- Wearing my favorite white dress that I wore the day he proposed, and the day we got our civil union, and then the day we were officially married!!

- Face timing with my Brother who couldn’t be there in France

- My Uncle Bob going nuts on the dance floor (aka the back patio!)

- Failing at a balloon arch but laughing about it because it really didn’t matter. People weren’t coming for that. 


Bordeaux, Chateau:

(Photos in this section by Bubblerock

Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Caterers: Deval

Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan )

- HOLY BUCKETS OF RAIN and it pouring up until 5 minutes before the outdoor ceremony

- Praying for it to stop. It did =)

- All of the insane help we got from our friends and family setting up the decorations - Our friend Vanessa making our amazing flower arch, my cousins and friends setting up the whole reception room!!!, soooooo many people putting their love into our day

- How low the cars were after loading them with all the wine and champagne to bring them to the chateau  (ha!)

- Missing Pyk during the day - I wish I saw him more. I would have been more calm. 

- Meeting my 4 month old baby cousin!!

- Having almost my whole paternal family with us

- Feeling TIRED (not a highlight but honestly, was SO SO tired from the week of festivities already!)

- Asking my dad right before him walking me down the aisle if he was happy. He looked me in the eyes and simply said, “Yes”, and the calm I felt after hearing that!

- Brushing my teeth right before the ceremony because I forgot that morning! It was a bit ridiculous because I was already in my wedding dress and about to go outside to our first look!


- The feeling of shock and happiness walking down the aisle and seeing so many people from so many parts of our lives, all in one place

- Crying during our ceremony - it couldn’t have been more perfect

- Literally tying the knot with Pyk


- The incredible sunset after a cloudy and stormy week (man, did the universe come through for us or what?!!!)


- My cousin’s amazing toast


- Falling asleep on the dance floor

- After the brunch the next day, hanging out on lounge chairs with our friends

- Hanging out, wine tasting, and heading to the beach with our friends and family for the few days after the wedding. Coming down from wedding craziness. 

- A few days of relaxing in Tuscany, Italy to come back down to earth and enjoy being married

- Bringing a huge flamingo floatie on our honeymoon. Naming him "Clement" and relaxing on him in the pool for ages. Pyk thought I was insane to take up half my suitcase with him. I have no regrets =)



(Photos by Jillian Rollins Photography

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Tent rentals: Cartwright & Daughters Tent & Party Rentals

Hair and Makeup: Made Up)

- The week spent with my family prepping my dad's house and backyard for 130 people

- Marrying him for the third time

- SO many friends coming in and offering at the last minute to make our wedding even more personalized and beautiful! From stunning handwritten signs to the centerpieces.. it really felt like a family affair and I LOVED it

- The amazing sermon from my pastor during our blessing


- Good BBQ

- Having my whole maternal family in one place

- My nephew the ring bearer dropping the rings and finding them and then coming up during the ceremony to tell me (It was the cutest thing, he wanted to do such a good job and he did! I LOVED that he was part of our wedding!!)

- Having great American beer on tap

- Not feeling stressed!!

- Feeling so happy

- Dancing with so many people


- Hanging out way too late

- My two cousins performing their song "Katie, Pyk's Lady" to the tune of My Girl (this was absolutely HYSTERICAL and amazing in all it's forms.. SO GOOD)


- Smiling so much my face hurt



- Relief that we'd survived 3 weddings and still had our sanity!! Ha! 

As a little end to show you even more visually how awesome our wedding was, here's our Bordeaux wedding video made by Bubblerock.

PASSWORD = bubblerock

Notes from the Bride: What Not To Say to a Couple Before (or on) Their Wedding Day

Oh boy, it's funny, until you've had your own wedding, people don't realize that you are 1000x more sensitive to ANY comment about your wedding day. These are some of the off the cuff comments that people said to us that made us be like, "Did you actually just say this??”  (P.S. Please read all of my responses with a heavy dose of sarcasm.. I didn’t actually say these things, and responded like a normal adult, swallowing my sarcastic replies and replacing them with cordial responses.. people mean well, but sometimes are better off just not saying anything haha)


Preface for this first one: It rained literally ALL week before our wedding and downpoured on our wedding day. The rain stopped 5 minutes before our outside ceremony started. The biggest thing we heard around our wedding day was: 


"Mariage pleuvieux, Mariage hereux!" Aka "Rain on your wedding day is good luck".  



Oh, you actually thought that I didn't notice it was raining and that it's not internally freaking me out? Kind sir, is it really "good luck" when on July 1st, a day that NORMALLY doesn't have precipitation, that it rains? REALLY!???? No, it's bad luck. Stop telling me that it isn't, good luck was that it stopped 5 minutes before our ceremony. And please; PLEASE, just don't even remind me a few days before that the weather forecast is crap. I know. Also, the saying is actually, "Mariage PLUS VIEUX, mariage hereux" aka The older the couple the happier the wedding", Which, well also doesn't apply because I was 25.  



"So do you have your dress??" 

Ma'am, it's 4 days before my wedding, I freaking hope so. And if I don't, thanks for asking about something that's enormously stressing me out . I actually laughed whenever I heard this.  



Anything that pertains to vendors not being on time or something not going right. 

There were like 30 things that went wrong or late the day of our wedding and I knew about zero of them until a few days later. Wedding rule numero uno. DON'T STRESS THE BRIDE. If anything, talk to the maid of honor, the best-man, or the day of coordinator. These people are there to be the point people so the bride and groom don't need to deal with it.  



Any complaints that you have during the reception or things you would have done differently.  

It's not your wedding. It's not your wedding. IT'S NOT YOUR WEDDING.. Let me repeat that: it's not your wedding. The couple has worked so hard for this day and is envisioning that everything is going to go perfectly. They've done their best to be sure that everyone will have a good time and not start their marriage in tons of debt. Keep your comments to yourself and if you notice that something is wrong or dangerous during the reception, talk to the MOH or BM or the vendor in question. They'll help you!  



A few weeks before the wedding: "Can I bring x person with me?" Or, "Oh just to let you know, I'm coming with a +1" 

  1. No. 

  2. No, you're not. 

This was something to ask when you received your invitiation and RSVP'd and we have every right to decline inviting them.  



"You should really invite x person."

It's okay to ask the couple if they're inviting somene, and if it's the parents of the couple requesting you invite someone, it's definitely okay. But hounding the couple to invite someone that they've already chosen NOT to invite isn't cool. It's the coffee test, if you would go out alone with this person to coffee, then you should invite them. If you would never do that and only see them in bigger social gatherings, it's not surprising if you don't invite them. Don't hound the couple because you want your friend invited. It's not your wedding. It's theirs. 



"This is getting really expensive to come. " 

Oof. I can't tell you how much that offhand comment affected me. It was your decision to come, I didn't force you, and I would never ever ever hold it against you if you didn't come because of financial issues. I didn't invite you because I wanted a gift, we invited you because your gift would already be your presence. You chose your hotel, your dress, your gift. You chose how much to spend. You could have RSVP'd no. This was your choice, please don't make me pay for it with guilt.  



"Your mariage isn't really a true wedding because it's not x religion. "

WHAT?! Please, don't impose your religious views on anyone. If the couple decides they want a religious wedding or not, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. If you don't support the union, don't come, but more importantly, keep that negativity to yourself.  Marriage is an incredible commitment, and whatever marriage means to the couple is between the two of them. It’s not your place to judge. Please, just be happy for the couple!



Instead, here are some ideas to talk to the couple about their wedding day: 

Anything you appreciated during the ceremony or the reception..

Things like: "Congratulations, we wish you happiness and love for many many years" 

Beautiful choice on x thing (music, readings, dinner, venue etc.) 

"Your nephew, the ring bearer, was absolutely adorable!" 

"This was the best wedding ever!"

"Can you share your vendors with us for our wedding ?"

or simply


Small notes of happiness and positivity towards the happy couple go a looooong way and are always appreciated. Anything that will put a smile on their face is what you should be saying, anything not in that category.. please keep to yourself. 


We actually heard all of these things above, the good and the bad. It was like 99% good but that 1% bad seriously weighed down on us! Please know that your words are powerful and can easily change a moment of happiness into one of stress, guilt, worry, and pain. I know this because I lived it. None of these people wanted to hurt us, there was no malicious intent, but that doesn't change the fact that we are still dealing with the after effects months after hearing them. The wedding day is not your day to air dirty laundry about the couple, it's not your day in general. It's their day, and it's your time to support them in any way you can. If you were special enough to be invited to their wedding, it’s guaranteed they will support you in any way they can during your big life events, too.

Notes From the Bride: Things That You THINK Matter on Your Wedding Day (But Don't), and What Really Matters

I stressed over so many SILLY things for our wedding. Literally, no one says to us "wow, I really loved your paper choice" they say "wow, we loved meeting your other friends and family during the wedding" or "We really loved your vows". So many things are secondary, keep that in mind when you're stressing about making 100 mojito popsicles for the big day like I did (ha!). 


What you think matters (t) VS What ACTUALLY matters (a):

T: How everyone thinks your dress looks


A: How YOU feel in your dress. If it's so heavy that you can't dance, or will get a back ache, maybe go with something lighter!



T: If your dress is from this boutique or is that brand

 A: How the style flatters you and makes you feel confident!


T: What the caterer is serving and if it's "classy" enough

A: If the is food actually GOOD and you have full confidence in your vendor. You don't want to be worrying about them on your wedding day. 


T: What  kind of paper the menus/Ceremony Booklets are printed on  

A: Creme vs white. Thick vs normal. No one will care except you. And I guarantee the day after your wedding you won't be thinking, wow, those menus looked great! Keep in mind that it's a detail. And in that, it shouldn't be a stresser. If you can get beautiful prints done without stress, fantastic, if you can't, no one will care.  


T: If your bridesmaids have matching shoes

 A: If your bridesmaids have been there to help support you throughout the engagement and wedding planning process


T: Where you go for your bachelorette party

A: How much fun you have during your bachelorette party. You don't need to go to the moon to have a great time with your best girlfriends. Keep it simple. 


T: If your bouquet ends up not having a certain flower in it that you wanted

A: If the arrangement is done tastefully.  Though in all honesty, remember, people aren't coming for the flowers. 


T: If your vows were perfect

 A: If they expressed your love and commitment to your person


T: Band or DJ

A: If there's great music whether it's from an iPod, a DJ, or a 28 piece orchestra


T: Gifts for your guests

A: HA! No one will take them, or remember them. They'll remember the great time they had at your wedding and the memories they made. Though people DO love going away with photos.. A great gift for family after is a print!!  


There are lots of little details to personalize your wedding but at the end of the day, the details aren't what matter. Your happiness is what matters. The best thing you can do is enjoy your day, enjoy the people around you, and enjoy the luck you have to have SO many people supporting your union and your love. THE BIGGEST THING THAT MATTERS ON YOUR DAY (besides you committing to a lifetime of union and love of course) IS YOU ENJOYING YOUR TIME WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THERE. So please, don't stress about the little things, trust your vendors as they're the ones who will guide the day, get a good night's sleep the night before so you're well rested, and most of all, ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY. People are there because they love you and want to support you, not for the perfect cake. 

How to Be Happy II Paris & New York Family Photographer

It’s easy to get caught up in the million things that life brings us daily.. big things and little.. things like homework, cooking, being there for friends, trying to get everywhere on time, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, trying our best to be good people, to be good parents, to be good friends.. Life is a lot sometimes and these above are all POSITIVE things, never mind the difficulty of living with the negative things that take up our time (I’m not going to list those, but you know what I mean..) 

It’s easy to get caught up and forget to sllllooooooowww down. 

Take a break.


Look around you and realize how lucky you are to just be together with people you love.

Of course life isn’t perfect, but that’s not the goal in life either

So this post today is just to remind you that being together is enough. Amongst all of the craziness, please don’t forget this. Tell your kids, tell your husband, tell your wife, tell your dog.. tell whoever you love, that you’re so happy in their company. 

We don’t say it or hear it enough. So, to be happy, start with gratitude and repeat after me, “Honey (or doggie, or whoever), I’m so lucky to have you in my life. I love you, and love spending time together.” 

And thats is! Spread the love. Spread the gratitude. Simple, right? 

Notes From the Bride: Dealing With Guilt Over Having A Destination Wedding

*** I wrote this on the plane over to NY right before for our August wedding in the US and after our big white wedding in Bordeaux. I was still overwhelmed with so many feelings that were hard to place.. One of which, was, strangely, guilt. ***

When Pyk and I  first got engaged, we already knew that we were going to be having two weddings. Most of my family and friends wouldn't be able to make it to France, and most of his family and friends wouldn't be able to make it to the U.S., so we decided to make it easy for everyone.  


The one in France would be a bit more elaborate at a château in Bordeaux, our friends officiating the ceremony, it would be the first that he would see my dress, it would be when we exchanged our rings.. Basically, it would be the "big" wedding.  


That said, our American wedding is still going to be gorgeous and very much a wedding. We have an amazing caterer, it's outside, we have tents, we have my pastor coming to do a blessing on our marriage, I'll be in my dress, him in his suit. We are having the same amount of people if not more in NY. It's definitely still a big wedding on most standards. (UPDATE FROM 7 MONTHS LATER: Our friends and family made our day SO special helping us with decorations, beautifully handwritten signs, coordinating on the day of.. It was so much more personalized because of all that extra love.) 


But… it's not the first. We already call each other husband and wife, we already feel married.  


Our Bordeaux wedding day was a day full of emotion, of stress, of good memories, and a few not so good ones. It wasn't the perfect day, though it was the perfect wedding ceremony. One of the big reasons that I felt (and still feel) mixed about the day, was the enormous weight of guilt about so many people coming so far (both US coasts, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa) to be with us on the day of. I'm very conscious that everyone is on a budget, and if we could have paid for everyone's travel to be there we would have.  


I've been struggling with the guilt I feel about people spending so much to be with us and trying to talk to different people about it to understand why I'm having it, and to help me get over it. 


The overwhelming response to me is that people came because they wanted to come, and not just because they were invited. People made vacations out of it, they made a weekend out of it.. They were there because it made them happy to be there, not because they did it out of obligation. 


In my heart I know this. In my heart I know that my friends and family know us enough that if that they didn't come because of financial reasons, we would have totally understood. I know that people had an amazing time in Bordeaux and through their travels in Europe.  


Somehow though, that doesn't replace the guilt. I think it's because this time we were ASKING them to come, instead of them coming to France on their own wishes. For example, Pyk's parents are the only ones flying in for our NY wedding from France and I still feel guilty even though it's their son's wedding.  


I never said this was rational. 


Where does this guilt stem from? I've dug and dug, and dug some more into my feelings, and I'm sure that I'll keep digging until I hopefully find peace. But what I've found as part of the roots of the problem is that I'm fiercely independant. Probably to a fault. True story: my first phrase was, "I do it.". I'm not in the business of asking for many favors that I can't immediately repay. I need to internalize that inviting someone to your wedding is not asking for a favor, it's inviting them into one of the most intimate moments of your life. It's not an obligation, it's giving them a door with a pretty "Come on In" sign- they decide if they do.  


This post was originally intended help you get over your destination wedding guilt, but in the end, I don't have the answers. Sorry! I'm still very much struggling with it. I'm still humbled and overwhelmed by all the faces that I saw walking down the aisle in Bordeaux, and all the faces that we'll soon see in NY.  


I just have to keep telling myself that people come to weddings because they want to, they come out of love. That may even be a harder concept to grasp though, that people love us so deeply that they'd travel the world to be with us.  


I constantly say to Pyk that we are so lucky. Maybe we're luckier than we even know.  




7 months later: 


It's been a bit over 7 months of calling him my husband, of feasting in our wedding memories. I'm still overwhelmed by gratitude, and little by little, I've let my guilt go. Writing thank you cards has  been therapudic to say the least. Even if you only spend 2 minutes of real "face" time with some on your big day, just to know that they're there for you is a big deal. You don't need to serve caviar to show them you love them, but just to say it. Thank you cards were a place to put it all down in something tangible.  I'm finally at the point that I can look back on our wedding without most of the stress and guilt weighing down on me. Finally. There are still heavy emotions there, but they're of gratitude and admiration of the people we have in our lives.  


I wake up every day and know that we are lucky. That the universe conspires to bring us so much good- That I know in every pore, every muscle, and every heartstring.  


I hope that if you've ever struggled with this crazy guilt, or are currently struggling with it, that you know you're not alone. I'd love to hear your story below. If you've ever overcame something like this, please leave a comment and share what helped you.  

One of our amazing wedding portraits from our NY wedding by  Jillian Rollins Photography    My dress:  Rue de Seine  from  Lovely Bride   His custom suit:  Samson Bordeaux    

One of our amazing wedding portraits from our NY wedding by Jillian Rollins Photography 

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux