Margaret Ellen Bride | Bruna Krug-Rector | Destin, Florida Wedding

I had the pleasure of meeting sweet Bruna back in the summer when she was on the hunt for the perfect dress for her Destin, Florida wedding. I knew Bruna was something special when she told me she was planning TWO weddings at ONCE! She had her first ceremony in Brazil, where her family still resides. Two months later she did it again here. Simply amazing!

Bruna wore a gown by Liancarlo and married Leslie at The Destin Bay House.

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How did you meet Leslie?

I used to work at a cell phone store and helped Leslie's brother a couple of months prior to meeting him, and apparently I made a great impression on the brother, so much that he told Leslie he should break his phone or something to come meet me. A couple of months later Leslie actually needed a new phone so he came in and we met! We became friends and remained that for a long time, until both of our lives took a left turn (or should I say a RIGHT one?) and we started dating.

How did Leslie ask you to be his for forever?

We started talking wedding pretty early in the relationship, and we were both very excited about it! So much that we had a date picked out and venue booked months before our engagement. I guess we just knew this was IT! In one of our trips we went to a jewelry store owned by Leslie's friend and together we built the most beautiful ring I've ever seen... and then we (aka I) waited... and waited... until a sunny saturday in April 2018. Just like every other sunny Saturday we went on a boat ride, but this time, in the middle of the Destin jetties with that Emerald water surrounding us, he pulled out that amazing ring from his swim trunk's pocket and asked if I wanted to marry him. We both cried and laughed and I obviously said yes!

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Food and cake tasting is definitely a great part of the wedding planning process!! But finding my perfect dress and having that butterflies + tears moment (that I didn't think was real), absolutely was my most favorite moment!

What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

Our first dance, when just for a second it felt like everyone around disappeared and it was just the two of us in that moment, loving each other dancing to my husband's favorite song. And also when we took a second to look around and absorb everything that was going on around us, and we saw every one of our guests smiling and having a great time celebrating our love.

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What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

As a very organized and OCD person, it was hard for me to picture this, but the truth is: some things won't go as you planned, and that's ok! I actually planned two weddings two months apart (one for my family in Brazil prior to our 11/11/18 in Destin), so at times it got very overwhelming, but when I realized that some details only I would know if they didn't happen, that took a lot of pressure off. My focus then became me and my hubby having a good time and making sure our guests would be comfortable so they could enjoy our day and have fun. So prioritize what's important to you, and get to the secondary items when you can, if you can.

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

I had visited another bridal dress store locally, but as soon as I got to the door at MEB and saw my name on the sign, a glass of champagne waiting for me, and met Maggie (the sweetest soul around), I just knew that that was my place to be!!! The individual appointments, the beautiful boutique, and her undivided attention made the experience perfect! "MY" dress was actually the first one I tried on, but I just couldn't believe it, so I tried on a few more. All beautiful dresses, but every single one of them I would compare to the very first one... and then I tried it back on and that was it. All butterflies and tears and emotions told me that was "the one"!

…and they lived Happily Ever After! Congrats to Bruna and Les!

Photographer: Brett Birdsong

Videographer: Story Teller Visuals

Venue(s): Destin Bay House

Florist: Perfect Day Weddings

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Kiss The Bride

Caterer: Carrabba's Italian Grill

Hair: Gallant Glam

Make Up: Jessa Jivania

Cake: Bake My Day

Ceremony Musicians: Hunter Dawson

Reception Band/DJ: Hunter Dawson

Invitations: Eloquent Signs

Officiant: Eric Partin

Wedding Dress: Liancarlo | Margaret Ellen Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids and Simply Elegant

Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse

Seamstress: Southern Simplicity






Margaret Ellen Bride | Kalah and Jeremy's 30A Wedding

Kalah Shockley, a Nashville native, is truly a one-of-a-kind person! Margaret Ellen Bridal had the pleasure of helping Kalah find her perfect dress for her 30A wedding. Kalah married Jeremy Hazen on October 14, 2018, 4 days after Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle. Originally, the two were to wed at The Meeting House in Carillon Beach. Hurricane Michael threw a wrench in the original plans and the two were married at The Bellamy on 30A. Kalah wore a Martina Liana gown and looked completely breathtaking. Congrats Kalah and Jeremy on your marriage!

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How did you meet your groom?

Jeremy and I met on Bumble! Our first date was at Chuy's and the rest is truly history!

Tell us your engagement story:

I was at the beach with my family on vacation. I had asked Jeremy to come but due to vacation days and an upcoming trip planned for him he wasn't able to come. I was bummed to say the least. It was a gloomy day because the tropical storm was making it's way to where we were staying. I think most of us stayed inside that day because the weather was so gross. That night we all went to dinner. The place we went was AWFUL! When we got back to the house that night I was headed upstairs and the front door opened and my mom said, "Look who is here to see you!" I was in shock!!!! Jeremy had just walked through the door! He was not supposed to be here. I teased him about messing up our numbers for game night that was about to start! He and I headed upstairs to put his things away. When we got upstairs we hugged and I could feel his heart beating out of his chest. He went to grab something out of his backpack and before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! I couldn't believe it was happening! I of course said yes and asked him a million questions about how all of it came to be. His original plans included proposing on the beach, meeting me in the local bookstore, and several other grand plans. Unfortunately, the tropical storm led to a different proposal! It was perfect and when we walked downstairs his parents were waiting for us along with my family. It was so special to be able to celebrate with both of them right after it happened!

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Picking out my dress was my favorite! We got engaged on a Sunday, and I was in Maggie's shop that Friday. I had no intentions of buying a dress that day. I truly thought that nothing would fit me, and I would leave feeling defeated. The total opposite happened. Maggie and I hit it off immediately. My mom, sister, and dad all felt the same way. We felt so welcomed by Maggie and her lovely space. The moment when I walked out and we all knew it was the one was one of the best moments of the whole wedding process!

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What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

I have so many!!! Probably taking pictures on the beach after the ceremony! We got to relax and laugh. The day had flown by, and it was nice to pause with him as my husband on the beach!

What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

Make a list of things that are non-negotiable for you and your groom. Jeremy and I had a very small and intimate wedding. It was what we wanted. I had a few things that I said had to happen and so did he. Once we knew what those were, everything else seemed little. Your wedding day is the most magical day. Enjoy it. Choose the people you want to be there and that love you both. Don't worry or stress about napkin colors or if something doesn't work out the way you planned. I can attest to that because we got married after the hurricane hit. It was mass chaos trying to make it all come together. Thankfully Avis is amazing at her job....oh that would probably be my number one advice! If you are in the 30A area and need a planner, Avis Glenister is your gal. She handled everything and our day was more amazing than we had originally envisioned. Seriously though, don't fret over the little things. At the end of the day if you walk away married to a man that loves and adores you that's all that truly matters!

Kalah with her planner, Avis Glenister of  Peach and Pearl Events.

Kalah with her planner, Avis Glenister of Peach and Pearl Events.

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

I chose Margaret Ellen Bridal because Maggie made me feel right at home. The fact that I had the store to myself was amazing. I never knew something like that was possible. I wasn't comparing myself to anyone else and I had the opportunity to feel like I was the most important one in the room. Maggie made the entire process magical! I knew it was the one when I put it on for the second time and could see myself walking down the aisle to Jeremy!!

Following their wedding, Kalah and Jeremy celebrated their marriage by honeymooning at Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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Photographer | Eva Cranford Photography

Videographer | StoryLive Productions

Venue | The Bellamy of 30a

Florist | Myrtie Blue

Wedding Planner | Avis Glenister/ Peach and Pearl Events

Caterer | Townsend Catering

Hair/Makeup | Gallant Glam

Cake | Angelino Cakes

Ceremony Musicians | Yasya Brown

Reception Music | GTS Entertainment

Invitations | Minted

Officiant | Jason Underwood

Dress | Martina Liana / Margaret Ellen Bridal

Margaret Ellen bride | Summer Hernandez Johnson's Destin, Florida Wedding

Would you look at this beautiful family?!? How precious is that baby girl?

Summer Hernandez changed her last name and became Mrs. Johnson when she married Matt on November 17, 2018. They wed and celebrated their marriage at the Destin Bay House in Destin, Florida. She wore a gorgeous gown by Martina Liana paired with a Sara Gabriel veil and LaGartier garter.

Summer is a local bride who grew up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and we are proud that she was one of the first girls to find her dream dress after we opened the doors of Margaret Ellen Bridal in 2018. Congrats Summer and Matt on your marriage. Wishing you many years of happiness!

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Tell us about your love story with Matt.

We grew up together as kids in the same neighborhood. Matt and I use to ride mopeds around our neighborhood together back when we were 12 years old. We would go on adventures and hang out from sunrise to sunset. We were each other first kiss. In middle school. I dumped him, haha! We went our separate ways for many years and didn’t have the same group of friends and never hung out in the same places. It wasn’t until many years later we rekindled our relationship, and from that day forward he went on to become an incredible father to our daughter and a wonderful husband.

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Finding the dress, duh! My favorite part was also picking out all the over all design for theme for the wedding. I’m super hands on with that stuff and I have had years of Pinterest pins that I wanted to bring to life.

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What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

Seeing how emotional my groom was. He was the perfect groom, and his vows were so sweet and perfect. People still talk about how emotional they got during our ceremony.

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What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

On the morning of your wedding, just breathe. Take a few solid minutes to be alone and collect your thoughts. No matter what’s wrong don’t freak out and get upset about the little stuff. It’s your day that you worked so hard for so just enjoy the ride.

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Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

I chose Margaret Ellen because I somehow received advertisement of a new up and coming bridal boutique in my email. After having a not so great experience at another store my spirits were down. My mom booked my appointment with Margaret Ellen, and I was very excited. Maggie exceeded all my expectations of what a true bridal experience should be. Right when I walked in, my dress was the first one I laid my eyes on. After I put it on, none of the other dresses gave me that this is the one, feeling. When you know, you just know.

Summer and Matt will be honeymooning in Santorini, Greece in the coming months to celebrate their marriage!

Photographer: Aislinn Kate Photography

Videographer: Tim Scarbrough

Venue: Destin Bay House

Florist: Florals by the Sea

Wedding Planner: Tammy | The Eventful Planner

Caterer: The Eventful Planner

Hair/Makeup Artist: Tania Crawford

Cake: Publix Destin

Reception Band/DJ: Epic Entertainment

Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitation

Officiant: Harry Madison

Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulus

Tuxedos: Asos

Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper | Southern Simplicity

Dress: Martina Liana

Veil: Sara Gabriel

Garter: LaGartier

Margaret Ellen bride | MRS. Danielle Kruja

I met Danielle back in February, just one short month after opening our doors. She was in search for a wedding dress that she was confident in and would be happy with for a long time to come. She fell in love with a gorgeous Martina Liana and paired a veil to match and the rest was history. She married Tauland Kruja on October 27, 2018 at The Ringling in Sarasota, Florida.

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How did yours and Tauland’s love story begin?

Tauland and I started dating in 2015. Our first date was at a miniature golf course. Tauland was the perfect gentleman by letting me win (at least that is what he says). We shared a small cheese pizza for dinner and finished the night with ice cream from Sweetberries.

How did Tauland ask you to be his wife?

To get me to go to Orlando without suspecting anything Tauland told me he had an oral surgery appointment with a teacher’s friend. Seemed logical by the fact he was a dental student. The first surprise was when we arrived at the Waldorf Astoria, not only were we staying at this amazing resort we had a view overlooking Walt Disney World and the fireworks. The following day he surprised me again by taking me to Magic Kingdom. When we got up to the castle, Tauland got down on one knee and proposed. That night, Tauland got us reservations for the Wishes Dessert Buffett. We had access to unlimited desserts with a table overlooking the castle during the fireworks.

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What was your favorite memory from the day of your wedding?

Our first look. I feel I was able to have the opportunity to have so many extra great pictures while having our first look. And I don’t think it took away from walking down the isle. I saved wearing my veil for walking down the aisle to give Tauland a little surprise and keep some mystery.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

Enjoy the process and have a planner or day of coordinator. They took so much stress of my plate so I could focus on just enjoying the moments.

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Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

I had recently moved to the area for Tauland's dental school. Though I had already purchased a dress somewhere else I was having doubts. I found Margaret Ellen online and just had a gut feeling I needed to go. I had two separate appointments with Maggie going with a different bridesmaid each time. She made me feel so comfortable and like family, which was so nice because I didn't have family that could be with me. After having many top contenders I knew I found the perfect dress.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Tauland Kruja honeymooned in London, England and then took a small cruise out of Southampton, England to Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium.

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Vendors

Photographer: Oksana Miro Photo

Venue(s): The Ringling | Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Florist: Flowers by Fudgie

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: NK Wedding Productions

Caterer: Modern Events

Hair/Makeup Artist: Femme Akoi

Cake: Cakes by Ron

Dress/Veil: Martina Liana

Ceremony Musicians: Jay Goodley Entertainment

Invitations: Minted

Officiant: A Wedding with Grace

Transportation: Revvies Classics

Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper/Southern Simplicity Gulf Coast

Margaret Ellen bride | MRS. Kelly Thornton

The sweetest native of New York, Kelly McGowan, stepped foot into our little slice of paradise this past August with her cousin and aunt, and we are so thankful she did! Dressing Kelly for her special day was such an honor. Kelly chose a Martina Liana gown while adding the matching veil to complete her look. Kelly married Scott Thornton at Tyler Gardens in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Their day was beautifully captured and truly shows their love for another.

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How did you and Scott meet?

We have known each other since 2nd grade!

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How did Scott POP the question and ask you to be his forever?

Scott took me to Allentown Rose Garden where he had a friend hiding to take pictures as he got down on one knee in front of a beautiful rose archway.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone preparing for their wedding day?

HAVE FUN WITH IT and always remember it is YOUR wedding, nobody else’s. Please yourself, not what everyone else wants :)

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was “the one”?

Once I put on the veil, I knew that was it. I got all the feels!! :D

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Vendors

Photographer: Liz Waterman Photography

Venue: Tyler Garden

Florist: Bloom de Fleur

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Open Aire Affairs

Caterer: Piccolo

Hair/Makeup Artist: Rosa Marchiano

Reception DJ: Capcee

Wedding Dress and Veil: Martina Liana

Officiant: Father Charles Magee





Bridal Photo Shoot featuring Lacey McLaughlin Photography

This past June, the sweetest Fairhope, Alabama photographer reached out to me after seeing MEB on Instagram (how lucky are we to have something to bring us all together?!?). After seeing her work and other shoots she had done, I knew I must go with Lacey for a photo shoot that was in need of happening. Lacey was professional, worked efficiently, and knew how to place the models which made my job so much easier. Finally in September we made the shoot happen (even with the clouds/rain affecting our usually bright studio) and the results are EXACTLY what I wanted and was looking for.

Lacey is no stranger to 30A. She married her love at Eden Gardens in the spring of 2017. Read on to get to know Lacey a little more and give her a follow on Instagram so that you can see the amazing work this talented photographer puts into every shot.

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What inspired you to become a photographer? How long have you been in the business of photography? 

I started taking photos for Journalism in high school and really enjoyed the connections I was able to make when the camera was added to the equation. It was almost like it added an extra sense of closeness of getting to know someone because you have to build a sense of trust. Still not sure about what I wanted to be, off to college I went starting out majoring in Journalism. While I enjoyed writing, I realized I wasn't able to express all of my creative aspects. When I switched over to the college of Fine Arts, it was then that I took my first photography class starting out on 35mm film processing in the dark room. This was when I fell in love. Something just clicked. When I was behind the camera, I felt my happiest. I felt invincible and I knew that this would be the path for me. Film is my one true love for personal and portrait work, but when I started photographing weddings immediately after graduating in 2013, I knew I would need something a little more efficient. I second shot my first wedding for a photographer in 2013, moved to California, started my own business in 2014 and have never looked back! I've been a photographer for 5 years now. 

What does a day in the life of running your business look like? 

Well, to be honest, each day looks pretty different. It also depends on what time of year it is because Spring and Fall are the busiest times for me with wedding season being the most abundant then. I travel around to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for photo shoots throughout the year, mostly on weekends. During the week, on an average day, I am at my new studio (celebrating it's 1 year opening October 20th) answering emails, listening to music, meeting with potential brides/grooms, and editing. LOTS of editing

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What sets your photography apart from others? 

This is a hard one, but I would say it's all about the energy I emit through the camera. Each person responds uniquely to me as a photographer and if I'm either doing well or having a tough time, that shows in the photos. I try to bring my best self to every shoot so that I can bring that beautiful & positive light out in my subjects. I also like to take a more modern approach with weddings and all my work, while capturing those candid natural moments that are full of emotion as well. Whether it's happy, energetic, sad, loving, or plain honest; the emotion is what I'm after. 


What can brides expect if they hire you as their photographer? 

Beautiful photos that capture the unique essence of them TWO! Each couple is unique, and I never show up to a wedding day knowing what the outcome of my photos will look like. Some couples are loving, touchy, and some aren't. I want to capture their day in the best way possible. If it's raining, the photos will be a bit moodier. If it's hot and sweaty, we roll with the punches and find shade where we can. If I step in an ant pile during a first look (true story), I kick my shoes off, squeal and keep shooting. I never want to miss a moment. But most of all, my brides can expect honest and loving photos that make each of their unique personalities shine!

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What is the biggest tip you would give to a bride for her big day? 

Be in the moment. Be in love. Don't worry about how you look when you're laughing or crying or feeling any kind of way. Talk to your love. Don't worry about the camera. These true moments between you and your spouse are the ones that make the most beautiful photos. Soak it all in. Don't worry about the little details. Give your phone to your bridesmaids. Dance your heart out. Eat the cake. Stop for a moment (or two) to take it all in. This may be the only day of your life when you have every single person you love and who loves you all in the same room celebrating your love. What could be better?!

Visit her website to learn more:

www.laceymclaughlin.com

Megan and Nick's Panama City, FL Wedding

Megan was one of the first brides to find her dress at Margaret Ellen Bridal after our opening last winter. She fell in love with a long sleeve, fit and flare Martina Liana gown. Despite getting married in July in Florida, the dress couldn't be beat. I love when brides don't let their venue, time of year, or others’ opinions persuade them on what type of dress is “correct”. Girls dream of this vert important dress. Whatever it is that makes one feel beautiful and like a bride should go with that feeling. Megan did just that and is still in love with her beautiful wedding dress. She paired her gown with her mother’s veil, adding a special touch from the past.

Megan and Nick were married on July 28, 2018 at Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church in Panama City, Florida. They celebrated with friends and family at their reception held at the infamous Shrimp Boat. It is evident of the love these two share.

How did you meet your groom?

In January 2017, while in training at Keesler Air Force Base. I did not like Nick at first, but when some of our friends made a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, we clicked and fell in love.

How did Nick ask you to become his wife?

We were in Savannah, Georgia for the night. While on the Riverwalk, Nick proposed.

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Everything to do with my dress!

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What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

The ceremony was beautiful. We kept whispering to each other the whole time.

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What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

Do what makes you happy! It's your wedding, not every person who gives unwanted advice.

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

I wanted to feel special when I got my dress. Maggie made me feel like a princess. My dress caught my eye right when we walked in, and I tried it on just for fun. I loved it!

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Megan and Nick honeymooned where they met in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Photographer: TK Photography: Trudy Koelstra

Venue: St. Dominic’s Catholic Church

Reception Venue: The Shrimp Boat

Florist: One Stop Flowers/// Made by the bride’s mother

Caterer: The Shrimp Boat

Hair/Makeup: Rachel Howell- D’Salon

Cake: Sugar Boogers

Reception DJ: DJ Rad

Invitations: Minted

Officiant: Father Luke Farabaugh

Dress: Martina Liana

Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper

Sweating for the Wedding | By: Sara Moreland Hester with Sara Moreland Fitness

We know, we know, the dreaded f word… FITNESS! There is nothing like a wedding date to push a bride into total “workout, diet, get in shape” mode. Hey, I have been there! A dedicated, 22 year old that went to the gym everyday… even on Fridays. Whoa! I remember thinking, “I am going to go to the gym the morning of the wedding.” Like, really? Ha! But, the feeling of accomplishment was amazing. The before and after of myself in my wedding dress was mind-blowing. I didn't lose a ton of weight but the tone in my arms and the rest of my body showed what I had worked so hard for, and that is why I am glad I adapted a healthy lifestyle before my wedding. I had no idea that “working out for the wedding” would lead to me being a healthier person altogether, even years after wedding day. Now, I have cheat meals, drink my calories at times, and skip the gym more times than I should, so I am not perfect by any means. That is why I asked the healthiest and most fit person I know to guest blog on how to get fit for the wedding. Read more on what Sara Moreland Hester of Sara Moreland Fitness and Studio S has to say about getting fit and losing that unwanted weight. There is even a surprise at the end. Do it! Your body will thank you!

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How long have you been in the fitness industry? What inspired you to start Studio S? 

I have been in the fitness industry since 2010.  I started my fitness journey by working at a local 24 hour gym teaching classes in the evening.  After several years of writing workouts, seeing results in clients, and keeping a steady interest in working out, I decided to create a lifestyle that revolved around helping other people get healthy and fit. 

What does a day in the life of running Studio S look like? 

Running your own business can be a challenge.  You have to be disciplined and focused on keeping people involved and motivated.  We start classes in both locations at 5:15 am.  Afternoons are tough for people, so a lot of people have to wake up and workout before their day even begins.  Our next class starts at 8:15 am. We stay in classes for 45 minutes and keep a smile when they tell us how much they don’t want to be there.  During the day, I try to get as much work done as I can.  I brainstorm ideas, write new workouts, develop online programs and local programs.  Programs usually take the most of my time.  Once I come up with an idea and plan, I begin to put all of the details into play and have to advertise it.  The day time usually goes by quickly, and my work starts when everyone else is getting off.  At 4:00 we start our afternoon classes.  We offer classes at 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:15 pm.  In one day at Studio S, we average seeing anywhere from 100-150 people between our two locations.  My Amazon Prime workouts average over 1000 people in one week.

 

What sets your gym apart from others? 

The atmosphere I create in my gym and in my workouts is what creates such a unique experience.  I set the stage for real life expectations and a “come as you are” motto.  A lot of people don’t go to fitness classes because they aren’t in shape yet and don’t want to be embarrassed.  The atmosphere we have set at Studio S is welcoming to anyone and everyone.  I wouldn’t have a job if everyone was already in shape.  When I write workouts, I write them to be doable for a beginner and challenge the most advanced person.  All of my exercises can be modified or can be amped up.  As an instructor, it’s my job to know which one to push you to do.  I don’t have unrealistic expectations from my clients.  My goal for all of them is to be healthy.

 

What fitness advice would you give to a bride wanting to get in shape for her wedding day? 

My biggest piece of advice would be don’t crash diet and don’t burn yourself out.  Develop a new lifestyle so once you are married, you continue on with your new lifestyle.  Exercise is a great stress reliever and will be a healthy addition to your new marriage.   Don’t make exercise a stress factor.  It’s okay to miss a day and you don’t have to spend three hours at the gym.  45 minutes is plenty of time to get a great workout in that WILL give you results. 

What diet advice would you tell a bride or any other person that is wanting to shed some lbs.?

When people ask me for diet tips, my first question is always “what did you eat for breakfast?”  Once they answer with what they ate, my second question is always “why?”  The answers usually fall in the category of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.  This opens the door for discussion about eating to eat.  If you are only eating because you think it’s time to eat, your problem usually lies here.  I am a firm believer in intermittent fasting.  I have started hundreds of people on this lifestyle (NOT a crash diet, NOT a 3 day thing).  This has been the most effective way I have ever seen weight lost.  It’s not so much about WHAT you eat, but WHEN you eat.  It’s done 7 days a week.  This will not work if you do it for 5 days and take weekends off, etc.  The way it works is:

 

16 hours: FASTING WINDOW

            This means nothing but water or black coffee during this fasting window.  If you take your last bite at 7:30pm on a Sunday night, you will FAST for the next 16 hours.  This will be until 11:30am on Monday. 

 

8 hours: EATING WINDOW

            In this window, you aren’t as restricted to what you eat.  The same concept goes to eating just to eat.  If you aren’t hungry as soon as your 16 hour fast is up, it’s ok to wait thirty more minutes and just have a 7 and a half hour eating window.

 

The majority of my clients begin seeing a significant weight loss around the two week mark.  Stay strict to your time windows and you can not cheat in your fast window, or it will not work.  There’s an app on the iPhone called “zero” and I use it to track my fasting. 

 

How can brides and others be trained by you if they are not local to you?  

I have a lot to offer online and it doesn’t take much from you.  Everything I offer can be done at home with weights and a mat.  Here is what I offer:


Amazon Prime workouts: Search “Studio S Live” on prime.  This is free if you have prime or you can purchase an episode.

Fitness App: Search “Studio S Fitness” in the Apple Store or just “Studio S” in Google Play

Studio S Elite: I train people in my program to teach at gyms in your town!

Studio S Livestream: I offer LIVE classes streamed to your phone/smart tv currently through Facebook

Studio S at home workouts: I have individual workouts for sale in PDF form by category  (arms, abs, legs, full body, workout of the day, 30 day challenges, booty blitzes)

Facebook challenges: I love to do Facebook challenges where people can join a group and do exercises I tell them to do for X amount of days.

All of this information can be found on my website: www.saramorelandfitness.com

Facebook: Sara Moreland Fitness; Instagram: sara_moreland_fitness

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FAQ From of our Brides

Is it better to do 30 min of weightlifting or 30 min of cardio?

In my experience and style of working out, the best way to shed fat and lose weight the fastest is to do HIIT.  This is short for high intensity interval training.  We focus on getting our heart rate up and learning to control it to get it back down.   In our style of working out at Studio S, we do a lot of repetition with a lower number in weight.  The method I try to instill in clients is that the more muscle you have, the faster you will start to lose fat.  People don’t have the best concept of how this works.  When you work out, you have to tear tiny little microfibers in your muscles.  This is what causes your soreness.  If you feed your muscles correctly (healthy food intake and protein), the muscle fibers will grow back bigger.  If you do NOT feed them correctly (fast food and junk), they will grow back the same size as before.  Once you start having muscle added, it will start eating the fat that surrounds that muscle.  Hence the more muscle you have, the faster you lose fat.  A lot of times people do not see gains when only lifting weights because they are lifting weights too heavy, causing poor form, and using momentum instead of muscles to lift.  On the other hand, only doing cardio will not help you make muscle gains.  This will help you to burn calories, but if you want a tight, toned, sleeker body, try combining the two!  Use lighter weights that you can control with your muscles and high repetitions to help get your heart rate up.  Check out my workouts to understand what I am talking about. 

 

Is there a favorite diet that you use with your workouts? 

Intermittent Fasting has been the best combination with my workouts.  So far, there has not been a better “time frame” to work out as far as working out during the fast or eating window.  It’s been a split of when people preferred to do their workout.  Some preferred to workout after they had eaten, while some preferred to workout while fasting.  Both preferences see results. 

 

How would you tell one to get motivated to get up, find the time and get to the gym?

Motivation is hard.  Motivation is the number one cause for all things fitness, good or bad.  When you see people with results, it’s because of motivation.  When you see people fall off, it’s because of lack of motivation.  This is something no one can give you.  You have to search and find your why.  Once you establish your why, you need to write it down and keep it and always go back to it.  There are so many reasons why people NEED to workout.  It’s not just for the tight and toned body.  There are so many benefits of exercise.  Some of the most important ones are mental health, increased energy, memory, reduce your risk of chronic disease, helps with relaxation and sleep, and so many more.  Anyone can come up with a million reasons of why they “can’t” go workout.  But if you find your one reason of why you should, it may spark some motivation and keep you on track.  Develop a habit.  Make yourself go on the days you really don’t want to, and all the other days will become much easier to go. 

Will I get bulky and lose weight if I lift weights and do weight machines? 

Most of the time bulkiness comes into play when you are lifting extremely heavy weights.  If your goal is not bulkiness, I would not lift anything heavier than 10s.  In my workouts, most clients alternate with 5 lb. and 8 lb. dumbbells.  Doing my workouts, you will do a lot of body weight exercises mixed in with these exercises that include dumbbells.  If weight machines are what you insist on doing, I would advise you to do a weight that you can control and do a high number of reps in it.  Another factor in bulkiness is eating too much or consuming too much of a protein supplement.  If you are not looking for bulkiness, stick to fasting and eating healthy and natural.  You don’t need a bunch of supplements to lose weight.

Is it better to do cardio or weight lifting first? 

Mix it up! Don’t get monotonous with any workout.  Add challenges to your workout.  If you are going to do cardio and lift, try to do some sprints/fast run and then grab some weights and lift while your heart rate is still up.  Try to keep things changing.

 

How often should one workout? 

4-5 times a week would be a healthy amount of time to spend doing high intensity workouts.  There is no need to spend hours and hours at a gym.  Get in, go hard, get it done, and get out. 



SWEATING FOR THE WEDDING

Complete the number of reps next to each exercise.  Write your time down and challenge yourself to beat it each time you complete this workout.

o  100 Plate Squats

o  90 Frog Lunges

o  80 Jumping Jacks

o  70 Crossovers

o  60 Bicep Curls

o  50 Exploding Squats

o  40 crunches

o  30 6 in ankle to ankle

o  20 wide pushups

o  10 Lunge Jumps

o  20 Leg drops

o  30 Burpees

o  40 Chinees

o  50 Chin Pulls

o  60 Star Jumps

o  70 OH press

o  80 Bridges

o  90 Overhead pushjacks

o  100 Heel touches

TIME __________

 

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*Leave a comment telling what you will try to adapt or leave motivation for those who are getting in shape for their wedding or in everyday life! Let’s support one another!

Corey and Jake's Destin, Florida Wedding | August 11, 2018

Corey, who has the sweetest soul, married Jake Sleight on August 11, 2018 on the rooftop of The Henderson Resort and Spa in Destin, Florida. Their ceremony was intimate and gorgeous as it overlooked the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Corey wore a gorgeous Anne Barge gown, and we are still swooning.

Corey shared special moments of her and Jake’s relationship and their memorable day. Read along to live their day again, and leave the new Mr. and Mrs. some love below.

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How did you meet your groom?

I met Jake in March of 2013 when I went out to San Diego to visit a girlfriend of mine from college. The day I booked my trip, she was telling me everyday, "I'm going to introduce you to Jake!". I hadn't dated anybody in about 4 years and really wasn't interested, but when she picked me up from the airport, he was in the car and went out with us that night. I was in San Diego for 7 days and it really wasn't until day 5 that we started talking. One night we stayed up all night watching Ridiculousness and talking. Neither one of us slept. I believe it was that moment that we knew there was something between us! Long story short, for the next 6 months, Jake flew me out every 2 months to see him. I then moved out to be with him in October of 2013, and the rest is history! He came into my life when I least expected him, but exactly when I needed him.

How did Jake ask you to become his wife?

Jake decided we should make a trip to Florida to see my family while he was on spring break. I asked him why he wanted to go to Florida, because it seemed kind of random (all while I was thinking to myself "maybe he needed to ask my family something...?!), but he replied, "Well, you weren't able to see them for Thanksgiving or Christmas so I thought it would be a good time". (This is about the time that I come back down to reality and realize that he's not up to anything!) My "Mom had planned beach pictures for my Mimi's 80th birthday", so we left Texas at 3am to make it to Destin in time for evening beach pictures. We were all in like colors and ready to go. My Dad, sisters, and Jake left for the beach before my Mom and I because my Mom was "running late", which if you know my Mom, is nothing new. Little did I know that while my mom was "running late", they were staging a great surprise! My Mom and I start walking towards the beach and my Dad meets us right before we walk down the boardwalk. I see our photographer taking pictures of me and I'm thinking, "I do not look cute right now, why is she snapping these candids?!" I look around and realize that everybody is looking at me, and Jake is standing there with our dog, Koda, with a sign around his neck. I said "Aw, the photographer brought props!" I make my way down to Jake and once I see his face, it hits me. All I can say is "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh"... He said, "Corey, I need to ask you a question. I LOST IT! He asked me to marry him in front of my family, as well as his, whom he flew out from Oregon and until this day, our families had not met yet! Obviously, I said yes! The engagement, the pictures, the setting, the ring...it was all everything I hoped for and more.

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

DRESS SHOPPING DUHHHH! Seriously, without question, finding my dress with my close friends and family while sipping on champagne and eating macaroons. It was an experience I will never forget!

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What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

The ceremony, hands down. Standing in front of Jake, looking at him and absolutely nothing else, knowing that this day has been 5+ years in the making and we're finally here with our closest friends and families commenting to forever with one another. I was taking in every second.

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What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

Make sure you choose great vendors, because they will make this process extremely fun! You hear horror stories about wedding's and how you "need to elope because of the stress". I never felt an ounce of that. All of my vendors were incredible in the months leading up to as well as the day of the wedding. I would plan our wedding all over again if I could!

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

My twin sister/MOH found Margaret Ellen Bridal online while we were searching for bridal salons. We looked at her website and immediately called to schedule an appointment! The concept of a completely private appointment in such a beautiful store was something I knew was going to make for a special and memorable event!

I believe I tried on 9 dresses in total. I kept going back to number 4. Once Maggie put the veil on, and I had that "bride" moment, which of course started the waterworks, I knew it was the one. I couldn't see myself wearing anything else walking down the aisle to Jake.

Corey and Jake celebrated their marriage by honeymooning in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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Photographer:
Erica Whitaker

Venue: The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa

Florist: Bella Flora 30A

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Sherri Kuhn, Destin to Wed

Hair/Makeup: Gallant Glam

Dress: Blue Willow Bride by Anne Barge

Caterer: The Henderson

Cake: Bake My Day

Ceremony + Reception Musicians: GOT Groove

Invitations: Minted

Officiant: Jared Brown

Transportation: The Henderson

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxedos: Jos A Banks

Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper, Southern Simplicity
















New Wedding Dresses Coming to 30A, Destin, Panama City Area?

You bet they are! 

We are so excited to finally share the exciting news! Margaret Ellen Bridal now offers the ever so popular wedding dress line, Essense of Australia, to northwest Florida brides. 

Do you know Martina Liana? Perfect! Essense of Australia is Martina's sister collection. Why did we include Essense of Australia? At Margaret Ellen Bridal, our main focus is the BRIDE and making her HAPPY. Essense of Australia embodies details and beauty just as Martina Liana does but with a bit of a lower price point. We want to be able to cater to all brides, and Essense is a company that we have grown to love, adore, and trust. Therefore, it is a no-brainer that Essense of Australia is the best addition to Margaret Ellen Bridal. We know our brides will think so, too! 

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Twice a year, we travel to Kansas City to the home office of Essense Designs. This is where we view the latest collections from Martina Liana and Essense of Australia. We are also treated like royalty with wonderful food, treats (hello ice-cream cookies), drinks, gifts, dinner, entertainment, and informative trainings. It's also fun to see familiar faces from stores we have met in the past and meet new store owners and managers. We returned from our trip two weeks ago and it did not disappoint. The excitement of getting to pick out the hottest and newest wedding dresses is an all time high. Getting to pick out an additional 15 wedding dresses from a new line really adds to that high. But then.... when you hear and see that the lead designer and founder of Essense Designs, Martine Harris, is there the excitement goes through the roof. To meet and learn from someone who is so known, appreciated, and valued in the bridal industry is incredible. What makes Martine even better (other than her amazing accent)? Family. How much family means to her. Her own family, her Essense family and even their own families, her stores, and her brides. There were numerous times when Martine would walk up to us to just make sure that we were having a great time and to chat. Her character and how personable she is radiates and sets her company apart from so many others. It was truly a magical time, and we already look forward to our return to Kansas City this winter. 

While we cannot yet show you the newest gowns, we will show you some of our favorite Essense of Australia carryovers that are in store now and others that will be in store early September. We are in love with these gorgeous dresses! 

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As we end, we get the question "How do you pick which wedding dresses you carry?" a lot. To answer simply, it is so very hard choosing. Honestly, last October, my mom, best friend, and I chose based on what we liked and what we would wear. Sidenote: My mom has really surprised me with her picks. She even likes the sexy cutouts and deep plunges. Go mom! After having being opened for seven months, our strategy has somewhat changed. It has gotten easier. Of course wedding dresses that we love and would wear still catch our eye, and yes, we still choose some of our favorites. We now know what you, our brides, want and love, and that guides us to make the best picks possible for Margaret Ellen Bridal. Buying wedding gowns each season is such a highlight and seeing what is on-trend is amazing. 

We cannot wait to show you both our Martina Liana and Essense of Australia picks that will arrive this October and November. Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram to see when they hit the store. 

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Cheers! 
Maggie