Last weekend, I asked for you guys to send me any questions that you'd like me to answer during a little Q&A on Instagram stories. I got a few that were similar, and others that I maybe haven't addressed on the blog before, so I thought I'd also answer them here!
Did you go to college?
I spent my Freshman year at Indiana Wesleyan University, then transferred to Wheaton College, where I spent 3 semesters. Halfway through my Junior year, I transferred to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where I eventually graduated with a degree in Fashion and Textile Management. It wasn't my plan to go to so many different places, but it all worked out in the end!
Most fun thing about wedding planning? Most stressful? What advice would you give your newly-engaged self about wedding planning?
One of the most fun parts, so far, was dress shopping. I ended up buying the first dress I saw online and the first one I tried on at Bhldn. It's been the least stressful part of the whole process, so I have very fond memories! In all honesty, nearly every other part has been stressful. There are so many decisions to make, so many things to think through, so many things to consider - and that's with a wedding planner and a team of rockstar vendors. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be without either of those two things! The guest list was pretty difficult because we wanted to keep our day intimate and small. It's difficult to know where to draw that line. Finding bridesmaid dresses was also pretty stressful because I wasn't finding what I was picturing for weeks. We eventually found great dresses, but it was a process!
Mike and I had the benefit of getting engaged at the end of November, just before the holidays, which sort of forced us to take time to enjoy being engaged and not start planning right away. If you're a newly engaged girl, or will be getting engaged sometime, try to just enjoy being engaged for some time. We picked our date and our venue within the first couple weeks, but other than that, we didn't really do any planning until the New Year. I loved being able to just ease into the whole process, especially now that I know how much goes into planning a wedding.
What's your go-to Starbucks drink?
9 times out of 10, I'll order a non-fat vanilla latte - either iced or hot, depending on the weather. If I'm looking for something more refreshing, I'll go with a sweetened passion tea lemonade. Especially in the Summer, that drink is so good!
What tips would you give someone who is aspiring to start their own online business?
I'm thinking of doing an entirely separate post for this topic, but a quick answer I would give is two-fold. One, try your idea out as a hobby first to see if it works. I don't recommend quitting your day job and going all in on an idea without knowing if it will actually work out. Two, do something different. You can start a gift boxing company that isn't far off from others, but offer something that all the others don't - either a better price point, a unique set of boxes, a charitable feature, or something else. Separate yourself just enough that new customers will want to buy from you, instead of the other guy online.
Do you guys have a song chosen for your first dance?
We do! We will be dancing to Yours, by Russell Dickerson.
What did you start Elisabeth Ashlie? Are you doing more curated boxes?
Elisabeth Ashlie started in 2010 with my sister, Kate. I took over full-time in 2013, when I moved to Chicago. You can read a bit more of our story here. Yes, we will definitely be adding more curated boxes! Speaking of, have you ordered the Mother's Day box for your mom, yet?!
What's your workout routine?
I try to workout at least 3x a week, but that doesn't always happen. I've worked with a trainer for the last year and a half or so, so I do mostly weight-lifting. I'm not looking to lose weight, per say, so I rarely do any strict cardio, like treadmill or stair master. I usually do a 30-40 minute full-body weightlifting routine when I go!
What foundation do you use?
Right now, I'm using Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation in the shade Soft Blush. This is a tried and true foundation for me!
What is the weather usually like in May in Chicago? What do you suggest for non-touristy things to do?
It's usually in the 60's and beautiful, but you honestly never know. I highly recommend checking the local weather within days of traveling, to see what it will actually be like. I love walking around the stores on Armitage and Halsted, the Southport Corridor, going to eat in the Lincoln Square corridor, and walking along the lakefront path. If you want to avoid other tourists, avoid State Street, the Magnificent Mile, and Navy Pier. However, if you've never been to Chicago, I'd probably tell you to check out at least one of those things as they're quintessential activities in the city.
Do you guys like this? Would you like to see more of this in the future? If so, send in any questions you have! You can leave a comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!