All posts by Dianne McNaughton

HitchSwitch vs. The Name Change Conundrum

One of the common headaches for a bride after getting married is changing her name. I can name on 10 fingers brides that I know that have been married for 6 months to a year and still have yet to change their name because it can be a hassle. Not everyone has extra time to spare to bounce from one government office to the next. As much as it is a first world problem, we are living in a time where everything can be yours with a click of a button. If only there was a way to get everything you need to finally take the last name of your beloved. Enter: HitchSwitch! HitchSwitch is an online service that gathers information and all of the necessary paperwork and sends it to your home for you to complete.

In the mail, you receive a personalized package filled out by the HitchSwitch team with all of the basic and redundant information that you may not want to fill out over and over again (i.e Name, Date of Birth, Your new married name). Each set of documents will come with a set of easy to follow instructions and the appropriate envelope and pre-stamped for your convenience. Co-founders Josh Gelb and Jake Wolff designed three different packages to choose from based on need and price point. The least expensive is the Print at Home Package that pays for the team to put together everything you need but you do the rest. This package is good for someone who understands the process but just wanted someone to do the dirty work for them to save time! The Full Service receives all of the paperwork and instructions in the mail and in a few minutes, you are ready to send your info out one by one! The Platinum package is the full service package that includes ready-to-ship passport photo and a personal concierge that can help you each step of the way. So, if you are like me and have no time to fuss with paperwork and you will need some guidance, The Full Service Package is the most beneficial.

After getting married, I decided that HitchSwitch would be an easy to use and fun way to kickstart my married life. HitchSwitch is also partnered with the Knot, the most popular online wedding planner to date. I felt comfortable knowing that one of the most trusted companies in the bridal industry gave HitchSwitch their stamp of approval. I received my package in the mail that said “Out with the Lopez and In with the Johnson (my married name).” As promised, the team had filled all of the redundant information and had step by step instructions for me to carry out my name change. The very next morning, I was off to the Social Security office for my new card. It is necessary to carry out this step first before doing anything else, as you will need the card for every document afterwards. After that, I was sending out my paperwork to their respective offices. It has been such a far less stressful process than I had been lead on to believe.

One could say that anyone could do this all by themselves, and although 100% true, it doesn’t hurt to have a little help right? Brides all over are using HitchSwitch in order to quickly get on with their lives with their sweethearts. There is some legwork needed by the customer such as presenting paperwork to the Social Security office. The paperwork could be mailed out but, with identity theft and scams that plague our everyday, HitchSwitch strongly suggests that you go to the office in person for safety purposes. HitchSwitch is a service meant to provide convenience. There will be some things that will need to be carried out by the customer to protect confidential information. So, whether you are getting married for the first time or waited to change your name to avoid the tediousness of procedure, visit to see if this service is for you!

Home Shopping While Honeymoon Planning? 5 Tips For Budget-friendly Travel

Wedding and homeowner trends are following a similar path– people are waiting longer to walk down the aisle and cross the threshold into their first home. Since people are waiting longer to reach both milestones, many times couples are planning their wedding, booking their honeymoon, and shopping for their first home all at the same time.

These events are large financial expenses, so it may leave couples feeling like they shouldn’t treat themselves to extras, like the big honeymoon trip they’ve been dreaming about. However, there are many ways to have your wedding cake and eat it too when it comes to taking a honeymoon trip and smartly saving for your home. Check out some of our saving tips to stay stress free:

1. Have a Honeymoon Registry

Since many couples are cohabitating before marriage, a traditional wedding registry of kitchen items, linens, and home decor may not make a ton of sense for you and your partner. If a honeymoon is important to both of you, consider having a honeymoon fund registry. Modern registry sites like Zola offer a honeymoon fund as an option for couples with a serious case of wanderlust. Zola only charges a small credit card processing fee to the gift-giver, so you and your partner don’t incur extra fees. Honeymoon funds allow your guests to contribute to experiences on your trip, airfare, accommodations, and more.

2. Save Credit Card Points for Airfare Miles

If you’re swiping your credit card throughout your wedding planning journey, save up your points for airfare and accommodation expenses. This can be a great way to upgrade to better flights and hotels simply by planning your wedding purchases. Have a points card but not sure how to use it for travel? There are some bloggers like The Points Guy and Mommy Points that have beginner guides to help you understand how to maximize your points cards for travel.

3. Travel Off Season

When researching an area to travel to, consider visiting during their off season. Many hotels and experiences offer off-season discounts to encourage travelers to visit. You may be able to experience more for your budget while also avoiding lines and big crowds.

4. Snag Travel Deals Online

Did you know that daily deals sites like the popular Groupon and LivingSocial offer amazing getaway packages? Some of them even offer airfare! These deals offer national and international locations so don’t be afraid to check them out, dream, and snag a good deal.

5. Don’t Fly For Your Honeymoon

Honeymoons usually evoke images of your toes in the sand while drinking something sweet from a coconut. That image definitely sounds relaxing, but your honeymoon doesn’t have to be at an exotic location. Consider saving some money on travel and taking a roadtrip to a closer spot that you and your honey haven’t experienced yet. For some of the most popular road trips in the US, the scenery during the drive is really the best part of the experience.

To learn more tips for planning your wedding and buying a house at the same time, check out this recent post on bridals by lori blog!

2018 Wedding Trends to Look Out For

The seasons are changing and the new year is quickly approaching. Our 2017 brides are becoming less and less. 2018 brides are on the loose here at Bridals by Lori. Visions of our bride’s wedding days are changing. The majority of our Brides are taking more of an intimate tone. Instead of the “Cinderella Fairytale” style we have grown accustomed to, 2018 is shaping up to take on a more dreamlike aesthetic. Social media has taken over the wedding market and brides make sure that every detail is Instagram worthy.

Photo Courtesy of Style Me Pretty
Pinterest Worthy Tablescapes

During the wedding reception, guests are treated to great food, cocktails and dancing. The modern bride has moved away from a simple centerpieces and moved on to something more elaborate. Using elegant metals paired with vibrant greenery has become extremely popular. Millennials especially, are gravitating towards copper and antique golds to pop against their dinnerware as opposed to gold and silver. Flowers and other natural elements are scattered across the table in unique displays that create a beautiful ambiance for the occasion.

Unique Bouquets

2018 will be the year of bold floral arrangements. Larger bloomed flowers such as Peonies, Hydrangeas, and Ranunculus are becoming staples in bridal bouquets due to their grand size and vibrant tones. They take up lots of negative space therefore not costing as much. You can create a big and bold concept without breaking the bank. Brides are taking more of an ethereal tone and using Succulents and cascading greenery really make their flowers pop.

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo courtesy of

Pretty In Pink

2018 brides are moving away from the timeless white vision of bridal gowns. Ivory has become the new bridal standard. However, Brides are going steps further into champagnes and pastels to do a spin on tradition. Still holding onto elegant lace and classic necklines, blush tones still provide the fairy tale that women hope for that can still please the other generations at the wedding. A unique colored gown leaves room for more possibilities for the bridal party’s color palette. A bride in a beautiful blush pink can really stand out against bridesmaids in a lighter color such as ivory. This role reversal is no longer seen has a huge wedding taboo.

An Intimate Affair

Photo courtesy of uniqueeventdesign.blogspot

Engaged couples are putting emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to their wedding guest. In recent years, more couples have been paying for their own weddings without assistance. The budget is a little tighter and one of the biggest money pits will be the food. Cutting down the guest list to people that have been an active part in your life no matter time and distance should be the ones to make the cut. The biggest problems couples face in the planning process is the guest list bloat. Instead of feeling pressured to invite family members that they have not seen or heard from in years, keep in mind that this is a celebration of the couple.Potential guests that have nothing to do with the couple are now put on the back burner. It is a HUGE money saver.

Tales of a bbl bride: Alix Faulhaber

My name is Alix Faulhaber. I’m a working Performer, Director, and Opera Singer. My fiancé Norval is the owner of NorvalSound Studio. Our wedding is on April 20th, 2018. I didn’t realize until it was too late, but we met when I was 9 years old and he was 14. That day, I had gotten a new Hawaiian Barbie. After playing elsewhere, I returned to my room to find Norval in my sister’s dress and a wig, clutching my brand new barbie in his fists. He twisted her torso in half and dashed her to the ground. I surveyed the wreckage around me. He had destroyed ALL of my Barbies! I swore that day that I would exact revenge. Seemingly, it’s an odd revenge to fall in love. But now I get to pick on him about it for eternity!

We ran into one another periodically over the coming years. He was the frontman of a much-loved local punk band called “The Scams”. With our mutual friends, I’d go to their shows and mock them from the back (to conceal my crush on then “Billy Scam”). In ’98, I moved to England and we lived different lives. Years later, we met again in Chicago where we were both working on an independent film. I was the Acting Coach, he was the Star. Soon, we were staying up all night courting, watching movies and laughing together. It was at the end of our street that we had our first kiss. That was 16 years ago. For our first five anniversaries, Norval got me Barbies.

Our wedding is a music festival we call Love Fest. Held at the State Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg, Love Fest is a day-long event with awesome local bands, food trucks, an ice cream sundae bar, a merch booth, favors, games, and custom coloring books. The ceremony will take place between sets, then later, Norval and I will hit the stage! We figure if our loved ones are coming from different states and countries, we owe them a great show! In lieu of a bridal party, we’ll have VIPs with personalized lanyards. In a nod to Dalí, we’re aiming for a Surrealist Art Party feel. A glamorous yet, edgy affair where the area’s artists, thinkers, and freaks will come together to cavort and canoodle. They say “Your wedding is the greatest night of your life”. I’m lucky to have had a LOT of great nights. So, when I thought about what my “greatest night” would be, it was singing Queen with Norval and all of my friends in a magnificent world of art and love.

Sadly, my father will not be at the wedding. After an intense battle with cancer, my Dad, Fritz Faulhaber died in February of this year. He was a wickedly funny, brilliant man who loved to eat chocolate, drink beer, laugh and sing. He would have adored my extraordinary dress. When I close my eyes and listen, I can hear him say, “I am immensely proud of you.”

I am a Say Yes to the Dress fan. It’s hypnotic! My Mom got the idea to come [to Bridals by Lori] when we decided it was time to find a dress. I had a specific vision: Lavender gown with a lace nude illusion top, ¾ sleeves, deep V, and a flowy Georgette skirt with a high slit. At Bridals by Lori, my consultant was Maureen. She was very helpful, knowledgeable, and sweet. She handled plus-size considerations with professionalism. I was made to feel very comfortable, and thus I looked and felt fabulous. Also, she found The One. So, Maureen is my hero!

When I tried on my first dress, I cracked up. I affectionately refer to my shape as a “tater on twigs”. I lack hips and a booty. However, my legs are shapely and the “ladies” are lovely. I just happen to lack some womanly curve in between. My first dress was fitted past the hip and it made me look like a sexy potato. A very sexy potato. Still, I was keen to try on dresses I wouldn’t necessarily pick. Due to that, I ended up liking something way different than I had anticipated! What fun! I was a little apprehensive to say Yes because I had flown to Atlanta that morning and had several appointments lined up. Though the gown was incomparable, I felt I had to do my due diligence and try a few more. But it was tragic. Now that I found my dress, no other even exists. I’m fortunate to have worn many stunning gowns on stage. I tried other wedding dresses and just thought “yup, that’s a wedding dress.” But mine? Mine is something altogether different. It’s another species. My mom cried; which is a feat! I didn’t want to take it off. On the hanger, it was lovely but on me? It’s alive. When I looked at myself in it, I could see the whole night around me. It definitely looked like the greatest night of my life.

Since I got “her”, I looked her up online and I am amazed to see that she looks better on me than on the models. I finally understand that you can conceive of a style but it’s about what the garment does on YOUR particular, spectacular body. It’s not a moral failing that your body is shaped differently from someone else. It’s a gift! When I tried my dress on, it was about 12 sizes too small and still looked amazing! I am still surprised at how different the gown is from what I was planning, but she is perfection.

As I wait for my gown to come in, I’m focusing on my brother’s October wedding. For now, I’m peaceful: I have my man and the dress. Everything is going to be amazing.

Stay tuned for more with Alix as we follow her on her Bridals By Lori Journey! She brought such joy to the store with her presence that we absolutely had to share her with our audience!