Wedding Tips and How-Tos

How to Achieve a White Smile for your Wedding Day

Posted on January 30, 2015 by Liz Mahlich

Looking for a whiter smile before your wedding day? There is a wonderfully natural way to accomplish this without spending tons of money at the dentist office, or wearing annoying strips on your teeth. Oil pulling. If you are crunchy, or mildly interested in natural health, you may have heard of this term before. For others, you may think I’m crazy. Oil pulling??

Oil pulling is amazing and has been around for thousands of years. Just recently it has become trendy, along with many other natural health remedies.  Not only will it give you a whiter smile, but it has numerous other health benefits. Whiter smile, and become healthier before your wedding day? Are you intrigued now? 

The method to whiten your teeth, and better your health, requires you to swish around an oil, preferably organic coconut oil, in your mouth for 20 minutes. Sounds a little intense, right? Even being on the crunchy side, I thought so too. But I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to heath, and might be a little vain…who doesn’t want white teeth (especially to remove all those red wine stains! eek!)?

Being a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in training, I also was very interested in all the added health benefits. Coconut oil has antibacterial, antivirus and anti fungal properties, which help clean out germs in our mouth and prevent gingivitis, bad breath, and boost the immune system. Our oral health is very important to our overall health. With a healthy mouth there is less chances for inflammation in our body. Other great side affects are healing cracked lips, moisturizing sinuses and throat.

One morning, I took the plunge. I put a big glob of coconut oil in my mouth. It is solid, so I had to wait for it to melt…then I swished it around. One minute in and I was bored out of my mind. Being the queen of multitasking, I realized I could do this while I took a shower and blew dry my hair.

Be careful not to go over 20 minutes. The full 20 minutes to key to ensure the toxins and stains are removed, but if you go longer than 20 minutes, the toxins can start to be absorbed back into your blood stream. You don’t want that to happen after all the hard work of swishing! Spit the oil out in the trash (not down the drain as the oil will harden, and that can’t be good…unless you have a cute plumber of course!)

The last step is to brush your teeth. I was so surprised at how white my teeth looked after my first time! They also felt as smooth as a dental cleaning. It might have been a foreign routine, but one I was willing to add into my daily life.

I would recommend starting this a few months before your wedding to ensure you have time to remove all the stains from your teeth. Happy swishing!





Yoga Transformation for the Bridezilla

Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Liz Mahlich

May of 2006, on top of the Grand Canyon, Benji, asked me to marry him. Thinking back, it was quite brave of him to propose on the edge of a large canyon. Not sure if he was shaking because he was nervous I would say no, or if he thought I would push him off the cliff! In all seriousness, it was one of the most magical days of my life. I actually don’t remember what he even said to me as he pulled out the ring and went down on one knee, my heart was beating so fast I could barely hear anything! Of course I said yes, and we spent the next few days together enjoying the feeling of being newly engaged.

Engagement Ring Grand Caynon  Engagement  2

Flash forward a few months and I had gone from the sweet girl who was relaxed and in love to a Bridezilla!  How did this happen? My fiancé wondered where that girl whom he proposed to was! (I bet he was wishing we were on the cliff so he could push ME off!)


Why do we do this to ourselves ladies?  We put so much stress into planning our wedding day that we completely forget how to live in the moment and enjoy being engaged.  If I would have only discovered yoga a few years earlier, I may have been able to kill the bridezilla!


It wasn’t until after I was married that I really got into yoga. I always thought of it as a bunch of skinny flexible girls showing off with splits and handstands. Oh, was I wrong. I had taken a few yoga classes here and there, but didn’t start going regularly until I walked into Shanti School of Yoga in Traverse City, Michigan. By that time, I had two kids and life was a bit stressful. I felt overwhelmed with planning doctors appointment, playdates, cleaning house, and all the fun things on the Mommy To-Do list. I wasn’t really enjoying my life or living in the moment. Kelly Stiglich, one of the studio’s owners, was my first yoga instructor at Shanti. She opened my eyes to the beauty of yoga and taught me that it isn’t just a physical practice, but also a mental and spiritual practice.

Shanti Yoga

Yoga at Shanti

After being a member at Shanti for two years, I’ve grown so much in such a short time. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to slow down, relax and appreciate the life we are blessed with. So easy to say, so challenging to do.  I highly recommend yoga to everyone, especially a stressed out bride! You may feel like you don’t have time for yoga, but what you will realize is that yoga doesn’t take time, it actually gives time. It teaches you how to stay in the moment and take care of yourself so you can be the best person you can be for yourself, and for those you love.


At the end of the day, my wedding turned out lovely and we had the time our lives. I just wish I would have enjoyed each and every moment of being an engaged couple rather than being so stressed about the process to become a married one. In the big picture of life, being engaged is such a small window of time, but I think it is a truly important time in a relationship. My advice to all brides, enjoy the wedding planning process and enjoy your time with your fiancé before he becomes your husband. Life is full of planning and hustling around. Enjoy life and live in the moment.

Benji and Liz

Photo credit to Alicia’s Eye
I’ll leave you with this beautiful mantra, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which translates to ‘May all beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.’   Namaste.


How to Avoid the Top 5 Outdoor Wedding Disasters

Posted on July 30th by Liz Mahlich


Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and attention to detail. Planning an outdoor wedding adds a few more factors that need to be considered. Most of these factors revolve around good ol’ Mother Nature. With our outdoor wedding venue being in Northern Michigan, we know that variable temperatures, wind, rain, and bugs can really throw in some extra obstacles. Here are a few tips to help avoid disasters at your outdoor wedding.


1. Fly Away Seating Cards…

The classic tented place cards are such a simple way to go for assigned seating at a reception.  Just set cards out in alphabetical order on a table, guests come along, find their name, and off to their table they go. For an indoor reception, no problem. Outside, well, just a little gust of wind, and these babies go flying! Next thing you know, everyone is running around, mainly myself…the wedding coordinator, trying to catch these fly aways! Then trying to put them back in alphabetical order is a challenge. If any get lost, then it is a scramble to figure out who sits where. Best bet is to avoid these altogether. Thanks to Pinterest, there are many creative alternatives.  A very popular solution is to attach the place card to the guests’ wedding favor.  My personal favorite is to have the seating chart written on a board or sign, where people can come up to find their placement. This takes up less room and seems to be less confusing. Either way, just avoid anything that can fly off into the sunset! We will leave that for the bride and groom.

Drift Seating Chart Driftwood Makes a Unique Backdrop for a Seating Chart


2. Rain Rain Go Away!

Rain…the four letter word of outdoor weddings. Some say it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day. As one of our most recent brides said “That is a bunch of crap that someone made up to make brides feel better!” Well we agree. No one wants rain on their wedding day. It is always good to be prepared, just incase. If your venue doesn’t have a building as a backup option, make sure you at least have a structure that can be closed in some how. For example, our wedding tent has sides, with Vienna Windows, to surround the entire tent incase of rain. The windows are a nice feature to ensure your guests don’t feel closed in.  Another important note with rain is to have a concrete floor. Our tent is situated on a concrete slab. Even though you do have to walk outside the tent to go to the bathroom building, the building is only a few feet away, and there is a concrete walkway the entire way. The alternative is soggy grass and mud puddles. Last thing you want on your wedding day is you heels sinking into the mud!

Tent From putting Green


3. Bug off!

Bugs can sometimes cause a problem for outdoor events. One way they might gross out guests, is by landing on any food that is sitting out for awhile, such as appetizers. One way to avoid this is to ask your caterer if they plan ahead for this issue and keep food covered. Another bug that causes problems is mosquitos. In Northern Michigan, we are pretty lucky to not have too many of these. However, this year they seem to be bad. It is always a good idea to have a basket full of bug spray available at the reception for your guests. Another tip at keeping the bugs away from your reception is to avoid using fruit as a decoration. We had a rustic reception at our venue, which used peaches as part of the centerpiece. So beautiful and unique, however, this wasn’t the best situation. Bees and fruit flies were all over the place! Guest tables at your reception is the last place you want to see bees hanging out!


4.Wet Linens and Broken Vases…

Again, the wind issue. Not always a problem, but some areas are more susceptible than others. Our particular venue is on top of a hill at our golf course, so we can get some good gust of wind through. Any tall vases, or even medium sized vases that are lightweight, can easily fall over, leading to wet table linens and demolished centerpiece. If you choose to have tall or light weight vases, making sure to weigh them down with rocks is always a good idea.


5. Bridesmaid on Fire!

Wish lanterns are all the rage. Such a wonderful way to send off the wedding party! Wait…drunk people with fire? Lets just say I may have had to save a bridesmaid or two from being caught on fire from one of these lanterns! Drinking and fire aren’t the best combination.

Wish Lanterns

Gorgeous but Not Recommended!

I hope you find these tips helpful and that your wedding day goes without a hitch!


How to Get Perfect Skin for Your Wedding Day

Posted by Liz Mahlich on July 8, 2014


Envision yourself walking down the aisle, seeing your future husband waiting for you at the end. You are a stunning bride…beautiful white dress…curly flowing hair…but wait…what is that? A HUGE ZIT ON YOUR NOSE?!! Then you wake up! Whew, thank goodness THAT was a dream.


There is a lot of work that goes into planning a wedding and the extra stress can cause some unwanted zits and skin that we may not even recognize.  Or maybe your once flawless skin may even have experienced sun damage, wrinkles or is dry and flakey? Whatever the issue, you want to look, and FEEL your best on your wedding day without having to cover your beautiful skin with layers of makeup.


I was a very lucky bride and had flawless skin. Somehow I missed out on all the teenager acne, and by age 24, when I walked down the aisle, my skin was flawless.  Flash forward 8 years later and I had a whole different situation going on. In February, I noticed a small cluster of irritated skin on my chin, which I figured was a little rash or zits that would go away within a few days. Well I was very wrong and it grew and grew until I basically had a goatee of rash. It was a little itchy, red, irritated, dry and above all UGLY! My rash was very frustrating because I couldn’t even cover it up with makeup. It started spreading around my eyes and on my eyelids.  It was taking over!!


I wanted to avoid going to a dermatologist so I did the old self diagnosis via the internet. I stumbled across many articles and blog posts about Perioral Dermatitis and realized that was exactly what I had. It is something that women in their 20s, 30s and 40s can develop for no good reason and there is no real treatment available. Being a very holistic person, I hate using chemicals when I don’t have to, so I tried every natural remedy imageable. Jojoba oil, apple cider vinegar soaks, coconut oil, healing salves and nothing worked. Sometimes it would get a little better, but the rash would ultimately come back with a vengeance.


By April, I was getting pretty fed up. In the meantime, a wonderful friend of mine, Rachel, had recently started posting information about Rodan and Fields on her facebook page. I thought it was something she had just learned about and wanted to share, but then I found out she had just become a consultant for the company. I was excited for her new business adventure and couldn’t wait to hear all about it.  At first, I didn’t considered this product for myself, because it is an over-the-counter medicine, rather than the all natural and organic products I typically use. I also thought is was more of a wrinkle cream, and didn’t think it would help with any skin rashes, similar to what I was experiencing.


Much to my surprise, Rachel found a regimen that would work for me called Soothe. This kit comes with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sunscreen and is meant to help people with dry irritated skin. Rodan and Fields doesn’t guarantee to cure such issues as mine, but it has been found to help people with any dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.  In the beginning I was a little skeptical and didn’t want to spend the money to find out it wouldn’t work.  But I figured with the 60 day money back guarantee, why not give it a try.


The package came a few days after I placed my order and I was so excited to get started. I started the product the first week of May and right away I could tell my face was more moisturized.  It was still pretty damaged, red and bumpy but I kept up with the regimen every morning and night. Over the next few weeks, I felt like my skin was improving.   I looked back at my photo from before I started, and I could tell I had made progress. It was a slow process but I kept using the product and by the end of May, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized it was almost gone! My skin was almost back to normal!  For only a month of usage, I’m truly impressed. It’s now the beginning of July, and my rash has not returned, and my skin continues to be moisturized and I have a nice glow!


IMG_6265 IMG_6380 Clear Skin

                      April 30                                             May 10th                                                June 1st

Whether you are preparing for a wedding, or already married, I think this product is fabulous and worth checking out! If you want more information about this product, check out Rachel’s Website!

Disclaimer:  “While every caution had been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this blog.  Author will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of making use of information in this blog.  The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of Crystal Lake Weddings. Crystal Lake Weddings is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.”