Friday, August 28, 2009

Deal of the day

Being married keeps you busy. Seriously. Well, I think it's more that we're both working and coaching (he's assistant Varsity Volleyball and I'm doing middle school cheerleading) every day and by the time we get home we're lucky if we get time for dinner together. However, this weekend will be our first married weekend at home together. We're going to slow down, take time together, and finish some last minute projects.

While I haven't had a lot of time to cook and build my domestic skills I do aspire to be a great Southern Belle, who hosts amazing dinner parties and has a home that always smells of something baking and is warm and welcoming to all. Right now that's just a dream. . . .

If you dream like me (or know someone who does), then take advantage of today's Deal of the Day:
Southern Living magazine 1 year subscription for $5!

My mother "takes" Southern Living and now I shall join her! I also sent a gift subscription to my MIL. Maybe in a few months I'll be a domestic goddess and a true Southern Belle. . . .

Happy Friday!


Friday, August 7, 2009


Hello, I'm Mrs. TLC!
Yes, I'm finally back online after taking an extended break for the wedding, honeymoon, and to set our house up.

Do you like the new look? We figured that since we are newlyweds now LA Brides needed a new look too. If you read us from Google Reader (which I love) then it's worth it to click on over to LA Brides for just a hot second to see our updated look.

I have so much to tell you from the long list of things that went wrong before the wedding to sharing our home renovation results with you all. I promise to be more active soon, but being a newlywed is keeping me more busy than I anticipated!

First, it feels good to be married. Really good.

As a former professional bridesmaid, my first question was always "Does it feel weird to be married?" And to be honest I expected being married to feel slightly "weird" myself. Nope. It's different in ways I'm not sure I'm even qualified to describe yet. I have this overwhelming peace that all is well and I really do feel like I can do more now that I'm married. Marriage has brought peace to my life that I never expected it would.
I was never afraid that B would leave me, but marriage has brought an added sense of commitment to our relationship. He's really mine, and I am really his in ways that seem different than before. In other words, we both feel much more "in it together" now.

Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be and I'm so grateful for that, but I'm also glad our marriage has begun.

More to come, promise!

--Mrs. Love

Who are these attractive newlyweds? LA Wives!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Secrets Revealed!

When last we left the Bachelorette Party Shenanigans, I was blind-folded, in the back of Leah's car, and singing/dancing to "Boom Boom Pow." Oh, and clueless as to where we were going. It looked something like this...

Next thing I knew, I was clutched on to Lisa's arm like my life depended on it, walking down a street at locations unknown. When the took off my blind fold I was at the top of a set of stairs...Leading down to The Melting Pot!

If you've never been to the Melting should go. It's fondue. It's an experience. And it's delicious. There are 4 courses available at the Melting Pot: Cheese Fondue, salad, entrée, and dessert. You can purchase a variety of "packages" for two: just cheese, just cheese and entrée, just dessert, everything, etc. For our party, we went with just dessert. We had four different kinds of chocolate fondue, and a plate of yummy stuff to dip! You share a plate of "dippers" with someone, and we passed our fondue forks up and down the table the whole time to try the different concoctions. YUMM-O! (For the record, Erin, my sister/MOH picked out our location. We had celebrated Erin & Matt's anniversary, and Carter and my dating anniversary, there last October.)
White and Dark Chocolate. Yin Yang Fondue. Yum.

My personal favorite, Flaming Turtle. That's right, it's on fire.


The plate of goodies. Cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, etc.

If you choose the "Big Night Out" option (all four courses) be forewarned: you'll be there for at least 2 hours. The courses come out slowly, and you cook all of your food in the fondue pot. So it takes a while. Not the greatest option if you have a tight timeline. But definitely worth it if you've got a while and someone (or several someones!) that you love.

My worlds colliding in a good way: Julie, Lisa (both from college) Melissa, Leah (both from home) and me.

Sister/MOH Erin, Becky & Allison

Lamb & Manna

I had SUCH a wonderful time at my bachelorette party. A HUGE and unending thanks to Erin and Melissa for putting it all together; to Lupe for the wonderful party gifts; and to Beth, Manna, Alyssa, Leah, Lamb, Becky, Allison, Lisa, Love and Julie. You're the best friends anybody ever had!


(PS, points if you can name the movie I quoted in the last line of the post!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Have you seen this?

While avoiding writing my recaps posts (but my pro pics came in the mail today! Yay!) I invite you to share in this glorious video. Please forgive the lack of embedding. "Embedding disabled by request."

I have gotten this link in an email 3 times this week. Three Times. That's a lot for a single YouTube Video. And while I try to avoid blatant YouTube-ing at work, I had a chance to watch the video tonight. (While waiting on my pictures to transfer from disc to hard drive!). I love it!
It's cute, it's funny, and you can clearly get a picture of how fun and wonderful this couple really is.

What's the most unique bridal party entrance you've seen or been a part of? Would you be willing to do this if a friend asked you to?


(and a gratuitous wedding pic, complements of Mark Boxley)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Love is TLC!

(First, sincere apologies from Love and myself for the lack of posting. We're both married now, and will have much more time to devote to catching you all up! PROMISE!)

Last weekend, I was privileged to direct, be a part of, and witness the joining of Love and B in holy matrimony. There are so many stories from that day and the week leading up to it, but I
will leave you with only a picture...and an assurance that the wedding, reception and marriage that ensued were beautiful, perfect, and everything Love & B deserved. Thank you both for letting me be a part of your day!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'll be married in 10 days! Wow!

At this point all we're doing are little details: final gifts, thank you notes, and most importantly moving my things into our house. I often find myself day dreaming our honeymoon these days. We'll be spending the week after our wedding at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We actually booked the honeymoon in late December and took advantage of their 65% sale, which made an all inclusive honeymoon affordable for us.

I'm already trying to get "free" things for our honeymoon much like Monica from Friends. Sandals offers rose petals on our bed, breakfast delivered to our room, and champagne for our first night as honeymooners. We simply need to fax or email the resort a copy of our wedding invitation or license. We're taking full advantage of that! Now if I could only get something out of our airline . . . .

Sandals is all inclusive. All Inclusive--doesn't it just roll off the tongue? That's one of the things we're most excited about. I'm famous for bragging about my bargains and deals (remember any of my deal of the day posts?), but the truth is I feel guilty about spending lots of money. I knew that if we went on a honeymoon where every meal and indulgence had to be paid for right then, I would experience lots of honeymoon guilt. The solution? All inclusive where we don't have to pay up front for basic water sports, any daiquiri I might order, or the times when I'm sure I'll want double dessert.

Another great thing about this option has been the payment plan. We were able to put around a 50% payment down in December, but we had until last week to make payments however we'd like. This meant that we could budget how we paid for our honeymoon. We were able to pay it off a few months ago knowing that the last minute wedding and home improvement bills would soon start adding up (and they certainly have).

Many of my married friends have spent their honeymoons at Sandals and have had an amazing time. Yes, it's certainly not the most creative honeymoon, but we will certainly get what we want: time together, R&R, great food, drink, and a good time.

Did you get any freebies as honeymooners? How'd you do it :-) ? Where are you spending your honeymoon?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

All the Single Ladies

The wedding weekend of wonderfulness began with celebrating as a single girl. If you'll remember , I don't drink. Not even a little. Not at all. So, this presented a bit of a challenge for my sister and MOH Erin, and my BMs. However, these creative girls planned the best bachelorette party I could have asked for!

The whole gang. Top Row: Allison, Julie, Manna, Beth, Leah, Lamb; Middle Row: Becky, BM Melissa, Love; Front Row: MOH Erin, Me, BM Lisa.

The hilarity of the evening began with my father innocently asking if my friends coming in from out of town were coming to our house first, or just going straight to Melissa's. He was quickly reprimanded--scolded, really--for spilling the beans. See, I had NO IDEA what was in store; only that I was to be ready at 7, and not to worry about eating a lot before we left. So, I knew the first part of our journey: that we were going to Melissa's. (Turns out two of my friends coming in from out of town would have ruined the surprise anyway, as they both sent texts telling me they would see me at Melissa's!)

Once we got to Melissa's, there was a spread of delicious (and aptly named) food. We had carrots and dip (d*cks and dip), different varieties of peanuts (hot nuts, etc), and even a summer sausage that you sliced with a tiny meat cleaver (named after Lorena Bobbit!) We snacked, and then the games began.

Our first game was for me only--we had fun feathered masks (similar to the ones we sported for Lisa's Bachelorette Party) with different words on them--Wild, Sexy, Single, Hot, etc. I had to choose which girl got to wear which mask for the evening. Then, while wearing our masks, we played the next game, Love Bingo!

You can find DIY instructions for this Martha Stewart game here, but we played on a pre-made version that Melissa picked up. Each player has a LOVE (instead of Bingo) board, game pieces, and a little sign that says "bride" on one side, and "groom" on the other. Melissa then read out questions to which the answer was either bride or groom (who was the first to say "I love you"? Who's favorite candy is York Peppermint Patties? Who will clean out the litter box? etc). Melissa talked with Carter to get good questions and answers for our game. After each question, the players hold up their sign with their answer. If they got it right, they got to cover up a number on their board. It was such a cute game--and a great way to share a little more of our relationships with our guests.
Next up was Bridal Pictionary. We split into teams, and we had everything wedding-related to draw: from wedding dress to personal lubricant! One team even got lucky (pun intended!) and called out "condom!" before the artist even had time to draw. Turns out they were right!

Allison's an artist!

Goodness knows we laughed during this! MOH Erin's team ended up winning. They named themselves Team KY...

Turns out that was an appropriate name for them, as the prizes were goody baskets sent with love from one of my best friends from high school, Lupe. She couldn't be there with us (she lives in Arkansas now), but she was there with us in spirit. Lupe works for Johnson & Johnson, and she was able to hook us up with some amazing J&J products. Baskets included, but were not limited to: KY Yours & Mine, sunscreen, lipstick, and a first aid kit. The four members of the winning team got a basket, and I got one for being a bride.

Then, just like on Oprah's Favorite Things, Melissa disappears and comes back into the room bearing the contents of the gift baskets for EVERYONE. That's right, Lupe is amazing and sent enough goodies for us each to get our own! (these didn't come in an easy-to-carry basket, but were no less amazing!) It was awesome!

THEN, just when I thought it couldn't get ANY better, Melissa comes out with a gorgeous touille box filled to the brim with goodies wrapped in tissue paper. Each one had a tag on it to "explain" what was inside. Let me tell you, this thing was unbelievable. I am now the proud owner of every KY product ever made, as well as band-aids, poison ivy scrub, sunscreen, chapstick, and who knows what else. An example of a tag "For when you do it in the woods, and choose the wrong spot." That tag was on the poison ivy scrub! The gift was SO cute and creative--not to mention useful ;) The box was also so pretty, it was almost better than what was inside--almost!

Julie's jealous, you can tell! And that's Lupe on the phone, so she could experience the opening of the box even though she wasn't able to be there in person. If I haven't said it enough, LUPE ROCKS! Oh, and that balloon? There were lots of those. That one was tied to my wrist ALL NIGHT. Thanks, girls!

The next thing I knew I was blind folded and riding the back of Leah's Suburban, dancing to "Boom Boom Pow" without a clue as to where we were going...

Next up: Secrets Revealed!

Have you ever gotten a fabulous party favor from a Last Night Out?


You must check this out! Weddingbee's Mrs. Meatball is one of LA Brides' favorite bloggers. We also follow her personal blog, The Broke Ass Bride. She has her own unique style and is the most creative bride we know.

Her husband (an actor) wrote this rap for her and they showed it at their reception. Read the story of the video here. Check it out!

Fresh Hubby of LA from Digital Princess Productions on Vimeo.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Final Countdown!

Things look a little slow over here at LA. I promise I have not forgotten about our fabulous blog/outlet/guilty pleasure. I always judged bridal bloggers who slacked off in the busiest time of their planning. I thought that if you were a good planner then you could keep everything under control. Boy was I wrong! Coming down the home stretch snuck up on me in a big way!

I have lots to catch everyone up on and I promise I'll do my best. Invitations, drama, showers, bachelorette party (see our toast), playlists, details, and stress are all on the way.

24 days until the wedding. Can you believe it!? I can't! I told B the other day that some days I feel as if it's still sinking in, but it's about to be here regardless. One of the best thing about the home stretch is my wedding countdown. The tradition started last year when our friend Lisa (remember her great real wedding) was showered with a wedding countdown and has been passed to each sorority sister bride-to-be since. Amore and I were given ours at our joint shower.

The wedding countdown is simply that: a countdown. Each day for the 30 days leading up to your wedding you open a note. Ours were displayed in a gift box and the countdown was written on folded up squares of scrapbook paper. I'm only six days into the countdown, but already it has brightened my days! Because every guest at the shower writes one-or as many as it takes til the guests finish 30-you get a variety of messages. So far I've gotten notes about what a beautiful bride I will be, inside jokes, and messages of: "x days til honeymoon sex!" I never know what the day will bring, but I always know it will start my day reminding me of the wonderful women who support me through this process.

I decided to make one for B too. His is obviously very different from mine. For his I wrote 30 reasons why I love him/want to marry him and folded them up in a box for him to open every day. He's been so great through all the wedding stress that I thought during the last stressful days it might be good to remind him what this is all about. So even on the days when I have an emotional breakdown over ceremony music (or last night), I make sure that I he's reminded how much I want our marriage.

Are you doing anything to countdown the days til your big day?


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Officially ABC!

A lot's happened since last we spoke! I apologize for my looooong blogging hiatus, but I promise to post lots and lots of pictures and wedding recaps--as soon as the pro pics roll in! For now, here's a teaser shot:

I have also decided that I'll start off my post-wedding posts by talking about the name change process. (I have always known that I would change my name. There have never been any doubts as to whether or not I would, and I'm excited in a nerdy way to sport my new driver's license!)

If you're active in the wedding blogosphere, you know that contests abound. I entered one from Junebug Wedding's What Junebug Loves blog, and I won! What did I win? A gift card for complete services from! I was so excited to get my gift card in the mail. I kept it in a safe place till I had my marriage license in hand.

Here's how the service works: You purchase a package online--either the basic package, which is $20 and gives you completed forms for the Social Security Administration and the DMV, or the complete package for $30. The complete package involves paperwork not only for the SSA and DMV, but also for your voter registration card, the IRS 8822, passport, USPS and notification letters for anyone who might have your maiden name on file and want your married name. You enter all of your information into MissNowMrs and they fill out the forms for you. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable entering some of your personal information online, you can simply opt to leave that field blank, and you can fill it out by hand once you print the form. (The website is secure and encrypted.) After you have filled everything out, you can save and print PDFs of all the forms you need to change your name in various places. My favorite part? The instruction sheet that comes with each form, telling you what you'll need to take with you or mail, and where to file.

Having used the service and now, officially, changed my name, I can honestly say that it's worth the $10 to upgrade. I might even go so far as to say it's NOT worth it to just spend the $20 for the basic package. I don't think it would be beneficial to only have the two forms. I say this because I didn't actually end up using those two forms. I used the others, though!

In Tennessee, to get your name changed legally, you start that Social Security office. They require your marriage certificate and your social security number. Nothing else. I didn't even fill out paperwork there. I showed her my marriage certificate, gave her my SSN, and signed. It was really that easy! Your shiny new social security card comes in the mail after about 2 weeks.

After you change your name with the SSA, then you can head to the DMV. Be sure you bring your receipt from SSA! It's required to change your name on your driver's license. At the DMV, I showed them my marriage certificate, my receipt from the SSA and my old license. I had to fill out their special form (the one I printed from MissNowMrs wouldn't work). They checked all of my paperwork, took my picture, and voila! I'm now ABC on my driver's license! The process was surprisingly easy and pain-free!

What I did use from MissNowMrs: Voter Registration update, IRS 8822, Medical, Dental, Insurance and Investment Notification Letters, and the check list. I don't have a passport (sad, isn't it!) so I had no need to update that. I changed my address online via (be warned, this will cost you a dollar!). The form letters were super-handy to be able to send out all at once, and they request that the recipients contact me in order to confirm the name change on the account.

In all, I was happy to have the services of to help me change my name. Would I have paid for it myself? Probably not. But, it was a great resource to have for free :)

Tips for newlyweds (specifically in Tennessee, but generally, as well!):
  1. Yes, that little tiny slip of paper that you tore off the bottom of your pretty marriage certificate really is all that is required to legally change your name in Tennessee.
  2. Get to the SSA office early. The one I went to is open M-F, 9-4 and I got there at 8:50 this morning. They were already open, and the line to check in was out the door. That said, I was out of there by about 9:15.
  3. Avoid government offices around the first or last of the month LIKE THE PLAGUE. They're busier at those times.
  4. Check hours and locations online BEFORE you venture out. The DMV closest to where I live is closed on Mondays. This would have been a MAJOR bummer if I had taken time off work and showed up there only to have to come back another day.
  5. Go somewhere tropical on your honeymoon, and come back with a tan. I even LIKE my driver's license picture because I'm nicely bronzed!
  6. Bring a book or thank you notes to write, just in case the lines are long.
  7. Celebrate your new name once you're done!

Did you change your name? Was it a hassle?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Amore is ABC!

Amore is married!

While Mrs. ABC is off enjoying her honeymoon, I just wanted to share a sneak peak of her big day. It was the most touching ceremony I have ever been to. All her plans were executed perfectly and even the weather was gorgeous.

Here's a lifetime of happiness for Amore!
(Let's do this again in 47 days. . . )

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ring For Him Part 2

Remember when I took the plunge and ordered B's ring from Ebay? Well, it was a success! The ring arrived in less than a week and was exactly what he wanted.

Despite my hesitations, his ring fit his vision for a wedding band, which is the most important thing. And it fit our wedding budget perfectly.

He had secretly ordered my wedding band and they arrived on the same day. Despite the "Ring O' Drama" incidents (yes, there were two) B ordered my wedding band from Jared's. Unfortunately, he ordered the wrong band so we'll be taking advantage of their 30 day return or exchange policy and get the matching band for my ring.

Currently, for wedding bands we're 1 for 2.

Did you have success with your ring the first time?


Friday, May 8, 2009


I've admitted to dreaming about my wedding for as long as I can remember. A few weeks ago during the Great Passport Search (more about this later), I found my first wedding file: a 3 1/2 floppy disk with "Love's Wedding" written in purple magic marker. At the time I thought that I wanted fish bowls as centerpieces (I used this idea at BM Tabitha's 16th birthday party) and red roses everywhere. A lot has changed since then, but I've never stopped "planning."

When all my best friends were getting married I also jumped head first into helping plan their weddings while also contributing to my many wedding files. While dating "Bad Life Choice" I couldn't sleep so I would stay up all night searching wedding blogs for inspiration for a wedding I knew would never include him. I was focused on the wedding itself.

Now, only 64 days from my own wedding I've found a totally different perspective. Yes, I adore planning my own wedding, but for different reasons. I want to plan now to celebrate the love I share with B. I want to share in a day that will bring together those we love most to share in our vows and celebration.

At the end of the day, all I want is to share in a marriage with him. My goal is no longer to have the most perfect flowers or the most creative details. We're ready. I think my perspective has changed because I share in a love that goes beyond the glitter of the wedding ceremony. . . a love that makes me more excited about the marriage.

I know it's the right thing when I would forgo all the "fixings" of a wedding I love so much to marry B in a church with no pomp and circumstance. And I know it's the right when he recognizes how much I love all the "fixings" of a wedding and wants to share in a day that's special for us both.

How has your engagement changed your perspective on weddings? Are you just ready to be married?


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Deal of the Day

My bridal portraits are coming up next Friday so I've been thinking a lot about makeup lately. What timing for today's deal of the day!

Quality make up company, E.L.F or Eyes, Lips, Face is having a MAJOR sale! Nearly all their products are $1. It's like the value menu only so much better (and healthier). That's right $1 nail polish, concealer, eye shadow, lip gloss and plumpers, brushes, well, nearly everything you need to "enhance your beauty" for $1. Click here for their sale!
Not only did I get makeup for me, but I also snagged some for BM gifts. I even got some scented SPF lip gloss for my flower girls! Since our wedding is in July I also picked up some shine free sheets for the girls and I. At a $1 an item I stocked up!
I work in an office of nearly all women so during lunch today my boss/lover of makeup found the deal. If you spend $75 you get free shipping so the ladies in our office are combining our orders to take advantage. I'm not sure how long this offer is good for so place your orders soon.
This morning I began my experiment with Mary Kay's mineral foundation and now I'm anxious to use all the new products.
Found any great deals lately? What kind of make up is a "must have" for brides and bridesmaids?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Fun

Nextel Direct Connect's commercial is my current favorite. Check it out here.

I want a film crew to direct my wedding! No worries.



Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ring for Him

I just bought my future husband's wedding band. . . on Ebay.

B enjoys supporting me through the planning, but doesn't get really excited about much on his own. Two exceptions: cigar bar for the rehearsal dinner and his ring. Last month he decided he needed to get used to wearing a ring so he tied a ponytail holder around his ring finger for a few days.

We've casually looked for his ring. He has an extra large ring size so most white gold and platinum rings were very expensive, which he wasn't interested in. As a man, he just didn't understand why we would spend a significant amount of money on his band. In all honesty, because his size is so large his band would have been almost expensive as the ones we're looking for me. . . with diamonds! B then decided he wanted Tungsten because it was durable and more affordable.

Today he emailed and texted me because he was so excited he had found his ring. He did an online search and found this ring on Ebay. I admit to being skeptical. . . a wedding band on Ebay? It was very inexpensive, but the Ebay store has positive feedback and a return policy.

Why not? He was so excited about it I just ordered it. So, in 3-6 days we shall see if purchasing a wedding band from Ebay is a good or bad life choice.

Have you ever made a major purchase on Ebay? What was your experience?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Making a List. . . Checking it Twice

Lessons from our registry:
1. Advice to all brides: Your fiance will love the scanner. Be gracious, share or even give him all scanning duties. However, beware of letting him loose with the scanner. . . .

2. Registering early gives you flexibility to change your minds. Our wedding is in July. We started our registry in February (on Valentine's Day to be exact). This was a good life choice for us. We knew where we will be living after the wedding, but had no idea what colors we really wanted and what style we wanted our home to reflect. Since then I've visited our registry online many times to change things.

3. Have an idea of what you want. Target sent us information that included a book of popular registry items that we were able to discuss and bookmark before visting the store to register. This was a good starting point for us. Friends of ours who recently got married admitted their biggest "engaged fight" was over which plates they would register for. We tried to be prepared in order to avoid these conflicts.

4. Make a list. Like most couples, we registered a number of locations. This was much harder than I anticipated it being. We tried to equally distribute our registry over two mass stores and the only way to keep this straight was to make a list. I'm still afraid we'll end up getting only half of what we need, but at least we didn't register for two of everything.

5. Have fun! I admit that I got stressed out during the process. We are just starting out so we pretty much need everything and it's overwhelming. Overall, we had a blast! We got to pick out everything to start our first home together and we laughed along the way. The picture is B making sure the towels are big enough for him.

6. Beware of bridal guilt. Yes, I think the registry has been the greatest source of my bridal guilt and B felt it too. We know that we need lots of things to help start our home, but we also felt very guilty for asking so much of our guests. We tried to register for things in a variety of prices, but we still felt the guilt of the registry.

7. Check your registry. We had been warned to not register for too many items on sale (as much as it hurt my heart to avoid the sale items) because those often run out very quickly. Since we registered so early we've had to make some minor changes. I check our online registry and we've printed it out in store to make sure that our registry items aren't all "out of stock" or "limited availability."

8. Home Depot does not have scanners. Lesson learned the hard way. We're renovating a house and B's church threw us a "home improvement" themed shower. So we registered at Home Depot. . . except they no longer have scanners (or online access) for their wedding registries. We had a pen and clipboard and copied the UPC numbers from each item. No fun.

9. Wear comfortable shoes. We were able to get most all of our registry done in one very long day. We had to since we live in a small town that's not close to any of the stores we registered at, but many couples break this down into many days. Do what works best for you, but wear comfy shoes.

10. Remember what it's all about. These are gifts that will be given to start your life with your future husband.

What lessons did you learn from registering?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Somewhere between teen mom and grandma. . . .

Most Mother of the Bride (MOB) dresses fall in two categories: teen mom and grandma. There doesn't seem to be a lot of MOB dresses that are in between. . . and that's where my mother falls.

It was very difficult to find a dress that pleased my mom. She's in her mid-50's and wanted something that was tasteful, but also age appropriate. She also had all kinds of "rules:" not too long, not too short, not too low, does not show off her arms, and hid her "problem" areas. She wanted a magical dress, but this we came close.

Meet Tadashi's Off-Shoulder Silk & Satin Gown from Nordstrom! My mother's favorite color is green and it's also a wedding color so she was excited when we found this dress in 'celedon' (it also comes in brown and ivory). Since we live many, many hours from the closest Nordstrom we took a chance and ordered online.

Online shopping is always risky, but we tried our best scientific measurements (measured a ribbon then my mom. . . far from perfect). The original dress was too large so I talked to a friendly customer service representative who said we could exchange the dress no problem and promptly ordered the smaller size. He told me it should arrive in five days. . . . . 10 days later we got a postcard notifying us that her dress was no longer in stock. Panic!

So, I did it again. I "opened up a can of bridal" on the customer service department and let them know what a kink this threw in my wedding plans. I was lucky to meet Darcy, Nordstrom customer service representative and fellow bride to be. Darcy contacted Tadashi and requested that they make a special dress for my mother. A few days later she called to let us know that the dress would be arriving at our house shortly. She even gave us an extension to return the original dress just in case.

Darcy said she knew how hard it was for her mother to find a dress too. She went above and beyond to make sure my mother also felt beautiful at the wedding.

Has your mother found her dress? Has someone gone out of their way for your wedding?


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LA Brides' Shower

Yes, it's true LA Brides had a joint bridal shower! Amore and I are both members of the same sorority and our BM's who are also sorority sisters joined forces to host a joint shower for us. We all came to our alma mater, Emory & Henry College, for another sorority sister's wedding on Saturday, a girls' night, and our shower on Sunday. It was simply an awesome weekend to celebrate together and with some of our closest friends.

The shower was honeymoon and beach themed since we are both spending our honeymoon at the beach. Our hostesses had bright flower arrangements as decorations and sent us both home with a bouquet. Each guest received a pair of flip flops as their favor. How cute!

The shower was held on campus at our alma mater, which was great for both recent alums and current students. Beyond the lingerie the theme was certainly laughter. We had so much fun! Our guests laughed with us too. It wasn't awkward to have two brides-to-be, but I think it ended up making the shower more fun! Forget bridal jealousy for us!

We both got a number of things off our Frederick's of Hollywood registries and enough lingerie to last us throughout our honeymoons, but some creative gifts too. We got a "Honeymoon Survival Kit" in a mini cooler, which included: sunscreen, chapstick, condoms, and lubricant.

We also received a "Honeymoon cake," which isn't a cake at all! It is similar to diaper cakes made out of diapers, but ours included a beach towel, picture frame, flip flops, sunscreen, cups, candles, and tropical flowers. Our friend Meaghan spent tons of time crafting for us! My BM Lauren purchased a serving tray from our registry and put all the ingredients to make "Sex on the Beach" drink on it!

You know it was a good time when we are laughing and our mouths are open in all the pictures posted on Facebook!

What's the most creative bridal shower gift you've seen?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Does your Wedding Stack Up?

The Knot recently released their 2008 Real Weddings Survey, which surveyed 18,000 couples of various ethnicities, education, and income levels across the United States.

The average cost of a wedding in 2008: $29, 334 (up 5% from 2007). This is significantly more than my budget for our wedding, but I am lucky to live in a rural area where lots of my costs are significantly lower than the national average. The most expensive cities to get married in were: "Long Island, New York; New York City; Northern New Jersey; Hudson Valley, New York; Chicago; Connecticut; Los Angeles; South Florida; Rhode Island; and Orange County, California."

Are you a DIY bride (like I wish I were)? You're not alone. "More than half (55%) of brides made their own favors and ceremony programs. Other top DIY categories were escort cards, save-the-dates, invitations, and decorations."

Both Amore and I will have fairly casual weddings. We're not the only ones: "Only 20% of weddings in 2008 were characterized as 'formal/black tie.'

I will have a nearly nine month engagement and Amore will have nearly a year. Our engagements are short compared to most couples: "Couples marrying in 2008 were engaged for an average of 15.7 months, more than 25% longer than those married in 2007. A majority of couples (71%) lived together prior to getting married."

So how are "Recession" brides changing their plans? "The 2008 Real Weddings Survey results reflected greater wedding spending overall, despite the growing economic concerns last year.
In a more recent survey conducted by The Knot (in March 2009) a majority of brides (60%) indicated that their wedding spending is proceeding according to plan, while 40% have reduced their wedding budgets by approximately 16%. "

How does your spending compare to the national averages? Are you changing your plans because of the recession?


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Top 100 Wedding Blogs

How many wedding blogs do you read? Only LA Brides, right? Just kidding! Well, most brides to be overwhelm themselves with wedding blogs in search of inspiration, deals, DIY instructions, and advice. I admit I'm one of them. I would be lost without Google Reader to manage all the blogs I read.

In case you feel like you're missing a blog or two announced the Top 100 Wedding Blogs of 2009. The links are categorized by topic and there's something to be found for every bride.

I've been reading wedding blogs since long before I was engaged. Blogs have provided me with tons of great ideas and serve as a way to see a variety of weddings and styles. At this point in my planning process (102 days to go), I simply use blogs to search out details and day of advice. Most of my "big decisions" are done and I hope to blog about those soon.

What do you use wedding blogs for? What's your favorite?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shower Oops!

My FMIL, and her friends, are throwing B and I a shower next weekend. The invitation finally arrived yesterday (a mere 11 days in advance). The shower will be held at the church were B's dad is currently pastor. B knows the guests and I've only briefly met most of those invited.

From my understanding, the shower is supposed to be a "home improvement" themed shower. Since B knows everyone better and we desperately need tools and things to begin our home renovations (more to come on that later, but we get to start fixing up the house in the next few weeks). So we registered at Home Depot. . . if you can call it that. Home Depot technically has a wedding registry, but demand was so low that they no longer offer scanners. That's right--we took a clip board and pen and registered what I imagine is the old fashion way. The registry is also not available online, but guests can access the registry in store from any Home Depot nationally. Let me tell you. . . that was an experience!

The invitations that came specified that this will be a "Jack and Jill shower." I had to Google it to figure out what that, according to this site it's basically a shower that's for both the bride and groom with gifts that both would enjoy. My FMIL told me months ago that she was planning on having a book passed around where guests shared their marriage advice with us. Well, when the invitation came it suggested that guests bring their favorite home improvement advice to share with us! I expected to get marriage advice and will instead get advice on how to properly paint a wall!

It was also important to my FMIL that I register with Pampered Chef. She said that her local consultant was popular and many women in her community favored Pampered Chef for wedding gifts. However, when the shower invitation arrived it didn't list Pampered Chef as one of our listed registries. After a quick check of the registry online, I discovered that no gifts have been purchased from it yet. This isn't a big deal except that this is the only reason I registered there at all.

I'm very grateful for the shower and I want to appear appreciative for all their work, but do I say anything?

Did you experience any "shower oops?"


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If the Shoe Fits

I love shoes that beg for attention. . . that stand out. . . that have color! I vowed to wear colored shoes on my wedding day look long before I was engaged. I wore red high heels for my engagement pictures. I proudly flaunt turquoise shoes to brighten up my bland, black every day look at work.

My wedding colors are black, white, and sage green. I have been on a mission to find perfect green heels. . . within my budget. It seems that since green is also the color of money it takes lot to get fabulous green shoes that don't look cheap.

Yesterday I found the perfect pair of green shoes, but because only receives well, overstocks they didn't have it in my size. So, the more "bridal looking" version will have to. Meet my wedding shoes! They were only available in my size, which meant they called to me. They are Nine West, satin, and meant for me!

I love colored shoes, but lately I also love being "bridal." Sure I won't be able to wear these shoes lots after the wedding (unless I get brave with some DIY dye), but these shoes will make me feel bridal. . . right down to the tips of my toes!

What makes you feel "bridal?"


Monday, March 16, 2009

Shower Inspiration

BM Tabitha's mother is one of the women I look up to most. She is fabulous, successful, creative, and has craft skills I can only dream about. Tabitha's older sister is expecting her first child and her mother coordinated an amazing shower! Now I know this is a wedding blog and I am not ready to be talking about babies, but a lot of her ideas can translate well into a wedding shower. . . it's all about a fabulous celebration no matter what the occasion!

The shower was "The Sweetest Thing" themed.:

She used the green paper lanterns left over from Tabitha's wedding and purchased new green ones to celebrate the baby boy!

Her mother took her pregnant pictures and made this mural above the gift table. I can only imagine how fabulous engagement pictures could look like this too!

What are some shower ideas you have?


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wedding Dreams?

It happened again last night. I had another wedding dream. . . no nightmare.

A few months ago I started the wedding dreams. One of the most memorable was a dream in which only those I was cutting from the guest list attended. I was walking around the reception with a fake smile on my face and kept wondering where my best friends were!

In lots of my wedding dreams something has gone wrong: photographer didn't show, my hair didn't get fixed before walking down the aisle, or there was no music at the reception.

Last night's dream took the cake: In my dream I walked down the aisle in our beautiful church on my father's arm. I was glowing and filled with happiness just like I hope to be except when I looked up there was no groom! I soon spotted him. . . in the pew wearing an unbuttoned shirt and acting like a casual guest. I was walking down the aisle and kept staring at him in the pew rather than straight ahead. Eventually B stood up and told people he was going to also perform the ceremony then he simply left. I was devastated and in the dream my friends crowded around to console me. I woke up gasping!

Amore has also had wedding nightmares. Apparently it's common among brides to be. According to Dream Moods:
"If you are getting married and have dreams of your pending wedding, then it highlights the stress of organizing a wedding. Conflicts over wedding details, tension with family and in-laws, fear of commitment, and loss of independence may all cause wedding anxiety dreams. Research has shown that up to 40% of brides and grooms have dreams about their ceremony and things going perfectly."

Have you had any wedding dreams or nightmares?


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prices from 1939? No joke!

Glamour is one of my favorite magazines. I love that it offers beauty, health, and sex tips along with stories about real women and social justice. I think that Glamour is one of the magazines that comes close to reflecting real women today (well, at least closer than lots of other women's magazines).

In honor of Glamour's 70th Anniversary they're offering a one year subscription for $1.50. No joke. $1.50! That's the price of their one year subscription in 1939 when they began. Subscribe today!

This is a steal! The offer lasts until March 15. I plan on renewing my subscription and sending out a few as gifts.
*If you send the subscription yourself it automatically rewnews next year at the regular subscription rate. However, if you send a gift subscription to yourself you don't have to worry about the automatic renewal.

Find any great steals lately?


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Happens in Vegas. . . .

Stays in Vegas?

On Friday, B will jet off to Las Vegas for his bachelor party with his closest fraternity brothers. Yes, my fiance is celebrating his singledom in Sin City.

Will there be celebrating? Yes! Will there be drinking? Yes! Will there be boys making bad life choices? Yes! But most importantly, will there be trust? Yes.

I trust B completely and know that his long weekend in Las Vegas will be filled with fun, excitement, and time with his friends, who are spread throughout the country. I know lots of girls who would never dream of letting their fiance go to Vegas for a bachelor party. I'm not one of them.

I've been in a relationship without trust before (the one we simply call "bad life choice") and it's no good. From day one B and I have been completely trusting. I have lots of guy friends and he's cool with that. I trust him to have a night or weekend out with the guys. For us, it's so important that we have a foundation of trust.

So, I might get some late night phone calls this weekend, but I'll know he's having a great time. My only request: a souvenir, preferably tacky and wedding related. I can't imagine those are too hard to find in Vegas!

What is your FI doing for his bachelor party? How do you deal with trust in your relationship?

Viva Las Vegas!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"We are family"

When B and I marry we we will be a family. . . and we both come with our own furbabies. Yes, we will have one dog and one cat. Meet our furbabies:

Meacham is B's dog and best friend. He currently lives in Tennessee with B's parents, but will join B and I in our town in April. B found Meacham a couple of years ago as a stray dog in a park in Knoxville. He is named after Robert Meacham, former University of Tennessee football player.

Meacham only listens to B. He is not interested in following any of my commands. He craves B's attention and is none to happy to have to share with me. Meacham also chewed up my favorite red high heels last year.

B is happier when Meacham is around. He is a boy who loves his dog. I know that living with Meacham will take some getting used to on my part, but I'm willing to try because he means so much to B. I know that Meacham will provide us with many stories and adventures. . .

I'm more of a cat kind of girl. . . .

Meet Roxy, my birthday present from B (she's grown lots since the picture was taken). I'll admit that at first I was none to happy to get a kitten for my birthday, but after about a minute I fell in love and now we are best friends.

I adore her and she follows me around every where I go. Her favorite place to rest is on my chest and she purrs with delight. She's a firecracker and loves to play or chase me during my workout.

Roxy sleeps with me every night. She always starts out cute and cuddly, but that never lasts long. Roxy loves to find my ponytail holders or pearl earrings and play throughout the night. She will randomly pounce on me and wakes me up without fail an hour before my alarm. I am a hard sleeper, but B suffers from insomnia and will not be a fan of a cat who steals his precious sleep.

So soon my "family-to-be" will be living under one roof (although Meacham will become more of an outside dog). We're going to start out with problems to be solved and it will take some time for all of us to learn to live together, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Will you be "merging families?" Have you had to adjust to new pets?


Friday, February 27, 2009

Honeymoon Wear

My body is not normal. I'm one size on bottom and a much bigger size on top (because of my girls). I always knew that I would probably receive lots of bridal shower gifts that I couldn't actually wear because I need support.

Never fear: Frederick's of Hollywood has an online registry! This has truly saved the day and probably my honeymoon wear!

The registry is free and easy! Simply register with an online account and begin picking out your gear. You can choose you own color and size (I vary in different types of lingerie). The registry is easily searchable by your last name or event date. Registry information can tastefully be included on the shower invitation. . . because I will not be posting this on the wedding website alongside Pampered Chef! (There is also a wish list that you can privately create to send to your special someone.)

Amore and I are having a joint lingerie shower hosted by our sorority in March and then separate showers with our girlfriends from home before our weddings. The registry serves as a starting place for those who will "shower" us with gifts. Our friends can check out our registries and see what styles we like. I also listed my sizes in case they wanted to look elsewhere.

Prices are very reasonable, which is a must for many of our sorority sisters who are still in college. Check out this chemise for only $20!

Have you ever created a lingerie registry? Where are your favorite places to shop for "sexy little things?"


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Today is Fat Tuesday, which is the day that precedes Ash Wednesday. I've never celebrated Fat Tuesday before, but B is a big fan of Lent. We're planning on eat pancakes to celebrate (sometime after what will hopefully be the last basketball game of the season). Tomorrow we will attend the Ash Wednesday service together at our church and then observe Lent for the next 40 days.

I love Jesus, but I slack when it comes to Lent. Every year I give up something and never seem to stick with it. Since I'm preparing to make a big commitment I've decided I will also commit myself to Lent this season.

What am I giving up?

  • I'm choosing to give up french fries (because they're not good for me and believe me it will be a sacrifice).

More importantly, what will I do?

  • I will complain less. This is one of the happiest times of my life, yet I find myself constantly complaining about my job and the little things.

  • I will follow my diet. I've seen some results, but I know there would be more to brag about if I were more committed.

  • I will love people more.

What are you giving up for Lent?


Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm engaged and couldn't be happier. I'm planning the wedding of my dreams to a man who's more than my dreams.

Lately I've had this overwhelming peace that everything is how it should be. Sure, I'm not head over heels for my job and dropping the pounds isn't as easy as I'd hoped, but all is well. In my Valentine's Day card, B wrote about how the pre-wedding buzz made lots of people nervous, but it made him excited and hopeful. Even yesterday despite his flu, he told me that he's been thinking about how excited he is to marry me.

And I'm excited too. For as long as I can remember (long before B was even in my picture) I've been thinking about and planning my wedding. Now that the planning is real I'm surprisingly not stressed and at peace almost all the time. This is what I have waited for: to marry a man that makes me proud and who brings hope for all the days ahead.

The movie Bride Wars showed two different couples who responded to planning a wedding very differently. In the end one didn't make it. The past couple of weeks I feel like I keep hearing about couples that plan for their wedding, but never make it to the marriage.

In my hometown, an engaged acquaintance's (who I'd talked wedding planning with many times) fiance called off their October wedding on Valentine's Day. She had anxiously been making plans and he simply got "cold feet" and told her he couldn't do it a la Big from Sex and The City.

My favorite wedding blog, WeddingBee, recently had two of its bloggers call of their weddings. Both Miss Fondue and Miss Snapdragon called off their upcoming weddings just months before they were to walk down the aisle. My heart breaks for all these women. I can't imagine calling off the wedding, but I know that being sure about marriage is the most important thing.

I feel lucky because I feel like preparing for our future together has brought B and I closer. The preparations are starting to make things real, which makes us excited and more ready than ever to be husband and wife.

Have you ever known anyone to call off the wedding? Has wedding planning brought you and your FI closer together?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deals of the Day

While it continues to snow here in Southwest Virgina I find myself stuck inside and itching to shop. This proves difficult when the greatest shopping my hometown offers is a Dollar General store. I've done more Internet shopping since moving home and wedding planning than ever before! I'm not gonna lie I get a rush when the mail arrives with my purchases.

This week I received the first of my Pre-Wedding Dresses! My white dress from Target for only $9.99 works well. It's very simple and a little big (whoot to Weight Watchers and Jillan "kick my butt" Michaels), but I plan to add a sash to spice it up and it will be perfect!

Goody's Family Clothing stores (regionally based) are closing and all stores are liquidating their assets. This weekend I stopped by to score some deals and found a cute pair of Ashley Judd (who has a charity clothing line) ivory high heels for just $15. I plan to wear colorful bridal shoes, but just in case these shoes were a steal! (Since Goody's is closing there are no web pictures to be found.)

Today's deal of the day comes from Shutterfly. Amore took our fabulous engagement pictures and our first round of STD's are in the mail, but I had yet to print our photos. Shutterfly is offering 50 free 4x6 prints when you use coupon code 50FREEPRINTS. I got copies of all our engagement photos to put in an album (including shipping) for $6! The coupon expires February 23.

Shutterfly also offers lots of "photo gifts." Right now you can also get 30 photo address labels for $4.79, which would be great for shower invites or thank you letters. Notebooks personalized with photos could be great BM gifts or used for all your planning inspiration for $10.39. I think I might take advantage of these personal deals!

Where have you found your latest deal? How have you used photo printing in your wedding planning?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We knew this was coming

USPS postage rates are increasing as of May 11, 2009.
On May 11 the cost to mail a first-class one-ounce letter will be $0.44 instead of the current $0.42. That means that all of us who are budgeting for postage will have to recalculate. Luckily for me, our invitations will go out before the May 11 change. Not so lucky for Love, who will have to adjust her budget.


Forever stamps will be honored...well, forever. So, if you stock up on the not-so-wedding-but-my-gosh-I'll-deal-to-save-the-money! Liberty Bell stamps, you can pay $0.42 now, and mail first class after the rate increase. Now Love and I will begin figuring out if we can get her invitation suite out to her guests in a standard-sized envelope weighing in at one ounce or less. We're crafty, and we're frugal, and we will get this done!

Here are more details on the increase:

Large envelopes (measuring over 6.125 inches by 11.5 inches) are $0.88 for the first ounce
Parcels, first ounce are $1.22
Each additional ounce is $0.17
Postcards are $0.28 (compared to $0.27 currently)
(all domestic rates)

International and specialty rates are also increasing, of course, and you can find out more here.

Will the increase in postage affect your budget?