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?