Monday, May 31, 2010

Short and satin

Going into the whole “I am the bride, I am going to design my wedding and it is going to be the best ever!” mode, I decided to not have a bridal party army.

You know what I am talking about, 3-10 girls dressed in the same color, same shoes, same hair style, same jewelry…okay you get the point.

For some brides, this is the dream they have been having since they were a little girl. Me? Not so much.

 When choosing bridesmaids dresses for my girls, I knew I had to pick a dress that would flatter an array of body types as not one of my girls is the same. There are tall girls, short girls, voluptuous girls, skinny girls, heavy chested girls and girls that might need a bit of padding (including myself).

I believe this dress would be called the miracle dress as it would fit everyone and make each girl look amazing. Alas, after searching high and low, internet and dress shop, I was unable to find this mythical dress.

That being said, I realized that each girl should be able to pick a dress that reflects her personality and style, that makes her feel good about herself (we all know that if you feel great in what you are wearing pictures turn out oh-so-nice), would fit into her budget and one that she will be able to wear again. We all have been stuck with bridesmaid’s dresses that will never again grace our body and shelling out big bucks for little wear time is never a nice pill to swallow.

After looking at several different options, David’s Bridal looked like the best option. Now, I know what you’re thinking: David’s Bridal…the big box bridal store. Before you go any further remember that there is a David’s Bridal in many large cities which is convenient for everyone.

I let the girls choose their own style of dress as long as it was apple red, satin and short. Here are their choices:


I is a lot but it lends to variety and most of all style.

Did you let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses? Was it beautiful or bust?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warning: Serious Post Ahead!

From the beginning of our courting, Joseph and I knew we wanted to wash each other’s feet during our ceremony.

While communion or a sand ceremony would be more traditional, we wanted to do something that would represent self-sacrifice and the promise to serve one another. We have seen this done at one other wedding and it was so beautiful, meaningful and symbolic.


The greatest example of sacrifice is embodied in Christ through the crucifixion. Christ also portrayed self-sacrifice when washing the feet of His disciples,

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17)

I have seen a few videos of brides kneeling down, washing the groom's feet. It can be a production of awkwardness as the bride has to de-sock and de-shoe the groom. Hassle? Yes. However, in light of what the act means, it is well worth the hassle and awkwardness.

I found the video below while searching for foot washing ceremonies on YouTube. When I clicked to watch I was taken aback at first by how eclectic the wedding was. Then I got to see the heart of this couple and the pure, unashamed love that they have for God.

I implore you to watch the whole video but to see just the foot washing ceremony you can start the video at 2:56.

I hope, that at our wedding, I will be as honest and pure as she is. The joy that radiates from the couple is indescribable and truly something to strive for.

I look forward to kneeling before Joseph, taking his feet in my hands before family and friends to show him my heart and my willingness to serve him as my husband and Christ as my Savior.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How do I love thee?

Joseph and I both have a Bachelor of Arts in English. We both enjoy literature even though our tastes are a little different. He likes Voltaire, I like Wordsworth. He likes C.S. Lewis, I like Frost.

Despite our differences in taste, there is a common point. No matter what kind of literature our favorites wrote, their literature was compiled in a book or several books.

So here is my next thought: incorporate books, quotes and other geekiness into the wedding.


Sorry for the oversized photo...but it's gorgeous, right? From the quote in the frame to the beautiful table numbers...makes me feel faint just thinking about it!

And look at this tablescape:


How can you not love the books under the flowers?

Our wedding has yet to have a theme. However, our theme may just become "much ado about literature".

Have you fallen in love with a particular theme? What was it about the theme that made you adore it so?

Look at this photograph...

I committed Bridal Sin # 256. I will divulge the sin in a minute.

But first, I must admit: I have a bittersweet relationship with photography.

Before Joseph and I became engaged I would tell everyone, "You have to pick what is most important to you and then don't skimp on that part of your wedding." Well for me it was photography but I quickly realized that my budget would not be able to support the photojournalistic type of photographer I wanted.
The photographer that I had been drooling over was Nathan Shafer out of Columbia, S.C. While most of his work is borderline creepy (in a terribly interesting, artistic way), his wedding photography is a different story.


Source of Above Photos 


But alas, Nathan Shafer no longer does weddings.

Then there was Wenzel Photography. Her work is amazing and she just started out!

So the search continued for a budget friendly photographer that would not fall short. Impossible right?

Well...kind of. I think this might be considered Bridal Sin # 256: Never use a photographer that has never shot a wedding.

It's true. I decided to go with a photographer who has never shot a wedding. She is editor of a magazine and often shoots and edits photos for the magazine. She shot an engagement session for her sister (who is one of my BMs) and it came out better than some professional e-sessions. She has the editing software and skills from being an editor so why not give her a chance? Afterall, we are already comfortable around her and aren't the photographs below amazing? They truly capture the couple's personalities.

Posted with Permission from Photography by ElizabethAnn

It is always hard getting your first gig and if I can help her out (and get a great deal in the process) then great. I trust her. I trust her creativity. I trust her eye.

Am I nervous? Yes. Do I feel as if it is the right think to do? Yes.

Have you ever taken risks on something that is so important to you? Do you regret it or would you do it again? What do you think of ElizabethAnn's photographs?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello Zales, goodbye heirloom

There comes a time in every girls life where the man of her dreams asks her to marry him. For me that day was Christmas 2009. While I have written about the proposal on some level I feel as if I have not given that glorious day the attention it deserves.

So for your reading pleasure: The Day He Put A Ring On It (to the Tune of Single Ladies by Beyoncé)

I know, I know. You're thinking, "He proposed on Christmas? Doesn't that seem a little cliché?" Well...some would think so. But when you take into account that it was the perfect time (my family was in town, his family was in town, heck...I was in town).

My parents, sister and I traveled from Myrtle Beach, SC  to Columbia, SC early Christmas morning in pouring rain. We arrived at Joseph's house to a house full of chatter and excitement. There was electricity in the air.

After navigating a river that was once Joseph's front yard, I was whisked away into the dining room to open presents from his 10-member family (I know I am bad a math but yes there are 10 members - four sisters, three brothers and of course the parents.)

Joseph's gift was last and was the most difficult to open. The box was heavy and I had no idea what was actually inside. The last thing I thought it would be is an engagement ring.

Side Note: I had figured out that he was going to propose on New Year's. His friend, Speegs, accidentally let it slip one night. Joseph found out that I knew so he rearranged the cookie.

So there is this huge, heavy box in front of me and it is taped to pieces. Little do I know that Joseph (at this point) has the ring box in his hand, behind his back. For the life of me I couldn't open the box so he stuffs the ring box in his pocket and whips out his pocket knife (remember that this is the south and most boys carry pocket knives...regardless if they are from the country).  He cuts the box open and I find a stack of paper with a huge red bow wrapped around it.

I opened and read the letter. He then gets on one knee and I have no idea what he said and I don't even think I said yes as I was so shocked that the ring in the box was NOT yellow gold and was in fact NOT my grandma's ring but the ring of my dreams.

My mom got the figurine below to commemorate our engagement. I hung the ring on the guys hands, cute I know!

The happiest day of our lives....

so why are there tears?

So far, the wedding planning has gone off without a MAJOR hitch (minus the dilemma of my dress being a bit short...)

I have been happy as can be picking out colors, researching DIY projects and even gathering addresses for our guests. So why then do I feel so down on this lovely February morning?

I realized that the one man I want to be at the wedding will not be able to be there (which explains the sadness on Christmas day). My grandfather. While he and I had a love/bicker relationship (yes, yes we know. We were BOTH stubborn), we also had a wonderful grandpa/granddaughter relationship that was bathed in tradition, blackjack playing and coffee.

He and I would always play blackjack or UNO together while drinking unhealthy amounts of caffeine-ridden coffee. He would make silly Gomer-Pyle references and would say phrases that no one really understands or knows where they came from (ex. B double O, BOO y'all; Hello Wall") Yeah...I don't understand it either.

Since I can remember, which doesn't say much as I have a horrible memory, I have always shown my grandfather my new dresses. I would come home and immediately put it on so he could "ooh" and "ahh". The black dress I wore to his funeral was the last dress that I showed him before he passed away (which was a mere two weeks before I met Joseph). Tears well up just thinking that he will never see my wedding dress and it breaks my heart.

I know the saying that, "He will be watching from Heaven," but it doesn't make it any better. The fact is that he is not here to celebrate, to dance, to say his quirky sayings.

The only thing I can think to do is to come up with a beautiful DIY project in memory of him and our other loved ones who have passed.

What do you do when there is no remedy for the hurt that you feel? How do you deal with wedding-related emotional distress?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Carnation Carnage

I hate carnations...with a passion. I hate the way they smell, the way they look, the way they taste...well just kidding on the taste.

However, while casually browsing floral ideas on my lunch break ( wasn't my lunch break but I don't take smoke breaks so this was my smoke break) I found these lovelies:



Oh just one more....


Oh yes, please! Who knew that carnations could be so lovely, so uncharacteristic of themselves? After all when I think of carnations I think of:


While some would think this arrangement was the bees knees, it reminds me of a funeral which doesn't give me warm fuzzies but rather cold feet.

Do carnations sound good to you? Well they did for bloggers: Mrs. Jellyfish; Mrs. Flamingo (disclaimer: photo may make you swoon!); Mrs. Lime and again Mrs. Lime.

With all of the inspiration how could one not use the dreaded carnation? Afterall the caterpillar did grow up to be a beautiful butterfly!

Did you find beauty in something that you originally loathed? Have you considered using your least favorite flower as a focal point?

Now, for a word from our...

For a moment, let's put on our bifocals and enter the world of statistics. Come on, now yawning! Sit up straight, put your pencils down....okay then.


  • According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:
    The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
    The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
    The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73% Source

The above statistics scare me. Joseph and I are lucky to come homes that were "intact" so to speak - with our biological mothers and father present. It goes without saying that this is not the case in many people's lives.

  • At the end of couple’s therapy, 75% of couples receiving therapy are better off than similar couples who did not receive therapy. Source

  • Sixty five percent of couples report "significant" improvement based on averaged scores of marital "satisfaction." Source

Early on in our engagement we knew that premarital counseling was something we wanted to do and that we wanted to have a pastoral counselor. Our first appointment was considerably laid back and not what I expected. The discussion let us know what to expect from counseling and he asked us our first question, "What is the most annoying habit your partner has?" I answered, "When he shakes his leg up and down." Mr. Geek replied, "When she closes up and doesn't talk to me about things."

At that moment I knew counseling would be difficult. I wanted to raise my hand and say, " said habit...that isn't a habit. Is it? If it is his most annoying habit it FILL IN THE BLANK." Instead, I sat there staring at Mr. Geek with what must have been a nasty look because he frowned.

Our counselor gave us homework: two tests. Yes...tests. The first was a Kiersey Test which is a personality test. (I am a ISFJ and Mr. Geek is ENFP.) Which basically means we are almost completely opposite of one another. I am an introvert, he is an extrovert. I make decisions based on my feelings and morals, his decisions are made by complete logic. Does this mean we shouldn't get married? Of course not.

The second test we took was "Prepare/Enrich" which determines your strengths and weaknesses as a couple. Some of the things is measures are communication, conflict resolution, roles, sexuality and finances. The test can also measure if you are lying...yeah....lying. It gives each person's score an "ideal" percentage measure that lets the facilitator (aka the counselor) know if you answered the questions in an "ideal" manner.

Let's just say I am in the 60% range while Joseph is in the 55% range. Anything above 65% is unhealthy. So I might have gotten an "F" but on this "F" is okay.

Our next appointment is in one week. Our homework: play a game called UnGame for Couples which facilitates communication. Huh?

What type of marriage counseling did you and your SO attend? What kind of homework did they suggest? (Let's keep it G-Rated ladies!) 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dipping my toes into the water...

or paper.

I have officially decided to join the ranks as a DIY bride. While my DIY projects have been copied and slightly modified from previous bloggers, the projects are still considered DIY and I will be the crafting Queen Bee.

Project #1: Initials for chapel and reception doors


Project 2: SeaSalt wedding favors like Mrs. Corn's Seaside Favors.


Project 3: DIY Accordion Programs with a little tear catcher inside.


Phew! I am tired just thinking about it. So...130 days to get these projects underway. So what is my plan of attack you ask? A glass of wine, a few friends, maybe a chick flick or two and lots of love. 

 Knowing me, I might just make my own veil.

What DIY projects have you undertaken? Which ones did you conquer?

Music makes me sing

I have been thinking a lot about music lately. And by "a lot" I mean I get music stuck in my head. Everything from "When the lights go down in the city..." sung by Journey to "This is the song that never ends..." by Lamb Chop...yes I said it. Lamb. Chop.


Oh a serious note. I have been listening non-stop to ceremony music. Reception music. Cake-cutting music. Hokey Pokey music. I love traditional love songs (i.e. Celine Dion, Kenny Chesney, etc...) However, since Joseph and I met he has opened my ears to music I never thought possible. The music is emotional, lyrically intricate and most of all wedding friendly.

So far I, or we have decided on Bright Eyes "First Day of My Life" for our first dance song and Band of Horses' "Part I" to play during the cake-cutting.

I am a crier. Not a "one glistening tear" kind of crier but a "let's open the flood gates" kind of crier. Joseph put both of these songs on a mixed CD for me whenever I had to move away for six months and the first song was the Bright Eyes tune and before I left the driveway I was in tears. It is sweet, it is sentimental and it still makes me cry.

A sure winner.

What songs move you? Have you decided what song or songs you cannot live without on your day of wedding bliss?