Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Planning Photo Book

After reading Mrs. Lemon’s blog on Wedding Bee, I had an idea of my own. I thought it was more fiscally responsible for me to put a photo book together of all the pictures I have saved off of the internet…then try to print them and bind them myself. I do the majority of idea searching via FireFox and need a way to collect them for vendor meetings. The fact that Picaboo is currently offering a free book with shipping and handling is a no brainer.

I found the layouts simple to use and will let you know when I receive the book at the quality of the pages. You just need to register for an account, download their software, explore your artistic side, and enter the coupon code at checkout. For only for $10 - shipping and handling – seems like perfection to me.

My one concern is the judgment I receive, doesn’t your “wedding ideas” book being hard-cover and bound seem a little bridezilla-esque. What are my vendors to think when I whip this baby out?

(I’ll post screen shots later!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Scent du Jour

I have always, since I was little, dreamed of wearing a Chanel perfume. Chanel’s classic style, black and white timeless looks, fit my personality to a T. Also, I think there is something incredibly sexy about a woman and her signature scent. Something her man knows and identifiers her by.

I have a huge dilemma. While Chanel No. 5 smells wonderful – it also (to me, just me I’m sure), smells, well – slightly older than I would want to smell. So I absolutely fell in love with Chanel Mademoiselle (I even love the name!). Now here lies the problem – my Future Mother-in-Law (MIL) wears the stuff!

I don’t know about you – but to me – smelling like the honey-to-be’s mother, huge turn off.

So I am now seeking out a new signature scent to wear on the big day. I don’t know why – but I love the idea of a wedding perfume.

Here are some options:

Chanel Chance

And if I venture outside of the Chanel World:
Miss Dior

Plus, the other problem, my honey-to-be is never without a strong opinion. (I.e. – we are shopping for engagement rings, and in front of the jeweler, tells him the one I like it awfully ugly!) Now don’t get confused, his strong opinion is never cold-hearted, and lately with wedding planning, I appreciate it more and more. I would rather an outspoken groom that enjoys the day with me, than feeling as though he is just my pawn in the wedding game of life!

Anyone recommend specific perfumes? Also, should I get his vote and not tell him which one I pick to make sure the scent du jour doesn’t send him running down the aisle?

And just for your reading pleasure, Chanel released a perfume for 3rd world countires….interesting engouh called…Chanel 3rd

Saturday, September 15, 2007

You Have to Have Them – So "Fork" Over Less!

According to Deborah A. Wilburn, author of For Richer, Not Poorer, there are ways to save money on the essentials of the wedding: CAKE. A couple that stuck out for me:

Have your cake and eat it too! – Two options:
1. Order the fancy, pretty wedding cake of your dreams, but have it made smaller than necessary. Then, put the cake in the spotlight out front for the guests to see. Then, have the baker whip up sheet cakes in the back and cut & serve those to the guests. Much cheaper than having you beautiful cake served up to all, but you still get the same impact. Wonderful for large weddings!
2. Check out your local markets! Albertson’s, Kroger, and many other grocery stores offer wedding cakes that are much more gorgeous than one might think. The price tag is SIGNIFICANTLY lower as well and can save you hundreds, depending on the size of your cake. They even have a portfolio for you to sample their work before committing.

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I have a Confession....

I am addicted to Bridezilla. I tell myself that I am strictly watching to serve as a constant reminder how to remain calm and not be caught by the crazed bride bug…but, let’s be completely honest here…it is the pure shock that thrills me. I sit there, mouth agape, watching every Wednesday when a marathon ensues. Asking myself…how…how could anyone be this out-of-touch with reality and think treating another human this way is appropriate, let alone the honeys-to-be that put up with these girls’ (excuse the french) s**t.

So, if you haven’t watched an episode…tune to the WE network (Women’s Entertainment Network) and grab that popcorn. Last night featured a girl from Denton, TX (my college town) and she blew my mind. Literally, made my head want to explode – ranting and raving that she is the princess. That, “Dad is there to pay for everything, Mom is there to give me what I want…” and her fiancé was there to put the 10 carats of bling on her hand!

I must thank WE for such a humbling show; it helps put everything into perspective and serves to better the rest of us – which I’m sure was their goal when they set out to produce such fine television programming.

Also, to test level of Bridezilla-ness…take their Quiz and know that if you do score high enough to earn the title, there is still time and hope to bring you back down to Earth!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Okay, Okay…I know what you are going to say…

Susan, didn’t you already buy two dresses…two fantastically, gorgeous, bargain dresses – why on Earth would you buy another, at furthermore, an EXACT duplicate of the dress you already purchased for the ceremony?

All incredibly valid questions. When I saw my dress (almost exactly – same size and everything, *except* the ruffle colors are white not a taupe/champagne) pop-up on eBay for a fantastic $99 with $30 to ship – I was intrigued. The auction ended with no buyer…so I emailed the seller asking if she was going to re-list the dress, possibly for even less (how cheap can I be?).

Now, the dress I already own, needed a good cleaning and had a stain on the skirt. I have been informed that cleaning will probably run me around $250 dollars! Yikes! After speaking to bridejamie, the eBay seller that has fantastic Grace shoes online right now, I realized this dress would not need any cleaning. She said only five girls tried it on before the dress was discontinued (blasphemy!) and it looked immaculate.

This is how I justified purchasing the dress. I also cannot determine if I like the all white ruffles on this one – or the two-tone look my current dress has. I will post pictures of me wearing the dresses this weekend. Maybe even take a vote…?

Hopefully you will can tell why I am in love with this dress – that the camera does it justice.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Non-refundable Deposits: What's Up With That?"

I received this in an email...thought it might be helpful to you as well...the article is continued via the link below....

"The explanation is very simple and the practice is crucial to professionals in the wedding industry. When you reserve a particular wedding professional's services, you are in essence taking their product home with you. They have dates on the calendar to sell. Once you have reserved that date, they cannot sell that date to another. Even though the wedding professional may be a photographer, florist, or venue, the physical product you receive at the end requires the professional to reserve your wedding date for you and you only.

It's a two-way commitment. The professional cannot accept a higher offer from another bride once he/she has committed to you. "

Courtesy of Brie Bradles, DFW Bride's Club

Monday, September 10, 2007

Well, Stick a Feather in My Cap….

This is by far the most random story – but Neil McCoy (yes…the country music star, google him!) told me last night that my fiancé did a great job and my e-ring was beautiful.

I was delayed at the airport last night for four hours (yeah, four grueling hours…weather, crew shifts…excuses, excuses!) and ended up sitting next to Neil McCoy, who is one of the warmest, friendliest men I’ve ever met. I met another girl there, named Crystal, who had just served as MOH for her best friend’s wedding. Still clutching the bouquet, I asked her all the details – what her gift was, what the rehearsal dinner was like, the venue, the dress – I went straight up stalker style, from zero to sixty.

Then, not at all freaked out (even excited), Crystal busts out her camera and shows us all the wedding photos. She is now sitting between Neil and I (we are on a first name basis), slide-showing the photos for us as Neil and I ooh and aah-ing over the beautiful wedding.

So, random…but Neil gives me his blessing!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Honey-to-Be Excitement

I discovered last night from some friends’ of ours about how truly excited Honey-to-Be is with the progress I have made. I found out that similar to those couples with brag books hidden everywhere they go – he has been showing anyone that steps foot near his (or their) computer EVERY PICTURE that I have sent him regarding the wedding. Engagement pictures, venue, ring – the works!

I am, while on the surface, laughing it off – absolutely thrilled deep, down inside that he is this happy with my planning thus far. The fact he is that happy with anything I found is not only a pat on my back, but a deep relief. Having to tackle the decisions alone in another city for the most part, has left me worried that he won’t love it – and with this reaction, I know that I am right on track.

Also, the way he beams and shows everyone my e-ring, awaiting (and loving) to hear their reaction – is well, endearing. Even with me constantly reminding him, that it is just a ring and I will love whatever he picked out for me; he is ecstatic that this fantastic ring fit into his modest budget – and is happy to get every girl’s reaction when he announces the engagement news.

I am, on the other hand, am still working on telling people – it’s not that I am not happy, I just don’t like to be the center of attention. I always fear that once I start talking – I won’t stop, and someone will be bored to tears at the hand of my wedding talk. I would much rather talk about them than about myself….a foreign concept to many. Any suggestions on “faking it”? How has your honey-to-be shown his support?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Different Kind of Reading Material

I have recently, like any good bride-to-be, taken up new reading material. I figured I should be well versed in every aspect of weddings possible, so as the day approaches quickly, I will not be overwhelmed. (At least in my mind, this is the simple plan….)

Books I am currently reading to discover the untold secrets of wedding planning and the best way to remain a sane bride are:

1001 Ways to Save Money...and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, by Sharon Naylor

This book is chalk full of gold nuggets! There are literally 1001 tips and it is a wonderful place to start for novice planners, such as myself. The in’s and out’s that you would never think of to save money here and there. Also, it gives tips on how to not be snowed under and pushed around by vendors and their contracts. *I would have never dreamed that wedding vendors would do some of the devious, hide clauses in your contract shenanigans, but I guess that is what they are counting on – your pure marital bliss to take over your better judgment!

For Richer, Not Poorer: The Newlyweds' Financial Survival Guide, by Deborah Wilburn.
A wonderful book outlining the ins and outs of tackling tough financial questions that MUST be answered before you and your honey-to-be say “I do”. Even a financial worksheet so you can both show all your cards (the good – assets, the bad – debt) and know what you are marrying into. Since money is cited as one of the leading reasons for divorce, this gives you the tools and questions to approach the money talk and combat and prevent any issues you may run into down the road.

A More Perfect Union: How I Survived the Happiest Day of My Life, by Hana Schank.
A much needed, dry-humor (which I love), that keeps me laughing and my spirits high. I feel as though Hana gets it – unlike all of the ones I love that know only the high-side of wedding planning, not the low-lows.

I will post the priceless secrets and quirky anecdotes I discover through my reading.

Each book is under $ and linked to either Half or Amazon, whichever price I found to be the cheaper.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Forgive Me Now...

I'm going to try and keep you up to date on everything that I did this past weekend, but it will take a few days. What a whirlwind of events in Savannah, GA. I arrived Thursday evening and left Monday afternoon - so the number of checks on my to-do list still baffles me.

Things I will be touching on soon-ish!

I met the photographer (loved!), wedding planner (love - but will need to make deicions), found a venue, fell in love with my chapel, and possibly reserve the rehersal dinner location. In three days, I got the "big-one's" checked off and am feeling better about this whole destination thing.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Selecting Wedding Colors

Now – I have always thought I knew what my colors should be. Pink. I love it – it’s pretty – and everyone looks fabulous wearing it.

Then I woke-up from this dream and realized, having a pink wedding is slightly cruel to my honey-to-be, his groomsman and it is an obvious and predictable choice for me. (Anyone that knows me would assume that my wedding would be pink; pink=kryptonite!)

So back to the drawing board: I selected a tiffany blue/turquoise, silver, white, with touches of black, for contrast. I have true passion for the turquoise blue and steel gray due to the fact they are my sorority’s colors.

So, when I saw a quiz on the Knot yesterday, What Wedding Colors Suit You Best?, saying it would show me my true bridal color destiny – I thought it might be fun. I can be open-minded (sometimes?), maybe this quiz will open my eyes to some fantastic color palette that no one, not even me, would expect for my wedding.

Here are my quiz results:

"Traditional Color Combinations"

Seriously? I am that predictable. A quiz that consists of four questions was able to nail me to a T what exactly my wedding “look” should be. I don’t know whether to be impressed or pissed that I am as readable as a book, and maybe even a little on the boring vanilla side of life. (Which, might I add; vanilla is a color the Knot selected for my wedding palette – touché)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dallas Market Hall Sample Sale

Dallas Market Hall's
Bridal, Quinceanera & Special Occasion Event
Sunday October 21st, 2007 to Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Now, I have heard from a reliable source that this is the place to be! If you are as crazy/intense as I am about saving money for your big day – I defiantly recommend you check out the Dallas Mark Hall Bridal Event.

DMC (Dallas Market Center) has recently changed all of their events to run Sunday through Wednesday (use to be Thursday through Sunday) making it even harder for the working girl. From what I hear about this sale, taking a day off from work would be well worth it!

The last day of the Bridal Market Sale – most vendors host a sample sale so they don’t have to cart things back home; making this the Mother of All Sample Sales. There is everything from dresses (!), veils, shoes, guest books, and everything else under the sun! The prices are fantastic “vendor” pricing and it is well worth ever minute of searching it might take.

I will be posting more details about the sale as the date approaches. Feel free to email me questions – I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up so you can “call in sick” early enough!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Leaving in a White Suit

Since we will be having a weekend of festivities (Friday night – Rehearsal and a Low Country Boil, Saturday – the wedding, Sunday – a Sunday brunch) - I need a weekend's worth of fabulous attire. During the Sunday brunch, I envision myself in a fantastic, little white suit witha skirt or dress.

Harder to find than one might think! I suffer from a very serious condition (if you know the name – please – do tell). I inherited it from my mother. Once I have pictured what I want in my mind, I will stop at nothing to get it. I have envisioned a little, white/cream, possibly brocade, high necked dress (or a-line skirt), with a little cropped jacket, with ¾ length sleeves and scoop collar necklace.

I have a picture of one similar to what I want by Oscar De La Renta.

It was featured in Brides magazine this summer.

My mother and I even stopped by a Bridal Sample Sale recently at Warren Barrón and saw it there. It was marked down from the $4,000 tag to a little under $2,000. (I could not possibly spend two thousand dollars on a white suit, when I paid under $250 for two wedding dresses!)

Besides, Oscar went a little nuts with large flower covered buttons on the front. Hate to say it - but it was even too much for me...if you can imagine such a thing. But, he was close to getting the look right…
The search is on….and Lord, help me find this suit!

It is harder than one would think. Most websites do not offer an easy way to search for the outfit you put on after your best recommendations - find something in the summer - towards the end. This is right after they start stocking their shelves full of taupes, blacks, and grays for the fall season -sending anything white directly to clearance. (At unbelievable prices...)

I am definitely a Budget Bride, but am unwilling to compromise my style or taste!


Now this is just b.c. it made me giggle

Not to offend anyone - especially if this is your look - but what was Oscar de la Renta thinking?

Oh Oscar! How could you?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Asking of the Maids

I don’t know if it was the sheer giddy of asking bridesmaids – but I asked everyone within 24 hours! Shocker I know!

I’ve asked everyone (and ended up with five fabulous females) and much to my dismay, all of them said yes in true girl fashion (screaming, giggling, and crying!) Even though I have asked them, I want to think of a cute way to ask them again, whether it be a little package, card, etc. Just some token to show them how much I appreciate this and how truly excited I am.

How did you ask your bridesmaids to join you on the big day? How do you pick a maid/matron of honor? What if you don’t have one? How do showers work? Help!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Engagement Ring

I love, love, love my engagement ring! It is a 1.25 carat center brilliant cut square stone with a huge table (the flat, top portion of the ring)! Honey- to-be- bought the stone separately and had it mounted (my favorite part) in a vintage setting.

The setting is from the 1940’s . It is a huge ring (in width, not size) to fit my substantial hands (*see below). Around the band on and on the sides, there is a hand engraved pattern that look almost like the ends of feathers. Towards the top, where the center stone goes, there is filigree work and my secret, hidden favorite part, is the little bow design on the basket where the stone goes.

On either side of the center stone, there are 2 square, princess cut diamonds that are 0.20 carats each.

This ring is by far the most gorgeous ring I have ever seen. It has everything I wanted:
A sparkly stone, filigree work, vintage, a bow (I never dreamed that would be possible – or had ever mentioned it to honey-to-be).

Since it is a brilliant cut, it sparkles more than I could have ever imagined. LOVE at first sight – with both the boy and the ring!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who to Don the Title “Bridesmaid” aka the Football Draft of Weddings

Alright, I have been dealing with the question for a long time now. Honestly, you probably know who your maids will be prior to be engaged, even meeting your man.

Maybe you do, but I don’t! I have so many sorority sisters, and am horrible keeping up friendships. While I may loose touch, I never loose the friendships I keep close to my heart.

I struggle with a couple of issues:
1) No matter how many articles or magazines I read, to some extent, I truly believe people expect to be reciprocated with the invite to be a bridesmaid having been in their wedding before. Unless you had a meltdown or falling out, I honestly believe, girls expect it.

2) Some friends are just about crazy enough to consider NOT being asked to be in your wedding the ultimate break-up. Friendship is over and you are dead to them.

How many is too many? Who stands next to whom?

The one, mildly inappropriate notion I have had since I knew that I would have a destination wedding and some could not come, do you have rounds of bridesmaid picking similar to that of the NFL draft, on picking your ladies?

Do I make the most wanted list, ask them, and if I get a no, go to the runner-ups on the list? Now, maybe I’ve done sorority recruitment a few too many times and know about the two Bid List program to see how diluted I must be to make an A and a B list of maids in my mind.

Maybe it is my huge fear of rejection and my perception that everyone hates me (when they really don’t), that leaves me crippled with fear that I will be standing alone at the alter.
I’ve always wanted four bridesmaids, and don’t know what I will do? Plus, how pathetic is it (and probably stupid) to call in your second string. It probably would subtract more from the day than add the joy it is suppose to!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Proposal

Honey-to-be proposed on Friday night! Yay! So – I flew home from Columbus on Friday to arrive at home about 5pm. Chris had called earlier and told me that he needed to fly and wouldn’t be home till about 7:30 or 8pm.

My mums and brother then picked me up from the airport. Of course, my plane was delayed, lost baggage (found 15 minutes later), and we are finally off. They have the bungalow next to mine as a weekend get away and were cooking dinner over there that night.

When I get there, I am so exhausted and tell them, “I’ll take my stuff over later, I just want to go sit down”. After much persuasion, going back and forth 4 times, my mom convinces me to go to my house first and change for dinner.

I walk into the cottage, and try and flip the lights with no luck. Then, I look in to see a spotless house (the polar opposite from how I left it on Monday when I flew out), adorned with 8 dozen red and pink roses and 50 candles glowing all around the room. Serendipity soundtrack is playing. Honey-to-be peeks from around the corner and is smiling. I walk over and kiss him – then (I honestly can’t remember what he said – it is all such a blur). But, he walked me over to by the mantel, and had me feel how fast his heart was racing; then, he asked me if I wanted to sit down.

So, I did, and he got down on his knee, then he was crying, and tells me how gorgeous I am, how much he loves me, and asks me if I would spend the rest of my life with him. Of course, I said yes and then he put the ring on my finger.

That is definitely the watered down version of the story – I can’t possibly remember all of the details. I do remember – the room was gorgeous, there was champagne chilling in a crystal bucket with two champagne flutes close-by. The candles looked amazing, there were cake stands with candles arranged with rocks; I cannot put into words how gorgeous it looked.

Also – I AM SHOCKED that honey-to-be was able to surprise me so well. I had no idea and being so busy with work, was no longer consumed with the constant wedding bells that keep clinking in my mind. I love him so much, the ring I gorgeous and I love love love him!

I was later told, he called my mom earlier that morning and had told him his plan. He decorated all on his own and dreamed up how he wanted to do it. He must have cleaned my house and decorated it for hours to make it look so good. I love him and was devastated that I had to leave my roses behind in Dallas.

My ring is so beautiful and it is still not old telling my family to “look at it sparkle in this light”. I promise I will post pictures soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

To Party or Not to Party...

Since we are having a destination wedding, my honey-to-be wants to celebrate an Engagment Party, giving us a chance to hold a party with our friends locally, since most won't be able to travel across the US to our big day.

I was totally on board with this, because I though that it was the GROOM’S parents that throw this shin-dig. I mean after all, my parents are footing the wedding bill – tit-for-tat, right?

Well, not according to Martha Stewart (who I revere as my personal domestic goddess). On the link above it explains in true Martha fashion, the who, what, where, when, and how of parties. She said it is customary for the Bride’s parents to host the first wedding event, whatever it may be.

So, I’ve been preaching to my honey-to-be all along, that if he wants a party – take it up with your mama! I still don’t feel a party is necessary being a bit of a wall flower at parties, but I don’t want to deprive him this joy. Is it wrong to still pass the buck and put his side in charge of the party?

So, I ask you, if you had an engagement party, who footed the bill?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Flight Discounts for Wedding Guests

So, my company has sent me on location for work till September 21st (Columbus, OH here I come!). After spending numerous hours on the internet making flight arrangements, I found a spectacular deal for all brides’ weddings – both local or destination.

You can now enroll your wedding date with American Airlines ( and score 5% off the lowest airfare you can find. Any flight that occurs within 2 weeks of your big day! (The week leading up to and the week after your wedding day)

To qualify, you only need 10 guests traveling and American Airlines will give you an insert explaining everything to stick in your invites for your guests.

American Airlines also teamed up to offer car rental discounts with Avis. You can submit your date request for these special promotion codes online or by calling a toll free number.

One less expensive hurdle for your out-of-town guests to jump!


Monday, August 20, 2007

To Have and To Hold....

My mind almost exploded last night.

Background: my honey-to-be has an estranged half-sisters that, let’s just say, he doesn’t think very highly of. He had once told me that their wedding favors were beer koozies, that said, “To Have and To Hold, To Keep Your Beer Cold”. He then wrapped up his story, by telling me how classless this is.

So, we were riding, and I about had a heart-attack, when he casually said, “Can we have party favors that my pilot friends will like? Something like a beer koozie, with a catchy, pilot slogan?”

In my mind, I’m thinking, “You want to have what at MY wedding (he lost all claim to the day by this latest suggestion).” He looks over to see my mouth agape and then realizes - I’ve gone into shock.

After the awkward, let me gather my composure minutes slip past, I say, “Don’t you think it would be best to offer our guests a gift everyone could enjoy? This is a good idea for your groomsmen.”

He countered saying that is a good idea, and maybe he would work on those. GOOD CHOICE! No where in my vision of our big day, was there beer koozies strewn about – NEVER!

I’ve read about CD’s, plants/seeds, cookies, and a candy bar (my personal choice).

What favors did you have at your wedding? Were they a hit or a dud?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Engraving the Stone

The article lists the idea of customizing your ring by engraving something around the stone found on the Knot.

This one article brightened my ideas to all of the ways to take my vintage setting and stone and customize it to reflect me and my honey-to-be’s style. Instead of laser inscriptions on your ring with your GIA number, etc. - you can customize these inscriptions to be love poems, notes or messages. The inscription, similar to the engraving on the inside of the band, but this is invisible to the naked eye, and only seen under microscope.

I think – not only is this terribly romantic, a secret message between the two, it can help identify your stone if it was ever stolen. There seems to be mixed emotions about the idea of this. I’m reading various articles, all the while thinking – is it still as romantic if I am the one deciding to get this done. I think I would love the idea more if honey-to-be had been the one to discover it.

Here is more info about it on

Friday, August 17, 2007

Brides Against Breast Cancer

I have always been deeply concerned and involved with the fight against breast cancer. For years, I have volunteered both time and money to help fight the cause!

I was thrilled when I stumbled on this website:

With the help of BRIDES Magazine, Brides Against Breast Cancer host warehouse sales full of donated gowns from newly married brides, retailers, and manufacturers. This is the ULTIMATE SAMPLE SALE. Even better – they offer other sizes than 8’s, 10’s, and 12’s. Including shoes, veils – the works!

The dresses are priced from $89 to $799, and retail in the upwards of $8,000! There are a handful of couture dresses that run $20,000 – those are any where from 25% to 75% off, making them a cool 5 grand.

While I have found my dresses (or so I think), I will probably go just to experience it.

The calendar found here says that they will be in Dallas Friday, October 19, 10 am - 8 pm and Saturday, October 20, 10 am - 6 pm. Location TBA, so I have my fingers crossed that they will have Pre-Sale VIP tickets for the night before, Thursday from 6:30 to 9:00pm, a pre-sale preview perfect for the 9 to 5 workin’ girl!

Regular tickets cost $20 and allow you to bring a guest and have help with a personal assistant for two hours of shopping. VIP tickets cost $200 (to charity remember) and allow you and a guest to shop while sipping cocktails. In addition to this, you get a gift bag full of goodies that is valued at $100!

Look at the racks and racks of dresses – OH MY! They are traveling across the US so check out the calendar linked below:

If you are already hitched – consider donating your dress to them. Perfect way to help those in need and get a tax deduction, all while allowing your dress to brighten someone else’s special day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Save the Date Cards

Okay – so here is what I know. Having a destination wedding means that I have to my save-the-date cards out at least 6 months before the wedding. Making my due date – December 28th, 2007. I will be creating my own DIY Save-The-Date Cards.
Both of these fabulous ideas came from Sonic Stef Designs. There Portfolio is FANTASTIC!

Okay, so I really like these two ideas:

One, a bookmark – gives you the corny slogan of, You’ve been booked! Relatively cheap, light to ship.

Pro – an inexpensive way to send out the info that allows total creative flexibility
Con – Is it cheesy and too cheap? Are people going to think, Seriously? Susan sent me a bookmark?

Two, your typical magnet car – with a fun twist! Similar to the picture below, or linked, resembling a photo booth film strip. I would replace the pictures with those of Chris and Me holding 4 signs (one per picture) at 4 different landmark Savannah locations.
I.e. – The “Save” sign in a picture at Forsyth Park, “the” sign in a trolley picture, “date” picture in front of the chapel, and “June 28th, 2008” sign of us kissing (cheesy?).

Pro – Adorable, so cute, original

Con – Logistics, getting us both to Savannah for pictures, etc.

Three, Both! I send both

Or is that too over the top?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tackling a Bridal Fair

So, I just found out that there is a Bridal Fair in January in Savannah – where my wedding will be. That is fantastic news because it will serve as a perfect place to gather all of my possible vendors-to-be and a quick way to give them the thumbs up or thumbs down.

Since I am a veteran, having already attended one bridal fair, I can share with you all of my infinite wisdom.

  • Research the vendors prior to going. Check out their websites, get on message boards, and even email if you’d like. Google's Blogsearch is a great way to find others that might have used the vendor and recorded their opinion on their own blog.
  • Decide what areas of your wedding planning are lacking: entertainment, catering, photography. That way you know what areas need to be addressed first, and focus your attention on the necessities. And then, if you have extra time, go ahead and sample all the cake at those free cake tastings.

    Here is my greatest piece of advice I can offer as far as Bridal Fairs go. -
  • Print LABELS! This is major. Print labels that have your Name, Address, Email, Phone, Date of Wedding, Location. You can use the Avery address labels that you can pick up at Wal-Mart for $6, and print about 4 sheets. These are key and increase the speed at which you can maneuver the Bridal Fair.

    Instead of having to fill out cards at each booth, you plop down your stickers on all drawing entries or guest books, grab the paperwork, and skedaddle.

After you attend your first fair – you’ll thank me I promise. Saving your hands from cramps after you write your address for the 28th time….

Bridal Shows Inc. find a show…

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Guilt That Comes with Bridal Magazines

Now, I cannot deny the rush one feels when opening the first few pages ofa new bridal magazine. It is eventually destroyed by the overwhelming guilt I feel when I fork over $12 for 2 magazines.

Please join me in the revolution of budget conscious brides and repeat this mantra after me, I can wait for the magazines to come via snail mail…While you repeat this out loud again and again...follow these links andsubscribe quickly, before you forget my sound advice!

One year of Brides, Elegant Brides, and

Modern Brides for $24 (16 issues costing $1.50 an issue)

(One year of Martha Stewart Weddings
the bible as far as I am concerned) for $16

One year of Bridal Guide for $10

Think, after subscribing, you just ordered one years worth of 5 magazines and only spent $50. This allows for you to now splurge (guilt-free) on those wedding special mags put out by InStyle and People that are not offered as deliverables to your door.

All of the magazines link to the subscriptioin pages.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Designing the bridal fair, I was introduced to wedding websites. Now, I had seen the free ones the Knot offers, but these new full service sites are mind blowing! My bride-to-be friend just launched her site and all I can say is wow! She listed the date, where they are registered, story of how they met, Bridesmaids’ bios, thank-you’s, message boards, the works.This got me thinking - I need a website too! What bride doesn't? So, I began shopping around at,, and when it hit me- why not design my own website? I took a course in school, and none of these pre-designed sites are what I need, I’ll do it myself.

This is such a Susan move, when life hands you lemons, whip up a lemon soufflé! I see something and immediately begin envisioning and dreaming up how I can make it above and beyond anyone’s (including my own) wildest expectations.I opened up my Gimp tool (a free Photoshop alternative - you can download it at ) and Adobe Photoshop to design the homepage graphics and use Adobe DreamWeaver to build the style sheet( base homepage I will then alter to reflect each page)

Here is a screens shot of what I have so far. I'd love feedback.
I’m designing this website and hosting it on my own server. It will cost about $4 a month, but gives me the flexibility of keeping the site post wedding, and updating it with family pictures and blogs, etc. So, I am thinking of linking pages with Pictures, About Us, Blogs, and add sites about Tying the Knot, Details (about the big day), Etc. The buttons will go on the side. Anything else?

Also, I think the story of bridesmaids and their bio is excessive? Am I wrong? Does anyone care that I met my Maid-of-honor while sliding into home plate?

Friday, August 10, 2007

E-ring Shopping

It took me most of Friday to become okay with it, accept it that is, and to stop thinking about it at all. I’m referring to the certification test that I failed; so feeling like a failure I needed a distraction. What better way then to focus my life on my wedding!

Instead, I focused my attention more on my ENGAGEMENT ring that I scoped with honey-to-be on Friday at Rebecca of Chatham Jewelry. Rebecca is fabulous and I love her. The setting is seventy to eight-five years old. The center is stone is a 1.2 carat square radiant cut, and get this...we can get the wheat pattern etching in bands I love so much.

Completely customizable rings at, excuse the pun, rock bottom prices. Rebecca knows one of the two hand engravers in the DFW area and he can customize the band by engraving it with anything that we want. For only a $100.

So I am taking a new stone, in an old setting, and then customizing the details on it. And am pretty stoked....

Thursday, August 9, 2007 in all of its Fabulousness!

Maybe I’m just slow…but, am I the last to know you can save things to an imaginary notebook on the Knot?

I must be. Now that I am on the same page as everyone else, with this uplifting knowledge, I have been collecting pictures and stuffing them in this notebook as fast as humanly possible.

Sidebar – shouldn’t it be called a knotbook….just a thought.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Date!

Officially the date is June 28th, 2008 (pretty cute, even date huh?). Honey-to-be and I sent in the deposit.

I claim that he is dragging his feet about proposing. I mean – he has the ring, we have the date….fill in the blank. He sweetly reminds me, he wants it to be romantic with the proposal and is waiting till I forget about the ring. (Then the laughed – because he realizes that I will NEVER forget about the ring).

I think the photographer Teresa is on board, and I have the venue secured. Hopefully, I will be traveling down to old Savannah Labor Day Weekend to meet n' greet and make decisions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How do you choose a date?

Chris and I had a heart to heart about the date. He sat me down and sweetly said he didn’t want to wait till March 7, 2009. How to do you tell the man you love that he has to wait?

My mums and aunt stressed that while it was sweet to marry on my grandparent’s anniversary – it would be wonderful for me to pick a day of my own as well. So, we pull out our calendars…
We contacted the chapel and the dates, March 22nd, June 21st, and June 28th were available. March 22nd is my future mother-in-law’s wedding date, so that is out. I like the idea of a June wedding, (see the song "June Bride" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - love it!). This shortened timeline makes me appreciate all the planning I have already begun. Gotta get that ball rolling and now there are only....326 days between now and June 28th.

So, I tried to decide the best way to pick the date.
(*Has anyone else noticed all of these
decisions that require you to pick the
one - the ring, the dress, the man, the
date, so many decisions!*)

I surfed my way over to This Day in History to reference history and see what day is better. The gist of the dates is June 21st is the offical day of to assissinate royalty and politicians (a bit of a downer). June 28th POWs released, John Wesley (who suggested the Whitefield Chapel be built - were we will wed) was born, and lots of other happy, wonderful memories!

We will see what the final decision is...

Monday, August 6, 2007

DIY Invitations

Okay – so anyone that knows me, realizes that I am passionate about paper. Yes, school supplies, desk accessories, paper – the works. So it is a fair assumption to make that I am an invitation snob. While I will be compromising and frugal in some areas of the wedding – Paper will never be one of them!

I have watched many a Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? episode and love what the planner is able to do when the couple has a custom logo. Embroidered hankies, table runners – the works.

So I started doing a little digging into custom invitations. When I stumbled on a fabulous blog about just that, DIY invitations that remain fabulous! Wedding Bee Blogs

The blog was on, the blog I refresh about 25 times a day to get the latest inspiration. I don’t remember what led me to this blog – but I like to kindly think of it as kismet.

I search the blog and find hit after hit of DIY projects that I am creative enough to tackle alone.

Two Peas in a Bucket - I have been surfing and saving pictures, working on what I envision the invitations being.

Things I need in the design:
A crown – to represent me, my sorority symbol
Wings (similar to that of pilot wings) – for my pilot honey-to-be
S and C – our initials interlocking
A laurel wreath with a bow at the top housing everything – I’m not sure why, maybe because I like bows?

Some inspiration pictures, gathered from these sites:

The initials come from Rose Bud Weddings, the wreath from Martha StewartMartha Stewart Weddings, and the bottom left monograms are from Ilee. I absolutely love Ilee!

You’ll need tools like Gimp (a free version of PhotoShop), to alter images to make them perfect. Photoshop and Fireworks is wonderful, but also wonderfully expensive.

To get Gimp: Get Gimp!

I'll post some more links to get digital scrapbooking finds soon!


Sunday, August 5, 2007

I bought dresses (yes, plural!)

Okay - confession time, I went bridal dress shopping. With my mother on Saturday to LuLu's sample sale, in Dallas, TX. I'm spiraling out of control – this wedding is taking my sanity from me! Chris is shopping for the ring, and I know it has been 5 years - so I don't feel as awkward that I am still without-ring, but awkward enough that I will NOT tell anyone that I went shopping for my bridal dress alread.
Okay - so mums and I are going dress shopping – JUST TO LOOK - get there, and I found $200 fabulous shoes that were marked down for $15 - score.

So, then I think we will just peruse the dresses, not try any on. Within 10 minutes of walking in the door - I have the clothespins to mark my dream dress and I have tagged 5 dresses that I want to be whisked away into my fitting room. 20 minutes later - I'm trying on dresses. The first four don't zip up and then dress number 5...BAM! It is zipped up and GORGEOUS! Look at the tag....Jasmine Couture retail $1,050 sale price $99.

Yes, this thousand dollar plus dress is $99 in my size. All it needs is a hook n' eye and dry cleaning. Strapless, silk, small amount of embellish beading, with a ruffle train in back. It is SILK and TAFFETA - two of the sweetest words to my ears.... So, I am still feeling awkward - wedding year and half away, I'm trying on dresses sans an engagement ring. Then we are alerted that Stardust Celebrations in Plano, TX, Lulu's huge, expensive sister store, is also having a sale. To my surprise – LuLu’s will hold this $99 find dress while we run to see their sister. We hop in the car, Dallas to Plano, and arrive at wedding Mecca land. More accessories at bargain prices that my mom and I flock to, let’s be honest, sales are our kryptonite. Then, we head upstairs to the bridal boutique. Dresses here run $2,500 to $10,000. I know, 10K for a dress, can it truly be worth the money? All the dresses are dripping in glitz, which I am all for typically – I live for sparkles, but they have taken this to an entirely new level. I feel as though I am Audrey Hepburn in a Roman Holiday shopping for my coronation gown.

Believe me, I cannot stomach wearing these over be-dazzled dresses; I try a few on and cannot handle it. In the entire place, I found two dresses that didn't make me laugh. Then, after much discussion, mom and I decide it would be better for us to go back to LuLu's today then in two days to get this fabulous find at $99. My mom has the notion that she would rather me buy a $99 winner now, and if I change my mind in a year, $99 is just a drop in the bucket, no real loss. I am still struggling with the notion, that I am a complete psycho nut-job, purchasing a wedding dress at this point without a ring, when we arrive at LuLu’s. Since my finger is naked and the wedding almost two years away,I decided we should make another pass at the $99 rack, not continue to shop the dresses running from $400 to $1800 buckaroos. While I can imagine buying a bargain dress this early, I cannot drop hundreds this early on. Then on the rack, there it is, a dress that I have envisioned for a fun, reception party dress. It is white strapless silk, with a beading overlay that covers my shoulders with little sleeves. It ties at the collar in back of the neck with a low back and little buttons.

Instantly, my thoughts envision chopping this dress off for a cocktail length party dress for the reception. With the wedding being small and intimate since it is hundreds miles away, the reception will probably be in a restaurant. I think it would be awkward and to much attention for me to handle if I was wearing my poofy dress in a restaurant with normal non-wedding people staring. My mom totally sees it as well...cut off the dress for a tea-length.

This dress also has the $99 price tag...we then look down and see - this dress retails for $3,700. Yes, you heard me right. Mums and I then wonder how tragic would it be to chop off a dress at the knees that costs this much and if Cynthia (the couture designer), would some how know and hunt us down like dogs. Is this some sort of sacrilegious action against the bridal fashion gods?Without much pondering and an uneasiness in my stomach, we purchase both and earrings (for dress-up - not wedding) and leave the store with a bill of $236. For two dresses.... Mums and I decided it is our little secret...also, my mom reveals, she has always envisioned us going to Sak's Fifth Bridal Boutique sipping champagne and dropping several g’s on a dress.

My mother, my own flesh and blood, wanting to pay retail for a dress - too much retail at that. I told her retail would break my heart and she said I should never look at a price tag when it comes to my wedding. Here I was thinking I got this gene that makes it genetically impossible for me to pay retail for anything and she is encouraging this overspending, crazy behavior. So, this is the cover story - the dresses are hiding in her closet and next spring, we will invite Aunt Ann and go to a chi-chi boutique, sip this champagne and try on dresses. Act as though we are scouting, and as long as I am still in love with the other two - go get them did-up and perfected for me. I will definitely post pictures – I cannot find any online of the dresses and they wouldn’t allow me to take pictures in store.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Update quickly....

Teresa is quick to the draw on returning emails. She sounds like a dream! She understands what I want and is THRILLED to be able to work with me on my big day. Make sure you are comfortable with your photographer so you can discuss your needs and that they don’t overlap with their “artistic expression”.
Teresa is more interested in what makes me happy then what will fit into her portfolio. (One concern I had with another photographer, who did not ask me what I wanted my photos to look like, but kept insisting my wedding would look fabulous in her portfolio.)

If I could marry my photographer…Teresa is definitely the “one”!


Putting the Cart in front of the Horse

Sorry – I just returned from Mexico….let’s play catch up!

Okay, I realize that I sound a little ridiculous already planning a wedding when my finger is still without ring. Making huge decisions before I am engaged. While we all see it coming, seeing that Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a planner, and cannot fight the urge to be planning away.

My mind is racing – dates, location, vendors, Oh my!

Here is why my levels of stress are heightened:
I live in Dallas, TX
I want to get married in Savannah, GA

Is my stress becoming clear? My new BFF is the internet and I am now that person that when asked, checks the box that states, “Online activity exceeds 4 hours a day”.

The things I do know are…I would like to get married in Whitefield Chapel, a little outside of Savannah, located on the grounds of Bethesda Home for Boys.

Picture courtesy of
Savannah Weddings

The same chapel that Paula Deen held her wedding. It is quaint and holds around 50 people. Perfect for the intimate wedding I am hoping to have.

Now I am a real stickler for photos. I don’t want any of those pose by the tree shots that bring me back to days of my senior photos. I like the more pictures to give you a sense of a story more than those of posed group shots. I would like it almost to look like a documentary. With that said – I grabbed my mouse and began surfing.

Planning destination weddings create more headaches than I would have originally thought! I started my quest through and looked at Savannah vendors. Most were pretty pricey, but gave me a jumping off point. I want to invest in my pictures – because they will allow all of my loved ones unable to travel to Savannah a glimpse into our special day. I do, however, think that some pricing is a little out-of-control (OOC). So, I am budgeting about $3,000 for photographer. (Most of the packages I found in the Savannah, Ga area starting at $4,500!)

After about 12 websites, looking at portfolios, and reading photographers’ blogs – I struck gold. I found Teresa of Memories n' More.

Her prices were reasonable, she sounds fantastic, and I appreciate her “artist’s viewpoint”. Teresa’s passion for her work shines through in her blog. I knew I had met the photographer I wanted. Not only that – she also doubles as a planner! I’m working up an email to her right now…..

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

First things First….

So, I know Chris picked up the ring. While he has not yet proposed (and it is driving me nuts), I am impressed by how smart he is. The first thing he did, and oh so responsible, was to contact an insurance agent and make sure the ring is covered on theft, damages, or if the unthinkable happens – if I were to loose it.

The policy is relatively cheap, and when you compare it to the cost of the ring, worth every penny. He went through the same agent he has car insurance with, allowing him to get a multi-policy discount. So, peace of mind, ended up costing $117 a year for ring coverage. Not to shabby….

While I have still yet to see my new bling, I now know I can sleep more soundly at night knowing, that in the future, I will not perish if I ever, heaven forbid, were to loose my ring.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My First Bridal Fair

Last weekend my mom and I went to the Bridal Fair. I've picked my date - March 7th, 2009 in Savannah, GA. I am still struggling to accept the fact I am uncomfortable planning a wedding without a ring (despite the fact we’ve been together 5 years). I don't feel like such a big freak (planning without a ring) because if it is a destination wedding....meaning, you need to be completely done planning early - as in I need to be basically done planning by next July.

With that said, the bridal fair was a great way to catapult myself into the right state of mind to be a bride. While not all of the vendors applied to me, since I am getting hitched in Georgia, I am now better equipped to shift through vendor paperwork and notice a deal (great prices and services) over a dud (lacks organization and not prepared to answer questions).

Bridal fairs not only gets your creative juices going – but allows you taste food, cake, and pick up brochures on different vendors. Free goodies galore.
I recommend everyone check out this website – and see if there is a fair coming your way Bridal Shows Inc .

Monday, July 30, 2007

Deciding on the bling….

Chris and I discussed wedding dates this past March. We decided on March 7th, 2009, in honor of my late grandparents (their anniversary date). Chris agreed, which much hesitation, because he wants to get married sooner than this. So, he has been saving for the ring for about 3 years now, and wanted to start looking around.

Like most girls, just the idea of ring shopping got me giddy! I began doing my research. Knowing very little about rings, only that my personal style is the antique, vintage feel; I needed to decipher the 4 C’s of rings (color, clarity, carat, and cut), and the perfect balance that would be best for both us and our budget. (*The new C added to the list of four recently, the Cost)

I immediately feel in love with an Old European 2 carat antique stone. I found it on Ebay and could not comfort the honey-to-be that buying a ring over the internet is safe. Old European cuts are typically round, from around the 1920’s and are harder to come across than one might think. In recent years, the large stones were purchased to be re-cut into a more modern shape, (think brilliant round). This cut is known for the fire (depth and sparkle) that is offers, and tends to be larger than modern cut stones, due to the crude, hand-cut style.

Now, I live in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth Metroplex. One might think an antique ring should be readily available. I scoured the internet for jewelers that would be able to meet this peculiar demand of an Old European cut. Only to turn up two. Skibell Jewelers and Chatham Jewelers Chatham Jewelers.

Here’s what I know:

After speaking to Rebecca Chatham, she offered me great advice on how to better prepare prior to meeting with jewelers.

1) Create a collage (idea board) of rings you like, including ring settings as well as shapes. Pick your top three shapes: mine were Old European, Ascher, and Cushion
2) Decide on your budget. Get an idea of how much you can afford and whether you need to make payments. It is unfair to allow the jeweler to pull out a stone/ring that is $10,000, when your honey-to-be has $3,000.
3) Be open minded. We went in thinking we knew exactly what we (I) wanted. A European-cut stone in an antique setting from around the 1920’s. Well, when she pulled out the Radiant-cut square stone and plopped her down in a vintage 1950’s setting. I fell in love all over again….

My biggest recommendation, know as much as you can gather on the internet about stones before you go shopping. There is no feeling worse than fearing that you are getting the taken by the man behind the counter.

A family jeweler offered these three tips:

Shoot for a balance between quality and size – a good quality stone will hold it’s value over time. Don’t allow a huge, flawed/colored stone to win you over based solely on the size of that bling.

Stick above J for color (any lower and it becomes noticeable) and clarity of VS1.

Happy hunting! Don’t loose hope – you will know when you find the right ring, just as you did when you found the right boy!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

SLC blog is Launched!

Yes, that’s right – I created a blog! More specifically a wedding blog – because let’s be honest about this, weddings are not nearly as important to the one’s you love as you think it is. Don’t get me wrong - I know everyone in my life love’s me and is thrilled by the idea of Chris and I getting married. However, every BTB (bride-to-be)’s mind is taken over by the details, the overwhelming amount of details, that she will be inundated with once the ring slips on the finger.

I have had much experience after having helped 3 of my friends make the transformation from fabulous fun girlfriend to the intense, BTB. So, I am ready - bring on my wedding.

This blog will serve as my outlet to release my inner thoughts when planning the wedding. It will allow me to discuss in detail everything I need think through – without the fear of boring my listener, or now reader.

I promise to be diligent and detail oriented – bettering the knowledge of all readers. I expect us all to be experts by the end of this exciting wedding journey!

Please be patient - the design will get better - I promise! It's a virtue you know!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Icon Picture