I am back from having hernia surgery and here to remind you to sign up for the Unabridged Bride!  Not only will you get to experience three nights of genuine pre-wedding awesomeness, but you’ll be entered to win our FABULOUS PRIZES!

We’re giving away:

  • A Night at the Aloft Hotel! (sign up by September 6th to be entered!)
  • A luxurious, private room mani/pedi from The Woodhouse Day Spa! (sign up by the 8th to be entered!)
  • $50 toward ANY project at 12-Point Signworks! (sign up for all 3 nights to get this one! And click here for ideas on how to use this prize!)

A few things to expect from the workshop:

  • Top 5 Traits of a “Good” Wife
  • Set your budget without losing your style
  • Your Wedding Values List
  • Kettlebell workout
  • Bring your fiance on the last night and learn about: finances, life insurance, reflexology and pre-marital counseling!
  • And more!

It all starts on Thursday, September 10th, so get your ticket now!  Space is limited!

For all the juicy details and how to win, visit the Unabridged Bride website HERE!

Thanks to Taira as Baughman Media Works, I have a clip of Tuesday’s Talk of the Town to share with you!  It’s all about what to expect at Thursday’s Elegance Bridal Gala.  (I’m somewhere in the middle.)  Enjoy!  Hope to see you Thursday!

(OK, I tried to put it in my html code, but it didn’t work.  Don’t have time to figure out what I’m doing wrong – lame.  ANYWAY, here’s a link to my website and you can see it on my home page: Maiden to Married.)

ALSO – don’t forget to sign up for the next Unabridged Bride and get registered for our great giveaways!

The Unabridged Bride website is up and running!  All the pages aren’t done yet (as you will see), but it’s up!  Take a look!  Share your thoughts!  Oh, and any bride who went to the last on in July is invited to any/all of the 3 nights of this next one fo’ FREE!

Tuesday, August 11th!  11am, News Channel 5.  Apparently, I forgot to mention the date.  :)

This morning I filmed a segment for News Channel 5’s Talk of the Town (weekdays at 11am).  It was for the Elegance Bridal Gala – the experiential bridal show that’s coming up on Thursday.  The shoot was super fun – albeit super fast, too!  There were 6 of us vendors picked to be the show with EBG creator extraordinaire, Austin, and we had to arrive at 7:30am.  Which meant I had to get up at 5:45am.  I don’t really do 5:45.  I don’t really do most times before about 8:30am (ok, 9am really).  I’m just not functional.  Or, if I MUST be functional (and I would say today qualified to a great degree as needing to be functional), then I require a nap later in the day to keep from dozing off in the middle of conversations or while driving.  Which I took.  With my made-of-love Daschund/Terrier mutt, Sampson.

BUT, back to the show!  It’s set up to be a representation of the Gala.  Us vendors arrived and set up our tables (I was done setting up in all of, oh, 7 minutes or less).  We were all also asked to bring one of our bridal clients to help give the feel of actually being at the show.  I brought the always lovely and lively Becoming Mrs. Dial.

The TV folks showed up around 9:30.  We BRIEFLY went over what we were all to do.  Since my business is something few can explain at all, let alone succintely, I got to do the talking for my part.  And then we started shooting.  ANDIT WENTBYLIKETHAT.  It was that fast.  I don’t know, MAYBE 5 minutes.  Seriously.  And then we started tearing down our mock booths!

Now, I know you’re all going: WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE ON???  LIZA!!  TELL ME!!  Ok, fine.  It’s schedule to air at 11am CST on News Channel 5.   After that, it goes on their website for a while, so I will most definitely have a link.

The only part I thought I messed up is that I didn’t mention my company name, Maiden t0 Married!  What was I thinking! Well, when you see it you’ll see how super duper fast it went.  But, the lady  who interviewed us took our cards and said she’d put our name and company info at the bottom of the screen, so that’s nice.

Can’t wait to see it!  Look, Mom, I’m on TV!!!

The next Unabridged Workshop is set!  So exciting!  We’re rolling out some new ideas this time and reformatting it a bit.  Oh, and there’s a new logo!

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The Savviest Way to Prepare for Your Wedding & Marriage!

This time around it’s going to be three Thursdays in September – 10, 17 and 24th.  The event is being held at the Aloft Hotel where the Brides’ Night Out was recently.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I will give a little teaser as to what to expect:

  • GIVEAWAY: Free Night at the Aloft Hotel (there will be more giveaways, too!)
  • Participate in a  workout and learn about staying/getting in shape for your wedding!
  • The third week: BRING YOUR FIANCE NIGHT!!  Some REALLY great stuff this night!

For more information, keep your eyes out here and keep checking the soon-to-be-up UB website: www.unabridgedbride.com.

I’m guessing that if you have been online AT ALL in the past several days, you are likely to have run into this youtube video.  If you haven’t, you must watch it.  Immediately. I don’t even care that it’s been posted everywhere and it’s fast becoming the wedding entrance heard round the world.  It’s so brilliantly celebratory.  It’s brilliantly non-traditional.  It made gave me a Cheshire cat grin and put a tear in my eye.

One of the vendors I work with, CJ, from CJ’s Off the Square, talks about brides being “tortured by tradition.”  Well, be prepared to see one couple that worked past THAT issue!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what this group did.  Just goes to show that your wedding should be about YOU.  What’s important to YOU and YOUR FIANCE?  That’s all that matters.

It makes me want to go back and do my wedding ceremony all over again – especially since my dad is such a kick-ass dancer!

Last weekend I went to my cousin’s wedding and I figured where better to report on it than on my bridal blog!

Three years ago my aunt (my cousin’s mom, my dad’s sister, my mom’s best friend) died from breast cancer.  So, we knew going into this wedding that it was going to be an emotional ride.

We got in Friday morning and went to the rehearsal dinner that night.  It was at her fiance’s house and we had yet to meet the soon-to-be member of our family.  When we first got there it was only his family and we were kind of wandering around going, “Um…where are the people we’re related to?”  I last saw my cousin, Kimberly, at my wedding last April.  Same for the last time I saw her stepbrother, JT.  Her brother, Rob, I last saw shortly before my aunt died.  And, her other stepbrother, Dan, I last saw when I was 12.  My whole family hadn’t seen Dan in YEARS.

At one point my mom and I lost our husbands and as we were walking around we passed a guy who looked at us and I said, “We’re looking for our husbands.”  He said they were probably in the 50s room looking at this crazy cool old car.  Once we found our men, we headed to the buffet line and the same guy was there with a kid at his feet.  My dad walked up, looked at the kind and went, “Who this guy?!”  And the dad answered with his son’s name.  My dad bent down to say hi.  When he stood up, he looked at the dad and said, “Hey, I’m Pete.”  And the guy said, “I know.  I’m Dan.”  WHAT??!!  How had our family TOTALLY MISSED DAN!  It had CLEARLY been entirely too long.  And it was SO. NICE. to see everyone again.

So, I finally saw my cousin, Kimberly, who I love dearly and who can make me laugh like none other.  She saw all of us and started crying saying, “Oh, I forgot you were going to be here!” She seemed pretty distracted and not too grounded during the dinner.  I tried to talk to her alone briefly, but she just stopped me and told me I had food in my teeth.  Nice.

The next morning was a girls only champagne breakfast and Kimberly and her fiance’s house. This is us showing off her newly renovated cabinetry:

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This was such a great way to start the day.  Very relaxed.  Then, Rob’s longtime boyfriend, Levi came over to do all the girls’ hair, so my mom and I left and headed back to our hotel.

We had to be ready for family photos by 3:30 (wedding was at 6pm), so we didn’t have TOO much time between the breakfast and the photos to relax.  The wedding was held in her dad’s backyard (which is gorgeous and overlooks a golf course) and reception was at the community’s country club.  Photos were held at the country club.  The second Kimberly saw us walk in the door, she and my mom got all teary eyed.  A while into photos, I heard my name being called.  Turns out, Kimberly had requested photos of just she and me and I was very touched.  I can’t wait to see those because we did our Calvin Klein model poses.

After the photos we headed back to the house where my husband took one of my favorite photos.  It’s me and the guys I miss so much from that side of my family:

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JT, me, Dan, his son Aidan, Rob & Levi.  Can we PLEASE have a yearly reunion?  Please.

Here are my folks pre-ceremony (aren’t they super adorable?  My mom has lost almost 20lbs in the past few months!) and my husband and me being sassy:

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The ceremony took place outside with all the guests standing around the pool.  I was kind of worried about standing the whole time because I don’t do well standing too long.  But, two things happened 1. the ceremony was only about 15 minutes and 2. toward the beginning of the ceremony, the officiant (who also did my aunt’s eulogy) invited people to kick off their shoes and put their feet in the water.  Which is exactly what my mom and I did.

It was pretty emotional.  Before my cousin even came down we saw her fiance start to cry.  Then, what really floored my folks and eveyone in the above pic was when Kim was coming down with her dad and the officiant asked, “Who brings this woman to be married to this man,” and her dad answered, “Her mother, Pamela, and I do.”  Oh, God.  There were IMMEDIATE TEARS and loud SNIFFLES from pretty much everyone.  My dad said it almost knocked him to his knees.

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The ceremony was really great.  The officiant was very in the moment and didn’t sound rehearsed at all – it went well with the general atmosphere.  Her wedding colors were great, too.  A very lively, but calm feel.  The men wore grey suits and the women had this deep purple dress from Victoria’s Secret.

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One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was the sand blending ceremony.  My husband and I did this as well and we have our sand sitting on our mantel!  In this case, though, Lance (the fiance) had a son who is such a happy and friendly  kid.  Kim loves him – and Kim comes from a history of step kids, so this was very natural for her.  Well, they included the son in the sand ceremony after having all three of them promise to laugh together and enjoy each other.

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Their vows were very emotional.  They didn’t write them ahead of time.  Actually, I think Kimberly MAY have, but I do know that whatever she wrote she left at home.  Lance had told us earlier in the day that he was just going to “wing it.”  Now, I gotta tell you, my mom’s and my first reaction to that was not positive.  Oh, so you’re just going to WING your promises to MY COUSIN? TO MY NIECE? Do you KNOW how SPECIAL she is???!!!  Smack.

Well, our reaction was a little premature.  I think our family got to know Lance more through the ceremony than through talking to him (which we didn’t get to do a lot of).  He was a mess.  He was an emotional mess and, frankly, we were glad.  It was nice to see.  His vows were very simple and because he didn’t prepare them, they were very in the moment, heartfelt and CONNECTED to Kim and to what they were feeling.  It was quite beautiful, really.  And, if we weren’t all crying enough already, this kept the waterworks going.

The ceremony was over in what seemed like no time.  But the crying wasn’t.  We were a mess.  My dad held my mom.  Dan held my dad.  We all held each other.  Then grabbed a beer.

It was time to go dance and celebrate!

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The inside of the country club wasn’t one big room so there were tables all over the place – some in a good spot for seeing the dance floor and some not so much.  Our side of the family found a nice table in a room with french doors that viewed the dance floor perfectly.  It seemed to take a while for the dancing to get started and, really, that’s the most important part, especially for my dad and me.

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The speeches made us all cry again.  But then it was full party time.

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My cousin, Rob, took over the DJ booth around 10:45pm and did some spinning, which was awesome.  Except for the fact that about 5 minutes into it, my mom and I realized that our purses were gone.  They were on our table about 20 minutes before and then they were gone.  We had the whole staff looking.  Luckily, she only  had makeup in hers and the most important thing I had in mine was my cell phone.  My phone was on throughout the night (because I got a text message from the lovely Krista who was letting me know that her boyfriend proposed and she said yes! Love all around!) and so we decided to call it and see if anyone was dumb enough to answer.  Well, it kept going to voicemail so someone had turned it off or taken it for parts.  I was smart enough to get insurane on it, though, so there was only a $50 deductible (would have cost me $300!).

Finally, it was time to say goodnight.  We would be back at Kim’s dad’s in the morning for breakfast, but Kim and Lance wouldn’t be there because they had to catch a flight to the Domincian Republic.

At the end of the night we drove Kim and Lance home and, like most brides do at some point, Kimberly said, “I can’t believe our wedding is over.”  And a marriage begins.

I have so much to blog about!  I need to talk about Sunday’s Weddings: The Bridal Show and how much fun that was and talk about my awesome photo shoot with Mandy Whitley Photography, but FIRST, I want to start the buzz on the upcoming Elegance Bridal Gala!

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It’s sponsored by Ashley’s Bride Guide, and we all know how much I love Ashley.  I don’t know all the vendors, but I do know that my favorite pre-marital counselor and Unabridged Bride partner, Marie McKinney-Oates, will be there!

I’m so excited to be a part of this bridal show.  Austin, the woman who started it, has such a great vision.  She wants it to be classy and interactive.  It’s “little black dress” attire – how fun is that?  Plus, she’s encouraged all vendors to provide a way for the brides to get involved, not just walk up to the vendor table and have the vendor go on and on about how you should use him/her.  There’s one vendor that’s doing make-up application, one that’s having you make mini invitations at their booth and a videographer who will be filming live to show you what your journalistic wedding video could be like!  And me, I’m available to sit down with each bride for about 10 minutes and we can over this great pre-wedding checkist that I have (very unlike any pre-wedding checklist you’ve ever come across)!  So excited for the Elegance Bridal Gala!

I know I said we’d post this yesterday, but we just kept debating on who would be the winner (that I was at the big bridal show all day)! Everyone’s words were SO great and appropriate and personal. It was a delight reading them, and I think each person who entered has something wonderful to add to each other person.But, we had to choose someone….we chose Kristin! Here is what Kristin wrote:

I would use the word “fun” to describe my perfect wedding. Neither my fiance or I want a stressful wedding so whether or not we have a ceremony, reception or just elope, we will have fun. For the past eight years I have never been around someone who can always make me laugh and smile no matter what type of mood I am in. So regardless of the details our wedding will be “fun”.

We thought it was a great word considering how certain things today (such as the economy) are getting people down. It’s so nice to always remember to have fun and enjoy each day, especially your wedding day, as much as possible. So, congratulations, Kristin! We can’t wait to meet you on Thursday!

But, like I said, we did LOVE everyone’s word, so we want to offer something for everyone! We’ve got FREE seats for ALL of you at Thursday’s Unabridged Bride event! We want to meet the women who submitted such telling words and share with you what we’ve got.

If you have any questions or want to RSVP, you can do so on this site or to Liza at liza@maidentomarried.com.

AND, SOMETHING WONDERFUL FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO ATTEND, BUT DIDN’T ENTER: We’re slashing the price! We decided to make it more “economy friendly” so that, like Kristin said, we can all have fun! Check out the Unabridged Bride info page for pricing, time, directions and other details.

We are so excited to meet all you brilliant Nashville brides!!

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