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Brides, get excited about this fun and amazing giveaway!

What are we giving away, you ask?

All this has a value of over $350!

Now the big question! How do you win?!!

Just tell us one word you would use to describe the wedding experience you’re dreaming of and why.

You can submit that to one of two places:

1. Right here for all to see by leaving a comment on this post
2. In private to

We’ll post the winner on Sunday, July 12th right here!

(Don’t let this keep you from getting your Unabridged Bride, ticket, though!  They’re selling fast and there’s only one winner for the contest!  If you win and have already bought your ticket, we’ll give you a check for $25).

Have fun and good luck!


It’s been a little over a year since I got married.  My wedding binder with color swatches, lists of potential vendors and contracts sits about 2.5 feet away from me under my desk.  There are menus and programs, unused envelopes and thank you cards, the boxes I made for “Wedding Wishes” and a guest list in a box in my bedroom closet.  In another box in the hall sits a box with my wedding shoes, a box with our toasting flutes, a box with our cake knife and server, our wedding ring boxes in a bag from Robins Bros., a box with our LED tealights, hanging tealight holders and clear, green and light green marbles that went in the hanging tealight holders.



When is it time to get rid of all this?  Is it ever?  Do we just get some big on sale Tupperware piece from Walmart to throw it all into until random days when we feel like looking at it?  Isn’t our photo album enough?  I can pretty much guarantee that no one else really cares about seeing it again – maybe my daugher if I have one.

Do we create some ritualistic ceremony around the removal of wedding remains?  Should we burn it all and keep it in an urn?  That’s a little ridiculous, but not too far off the mark when it comes to the emotional attachment that’s there for these pieces of paper, tealights and marbles.

If we get rid of everything, is it bad karma?  Is it like throwing away the days that were our weddings?  Because it kind of feels like letting go of the magic.  In a way.  In it’s beauty, in-perfectness and uniqueness, it had magic.

When is it time to throw it away?  I have no idea.  I haven’t done it yet.  I’ve seen the space these boxes take up.  I’ve know that I could totally re-use that binder.  And I just can’t do it yet.

I feel like that scene from Pretty Woman when she goes shopping on Rodeo for the first time and she’s like, “I have all…this money… and no one…will take it…no one will take it!”

That gives me an idea!  There should absolutely be a Wedding Fairy.  She’d be kind of like the tooth fairy.  One night, when you feel you’re kind of ready (screw being totally ready), you put all your wedding stuff that you’ll never use again under your pillow.  Well, that would be massively uncomfortable.

OOHH!! No!  I’ve got an even better idea.  There’s a wedding TREE that you have!  Like a Christmas tree.  You can decorate it will all your wedding leftovers.  Make it fancy and pretty.  For things that don’t hang normally on the tree, wrap them up in beautiful wedding paper and put them under the tree.  Take TONS of photos.  Definitely photos of you and your husband in front of it.  Then, pop some champagne and start drinking because, no matter what, it’s going to hurt in the morning.  The Wedding Fairy comes that night.  Leave her some champagne and a note if you want.  It’s like reverse Santa Claus.  She comes and takes all your wedding stuff.  You get up, and all that’s left is the tree.  Well, maybe she should take the tree, too.  Otherwise, we be all, “Who wants to look at my Wedding Fairy tree for the millionth time?”

And that’s it.  Painless.  Kind of.  No pouring your stuff into a trash bag and throwing it into the dumpster.  It’s all taken care of in a very lovely way, like wedding stuff should.  Each family can create their own story as to what the Wedding Fairy does with all the lanterns, birds nests, candle holders and placecards.

I think it’s a great idea.  Until I finally decide when it’s a good time to get rid of all my wedding stuff, I’ll just keep asking the Wedding Fairy to come and take it to a better place.

Any and all brides in the Nashville area on Thursday night, July 16th, consider yourself officially invited to The Unabridged Bride: A Workshop.  We’re so excited about it!  It’s something the wedding industry has never seen, aimed at creating a well-rounded and knowledgable bride!

Click here for all the details!


Big thanks to Ashley’s Bride Guide for listing my “Asking for What You Want” post under Helpful Nashville Bridal Blogs!  Thanks, Ashley!


Coming back from the honeymoon can be a very weird thing, especially if you went immediately from your wedding to your honeymoon.  (Some people wait a few months.)  You’ve been on this roller coaster ride called getting ready for the wedding for a few months, a  year or longer.  You experienced increasing excitement/nervousness/wedding high in the weeks leading up to the big day, then in the few days leading up to the big day.  You picked up your dress, paid your final payments, hung out with your ladies, had the oh-God-can-you-believe-we’re-getting-married-in-whatever-amount-of-days-or-hours talk several times with your fiance and family and friends.

Then, it happens.  The wedding is upon you.  You’ve got your rehearsal dinner.  IT has begun.  And not the creepy clown.  Some people do a full-on weekend of celebration.  Your wedding day is full of emotion, full of family and friends – it’s surreal and flies by.  You and your new hubby sweep off to your honeymoon for days or weeks.  You’re in a romantic setting where you place your hands side-by-side to see your wedding rings next to each other, you tell people you just got married so you can hear them congratulate you, you kiss, you share drinks with little umbrellas in them, you consummate your marriage in all kinds of ways.  You swim with the dolphins by day and dance by night.

Then, you come home.  You get picked up at the airport and drive home.  You pull up to that same front door that you’ve pulled up for who knows how long.  You get out and roll your luggage to your front door, looking around and thinking that you’d rather be going back to your hotel room.  The same people you see every day are around.  Nothing has changed around you in the world at home.

You walk in and your place is a little musty from leaving all the windows closed for so long.  It’s dark so you’ve got to turn on the lights.  There’s no food in the fridge, so pizza it is.

And then you see it.  Your dress.  Hanging up.  Or maybe thrown over your bed.  The dress that you said, “I do” in.  And maybe you see your flowers because you decided to hang them upside down before you left.  And they’re all dried out.  They don’t have the life that they did on your wedding day.  A sadness sweeps over you that it’s all over.  That you’ll never wear that dress again.  Or, if you do, never in the same context.  All those months of planning and arranging and talking about what was coming…and now it’s just dried flowers and a white dress.  You want to cry a little.  You’re wondering if it’s wrong to be so sad at this moment.  You certainly don’t want to deal with the question of whether or  not to throw out your flowers.   When you think about hanging up your dress, you don’t think your closet is worthy of it.  Can it really just sit in there next to all your ordinary dresses?  But you don’t just want to leave it where it is.

And then you look at your husband.  And you realize you’re married.  To this guy.  To the man you want to spend the rest of your life with.  And it’s one of the first times you realize that marriage isn’t going to be flowers and pretty white dresses.  Sometimes it’s a musty smell, dead flowers, pizza and American Idol.  Every day can’t be lunch on white sandy beaches.  Sometimes it’s ordinary.  And, in this moment, you see that both can exist and you can still be you.  And you can still be a team.  And you hug your husband.  And he hugs you.  And maybe you cry because you’re sad and happy at the same time.

And you roll your luggage into the bedroom.  As you begin to unpack, he goes to check his email.  And it’s just everyday living.  And then you pull out that bag you had to buy to hold all the other stuff you were buying on your honeymoon.  And you go in and show him how ridiculously ugly it is.  And you two laugh.  And you’ve got your first honeymoon joke, refelction, memory.  You’ve begun creating memories and inside jokes as a married couple.  It’s little, but it’s huge, too.

Once you unpack and he’s done checking his favorite websites, you look at eachother and discover you are…hungry!  It’s been a long day of travel and the end of many days of excitement.  So, you call up to your favorite pizza place, order your favorite topping and settle in to share a relaxing evening before heading back to the daily routine of life.

And your marriage really begins.

June 26, 27: Premarital Workshop


Bound Together Premarital Education Workshop is a total of 4 hours of premarital education that will satisfy the requirements for a Tennessee Premarital Completion Certificate. Not only will you save $60 on your marriage license, you will also learn skills that are needed for a successful marriage.
Dates: June 26th & 27th
Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Fee: $60
Contact: Marie McKinney-Oates at

Marie is absolutely lovely and really makes premarital counseling fun & enjoyable.  I highly recommend this workshop!  Check out her blog, too.

The Unabridged Bride: A Workshop


Brides, get excited about this workshop for brides that you’ve never seen before!
It’s three hours devoted to setting you, the bride, up for wedding and marriage success!

You’ll hear from: Ashley King of Ashley’s Bride Guide, CJ Dickson of CJ’s Off the Square & Williamson County Weddings, Marie McKinney-Oates of Nashville Marriage Studio and me, Liza Hippler of Maiden to Married.

Date: July, TBD
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: CJ’s Off the Square, Franklin
More details coming soon…!

Elegance Bridal Gala


Thursday, August 13
6pm – 9pm
Little Black Dress Attire (how fun is that?)

It’s a new kind of elegant bridal show where you can interact with the vendors.  Get your makeup done, create mini-invitations, see yourself on a reality-style video!

Also, stop by and see me at the Maiden to Married booth! We can sit for a few minutes and fill out a questionnaire that’ll help you see where the transition from singlehood to wife could be most impactful for you!

Visit the Elegance Bridal Gala website!

Feel free to email me at or leave a comment if you’ve got any questions or comments about any of the above events.

Is it okay to ask for what you want for your wedding?  It may seem like a simple question, but many brides don’t for fear of upsetting someone.  I’ve come across a lot of brides who don’t want certain people on their invite list.  But they either feel obligated to for one reason or another or their parents are paying for the wedding and it’s friends of the parents on the invite list.

I’ve met other brides who feel they want more to be done in terms of pre-wedding events such as a bridal shower and a bachelorette party (myself included!) – basically, they want a bigger fuss to be made.

Still others are following religious traditions that they may not feel are in alignment with their personal wedding wishes.  The list goes on.

If this is supposed to be the most important day of your life (which is another topic), and we’re talking about YOUR life, YOUR marriage, YOUR future, why are so many brides so quick to acquiesse to the desires of others?  Why do so many brides just stay silent instead of asking for what they want?  More importantly, is there a proper way to ask for what you want?

A few reason why people don’t ask for what they want:

  1. They’re used to manipulating and don’t want to do that again
  2. They’re afraid of / don’t want to deal with what they assume will be the other person’s reaction
  3. They simply don’t think of it – it’s amazing the amount of people who say to me, “I never really thought about just asking for what I want…”
  4. They don’t feel they know how to do it right
  5. They don’t want to make waves
  6. They don’t want to be selfish

Most of the time, the reality is that they’ve never truly just asked, so they’re not really sure what the outcome will be.  Just, “Hey, this is really important to me and this is what I’d like to happen.  Can we make that possible?”  Many people try all kinds of ways to get what they want: manipulation, doing it for someone else in hopes the other person notices and does it back, getting angry, making demands, giving ultimatems.  If you’ve ever done these (and most of us have!!), how does it make you feel once you do get what you want through these means?  Are you truly happy?  Or do you feel that you’ve pulled something over on someone? Do you regret your behavior?

A big question to ask yourself: Is there a way to simply ask for what you want?  Clearly and simply?

I beg to say that there is. Many people immediately go into the reasons why they probably won’t get what they want – even before asking!

Everyone’s situation is a little different, but here’s what I suggest.  First, acknowledge the person from whom you need to ask.  As in one of the examples above, maybe your mom  wants people at the wedding that you don’t.  Acknowledging her may go something like this, “Mom, I really love that you want to share this wedding with so many people.  It really lets me know how much you love me and want to celebrate this occasion with others.”  Then, mom feels listened to instead of instantly attacked.  When we feel attacked, listening and communication shuts down and we go on the defensive.  So, first showing that you understand where the other person is coming from is important.

Second, state why the request is important to you…using the word “AND.”  AND is completely powerful in communication.  See these two and see which one feels better:

Mom, I really love that you want to share this wedding with so many people.  It really lets me know how much you love me and want to celebrate this occasion with others. BUT, I would prefer if they weren’t there.  I don’t know them well and would like to keep those I truly love and care about around me on  my wedding day.


Mom, I really love that you want to share this wedding with so many people.  It really lets me know how much you love me and want to celebrate this occasion with others. AND, I would prefer if they weren’t there.  I don’t know them well and would like to keep those I truly love and care about around me on  my wedding day.

“And” is likely to be  a a new concept to many…AND, can you see the difference between the two?  “But” can automatically put people on the defense as they feel you’re rejecting their view.  “And” shows that you hear them and you get what they’re saying and you’re requesting something else.

So, once you’ve acknowledged the other person’s perspective (if you feel you really can’t see it, keep looking.  Oftentimes, when a wedding is concerned, it comes from love whether it looks like it or not), you can ask for what you want.

It can be very effective to ask what you want by putting it on yourself and not on the other person.  For example, saying to your maid of honor, “I want you to throw me a bachelorette party and I want it to be huge and fun and…” puts it on the other person and can make them defensive.  On the other hand, saying something like, “This is a really special and important time for me.  You are and have been such an important person in my life, which is why I asked you to be my MOH, and I want to go and have a super awesome girly time with you and the ladies and really indulge in all of this!”  – it includes the other person.  It makes them feel they add value to your life.  When someone feels valued, they’re more likely to contribute.

At the same time, you’ll want to check in and make sure that what you want isn’t completely improbable.  If you’ve got a $15,000 budget and you want to fly everyone to France and get married under the Eiffel Tower, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment by asking for that.  Do you have to completely give up that dream, though?  Ask yourself.  What about a Paris-themed wedding?  Small metal Eiffel towers stuffed with flowers for centerpieces.  Serve escargot at the cocktail hour, etc.

If you’re afraid of someone’s reaction based on past reactions, it may be that that person was never asked, truly asked, in the above manner.  I invite you to let go of assuming someone’s reaction.  When asking with the intent of acknowledging and putting it on yourself, you could be amazed at the results.  And, how good you feel doing it.  Being clear and just plainly asking for what you want can be pretty powerful.

Asking for what you want can be very rewarding.  It’s best when all parties involved feel empowered – you feel you’re getting what you want and the others feel they have contributed.

There’s much to be written on this topic, but I’ve gone on long enough!  Feel free to ask questions if you’d like some advice or share your own stories!