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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!

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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!!

As you may or may not know, I not only coach brides, but “regular” people as well!  This Sunday, I’m running a wonderful 90-minute workshop in the Cool Springs area (yes, there will still be PLENTY of time to go to the Bridal Show!  In fact, I’ll be there with The Thirty Something Bride.)  If it’s for you, great!  If not, pass it on!

Creating a Great Life Workshop!
Sunday, July 12
11am – 12:30pm
The Woodhouse Day Spa

Work with life and personal results coach, Liza Hippler, of Sol Compass Coaching on clearing out and building your personal foundation. You’ll go over four main areas of life, figure out what’s working, what isn’t and come up with a plan to get all gears running smoothly. This workshop is perfect for anyone, no matter how successful or unsuccessful you feel in your life at the moment. Guaranteed to be fun, productive and inspiring!

PROMISES: I promise you’ll have a breakthrough in some area of your life!  I promise you’ll get a new approach to looking at goals!  And I promise you’ll have a clearer sense of where to go next in your life!

FEE: $20 (payable cash or check)
WHERE: The Woodhouse Day Spa, Franklin
1175 Meridian Blvd., Suite 100, Franklin, 37067
Check out The Woodhouse Day Spa’s Events Calendar for other great workshops throughout the summer!
SIGN UP: Either email Liza at liza@solcompass.com or contact The Woodhouse via email at  franklin@woodhousespas.com or via phone at 615.764.0004.


NEXT UP…hop on over to The Thirty Something Bride‘s blog!  She’s doing a FANTASTIC giveaway for two tickets to this weekend’s massive bridal show!  (Tickets sponsored by Jonahan Campbell Photography. Heart.)

Click here to see what you need to do to win!  Here’s a hint:

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It’s my favorite!  Looks like an old 1950s ad.  Love it.


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Not too long ago, I was “splashed” by the lovely and fabulous Thirty-Something Bride.  TSB, thank you so much!  I have secretly been longing to be splashed or to receive some sort of blog awad, so I now feel validated!  🙂

Here are a few blogs that I think are great for various reasons:

1. Little Spoon, Big Spoon This is a site where these two engaged love birds are doing something that’s rarely seen…they’re both blogging.  And it seems to be pretty equal blogging.  It’s refreshing and endering to hear both sides as they walk this path called engagement.

2. McKinney-Oates Cereal I splash this blog because it is so higly amusing.  Marie’s witty writing captures a lot of what the day-to-day life in the married world is like.  A little ridiculous, pretty simple and a lot of heart.

3. The Perfect Pallette This blog is inspirational and so easy to use!  It’s set up for brides to scroll through and get inspired by various color combinations and examples of how to use them in fantastic ways.  And, even though it’s set up for weddings, it can be used for ANYTHING!  The husband and I may be getting a house soon, and I’ve been using it for interior decorating inspiration!

4. Misadventures of a Newlywed It’s funny, timely, hearfelt and honest.  AND, she has Menu Mondays where you can get ideas to get out eating (and eventually loathing) the same 6 dishes all the time.  She’s shared about her faulty uterus and the surgery she went though and her recovery.  And through all that, she’s positive and funny and honest.  I love it.

5. Gekd Boutique She’s a wedding planner and designer of all things wedding.  Her blog has a lot of great inspiration.  My favorite thing about it is that she has playlist entries where she posts wonderful wedding songs WITH all the lyrics.  It’s something I haven’t seen done before and think is just wonderful

There’s one blog that I want to put on my list, after much debate.  It’s a hugely popular blog.  The woman who writes it  is also a best-selling author and she and her husband live off the money her blog makes.

A little note about me: I tend to be one of those people that doesn’t want to do the super “popular” thing.  But, eventually, I do.  I didn’t want to read The DaVinci Code.  After much balking, I did.  I didn’t want to get an iPod. So I got a Zen.  Don’t have an iPod, but wouldn’t be opposed to one.  And, the big one, I did NOT want to read the Harry Potter books.  I didn’t start them until the 4th one was out.  And now, I can’t talk enough about how amazing, heartbreaking and magical they are.

So, this blog.  I was told about this blog by a friend.  When I first went on, I only saw crude things (I am not opposed to crude.  I often got laughs on the Second City LA stage being crude), but I didn’t see how it could be so popular.  Her bio seemed egotostical.  I was put off.  Then, I noticed she was about to have a baby, so I started to read since the hubby and I are planning to start trying in the fall.  As I read, I was fascinated with the detail.  Then, she had her baby.  And her posts were amazingly touching, honest, very…well…human.  Her posts with the photos of her dog are hilarious.  I know she won’t ever know I splashed her.  And I still have this weird thing about helping out the “already popular” (maybe because I was such a nerd in middle school!), but there is a reason she is read by so many.  So, I splash dooce.com.

I’m sure there are more, but I wanted to make sure I got this post out!

The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive and inspiring blogs. When you receive this award you must:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let your nominees know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog

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Put together by the lovely Sarah Elizabeth and hosted by Ashley’s Bride Guide.  Should be a great way for brides to meet and talk about all things wedding and bridal!  For more information, click here.