Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The weird bond of brides

I think it's so funny how just the act of planning a wedding helps you forge relationships with people who you might never really interact with. I'm getting laser hair removal before the wedding. I'm 34 and I've gotten several coarse hairs on my chin in the last few years. I've christened them "man hairs". So I'm trying to kill them.

The esthetician who I'm going to is not someone who I'd normally click with. She's much younger and as awful as it sounds, I can just tell by the way she dresses, the clothes she wears, the amount of botox she appears to have used and her general demeanor (and please note that I'm not saying I'm any better than her - we just seem very different) that we don't have a lot in common. Except weddings. She just got married and she's been an absolute doll as far as giving me tips and helpful advice. I do think part of it is that she gets to talk about her wedding again but I also feel like there are a lot of brides who want to help others

Monday, July 28, 2008

Am I a lush? Hell yeah!

This will be only the second wedding for Marcus's family that has alcohol served at it.

So why am I serving alcohol even though I know some members of his family will freak?

1) I figure it's a great way to get extra prayers for my soul.

2) If we did everything the way his family wanted us to, we'd be getting married at the courthouse because it's so unseemly to have a big wedding when we've been living together for so long. They think it's a problem we need to take care of - not celebrate. Although, to be quite honest, if we did what they REALLY wanted us to do, they'd have my fiance moving back home into the protective arms of his mom.

We are keeping it to beer, wine and champagne to appease them a bit but this was one of those things my fiance and I weren't willing to compromise on. Our friends are older and tend to be pretty well behaved at parties so we're not worried but his grandmother will be there at the reception counting each drink every person has. And that's ok. We've made accommodations on some things but this is one we're not going to worry about. Cheers!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The careful art of trashing other people's weddings

First, I guess I want to throw out there that there are a lot of things that make me vomit. Dancing with your Dad to the song Butterfly Kisses. Making your bridemaids all wear the same shoes and pairing them up with groomsmen by height. Tiaras. Brides and grooms singing songs to each other during the wedding ceremony (especially "Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong"). Flowergirl dresses that match the bride.

But you know what? Who the hell cares what I think? You certainly shouldn't. If you've always wanted to sport a rocking tiara - please, wear one and get down with your bad self!!!

The reason I bring this up is because I sometimes find myself censoring a bit about what I want or don't want in my wedding based on who I'm talking to. My wedding planner's daughter just got married and I find myself being careful of what I say because I don't want to offend her inadvertently. It's also strange how worked up people get over wedding etiquette. I run a message board and some of our nastiest spats have been over things like dollar dances and wedding registries. I guess I don't understand why people get so emotionally invested in some of these things. If you get a wedding invitation with eight registry cards enclosed with it and you're offended, don't go to the wedding. If you had a dollar dance at your wedding and other people think they're tacky, who cares? I once had someone tell me that if you were going to offer alcohol at your reception, you had to have a full bar or it was tacky. You know what? I thought to myself "I'm so glad we're not friends and you're not coming to my wedding!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is our WEDDING cake, not our normal cake!

The Boy says the guy in the video is me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bridal Bargains - buy this book

Can I just say that this is one of the best books I've ever bought? I bought a few other wedding planners but except for the DIY Wedding, I plan on returning the others because they've really not been of much help.

One of the things I love most about the book is that it helps you be an informed consumer. One helpful tip was when you call a reception venue or a caterer, don't tell them it's for a wedding. Tell them it's for a family function. The prices for two of the places we looked at were cheaper for a "family function". Needless to say, they got marked off my list. Another helpful tip was to be very aware of salespeople trying to put you in a much larger dress than you need. This happened to me once - I tried on a Maggie Sottero dress and it was too loose in the bust. The saleslady tried to convince me that going up a size could fix that because then the dress could be tightened more with the corset laces?!!! Ummm...that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I used the questions they provided when I interviewed my photographer, wedding planner, DJ and florist.

I've only had this book for 6 weeks and it looks pretty beat up which proves to me how much I've used it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

THE DRESS!!!! (drumroll please!)

The first picture isn't of my exact dress but the style is almost identical and it's the only one I can find of the back of it.

The designer is Judd Waddell and I wish there was a way you could touch this dress through the Internet. The fabric is so amazing! I bought it in ivory. It's strange. I usually look better in white than in ivory if I'm wearing a shirt. I'm very pale and have almost no warm tones in my skin. When I tried on wedding dresses though, every stark white dress looked awful on me.
I think it's funny that all the bridal mags and fashion sites will tell you that if you're petite, don't pick a ballgown because it will overwhelm you. Ballgowns were the style that looked best on me by far and the simpler dresses didn't look very good at all.
Anyway - that's THE DRESS!!! I never had that moment everyone talks about when they just know it's the dress for them. I think part of that is because I'm very critical of myself. I'm a very passionate, emotional person but it took a while for me to commit to this dress. Now, I love it more and more each time I see it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We've picked our caterer!

I'm so glad I decided to go with a wedding planner. We never would have known about this caterer if they hadn't told us about him. In a strange twist of coincidences, he's the best friend of my hairdresser of ten years. He actually has two businesses. The first is catering for events like weddings. He also caters for celebrities that come into town. He catered meals for Allison Kraus and Robert Plant when they were in town for a concert.

We had our tasting and the food was delicious. We're didn't want to get too exotic with the menu because there will be people there who would be uncomfortable with overly "fancy" food. It was also important to me that we stay with mainly seasonal foods. There are so many wonderful fall foods that it seems silly to have shrimp and strawberries.

Here's our tentative menu:

Pre dinner hors d’oeuvres
*Fresh seasonal fruit and berries with domestic and international cheeses attractively displayed. *Baskets of gourmet crackers
*Grilled vegetables and antipasto display with Homemade blue cheese dressing
*Artichoke and sundried tomato dip with toasted baguette rounds

Buffet dinner
*Organic mixed greens with dried cranberries, feta cheese crumbles, candied pecans and Balsamic vinaigrette and Ranch dressings
*Pork Loin roulade with an heirloom apple stuffing
*Chicken Piccatta with a white wine lemon sauce and capers
*Butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce
*New red mashed potato and mashed sweet potato bar with sweet and savory toppings to include butter, sour cream, scallions, bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, chopped nuts,brown sugar, and marshmallows
*Haricot vert with sliced almonds
*Squash dish with the heirloom squash you will provide
*Artisan bread with butter and herbed olive oil
*Ice tea with lemon and pitchers of water included
*Freshly brewed coffee, hot spiced cider and hot chocolate
*Hot dogs with buns and appropriate trimmings for the children

One thing that I'm pretty excited about is that he's going to serve my Habanero Gold jelly at the reception. I can a lot and I can unmodestly say that it's the best hot pepper jelly I've ever had. Thank you Ball Canning Cookbook!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Wedding Dress Death March!

After going on several shopping excursions in Knoxville, I still hadn’t found a dress I was in love with. I had found plenty that I liked but none that I loved. So my mom and I went on a road trip.

At the end of June, my Dad had a high school reunion in Nashville and a priest that was a family friend retired so we all trekked down there so we could go to his retirement mass. So began what my Mom and I both call "The Wedding Dress Death March". We hit six stores in two days and I tried on 51 dresses.

I got to try on gowns at the same place where Eli Manning's wife bought her gown. The Bride Room was a wonderful place to look for a dress. They carry pretty pricey dresses (all designer) but it was a great experience. First of all, they were willing to accommodate me with a last minute appointment. The ladies that work here were so nice in a very genuine way (I can usually smell BS a mile away). They were upfront about what worked and what didn't work for me and they made my desperate dress hunt a fun experience. Charlotte is the lady who helped me and I highly recommend her! I found several dresses I really liked here. I'll be honest and say that I felt bad that I ended up not getting my dress here - they were that helpful and nice.

My next stop was SugarDrop in Brentwood. The lady that helped me was very sweet and I actually found my runner up dress here. She was very helpful and extremely patient with me while I tried on lots of dresses. I will say that it bothered me that I was told that the dress designers require them to cut the tags out of dresses. I understand that the lady that helped me was probably told to say that by the owner, but it did contribute to my decision not to buy my dress there.

Our next stop was Bridal Warehouse - lots of dresses to choose from at very good prices. The girl that helped me was very sweet but I had quickly turned into a fabric snob and didn't fall in love with anything here though.

A couple of our stops will be nameless because they were either rude or not helpful.

Our last stop was Faccio Bridal - This is where I found my dress! It was a Judd Waddell sample and even though it's a little snug, it's gorgeous. After looking at a million (it seemed like!) dresses, I've really become a fabric snob. Alissa is who helped me here and she was a real sweetheart, especially since I showed up without an appointment. I decided after I got home that I wanted to get this dress so they sent it off to the cleaners for me and shipped it to my house.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My new purchase

I stole the idea from a Victoria Secret's tank top. Get it at They have specials every week and frequently offer 10% coupon codes. I got this shirt and a rhinestone bride tank for $26.30 shipped.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My love affair with the shoes that might kill me

I bought my shoes to go with my dress before I bought my dress. I loved them that much. They're sex-on-a-stick and complete flowery goodness all rolled up into one high heeled package. Without further ado, I introduce.....THE SHOES!

Sigh! I FLOVE these shoes! But wait, it gets better!

And even better? They were only $80!!! Now the heel is kind of scaring me. Not only is it 3.5 inches tall but those heels are spiky! I can just see me gliding down the aisle and doing a face plant halfway up. I did order some of these but they don't fit very tightly on them. That sucks because I think the concept is genius.

I probably won't ever wear these shoes outside the house again (ahem!) but they're so perfect for me! I will have to find another pair with the same heel height to dance in for our first dance but even that hassle can't dim my love for these babies.