Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When to Toss?

I think a lot of people either get all of the traditions, like the dances, cake cutting, etc. out of the way to let the rest of the reception be just for dancing and mingling, allowing guests to start leaving whenever they please OR they hold the bouquet and garter toss off till midway through to mix up the time so it doesn't feel you rushed everything and also so guests will stay longer since they'll want to see those events.

What do you think is the best way? How will/did you do it?


Sunday, April 26, 2009

For Every Death There is a Marriage

For those of you who follow this blog on a more regular basis, you know that Mr. P's parents were both ill and that's why we moved to Atlanta from Florida.

Mr. P's mom passed last year on June 28, 2008 and his dad passed ten months later on April 25, 2009.

This weekend has been a whirlwind. Mr. P was in New Orleans for his Bachelor Party. When his sister (who lives with their dad) couldn't get ahold of him, she called me and I was then in the midst of everything without Mr. P. On only 3 hours of sleep from being out all night on Bourbon St. I finally woke him through calling one of his friends and he had to endure the long car ride home, cutting his Bachelor Party weekend short.

The funniest thing is that one of the many random thoughts that went through my mind on Saturday is that a coworker of mine, who I don't know very well, was getting married in Orlando that day.

His forever happy day would be our forever saddened day. And how weird that was to think, but it's true that most likely that's the case for everyone. For every death, there is a birth and maybe even a marriage.

Not sure how I'll be with posting this week - either back to normal because the wedding is so close and the show must go on, or maybe a little less than usual, we'll see. I wanted to give the heads up because, well, what's a blog if it isn't personal?

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Moment

Every bride has that moment. The moment where all of a sudden, the reality of marriage, your husband-to-be, living a life together all comes together to knock you over the head and depending on your emotional threshold, tears may come to your eyes. Common times for this to happen to brides are usually during seeing yourself in a wedding dress for the first time, starting to write your vows, trying on your own wedding dress for the first time, etc.

I've tried on numerous wedding dresses. I've had my hair and makeup done. I've tried on my wedding dress for my first alterations fitting. I've tried on my dress, my veil, my shoes, my bracelet all together for my second fitting when the dress fit perfectly. I've seen and tried on my wedding ring. And I've even started to write my vows.

And nothing.

Until today.

Four weeks ago, when I found my wedding day shoes at Macy's, my mom went on about how she loved them on me and even my current Barbie pink toenail polish with them. She said to get that exact color again for my wedding day and not French, like I was planning.

Today, the first time back to the nail salon since I bought my shoes, I got the same color for my toes and fingers. As I came to the end of my manicure and see this Barbie pink color on my nails and think back on my mom's advice, it hit me.

I'm getting married. In three weeks. This is probably the last time I'll go to the nail salon before I get them done for my wedding day. I could potentially be wearing this color again on that day. I'm getting married.

And there you have it. My moment was alone at the nail salon.

I'm Missing "Something"

I have my something new, well, many something news: my dress, shoes, veil and bracelet. I have my something borrowed: earrings from my aunt. I have my something blue: my garter from Etsy.

But I am missing my something old.

I want it to be somewhat sentimental and not chaulk it up to old makeup or old bobby pins or something like that, but I'm wondering if that's what'll have to happen. I really have no idea and nothing to go off of at this point. I need help!

What are/did you ladies using/use as your something old?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Engagement Party & Photos vs. Anniversary Photos

Everyone has different ideas of how weddings 'should' be and what events 'should' happen before the big day. I like to think I'm a nice mix of traditional and non. The traditional side of me wanted all the pre-wedding events: engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party and maybe even a joint bachelor/bachelorette party to throw in the mix. I wanted to celebrate!

Mr. P and I got engaged March 21, 2008. Truth be told, the ring was probably burning a hole in his pocket, as we weren't entirely prepared to actually start planning a wedding for several reasons. So we didn't start planning anything, even setting the date, until late August, about 5 months later. But, that didn't mean we weren't engaged, so we wanted to throw a little party. We knew we couldn't do anything extravagant, so we just invited friends in town and four friends from Orlando (my hometown and where we met) over to our apartment for a cocktail party on a Saturday in June. The Wednesday prior, Mr. P's mom passed away.

Needless to say, the engagement party was immediately cancelled. It was not the time for many people, drinks and parties.

Time passed...and passed some more. Finally I mentioned trying again to celebrate our engagement, even though we had passed the traditional engagement party threshold of about 3 months. Mr. P said it felt funny because we had been engaged for so long already and passed on the opportunity.

Through the midst of all this, not knowing much about the wedding world at the time, the opportunity to have engagement pictures taken also passed us by. I had a hard time finding a photographer who I really loved (not to mention it was November by this point) and had to drop "includes engagement session" from my list of must-haves in a photography package.

Do I feel like I missed out? Well, I'll be honest, a little. Do I think a party and some photos are a necessity to feel good about my wedding experience as a whole? Absolutely not.

I was catching up on my Google Reader and came across a post at The Bride's Cafe about an anniversary shoot. LIGHTBULB!

This couple had an amazingly gorgeous photoshoot - old hollywood glam inspired - to celebrate their 2-year anniversary. Mr. P has wanted me to take some 'modeling' type photos again and what better way to accomplish than to include us both and channel our inner divas since this won't be used for Save-the-Dates or anything wedding related?!

It may not be a party. It may not be 'official' & 'traditional' engagement photos. But it's something. Something that a year from now could bring us back to thoughts of our wedding and the excitement of being married for one whole year.

So, do you think this is a good idea to present to Mr. P as a 1-year anniversary event? What type/style of shoot would you recommend for an anniversary shoot opposed to an engagement session?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shoe Change

Unfortunately one of my bridesmaids has waited till the last minute to buy her shoes that we all agreed on for them to wear and now they are out of stock. There are two shoes from ALDO that are similar that she'll have to choose from. Which do you think are the best?

Originals - picture in GOLD:

Option #1:

Option #2:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Ring - Bought!

Mr. P just called - he has my ring!!!

I'm so excited to see it. He says he's so happy with it and it matches my e-ring perfectly, which is great because it wasn't part of a set.

Apparently, Mr. P wants to be a part of my excitement, because he hid it in the house 'in case we get robbed' and he'll show me when he's home from soccer practice at 7PM tonight. (He coaches little kids.) So that's t-minus 3 hours!

Pictures will be posted, but I have to see before you see! lol. Yay, exciting day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This Is My Wedding

My four girls in their blue dresses and my mom in her black and white dress with pearls.
(I think that actually is her dress, it looks exactly the same.)

I hope to get such a beautifully natural candid like this - they truly look like they were having a great time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Real Wedding :: Joanne & David

One of my bridesmaids went to BALI with a guy, now her boyfriend, as a date to his friend's wedding a month ago. All I can say is breathtaking!

I can't believe MY friend got to go to this amazing wedding in Bali! Everything was so gorgeous. I love how the couple kept to the tropical feel of their surroundings for the ceremony and played it up a bit more for the reception. To see more, check out international photographer, Gabriel Mendes's Blog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ceremony: Complete

WARNING: Bridesmaids or anyone invited to this wedding - DO NOT read this post or I will come after you. You will undoubtedly feel immense guilt if you do and the ceremony will be spoiled for you. Be warned!
We met with the officiant this past Saturday for a face-to-face chat about how the ceremony would go. I brought my write up of the sequence, the general wording, readings, etc. Basically, he said it was perfect and we didn't change a thing! Wow, I was flattered. I really just spent some time one night researching/googling example ceremonies and readings. I put together everything I really loved and thought represented Mr. P and I as a couple and also what we wanted to get across through our ceremony.

Even though things turned out really well, this part of wedding planning was a real struggle for me at first. Once I got going, it somehow flowed together, but you know it's always hardest to start and gather thoughts initially.

To help others, here is the structure of our ceremony along with the readings. Let me know what you think!

We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to cherish the words which shall unite Mr. P and Kiana in marriage.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the family members of Kiana and Mr. P and to thank them for their love, support and devotion, as they grew from adolescence into the two beautiful individuals who stand here before us on this special day. We thank you for teaching them values and showing them the beauty and joy of loving another person.

A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once each day,
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each person can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right personIt is being the right partner.

Seek love and never take it for granted. Love is believing, sharing, caring and dreaming together. It is honesty, friendship, companionship, and selflessness. Love is the desire and commitment to be intimate physically, psychologically, and emotionally. It is devotion, celebration, understanding, forgiveness and sacrifice. Love is strong, yet it can be fragile. Love is gentleness, kindness, and patience. It is trusting, protecting, inspiring, and supporting.

Officiant: Introduce Kiana & Mr. P to read their self-written vows
Mr. P: Vows
Kiana: Vows

The wedding ring is an outward sign of an inward commitment. May these rings be to you a constant and loving reminder of the ties that bind you together as husband and wife.

Mr. P, repeat after me:
I give you this ring
as a symbol of my love and devotion.
May its presence on your hand
serve always to remind you
of my love.

Do you take Kiana to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Mr. P: I do.

Kiana, repeat after me:
I give you this ring
as a symbol of my love and devotion.
May its presence on your hand
serve always to remind you
of my love.

Do you take Mr. P to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Kiana: I do.

May the love that you share give you strength
May the life that you share bring you joy
May the dreams that you share bring you hope
May the faith that you share bring you peace
And wherever you are in your journey through life

May your hearts always find their way home

And now having pledged your love and loyalty to each other, I, by the power vested in me, now pronounce you husband and wife. It's my privelege and honor to introduce to you Mr. & Mrs. P and Kiana Last Name. You may kiss the bride!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Save the Date Video

Now this is what I call a Save the Date. Wow.

View here.

Details & Etsy Love

There's only 5.5 weeks till W-Day. So naturally, I'm tying up all loose ends, dealing with details, etc.

The past couple days have been successes with the details. Here's what's been done:

>I found perfect wedding day panties at Victoria's Secret.
>I ordered a runner
>I made the final decision to NOT order rose petals for the aisle because my aisle is huge at 125 ft. and I couldn't find anything under $420 to cover both sides for a total of 250 ft.!
>We/I decided our first dance, cake cutting, garter & bouquet toss songs
>My dad decided the father/daughter dance song
>We bought bathing suits for Cancun
>I made my hair and makeup trial appointments (hair trial in tomorrow!)
>I've finalized details with the florist and included a toss bouqet for cheap
And most recently, about 30 minutes ago, I gave the go ahead for Peterene from Etsy to make a reserve order for me for this gorgeous garter:

She has this one available on its own, but I asked if she could make me another as my toss garter. It's going to be a simple white band with the same flower. Perfect, I'm sold! This is my 'something blue'.

Another thing I wanted to get on Etsy was a pretty hanger for my dress to be showcased on in the hotel room. I did a search but only found one or two. I was a little surprised. But I found these at Target:

For $12.99, they might be the best bet and I can just give some of the extras to my bridesmaids. Anyone else find a pretty (and inexpensive) hanger for their dress?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bachelorette Party - Midtown Atlanta

After dinner at Geisha House, we went into the hot spot of clubs, lounges and bars in Midtown Atlanta. We stopped into a club that my guy friend knows the owner and got us VIP. There wasn't too much going on there, so we snapped some pics, drank the complimentary champagne and left. But, on the way out, there was a bright red stipper pole! My friend has been taking "Poleateaz" - basically pole dancing classes as workouts. (Get it? Pilates, Poleateaz?) She gave us a mini show, nothing raunchy, and you know, she's actually really good! lol She tried to teach me. It was a bit of a failure. Luckily there weren't many people there, so we weren't attracting much attention, otherwise I might've been embarassed lol.

My MOH, JR, and my Bridesmaid LK, made up a list of things I had to do while out at my Bachelorette Party that coordinated with the word "BACHELORETTE"...

I got B, 1st E, T, & T accomplished, but that's it! I wasn't exactly paying attention to it throughout the night, but it did somehow end up surviving and made it safely home for an addition to my scrapbook.

VIP at a couple more clubs and the night was over!

Bridal Party

Previous series posts:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bachelorette Party - Dinner

After playing the fabulous "Kiana's Bachelorette Game" we headed out to Geisha House for dinner and drinks. We got a few free shots for the occassion and the GM came over to us personally to give us the 2nd round...

This incident makes me wonder what people really think of as appropriate in their heads...

GM: Which one of you is getting married? You? (Nodding at me once he noticed the sash and crown.)
Me: Yep, me!
GM: How old are you?
Me: 23.
GM: You'll be divorced by the time you're 27.
Everyone: Whoooaa!

Then we took the shots.

Me - What I wish I would have said, but wasn't thinking on my feet: Well that's why you're divorced, isn't it?

I mean, yah, I get it, ha-ha, I'm young and you could maybe get away with a cute joke about that by saying it in the right way. But C'MON! Straight-faced and everything. Tasteless.

Luckily the food made up for it! Edamame, miso soup, and lamb = delish!

I bought everyone big, fake engagements rings from the $1 section at Target! Unfortunately, all the clear ones broke and we were left with too many reds lol. Mine is the huge, clear one on the right which I got at a bridal show.

Up next...the partying! Stay tuned ;)