Monday, December 21, 2009

The Kiddie-Poos

I know a lot of other brides struggle with whether or not to invite children to the wedding. We did too. At first I was like, "Absolutely not! No rugrats allowed!" Then I thought about having a flower girl and how can you have a flower girl and no other children? Well, that seemed ridiculous to me. But what we finally decided (after much debate and struggle) was this: the whole reason we were even having a wedding was because we wanted our closest friends and family to witness our union. We believe that the people we invited to our wedding will be those people who stand up for us through thick and thin. We think that when the going gets rough, these folks will be around. Many of these people we love and adore have children, especially since The Candyman and I are thirty-something. Lots of our friends got a running head-start on the procreation thing. In some cases, if we didn't invite the kids, the parents probably couldn't come. All that just seemed to negate what The Candyman and I were trying to achieve with our wedding in regards to the importance of family.

We were quite lucky that our venue offered the perfect solution. Since we had a whole house buy out at Mere Bulles yet we did not need all the space, we were able to sequester the kids away upstairs. It turned out AWESOMELY! One of the rooms upstairs had a drop down movie screen. So we hooked the ankle-biters up with a few DVD's, a kid-friendly menu and a few babysitters. Have I mentioned the babysitters? No? They are none other than fellow local brides Miss Kriss and Sarah Elizabeth!
Look how effin' cute they are!

These wonderful ladies came to my rescue in my hunt for babysitters! I was trying to go through a service to get some reliable sitters, but that was a dead-end. I did not want to sign up and pay for some lame service since I only needed babysitters for ONE NIGHT! And guess what folks? When you don't have kids, sitters can be hard to come by. I definitely wanted someone over the age of 18 so some of my friend's high school kids were not in the running. I was stumped as to how to find anyone. I was complaining to Miss Kriss one night at the gym (she was such a wonderful sounding board!) and she totally offered to help me! She enlisted Sarah Elizabeth and I was all set! You guys (meaning Miss Kriss and Miss SE) totally rocked my world with your willingness to help out a fellow bride-in-need! Many thanks to you both.

As I mentioned before the wedding I had a kid's table all planned out. Their favors were old skool Cracker Jacks and I had a massive centerpiece filled with candy. From what I hear, the kids were totally jacked up on candy all night long. Sweet!

It looks like this had already been raided.

Look at this little puffin face! How cute, right? I love how Mere Bulles hooked them up with kids cups too!

The Flower Girl and her brother reach for a well-deserved treat.

After the adults had finished eating and toasts were made, we invited the kids down for cake and dancing. A few of the older kids wandered down, but most of them stayed upstairs for the most part. Here are the Flower Girl and her brother again, totally zoned out on a movie.

Although, some kids definitely wanted to get their boogie on. I couldn't resist this one as a dance partner.
I find a few things odd about this shot. First, I'm clearly gettin' down with my girl. Second, the parents watching? Not her parents. Third, is my mom standing barefoot? I think this was at the end of the night anyway, but it sure was fun. I do remember I was dancing to a song that I LOVE to dance to, Blame It On the Boogie by The Jackson 5. It's back when Michael still had black skin, a real nose and Tito was stylin'.

Craving Michael's sweater vest and belt. Hot.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yuck it Up




And back to the recaps.......

The great thing about a First Look scenario is that you get all the pictures out of the way (for the most part) prior to the ceremony and the reception. I am so glad we did this. Any of you with an ounce of Type A coursing through your veins - I highly suggest the First Look. Why? Because I was SO impatient! I was ready to get my reception on.

So after the first look, we had some more formal shots taken as well as some fun ones. Jonathon Campbell, photographer extraordinaire, has a photo-journalistic style, but managed to capture some really great formal portrait styles as well - all with just a hint of flair and personality. And when I say personality, I mean ours, not his. His photography shows off the personality of the people in front of the camera, not behind it.

The Candyman and I crack each other up all the time. We talk all the time. We make faces at each other all the time. We are cheesy and goofy and we don't care. We are so not cool, but I think we do a good job at faking it when we need to. Jonathon was able to capture that in ways that were endearing and charming and just plain romantic. What's great is that our families are the same way! Both are goofy and cheesy and fun and I am so glad we got that vibe captured on film! Below are some of the images that capture this spirit. While they aren't the ones that I will have matted and mounted and hanging in the living room, they are the ones I think I love the very most.
Typical. A shit-eating grin on The Candyman's face and me cracking up!

I absolutely adore this photo. Joshua, The Candyman's brother and Best Man is the wittiest creature I know. He can be so dead-pan. It's awesome. Joshua also has what The Candyman refers to as "The People's Eyebrow." I think this has something to do with the wrestler/actor The Rock, but I have to admit, my knowledge of the WWF is limited. Both The Candyman and his brother have the same eyebrow thing and Joshua is showing it here. I'm sure the look followed a snarky comment that set The Candyman into hysterics.

This is The Candyman and one of his other brothers, Preston. Preston was paralyzed when he was 18 years old (he's 40-something now) and has just the most incredible spirit. Wheelchair or no, those two behave like any other siblings.

OK, I've got to preface these next couple of shots. My MOH is not one who laughs or smiles a whole lot. She never really has been. It's not that she's grumpy or unhappy, it's just got to be something really funny for her to laugh. Her children are very similar. They are not unhappy children, just somewhat serious, like their mother.
Here we are about to get some shots of the The Flower Girl and the MOH and me. As you can see, the FG is taking this very seriously.

Jonathon took a couple of shots with the FG just sort of standing there looking at the camera. She wasn't smiling and looked a little scared. Sharon, Jonathon's partner in crime, gingerly asked her, "Do you think you can give us a little smile, honey?" And right on cue:

Jonathon (or maybe the second shooter?) immediately got this shot right after:
Me and the MOH cracking up at the FG. She went from this sad-looking little girl right into happy mode at the gentlest of prompting. It was too funny!

As I've mentioned several times before, I had to have some "help" in filling out my dress. Not familiar? You can read about it here. Here's my MOH in a moment of jocularity over the new wedding day cleavage!

And then me, checking out the girls myself:

My mother will totally hate this picture of herself, but I love it. She's totally laughing at me for some reason and clearly I'm enjoying myself too!

From the smug look on my brother's face, I know he's probably said something disgusting and/or completely inappropriate. However, since we're family and we all have a totally twisted sense of humor, we think it's funny too.

Now, this last shot might be my most favorite picture of all time. For reals. I'm not exactly sure how this started, but my brother and I have been doing this for decades. If I'm remembering it correctly, he and I were young and were acting up (Southern for misbehaving) one day. Someone (I want to say my dad, but it could have been my mom) told us to knock it off and to stop acting like little cretins. The adults left the room and I asked Austin what a cretin was. He made this weird face at me and made a strange sort of snorting noise and said, "That's a cretin." I mimicked him the best I could and said, "Like this?" And he said, "Yeah, like that!" And thus, The Cretin Face was born. It lives on to this day. Behold, The Cretins.

So it's Friday and this is the last weekend before the holidays. If y'all are as behind as I am then it will be a crazy-insane weekend, no? The beginning of next week is going to be so off-the-hook for me that I'm not sure how much posting time I can get in! Besides, The Candyman and I are heading out to The Carolinas to visit families so will be on the road quite a bit. If I can't get in any good posting time I want to say the following:

Merry Christmas to you. Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish peeps. Happy Kwanza to those who celebrate it. But to all, regardless of how or where you celebrate this time of year, I wish you peace, love and all the happiness and health that The Candyman and I are blessed to have. Please be safe in your travels - look out for the other guy as he might not see you. Please don't drink and drive. Lastly, thank you to all of you who have followed and who continue to follow me in my writing and rants. You have made my wedding journey unforgettable in so many ways. Happy Holidays everyone! More recaps to come!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How YOU Doin'? The First Look!

Thank goodness Jonathon didn't get any pictures of me trying to get into my Dad's car in the wedding dress! It was too funny! I was thinking that I'd shimmy across the back seat and sort of lounge to keep my dress from getting wrinkled. However, the back door didn't open up wide enough for me to back in without the dress potentially getting all up in the door jam and stuff, so I quickly abandoned that idea. My dad moved the front seat back all the way and I climbed in, arranged my dress just so in order to avoid it touching anything and we were off to Owen Chapel!

We got there just as The Candyman was climbing out of his car and I started screaming, "He can't see me yet! He can't see me yet! DAAAAA-AD! Drive around the other way! Drive around the other way!" Tabitha (my fab planer) was in front of the church and I rolled down the window and yelled at her, "Keep him away! Keep him away!" I have no idea why I was so frantic as we we going to officially see each other about a nano-second later. But anyway, Tabs went running across the parking lot and kept The Candyman at bay so that I could climb out and sequester myself away in the back of the chapel!

We got all that taken care of and arranged for The First Look. There are two definite camps when it comes to The First Look. Some vehemently oppose the idea. Others just don't give a damn. I was vehemently opposed to the idea from the very start. Bad luck, you know. However, as time went on, I realized that I wasn't as opposed as I thought. In fact, I totally switched camps. Why? I feared I would be so nervous that experiencing walking down the aisle and the ceremony would be consumed by my whirling brain activity versus paying attention to what was going on right in front of me. The one thing that calms my nerves? The Candyman. I knew that if I saw him before The Big Show, that all my fears would disappear, if I had any. It turns out I was amazingly calm, but getting all the pictures out of the way was a huge time saver and I'm totally psyched we did it!

The Candyman was set up inside the chapel and I entered through the doors behind the pulpit area.

I wonder what The Candyman is thinking! He looks quite devious here.

Hey, baby! You clean up good!

I just love this shot. The beautiful simplicity of Owen Chapel makes me so happy. So happy.

Just practicing!

You know, it's kinda hot in here. Oh, and please look at my sew in bra-cup and teeny boob. I wonder how many people I flashed that night? Hm..... That's what happens when you lose weight right before your wedding. Things start moving around.

Practicing my exit solo. Just kidding. I was just going outside for more pictures.

I want to let y'all know something important. I am NOT posting my most favorite pictures or the best of the best of the all the best that I got from Jonathon Campbell Photography. Why? Because Christmas is in 8 days people! There needs to be SOME element of surprise. Sheesh!

So until December 25th, y'all will have to make do with what I consider my second favorites! Don't worry though - I'll share all in due time. Patience is a virtue, right? RIGHT????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let's Get it On

The dress, that is.

After I chilled out with my BFF and had something to eat, it was already time to get dressed. WHERE WAS THE TIME GOING? So fast, so fast. It all goes by so fast.

I was worried about getting into my dress as it was going to have to go on over my head. Compared to my hips, my waist is small, so there was no way I was going to be able to shimmy my ass into the dress by stepping in. Trust me, I'd tried several times at my fittings! However, I decided to give it a go anyway since I could not see how my little 5'2" MOH was going to put the dress over my 5'10" head without a comedy of errors ensuing.

My effort was proof positive that I'd lost weight that week. I was actually afraid as I'd put weight on the week before that! I think my nerves and all the craziness just melted a few pounds off. My dress was just a teeny bit big. This wasn't an issue until later (the chicken cutlets were involved).
Here's my MOH locking me in!

One of the detail shots that JCP got really surprised me. I was using a jewelry bag that my MOH gave me as a gift when I was her MOH. They had it hand-embroidered with my initials. How lovely, no?

Once I had my dress on and my dad showed up, we got the veil on and I was ready to go! I had already done my MOH's make-up and fluffed her hair so were we all set!

I'd like it to be known that the look on my face at this very moment is one I am glad not to have on film. I think I was freaking out looking at myself in the mirror with the dress and veil and all. I know it sounds weird, but as long as I wasn't looking at myself, I was doing A-OK in terms of my nerves. I started avoiding mirrors whenever possible.

I love that Pops is carrying my shrug!

"Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get ma-aa-aa-aried."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Something Borrowed

Once me and the MOH got back from gettin' our hair did, I was able to breath in and out for a few minutes, eat my sammy and enjoy a little Prosecco. Aaaaaah....Prosecco.

I have to back up just a small, teeny bit in order to go forward- like about 10 or 11 years ago.... Y'all know Charlotte Russe, right? Well, back in the day there were only 20-something stores and all of them in California. Well, I lived in LA and was an assistant manager and a store manager for them. I have to be honest, it was SO much better then. It was kind of like a less expensive BeBe's - not the crappy junk it is now (so depressing when I go by it in the mall). Anyway, I met this chick Barbara, another assistant manager there and we did not get along. She was kind of snooty. I think she thought I was kinda pushy (Who? Me?). I'm not exactly sure what changed about that between us, all I know is that we were suddenly friends. It might have been the fact that we caught each other rockin' out to Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" one day at work. I think that kind of broke the ice, if anything. We weren't just co-workers, we were friends. I consider her mother and father to be my surrogate parents. They hosted me on holidays when I couldn't go home to see my parents because of our stupid jobs and having to work bullshit retail hours. They were my second family.

Years after I had left California (Barb and I are still in the same field and saw each other at trade shows every few months - so cool!), Barb fell over a filing cabinet at work. To date, she's had several knee surgeries and a major back surgery to try and fix the on-going, never-ending saga of workman's comp and horrible pain that really and truly wasn't her fault. She's dealt with countless lawyers and doctor's and it just sucks. It sucks that I can't make it all better for my wonderful friend.

The up-side to this depressing tale is that she was able to get on a plane for the first time in many, many years and make it here for the wedding! Right before I started getting dressed for The Big Show, Barb stopped by the room. She brought with her my "something borrowed."

If you can't tell, that's a QUARTER sitting in the middle of that wedding band. The ring belonged to one of Barb's father's Norwegian ancestors - clearly a giant man. The ring is very old and has been to hundreds of weddings. It is considered a good luck charm and has been in the pockets of grooms and groomsmen. It has been tied into the bouquets of brides. It has been present in the purses and pockets of wedding guests - all to bring the happy couple good luck.

I too, tied this giant ring into my bouquet. It seemed appropriate to have a part of my second family, the people who care for me and love me as much as my own, join me on my wedding day. The most important thing of all was having my dear friend Barbara as a witness to our ceremony. It would not have felt right without her. I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Once Upon A Time.....

....there was a Thirty-Something Bride. This is the story of her wedding day.

I woke up early that day, but not too early as I had dosed myself the night before with two (count 'em TWO) Tylenol PM's (for those of you not in the know, The Thirty-Something Bride has serious sleep issues). The house was quiet as The Candyman was staying with his brothers. I got out of bed and walked over to the window. For the last 2 months Nashville had been plagued with torrential downpours, much to my planning chagrin as October is historically the driest month in Nashville. Keeping this in mind, crossing my fingers and squeezing my eyes tight, I grabbed the turny-thing on my blinds and opened them. I opened my eyes. I started to bawl - from sheer happiness! There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining. I prayed to myself, "Dear God, I freakin' owe you one. BIG TIME."

I had planned for my mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law to come over for coffee prior to the start of the wedding day madness. I just wanted to spend a few minutes with the people who know me best. I wanted to be free to freak the fuck out, if need be. Happily though, I was calm. I was in need of some waterproof mascara though (what if I cry!) so made an early a.m. run to Kroger. I also swung by the drive-thru Starbucks and ordered the usual: Grande Skinny Hazelnut Latte, extra hot, no foam (it took me a about a year to figure out how to order it). I proceeded to tell the drive-thru barista of my pending nuptials. Um, duh. Like, I'm not going to freakin' tell every single person who doesn't already know?

As I was driving back to the house, a car flashed it lights at me for some reason. It was early in the morning, we were on a nearly deserted road - what the hell? I slowed and saw why: to my far right was a large group of deer. They decided to cross and were coming around the bend to do so (which is why I didn't see them and why the other driver "flashed" me). About 9 of them picked their way across the road while we waited. The last, a doe, paused right in front of my car and turned and stared right at me for about 3 seconds, then followed her team into the forest. It was like she was saying, "Yeah, I know it's your day, but you still have to wait for me. Have a good time." Seriously folks, I'm not making this shit up.

I had a lovely, but brief time having (more) coffee with my family. They calmed me, in their own weird way. I knew I had to be at the hotel to pick up my MOH at a particular time. For some reason, I equated the time I needed to be there, with the time I left the house. Um, duh! Already late! Happily, it was Sunday morning pre-church time in Nashville (trust me folks, you do NOT want to get caught in post-church traffic - it blows!) and I hauled ass to the hotel in no-time flat. My MOH was waiting outside (God love her!) and she hopped in and we were off - right on schedule!

We arrived at J. Bangs Salon and Julie arrived a few minutes later (yes, I was slightly worried for about a nanosecond) and we got to doin' the 'do! Jonathon, Sharon and Tabitha arrived shortly thereafter and we were off and running!

I had a slight amendment to the up-do from the trial and was just slightly nervous. No worries, Julie knocked it out of the park!

Hair done, sans make-up.

I just LOVE Julie's expression here!

The MOH in her active role as Social Historian.

DIY hair toys? Check!

Sooooooooooooo relaxing!

Julie's palette.

Once we had our hair and make-up done, we sent Tabitha (my planner) on a quick run across the street to Bread & Co. to grab us some grub! Seriously ladies, you MUST eat. If Tabitha had not insisted, I probably would have passed out from hunger later during the day! With to-go sammies in hand, we jumped in the car and headed back to the Hilton to finish getting ready!

Jonathon rode with us!

We look like a couple of hippies! Love it!

I know I mentioned this once before, but I felt so pretty the day of my wedding. I highly recommend a make-up artist if it's in your budget. As y'all know, I blew my budget in the beauty area. I. Don't. Care. I didn't care then and I don't care now. I was just soaring I felt so pretty.

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

Sorry. Channeling my inner West Side Story fantasy. Stay tuned for more!

Sportin' my Wedding Chicks t-shirt!

I will say this and I will keep saying it. I LOVE MY PHOTOGRAPHER.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby, It's Effin' C O L D Outside!

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? It was 19 degrees out this morning. Nashville is NOT supposed to be this cold. This is like bullshit Chicago cold, and my dear bloggo-buddies, I DID NOT leave Chicago because of it's balmy fucking weather.

I left Chicago in January of 2005. I had my kitties tucked in the back seat along with as many plants as I could haul in my car (they all died, by the way). I left on January 25th and had already dug my car out of 12+ inches of snow four times. As I was heading out on I-94, it started to snow. I rolled my window down and flipped Chicago the finger. You can take your lake-effect freezing temperatures and shove them up your ice-cold butt, Illinois.

This rant comes on the heels of some new information: that I will be heading overseas in January. Oh, the joy that is my life. I HATE going to China in the winter. It's even more depressing than it already is. Dirty and cold is less tolerable than dirty and hot, in my opinion. Some might argue this point with me, but I'd tell them to go spend 8 hours in an unheated factory and then decide.

I have been able to avoid this scenario for the last couple of years. I've been able to travel in March and April when the weather is more predictable. Perhaps wet, but not cold. Not this year, oh-budget-conscious-friends. I gotta go when they tell me to go and January it is. Mother-effer. I am NOT looking forward to the weirdness that is the Chinese (and perhaps other cultures, I'm not sure) way of dealing with the cold. I don't think they believe in heat. I know that many areas lack the resources to heat their establishments and I get that. In some cultures, they believe that multiple people in a room with heat will make everyone sick as hell. There is some merit to this theory, but germs live in the cold and heat, folks. I was in a meeting in a high-rise building in Hong Kong in January several years ago. The room was small and the window was WIDE open. It was below freezing outside. I closed the window (I'm the customer, I can do that). I left the room, came back and the window was open again. I closed it. This little back and forth went on a few more times before I closed the window, turned around and said, "I'm freezing my ass off. If any of you open that window one more time, I'm outta here." It stayed shut. However, a small room in Hong Kong does not compare to a 50,000 square foot factory showroom that doesn't even HAVE heat. Standing on a concrete floor for 8 hours does not a happy Thirty-Something Bride make.

It is SO hard to pack and know what to wear. I have to look somewhat "professional" so it's not like I can wear some ski pants and call it a day (I have contemplated this). Lots of times I go directly from an airport to a factory and back to an airport all in one day so it's not like dressing for the tundra can be easily accomplished. Also note that winter gear is bulky and heavy and I have to pack for about a month and be able to transport all my own luggage (including laptop roller/paperwork) solo.

On top of all this bullshit, I have what's called Raynaud's Syndrome. Basically, it's a response to extreme cold. Blood vessels in the hands and feet appear to overreact to cold temperatures or stress. With Raynaud's, arteries to your fingers and toes go into what's called vasospasm. This narrows your vessels dramatically and temporarily limits blood supply. Over time, these same small arteries may also thicken slightly, further limiting blood flow. The result is that affected skin turns a pale and dusky blue color due to the lack of blood flow to the area. Once the spasms go away and blood returns to the area, the tissue turns bright red before returning to a normal color. When all this lovely stuff happens - it HURTS. The tips of my fingers/toes start to feel like they've fallen asleep. Then they go completely numb. Where the vessels have clamped shut and the blood stops flowing is where the pain is as the blood start to pool and cause pressure. When the vessels finally open up (gotta get them WARM!) the blood rushes in and that hurts too. It sucks.

So instead of investing in what I would like to buy the lovely holiday season:

Hello over-the-knee Stuart Weitzman. *le swoon*

I'm trying to figure out a decent pair of WARM boots that won't weigh a ton and look somewhat cute and can be yanked on and off at airports without have to completely undress myself.

These are kinda cute and have an elastic stretchy thing on the back. I think these would be an easy on-off boot.
These have a bit of a groovy factor to them, but not sure how warm they would really be. I like the stacked heel though - puddles.

These Sketchers look delish and zip on the side.
These are on the cheaper side and still cute and potentially warm.

Anyone got any suggestions for warm boots? UGG Boots are out, just so ya know. I refuse to pay $200 for giant slippers. Warm, yes. Practical in any sense of the word - no.

P.S. All the boot pics are from Zappos. I'm a VIP member. LOVE them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Kick-Ass!" or "A Merry Little Christmas to Me!"

Are you familiar with Bright, Bold and Beautiful? No? You should be! Laura offers up some fantastic design ideas. She's aslo an amazing artist in her own right. She paints pretty watercolors. See:

Go look at her Etsy Shop too.

Anyway, she had a coolio contest a few weeks back and I won! God, I love contests. I mean, I love having them (I get so excited, it's sick) and I love winning them. It's always such a great surprise because I don't ever think I'm going to win.

Laura's contest was for Etsy shop (you know I loves me some Etsy) Carla's Custom Creations. I get to choose something off her Etsy shop or have a custom item made. I'm loving this thingy:

Cute, right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I've got a few things on my mind that maintain no cohesiveness whatsoever.

1. I realize that I have not finished the budgeting recaps. I'm waiting to get my pictures to recap all the other ooey-gooey love stuff and how the day went. I should have those pretty darn soon.

2. Christmas is a mere 18 days away. Holy effin' hell. I am SO behind. One of our neighbors has this electronic Christmas Countdown thing in their front yard. They put it up the day after Thanksgiving and it counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Christmas in big red lights. I have to drive by it every day. That sign mocks me.

3. Why aren't the red Serrano peppers I need available anywhere? I have been to 4 grocery stores (including the K&S Mercado Internationale) and cannot find red ones, only green. WTF? Is there a "season" for the red ones?

4. I have a severe case of Blog Envy. It's true. There is a bridal blogger out there who I love. Everyone loves her. She's new on the scene and I'm super happy for her blogging success. However, the bitch refuses to follow me. I stalk her blog. I leave comments. I do all the things a fellow blogger should do and nothing. NOTHING. Why does this bother me? Because I want really cool people to like me. It's true. I'll admit it. We all do, right? The whole, "I don't care what other people think" is bunch of bullshit because if that were true, we'd all be getting married in sweats after The Top Chef finale. OK, well maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

But seriously, why won't she follow me? Why doesn't she comment? I feel we are slightly similar in our styles and approaches, yet I get no love. None at all. I follow 80 bazillion blogs. I don't comment half as much as I should, especially to those who are regular Thirty-Something Bride readers (shout outs to A Los Angeles Love, Sarah Elizabeth, A Bride in Boots and Big Spoon, Little Spoon who always give me comment love). However, when I get into Google Reader, I get lost in the DIY blogosphere and the next thing I know, it's midnight and The Candyman gets pissed if I stay up too late and leave the lights on, etc. I can't help it - I get distracted by the likes of Design*Sponge, Poppytalk and iDIY.

It makes me sad (and slightly irritated) that I have this evil blog envy. Why cannot I just love what I have (like all you loverly followers!) and not what I don't have? Hm. Perhaps that was just an "aha" moment.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Winner!

Oh, I have to say that I am SO freakin' excited to announce the big winner of the Florrie Mitton Couture wedding garter! I have to say that I am super excited for her because she was one of my very first followers! We had many-a-offline conversation about lace (she made her veil too!). She planned her NYC wedding in four months (!) and now lives in London, planning her second wedding in Taiwan! Amazing! Congratulations to Miss Chic 'n Cheap Living!

Girl, email me stat so I can give you the super-secret code to share with Claire so you can claim your custom garter! And how appropriate that you won, considering she's in Lancashire!

Thanks to ALL of you who made this contest such a rousing success! I really appreciate the tweets, blogs and comments! I *heart* my readers. It's true.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Ceremony , Part II

I know it's a blurry one (my friend claims she was bawling when she took it), but I just love how The Candyman planted one on me!

As I mentioned before, The Candyman and I totally lifted several parts of our ceremony from fellow Bloggers as well as from traditional wedding ceremonies. I have no shame in admitting this because what we found from others was incorporated into how The Candyman and I chose to commit ourselves to one another. How you do that is completely up to you and your fiance.

We found a part of our ceremony through one of my favorite budget brides at 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding. She had created a list of favorite ceremonies. We stole part of our ceremony from Peonies and Polaroids.

Here's how it started:


The Candyman and Louise want to thank each of you for coming today to share in this very special time in their lives. Those of you who have been invited here to witness Louise and The Candyman's wedding ceremony and to celebrate with them today will play your part in their marriage too. There are only two official witnesses at a wedding but each and every person here today will witness the words that they will speak to one another and the vows that they will make. You should take good care to remember these words; for a marriage needs the help of a community, of friends and family who will be there when needed and will do all that they can during hard times to stand by Louise and The Candyman and offer their support to them and the new family that they will create. May you always do all within your power to support the union that will be made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom you love.

Throughout time countless millions of people from many cultures, religions and societies have gathered among friends and families to celebrate their love for one and other and their commitment to each other. Each culture has symbols and rituals to celebrate marriage from the Japanese tea ceremony to the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass, a rich tapestry of traditions from around the world combine to symbolize the meaning of marriage. And today we should try to remember that a wedding is a symbol, a beautiful, heartfelt and meaningful symbol but a symbol nonetheless. This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments The Candyman and Louise have made to each other, both large and small, in the days since they first met and recognized their connection to one another. It is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others. And it is in the spirit of these symbols that The Candyman has prepared a poem titles The Great Concatenation and has asked his friend James Monroe to read for us.

The Great Concatenation

At dawn, the morning fog crowds

About church steeples as if pausing in meditation

Before beginning the day

And in that quiet stillness

I belong to you

The light of the setting sun

Glinting off grain silos makes me pine for you

I can't explain why

In your eyes, there lies

The pulsing flirtation of fireflies

Hovering about paper lanterns

Suspended effortlessly in the summer night

The space between us aches me,

As seas of mist converge above my head in cloudscapes

Like weightless gray elephants in some distant caravan across the sky

There lies a part of you to delight me in all the beauty that I behold,

From the eerie astral eye of the Hourglass Nebula

To the gooey center of a perfect grilled cheese sandwich

The thread of you is woven through the firmament

Even our very atoms were once the embers of ancient stars

But through some great concatenation

We have arrived here in this moment finally whole

To revel on the miracle that is us.

Yeah, my man wrote a poem for me on our wedding day. How bad ass is that? I'll write about our vows later in the week. Dallas is kinda sucking. They call it Dall-ASS, Tex-ASS for a reason, folks.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Ceremony, Part I

This is an auto-post. Just so you know. When you read this, I will educating others on the beauty and splendor that is my January 2010 release (home decor is like, so much later than RTW fashion). We can only hope that it's a smashing success.

In the meantime, there are things I have yet to share about the wedding. Big, beautiful, lovely things that you simply must know.

Our ceremony, if anything, was totally lifted from a host a resources. The Candyman, being the wordsmith in the house, had final say over the vows and I completely trusted him in this endeavor, even though I did fight with him on some things. With time, I saw he was right.

Th template we used came from our wonderful officiant, Minister Ralph Griggs. Minister Griggs is a wonderful, non-denominational minister. Since The Candyman and I don't belong to a church here but wanted to marry in a House of God, the combination of Minister Griggs with Owen Chapel was personally, the best for us. We could not have asked for more or better.

Minister Griggs has a wonderful (and easy) Ceremony Planner that covers the basics of any Christian ceremony. If he performs the ceremony, the guide is free. You can edit the guide at will to meet your religious and commitment needs (that sounds like a commercial, "to meet your commitment needs, call us!").

He also has at At-Home Marriage Preparation Course that comes free with his services. The Candyman and I found this course very interesting! If you take the course, you save $60 on your TN marriage license. Since The Candyman and I believe in counseling, we didn't have to complete the course, but we got through most of it anyway because it was so interesting. It asks really interesting questions that you don't normally think of. For instance, there was a question that asked us what we would each do if we won a million dollars. Like, for real. Don't be all, "Dude, I'd totally go to Vegas, and then Prada and then buy a phat crib." If you both say that, then um, you might have some issues later in life - I'm just sayin'. What was cool is that we both had the same answers - just allotted differently. My plan was to save most of it, pay off law school loans and help family members with the rest. The Candyman had pay off law school loans, help family members and then save the rest.

For some reason that small activity gave me a huge feeling of being bonded to The Candyman in a new way. It gave me such a comfort to know that while we may not have agreed on percentages, our priorities of what was important to us was similarly sound. The entire course was laid out in much the same way. Simple activities that gave you pause to think and compare. As I have mentioned before, I think counseling either by a priest, minister or counselor is always a good idea.

WEDDING TIP #9 - If you do decide to go to a counselor, therapist, shrink, guru, minister, priest or shaman - know this: if either of you are unhappy or uncomfortable with the individual chosen to assist you in your couple's training, you should choose another.

The Candyman and I had started counseling with an individual who was horrid. HORRID. I cannot and will not tell you the things this woman said to us. "Bu-bye" was what we said to her. Do not feel you have to stick with someone who makes you unhappy, simply because they are a professional in their field. Properly trained people in the field of therapy should make you feel positive after a session. They should encourage you to look inward, seek resolution, practice new behaviors and to be open and honest without being hurtful or unkind. Sometimes these practices are painful and difficult to work through. However, the person who is trained and who you pay to give you sound advice should prove trustworthy to you and your partner. I'm just sayin'....

Anyway, I can't gush enough about Minister Griggs. He performed our ceremony with feeling and with intent. Several people commented on the ceremony and how they liked how we incorporated certain elements. We are just so thankful that we were able to find a minister who was willing to give us the ceremony that The Candyman and I dreamed of having. We both had a little concern about that, living in what can sometimes feel like the buckle of the Bible Belt. The Candyman and I were raised with Christian backgrounds, but neither of us has ever found "home" in a particular church, so we don't go. The churches in Tennessee can often be a little conservatively aggressive to our more liberal thinking. Knowing that we could honor our God as well as ourselves and our beliefs was such a wonderful relief to us, a very natural and obvious choice.

Thank you, Minister Griggs for a wonderful service. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your role in our wedding celebration!

Coming soon - The Ceremony, Part II or How The Thirty-Something Bride and The Candyman Lifted Their Wedding Ceremony from Fellow Bloggers. It could go either way. Stay tuned!

P.S. I had some pictures planned to post with this, but Blogger is uploading black squares at this very moment. My apologies for lack of visual stimulus.