Friday, June 29, 2012

Get Date Night Back on the Books

How many days (weeks? months?) have passed since "date night" appeared on your calendar? With all the coordination and expense involved, it's way too easy to let this slide. But don't! Date night doesn't always have to break the bank or take several hours. In fact, it doesn't even need to be at night, when parents' eyes are often at half-mast, no matter how great the restaurant or riveting the movie. Save the big-ticket dates for special occasions, but keep one-on-one time on the weekly agenda by perfecting the art of the quickie date. For the investment of a mere hour or two, you'll be surprised at how much fun you can have, and how recharged and reconnected you feel as a couple. (Almost like when you were dating!)

1. Take a drive. If you're like most couples, you don't drive much together — or for pleasure. On a pleasant evening, drive to a new neighborhood or along a scenic route. Put on your favorite music and enjoy the kid-free time. (You might even find a romantic make-out spot!)

2. Get happy. Instead of dinner, sneak out early for happy hour, where you can enjoy a festive, low-cost meal and a fancy cocktail — plus miss rush-hour traffic.

3. Game on! Turn off the TV and play a game, just the two of you — whether that's poker, Scrabble or even a rousing round of charades in your living room. (Feel free to invent adult-only rules to up the ante!)

4. Dessert date. Why not go out for the best part of the meal, rather than the whole thing? Check out a new fancy restaurant for dessert and cappuccino, or just grab a gelato and wander.

5. Be a tourist. Meet after work for an hour at a local art museum, planetarium, arboretum or other local attraction you haven't been to in years.

6. Get active. Being outside is always good for the spirit. Get out without the kids to bike, hike, Frisbee, roller skate, kick a ball around, fly a kite, rent a paddle boat, play tennis, shoot hoops or just take a stroll along a body of water.

7. Wine taste without the winery. Buy a few new wines on your way home, then cover them with paper bags and stage an impromptu wine tasting. Be sure to have paper and pencils on hand to write down your ratings and compare notes. Cheers!

8. Book it. Check your local listings for author readings at bookstores, a great (and free!) one-hour date. Or, just wander the shelves and talk about your favorite books of all time.

9. Do a day date. Escape the office and meet up for a nice lunch, or hit a weekend brunch while the kids are occupied. Bonus: You'll actually stay awake!

10. Spa a deux. Meet at a nearby spa and get a couples massage or a mani-pedi together. You'll both feel pampered and you'll still have time to chat.

11. Picnic at home. Spread a blanket, get some great wine and cheese, and have a picnic in your backyard — or right in the middle of your living room floor.

12. Be a kid. Indulge your inner teenager by hitting an arcade, laser tag center, amusement park or mini-golf course and blowing off steam — together. Eat popcorn and drink a slushie. Win a giant stuffed animal. Go home happy! (Just don't tell the kids where you were.)

Building Your Wedding Guest List

The A, B, and C's of the Guest List

There is no way to sugarcoat the guest list. This can be one of the toughest parts of the planning process. But there are ways to make it easy and fun in between all of the fuss. You'll want to get your list established shortly after you've decided on a budget and venue, especially because you'll need to factor in cost per person, a head count vs. capacity of your venue, and how many invitations you'll need. The best way to start is to get out a note pad and start jotting down names, this is your initial run through and consists of everyone you'd love to have at your wedding. Once you've created this draft, you need to break down the list into three categories:
  • Absolutely, or the "A" List
  • Family and close friends
  • Almost Absolutely, or the "B" List
  • Friends, co-workers, friends of the family
  • Would be Nice/Do we have to's
  • Distant relatives, old friends, Aunt Mildred's great grandchildren
There are a few other touchy subjects to keep in mind when it comes to compiling your guest list: allowing guests to bring a "plus one" and allowing guests to bring their children. When contemplating the "plus one" situation, you should first settle on how many single guests you are inviting and then determine if the head count will end up skyrocketing from these extra invites, the "plus ones." Allowing children at the wedding is a personal preference, but the environment has to be child-friendly, so keep that in mind while you're planning. If you don't want a child to scream during your ceremony or pull at your centerpieces during the reception, it's probably best to avoid them on the guest list. Weigh your desires against keeping family and friends at peace, if you'll be hurting too many feelings, you may need to compromise by requesting that the children only attend the ceremony and cocktail hour, but not the reception.
REMINDER: Regrets are usually around 20-30% depending on how many people you're inviting and the distances people have to travel.
Lastly, there will be moments when you will reach conflict with your fiancé, parents, and future in-laws about the guest list. There will be people they want to invite that you may not know or care to have in attendance on your big day. Set ground rules immediately, because the most common cause of an inflated guest list is "word of mouth" invites - don't let you or your family spread the wealth without thinking it through first - is this person someone I really want there or need to have there?
Don't forget to upload it to an online guest list tool to make it easier for exporting to your stationery vendor later, updating accepts/regrets, and planning a seating chart!

Girl Talk: Pinterest Ruined My Wedding Planning

I heard about Pinterest at a wedding reception last year and within 24 hours, I was hooked. I had to pin everything: I grabbed every vegan recipe, organizing tip, cute outfit, inspirational quote, and makeup tutorial I could get my freshly ombre-manicured fingers on. Then, a few months later, I got engaged and suddenly it was time to add a new board.

As a proud member of the one percent of Pinterest users who didn’t already have a Dream Wedding board, I started a For Real Wedding board and began to explore the site’s “Weddings and Events” category. Within five minutes, it became apparent to me that I would need to locate a rustic barn surrounded by an endless field of wildflowers. According to Pinterest, that seems to be the only place people are getting married these days.

I began the search for my Rustic Bridal Barn immediately, and was shocked to learn that they aren’t readily available in my area. Or any area outside of Pinterest Land, really. I was even willing to be flexible on the field of wildflowers. Undeterred, I settled on one of the squares in Savannah, Georgia.
Having found a location, it was time to focus on decor. According to Pinterest, brides are combing the shoreline for interesting pieces of driftwood and crafting their own elaborate centerpieces. I headed to the beach confident that some ready-made driftwood centerpieces would be there waiting for me to inscribe with our initials. Once again, shock and disappointment took over. I was going to need a new centerpiece plan.

By this time, my mother had joined Pinterest, and stuff got real. We met up at the fabric store after work to discuss varying shades of burlap, because every Pinterest Wedding is made of burlap. That’s why all Pinterest Wedding candles are contained in a mason jar: to avoid an unfortunate burlap fire. Confident in my mom’s position as Burlap Manager, I turned my attention to flowers.

I met with the florist to order my twee Pinterest Wedding bouquet, showed him no less than 22 bouquets on my pin board, and requested that he artfully combine them. I required exactly eight cabbage roses and 12 peonies and absolutely no baby’s breath. I was undecided about bridesmaid bouquets, as nobody actually pinned photos of bridesmaids with traditional bouquets anymore. Instead, there was a contest among brides to see who could convince their lifelong friends to proudly carry the most ridiculous item down the aisle. I considered giving them each a kitten wearing a jaunty hat, but eventually settled on turquoise paper parasols.

Since all Pinterest Wedding photos are majestic and ethereal, I met with my photographer to discuss how we would make this happen. I planned the time of my ceremony around the sun’s schedule. I had to walk down the aisle at the exact moment when the sun would be in the ideal position to achieve what I now call the Pinterest Wedding Ethereal Lens Flare. Through some extensive Google searching, we determined that 5:00 p.m. would be the perfect time to wed. We scheduled a two-hour block of time prior to the ceremony for photos of my bridesmaids and I happily getting ready, gazing wistfully at ourselves in the mirror, and sipping our mimosas.

It might have seemed like my Pinterest Wedding was coming along nicely, but in reality the anxiety was mounting. Unable to choose between the two, I had an elegant cake surrounded by adorable gluten-free cupcakes. We had a candy buffet with a clever sign proclaiming “Love is Sweet.” You see, every time I planned a small detail, I would see someone do it better, with more whimsy, on Pinterest.

A few weeks before my wedding date, I’d had enough of being out-twee-ed and out whimsy-ed. I developed acute bridal apathy and quit Pinterest in a huff. After going cold turkey, I realized that Pinterest only shows us the good side of weddings. It shows a glowing example of how weddings can look when everything goes as planned. In reality? It rained all day leading up to our ceremony. The rental company didn’t set up our chairs in the park because it was raining. Our getting-ready photo shoot time was spent with my bridesmaids yelling at the rental company and me obsessively checking the weather radar. The chairs arrived 20 minutes after our ceremony was scheduled to begin. The rain stopped, the sun came out for the first time that day, and we started our ceremony 45 minutes late. We walked through the mud, so our hand-painted burlap aisle runner looked like a used coffee filter by the time I got to see it, and the bottom of my dress looked like a tea bag.

But you know what? I was so overcome with joy that I did the ugly cry all the way down the aisle and through half of the ceremony. It was perfectly imperfect, and absolutely beautiful. My Pinterest Wedding turned into a Real Wedding, and it was the most wonderful day of my life.

Jillian Stafford is a yoga teacher and recovering Pinterest addict from Savannah, Georgia. You can find her on Twitter at @jillystaff.

Friday Letters

Dear God,

I can not THANK YOU enough for all your blessings.. They mean the world to me.

Dear Wedding Fund,

We will get it together and be ready to spend for October...120 days to go

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank You for all the love and wishes you have shown us this week as we make this move into our new home... Its much appreciated.

Dear Car,

Im so happy that we got new brakes for you, thats a weight lifted off my shoulders for sure.

Dear Scott,

In you, I have found the love of my life and my clostest truest friend... Thank You for that. 1-4-3

Get These Celebrity Wedding Cakes! - Project Wedding

Get These Celebrity Wedding Cakes! - Project Wedding

Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Things You Should Never Do While Wearing Your Engagement Ring

1. Put On Lotion:Believe it or not, excessive build-up of heavy makeup, lotion, or creams can dull the stones in your ring. Also, note that hairspray can eat away at gold and dull the surface of diamonds and other stones.

2. Swim:
Swimming in cold water, like an ocean or lake, can cause your fingers to shrink allowing the ring to slip off (you will not find a ring lost in the ocean). The chlorine in some swimming pools can also cause damage to your ring – especially if its prolonged.

3. Clean The House:
Bleach and other household cleansers can damage settings and mountings; some cleaners can even change the color of your setting or the diamond itself. So, always wear protective gloves or remove your ring altogether.

4. Do The Dishes:
Harsh chemicals and dish soaps can discolor, dissolve, or otherwise damage the stone or metal bands.

5. Operate Heavy Machinery:
If you have a job that involves manual labor, like construction work, keep your ring at home in a safe place. This will help avoid breaks, splits, cracks, and looseness that are caused by bang-ups.

6. Play tennis:
If you have a tight grip, are left-handed and have diamonds all around your band, remove your ring before playing.

7. Gardening:
Always wear reinforced gloves while gardening to avoid the hidden rocks in dirt from chipping the diamond or knocking the setting loose– or remove it all together.

8. Sleep:
Depending on the shape and size of your ring, wear it to sleep at night can be a bad idea. If you have an over-sized stone with lots of edges, remove it before going to bed and avoid scratching you or your bed partner’s face in the night.

9: Lifting Weights:
While wearing your ring is probably OK for most cardio (sorry, Kim, you’re probably being paranoid) lifting weights and using weight machines creates a risk for dings and cracks in the stone.

10. Clean The Oven:
Oven cleaner Easy Off is a notoriously harsh product (it burns skin to the touch!) and the damage on wedding rings can be catastrophic. Don’t risk it with gloves – remove your ring completely.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weird Wedding Guest Requests

Wedding guests can be pretty demanding. These particular requests from wedding guests were so strange that they left the bride and groom scratching their heads.

"The most ridiculous request was for a Blue Angels flyover for our wedding. Who do they think we are, the President?"

"When I asked one friend to be a bridesmaid she demanded three things: Change the date, change the location and give her 31 days to pray about whether she would be a bridesmaid or go to a concert."

"My groom's Uncle Ralph requested that sections of 'Self-Reliance' be read as part of the ceremony. I believe he felt a special kinship to Emerson, based solely on their shared first names. How inappropriate is it to read an essay on independence at the celebration of the joining of two persons?"

"One guest wanted a bowl of kibble and water for their puppy"

"One guest said, 'Our 5-year-old daughter is a vegan. Can you have the chef prepare her a pasta plate with vegetables?'"

"We were asked if we could have ice cream cake at our wedding."

"We were asked to invite 'as many eligible men as we could find because it's just too hard to meet people.'"

"One of our wedding guests asked if we could move up our wedding by three months so she could attend. It was at that point we decided to cut the guest list by half."

"We are getting married by a lake and have had guests ask us if they could wear swim suits and swim in the lake during our wedding."

"I had a guest (a single guy) ask if he could bring two dates (one for each arm), or if he could pick up the second one at the wedding."

"My maid-of-honor asked if she could pay my photographer extra money to stay and take pictures of her and her sister (my other bridesmaid) after the wedding."

"Our guests want to bring more guests — people we don't even know or have ever heard of. One guy went to his job and told everyone there, and we are getting calls and emails from strangers requesting to come. One person was already a friend of a friend, now the friend of the friend is bringing a friend!"

"I invited a guest who I had gone to school with, and she asked what colors the wedding party was wearing so that she could match!"

  • Photo of the Week

    This Photo of the Week is from the 1st Christmas Outing Scott and I had with co-workers when we were both at Gorilla Nation. I remember being there with him and thinking to myself.. This could actually work and everything could be fine... And of course, it is and we are 122 days away from forever.

    My Knight in Shining Armor came equipped with a MAC computer and a killer smile.. Life is good.

    The First Couple on their First Meal Together: Dinner with Barack and Mi...

    Top 10 Father-Daughter Dance Songs - Project Wedding

    Top 10 Father-Daughter Dance Songs - Project Wedding

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Home Ideas....

    Now that we have a home together.. Here are a few ideas from Pinterest I would LOVE to do....

    Back into Wedding World

    Now that the move is finished... I am now back into Bridal World. My Sissy and Maid of Honor Tai called me this morning while I was driving into work to go over a few things with me that she is working on for the Bridal Shower. As of today, we are 60 days out from the Bridal Shower..(YAY) so there are some things to do for that

    1. Get Serviceware for the day (In the words of my Sissy, no foam plates and Solo Cups)
    2. Finish with the Favors
    3. Work on Music
    4. Touch Base with the Photographer
    5. Find a Hat...Yeah im behind on that one
    6. Find a Hat for Jacelyn
    7. Signature Drink Sampling.... O Im Ready For That!

    Lets see what happens with it all.

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    10 Wedding Color Mistakes.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Using Too Many Colors

    When choosing your wedding colors, event designer Carissa of JL Designs says simplicity is key. Pick three to four colors total to keep your bouquets and centerpieces from looking too messy. If you prefer an undone look, opt for a few slightly varied shades of the same color. This will add depth without looking too chaotic. Or, for an especially striking look, go monochromatic with a bold shade like vivid purple or creamy white. The idea is to keep the look tailored for maximum impact.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing Trendy Colors

    It's easy to let the magazines tell you the hottest new color combos, but consider this: Your palette should be one that you won't mind living with for a long time since you will be framing photos and filling albums featuring those colors. Stationery designer Kristy Rice of Momental Designs tells her clients to think about the colors and patterns they surround themselves with daily. So look around! Ask yourself what colors make you happy? What color is your favorite room or sweater? Some of the prettiest weddings we've seen were inspired by the simplest meaningful objects, like a dress or even a pillow.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing an Oversaturated Color Combo

    One of the biggest pitfalls in color selection is not considering the eye's need for rest and calm. The key is balance. If you love bright orange, pick a more muted secondary color like pale blue or khaki. The resulting contrast will let your favorite color take center stage. If bold contrast isn't your thing, you can easily soften the look with an accent color. Rice recommends picking an "in-between" shade, like silvery sage green with black and white or pale blue with navy and butter yellow. The third color will tone down the starkness and add extra visual interest. If you're worried the look will be too bland, punch it up with details in a complementary metallic color like pewter or bronze or something bold like scarlet.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Choosing Predictable Colors

    Certain color combos come with certain connotations. (Think: red, white, and blue or red and green.) Keep your colors from reminding guests of their favorite holiday by subtly tweaking your hues. The trick is choosing a more fashionable shade. Bandana-red, faded denim, and eggshell will banish any Fourth of July memories and forest green and pale pink are anything but Christmas-y. Or try adding another color to break up a combo. Yellow dresses with red bouquets might conjure images of popular fast food restaurants, but mixing in white details (like lace or pearls) can add elegance in a snap.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Ignoring Texture

    Instead of simply relying on colors, bring multiple textures into your wedding day to give the room some depth and dimension. Mixing textures in the same hue can add more drama and depth to your wedding than simply combining multiple colors. Do this with your flowers, tablecloths, or bridesmaid dresses -- varying patterns and surfaces can play a huge role as your wedding palette evolves. To avoid overload, try outfitting just one of your maids (like your maid of honor) in a patterned dress or simply rely on textured flowers to give the look some shape.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Ignoring Your Venue Colors

    When deciding on a scheme, consider the reception space or choose a space without decor or color. If you've chosen a country club with navy and maroon carpets, a color scheme of lime green and hot pink will clash, and there's really no way around it. (Try to pull it off anyway and you'll end up spending twice what you would normally in decor to cover it up than you would if you had chosen a more complementary color palette.) That's not to say you have to choose a color that perfectly matches the floors. Use the venue's decor more as a guide when picking out tones and hues. Love pink but have harsh dark colors to work around? Work with a soft blush instead of fuchsia.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Limiting Yourself To Two Colors

    We’re so over the idea of the strict "color combo." Many gorgeous weddings feature a variety of colors, sometimes up to five, that work together to create a specific sensibility -- like an "English garden" with green, yellow, pink, red and brown, or "Fall in New England" with orange, red, brown and gold. Need ideas? Browse our classic wedding colors slideshow.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Not Coordinating Your Paper Elements

    Your invitations set the stage for the event, so let them introduce your wedding colors and evoke the right tone from the start. Coordinating the invitation colors with those of the wedding can be as easy as choosing a colored font, ribbon or monogram, or as elaborate as layering colorful cards. Keep in mind, too, that your invites are a dress code cue to your guests. You wouldn't send out ivory and formal black calligraphy unless you're expecting guests to dress to the nines for your wedding.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Trying to Color-Match the Flowers

    If your primary wedding color doesn't come in many flower forms, don't force it. For example, very few flowers come in blue naturally, and the ones that do are extremely seasonal (like hydrangeas). Instead of insisting your floral bouquets and centerpieces match, ask your florist to choose complementary neutral flowers that will soften (not compete with) the color scheme. Then let your nonfloral elements (like the centerpiece vases and bouquet ribbon wraps) show off your color.

    Wedding Color Mistake: Insisting the Bridal Party Wear Your Colors

    When it comes to your bridal party, come up with the most flattering color in your palette and use it. In other words, feature your table linen overlays, dinner plates and glassware in the unwearable colors, and let your bridesmaids rock their looks in a flattering color like eggplant, navy, blush, dark brown or black. Not only will they look better -- so will your wedding photos!

    Marie Tillman discusses her final gift from husband Pat

    Marie Tillman discusses her final gift from husband Pat

    Honey, Were Home!

    How very fitting that my 776 post is about our weekend move into Our New Home!

    Friday after work, the madness began. Scott and Brandon Turner got to work with moving items over to the new place while I was on Isaiah duty. We shared a soda and picked up Pizza for the boys to have after working hard all day.

    Saturday was officially MOVING DAY! We got an early start and got to moving right away. The furniture came it first and it is FAB! I felt so grown up when it came in and was in place. Then Direct TV came and thats when the bomb was dropped. They advised us that they could not install there because we were on the north side of the building and their signal was on the south side. When asked why we were not informed of this before we set this up, they had a response of, Thats how its done... Needless to say I will be calling the Better Business Buerau today about it...

    After that, Time Warner came to install the internet and we took a chance to see if he had extra cable boxes on the truck and he didnt so we will have cable tomorrow... Thank God we have Internet and Netflix to keep is entertained for now. With the help of our friends (Thanks everyone) we were able to get in and get settled by Saturday Night... YAY!

    Sunday, we got up and ran a few errands. The boys forgot to take the dolly back when they took the truck so we called and they were fine with it and we took it back first thing in the morning. From there it was Winco for groceries, since the fridge was bare, and Home Depot for lighting. We hung out with Isaiah before he went back to his Mom's house and the rest of the evening was just us, together, in our new home.

    Here are a few photos of the home....

     The View from our balcony

     Jazz in his bed.... He loves the place

     The Living Room with our new furniture!!!

     The Fireplace... Cant wait to use this in the Winter....



    A toast to the new Cameron Crib!

    On tap for this week:

    Jacelyn comes home tonight...YAY!

    Finish moving stuff from my parents house

    Cable install

    Back into Wedding World.

    We are home.... 124 days until WE DO!

    Music Monday- Michael Jackson - You Are Not Alone

    Prepare for Your First Fitting - Project Wedding

    Prepare for Your First Fitting - Project Wedding

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Cute Bridal Ideas from Pinterest

     Bridal shower wine basket idea! 5 bottles of wine each with a poem for firsts: champagne for first night married, red wine for first fight, white wine for first Christmas eve, rosé for first anniversary & sparkling apple juice cider for first baby!! Then you can add champagne flutes or wine glasses, I used 4 white wine glasses and 4 red wine glasses, the stemless ones are classy yet casual!

    Get guests to write down a 'date idea' for the couple as they come into the shower, the bride and groom can use this later if they're ever bored and deciding what to do

    wedding memory box...

    Bahaha! This is the kind of bachelorette game I am OK with. [Everyone attending should bring a pair of (BRAND NEW) panties that ‘represents’ them or would somehow remind the bride of them. For example, someone who loves cats can bring a Hello, Kitty! thong. Then, you lay out all the panties and the bride must guess which panties belong to each guest. If she’s wrong, she has to take a drink. If she’s right, the guest drinks. The bride gets to keep all the underwear as a souvenir. ]

    "Mint Bag." Thanks for your commit-"mint" to help. Thanks for your encourage-"mint". Thanks for your involve-"mint". Thanks for your invest-"mint" of time. Thanks for making each day an enjoy-"mint". Thanks for helping to create a nice environ-"mint". Everything you have done has really “mint” a lot to me.

    10 Trends You Should NEVER Try On Your Wedding Day: Don’t Be A Bride #Fail

    Now, let’s get something straight – we love trends. From colorful skinny jeans to nail art, we love covering all the hot-hot-hot seasonal trends on SHEfinds. But there’s a time and a place to try an extreme new look – like neon eyeshadow, or heel-less pumps (you know, like the ones Lady Gaga put on the map) – and it’s definitely not on your wedding day. Here are 10 fleeting, fashion-ey trends brides should avoid at all costs.

    1. Heel-Less Pumps
    Lady Gaga, trend-starter; Giuseppe Zanotti’s Metallic Leather T-Strap Sandals ($895).
    You can thank celebs like Lady Gaga and designers like Giuseppe Zanotti for bringing the extreme heel-less heels trend in to the mainstream. And although they are sold in the shoes departments of Saks and Nordstrom now, we cannot stress enough that heel-less pumps are NOT a good idea for brides. You will trip and fall down the altar — not a good look.

    2. Neon Nails
    We love neon nails for everyday life — it’s a HUGE trend this year, along with neon clothing and neon acessories (aka neon everything). It’s fun on the runway, or under a strobe light – but on your wedding day, it’ll look a too alarming. If a trend doesn’t pass the “will I think this is still cool in 5 years?” test, don’t try it on your big day.

    3. Jumpsuits
    We know you plan your entire life around Real Housewives reruns, but please, please, please do not try to make “wedding jumpsuits” a thing. Kim Zolciak is not a fashion role-model.

    4. Oversized bows
    Don’t get us wrong – we adore bows! On your dress, on your pumps, on your flower girls, in your decor scheme – but big ol’ bows in your hair are just a little Minnie Mouse, no?

    5. Pointy Nails
    Here’s another trend we can blame on Gaga, although Beyonce and Rihanna are also offenders. When it comes to your nails, you’re looking to dazzle — not take out an eye. Weddings are a full day of hugging, squeezing, and caressing – don’t leave anyone with a permanent scar. Leave this edgy look where it belongs – in music videos.

    6. Temporary Lip Tattoos
    It almost goes without saying, but zebra-striped lips on your wedding day are a major don’t (even though it is one of the 10 Fashion Dares we think you should take before you die). The majority of your wedding guests will probably just think you have the worst case of cold sores ever.

    7. Tiny Hats
    While it may look okay on Barbie’s big plastic melon, tiny hats have definitely had their day. Why conceal that gorgeous wedding hair under a ridiculous mini top hat?

    8. Feather-y Fascinators
    On the flip side, we have giant fascinators! We hate to slam the Duchess, but we think it’s important that you avoid a similar fashion misstep. Giant fascinators risk ruining a wedding look by detracting attention from everything else that’s going on below – like, the bride.

    9. Pink Streaks
    Unless your bridal muse is Rainbow Brite, it’s best to avoid these overly trendy hair FX. They’re a surefire way to make your wedding photos look insta-dated.

    10. Bare Midriffs
    Bare midriffs are a traditional (and totally hot) look for Hindu brides. However, no one else gets a pass on this one. This is definitely a trend that should be left to brides who are allowed to wear red. Besides, wedding dieting is stressful enough without throwing in 50 crunches daily.
    But of course, it is your wedding. You’re the bride, and you can do whatever you want! But we absolutely reserve the right to snicker at your unfortunate bridal wardrobe choices behind your back.
    Shop our guides to the best unique wedding invitations, simple wedding dresses, and designer wedding shoes!

    Rudest Things Guests Say to the Bride and Groom

    A wedding -– where emotions (and alcohol) flow freely -– can bring out less than stellar behavior in otherwise perfectly pleasant friends and family.

    "Are you sure you're ready?"
    Coming from an unmarried acquaintance, this sort of question is likely a projection of their own fears -- they're not in a position to make a lifelong commitment, so it's hard to imagine that you could be.
    Quick comeback: Exude confidence and leave no room for anyone to debate if you or your fiance is in any way unprepared for what you're getting into: "Absolutely! We are completely in love and ready to be together forever."

    "The marriage won't last."
    Whether it's a reflection of their own marriage problems or a past incident that convinced them monogamy is impossible, this person has a knack for souring good news.
    Quick comeback: It's easy to get seriously offended by this one, but take the high road and try cheesy humor. Ask if their favorite precious stone is "jaded" or whether they hit any traffic on the Pessimist Expressway that morning.

    "Your engagement is too long."
    Any engagement over a year might seem excessive to some, but it takes a lot of time to pull everything together. The person's comment may be out of surprise, not ill will.
    Quick comeback: You have a few acceptable options: Explain that the best wedding vendors are booked more than a year in advance, that you're extending the engagement to save more money, or that you have something you want to accomplish (finish your degree, settle into a new job) before you make your marriage official.

    "Your engagement is too short."
    While you and your fiance have probably discussed getting engaged for a while, the news might be a shock to some. The person who says this doubts you'll have enough time to plan a nice wedding.
    Quick comeback: Reassure them that though your engagement is brief, you set the wedding planning wheels in motion well before he popped the question. Be calm -- if you seem too swept up in the excitement of the proposal, it supports the idea that you're rushing things.

    "Is that really the ring you wanted?"
    Almost any engagement ring can elicit a snide remark, whether it's too big, too small, too sparkly, or not sparkly enough. This sort of nastiness undoubtedly stems from jealously that you've been proposed to, and the ring is an object that provides an outlet for them to concentrate all their envious feelings on.
    Quick comeback: It's every newly engaged woman's right to show off her rock, but if you get negative vibes from someone, draw focus away from the ring with a simple reply like, "We're both really happy and excited."

    "This bridesmaid dress is ugly."
    While it's a cliche for a bridesmaid to gripe about the dress, it still happens. If she's strapped for cash, her disapproval may be in hopes that you'll pick something less expensive. Or she could really think it's hideous.
    Quick comeback: Find out why she doesn't like it and try to locate some middle ground. Suggest that she stick with the dress color but then let her choose her own silhouette.

    "That's a great idea...I'll do it too!"
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it's aggravating when a friend steals a unique wedding idea. Take it as a compliment that your ideas are so great; then steer your friend in a new direction.
    Quick comeback: Agree the idea would work well in your friend's wedding, but suggest she personalize it to better fit her style. Encourage some brainstorming and change an element of the concept so it's similar but not identical.

    "Who is paying for all this?"
    Maybe they're surprised by all of the nice details you've included in your wedding, or perhaps they're wondering how your parents could afford to host such a great party on their own dime. Either way, this one ranks near the very top of the bad etiquette list.
    Quick comeback: Unless you're willing to share that info, immediately let the person know they've crossed the line: "I'm sorry, but that's between my fiance and me."

    "Am I going to be invited?"
    No need to decipher this one -- this person simply wants to attend the party. Tactless on their part, sure, but don't be surprised when an annoying coworker, excitable neighbor, or wayward cousin asks for an invite.
    Quick comeback: Rather than postpone the awkwardness with a dodgy line like, "We haven't finalized the list yet," tell them that, due to a tight budget, you're keeping things intimate and the guest list will be mostly close family.

    "How much did that cost?"
    This can be interpreted in a few ways. If the person is planning their own wedding, they're probably asking out of genuine interest because they like what you're doing. If, however, there's no chance they're planning their nuptials, odds are whatever you tell them will garner an obnoxious response.
    Quick comeback: A simple "That's none of your business" will suffice, or you could throw them off with some dramatics: "It cost me an arm and my fiance a leg -- next week we're going in for surgery together. Romantic, right?"

    "I'm RSVPing...with guest."
    Some people think that it's fine to tack on a "plus one" to any wedding invite. Though it's definitely a wedding etiquette faux pas, you should give your guest the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to an innocent misunderstanding rather than a snobby "I don't go anywhere without a date" attitude.
    Quick comeback: Call as soon as you receive the offending RSVP and gently explain: "I'm sorry that it wasn't clearer, and we're excited you're coming, but our guest list is packed so we can't include a date for every guest."

    "I want to make a toast."
    They want the world (or at least the reception) to know how proud they are you tied the knot. And a minute in the spotlight satisfies any extrovert tendencies they might have.
    Quick comeback: Say that you're flattered by the offer, but you want to keep the toasts to a minimum -- just the parents and honor attendants. If a close family member really wants to speak, you should consider letting them say a few words at the rehearsal dinner.

    "So when are you going to have kids?"
    The joy of a wedding leaves some people overly enthusiastic about the next huge life event: starting a family. Curiosity about baby plans is natural -- most people keep those thoughts to themselves, while others prove to be significantly less reserved.
    Quick comeback: Even if you have a clear plan about when you want to start having babies, be vague in discussing a timeline. Try, "We'd love to be parents someday, but we're taking things one step at a time -- starting with the wedding."

    The Craziest Things People Register For

    From over-the-top crystal to personal grooming items, wedding registries can run the gamut, but here are 10 shocking items real couples have actually registered for.

    1. PediPaws. Yes, the nail clipper for dogs

    2. A bike. What?!?!

    3. A deck of Uno playing cards.

    4. A Shake Weight. And no, it wasn't a joke.

    5. Diapers and other baby items (apparently just to see what people would think!).

    6. An Xbox.

    7. Glassware service for 50! They registered for 50 wineglasses, margarita glasses, martini glasses, champagne glasses, beer mugs and highball glasses, for a total of 300 pieces of glassware!

    8. A Chi flatiron and hair dryer.

    9. A volleyball net set. 10. Frozen pizza.

    Friday Letters

    Dear Week,

    You and I have survived again... It has been BUSY AS HELL but I am happy to see Friday.

    Dear New Home,

    How exciting is it that you will be apart of our new life?? Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

    Dear Sleep,

    So yeah, I admit, I have been ignoring you but hey, fights like these lead to make up ..sleep.  :)

    Dear Tracey,

    You totally just made my day!! I cant wait to see to see the live finished product!

    Dear Wedding Countdown

    127 days and your all ours...

    Dear Scott,

    I became somebody through loving you...


    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Bride on the Move...

    I swear days like today feel like I am non stop moving all the time and I don't have time to slow down and sit still... Here is how my day began:

    3am: Up and getting ready to take Jacelyn to the airport for her Florida Trip
    4am: Arrive at LAX and wait....
    5am: Back on the road home and maybe a quick cat nap
    6am: Fall Asleep
    7am: Up and back at it again
    8am: Jamba Juice and Work
    9am: Quick Project for work and a few errands for work
    10am: Work errands
    11am: Updates on orders for work
    12pm: Hopefully lunch

    Other items already to do today:

    Drop box pictures to photographer for Wedding Guest Book
    Get dinner together
    Pack up a load in my car to go to the new apartment
    Go see Cousin Bernard at the hospital

    And then maybe some sleep....

    Yeah I know its alot but its the of Me... Mom, Employee, Woman and Bride to be...

    128 until I can slow down and enjoy married life.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Photo of the Week

    This Photo of the Week is my love in front of our new home. This man is not only getting our new home together, but he was instrumental in sending Jacelyn on her Science trip to Florida that she leaves for tomorrow. He is the Man I LOVE and the Best Stepfather a girl could have. Thank You for making all of our dreams come true.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    DIY Wedding Cake Tips: Preserving Your Top Wedding Cake Tier

    How To Wrap Up Your Cake Tier

    Instruct catering staff to take off the top tier of the wedding cake and box it for transport. Appoint a "cake captain" (one of your family members or friends) to take it home. Once it's home, that person should do the following:
    1. Remove the sugar flowers and set them aside.
    2. Chill the cake well before wrapping it up so that the icing hardens. This way it won't stick to the plastic wrap and make a mess.
    3. Wrap the (unadorned) cake in several layers of plastic wrap -- not aluminum foil, which can cause freezer burn.
    4. Seal the wrapped cake in an air-tight bag and place it in the freezer.
    5. Snag a ribbon (from your bouquet, the centerpieces, your hair, a gift) and tie it around the cake package to mark it so that you don't mistake it for anything else.

    Know Your Cake's Shelf Life

    Some cakes freeze better than others. The more delicate the cake ingredients, the drier your cake will become in the freezer. Cakes with a longer shelf life: Chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and carrot cake. Cakes that may not last as long in the freezer: white cake, cake with fresh fruit, and cakes with whipped cream fillings.

    Consider Ordering A Copycat Cake

    If you have a cake that won't hold up in the freezer, do as many couples do and order a fresh cake tier in the same flavor as your original wedding cake for your one-year anniversary. Even if you have a heartier cake, Sylvia Weinstock, of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes in New York, recommends storing cakes for no longer than two months, and forgoing the first-anniversary tradition. Like anything else, after a year in the freezer, any cake will be a bit stale. If you do decide to save your cake for the full year, focus on the nostalgia, not the flavor.

    Simple Ways to Wow Your Guests

    Guest TransportationIf you're planning on shuttling your guests from the ceremony to the reception, make the journey part of the fun by renting some seriously cool mass transportation. Hire an old-fashioned trolley to get guests from point A to point B. Or, if it'll suit your wedding style, get nostalgic with some charming yellow school buses. And for extra flair, customize the ride by playing fun music or decking out the bus with a sign that reads, "Sarah and John's wedding or bust!"
    Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios

    Preceremony Cocktails
    Your guests won't be expecting any drinks until the cocktail hour, so give them a pleasant surprise by setting up a table of light beverages on the way into the ceremony. Just don't serve anything too strong -- think: mimosas or fruit-infused spiked iced teas they can sip before taking their seats (and don't forget to have nonalcoholic versions too!). Have your caterer or ushers collect any stray glasses to make sure the space is tidy before the processional begins.
    Photo: Elizabeth Messina

    Allover Lighting
    Revolutionize your venue with creative lighting. Project falling leaves or snow to add drama to a boring, beige wall; add a funky geometric pattern or your monogram to the dance floor; or get basic up-lighting for the perimeter of the room to instantly transform the space. Your guests won't be able to stop staring (in a good way!).
    Photo: Courtesy of Bentley Meeker

    Killer Midnight Snacks
    Just when everyone thinks the fun is winding down, liven up the party with late-night nibbles that will leave everyone ready for an after-party. We're talking crinkle French fries, fresh chocolate chip cookies and milk shooters, a fully loaded taco bar, or even a waffle truck!
    Photo: Julie Mikos Photography

    A Luxe Reception Lounge
    Give guests a place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. Fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows to sink into. It's the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they're resting. Really want to wow 'em? Protect the area with sheer curtains to create a VIP vibe.
    Photo: 5ive15ifteen Photo Company

    The Wedding Planning Timeline No One Talks About

    Brides are supposed to follow a specific wedding-planning timeline, prescribed by magazines everywhere. These charts tell us that if we don't have our dream place cards ordered by month one then we're already behind. Those of us who didn't start scrapbooking images of taffeta and pearls the day we got our first period are on our own sluggish schedule. For the damsels who worry that they're missing the bridal gene because they never thought to create a Pinterest page of dress-piration, but still don't want to be told it's too late to plan an enchanted wedding, this timeline is for you!

    Week 1: Instagram photo of ring. Tweet, tumble, and draw it with friends. Alert bridal party to man their battle stations. Champagne toast.

    Week 2: Endure every female you know (and some that you don't) pulling on your left hand without permission. Note to yourself you'll hate this when you're pregnant and it's your protruding tummy in question. Smile graciously while they comment on the size of the "rock" and watch as they try to calculate your betrothed's worth. Regurgitate proposal story approximately 39 times. Try your best not to feel guilty that you're the one with the ring instead of the singletons spitting out forced "awwws!" Maybe they are happy for you.

    Week 3: Have dreaded budget talk. Ask your respective parents for money. Drink excessively.

    Week 4: Make lists of buzz words that fit your theme criteria. "Barn." "Bucolic." "Fairy lights." "Elegant" "Sh*t Show." Discretely Google search venues at work.

    Week 6: Sport an eyelet dress to visit venues with fiancé plus overly opinionated mom. Feign enthusiasm over site planner's sales pitch, oohing on cue. Agree that raw bar is a senseless price gouge but $75 per guest on mashed potato bar is a must. Picture spending the most magical four hours of your life here. Discard marketing materials.

    Week 10: Select idyllic manor house on Long Island (where you swore you'd never wed). Convince yourself it's worth spending 50K on 120 servings of chicken franchise, fatty beef and requisite pasta course.

    Week 11: Watch "Father of the Bride, Part 2." Ask dad for more money.

    Week 12: Discuss with cohort your vision for the save-the-date photo shoot. Something whimsical yet ironic. Remember you haven't started wedding detox-diet. Settle on e-card.

    Week 14: Fight over officiant. Promise Catholic mom that no "Jewish hats" will be worn during the inter-faith ceremony. Ignore recently ordained mother-in-law-to be's suggestion that she officiate it herself.

    Week 18: Buy bulk candy to fill tote bags for all 12 guests staying at the nearby Holiday Inn Express after the wedding. Sample. Fantasize about tequila shots at the lobby bar after-party. Wonder why you don't just get married at a saloon.

    Week 19: Decide you're too anxious to spend a year planning a six-hour event that focuses so much attention on you. Decide on a destination wedding weekend. Piss off in-laws. Stop fighting with fiancé now that you realize your two opinions are the only ones that matter. Remember a wedding is just a party but a marriage is forever. Wince at writing that.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Music Monday: Still - Tamia

    Bridesmaids: 9 Things Your Bridesmaids Want You to Know

    1. They Want You to Tell Them Your Expectations

    What do you expect from your bridesmaids? Will simple moral support suffice, or do you expect them to be there with you throughout all the decision-making and to-dos, like addressing wedding invitations and tying tiny ribbons around your wedding favors? Either way, let your bridesmaids know what you expect of them so that you don't end up frustrated with a friend who doesn't understand (or didn't know) what you wanted them to do in the first place.

    2. They Want You to Tell Everyone About Them

    The only thing worse than a coworker who thinks she's invited to your wedding is a friend who assumes she's going to be a bridesmaid. Let it be known whom you've chosen so that neither you nor your bridesmaids feel awkward about it around nonbridal party members. If you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings, remember that, as cliche as it sounds, any true friend will understand whatever decision you ultimately make.

    3. They Want You to Have Your Dream Wedding

    Try not to make hasty assumptions. Don't write off some friends simply because you think they don't have enough money to afford that Priscilla of Boston bridesmaid dress you have your eye on. While it is important to recognize your bridesmaids' financial situations, they want you to be happy on your wedding day (just like you would of them), so don't be shy about opening up the conversation and letting them know what would make you happiest.

    4. They Want You to Respect Their Responsibilities

    As you're allocating responsibilities, be mindful of their personal lives -- your friend who's trying to make partner at her law firm or who's dealing with a new baby may not have time to assist you with every little task. At the same time, you don't want to cause discord within the wedding party if some maids feel the others aren't pulling their weight. Try to keep a good balance, and remember, there are others who can help out: You've got your parents, other family members, and your fiance. Plenty of people are willing to pitch in, so take advantage of it as you need to.

    5. They Want You to Dress Them Well

    If you know one of them would be uncomfortable in the dresses you envision, come up with a compromise. Not sure one dress will work for all your girls? Come up with guidelines (say, a color and length you like) and then let them choose the exact style. Trust us, even with different necklines or sashes, they'll still look fantastic. Remember, you want each and every one of your maids to feel beautiful (and comfortable!), so your efforts in the dress department are well worth it.

    6. They Want You to Put Yourself in Their Shoes

    Yes, part of the bridal party's job is to be your go-to gals when you need something done. But no, that doesn't mean you should be cracking the whip nonstop. Whenever you're asking one of your maids to do something -- whether it's attending your gown fitting or tying 100 miniature bows around 100 favor boxes -- stop and think: Would I do this for her? It's a good reality check to keep your requests reasonable.

    7. They Want You to Keep Them in the Black

    They have to shell out for quite a bit over the course of the wedding: dresses, hair, shower and wedding gifts, the bachelorette party, and travel expenses. These add up and can put a pinch on even the most financially flush of maids. Take this into consideration and offer help when you can. For example, you can let them know that they shouldn't feel pressured to give you an extravagant shower gift, or if you're having more than one shower, tell them that you don't expect multiple shower gifts. You can also help them track down inexpensive flights or hotel rooms.

    8. They Want You to Make Their To-Do List Manageable

    Try to come up with a game plan beforehand of who you need to do what on the wedding day. Then make a second mental list of who else can and has offered to help -- aunts, cousins, ushers, and so on. When little things do come up (which they will), you'll be able to rely on that latter team to help you take care of details as needed rather than overextending your bridesmaids.

    9. They Want You to Stay Their Friend

    Obvious, right? Sometimes when you're caught up in wedding-related drama, it can be hard to remember that there's a world outside your wedding. When you meet up with one of your girls, make a point to talk about things that are not related to the wedding. Whether it's the project she's working on at work or the blind date she went on last weekend, she'll appreciate the opportunity to tell you all about it, the same way she always has. Similarly, when you're really upset -- whether about the wedding or anything else -- you'll know she'll be there for you, right now and long after the wedding is over.

    Happiness All Weekend...

    Hey Blogger Buddies.... Its time for the Weekend Rundown.

    Friday Afternoon, we got a call from our new apartment office saying that our new home would be ready Saturday morning and we could come in and complete the paperwork.....YAY!! We went by and got everything done except we needed a cashier check for the payment so we had to go back for sure on Saturday anyways. From there, we went out for the night to celebrate Scott's Mom move to Seattle by getting together with friends for a last night out with her as a LA resident. Here are some of the photos:

    As you can see... It was a night of fun, friends and SHOTS!

    Saturday we got up and we were off and running... We got the Cashier's Check and headed over to get the keys to our new home together.....YAY!!

    It is such a great place and we are over the moon that we got it. It will be our first home together and I must say, its not bad at all... Very snazzy if I do say so myself. Our friends tumbled with joy over it

    Sunday was Fathers Day and I am sorry I don't have any pictures from Brunch ( I was a maniac in the kitchen) but it was good and my 2nd attempt at Hash brown Casserole was even better than the first time. Since we got our keys, we went ahead and started moving smaller items into our new home and it is all starting to come together...

    O.. and while we were out on adventures, I took care of the Groomsmen gifts....FINALLY.

    The boys I think will be very happy with these and for sure get some good use out of them. The last 2 people to get gifts for are the Mom's (Photo Frames) and Isaiah (Toys R US) and then we will be done.

    This week is a busy one and here is what we have to look forward to:

    1. More Moving
    2. Jacelyn leaves for Florida on Thursday for her Science trip (I'm going to be a good mommy and not cry when she leaves)
    3. Work on a few things we need for the house ASAP

    Did I mention we are getting married in 131 days.... YAY!!

    Start Writing Your Own Vows - Project Wedding

    Start Writing Your Own Vows - Project Wedding

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Celebrity Brides and Weddings

    Here are some of my favorite Celebrity Brides and Weddings.