Friday, June 28, 2013

Bridezilla Stories From Former Brides

bridezilla stories
 
 
Let's face it: wedding-related stress can bring out the worst in any bride. Even women who normally pride themselves on their down-to-earth, cool-as-a-cucumber behavior have been known to go off the rails when things don't go according to plan.
 
We asked our brave (and honest!) readers to confess their biggest bridezilla sins. From a pain-in-the-butt bridesmaid to a tardy groom-to-be, it's clear what pushed these women over the edge. Scroll down for five real-life stories of brides behaving badly.
"My future husband leaves me at the beauty shop the day before the ceremony and ends up being late to come and get me. So after 2 1/2 hours at the salon, 20 minutes standing outside completely ruined my hair and I was LIVID. I was so furious I threw the rental car into park in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and got out and walked about 1/2 a block before I got back into the car." - Jehan
"My fiancé's friend got engaged a couple of months after he and I did. She started her planning and decided on a date a month before ours, which initially wasn't a big deal. Then she decided to use the same flower girl and ring bearer as we were. I was worried it would look like we were copying her on everything since her wedding was first. As it turned out, she got knocked up and opted for a courthouse wedding before the baby arrived. It all worked out for the best :-)" - Ami, 26, of Illinois
"All my anger was piling up from several actions that led me to threaten my fiancé's sister with a punch to the face. She picked out a different bridesmaid dress from the one I originally liked and purchased it. Then she wanted to teach me how to 'dance.' But I already know how to dance -- I just don't dance like a stripper. Then she wanted to choreograph a dance for us, even though she is not a professional dancer. Then she texted me about how she thought gold or white shoes would look better with a plum dress than the black shoes I had asked everyone to wear (gold and white are not in my color scheme). Finally, I was fed up and told her to back off and her job as a bridesmaid was to support the bride, and NOT be in the spotlight. She didn't take that too well and then I told my fiancé I wanted to punch her in the face. I was sorry and embarrassed that I told him I wanted to punch his sister. But secretly, I still would like to pop her in the lip." - Toni, 26, of Texas
"I discovered, via my sister, that my fiancé had added some items to one of our registries without asking me. I was horribly offended he put items on there without my approval and flipped out. I was grocery shopping at the time, but that didn't stop me from calling him in the middle of the store and cussing him out (for the first and only time ever!). Turns out he put some dishes on there so his mom could buy them for us and get a discount. She wanted to surprise me and the dishes are beautiful, so I just should have chilled." - Whitley, 24, of Kentucky
"The only problem I have been having is with one of my bridesmaids. I asked one of the girls to be in my wedding and she hasn't contacted me and I have a month left. She hasn't bothered to text me if I need any help or if she could do anything. So two weeks before the wedding, she will no longer be in it." - Christine, 22, of California

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Confession of a Newlywed : Month 8

  1. Planning for our 1st Wedding Anniversary is exciting...
  2. Being in the kitchen together more often I am finding is a great way for us to bond.
  3. Making decisions together makes me feel like a grown up.
  4. Speaking of Grown Up... House Buying is coming together.. I cant wait to have a home with our family.
  5. I love moments alone with him... It gives me peace.
  6. I am excited to travel to Houston with Scott and hang with the family... It will be our 1st trip as Husband and Wife.
  7. I need to figure out a way to incorporate more date nights for us.
  8. Being introduced as his wife gives me Goosebumps
  9. I love to hear people complement us... We work hard to be who we are together.
  10. Family time makes life a little bit easier.
  11. I think we are becoming that couple who will go broke at Costco...LOL
  12. Its nice to be the couple in our social circle to bring on the entertaining.
  13. The shoes and socks are still under the table.
  14. I like to surprise my husband... I am working on my next surprise soon....
  15. I dont know why but renewing our vows in 10 years has been on my mind.. Nice idea but we should celebrate the 1st one first....LOL
  16. His smile still gives me butterflies.
  17. We are getting better at sharing the covers... :)
  18. Im working on being a better wife and I think I am on the right path.
  19. I love that no matter what it is... I know my husband will habe my back.
  20. 243... You and me love.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Guy's Guide to Wedding Registry

Around the winter holidays, between the ages of 6 and 11 I would salivate while waiting for the Sears catalog to arrive. My mother would come home from work, toss the beefy magazine on the floor of our basement, and my siblings and I would pounce on it like a pack of hungry Dobermans at suppertime. Everyone would get a turn to flip through the pages and pick their item of choice. Once we picked our poison, we would uncap the grape-scented smelly marker, circle our prize, scribble our initials next to it, and then pass it to the next person for their turn. This would go on and on until the glossy pages barely clung to the spine. It was the highlight of the holiday season.

This kind of easy joy is what I pictured when I imagined us registering for our wedding. Oh, how wrong I was. How very, very wrong. Some things for you to consider:

Take this thing seriously

When Beth announced she had signed us up for a private Crate & Barrel registry event, I shrugged my shoulders and went back to watching The Wire. I figured I would have plenty of time to mentally prepare myself. Two weeks later, when that Sunday morning came around, I had completely forgotten we had RSVP'd -- I spent the prior night drinking whisky and playing Rock Band until the wee hours of the morning. When her alarm went off at 8:00 am and she announced that we had to head all the way across town to stare at different sized plates all morning, I was none too pleased.
For the next two and a half hours, I was on my feet, shuffling the showroom floors, nodding and "mmhmm-ing" everything from fancy pickle grabbers to deluxe food processors. When I left, I was bleary eyed and walking with a limp.

So, don't do what I did and take this thing lightly. It won't be a quick, simple pit stop. The wedding registry is a marathon and you need to respect it, lest it eat you alive. Get some sleep the night before. And for the love of God, don't be hungover.

Don't get carried away

At the event, we were immediately escorted upstairs to sign into the guestbook and handed some kind of electronic device. We were told that if we found something that caught our eye, all we just had to do was "point and click." While I casually tried to program in "80085," Beth stood by and surveyed the daunting task before us with newly discovered apprehension.

Going into it, I think we both assumed that registering was a no-brainer for cool, logical, modern couples like ourselves. We had laughed together, "I'm sooo glad we're not one of those ridiculous couples that registers for outlandish, unnecessary crap! No way, that's not us. We'll get some silverware, maybe a new crockpot... and then we're out."

But before we could even start checking off the essentials on our list, we found ourselves completely distracted and borderline obsessed with checking out what the other couples were registering for.
That good-looking couple over there just lasered a three-tier cooling rack... we don't have that on our list. Why do they need that? Should we be getting that too? What do they know that we don't?
It took a five minute debate about a $70 snow cone maker before we finally came to our senses.
Don't fall into the trap of feeling that you need to buy everything they are. Registering is a job and you and your partner need to focus on the task at hand. It's you versus the ceramic world. You may feel that if your new competition Johnny and Sally Perfectpair pick up a $400 stand mixer, then you should add it to your collection as well. Forget all that. Put on those horseblinders and steer the course.

Have an opinion (but don't get offended if your partner doesn't)

Once the process is underway and you two are scanning and beeping and scanning and beeping, hold on to your hats. The phrase, "hmmm... what do you think?" is about to come at you over and over again like a barrage of English arrows from Braveheart. Take, for example, our first stop in the dish aisle. Beth took about 130 years to carefully inspect each and every style of plate available. She asked me for my opinion several times, but I could only pretend to see a difference between the flat, white one and the other flat, white one. When the plates were finally done, we moved on to cups. I stood patiently by while she slowly turned coffee mugs in her hand -- as if uncovering the bones of a triceratops. Again, they all looked the same to me. At one point, this happened:

Beth: I've decided on these three types of wine glasses.

Me: Three different types? Why would you ever need three different types?

Beth: Different kinds of wine! And when company comes, Brandon!

Me: What "company"?

Beth: We're going to have company some day!

Sigh.

However, I don't think you should completely check out -- everyone should be able to find something to get excited about. Find those items that you really want and do some research. I didn't get pumped until we got to the expensive Japanese knife section and suddenly I was throwing down some serious knife knowledge while Beth took the backseat. Picking out expensive knives? That's what serious grownups do!

I think it's totally acceptable to simply say, "I don't care." Each partner should understand if the other one doesn't have an opinion about certain items, as long as each of you has an opinion about something.

... Accept that you might have to do this again

When we finally got home, I kicked off my chucks and turned on the PlayStation 3 in one fluid motion. Beth plopped on the couch and flipped open her laptop to make sure everything we scanned went through alright. I was just getting into my Katamari Damacy pleasure coma when a light bulb clicked on above my head.

Me: Hey, so we're done right? No more registering?

Beth: Hmm, no. I think you're supposed to do like three different places. Give people options, you know?

Me: THREE?! I don't know if I can handle that. I'm only going again if it's a place with a pinball machine -- I definitely want to register for a pinball machine. If you get pie pans, I get a pinball machine.

Beth: Absolutely not. You know why? Because I know your friends and your friends would actually band together and get you the pinball machine.

Bone China isn't made from real bones

I was really bummed to find this out. I just don't want you getting your hopes up like I did.

Photo of the Week

 
This Photo of the Week is of Crockett, Texas. It is the place where my Mothers Parents were both born and where I will be heading to this weekend for our family reunion. I am EXCITED to see everyone and enjoy our family!
 
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wedding Planning Advice For Grooms

This article was originally published on A Peachy Life Productions.

After experiencing the entire wedding planning process and being happily married for more than six months, I have gathered a few tips that I think could help future grooms (brides may want to consider showing this to their grooms!)

To be a groom worthy of praise is not to simply stand at the altar and wait for her (or him, but for the sake of consistency I will henceforth use “her”) to walk down the aisle. It’s high time we did away with this bizarre tradition of letting brides do all the planning (or at least it is time to add a much-needed amendment), while the groom’s only job is to merely show up on time come wedding day. It’s not like roles should reverse and grooms should take on all the planning alone, but there’s really no logical reason to not be a significant part of the planning process. This wedding is a celebration of your love together; don’t you want to take ownership playing some role in what is arguably the most important day of your life?

1. Think about one aspect of the wedding that you would like to have the most influence on.

It's no secret that your fiancée is likely to want to fulfill some sort of child hood fantasy about planning a wedding from start to finish. But before she (or he) decides on what song is played while you cut the cake, take a moment to think about one aspect of the wedding that you'd like to have your name on. It could be the song the wedding party comes out to, it could be the choice of the DJ or photographer, or it could be as simple as selecting a gift to award the lucky guy who catches the garter. This wedding isn’t just about your bride, it’s about the two of you together! You will have your friends and family there celebrating with you, it’s important to showcase the two of your styles and interests coming together as one.

If you can work together on planning the wedding, think of how well you’ll be able to work together on other big events in life.

2. Help with research.
In case you didn’t already know this, the wedding industry is ENORMOUS! Every aspect of the wedding is an industry in and of itself, from wedding emergency kits to wedding toppers, so be prepared to sift through hundreds of vendors who are all vying for your $$$ (but remember, not all vendors are in it for the $$$...some honestly want to tell/share/photograph/film your story). This is likely one of the most time consuming parts of planning a wedding and if you don’t spend enough time doing real research, you’ll likely end up with a bride who is vehemently upset about something one of the vendors did (or did not do).

To be successful when it comes to research, take the time to sit down with your fiancée and talk about what each of you would like to see in a wedding, and perhaps discuss the areas you are willing to shell out more cash and the areas that you are not too concerned with spending a great deal of money. Then consult friends and family members who perhaps are married and may be willing to share some valuable advice about vendors they know. There’s usually some friend who at least knows another friend who recently got married, so getting this information should not be difficult.
As a side note, while chiavari chairs are elegant and a staple of most modern weddings, most of your guests will hardly notice the difference and furthermore, those chairs aren’t going to capture any of the timeless moments of the day and put them together in a wedding film or a photo album that will be the only visual record of the day you got married. I’m not saying that all your money should be spent on photography and videography, but I do believe that a great deal of research should go into these two areas mainly because the professionals you hire will be charged with the responsibility of recording your wedding day in such a way that you will be able to revisit those emotions you felt on that day. I highly doubt you’ll get that from chiavari chairs or fancy cake toppers. I’m sure you’d appreciate a valid record of the day considering the amount of time and energy that went into planning.

3. Be present at all (or as many) meetings with vendors as you can.

While my wife and I were planning our wedding, I was dumbfounded at how shocked the majority of our vendors were when I would show up to every meeting. They often claimed it was such a rare thing for the groom to tag along and be so involved in all the planning. After thinking about it, I did notice that most wedding vendors cater their language towards the bride. They believe it is only brides who are visiting their pages and inquiring about their business. I imagine that is true and will continue to be true in the future, but why shouldn’t a groom come along and be present during meetings that involve critical decisions about their wedding? I can only imagine that the overall experience of the wedding for both the groom and the bride will be elevated knowing that the groom was present at these meetings and voiced his opinion about certain things.

Engagement is key; grooms have to be willing to engage in the wedding planning process. It’s understandable that many will be apprehensive about it because of their perception of what wedding planning is like. But in all honestly, things are different now. Wedding planning has married the digital age. There are so many things you can do to successfully plan for weddings from the comfort of your own home. Have Skype interviews with vendors, research online and read reviews about vendors. Major wedding sites like TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com offer complete online experiences that any groom could get accustomed to if they wanted to have any involvement.

Again, I understand the reality of bride who just wants to plan everything without any assistance (there’s nothing wrong with that!), but I can’t imagine anyone not at least wanting their groom to tag along and participate, even if it is in a minimal way. You’ll be planning a lot of things and having to make tons of decisions as a married couple, what would it hurt to start doing it now?

4. Write your own vows!

I can hardly think of a better way for a groom to woo his bride on their wedding day than to put into words the reasons why he got down on one knee. It’s the one time to think and make an attempt (although futile) to express in words the feelings you get when she walks into the room. Even if you do not wish to be at every meeting with the florist, even if you could care less what color the napkins will be or whether there will be a salad fork to the right of the soup spoon, there’s nothing that should prevent you from taking one opportunity to pour your heart out to your soon to be wife in front of family and friends.

So maybe you aren’t the gushy type who likes to pour your heart out (especially in front of people). Fine, but that shouldn’t stop you from attempting to write a spirited speech that at least celebrates the love you feel for your fiancée. Only the two of you define the love between you, so whether you want to recall some funny moments from your relationship or write a poem, it’s totally up to you. No one is holding you to any standards. It’s really the least you could do, and there’s no bride in the world that wouldn’t appreciate such a thing. You’ll probably earn a deep admiration from her family and friends as well. Everyone is already there to watch you get married, so there’s nothing wrong giving them a reason why they are sitting there on that day.

I understand there are situations where original vow writing is restricted due to the structure of the wedding ceremony, but there’s nothing stopping you from speaking to your bride during the reception. By that point, the ceremony is over so most of the pressure is already off of your shoulders. Friends and family have likely loosened up, therefore making it a much easier atmosphere to open up in front of people.

Come on, it’s not that difficult. And it will mean the world to your bride.

5. Be the stress reliever on the day of the wedding.

There is a saying…”Happy Wife…Happy Life.” The phrase takes affect long before you exchange rings. In order to guarantee a pleasant and eventful wedding day free from horrific levels of stress, the bride will look to YOU to be her relief. Forget the wedding planner and her bridesmaids, it is ultimately on your shoulders to keep that smile glued on her face. It will also be likely that you’ll be the only voice of reason she’ll be willing to listen to, so be sure to forecast to the best of your ability the events of the day. Try to avoid any potential crises by assigning a day planner, or communicating effectively with your wedding planner.

There’s nothing to be afraid of, but it will only benefit you and your bride to be mindful of the very fact that no wedding is perfect. Regardless of the hours of planning every last detail, there will be pitfalls and things will not go according to plan. This sort of advice can only go so far, this one relies solely on you. Take the proper precautions to ensure a wedding day that is memorable and full of happiness. Remember that the whole purpose is about the two of your lives being bounded together for rest of your life.

There are plenty of other methods for being a “better” groom. There’s really no way to be a “better” groom, but hopefully there is something here worth thinking about. Ultimately, it’s about creating a positive wedding experience and things can only get better with more involvement from both parties. Let this experience demonstrate your abilities to work together as a team, and learn where each other is at in terms of their wants and needs. Weddings are a learning experience; one that you will surely revisit time and time again.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Best Places to Hook Up at a Wedding

You may have heard that many people meet their future spouse at a wedding, but did you know a wedding is an even better place to score an easy hook-up? According to MissTravel.com's Wedding Hook Up survey, 67 percent of singles have hooked up during a wedding and didn't need a room key to do it.

With wedding season in full swing, you'll likely be attending at least one so why not be prepared for that magic moment.

After you've had your fill of signature drinks and pigs-in-a-blanket, find that guy or gal you were eyeing during the ceremony and take a spin on the dance floor. If the chemistry is right, excuse yourselves to one of these discrete destinations for your own wedding night action.


1. Bathrooms

The bathroom is the most obvious place to go. But if discretion is the goal, then the men's room is the clearest choice. Remember: Men's shoes seen under a ladies' room stall door is a dead giveaway, while in a men's room a woman's feet don't necessarily need to be touching the floor.

2. Under the Reception Table

If the linens are long enough you can probably fit two under a 72" round, but you'll have to make sure your high notes aren't louder than the wedding singer's. One positive of doing it under the table is that you'll have a simple reason while you were under there in the first place: You dropped your napkin/earring/fork and he was helping you find it... under your bridesmaid dress.

3. Conference Room

If the wedding is being held in a hotel where there are plenty of empty banquet and conference rooms, you may find an unlocked door and turn the room into your own private suite. Of course a table and chairs may make it easier to get your groove on, but beggars can't be choosers, so just be happy you have the room all to yourselves.

4. Bridal Suite

The bride won't be using her getting-ready suite much after the ceremony so you'll have the comforts of a plush couch, private bathroom, left over champagne and snacks, and a closet to hide in if you need to. If you choose this semi-private spot for your hook-up pick a time when you know the bride won't be popping in to reapply her lipstick, like during the father-daughter dance, toasts or cake cutting.

5. Elevator

If you can't make it back up to your room and have to have each other right then and there the elevator will do. This popular hook up spot -- according to the Wedding Hook Up survey it's the #1 location for hotel hook ups outside a guest room -- is almost always being watched by a security team, so be aware that you're being watched, and if you're into that then smile for the camera!

6. The Parking Lot

If you drove to the wedding, or know where the key to the newlywed's getaway car is, make it like you're in high school and jump into the back seat. The great thing about hooking up in a car is temperature control and satellite radio... pump up the volume and move to your favorite tunes.

7. Outdoors

You may think a golf course or garden is a great spot for sex under the stars but just because it's dark out doesn't meet you can't get caught. Many resorts have sprinkler systems on timers, which may cool you off just as things are heating up.

Music Monday- Kem- Heaven


Chicken Spaghetti, New Look and Brandonchi

Hello Blogger Loves.. Here is my weekend recap.
 
 
Friday Night, Scott and Isaiah had a Father/Son trip to the movies to see Monster's University so Jacelyn, Katelynn, Bruce and I got down as I tried out Chicken Spaghetti. I usually cook my spaghetti the traditonal way with Ground Beef so this was something different and according to my critics, quite tasty. Sorry I didnt take a picture.... I was starving.
 
 
Saturday Morning I got up and went to get my hair done. I tried something different with twist braids and I have to admit... I am digging them:




 
After getting my hair done, We headed over to the Engagement Party for Brandon and Chiquita. It was a great celebration and cool to see everyone:



 
 
Sunday was all about prepping for Houston. I rean some errands, Did some laundry, Pulled out suitcases and preparing for fun times with the family... I am so excited.
 
 
Have a great week everyone!!!



Friday, June 21, 2013

4 newlywed rules to ignore

 
 
Photo: Couple kissing // Getty
 
 
Does it ever seem like there are expectations you're supposed to live up to as newlyweds? And if you don't buy into them, you're not doing the whole married thing right? Well, we say forget that. Here are some so-called rules you shouldn't think twice about ignoring.

Rule 1: You have to be Mr. and Mrs. Same Name/Same Account/Same Life

Ignore it. Maybe your friends were psyched when they finally got to use return address stickers featuring their new last name. But there's no set rule on how you two should go about merging; you have to do what's right for you, and that could mean keeping your name and maintaining your own accounts. If you're on the fence, consider using a joint account for all your household bills, while maintaining personal checking and savings accounts for all your other expenses. Just one quick trip to the bank, and you're done. No identity crisis necessary.

Rule 2: Once you're married, you need to put a five-year plan into place

Ignore it. Some couples have their entire future mapped out. "We'll probably move to the burbs by '14, and then we'll have to start thinking about having kids — two girls and a boy — and buttering up to preschools in the area." Alrighty then. Just because pals may have a master plan — including the month they want to conceive — doesn't mean you should, especially since life rarely goes according to plan anyway.

Rule 3: You need to phase out your individual friends and meet new couples

Ignore it. Why is it that as soon as you get hitched, you're expected to be hot on the trail of other duos to befriend? You're still the same people you were before you got married, so don't buy into the pressure to fill some arbitrary couples quota. The individual friends you've had for years — the ones that were with you long before your spouse showed up — are still a big part of your lives, even if they're at different stages.

Rule 4: You should spend all your free time together

Ignore it. Having quality time together is important, but you had a full life before getting hitched, and you still should now. Schedule more nights doing your own thing or take a short vacation if the opportunity comes up. Yes, your other half will survive – and may even thank you.

Friday Letters



Dear Weekend...
 
Its going to be a busy one so lets work together and get this done.
 
Dear Brandon and Chi....
 
Congratulations on your engagement. I hope that you guys enjoy your party this weekend.
 
Dear Houston....
 
We are less than a week away, Bring on my Southern favorites and family.
 
Dear Body....
 
We will get on it, I promise. I have to get better, be better and do better.
 
Dear Scott....
 
I'm Thankful each and everyday for you. No one in this world could love me the way that you do. Thank You for being the best husband a girl could ask for.
 
 
Have a great weekend loves!
 
XOXO


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Biggest Wedding-Planning Myths

Getting married is one of the ultimate rites of passage. Weddings are a symbol of love, hope, devotion, sacrifice, and the future — not just for us, the bride and groom, but also to our family, friends and community. And with them comes a host of expectations (just take a look at these wedding complaints I’ve heard). Sometimes these perceptions are so deeply engrained that we don’t even realize they’re there.


I’m three months shy of getting married (!) and it’s only now, at the tail end of my engagement, that I’m able to see how certain myths have shaped my wedding-planning process for better (and for worse). Where did these crazy ideas come from? My fiancé, Jason, blames the crappy reality TV that I watch and my love of fairytales as a kid, but I think it runs deeper than that: Myths are also formed from cultural beliefs and stories that are passed down to us on a personal level. BG brides, what would you add to the list below?


1. It’s your day!

 Yes, it's your wedding and you should do what you please, but anyone who's planned one knows it's never as simple as that. I've uttered these three words before and instantly regretted it. If your loved ones have supported your relationship, rooting for you guys the entire way, then you owe it to them to make them feel appreciated. If you get unsolicitied advice, at least hear them out and say, "I'll consider it, thanks." Then, move on to the next subject of conversation. Also, if your parents or in-laws are contributing towards the wedding, be prepared to make a few minor concessions along the way.
bride with bridesmaids

Photo Credit: Diane Askew Photography

2. You’ll cry tears of joy when he proposes, when you slip on the perfect wedding gown, and when you walk down the aisle or recite your vows.
 
Every bride reacts to major planning milestones differently. When I got engaged, I was so caught off-guard that I asked “Are you serious?” about 10 times, even though the man I love more than anything in the world was kneeling before me in the sand, clearly asking to spend the rest of his life with me. Not exactly the response my fiancé had expected (eventually, I snapped out of it and said yes). Don’t beat yourself up if these happy moments unfold differently than the way you expected — and that applies to your groom, too.

Another prime example: You know those heartwarming Pinterest photos where the groom is bawling on the big day or pumping his fist into the air? That doesn't always happen. During one of my favorite weddings I’ve ever attended, the bride practically ran down the aisle from nervousness while the groom gazed at her placidly. Then, they proceeded to giggle throughout their entire vows. It was relatable!
wedding vows

Photo by: Rebecca Anne Photography on Rebecca Anne photography via Lover.ly

3. You’ll instantly become closer with everyone you know by bonding over wedding plans.

 Meg Keene, the author of A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable and Meaning Celebration, once told me brides are conditioned to believe that the wedding is a time when we're closest to loved ones, but reality doesn't always meet our expectations. I've heard stories from readers who were disappointed in others who couldn't put their own personal issues aside for the big day, whether it was divorced parents who refused to be in the same room together when discussing the wedding plans or a bridesmaid who was resentful over the fact that she didn't get engaged first.

But when they're at their best, weddings are also an exercise in community, so I'm going to say this myth does have some truth to it. In my experience, wedding planning is like viewing your existing relationships under the magnifying lens of a microscope; you see everything a thousand times clearer. I've never been more appreciative of my amazing parents and best friends. I also feel a special connection with other people getting married around the same time — we’re all in this together.


4. Every single detail needs to be perfect/meaningful/unique/handmade/from the heart. 

 What separates 2013 weddings from weddings in past decades is the unparalleled level of personalization. But all of these new options, albeit rewarding, can have a paralyzing effect: Which detail is best for my wedding? I suffer from inspiration overload all the time. Whenever I’m not sure what to pick, I ask myself if the idea I’m entertaining makes sense in relation to my overall vision (my venue, my dress, and the feeling that I want guests to take away from the entire event).

If the answer is no, then I scrap it and don't look back. Limit yourself to a few clever details and realistic DIY projects that reflect who you are as a couple. If you don’t like dinosaurs, do you really want this T. Rex shot hanging on your mantel?
love story decor

Photo Credit: Jana Marie Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

5. You shouldn’t pick the first vendor, gown, or other item that you find. 


 I should have trusted my gut and pulled the trigger more quickly with some of our wedding decisions. We visited about 10 different venues only to end up going with the first one…ditto with our photographer, videographer, DJ and so forth. After a while, it became a running joke between Jason and I. We would look at each other knowingly after a “first” appointment of any kind and ask each other, “Is this the one we should choose?”

By all means, do your research and become knowledgeable about prices and services in your area so that you don’t regret hiring a vendor, like I did with my first florist. I just wish I had realized sooner that there’s a fine line between being informed and just plain OCD.


6. You should have a one-year engagement. 

 Whoever decided that 365 days is the perfect amount of time to transition from “fiancée” to “wife?” We had a long engagement for practical reasons (namely, so Jason could finish his doctorate in physical therapy). We’ve had an amazing experience planning the wedding, but after three years, the candy coating part (cakes! flowers! gowns!) did wear off. If we had wed more quickly, we wouldn't have had to play the waiting game.

Does that mean we should have rushed it? Nope. Decide when the big day should be based on your personal life circumstances and comfort level in regards to planning. I’ve known couples who have wed in six months or less and for them, that was the right choice, too. Just start with the planning elements that are most important to you (whether it be the venue, dress, photographer, etc.) so they don’t book up or become unavailable.
engaged couple

Photo Credit: Stephanie on Saltwater Studios via Lover.ly

7. You need to spend [insert $ amount here] on a wedding.
Funding a wedding can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you should start your married life in major debt because you didn’t want to disappoint anyone, including yourselves. Have an honest conversation with your fiancé about how much you can realistically spend, taking your current finances into consideration.

What worked for us: We used a budget spreadsheet to map out estimated costs for everything and adjusted the amounts after we finalized contracts. The first time around, we definitely forgot to include a few things, including postage for our invitations. Add a five percent cushion to the total amount in case you do end up spending more in certain areas, like we did with our centerpieces.
Also, don’t entertain an idea for longer than a week (and that’s being generous) if you know it’s going to put you in the red. During the honeymoon process, I became enamored with the island of Bora Bora. Other brides cautioned me that this heavenly place came with a hellish price tag. But I didn’t care. I Googled bungalow after bungalow option, only to realize that the average cost was $15,000 for seven days (it's still on my bucket list; I'll get there eventually!).


8. While we’re on the subject of budget, hiring your loved ones is the same as hiring pro vendors.
I have several talented friends and family members who could DIY with the best of them (see the bridal shower my mom threw for me here). However, I can’t imagine asking my family and friends to “work” the entire wedding. Everyone knows at least one story of a bride whose Dad/friend/cousin was arranging centerpieces or manning an iPod playlist and missed a key part of the action.

There’s nothing wrong with getting crowd-sourced wedding photos and the like, but make no mistake about it — you won’t get the same results as you would from someone who does this for their livelihood.


9. You need to have a white gown, something blue/old/new/borrowed, a bouquet toss, Dad walk you down the aisle or [insert other tradition here]. Otherwise, it’s not really a wedding wedding.
The garter toss has always creeped me out, so that's one tradition we'll be skipping. Also, we've seen some adorable guest books, but nothing really stands out as “Jason and Stef,” so why include something that doesn’t mean anything to us? Decide with your groom what you should omit, and come up with your own unique traditions, too! We’re still working on that last part…
garter toss

Photo Credit: Applemoon Photography on Applemoon Photography via Lover.ly

10. You’ll never look more beautiful than you will on that day.
Between the dress, jewels, makeup, hair, and smile that says, “We finally did it," there's no denying that brides are incredibly beautiful. There’s a lot of pressure to look a certain way, even if no one will admit it out loud. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best — just don't let other people's scrutiny and comments mess with your psyche. P.S. I know wives who look just as amazing now (if not more) 15 years after getting married!


—Stefania Sainato

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Blog Post for Robbins Brothers!!!!!

In my new career of Blogging... I have done another post for Robbins Brothers in what I would like to call the "Newlywed Series". Here is my latest post out today!!!
 


The Road of Love for Newlyweds

    By guest blogger Jasmine Cameron, Cameron Chronicles
     
     
    Road Trip
     
     
    Summer means BBQ, Beach Days and of course…. Road Trips!!!!
     
     
    As a newlywed, traveling with your significant other is exciting. You get to explore new places together and learn the art of planning and organizing, together. So what are some of the things that newlyweds need to remember with travel you might ask?? Here are a few tips to make your trips memorable ones.
     
     
    Capture the Moments with Photos

    Never miss a time to capture those unforgettable moments. With the wonders of Modern technology and Social Media, this is a great way to share with friends and family.
     

    Jasmine and Scott Cameron
     
    Plan and Flow

    There are some things you’ll have to plan in advance, but going with the flow is not a bad thing either. It gives you a chance to be in the moment with the one you love.
     
     
    Make the Trip Comfortable

    As much as we know that we would all like to get to our destinations in 2.5 seconds, it does not always happen that way. When Road Tripping, make sure to wear comfortable clothing, have great snacks and of course ways to entertain each other.
     
     
    Scott Cameron
     
     
    Peep the Scene


    Nothing makes a new place better than the views of where you are. Check out the places you visit from all points of view.
     
     
    Travel Scene
     
     
    Feed the Need

    Sometimes we fall into routine of what we eat, so road trips are always a great opportunity to try something different. Experience the local cuisine and don’t be afraid of it… I promise it won’t bite.
     

    Vacation Food
     
     
    Remember that like life and marriage, Travel can mean a lot, but I will say that there is nothing like having a lifelong travel partner like mine…..
     

    The Camerons
     
     
    Cheers and Happy Travels!
    XOXO,
    Mrs. Cameron

    Marriage Advice From Those Married A Long, Long Time

    Huff/Post50 editor Shelley Emling and senior writer Ann Brenoff have both been married to their respective partners a total of 36 years, collectively. During that time, they believe they've learned a few things about how to make a relationship work. Below are 11 lessons the two have learned along the way. Of course, Huff/Post50 would love to hear your ideas as well!


    1. Not every fight is the Big One. Don't go to the mats on everything.

    This is probably the biggest difference between living together and tying the legal knot. When you are living together, the door is always unlocked. When you've had enough of his dirty socks left on the floor, you give him the boot and let his mother pick them up for a few more years.
    Marriage? Well, marriage is for grownups. Not every injustice is worth a fight. In the early years, my husband and I would make a monthly dinner date to discuss the petty small stuff that was driving us nuts. He used to call it Grievance Night. Others may say it isn't wise to let things build up. Grievance Night worked for us.


    2. Don't use the "D word" unless you mean it.

    Divorce is a solution of last resort. You are undoing not just your marriage, but your entire life. Finances, children, friends, property, lifestyle -- everything is on the table and vulnerable. Before you go there, you seriously need to have tried absolutely everything else, at least a 100 times.


    3. Revenge isn't a dish best served cold. It's a dish best not served at all.

    A marriage is based on love and mutual respect. It isn't based on who is right and wrong. Getting even doesn't make the hurt go away, although sometimes an apology does. Evening the score just results in a tie with everyone miserable. Revenge is for the kid who hit you in the sandbox, not your marriage.


    4. Who you marry is important, but your commitment toward the institution of marriage is just as important.

    News flash: You won't always get along. There will be times when the sound of the other's breathing will drive you nuts. You will one day look over at your partner and wonder why you ever agreed to spend your life together. This happens to everyone. And then you just fix your breakfast, gas up the car and be on your perhaps not-so-merry way.

    It gets better. But it is never perfect, so stop expecting it will be.
    5. Jealousy isn't a measure of affection; it's a measure of insecurity.

    I know a woman whose husband thought it was OK to pinch my ass and press up against me while I rinsed glasses in the sink. That was the last time they got invited to dinner at our place, but the incident still hangs in the air every time we see them at community events.
    I think theirs is one of those marriages that lives on make-up sex. He cheats, she catches him (because frankly, he isn't all that discreet), he says "sorry," and their lives go on. Not for me, but I'm not feeling judgmental today.

    6. Affection can take many forms.


    In my house, it's displayed best by the little things -- getting the oil changed on my car without a reminder is huge. So is not calling from Ben & Jerry's to ask me which flavor I want (and thus giving me an opportunity to decline because I'm dieting) but just bringing home mint chip because you know that's what I want and you're willing to get yelled at about "sabotaging my diet" while I ask you to please hand me a spoon. Hey, how we love each other isn't a uniform thing.

    7. When things get off track, as they inevitably will, this is the one surefire thing that works.




    You both must wake up in the morning and ask yourselves "How can I make him/her happy today?" I offer a 100 percent guarantee this will get you back on track.


    8. Make your marriage -- not your children -- your top priority.

    If there is trouble in your marriage, it will ultimately hurt your kids. I've had many a friend who refused to go away with her husband for a long weekend because she didn't want to leave the children. In my experience, that's a big mistake. After those kids leave home, you'd better hope you and your spouse still have things to talk about.


    9. Shocker: Sometimes it's a good thing to go to bed angry.

    Yes, sometimes you just need to get some sleep. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to bed angry -- vowing to myself that I'll never get over something that just transpired -- only to wake up refreshed and barely able to remember what I was so angry about the night before.


    10. It's best not to get into the habit of calling each other mommy and daddy.

    I know. It's easy to go from saying "go ask your daddy" to "go ask Daddy" to "Daddy, can you help little Emma with her homework." But, truly, it diminishes, you two as a romantic couple and can put a damper on your sex life. I know I don't want to walk into the bedroom and to start getting it on with the guy I've called "Daddy" all day.


    11. Whatever you do, don't stop kissing your partner hello and goodbye.I made this mistake. For awhile, when I left for work in the morning, I felt too rushed to take the time to walk over and kiss my husband goodbye. It's so easy to get into that habit. But this sort of thing ultimately makes your partner feel less special. It can be hard enough to keep romance alive after many many years of marriage. Don't let go of the little stuff like kissing and hugging.

    Beautiful couple 'married' at age 4 still in love 87 years later







     
    Marriage is not an easy thing. But some couples just work hand in glove, like the inspiring Ron and Eileen Everest. Both 91 years old, the British couple were born in the same maternity unit in Kent and their love has gone platinum, the pair having recently celebrated their 70th anniversary. Their fathers were good friends and Ron and Eileen saw each other often growing up. In the picture on the left, they're posing as a bride and groom at a town carnival at age four. They got married for real at age 21. "We have been in love from the age of zero," said Mr Everest.

    Photo of the Week



    This Photo of the Week is my Husband with one of his Father's Day gift. He saw this wallet on Amazon and just had to have it. As you can tell, Pulp Fiction had a BIG impact on him and he is one Bad Mother... You know the rest! Love You Scott!



    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    What Not to Do When Picking Out a Wedding Dress

    I make a living judging people's dresses. As a producer for Fashion Police on E!, we are constantly critiquing everyone's looks on the carpet. But when I got engaged, I knew the tables would soon be turned.


    It's the dress of all dresses, the one that would live on forever in pictures and albums for years to come. It was now my turn to find the wedding dress that would be put on display for all to see. But when all was said and done, there were so many things I wish I would have known on my journey to find The One.


    As brides, we are constantly bombarded with "How Tos" and "Bridal Tips," but what about things to avoid? If I could do it all over again, I would have done it differently. I'm here to tell you what I wish someone would have told me. It's what not to do when picking out your wedding dress.


    1. Do Not Believe Everything You See on T.V.

    Everyone from my fourth grade niece to my 50-year-old mom have spent their Friday nights watching Say Yes to The Dress, myself included. I was a total Say Yes to The Dress junkie. Having seen the show numerous times, I envisioned how my dress buying experience would be. When I found my dream dress, I would weep and cry, hug my mom, the heavens would open, the angels would sing, and I would continue to weep and cry.

    Cut to me finding my dress: "Yeah, it's cool. I like it." That's it. No tears, no angels, no tissues. That was seriously it. It was a very logical matter-of-fact reaction. When the bridal stylist asked me again if I was sure this was my dress, my response was "Sure. Looks good."

    My reaction wasn't because I didn't like the dress, it was just my natural feelings at the time. But because I didn't have my Say Yes to The Dress moment, I second-guessed my dress decision every day leading up to the wedding. The dress didn't make me cry, so it wasn't really The One.

    It wasn't until I met wedding dress designer Rani Totman of St. Pucchi, that I realized how normal my reaction was. She told me that out of every 10 people at her salon, only five or fewer cries. So no need to analyze and agonize over the dress decisions you make. Our reactions, whatever they may be, are perfectly OK. Waterworks or not.

    2. Do Not Be in a Hurry


    Would you agree with me that buying a dress only to find it half off a month later, may be one of the worst feelings ever? The same goes for wedding dresses, so don't be in a hurry to buy them right off the bat.

    Have fun trying them on, but do your homework. If you think you've found your dress, go home and see when that designer is having their next trunk show. That way you'll be buying your dream dress, but with at least 10 percent off, which will likely cover your sales tax.

    Also be mindful of changing trends from year to year. I had a long engagement of two years, so a dress that may have been in style the first year of my engagement may have gone out of style by the time I got married. But this doesn't mean you should procrastinate. Wedding dresses take six to eight months to be delivered, so if you wait too long, you'll be forced to pull from samples, which drastically limits your selection.

    Lastly, bridal designers show off their new collections every April and October. So if you get engaged around those months, be sure to try on dresses after those bridal fashion weeks. You may see a dress from a new collection that you fall in love with, but may have missed otherwise.

    3. Do Not Just Stand There


    You may not have known this, but Young MC actually wrote his line, "Don't just stand there, bust a move" as advice for brides trying on dresses. Really, this isn't a known fact? I'm surprised! All kidding aside, this is one nugget of information I wish I would have known during my dress search.
    We've all seen the drill. Stand on a podium, suck it in, smile, and try to picture yourself wearing that gown. But one thing I wish I had done is sit. No one ever told me I should try sitting in my dress. And on my wedding day, boy did I find out the hard way.

    Sure the thing looked great on me, with its corseted back making my waist look super tiny, but when I tried to put on my shoes for pictures, I realized I had a major problem. I couldn't sit, let alone breathe in the thing! It was like my internal organs were cursing my name every time I tried to bend!
    So take it from me, as a girl whose spleen may still be suffering, move around in your dresses when you try them on. Sit, squat, do the "Dougie," whatever you need to do to make sure you are nothing but comfortable on your wedding day.

    4. Do Not Forget the Photographs


    We are always our own worst critics, especially when it comes to pictures. How many times must you take a picture with your girlfriends until everyone agrees it's one they all like? I'm guessing more than once.

    So be sure to take lots of pictures of every angle of the dresses you try on, even the angles you find least flattering. You can't pick and choose what glimpses people will get of you in your dress. So make sure your dress not only flatters your front, but your back, your sides, and every area in between.

    On my wedding day, I turned around and said, "This thing has a train?" See that's why I'm here for you guys. I'm your guinea pig. Now onto more things I wish I had known.

    Take note of how the fabric appears in pictures. Lots of times, dresses made of taffeta or silk satin may look great in person, but the way the light hits them causes them to look wrinkled in photographs. And after all, it's the photographs that are going to last a lifetime.

    Lastly take note of how your body looks in the pictures. My favorite body part is my waist, so I made sure to find a dress that cinched it (so tight I couldn't breathe). So if you like your arms, or your legs, or your collarbone, be sure to choose a dress that shows them off, and more importantly that shows off your partner's favorite assets as well. And speaking of partners...

    5. Do Not Forget Your Fiancé


    When picking out a dress, the question asked by all bridal stylists is "What style are you looking for?" But have you ever stopped to ask your soon-to-be husband what he's looking for?

    I was tossing and turning over two dresses, both I could have seen myself wearing down the aisle. One was a fashion-forward lace and organza number and the other a more traditional hip hugging silk satin rouched dress.

    That night, I asked my future husband, "Do you like lace?" His answer: "I hate it." Welp, problem solved.

    Let's face it; girls dress to impress other girls. Guys could care less what is "trendy" or "cute." They just care about how the outfit makes your body look and how it makes you feel.

    If I wouldn't have stopped and asked my husband about what he liked, I would have been walking down the aisle in an uber trendy lace gown that I'm sure my girlfriends would have loved, but more importantly my husband wouldn't have. Your fiancé loves you, so of course he is going to say you look great no matter what. But just remember, he's the person you should be dressing for, not everyone else.

    You may cry or you may not, you may choose lace or you may not, you may choose a dress you can breathe in or you may not. Everyone is unique, as will be every dress shopping experience. But in the end, remember it's fit over fashion. And more importantly, it's not about the labels. It's about the love.

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Wedding Cake Prices: 20 Ways To Save Big

    By Sharon Naylor for Bridal Guide


    Swirls of buttercream, cascades of iced ribbons and blossoms — wedding cakes are the stuff of dreams, and it’s the rare guest who doesn’t look forward to the prospect of that magical last course. But there’s no sugar coating it, the cost of confection perfection can soar. Especially these days, with desserts (and dessert tables) such a major trend.


    (The national average cost of wedding cakes and desserts will be $451 in 2013, jumping to $466 in 2014, up from 2012’s $437. In areas like New York City and Napa, Calif. cakes can run as high as $1,200-plus.)


    No worries! We’ve gathered loads of ways to slice your costs.


    2013-06-11-1weddingcake_pinkbox.jpg
    Photo Credit: PinkCakeBox.com


    1. As you begin to conjure up your cake, the number-one rule to keep in mind is that it’s the labor — the time spent constructing, icing and detailing — that determines most of the cost, not the ingredients. This isn’t to say that size and shape don’t come into play: They do.

    2. Cakes are priced per slice, and since not every single guest is going to partake in your wedding cake, you’re safe asking your baker to allow for 25 fewer slices for a 150-guest head count.

    3. Opt for a cake-slicing station (rather than a served course) so that guests can choose from the plated presentation, for a savings of 10 percent.

    4. Create the effect of a larger cake by separating each layer of cake with thick, decorated non-cake layers — such as styrofoam squares wrapped with glittering fabric — to turn your three-tier into a six-tier wedding cake. You’ll get the effect of a super-pricey cake for about half the cost.

    5. Go smaller. “Most couture cakes are small,” says Ramona Osirka, owner of Perfect Wedding Cake in Marietta, Georgia. “So choose a smaller, two- to three-tier wedding cake for your display and cake-cutting, and then have a non-decorated, non-stacked sheet cake in the kitchen from which your servers will cut most of the guest slices. This can save you 50 percent.”


    2013-06-11-2monkeycaketopper_pinkcakebox.jpg
    Photo Credit: PinkCakeBox.com


    6. Create a deconstructed cake. Osirka says, “When you display each of your standard-size wedding cake tiers on different platters and pedestals side by side, you cut out the costs of stacking and decorating a grander tiered cake.” This strategy saves 25 percent, since many bakers charge a fee for stacking cake layers.

    7. Re-think mini wedding cakes for each guest table. According to Renay Zamora, owner and cake artist at SweetFace Cakes in Mount Juliet, Tennessee: “The amount of labor involved in mini cakes can raise costs. My general rule is one-quarter the size equals four times the cost.” (That said, table cakes can stand in for centerpieces, so you might end up saving on your floral bill.)

    8. Go square. A square cake will usually feed more guests, since it’s easier to cut it in a grid pattern and get a larger number of servings from each tier. (Ignore the myth that frosting a square cake takes more time, effort and money: An experienced cake maker can cover and ice a square cake in no time!)

    9. Shaped cakes are notorious budget busters. “Topsy-turvy cakes can take three days to make,” says Saint Sepulveda, owner of Layer Cakes in Pearland, Texas. “They also require extra layers that get carved away in the sculpting process, adding up to large expenses in ingredients and in labor-intensive decorating time.”

    10. Instead of a car or football shape, Osirka says that grooms’ cakes cost a lot less when they are square, sporting an image on top made from edible ink (such as a monogram, sports logo or even a photo from a digital image). “Or you can top the cake with a toy motorcycle or other fun item.”

    11. Many reception sites charge a per-slice cake-cutting fee that can range from $1 to $8 or more per slice. Some sites will charge this fee if you bring in an outside baker’s cake, and some charge it even for a cake they’ve provided. Since $3 per slice for 150 guests equals $450, this is one charge you should always try to negotiate out of your agreement.

    12. Standard flavors cost less than more unusual “premium” flavors. Anne Heap, owner and designer at celebrity favorite Pink Cake Box in Denville, New Jersey says vanilla, chocolate, lemon and key-lime cakes cost a bit less than red velvet and carrot; vanilla or raspberry buttercream run less than cream cheese or chocolate hazelnut cream.

    13. Choose buttercream frostings over fondant coverings. Heap says “Buttercream frostings are $4 per slice, while fondants are $5 per slice.” The extra effort that goes into rolling out and applying fondant accounts for the price bump.

    14. Choose standard flavors for the largest tiers, and premiums for smaller tiers to save 10 to 40 percent. And stick to two flavors and fillings, as is often standard. Many bakers will charge more if you order three cake flavors and fillings.
    2013-06-11-3reddamaskweddingcake_pinkcakebox.jpg
    Photo Credit: PinkCakeBox.com


    15. Icing dots are easy and inexpensive, says Zamora, and a cake covered with icing “pearls” is an elegant touch.

    16. Bigger sugar-paste flowers make an impression for less. Zamora says it’s intricate bloom designs like stephanotis that cost more. Sugar-paste anemones and peonies are popular budget-friendly accents. Heap says that limiting yourself to one bold sugar-paste flower on the cake lowers the cost by 40 to 50 percent.


    2013-06-11-4floralweddingcake_sweetfacecakes.jpg
    Photo Credit: SweetFaceCakes.com

    17. Hand-piped lacy designs are pricey. Instead, “Your baker can achieve a lace-like, damask or chevron effect with a roller pressed over fondant,” says Zamora. “Just avoid the second step of cut-outs, because it costs a lot more if we have to cut out hundreds of tiny little pieces from a lace design.”

    18. Encircle cake layers with ribbon, which takes only seconds to apply. Heap says damask ribbon is popular now, adding more effect than solid-colored ribbon. Affix a crystal brooch to the front of a ribbon wrap for sparkle.

    19. Instead of sugar-paste blossoms, embellish your cake with fresh flowers or chocolate-covered berries and save up to 40 percent.

    20. Doughtnut cakes are rising high on the foodie trend-o-meter. Doughnuts can cost as little as $5 for a dozen at bakeries. A top cultural choice is malasadas, a doughnut topped with cinnamon and sugar, often priced at 75 cents apiece.

    Music Monday: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell

    This is my JAM right now.... Love me some Robin Thicke!



    Fathers Day Weekend

    Blog Peeps... Whats Up! Here is the weekend update:
     
     
    Friday Night, Scott and I got our Iron Check on and made some Seared Ahi Tuna with Sesame Chili Vinaigrette. For our first time, It was not bad at all.




     
     
    Saturday Scott had a Softball Tournament that lasted most of the day so we didn't do much that evening but have Pizza and Veg out.
     
    Sunday was Fathers Day... Yay!
     
    We did brunch over at my parents house (Sorry no pictures, I was busy cooking and serving that I forgot to take pictures) and later in the evening I cooked dinner for Scott. I made one of his favorites: Balsamic Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Chops with 2 Cheese Risotto and a Green Salad.
     




    All in All, it was a great weekend of Food, Folks and Fun!