Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Great Garter

My mom's garter made it to Julianne's site! Check out her post on the Garter Girl blog. Till next time...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I never win anything requiring luck... but I finally won something! Thanks to the Relentless Bride, and one of her fab giveaways, I won some super-cute decorations for our at-home reception! (Check out the contest she had here.) Yaaaay!

But wait... I won, not once, but TWICE!!! I had so many entries, her random-winner-selector picked me for both giveaway wins. Alas, to be fair, she had to spread the love around:

"The two winners for the Wedding Tissue Pom Giveaway (Thanks Prost to the Host for an awesome giveaway) are...YES... the two winners are.... WAIT A second...Ms. BBQ can not win twice... so, the second winner is SPAMGIRL!!!!"

No hard feelings, Spamgirl -I'm willing to share. Though hoarding these poms for myself would have rocked! Till next time...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Website Woes

Ugggh. Anyone out there with a wedding website knows that they can mean trouble. At first, I enjoyed the designing of the site. Then it started giving me fits, with errors and limitations galore.

The benefit? It's been great for organizing gifts and the guest list. The drag? People forget about using it to find out information about the wedding, no one uses it to actually RSVP, and loading photos into the albums has become a total nightmare. The site server I use only allows me to load six photos at a time. The progress bar creeps across, but never finishes loading. When I refresh the page, it's a 50-50 shot as to whether the photos I've been trying to load actually show up, or whether I have to start from scratch.

This website is kicking me in the teeth. Till next time...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Garter Greatness

I'm super-excited because a follower of the Relentless Bride spied a photo of my garter on the RB blog. Julianne has her own garter company and corresponding blog, and has honored me with a request to blog about the garter my mom made for my wedding. Here's what she sent me:

"Hello Kelly - My name is Julianne Smith and I have a stylish wedding garter company ( I saw the beautiful wedding garter that you had for your wedding on the Relentless Bride blog and I asked Amy for your information. I hope that you don't mind. I have a blog ( and I would love to do a blog post about your garter. I think that it is so pretty and special that I want to share it with my readers. If you don't mind and are open to it, just tell me a little about it."

A huge congrats to my mom, whose crafty talents are appreciated in the wedding world! Below are a few pics of the now-famous garter. Make sure to check out Julianne's site if you're looking for a fun and flirty garter! Till next time...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stop, Shop and Roll

Today I went wedding dress shopping with my friend TT - the one who asked me to be her bridesmaid. I have to admit, when we walked into the first store, I felt a little sad that not only is my dress search over, but the whole process is complete. The dress shop had a specific scent... one that gave me a little high. Maybe it's the smell of the fabric, the shoe dye, the hungry salespeople? We made three dress-shop stops today, with moderate success.

It's hard going dress shopping with someone else. You have to make an effort not to suffocate them with your wants, needs and desires. Today, I think I was agreeable without being too eager. When she picked a dress I really wanted her to try on, it made me feel like a proud mama, but instead of screaming YES!!! - I simply smiled, nodded and watched her move on to the next one.

So we went to a store which will remain nameless, and I'd heard a lot about the great service they provided. Well, I found myself lacing up two of the three dresses TT tried on. I helped her climb onto the viewing stand, and I helped her fluff her dresses. I grabbed the mirror for her to see each dress from the back, and I helped her out of the dresses. I also hung them back up. Now, I don't mind helping TT - but I think I should be paid a commission for doing the salesgirl's job. She went missing to go help someone she obviously deemed more important and never came back. No apology, no explanation... just tossed us a business card as we left the store. Unfortunately, the dress TT likes best is from that store. Fortunately, I knew to write the style number down. She can now look for it elsewhere - maybe from a store who provides good service and doesn't cut the designer tags out of the dresses. Yes, that's right, small boutiques are still cutting designers' tags out and replacing them with their own - which is totally illegal. But who's going to crackdown? The bridal police? No. (The best thing to do is file a complaint with the BBB.) But I learned a little trick from a store who doesn't follow that practice - if the store has unethically removed the designer's label, take a look at the hang-loops. Most stores leave them intact to aid with supporting the weight of the dress, and those loops usually have the designer's name on them. Score!

So TT has been to 4 stores, and 2 of the 4 have dresses she really likes. The bad news is, they both follow unethical business practices and do a disservice to the designers by cutting the tags out. At one southside store, TT asked who the designer was of the gown she wanted to buy, and she was told by the salesgirl, "It's a secret." Naughty naughty! TT turned around and walked out the door, refusing to give them her hard earned money. Two thumbs up to her for doing the right thing. I'm curious as to whether or not other brides have run into this problem, and did you do anything about it? Till next time...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Don't Mess With The Dress

Ahhh. Finding the perfect wedding dress. Not something I was dying to do. Because I competed in pageants over the years, I found myself less excited about trying on fancy gowns than expected. However, my mom and my aunt were extremely excited, and I didn't want to let them down.

We started at David's Bridal. I won't say much else about that experience other than a bridezilla actually pushed me out of the way to get a better glimpse of herself in the mirror. It was a frightening free-for-all, and not at all my style. I ended up buying some wedge shoes there in case I got married in the sand.

My next stop was Sophia's. Nice store, nice selection, nice people. I tried a dress on that I liked well enough to purchase. I wasn't ready to put the deposit down, and it's a good thing I didn't. A few days later my mom broke down into tears because we hadn't spent enough time shopping around for a dress. This was something she had been dreaming of since I was a little girl. I was so blah about grabbing a dress she felt she'd really been robbed of that magical movie moment where when you find THE DRESS: everyone smiles, cries, violins play. I'm not a violins kind of girl, but I love my mother and I reluctantly agreed to take one more Saturday to shop around.

So that brings me to the day I found the perfect dress. (See? Mothers really do know best!) I went to Demetrios, a store that also provided great service. They suggested I look at collections on their website before my appointment, and bring in the style numbers of gowns I wanted to try on in person. I did, and fell in love with the second one I tried on. It was form-fitting, flattering and a lovely chanpagne color that made it really unique. The 6'4" model made it look Hollywood-chic...

I made it look okay with the curvy 5'5" frame I've been blessed (cursed?) with.

So overall, finding a wedding dress was pretty simple. I know a lot of brides really fret about it. I wish you luck, and remember to listen to your mother every now and then. Till next time...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Already a Bride, Now a Bridesmaid

I saw 27 Dresses. I thought to myself, "That will be me... the girl with a closet full of hideous bridesmaid dresses and no husband of her own." Then I realized I'd had a few friends get married, and none had asked me to be a bridesmaid. Somehow that should have made me feel even worse. Unpopular much?

But no. I actually felt a little liberated. I had escaped the responsibility, the expense and the pressure of serving in someone's wedding party. No one had asked me to wear a prom 'do. No one had lied to me about buying a dress I would "be able to wear over and over again." (Right.) No one had morphed into a control-freak who would make me regret the day we'd ever met. I always swore I'd never lose a friend over a wedding extravaganza - not theirs, and not my own.

I didn't want to become the person who worried about what five of her friends were doing with their hair, makeup and fittings. I didn't want to hear girls complaining about how much weight they had to lose leading up to the big day... I had my own french-fry induced pounds to worry about. I figured I'd take the easy way out and subject only my oldest and dearest friend to bridesmaid-duty. She's like a sister to me, and knows me well enough to know that I like things mellow and relaxed. So we went shopping for her dress. We found it at the first little boutique we went to. She kept asking me, "Do you like it?" My reply was always the same... "If you like it." And I meant it. I could tell she really loved it, she was beautiful in it, and I knew she actually would wear it again and again. I didn't care about wedding colors - why not just build the floral colors around what she picked out? People looked at me like I'd sprouted a third eye when I said that, but I don't believe everything has to be so matchy-matchy. There's so much color and vibrance in Mexico, I felt we could make anything work. So we did, and she was a fantastic maid-of-honor in a fabulous dress. Good stuff.

But wait - there's been a new development! Now I am going to be a bridesmaid for the very first time! One of my friends is getting married and asked me to stand up at the altar along with her sister, who will be the MOH. I was flattered and said yes without hesitation. She has great taste, so I'm feeling good about the dress and hair possibilities. I was impressed by the way she asked me too... a little crystal covered fortune cookie that opened up with an engraved silver-plated fortune message inside asking, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" Super-cute and impossible to say no to. See?It was so cute that I stole the idea as part of a thank you gift for my MOH, with my fortune message reading, "May good fortune always smile upon my best friend. Thank you." So the moral of the story is that if you plan to be a Bridezilla, and you know your control-freak ways will alienate your friends, you can still bravely ask them to serve as victims - I mean, bridesmaids. Just do it in a cute and clever way like my buddy did. She's earned at least a couple of freebies to act like a bratty diva just by being creative. I don't think she'll cash in on the opportunity though - that's just not her style. And I pray corkscrew curls aren't her style either. I draw the line at prom 'dos... I just can't go there. Till next time...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guess Who's Back???

SIGH... so I was a really bad blogger and I fell off the face of the planet leading up to our wedding. I apologize to those who actually left comments or questions on some of my posts, but then never heard back from me. But now I have soooo much to share, and it's all going to be retroactive. Check back for new posts as ideas, tips, complaints, and praises come bubbling back to the surface.

The good news is, my (now) husband and I got hitched without a hitch! No swine flu could keep us away from our ceremony in Mexico! We, along with 48 guests, had the time of our lives, and I can't wait to share the whole adventure with everybody.

I've already posted something below that I shared on the Best Destination Wedding Forum while in Puerto Vallarta. If you are having a destination wedding, and you don't visit this forum, you are really missing out. Even if you're not having a DW, there are a ton of ideas, items for sale and honeymoon destination tips scattered all over the forum that apply to anyone getting married. Enjoy!

Check back for more of my snarky commentary. If you like what you see, I encourage you to "become a follower." Sounds cult-like, but don't worry, I won't be asking you to drink any kool-aid. Till next time...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From PV...

Hi all! Russ and I decided not to cancel our wedding plans and to continue forward with our wedding at Vallarta Palace on May 16th in Nuevo Vallarta. We are SO glad we did - things couldn't be better!

The hotel at first was at 5% occupancy, so things were very quiet. Service has been amazing at the hotel property - and everything about it is beautiful and relaxing. Our guests have started arriving, and there is another wedding party - so there are more people around now... but it's still probably only 30% occupancy at the point. The hotel has thrown in many perks for our guests - upgrades to the Concierge level for everyone, $250 spa credit, $250 golf credit. Everyone is having a great time, and they are thrilled about the unexpected extras.

We have done the Canopy Tour (fantastic) and Rhythms of the Night (a must see.) I would suggest venturing out to do either one if you have the time during your wedding stay or honeymoon. We got a ton of great photos from both outings, and I was even brave enough to wrap a snake around my head for a memorable pic!

Based upon our group bookings, the hotel is picking up the cost of our stay for the week, and giving us unlimited private receptions. So tonight we're doing a welcome cocktail reception, tomorrow a rehearsal dinner, a reception after the ceremony Saturday, and a farewell brunch Sunday. I have never been so happy with our decision to do a DW, and just wanted to share with everyone that things are gorgeous in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta... so for all you PV & NV brides - you'll love it!