Thursday, June 24, 2010

115 days to go… THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS!

I do my best to only post wedding planning to my blog. There are many weeks when I want to veer off to a different subject, but right now, I am using my blog as mine and Tres’ wedding page for guests, our wedding journal for friends and family to read, and a place to thoroughly capture our wedding planning journey together. Once we have leaped into marriage, the blog will take a different focus. It will center on our ever-growing relationship, our life together as a married couple, and my take on successful relationships and how we keep ours on the right track. I plan to look at this blog one day, 50 years from now, and reminisce all the planning, good times, and life lessons Tres and I have experienced together.

As for now, with 115 days until our wedding, it’s all about PLANNING! To be honest, we don’t have much left, but my thoughts have been scattered and I haven’t really gone through with what we have left. Here’s a little nit-picky list of what we are currently working on in “wedding planning world.”

· Wedding Invites – I know I have mentioned it once before, but I work very closely with one of the most fabulous graphic designers, and guess what… she also does wedding invites on the side! Since she always comes up with magnificent artwork for the articles I write on, I of course, put my wedding invitations in her hands, and what did she give me back? A MASTERPIECE! Our invites are beautiful, custom made, one-of-a-kind, and truly bring our theme to life. When thinking about the design for our invites, it was most important to me that when our guests received them in the mail, they would know exactly the wedding they were coming to, and thanks to Lindsey, they will! Now I just have to order the pocketfolds and get the designs printed. Since we are having a destination wedding, we are breaking the rule timeline on when to send them out. Ours will go out close to three months early.

· Makeup and Hair – Wow… has this been quite the task! You would think I was looking to audition to be the next covergirl of MAC or Hairstyles magazine with the work I have put into trying to find the best makeup and hair artists in New Orleans. Having an out of town wedding immediately puts brides at a disadvantage though. Why? Because we go into everything blind. We don’t live in the city we’re getting married in, so we don’t know “the best” of anything. We just have to read reviews, ask around, and go with our gut. Now, I have had bad makeup and hair done, and I’ve had good makeup and hair done. The last thing I want is for my wedding day experience to fall under the “bad” category, so this is really important to me… like REALLY important! As of now, I have narrowed it down to two: Get Polished and Flawless Bride! Feel free to give your opinion on which you think is better!

· Rings – The sweet fiancé is taking care of this one. He has contacted our jeweler for an appointment, and we should be set for next week. This should be one of those easy tasks – one that will have me crossing it off the To Do List with glee shooting through my ears!!!

· Eye Doctor – Why in the world is “eye doctor” on the to-do list? Well, friends, I plan to get LASIK eye surgery before the wedding. I have never worn contacts in my life, and I am so tired of putting on my beat-down, scratched-up glasses when I need to drive or watch TV that I could scream! My vision has, in my opinion, never been bad enough for contacts (not to mention I refuse to touch my eyeballs to put them in), but it’s bad enough to where the leaves on the trees are not distinct, when I go to a sporting event the athletes look like little blurs when they run by, and driving at night is like being a border-line possum. To make a long story short, if I want to see my groom when I’m walking down the aisle, I need to get LASIK!

· A “Last Visit” to NOLA – To finalize everything, Tres and I are going on our last New Orleans trip before the big day next weekend. We have yet to pick out our cake, so one of the days will be reserved for tasting and booking our cake baker. While the flower order has been put in and extensive phone and email convos have been had with the florist, we have not met or spoke in person, so that will also be a priority. We will also visit the hotel that everyone will be staying in (Tres has stayed there, but I have never seen it). We also need to book transportation – we are doing limos – for our wedding party, so that may come into play as well. And finally... our last meeting with our wonderful venue, Southern Oaks Plantation!

· Fix these Feet – Many of you may not know, but I had foot surgery in November to remove bunions on both feet. Being a dedicated lover to high heels, it was one of the most miserable experiences of my life, as I couldn’t wear my beloved heels for 4 months. Well, I am currently back in heels, but I am still not healed up enough to be in THE HEELS! Tres bought me the most beautiful Christian Louboutin’s I have ever seen in my life for my “wedding day shoes” (READ THE FULL STORY HERE)! Well, the shoes are close to 5 inches high (yes, you heard me right… FIVE inches), and even after seven months, my feet still hurt terribly to put them on. Literally, I can’t even take a step in these shoes it hurts so horribly, so I went back to my foot doctor this week. My foot doctor who, might I add, refers to me as “the heel girl.” Before I ever agreed to surgery, I made him promise me I would be in heels no less than 4 months after I got it done. I also emphasized my love for shoes so much that he thinks I am some sort of heel freak, and always cuts some joke about how unnecessarily high my shoes are. Well, when I went back to him this week, I told him I he had four months to get me in the most fabulous pair of shoes I have ever laid eyes on, so he shot me up with a cord ozone shot and promised me that I would be catwalking on those beautiful blue, red-bottomed stilts with no problem come October 17! All I have to say is, start praying now because whether I am limping down the aisle, crying in pain down the aisle, or having my father carry me down the aisle because I can’t put one foot in front of the other – nothing will keep me from wearing those shoes on wedding day!

Ok, so most of this weeding “to-do” is all stuff I have to do. Tres has his own list and is successfully on top of it! He’s such a wonderful groom! The countdown is on… can’t wait until October 17!!!

* Photos: Cards and Pockets, Modern Cosmetics,,,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Couples Shower – New Orleans Style

With only four months left until we make things official, this weekend was time for our very first shower! Tres and I traveled to his hometown and where a lot of Tres’ family and our close friends live, Knoxville, TN. Our wonderful friends threw us the most amazing wedding shower I have ever been to. Set at Getteysview Country Club, the vibe was classy and fun, the food was melt in your mouth amazing, the drinks were free flowing, and the company was more than we could ever ask for!

We had friends travel from Memphis and Atlanta to be there, and my family came all the way from Mississippi while Tres’ mom came all the way from Florida! One thing about being engaged and having people celebrate you is realizing how many people really love you and would do anything in the world for you. It’s easy to forget and to take it for granted, but once you see every person who loves you in the same room together, it becomes so clear, and it makes you never want to take it for granted ever again.

While we had approximately 50 of the people who love us most there, I couldn’t help but imagine how many more would be there at our wedding and how loved we will feel on that day four months from now. Loved… excited… and overwhelmed. Can I just say that feeling a lot of love is sometimes very stressful! I got a little dose of what wedding day would be like at this shower: the stress of getting hair and makeup done – pretty and on time, running around talking to everyone in the room at the party, hoping everyone is having a good time and is well-entertained, NOT EATING, and the most heartbreaking part of all… how it all goes by so quickly. This shower was 3 hours – same as our wedding reception will be – and it FLEW by. It felt like a mere hour from the time we walked in the shower until my parents were packing up our gifts and heading out the door.
I have to say, this was the perfect practice for what the wedding is going to be like and I learned five things:
1) I need to calm down... and do it on my own – not by downing two glasses of wine in under 30 minutes.
2) If people want to talk to me, they will come talk to me. I don’t have to run up to every person in the room I make eye contact with. They have friends there and don’t need me to entertain them.
3) EAT! Everyone knows food is always my #1 priority, well when you are too busy talking and running around, it’s true – you don’t eat. I cannot let this happen at the wedding!
4) Stop for a minute alone, look at everyone in the room, enjoy the setting, and take it all in – realize how blessed I am to be getting married to someone so wonderful and to be celebrating with so many wonderful people.
5) Have Tres beside me all night. With two people trying to talk to so many people, it’s easy to split up – Tres and I didn’t see each other for the first half of the shower. We can’t do this at the wedding!
With a few lessons learned, a mountain of wonderful gifts to take home, and speeches and toasts that will remain in my mind for a lifetime, I feel so blessed to have the family and friends we had at our shower Saturday night. It means the world to me that my parents and grandparents would make the trip to meet everyone and experience the shower with me. It was a true blessing to have Tres mom come from so far away and enjoy it with us. It was so wonderful to have Tres’ Knoxville family there are well. And as for Tres’ friends… he is so blessed with the group of friends he has – it’s truly a unique and uncommon group – there are so many of them, and they all love him so much. I have never seen anything like it with a group of guys – they are truly his second family, and I am so grateful to say that they are now mine!
Thanks to Lori and Elise for all the décor – it was straight from “The Big Easy” and perfect! Thanks to the guys involved in throwing the shower: Trevor, JG, Mike, Cole, Boog. And thank you to Tres’ mom, Carol, and Tres’ sister, Renee for completing the New Orleans theme by getting authentic cakes and desserts delivered straight from New Orleans all the way to Knoxville. You guys are ALL THE BEST! We loved everything!


Grandmother, Me, Momma
Family and Soon-to-be Family
The girls
After hours... Martini Bar
Me and the HOSTesses with the MOSTesses! The Guys
Hip, Hip, Horray! Hip Hip Horray... FOR TRES!
Mike's speech Us laughing at one of our friend's toasts! GIFTS
Can you tell how much we love wine?
Adore our china!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Engagements - Armosa Studios is THE BEST!

This may be the shortest blog post I have ever written because to be quite frank, I am SPEACHLESS! As you know, Tres and I had our engagement photos taken this weekend. I knew going into it, we had found a gem when we found Armosa Studios. I knew this because I wanted the best photography we could possibly get for our wedding. I knew this because I searched near and far for the best photography out there. I knew this because when I first saw their work, I almost fell out of my chair. I knew this because photography was my #1 priority above everything else in this wedding, and I was so willing to get the best photographers, I didn’t care where we found them. Well, we found them in Florence, Alabama, and while I knew we had found a gem, I had no idea we had found a treasure!

Tera and her husband, Wes, came all the way from Florence to Memphis for our engagement pictures. And if that wasn’t enough, they listened to all the crazy, over-the-top ideas I had for the pictures and not to mention, let Tres and I drag them all over the city of Memphis to take the photos! They are not only amazing photographers but also a good, wholesome couple who are just so much fun to be around! I could go on forever on how great they made “engagement picture day” for Tres and me, but instead of writing another 10 paragraph blog post, I will leave you with this picture - proof of how talented they really are. They gave us a little “sneak peak” this week on Facebook, and thank goodness they did because I could not wait another second to see at least ONE of the pictures!

When I first saw this picture, I was completely blown away and if it wasn’t already confirmed that I felt we had picked the best photogs, it most definitely was after I saw this picture. And I just have to throw this in there but… this photo was snapped during the shoot with Wes’ iPhone… HIS IPHONE! Can you even imagine what the pictures from the real camera are going to look like?! Wow… I cannot express enough how pleased we are with them – already – before even seeing them all! We should have the others to post in a few weeks when they are done editing them. Until then… here’s our sneak peak!
To see more of their work click here!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Engagement Pics...? Let's Just Get Married!

OMG – is my wedding this Sunday?! With the way I have been running around like crazy, you would think I am getting ready for a wedding – not just simple engagement pictures. But leave it to me to make engagement pictures bigger a deal than some make their own weddings! I have yet to meet our wonderful photographer, Tera from Armosa Studios , but in my last email to her, I had to confirm that she a) didn’t think I was crazy and overly involved and 2) that I had not already run her off before an in-person introduction took place! She has been a JEWEL though, and I can’t wait to finally meet her and work with her on this! To get an idea of my insanity here’s what I have been doing for the past few weeks:
Searching for the “perfect” vintage dress – Tres and I will change outfits twice, and we wanted one “vintage” session, so I went on the search for the perfect old school dress and FOUND ONE! It’ amazing – true vintage from the 1950’s, all white with bright yellow and subtle blue flowers scattered all over it, pleated skirt, high neck, THE WORKS! When I wear it, I feel a mix of The Wonder Years and Stepford Wives – both fabulous in my opinion! But being true vintage, there were a few issues with the dress: 1) It did not fit, so I have been to the seamstress a few times to get the perfect fit. Turns out, women in the 2000’s are shaped quite differently than those in the early 1900’s. And maybe I need a longer torso and larger behind? 2) It didn’t come with a crinoline petticoat (the slips that make those dress “poof” out), so I had to find one on ebay. Well, it came in, and I have never seen something so obnoxiously large in my life. To give you an idea, I put it on with the dress and Tres just started laughing. I looked like a character at Disney World… awful! So I got to cutting. I cut so much crinoline out, the floor of our living room looked like a cloud fell from the sky, but it now works appropriately.
Searching for Tres the “perfect” outfit – And yes, guys indeed wear "outfits." If that has not been confirmed, Tres and I made it official last weekend after running to every mall, boutique, and shop to get him the perfect vintage attire to compliment mine. We successfully came home with 100 bags and now have 100 different looks to choose from. We will be making a post mall trip to return the unused clothing next week. Fun, fun!

1,000 trips to the mall – Why can’t it take just ONE store to find the perfect accessories for outfits? I have looked at every store and Memphis for jewelry, shoes, etc. Every day on my lunch break this week, I have charged through the city of Memphis like a loon hoping to compliment my outfits perfectly. Let’s hope I got it right, come Sunday!

A kite… Yes, a kite – For the vintage session, we will be pulling a kite in as a prop. Well, I waited until the last minute to order the kite and realized last night that it STILL hasn’t come in yet. I have been blowing up all day today. They assured me the kite will be on my doorstep when I get home. Kites R Us – please don’t ruin a perfectly good Friday, thanks!

Location, Location, Location – That’s what it’s all about, right? Well, our photographers were wonderful enough to come to Memphis all the way from Alabama to take the photos. Amazing – yes, they are! Since they don’t know the city, last weekend Tres and I aimlessly drove around downtown Memphis looking for the perfect spots to take the photos. You would think living there and walking all over the place every weekend would have helped give us an idea beforehand. Well, it didn't, and it officially took a whole afternoon. We only found a few promising spots, so we will be doing this all over again on Saturday!

Getting beautiful – Tres and I both have both finally decided a week ago that since we are getting our pictures made, we had better make more than two to three visits a week to the gym. We have both been there every day this week and though Friday is usually a HECK NO for me, we will be going again today! Did I mention tanning? Oh yes, I have been in those skin scorching beds all week this week. Not something I normally do, but for you, engagement pics… ANYTHING! We have also both had our updated hair appointments this week – cut for him, color and cut for me! I also have hair and makeup appointments (in different places… on two different sides of the city) before the pictures. If you have never seen a crazy person, come to Memphis on Sunday, and you will not be denied!
Outfit trial run – We rarely spend a night in on the weekends – actually never is more like it, but tonight, we will more than likely be taking the wine and food to the house. We will be having a fashion show in our living room with each other as our only audience. Haha - well actually, we will just be trying on everything to make sure it looks good together. Tres is going to hate that I mentioned this on the blog (he hates unmanly comments posted, and I think I just took the cake with this one).

Ok, so after zooming my car in and out of lanes throughout the city, running from store to store, ordering off of websites, stressing that packages won’t come in on time, and making numerous beautification appointments, I think we are finally ready for these engagement pictures! All we need now is good weather on Sunday… and maybe a minister? Minus the white dress, tux, and our families, I think we will be in the perfect shape to get married on Sunday. Tan, slim, made up, well dressed, GREAT PHOTOGRAPHERS – we have it all covered!

* Note - I really wanted to post all pictures from Armosa Studios, so everyone could see their wonderful, talented work, but I can't copy and paste pics from their website. SEE THEIR WORK HERE!

(Picture Credits: ClaytonAustin, SNS Photography, Vogue, Vanity Fair)