Category Archives: Wedding Planning

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Another big ol’ check mark can be added to that perpetual to-do list…


It’s much darker in person and the material is absolutely to die for. It’s kind of a light wool…perfect for late October. I seriously didn’t want to take it off.

Dress by susana monaco.

September is the Best Month. Duh.

Where the heck has September gone?


Since my last post (so long ago wow) I’ve done a decently amount of things.

  • Had a couples shower in PA
  • Turned 27
  • Ran the hilliest more horrid run of my life
  • Ran a 7-miler
  • Got through a Saturday of FOUR work events
  • Had a surprise mini shower
  • Bought new running shoes
  • Got my bridesmaid’s bouquets in the mail

Oh and the wedding is now like 37 days away or something. How??? Why??? Ahhhh!

Some quick recaps…

Couples shower – ridiculously awesome. My parents were there. His family was there. We constructed a tent. We drank like 15 bottles of wine. We kicked a keg. We sang karaoke. I cried. We got more gifts that we know what to do with. It was epic and amazing.

Turned 27 – no biggie…I’m just practically 30. Geez. Brian cooked me a fancy vegetarian curry and we dined at home. He also got me a Kindle, which I lOVE. Can’t wait to bring that baby on the honeymoon.

Hilly Horrid Run – The morning of the couples shower Brian agreed to do a 4 miler with me. However he failed to mention that we was taking me to a cross country course to do it. Seriously it sucked. It was on ALL GRASS and it was WET and hilly. Imagine just running through fields of rolling hills. I don’t do that. I do pavement. The only good thing about the whole ordeal was that the run was OBVIOUSLY good for me. I was slow as hell but it completely kicked my ass. Hills will do that. I was darn proud when I finished.

7 miler – I redeemed myself this past weekend with a fantastic 7-miler. Yes, it was mostly flat, but I did it without much effort. I think the hilly run of doom really made this feel easy. I finished in a 9:20-something pace.

9/17 – the Saturday with 4 simultaneous work events going on. Thankfully I only had to physically be at one, but I did have to make sure 2 others got off without a hitch. Twas a VERY long day.

Surprise shower – One of my super awesome and amazing bridesmaids surprised us with a mini shower immediately after the long day of work events. Thanks to the generosity of her family we got to watch the University of Richmond football game from a private press box. And her mom made the cutest little treats and invited our friends. It was so cute and so thoughtful!


New running shoes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Thanks to the hilly grassy run of doom, my old running shoes got soaked and managed to capture a horrid stench. I was unable to make it go away…It was time to buy new shoes anyway, so I went with the Brooks Adrenalines again. So far so good. This will be my third pair of Adrenalines. Oh and they’re purple. Love.

You won't let me down.


Bridesmaid’s flowers.

These really need no introduction. I LOVE them. Love. love. love. and love.

I heart you.

These are from FlowerThyme on Etsy. I HIGHLY recommend the shop!

I’m off to another dress fitting…cross your fingers it looks perfect!

Wedding Updates

And we’re less than two months from the big day.


It seems like only yesterday that we got engaged…

Recently I tackled my flower appointment, purchased our wedding bands, hired a band, finalized transportation, started some crafting, created our registries, had my first fitting, and sent out invites. Oh and the bridal salon where I bought my dress is now CLOSED. Like bam, out of business. I got the dress from Priscilla of Boston – a place that has been around for 65 years. SAD! But it won’t affect my dress or alterations since they’re seeing all previously purchased orders through to the end. In fact, my mom went to the store (it’s in Raleigh) yesterday to make sure everything was good to go, and she scored a veil and earrings for me for 40% off. I basically shopped via photo text messaging. Check, check and check.

And I’ve settled on SHOES.

Pretty and comfy.

And we’ve booked our HONEYMOON. God I can’t wait…

Excellence Playa Mujeres

All inclusive, adults-only, ridiculously affordable, 8 nights, 9 restaurants, 5 bars, beach, sun, and my husband. Seriously, hurry up November!!

Now the only things that stands between me and the wedding are 1 couples shower, 5+ work events, seating charts, a final fitting, a whole lot of running and bodypumping, and crafting like there’s no tomorrow. T minus 56 days!

Shoes OMG Shoes

Since when did we get to mid-July??

Wow sorry about the hiatus.

Anyways, I’ve got some UPDATES in the house!!!!!!!

My first dress fitting is on Saturday. I have been spazzing out about finding shoes (since you HAVE to have your shoes for the first fitting) and I ended up buying FOUR pairs to try on the with the dress. I ended up using Zappos for my shoe needs since they provide free shipping both ways and have a 365 day return policy. So I went nuts and ordered three pairs and bought 1 pair at DSW. Side note: I absolutely hated all the bridal salon shoes, yuck-o-saurus-rex.

In no particular order, here are the contenders.

Badgley Mischka “Fuller” shoe. I really, really love these shoes. But I really, really don’t love the 4 inch heel or $185 price tag. But they might be perfect with my dress, so I need to give them a chance. I NEED to.

“Brie” by Touch Ups. $50, yes please. Especially for a shoe that I’ll wear exactly 1 time. These are a much shorter heel and have a nice pearl detail. They also scream WEDDDDDDDDIIIINNNNGGGGGGG!!!!!!!! They are a bit shinier in real life that I prefer, but they’d do the trick. They are also super bridal-y, which I don’t love.

“Partyy” by Steve Madden. ZOMG. I LOVE these shoes. They are a bit more “stripper”-ish that I usually go for, but the sparkle detail had me at hello. I didn’t see these babies before I placed my original Zappos order, so I ended up having to place a second order just for these. They are extremely impractical however, so I’m not sure if they’ll take the cake. I’m also unsure about the champagne color and the 5 inch heel. But man are they purdy.

Steve Madden Luxe “Glitz Pump”. Love the subtle bling, but not sure how I feel about bows. One of my bridesmaids H.A.T.E.S. the bow-on-the-toe look. I don’t feel THAT strongly about it, but I don’t want to commit a fashion faux pas either. But if the shoe fits, I’ll wear it. (Fit’s the dress that is…)

The jury is still out on this one, but I’m sure one of these lovely ladies will go down in wedding history for me. Oh and if you haven’t seen the SHOES video, you should go watch it. It’s a classic:


Bridal Expo Explosion

Talk about a bridal madhouse.

I attended my first Bridal Expo this weekend and I quickly discovered that I am very behind the game. My wedding day is just about 4 months away…most people in attendance we getting married in 2012 (I deciphered this thanks to the sign up sheets at the vendor tables. I’m a sleuth).

Anyways, I tagged along with a friend of mine in the hopes that I could try some yummy cake samples and maybe find a band and some transportation (yea we’re a little behind).

The Expo was held in a hotel and it seemed to take up the ENTIRE first floor of the place. There were upwards of 75 vendors, a fashion show stage, door prizes, and hundreds of crazy people. I was decently entertained with the people watching and I did end up making an appointment with an invite shop (oh yea we need to invite people to this shindig…). I also talked to a few transportation companies and I think I found us a band. All in all I would say it was a success and I’m glad I went. I don’t think you could drag me to another one for less than $5,000 though.

In other news, the diamond fell out of my engagement ring.

This is how it's supposed to look.

I was literally just sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when the damn thing fell right out. I wasn’t even MOVING. I was rather stunned at this occurrence, but I figured it would be an easy fix. I dropped it off at the jewelery store and they ended up having to order some special thingy to replace the diamond. It cost me a grand total of $0, thank goodness. I had to go ringless for about 4 days though, so that was weird.

But now it’s back on my finger and happily polished.

Thankfully this little sucker is fully insured, so I could drop it down a drain or into a shark’s mouth and get another one for free. YAY!

I few other wedding tidbits…

  • We have our PHOTOGRAPHER and she’s RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. You can check out her page here.
  • I’m thinking about having the bridesmaids carry RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME paper flowers.

  • We have blocked off rooms at a nice hotel for our RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME guests.
  • I’ve started construction on our RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME wedding website.
  • I have my first RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME dress fitting on July 23rd which means I need to find a pair of RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME shoes before then.

I’m off to try and book our honeymoon! Ciao!

Gym, Tan, Wedding?

Now that the half marathon has passed, I’ve decided to try and focus on building a little bit of strength, getting a little tan and planning a litle wedding.

It’s hot as BALLS in Virginia right now and running isn’t exactly fun. I’ve done a handful of easy 3 milers since the race and one of them almost put me over the edge. It was so blazing hot out that I seriously considered drinking from a puddle. It’s been in the high 90s most of the week and has been in the mid 80s even early in the morning. Boo.

So rather than run till I pass out, I’ve decided to try my hand at BODYPUMP.

When it comes to weight lifting, I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t really know how to use the machines and I don’t know what to do with free weights. I mostly lift things like my cats and beer glasses.

5 liters of beer is heavy.

On my first day of BodyPump I didn’t really know what to expect. For some reason I thought there would be more cardio involved, but it was literally just weight lifting. And man did it kick my ass. I could barely lift my fork at dinner that night and I was incredibly sore the next day. Obviously I’ll be going back since it’s clear my muscles need a little torture every now and then.

I specifically want to focus on my back, since that’s what people will be staring at while I’m at the alter for our wedding. I want to be toned and tan (what bride doesn’t?!). I’m hoping a combination of BodyPump, Bootcamp and yoga will do the trick.

As for tanning, I tried to get a jump start on that this past weekend. I spent the day with my posse down by the James River. It was a beautiful day and I did manage to get a little sun.

Sorry if this next photo blinds you with my paleness.

I might blend in with my wedding dress.

We laid out and frolicked around the rocks for about 3 hours before calling it a day.

Rock modeling.

I managed to burn my feet pretty badly, but at least it’s sort of evening out the annoying running shoe tan I had going on down there.

We’re officially less than 5 months from the big day and I am pretty sure I still have a TON to do. I’m not stressed though…everything will come together. The big stuff is done, so now it’s just those annoying details that need to be taken care of. Yawn. I have ZERO interest in choosing napkins, tie colors, and a limo service…I totally get why people hire wedding planners!

Time to go for a run…

Next up: why I’ve been sleeping on the floor for the past 3 months (and why I’m FINALLY moving back into the master bedroom).

6 Months and…

A whole lotta stuff to do.

We’re getting hitched in exactly 6 months. Where did the time go?! Here are the things I still need to do:

  • Send save the dates (although I’m pretty sure EVERYONE already knows the date)
  • Find a florist
  • Taste some food
  • Book the photographer (found her, just need to make it official!)
  • Book the band (Brian’s taking this one on)
  • Figure out hotels and transportation (also on Brian’s plate)
  • Book the honeymoon (so close on this one…more deets to come)
  • Send out invites
  • Do ALL the little stuff, whatever that may be.

According to I actually have 154 “things to do”. Um what?! I find theknot to be a bit overkill.

No matter how much is left to do, I’m super excited for October 29th. SO PUMPED TO CELEBRATE!

Next year that'll say WIFE.

We're in love.

We're gonna party like it's 2008.

Bridesmaids – Black and Purple

Bridesmaids - Black and Purple
Bridesmaids – Black and Purple by carrie_on featuring a sleeveless dress

I’ve decided to go with black dresses for my bridesmaids. Shopping for six different people has probably been the HARDEST part of this whole wedding planning thing. I looked at lots of dresses in bridal salons and absolutely HATED the fabrics. It’s no wonder bridesmaids never want to wear the dresses again. I mean, if they’re going to drop $150-$200 on a dress they should be able to wear it again. Call me cheap, but to me that’s a lot of money for a one time thing!

So, the maids will be choosing their own dress. My only “stipulations” are: knee length, “formal” looking, NOT shiny or silky, and “nothing weird going on”. I don’t care if they match and I want each girl to fell 100% comfortable. The boys will be in black suits with purple ties (or some sort of purple thing…I’m clueless when it comes to male attire), I’ll be in white (duh?), and Bridawg will be in black with a white tie. In my head it works, so let’s hope it doesn’t look too whack-a-doo come wedding day.

I whipped up this Polyvore to make sure my vision was at least somewhat aesthetically appealing. I have on clue what flowers I’ll end up choosing…I just know they’ll be bold and purple. I’m still not 100% decided on the shoes, and I don’t care if they match. If the girls all end up liking the same thing, we can go that route, but ultimately I don’t care either way. The girls will all wear matching earrings to pull it all together (not really a huge fan of the Polyvore selections, but those will do for now).

Whew, another BIG OLE CHECKMARK on the wedding planning to do list. Next up, hotels, transportation, music and a photographer. And we’re only 6 months out – y.i.k.e.s.

Cupcakes, 15k, Date Night, and HEAT

High five for me…I had quite the jam-packed long weekend.

Brian and I took a half day on Thursday to squeeze in a cupcake tasting for the wedding. YUM. We got to choose 5 flavors to try, and they brought us TWO of each cupcake for a total of TEN cupcakes. On a good day I can polish of 1.5 and feel like exploding so this was a bit overkill. But, wow…they were AWESOME. I highly recommend Pearl’s Cupcakes in Richmond, VA if you want a yummy treat (and excellent service).

We ended up splitting one of each flavor and took the rest home.


They were all so yummy, it was kind of hard to choose. We ended up ordering Chai Honey, S’mores, Mocha and Lemon Blueberry for the wedding. It’s a nice mix of flavors so our guests can pick and choose. YUM.

No cupcake makes it out alive.

Next up on our agenda was a trip up north to see the Phillies play (they won wahoo!). We ended up coming back down south earlier than expected, so I had a chance to run in a local 15k. This was perfect since I planned to do 9 miles this weekend anyways.

The 15k was a small local race – maybe 110 runners or so? It didn’t really feel much like a race to me, but I think that was because I was running with a training run mentality. Oh and it was RAINING the whole time. We had some pretty serious weather down here this weekend and I don’t think I would have had the guts to get out and run if it weren’t for the race. I ended up finishing in about 1:31, not too shabby for me!

Mr. Garmin survived the rain, thank goodness! That random 11:30 mile in the beginning was me messing with my iPhone to keep it dry. I have no idea why I didn’t at least walk and fiddle…Oh well. I felt pretty good the whole time and didn’t really push myself. I figured I’d PR no matter what, and I really just wanted to get the miles under my belt.

After the race I napped and cleaned the house a bit and Brian and I went out for a date night. The restaurant was just OK (Stronghill in Richmond, VA), but I was happy I got to wear my favorite shoes again. I’m kind of obsessed.


I scored the dress at the Banana Republic outlet for like $20. I don’t think I’d know how to dress myself if it weren’t for dresses…they are so EASY!!

Sunday was spent lazing about and cleaning the house. I also went to my favorite yoga class and hit up Trader Joes. I love that place.

Today I decided to run a quick 5 miles during lunch. This was all fine and dandy until I realized it was 82 degrees outside. I don’t have too much of a problem with heat, but it’s quite a transition going from 40/50 degree runs to 80+ degree runs. I think I have some sort of sweating problem because I didn’t FEEL like I was sweating at all during the run. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how soaked I was. Ewwww!

I don't normally glow like this.

Sweat was dripping from my body and I didn’t even notice. Is that normal? Yuck.

Not too shabby considering the heat. It’s amazing how “easy” 5 miles feels after doing 9! I’m always pleasantly surprised how training WORKS!

Will you be my…

At the moment, I’m currently off racing the Phillies 5k, but I thought I’d share this wedding snippet to hold you over until my return…

It was a pretty easy decision for me to choose my bridesmaids. I don’t have a sister (neither does Brian) so I knew I’d want my closest girlfriends next to me on the big day. I’ve chosen to have two maids of honor (actually one maid of HONOR and one maid of HONOUR) since I really couldn’t decide between the two. One of them lives in Australia (hence the honOUr) so it isn’t very realistic for her to do anything “maid-of-honor-y” so having two is a logistical necessity as well. I’ll be the first to admit that I am generally clueless when it comes to all this wedding stuff (but thankfully I plan events for a living), so I’ve been heavily relying on my bridesmaids to give me advice.

So anyways.

How did I ask them to be in the wedding? To start, I found this really cute card on Etsy, and knew instantly that I wanted to incorporate this type of wording into my ask  (planning bonus: when I know I like something, I’m sold. No dilly dallying or mulling over a million options. That’s a recipe for insanity).

They are pretty fabulous, but at $4.50 a pop I knew I could do better. I wanted to make my message personal as well, so I decided to incorporate a bit of modern technology into my asks…

I picked out some cute stationary from Target ($5 for a pack of blank cards) and wrote the “Will you be my bridesmaid” message from the Etsy card (with a few edits of course). I switched the wording around a little bit and ended my note by saying, “and I have one more question for you, but you’ll have to go to this website to see what it is!” Then I directed each bridesmaid to a Google Form that I created especially for her! I used the link-shortening website, tinyurl, to create short “pretty” links to write out for each girl. This was important since I didn’t want to have to write out a 75 character web address to connect them to the Google Forms. Here is what the form looked like for my friend Mandy:

Now I could write my own personal message to each girl and not have to worry about squeezing all that love into one tiny notecard. They all loved the cliffhanger in the note and couldn’t wait to get to a computer to check out their links. Google automatically emailed me when each girl filled out the form, so I immediately texted/called/G-Chatted with them to exclaim my happiness! Asking the girls this way also avoided any sort of awkwardness if one of them couldn’t or didn’t want to be a bridesmaid for some reason. I put a “no” option in the form to let them know that I’d completely understand if they couldn’t do it. For the record, they all enthusiastically said yes!

All in all I had a lot of fun with this idea and I think the girls did too. Three cheers for Google!