This past Saturday, I served as a bridesmaid in Violet Blossom’s wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, and I was proud to be a part of it. Violet Blossom and I have been friends since kindergarten, in case the Garden didn’t know!
I’ve been a bridesmaid in multiple weddings before Violet’s, but this is the first since getting engaged. I know that Violet Blossom is excited for me to be engaged, but I also knew that I should keep discussion focused on her wedding from her bridal shower to her reception. We did talk here and there about my pending nuptials, but I was careful to stay focused on her big day.
I will say that being a bridesmaid in the midst of planning your own wedding offers a unique opportunity to learn and observe. I hadn’t been a bridesmaid since fall of 2009, so this past Saturday served as a reminder of how things go. I also took notes on things to look for in decor, ceremony details, and some vendors. Violet Blossom’s DJ, Jason from Cipriano Productions, was a blast, so I might end up hiring him for my own big day!
So I feel that, although it was a new experience, being a bridesmaid while engaged was also a great experience full of laughter and learning opportunities. I feel that I kept a good balance between my own excitement and the joy I felt for my friend!
It occurs to me that I have never mentioned the amazing community of girls I met throughout my wedding planning process and how much of a support system they were (and still are) to me. Back when I started planning, I downloaded just about every Wedding Planner and Organizer app on the planet. I went through them within the week and kept only a major few. Of course, you need a countdown app, a mobile version of your Wedding Website app (if there is one), a guest list app, an app leading to your registries, and one very important and helpful app, the Bridal 911, if you will, a community forum app for brides-to-be.
Now I used this app for EVERYTHING. From which line sounded better on my invitations, to me and my fiancee having a huge fight and I needed some words of wisdom. I put my faith and trust into a group of strangers, and it worked out so well. Of course, there are some ladies out there who are only out there to cause some trouble and to meddle into others problems with ill intentions. BUT if you can seed out those ladies, you can find other great ones. There was a small, but solid, group of ladies that continually showed me their support, including telling me in the nicest way possible to leave Sunflower Dude alone and stop over reacting.
I began planning my wedding almost two years ago now, and I am still in touch with some of these lovely ladies. In fact, we are quite the bonded group from Facebook to Instagram. I finally have such a great support system of girls around the globe. I hope to one day meet these ladies and thank them properly.
I advise you ladies to reach out for help when you need it, there may just be a helping hand waiting for you on the other side of the globe through that little screen on your phone.
It’s been almost 6 months since my big day! Wow, time flies.
A ton of my friends are now planning weddings, and I am seeing all kinds of statuses on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter about getting “wedding dress ready,” and I know every bride has been there!
The first thing you think about is “I have GOT to get my arms to look good” or “Gotta get that back toned!” Well, I wanted to give a little advice. I managed to lose 30 pounds before the big day (but I actually started before MG Bear and I got engaged, not because I was getting married) and it wasn’t easy! First, I want to say that you shouldn’t want to lose weight or tone up just because you want to look good in your wedding dress. A lot of brides fall into that trap and end up gaining “marriage weight” right after the wedding, and nothing is more depressing than looking back at your wedding pictures and thinking “Gosh, I would kill someone to be that skinny again!”
Here are some of my personal tips on getting in shape to look good on your wedding day!
1. Nutrition is key! Make sure you are eating the right kind of foods. Think fruits and vegetables, avoid refined sugars and eat the good carbohydrates! Carbs are good for you if you avoid the bad ones, such as potato chips and white bread. Always remember, portion control! I count calories using MyFitnessPal, which is an effective way to see how much you are actually eating!
2. Mix your workouts with cardio and strength training. This burns the max amount of calories AND fat. Think Zumba for cardio, and a sculpt class for strength. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like attempting to be a competitive weight lifter!
3. You can start anywhere! You don’t need to belong to a gym or even run outside. I highly recommend any Jillian Michael’s workout. I started with the 30 Day Shred (which you can get at Target, Wal-mart, Amazon, etc. for around $10), and it is effective! She uses the 3-2-1 method of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. Another great part is that her workouts are anywhere from 20-60 minutes, which is great if you are super busy with school, work, kids, etc. and don’t always have time for a full hour long workout!
4. Most importantly, as I mentioned above, don’t stop after the wedding! Quoting Legally Blonde here when I say “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!” This is where I encourage you to laugh.
Make sure to start off slow, especially if you haven’t worked out in a long time! You don’t want to hurt yourself. When I was having a hard time motivating myself, I would be on the treadmill imagining how awesome I was going to look in that dress, and it made me push myself harder.
What keeps you motivated to get “wedding dress ready”?
Recently, my amazing MOH has started doing some research for my shower. As all good planners do, she asked for a rough estimate of the guest list. I went to my mother and she and I compiled a list of people, all of whom have known me most of my life, are close friends, or relatives. Then, I asked my MIL for her guest list, which is where my etiquette conundrum began.
On the list she gave me, of the 40 people she wanted to invite, I had only ever met (and remembered meeting) 13 of them. Violet Dude informed me of a few relatives that were on the list that I met at a family reunion once, but I couldn’t pick them out in a line up if I tried.
I’m planning on calling my MIL and having the discussion with her about reducing her guest list. This is my reasoning:
1. The bridal shower should be people that know me, that I’ve met and that I don’t have to be reintroduced to at my own bridal shower.
2. It’s kind of rude to invite people, who haven’t met me before, especially because the shower is a gift giving occasion. I’d feel really uncomfortable receiving a gift from someone I’ve only met once or that I’ve never met.
3. Her guest list is almost as large as my mom’s and mine combined. (We both have around 22, so it’s 44 combined) I have a problem with this, since it is MY shower and Violet Dude won’t be there.
4. I think having 80 some guests is a little overwhelming for a shower. I know some of you are planning weddings that aren’t even that big! But, I don’t want to have two showers because finding time for us to have one is going to be stressful enough.
5. The day should be about me, my friends and my family. I have become close to Violet Dude’s family as well, and I’d like to invite the ones I have become close to, but I’m relatively sure that his second cousin probably doesn’t want to come to my shower any more than I want her to be there. The wedding is a different story completely.
So, Garden, what do you think? Am I being a bridezilla? Should I just give in and let her invite all 40? Or, does etiquette dictate that I’m making the right choice?
Well, my fellow buds! The big day is now over, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I’ll make two separate posts about this, maybe more. Let me start by saying SEVERAL things went totally wrong the day of the wedding, never mind leading up to it. But in the giant scheme of things, it didn’t matter! So, my first little piece of advice is: don’t sweat the small stuff.
I was set on having our two ring bearers carry out mini pumpkins with our rings on the stems. How cute and totally rustic, right? Well, I got so wrapped up into it that I brought them with ME to bring to the venue on the big day because I didn’t want anyone to forget them. I forgot them! They walked down with their hands at their sides, and I had the Best Man grab the rings for us before arriving at the venue. After all was said and done, no one even noticed that the ring bearers weren’t carrying anything.
Also, I let my mom handle all of the catering, aside from picking the dishes. Turns out, she did not account for feeding our vendors! And I hadn’t thought to mention it to her. Well, during dinner we had the venue coordinator come up to me and ask about this, telling me that our photographers were wondering about food. I was absolutely embarrassed also mixed with a little anger that they came up to ME to ask. I ran over to the photographers, apologized and had them add the meals on our tab. They felt so bad about making ME upset, but they ate, our venue paid for the meals for ALL other vendors, and they even stayed an extra hour for us! So, every little problem did have a happy ending.
Oh! I almost forgot, our original photographer had to be rushed to the emergency room the day of the wedding, and the two fantastic replacement photographers were the ones who stayed. Don’t worry, I got in touch with her afterwards and everything is going great now.
Even though anything you never had thought could go wrong, take a deep breath and relax. Someone will be there to save the day, whether it be your coordinator, mother or even your photographer. You will leave a married and happy woman!
I’ve been a bad Blossom lately! I love blogging, and I am always looking for new things to blog about. Well, ever since I got married in September I have been extremely uninterested in blogging about wedding related things!
It’s so strange because like every girl, I was so excited for a wedding, and I figured the feeling would always stick even after I got married. Well, not so much! I unsubscribed from all the wedding blogs I followed, I unfollowed all the wedding inspiration boards on Pinterest and unsubscribed from wedding related emails. EVERYTHING wedding related is gone!
WHY Garden, WHY?!?!
Well, I’ll admit that the week of the wedding I was totally over it. I’m not sure if it’s common among brides, but I was so tired of answering questions, planning, re-planning and accommodating everyone else that I lost total interest. For example, I had a slight dilemma with my table numbers the day before and in total opposite fashion of Morning Glory Blossom, I picked the easy way out and settled for something not-so eye appealing, and it didn’t bother me. I said “Whatever! No one will notice or care.” The day before the wedding and the day of, I was calm, cool and collected which is SO not me. I’m always freaking out at the last-minute, getting mad about something or taking it out on MG Bear (poor guy). So, it was an odd thing for my friends to see me so relaxed. My professional pictures have been in for almost a month now, and I still haven’t done anything with them and thank you notes–don’t even mention thank you notes! My office at home is an absolute mess with after wedding things I keep putting on the back burner!
So, my question is, am I the only one? Was anyone else totally over their wedding before it even happened? Or totally over all wedding related things after? I pinky promise to get more posts out soon since my pictures are done!
Something that I have seen a lot of lately (Since there’s been 6 weddings this year that I have already attended or plan on attending soon!) is mishaps with couple’s registries.
I have to admit that when we initially got engaged last year that the first thing that we did after booking the venue was register for gifts. It’s one of those exciting things you can do as a couple and most men don’t mind it too much since they are allowed to pick out stuff too. The only problem is that couples get a little “trigger happy.” You know, when you go to a place like Bed, Bath and Beyond, and they give you the little scanning gun, and you stroll around merrily with a BEEP here, BEEP there, BEEP everywhere until you cover the whole store.
The problem is that most couples don’t actually look at their registries ever again (unless you are OCD like me). Recently, I visited a friend’s registries, and she pretty much had double everything on each registry, which led me to write this post to give advice to newly engaged ladies and those planning a wedding. Here are a few key items to remember when registering:
- Keep it simple – Think practically about what you need before you register just for what you want.
- Variety – Make sure you have different price ranges on your gifts because not everyone has $100 to blow on one item.
- Keep up with your registry after the deed is done – I don’t know how many times I’ve seen couples get double of the same thing because they registered for similar items at different stores!
- Make sure there are enough items available in store - If you added items to your registry online, make sure there are a decent amount available in store for those last-minute shoppers.
- Double check to make sure items aren’t discontinued - You’d be surprised how often this happens and couples have half their registry unavailable because items were either seasonal or inventory changed.
I have to admit that I did register for a Kitchenaid Mixer for $359 hoping that someone who loved me very much would buy it. Well, they didn’t. One thing to keep in mind is that yes, registering for gifts is a chance to ask for things that you wouldn’t normally buy yourself or spend the extra money on, but it’s also not considerate to have a large amount of the more expensive items on your registry. We ended up taking the gift cards we received to purchase our bigger ticket items which was great! Our only problem was trying to find somewhere to put all of our new kitchen items! Cabinet space is limited, so we had a lot of re-arranging to do! Another thing I also suggest is donating your old items or free-cycling them to someone who could use them!
The biggest piece of advice out of everything I’ve written about is to keep up with your registry! You will end up less frustrated in the long run when you don’t have to return a bunch of items!
Let me start off this post by saying this: the boys get off SO easy when it comes to marriage! They really aren’t required to be full-fledged into wedding planning, they don’t have to deal with groomsman drama and most importantly the biggest pain – changing their name on EVERYTHING! All they really have to do is show up!
A lot has changed (at least in the state that I live in) when it comes to getting married and changing your name. I’m going to warn you that it is all very overwhelming! I got lucky in the fact that my MOH got married 2 months before me, so I basically knew what all had to be done.
The first thing you should know is, you will NOT be able to get all of your name change errands done in one day. Just get it out of your head right now! I figured one day off work would be good, but no I’ve been married for a month and it seems like I haven’t made much progress. Here is a prospective list for you of what you need to change and the order in which to do it.
Before I start, let me warn you that you should keep an original copy of your marriage certificate with you for all these errands! It will save a lot of headache!
1. Social Security Administration: This is definitely your first stop. My experience was pretty easy, I was in and out in 20 minutes, but I’ve heard it depends which area you are in. You will get your card in the mail within a week, so that puts your name change at a standstill until then.
2. Work: This includes federal and state tax forms, (don’t forget to change your filing status to married! It will get you a few extra bucks in your paycheck.) which need to have the same name as what’s on your Social Security card because IRS is really cracking down on people having different legal names than the name on their paperwork for income taxes. Funny story is that my mom has been married for 30 years and two years ago the IRS just told her she had to change her name at SSA if she wanted to get a tax return! Also, you will need to go to Human Resources and ask for name change forms.
3. Insurance: Whether it be through work for health insurance, car insurance, homeowners, etc. make sure you do this ASAP. Some companies will just change it when you say you are married, but some may ask for ID or at least a copy of the marriage certificate to be sent in, so call ahead of time to ask what you need if you are like me and like to get as many things accomplished in one sitting! Also, for health insurance if you plan on picking up your husband or he picks you up on his plan it HAS to be done within 30 days or you have to wait for Open Season which is generally in the fall, but doesn’t take effect until January 1st. P.S. A small tip: Make sure to change your status to married on your car insurance and add your husband (if he’s not already on the policy) because your payment goes down! Mine went down $30 a month!
4. MVA/DMV (aka the dreaded license change): In my state, you are now required to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name on your driver’s license. They will make you sit there until your number is called and then laugh at you when you say you don’t have a certified copy of your marriage certificate (as you fill up with steam because of all the time you wasted). This means you have to go to the courthouse in the county or city where you got married and pay a small fee for them to “certify” your marriage license and give you copies. Luckily for me, MG Bear is on shift work, so I got him to go during regular business hours to accomplish this task. Make sure to go to the website for your local Motor Vehicles Administration to see what rules your state has for name changes due to marriage. It will save a lot of headache.
5. Any place that doesn’t require formal paperwork to change your name: Aka the gym, tanning salon, doctor’s offices, etc. I’ve been doing this as I go in, but it’s something you can definitely do over the phone all in one day and it’s pretty easy. You can actually do these right away if you want that giddy feeling when someone asks you what your last name is!
6. Banks/Credit Cards: This has been a royal pain for me. I have my bank that I use on a regular basis, the bank I have my mortgage with and then two separate credit cards companies. The banks require that you come in person with photo ID and your marriage certificate to change your name, which of course, I have a 9-5 job and of course, there are no branches near my work. Sigh. More time off work. My mortgage and credit card companies were easy enough, but with owning a home comes the fact that the title and deed to the house are in my maiden name which supposedly is okay to stay the same as long as when you sell the house, you have your marriage certificate to prove the name change. This is something that will probably be a headache a few years from now.
7. Passport: If you had a passport in your maiden name, this is easy. For me, I had never had a passport and was told to wait until after we were married since we aren’t going out of the country until January. To make a long story short, more time off work. You also need a lot of paper work. Birth Certificate, photo ID with married name, marriage certificate and application (coincidentally, the most of any name change duty) and most post offices require an appointment, so don’t pull a ‘D’OH’ moment like me and take off work to do this only to find out that you can’t even get an appointment in that day. Sigh.
Luckily, I haven’t had a lot of problems but that might be because my maiden last name is now my middle name making it easier to prove my name change. I know for some people, changing your last name is exciting, and you want to do it the second you get married, but my suggestion is to wait until you get all the forms you need and to make a list of what you need to get accomplished and when. I wish I had done that to begin with because now I am scatter brained and trying to put the pieces together as to what I still have left over to change!
So, September 15th has come and gone. Everyone kept asking me during the wedding if I was sad or happy that its all over with and at the time I didn’t feel either way. I was happy to be married and what would come in the my future with my husband. I am always meeting new people through MG Bear and I was happy that now he could introduce me as his wife. I definitely wasn’t sad because to be honest a week before the wedding, I was completely over the whole wedding planning thing.
Well, we got back from our mini-honeymoon, and I went bed that night and cried like a baby. MG Bear tried to comfort me and tell me there was so much more to be excited for, which I know, but I tried to describe it all as being similar to post-partum when someone has a baby. All the planning that’s done for a year (or more for some) is all over with and so many brides are left with the, “Now what?” feeling.
I went to Social Security to change my name and got emotional all over again. I’ve been known for so long by my maiden name (everyone called me by my last name) that thinking about no longer being Morning Glory Bud and now being Morning Glory Blossom hit me pretty hard. I felt like I was losing my identity, so to speak. After talking to my cousin, she went through the same thing and said it was a completely normal feeling. I ended up comprimising and making my maiden name my middle name, which didn’t make my mom happy. I’m more attached to my maiden name than I was to my middle name, so I did what made my feel comfortable!
I am now Morning Glory Bud Blossom, if the reference makes sense to you all! It made me feel like I was able to maintain my identity while still embracing my husband’s last name!
What are your plans for changing your name? Have you gotten emotional about it? Tell me I’m not the only one!
I have considered myself a pretty traditional bride in comparison to some of the weddings that I’ve seen lately. My dress is about as traditional as a dress can get, and for the most part, I haven’t steered away from other normal wedding traditions. I intend to have my dad walk me down the aisle, throw the bouquet and carry something old, new, borrowed and blue. However, there are a lot of minor details about our wedding that I think are a little on the non-traditional side:
1. We aren’t doing floral centerpieces. Since our colors are blue and teal, it made it kind of difficult to find blue flowers that were the right shade. My centerpieces will be a later post, but just know that they will not have a single silk or real flower on them!
2. We are (still considering…aka still trying to convince Violet Dude) going to have cupcakes instead of a cake. I know this isn’t a HUGE deal, since a lot of brides are considering doing single cakes for each table, cheesecakes or cupcakes, but Violet Dude has a bit of a difficult time letting go of the traditional, white wedding cake.
3. We are also ditching some registries for other registries like Lowes and a honeymoon fund.
4. We’re definitely breaking from family traditions to do this: we’re not getting married in a church, which is becoming more common.
4. The biggest decision we’ve made as far as breaking from traditions was one that I really had to fight for: I didn’t want to walk down the aisle to the bridal march. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful song, but it’s just a bit old and outdated for me. I wanted something that said, “she’s walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life.” Not, “here comes the bride, all dressed in white.”
So, we sat down one night and went through a list of songs that I found that could possibly be good songs to walk down the aisle to. I really wanted “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beetles because ever since we began dating, if one of us is having a bad day, we’ll leave a note with “You are my sunshine” lyrics written on it. Violet Dude wasn’t a huge fan of my Beetles pick, so we continued listening to songs. It’s kind of funny, because all along I had an idea in my head but I didn’t think he would really go for it. Finally, I decided to play “the” song, and it turned out that he absolutely loved it!
The song itself was written for Twilight, and although I have read the books and seen the movies, I wasn’t really a huge fan of my wedding being associated with teenage fiction. We both decided, however, that the song fit and worked so well that it made sense to use it. My other issue with it was because the song is 5 minutes long–how would we differentiate the break in the song from when the bridesmaids are walking down the aisle to when the audience needs to stand up as I walk down the aisle? I’m hoping that by closing the doors after the ‘maids walk down, the audience will understand that I’m about to come and will rise.
So, without ranting on and on about the intricacies of having a non-traditional bridal entrance song…here it is:
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri