May 27, 2012


Y'all. It's the fifth month of the year and it's five months til the big day! Can you believe it?! We had our engagement party earlier this month, on the fifth day of the fifth month. Sometimes it's by accident that 5s just appear in my life (I also graduated high school in 2005). But quite a few of you know, I REALLY do have an affinity for the number five. For those of you wondering what the fuss about the fives is all about, in college I was a member of the Jester Honorary Social Club, you pledge as a junior and only 12 girls are selected. We are given #s 1-12 and each number has different (secret) meanings within the club. I am my line's #5. :)

Five months out and I'm really ahead on some of my to-dos and really behind on others. Oh, you know, like sending out Save the Date cards. I've got a list of excuses a mile long, but they'll be out soon, y'all, I promise.

So instead of my usual monthly ONE number representing how many months are left, I'm going to share a mini gallery of my favorite number 5s!

May 11, 2012

Say YES to the Dress: CHECK

I was truly on a roller coaster ride with my experiences trying on wedding gowns. I was determined to find the perfect gown, and shows like Say Yes to the Dress add to the drama of wanting that special moment, waterworks, you know - the whole nine yards. My dress journey lead me to two David's Bridal stores, one in Hattiesburg, Miss. and one in Mobile, Ala. I have to say if you're in the area, go to Mobile over Hattiesburg, they were much more focused on customer service and I had a pleasant experience there.

After those two trips, I scoured the internet for a gown in women's size because I thought I needed a bigger gown to accommodate my ahem, girls... I called every bridal boutique from Pensacola to New Orleans, all the way to Tupelo.

I finally decided to try some places in St. Louis since I'd be there for Easter. I found one shop that had the Allure Women gown I'd found online. My future mother-in-law went with me to White Traditions in St. Charles. First, let me tell you, that place is awesome. Exposed brick interior, quaint little fitting rooms with curtains for doors, and very few other brides trying on at the same time. I ended up hating the Allure Women gown I'd gone there for. I don't mean this to be ugly, but it just looked like it was made for a girl much bigger than I am. It was in my size, I just felt like it didn't do anything for the curves I have. At that point I discovered, I didn't need to be looking in women's sizes, I was too small everywhere else for them.

Sweetheart 5972
I found a dress there I LOVED, a Sweetheart by Justin Alexander, it's a new line. Future mother-in-law cried, I felt so beautiful and special, just one problem, my mama wasn't there. I wanted so badly to give the owner of that shop my business, but I just could not make that decision without my mom there.

(remember I'm doing all of this with a giant blood clot in my leg)

As soon as I landed in Mobile on the day after Easter, mom and Barbara Nan and I headed for I Do Bridals in Mobile, Ala. The owner herself had, unbeknown to me, opened the shop just for me to come try on. She hadn't mentioned when I made the appointment that they weren't normally open on Mondays!

Unfortunately, that's pretty much where my fondness for her ended. She started off by droning on about how they'd been ranked this and that by and she called me BOO-BOO. WHAT?! I was ready to tell her that if they were so awesome she needed to prove it. I tried on quite a few gowns and found some that I liked, but still didn't have that, "This is it," feeling. Even after Ms. Owner Lady had told me she had me pegged as soon as I walked in and knew exactly what dress was mine. HA! As soon as she said that, I shut down and knew I would not get my dress from her.

That night is when I went to the ER and spent a few days in the hospital, thus complicating my dress search since I couldn't go on any extended car rides for a while.

Okay, it wasn't THAT bad, but this is what
happens if you Google "wedding dress too much cleavage"

That lead me to try a local dress shop, Bridal and Formal Boutique in Gulfport, Miss. that I honestly hadn't even given a thought to after a friend recommended I not go there. I absolutely fell in love with my consultant and the owner, Adrian, who ended up helping me as well. I found a gown that I finally got "that feeling" with... One problem... It was basically a strapless dress (with capsleeves sewn on) with a sweetheart neckline.

Okay ladies, who can tell me what a sweetheart neckline does? Give up? It gives the perception of boobs where there are none! And if you already have boobs? Yep, it makes an ungodly, obscene mountain of cleavage and all things unholy. It would have been alright if I wouldn't have had to stare the priest who baptized me in the face as I say my vows. My dream dress just wouldn't work, it was Maggie Sottero and they don't alter necklines (FYI: Casablanca will alter a neckline of a dress with no extra charge).

Still on the hunt, we headed to JoVi's Bridal in Mobile, Ala. I was quite disappointed with the selection there. Now, I understand sometimes THE dress is something you do not expect... But this woman, the owner, completely went in the opposite direction of what I said I wanted. I flat out told her, "Lady, I know what I want, so please stop bringing me these gowns I don't like."

It was honestly a pretty terrible experience, not because of the shop itself, but my appointment was at the same time as this girl who had brought her ~3 year old son, her sister, and her mom. Now I realize these days lots of people get married and already have kids, it's 2012 after all, but this little boy was a monster and did not belong in a bridal boutique. I tripped over his toy trucks on my way to the pedastal - totally ruining any hope for that, "HALLELUJAH from the Heavens," moment. Then my mom witnessed the whole thing, he PEED all over the floor of the bridal show room while the mom, sister or grandma did nothing. I felt bad for the little boy because he was just trying to get attention while the three ladies with him were ignoring him to look at dresses. DISCLAIMER: This is not an "I hate kids" observation, I LOVE kids, but people need to remember where they are and be considerate of others...

So I went BACK to the Bridal Boutique in Gulfport to see if I felt any different in my dream dress, but the second time around, it became more evident that the girls were going to be a no-go in that dress. Bleh.

So the morning of the IMA Spring Charity Ball (I was a duchess and had to be there early, decked out, etc) my mom decides we should ride to Metairie, La. to go to the famed and fabled Pearl's Place. Imagine a Black Friday-esque scenario, but all women trying on wedding gowns and you'll somewhat have an image of what that place was like... 7 minutes after they opened their doors! Apparently this place is the mecca of bridal gowns in this area. Nonetheless, with mom, grandma, and DAD (yes, MY dad, he's not the types like you see on #SYTTD) in tow, we trudged through the masses of dresses and after a 45 minute wait it was my turn in the stall... errrr I mean fitting room. Although the scene was more like a cow herding nightmare!

This blog post is getting pretty long winded, so I'll cut to the chase - I found the gown of my dreams. It's actually one that other people had recommended to me, but none of the salons I'd been to had it in stock. Dreamy, princess-like, super classy - ahhh I was in love. Only problem was I didn't want to order it from that place, I wanted to give my business to Adrian in Gulfport. So mom and I had a little pow-wow and decided that's what we'd do. Problem is we didn't include dad.

So here we are, trying to bait and switch my consultant, because as soon as I let her know, "It's the one," she instantly begins pressuring me to go ahead and buy the gown. This was on the 28th of April, so I'm sure she had a sales quota to make by the end of the month. So then dad chimes in saying if I know it's the one, let's go ahead and get it. So I had to perform like a Grammy winning actress and convince dad and the consultant that I really wasn't, in fact, THAT sure of the gown after all.

Long story short - we drove to Gulfport, ordered it from the boutique I like and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, it's here only TEN days later?! Apparently it was a Priority Gown which means it ships faster than other gowns by this designer. So I was in this total frenzy thinking I was running late (most gowns take 4-6 months to come in) and now I'm going tomorrow to try on my dress!

May 9, 2012

And the bridesmaids are...

I knew almost immediately after getting engaged (truth be told, I knew before then) who I wanted to be standing beside me when I say, "I do." A handful of lovely ladies who mean the world to me for varying reasons are going to be my bridesmaids and I am so happy they've all agreed that they can handle it.

Each bridesmaid received a package in the mail officially asking them if they'd be my bridesmaid. I'm sure some of them already suspected this, but nonetheless, since they are scattered from Ocean Springs to Tuscaloosa to Missouri, I wanted everyone to be asked in the same fashion. Call me Bridezilla, call me overboard if you'd like, but this is the way I asked my girls.

Small info packet tied together with the book,
"You Can Wear It Again." It was a book
showing all sorts of crazy bridesmaids dresses
Page detailing the ugly truth of being a BRIDESMAID
The date requirements
The others
Letting them know how they can stalk me. :)
Some of my inspiration put into photos.
Everyone's book included a personal note and pic of me and them. :)
 And now... the line-up... (drumroll please)

My best friend and former roommate, Laura Foster Maxcy will be Matron of Honor. She and I both attended Governor's School together in the summer before our senior year of high school. We randomly met up again at an Ole Miss visit day. We chit-chatted there and both mentioned that we were also considering The W. We saw each other again Scholar's Day and also again at the Hearin Leadership Conference. After we both landed scholarships that made our parents very happy, we decided to be roommates. :) She's the only person I've lived with for over a year in college that still speaks to me. As a graphic artist, she's very talented at creating works of art with the simple movement of her computer mouse. I was Laura's maid of honor at her own wedding nearly 3 years ago, she and her husband John now live in Fulton, Mississippi with her very talkative cat, Nancy Grace.
My cousin Amy Humphrey Gibson is a bridesmaid because for most of our childhood, we were each other's go-to friend. Our dads are brothers and our moms were high school classmates so we took a lot of family trips together. We even ended up both at the same college for a couple years. Amy will always speak her mind and has a true nature of compassion for people (and our four-legged friends), evident in her choice of career as an Occupational Therapist. I was a bridesmaid in Amy's wedding over 4 years ago, she and her husband John now live in Moselle, Mississippi with a fleet of great danes and a spunky poodle, Hamlet.
My college friend and social club sister Jean Manning Goley is a bridesmaid and is often my source of craziness. We were in both of our college social clubs (Silhouettes and Jesters) together and we still feed off of each other's wackiness. It was not uncommon for us to blow off an afternoon class, go to the Dirt Cheap in Columbus, buy a bunch of stupid stuff, and leave presents on our friends' cars while they were in class (Growing Beets for Dummies, eh). Nowadays we're in the same Mardi Gras group, Southernettes, together and we have a good time providing distractions during dance practices leading up to the yearly ball. I was a bridesmaid in Jean's wedding nearly 3 years ago, she and her husband Dusty now live in D'Iberville, Mississippi with their four-legged son Sam.

Next up, is Nicolette Kowalewski (more affectionately referred to by me as Nickylette) as a bridesmaid and my future sister-in-law. With Nickylette being away at college (Missouri University of Science and Technology) and me being down here on the MS Gulf Coast, we haven't had a lot of chances to hang out and get to know each other. I get a lot of insight into her world from following her on Twitter (it's 2012, y'all) and she and I have a similar sense of humor. I hope this is the beginning of a lifelong friendship (she's going to think this is so cheesy, but it's true), going further than just me being married to her brother. Nickylette is currently taking classes and living in Rolla, Missouri.
Anne Franklin Lamar is my next bridesmaid. We first met when we were next door neighbors in our freshman dorm. We lived right down the hall from each other all four years of college, sharing clothes and shoes often. Even though Anne Franklin and I were never in the same social clubs, we hung out all the time and would make midnight snack and energy drink runs to complete papers or study for tests. Anne Franklin was one of the people who first encouraged me to get my first sewing machine and learn to sew/quilt. She and I keep in touch and I love reading her blog, A Dressmaker's Daughter. Anne Franklin is currently living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama studying for her PhD in English at the University of Alabama.
Up next as bridesmaid, I have Meg Redmond. Although Meg and I didn't even meet until she transferred to The W as a junior, we quickly became pals. She pledged Silhouettes under me and got to see what a wacky girl I can be. We really got to know each other and spent a lot of time together our senior year, trying to make the most of our last year of college. One night, in particular, we climbed the side of the student center and made our way onto the roof, getting a nice view of campus! Meg had an awesome apartment and hosted many girls' nights for our group of friends. Meg is a gardening goddess! This girl has got plants and flowers for DAYS. Meg is a speech and language pathologist living in Jackson, Mississippi with her sweet and sassy dog Ellie.

My youngest bridesmaid is my cousin Barbara Nan Seymour. Before she was even born, I was so excited to have a little girl cousin to play with and teach so many things. Even though I'm 12 years older than her, Barbara Nan and I have always been close and there was no doubt that I would ask her to be a bridesmaid in our wedding. To be such a young lady, she's got great style and is a texting and tweeting maniac. Barbara Nan is just finishing her 8th grade school year and lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, she has a feisty and spoiled, little malti-poo, Lexie.
Last on my list only because I did this in alphabetical order is my final bridesmaid, Chelsey Herron White. Chelsey and I pledged Silhouettes together our freshman year and Jesters in our junior year. Needless to say, we've been through a lot together. Chelsey is one of the most genuine and honest people I've ever met. It's even been said that I talk a little more country when I'm around her. ;) Chelsey is very crafty and is an awesome artist and photographer. I've often been jealous that I never had an art teacher like her when I was younger, she is surely an inspiration to her students. I was in Chelsey's wedding over two years ago, she lives in Vernon, Alabama with her husband Jaleb and two sweet beagle doggies.

And there you have it, folks. My roster of bridesmaids! I haven't asked my flower girl(s) yet, when I do, I'll do a sweet little post about them!

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