Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giveaway time! Nordstrom gift card, anyone?

Oh my goodness, get excited everyone: I have an amazing giveaway for you today, sponsored by the wonderful folks at DesignerApparel.com!

During the wedding planning process, as a bride it is easy to get caught up with putting together YOUR perfect outfit for the day...and your mother's dress can sometimes fall by the wayside. Personally, I found it quite difficult to find dresses for my mom that I even liked at all, and sourcing gowns at different stores was a challenge. However, DesignerApparel.com has a section specifically targeted for Mother of the Brides (and Mother of the Grooms, for that matter)! Just click over to their Mother of the Bride section to browse the options (there are over 2,000!). They feature brands such as Adrianna Papell, Tadashi, and Eileen Fisher.

Coincidentally, my beautiful mother wore a gorgeous dress by Adrianna Papell:

Pilster Photography

DesignerApparel.com's retail partners include Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Bluefly, and Zappos...to name a few. The site also features tools such as free shipping notice, price comparison, and sale notification!

Now...for the part you've been waiting for: the giveaway! The wonderful folks over at DesignerApparel.com are offering a $50 Nordstrom gift card to one of my lucky readers!

Want to know how to enter? The options are as follows (make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, and MAKE SURE that there is a clear way for me to contact you if you win!):
  1. Leave a comment and tell me what you would shop for at Nordstrom if you won the giftcard!
  2. Follow me on this blog, and let me know how you are subscribed!
  3. Head on over to my NEW blog, She likes ruffles, he likes truffles, and subscribe to my feed! Feel free to say hi as well ;)
  4. Follow me on Twitter (if you aren't already), and tweet the following:
I just entered a #giveaway for a $50 Nordstrom gift card on @SheLikesRuffles' blog! http://bit.ly/bglHMb

Then come back and leave me a direct link to your tweet.
You MUST be following me on Twitter for your entry to count!

I'm sorry, but this giveaway is limited to US residents only. The giveaway will be open through Tuesday, October 5th at 11:50PM Eastern time. A winner will then be selected at random!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lovely Tonight: The Beach Party

Now that our mid-morning wedding rehearsal was complete, we had plenty of time to spare before our rehearsal dinner that evening!

Since we had the wonderful beach house at our disposal, my family planned a beach party for the afternoon! And my, oh my, was it a beautiful day!

We invited the bridal party, family, and any out of town friends that wanted to spend some time in the sun. My brother and his girlfriend, along with my Aunt S, Aunt J, and Grandma, had arrived at the house when our rehearsal was taking place, and they set up a wonderful spread for lunch! We had assorted sandwiches, chips, and other munchies...as well as a bunch of leftovers from the previous night's sunset wedding shower.

Our guests quickly filled their plates with food and grabbed a cold drink...

After we had our fill, it was time to frolic in the sand and surf!

Even the pups got in on the action: Stewart showed off his swimming skills with Cousin J and sorority sister J...

Meanwhile, my beloved Theodore chased his frisbee. He also decided to explore the rest of the beach when our heads were turned...oops!

After some fun in the sun, we retreated to the house to relax (for what seemed like 2.5 seconds) before moving my bags to the hotel, since I was staying there that evening. My mom read a book to our flower girl, and GM J decided to take a nap...right in the middle of the house. I kid you not - he slept on those cushions for about an hour or so, even with about 10 or more people chatting around him! I wish I could learn that trick...

All in all, the beach party was a great success! When we first realized that our rehearsal would have to take place early in the day, I was a bit skeptical of how the day would work out. However, our time schedule couldn't have been more enjoyable! Both my family and Justin's family were able to get together in a casual environment, and I was able to spend time with both my family and my friends who had flown in from out of town to be with us! Plus, a little extra sun kissed glow before the wedding never hurt anybody...

Next up - our rehearsal dinner!

Did you have/are you planning to have some down time with friends and family on the day of your rehearsal?

Need to catch up?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lovely Tonight: The Rehearsal

So...where did we leave off?

After a wonderful sunset bridal shower, the bridesmaids and I spent the rest of our evening catching up and cleaning up the beach house in preparation for the following afternoon. I was relaxed and having a great time. The clock ticked, and soon it was after 10pm. I logged on to my computer, and it instantly felt like a train had hit me when I pulled up my to-do list.

I hadn't finished writing the vows!

I hadn't made a CD with our ceremony music to play during our rehearsal!

I didn't have a CD player or set of iPod speakers on which to PLAY the music!

AHHH! Weren't these important details? HOW IN THE WORLD HAD I MANAGED TO FORGET ABOUT THIS!?!?

It was going to be a long night...

So...what did I do? I hunkered down at the computer, plugged in my printer, and GOT TO WORK! We tore apart the beach house and discovered a boom box that played CDs in the living room. Whew! Then, I frantically called Justin. He was at his "bachelor party" (yes, I used quotations...it involved the guys playing Putt-Putt golf and eating dinner. I married a wild one, I tell you!), and his brothers/friends wouldn't let him answer his phone. They figured that I was just calling for mushy gushy talk. WRONG!

Meanwhile, MOH L took the opportunity to put together a ribbon bouquet:

After hitting 'redial' about 10 times, Justin finally returned my call. I am pretty sure that I started speaking so fast that he couldn't understand me, but he ended up getting the message that I needed him to go to the 24 hour drug store ASAP and buy some CDs for me to burn music onto. He delivered them, gave me a kiss (or two), and left me to my work. I crashed into bed somewhere between 12 and 1am.

The morning of the rehearsal, I woke early, jumped in the shower, and gathered up copies of our vows, readings, and the music. My parents picked me up, and we arrived at the venue early to meet with the manager to go over the wedding day schedule one last time. Our DOC Kyle (from Weddings by Eventions) arrived next, and quickly began to organize everyone as they arrived.

Apparently I thought it was time for a mid-morning nap...

Our rehearsal was in the morning due to the fact that another wedding was being held at our venue that evening. However, since the weather was nice and the wedding was taking place outdoors, Chuck (Carlouel's manager) had already instructed the staff to set up the chairs for our ceremony!

Dang. This was all becoming a little bit real. My heart started beating at a rapid rate. I had no idea what I should be doing. Thankfully, Kyle and our officiant Rev. D did!

Now, my wedding was the very first that I have ever been a part of, so I am not sure if this is a typical order of events for a rehearsal...but I thought it was very smart! First, Rev. D gathered the entire wedding party in the spot that we'd be standing for the ceremony. We stood in formation and went through our entire ceremony. As we did this, our flower girl, ring bearer, and their younger brother were able to play...

After the ceremony itself was rehearsed, we practiced the recessional. Then, once we had recessed to the lobby, it was time to practice the processional! Everyone took their places and waited patiently for their turn...

Some were maybe a little LESS patient (i.e. our flower girl and ringbearer). Meanwhile, BM A and L were sporting identical pensive looks...

One of the highlights of the rehearsal was definitely our flower girl and her sprint down the aisle. Look at her hair flying: she was on a mission!

MOH L snapped a photo as she practiced her walk down the aisle.

Once the entire bridal party was up front, it was my turn...

And then, as quickly as it had started, our rehearsal was complete. Now it was time for a big beach party!

Did your rehearsal fly by before your eyes? Did you forget to prepare a few important things before your rehearsal?

Need to catch up?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The state of our union

Hello again everyone! Guess what? Today marks 3 months since Justin and I tied the knot. Let me tell you, time flies.

Pilster Photography

I thought that I would give you a little "state of our union" address at this point...you know...to keep you updated on how things are going, and to give you some insight regarding married life.

  • I know I alluded to it already, but marriage, for us, doesn't feel all that different. And to be honest, I don't think I would want it to be. I absolutely love how comfortable Justin and I are around each other, and if things happened to change drastically after rings were placed on our hands...there'd be a problem.
  • I now find myself lost under enormous piles of laundry in amounts that I was not previously accustomed to. That also includes sweaty gym clothes. Ah, love.
  • I now have a personal cheerleader for the trials and tribulations in my life, and I have become Justin's biggest cheerleader as well. The mentality of being a "we" and a family has really started to sink in. Justin receiving a bonus at work is not only his personal victory, but a reason for us to celebrate as a couple. When I am frustrated with searching for a new job, he shares the burden with me.
  • The two of us are still adjusting to each other. Justin has had to learn to deal with some of my quirks, including the way I like hangers placed in our closet (once something comes off a hanger, it has to be placed in one spot, because I HATE going through the entire rack to find empty hangers when I am doing laundry) or how I can't stand dirty dishes being left out on the counter. And, on the flip side, I have discovered things like the fact that Mr. Buttons isn't a fan of me being on my computer 24/7...so I try to limit my usage and put it away when he gets home from work.
  • It is really comforting, and really quite nice, to wake up next to Justin every morning and to give him a kiss goodnight each evening.
  • I find my inner domestic diva coming out to play much more often than in the past. I have tried dozens of new recipes since Justin and I moved into our new apartment 3 months ago, and thankfully he is very open to trying each and every meal that I place in front of him. Bless his heart, he has even been willing to humor me with my strange recipes...including black bean brownies and chocolate cookies made out of cannellini beans (by the way, both of them are very tasty).
  • Over the past 3 months, we've started establishing some give-and-take types of routines. For instance, I cook dinner every night, and Justin is in charge of washing the dishes. I do the laundry, and he takes care of our furbaby, Lucia (I am not a fan of picking up poop).
  • I've learned that it is absolutely impossible for me to be mad at my husband. If we get into a bit of a disagreement, I find myself immediately trying to work things out, and vice versa. We don't relish the thought of going to bed mad at one another, so we've made a conscious effort of resolution before that time (not that it happens a lot). We do say "I love you" every night before we go to sleep.
  • The novelty of calling Justin "my husband" has still not worn off yet. I still find myself trying to insert the phrase when I'm conversing with others.
  • We are still very excited about what is to transpire in our lives in the coming months. The two of us are starting to contemplate when, where, and how we will take our honeymoon, since we weren't able to go on one directly after the wedding. We're hoping to relax in a tropical locale at some point before our first anniversary. Ideas have been spinning around in our heads as of late, and I'm excited at the prospect of sharing our experiences with you!
  • Three months after our wedding, the day itself is indeed a little bit blurry. Every detail that was incredibly important to me during the planning process has started to blur together a little bit. I feel as though I've been left with an "overall feeling" of the wedding day as time has gone by. And, I'm trying to focus on the big picture rather than hone in on every little detail. The truth of the matter is: even though some small details of the day might have gone awry, in the end I married the love of my life. And that, my friends, is the most important detail of them all.

So, there you have it...the state of our union!

For those of you married ladies out there: have you noticed some quirks about your spouse since you got tied the knot? Have you had some pleasant discoveries regarding married life?