Hot Off The Press

I created photobooks of our professional pictures using for both sets of parents as Christmas gifts. It then occurred to me that I never shared my pro pics with my loverly commenters!

For shame, for shame!! I am a bad bridal blogger! LOL!!!

Here is the link to log in:

Look to the right of the page where says “Looking for a Friend’s Book”

The book ID# is: M1821634

Password is: 3285727

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Recap: Mini-Honeymoon

After outlaying some major cash on the wedding, Myron and I decided to do a sort of “mini-honeymoon” for a few days and do a longer trip later. Luckily the great state of Texas has some beautiful beaches so we decided to mosey 6 hours south of Houston and visit South Padre Island, TX. I guess you could call it a “state-cation”. ūüôā

Padre Island is a spring break destination as well as a haven for snowbirds and families during the spring and summer, but because it was the “offseason”¬† (after Labor Day) we saved on hotel costs and virtually had the island to ourselves. For 4 days of sleep, relaxation, sun and sand we spent less than $600.00.

Here are some snaps we took while we were there.

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Money Talks

One of the most frustrating things about planning a wedding is trying to cut costs. Weddings are expensive, even on a small scale for the average bride. There is also a lot of judgement and sometimes shame surrounding the topic of money, in particular in dealing with weddings because couples want to have a nice wedding day without wanting to appear to have spent too lavishly or too cheaply.

We also live in an instant¬†gratification society and when you are looking in wedding magazines and on the internet for inspiration, it can be discouraging to see all the beautiful weddings featured and then realize you can’t afford a lot of the items featured, even if you DIY a lot of the details. And if you are aren’t particularly crafty (like me), having to come out-of-pocket for the little details that make your wedding special, can start to add up.

Which is why I think that’s important¬†to talk about wedding budgets to show that you can have a nice time at a decent price, even in a city as large as Houston. Mr. Google says that the average¬†cost of a wedding here is from 17K-28K. WTF??? If I had 28K, I wouldn’t be spending it all on a wedding, that’s for sure.

I had a mental budget of 10K, all inclusive. I deliberately looked for venues where I could do a ceremony and reception¬†at the same place. I deliberately sought out venues where I wouldn’t have to deal with multiple¬†vendors for food, alcohol, chair rentals, linens, etc.

Here are our final numbers, exclusive of wedding rings and our mini-honeymoon.

Category Budget Actual Variance
Venue 5,295 (5,295) 0
Flowers 175 (141) 34
Dress 739 (739) 0
DJ 500 (500) 0
Photos 600 (600) 0
Cake 535 (535) 0
Alcohol 500 (176) 324
Invitations/Photobooks 400 (400) 0
Misc. 475 (636) (161)
Gifts (bridesmaids, hostesses, parents) 300 (78) 222
Totals 9,519 (9,099) 419

We¬†were extremely pleased with how the wedding turned out BUT we were extremely blessed with lots of contributions from family and friends. Myron and I actually only had out of pocket costs of $4464.00. The remainder ($4645.00) was gifts to us from parents, family and friends. For example, my aunt gave me $500.00 toward my dress and one of our groomsmen gifted us our DJ. My sorority sister works at Anheuser-Busch and was able to get us 10 cases of beer for free. One of our twitter friends designed my invites for free and printed address labels for me.¬† I selected a venue that was already very aestically pleasing and didn’t require a lot of extra decorations. I didn’t do wedding favors. I used artificial flowers. All of those choices saved us a LOT of money.

I think the lessons a couple can learn from us is to research a lot of venues, limit your guest list, and don’t be too proud to accept help if folks offer. ¬†The people that love and support you really will move mountains for you if they can.

I’ll be glad to answer any questions in the comments and hopefully by talking about this subject, someone can be helped and not discouraged from having a wedding if they really want one.

Re-Caps: The Ceremony

You know, it doesn’t really take all that long to get married. And having sat through wedding ceremonies that damn near felt like church, I kept that in mind when planning our ceremony. We thought about writing out some vows but time got away from us and the research I did online for examples seemed somewhat cheesy and just not who WE are. So in talking with my uncle, who was our officiant we decided to keep it simple..and short. However, several people commented that they appreciated the brevity of the ceremony, that they liked the music and they appreciated the message that my uncle shared in relation to marriage, in particular talking about how the man should be the leader in the marriage and how the woman is the support yet still remains equal.

But enough of my rambles and on with the pics!

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Re-Caps: Before the Ceremony

The day of the ceremony was pretty uneventful prior to the wedding. I stayed at my parents house the night before while Myron went home and went to hang out with his best man.

That morning I woke up, drunk some coffee and ate breakfast with the fam, got all cleaned up and waited for my stylist to arrive. Here’s a picture of the wedding hair. Let’s just say my stylist did wonders with a bag of Milky Way weave and about 50 hairpins!

I took the bun out the VERY next day! My head hurt!

Outside of the venue

Our sign!!

The set up

A word about the set up. There were 64 chairs set up chapel style and the rest of the guests were seated at the tables.¬† I had some anxiety about how it would look but it worked out great.¬† And the venue broke down the the swags and runners and set up the chairs and tables for my family and bridal party so seamlessly that I barely noticed it while we were taking pictures. By the time we were finished taking pics the tables on the floor were done and they were just waiting on us to get in place so that they could place the sweetheart table in front of us. So for those who may consider a ceremony/reception in the same room, I would suggest definitely giving it some thought. It worked very well for us. And it’s definitely a money saver.

Me peeking around the corner from the bridal changing area.

(Sorry for the blurriness. I told you they were personal photos! LOL!)

The groom getting all pinned up!

Next up: Ceremony pics!!!

Let The Re-Caps Begin: Bachelorette Dinner

Blogger’s note: All my recaps will more than likely be personal photos taken by friends and family. Therefore the quality will not be professional but you should be able to feel the LOVE in the pictures..LOL!!

My bridesmaids and some of my good friends kidnapped me for a bachelorette dinner Friday night before the wedding. I had come off a VERY stressful day at work and so I was looking forward to some good drinks and eats at a spot called Bistro Alex. My friend Ann arrived a little before 8PM to pick me up and had me wearing my bachelorette gear.¬† ūüôā Even though I had to cut the night short because I was EXHAUSTED¬† (I was asleep in the bed 10 minutes after getting home), I still had fun and was so very appreciative of my girls taking the time to show me love on my second to last night as a single girl! I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Note the button and the sash! LOL!!

Me and the lovely Miss Ann

My sorority sisters. The lady on the left (Tiffany B) was also my bridemaid.

House martini - made with blackberries. Tasty!

Scallops/prawns over warm potato salad with corn puree

Five cheese mac and cheese topped with proscuttio

Not really feeling this pic, but this is where we wrapped up the night.