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I've collected several photos through the image search feature on Google. If any of the featured images are yours, please contact me so I can add a credit if I haven't done so already. I will also gladly remove an image upon request. And please return the favor of crediting: if you use one of my photos, please link back to me! Thanks for all the inspiration!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DIY Bridal Bouquet Part 2: Changing My Mind

It's been awhile since I wrote about my bouquet-making adventures. In the first installment, I told you about my mock trial run. But a lot has happened since then. I've changed my mind about our wedding colors and opted to change my bouquet to reflect that. I sold the old, all-white peony bouquet and ordered some new, light pink peonies*! Aren't they fabulous?!? :D

I swear they're really pink. The flash seems to wash them out!

Along with the new bouquet, I switched up the bouquet handle. Instead of the simple champagne ribbon, I used a gorgeous (pictures don't show it) dusty pink ribbon. I also took some of your advice and beefed up the handle by using leftover stem parts!

To add some Southern charm, I added lace ribbon as an overlay. I love the look of the lace and pink ribbon together and it'll go perfectly with my dress.

And here's the nearly finished product!

I still have a little tweaking to do to it and some special handle additions, but it's about 90% done! Yay for another DIY project checked off the list! Best part? This bouquet cost about half the price of the other one, so I even saved money!

How are you making your bouquet handle unique or special?

*Flowers purchased at!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dressing My Little Ladies: 3 Down, 2 To Go

I'm slowly checking off the gazillion and one items on my wedding to-do list as the days quickly tick down. The latest accomplishment was settling on 3/5ths of my niece-entourage's attire. After some serious lusting over Miss Ramen's flower girl dress find, I set out on my own search for the cutest little dresses I could find to fit my cheek-squeezin' worthy gals. I'm extremely excited about my finds and am secretly envious of all the dresses, especially this one with its precious rosettes:


That adorable frock will adorn this adorable kid:

Lab Niece Morgan

Lab Niece Morgan is the youngest of my five (yeah, count 'em, 5!) nieces. She just turned 3 and will be a sort of "honorary" flower girl. I got to meet Morgan the moment she came into this world. I stayed with my older sister (her mother) for around 9 hours waiting for Morgan to be born. I haven't gotten to know her as much as my other nieces due to a busy work & school schedule, but I know that I'll always have a special bond with her because I was one of only two people (me & her daddy) allowed in the delivery room when she graced us with her presence. I can't believe she's growing up so fast and already talking so much! I love how she never hesitates to tell you how much she loves you!

This next dress will be modeled by my two 8 year old nieces, the "official" flower girls.

To snazz it up a bit, they'll be carrying their pink pomanders and I'll supply them with pink flower headbands (not sure whether that will be a DIY project yet). I think all 3 of the little girls will wear flats of some sort, but I'm not going to get anal about them being matchy-matchy.

Btw, here's the faces of my little "models"!

Lab Niece Mary Elizabeth

Lab Niece Mary Elizabeth is such a quirky girl. She has this mesmerizing deep voice that makes you want to believe she'll grow up into the next Joss Stone. She has such a beautiful and vibrant soul and when she smiles you can't help but to feel warm inside. And I know she'll be picture ready all day long. When you take a picture of her, she always says "CHEEEEEESE!", even when you didn't ask! She's my oldest brother's daughter.

Lab Niece Haleigh

Lab Niece Haleigh is best described as the "Scarlett O'Hara" of nieces. She has southern charm with a bit of sass. Her accent is too cute! It has so much twang you'd swear it was fake (even worse than mine for those of you who heard me on BeeTV, lol)! It's hard not to give this girl what she wants with a face and personality like that. She already has Mr. Lab wrapped around her finger and never leaves his side when we visit.

It was really important to me to find dresses that would last more than one day for the girls. My older sister alone is "supplying" 3 of the 5 girls, so I didn't want to burden her with huge run-of-the-mill flower girl dresses that can't be worn again because the kids will outgrow them (unless your wedding is close to Christmas or Easter). And although these dresses we settled on were a little bit pricier than I had hoped to find, everyone loves them!

Now for the other 2/5ths of that junior bridesmaids! I thought I was done with the search for ALL the girls' dresses when I ran across this cute and complimentary dress:


I was going to add champagne sashes to go along with the bridesmaids' colors. I thought the dresses would be perfect on my shorter nieces (adding a bit of length down to the knee) and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they were on sale from $50 to $20! Too good to be true, right? Sure was. Macy's had already sold out of the chocolate version. :(

So now I've been combing the internet looking for a suitable replacement with no luck. I'd love if any of you could help me out! I'm looking for something that compliments the bridesmaids while still being age appropriate. Here's a refresher of the bridesmaids' dresses if it helps (picture the skirt in chocolate):

So anything with chocolate or champagne is good but I'd prefer the same "trapeze"-style dress of my inspiration photo so all the little ones compliment each other. Thanks so much in advance!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Nailing" Down A Simple Task

This weekend I inadvertently completed a minor wedding task while preparing for another wedding-related event: my bachelorette party! I can't write about the party until I get photos back from my girls, but I can sure tell you about that minor task in the meantime! :)

*Cue overly dramatic drum roll for said minor task!*

I finally picked out my wedding day nail polish color!

Since getting engaged, every time I needed a manicure I'd use it as an excuse (aka "research") to try a new shade of nail polish for the wedding. I'd run around for a few weeks imagining it with my wedding ensemble until it had finally chipped away to the point of no return. Then I'd wait until I could come up with a good enough reason to shell out $15-25 for another manicure (usually for a wedding shower/party/etc.). I had just about given up finding the perfect shade (nearly opting to go with the good ol' french mani standby) when I stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous line of OPI nail colors fit for any bride with a romantic, fairytale-style wedding in mind!


And just like *that*, I had my wedding day nail polish! It ties in perfectly with my skin tone and the muted pinks in our wedding color palette.

Isn't it purdy?!?

But there's a slight problem. Apparently I had picked a popular shade. The name of the shade had been worn away beyond recognition on the bottle. So now I have a perfect nail color with no name! My nails will certainly need to be touched up again before the wedding so that means I only have one of two options: 1.) Make sure I go back to the exact same salon and hope and pray they still have that same color or 2.) Find the color on my own, buy it, and take it to whatever salon I use for the wedding.

Thankfully, OPI's website has this handy (hah, get it, "hand"-y?!) little feature called "Try It On" where you can get an idea of what a particular shade will look like on you. I'm hoping I may have found my mysterious wedding color:


I'm really sad that I feel in love with a nameless color. I just hope I can channel my inner Nancy Drew and solve this case before it's time for my final pre-wedding mani!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Double Duty Semi-DIY Programs

I knew early on that I wanted programs that doubled as fans. Although the historical weather for Savannah in November is usually in the high 60's to low 70's, you never really know how hot an outdoor wedding in the South can get. Better safe than sorry!

I originally planned to make my program fans from scratch. I set out to find inspiration and quickly ran across these adorable program fans on Etsy:


I soon realized that finding a die cast or card stock in that shape would either be super exhausting or very expensive (or both!). I'm sure there are ways to get that shape that I never even thought of. But with time running out, I can't be too picky these days.

I finally settled on the fact that my program fans would have to be at least semi-homemade. I kept my inspiration photos and scoured the internet for the closest-looking template. And that's when I found these!


Not only did they still have an interesting shape, they were hella cheap! $30 for 50 fans! Cha-ching! A few clicks later, these babies were on their way to my house.

Once they arrived, I downloaded the accompanying printing template and got to work on a custom design for the fans. Working off my inspiration photo (in Powerpoint), I first created a sort of "crest" with our monogram.

Scroll graphic from istockphoto

I then imported the crest into the Word template and began writing out the front (title) and back (ceremony program outline) sections of the fans. I used "Century Gothic" for the brown text and "Edwardian Script" for the pink text.
I would share the back of the fans with you but I was too lazy and didn't feel like blurring out all of the personal info. I can assure you that it looks very similar to the inspiration photo though. ;) Besides, here's a photo of the front!

I got a little camera happy too early because I ended up going with the brown outlined crest instead of the pink. I was just too darned excited at how great they were coming out! I'm also probably going to switch out this lace ribbon for some that is less stiff (I had this ribbon laying around for, oh, a couple of years). The fans will have a home in a basket just like the one I used for our flip flops next to our ceremony refreshments.

Did any of your semi-DIY projects turn out way better than expected? Better yet, did they save you time, money, and/or unnecessary stress?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MACaholic: My Beauty Routine

I've only just begun to start scouting out potential hairstylists and makeup artists for my wedding. Is that bad? I'm under 2 months and haven't come close to finalizing my look. Not so much as even a trial yet!

The good news is that I have been paying more attention to my skin care routine. I drink lots of water and try to keep my diet low in sodium, wash my face in the morning and before going to bed, go light on the makeup (just foundation, mascara, and tinted lip gloss on a daily basis), avoid picking at blemishes (that's a hard one for me but luckily my lack of nails due to stress biting makes me give up quickly anytime I try), and I've been working on getting more sleep. I wish I had the money to splurge on facials and spa treatments, but instead I'll just have to continue "splurging" on my biggest makeup addiction: MAC cosmetics.

I was first introduced to MAC when I began modeling part-time. My makeup artist (MUA) worked exclusively with the brand. I had never had my makeup professionally done before and the MUA worked absolute wonders on me:

Ever since, I have been hooked! It didn't help that my matron of honor briefly worked at a MAC outlet and used her 50% discount off the already lower than normal prices to help me stock up. Or the fact that models can fill out a pro card through MAC for 40% off their products!

Any time I needed my makeup done professionally for something in front of an audience or camera, I would book an appointment at my local MAC counter. The best thing about MAC is that it's definitely meant to be "shown off". It is heavier than most makeup you find in drug or grocery stores so it's perfect for pageants, modeling, stage performances, or on-camera reporting! ;)

My skin is by no means naturally flawless, so I need heavier coverage to hide blemishes and unevenness in tone, especially when I'm reporting.

Even MAC* knows we live in a different world now where cameras pick up EVERY imperfection.

Although buying a department store brand is definitely more expensive than its drug store counterpart, it is totally worth it! My MAC seems to last way longer than other brands and my skin always looks flawless when I wear my favorite foundation from them:

During the winter when my skin gets a little drier, I usually switch over to their liquid version of Studio Fix or use the Studio Tech creamy powder.

Studio Fix Fluid

Studio Tech

But normally, my skin is a hot mess of grease. I could fry onion rings on my forehead every time I run a fever because my skin is so oily. Don't believe me? Check this out!

Soon after showering and applying makeup to go see Madonna in concert a few years ago:

After the concert, looking slicker than a greased pig:

I just about barfed in my mouth looking at that photo and realizing I'm sharing it with the hive. Yuck.

I can't believe it took me so long to catch on to the fact that I looked so gross with pure cooking oil dripping off my face. So if any of you girls out there have the pesky problem of oily skin, take notes!

To ward off the shiny face, I use an oil-free cream cleanser every time I wash my face. I used to be drawn to the foamy cleansers thinking they'd dry out my face, but that's exactly what you DON'T want. They dry out your face and send it into shock, so your pores produce even MORE natural oil to compensate for the loss. So cream cleansers are the best way to wash your face! My current fave is this:

And I never forget to use moisturizer! It's the same concept as the cream cleanser. You want to hydrate your face so it doesn't have to! I only use my moisturizer at night. Current fave:

Before I put on any makeup, I dab a light layer of MAC's Prep & Prime on my face. It absorbs oil and helps makeup go on smooth and last longer. It even has SPF 50 sun protection built right in!

For touch ups throughout the day, I carry two essential products. First up, oil blotting sheets. They are truly a godsend and will definitely be in my bridal clutch!

And after the sheets I apply a little bit of blotting powder:

Now I no longer look like I melted butter all over my face when I go out! Yay!!!

I will definitely be picking a MUA for my wedding day based on who works best with my very difficult skin. I've thought about getting my makeup done for the wedding at the MAC counter, but the only time I've ever had makeup done there for a non-modeling event, I wasn't too happy with the results. So I'm keeping my options open.

Do you have a favorite line of makeup? Does your skin type or occupation dictate what type of makeup you wear?

*All photos of MAC makeup found at their website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Official Business.

We met with our officiant, aka my hometown pastor, Labor Day weekend. It was our second and final meeting with him before our big day.

During our meeting, we went over our "marriage inventory". The marriage inventory is basically a test you and your future spouse take to identify if there are any potential conflicts that the two of you haven't addressed yet. It is mainly used as an important conversation starter, but Mr. Lab and I took it very seriously. We aren't doing any official premarital counseling, so this was the closest we'd get to it. I'm glad to report that we both "passed" the test!

Our biggest conflict is about our financial future, but we've already come up with budgets and are doing the best that two broke ass college students can do. I begin working full-time in January with Mr. Lab following soon after in June, so I suspect a lot of the tension will be eased shortly. It's also comforting in a weird way to know that money is the #1 reason for marital disputes, and since we don't fight heatedly about it and do communicate, I think we're pretty normal compared to others.

We also finalized our ceremony layout during the meeting! I won't go into too many specifics (I don't want to spoil my ceremony recaps for you!), but here is the gist of our "traditional with touches of modern realism" ceremony:

Mr. & Miss Lab's Celebration of Marriage:

Giving Away of the Bride

Hand Ceremony:

(Mrs. Apple & Mrs. Onion used it, too!)

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”


Love Letter Box Presentation:
Excerpt from “The Gift From The Sea”, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

(Also used by Mrs. Corn & Mrs. Green Tea!)

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that two dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

Special Reading:
“Blessings for a Marriage”, by James Dillet Freeman

(Possibly being used by Miss Stiletto as well! We have a very special way of incorporating this reading but you'll have to wait until after the wedding to find out what it is!)

“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life also grant you patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another - not so much out of weakness or to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not overwhelm one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery, which is the awareness of one another’s presence - no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side-by-side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”

Group Declaration Of Support (Similar to Mrs. Cherry Pie's!)

“Union”, by Robert Fulghum (read by our officiant)

(As brought to my attention by several Bees before me!)

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.”

Exchanging of Vows
Exchanging of the Rings

Engagement Ring Ceremony:

(I forgot where I found this, but I love that my e-ring will get a little of the spotlight!)

"The engagement ring is a symbol of promise and intention. Now the intention is realized and the promise fulfilled. Mr. Lab, please place Miss Lab's engagement ring on her finger over her wedding band to symbolize that the love that brought you together will always protect and sustain your marriage."


Mr. Lab and I love our ceremony! It has just enough hope and blessings sprinkled with realistic advice to address the inevitable tough times. We didn't want to prance in and out of our ceremony without addressing how hard a marriage is to keep in today's age. But we also didn't want to make our ceremony depressing. We also wanted to hold everyone's attention and I think we're going to walk the line between boring and too philosophical perfectly.

What considerations did you put into your ceremony layout and wording?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Don't Call It A Comeback

I've been here for...5 months! :)

Okay, okay. I know I've pretty much bailed on you guys the last few weeks, but I've had many good reasons! You're thinking, "Yeah, they BETTER be good reasons." Well, let me explain myself before you call in the mobs to burn me at the Weddingbee stake!

First, my final semester of classes began. Along with that came work where I routinely put in 25-40 hours a week depending on how many shifts I can pick up with my already crazy schedule.

But that's the mundane stuff. I've also been living it up some!

Like a day at the beach and a boat ride in Savannah with soon-to-be family. It was a nice end to my summer full of unpaid, overworked time at internships.

"Tanning" with FSIL Lab. And by "tanning" I mean 80 SPF, big sunglasses, and an even bigger hat. This Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" was obviously written about me (aside from the "man" part).

On FSIL Lab's boat with her SIL.

Or going out with some friends to celebrate my 25th birthday and embarrass myself while singing karaoke:

Staying classy in the Classic City with my cosmopolitan.

Or attending a Britney Spears concert in Atlanta as a gift from Mr. Lab for my birthday:

I still can't believe Mr. Lab sat through a Britney concert just for me! But I think I did see him lip syncing the words to "Toxic" better than Britney herself. ;) Btw, I totally wore the same top two night in a row. Gotta milk the birthday bling!

And of course I've been going nuts over the opening weekend of college football. Let's not mention my poor Dawgs' loss. I've only just begun to recover... :(

I LUV UGA, too!

The Snickers ice cream cake our friends had at our UGA game get-together. I definitely ate a slice to bury my sorrows...

So now that you know what I've been up to, I'll leave you with a promise. I promise you'll be seeing quite a lot of me in these last 2 months of my planning. I have so much to catch you guys up on! We've finalized the ceremony wording, hired a DJ, attended our last wedding shower, started on the program fans, just received our invites that will be assembled and sent out this week, and I have a bachelorette party in less than two weeks.

Hope you're ready hive because I'mmmmmm baaaaaaack! :D