Jul 08, 2011
Although I always imagined having only three or four girls, Dan had to have his seven guys. Being OCD, I couldn't handle the uneven number, so I recruited seven of my own... and am so happy I did! What gorgeous girls and wonderful friends! As for Dan's boys - they don't come more loyal. The flower girl is my cousin's daughter and pretty much my favorite child in the world. We're sooo lucky to have these people in our lives.
Maid of Honor - Jenn
Jenn and I met as graphic design majors in undergrad school. I'm so excited that within two months of each other, we both became engaged, on the beach, to our dark-haired boyfriends named Daniel! No one works harder at her day job (graphic design), evening jobs (freelance designer AND dance instructor), or degree (MBA) - and yet she still has time to be such a wonderful friend. Dan and I are both only children, so there are no sisters to chose for a MoH, but I knew immediately that Jenn would be my sister on my wedding day <3
Bridesmaid - Nicole
Nicole's nickname is "Sweet Nicole" - no joke! I met Nicole six or seven years ago through a mutual friend. She is an elementary school guidance counselor during the school year and works with autistic children in the summer. When I was in her wedding as a bridesmaid, I was shown the absolute opposite of Bridezilla. There isn't a kinder, gentler, more dependable person in this world. Some people say their SO makes them want to be a better person - for me, it's Nicole who is the inspiration!
Bridesmaid - Amy
Amy and I also met as art majors in college, although her degree is in metalsmithing and jewelry. And my God, is she talented! She was named one of the top emerging artists in Philadelphia and has her own line of jewelry. When she moved out to Arizona she also began and maintained a professional cake business up until she started her new office job. No one is more creative, and yet no one is more organized! I am so honored that she's going to be my BM since she has to fly across the country AND she and her husband are expecting their first baby only months before my wedding!
Bridesmaid - Ali
Everyone says they don't care what anyone thinks about them. Alison is probably the only person I know for whom that is true. She is so incredibly fun to be around because she genuinely just does what she wants. She's never hurtful or mean to anyone; she just doesn't worry about creating a certain image. Ali is a total original and never boring. My only hesitation in asking her to be a bridesmaid is that, in addition to working as a model scout, she herself is a model! And what bride wants a model standing next to her in wedding photos??? ;)
Bridesmaid - Stacey
I met Stacey through Alison, whom, incidentally I met through Jenn. I remember thinking that she seemed so pleasant - I couldn't imagine her being in a bad mood or getting angry. And through the years, I can honestly say that I still can't imagine her angry or in a bad mood. No matter what unexpected thing happens, she rolls with the punches. And there are a lot of unexpected things! I have never met someone who has had so many crazy (mostly good) experiences... My wedding instantly became exciting when Stacey joined the bridal party!
Bridesmaid - Tina
Tina and I work at the same district. I'd love to say that we met at a district workshop or meeting, but we actually first started chatting at a work happy hour! T is the most bubbly, energetic girl anyone could meet. She's the gym teacher who does every activity with her students all day and then hits the gym or dance class that night. We've shared gossip, a shorehouse, nights out (that ended up long sleepovers!) and just about everything else except clothes - she's the tiniest little thing... I have no idea how so much energy fits inside!
Bridesmaid - Gina
Earlier I mentioned that Dan and I are both only children, so therefore neither of have a sister for the wedding party. However, we both are very close to our cousins, so when it was time to chose my seventh bridesmaid, I immediately thought of Gina. Gina is Dan's cousin, and I can honestly say that she's also our friend. I absolutely adore her; even if she weren't family, I would want her in my wedding. She may be the youngest by almost a decade (the lucky girl will only be 22 at the time of the wedding), but she's so incredibly mature, fun, and brilliant. MY MoH loves her, and I know that as the other girls meet her, they will too.
Best Man Update!!! Dan has made a decision! The BM will be the wonderful Shawn!
Groomsman - Joe S. Groomsman - Joe D.
Groomsman - Fran Groomsman - Mark
Groomsman - Brian Groomsman - John
Our darling flower girl - Abbey
Abigail is my cousin's daughter and most likely the sweetest, brightest, best-behaved, and all-round loveliest child in the world. I'm not a kid-person - in fact, Abbey is the only child involved and invited (because she's in the bridal party, of course), but I just melt when I'm around this little girl. FI wants a baby one day, and he always uses the possibility of another Abigail in his persuasion :)
After a devasting first dress shopping experience, during which I felt a.) like a bus and b.) humiliated for crying because I felt like a bus, I got back in the saddle and tried again. The only alternative, as I threatened FI later that night, was to get married in a denim mini and tank top. Either that or the wedding was off, which I had angrily announced in the dressing room when a particularly nasty little halter gown managed to make me look like I was pregnant and in my third fourth trimester.
Regardless, my resilient and saintly mother and I trucked on into three shops today, although the last two were only needed to reassure me that The Dress was in the first. In fact, she was only the second of twenty-trillion dresses I had tried on, but she spoke to me. Loudly, but with the voice of an angel. An angel I never expected to hear from, as she came in a silhouette I never in a million years thought I would like, let alone fall passionately in love with. My pretty little Victoriana.
Now, onto The Dress!
(You girls know the drill... pardon the unusual facial expressions, unattractive backfat pockets, and general weirdness that accompanies photos taken by one's mother in a make-shift dressing room while wearing an unfitted gown.)
The usual bride-in-her-beloved-gown shots
close-up of the beautiful bodice, the scary surrounding mirrors, and the back of the gown
a side view, the appliques at the pick-ups that will be swapped for a few gold beads, the consultant crawling under my gown to pull up a little crinoline!
***Now to accessorize!***
Like just about every girl I know, I love me some jewelry :) For the big day, my generous mum is letting me borrow her (ridiculously expensive) Mikimoto pearl bracelet and graduated pearl necklace <3 Both pieces are classic and lovely, and I am so honored.
After searching without success for an equally pricey pair of earrings to match, I ended up finding the perfect pair for a mere $45 at Macy's! (Let it be known that price does not always dictate beauty.) My wonderful father bought them for me as a gift - what a sweetheart!
To finish off the look, I will obviously have my e-ring and wedding band, but also my late grandmother's e-ring on my right hand. It makes me unbelievably sad that she can't be at my wedding, so I like knowing that I'll at least have something of hers near to me the entire day.
(pics to come soon)
***Onto the hair!***
Here's my flower! My mum spotted it at a bridal show, we both loved it, and she bought it on the spot! I love that it's ivory with a little gold tint in the center, since my gown is ivory and gold is one of our wedding colors!
Hair trials! I'm still torn!
my fabulous stylist and me <3
It was pretty much the most romantic night ever, even before the proposal. Dan and I have always loved fireworks, and every year on the Fourth of July we make sure to catch the beautiful show over the beach in Sea Isle City. This year everything seemed perfect: the sun had set, but there were still traces of pink and purple in the sky; the promenade was lit up with grand, old houses in the background; boats were silently bobbing on the ocean;and although people had all come out to the beach, we managed to find our own little section on the sand near the water where no one was too nearby.
In hindsight I should have seen it coming... Dan, although seemingly calm, had made sure that we were both well-dressed and that none of our friends back at the shorehouse came with us. We watched the show and said sweet, gooey things to each other, and when the fireworks came to a dramatic close, Dan said that he had one more thing to make the night even more romantic. He had written me a poem.
Now I'm usually the writer, so I was especially touched by this. It was sweet and cute and sometimes funny, and thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite poem ever. This is particularly because the last line read, "I hope you've enjoyed the reasons why I love you, because now I will propose."
I stood there like an absolute fool, mouth gaping open and tears already starting, and even as he was down on one knee in the sand, holding up a black box that I could barely see in the darkness, I started bawling. Not cute little tears, but full on sobbing with little shrieks that probably made the people around us think that there was an Independence Day attack taking place. Looking at the mascara streaks in photos from that night, I'm sure I wasn't cute at all, but it was one of the greatest nights of my life. And it was only made greater when we finally stepped into some light, and I could clearly see the stunningly gorgeous ring he had picked out. (Seriously, this thing alone is enough to make a woman say yes. Getting Dan is just an added bonus ;)
(This photo does it absolutely no justice. It's a nearly flawless 1.24 carat diamond in a medium-height, four-prong setting with a white gold band. I always wanted a solitaire because I love the simplicity of the band against a beautiful stone... I never expected it to be this amazing though!)