So, we've decided to save cost on the wedding and knock out two birds with one stone and go the destination wedding route. No more battle between the Bay and the Lake. The case is settled and we're getting married at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay in Maui, Hawaii. Once we confirm our date is available, which at this point we're willing to change, as long as we can do this in the Fall of 2011. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for 9/10/11, but if need be, I'll take anything between September and early November.
The sad thing about our decision is that we are going alone. We've decided to keep the wedding ceremony about the two of us and inlcude our families and friends into the reception. Even the Brady children will have to sit out the ceremony. Mainly because of their ages and us wanting to spend our honeymoon ALONE!
We are debating on whether or not to renew our vows at the reception. The reception will likely take place late December 2011 or early January 2012. It all depends on other factors going on in late December for friends and family. I'd love to have the reception on our anniversary. However, that is New Year's Eve and I know a few close friends are planning to get married on NYE, even though they are not sure if it will be in 2011 or 2012. So, we are pretty open with the reception at this point.
The main thing we want to do is get married and enjoy a week to ourselves before the Brady kids take over.
We were briefly separated due to some misunderstanding and drama from outside forces. However, prayer brought us back together and ENGAGED.
No pictures with the ring on my left hand yet. But here is a stock photo of the ring in yellow gold (mine is white gold). Very simple, affordable and perfect! The real planning begins for our Fall 2011 wedding.
So, Mr. Brady and I are both African-American. We've talked recently about incorporating African wedding traditions into our ceremony or the reception. We're not sure how to incorporate such traditions, but I've seriously considered us changing our attire (after dinner during our reception) from the traditional wedding gown and white tux to something inspired by Africa. I've found a few looks by Therez Fleetwood and am really loving the idea of changing into one of her gowns for the reception. Here are some of the gowns I'm leaning toward.
Therez Fleetwood gowns are the perfect combination of American and African for this African-American bride-to-be. I'm could totally wear these gowns to the ceremony, if I wasn't so set on the romantic nature of lace. In any event, I'm leaning toward the wardrobe change after dinner. I'd love to wear any of the above pieces.
Now, the mister would look awesome in any of these looks.
I absolutely love the third photo above. The bride's attire is perfect as well. So loooove the fan in the photo!!!
We're also considering adding some African inspired designs in the wedding and reception decor. I have an image in my head, I just can't locate any photos to share here with you today. It is certain we'll include our African heritage into our wedding ceremony and reception. The first, of which we're sure to include, is the wardrobe change into gowns and suits inspired by Africa.
What cultural aspect has inspired you in your wedding planning?
I thought I was a custom-designed-wedding-gown type of gal. And then I was introduced to Maggie Sottero. This designers' gowns are fabulous. Being a destination bride, I have a soft spot in my heart for her Destination Collection. I have a list of Maggie Sottero gowns I plan to try on this summer. (hint, hint - looking forward to trying on gowns in NY at Kleinfields, if they carry Maggie Sottero. I did not see her name on their list of designers on their website, http://www.kleinfeldbridal.com/ but hoping it's an error... do any of you have any idea where I can go to try on her collection). In any event, check out these lovely lacey gowns by Maggie Sottero (and a few with no lace that I just have to try on).
And then there is Amsale. How awesome is she?! I've fallen in love with some of her non-lace pieces, surprisingly. Check them out.
How about the sophistication of Kenneth Pool gowns? I love them, even if they don't have enough lace for me and may be more princess than I desire to be at this point in my life. Nonetheless, Kenneth Pool gowns are beautiful!
I would actually consider wearing the third Kenneth Pool gown above and the one below. These are two I am for sure going to try on at Kleinfields.
The gowns below are all gowns I plan to try on before I decide to go with the custom-designed gown. I'm thinking if I do all of these try-ons before the end of the summer 2010, I'll have more than enough time to design the gown and have it sketched and find a designer (already have a few in mind) and it made in time for the wedding in 2011. What gowns are you swooning over?
The venue fight. That is what is going on currently between my mother and I. She says the Bay and I say the Lake. Being raised and born and living most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have a special place in my heart for The Bay. However, I don't see myself getting married here. I've had my heart set on Lake Tahoe since the day Mr. Brady and I decided we were getting married.
This isn't my first venue fight. The first was with Mr. Brady and he was pushing for Monterey, another Bay. So, you see, I've been fighing against the Bay for some time. Mr. Brady finally agreed with Lake Tahoe, with the help of the lovely ladies over at my favorite wedding site, Weddingbee.com. Now I am having a venue fight with my mother, which Mr. Brady is sort of in the middle on. He totally get's her point that more people will be able to come to the wedding. I don't get it. Those that want to come celebrate my marriage to Mr. Brady will travel across the world to see us get married and those are the people I actually want there.
Being that my mother didn't get an opportunity to help me plan my starter marriage, I see that this marriage is her way of getting involved. I in some ways regret telling her so soon about our plans to get married. She has wedding fever and is pushing a fork full of ideas down my throat. Some days I can't even breath before the fork is in my mouth. Don't get me wrong. I loooove my mother and appreciate the time and effort she's putting into my SECOND (and final) wedding. A lot of people don't take second weddings as serious as the starter weddings. So, I do have great appreciation for all that she is doing. BUT... I don't want to fight this venue battle again. And this time with my mother. *sigh*
Now, Mr. Brady and I are paying for this wedding. Neither my family nor his family is contributing money towards the wedding. At this point in our lives, we would never ask that they do so. So, I feel as if they should not have much of a say so in where we have the wedding or what we decide to do with the wedding. Of course, my mother totally disagrees and I somewhat see her point. Weddings are about family and unity. So, shouldn't I want all of my family to be at the wedding? I do and I will do all that is possible to make it convenient for them. However, they can easily drive to Lake Tahoe. It is only like 3 or 4 hours away from all of them. They've all done it on many many occassions and have done it for other weddings. So, why would they have a problem with attending my Lake Tahoe wedding.
So, the venue fight with my mother has begun and it is not going to be easy to win this case. I'll have to come more prepared than I have ever been before. I'm researching venues in the Bay and at the Lake. Wherever I get married must have the option for the outside ceremony to move in doors quickly and the inside ceremony location must not be the same as the reception area. I want the guests to see the reception area right after the cocktail hour. I want the entrance to be GRAND.
So far, I haven't found anything in the Bay that I like. Well, like enough to keep me here for the wedding. I'm looking and looking and hopefully in the next couple of months I'll find something and we'll book the venue and secure our fancy 9/10/11 date. Until then, the venue fight continues. You'll hear a lot more about this fight over the next few months, I'm sure of it.
What wedding disagreements did you have with your mother?
I have fallen more in love with Mr. Brady than I thought possible. Our first Thanksgiving together was fabulous! We cooked dinner together, fed the kids and watched the football games. After the football games he agreed to sit through my Sex and the City marathon with me. He's perfect!
Well, I talked to Mrs. Brady (my future mother-in-law) on Thanksgiving day and she thanked me for making her baby happy. Yes... she called him her baby! LOL!!! Her 36 year old baby. It was very special for me to hear how much she appreciates the things I do for him. She acknowledges me and does not feel as if I'm taking her baby away from her. She recognizes a real woman! I shouldn't be surprised because she is a real woman and will truly recognize one when she sees her.
Two words from Mrs. Brady sealed the deal with me and Mr. Brady. Thank you! She thanked me for making him happy. She told me that she has never heard him so happy before. I love him so much for expressing to his mother his love and respect for me. He only speaks good things of me and I'm sure the few things that bug him that he speaks of, are greatly outweighed by how happy we are together. I fell in love with him more than I thought I could love a man. Our fate was sealed at that moment. I knew then, I'd never leave his side or him mine. I knew then that becoming his Mrs. Brady was going to be the best thing for all of us. If there were any doubts in my mind, Mrs. Brady's words erased them. He loves me... I say it like Jill Scott sang it in He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat).
I want the world to know he loves me. I am so willing to get married in Vegas this December. If it was possible, I'd do it. I'm sure Mr. Brady will be against eloping, but I'm seriously, seriously thinking about it. We can throw a huge reception for our friends and family aftewards. That might disappoint Mrs. Brady and my mother. I know they both want to witness the start of their babies' "real" marriages. Those starter marriages don't count, let me and Mr. Brady tell it.
It feels so good to know that HE LOVES ME. I love me some Mr. Brady!
Like most women, I love shoes. Really really love shoes. And my weakness is designer shoes. LOUBS! Are my current favorite. For those that don't know, LOUBS stand for Christian Louboutin. A fabulous shoe designer from the city of love... Paris! Could it be the French blood running through my veins that cause me to fall in love with all things Paris?
LOUBS are fabulous looking shoes... However, they cost a bundle! No... actually, they cost two arms and both legs. So, needless to say, I only allow myself to purchase no more than two (2) pair of LOUBS a year. Right now I'm looking for my final pair of the year to wear for New Year's Eve. I'm thinking about something with some shine. Some blingness going on. Something like these glittery babies!
These are fabulous shoes. However, given the price tag, I need to think about purchasing a style that is somewhat timeless and will afford me the ability to wear them again. And not for New Year's Eve 2010. So, I was thinking maybe of purchasing these babies early and wear for the 3 or 4 holiday parties we've been invited to. Then the wedding came to mind. Although I'll purchase more LOUBS throughout 2010 and 2011, those will likely be something for the warmer months (like a sandel or something) and some winter boots. So, to get something fancy for New Year's Eve, I was thinking of maybe getting something I'd likely wear to the wedding. I know I wanted to wear a splash of color on my feet. I'm really going for a bright pink. Similar to the color of my pink sapphire engagement ring. And I came upon these babies.
I know these are booties, but I love the three buttons on the side and somehow I get that Elizabeth Bennett feeling from these. They are somewhat Victorian and so very romantic. I also considered just getting the pink glitter LOUBS above and wearing those. Then I came upon some more pump styled LOUBS.
All of the above pink LOUBS are fabulous and I wish I could afford to purchase every single pair. I can't so, I need to narrow it down to something I can wear more than once. Then I came across these babies.
These are what I affectionately call the pink SATC bridal shoes! I love them and they are absolutely perfect. However, maybe not perfect for New Year's Eve. I guess I will stick with the glitter shoe or maybe a pair of black LOUBS with some New Year's flair. Whatever I do though, I am getting these pink SATC bridal shoes for the wedding. Even if only worn for one day (and likely the Sunday Brunch the day after the wedding). So, here are my one of the two pair of LOUBS to be purchased for 2011. Now... I need to find the final one for 2009 and continue to look for the two pair for 2010. I might save money if I don't buy any LOUBS for 2010. Can I survive without a new pair of LOUBS for an entire year? I think so. I know so if it must be done for the wedding and the Brady home.
What expensive item is a must for your wedding? Are you going to venture out and purchase a high end designer item specifically for your wedding?
(Photo Source: All photos are from Google Images unless otherwise noted)