Monday, December 7, 2009

A taste of Africa

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? 

Ms. Brady

(Photos are all from google image, unless otherwise noted; e.g. Therez Fleetwood gowns are from

Friday, December 4, 2009

Swooning over Wedding Gowns

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, 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? 

(PHOTO CREDITS: Google images and

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lake v. Bay

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,  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? 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mrs. Brady, my Future-Mother-In-Law

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!

Ms. Brady 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shoes for Ms. 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)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Brady Kids: Dressing the Girls

Mr. Brady and I decided to make our children part of our ceremony.  We're all becoming one family, just not Mr. Brady and I becoming one.  So, we're looking for ways to include our children in our vows and also maybe have them say a few words.  Great idea in theory. 

My problem: my kids are deathly afraid of public speaking.  My daughter has a voice like Beyonce and will sing in front of a crowd.  However, she clams up when it comes to speaking in front of a group of people.  My son will just stand there and look at you with those big puppy dog eyes of his.  The baby girl is likely to just stare at us without making a move or sound.  There is no way my kids are going to be willing to join in the vow exchange. 

So, I was thinking of making the entire wedding party all about the Bradys.  Mr. Brady and his crew on one side and me and mine on the other.  After the kiss and we're announced as the Bradys, then we'll all walk back down the aisle together.

Mr. Brady is not on board quite yet.  He is more into traditions and is hoping to have his best buddies standing next to him with his boys and me having my best girlfriends standing next to me with my oldest daughter.  Then we'll have my son as the ring bearer and his daughter and my youngest daughter as the flower girls.

The only thing we've agreed on in this area is making the kids a part of the wedding ceremony.  So, I've started to look for dresses for the girls and suits for the boys.  Check out inspriation for the Junior Bridesmaid dresses for Miss Marcia and the flower girl dresses for Miss Jan and Miss Cindy.   Right now we're leaning toward our girls wearing white (like Ms. Brady).  They'll stand out from the bridesmaid and Maid-of-Honor.  I might had a splash of color with a satin sash to coordinate with the bridesmaid and Maid-of-Honor dresses. 

Jan and Cindy would love this gown.  I hope it comes in white.  Would be amazing if I could have the ribbon in black.  The bridesmaids (sans the Jr. Bridesmaid, Marcia) will be wearing black gowns.  (Photo source:

This gown is for the Junior Bridesmaid, Miss Marcia.  I'd be more comfortable if we could find a jacket to go with the gown, but I know she'll love this.  I hope it comes in White with the ability to have the flower black.  I'd stick with the white flower and add color with her accessories.  Miss Marcia would die to wear this dress.  It's very pretty, but may be a tad bit too mature for an eleven year old (Photo Source:  

This is the gown I'd love for all the Brady girls to wear.  The model looks a lot like Miss Jan (Mr. Brady's daughter).  That smile of her's is Miss Cindy's smile (My daughter and the baby of the bunch).  Again, I'd like to get jackets for hte girls.  I'm thinking something lace, but I'll have to keep looking.  Miss Marcia might not like this dress since it will be the same dress her younger sisters will be wearing.  However, but the ball gown look may warm her heart.  She'll still love Barbie dolls and Disney Princesses at 11.  I really like this one too.  (Photo Source: David's Bridal)

This flower girl dress from Disney Weddings is fabulous.  The gown is based on Disney Princess Tiana.  Kristy Kelly is a fabulous designer and I think all the girls will appreciate this gown.  This is a strong dress. (Photo Source:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dream dress: fantasy vs. reality

Grace Kelly

The Grace Kelly.  That is what I call my dream wedding gown.  I want the exact dress from the waist up.  From the waist down, I'm hoping it is possible to get satin.  I love this gown!  Grace Kelly's wedding attire is very inspirational.  I also adore the dress she wore for her civil ceremony. 

Although very nice for a civil ceremony or even wedding morning brunch with the family.  This is not what I'm looking to wear for my ceremony.   This is a FAV for my wedding morning brunch.  

So, I've somewhat decided that my gown will be custom made, since I cannot find anything similar to what I like at the bridal stores (yes... I've looked.  Haven't tried anything on, but I've been looking). 

Then yesterday a Google Image search brought me this fabulous beauty.  The Grace Kelly top and the satin bottom. 

However, I am so not feeling the long train on this gown.  I love the top and the satin bottom, but the train... not so me.   Then I saw this one. 

Ignore the top!!  I love the satin bottom and the smaller train. 

I'm starting to see the dream dress becoming a reality.  For some months now it's been more of a fantasy.  There was absolutely nothing out there that came close to my Grace Kelly.    I think the more time I have to plan this wedding, the more time I have to find a designer I trust to pull this off and the more time I can have my custom gown made, replicating the top portion of Grace Kelly's wedding gown and the bottom portion of Gown number three above. 

Did you have trouble finding your dream dress?  If so, did you consider a custom made gown? 

Ms. Brady