Wedding Wednesday: The Dress, Part I

All right, you lovelies. It’s time to tell you the story of my wedding dress.
Once upon a time, I was watching the news and saw a story about free wedding gowns for military brides. I immediately jumped on the website, saw that there weren’t any locations giving away gowns near me, and then saw that I could apply online and win a gown if I were one of the first 100 applicants. 
Imagine my surprise when I got the email back, saying I was one of the first 100 and I would be receiving a wedding gown! 
All I had to do was send in my measurements, photos of the style dresses I liked, and proof that Joshua was active duty and had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I also had to pay shipping once the dress was selected.
And this part, you’ll never believe. Do you know what day I got the call that my dress was chosen, and would be shipping out to me? The day Joshua deployed to Afghanistan. Isn’t that nuts? Amidst all the goodbyes, tears, and fearing that he’d never come home… hearing that a dress had been selected for me made my day!
As a romantic, I’d obviously been dreaming about my wedding dress from the day I was old enough to realize what a wedding was. So selecting styles of gowns that I was interested in was the best part of the process. I knew I wanted it strapless, layered, possibly with different tiers, not too poofy, simple but with a little glitz… anyway, these are the photos I sent to the contest, giving them ideas of the gowns I was interested in.
The two in the center are the ones I was most obsessed with. The center left image is a Kleinfeld Exclusive by Pnina Tornai (Style 31574544). The center right image is by Pronovias (Style Olga). This style is discontinued but similar Pronovias styles can be found here. The rest are all images from The Knot that are either discontinued or no longer have working links.
Are you ready to see the dress I won?

I loved what they chose. It wasn’t what I had pictured, but it was beautiful… and about 2 sizes too big. I’m not sure if something was off when I sent in my measurements, or if they just selected what they had, but… it was literally falling off me.
Not only that, but a few months later after debating whether or not to have it altered or keep looking, I realized… I was missing out on the fun of trying on wedding gowns. I really wanted that, it was something I had planned on for such a long time. Dress shopping with my mom
So I decided to at least look at other dresses. If not to find something new and that fit better, then at least for the experience. And so, that’s what I did… consequently, finding a new dress and one that was meant for me… the perfect gown!
To be continued in next week’s Wedding Wednesday post… The Dress, Part II!
P.S. I’m actually selling the above dress online at the moment, if anyone is interested. Brand new, never altered or worn. Email me for details. :-)

P.P.S. Military Brides— check out the Brides Across America website. Win yourself a dress!

PROJECT: Blue & Yellow Dove Save-the-Dates

Back in March, Felice and Christian asked me to design their save-the-dates. This is the final product. For more details about their colors and theme, and the see the rest of their bridal suite, click here.
This is the first of several paper details I designed for this particular wedding. More to come after August 26th. Can’t spoil the surprises for the guests, of course!

PROJECT: Blue & Yellow Dove Wedding Invitations

Two of my closest friends, Felice and Christian, are getting married this Friday. Felice and I have known each other since we were 10 years old and we went through all of middle school and high school together, then road trips throughout college from Boston to Rhode Island to Albany to New Jersey together… we both transferred schools throughout college, but that never stopped us from seeing each other.
Christian just finished up his 4-year enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served with Joshua at Camp Lejeune, and they deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan together. I met Joshua in January of 2008, the same month he met Christian and he became his closest friend in the USMC. So really, I’ve known Christian just as long as Joshua.
In the summer of 2009, Felice was planning to move down to North Carolina in between her semesters at nursing school. The boys had just gotten back from Iraq that spring, and Joshua and I thought it would be fun to set them up for a “summer fling.” Little did we know… it would turn into the real thing! 
For their save-the-date and invitations, Felice and Christian asked me to work with their colors, blue and yellow, and also with the dove theme they chose for their wedding. Blue is the couple’s favorite color, and yellow was Felice’s father’s favorite. He passed away when we were in high school. Doves also represent him to Felice. It’s such a special way to include his memory on their wedding day!
Felice and Christian were with us when Joshua proposed to me; Felice and I moved down to North Carolina in fall of 2010 and found places just 20 minutes apart; Christian was the best man at our wedding and Felice was one of my bridesmaids; I’m maid-of-honor at Felice’s wedding and Joshua is a groomsman. We’re one big happy family, really!
After the wedding, Felice will be moving up to Rochester where Christian is from, and Joshua and I will still be in Virginia until our next duty station comes along. It’ll be the furthest apart we’ve been in years!
Obviously though, we’ve made the distance work with our lovers during deployments, and we’ve made it work throughout our 15+ year friendship and all the moving around we’ve done. I’m so excited to take part in their special day. Now I’d best be off to polish off my maid-of-honor speech!

Blog Design Winner

It’s time to announce the winner of the blog design giveaway! Thank you so much to everyone who entered… I’m hoping to do more giveaways like this. Everyone should have a blog design they love! (It definitely helps keep you writing, too.)
I numbered everyone’s entries and used a random number generator from to select the winner. Double entries were given to those who also “liked” my design page on Facebook.

Sara from Sara & Her Soldier! Congratulations, Sara! I’ll be sending you an email soon with details about your new blog design.
Thank you again to everyone who entered! Stay posted for the before & after of Sara’s blog in a few weeks!

Awkward & Awesome Thursday!

One of my favorite blogs is Sydney’s over at The Daybook. She’s an adorable fashion blogger who hosts what she calls “Awkward & Awesome Thursdays” on her blog each week. They’re always so funny and make me laugh when reading them!
This week, I decided to link up. My awkward & awesome moments from the past week aren’t nearly as hilarious as Sydney’s, but I anticipate more to come if I remember to write these moments down going forward. I can be quite the clutz, and quite awkward at times. Though it’s all worth it in the end for the awesome!

♥ Showing up to “a couple of beers with friends,” only to realize that my only friend was sick in bed and it was a bunch of Marines blaring screamo music (thanks for that word, Erin!) and playing beer pong. I walked in, awkwardly looked around, kissed husband goodbye and walked out. No thank you!
♥ Busting out laughing while in the middle of a quiet theater watching “The Help,” all because of the following dialog:
“I think I’m going back to Sugar Ditch.”
“SUGAR Ditch?! You CAN’T you back to SUGAR Ditch!”
Because really? Sugar Ditch?! Even though it was quite awkward to have uncontrollable giggles in a silent theater.
♥ Trying on my bridesmaid dress for next week’s wedding, only to find out that it wouldn’t zip. Proceeding to panic while hauling ass to the store for some spanx and a bandeau to hold it all in… then finally getting it zipped after some makeshift tailoring (read: cutting up the lining) and having not one, but two people zip me up— but it does fit!
♥ The fact that there really is a place called Sugar Ditch. I Googled it. It’s in Tunica, Mississippi.
♥ Launching my new blog design and getting nothing but fabulous comments from you guys the first day. Seriously? Way to boost my ego, you fabulous friendsters. I needed that!
♥ Playing hostess to my family when they came to visit this past week, and baking a flawless Cheesy Baked Tortellini for dinner, a la Giada De Laurentiis. Nom nom nom.
♥ Edys Ice Cream on sale, 2 for $6. ‘Nuff said. (Could this be why my bridesmaid dress didn’t fit?)
If you post your awkward & awesome moments of the week, please do let me know. I love reading them!