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Serving as Maid of Honor

17 Oct

My cousin Ashley has officially walked down the aisle, and I have officially served as a maid of honor. Most of you have read along as we conquered the bridal party and bachelorette gathering. And since most of you attended the wedding, I’m not going to run down every little part. Instead, I’m going to tell you what you didn’t know from attending. This is the behind-the-scenes recap of the weekend’s festivities.

No. 1: Where’s the Marriage Certificate … So, Ashley learned you can’t get married without your marriage certificate. When the bride and groom showed up without it at the rehearsal, they were sent home on a scavenger hunt. As Ashley destroyed her apartment, she found the certificate in an unlikely place: under a huge case of bottled water. But, she found it and arrived back to the rehearsal in time to do two run-throughs.

No. 2: I’m No Martha Stewart … I made Ashley’s fake bouquet with ribbons from her bridal shower. Well, as everyone found out, I’m no Martha Stewart. As Ashley and Randy rehearsed, ribbons fell right off the paper plate holding them. I monkeyed around with it for a while before throwing in the towel. At least it looked pretty when we arrived!

No. 3: We Love Our Gift Bags … the bridal party received from nice loot from being a part of Ashley and Randy’s big day. Bridesmaids received cozy slippers, chocolate, popcorn, a bottle of wine (Ashley’s favorite kind) and the movie “Bridesmaids.” It was all in bags with our names on them! Sounds like a perfect Saturday night recovery bag. The guys got a nice engraved flask with a bottle of liquor. It was so thoughtful!

No. 4: Surprise, There is a Limo … Ashley had no idea that a limo was picking us up at her mom’s house and take us to the venue. We put Bryan to work, making him change the radio stations each time a commercial came on. We took a lot of photos, and Kaylee loved it as well. It was a fun time!

No. 5: Google Comes in Handy … So, you never know when you might need to consult Google for a little added direction. That was the case when we didn’t know which side you pin the flowers for a corsage and for a boutonniere. Thank god Google knows and was able to advise us as Ashley pinned flowers on our grandmother’s jacket.

No. 6: Oh Say Can You See … Everyone can get a little emotional at a wedding. And that certainly happened with the bride’s father saw her for the first time. But, the bride had a trick up her sleeve. She heard if you sing the Star Spangled Banner in your head, it keeps you from crying. Needless to say, we were all singing by the end of the night.

No. 7: Speeches Are Hard … As MOH, there came a time when I had to stand up to give my speech. Man, that was so much harder than I thought it would be. I managed to make people laugh and cry during mine … which I think means that it went really well. It was my few minutes to tell the bride how amazing she is, how happy I am to have so many wonderful memories with her, and how I can’t imagine my life without her. It was also my time to tell her how happy I was for her. I certainly got choked up! Now, if only I would have remembered that nifty trick.

No. 8: That Cake-Topper Is Heavy … The cake cutting went without a hitch. But what you don’t know (and I don’t think the bride knows this either) is that the cake vendor was having a terrible time getting the topper to stay put. It kept falling over while we were setting up for the wedding. My sister and I were standing by when it toppled off at one point. With the bride far away, I alerted the bride’s mom, who quickly got it handled. Way to go, Debbie!

No. 9: I Almost Had a Janet Jackson Moment … Yes, it is true. The top of my dress was nearly ripped off by the end of the reception. First, it started to break when I picked up Madison and walked her down the aisle. Then, as I was dancing my little tail feather off, it ripped again. Luckily, Tammy had a handy safety-pin and I managed to keep everything held together.

No. 10: Bring on the After-Party … Bar Orlando hosted one amazing happy hour after the event. With tequila flowing and a steady amount of guests, this party kept going til 4 a.m. We were quite the party animals!

And that’s life in a nutshell … Being Ashley’s maid of honor was certainly an HONOR and I’ll cherish the memories of that night for the rest of my life. Congrats again to Ashley and Randy. I love you!


Ashley’s Bridal Shower

22 Sep

If you have been following my blog for the last few months, you know that my cousin Ashley is getting married this October, and I’m the MOH (maid of honor for those not familiar with the wedding lingo).

Well, as tradition will have it, I threw this very special bride-to-be a bridal shower in her honor. Debbie was a HUGE help, selecting the venue (Catch 23), menu and more. I couldn’t have done it without her!

And one of the best parts was a big surprise for the bride: The bride’s best friend and a fellow bridesmaid flew in from Indiana for the big day. It was wonderful! I was so happy to see everyone come out to give Ashley lots of love and well wishes for her big day.

And I captured a few photos that I wanted to share with everyone. I hope you had an amazing bridal shower Ash, and I can’t wait for the wedding to be here!

And that’s life in a nutshell … hosting a bridal shower for my dear cousin was such an honor for me!


Bridesmaid Fabric

20 May

So, anyone who knows me knows that I HATE bridesmaid fabric. If someone can explain to me why a bridesmaid dress that costs more than $300 is made of the worst fabric in the world, I would love to hear the reason why. The fabric doesn’t breathe at all! Spending $300 for a dress is a little extreme anyway … and then you top that by making it out of fabric that is not even fit for my window curtains.

Ashley and I forever ago!

And that’s just another reason why I love my cousin Ashley. We recently went shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and she totally understand my hate for that fabric. Ashley is getting married in October and she has asked me to be her maid of honor.

I’m so honored to have the honor! I have never been a maid of honor before. And while I also hate giving speeches, it means so much that she wants me to be a part of her day. So, I was prepared to have to wear the nasty fabric … but this fashionable bride also doesn’t want that fabric at her wedding. So, we did some hunting and we found a great dress. I’m so excited!

Madison, Ashley and Randy

I think I’m most excited about watching Ashley grow up and turn into such an amazing woman. I remember when she was born, and she slept in this beautiful bassinet. As we got older, Ashley and I always spent a lot of time together … we played Barbies, we performed in talent shows, we went swimming together and jumped on trampolines … we drew animal figures on each other’s backs … and then, I went off to college. I didn’t get to see Ashley as much, but that changed again when Ashley moved from Indiana to Florida.

I was looking for a roommate at the time, and the timing was perfect. We looked at a few places and moved into a little apartment with granite countertops (that was HUGE at the time). And we got even closer. Ashley was there when I first started dating Steve, and I was there when she started dating Randy.

Ashley, Brooke, Stephanie and I at my wedding

We often laugh that that apartment is a life-changer. You either get married, have a baby or breakup in that apartment. You move on to your next life change. And all that happened in that apartment. Steve proposed to me in the living room of that apartment. Ashley found out she was pregnant. And I think I few people when through breakups either in the apartment or in the parking lot outside!

The bridesmaid dress I'll wear for Ashley's Big Day

Ashley was a bridesmaid in my wedding, and I’m so happy we got to share that moment together. Now, it is her turn to be the beautiful bride, and I can’t wait to be there … Well, I guess I just wrote my maid of honor speech!

So, that’s life in a nutshell … staying close with your family and sharing special moments by their side … and appreciate when the bride says “NO” to bridesmaid fabric!


Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries

10 May

Today is a very special today. On this very day 31 years ago, my mom and dad married in a small ceremony in Granger, Indiana. I’ve seen pictures of their wedding day … my dad had long hair and a suit with bell bottoms. My mom wore a wide-brimmed white hat with a yellow ribbon that complemented her dress. Dad, Mom, MommaNut, PoppaNut

In honor of their anniversary, I wanted to share some photos of my parents. These photos were taken at PoppaNut and I’s wedding in March 2010. I love the kind of marriage my parents have, and it is the kind of marriage that I’m also lucky to have. And that’s why PoppaNut and I have made additional vows on top of our Dad, Mom, Daviemarriage vows. It is our vow to go somewhere or do something wonderful on every anniversary we have. This past March, we took an amazing trip to Belize … and it was un-BELIZE-able.

And, we got to start a new tradition: anniversary gifts! I surprised PoppaNut with an inscribed pocketwatch, similiar to the one I gave him on our wedding day. I also Dad, MommaNutgave him tickets to a Yankees game, his favorite team in the whole world. PoppaNut got me a lot of gifts, but my favorite one was my anniversary band. It is just beautiful. And the replica top of our wedding cake was a very touching moment as well.

Here are the gift traditions for wedding anniversaries. Do you follow it or buy something you want that might not follow tradition. Tell me!

 Wedding-Gift Traditions

1st Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Paper
Modern Gifts: Clocks
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 1st Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 1st Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

2nd Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Cotton
Modern Gifts: China
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 2nd Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 2nd Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

3rd Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Leather
Modern Gifts: Crystal
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 3rd Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 3rd Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

4th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Fruit or Flowers
Modern Gifts: Appliances
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 4th Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 4th Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

5th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Wood
Modern Gifts: Silverware
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 5th Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 5th Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

6th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Candy or Iron
Modern Gifts: Wood
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 6th Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 6th Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

7th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Wool or Copper
Modern Gifts: Desk Sets
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 7th Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 7th Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

8th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Bronze or Pottery
Modern Gifts: Linens or Lace
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 8th Anniversary Resources
Readers Respond: Read 8th Anniversary Stories and Gift Ideas

9th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Pottery and Willow
Modern Gifts: Leather
Related: 9th Anniversary Resources

10th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Tin or Aluminum
Modern Gifts:Diamond Jewelry
Celebrating: Ideas and Symbols
Related: 10th Anniversary Resources

Find more here.

And that’s life in a nutshell … remembering to celebrate the special moments in the your life with the one you love.

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