Monthly Archives: August 2013

It’s crazy to think that before summer began, I was still pregnant. And now, with the unofficial end of summer around the corner, I can’t believe I have a three month old! I wish I could say we have awesome plans for the three-day weekend, but I’ll probably just be catching up on some work. But if you have fun plans, I want to hear all about them in the comments!

Can you believe this dress is made of wood?! via sfgirlbybay.

I’m a big fan of the breakfast sandwich.

Cheerful bobby pins.

Such a sweet expression of 73 years of love.

Key lime pie popsicles.

Remembering what you did do, rather than what you didn’t, via Jane’s twitter.

35 things I want my daughter to know about girlfriends.

Inspiration board? How about an inspiration trellis.

Such a funny and cute mermaid doll (if only I sewed).

Every family should have an Ugly Photo Book.

How about a confetti wedding cake?

This mixed berry cream soda sounds delish!

Have a lovely long weekend, everyone!

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Steven and Melissa have a funny little story of how they met… over a bottle of root beer shampoo that was a gift at a white elephant exchange at their church. But that bottle of odd shampoo was enough to get them chatting! Just a few days later, Steven got up the courage to call Melissa. After that, according to Melissa, they “spent every single day together until we were married just seven months later.”

Because they were so young (Steven was 23 and Melissa was 19), Steven had a little trouble convincing Melissa’s mom to give her blessing for their marriage. “When I first asked Melissa’s mom for permission to marry Melissa, she denied me, telling me we were too young and it wouldn’t work. I took this very hard. At first I felt like we would just marry without her blessing, but I realized I wanted her blessing more than anything and I would do anything to gain it. It took a week or two before she realized we were truly serious and finally gave in. I must admit ever since that day I feel like I must live up to that commitment I gave to her that I would take care of her daughter. I don’t want to let her down.”

So just seven months after meeting, Steven and Melissa tied the knot in a simple church ceremony and backyard reception. Melissa explains, “Our wedding was extremely simple. We had virtually no money, just our love. We were married in our church, and then had an open house reception in Steven’s parents’ backyard because we couldn’t afford anything more. It was an incredible day though, we were so happy and it didn’t matter even if we never got to eat anything at the reception!”

Melissa said their first year of marriage was the hardest. “Our first year of marriage had its trials and successes. We were poorer than most church mice. Our first apartment was $400/month and we could hardly afford it. But our first fight was one to remember: it wasn’t about the toothpaste or which direction the toilet paper should face but about cheese. We were at Costco and only had enough money to buy one block of cheese. Not two, one. Steven wanted Colby Jack and I wanted Mozzarella. We had been so kind to one another, but then suddenly the tension had risen and it broke over the cheese. We both left Costco without any cheese that day.

“It wasn’t really about which cheese was better or that we could just afford one or the other. We realized we hadn’t been communicating well enough. We both had been trying to just make the other happy in all things. Without being honest and up front about how we felt about different things, the tension rose and eventually a straw broke the camel’s back.”

Over the course of their ten years of marriage, Steven and Melissa have remembered their first fight and worked to communicate with each other. “We are one another’s sounding boards. We know we will be honest with one another and we don’t turn to other people when we need to talk things out, whether good or bad.” The couple has triumphed through working two jobs each while they attended college, job losses, starting a new company, an MBA program, and now three little kids at home. (They welcomed baby Winston on July 30th this year!)

Melissa’s advice to pass along to newlyweds is particularly lovely: “My Mom always gave me the advice that you treat your partner like the person you would want them to become. Not to say that you are trying to change the person, but rather treating them as the person they are capable of being.” What an incredible way to show respect for your spouse throughout the years!

Snapshot of a Marriage” is a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage. With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was important to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too! Click here to see previous Snapshots.

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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It seems like sometimes “traditional” gets a bad rap, but when we see Lauren and David’s wedding pics from Clark Brewer, we’re reminded of just how lovely traditional can be. For starters, the bride wore her grandmother’s dress; at the reception was a table with a framed photo of each bride that had worn the dress, with name and date under each – what a special detail! And of course you can’t go wrong with a classic tux (paired with lucky dice cufflinks).

Bridesmaids wore strapless gray chiffon dresses from Bari Jay and carried bouquets of white hydrangea.

Why did Lauren and David choose Castle Hill“We both wanted to get married in Oxford because the town had served as the center hub for our 3 year long-distance relationship. We have so many memories there since David attended undergrad at Ole Miss and I attended law school there. We looked at many different venues but decided on Castle Hill because of its picturesque scenery, and amenities that made it possible for the entire wedding party to stay there all weekend.”

The wedding cake alternated layers of red velvet and vanilla, covered in white chocolate buttercream. The groom’s favorite baseball team is the Cubs, so his cake was a cookie cake decorated with their logo, and photos of the bride and groom on trips to Chicago surrounded it.

Love this series of from the couple’s exit! It looks like rice, but it’s actually lavender buds…



What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by previous family weddings, memories, and images I chose from Pinterest. I didn’t look at bridal magazines because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I wanted the overall day to be relaxed, classic, pretty, and special. I let that overall theme guide me.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My favorite part of my wedding day was the first few seconds after David and I had been announced as “Mr. and Mrs. Steele.” At the beginning of the ceremony as I walked down the aisle, I only looked at David, taking in every step towards my very soon-to-be husband. When we walked back I got a chance to look at all the people who had gathered to celebrate us, and I have never felt so loved and special – on the arm of my husband and looking at all the people I love. I was so filled with joy and love. It was so special and my favorite part of my wedding day.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding? It has been a tradition in my family to wear Ama’s (my grandmother’s) wedding dress. She bought the dress in Iowa for her own wedding in 1954 for only $250. My two aunts were the first to wear the dress after my grandmother (Mary Al Alford and Susan Cobb). My cousin Leah was next, followed by my sister Jenny, then my cousin Sara and lastly, me. No one has drastically changed the dress, some have added a sash, or shortened the sleeves a bit. I wore it plain just as my grandmother did. We also have a tradition to throw lavender during the departure of the bride and groom and we did that as well. It smelled wonderful!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To soak in every moment, knowing that this is the only time every single person you and your husband love will all be together at one time, under one roof. Not to focus on the details so much, but to just enjoy the people that are there to celebrate you. And also to wait a week before going on the honeymoon – we were exhausted!

What advice do you have for other brides?  I had no idea just how many decisions you have to make as the bride. How many shades of white, ivory, pearl, and blush there are to choose from and how many different ways there are of doing things. My advice would be to always keep the happiness of marrying the love of your life at the center of planning, and to just pick whatever your favorite is (cake flavor, flowers, shade of blue) at that time. When you look back, you’ll remember how much you loved it then, in that moment.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  I loved how everything was right there, in that one location. From waking up next to my sister upstairs, to going downstairs for brunch with my bridesmaids, to walking around the grounds for pictures, having the ceremony, and then dancing in the same place I had said my vows only moments before, there was a very un-rushed and relaxed atmosphere to the day which really allowed me to soak it all in and enjoy each moment of the day. It was great.

Photographer: Clark Brewer / Venue, Catering: Colonel’s Quarters at Castle Hill in Oxford, Mississippi / Event Planner: Katherine Bailey / Tuxedo: Oxford Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bari Jay / Floral Designer: Keith Winchester, 601-251-0905 / Music: 24/7 via Prime Source Entertainment / Cake: Cory Lewis
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Our friends at Minted are back with their biggest giveaway yet: one lucky winner will receive a $1500 Minted credit, and two runners-up with will each receive a $250 Minted credit! How fun is that!

If you’re unfamiliar with Minted wedding invitations and save the dates, then I am so pleased to introduce you. And if you’re already a big fan like I am, then you know why I like Minted so much! For starters, they offer a huge range of styles, created exclusively for Minted by independent designers. Here are a few favorites…

My little sister’s wedding is coming up in just a few short weeks, and she chose this fun kraft paper number for her invitations! (More on that in another post.)

The newest awesome service Minted offers? FREE recipient address printing! Perfect for busy brides (and grooms) looking to cross one more thing off the wedding planning To Do list.

Minted also has some of the sweetest save the dates you’ll find anywhere. Photo or non-photo, postcard or magnet, they’re all printed on luxe paper and fully customizable. And how much do you love the fun shapes you can choose from?!

The best part of Minted is that they combine the ease of online shopping with the premium service of a custom experience. Their Perfection Team will make sure that you’re 100% satisfied with your wedding invitations – and they can even help with etiquette advice!

Okay, now the part you’ve been waiting for – the scoop on how to win a $1500 Minted credit… Just visit this link to enter, before Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 11:59pm PST. Good luck!


This post sponsored by Minted.

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When Ryan and I were engaged and living in Austin, one of the places we considered getting married was at the Plant at Kyle. Karen explains exactly what’s so cool about the venue: “We loved how our venue, the Plant at Kyle, felt like a ranch in the middle of nowhere, but a ranch like nothing you’ve ever seen. The buildings are made from a repurposed cement plant from the 1920s, and they have a gorgeous modern, industrial meets rustic aesthetic. We also loved the simplicity of getting married under a grove of trees.”

Suzi Q Weddings Suzi Q Weddings

The bride designed the peach and gray stationery suite, which was mailed in a kraft paper envelope.

The ceremony took place under huge oak trees.

The couple’s favorite part of the day? “We took 15 minutes to ourselves immediately after the ceremony and that was incredibly special. It was important to us to have a private moment alone.”

What’s a Texas wedding without a tequila tasting bar?

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the couple offered their guests a variety of pies including blueberry, pecan, apple, key lime, coconut crème, and dream pies – served with Blue Bell ice cream of course!

Suzi Q Weddings Suzi Q Weddings



What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We were inspired by a friends’ wedding where they had made every part personal – even parts you wouldn’t have ever thought to customize. So we questioned every element of our wedding to make sure it was something we wanted and that it felt like us. We also used the Plant’s industrial and rustic style as inspiration for many details.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  At the wedding, stay close to each other the whole night. It can be easy to treat it like a normal party and split up sometimes, but this is about you two and sharing the whole night makes it more special. It sounds like a small thing but we thought that was valuable advice.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Try to make the whole day leading up to the wedding as relaxing as possible. There’s no reason to rush or try to cram too much in or worry about getting last-minute things done. You should enjoy yourself.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Ask for favors. If you have a friend who does flowers or DJ’s or bakes, don’t hesitate to get them involved in the wedding. Also, prioritize what you’re willing to pay more for and then don’t worry as much about other things.

Photographer: Suzi at Q Weddings / Venue: The Plant at Kyle in Kyle, Texas / Event planner: Mariska Nicholson / Dress: Reem Acra / Earrings: Vintage / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Suit, Shirt: Theory / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Stationery Printing: Studio on Fire / Floral designer: Belva Green / Rentals: Marquee Rentals / Ceremony Music: Kay Kidd and Javier Chaparro / Reception Music: Soul Happening DJ’s /  Caterer, Pies: 34th Street Cafe / Ice Cream: Blue Bell /  Videographer: Photohouse Films / Lighting: Ilios Lighting
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