Friday, November 13, 2009

The Almost Famous Experience

It was one week ago today that I met the lovely Jewel. It’s something I never actually thought would happen to me and still can’t believe it did (thanks Whitney!).

My story of Jewel starts like most…an amazing album called Pieces of You. As a 13 year old girl, I was convinced every one of those songs was about me or someone I knew! I really think that’s the beauty of Jewels music…we can all relate and a lot of the lyrics are open to interpretation.

After Spirit was released, I began scouring AOL (the dial-up version) for fellow Jewel fans. I found a lovely group that called themselves EDAs (Every Day Angels). They were astounded to hear that all I had in my Jewel collection were her two released albums! A guy on the newsgroup (I wish I could remember his name so I could thank him!) quickly sent me a 3 disc set of the “EDA Essentials” which included songs like Rocker Girl, Down at the Bridge, A Very Big Girl, and Fly to Me Angel. The bootlegs on those CDs had me hooked! I’ve been a loyal fan since!

Now…back to the concert! The music and words of Jewel have been with me through the many ups and downs of the last 13 years and I wasn’t sure I was ready to meet her! With doing so, she’d become real and tangible. What if she was rude? It could ruin the relationship I have with her music!

Upon entering the Beau Rivage Theater, Matt and I were brought in to a dressing room back stage to wait with fellow Meet & Greet folks (Jewel fans are SO nice!). Before we knew it, Jewel was in the room, signing pictures, and taking photos. After the last photo Amy brought us in to another room to interview Jewel. I was a bundle of nerves and still wasn’t exactly sure what to even ask her. Jewel’s life has really been an open book so I’d surveyed fellow fans for a few suggestions. I don’t remember much about the interview! She was very warm and friendly and it was over in a second. I just couldn’t stop looking at her…she’s a real person! I also couldn’t stop nodding (apparently I agreed with what she was saying)!

After the interview Amy gave us a tour of back stage and we got to go on stage to see Jewel’s point of view…quite a thrill! Amy and Curt were very welcoming and wonderful throughout the experience.

This was my third Jewel concert and it was amazing as usual. I gave my sister and brother-in-law (Lauren and Nick) the original tickets I had purchased…they are now fans and understand why I love her music.

The Tuesday following the concert, I decided to take my admiration a step further and get a Jewel themed tattoo (I’m not that “weirdo fan”…I swear!). I had a black star on the back of my neck and I’ve wanted something around it for a while. What would be better than a symbol of some of my favorite Jewel lyrics? I decided on a swallow (to represent the song Little Bird and hint at Jupiter), a flower (“she’s a flower that grows despite cement holes, and she will survive” – Flower), the existing star (“don’t wander too far, my one constant star” – Last Dance Rodeo), a music note, and to wrap it all up – Jewel’s signature that she signed in my copy of A Night Without Armor. I had it designed by Ben Thomas at Tattoo Zone in Mobile, Alabama and I love the results!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the results

We've had an engagement session once before (by another photographer). The photos were okay, just not the style we wanted for our wedding. After much deliberation, we decided to just lose the deposit and hire the (way out of my budget) photographer I'd been lusting after for over a year. They are very professional and have amazing talent!

Here are the results of our most recent (and final) engagement session by Robinson Studio & Design. The photos were taken at Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Friday, October 9, 2009

engagement session!

The session was tons of fun! We were really hot and sweaty...90s in October, really?! Hopefully we somehow managed to not look gross in the pics :) I hope we get to see them soon! While we wait I'll just drool over RS&D's most recent session from last week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


My engagement photos are in the morning and I am too excited to sleep! They've posted a few sessions on their facebook recently ( They are amazing! I'm nervous and worried that I won't pose right and I'll look like a weirdo... We're bringing props and I've looked at tons of other sessions. I think my mind is too full! I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time flies

Wow I haven't blogged in 2 months! Since then it's been a whirl-wind.

I have less than 5 months 'till the wedding but I feel like I'm ahead of schedule. I have all my vendors lined up with deposits paid. I just hope I'm not forgetting anything! Let's see...venue, catering (I have decided on Dreamland even though there is no contract), DJ, photography, florist (post on florist to come). I still need to contact a rental company for chairs.

Now I have college football and coming upThanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, Valentine's Day, and Mardi Gras...I have a feeling time is going to keep flying!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

flower board

I met with a florist last week without all my ducks in a row. It wasn't fun! I find myself getting swayed in to things I don't care for and I don't know why! The estimate she gave was for 10 centerpieces, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bride bouquet, 2 corsages, 9 bouts, and some filler flowers for cake/buffett cables. The quote was probably reasonable but still over my budget.

I made another meeting with a highly recommended florist across the bay for next week. I'm ready with a flower board for this one! I have scoured the internet for inspiration (and I've seriously lost sleep to do it)! But, alas, I now know exactly what I want at our wedding...and here it is:
Now I just need to find a florist that will do all that for my budget! :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

re-vamped wedding board

Making a wedding board is my therapy! I love to see all my ideas come together.

I'm still drifting further from the "autumn" colors. I wonder if I'll sway back when fall arrives. I hope not because by then it will be too late to change all my plans! :) But, since the tones are changing - that means I now have lots of fall foliage, pinecones, wreaths, etc that aren't going to be used. I'd love to post them for sale somewhere and perhaps help a fall bride because I'm sure those items are hard to find right now. I think I'll put them on WeddingBee Classifieds in the next week or so.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

fickle for sure

Yea...I suppose I chose the right blog name. I'm in the midst of changing my mind again! Originally I planned on having potted mums at my fall wedding as centerpieces. Now I'm considering a few stems in mason jars. I already have lots of mason jars at home and some more I recently lent to a friend for her reception. If I do mason jars, I'll do white linens with burlap runners - quite the opposite of the chocolate pintuck linens that were a must only a week ago. Perhaps a long engagement is not best for me...there's way to much time to think! Anywho - here are some pics I found on weddingbeecom from Mrs. Cherry Pie that I ADORE!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wedding Board

Here's my latest and greatest wedding board!

With summer here...I feel myself drifting away from the autumn colors and more toward brighter oranges...and adding some pink. I really like the bouquet in the picture with the bride - perhaps with some more orange roses and less green (although some green helps the other colors pop). I also originally planned on wearing blue shoes as my something blue. But, white wedding shoes are so pretty and make pretty pictures! :) I do want fun shoes for the reception though (I like the idea of boat shoes...I haven't been able to convince anyone else that they are a good idea). I foresee issues of casual vs. elegant/classic in the future - I hope to find a middle ground somewhere along the way...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Budget..the topic of the week

A lot of the blogs around the circuit have recently wrapped up their weddings and have begun to discuss their budget (expectations versus reality). I try to just pretend I don't have a budget! But, I do - and it's about $8,000. When I was first engaged (YEARS ago) my budget was $10,000. But that sounded like too much money to I cut it in half. $5,000 ended up being a little unrealistic - now we're at $8,000 ($7,352 to be exact, but I'm sure there will be some last minute details and things I've left off).

While trying to keep a small budget, I tried to follow the suggestions of other sites and make a list of my top priorities for our wedding. That didn't go so well! When looking at each item individually - they all seemed important! Food? Yea, we want great food and plenty of it. Music? At first, I was considering the iPod route - but I found a GREAT DJ and they're worth every penny (or more). Dress/Shoes/Attire? Well, who doesn't want to look great? Photography? I tried to go budget on photography but going with an experienced pro is a MUST for us. Paper? Yes, please!

I worked backwards and found the vendors I wanted (through bridal shows, internet, other brides) and made my budget set on having them help with my wedding. I have basic figures that I'm willing to pay for services (based on local sites and other brides in the area) and I go in to my search with that figure in mind. Vendors are a lot more willing to talk when you have a budget in mind. They can tell you right off what they can offer in your price range. One serious budget saver is having our wedding on a Thursday! On venue alone we're saving $1500. We've also used it as a bargaining chip with other vendors as well.

I realize while $8,000 is a lot to me - it's not nearly enough for the weddings in larger cities. I guess living in Mobile, Alabama has its perks! I do hope to stay under budget over all. As long as I can stay away from temptation, it seems very possible. Only time (8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days) will tell!

Another Month Closer

Well, we're one month closer to the at 8 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days! (I have a ticker on my google homepage - I'm not actually doing the counting.) I'm, of course, thrilled the day is getting closer. I just wish it would hurry! I have such a tendency to change my mind often that it makes it hard to plan so far in advance.
Since my last post I've done a couple of wedding related tasks:
I wrote a bridesmaid newsletter. That was actually more fun than I thought it would be. Hopefully the newsletter will serve as a way to inform everyone of the same details and let everyone know anything that might be expected of them (they're all first time bridesmaids). I've also ordered our invites!
I've also ordered our invites. As I've said before, they were designed by the very creative Kimi at Printable Press. I had them printed by Cat Print and they're already on the way (I ordered Tuesday at around 10 pm) that's service! I'll be sure to post photos and details when they arrive next week!
What were you doing at the 8/9 month mark? What should I be doing? I'm open to suggestions and itching for a wedding is wedding season after all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Flowers are probably the next thing I'll tackle (and they're something I've been sort-of avoiding). I feel like I'm a little scattered! I'm trying to stay away from the rusty/burnt autumn orange and lean towards the spring oranges and maybe throw in some other colors? I can use colors that aren't anywhere else in the wedding, right? I'm sure there are rules I should be following! ;)
Here's a picture of the flowers on my invite that I'd like to use for color inspiration:

side note - My invites were designed by Kimi from She's so nice and easy to work with! I love love love my invites and can't wait to see them printed!
Here are some bouquets I've saved from around the web over the last year (if they're yours...let me know and I'll give credit!):


Last month I assembled my timeline for the things to do leading up to the big day. Well, this month (June) I am supposed to:

contact florist for bouquets & boutonnieres (Belle Bouquet – July 1 @ 5pm)
pick first dance song
research and choose caterer
get invites printed

I've made a florist appointment. I guess I'll call tomorrow to make some more appointments with other florists? I'm just indifferent when it comes to flowers. I know I want orange flowers that are full and fluffy. But, I also don't want to pay much for them. When planning for October I was just going to make my own bouquets. But, I think March might be a bit harder. Things may start to bloom mid-March...but, weather can be unpredictable. So, I think the bouquets are best left in the hands of a professional. I'll still try to do the potted plant centerpieces on my own.

First dance song - I cannot figure out what to choose! Here are the choices:
Jewel – Angel Standing By
Jewel – Jupiter
Jewel - Absence of Fear
Jane Monheit & Michael Buble – I Won’t Dance
Michael Buble - Moondance
Faith Hill – Breathe
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
Norah Jones – The Nearness of You
Frank Sinatra – Cheek to Cheek
None of them jump out at me. Matt and I both love music - but we don't have "our song". He seems to have no opinion on the matter. How do I decide? Maybe another song will come along that is "it". I'd love to do a choreographed dance but I don't just have two left's more like I have no feet!

Caterer - I've contacted about 5...heard from a few. I don't think I like Stapleton anymore. No real reason...I've just decided I don't want a whole pig. I'm still in love with Dreamland BBQ and may choose them if no one else works out. If I do, I'll probably wait until closer to the wedding to meet with them for details since they seem to be a little unorganized (the manager mentioned they don't have a 2010 calendar yet).

Invites - They're ready to be sent to the printer. I just haven't done it yet because I feel like it's too soon!

As you can see, I could wait for most of this stuff. I placed these items in June's to-do so I'd have SOMETHING to do! It's wedding season and I have the itch! What else should I be doing? I'm a little over 9 months out. Since moving the wedding from October - I've had to slow my roll (yea, I have a roll!). All of my checklists are checked!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Since my decision on Saturday to choose a new caterer, I've found two I'm interested in (Dreamland BBQ and Stapleton Catering). I've contacted them both and here's what I have so far:

Stapleton Catering

  • fried chicken fingers with dipping sauce
  • whole roasted pig with jezebel and bbq sauce (carved by chef)
  • macaroni and cheese
  • potato salad
  • sweet tea
  • rolls

Grand total including servers, utensils, plates, napkins, cups, etc: $1524

The person I've been speaking with has been nice and helpful.
They are on the list of recommended vendors at the Five Rivers.
I have a friend that has attended an event catered by them and said it was yummy.

They don't have tastings! :(
I'm back and forth about having a whole pig on site. A little creepy, right?
Oh, and did I mention they've said there is NO WAY I can taste the food?!



  • ribs (20 slabs)
  • pulled chicken
  • pulled pork
  • mac & cheese
  • baked beans
  • potato salad
  • garden salad (with assorted dressings)
  • sweet tea/ unsweet tea/ lemonade
  • banana pudding

Grand total including servers, plates, utensils, signature barbecue sauce, sliced white bread, buns for pork & chicken, pickles, wet-wipes, and bibs: $1318.00

I've eaten their food and LOVE it! I often find myself craving a smoked chicken sandwich!
Dreamland is a southern barbecue favorite and known state-wide for their ribs.
Lots of food for the money!

So far, they've been difficult to get in touch with at times (I attribute this to the fact that they're a popular local restaurant).
There's no deposit, contract, etc! (What if they don't show up?)
They're not a normal "wedding" caterer. They do more of the football game type events. This could be considered a pro and a con...right now it's more of a con considering the first two cons I've listed.

I guess I'll sleep on it for a little while. I have plenty of time...but, the sooner the better! ;)

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I just attended a friend of a friend's wedding. I was looking forward to attending my first wedding since the start of planning my own. Afterwards, I definitely recommend that brides-to-be attend as many weddings as possible!

The wedding was a more traditional wedding with over 250 guests! There was a Catholic ceremony with a reception also at the church. It wasn't a rec hall but more of a building with lots of rooms. Two of the rooms had hors d'oeuvres, one had the bar, one had tables for guests, and in the middle hallway room is where lines formed and they had the guestbook. Outside there was a tent with the DJ playing pop/dance music and another bar. Her flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces were hydrangeas in white and purple. The bridesmaids wore floor length, strapless lavender dresses. It was a pretty evening. But, it just wasn't me...which is good because it wasn't my wedding!

All in all, the whole event made me realize that I love every choice I've made so far...except one. I'm now not sure about Tyner's Catering (they catered the reception). They are LOVELY people and the food was fine. But, I really want something memorable/different...and I want to FEED people (I think I get that from my mom)! I want to choose a caterer that will also help have a casual feeling. So, what about Dreamland Barbecue ( I love their pulled chicken! And, I know, I know...barbecue in a white dress?! But, I'm really a clean eater...and I don't love barbecue sauce. They also provide bibs with their catering...that would make some cute pictures! :)

I'm going to do some research over the next few weeks. If you know me, you know I live for researching wedding vendors right now. So, I'm kind of glad I get to look for a new caterer! Sick, right? :)

Monday, May 25, 2009


I just realized I never posted about our photographer! We started our adventure with a new local photographer that was giving us a GREAT deal to help build her portfolio. However, after our engagement photos, we just weren't completely happy for various reasons (personality, professionalism, editing skills, etc). I spoke with my my mom and moh about it - and they both agreed that we should stretch the budget and look for a new photographer. I love wedding photos and had put photography near the top of my priority list. After re-evaluating the budget..and adding a little, I contacted my favorite wedding photographer that I've lusted after since meeting the pair at a wedding show. We were able to fit everything I wanted in to my new budget - and the contract is signed! Our wedding new photographers are the husband and wife team of Robinson Studio & Design ( I know Bill & Jaclyn will do an amazing job capturing our day! We hope to have another engagement session around September/October...hopefully I'll find some great outfits, an amazing location, and maybe even shed some pounds by then (a girl can dream)! Here are a few photos from our session with the first photographer:

wedding board

Okay so I'm a horrible blogger already! I thought that might happen. I just get caught up reading all the "real" wedding blogs that I adore!

Last night I assembled a board for my wedding! I've done a few - they really help me see things come together. I like how it looks thus far. Matt thinks it's still a little too "autumn" for March. But, oh well - here's the board:

It's interesting to see the progression from my first wedding board. I made the layout before even beginning the planning process. A lot of ideas have changed since the start - but overall a warm, welcoming feel has remained constant.

First ever wedding board:

And there you have it! I can't wait to see if the evening comes close to my inspirations!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the gist


Our ceremony and reception will be held at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Alabama ( At six in the evening the ceremony will take place on the pier with our guests along the deck watching over. We will have wireless mics so everyone can hear our vows. After a short (but sweet!) ceremony, everyone will head inside for a casual reception with seasonal hors d'oeuvres and light music. If it's cold enough, we'll have a fire going! I'm really putting a lot of work into the details, so I hope everyone loves it!


The event will be catered by Tyner's Catering ( They will be preparing some delicious gumbo, yummy cajun turkey, and scrumptious twice baked potatoes, along with many other treats for our guests. They have been a PLEASURE to work with!


Okay, Terrence Howard and Eva Longoria Parker aren't my DJs...but it's close! My music & more team is Jason and Torrie of Southern Sounds DJ Entertainment & Design ( They're amazing! They make a great team and their attention to detail has already helped me with some logistic issues I didn't even know I had (ie - how to get the bride TO the aisle)! They will not only be providing the music for the evening, but also all the lighting to create the ideal ambiance! Matt and I clicked with them on our first meeting! I know everyone that attends the reception will LOVE them!


The bridesmaids will be wearing knee-length brown dresses along with a jacket to keep off the chill (remember, it WILL be chilly *crosses fingers*). The dresses have a nice beaded waist and the jackets have a matching beaded collar. The dresses were a STEAL at about $60 each!


Tada, this is my first time putting my dress out for all to see (except Matt...he will not find out about this blog). The picture is of me in the smaller size than the one I have. So, don't worry, I'll be able to breathe! I never imagined myself in a strapless dress. I had tons of pictures of nice ivory dresses that are off the shoulder, and a few halter. But, after trying many on, I kept coming back to this dress. I actually didn't like it at all the first time I tried it on! I also ordered a lace bolero custom made by Angelika at Etsy ( She is so sweet and has beautiful work for a bargain! I'll post more pics as soon as I get some of the bolero and dress together.

Those are all the details set in stone thus far. I can't wait to finish planning and see it all come together!

my new blog

I plan to use this blog to hash out all the wedding jargon that swims around in my head from day to day. Since I've moved my wedding from October to March - I'm ahead on my planning. I now have an extra 4-6 months (depending on how you count - I like to not include the current month or the month of when I'm counting down to the wedding!). You'd think being ahead would be a good thing. But, so far it's just made me reconsider EVERY detail I've already planned. Now that I have time, and possibly more budget, should I change the location? The day of the week (we'd chosen Thursday for budget reasons as well as college football that happens every Saturday in the fall)? What about my autumn toned March?! Needless to say, I have a lot to figure out between now and March.

I'm pretty sure I'll stick with my colors. I've already purchased fall foliage, wreaths, mini pine cones, gold balls to put in glass jars, chocolate brown bridesmaid dresses, amber votives, had the invites get the idea, I have a lot in place! I have toyed with the idea of adding to the scheme. It was just a rust orange, gold tones, and a deep brown. What if I added plum or navy? I've tried to look for inspiration around the web with no luck at all. I'm really just going for a warm, inviting, elegant evening. I hope it's a little chilly in mid March!

We're going to keep Thursday too. Since seeing the advantages of Thursday pricing, I couldn't bear to pay for a Saturday wedding! If there's a budget surplus, we'll just have to put it elsewhere - or save it!