Saturday, June 27, 2009

Let there be Light!

I have been stressing about centerpieces! I know, there is plenty of time between now and my wedding to find centerpieces but for some reason, I couldn't get them off my mind.

Our wedding location does not have tons of lighting. It was suggested that our centerpieces provide additional lighting. With the theme of the wedding and the overall look of the venue, I decided that lanterns would look amazing.

Can I just tell you, finding lanterns is tough! I searched all over the web, through popular stores, ect. but found nothing that I LOVED and was within our budget. Forever trying to find the best deal but LOVE what my end product is, I was frustrated by the amount of time this was taking.
Enter Planner/BFF for the next 7 months. She mentioned that she saw gorgeous lanterns at and they would be within our budget! The very next day my lunch break was used to find such lanterns. When I saw them, I fell in LOVE. Cautiously, I purchased one to show Groomzilla. After all, he also was looking for such lanterns and I knew he'd want to see what I came up with.

Groomzilla approved so now I was on a mission to find enough for all my tables. It took 4 trips and 4 different stores before we found enough! One specific trip was too funny to not share.
August15bride and I went shopping on our lunch break. We found 13 at that store and piled them into the back of my Mini Cooper. She suggests, might the candles melt in my car? Dismissing this, we head into our office for the rest of the afternoon.

After work, I headed to my car, opened the door, and I was instantly hit by a massive smell bomb of melted citronella candle! LOL. She was oh so right! As I drove home, all I could think of was that if I got pulled over, I was going to tell the police officer I was on my way to girl scout camp. The evidence would clearly resignate through the window and could be seen piled in the back of my Cooper. LOL Certainly a lady on her way to girl scout camp shouldn't get a ticket. :)
Luckily, I wasn't pulled over and luckily, my intention were never to use the candles that came in the lanterns. We will get red candles to match our colors. I am happy to report that we purchased all the lanterns needed and I am on to obsess about other things..

Here's a photo! Photo compliments of Groomzilla...

I Got My First Blog Award!!

I am proud to announce I got my first blog award!! August15bride nominated me for the Lovely Blog Award!! Thanks lady!! Today is her bridal shower! Well wishes for a memorable shower!

Now I pass the torch to 9 Lovely Blogs...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Found My Dress!!!

If you were in the Tampa Bay area on Saturday, June 13 and heard a long loud screetchy, shrilly sound, I apologize. I FOUND MY WEDDING DRESS!!! The scream was all but necessary. This was not an easy process ladies!

Going into the search, I never thought it would be so hard to find the dress of my dreams. To be honest, I never really had these dreams. Maybe that was my problem. Going into the search I had no idea what style I liked. I had some ideas of what styles complimented me best but no thoughts on theme or fabric.

I went to 6 different bridal shops and tried on over 50 dresses. I had five favorite dresses that I had pictures of me in. I sent these pictures to my trusted advisors (close friends and bridesmaids) and so thoughtfully talked about such dresses as #2 or #5 referencing when they came up in the series of pictures. All 5 of these dresses had a very similar style.

Then I had a minor set back; a moment I am not proud of. Yes, I had a minor bride meltdown. Groomzilla and I had a deep conversation about whether men can wear cream under black suits. This was sparked by the fact that I had not bought my dress and did not know what color it was going to be. Groomzilla and I agreed that the dress should be bought before we determine the men's attire and therefore, enter bridal meltdown. The pressure was on.

This was a Monday. I was determined to get to a dress shop and get some of that fine designer material around my little body if it was the last thing I did! I called a bridesmaid who so diligently met me for my dress search therapy.

Dang. I fell in love with another dress. Worse, this dress was COMPLETELY different than the other 5 dresses. Argh! It seems that I was back to the drawing board.

So this time, I went big time. One of the biggest bridal stores in Florida, CC's Bridal. I've heard a lot about CC's but was hesitant to go in there. You see, they have all the big designers and the big price tags to boot. I already fell in love with a dress outside of my budget so I was in fear of this place, really, fear! I figured I had to bite the bullet. Besides I was running out of stores to try in the Tampa Bay area.

The girl at CC's was great. She sat me down for quick consultation about what I was looking for in a dress and said she had just the designer for me. Yeah right, I heard that before! What could she know?

My friend and I settled into my dressing room as she came in with several dresses. She plopped the first Pronovias dress over my shoulders and zipped me up. I glanced in the mirror and thought to myself, "dang, this girl might know what she is talking about." I simply loved this designer, just not the dress.

When I first looked in the mirror at "the one." I was taken aback. I had a big smile on my face which was duly noted by Friend. I stared at it for a long time, taking in every detail. I LOVED it. I mean I really LOVED it. I had to get some reassurance from my mom, who was unable to be there. So I called her and told her as many details as I could. She was on board with the decision and I knew I was sold. I didn't want to take it off. I just kept looking in the mirror and smiling. Oh yes ladies, I found the One!!

This is NOT my dress. I just thought the pic was beautiful. You can find it at Fashion Weblog

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day to Honor All Love

On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional all race-based restrictions on marriage. Thank you to Mildred and Richard Loving for standing up for your love and in the process, standing up for mine.

The Wedding Loving v. Virginia was an important Supreme Court case, but it was also the story of a real couple. Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving grew up in Caroline County, Virginia. They fell in love and decided to get married. Unfortunately, getting married was not as simple in 1958 as it was today. Mildred was black and Richard was white. There were laws that forbade people of different races to marry each other. This was true in many states, including Mildred and Richard's home state of Virginia. However, interracial marriage was legal in Washington, DC at that time. Therefore, they decided to drive to DC, get married, and return to Virginia to begin their life together.

This proved to be a short term solution. The law in Virginia not only forbade interracial marriage ceremonies, but it also forbade interracial couples from getting married elsewhere and returning to Virginia. One night, while they were asleep, the newly-married Lovings were awakened by the police in their bedroom. The Lovings were taken to jail for the crime of being married.

The Trial When they went to trial, the judge found them guilty and sentenced them to a jail term of one to three years. However, the judge told the Lovings that he would suspend the sentence if they agreed to leave Virginia for a period of twenty five years. Given the choice between imprisonment and banishment, they chose banishment. The Lovings moved to Washington, DC.

The Legal Battle The Lovings were able to live together legally in Washington, but they did not have an easy time. They faced discrimination everywhere. They were not able to rent property in most parts of the city, and they were often the target of racist taunting. Also, they were facing the emotional hardship of separation from their families. Life was both difficult and unpleasant for the Lovings in Washington. They were having difficulty supporting their children. In desperation, Mildred sent a letter to Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States.
Mildred's letter was forwarded from the Attorney General's office to the offices of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) in New York. They took interest in the Loving's case and helped them find an attorney. Two lawyers, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, also felt that the Lovings were entitled to be married and to live in the state of their choice. They agreed to work on the Loving's case for free.

Their case went through many levels of the justice system and their appeal was denied every time. Eventually their case appeared before the United States Supreme Court. The Court decided unanimously in their favor. Finally, after nine years of struggle, the Loving won the right to live together as husband and wife in their home state. In the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren, "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides within the individual and cannot be infringed on by the State."

The Victory The Loving's case not only won them their freedom to love, but it also granted the same freedom to every interracial couple in every state in America. At the time of the Loving decision, sixteen states from Delaware to Texas had laws banning interracial couples. Loving v. Virginia (1967) made it illegal for these states to enforce those laws. This ended a long era of laws that were enforced in forty-two states over the course of American history. These laws did not only apply to black people and white people; many states also restricted relationships with Asians, Native Americans, Indians, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups.

The freedom to love is something most of us take for granted. Like many other freedoms, the right for interracial couples to be together was fought for and won as a part of our civil rights. Many people see this as the longest-lasting part of the legal segregation that used to rule our nation. The Lovings, like Rosa Parks, played an important role in freeing us from laws that punished people for no other reason than the color of their skin.
Thanks to august15bride for her post which is reposted here.
At our ceremony, Groom and I are having empty chairs in our first row to memorialize our passed loved ones. We will also be honoring Mr. and Mrs. Loving with memorial chairs. Will you be having empty seats for your passed loved ones? Or are you honoring them in another special way? Please share!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And Some More!

These gorgeous shots were taken by Todd Wilson with Celebrations of Tampa Bay!

Engagement Photos!!!!

I know, I know... I haven't updated you in so long! I have so many updates but haven't had time to blog.. Alas, I make you wait no longer. Here are some of our engagement photos!