Thursday, July 23, 2009

First, please forgive me not having any photos on this post. I am on my way to Atlanta for my job.

I hope to still blog while I am on this trip but I can't make any promises.

Just to share, the trip I am on is a traveling course through the deep south on the Civil Rights Movement. It is a life changing experience.

Although this isn't bride related, I feel compelled to share some of it through the blog because this means so much to me and my relationship.

Well, we are off to Albany for a presentation of the Freedom Singers. We will be in Atlanta until Saturday morning.

My nights are free. Any ideas on things to do in downtown Atlanta?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sooo Pretty...

I love looking for wedding day jewelry! Look at these gorgeous pieces from Ross-Simons.

How Great is Gatsby?

I am a big fan of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love the plot but there is something about that era. The very first time we stepped onto our location's grounds, I felt there was something very Gatsby about it. Now with our rehersal dinner set at a classic car museum that houses several 1930's Ringling family cars, there will certainly be some classic 1920-1930's flair.

While searching for possible rehersal dinner outfits (and thinking it will likely be theme optional) I was turned on to this site... (Thanks Wicked Frills!!!)

Check out these great dresses! Any faves?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Something Blue!! The perfect cure to Naked Finger Syndrome.

My Groomzilla is the sweetest ever!! As background, my wedding band came in a couple weeks ago. (I know, ooohhhh and aahhhhhs, believe me, I was ecstatic!). My elation turned to concern when I looked at the two rings together and something just looked off. Groomzilla agreed; so we sent the two rings back to the store in hopes that they could make them look right.

Well this meant a naked finger for me. Ladies, have you experienced this? When my ring is off my finger, I feel anxious. I have seconds where I rub its usual location with my thumb, realize it isn't there, and then go into full fledged panic mode thinking I lost it. Not fun.

Groomzilla recognized Naked Finger Syndrome and came to my rescue. On HIS birthday, before we went out to eat with his friends he used his early release from work to go to the store and buy me this...

It is even from my favorite crystal store, you might have heard of them :) Groomzilla is so amazing! I can't believe I have to wait 198 days to marry him!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seven things I Learned as a Bride on a Budget

Groomzilla and I are taking care of the majority of our wedding on our own. Therefore, some bridal budgeting has certainly been taking place. I thought I would share some everyday cost saving tips that I have learned along the way of being a Bride on a Budget...

1)Limit your Dining Out - Groomzilla and I have learned that the majority of our expendable income goes to dining out. We actually LOVE to dine out. Since both of us are extremely busy, dining out has become a convenient truth. A tip to dining out less it to plan quick and easy meals for during the week. This has really helped in our overall nights out on the town. I used to go to the grocery store on my way home from work so that the stuf was fresh. I have learned planning a whole week of meals keeps us from dining out during the week (when we are especially tired and inclined to dine out rather than cook). The sheer idea of wasting what we already purchased to cook keeps us from straying.

2) If you dine out, Join the Club! Let's face it, you don't have to be a bride on a budget to be ON a budget these days. A positive way this has impacted dining out is that many restaurants are offering amazing deals and coupons. If you plan on dining out, join the club! Most restaurants have offers to join their "clubs". They'll send you special deals and coupons via email that can save you tons! For instance I joined the Boizao Steakhouse club prior to dinner out with a group of friends celebrating Groomzilla's birthday. With the coupon I got for joining the club, we saved $250.00 for the 8 of us! It was great! The friends enjoyed it and we all liked saving a little cash. Be sure to check out all of you favorite restaurants websites for these amazing offers.

3) If you dine out, Don't Drink! This is really two-fold. 1) We have learned that waiting until after dinner to have a nightcap at home is actually really enjoyable. We have a dinner without the bottle of wine we usually might splurge on out on the town and get home safely to have a little drink to top off the evening. It goes without saying that drinks on the town are not bridal budget friendly. 2) If you dining out for lunch or a casual dinner, drink water. Most places charge around $2.00 for a soda. This is a great one because it also limits your calorie intake, which of course most brides are happy to be doing.

4)Find alternative to expensive nights out with friends. We have started inviting friends over
for dinner rather than going to an expensive restaurant. Also, we have hosted Wii game nights.
Everyone loves a little Mario Cart.

5) Buy an Entertainment Book. Most metro areas have these and they are packed full of
great savings. The Tampa area book has grocery store coupons. Although the coupons are not
for my favorite grocery store, I found that my fav, Publix, takes them! There is one coupon
for each month for $5.00 off $50.00. How great is that? The Entertainment Book has tons of
coupons for local restaurants, movie theaters, museums and the like. The book usually costs
no more than $20.00 which you will undoubtedly recoup. Use these coupons for budget friendly
date nights and outings with friends.

6) Ruined clothes? Think again. Save money on new rags by thinking outside the box on old
ones. For instance, I burned one of my favorite black dresses with the iron. It was right on the
lapel, a most obvious location. My cost free fix? I found an adorable costume clip-on earring I
had in my jewelry box (one I would likely never wear on my ear) and pinned it right over the
burned area. Who would know?? Well I guess now you do, but you're not telling right?
Actually, I even have gotten compliments on my beautiful "brooch". Now if only I can figure out
a solution to all those pairs of shoes this guy has eaten!

7) Stick together! Staying on budget for a wedding can be tough. Remember that you are in it
together. When one is about to give in to a splurge, the other should softly remind that it is only
a matter of time when bridal budget breakdowns will be a thing of the past and splurges are

Add to my list! What are your favorite bride on a budget tips?

August15bride has a giveaway!

Check out august15bride's blog for an amazing giveaway! UPrinting is giving away a 16x20 print Rolled Canvas Print! What photo would you put on your new nests wall!

See the giveway HERE!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

To Theme or Not to Theme?

That is the question. A couple weeks ago, Groomzilla, The Wedding Planner, and I met with the rehersal dinner site again.

The date and time are confirmed and Groomzilla's parents are on board.. The question now turns to.. To theme or not to theme? As a reminder, we are having it at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum. Here is a photo...

We have such a festive location it really lends itself to theme. We thought we would go with 1920's-1930's inspired which really plays a perfect seguey to our wedding location.

I know that all of my bridesmaids are all about the theme. They are already planning out their hair and dresses.

Bridesmaids aside, what do you think about a theme at the rehersal dinner?

Our thoughts are to make it "theme optional" so that people won't feel like they have to dress in theme. What do you think?? Also, have any great websites with 1920's-1930's style inspired dresses you'd recommend?

Let them eat...

Cake! Some of you might have already read my post about my mom being an expert cake baker.. She has been making birthday cakes for me since before I could walk.

When mom came to visit several weeks ago she realized the logistical difficulty in getting a dressed up wedding cake to Sarasota in the back of a Mini Cooper. She won't be making the wedding cake but she is committed to making me a cake for one of my parties in the Midwest. (She just doesn't know it yet, LOL).

The Wedding Planner told us about an amazing lady that does cakes in Sarasota. Her prices are VERY reasonable and she is sooo talented.

Groomzilla, The Wedding Planner, and I met with last Friday. She is such a doll!! She has amazing creations and did I mention the price?? We are so excited to have another check off our list!

Our cake will be a combination of these two designs...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Honey, we'll have a honeymoon!!! BOOKED!

I have a traveler's soul. The most consistent thing about me is that I love to travel. I mean I LOVE to travel. So the thought of a honeymoon got my travel tastebuds all excited!

Groomzilla and I initially decided that we would have a "staycation" for our honeymoon. We thought being from Florida, we were perfectly capable of finding an amazing place right here near home. Then we remembered, a Florida vacation in February sounds extremely appealing to Northerners but for us Florida people, we like it a little warmer. LOL. 65 degrees just won't do (enter envious grumbles from my Northern family members).

When I got to searching, I came across a great resort in St. Lucia. Now all I needed was Groomzilla to sign on to it. When Groomzilla looked at the website, he quickly decided that upgrading our room to one with a private pool was a must. Oh geeze, here he goes again (I say in my most endearing voice).

Well needless to say, I was back to the drawing board (or in this case, my favorite trip planning website, Tripadvisor). For some reason, all of a sudden Acapulco, Mexico entered my head. I quickly did a search on my favorite travel websites.

What did I find??

Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, Mexico!!!!

Right after Groomzilla got into his head that we "needed" a private pool. I found a goldmine.

Las Brisas has something like 200 private and semi-private pools. Immediately I found out that a private pool casita for 7 nights 8 days and flights to Acapulco were comfortably in our budget. What!?!

Las Brisas is located a little outside of the city but within a 15 minute drive. The casitas are situated up the side of a cliff. The higher you are on the cliff, the better the view and the more private. They label the levels up the hill by numbers 1-5. Levels 4 and 5 are the highest and most exclusive. It was an even more pleasent surprise when we realized that we could get one of these rooms. These rooms are refered to the Brisas Beach Club and include an afternoon snack and wine. All rooms include breakfast each morning brought directly to your casita. They put the breakfast in a double door compartment so they don't have to bother you.

The private pools are just that! These aren't your average "plunge" pool that are a hair better than a bathtub. You can actually swim in these! This is perfect for Groomzilla and I. I will be swimming around in the pool while he sits under the tent with a cigar (the resort even has a cigar shop).

Of course, these pools over look the amazing Acapulco Bay. With a private pool and patio awaiting you right outside your room, who needs to venture out??

Of course, if we do venture out, we have the benefit of the Las Brisas Jeeps to take us around the resort. The jeeps can take you to the Las Brisas Beach Club which includes two natural pools and a freshwater pool.

Finally, we always can head into the city and watch the world famous cliff divers!