Friday, February 26, 2010


Good news and bad news...

The bad news is: We're not getting married in October. Don't worry though, we're still getting married!

The good news is: We're getting married in the spring of 2011 and we have confirmation (whew) that my dad will be contributing to the budget. 

Many of you may not have known this, but the wedding date and budget have been sore subjects for quite sometime now. Aaron and me wanted to get married about a year after his proposal in October (see here and here), but my dad -- being from the old school and all -- thought we needed to give our engagement more time. Meanwhile, he was also staying mute about his part in the budget.

So I know that we said October 24, 2010, and we weren't lying. That would be when we got married if it were up to just us, but that wasn't really a date without my dad's approval. It was more of a hope or a plan. I suppose that's what couples in love who are anxious to get married do, right?

So in a nutshell that means (whether you noticed or not), we've been planning a wedding, with little knowledge of the type of wedding we're going to have (fall or spring, big or small). Well, you can just imagine the stress we were going through not knowing when or how we'd pull this off. I will admit Aaron's been a lot calmer and patient than me. I've been pulling my hair out, crying, and throwing fits, because I wanted to know when and what kind. I wanted my dad to say, "This would make us happy..." and he really wasn't saying much at all. Call me a daddy's girl if you want, but it just means a lot to me that everyone is as happy and confident as I am that I'm getting married.

So now. Well, now it feels real. It feels new again. It feels like a fresh start. Believe me, I won't be getting much sleep tonight. The creative side of my brain is literally freaking out because we're going from a fall wedding to a spring one and it's like planning a totally different day. The logical side of my brain is freaking out a little bit too because now all the calanders, the discussions with vendors, the to do lists and the dates we set for things like the bridal show all actually mean something. We've finally got some butter to put on our bread.

 Everyone's backing us now and I'm so thrilled.

1. I'm really really happy that we don't have to debate the date anymore. 2. I'm super giddy that this time next year I'll be marrying Aaron! Ahh! Yay!!3. I'm relieved that my dad is ready to commit this. It's hard to explain, but my mom said it best... "This is a transition from being with the first man you ever loved to being with the man that you're in love with."

Did your parents help you set your wedding date?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anthropologie Dresses

The Dress for Any Occasion...

Lime Juice Dress {$138}

Drifting By Dress {$168}

Rising Vapor Dress {$198}

These dresses are a lot different than the bridesmaid dresses we've been considering from David's Bridal. David's bridal gowns (while they cost about the same) are much more formal than these dresses and I'm not sure which style I prefer.

I always thought the bridesmaids should be in long dresses, since my dress will be long, but I think there's something fun and flirty about a knee-length dress. I really like the trendy feel of these dresses. They've got cool textures, patterns, and colors. I want my girls to be comfortable and I want them to get a lot for their money...

Would you rather pay for an Anthropologie dress that you can wear more than once or a David's Bridal gown you'll probably be ready to ditch aftr the wedding?

The answer seems pretty obvious to me.

Also, how important is length? When is it appropraite to wear a short dress -- only during the summer or does it even matter?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love Chub

I've got a great topic to discuss from this month's issue of Women's Health Magazine and the article, "Prevent Love Chub!"

I know I'm not the first to admit this, but I'm saying it anyway. Before I was in a relationship, I was thinner and I was my smallest when I met Mr. B. Yet somehow over the last five years, I've gained an upwards of 20 lbs and I'm not even sure how. It'd be difficult to pinpoint just one reason really, because it could have been a number of things: our many restaurant excursions, late night Haagen Dazs tastings, or Saturday morning diner breakfasts...

Here's what Women's Health says about the Major Reasons Why Women Gain Weight While In Relationships: You Eat Out... All The Time, You're Always In Bed, You Match Him Bite For Bite, You're Happy, His Snacks are Your Snacks, or all of the above!

It's true... Mr. B and I love to eat out. Some might actually say we're obsessed. It's like a ritual for us. Every weekend we're either going to one of our favorite restuarants or trying someplace new. Did I mention we like to try everything on the menu? We're soo glutoness! We order an appetizer, a starter salad, we have our entrees, and yes, we are sticklers for dessert. Here's a picture I took of our favorite desserts from our favorite restuarants. Hello love chub!

According to Women's Health the solution is to EAT IN. Or, stay clear of the ice cream doughnuts and appetizers! Experts suggest cooking together or eating a healthy snack a few hours before your dinner out.

I'm also guilty of matching him bite for bite. Even if I'm full, I want to eat when he's eating. I don't know what it is, but I want to enjoy food as much as he does. It's hard to think I should restrain myself if he's not restraining himself. According to Women's Health the solution is to SERVE YOURSELF LESS. It's unfortunate and unfair, but "women burn 26 percent fewer calories than men do," which means I can't match him bite for bite and lose weight. It's impossible! 

Another thing Women's Health was right about is those snacks. Mr. B's favorite foods are a big trigger. He likes things like chewy chocolate chip cookies and snickers bars. If I don't have any better options nearby I'm bound to grab something of his. The solution? KNOW YOUR OPTIONS. Either eat a tiny bit of his snack or have a lower-calorie option on hand. Some of my favorites are Kellogg's 100 Calorie Fudge Shoppe Mini Fudge Stripes or Jell-O Dark Chocolate Pudding (only 60 calories).

Did you gain weight when you got in a relationship?

What are your favorite low-calorie snacks?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sneak Peek

From our adventure in NY...

These are just a few of the many pictures we took in New York. I'll be posting more later this week. You can look forward to seeing amazing vendor displays, couture invitations, delicious desserts, and yes... images from the Vera Wang Fashion Show!



 Lots more on the way!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Headed to NYC

Look where I'm going...

Click here for the buzz!

Happy weekend...

Financial Advice for Couples

Today I'm going to move away from talking just about the wedding to discuss marriage. I found a great article on called, "The Six Financial Mistakes Couples Make," that explains a few big problems that cause finances to come between a couple. According to the article, spending is the second most common reasons couple fight. The solution?

Keep Spending in Check

Wrong Approach: "I'm a saver and your a spender. That's the problem."

Right Approach: "We both spend, but on different things. Let's budget."

This point really hit home with me, because I think I've said the wrong approach to Mr. Brooch dozens of times in the past (like last week! yikes!) and even if I didn't say that exact phrase ("I'm a saver and your a spender"), I've thought it.

Mr. Brooch likes to spend his money on expensive stuff. He likes to go out to really nice restuarants and if he buys clothes, they have to be good quality, name brand. The thing is he only shops every once in a blue moon and we don't go out to fancy restuarants all the time.

It's hard to say what I spend my money on because I'm all over the place. I usually dwindle at my money, refusing to buy anything too expensive, but ultimately still spending a lot. If it's a friend's birthday, I will splurge on dinner and drinks for them. If I'm in the mood for crafts, I'll spend a pretty penny on a bunch of scrapbooking supplies.  Catch my drift?

We both spend.

Keep in mind that it's not that we shouldn't spend, because it's envitable that we will. It's that we should spend wisely. We also have to be careful not to judge each other for our spending habits. How do you do that?

Talk About It

The article suggests "sitting down and deciding how much money you're going to allocate to the 'dailyness' of life, and how much to save for the big purchases."

This might come as a surprise to some, but my dad requested a budget from Mr. Brooch and me. He wanted to see how planned to maintain our bills each month when we're married and live together. My dad also asked a lot of questions about how much money we have saved, how we plan to save, and how much money we're making now. It might seem offensive to some, but he is trying to make us aware of the financial hiccups that can stunt a realtionship.

I'm proud to say that I had created a proposed budget with Mr. Brooch long before my dad asked for it (yay, we're on top of this)! The budget, which we will probably use for awhile, breaks down where we are spending and saving from each of our pay checks.

The monthly rent is split right down the middle and we've split the responsibilitiy of our bills. Mr. Brooch will pay the electric and I'll pay for the cable, phone, and internet (for example). Just as the article suggests, we've even accounted for the money we want to save each pay period. Hopefully, buy planning ahead and talking about it (as well as keeping in mind we both are going to spend), we won't run into disagreements about money.

Where do you spend? Do you have a budget?

Have you prepared your finances for marriage?  How so?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Still Loving Weddings

Another Real Wedding...

I'm gathering my research for the new approach and I'm really, really excited to start blogging about marriage and couplehood, rather than just weddings. I've got some great talking points and I think you're really going to like the new stuff I have in store.

In the meantime, I'm still googaley eyed over real weddings and still itching for insipration for my own. Here's an amazing wedding I found today on one of my favorite blogs, Green Wedding Shoes with pictures courtesy of Leigh Miller.

I don't know whether it's the beautiful bride, the quaint church, green accents or multitude of candles that I love about this wedding, but I just love it. It's a winter wedding with a lot of warmth and I think it's absolutely adorable. Also, check out the bride's shoes. Yup, a pair of green (the color of my heart) Christian Louboutin (shoes I drool and dream about)!

See more of this wedding right here.

I'm jealous...




{Photo credit: Leigh Miller via Green Wedding Shoes}

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Similiar Looks, Different Weddings

Not The First or Last...

The last few weeks, it's become more and more obvious that we're not the first (or only people) to have a wedding. We're talking about an age-old tradition that rich or poor, old or young, any and all different races and in all different places does one way or another. 

Despite this fact, most brides (including myself) really want their event to be unique. The chances are though that someone had the same or at least similiar ideas before you. Take for instance, our color palette. Initially, I was thinking light pink, champagne and olive green, which is fairly common I'm sure, but then I got the bright idea to add burgundy! I though this was the pefect shade to add a fall feel to our overall look and would be "different!"  

Well, ever since I got the idea I've seen loads of weddings using this very same color palette. Now, do I think our wedding is going to be exaclty like those weddings before us that used the same colors? Of course not. If nothing else, it proves to give us a good idea of what we can expect to see, which is exciting and helpful! Check out these pictures from The Treasured Petal blog and let me know what you think.

Does this look generic?

{Photo credit: The Treasured Petal Blog}

I love the feedback, thanks!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Inspiration Boards

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words:

Style Me Pretty (SMP) has a pretty awesome feature that allows members to create inspiration boards, using the images of real weddings posted on SMP -- prrreeeetttty cool, right? Check out a few of the inspiration boards I've created on SMP, with the hope to translate my wedding fantasy into reality!

It took me almost a year to realize I could create an account on SMP, so this inspiration board business is a little new to me. I was content just checking out the real weddings on SMP everyday and it never occurred to me the website had this interactive feature! Needless to say, I'm thrilled and I've become a little inspiration-board obsessed lately! It's like every time I get a new idea, such as incorporating butterflies into our theme, I run off to make an inspiration board! Here's the board I made when I decided to add the color burgundy to our color palette:

Please note that it's really cool that SMP onlookers and lovers, like myself, have access to the images of SMP real weddings!! As if I'm not inspired enough by the weddings I seen on SMP, it goes a step further when I'm able to use pictures of those weddings to express my vision! Have you seen the real weddings featured on SMP? They are the coolest! The hottest! The most stylish!! They are the most sophisticated and unique... and I'm absolutely giddy flipping through the images of them all.

Not only do you have access to images of hundreds of stunning weddings, you also can upload your own favorite images and add them to the board. It's just a great way to pull together your thoughts into a collage. I definitely plan on using one (or more) of my inspiration boards when I go to meet with our wedding coordinator. Here's my latest board, which reflects this weeks obsession with the color champagne and big wedding gowns -- watch out for a new wed obsession next week!!

And although there's not much to it (yet), here is the link to my SMP blog: where you'll find a few other inspiration boards. Stop by and check them out, but please excuse the lack of text to the blog, the pictures alone wear me out!

Do these boards give you an idea of the wedding I have in mind?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Every Last Detail Images

{Photo credit: Every Last Detail}

Wannabe a Weddingbee best place for brides around.

I know I've said Style Me Pretty (SMP) is my favorite wedding website of all time and it's true, I do love SMP. In my opinion (no offense to all the other awesome blogs and websites out there), there's really no other place online you can go and find as many beautiful real weddings. SMP has more than one stunning real wedding featured everyday and I'm not kidding when I say stunning either!

However, there's another cyber place I love where you can go and find something reliable everyday as well... not a real wedding, but real wedding planners. SMP is the place I go to see weddings, not talk about them. If you want to talk weddings, the real deal about weddings -- not just the flowers and fufu -- you go to Weddingbee (WB).

There's loads and loads of great feedback and "real" wedding stuff on WB. You've got brides talking about their image, their flowers, their shoes, a classifieds section (hello! That's really cool and very useful), boards, bios, and galleries!! Everyday bride stuff. The nitty gritty.

{Picture credit: Shans-Shananians}

To be honest, I've sat and read WB posts for hours whether it was on the way home from work while I'm on the bus, on the metro on my way to the club (I'm not kidding), or at work taking a (ahem) break... IT never fails, every time I go, I'm intrigued by the real stories, the real concerns, the real of it. I always leave feeling like I've learned something.

It's kind of like when I go to SMP and think, "I want my wedding to be beautiful." When go to WB, I think, "Give it to me straight," or "I want to hear from a bride like me."

The coolest part is feeling supported.

See, most of my friends are single and while they're really happy for me and my soon-to-be, they're not into weddings yet. I'll be the first of my click to get married and so for most of my friends this is a new experience, a dry run. It's not like I don't have amazing friends, because I do, but they aren't interested in talking weddings all day everyday.  

They don't understand the planning that goes into making invitations and save the dates, or the obsession that occurs about details like flowers and place settings -- no offense to them, but it's something only brides can understand.

I go to WB to read the planning, the execution, and aftermath of weddings. The good, the bad, and unfortunately the ugly. It's just a real website with a lot of real information and well, that's what I wanted this blog to be. A place where other brides (or at least one other bride) would come to be inspired and really care about my journey to the aisle. One bride to another, you know what I mean...

So here's the thing, you have to apply to be a bee! I know you guys (my friends) are thinking, wait, you have to apply? Well, yes, duh! If you knew the website like I did, you'd understand. It takes a lot to be a bee. Recounting your every wedding thought and movement, being honest and upfront about all the wedding everythings you're going through, and writing it all out and caring about your readers, your commenters.

It's not a task to be taken lightly.

Like with many things in life, if it doesn't happen, I suppose it wasn't meant to be. Nevertheless, it's a honorable and courageous undertaking, I must commit myself to. And there are always the bees that did make it in, there to support me and offer guidance, which is the real treasure about this site... So wish me luck and say your prayers... hopefully I'll be considered.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Brides Bouquet


It's obvious at this point that I'm obsessed with flowers... Have you seen all my flower postings -- Bouquets, Obsessing About Flowers, More Flower Inspiration, B-B-Beautiful Bouquets, and Color Consensus... Finally

Well, consider those posts just a start, because I'm no where near making a decision about the flowers we're going to have. Think about it though, there's a lot to consider! What will the ceremony and reception flowers look like, the centerpieces, the bridesmaids bouquets and of course, my bouquet?

My mom said she regrets having an all-white bouquet. She didn't like the white-on-white look, but I thought brides are supposed to have white bouquets -- not like that really matters, because I don't have to follow tradition, but what have you heard?

Does a bride have to have a white bouquet? I hope not, because I like this one for me (from Flower School, an amazing blog -- great for woman obsessing about flowers)...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


To Light Our Path...

During the snowstorm, my mom and I compiled a list of items we're going to need to decorate our venue. Oxon Hill Manor is a very large place with really big rooms to fill, which became more and more apparent as we added up the number of centerpieces, candles, and other things we'll need.

One of the items we're going to need a lot of is lanterns. We want to line the outdoors with lanterns, all along the patio and down the steps, but in order to do this we will need nearly 50 lanterns, just for the outdoors! 

{Unknown source}

The pictures we took when we visited Oxon Hill Manor proved to be very helpful during this process. We were able to look closely at each space, each room and estimate the number of decorating supplies we'd need.

{Pictures by me}

These are the types of lanterns we have in mind. We like the rustic look, becuase I think it will match up to the wrought iron that's in the house very well. It will also be perfect for the time of year, fall that we're planning to have the wedding.

{Unknown source}

{Photo credit: Rajee Sood Blog}

{Photo credit: Weddingbee}

What kind of outdoor decorations are you planning to have at your wedding?

Have you considered the amount you'll need for the space you'll be in? 

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Starting Our Save the Dates

Pretty early on, we knew we wanted to use our engagement pictures for our Save the Dates. We're really happy with the amazing artwork that our photographer did and since we already paid for them, we figured it was a cost effective way to utilize the photographs.

Mama Brooch suggested using more than one of our photos for the Save the Dates, because we have a lot (we actually have more than 700 pictures, but that's a different post for a different day!!!). She suggested we send the pictures we feel are appropriate for the recepient, instead of sending everyone the same thing. This way we're making the most of our awesome variety!

Last night we started sorting through our pictures and picking the ones we'd like to send to my family, his family, and our friends. I was so thrilled that we were finally starting this project that I began playing around on the computer with the photos. You can see below my start to our Save the Dates (a total rough draft!), which I don't think are too bad for a first-time-diy bride like myself, eh? There's a lot still left to do with these, but at least we've got the ball rolling! Hooray!

For his family:

 For our friends:


 For my family:


So I realize there are a lot of mistakes on these, but rest assured they will be perfect when they're finished! This is just the start! Something wonky was going on with the program I was using. I actually thought the designing part would be a lot easier than it is. 

Even though they don't look bad, we've got a long way to go. I want them to look more professional like the Save the Dates below with a nicer font and layout for the text, but there's time. If I can't improve my designs (the ones above are not going to work obviously!), I might just order them!


How did you design your Save the Dates?

Did you DIY or order them online?


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