Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday morning---I was hurting! I would not recommend planning your bachelorette party the day before the rehearsal dinner. However, that was the best day to get all my girls from out of state in one place. I had a great time on Thursday Night (even though Gloria's didn't have my signature Mango Margarita) and a great time decorating the wedding venue the next day.
Groomzilla---Mr. Soup was somewhat of a groomzilla. I know Murad wanted to hang out with his buds the whole weekend, but I think he got somewhat stressed with all the guys depending on him. He kind of slacked on his duties (forgetting his rehearsal dinner outfit and overnight suitcase). I'm glad he remembered the rings though!
Rehearsal Dinner---this was a great time for our family and friends to come together in an intimate setting to eat and celebrate. I made a seating chart so that guests could get to know each other (the teacher in me!). On the back of the menu cards we put trivia questions about the wedding party and family members present at the dinner (again more teacherness). I think everyone really enjoyed figuring out who belonged to each question. See, I can make learning fun! We also had a great video slideshow for everyone to view! It featured clip of Mr. Soup and me through the years. Overall, the evening was fun and relaxing. The food was excellent too! Mr. Soup and I put a lot of effort into picking gifts for everyone and I think they all liked them. I was so happy when my grandfather told me how much he liked the pocketwatch we gave him (and the other men). I felt so proud
My dress---need I say more. Absolutely beautiful. People still can't believe my mom made it. I love the detail on it. I love that noone else will ever have this dress!
jewelry---my mom did an awesome job with the jewelry. Not only did she make my jewelry, but she made jewelry for my bridesmaids and flowergirls. She also created some hair jewelry as a surprise for me. I had wanted them, but didn't know I was getting them until the day of the wedding!
Rooftop Private Photo Session---Mr. Soup and I met on the rooftop of the DAC before the wedding. He had been stressed out all day and starting to piss me off royally. However, when we saw each other on the rooftop all our stress melted. He still talks about that moment and it makes me melt. I wasn't an advocate for seeing one another before the wedding, but seeing him eased my nerves.
Photo Session with the wedding party---those pics were so fun to take! I can't wait to see how they turn out. It was great having all our guys and gals together for some fun shots!
Guest Book Quilt---this was a huge hit with our guests! I think it allowed for people to leave more personal messages too. I can't wait for my mom to finish piecing it together!
Unity Sand & Jumping the Broom---I loved incorporating these elements into our wedding. I think they are so unique and beautiful. Our sand is sitting in our living room on display. I will put up our broom soon too!
family---not many people from both our families attended the wedding, so we were excited to see the ones who came. I was especially excited to see my cousins. Although, I could not help but think that Philip should be there, I was happy Willie, Jessi and Willie's new wife Jessica were there. Willie represented with his mohawk. However, it's probably gone now that he entered the service.
Our Readings---all three readings were beautiful. the two religious ones expressed our faiths without being preachy. The poem on marriage showed how unexpected yet welcomed our love was/is.
the dance floor---it was fun to see people gravitate towards the dance floor....even my mama danced a couple of songs. I think she liked dancing with Murad in the Soul Train line the best! Abby was all over that dance floor! She was the hit of the night! I don't think she even sat down to eat!
groom/daughter dance--everyone's heart melted when Abby and Mr. Soup took the floor. They looked absolutely adorable out there. I know that is something we all will remember for the rest of our lives
speeches---Our speeches were so thoughtful. Not only did our best man and maid of honor/matron of honor give speeches, but so did Amber (bridesmaid), Rashad (groomsman) and Ryan (my brother). Jose (best man) speech was funny and poked fun at my husband. Katie and Himee (maids of honor) read a poem together which highlighted my less than perfect past. Amber's speech was thoughtful and reminiscent, as was Rashad's. I think everyone was shocked by my brother's speech. Ryan and I love each other so much, but we fight often like good siblings do. So, when he gave his speech I was surprised to know how much he admired Mr. Soup and I.
Siberian Huskies---I had so much trouble finding the perfect signature drink. Murad and I were arguing over a fact about Huskies (the dogs). When I went to google the correct answer to prove him wrong, the drink popped up instead of the dog! I hadn't even tried the drink. I just knew I wanted it because of the name! It turned out to be a perfect drink. The bartender told us they were a hit among the masses. Many of my friends loved them too. I think Amber had one too many that night and was hurting the next day. Even though we couldn't incorporate our actual dogs in the wedding, I think the drinks were a hit! I need to make one a test it out!
the last dance---Mr. Soup and I enjoyed our last dance together on the dance floor. It was just him and me. It was the perfect way to end our evening
bubbles---immediately after the last dance was our bubble exit! We were so glad to see everyone outside as we left! What a perfect way to end our night!
comfy beds---Mr. Soup and I jumped on the hotel bed to eat leftover food, chocolate covered strawberries and sip wine. We also did some other things, but I won't type them here ;) Needless to say, we got a good night's sleep on our comfortable bed!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Ceremony & Reception--Dallas Arts Center A+++++
Could not have asked for a more perfect venue. Shari was there for my every need. She had tons of decorative stuff for us to borrow for the ceremony. For example, our centerpieces were all from her. She coordinated our rehearsal and made sure everything was exactly how my husband and I envisioned. If you are looking for a unique, urban location, this place is it!
Guest Accommodations, Bridal Suite, Honeymoon Suite, Rehearsal Dinner--Hotel Indigo A+++++
Our guests loved staying at Hotel Indigo. It is walking distance from DAC and close to many other locations such as the JFK museum and Old Red Courthouse. the people there were so accommodating. they helped my father up and down the stairs. My parents' room was a little too hot and they immediately checked out the situation and moved them to a cooler room when they couldn't fix it. The doorman, Lawrence, was awesome. He even surprised my HUSBAND and I with a bottle of wine, chocolate covered strawberries and a card! This unique hotel is the original Hilton Dallas Hotel. It has been renovated and includes a fresh color palate. My photographer got some awesome shots of me and my bridal party as we headed over to DAC. our rehearsal dinner included chicken marsala, salad, grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, cheesecake and wine for 35 people. the chicken was delicious! My husband and my mom still rave about it. They also gave us a complimentary upgrade to a larger room for our dinner.
Catering-- Black Eyed Pea Catering A++++
services included catering, serving, bartending. for appetizers guests munched on cheese, crackers, fruit and shrimp. we had a dinner buffet of steak, salmon, salad, steamed broccoli, green beans and new potatoes. their staff was awesome! they made sure my husband and I had a plate to eat that night and they packed up all the leftovers for us to take home. we will have steak, broccoli and potatoes for a whole week! heather, jesse and the team are awesome. They are so down to earth as well. BEP's costs are a fraction of what most caterers charge in Dallas. there was one server who interrupted the speeches to pass out cake, but other than that, their staff was very professional and courteous.
Florist--my momma A+++++ we did silk flowers. say what you will about silk, but I think they turned out excellent. My mom added little charms to my girls' bouquets that said "best friends"
Engagement Photographer--A++++++--Kathryn McLaren for Novella Photography
She is my best friend and matron of honor. She took awesome pictures of us in downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum, Rockwall and in Richardson. She has a great vision and gets those unique shots that not everyone can find. She is truly gifted and I'm so happy that we were able to be her subjects. She made us look damn good! She even made a slideshow set to music of our pictures. She also designed a welcome sign/collage for our wedding. She lives in Kansas, but is willing to travel for business
Wedding Photographer-- Manuel Crespo A++++ I haven't gotten back our pics yet, but I'm sure they were spectacular. Manny was great, but he's a little soft spoken. I wish he would've been a little more directive with where he put people. Sometimes, he just said things like "file around her or stand around them." there were many times our wedding party was very confused. however, he did get my vision about non-traditional pics. We took pics in front of the majestic theater and municipal building, as well as throughout hotel indigo. we only did a few posed pics for the family, which is exactly what I wanted!
Cake--Cakes by Joyce A+++++ her cakes were delicious! my only regret is that we didn't order more carrot cake. It was the hit of the night! I had people who had never tried carrot cake (because it's usually dry) try hers and love it! Our wedding cake (white cake with raspberry filling) was delicious and beautiful! I can't wait to post pictures!
Harpist--Carole Kaney-Francis A +++++ she did an amazing job. her music was pefect with the simplicity and elegance of our wedding. I absolutely loved it. I could hear her playing while I was waiting to go in and I was so impressed! I recommend the harp over any instrument for a wedding! I highly recommend Carole!
Vocalist--Amber Renae Bush A+++++she was a last minute addition to our wedding. she recently won Eagle Idol (UNT's American Idol), so my husband took the opportunity to ask her to sing at our wedding. She agreed and arrived at our rehearsal and ceremony with such a positive vibe! She really wowed our guests with her version of Ribbon in the Sky during our Unity Sand ceremony.
Officiant-- B- Reverend Diane Robertson
Diane is great. She is very personable and she definitely is a family woman. However, she tried to take over our rehearsal on Friday night and she really stressed me out. She changed things from the program I sent her and from the ceremony outline. Luckily, Shari and my husband were able to fix the problems and our ceremony was a success. I think she is a great minister, but she has her ideas about how things should be done and doesn't like to budge. She also tried to convince my family and wedding party that Shari was the one who wasn't open to new ideas and that was not the case. I also did not think that was a very professional way to handle the situation. However, once we (re)-explained exactly how we wanted the ceremony to go she was fine and made our ceremony beautiful. On Saturday, I could not have asked for a more perfect ceremony and that is all that mattered!
My Dress--my momma-- A+++++Words cannot express how much I love this dress. I want to go grab it and put it on. I think my only regret is that I can't wear it more than once! My mom put a lot of love and labor into this work and it shows. Most people could not believe that she made my dress. It really looked like something from a bridal salon. This dress is my most prized possession right now. I absolutely love it!
Bridesmaid Dresses-- F--David's Bridal
I really do not like David's Bridal! I originally planned on buying a different dress from a different designer, but for some reason I ended up switching to David's Bridal. I knew all the horror stories and my mom even tried to warn me, but I went for convenience (they have locations all over the nation and my bridesmaid are scattered across the nation). However, my experience was anything, but convenient. First, they discontinued the style of dress I wanted after two bridesmaids already purchased theirs. So, I could only pick out a new dress for everyone as long as it was the exact price or more than the discontinued dress. However, they had very few dresses in the champagne color available. they said it was a spring color (it was fall when I ordered them) and I should try a more fall or winter color. if my wedding is in spring, why the hell would I want a fall or winter color? three of my bridesmaids had no problems with their dresses at all. However, one bridesmaid had $85 worth of alterations and they ordered the wrong size for my maid of honor. She did not get her dress until March 13th because they had to make hers specially for her, however she still had $85 worth of alterations. Ridiculous. Stay far from David's Bridal. I'm so glad I didn't purchase my wedding dress from them because I hear that is a nightmare.
their selection was great and matched exactly to my bridesmaid sash. I don't know much about my husband's experience with them, but I know they did end up sending my brother's tux and the best man's tux to the wrong store, making it a hassle for both of them.
Liquor-- A--Goody Goody Liquor in Addison
great selection and they helped me pick out the cheapest alcohol for our wedding. they also accept unopened bottles, so you can make money back if your guests don't consume it all. I have a lot of bottles to return, so I can't wait for the cash! my only complaint is that my order wasn't ready when I came to pick it up, so I had to wait for 10 minutes while they got it all together, but other than that, they were friendly and helpful.
DJ--A DJ Connection
Our DJ was Luke and he was great. He had a great personality and our guests loved him. However, he didn't play all of the songs I sent him and he mixed up the father of the bride and first dance song. However, DJ Connection is a great company and I'm really glad we went with them.
engagement ring-- A+++ Whiteflash.com. my husband told me he was saving for an engagement ring and instead of trusting him to pick it out, I helped him. I knew he had looked at the more traditional stores, but he was on a budget and couldn't find what he liked. We did some research online and found Whiteflash. I told my fiance what shapes of diamond (oval and pear) I liked and he picked out the metal (platinum). He looked at a couple of diamonds and within a week, they had a design and within two weeks they delivered it to my parents' home in KS (he did that to avoid the Texas tax). He actually ended up being under his budget! I wish we could've bought our bands through whiteflash, but their prices have skyrocketed since he bought my engagement ring. we both plan to upgrade to diamond & platinum bands in a five or ten years, so hopefully they'll still be around.
wedding bands -- A+++--Samsclub.com
we needed wedding bands and they had them. we went into Sam's to get sized and then ordered them online. My band was delivered in a few days and my husband's in a a week. I have a thin wedding platinum band and he has a thick (manly) platinum band.
invitations and other paper products--me! I can't really grade myself.
I used a template from the Paper Source website to make the invitation design. I ordered the text sheet, outer envelopes, and RSVP envelopes from envelopemall.com. I ordered the backing from mygatsby.com I ordered stamps from Vistaprint.com. I bought the paper for the sash from Michael's. I had a blast making the invitations and they came out to be exactly what I wanted. I also saved a lot of money on them. I also made the programs with paper from discount cardstock.com and menus from envelopemall.com. I used publisher for everything.
flowergirl dress --C --Flower Girl Princess.com huge selection and cheap price! my stepdaughter's dress matched perfectly. My only complaint is that they sent the wrong size and so I followed the directions to do an exchange and I never could get in touch with them. Luckily, the dress fit her perfectly, so it wasn't an issue.
Unity Sand--A++ Moon Glow Candles
cheap and beautiful! the sand "matched" David's Bridal's champagne & periwinkle, so it worked out perfectly.
Hair & Make-up--- A+++++++ Arriayanna Ware with Git Yourself by Yani
She is my friend and stylist! My hair was beautiful beyond words. I was a little weary of weave, but she made it look so beautiful! She also lightened the mood and made a few wedding errands for me! She is an awesome woman with a gift for styling!
we plan to honeymoon in March 2010. Ideally we'd like to travel to Punta Cana, DR for 5-7 days to an all-inclusive resort. we'd only like to spend $1200 per person including airfare. If you can help us out, let us know!