Going to Florida to see our Best Man!

Brian and I are headed down to south Florida in just a couple hours to see his best man, Billy, in the hospital in Miami. Hopefully Billy will get out of the hospital soon. He is bound and determined to make it to the wedding.

If you pray, please pray for Billy to have a speedy recovery. I don’t want to get into the whole gory story about how Billy ended up in the hospital needing transplant surgery, but what matters is that he got the transplants and is recovering!



The videographer … and Merry Christmas!

The next big thing on the wedding to-do list is booking a videographer. I was really hesitant about having a videographer for the wedding — why not just film it ourselves? But I didn’t want to take the risk of not having it done professionally and regretting it later.

So, my mom and I met some videographers at the bridal show in Birmingham a few months back, and while the quality was superb, their prices were astronomical and they charge for travel. So I started researching videographers in Baldwin Co. Some of them didn’t even e-mail me back, and one guy wanted to have me come to his office. When I told him that I am in Birmingham and can’t make an appointment to come down there right now, he never responded. wtf?

So, I went to my wedding photographer’s Gulf Coast Wedding Web site and found Brookfield Video. Her prices were really reasonable and she responded instantly via e-mail and gave me SEVERAL referrals. She also sent several sample DVDs to my mom in the mail. We giggled because two of them were long, boring Catholic weddings. The other was a beach wedding and I think she did a great job on all of them. They weren’t totally cinematic (which I find cheesy); rather, they were more documentary-style and captured events as they happened. As a journalist, I really prefer this style.

I finally got around to contacting the referrals that we had e-mails for and I got back 4 very positive responses:

Congratulations! Planning a wedding is a job but it is also a lot of fun!
Yes, I do recommend her. I will tell you what she did for me and you can decide. I gave her 70 pictures that she used for a Through the Years CD of the bride and groom. The first part was of them growing up and the second was all the fun pictures of them while they were dating and some with their friends. We played it at the reception. She puts whatever music you want on it. She taped the pre-wedding photos, the wedding party, and the wedding on 1 CD. She did the reception on 2 CD’s and the rehearsal at the church and the rehearsal party on another CD. I have about 6 hours on my daughter’s CD’s. She included 10 sets of everything for me. She video taped 2 days and I paid 2,000.00 for everything. The quality was excellent. Just call her and she will send you samples and you can decide if she will meet your needs. She is a nice person to work with.(Joanne Brookfield) She also has a guy who works with her who is also very nice. She ran 2 cameras at the wedding so she wouldn’t miss anything. For example, one camera was behind the altar that you could not see, but she was able to video the ceremony looking at the wedding party’s faces and the guy tapes everything from the back.


Most definitely! She recorded both of my daughter’s weddings. We have received one (wedding in June), but have not seen the second (wedding just Dec. 13). She is very professional and does a wonderful job of capturing all the right moments.


Hi, Kristen. Brookfield Video did a spectacular job on my son’s wedding. I could be more pleased. I would recommend them without hesitation.


We were very pleased with Joanne. She was prompt, dependable and the video was great. I’ve recommended her to a number of friends.


So, with all the positive responses we received, my mom is comfortable now with booking Brookfield Video for the wedding. Woohoo!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with their friends and family. Safe travels!



Most of the “big stuff” is out of the way!

My mom, Brian and I are really starting to make some headway with the wedding!

The invitations that came in the mail are GORGEOUS! We ordered them with sky blue ink and they turned out beautifully. The sky blue gives it enough of that beachy vibe, but not overtly so. We are still looking for some clear round seals to go on either end of the seal ‘n send. This is recommended so that they don’t get stuck or ripped during postal processing. I think I also want to take them to the post office and ask to hand-cancel them. Hopefully they’ll be OK with that! Rather than the typical “wedding stamp,” I think I like this one! And for the RSVP, it is a postcard, so I think I might go with the tropical fruit stamps since it goes well with a destination wedding.

Brian has his suit! We went to Men’s Wearhouse the other night because Brian had called them and they told him they had several men’s silk camp shirts on their clearance rack marked down to $35. We went and found a simple ivory camp shirt that we liked for the groomsmen, but they did not have enough of them, so they are ordering more for us. It also turns out that they had Brian’s suit that he wants marked down to $189, and it was the last in stock and they weren’t sure if Men’s Wearhouse would keep producing them for 2009. So we bit the bullet and went ahead and got his suit. So glad we got that out of the way!

Flowers are decided on! We are definitely going with All Island Flowers. The bouquets will be somewhat similar to these that All Island Flowers created in the photo below, but the stems will be fully wrapped with ribbon and pearls.

Photo courtesy allislandflowers.com

My bouquet will be mostly blue hydrangea with some white hydrangea and accented with ivory roses and 2 or 3 small white starfish. The bridesmaids’ bouquets will be mostly white hydrangea with some blue hydrangea.

I made a huge list for my mom of all the little things we need to take care of over the next few months, like the flowergirl basket, pew markers, and programs for the ceremony, and the guestbook, centerpiece decorations (other than the flowers), favors, table numbers, etc., for the reception. I’ll be blogging about plans for those “little things” in the coming days!

Have a great weekend everyone!



Bittersweet Day

Today is a very bittersweet day. Today I stepped down in my volunteer position with my sorority to give myself more time to plan for the wedding and more importantly, to give myself more time with my fiancee and my family.

2008 has been a full-speed-ahead type of year. If I wasn’t dashing down to Tuscaloosa to help with the sorority, I was on the phone or e-mailing with wedding vendors or at work doing my thang. It left little time to tend to housework and it left very little real quality time with my fiancee. I would come home once or twice a week exhausted, sometimes crying even, and tune him out. Or I would just want to vent and not hear what went on with his day as he struggled to find a new job and carve out his place in life before the wedding.

I also haven’t been able to spend enough time with my parents, who moved 6 miles away from me last fall. I hope for more quality time with them as well. My dad could find a new job in a new city any day, so I need to take advantage of my parents being close by for as long as possible.

It’s been extremely tough for me to give up my sorority volunteer position, but I’m about to embark on some major personal changes in my life.

So now my mom and I will be able to tie up some more loose ends with the wedding and I won’t be super stressed as the wedding date approaches. Right now we are 138 days away! Ekk!



More arrivals in the mail!

My garter set came in the mail Thursday from GarterLady on Etsy. I am so pleased with it! I won’t go into detail because I want it to be a surprise for Brian, but the set is so beautiful!

I also received my hair accessories from ButterflyEnchantress about a week ago and they are absolutely gorgeous!

Also, our invitations came in the mail Friday from Invitations by Dawn. We decided on the seal-and-send invite to save money and paper. Also, the invites are made of recycled papers containing at least 30% post-consumer fibers, according to the company.

Yay progress!



Hair & makeup, honeymoon registry

Our florist that we have decided on (All Island Flowers in Orange Beach, Ala.) recommended a hairdresser to my mom. His name is Bryan Kersey at The Platinum Door in Orange Beach — boo, no Web site! He does a free trial run if you book him for the wedding, so my mom went ahead and booked him.

The florist also recommended Top Nails at The Wharf, so I think we’re going to plan the morning/afternoon of the wedding around being at The Wharf. I found a restaurant called Ginny Lane Bar & Grill that does champagne brunch on the weekends from 10-2 (with complimentary mimosas — orange, cranberry or pineapple!). Their menu looks super yummy and the entrees are very reasonably priced.

So, my mom and I just decided that we will have our mom & bridesmaid brunch there, since a lot of the girls aren’t getting into town until Friday night. Then we will all get our nails done at Top Nails, then get our hair & makeup done at The Platinum Door, which is very close to The Wharf.

I’m just so excited and relieved to get a lot of these smaller details taken care of!