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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.


August 26th, 2010

So last night I had my first “nightmare” about my wedding. I told you, I am crazy and OCD about things like this! I say “nightmare” because it was scary during my dream, but quite funny when I think back on it. Oh and let me tell you, when I dream I dream very vividly and in color. So here was my dream:

One day, I was happily planning away with 324 days to go (yep, that’s where I am right now!). But then the next day came and it was the day before our wedding. I was without veil and went to the shop to get it. I found the perfect one with the perfect amount of embellishment and the perfect color to match my gown. I was thrilled! Then, I realized that I was getting married the next day. I started crying hysterically. Not because I was scared to get married, but because I hadn’t finished my plans. When I found out we had not yet booked a place for a rehearsal dinner, I completely flipped out and started yelling at anyone and everyone around me. After all, this was supposed to take place that very evening. Of course I was horrified at the thought of not having a rehearsal, but everyone around me assured me that everyone would know what to do the next day. I started to calm down and then in the blink of an eye (literally, it was just like a continuous day), it was the morning and the first person I saw was Joey. Again, I started getting nervous because we had broken tradition.

*Side bar – I think this is a cute tradition and one I definitely want to keep for my wedding day. I want the first time he sees me that day to be when I am walking down the aisle to become his wife :) But that is a completely separate post that I may get to later*

The next thing I knew I was getting dressed and doing my hair myself because I hadn’t yet booked a stylist (which is true, I am still working on that). I wasn’t particularly concerned about my hair because I knew this amazing veil would be covering most of it anyway. I don’t remember much about the actual ceremony, but all of a sudden, we were married. We couldn’t figure out where to have photos taken, so everyone disappeared. The next thing I knew, I was trying to gather our wedding party for photos and it was 8:30pm. The cocktail hour was supposed to start at 6:00pm and dinner at 7:00ish. So I was mortified that I had kept my guests waiting for us for over an hour. Needless to say, I decided to forgo photos and go straight to the reception so we could get the party started. Then, I woke up…

I know, crazy dream. I remember waking up right after that and thinking how horrible it was. I went back to sleep and it was one of those dreams that continued where it left off, but I really don’t remember much about the subsequent dreams. There were multiple because I woke up a few times after that and fell back asleep. Now that I look back on the dream, I find it hilarious. I am a dork and I know it.

The thing is – even though I am ahead of the game and have way more checked off my list than many brides do at this point in the planning, I still worry about things. Brides want their big day to be perfect and many have thought about their weddings since they were little girls. Regardless of how organized or detail oriented they are in the planning, they will always be slightly worried that something will go wrong. And most likely, something will go wrong. Whether it be a button falling off your gown or the bride getting lost in neighborhoods she grew up in while trying to drive to the hotel to get dressed before the ceremony all because she was so nervous about her big day (yes, this happened to a very good friend of mine), something can always happen. The only thing you can do is to be as prepared as possible and surround yourself with bridesmaids, family and friends who want to make your day perfect. They are your support system through all of this. You can hire a wedding coordinator to help with these things too (I had to throw that in there, and yes, I am for hire :)) But ultimately, as long as you walk down that aisle and marry the love of your life, you should be happy. Keep this in mind when the little things frustrate or worry you. I know I will.


Green with Envy

August 13th, 2010

More and more you hear about green weddings. No, not the color. Earth-friendly weddings. I am a lover of my planet and make adjustments here and there to try to protect it. When I remember, I take a tote for my groceries instead of using the plastic bags. But to my defense, I use those plastic bags to dispose of the awful smelling kitty litter. So they are being reused. Probably not in the most effective way, but they are being reused. The “new” trend of hosting a fully green wedding is fascinating to me. It takes a lot of dedication and creativity to plan a wedding that is completely green. I, myself, have one green aspect to my wedding. Our favors are going to be bamboo plants. Each guest will get a small plant with three stems. I thought it was cute. It has no relation to my wedding at all, but I much prefer a favor that is functional over something that people may never use again. So if you want to be conscious of the environment, you don’t have to go fully green. Even the small things make a difference. Here are some ideas:

1. Plantable Paper – You can find invitations, place cards, and thank you cards in plantable paper. Invitations serve as not only the reminder for the shower/wedding, but create beautiful flowers to remind them of your big day following the event. You literally plant the paper into a pot, water and watch it grow. Check it out at Botanical Paperworks, which is just one of the many places I found them.

2. Buy Locally – This has become so popular that even restaurants are advertising buying from local farmers. Talk to you caterer and see if they can purchase all the ingredients for your wedding feast from local farmers. Not only are you supporting your local economy, but you are cutting down on emissions from transporting produce and other food from place to place. The food is typically fresher and better tasting anyway, so it will only make your first meal as a married couple that much sweeter.

3. Donate Food – Not only can you support the environment by buying locally, but you can support your community by donating any leftover food to a homeless shelter or food kitchen. Have the caterer wrap everything up and designate someone to take it to the shelter once the dinner is complete. You may even be able to talk the caterer into dropping it off somewhere on their way back to their kitchen.

4. Safe Makeup – This is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. I love animals. I can’t even watch a movie when a dog gets hurt and hearing it yelp is even worse. Literally, Joey says “Sorry” every time it happens and I cringe because he knows how much I hate it. So one way to help the environment and all its creatures is to use only makeup and hair products that were not tested on animals. I know you want to be beautiful on your big day but there should be a disclaimer at the end of the day saying, “No animals were harmed in the making of this beautiful bride.”

5. Favors – There are a ton of options for this. You can use locally made candy or chocolate, seedlings or plants (like myself), or make a donation (with a tag made with plantable paper, of course!) to your favorite charity in the guests names. These are only a few of the possibilities.

6. Flowers – Again, buy from local growers and buy what is in season. You can also attempt to grow them yourself. I have a friend whose mother grew all her centerpiece flowers herself. It saved her a ton of cash and was beautiful. Plus, there is more of a sentimental connection if they were grown with love by a family member. If you want pew decorations, use them again in your reception site. Another alternative is to use silk or dried flowers. I know, I know. Silk flowers? They actually have some really authentic looking silk flowers now-a-days.

7. Eco-friendly fabrics – One thing that many people don’t think about when trying to be green is their clothing. You can find some really cute bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses that are made from eco-friendly material. Organic cotton, organic linen, some types of silk, and hemp are all eco-friendly fabrics. You would be surprised with the pieces that designers have come up with using only eco-friendly fabrics. I found a few online – The Cotton Bride and Amy Kuschel are just two. You can also go vintage and ravage the racks at your local second-hand stores for a gown or bridesmaids dresses. This rule can also apply to linens for your reception as well!!

These are just a few ideas for turning your wedding into a green affair. Just remember, by making only one change to your wedding you can make an impact on the environment. What ideas do you have? What changes did you make?


I feel pretty! Oh, so pretty!

August 11th, 2010

Since most of my wedding planning is complete, with the exception of a DJ (which is in the works!), honeymoon and the minor details (b-maids dresses, tuxes, etc.), I have been focusing a lot on accessories and beauty for the big day. When you think about it, there is really quite a bit of detail that goes into making the bride beautiful on her big day. I am lucky and have already found the gown of my dreams. But I still have jewelry, a purse, shoes, nails, hair piece and/or veil, hair style, and makeup to figure out. I search almost every day for Tiffany blue wedding shoes that suit my taste – slightly funky and not necessarily something made just for a wedding. Oh, and 3″ or under unless I can rent a stretching machine for my wonderful fiance :) I am also having a hard time narrowing down my jewelry options because of coloring and finding something that will go well with my gown. I have found a TON of jewelry and shoes that I like, but they are just not perfect. I have found that Etsy is one of my favorite new sites. They have a number of vendors selling everything from earrings to purses to flowers for your hair.

I have also begun the torturous task of hunting for makeup artists and hair stylists who will come to the Mansion to make myself and all of my wonderful bridesmaids even more beautiful. Many seem to have a minimum on how many people they have to see in order to come to the location. And for many hair stylists, they do not want to come to the location at all because Saturday mornings are busy in the salons as well. Not that I can blame them for not wanting to miss out on making money!

I already know I want my makeup to be natural looking because I usually don’t wear much makeup on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean I want to look like I do everyday! You would also be surprised that I cannot find a good picture of how I want my hair. I look at celebs from their red carpet pics but never see a good one from the back. The front is nice and all, but come on people, turn around! It is just a matter of finding the right picture to capture the exact hair style. The other reassuring fact is that I will get a trial run for both hair and makeup to ensure I am getting what I want. I’ll be sure to take pictures so that I can look back and analyze. After all, with the wedding planning almost complete, I am not going to have anything else to obsess over soon.

And pre-wedding fitness, well that’s just another story all together.

Am I just going crazy or does every bride obsess over these things? Joey – do not answer that. I know what your answer will be!