My Whimsical Wedding - The Bridesmaids

As if I haven't already made this abundantly clear here (and HERE, which I wrote literally in my jammies on the eve of my wedding!) my bridal party was absolutely, beyond words amazing.

So yes, I realize I say it all the time but it truly bears repeating over and over and over again - I was the absolute luckiest, most blessed bride.  Every single one of my ladies made me feel loved and appreciated AND they were just plain fun to have around on such a momentous day!

SO... I couldn't have this post be just about their outfits (though, of course, I'll tell you all about those, too!) it also had to be about how flippin' awesome they all are!


To start off, YES. I had a large bridal party!  9 bridesmaids!!!  Or, if we're going to get technical here, two Maids of Honor, six Bridesmaids, and one Jr. Bridesmaid.  I totally support and acknowledge the fact that this is NOT everyone's style, but for me it was perfect!  Six close friends, two sisters-in-law (who are also my friends, duh!), and my (future) stepdaughter!  Honestly I couldn't have asked for a dreamier dream team.  This group got along wonderfully, worked together, and each brought something special to the table. <3 I was so happy and excited and proud to have them stand by my side and I hope they felt the same!

As far as outfits, I chose a simple a-line pink dress (with pockets!) for the group.  I wanted something simple, universally figure-flattering (fun fact: one of my sisters-in-law was 6 months pregnant and LEGIT YOU COULD NOT TELL IN THIS DRESS), inexpensive, and it was especially important to me that whatever I chose would not look ridiculous or inappropriate on an 11-year-old, because Jess wanted to wear the same dress as the other ladies!  Also, I knew I wanted pink because...I'm me. :-P


I ended up settling on a Fleet Collection number that everyone seemed to like well enough. I have a few women in my group who are not big on pink, but I think the peachy tone of this dress made it  *slightly* better in their eyes :-P


As far as shoes went, I'm pretty sure I just posted on our private facebook group (if you're a bride-to-be, DO THIS for your bridal party! So easy and fun!) that if they could get nude/cream/blush shoes, that'd be awesome. I suggested not choosing heels, since the ceremony was outside, but said something along the lines of "honestly if you can walk in 'em, go for it!"

My Maids of Honor seeing me in my dress <3 
These women brought me snacks so I wouldn't pass out, helped me into my dress, laughed with me, cried with me, and just generally made me feel so incredibly loved.  I can't say thank you enough, but I'm going to make my best attempt anyway...


Erin
My maid of honor.  My friend since forever.  My "I'll be the bad guy so you don't have to." 
My endless enthusiasm.  My "Consider Yourself At Home."
Thank you.


Chelsea
My Maid of Honor.  My BFFL.  My "Yes I'll do your makeup, I'll just wing it (& it's gorgeous)."
My Hopeless Romantic.  My "Consider Yourself One of the Family"
Thank you.


Becky
My Sister Wife.  My forever roommate.  My "I made a daily alphabet countdown for you."
My 100% positive.  My TGFY endlessly.
Thank you.


Teddi
 My through-it-all.  The "eddi" in my Greddi.  My "I literally can not, will not stop BEAMING!"
My "When She Danced" partner.  My Dunkin Donuts Daughter. 
Thank you.


Michela
My superhero.  My 72 Hours Until Madness.  My "I'm going to work hours on projects just for you."
My endlessly creative.  My "we don't have to talk, to talk."
Thank you.


Kaitlyn
My stage (life) manager.  My venting buddy.  My "I know you'll forget to eat so I brought Reeses."
My pragmatic partner-in-crime.  My pink Darwin's shirt.
Thank you.


Lucia
My new sister.  My fellow feminist.  My "I will help with anything you need, just call."
My #BestSavageLife.  My open arms into a new family.
Thank you.


Lee
My sister.  My constant cheerleader.  My "You can make me last for EVERYTHING, seriously."
My strong, selfless warrior.  My patient response to every. single. teeny. tiny. question.
Thank you.


Jess
My brand new family.  My silly, sweet stepdaughter.  My "I'm way too old to be a flower girl."
My candy choosing helper.  My answer to prayers I didn't know I was asking.
Thank you.


These Women
My confidants.  My adventurers.  My best friends.
Thank you for everything.
I love you.




Interested in any of my other wedding posts?  Check 'em out!
Engagement Photos
Bridal Shower
Bachelorette Party
Rehearsal Dinner
My Perfect Dress

All photos by the ridiculously amazing Laura Marie Duncan Photography

Can We Please Stop Calling Grown Women "Girls"?!

Okay.

Alright.

I have a bone to pick here.

(RANT AHEAD AND I'M NOT EVEN SORRY. SO GET PREPARED.)

You know what I find extremely grating and irritating and frustrating?

I. REALLY. DO. NOT. LIKE. WHEN. GROWN. WOMEN. ARE. REFERRED. TO. AS. "GIRLS."

Ugh.

UGH.

I'm really really not into that, ya'll.

I find it frustrating and demoralizing and just kinda icky.

Now I will admit that I have done this. I have absolutely, without a doubt done this before. I'm sure most people have, so let's get that out of the way right now.  This doesn't make it okay, of course, it just means it's overused to the point of being considered normal.

Admittedly, I like "My girls <3" or "THIS GIRL" (referring to yourself) or "Hey girlllllll!" with a hair flipping emoji.  And I do use those phrases, so maybe this is hypocritical of me to even talk about.  But in my opinion it is different when you're referring to a large group of women, often a group that you do not have a strong preexisting relationship with.

When I realized how much language is engrained in our culture and how much language can affect our experience of the world, this particular use has stuck out to me and I find it really grating.

TRUTH BOMB COMING UP HERE...

Christopher and I watch The Bachelor. Like, we DVR it and it goes on high priority on our list of shows.  Mostly it's fun to notice the ridiculous editing and try to figure out how the music/shots/cuts/etc are trying to manipulate us as viewers, but it's also just kinda silly and sweet.

But MAN does that show love to call adult women 'girls.'

"I've never dated 12 girls at once before."
"It was so hard to not give her a rose - she's a great girl."
"I can't believe how much fun the girls were on the group date!"

The men on this show (yes, plural, because Chris Harrison counts too) are way too often using language that refers to grown women as female children.

Why in the world is that not deemed bizarre at this point?  We do not refer to grown men as "boys" on a regular basis.  Yes, I have heard it done, but for the most part it seems to be in jest or in a "teasing" manner, whereas "girls" seems to just be an acceptable way to refer to a group of women.

There are SO MANY other options here.

Women.  Ladies.  PEOPLE.

Honestly anything that doesn't refer to these grown women that, in this example, YOU ARE DATING FOR GOODNESS SAKE, as adolescent children!

(And before you get on my case here, I do in fact know that sometimes "girl" is used to describe an unmarried woman of any age, but honestly --- does that make it better or worse?!  An adult female isn't referred to as an adult female until she is MARRIED?!  Come on, ya'll, what year is this?!)

Let's stop this super annoying, rude, insulting habit, shall we?  Thanks.

END RANT.

1 Second Everyday

I'm a person who LOVES memory keeping and documenting - I've just always been the type (even as a little kid) who was naturally nostalgic. I never want to forget the important things in life - even the little ones!

This year I have taken up two practices to help with my memory-keeping habits --- making a scrapbook using a scrapbooking app on my phone and 1 Second Everyday.

I'm pretty sure you all know what scrapbooking is (hah!) but 1 Second Everyday is this incredible app (they don't know I exist, by the way, I just love it and wanted to share it with you all here!) where you film one second of your day every day and the app will put your shots together into a short movie that captures your daily life.

I chose to video "the little things" whenever possible - hanging out with Jess, drinking delicious coffee, holding my nephew, laughing with my husband and my friends - and I am so pleased with my results so far.

I started this adventure on January 1st of this year and I'm excited to see what my movie ends up looking like by the end of 2016!

Taking Stock: January





After seeing these posts on my fabulous friend Anna's page months and months ago, I haven't been able to get them out of my mind!  So here we are, at the end of the first January of 2016, and I'm going to be taking stock of life in my world.

Making: googly eyes at that photo of my nephew Aiden, above. I mean, seriously could he get any cuter?
Cooking: ...hah! Honestly Chris does most of the cooking around these parts.
Drinking: these Gevalia Cappuccino K-Cups. It is literally a can't stop, won't stop situation over here. No, for real. I have a mug of this in my hand as we speak.
Reading: Wonder by R. J. Palacio. (Thanks, Becky!)
Wanting: a nice, long nap!
Looking: up venues for my friend Megan's wedding and places for my friend Becky's Bachelorette party!
Playing: the Hamilton album on my phone. Probably way too close to 24/7 for comfort.
Wasting: as little time as possible.
Sewing: ...nothing, YET. But I got a sewing machine from my sweet sister-in-law for our wedding and I hope that someday I'll actually have a minute to sit down and use it!
Wishing: it was warmer in here! Or that I was hanging out with my friends again like I did earlier this month - such a blast!
Enjoying: how teeny tiny Aiden is - I know it doesn't last nearly long enough.
Waiting: for time to finish my scrapbook pages from last week.
Liking: light pink nail polish.
Wondering: how many consecutive times I can listen to an album before it's considered an inappropriate obsession.
Loving: my husband, my stepdaughter, and our little family.
Hoping: I continue to get cast in shows this year!
Marveling: at how fast kiddos grow up. Since when did I give Jess permission to have a fashion sense?!
Needing: nothing, really. :) 
Smelling: coffee! coffee! coffee! (Yum!)
Wearing: my brand new personalized hoodie - I seriously feel too cool for school in this thing.
Following: @MaraWritesStuff on twitter. Highly recommend if you enjoy snark and former child stars who aren't terrible.
Noticing: more and more of "the little things."
Knowing: that sometimes it's good to just slow down for awhile.
Thinking: about next month's budget! You know you're a nerd when you daydream about budget meeting night.
Bookmarking: the Stepmom Magazine home page. It's on my computer 100% of the time, honestly.
Opening: my package from amazon tonight! It has the Epic Blog: One Year Editorial Planner in it! I'm so stoked, ya'll!
Feeling: stoked, of course! ;) <3 

What about you? How did your January go?  
Are you taking stock of your life this month, too?  Feel free to share your URL below!

*This post contains amazon affiliate links. If you're not comfortable using them, no worries! Just google the products separately and you should be able to easily find the items! :) 

My Whimsical Wedding - The Perfect Dress

Finding the dress.
The dress.
The. Dress.

Quite possibly one of the most exciting/awesome/nerve-wracking/dreamy aspects of wedding planning!

Honestly, my dress-finding adventure was very short and very sweet.


First, some back story: Christopher and I got engaged at the end of March in 2014.  Just a month later, I went away on an almost month-long trip with some of my close friends to Europe. Since we knew we wanted to get married in September, and that it would be difficult to plan a big event while I was abroad, we decided to wait until 2015 to get hitched and chose September 5th, 2015 as our wedding date!

So in the summertime of 2014, my mom and I decided to make an appointment at a wedding dress salon in nearby Boston, just for kicks. We chose this salon because it was featured in "I Found The Gown" - a TLC show similar to "Say Yes to the Dress," but with designer gowns that were no longer "in season" (does anyone even really know what that means?! haha) and were therefore seriously marked down.


We were not expecting to find my dress this day, we just thought it would be fun.  It was over a year before my wedding and I was in no rush, but I was excited to play!

Well, I'm sure none of you are going to be surprised by the ending of this story... We found the gown! (heh heh heh)

Forgive the low quality iPhone photo, but the perfect dress waits for no DSLR ;) 
It was a STUNNING number - I didn't cry when I put it on (that's just not my MO) but I absolutely did not want to take it off for any reason ever, and I think that's a pretty good sign! ;)


The weird thing?  Besides the length (clearly this dress was meant for a lady much taller than I am) this dress fit me perfectly!  Not too tight, not too loose. It was just stunning!

And it wasn't only the fact that it fit me perfectly that I was madly in love. The silhouette was also unlike any dress I had ever seen before in my life - wedding or otherwise.  It was an A-line overlay with a trumpet style underneath.

Like...Whatttttttt?!

So of course we purchased it right then and there. The dresses at Vows aren't orderable - there's only one of each, so when you find "the one" you snatch it right up!  That meant that this fun little outing to just go look at dresses ended with us driving home to NH from Boston with my wedding dress in the backseat!!! It was surreal and amazing and such a special day with my mom.

(I could make an entire other post on this subject but I HIGHLY recommend going dress shopping with just one person you're close with. It was so special for me and my mom to share this time together and there weren't 100 opinions flying around.)

When I first saw myself in my dress on my wedding day <3 
But, ya'll, it gets better!  When we went to my alterations appointment, the woman who did my alterations had me put my dress on, and the second I stepped out in it she said: "I have an idea - do you trust me?"

Let me tell you, when a girl is madly in love with her dress that can be a slightly scary question. But I said "yes" anyway - and boy am I glad that I did!  She had the idea to make the dress' overlay detachable.  This meant that for the ceremony and portrait photos my dress looked like this:




...but when it was time to party, my dress could magically look like this:




That's right, you guys --- effectively she transformed my dream dress into TWO DREAM DRESSES.  No worrying about complicated bustles or tripping over my train when I was trying to boogie down!

Plus, my friends said it made my butt look awesome (can't complain about that) and it allowed me to stand in the middle of the dance floor and spin wildly, while everyone fluffed up the bottom of my dress and said it was like The Hunger Games - honestly one of my favorite wedding memories.



It was perfect, ya'll. I truly couldn't be happier.

Interested in any of my other wedding posts?  Check 'em out!
Engagement Photos
Bridal Shower
Bachelorette Party
Rehearsal Dinner



All non-iphone photos by Laura Marie Duncan Photography (more on her in a later post!)