Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's so crazy that this wedding business has finally become a reality for me when I've dreamt about it for so long, from little on up. However, when I was little I remember wanting to have my wedding at Disney World with all the Disney characters in attendance, and showing up to my reception in Cinderella's chariot looking like... well, Cinderella.

Let's just say my plans have shifted slightly from the ones of my youth, and I'm sorry to disappoint you, but there will be no Disney related anything at our wedding... except for maybe when Isaac bursts into songs from the Aladdin soundtrack, something he does quite often (It's one of his favorites). So minus all my Disney inspiration, I had to start at square one and our household has now turned into wedding planning MANIA! My coffee table which once displayed magazines like People and US Weekly, is now full of Martha Stewart Weddings, In Style Weddings, and Brides magazines. In my spare time, I'm searching though websites and books and trying to draw inspiration from anything and everything I can get my hands on. And apparently my mom and Tara have been doing the same because I get daily calls asking me what I think about this or that. It has been so so so much fun and through all my searching, I happened to stumble upon a website that I could swear is my soul mate, my kindred spirit of wedding websites. It's eclectic. It's casual. It's artistic. AND it's my favorite. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from the site. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Say YES To The Dress

If you're a TLC junkie like me, you've seen the show Say Yes To The Dress, catching all the re-runs and marathons they seem to be playing all the time. I always thought how cool it would be if Randy and Keisha could help me find my wedding dress with their magical ability to select the perfect dress almost every time. But I honestly never understood how the majority of the brides stand on the pedestal in front of the mirror and start crying after seeing themselves in their 'perfect' dress. I had always known that I wasn't going to be this type of bride, over dramatizing the experience. I have never really been the type to over dramatize anything. I'm more realistic. So it took me by surprise when my dress search turned out a little differently than I had expected....
I know I've only been engaged for a month, and have a little over a year to plan my wedding, but I decided to start dress shopping to get an idea of what I wanted. My first experience ever trying on wedding dresses was at a boutique here in Blooomington... and lets just say that it wasn't a pleasant one. I had no idea that I was expected to strip down to my undies in front of a complete stranger and then be strapped into these gowns so tight that I couldn't breath. The only thing I could think about was how I needed to drop 15 pounds, tone up my arms and how I felt I could faint at any minute. Feeling fat and ugly in every dress, really didn't make me want to buy any of them, plus I didn't have my mom with me and I knew I couldn't buy a dress unless she was there. So when I went to California for spring break this past week and stepped into David's Bridal for my appointment, I at least knew what to expect. My hopes where high, my mom was there, my sisters were there, and the dresses were all super affordable. Some dresses were not so good.......

... and some dresses were OK.

But there was something missing with each dress. One of them needed less poofyness... I'm not a super poofy kind of gal. The other was almost right but it needed a beaded belt to jazz it up. While standing on my own pedestal looking at myself in the mirror, it made everything more real, and yet I still couldn't understand why all those other brides cried during moments like this. I mean this dress was OK, and I felt kind of pretty in it and the price was fantastic, but it wasn't something to cry over. After a while, I felt that I needed to keep searching. We went to my next appointment at a swanky upscale store in Corona Del Mar and right away, I knew I was going to be in trouble... money trouble that is. And then I made a very big mistake, I broke the one rule you're never supposed to do... I tried on and fell in love with a dress completely out of my price range.
It had the sweetheart neck line, and the natural waist... exactly what I had envisioned. But it was over a thousand dollars over my budget. I stood in front of my sisters and my mom, who was probably silently praying that I would come to my senses, and tried to think of a way to make it work... BUT I couldn't. I was on a very strict budget and there was no way I could make that dress mine. I left the store feeling defeated and tired and overwhelmed.
One week later, after recovering from the last dress expedition, my mom made an appointment at 'The Wedding Day' in Fountain Valley, Ca. After all my appointments, there were a few things I learned that I didn't like... 1.) I didn't like being paraded into a big room in front of all the other brides, 2.) I did not like full waisted girdles that I couldn't breath in, and 3.) I didn't like pushy sales women saying how beautiful I looked when really they just wanted to make a sale. So when I walked into 'The Wedding Day' and was assigned a consultant that looked exactly like Joan from 'Say Yes To The Dress', minus the New York accent, I knew this was going to be a good day. She began by asking my price range, which was something that no other consultant had done, and only showed me dresses I could afford. We walked around the store, pulling dress after dress to try on... but there was one dress that stood out to me and I became really excited to try it on. When we walked back to the dressing room (one which was tucked away and secluded from everyone else!!) "Joan" brought me the appropriate under garments (No full waisted girdles!!) and she asked which dress I wanted to try on first. I pointed to the one I had my eye on and she quickly got me tucked and zipped into the dress. I almost immediately knew I liked the dress, but when I walked out and saw my mom and my sister's faces light up, I knew that I found my dress. AND THEN IT HAPPENED! I stood on my pedestal in front of the 3 angled mirror in my secluded room, flanked by my mom and Tara, and started crying! I don't even know why, I just felt so relieved and so happy and sooo at peace that it just overwhelmed me. Then my consultant brought me shoes and a veil and everything just felt like it had fallen into place. I am crying right now just thinking about that truly special moment and finally understood all those other brides and how my search, just like theirs, came to a sweet end.
And the best part of it all was... the dress and veil was extremely under my budget!! I left the store with $1500 still in my bank account! We got to the car and rejoiced (haha) because we knew God had looked over me that day.
I know you are wanting to see pictures of my perfect dress, but you'll just have to come to the wedding to see it!

Monday, March 15, 2010


It has been decided and we are glad to announce that our wedding date is MAY 7TH, 2011. Before we got engaged, we had talked about wanting to have a May wedding because the weather in Illinois isn't as hot as it would be in the summer months, and I wanted atleast a full year to plan my wedding and to enjoy the process instead of stress over every detail... and become a bridezilla. AND since we knew exactly where we wanted to have our wedding and reception, it made things easy. Choose the date in May that the venue had availible... so May 7th, 2011 it is. Seven Eleven. Lucky number seven.

So SaVe ThE DaTe!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Whitney has been in Cali for like 2 days.... (longest days of my life) How in the world did I make it when I didn't see her for 3 months in the beginning of our relationship... i know, it was love.

I miss my bride and my TV show partner... come home soon..

Isaac Wesley Neal