Thursday, December 31, 2009

More marriage. Less Wedding.

I'm sure we've all read this forward before. But its a good reminder to think more about the marriage and less about the wedding!

Touching words from the mouth of babes.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What Does Love Mean?" The answers they got were broader and
deeper than anyone could have imagined

See what you think . . .

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time.. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents
and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
Nikka - age 6
(We need a few million more Nikka's on this planet.)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a
little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after
they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling . . . He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister
loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (What an image!)
Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy
sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

"Nothing, I just helped him

New Year. New Life.

2009. I have to be honest. Not the greatest year I’ve ever had. Kind of bland with a side of mediocre and about 5 seconds of absolute terror.

Yes. I started a new job. Technically it is my dream job. But I have to admit, there have been a couple days when I sat at my desk and thought “I need to have better dreams”.

I guess I would have been more enthusiastic about my dream job, but the day before I was supposed to start (6 months ago today, in fact), J and I got in a horrible car accident. J landed in my lap covered in blood and I thought he was dead. Thankfully, I was wrong and the wreck didn’t accumulate to much more than a broken nose (his) and a totaled car (mine) and a lot of frustrating insurance claims.

Two good things came out of the wreck. A shiny red hard top convertible and a new and increasingly poignant attentiveness behind the wheel…

On to 2010. 2010 is THE YEAR! A wedding in a couple months. And who knows maybe after that I’ll get knocked up by my hot hubby!

Tangent: can one get “knocked up” by their hubby? Or is “knocked up” reserved for the un-wed?

Tangent of my Tangent: why “knocked UP”? It’s physically impossible to get knocked UP, you can get knocked DOWN, or knocked AROUND, but knocked UP? Can’t happen…. and I certainly hope it doesn’t have some sort of 19th century X-rated meaning, if it does I don ‘t want to know….. Knocked UP makes me think of one of my least favorite Southernisms“cut ON the light/stove/washing maching/etc.” you can’t cut something ON, only OFF. Sigh. Oh well.

I have a couple resolutions. Aside from fruitful loins and a successful fabulous budget friendly wedding and keeping tangents at bay… if those can be considered resolutions.

1. Lose all the dang weight I gained after the accident (and then some). After our brush with death J and I had a tendency to think “life’s too short, what’s one more cookie?” well to answer my emotionally disturbed and pudgy self, one more cookie = LOTS more pounds.
2. Have some sort of realistic savings plan. We’ll be combining incomes so I’d like for us to get started off on the right foot.
3. I’m habitually 15 minutes late for everything. I can wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and still be 15 minutes late. NO MORE LATENESS. It’s pathetic. And immature.
4. Be nicer. To my family. To my J. To myself.
5. Keep a cleaner home. I hate cleaning. But I want to be a good wife. And isn’t that part of it?
6. Make a friend. I haven't made any awesome female friendships since college. My mom has been bff's with the same lady since I was in utero. When I was home for Christmas my mom said "I hope you meet a 'Rita'", which made me kind of sad that I didn't already have one in the South.

Hope you have a happy and safe New Years! Here's to a great 2010.

2 Dress or Not 2 Dress Continued...

...So the next morning after debating with myself all night, I told my mom that I thought I'd made the wrong decision. At 8:20am the very next morning I called the dress shop and left a message saying that I thought I'd made the wrong decision, I knew she was going to order it that morning so I begged her to hold off. I called her 4 more times through out the day. My dad called her. But no answer. I remembered that she was taking that day off, but I thought she'd check her messages. She didn't.

In the meantime, mom and I had 1 more day to find my REAL dress. We had an appointment at a dress shop close to home to look at a Kristina Eaton Veil, which was OMG gorgeous online, but kind of not so pretty in person. But it was at that dress shop that I found "the ONE!" the REAL the one. I'd tried it on in Birmingham and it made me cry... even though at the time I didn't even think it was even in the running. So I got measured. And mom wrote a check for half the amount and we left. With another dress.

So I owned half of two dresses. From two different stores. In two different states. I called my dad to tell him the "good news". He wasn't as happy as I was. He recommended that we put a stop payment on the first check. So we did. And we called the first shop about 12 more times. When we got home we noticed on the first contract that it said 'NO REFUNDS. NO EXCHANGES'. I thought we were in big trouble. I thought for sure we'd end up in prison and I had terrifying visions that my "wedding night" would have to be a conjugal visit at the county jail. My parents were sure that they'd get sued. I was sure that I'd get disowned. It was a tad on the tense side.

Thankfully, early the next morning the first dress lady called us back. She was able to cancel the order. She wasn't happy that we'd put a stop payment on the check, but she didn't yell at me or call me names, or throw us in jail or sue us so I was grateful. She was really a wonderful woman. Her shop is Elegant Brides in Edwardsville, Illinois. PLEASE patronize her shop. She was insightful, professional, and flexible. She had beautiful gowns and a beautiful store and I'm a little dissappointed that we weren't able to get "the one" from her. "The one" came from Amore in Chesterfield.

Anyway, I'd obviously like to keep THE DRESS a bit of a secret... but it COULD BE one of these dresses.... Ps. Why can't we wear fuscia wedding dresses?? White looks awful on me. AWFUL. I mean, if a white shirt was all I had in my closet, I'd rather walk around nekked than wear it. It. Looks. Awful. :-(

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two dress or not two dress? That is the question...

After a whirlwind trip home for Christmas/wedding planning (let's be honest here, it was really WEDDING PLANNING/Christmas... are scewed priorities a symptom of bridezilla-ism??) we have....

Bridesmaids dresses
A Wedding gown
A Wedding gown.

Yes. Two wedding gowns. As a result of a hastey decision that I'm afraid my father will be talking about until he's 92, we purchased a wedding gown. And then another wedding gown.

It was Monday night. I knew I had until Wednesday to find "the dress" or else it would be too late to order one. We found one that was beautiful. I didn't get "that" feeling, but I could tell that it was a beautiful and flattering dress. My mom loved it. So I told her that it must be "the one". So I got measured. My mom wrote a check for half of the amount and we left. With a dress. My mom was happy. I didn't really feel... anything.

I called J when we got home and told him that we got a dress and that it was very pretty but I felt like I had to settle. I cried. And then I didn't sleep at all that night. I just kept thinking about how it was a lovely dress, but I didn't feel like it was MY dress.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

3-2-1 BLAST OFF!!!!!!!!!

I'm debating on whether or not to remove the countdown clock from my sidebar. Everytime I look at it my heart sinks into my stomach! 155 days?!?! Can everything possibly get done by then?????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pronovias or dinner???

I love thrift stores. I really do. I don’t mind digging through a pile of ugly 1980’s sweaters with ginornous shoulder pads to find one cashmere v-neck from Ann Taylor… for $3! I know people get freaked out by wearing someone else’s clothes, but after you wash it or dry clean it, it’s like new! Plus, how many people have tried on those brand new jeans that you’re trying on at Banana Republic??? Anyway, it’s like a treasure hunt. Its almost cathartic for me to find the name brand clothes for less than I’d spend for lunch.

Last time I was home, my mom and I went to Good Will in search of clear glass vases/candle holders to make some mock up centerpieces from. They didn’t have anything, which was a giant surprise, but they did have THIS…

Photo Courtesy: Wedding Gowns Galore

A Pronovias, mermaid, lace gown covered in crystals. It was beautiful. 100% not what I want, but some very lucky girl is going to get a stunning gown for… get this… $50! Of course, it was in desperate need of cleaning, and likely some major alterations. But still. The fabric alone would cost WAYYYYYYYY more than $50! I was tempted to buy it and make a knee length dress out of it, maybe for the rehearsal? Maybe resell it?

But I didn’t get it. I left if for some girl that’s dying for a Pronovias, mermaid, lace gown covered in crystals but thinks it’s out of reach. And I sincerely hope she finds it!

I feel sorry for the girls that don’t think they can afford a beautiful gown. All they have to do is look in the right places, have a bit of luck… and have the patience to dig through the puffy sleeved monstrosities.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Julia and Julie.... Paula and Jill

J and I have a favorite budget date location. It’s the dollar show, for ONE dollar you get to see a new film that is in that limbo period between real theatres and dvds. I love love love going to the dollar show. I even made up a little song about it:

I love the dollar show
It’s my favorite place to go
Four quarters gets you in
For ten more dimes you can bring a friend

Anyway, J was out of town this weekend, so I had to find something to do to distract myself from missing him (you’re either sighing or scoffing right now, depending on if YOU are a bride to be! Haha!) So I thought I’d take myself on a date to the dollar show (which is way more acceptable at a matinee). I saw Julie and Julia. Which is the story of a blogger, Julie, who decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and blog about it. It’s basically my new favorite movie of all time. It’s a perfect blend of some of my favorite things; cooking, blogging, and Paris! I thought it was genius! I think my favorite part of the movie was when Julie (the blogger) got SO excited about finally having a comment on her blog, she clicked on it to read it and it was from her mom!! Ha! I think all of us bloggers have been there (although it’s my dad in my case!.. Thanks Dad.) I also loved the way Julia Child’s husband toasted her as the "butter to her bread and the breath to her life". I can think of no better description of J! haha! (We’ve been known to refer to ourselves as the Buttertons in private. )

So anyway, I got thinking about my favorite cook, Paula Deen. I’ve met her during her book tour for her children’s cookbook and I told her that when I started dating a southern boy I thought to myself “I better learn how to cook”, I also suggested that her next cookbook should be titled “How to Win a Man’s Heart”. Yes, to some degree I credit her with my engagement! Ha! I’m thinking about inviting her to the wedding! What do you think? Have you invited any celebrities to your wedding? I know its so completely cheesy, but heck, maybe if I tell her that I've been studying her as a way to acclimate to the South, AND in the process snagged a hot southern boy... she'd at least write me back?!?!?!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Official...

I have the best fiance in the universe. Seriously. Yesterday was the day from H E double hockey sticks. But his sweetness smoothed it over.

I've been working like a horse part time at JCPenney Portrait Studio taking photos of slobbering bratty screaming kids to try to save enough money for the wedding. I was proud of myself for saving so much $$. WELLLLL I go out to my car the other day and lo and behold my tire was flat. I said to J, "there goes my Christmas bonus" and he said "Nah, it'll just be a $10 patch job". Of course it WASN'T just a patch job. In total my tires/wheels/alignment were so messed up that it cost me all of the money I saved while working like a horse at JCP AND my Christmas bonus from EWTN. I'm heart sick.

And it was also cold. Really cold. So I was complaining to J about not having a coat (how does he put up with my complaining? Saint? Maybe.) Anyway, he said "look under the tree" and there it was, my dream coat.

In fact I blogged about it over at Dream Weddings on a Budget. Burberry. Black. Quilted. Oh that lovely plaid. It made me cry!

No matter how unlucky my days may seem, J is always there reminding me that its the people in your life that love you and care about you that make a person lucky!!! And when I remember that, I remember that I'm very very very lucky.... A lot pooerer today. But warm and lucky.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I need a crowbar

To cram everything I have to do during Christmas break into my schedule!! Mom and I are fairly certain we'll find "the dress" while I'm home for a week during Christmas. That means some major shopping. I leave in 32 minutes for the airport! I'll be home this afternoon! Yay!

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm not the most organized person in the world. If you've ever lived with me, you're probably a. chuckling, b. rolling your eyes, c. thanking God that you don't live with me anymore.

But I'm working on a timeline of sorts to schedule all of our "to do's" in a logical fashion. Sorry, Mom, I hope you don't plan on sleeping... I mean there are a lot of stores I'd still like to visit and lots of family and friends' opinions I'd still like to hear. Not to mention visiting the florist, the centerpiece lady, scouting a good engagement pic location/taking engagement pics (OMG, more on the panic this incites soon), meeting with a videographer, 4 dress appointments and maybe more, trying to get in a few good workouts. ON TOP of all of the Christmas festivities. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to cram AWHOLELOT into a VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME?

One handy wedding planning splurge that I made was this black and white damask organizer from Brides found at Michaels, I think it was around $30, which was wayyyyyyyyyyy too much to spend on it. But it was one of those things I HAD to have!! haha! Hopefully it will help me with this crazy upcoming week!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Registry Fegistry

For whatever reason, registering for gifts has been something I've been dreading. I love to shop, so one would THINK that registering would be right up my alley. But my shopping habits can be placed in two distinct categories. . .

A. Impulse buys as a result of finding a great deal on something I simply can't live without or

B. Making a purchase that I've put lots of time and effort into by researching consumer reviews and trying to find the product for the lowest price possible.

It seems like registering fits in neither category. And that's my first dilemma.

My second is, where should I register?

I hear Target is a pain in the booty, that they don't accept returns without a gift receipt and even then, require you to exchange your item for the something new in the same department as the item your exchanging. Hello pita (pain in the a$$). (On a side note, they do have some pretty amazing black and white damask items in the store right now... just don't register for them and you should be fine! ha!)

What about Walmart? Their return policy is stellar, but after a handful installments of "People You See in Walmart" emails, I'm afraid my wedding guests might get the wrong impression.

Macy's is a definite. Good website. Located in both Alabama and Missouri. Has the china pattern that we want.

Another definite is Crate and Barrel. I was on Style Me Pretty today and noticed that today was the last day to register for their $4000 gift card give away.

Style Me Pretty

And I thought to myself, "I'm gonna win this". All I had to do was open my registry at Crate and Barrel and keep my fingers crossed. Seemed like destiny's way of getting someone with an irrational fear of registering to bite the bullet and get started! haha!

One problem solved. . . now on to world hunger.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Drum roll please.....

Two weeks ago I was driving to a dress shop talking about the wedding on the phone with my mom. (What will we talk about when the wedding is over?) We'd been talking about having the wedding in May of 2011, Memorial Day weekend. TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN!!!!!!!! 20 months away. It felt like a REALLY long way away. But, I thought that would be the only way to get everything I wanted.

So, my very tip top priority was asking Fr. Dave Pivonka to marry us. He was my spiritual director at Franciscan University and is a dear friend. I thought for sure 20 months away he'd be free. He wasn't. So what now?!

We tossed around a few other dates but none "felt right". Then mom suggested that we just have the wedding THIS May. My response was "sure Mom, whatever", thinking that getting ANYTHING I wanted would be impossible. Mom called my top reception venue choice and my top Church choice. They were both free ON THE SAME DATE in May 2010! We took that as a sign, and booked um dano.

Then I called Adam Bitter, a remarkable musician who we wanted to do the music for the Mass.

I called my good friend, photographer Scott Stanley, he trained me to photograph weddings. I love his work and I love the connection he tries to foster with his clients. He understands photography is about relationship and I couldn't imagine anyone else photographing our wedding.

Mom called Bob Kuban. You know...Look out for the cheater / Make way for the fool hearted clown / Look out for the cheater / He's gonna build you up / Just to let you dooooooooown. We always wanted him to play at the reception.

And of course, I called back Fr. Dave Pivonka.


Can you believe that?! It was like our date just fell into our lap! It was just meant to be! And, ironically, a very significant date in my history (graduation from high school, first day of the Crusade for Life). As hokey as it sounds I feel like we didn't choose our date, our date chose us!

How did you decide on the date for your wedding?
(Photos Courtesy here, here, here, here, me and me)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Come to Our Wedding... OR ELSE

I recognize that not everyone has the quirky off beat sense of humor I have (or THINK I have, I do have to explain a disproportionate number of my jokes to my beloved)…. BUT I was playing around on Zazzle the other day and created this….

Yes. It says “come to our wedding or we’ll kick your butt”. I thought it was hysterical. In fact it made me laugh out loud. Literally. I showed J. He laughed out loud. I showed my mom. She laughed out loud. See, it’s funny because neither J nor I would ever hurt a fly.

This pic was taken right after we got in a horrible car accident and J’s face made friends with the windshield.

Anyway, back to Zazzle. I’m pretty much obsessed with it. As I mentioned in a previous post, we already have our invites, but since so many of our guests are coming from out of town, there’s no way to get around sending Save the Dates. I think the most cost effective way to send STD’s is to send the post card version. And since I double as a photographer and J and I have enough pictures of ourselves to fill a municipal library… I thought it would only be fitting to have a photo on our STD’s. Here are some options… What do you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'm exhausted. As I've mentioned, I work full time as a television producer. Well, I also work part time as a portrait photographer. Since it's nearing the holidays my photography job has really picked up. That means I'm at my day job from 8:30am - 6pm and then my photography job from 6pm -9pm. Sigh.

Good pay checks, but those are some dang long days.

All this for the perfect wedding??? Is it worth working yourself to the bone if you're too exhausted once the wedding comes around to really enjoy the day?

Are there any other two job brides out there? How do you cope? Where do you get your energy?!?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Will you be my bridesmaid card

I asked my girls to be bridesmaids eons ago. Here's the card I made for them with a poem I'd written special for each girl. I got the paper at Michaels (where else) and I just came across the dress picture online one day, I loved it! The monogram is made out of sparkly stickers from Michaels.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wedding Crashers

I drove to Indiana for Mrs. E's beautiful wedding. I figured "heck, I'm only SIX hours away from home, maybe I should stop by and say hi". It was, um, a HAIR out of the way, but SOOOOOOOOO much fun it was totally worth it. I called my Mom when I was halfway there to ask if they wanted some company that weekend. She was happy to have me and reminded me that I would never be considered "company". ;-) Thanks Mom.

As we were plotting what we'd do with our brief visit we hashed out QUITE a plan. We had been tossing around a few potential reception venues. One was Andre's West, not too far from my parent's home. SOOOO, since it was a Saturday night in the middle of prime wedding season, and we were dying to see Andre's West in ACTION and we didn't have anything else to do. . . Mom and I decided to CRASH a WEDDING. It was the most hilarious thing I've done in ages. Mom and I got all dolled up and waltzed right in to the venue like we were Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. We totally held it together until some random woman waved at Mom and I lost it in a fit of giggles! :-) I'm sure other guests thought we were very rude, walking around critiquing everything... but in the end we decided that our venue will be ANDRE'S WEST! And a special thanks to cousin Sandy who figured out a route which bypasses the TWO sex shops you have to pass to get there... which was my only hestitation in going with it!! ;-)

Cards and Candles

Today I spent my lunch hour at Garden Ridge. There's a new one less than a mile from work. Yay! I forgot my debit card so I could only "look" (maybe I should forget my debit card more often!). This is NOT an original Aluminum Bride idea, I saw this on a blog or bridal magazine or television show somewhere, so if it's your's let me know so I can bestow credit upon your genuisness. SUCH a simple and elegant centerpiece idea. Take a flower (I used a fake one), a wine goblet and a pillar candle. Flip the goblet over, put the flower underneath, a candle on top and voila! Lovely! I don't think we'll be using this because my mom found a lady to do our centerpieces. More on her soon. But other Aluminum Brides, take note! Using finds from the Dollar Tree, you could end up with AWESOME $3 centerpieces!!! Maybe a little more if you surrounded it with votives or flower petals.

I think my latest hobby is Hobby Lobby. OMG, I was in a damask paradise. It took the utmost restraint to keep from purchasing EVERYTHING they had in black and white damask. I did, however, succumb to the most perfect black and white damask hat boxes that I've ever come across. I bought the large, medium and small and intend to use two out of the three as a card box and the extra one to put ladies room "supplies" in. Here are a few of my card box mock ups with the large and medium boxes, although I realized this morning as I was driving in to work, that the medium and small boxes might be better as there is more delineation between the sizes, no pics of that yet. And the sparkly ribbon from Michaels. I also bought a "C" Christmas ornament. J's favorite variations include the "C", what can he say, he's proud of his name! ;-) Which is your favorite???

Friday, October 23, 2009

Damask and whatchacallit blue

These are the curtains I bought from Craigslist, folded three times will make 12 runners. Not too shabby. The vase/candle holder is the result of a fun Sunday afternoon with my mom. More on this soon. All materials are from Michael's. The beautiful sparkly ribbon is in the Christmas section and the damask paper, is just damask paper. ;-)

According to Elegant Presentations, this swatch is considered Wedgewood Blue. According to Alfred Angelo, this dress is considered Robin's Egg blue. They look like the same color to me. How bout we combine them and make it WedgeEgg blue? Or Robin'sWood blue? Anyway, I ♥ this color and I think it looks lovely with damask.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some pics!

Mrs. E’s platinum wedding on an aluminum budget:

Ana got married. I seriously cannot believe it!!! We always talk about how weird our 20's are! We’re not kids, but we don’t feel like adults, yet we’re doing these VERY adulty things (i.e. marriage), which seem so unreal!

Anyway, it was a breath taking wedding.

The Church was majestic, and I think that set the tone for the entire evening. When the doors opened, and Ana and her dad started walking down the aisle, everyone was blown away! I mean, we KNOW Ana's beautiful, but as a BRIDE... wow!!! :-)

She was STUNNING! She looked so elegant in her LaSposa Fanal gown. It fit her like a glove. It was extremely flattering and very hot mama sexy. And her hubby had a look on his face that read “Yeah baby, I know how blessed I am”.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were uber classy. Black full length satin. Each of the girls (2 bff’s and 2 sisters) looked gorgeous in them! Does that ever happen?!

The Mass was moving. The homily given by Ana’s friend Fr. Mark was right on key talking about the Theology of the Body and two becoming one flesh. It was so much better than those fluffy “you're required to love her even when Maybelline and Max Factor can’t help her anymore” homilies that I’ve heard in the past. VERY fitting for a VERY theological crowd.

The reception was held at a Country Club and we were greeted at the door with silver-tray-holding-waiters, passing out champagne. That made a big, very memorable hit! I’m trying to think of ways to incorporate that into our wedding. But we might need to get my brother’s to dress up like waiters to be able to afford it! Haha!

The room was awesome. It glowed! It was decorated with gold table clothes and white/ivory chair covers and sashes. So elegant! The centerpieces were a candlescape of several candles of varying heights, the candle light and the gold table cloths made the room seem so incredibly warm!

They had a dessert spread with any kind of dessert you could think of! Everything was so tasty! The cake was beautiful, the DJ was good. The couple was IN LOVE.

And EVERYONE had a BLAST. (The true marking of a stellar wedding, IMHO!)

Good work Ana, congratulations, and thanks for all the tips! :-)

Some of the ways Ana saved moolah on her classy and elegant wedding:

1. It was held on a Friday night. Fridays/Sundays are always more reasonable than a Saturday.

2. They had a dessert, drinks and dancing reception instead of a full meal. It was a perfect way to save money without losing any of the class and elegance.

3. The bridesmaids got their dresses from the Target website for $50!! YES TARGET! Who would have thought?!?! Wow! Definitely check out Target for bridesmaids dresses.

4. She used candles instead of flowers for her centerpieces and made a way bigger impact. Candles can be re-sold or used again... flowers just die!

5. Instead of renting an over priced limo, they borrowed a way cool car from some friends of the family.