Smile #260 – Say Yes to the Dress

Now that the wedding is slowly coming together, my next focus is finding a wedding dress. It would be kinda important to be appropriately dressed on the most important day of my life.

We (Mom, I Do Crew and I) took a total of 4 trips to 3 different salons: David’s Bridal – the quintessential wedding shop; Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery – closing sale; Jillian’s Bridal Outlet – all gowns under $699.  Thank you ladies for sitting through hours of me trying on dresses and fluffing each dress a few dozen times!

As a result to the much evolved fashion world, the once-upon-a-time Queen Victoria’s white wedding gown has spun into all sort of new styles.  Tip to future brides, brush up on some of these dress silhouette terms before going in will avoid those deer-in-the-headlights look.  Good thing the ladies knew and helped pointing me to the right way.

My only criteria is …. I need to see my feet.  The idea of not being able to move freely throughout the night is a nightmare.  I mean I don’t plan on running a mile in the dress, but at the minimum I would like to walk down the aisle without reenacting any of the Lizzie McGuire’s tripping scenes.


I tried on at least 30 dresses with different styles and different cuttings.  Before this, I thought I could find me dream dress in one trip.  Oh no no no, there is so much to consider.  Some were too poofy, some were too tight.  Some were just horrendous!  See for yourself!

Left: The thin satin fabric felt like I was wearing lingerie in public…
Middle:  The old style lace reminded me of dry skin…slowly peeling off…
Right:  Forget wedding cake…I am THE wedding cake. See my layers?

All jokes aside, some dresses did look pretty decent.  Never underestimate the power of a cutting.  Some gave the illusion that I have hips-don’t-lie and others gave the illusion that I am not the captain of the itty-bitty-tiny committee.

The story to my final YES to a dress was a bit complex…

I said YES the first time to a beautiful ivory James Clifford gown with detailed lace back. It looked beautiful, especially from the back with the train laid out perfectly.  As I stood in the room, everyone awed and gave their stamp of approval.  I’ll insert a photo after the wedding.

Due to some unforeseen issue, we ended up exchanging it for another gown.  Making the decision the second time around was not any easier.  The shop added so many more gowns.  At least with so many trial and error, we did learn which style looked best on me.

The decision always came down to two gowns.  Do I want to the dreamy tulle look or the elegant satin look?  Both gowns looked gorgeous.  If only I can have both!   I stood in the mirror staring at each gown.

After comparing and comparing it again, I finally made a decision!  I said YES TO THE DRESS!  🙂   I feel like a princess in it and can’t stop staring at the little details.

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Now we are ready to get married!




Smile #250 – Say Yes to DIY Party

Let me preface this post by stating I love DIYs.  I can spend hours transforming an ordinary piece of printer paper into a beautiful swan or finding new purpose for regular household items.  This creative outlet breaks up the monotony of ‘adulting’ life.  Plus the sense of accomplishment I feel when the final product completes is priceless.

Over the course of wedding planning, I have pinned too many ideas to incorporate in our wedding.  Little by little, my DIY project list grew and grew.  There are just so many unique ideas out there and one wedding is not enough to have it all!  Jk Jk!

Why keep the fun to myself when I can get all the I Do Crew to join in!  Calling all the ladies!

The ladies gathered around on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  The house was divided into different work stations based on the craft medium – paper, paint and spray paint.  Lil Sis spent most of the day out at the spray paint station.  EC focused her time at the paint station.  JB joined later at the paper table.  I am basically the busboy, running in and out getting all the supplies for everyone.  I was getting my steps in for the day.

Thanks to these ladies, my giant list of DIYs crossed off one by one.  They are the greatest helpers!


To avoid giving away all the surprises, no finished product photos will be posted until after the wedding.  But everything turned out perfectly.  It is so exciting to see my vision slowly comes to life!

To add on to the fun, EC surprised us with a touch of her own.  She bought a Pig Cake to the party.  It was decorate with the Chinese characters meaning goodbye single life.   Only my best friend could ever think of this.  Our pig feud will never ends!




Smile #240 – Say Yes to the DJ

We have been putting off finding a DJ, the very last necessary vendor to complete our wedding pros team.  There is such high pressure on finding the right vendor.  Depending on the DJ, our guests will either be on the dance floor all night or our wedding would go down as the worst wedding of the year.

Phew!  Thanks to Weddingwire, The Knot and Thumbstack, the search went pretty smoothly.  It went so well that we have more candidates than we could hire.  Poor Bubble, he spent hours after work interviewing each one.

After some serious thoughts, and I mean serious thoughts, we came to the decision of hiring Mr. DJ Bones!

DJ Bones was very friendly on the phone and in person.  His package offered everything plus more than we wanted.  His years of experience rest assured us that he will be doing a grand job at our wedding.  All we hope now is people are ready to danceeeee!  🙂

Smile #235 – Say Yes to the Officiant

Next on our checklist is finding an officiant.  Guess a wedding wouldn’t be official if the officiant is absent from the ceremony, huh.  Gonna need someone to cue the now you may kiss the bride line.

This was slightly tricky since Bubble and I are not a member of any church or associated with any religious service.  Typically, a preacher or priest would solemnize the marriage ceremony.  But for us, who do we choose?

We decided we want a non denominational, non religious officiant to celebrate with us.  Even with that requirement, there are a lot of officiants out there, trust me, I have pretty much googled every possible person available in North Carolina.  I received quotes from $100 t0 $1000.  Of course that is based on varying levels of service, but that is one wide price range.  I shortlisted officiants down to five potential candidates.

From here, Bubble took on the interviewing process.  It was fun pretending to be Bubble’s secretary and filled his agenda with officiant appointments.  Even when I am not the most punctual secretary…I accidentally cut his dinner short because I confirmed the appointment is at 6:30pm when the appointment clearly says 6pm.  Oops!  He chatted with each officiant, went through a list of questions and noted down the pros and cons of each one.

One special lady shined above all and we are excited to be writing our vows and drafting our ceremony with…**drumroll**…Ceremonies by Ms. Daphne!

We love her enthusiasm for weddings.  Her professional experience in the industry relieves us of stress.  We are excited to tell her our love story!  🙂

Smile #226 – Say Yes to DIY #2

Instead of going to the movies, we spent Saturday night in to work on another wedding project.  This time Bubble is getting his hands dirty..literally.

Photobooths have become a party essential.  What is a party without one?  It is a fun way to set the tone for the event.  Plus it would be great for those Instagram pics!  (At the time of writing, Instagram is my favorite social media.)


This idea was inspired by a PopSugar article on creative wedding backdrops.  The bright colored backdrop would be a great photo backdrop.  We can even customize it with our wedding colors. Let’s test drive this idea!


  • Whiteboard
  • Painter’s Tape (1/2 in)
  • Paint (Tan, Wine, Blush, Navy Blue and White)
  • Paint brushes

There is no strict guidelines to this project, in fact, the only limitation is the size of the board.  Why not let Bubble have some fun with this one.  He can add his touches to the wedding decor.  With these supplies, it was up to him to design the board.  At first, he was slightly hesitant.  Afterall  arts and crafts is not exactly his strong suit.  But after showing him the sample picture, Bubble’s creative side kicked off.  He started taping and creating different shapes.  Soon, I was shut from offering any inputs.  This is his project now.

Three hours later, the final coat of paint has dried and his fingers are covered in paint.  The backdrop is finished!  I am very impressed with the final product!  Bubble did a great job with designing and painting.  The shapes are unique and the color are vibrant.

Bubble was surprise at how fun this project has turned out.  His words and I quote, ‘I never knew arts and crafts can be so fun.’  He is so impressed with his handy dandy work.  🙂

Our Saturday night was well spent. 🙂  Now that the trial is done, let’s work on the real thing!