Category Archives: Photography

X-Ray Wednesdays: The Musings of A Stepmommy

Great day pilgrims!

It’s the middle of the week again ūüôā

Thank you for lingering a moment with me.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on one of my newest hats –

STEPMOMMY.

Aside from his love, the greatest gift, and responsibility, that Danny has given me is being a stepmother.

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The idea frightened me at first because it was a concept foreign to me except from what I saw in movies and books.

In my mind stepmoms always got a bad wrap –

The kid(s) never liked them.

The mother of the child(ren) hated them.

wickedScenes from the movie Stepmom with Julia Roberts and images of the wicked, evil stepmom from the fairytales were my reference points.

I did not want to be that. 

The reality of becoming a stepmom sank in when we got engaged.

I will confess that throughout our engagement I was an emotional wreck in that area. One moment I was at peace with the idea the next moment I was in tears because I could not articulate the anxiety I was feeling. Becoming a stepmom was a BIG deal and I did not want to fail.

So in that way – I experienced the worry of all new moms – a fear of failing.

 

After spending quality time with Azariah, I can no longer imagine embarking on the journey of motherhood any other way. 

And while I did not experience the miracle of childbirth with Azariah, I have certainly experienced the miracle of unconditional love.

But let me take a moment to honor the moms out there.

Mamas are superheroes in my book. supamom

After all they are the ones who carry these blessed gifts of love for all those weeks growing inside of them.

The ones who stand witness as their children let out their first cries, take their first steps, and say their first words.

They are the ones who lose sleep.

They are the masters of diaper changing.

The mighty wipers of runny noses.

Super snugglers.

The cleaner-uppers of mayhem and messes.

Highly exalted teachers of all that is wrong and right.

They are preparers of food, personal stylists, and stand up comedians. 

magicsparklerMamas are magic.

 

And I vow to remind Azariah of that truth about her own mama every chance I get.

Stepmoms…well, we¬†are creatures of a different kind.
More often than not stepmoms do not have the privilege of hearing a child’s first cries or seeing their first step or listening to their first words.
But

Stepmoms experience “firsts” too

A stepmom’s “firsts” are very different – especially when she has had no other children.
And as a stepmom, as Azariah’s stepmom, I am humbled to have these firsts with her…
CMD-edit-1175The first time I heard her voice.
The first time I saw her.
The first time we spent time together.
The first time we cooked together.
The first time we danced together.
And I am looking forward to the many other firsts we will share together.
CMD-1590Now that Danny and I are married, Azariah is my daughter. When people ask if we have children I say yes, we have a daughter.
I may be a stepmom but I could never consider Azariah my stepdaughter because I love her as my own flesh and blood. Giving birth to her could not have made me love her any more.
Stepmoms were not created to compete with mamas. How can they? There’s no competition!

All a stepmommy like myself can do is love outrageously and live generously.

I will never attempt to take the place of Azariah’s mama, that is a sacred, God-ordained position. But I will continue to do everything in my power to make her feel that she is my own.
My hope for Azariah is that she will grow up with more love than her mom could have ever wished for her.
Good mamas want the best for their children and Azariah’s mother is as good as they come – Azariah is a direct result of that.
Sweet Azariah,
Even at 4 years old we can all see how brilliant you are. Your smile lights up the darkest rooms. Your laughter is music to our ears. 
 

‚ÄčThe three of us – me, your mom, and your dad are blessed to have a hand in guiding you during these formative years. And we look with expectation toward the woman you will become. A generous, wise, confident woman who loves God. A woman whose love for her neighbors will inspire her to change the world.¬†

How blessed we are. 

I am thankful for the faith Danny had in me and grateful for the calm reassurance of my own mother. Ultimately it God’s love and Azariah that gave me the courage to embark on this journey.

CMD-1355

Now Azariah and I swap stories about the evil stepmothers in fairytales without any distress on my end.

 

We both know that when it comes to evil stepmothers, I’m not one of them.

May the remainder of your week be filled with gratitude, kindness, and productivity.

Blessings always,

-CN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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X-Ray Wednesdays: Episode 1 of Findlays’ First Year

Happy Wednesday Pilgrims!!

If you’re reading this it means that you too have been blessed to see this last day of 2014.

2014 holds many dear memories for Danny and I…

and the memories will come with us, but we’re also welcoming 2015 with open arms.

In our first “official” episode of Findlays’ First Year we share our thoughts on (and some footage from) our first two months of marriage.

We even included a few wedding pictures ūüôā (They’re finally in!!)

We hope you’re enjoying this New Year’s Eve!

Best wishes from us for a New Year filled with Love, Peace, Health, and Blessings!

Truly,
-CN

Chat with Cara and Danny here: Ask Us Anything

For more ways to BE light and get involved with X-Ray Wednesdays click here. 

Wedding Wednesdays: November Wedding Bells

Happy Wednesday Ladies and Gents!!

I don’t mean to cause any alarm BUT there are only 5 more Wednesdays before Christmas and only 6 more Wednesdays left in the entire year, if the LORD tarries (delays His coming)!!

Speaking of Wednesdays, and the LORD tarrying, lol‚Ķall being well, Danny and I will debut our new project right here on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014! Two, short weeks from now. I’m excited about this multi-faceted project and all that comes with it, so stay tuned.

Next week, we’ll have an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek!

In other news, I heard from our wedding videographer and we should be receiving the DVD of the wedding any day now.

I hope I get it in time for the weekend so Danny and I can make a movie night of it.

It will be interesting to watch it, as opposed to living it. Living it was surreal. I look forward to experiencing it as an on-looker rather than a participant.

Of course once we watch it, we’ll share some clips here…

NOVEMBER WEDDINGS

Apparently, Danny and I weren’t the only ones who thought November is a great month to have a wedding!

Personally, I love Autumn! However, studies show that the changes in weather (colder temperatures, less daylight hours, etc.) cause a lot of people to fall (pun intended) into a state of melancholy which often deepens to depression during the winter months. With that being said, outside of the happiness of the Holiday season, many people think of November as a dreary month.

carrides2

 

 

But from one November bride to the next – I wish these beautiful brides unconditional love, forthright forgiveness, and a lifetime of marriage bliss…

 

Congratulations to my beautiful cousin who tied the knot with her handsome groom in New York on November 13th!

Attachment-1

reine

I love the pop of color in my cousin’s bouquet! Her jewelry is sweetly understated and really compliments the romantic headpiece. I also like the lace appliqu√© on her dress and veil. But by far the best accessory is her handsome husband on her arm!

While I’m no celebrity buff, a huge Congratulations to Solange Knowles who married Alan Ferguson in New Orleans on November 16th.¬†

solange-knowles-marries-alan-ferguson-wedding-day-1

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I don’t know very much about her as a person but at the very least I enjoy her music and can say I like her carefree black girl style.

Can we just talk about this bride’s flawless fashion? Loved, loved, LOVED her afro and all six of her wedding weekend outfits (only 5 pictured here). The capes were epic!

sol's5weddingoutfits

So what’s the secret to these November weddings? November is the best month to get married of course! (joking‚Ķsorta, kinda)

5 Reasons Why November Is the Best Month to Get Married

(Yes, this is totally biased)

  • If you’re not particularly fond of November that’s a great reason to get married in November! Why? Because it gives you something special to look forward to in one of your least favorite months.
  • November is typically associated with giving thanks (and the Thanksgiving holiday) it’s a great time to celebrate with gratitude the love you have in your life.¬†
  • Family.¬†Most¬†Families usually try to get together if no other time of year then at least ¬†for the holidays.¬†Holiday dinners (such as Thanksgiving and Christmas) are usually associated with family gatherings and even reunions. A November wedding is a perfect reason to get extended family to come together in celebration.¬†
  • Comfortable Temperatures. November is ¬†a beautiful ” just right” month ¬†– not too hot. Not too cold. The leaves are changing color and the crisp Autumn air is simply lovely. The ¬†average temperature here in Atlanta is supposed to be a high of 64 degrees and a low of 45 degrees. Although, we’ve been experiencing below average temperatures this year. It actually snowed in the early morning hours of our wedding day!!¬†
  • Stand Out While You Save.¬†A November wedding date is more uncommon. Peak wedding season is in the warmer months (April to October). Generally, weddings occur less frequently during the holiday and winter months (November to March). Although, the closer you are to a holiday the more expensive it may be, even in the off-peak season. Sometimes venues and vendors offer discount on their prices during the off-peak months.

November, like life, is what you make it. Make it great!

Thanksgiving is next week! I’m looking forward to my first holiday as a married woman :giggles:

Until next time.

Grace.&.Peace,

-CN

Wedding Wednesday: 23

hello-october-1And Hello Love Birds!!

Another Wednesday and I’m happy about it!

I’ve been M.I.A. the last two weeks and I apologize. The week before last, I took a break as it was the 3rd anniversary of Kaiya’s passage to Heaven. I took the day to reflect and I didn’t feel like writing something to share with the world. I still have a lot of emotions regarding Kaiya’s passing to work through and I took the day (September 24th) to honor her memories with happy thoughts and to be gentle with myself.

Kaiya is more alive than ever!

As GOD reminded me through His word, HE is not the GOD of the dead but of the living.

GOD is the GOD of Abraham,

the GOD of Isaac

the GOD of Jacob

the GOD of Ivy May Taylor

And

the GOD of Kaiya J. Castillo-Smith

Luke 20:37-38

Verse 38 says “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

And last week was the First Day of October!

I LOVE October and not just because it’s my birthday month lol

I love Autumn! – the cooler weather, the color change in the leaves on the trees…

It’s all so wonderful!!

That’s not my reason for not writing last Wednesday but it is worth noting because last Wednesday we were exactly 30 days away from our wedding day.

To be quite honest, I started writing this post last Wednesday but there was too much life to be attended to, to find the time to remain attached to my computer to finish the post.

The Number 23

So for a long while, years Danny has always told me that he sees 10.23 all the time. That’s significant because my birthday is in fact October 23rd (two weeks from tomorrow yikes)! I think it was also around the time he first saw the movie 23 (with Jim Carey).

For a while I thought Danny was just running game, especially since when he started saying that we weren’t living in the same state. Once I moved to Georgia and we started hanging out more and more, I realized it wasn’t something he imagined, 10.23 really did follow him everywhere:

We would be watching football and the clock would stop at 10:23 

Our football team is the Giants and Manning wears the number 10 and his man at his side wears 23.

We’re out and we look at the clock…10:23 of course.

It’s funny to me still.

Well we’re in the tenth month – October.¬†

And

In exactly 23 days – it will be our wedding day!

There goes that 10.23 again lol

I’m SO excited!!

October is an extremely busy month. Everything that has been planned up to this point now needs to be finalized.

I’m especially thankful for all the joyous plans this month holds including the Festival of Praise tour, my birthday, reuniting with all my bridesmaids for good times before the wedding, and the list goes on…

The festivities kicked off two weekends ago (in September), we were in Florida for our Pre-Wedding Reception. It was a long drive and the weekend was jam packed.

The highlights?  My second dress fitting РI am in love with the dress!! Hanging out with my nieces. Girl time with my big sister. And of course the actual event.

So what is a Pre-Wedding Reception? In this case it was an opportunity for those well wishers in Florida who would not be able to attend our wedding to join in and be part of the celebration of our impending marriage.

Shout out to my momsie too as she led the planning and execution. The event went perfectly and it was better than I could have dreamed, imagined, expected. I was a ball of emotion – I wasn’t even there 2 minutes and the tears started to flow. Smh lol.

The ministers from the church I grew up in had an opportunity to encourage Daniel and I and pray a prayer of blessing over our marriage.

We ate!

I got to see friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, years even! We even played a couple games. It was overwhelming in the best way the outpour of love and well wishes we received.

Here are a few pics from the celebration ūüôā

My little sister read 1 Corinthians 13 - that look between her and Danny is priceless. When she practiced he gave her some pointers and she ran with it. This is them now
My little sister read 1 Corinthians 13 – that look between her and Danny is priceless. When she practiced he gave her some pointers and she ran with it. This is them now
…but they've Always had my heart. This is them then. Circa 2007. Love these two together :-)
‚Ķbut they’ve Always had my heart. This is them then. Circa 2007. Love these two together ūüôā
The ministers encouraging in. I like that Danny and I are looking in opposite directions. Is it weird for me to notice that? And like it? lol
The ministers encouraging in. I like that Danny and I are looking in opposite directions. Is it weird for me to notice that? And like it? lol
King and I.  Ooh and the food! lol
King and I.
Ooh and the food! lol
Oh em gee! The cake!! Homemade, Handcrafted Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting…made from scratch. Made by the lovely Ms. Martha Reis
Oh em gee! The cake!! Homemade, Handcrafted Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting…made from scratch. Made by the lovely Ms. Martha Reis Click the picture to a link to Cakes by Martha

Cake by: Martha 

I was getting teary eyed at this point…pretty sure it was my mother speaking.
I was getting teary eyed at this point…pretty sure it was my mother speaking.
We played the shoe game!! It was hilarious! This is a question that we both agreed on…probably who will do the cooking? Danny of course lol #ChefDannyScript
We played the shoe game!! It was hilarious! This is a question that we both agreed on…probably who will do the cooking? Danny of course lol #ChefDannyScript
Danny with his mom and one of his sisters.
Danny with his mom and one of his sisters.
Me with my brother who served as the DJ for the night. He did a great job! I was hype lol
Me with my brother who served as the DJ for the night. He did a great job! I was hype lol
Us. With my main ingredients ;-)
Us. With my main ingredients ūüėČ
Us. With the Queen who loved him first.
Us. With the Queen who loved him first.
He loves me even when I make the elephant face at him. And I like that.
He loves me even when I make the elephant face at him. And I like that.

Hair By: Me

Elephant Face Courtesy of: Me

Dress: David’s Bridal

Necklace and Earrings: Sophia & Kate

Bow Tie: Croft & Barrow

Pocket Square: Stafford

Suit: J. Ferrar

Wedding Wednesdays: If You Ask Me I’m Ready

“I was wondering maybe, could I make you my baby/If we do the unthinkable, would it make us go crazy/Or would it be so beautiful/Either way I’m saying/If you ask me I’m ready‚Ķ” – Alicia Keys, Unthinkable

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs hard to love someone,‚ÄĚ Jada Pinkett Smith said, ‚ÄúIt takes so much courage and so much strength.‚ÄĚ

Unconditional love is unthinkable. 

It’s unthinkable because it’s difficult.

In our human experience we tend to shy away from difficulties, challenges, and suffering-

So why do people run to love? Or rather, run to an idolized idea of love? An idea that is often devastatingly limited? 

Does love hurt? Is love supposed to hurt?

If you find yourself in a “love” situation and are feeling pain should you look for, run to, and run through your nearest exit?¬†

Based on my own experience this is what I can share –

Love DOES hurt sometime.

CHRIST died for us because HE loved us so much and that was the only way we could one day be with Him –

pain doesn’t get much more “hurt” than that.

Not only did HE die for people who claim to love Him back (and still manage to fail living up to His example constantly) but HE also died for those who had and who would reject him.

Unrequited love is probably the worse slow burn one can imagine.

But unrequited love isn’t the only reason love can hurt.

Love hurts because it is death to self and to one’s ego.¬†

It’s unnatural, at least in Western society, to but aside one’s own ambitions and well being to focus all attention and efforts on the well being of another. It’s not so hard when children are involved because‚Ķthey are children and helpless to navigate the world on their own. But placing another capable adult before yourself, well that’s an entirely different thing altogether.

Love is about sacrifice.

And last time I checked, in the moment, sacrifice doesn’t feel good.

In fact, if sacrifice doesn’t hurt then it’s probably not as big or as meaningful a sacrifice as one might like to think.

What’s a $100 dollars to a billionaire?

And then there’s that other issue of LONG-SUFFERING which encompasses patience and forgiveness. Long-suffering is certainly not a lovey-dovey-feel-good word, but still, its a word that I’ve found characterizes the best marriages and relationships.

Exercising patience with one’s spouse and being quick to extend forgiveness so that the relationship can continue to grow and progress forward as unhindered as possible is critical to a healthy relationship.

PLEASE NOTE

While love does come with experiencing “hurt” to a degree –

The hurt experienced from “LOVE” should NEVER be physical or emotional pain resulting from physical or verbal abuse.

LOVE IS NOT ABUSE.

And long-suffering DOES NOT mean remaining in an abusive relationship hoping the perpetrator will one day change and come around to good sense. 

Love elevates. It never degrades. 

**If you find yourself in an abusive situation, marriage or relationship, PLEASE get helpthere is 24/7 confidential support – call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or go to www.thehotline.org IMMEDIATELY**

In a healthy relationship, it does take an unnatural and unthinkable amount of courage and strength (and it starts with a willingness to possess those two things) to love another person.

But if you ask me –

I’m ready.

And I have a confession, I’m not ready because I was born ready. Or because I always felt confident in my courage and strength and ability to love.

The road to readiness first started with my Heavenly Father and placing my heart in His hands – and trusting that HE would protect me so that I wouldn’t have to spend my life looking over my shoulder, watching my own back, or stuck in self-preservation mode.

My readiness started with surrender and a willingness to possess the courage and strength required to believe GOD and love others.

In my case, I also had the loving reassurance of a solid community around me – Starting with my earthly father who truly believes there is little I’m incapable of doing perhaps because of his God-confidence in the job he and my mother did with raising me. My mother, older sister/Matron of Honor, and numerous faith-filled friends (including other brides and newly-wed women) have all encouraged me along this journey.

And finally, and most relevant to my betrothal to marriage journey is the example of Danny himself.

My heart is so full, I feel like my chest is about to burst!

The last two weeks have been trying. My car broke down, and the first day Danny gave me his car to use I ran over a nail lowering the pressure in one of his tires.

Thankfully, my car is up and running now and GOD worked it out so that repairs didn’t cost nearly as much as we first calculated.

Still, for two weeks we shared one car. Fortunately, for the most part, our work schedules are opposite of each other. But for two weeks Danny put himself at a disadvantage, limiting his movement to accommodate my going to work.

For two weeks, without complaint, I watched him work tirelessly to ensure that I was taken care of – from transportation to work to belly laughter when my heart was heaviest to exercising patience with me at my moodiest.

Danny’s smile and sacrifice helped me to view the situation with a grateful heart towards GOD and GOD fanned the flames of gratitude, keeping my eyes open to HIS goodness and granting me magnanimous mercies.

Through Danny’s undaunted and undiminshed example of light and love my confidence in my ability to be strong enough and courageous enough to love and respect him (the way he deserves to be loved and respected) swelled.

There are countless other acts of kindness , friendship and love that Danny has shown me over the 11 years that I’ve known him, including, giving us the space to grow, apart from each other.

Ultimately, that was God’s way of preparing us to grow together.

In a world filled with madness, especially in these times, I’m thankful to have a strong loving leader and partner, someone to walk through the rest of this life with.

I could not have found, worked for, asked for, or prayed for a better man to be my laughing partner, life partner and best friend. 

I am confident

I am ready

I have the courage

I have the strength

To love this man with my whole heart for the rest of my life –

Challenges, Obstacles, Disappointments, Death to Self, Sacrifice, Long-suffering and All

I am ready to love him and to accept without fear, doubt or question the love he gives me, for the rest of our lives, this side of heaven.

P.S. I got our Engagement Photos Back – YAY!!

We took them at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. Shout out to our wonderful photographers husband and wife Jeff and Lia of JL Veritas photography! So much fun to work with!!

Here are some of my favs:

**To see all of them you can check out the photo album on our wedding website danielandcara.com**

Nose to Nose. Heart to Heart Black and White Ring Bling Come Close Necking So Kiss Me

Thanks for rocking with me along this journey fellow pilgrims –

It’s always a pleasure to share with you ūüôā

Peace.&.Blessings on this Wednesday,

-CN

Wedding Wednesdays: Let the Good Times Roll!

It starts.

Excitement is one thing, but actually enjoying the anticipated good times is quite another thing altogether.

It seems, at least from where I’m typing, that those times are here!

letthegoodtimesroll

Just a day short of exactly 8 months to the day of being engaged –¬†

Danny and I took our engagement photos! 

For the record, I didn’t want a long engagement. However, I was also particular about the time of year we wanted the wedding. This past Spring would have been too soon. And I definitely wasn’t planning on waiting til Spring 2015. And Autumn is another favorite time of year‚Ķand not just because its the season my birthday falls in. LOL.

Anyhoo on Sunday Danny and I went to a not-so-secret location for our engagement photo shoot. We had one change of casual clothes so one set of the photos are more dressed up than the other.

The photos won’t be ready for another few weeks and of course the big reveal will happen here once they finally are ready.¬†

I’m typically a little uncomfortable in front of the camera but I had a blast!! The photographers we worked with were wonderful!

I’ll talk more about them once I get and post the photos.

It was an ultra hot day in Atlanta –

ATLskyline

Partly cloudy. 92 degrees. Humidity was thick!

The shoot lasted about two hours.

I didn’t have my phone on me most of the time so these few pics I snapped of Danny were from when I got to change into my casual change of clothes. He changed before me so he’s already in his casual set here.

TheFin

Look at those bulging biceps! :Swoons: LOL

Oh wait.

Am I not supposed to swoon over those guns? 

I’m not in this just for his good looks. But I appreciate them!¬†

Ready

Here’s me in my casual top – after the fact…¬†

caranaan

After the engagement shoot session we went out for lunch.

I really enjoyed going out and being with him because in those moments I get to enjoy being his fiancee. I’m not a bride-to-be who is utterly consumed with planning a wedding. I’m not a future wife consumed with being perfect for her future husband.

In those moments I am simply a happy and content fiancée enjoying the company of her fiancé.

And for that reason alone I appreciate what has ended up being a long engagement.

Too many times as women we obsess over going from girlfriend to wife that we skip out on the joy found in being a fiancée. Its a process and a journey to be enjoyed no matter how long or short the engagement period. 

As I await these pictures coming in, the other fun project I get to work on is centerpieces and Danny and I get to finalize the invitations (and by default the guest list) with our graphic designer.

I’m going to enjoy the rest of this journey to the altar as much as I can over these next few months.

As of this Friday, August 1st, we will have exactly three months left!

Whoo!!

Happy Wednesday All!

Much love to you,

-CN

 

Wedding Wednesdays: The “OW” in Gown!

dun…Dun…DUN!!

Today’s Wedding Wednesday Topic centers around Bridal Fashion.

This past weekend was an experience to say the least –

I flew down to South Florida this past weekend to go try on dresses. Really, with only 4 months to go this weekend was crucial – finding a dress was necessary! But no worries – Because

I FOUND THE GOWN!

I SAID YES TO A DRESS!

I TREASUREd MY MEASURE-ments!

(^ I tried to make that work. I really did, lol)

But there was a lot going on leading up to that weekend. It was an extremely emotional week and I tried to even myself out before my Saturday appointments.

What Not To Do

My advice to future brides: Don’t be like me and wait until 4 months before the wedding before trying on dresses, if at all possible.¬†If you have a short engagement and it cannot be helped then it simply cannot be helped. In my case it really put the pressure on. It can also put a rush on things as far as making a decision and ordering a dress that will arrive in a timely manner. ¬†Thankfully, things worked out exactly as they should have in my case – I can only credit that to God – but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.

Do not use shows like “I Found the Gown” or “Say Yes to the Dress” to gage your own experience when it comes to finding your dress. Those shows lead you to believe that you have to have a certain reaction when you find the dress. Everyone’s reaction to finding their dress is different.

What To Do

Do your research – What kind of style/silhouette are you interested in? What kind of fabric do you like? This is important because if you don’t know what you want/like then you may wind up settling for what someone else likes for you.

Keep your options open – Your budget is going to play the limiting factor. It’s okay to be level headed and not get carried away on a beautiful dress that you will¬†only¬†wear one time –

Instead of buying/ordering a designer gown from a bridal boutique, consider getting something similar made. If you absolutely must have a designer gown consider renting it or finding one that was pre-owned. I know of people who have used these alternative options and found great success. Figure out what works for you and your budget.

Bridal Silouhettes and Fabrics 

Body Type and Flattering Silhouettes

Designer Lazaro put together this info graphic which makes suggestions as which bridal gown silhouette most flatters each body type. I found it courtesy of Pinterest.

dress and body types

Popular Fabrics and their Definitions 

Applique:¬†A decorative fabric design or lace cutout that is applied to another fabric such as a dress, veil or shoes. (From David’s Bridal)

Chiffon:¬†Delicate, sheer, and transparent — made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish; often layered because of its transparency, making it popular for overskirts, sheer sleeves, and wraps.

Illusion: A fine, sheer net fabric, generally used on sleeves or necklines.

Lace: A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread. There are many different types of lace (Alencon, Chantilly, Duchesse, Guipure, etc.)

Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar in effect to tulle, but more flowing; popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays.

Satin: A heavy, smooth fabric with a high sheen on one side; very common in bridal gowns.

Tulle: Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils (think ballerina tutus).

***All Definitions are from TheKnot.com unless otherwise noted.*** 

2014 Bridal Trends 

Here are THREE of the Top 2014 Fall  Wedding Dress Trends as reported by fabsugar.com:

Go Short – For the bride that’s more in love with her shoes than any other accessory and who’s been in the gym working on those killer legs a short wedding dress may be just what the stylist ordered.

Matthew Christopher Couture Fall 2014
Matthew Christopher Couture Fall 2014

 

Layer It On – As the temperature changes for Fall and Winter Weddings those brides who want to keep the chill and cold feet at bay may consider adding a layer be it a bridal cover up or wedding dress jacket.

Designer: Temperley London for Fall 2014
Designer: Temperley London for Fall 2014

Roses – Flower Child brides rejoice! Designers know that all the floral arrangements in the world could never be enough – that’s why more of them are adding rose details (rosettes) to the gowns themselves.

Designer: Marchesa Fall 2014
Designer: Marchesa Fall 2014

My Weekend Wedding Dress Adventures

So in all honesty, I kind of psyched myself out about the whole trying on dresses experience. The good thing though was that I was aware of what I was doing and I was able to recalibrate in time.

I arrived in South Florida Friday morning but I spent the day sleeping, eating and hanging out with my little sister, mom, and second mom (future mother-in-law). It was a pretty easy going day and I made it clear before arriving that I was not trying on any dresses on Friday.

I had two appointments on Saturday. One at 11am and one at 2pm. So what did I do in order to prepare for my appointments? Why, I went fishing of course! LOL

I haven’t gone fishing in YEARS! And I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because I caught quite a few. I know my Pops was glad to have the company again and he had all three of his kids with him.

gooddayforfishin

letsgofishing oneless taylorgang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got home just in time to shower and make it to my first appointment by 11:05am.

I was one of those people I talk about when watching shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” the people that arrive with an entourage and you just shake your head.

With me at my appointments: My mom, Danny’s mom, my sister and Matron Kerry, my little sister and junior bridesmaid Candace, my grandmother and one of my aunts.

sparkle
The detail from the first dress I tried on. Sparkly.

 

 

 

 

 

This is me breaking all the rules. Taking a picture of me in a Mori Lee Blu 4816 wedding dress and posting it. You're welcome. :P
This is me breaking all the rules. Taking a picture of me in a Mori Lee Blu 4816 wedding dress and posting it. You’re welcome. ūüėõ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how the gown looks on the Mori Lee site. Mori Lee Blu 4816
This is how the gown looks on the Mori Lee site. Mori Lee Blu 4816

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wasn’t sold on any of the dresses at the first place. I didn’t have a sentimental moment either – womp. womp. womp. I tried on 4 dresses or so. And it felt like playing dress up. *Shrugs*

We could have gone in early for the 2pm appointment but I opted for food instead of being early. I’m no fun when I’m shopping on an empty stomach. It was in the best interest of everyone.

The second place didn’t allow any photography. It was set up similar to those boutiques featured on “Say Yes to the Dress.” I found the dress at this place. I still didn’t really have a moment here. At one point tensions got a little high and I was more irritated than anything. But never mind amidst all of that a dress I hadn’t even found to pull at first was brought my way and it was even better than the concept I had in mind!

Once that was established. I had to find shoes and get my measurements done.

I found my shoes later that evening after spending some QT with my cutie nieces.

Sunday I went to church. Ate well. And slept even better!

Monday morning I decided to go watch the sunrise. It’s one of the perks of being all the way east.

waitingonthesun
Mr. Sun – just below the horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

newdayarrived
Risen and Shining.

 

At 10:30a I went to do my measurements. That’s when it really sank in for me. I didn’t ball – but I did get very misty eyed!

And at 4:30p I hopped a plane back to the A.

All in all it was a pleasantly eventful weekend. I’m glad things worked out the way they did and I know it was all for a reason.

There’s still a lot to be done in these 107 days leading up to the BIG day.

But as I hope you understand from me by now – its more than just about the dress, or the centerpieces and food, and all the other many details – for me the most exciting thing is being able to make the covenant commitment with Danny and God!

Okay, I’m outie.

Peace.&.Love

-CN