Untraditional: First Look with my Dad!

 

Hey everyone! Now that things have settled down a bit, I can share some wedding photos! I’m not going to share them all at once because there are SO MANY. But I’d love to start by sharing my first-look photos with my dad! They’re so incredibly wonderful! I honestly didn’t think my dad would have much of a reaction to seeing my in my wedding dress for the first time, but he was totally floored! I’ve never seen him so happy or excited!

first look with dad

first look with dad

This is definitely something I’d recommend other brides to with their dad or even grandad! Our photographer suggested it and staged the entire thing for us! She had me do all of my bridal photos and then hid me behind a pillar in front of the hotel. Then she brought my dad outside and had him turn around on the count of 3! I will never ever forget my dad’s smile. It was dynamite. So much happiness and joy on his face! He said “You and David have done this wedding up right and I couldn’t be more proud!” Those are words every kid hopes to hear from their dad, and on my wedding day, they were music to my ears!

first look with dad

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I’ll be sharing more wedding photos with you all in the coming weeks! These first look photos have just been some of my favorites and I couldn’t wait to show them to you!

Shoutout to my photographers Luisa and Douglas from Luisa’s Secret Photography for doing such an amazing job!

How I’m Beating Body Image Issues in Time for My Wedding

Leopard print dress

Oh my goodness guys, this is a hard post to write! I’ve never shied away from talking about mental health issues as I think its important to normalize talking about it. BUT, when it comes to talking about how I feel about my body and how I look- YIKES. That’s hard. It’s hard to admit I struggle with it (even though most people do to a degree).  And what I’m about to type is even harder to admit. I’ve always thought I was fat. Yep, there, I said it! I really have thought that for a long time and with my wedding coming up, it’s only been amplified.

My Ahaa! Moment

Every bride feels like she has to be perfect on her wedding day. Hair, makeup, body. Everything. For me, putting on that wedding dress was going to be the battle of my lifetime. Will it zip? Will I look fat? Will my back fat hang over my dress?!

I went for my first fitting with a seamstress and I put on my wedding dress for her to nip and tuck where appropriate. She told me that I needed some extra support “up there” if the dress was going to look right. I put the corset on that she gave me and looked in the mirror completely horrified. WHERE DID MY WAIST GO!? I asked her if she could take the dress in around the waist and she said not much more. I said ok. I left my appointment, got in the car, and burst into tears. I hated how I looked in my wedding dress. After sending pictures of me in the dress to all my bridesmaids and my mom, the verdict was clear- the dress looked good on me and my perceived “fatness” was all in my head.

I started immediately looking for someone that dealt with body image issues.

Committing to Changing My Mindset

It took me a month or so to find the right therapist to help me work through my body image issues (and about a dozen more panicked texts to my bridesmaids.) But I’ve been seeing her for a few weeks now and I already feel my mindset shifting.

The first thing my therapist told me was that she couldn’t fix my body image issues if I wasn’t committed to changing how I thought. It seems simple enough- change how you think and talk about yourself and you’ll begin to feel better. Its the most basic advice and almost anyone will tell you that, but its hard to really commit. In my case, I apparently have to pay someone to tell me to change something that I already know I should change before I’ll actually try to change it. Typical.

But I’ve committed. And yes, I have my negative moments where I criticize myself. However, I feel so much better. I don’t beat myself up for how I look in a certain dress after I’ve eaten a big meal. When I look in the mirror, I make a conscious effort to find one thing that I love about myself. It might be something small like how my engagement ring looks on my finger or how a necklace looks around my neck, but it’s still something positive!

Changing What I Put in My Body

I’ve always believed that the mind and the body are very much connected. Luckily, my therapist agrees. I was explaining to her that I always have stomach problems and never feel good, which contributes to how I feel I look on the outside (i.e. bloated.) She asked if I had any allergies and I explained that dairy wasn’t my best friend but I take pills to help with that. She told me I need to totally cut out the dairy for a trial period to see how I feel. Ugh. I love cheese. This was so hard to hear! But I agreed. Once again, apparently I have to pay someone to make me do the things I already know I should do.

Since I also have anxiety she asked how much coffee I drink in a day. Too much is the answer. She told me to cut that out as well since caffeine can often make anxiety worse. Ugh. I love coffee. But if what I put in my body is causing harm not only to my stomach but also my mind, then I have to make an effort to change that! So I am. I’m only a few days in but it’s helping!

What’s Next

I honestly am not sure what’s next in fixing my body image journey. I think there will be ups and downs. But so far the ups have felt amazing and the downs are only momentary. I’m FINALLY looking forward to putting on that wedding dress. Am I still nervous? Of course! But not so much over how my body will look. I’m nervous that my hair might not stay in place or that my makeup will smudge or that I’ll get stains on my dress. I am not nervous that I will look fat because I know my body will serve me well that day. Plus, my wedding dress is pretty darn big (hint!) so I think I’ll look pretty small in comparison!

What’s Left on Our Wedding Planning To-Do List

engagement photos flippen park dallas

Oh my goodness! Only 220-something days until David and I get married! It’s coming so fast but it’s taking sooo long at the same time. We’ve been busy saving all of our pennies and planning every detail of our wedding so that it’s everything we’ve dreamed of! I’m trying to savor every minute of the planning but it’s so easy to get caught up in the logistics of everything.

There’s quite a few things left on my to-do list, so I won’t bore you with the small details but there’s some pretty big ones I thought I’d share!

choosing the dinner menu

Our venue has a delicious restaurant on-site that will provide the catering for our reception. We still haven’t tasted any of our options yet, but we’re so excited! The options are really endless as the Landmark Restaurant tries to cater to every couple’s personal tastes. We’re doing our tasting in August!

First dance music

Oh goodness. This one will be tough. David and I love to dance (even though we can’t) and haveĀ  a blast on the dance floor at every wedding! But at our own, we don’t know what our first dance song should be! David wants a country song, I want a Nat King Cole song. So combining our taste in music should be interesting. Either way, that first dance will be so special!

Dress alterations

My dress is absolutely everything I ever wanted… but its way too big on me! I need to have it altered but the seamstress suggested I wait until the summer. That’s honestly perfect because I’m trying to drop a pound or ten (haha!) before getting it altered. I also need to choose a veil, shoes, and jewelry to compliment my dress so having all that taken care of by then will be perfect!

Choosing Bridesmaids Dresses

I’m so excited for this! I have a few dresses in mind that I’ll be sharing with my bridesmaids in a month. It’s difficult when you have a huge bridal party (8 girls!) and you have 8 different body types to dress. No one has the same body and making my bridesmaids feel comfortable in what they’re wearing is important to me!

I can’t wait to share more details with you in the coming months! I’m trying not to giveaway the entire wedding before it even happens (trust me, it’s so hard!) but I’ll share what I can!

 

Saying Yes to the Dress: Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

patsys bridal boutique

bridal accessories

patsys bridal boutique bride

Hey everyone! I’ve been a little MIA recently but I just needed some time to relax and watch nonstop fall Hallmark movies with my dog and cat. But now I feel rested and ready to get back to blogging and sharing some fun wedding news! I SAID YES TO THE DRESS! Its all I can do not to share the actual dress with you but since David might see it, I definitely can’t. Plus, the surprise will be worth it!

I was definitely surprised by how different the experience was than I thought it would be. I haven’t been shy about sharing with you how my self-esteem isn’t always great and I genuinely worry about my weight. I really let it impact how I approached dress shopping, but honestly, once I was in a dress, my insecurities melted away. I felt so beautiful! So I’m sharing my dress shopping tips with you real quick!

Expect the Best Experience

I had read reviews of a few dress boutiques I was interested in going to and the bad reviews scared me off. A few brides said that the associate said they were too big for a certain dress and others said the seamstresses were rude. Having read all of that negativity, I was terrified to go to my dress appointments. I was already sensitive about my weight and knew if someone made even a small comment I would lose it. But I couldn’t have been more wrong! Everyone that helped me try on gowns was amazing and did their best to make me feel comfortable. So expect the best experience!

Try on Every Dress Style

I thought for sure I’d wear a high neck, low back ball gown. Nope!! The first wedding dress I tried on was one I had been dreaming of and met all my specifications. I HATED it. I came out of the dressing room and already knew this wasn’t going to work. So I decided to try on several other gowns and I ended up with a very different dress than I thought I would because it was simply more flattering and I felt amazing in it.

Dress Sizes are Strange

I’m a size 8 in dresses but I was a size 12 in wedding dresses. Ummm what? Wedding dress sizes are different from street sizes. Whatever size you are, expect to size up a bit. I was able to squeeze into all of their sample sizes but when they ordered a 12 for me I was a little depressed. Luckily, the girls at Patsy’s Bridal (where I bought my dress) were super sweet and explained that the sizing is always weird.

You’ll Be on the Fence About a Dress

I really thought I’d find the dress, cry, and buy it. Nope. I actually found my dress, tried it on, kept trying on dresses and comparing it to the original dress, and then put that back on. I stood there for a good 10 minutes totally unsure if it was “the one.” Finally, I asked the girls at Patsy’s if they’d get me a tulle petticoat to go under the skirt to make it more Cinderella. When that didn’t totally sell me, they brought a cathedral veil and blingy necklace. WOW. I knew it was the dress after they “jacked me up.” And I can’t wait to show it to you!

 

A Country Wedding: My Friends’ Big Day

I went to my friend’s wedding this weekend in central Virginia. The venue was held on a beautiful, historical farm in the countryside. It was a wonderful afternoon with superb weather and even better company. The bride and groom met each other at an internship we were all doing in Arlington, VA. It wasn’t until the last few weeks of it that they started dating though. Against all odds, they made it through a year of long distance and ended up moving to the same town to begin working. A year later, they got engaged at Christmas! It was such a pleasure to be there with them as they started their lives together. It was the first wedding I have been to that didn’t make me want to elope! Here are a few photos from the day!

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Kelly and her dad!
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Champagne toast!
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Their first kiss as a married couple!
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Candid moment
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The beautiful horses