Real Wedding: Derek+Rebecca

>> Monday, May 31, 2010

I adore the outdoor fun of this wedding! The couple did a dove release and their centerpieces are AMAZING, not to mention the beautiful photos from L Squared Design & Photography. Check it out!


Fat Girl Confessional

>> Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weigh-in results this week - I'm down 4.5 pounds! Yeah!!! I'm definitely feeling good and starting to see some results, however small they may be right now. It's really encouraging to see the positive energy that all of my fellow contestants have as well. Having teammates really helps hold us all accountable.

One other thing that has helped hold me accountable is keeping a daily food journal. It's pretty depressing to write down "half a box of Oreo cookies", so it motivates me to not eat those Oreo cookies in the first place. Here's one of my daily entries (granted, this is one of my better eating days!):

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with shredded cheese on top, 1 cup of Special K, 1 cup of skim milk
Snack: 1 cup of cottage cheese, water
Lunch: Flat-out wrap (they sell these at HyVee and they're AWESOME and low-calorie!) with deli turkey, alfalfa sprouts, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers; 1 cup of strawberries; water
Snack: 1 container of strawberry Greek Yogurt (made by Yoplait and sold at most major grocers), water
Dinner: 6 oz of grilled salmon, steamed veggies (broccoli, snap peas, carrots, baby corn), Diet Pepsi
Snack: 1 bag of 100-calorie SmartPop Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Diet Pepsi

It takes some planning ahead, but as you can see, none of the items on this list would take a ton of time to prepare. Check in next week to read about another way I save time, money, and calories: weekly meal planning!


Things We Love!

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm digging this Etsy seller, paperacorn! She makes custom favor boxes, paper decorations, and luminaries. Here are a few of her great creations.

[click to enlarge]


Friday Freebies!

>> Friday, May 28, 2010

Today's giveaway is an incredible deal from Sullivan Photography - one free hour of wedding photography! Brides, if you haven't booked your wedding photographer yet, you should definitely take advantage of this deal! Jamy Sullivan is a fantastically talented photographer, and on top of that, she's the kind of person who will go out of her way to make sure your day is perfect. Just check out the raves from other brides on her website!

Click HERE to enter or leave your email address in the comments below! (Must register by Monday, May 31st to win.)


Trend Alert!

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

We've been hearing for the last year or two that bridal bouquets were going to become less perfectly round and move towards a more natural, asymmetrical look. I think we can officially say the trend has been perfected by Town & Country Floral, the creative genius behind this gorgeous wedding. You can reach Town & Country at 402.916.9400.This is definitely not like your mother's 1980s cascading bouquet, but it's a unique twist on that idea. How great are these flowers? The color and design are absolutely perfect for a spring/summer wedding!  

*Photos courtesy of Todd Rundstrom with Image Factory Photography.


Inspiration Board #16: Backyard Barbecue

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gotta love the hot days of summer! This board is the perfect thing to get you in the mood for a down-home backyard wedding. Think homemade cherry pie, corn on the cob, and lemonade...mmm...

[click to enlarge]

From left to right:


Things We Love!

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, brides, I know you're going to love this adorable online find as much as I do! Mod Cloth is a vintage/retro online store with unique accessories, dresses, tops, swimsuits...just tons of cute finds! It's the perfect place to find that special rehearsal dinner dress or fun vintage items. There's even an under $50 section of dresses for the budget-minded girl. Love it!


Real Wedding: Denise+Manuel

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

One of the best things about this blog is getting to share incredibly special and creative weddings like this one with other brides. It's clear that this bride put a huge amount of effort into putting together a totally one-of-a-kind event. Colleen Dustin Photography did a spectacular job capturing each memorable detail.



Fat Girl Confessional

>> Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ok, brides, this week I'm sharing some of the valuable knowledge I've been getting with Wealth for My Health. Karen Kuzma, MS, RD, LMNT is a registered dietician at Hy-Vee who has been giving the challenge participants tons of helpful info on our daily meal plans.

I didn't realize it, but they overhauled the Food Pyramid awhile ago. Check out for tons of helpful info on nutrition. You can even create a plan based on your age, height and weight for how much you should be eating in each food group in the "interactive tools" section.

One of the big wake-up calls for me has been portion size. How many of us have 6-8 oz of chicken breast for dinner and think we've had one serving? Surprise, surpise...1 serving is actually 3-4 oz. I'm sure many of you already knew this, but count me among those that were a bit delusional about what realistic portion sizes are. Karen showed us some really disturbing images of how portion size has grown over the last twenty years (see below).

I've really been struggling with this part. A lot of times I eat what is considered "one serving" and still have a hungry feeling. Instead of indulging it by piling on more pasta (or caving in to my desperate chocolate cravings), I've been trying to fill up on veggies when I find myself still feeling hungry. I have definitely trained my mind to think my body needs more food than it does.

Now, brides, I know most of you are just trying to drop a few pounds before your wedding. However, if you start the healthy habits now, not only will you look great in your wedding gown, you'll also create a great legacy for you, your fiancé, and (maybe someday) your children. When I think about my son or daughter consuming a "regular-size" burger that contains 843 calories in the year 2030, I'm more than a little concerned!


Choosing a Theme

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

In the past (think back to your parents' old wedding photos) weddings were based around colors. But over time, weddings have morphed into major events that center around unique concepts and styles, not just colors.

Take, for example, a recent bride for whom NWD created a custom inspiration board (photo at right). Her theme? Peacock. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect theme for your wedding.

1. Consider your budget. The amount you have to spend on your wedding will definitely be a deciding factor in how high-concept your wedding will be. If your budget is small, take heart: a hugely popular theme right now is DIY, so you can still have a memorable event at a small price.

2. Talk with your fiancé. You may be doing all of the planning for your wedding, but your fiancé would probably not appreciate a Disney Princess theme (nor would most anyone else). Getting your fiancé's seal of approval is key. Take into consideration things that you have in common.

3. Start with the basics. If you're at a loss for where to begin, color is still a good place to start. If you love the idea of black and silver together, try expanding on that. A Hollywood-style wedding, for example, would fit well with those colors. Likewise, this can help you weed out ideas that won't work. Black and silver would probably not be the best if you're planning an outdoor ceremony in a garden in June.

4. Research! Scour the internet and magazines for inspiration. You'd be amazed at how finding one element that you love helps you build an entire theme. Example: the buttons in the photo at right could lead you into a quirky, artsy theme for your wedding. Have your guests take Polaroid photos with fake mustaches for the guest book. Have a caricature artist at the reception. Turn the font in the buttons into a classic font for your entire wedding, all the way down to the invitations and programs.

5. Choose your passion. Your guests are going to attend many weddings in their lifetime. What will make yours stand out? Selecting a theme that you're passionate about is the best way to make your wedding enjoyable for you and your guests. NWD has seen weddings from brides that chose themes from the most unusual concepts: The movie The Princess Bride; Aspen; a carnival, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; science (yes, you read that right!); cultural celebrations...the possibilities are endless. Choose something that makes you smile and your guests will be smiling, too!


Friday Freebies

>> Friday, May 21, 2010

Ok, brides, today's a great day to find a photographer! Douglas Gunder, Photographer is offering one lucky lady a FREE engagement session and a free 8 x 10 ($145 value)! Check out some of his lovely photos below.

To enter, simply leave your email address in the comments below or click HERE!*

*Must enter by Monday, March 24 to win.


Leave a suggestion and win!

>> Thursday, May 20, 2010

OK brides, NWD is starting to plan for our next issue and we want to hear from you! Any suggestions you have about articles, quizzes, covers, etc...share away! And here's the best part: if you offer a suggestion, you'll be entered to win $200 to VIP Limo (just make sure you provide an email address)!

We have some exciting things in the works for 2011, and your feedback will only help us get better. You can leave a suggestion in the comments section below or email me at if you prefer.

Thanks, ladies! We couldn't do it without you!


Inspiration Board #15: Surf and Sand

>> Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How fun! This week's bride is planning a destination wedding in Kauai (one of the Hawaiian islands). Her color focus is on the natural colors of the sea (aqua) and sand (biege and soft pink). She sent me the top right picture from Martha Stewart Weddings as inspiration (they're doing something like this for their place cards). Hope you all enjoy the results!

[click to enlarge]
From left to right:


Bride Blogger Bailey: The Final Countdown

>> Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh boy, the countdown is officially on! With 11 days to go, the "to-do" list gets larger and larger.

Last weekend I had a Pampered Chef bridal shower. If you haven't heard of this, they are AWESOME, and your guests will love it too! The only thing your guests have to do is bring a monetary gift and enjoy the show. If they decide to buy something for themselves as well, you get all of the host benefits!

Between the total monetary gifts, the half-price items, and the free host products, Evan and I got around $1,400 in free products. Needless to say, our kitchen is now 100% stocked and we haven't even had the wedding! I can't wait to start cooking!

On the list for today is getting all my jewelry for the wedding. I did decide to go with pearls, but now it's on to getting the right earrings and bracelet. Evan and I are also working on our wedding programs. We have them close to being finished; we just need to get them proofed. I'm also working on writing thank-you's from the bridal showers. I figured the more I can get done before the wedding the better, considering I'll have just a few to write after the wedding! :)

Now on to little details of making appointments for pedicures and manicures and figuring out who will bring us breakfast the morning of the wedding. Fun stuff but lots to do. I'll check back in with you all as things get closer!


Real Wedding: Chey+Ann

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

Today we have a GORGEOUS elegant wedding from the super-talented Lane Hickenbottom with Lane Weddings. He was kind enough to give us a little synopsis of each photo. Enjoy! Thee images are fabulous!
Chey and Ann planned a beautiful two-day wedding. The first day, a Friday evening in July, the two were married in the back yard of Chey's mother in front of a small group of friends and family. The wedding was simple, intimate and elegant. Each had their only sibling--Ann's sister and Chey's brother--stand for them.
The back yard was a beautiful setting. Here Chey and Ann walk "down the aisle", along the swimming pool after the ceremony.

Right after the ceremony, Ann changed dresses so she could wear her wedding gown the next day at her reception. We spent a few minutes shooting my signature, big-sky sunset portraits. Generally this is about as beautiful as a sky as you can hope for. Little did we know that about an hour later it would be even better.

Ann had planned for luminaries to be lit up and down the long driveway leading to the back yard. At dusk they were stunningly beautiful. I love this quiet moment between Ann and Chey--one of my favorite photos from the 2009 wedding season.
A little later in the evening a thunderstorm rolled in. As it approached they sky was electric and gave us an amazing opportunity to shoot some portraits with the storm in the background. We probably shot this for about fifteen minutes and there were 3 or 4 frames with good lightning, but this was easily the most dramatic.
This shot of Ann's bouquet was made the following day at the Lincoln Country Club. The bouquet was made by Burton Tyrrell's in Lincoln.

Their cakes were done by Linda Hudson of Butterfly Bakery, whom Ann called "outstanding". In addition to this cake the couple had a Fenway Park groom's cake. Chey and Ann, both from Lincoln, were living in Boston at the time of their wedding.
Chey and Ann practice their first dance together on a fairway at the Lincoln Country Club.
Practice makes perfect as all eyes are on the couple during their first dance.


Fat Girl Confessional

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010

Here's a summary of my week:

Monday afternoon: Waaa. I don't want to go to boot camp today. I'm stuck at work all day. Sorry, I meant to say I am BLESSED to go to my wonderful job today! (No, seriously, I do love my job. And I'm not just saying that because my bosses are probably reading this.) I want to see my kids (funny how when I don't see them all day, I think of them as little angels, but when I'm home with them all day, I'm ready to tear my hair out by noon). I feel lazy and tired. How long is it going to take to lose some weight already???

Monday evening: I sucked it up and went to boot camp and now I feel great! Time to get weighed in. What??? I gained ANOTHER pound? But wait...I actually lost an inch off my waist and half a percent of body fat!!!! Sweet! I'd much rather have lean muscle and be a little heavier than weigh less and be flabby.

Tuesday: Sore, sore, sore. But I'm going to work out anyway.

Wednesday: My generous bosses let me use the elliptical machine after work today. Gotta get in some cardio.

Thursday: One of my favorite "healthy" food finds: The Luna Bar. Heather at Body Overhall advises me that I should not use these for my ONLY snack (why would I do that? Because they taste like little bites of heaven?), but they're great in a pinch after working out. I particularly love the Iced Oatmeal Cookie and the Peanut Butter Cookie. They're made with organic ingredients and packed with tons of nutrients.

Friday: Another favorite healthy food find: alfalfa sprouts. I LOVE the Beach club at Jimmy John's, but it's not exactly a great weight-loss tool. However, I did take a page from their book and now I stick alfalfa sprouts in my lunchtime sandwiches (made with whole grain bread, deli turkey, tomatoes and onions). I feel like a rabbit eating this, but it tastes pretty good.

Saturday: I took Friday off from working out, so it's time to get my butt in gear again. I'm doing the Jillian Michael's 30-day shred DVD in some of my off-days (alternating with cardio per Heather's recommendations). I love it because it's only 20 minutes but it's an INTENSE workout. Can't find any fault with that!


Things We Love!

>> Saturday, May 15, 2010

We LOVE some of the custom-designed invitations and save-the-dates our talented NWD vendors have been creating. Check out a few of these from inclosed. How cute are the custom maps?

[click to enlarge]


Friday Freebies!

>> Friday, May 14, 2010

This week's giveaway comes from the talented DreamShare Productions. They're offering $100 off your wedding videography!* I don't know any brides who regret having had videography done at their wedding, but I do know many brides who didn't hire a videographer and wished they had.

Leave your email address in the comments below to enter! (Must enter by Monday, May 17th to win.)

*Must book by July 1, 2010.


Bride Blogger Kayley: Going to the Chapel

>> Thursday, May 13, 2010

This will be my last post until after the wedding…I’m getting married in 10 days! It seems like there’s still so much to do but I am so excited at the same time. I never would have guessed that I could throw together a wedding weekend for 200 people in 5 months, but I did. It’s going to be fabulous!

I cannot wait to marry Mark! Every day seems to be better than the last. Just last night, I had cooked dinner, finished the table numbers, and felt the need to just crash on the couch for a bit. I was wearing an old T-shirt and raggedy shorts without a lick of makeup on my face and Mark looks over at me and has this ridiculously large grin on his face. “You’re amazing,” is what he tells me. My heart just melted.

I am so lucky! I sometimes think back on the chain of events that led us to each other. We seemed to be running parallel for our entire lives (life revolving around soccer, similar college experiences, same degrees, both having been engaged before, accepting the same job, etc.) and finally those paths met. It’s an amazing time in our lives and I’m so fortunate to share it with others. Thank you to those who have sent me encouraging Facebook messages and posts. I love hearing from you; y’all are the best and I wish y’all such happiness in your owns lives.

Now, I’m set on packing my bags for a road trip to Omaha to become Mrs. Mark Nammari. I’ll write all about our adventures after our return from Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, and Mallorca!). For now, let’s get married!



Inspiration Board #14: Carnivale

>> Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Here's a fun board - the weather has been so nasty for the last few days that I decided it was time to brighten things up. Time to hit the local carnival!

[click to enlarge]

From left to right:
Bottom row: Balloon image

Also, brides, keep the custom inspiration board requests coming! Remember, they're FREE...just email the following info to
Wedding Style or Theme (retro, trendy, classic, vintage, etc.)
Wedding colors (or favorite colors if you haven't selected wedding colors yet)
Vendors currently participating in your wedding
Favorites (TV shows, travel destinations, etc.)
Any special/romantic stories about you and your fiancé that you would like included
Other pertinent details that are important to your wedding theme


Sunny Weather Seating Cards

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yuck! We've all been getting spoiled by the beautiful weather and now it's nonstop rain for a week. Here's a lovely reminder of brighter days ahead with some creative seating cards from Martha Stewart Weddings. All DIY, all unique, and all adorable! Check out the links below for the how-to on each creation.

Clockwise from top left: Umbrellas, Daisies, Teak boards, Butterflies


Destination Engagement Shoot: Micah+Leanna

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

Wow, wow, wow...I love everything about this shoot! Melenbacker Photography traveled to Beverly Hills and Malibu to shoot these gorgeous photos. Micah is a producer in LA and Leanna is finishing up her teaching degree in Texas. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos with us, Shane & Erin!


Fat Girl Confessional: Losing the Weight

>> Sunday, May 9, 2010

I had my first weigh-in this past Monday. And...I GAINED THREE POUNDS!!! What the...? Ok, I know that this is fairly common. Muscle weighs more than fat so technically I probably gained three pounds of muscle and am toning up. But's hard to stay encouraged in my quest to lose weight when the reverse is happening so far.

It's moments like this when I have to remind myself that this is not just about losing weight so I look better. It's about being healthier, living longer, and teaching my children good habits. My grandmother has Type II Diabetes; I know if I'm not careful that could end up being my future as well.

Hopefully next week I will have a progress report with more positive results. In the meantime, I plan to continue working my tail off while a variety of expletives repeat themselves in my brain (I would never say them OUT LOUD, of course, but that doesn't mean I can't think them).


Things We Love!

>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

Express yourself with these super cute custom button favors on Etsy. I love the "Team Bride" and "Team Groom" buttons! And at $15 for 25, they're affordable, too!


Friday Freebies

>> Friday, May 7, 2010

This week's giveaway is perfect for the beautiful spring weather! Who isn't enjoying the gorgeous spring flowers sprouting up everywhere? Beyond the Vine is offering one lucky bride a FREE bridal bouquet ($150 value)!*

Simply leave your email address in the comments section below to be entered for this fabulous prize!

*With a $1500 minimum booking. Must register by Monday, May 10th to win.


Bride Blogger Kayley: The Dress is Here!

>> Thursday, May 6, 2010

It’s here! It’s here! My dress is finally here!!!

Yesterday afternoon, I waited impatiently at work until the clock struck 2:45PM. Time to go to my first dress fitting! I waited impatiently at every light, tried not to curse at the maniac Houston drivers (I thought this might lead to bad dress karma.), did curse when a lady in her Land Rover cut me off (I drive a Focus, don’t hate mean rich lady!), but arrived on time to the bridal boutique.

Hello Winnie Couture! It’s been since January since I gazed up at your crystal chandeliers and stared longingly row upon row at the white poofs of wedding dresses. Don’t you just want to fall into these?! Or is that just me?

(Please excuse my picture taking ability. I have a condition that causes my hands to shake. All. The. Time.)

Jennifer, the manager, led me back to the dressing rooms and asked me to wait as she looked for my gown. My gown, oh how I love thee. It’s simplicity but dramatic train are breath taking. No lace, no beads, just perfectly tailored rouching and a sprinkling of buttons down the back are all it needs.

Because my fiancé never reads this blog (he prefers my Army one instead), I think it’s perfectly safe to post this. Plus, I can’t resist not showing my dress off. She deserves it! She was made from scratch with my measurements and my changes to the sample (different color and fabric with added buttons and no sash).

I could nit pick about how my shoulders look huge (thank you Army) or how I feel I could stand to lose a few pounds but the dress itself is absolutely fabulous. I love everything about it! I love how when I look at it, I remember the moment I first tried it on and how my mom, bless her heart, cried. And what I love the most is that this is the gown I will be wearing as I walk down the aisle in 16 days.


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