The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

just added… July 11, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:03 pm
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…some wedding pics to the “about” tab there on the top right…go check ’em out!


Like Teddy P said… July 9, 2010

Filed under: Marriage,Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 11:28 pm
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…I think I better let it go. As much as I love looking at wedding blogs and whatnot, it may be time for me to add to my repetoire since I’m a married lady now.  Shouldn’t I be reading married chick blogs and trying to identify with those similarly mated?

I can say that it’s not as easy as it sounds.  I’ve spent a long time as Single Dawn and a few months as Engaged Dawn…now I’m embarking on life as Married Dawn.  I knew how to be Single Dawn and was just getting to navigate life as Engaged Dawn, now who is this Married Dawn gonna be?  One thing that I know for sure is that I have to switch gears from Engaged Dawn because she was Super Planner Lady who did things and informed rather than asked before doing.  What’s the diff, you ask?  Gigantic.  I may or may not have done a couple small things recently without asking and received a less than stellar reaction.

Hmmm…so I’m not the wedding boss anymore?  I’m looking forward to figuring out how The Mister and I will be together.  What’s gonna be our “thing”?  Are we going to throw sweet dinner parties and be all hip and cool?  Will we get to know all of our neighbors and have stop-and-chats in the yard?  This is a fun time to think who our little family’s going to be.


And you are? July 5, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:10 pm

With all of this traveling that The Mister and I’ve been doing, answering the question of who I am is easier said than proven.

Remember our travel schedule May 31 – June 10 in Mexico, June 15 – 20 in Arizona, June 28 – 30 in Wisconsin working a camp, and July 1 – 3 in Baltimore at a wedding.  So not a lot of days to get the house cleaned up of all our gifts and wedding stuff, send out thank you cards, try to organize two people’s stuff in one place…oh, and try to enjoy being married.  Also not a lot of time to try to get this name change business together.

So lots of folks get married right?  Like all the time huh?  And according to that Psychology Today article I quoted before, 83% of chicas change their names, which means that those powers that be should know how to do this right?  So why is it so hard?  First things first, please understand that you’ve only got thirty days after your wedding date to change your benefits info at work…that’s huge.  I didn’t know this.  How?  I don’t know, but I didn’t so I figured that maybe you didn’t either.

Anyhoo, trying to get a copy of our marriage certificate has been more difficult than finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  They don’t take checks…I haven’t been in town…so I’ve been married over a month and still don’t have one in my hot little hands.  I need that certificate for everything else to flow.  FYI, check out the Thirty Something Bride’s post on name changing and save your money with those companies that claim to help.

Limbo…it’s not just a pole dance (hee, hee), but a place where newlyweds live when you know that you’ve got a new name (yippee!) but have absolutely no way to prove it.  Here’s an example from this past weekend.

*I was coming back from shopping because The Mister had wedding work to do*

Me:  Hi there!  Can I have another key made please?  We can’t find our other one.
Lady at the counter:  Sure, what’s your name and room number?
Me: *give her the info*
Lady at the counter:  Great…I just need to see some id!
Me: *heavy sigh, because I’ve been thru this before* Okay, so the name doesn’t match because we just got married.
Lady at the counter:  *making funny face* Do you have any id with your new name on it?
Me: *tell her that whole story I just detailed for y’all up there* No, but we are married I promise.
Lady at the counter:  Do you know what card he used to make the reservation?
Me: *slumping shoulders* No.
Lady at the counter:  How about his address?
Me:  *excited because I actually know this information*

That was just to get a hotel key made…ugh!  Did anyone else deal with this craziness or am I just functioning at a very low level, lol!


recaps: the week of June 14, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:27 pm
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I know you’re all waiting for recaps of the actual wedding day (and they’re coming!), but I’m going to tell you this in all honesty:  my preparation for the wedding made the day fun & enjoyable for me.  The day didn’t fly by, I remember everything, and I had a blast.  The only thing I can say is get your ducks in a row early and you’ll be chillin’ on your day instead of running around like a crazy lady.

My to-do list.  I didn’t do anything unless it was on my to-do list.  If I thought of something I should do, I put it on my to-do list and did it when it came around.  Why?  Because there were a bajillion things to do and if I got off track for every super-important-gotta-do-it-right-now, nothing would’ve gotten accomplished.

And I think because I like the to-do list so much, my vendors could sense my Type A personality…perhaps it was oozing off of me like pheromones or something, because they took their lists very seriously.  I met with my dj and I’m gonna tell you what…he set it off at the reception.  Why?  Because we’d met that week and went over the list and I said very seriously (but with a very pleasant smile) that I want you to play these songs, in this order during appetizers and dinner.  And very politely and very sweetly (but very seriously) I want you to play these songs, in this order when everyone’s dancing.

Controlling much?  I know, but (and this is just my opinion) as much as the wedding is about the family and your friends and not just about you and your future hubby…the wedding planning is yours lady.  Remember that, because the week of the wedding is when everyone comes in…friends, family, mom.  Still…the planning is yours.  Stick to the plan…and those people are there to help you enact the plan.

Anyhoo, I gave the dj an Excel spreadsheet with tabs at the bottom (sound familiar?) for appetizers, dinner, special dances, and dancing.  On the “dancing” page, I had it broken down by slow, midtempo, fast, and rap songs.  I did the same type of thing for the photographers.  We met and I gave them my list of pics I wanted them to take and when.  And guess what I heard all day long from them: “okay the next picture on your list is…”  They actually listened!  Now we had very few (maybe thirty or so) formal shots and the rest were candids that I gave them no direction on…they did a great job.  This is the picture they were worried about because I wanted one of everyone who came to the wedding…it’s my fave that I’ve seen so far (it’s a screen shot from AisleDash):

I hate to keep beating this same drum, but for those of you who are coordinating your own wedding, you’ve got to have a great relationship with your vendors and they’ve got to know what you want them to do…you don’t want them guessing or doing what they did for someone else’s wedding.


Recaps: working out June 13, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 5:52 pm
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I had plans of working out during the week of the wedding…I even put it on my timeline for the “week of”.  Clearly I was delusional.  But two weeks out, I was still working it out like a rock star.  At that point, I needed to workout to get the nervous energy out.  Ladies, I know you love your man…you think he’s the bees knees, right?  So do I, but I was getting nervous as all get out!  So that week I got after it.

I also had manual labor to do around the house.  Like I said, my house was wedding central.  Not just because I was the bride, but because I’m not from here, so literally everyone I know was from out of town.  So lots of folks were gonna be around…not to mention the bridal shower my maid of honor (also from out of town) was hosting at my place the Wednesday before our Friday wedding.

Anyhoo, back to the manual labor.  Last summer, I put in three large flower beds at my house and they’re gorgeous.  I’m really proud of them because I put them in myself with a shovel and hoe…no machines did my work for me.  The only problem with beautiful flower beds is that they also get weeds and two weeks before the wedding, the weeds were winning the battle.  So I got to work and it took four hours in each bed to weed and groom them…seriously.

As crazy as all of that weeding was, it was great for me.  I got a chance to be by myself, in my own head, relax, think about the wedding, not think about the wedding…it was awesome.  These were some of my last moments of solitude and they were wonderful.  I think when you’re coordinating your own wedding, the week of will be pure craziness, but try to find time in that second to last week to take care of you.  Read books, watch movies, work out…whatever you need to do to get your mind right.  I’d also plan lots of time with your boo, because the week of the wedding you’re gonna be MIA.


recaps: organization June 12, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:48 pm
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When The Mister and I were going thru the various airports involved with getting to and from our honeymoon, I told him that I’m super forgetful and that’s why I generally write lists for everything and was currently checking for my passport and boarding pass on a level some would call “compulsive”.  When he asked how I figured out I was forgetful, I told him that I got a lot of whuppins when I was younger.  Seriously.  It’d go something like this:

Mom/Dad:  Dawn, go clean up your room please.
Me:  okay! *continuing to watch TV*
Mom/Dad:  didn’t we just tell you to clean up your room? *alerting me to oncoming danger by the edge in their voice*
Me: oh right, I’m going right now!  *continuing to watch TV and missing that voice thing*
Mom/Dad:  girl, you better get in your room and clean it up!! *hard stare*
Me: okay! *walk to room, forget I’m supposed to be cleaning and start playing with dolls*
Mom/Dad:  go get the switch!
Me: dangit!

So, after many (many) different versions of the same story, I learned that I’m forgetful.  As a result, I believe in lists and writing myself notes.  I even tell people that they should assume that I’m going to forget unless they see me write it down.  And that’s where this whole wedding planning business starts…organization.  It’s been that way since the beginning, but in those last two weeks before the big day…it is essential.

I’ll start with the timelines that I sent to the wedding party, here’s a pic that’s probably too small to see:

I sent this out via email to everyone, including the ladies who would help me on the day of.  Now I didn’t have a wedding coordinator, but I did have a group of wonderful ladies who were amazingly helpful and deserve their own post and will get one.

Anyhoo, this was done in an Excel spreadsheet and had tabs at the bottom: week of, rehearsal, wedding and reception, wedding, cell phone numbers.  The week of tab was so that everyone could plan out their personal stuff around “mandatory” wedding activities and the rehearsal tab was for the dinner.  The wedding and reception tab was an all-encompassing timeline from 11 am until 11 pm broken down by the hour for the wedding party and vendors.  The wedding tab was broken down in fifteen minute increments and was how the actual ceremony should play out and the cell phone number tab was all wedding party and vendor phone/email contact info.

For those of you out there who are coordinating your own wedding, but relying on others to help on the day of…this is critical!  You don’t want to be the go to person for anything on the wedding day.  Your ladies and your coordinators have to know what you want done, when you want it done, and be able to contact folks if it’s not getting done.

And for you planning, organizing, list-making, Type-A’s like myself…you have to let it go.  You’ve got to trust your plan, trust your organization, trust that you’ve communicated your vision, and trust that your peeps love you enough to accomplish it for you…and then let it go.  You can’t worry about how things are going, you can’t be nipping at people’s heels making sure they’re doing things “right”, you can’t have a sour look on your face that makes other people nervous that they’re upsetting you.  The only thing you can do once you really hand the reigns over, is be positive and thankful and supportive of those folks who are kind enough to work like field slaves for you.

But playas…that’s the day of the wedding.  Until then, you hold on to your wedding plan and planning with a tight grip, lol!  Didn’t Charles Heston say something about cold, dead hands?  ‘Nuff said.

So how are you (or did you) staying organized?  Especially if you don’t have a coordinator to do everything for you…how will you make sure stuff happens the way you see it in your head?


Recaps: ground rules June 11, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:42 pm
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Okay ladies, I figured I should start with my recaps, but I wanted to let you know the deal first.

I’m not an anonymous blogger.   My pictures are on here, our wedding website is on here…people know who I am.  Sooo, that means I’ve got to be smart about my recounting of any recap that will put someone else in a bad light.  I certainly will tell the truth and being an English major should help as I tiptoe around any ticking bombs, but know that I’m not gonna be giving the blow by blow of how people showed their collective tails at various times.  I’ll figure out a way to get my point across.

Also, I wanted to start my recaps at about two weeks before the wedding…that’s crunch time y’all.  At two weeks out, your heart is beating a bit faster and your mind races.  At about a week out, you sleep very little…keep a notebook by your bed because you’ll think of all sorts of things in the middle of the night and you don’t want to be like me and have to get up every time you think of something to add to your to-do list.  About three to four days before the wedding, your house will become wedding central…or Crazytown as we came to call it.  People and stuff everywhere!

Anyhoo, we’ll chat tomorrow.  Take copious notes…there’ll be a test afterwards.


together June 10, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:30 pm
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So this is one of my favorite non-professional pics that I’ve seen thus far.  It’s from after the wedding when The Mister and I stayed at the host hotel.  We’d both gone to the wedding chapel and everything separately so we didn’t exactly have enough bags/hangers for all of our crap…and believe me, you’ll have a lot of crap once it’s all said and done!  Anyhoo, he actually knew where his hanger was so when we were packing up after the goodbye breakfast, I just put my dress on his suit hanger.

And there they were.  My wedding dress.  His wedding suit.  Together.  These two clothing items had started their days very differently and in different locations…like The Mister and I.  They ended their day together, occupying the same space…just like The Mister and I.  When I bought the dress and when he bought his suit, they each had their own places to live (hangers and separate closets)…and now, just like The Mister and I, they’re living together in close quarters.

I’d imagine that much like he and I, those clothing items are learning to live in a “we” world, in a together universe, to share everything in a way that they’ve never had to.  Not just surface sharing, but a deep connected  togetherness that is awesome and intimidating all at the same time.  If the dress is like me, it’s trying to stop being so bossy.  If that suit is like The Mister, it’s probably wondering why picking clothes up off of the floor is so important, lol!

Ladies, I look at my ring and I think (and sometimes say), “I’m married…how ’bout that?!”  We just got back from our honeymoon late last night and will leave town in five days for another trip.  But the difference between these trips and the others that we’ve taken as a couple is that I’m his wife and he’s my husband. I’m telling you the truth y’all…it’s not perfect, but it’s perfectly awesome.


OMG!… June 8, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:38 pm
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…OMG!  OMG!  OMG!  OMG!!

Check out this story on The Mister and I!!  OMG!  It’s got pics we haven’t even seen yet!

Clink on the link and let me know what you think:


talk about it June 7, 2010

Filed under: Post wedding — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:10 pm
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So here are you options to figure out why I’m making this super awesome face in this picture:

1)  I stepped in doggie doo
2)  I’m not a big fan of iguanas and, as you can see, The Mister is holding one
3)  The man who forced the iguana on us is saying something about “pesos” and my Spanish isn’t up to par

You guessed it!  He puts the critter all over The Mister (in his arms, on his head, next to me) and then we’re taking this last picture and that’s when I heard him asking for money.  My Spanish isn’t great, but I sure enough heard “pesos” and that’s what I’m saying to The Mister out the side of my mouth.  *Through gritted teeth* “Did he say pesos?”  I mean…he hadn’t mentioned wanting loot before, we thought he was just being friendly.  And sure enough, after he finished taking the pics, he followed us around asking for money for a while.

Anyhoo, our time in Puerto Vallarta has been a blast…I’ll have pics coming up in a bit, but I wanted to recap in order.  We’ve done lots here:  cruises, tours, zip lines.  Ten days is a good amount of time to be away together…not too short, not too long.

Here’s one thing that we could’ve done better…tell more people that we’re on our honeymoon.  People love newlyweds!  Random people come to talk to us, we get free drinks, everyone’s happy that we’re happy, we’ve even gotten hotel upgrades.  The popular joke here is that they can tell that we’re honeymooners because The Mister looks tired and I look happy.

He is and I am…so it’s good all around!