The Happy Nappy Bride

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

Grace Under Fire: The Wife Edition December 29, 2010

Filed under: Building a life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 1:31 pm
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(I searched Google images for “grace” and “graceful” and this pic is the best I could come up with.)

I told you guys that I had a business trip last week and about the silly stuff that I saw while waiting for the plane.  Well, the trip back was no different!

First of all, there was the TSA guy who put my bag through the machine twice and did a physical search of it three times (before I yelled at him that “that’s my personal stuff and I don’t want everyone looking at it!”) only to find that the offending object was a stack of business cards.  Seriously?!!  *sigh*   I’m pretty sure that I had steam coming out of my ears.

But before that, I saw the epitome of a graceful wife.  It was amazing!  I only noticed the couple because I was trying to get my boarding pass and the kiosk was shaking because some man was pounding away at his across from me.  I looked at him like he had two heads on his neck, but his wife remained calm.  Then he started cussing a BLUE STREAK!  And not the polite curses either, lol!  And his wife remained quiet and calm and seemingly unperturbed.  It was incredible…such grace!  So I took some lessons from this lady on how to remain graceful under fire with The Mister.  Here’s what I learned:

3 things required to deal with a testy hubs

  1. She remained calm. The husband went from 0 to 60 really quickly.  One minute, he was trying to get boarding passes, the next he was shaking the kiosk and throwing F-bombs around.  She let him get his anger out without interrupting or trying to stop him.
  2. She removed him from the situation. While he was spouting off about having to go through the line and blah, blah, blah; the wife wordlessly took their confirmation info from the husband.  When he was spewing venom while waiting in line, she tapped away at the kiosk and got the boarding passes.She didn’t match his anger with her own at his making an *ss of himself in public.
  3. She didn’t say a word about it. Now this is what I was really looking for…the wife triumphantly declaring how awesome she was and how silly he was for getting so upset.  But she never did it.  She never gloated about how easy the kiosk was or how he got all upset for nothing or how he embarrassed her…she could have, because it was all true!  She remained calm and quiet and the husband started a convo on a totally different topic and they were fine.

Oh to be an experienced married lady…one day I’ll be as cool, calm, and collected as that lady was.  Dare to dream!  Have you guys seen any examples of a married lady with more time in who you’ve looked up to?  What was the situation?

 

finding community August 17, 2010

Filed under: Building a life,Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:37 am
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You are not the only one
Who feels like the only one.

–David Crowder Band

That quotation is from one of my favorite songs and it always gives me tingles to hear it because so often, we feel like we’re the only one’s thinking certain things, or feeling certain things, or worried about those things.  And as much as we feel those things, we don’t talk about them.  We stew, we mope, we agonize…but we don’t talk.  So I wanted to talk a bit about things that have vexed me over the different stages of my life.

Single: I remember worrying that I’d never meet anyone who “got” me…who not only tolerated my quirks, but embraced them.  I remember thinking that I would never get married and trying to wrap my brain around that…but I was too embarrassed to actually talk to anyone about it.  Then I remember fighting those thoughts off by openly admitting that I did want to be married.  Lo and behold, a got introduced to The Mister and the rest is history…the man who God brought to me.

Engaged: So I finally met a great guy who understood me and loved me, then I started worrying about the wedding.  I’m sure everyone does the same thing when they first get married:  go buy up a mess of bridal magazines and go online and look up weddings in order to get ideas.  Those are the places where I first learned to feel inferior about the wedding we imagined and looked forward to…because it wasn’t nearly fancy enough.

Then I felt comfortable being the anti-bride and not falling for “the man’s” idea of what a wedding or bride should be…or so I thought.  Then I fretted over not wanting to do DIY projects and not recognizing gays in some meaningful way at our ceremony…because that’s what the cool brides were doing.  *sigh*  In the end, our wedding was so much fun and it was touching and memorable in our own way.  Turns out all of the worry was for nothing, but I probably could have save myself from it in the first place by just talking about it.

Married: Obviously I haven’t been married long enough for this list to be super long, but I will say that I worry about sucking at being a wife.  I pray every morning that I’m the wife that The Mister needs me to be.  I’ve seen so many bad examples (wives yelling and belittling their husbands, couples fighting, husbands cheating) that I’m pretty energized to not be those people.  I want him to look forward to coming home, not “work late” so that he doesn’t have to hang out with me like some of the dudes I know.  I want the two of us to create a home that is comfortable and welcoming…for us as well as others.

What about you?  What are those things that you’ve blown up to be a bigger deal than they should’ve been because you worried yourself to death?

 

Favorites August 12, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings,Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:20 am
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My work life is about to really get fired up here pretty soon.  Between that and starting a work blog about coaching female athletes and team building, I’m crazy busy…and oh yeah, I just got married and would like to have time to spend with my new husband.  So I’ve given myself a post schedule in order to not drive myself (and others!) crazy.  From now on, I’ll post new content on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturday and/or Sunday.  That was just an informational sidenote for y’all.

I’ve been wanting to talk to you all about some of my favorite wedding posts for a while and have finally compiled my list…so here we go.  Happy clicking!

Black brides: Dirty Little Secret was about the absent women of color in the cool (non WIC) blogs & the first Tale of the Tape about the lack of women of color in bridal magazines.

Marriage: Both of these were written well before we got married and I still like them.  Check out John Lennon was about imagining a different way to be married and Dear Married People about honesty in talking about the institution.

Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC): Sanity was about my conspiracy theory that the wedding vendors and bridal magazines are in cahoots, and I Think I’ve Figured It Out talked about not getting caught up in the pretty pictures and feeling badly about your wedding.

My dad: As you guys know, my dad passed away in 2008…about a month after I met The Mister so they never met.  Here’s a post I wrote before the wedding, Dads, and one I wrote afterwards…on Father’s Day, Daddy’s Girl.

Haters: Every bride planning a wedding has the nay-sayers.  I didn’t talk about them a lot, but Things was dedicated to them.

Looking back, I’m happy I did this stuff: Custom stamps!  People loved them, I loved them, and I wrote about them here and here.  Honoring my father during the ceremony…Giving Honor talked about that.  My ceremony reading was a Nikki Giovanni poem called Resignation, which talks about being an independent woman who falls (completely and totally) for her man and realizes what it’s like to put someone else’s needs ahead of her own.

DIY: I’m not crafty or do-it-your-selfy, but we did do a couple of things that turned out pretty well…and saved a ton of loot.  I made eight cake stands for less than $20 using stuff from the dollar store.  Have you priced out cake stands lately…they’re crazy expensive!  We did our own invitations (STD’s, invites, reply cards, inserts, envelopes, ceremony programs…everything) and they were pretty awesome, in my opinion.  Finally, my bridesmaids did all of the flowers for the ceremony and reception…and they were gorgeous!  I estimate that we saved about $2500 just by doing these things.

Things I fretted over that I shouldn’t have: Having cocktail napkins with our names and wedding dates on them…I still have a whole mess of those things left!  *shaking head*  Though the ribbon that’s on this same post, Weddingy, was pretty awesome.  We used it to hang our pew balls (flowers) and on our reception favors.  And here I openly acknowledge my worry as pointless…but continue to worry, lol!

Week of: My favorite post from our wedding week.  Mostly because I was dizzy with pure, 100% fortified tired.  It’s when I acknowledged that I was a little batty…Weddingese was posted the Sunday before our Friday wedding.

Wedding picture: This one isn’t even from our photographer, but one of my bridesmaids.  It’s our first dance and shows how happy I was to marry The Mister.  I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) stop looking at him.

After the wedding: I took two cell phone pictures of The Mister and I’s stuff together and I like looking at them both.  The first was our rings sitting together and the other is my wedding dress and his wedding suit hanging together on the same hanger…very powerful images.

 

recaps: the honeymoon July 7, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 6:01 pm
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Hey y’all…just realized that I didn’t talk about our honeymoon.  It was a blast and I’d highly recommend going very soon after your wedding if you can.  Personally, it was nice to separate from “the wedding” and go and be a couple because as soon as we got back, everyone wanted to talk about “the wedding”.  Which is great, of course, because I loved our wedding…but remember we’ve all talked about how we want to focus on our hubbies and our relationships, right?  So if you can…leave, lol!  But if you can’t, just try to limit “the wedding” talk because ole boy was probably getting sick of it before the wedding, so he’ll certainly be over it after you’re actually married.

Anyhoo, here’s some pics from Puerto Vallarta.  Here’s one from the window of our first hotel (we stayed in two while we were down there), not bad huh?:

A tasty beverage I had while we were there…the drink was very happy to see me:

The Mister went snorkeling in between these rock formations.  Why didn’t I go?  Because our tour guide made such a big deal about needing to be a strong swimmer or else  you’d get pulled off by the currents.  Ummm, no thanks pal…I’ll just stay on the boat and take pictures:

We went to a dinner theater thing that was super fab…here’s one of the characters that came by while we were eating:

Here we are on the final zip of our zip line tour.  We were racing…The Mister won (and they even gave me a push):

Where are you going/did you go on your honeymoon?  Did you go right after the wedding or wait a while?  Would you go back?

 

recaps: the reception July 4, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:33 pm
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We just got back from another wedding…one that cost approximately five times more than ours did.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure that even if I were ballin’ like a rock star, I wouldn’t spend that kinda loot.  Maybe I would if Oprah was my mom or something.  But it was a gorgeous wedding…to each their own, as they say.

Anyhoo, final recaps then this blog will turn into a trip down first year of marriage lane.   Sharing furniture and space and loot, oh my!  I will say that while this first month and a little bit has been amazing (!!!), we are different people with different ideas about how things should be done…which has given us a couple speed bumps.  Okay, back to the recaps.

Our reception was fantastic!  We got there right when it started so I was pretty fired up about that.  Food was tasty, the open bar was a hit (folks drank the Red Stripe like it was the most super wonderful thing they’d ever tasted), our special dances were pretty special, and the peeps loved my mom’s cheesecakes.

Our first dance was to The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice…click here to watch the video.  I’d told the dj not to play the whole song, but he did and I’m so glad.  The chorus says “I can’t take my eyes off of you” over and over…and we stared at each other and sang.  I really couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

My sorority sisters serenading me…

The Mister and I listening to toasts with the guests.  I like the pic because you really see how beautiful the mansion is…

We were starved by the time we got to the reception site and had spoken to folks…plus we’d already had a couple of tasty beverages and needed some food.  So we didn’t wait to eat with the peeps, we went to the kitchen and chowed down.

A fun dance we did with The Mister, my brother, and our flower girl…to Apache by the Sugar Hill Gang:

Alrighty ladies…that’s the end of the recaps.  Next up, I’ll regale you with tales of the man trying to hold me down…or why is it so hard to change your name?!!!

 

recaps: the ceremony June 30, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:21 pm
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We got married and it was glorious.  That’s really all that I can say.  I loved marrying The Mister and I loved that all of my friends and family thought that it was important enough to come and share that with us.  I smiled really hard all day long.  Like painful cheeks smiling because I was just really happy to marry him…he’s the bees knees.

I can go on like that forever, so instead…here’s more pictures.

My superfly shoes…

Waiting for The Mister to finish up his posed pics…

My brother and I about to walk down the aisle…

At the altar…

After the ceremony…

 

recaps: getting ready June 27, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 5:50 pm
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My getting ready process was easier and shorter than a lot of ladies I think.  Mostly because I did everything, except makeup, myself.  So after we got the chuppah and flowers together at the chapel, I went and got changed, got my makeup done, did my hair, and waited for the ladies to get back.

My wait was a little longer than anticipated because the dudes were running late.  Why were they running late?  Well, because The Mister is allergic to nuts.  My mom made (fabulous) cheesecakes with nuts on them.  The Mister touched said cakes while dropping them off at the reception site, then touched his eye…which promptly swelled up shut like someone had sucker punched him.  Cue the groomsmen searching for Benadryl and you see why were running a tad behind.

Anyhoo, I didn’t know any of this, so we were just chillin’ and waitin’.  Here’s a couple pics from our photographer:

The photographer took tons of getting ready pics, but how many of those do you really need to see?

All day long, I was pretty happy…content almost.  I was relaxed and I feel like I was able to take in the day…which was good, because I’d wound myself up into a tight ball of nervous worry the day before, lol!  By the time we finished all of the pre-ceremony pictures, guests were starting to arrive and it was pretty awesome to see folks streaming in.  The ladies took care of whatever last minute things I needed (I got a just-in-case mint and asked for some deodorant…you know, just in case), shooed The Mister away when he tried to come into the ladies’ room.  It was as stress free as completely altering your life can be.

 

recaps: the day of June 26, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 3:26 pm
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Would you go to the place you work with a headscarf on your head?  Well, you would if you had wedding work to do and didn’t want to mess up your hair before the ceremony.

So yes, I did go to work in a headscarf and I got the same response universally:  1) shock at the way I looked and 2) but you’re “the bride”!  *sigh*  But I’ve still got fully functioning limbs and they’ve got stuff to do!  Anyhoo, the ladies had put together five bouquets the night before (ours plus one for the winner of the anniversary dance), but still had the pew balls, corsages, and boutonnieres to knock out.  Me?  I was on chuppah duty…luckily the sweetie pie of one of the bridesmaids was able to help me out.

After that, the ladies went to get their hair done and I went to get myself together and grab some chow.  I was not hungry, but determined to eat something.  Then we were off to get our posed up pics taken.  We took the majority of photos before the ceremony and afterwards spent about thirty minutes taking pics and then headed off to the reception.  It was pretty important to us to arrive to the reception site on time and we were able to do that.

Anyhoo, we’ve finally gotten our professional pics back, so I’ll be posting those soon.  The last bit left to do with the photogs is to pic the pictures for the parent albums.  Can you believe that we’ve been married almost a month already??  Crazy business!

The ladies getting their hair done:

Here’s a pic of the aisle with the pew balls and the chuppah up on the stage:

 

recaps: the day before June 24, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 7:28 pm
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In hindsight, I can say that it is indeed true that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  For as amazing and stress-free and wonderful and magical and unforgettable that my wedding day was…the day before?  Meh.

It started off as planned, I had to wash and flat iron my hair.  Remember my hair is natural, so it’s a bit of a project.  Then I was supposed to meet the ladies at my place at ten o’clock and we’d be off to do the flowers at the mansion.  One bridesmaid texted with car trouble.  Another had gotten pulled over by a cop on her way here.  Another had the wrong address programmed into her GPS.  *sigh*  I remember saying to my mom that this would all make for a funny story…later.

Anyhoo, we got to the mansion, did the flowers (which, by the way, the manager of the place loved and was asking to buy our containers…I said, “dude, if you want them when we’re done, you can have ’em”…one less thing for me to have to take home!), had to grab a quick bite then head off to get our nails done.

This is the diy-bride’s dilemma.  Everyone will tell you how “the bride” shouldn’t do work for the wedding and you should relax and get pampered.  Well, that’s an impossibility when you’re doing things yourself.  My nail lady kept telling me that I had to get my fingernails done and I kept telling her that I had work to do.  Anyhoo, she was much more persistent than I, so I got my fingers done.  Also my eyebrows…I was looking like Teen Wolf!  After that, off to the rehearsal dinner, which was held in a gym…seriously.

I’m gonna gloss over this, but here’s the deal.  My computer was giving me the blues on that Thursday morning, so I sent it in to get fixed.  But I figured before I let it out of my sight, I’d copy the wedding music (yes, the wedding ceremony music that we needed in order to have the ceremony!) onto a cd from my iTunes.  Well, iTunes wouldn’t open.  Small freakout, no big deal.  They were able to fix the computer and I was able to copy the ceremony music onto a disc as well as my iPod…whew!  Not naming names, but someone forgot to bring the ceremony music to the rehearsal dinner.  So we had to practice the ceremony without the music.  As you’d imagine, this didn’t make me happy.  I had to remove myself from the crowd to take many deep breaths…then it was okay.  Oh, and did I tell you that we were about a half an hour late to the rehearsal?  *sigh*

Here I am giving everyone the lowdown on what the haps were:

Here I am handing out gifts:

The wedding party:

Then it was back to my place for flowers because the ladies were worried about the amount of work that needed to be done.  My sis-in-law and I headed out to Walgreens for fake eyelashes since she did my makeup for the big day while they were at work.  Then I came back and rolled my hair for the next day (and messed up my manicure) and sat under the dryer while the ladies did flowers.

I probably got up at like 6 o’clock that morning and didn’t go to bed until 1 or 2 a.m…long day!  And I’m sure like every other bride, didn’t really sleep a wink…my heart was at a steady buzz.  The next day was the day and my brain wouldn’t turn off, so I laid in bed thinking about The Mister and wondering what he was up to and what he was thinking.

 

recaps: the flowers June 23, 2010

Filed under: Wedding recaps — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:02 pm
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Doing the flowers was the biggest project of wedding week, which of course couldn’t be completed well in advance…which is also why it was such a big project.  I love flowers and knew early on that I’d want lots of flowers, but also knew that I didn’t want to spend the more than two thousand dollars it would cost for all bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony and reception flowers.  Cue wholesale and I got everything done for about seven hundred…a pretty hefty savings.

Except for time…not really a savings on that one.  But the thirteen hundred I saved was well worth it…you’ll laugh at that statement when I tell you this next thing.  I didn’t do anything with the flowers.  Seriously.  Okay, when the FedEx dude delivered them, I took them out of the box they came in, cut, rinsed, fed, and placed them in buckets.  That was the last thing I really had to do with the flowers until they (superfabulous bridesmaids!) handed me a bouquet on Friday before the wedding.  Sure they asked me questions about what I liked (everything!), what looked good (everything!), and did I have a preference (nope, use your best judgment!).  I think they eventually got the idea that whatever they did would be fine with me.

I’d figured out that all of my running of errands had to be finished by Thursday so that “we” (by which I mean “they”) could do the flowers.  The flowers were delivered on that Wednesday and flower designing was to take place the next day.  Quick rundown of the day: flowers at reception site, mani pedis, rehearsal dinner, more flowers…’twas to be a long night.  Anyhoo, here’s some pics chicas:

Here’s how my gorgeous flowers arrived…less than impressive, no?

Those buckets I was telling you about…in my basement, you don’t need a refrigerator, fyi.


At the mansion where the reception was held…super small pic for some reason.  That’s me bending down tying ribbon to the containers…that headless lady at the top of the table is my mom.

Here are the bouquets…amazing right?

Beautiful flowers for the beautiful ladies…you can’t even tell that they’d been up ’til all hours doing those very flowers.

We don’t have pics of the boutonnieres or corsages…maybe I do somewhere, but I can’t find them right now and there are a lot of photos around here and you’ve probably got enough.  Here’s the last one…our pew balls.  I absolutely loved these.  They were the only flowers in the chapel and were totally wonderful.

Okey dokey pokeys…those were our flowers.  Those were the ladies that did the flowers.  They (the flowers and the ladies) made my day.