Archive of ‘My Wedding’ category

A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Element of Surprise!

Hey y’all, Sorry for my brief blog hiatus. I have been busy growing my wedding planning biz, Moxie Bright Events! More on that to come. I’ll be back around these parts now, because I’ve missed you guys! And I have so much to talk about! Let’s get right to it.


One of the easiest ways to make your wedding an event to remember is to plan to embrace the element of surprise!

I know some people are not cool with surprises, and I myself on this very blog have said, “Your wedding should not be a surprise party for your groom!”

I take it all back. Well, part of it. A big GROUP wedding surprise? I’m all for it!


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: We Weren’t Even There (aka Cocktail Hour)

Or, more accurately, in our case: The Cocktail Hour and A Half.

I’ve been attempting to write about our cocktail hour for the past month. Maybe longer. I have had some serious writers block on this front, and the only reason I can give for it is this: We weren’t even there, so how can I write about it?

Bob the Builder and I really wanted to be there. I LOVE cocktail hours. It’s inarguably my favorite part of a wedding reception. I love appetizers, I love cocktails, I love walking around the room and seeing my options on display. I love miniature-sized foods. I just love the whole thing.

We thought we were making smart decisions to get us to our cocktail hour. We did a first look, and took all of our bridal party photos pre-ceremony. Bob the Builder & I even did are bridal portraits beforehand, because we wanted to spend as much time as we could with our guests. The only thing left to do during cocktail hour was some family photos. Neither Bob the Builder and I had a particularly large family photo list, so we foolishly thought this would take about 30 minutes. 30 minutes, tops, and then we’d be at our cocktail hour, eating sushi and lobster tails and drinking our speciality cocktail!

I have no idea if this was delicious or not. Photo by Redfield Photography

I have no idea if this was delicious or not. Photo by Redfield Photography


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Ceremony Music

Hey Peeps!

It’s been a while since I did a wedding recap, and I realized I left you high and dry on our ceremony! Let’s dive back in!

Bob the Builder and I spent so much time writing our wedding ceremony, but I also think we spent an equal amount of time choosing the music for our entire wedding. I am a very musical person, so that aspect of our wedding was very important to me. Making our musical choices was honestly one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. Bob the Builder and I chose everything together, and we took our time. Sometimes, inspiration would come to us from out of the blue!


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony. The Main Event. The Reason for the Season, so to speak.

When I laugh, I REALLY laugh. Apparently, I thought our ceremony was hilarious.

When I laugh, I REALLY laugh. Apparently, I thought our ceremony was hilarious.

To say the wedding ceremony is an important part of your wedding day is to totally understate the obvious. It is THE reason for the day. It deserves your attention and reverence.


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: We Rehearse…Again

Hi Peeps! I know, it’s been a while! Let’s get back to the wedding recaps, shall we?

When we last left off, Bob the Builder and I had taken some photos around City Hall in Philadelphia, and just made it to our venue, The Down Town Club, as it started to rain…again.  This was fine with me, because we also had to rehearse…again.

If you’ve been following along, you know that we rehearsed (and had our rehearsal dinner) the night before. Because The Down Town Club is a busy venue, we were unable to rehearse in the actual space on Friday evening. As Friday night weddings become increasingly more popular, traditional ceremony rehearsals become more tricky. We chose to rehearse in a banquet room at a hotel just down the block (shout out to the great team at Best Western Plus Independence Park Hotel for being super awesome!)

The downside to not rehearsing in your actual venue? Well, you’re not in the actual venue! I measured out our aisle (of course I did, I’m insane…), but still, there was only so much we could re-create in a small banquet room. Also, it proved difficult to get everyone to pay attention at the first rehearsal. So, I was grateful that we had scheduled another walkthrough for 4pm on the wedding day. However, I was very clear with my wedding planner that I did not wish to attend that rehearsal.

Here’s why you need to hire a wedding planner and/or Day-Of-Coordinator. Amanda, from Proud to Plan, was able to run this second rehearsal while I spent a few minutes by myself in the bridal suite. It was seriously the only time all day that I was alone – I wasn’t even alone when I went to the bathroom – so, for me, those few minutes were invaluable. I wanted a few minutes to compose myself and try to “get present”. It wasn’t easy. All day, I was sort of outside myself, looking in. It was difficult for me to relax. I was surprised at how overwhelmed I felt. I was grateful for those few quiet moments.

A rare quiet moment before the ceremony. I looks like I'm bracing myself on the table, but I think I'm just stretching my feet. My feet were killing me all day!

A rare quiet moment for us before the ceremony. I looks like I’m bracing myself on the table, but I think I’m just stretching my feet. My feet were killing me all day!


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Photos Around Philadelphia

After our first look, Bob the Builder and I joined our bridal party for some group photos around Philadelphia. Our first location was just across the street at Independence party Philadelphia

These are my favorite people.
red wedding Philadelphia

More of my favorite people. I love how surly our flower girl, Lulu, is in these photos. She was not having it, you guys.


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: First Look

As soon as Bob the Builder and I decided on a sunset ceremony, I knew we would be doing a First Look.

Are you thinking, “Moxie, what the F is a First Look?” Well, I’ll tell you.

A First Look is a specially arranged (usually private) moment between the wedding photographer and the bride and groom prior to the wedding ceremony. The goal is to capture the reactions of seeing each other for the first time and to save time (and in our case, take advantage of the daylight.)

When it was time, I met Bob the Builder across the street from the Hotel Monaco, our Philadelphia home base. Luckily, the hotel is directly across the street from Independence Hall, and it made for a beautiful photo backdrop.


Bob the Builder waits for me…


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Guys Get Ready

The morning of our wedding, I kicked Bob the Builder out of our hotel suite at 8am.

Or, at least, that was the plan. The reality was that I overslept and as I ran around like a nut, Bob the Builder bolted out the door to pick up the breakfast trays we had pre-ordered the day before. He’s a good one, that Bob the Builder.

The guys weren’t scheduled to start getting ready until 11am, so B the B and some of his boys went to the diner next door for breakfast. I honestly had no idea what else they did that morning, so I went to the source. Here’s what B the B said: “It was a great morning. It was awesome to have all my boys with me, they are like family. I thought we would drink a lot more scotch, but we didn’t really. Maybe we’re getting old. We just laughed and had a good time. Then before we knew it, it was time to get going.”

groom with bout

Bob the Builder


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Let’s Talk About The Gown

Shall we?

If you’ve been reading along my crazy wedding planning journey, you already know that finding a wedding gown was challenging for me, to put it mildly. By the time I chose my dress, I had shopped at ten different dress salons on two different coasts and tried on easily 50-60 dresses. Just typing that made me exhausted.

At first, it was fun. I mean, trying on beautiful gowns is FUN. But, as the months wore on, I became anxious and worried. I was starting to doubt that I could find a gown I loved. I was seriously considering ordering a replica gown from a Chinese dress shop. Eventually, I was able to narrow it down to two, which I asked you lovelies to vote on. And vote you did! And guess what? I actually listened to you! Don’t say I never give you anything.

Here’s my beautiful gown, Melissa Sweet MS251004, from David’s Bridal.

(Side note: David’s Bridal, please, for the love of god, NAME your gowns! No one wants to call their gown by a stock number. It’s just gross. I know it’s more work for you, but I don’t care. You are a giant monster of a company. You can figure it out. I know you can.) 

In case anyone is curious, I named by gown Bette. Because reasons. So there.




A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Team Bridal Gets Pretty

In my last recap post, I only hinted at what I’m just going to come right out and admit.

I was totally sleep deprived and jet lagged the whole week of our wedding.

Let’s review: Bob the Builder and I arrived in Philly on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, we hit the ground running at 8am to get our marriage license, and because we were drinking and dining with friends, didn’t get to bed until about 3am. I was literally falling asleep at the table. On Thursday, I was out the door at 9am and finally managed to fall asleep at 1am. Then I woke up at 5:30 am Friday morning and stayed awake. Friday night didn’t end until 2am, as you know, because the power went out.

And now, here we were at The Big Day. Our Wedding Day.


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Sleepless (and Power-less) In Philadelphia

At 5am on Friday morning, I was wide awake in our gorgeous hotel suite, staring out the window at a downpour of rain. Bob the Builder was snoring contentedly, sleeping off his whisky-fuled bachelor party from a few hours before. I had read that wedding insomnia was common, but since I normally sleep like the dead, I didn’t think it would be a problem for me. But, alas, there I was. Couldn’t sleep, browsing Facebook at 5:30 am. I eventually managed to get a little more sleep before the sun came up. But, not enough.

personal photo

My 5:30am view from the Hotel Monaco. That’s our wedding venue with the golden lights up top. Oh, and that’s the Second Bank of the U.S in the foreground. As in, the second bank EVER in the history of our country. NBD.


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: We Went to Philly, and There was Weather

Let’s start at the beginning, yes?

Bob the Builder and I arrived in Philadelphia around dinnertime on the Tuesday night before the wedding. Don’t worry, I’ll do the math for you: We had 3 days and 7 hours (give or take) to get everything ready for The Big Day.

I had been checking the weather like it was my full time job so I knew that the forecast was calling for rain. All week. Seven days of rain.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.05.00 AM


SO MANY DIY PROJECTS! (aka How I Became a “Maker”)

When I started planning our wedding, I would frequently say to people, when asked, “Oh, no, I don’t DIY, I buy.” I was never planning on having a DIY wedding.

I knew myself well enough to know that I hold very high standards for any project I take on. I was once described as “a professional, in every thing you do”. I took that as a very high compliment – in fact, I still regard it as one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Because it’s true.

If I’m cooking dinner, I expect that it will taste as good as restaurant food. If I’m working on a play, I expect that I will be regarded as a professional actor. I was like this even in high school, by the way. I’ve always thought that there is no sense in aspiring to mediocrity.  If I’m going to do something, it is going to be at the highest caliber I know. Either be the best, or don’t do it.


We Did It!

The government shut down the Liberty Bell, it rained all week long, we blew the power out on a whole city block, and there was a 4am fire at one of the guest hotels.

Despite all that, we were married.

photo by the amazing, tremendous, wonderful Redfield Photography

photo by the amazing, tremendous, wonderful Redfield Photography

And it was perfect.

I’m posting from somewhere over Nebraska, after attempting to take a break from social media during our mini-moon.

It was as successful as you may imagine.

Sorry, Bob the Builder.

I’ll start with all the deets tomorrow, peeps.

Thanks for all your well wishes!


Mrs. Moxie Bride

The Great Moxie Wedding Dress Search: Episode One

Let the wedding dress search begin!

OK, to be fair, I guess I can’t really call this Episode One, as I’ve been bitching blogging about my bad dress karma and Priscilla of Boston for longer than I’ve been engaged. For those of you who are new here, I offer you this recap: Every time I fall in love with a dress (or maybe the idea of a dress?) I find out it was made by Priscilla of Boston.

Every. Time.

Priscilla of Boston went out of business over a year ago. I’m still mad at them, just in case you were wondering.

Searching online for dresses was starting to get depressing. So much of what is out there is just “meh” to me. Either it’s too princess-y with too much tulle and too huge of a skirt, or it’s bedazzled to within an inch of it’s life, or the material looks cheap, etc… I am looking for an elegant simplicity. Effortlessly gorgeous. I want to wear my wedding gown, I don’t want it to wear me.

Thank God we live in the age of Pinterest, though. My obsession with pinning wedding ideas has led me to discover an amazing ray of hope in the seemingly dismal arena of wedding dress shopping. If you check out my Wedding Gown board, you will see it’s mostly Watters dresses, dresses that only exist at Kleinfelds, and one other dress – pinned four times. Four different pictures from four different sources. It’s like I was thinking, “If I pin it, it will come.”

It’s possible I was right. This dress, Reem Acra’s Laurel #R104, which in the past has only been available from the designer (and with a $6,000 + price tag) is now being carried by Nordstrom! Just about a month ago, they started featuring a small line of Reem Acra dresses! Specifically, it’s at Nordstroms Wedding Suite, which isn’t in every store. I have to drive to Woodland Hills to try it on, because it’s the only place in Southern California that has this dress. And, the best part is the price: $3,585. I know that’s not cheap – I know – but it’s better than seven grand!

So, I made an appointment to try this lovely on. I’m not entirely sure it will look good on me, as I have hips, and a butt, and Italian arms. :-) I’ve only seen this dress on the runway models – never on a real person. But, I’l give it a shot. And I’ll post a full recap of my experience at Nordstrom’s, never fear.

Maybe my dress karma is turning around after all!


Did I just jinx it?