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Wedding Wednesday - Missing MOB



With only a few more wedding Wednesday posts I decided that I wanted to end on a positive note so today I’m going to  go ahead and talk about the hardest part of the day – knowing that my Mom wasn’t there.
For the most part I tried to not focus on this too much during the planning process when talking with others- the last thing I wanted was to be the woe is me Bride; but it was always on my mind. I felt a bit of sadness looking around at Bridal shows and realizing most brides were there with their Mom and there was the time when someone else’s Mom told me how lovely I looked in my dress during my final fitting because I was there all alone. There was looking at family wedding albums and knowing that I wouldn’t have a picture with both my parents and hosting the bridesmaid luncheon myself because I had no mother to host it for me, and that’s not their fault and I didn't think because of my circumstances they should miss out – I still wanted to honor them. But the hardest part was when people told me that I shouldn’t focus on it – this was my happy time and my happy day.
During our engagement I participated in some wedding chats and some were more kind than others but through these chats I found comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only one facing the wedding without a parent, what I did not however find comforting is the “advice” that internet strangers thought they were entitled to give on such a personal issue when their opinion was not asked. You want to tell people that cash bars are tacky (they are) or that only actual royalty should wear tiaras (too bad) than cool but this is different. It will be too sad people said, don’t turn your wedding into a memorial service, you won’t be able to handle it, ect. And for some brides they choose to remember their absent loved ones in discreet ways that they only knew they were doing, others choose to have a table of photos displayed at the reception honored their departed loved ones but for me I choose a more pronounced approach that was part of the ceremony rather than the reception – I left the seat traditionally reserved for the mother of the bride open and stopped to place a white rose there before joining my husband at our ceremony arch – and I don’t for a second regret doing so.

 
At the end of the day here’s how I see it – a wedding is not just a big party. The party (the reception) is to celebrate the real focus of the day which is the ceremony and the ceremony is the joining of two people into a marriage. Marriage is for better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer; marriage is not yay, let’s have fun and go our separate ways when things get hard. Marriage is not about choosing the parts about someone you like and only accepting those parts and it isn’t about being happy, happy, happy all the time. So you know what, yes it is sad that my Mom wasn’t at my wedding but it wasn’t sadder for anyone in that room than it was for me and honestly I know I’ve said that I hate this mindset but this was the one issue on which I took the this is MY DAY standpoint and absolutely would not budge on (side note: I did clear my plans with my sister, who is the only person in the world whose opinion I took into consideration). Missing my mother is a part of my life and it doesn’t go away because hey, I’m married now – it affects my thoughts and my perspective and in turn contributes to who I am today – the person my husband choose to marry.
I understand that not everyone has a great relationship with their parents but Shaun and I are very lucky in that we both grew up in loving homes so of course we wanted our parents to be involved in our big day and to honor how they have made us the two people that were there to be married. Our wedding photos are full of wonderful moments captured with our parents and they got to have their moments that most people look forward to at their children's weddings so really I don't think a tiny pause I took to acknowledge my mother was too much.
For any other bride out there missing a loved one I hope that you do what feels right to you on your wedding day and not what anyone else tells you. And for the record, I didn't turn into a crying mess and there was still plenty of joy to be had on our special day.

Beauty Review - The Mask Vault


As I've previously mentioned I'm on a quest to become Rouge VIB at Sephora this year so of course that means a peaked interest in their product line. It may seem weird to renew my beauty interest after the wedding but last year my thought was hey if it ain't broke don't fix it - the last thing I needed was another peel disaster like I had in 2012 that took months to fix. But now that the most photographed day of my life has passed I'm ready to take risks again! 

One product that really peaked my interest was the Mask Vault from Peter Thomas Roth. I love face masks but what I don't love is the price - $225! Luckily Sephora sells a much smaller and affordable set to provide an opportunity to try the set before making the investment. The set I purchased cost $25 and each sample was enough for 4 masks , which is actually a great price when you think how most singular dose packaged masks are $5 each. 


Not only did I personally try out each one of these masks but I had my husband try some as well so I could get a different opinion. 

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Ah yes, the basic white girl mask. This one does in fact smell like pumpkin spice. I found it to be the perfect level of exfoliation - not to harsh but not wimpy. It was warm on my face but not uncomfortably so and when I washed it off some of the dry flakes I had were gone and my skin felt smoother. S skipped this one because his skin is more sensitive than mine. 

Cucumber Gel Mask
In my opinion this one is nothing special, just a cooling mask. I would save this one for summer just for the refreshing feel on a hot day. S thought this one was fine, nothing great but he didn't mind doing it. 

Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
I did this one twice to help clear up my post period breakout and each time there was improvement. My favorite parts about this mask are that it's lightweight and that it doesn't dry and crack like a typical mud mask. I didn't use this one on S because he doesn't get breakouts - Damn him! 

24K Gold Mask
This one was the most disappointing as neither S nor I saw any difference in our skin. It was neither warm not cool on just there. 

Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask
Rose is great for your skin so I was very excited to try this one. This one was S's favorite and I liked it too. It felt refreshing on and the scent was pleasant but not overpowering. We both slept with this one on and felt our skins looked better in the am. S gets flakes on his forehead and they were gone after using this mask. 

Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask
This mask is the one we were most divided on. S thought it burned, washed it off early and said his face felt tight the next day. I however noticed an improvement around his crows feet and said it was this worth it but he disagree, sigh - men don't get that sometimes pain is beauty. I didn't feel warm in the mask and kept it on for 1/2 an hour. My skin also felt tighter the next day but not in uncomfortable day but it a yay, it works way! 

Overall I'm very pleased with this set and will be purchasing a smaller version of the vault - the mask-a-holic set which is 1.7oz jars of all but the rose for $75. I will also be purchasing the Rose on its own which is $52 for 5oz. These were not messy and didn't melt off our faces so they're easy to slap on at night while doing stuff around the house. Thanks to this set I plan on masking more often and I think I can even convince S to do the Rose one from time to time. 

Wedding Wednesday - The Bridal Party


While weddings are a wonderful tome to celebrate family they can also be a very special time to celebrate with friends and we were very lucky to have wonderful friends who not only were there to support us on our big day but support us in life. During our portrait time before the ceremony we had enough time for me to take some nice pictures with each bridesmaid but some goofy ones too and if I'm being perfectly honest I kinda like the goofy ones better.
 
MOH / Sorority Sister- Carrie 
 
Carrie and I met through the alumnae group for Gamma Phi Beta and we hit it off right away. We have a ton in common and when there's something I really want to do that Shaun has no interested in she's usually the first person I think of. My favorite thing about Carrie though is that I see so many women claim that being a wife and especially a mother changes their lifestyle and they no longer have things in common with their single friends; well Carrie is a stay at home mom to two kids and until a few months ago I was a single professional but guess what, we're besties!


Bridesmaid / Sister - Mary 
 
I've known Mary since a few hours after she was born ; ) With eight years between us it's only recently as she's become all grown up that we've gotten to a point where we actually have thing in common although we've been stealing each others clothes for years now. Being my sister means Mary is allowed to call me out on BS like no one else is although our goofy picture is mostly a joke, she's even admitted I was not too much of a bridezilla.
 
Bridesman / Master of Beauty - Rodney 
 
Rodney and I met through a fun social organization in Memphis and hit it off right away. Rodney has amazing style and is one of the few people I know that is more sarcastic than I am. In addition to looking fabulous himself Rodney was in charge of everyone's hair and makeup on the big day and has been keeping my hair beautifully highlighted for years now. I am ridiculously excited for Rodney because now he gets to plan his own dream wedding to a great guy!


Bridesmaid - Ryan 
 
Ryan is one of the first adult friends I made in Memphis and she is one of the most kind and loving people I know. Through job changes, bad breakups and life mistakes Ryan has remained a true and constant friend so of course I couldn't imagine my wedding day without her by my side. Now that I'm a little older and a lot wiser we get to spend our time together bonding over our love of dogs and wine.

Bridesmaid - Ranee 
 
Ranee and I started out at as co-workers and became fast friends. I obviously love her to death, I mean look how tiny and gorgeous she is - it takes a lot of love to let someone who looks like that stand next to you and make you look like a giant on your wedding day. Our goofy picture I one of my top 10 photos from the day and involves an inside joke.


Readers / Sorority Sisters - Tina and Casey 
 
Beyond the bridesmaids there were two other fabulous ladies involved in the wedding. Tina and Casey are both Gamma Phis I've know since college. Tina was one of the first Gamma Phis I met when I attended Gamma Phi's open house recruitment event and as grown ups we get to chat about her fabulous sense of style and our mutual obsession over Mindy Kailing. Casey joined the year after me and has become the glue that holds a lot of the ladies from our chapter together by fostering ways for us to connect long distance all while being a super overachiever at work, an amazing wife and mom - seriously, I don't think she sleeps. Thanks to Casey and her fabulous planning skills I get to see them both, and other fabulous ladies, for our annual beach retreat which is a throw back to a tradition our chapter had in college.

On the grooms side we had wonderful bridal party members as well:
 
Best Man Ruben - A college friend of Shaun's
Groomsman Jason - Shaun's brother
Groomswoman Krysta - Groom's sister from another mister
Groomsman Vince - Groom's brother from another mother (Krysta and Vince are brother and sister and their family is like a 2nd family to Shaun)
Groomsman Terry - husband to MOH Carrie, together they are one of our best "couple friends"
Groomsman James - bromantic relationship that started the same day Shan and I met
Usher Daniel - Yelp Elite Superstar (fun fact: Daniel and I had mutual friends in high school and I even went with him to an MUS dance)


The Entire Bridal Party 
 
All of these people helped make our day very special and we are so grateful for all of them!





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