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Living the vows: In sickness and health

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris March 25, 2013 06:51 AM

Last week I had a health scare. A not-so-friendly reminder that I am only one person who can only do one thing at a time. A wake-up call that my fiance' is not marrying Wonder Woman, but a woman who does constantly wonder how married life will be after all the hoopla of this wedding planning is behind us.

The answer to that question came in the form of a trip to the ER.

I wouldn't quite recommend this as a date night option, but sitting in the emergency room with your fiance' all day has a way of bringing you closer together. During my sick episode, the Mister was a rock star. He showed me the man I'm engaged to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I got a glimpse of what our lives will be like forty years from now when we are old and gray.

Love is truly patient. Love is indeed kind.

As a friend who sent a text message last week to check up on me put it, "I see you gave him a test drive in living the vows...in sickness and health." I guess I did. He passed the test with flying colors, and with 201 days to go, I can't wait to say...

"I, Expertly Engaged, take you, Mister, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part. I will honor you all the days of my life..."

Engaged couples: what has been your 'living the vows' moment during wedding planning?

Survey says couples spent big on weddings in 2012

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris March 14, 2013 11:17 AM

I have a feeling today's post will make a few of you cringe, but before you sound off with all the lovely comments that always make me feel so warm and fuzzy (not!), take a gander at where Boston ranks in this spending spree.

Recently, wedding website TheKnot.com released results from a survey of over 17,000 couples who spent an average of $28,427 on wedding expenses in 2012, the highest cost since 2008.

Bostonians ranked high on the big spenders list with an average wedding budget of $39,239, just a few notches shy of Manhattan where couples spent a hefty price tag of $76,687. If you are looking to bump elbows with the frugal crowd, grab your winter fur and head out to Alaska where the average wedding cost $15,504 last year.

Why so expensive, you ask?

TheKnot.com's site director, Anja Winikka, attributes these high costs to a trend in 2012 tokened as "the year of the guest." Newlyweds dished out more money to add extras such as photo booths, transportation, unique venues, morning-after brunches, and elaborate reception menus to wow guests.

Another budget buster? The stateside destination wedding. In 2012, more couples foot the bill to plan three-day weekend events. Out-of-town guests not only flew in to witness the nuptials, but were also treated to a full schedule of activities leading up to the "I dos."

Boston, what do you think of these stats?

Did you attend one of these pricey weddings in 2012? Or, are you one of the newlyweds who spent big in 2012?

Trend to Try: Eyelash extensions for your wedding day look

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris March 11, 2013 12:15 PM

At the recommendation of a friend, I recently had my first eyelash extension appointment to test them out for a potential wedding day look. I'm IN LOVE with them. My eyelashes look so natural, they feel incredibly lightweight, and I'm now a believer that every blushing bride should give major lash action on her wedding day.

new_orleans_wedding_african_american_bride_allysonjustin008.jpg

Photo Credit: Erik Umphrey

Before you book an appointment to try your own set of lash extenders, consider these tips.

Go to an expert. Do your homework and schedule a consultation with a licensed esthetician. I'll even let you borrow my amazing lash artist. Ask for Chanell at Pigmenta (218 Newbury Street). She's a master at applying full lush lashes. The cost for eyelash extensions is between $120 - $200.

Keep water from your face for the first 24 hours. In other words, don't schedule a hot yoga session right after you get your lashes done. With proper maintenance, eyelash extensions can last up to 30 days.

Make sure your lashes match your 'style'. Maybe you're not going for the Jersey Shore Snooki look for your big day. All lashes don't have to be over-the-top and super dramatic. Work with your lash artist to find a length and thickness that's just right for you.

No mascara needed. If you must, use non-waterproof mascara. Mascara tends to shorten the life of your extensions. Be gentle when applying mascara, too. Try not to pull or tug at the lashes.

It's your wedding day. Flutter and bat your eyes to your heart's content!

Expertly engaged tip - If you're a bride on a budget, check out the makeup aisle at your local CVS or Walgreens for a pair of DIY eyelash strips.

Are you wearing eyelash extensions for your wedding day?

Bridesmaid Dresses: Done!

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris March 4, 2013 07:15 AM

Readers, meet Aidan.

AIDAN options.jpg

Photo Credit: Ellen Chang, Jenny Yoo

This convertible chiffon A-line gown by Jenny Yoo is gorgeous and very flattering for a bridal party that comes in all shapes and sizes.

The coolest feature on this gown? You can create over 15 different looks with two convertible panels that can be styled for each bridesmaid. If one of your bridesmaids is a little self-conscious about going strapless, just pull the convertible panels up and give her a draped one shoulder wrap! One dress, endless possibilities.

My party is small with only three women, but they range in size and personality so I knew choosing one uniform look wouldn't work well. I decided on a color and allowed the ladies to choose their own dress. Hands down, the Aidan won.

Expertly Engaged tip - If long gowns are not your thing, the shorter version of this dress is called Keira. To view the entire Jenny Yoo 2012 collection, click here.

Another Expertly Engaged tip - If you are in Boston and looking for Jenny Yoo dresses, you MUST go to Flair on Newbury Street. The boutique is very well-appointed and the service is top-notch. Shout out to Elaine who helped get my ladies fitted and ready for the big day.

Happy Planning!

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