About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

Follow Me!



Entries in Ceremony (8)


{DIY} Shepherd’s Hooks

Don’t you love the look of these aisle decorations? They’re called shepherd’s hooks! Look-y:

image image

image image

image image


You can hang:

  • teacups
  • small vases
  • mason jars
  • votive holders
  • small pails
  • paper cones
  • flower poms, tissue poms, moss balls, twig orbs
  • lanterns, Japanese paper lanterns
  • even random vegetables, like artichokes.

Wanna get your shepherd’s hooks on the cheap? Check out these 3’ high hooks from Best Nest for $5.99.

There are 32” high hooks from Bonanza for $3.10.  They also have 20” hooks there for $2.75.

And if you want them a different color, you can easily spray paint them! The only thing you need to do is make sure that you buy a spray paint that is specifically made to cover metal. Rustoleum makes a good metal paint. The paint should say on the label what materials it works on. Just make sure you check it!

Lastly, just make sure your hooks are sturdy enough for what you have in mind to hang. Some of the cheaper hooks I linked to look pretty thin. If you’re thinking of DIYing this, I’d invest in one hook first and give it some test runs with whatever you’re wanting to hang!


Finding My/Your Wedding Mojo

So I've been frantically working on all sorts of hair toys and bridal accessories for some bridal blogging partners in crime as well as for a few others (Jenn C., I swear, you're next!) . It's been going well, but I get very nervous when I do custom stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to do custom stuff. On one hand, it's really easy because you get to hear exactly what the bride wants and I really enjoy creating something with a particular person in my head. On the other hand, it's completely nerve-wracking because I've got this insane need to please and I want people to be happy with what I do for them.

And it's weird (or maybe it isn't, I need some artists to chime in here) because I'll have an idea for something and start working on it. And then it won't come. Or rather, it won't come all the way. The creative juices just halt. The thing that I had in my head sort of becomes this fleeting image that I'm suddenly chasing around the corners of my right brain. If I can't see it, I can't do it. The same thing used to happen to me when I was designing lamps and home decor. I'd be overseas, all excited to go play with product and I'd have all these ideas and visions dancing around in my head and I'd get to a factory to work and my brain would go SCREEEEEECH and I'd be standing and staring at a project like a freakin' deer in head lights. Most times, I'd ask for a Diet Coke (assuming the lost creativity was due to jet lag) and wander around looking at old projects or rejected projects for the thing that goes "SPARK" and gets me up and running again.

Over the years, I taught my Asian vendors tons of American slang, one of them being the word "mojo" and how one could lose it. Most of them knew that if I went for the Diet Coke, my mojo was in hiding. My vendors would bring out pretty things to spark my interest, or make a suggestion to the design I was working on, or just generally distract me. Most times, that's all I would need: a diversion, another voice. I'm not one of those people who think that my ideas are the best, most creative out there. In fact, I second guess myself so much that another voice puts me at ease, whether the feedback be praise or constructive criticism.

So now that I'm doing these custom things, I find myself emailing pictures of possibilities to brides along the way, and getting their feedback. I don't know if that's the "right" way to go about this new venture, but it feels most comforting to me for now. I certainly don't want to make something for a bride that they don't like or is somehow "off", even just a little. I don't want to be the regret a bride has after all is said and done. Perhaps this is undue pressure I am putting on myself. I'm just not certain at this point.

So I have been trying to come up with a new designing diversion without success. Diet Coke only appears to work in China. Last week I was taking some pictures of a lace shrug to email to a bride. I needed to try it on to show the bride where the length would fall, etc. and to do so, I needed to show the shrug with a strapless dress. I put on my David's Bridal $40 wedding gown I bought on sale some time last year, snapped some pics and emailed them off. I took off the shrug, took down my tripod and organized the bride's goodies. I cleaned up my work space a bit and put away some folded laundry. All in the wedding gown. I didn't purposely leave it on, I just got side tracked with activities. I sat down to attend to more emails and realized I was still wearing the gown. So I kept it on. A few nano-seconds later, the radio started playing the dreaded,

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh

And I got up and started dancing. Just like that. To Justin Beiber. In my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown. And then I had an epiphany! "No! It is NOT Justin Beiber that I should be dancing to!" and I ran to my iPod and found, played and danced to "Forever" by Chris Brown. I swear, I cry a happy cry every single time I hear that song. Ever since those crazy kids, Jill and Kevin, danced their way down the aisle, it's all I can envision in my head when I hear it. And it makes me so freakin' happy. Their video came out in July of 2009, less than 8 weeks before my own wedding. It was my go-to video when I was feeling stressed. That video took me to my happy place when I was overwhelmed by tasks, drama (usually self-induced) or just plain ol' nerves. So I danced. I danced up and down the hallway and got funky to "Forever." Afterwards, I changed out of the gown and banged out some crazy bridal accessories. And just like that, I found my mojo. Is my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown and a little Chris Brown my new Diet Coke?

When it comes down to it, we all are pretty much obsessed when it comes to our planning, right? I certainly didn't expect to care or plan or DIY as much as I did. It all sort of just happened. I wasn't prepared for it, that's for damn sure. I think every bride needs a little go-to for de-stressing in the throws of wedding planning, don't you? Do you work out? Imbibe? Listen to Justin Beiber (don't worry, I won't tell anyone)? What's your tactic for getting your wedding out of your head?

And just in case you've been living under a rock, on another planet or in a general state of internet ignorance, here's a repeat performance of my favorite wedding de-stresser ever.

Over 61 MILLION people have watched this video and nearly $35,000 has been raised in donations to the Sheila Wellstone Institute to stop domestic violence. If that doesn't make you feel good, I don't know what will!



Just Knock it Off

When life makes me crazy (like it has these last few weeks) I get really bummed about the fact that I don't have time to read and comment on all my favorite blogs on the interwebs. I tried to catch up a little last night.....don't know how successful I really was. But, I always make time to read particular blogs, mostly because they are so full of sass and truth and wonderfulness that I just can't help myself. One of those is A Cupcake Wedding. She keeps it real and I love that about her. Her most recent post is about vows and I left her a comment telling her it was totally OK to rip off other people's vows. Nobody will really know but you. And maybe some freakish bridal bloggers like me. But the latter is totally OK since the likelihood that I will tell anyone is nil. Right?

In an effort to help ease Cupcake's mind, I wanted to share with her where we ripped our vows off from. I had to go back to some old posts and when I did, I realized that I never finished sharing my own vows. Considering we totally ripped them off (and then made them our own), I do feel like I need to share. The original post is here, but I'll just do a total recap so it's all in one place.

We found a part of our ceremony through one of my favorite budget brides at 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding. She had created a list of favorite ceremonies. We stole part of our ceremony from Peonies and Polaroids.

Here's how it started:


The Candyman and Louise want to thank each of you for coming today to share in this very special time in their lives. Those of you who have been invited here to witness Louise and The Candyman's wedding ceremony and to celebrate with them today will play your part in their marriage too. There are only two official witnesses at a wedding but each and every person here today will witness the words that they will speak to one another and the vows that they will make. You should take good care to remember these words; for a marriage needs the help of a community, of friends and family who will be there when needed and will do all that they can during hard times to stand by Louise and The Candyman and offer their support to them and the new family that they will create. May you always do all within your power to support the union that will be made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom you love.

Throughout time countless millions of people from many cultures, religions and societies have gathered among friends and families to celebrate their love for one and other and their commitment to each other. Each culture has symbols and rituals to celebrate marriage from the Japanese tea ceremony to the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass, a rich tapestry of traditions from around the world combine to symbolize the meaning of marriage. And today we should try to remember that a wedding is a symbol, a beautiful, heartfelt and meaningful symbol but a symbol nonetheless. This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments The Candyman and Louise have made to each other, both large and small, in the days since they first met and recognized their connection to one another. It is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others. And it is in the spirit of these symbols that The Candyman has prepared a poem titles The Great Concatenation and has asked his friend James Monroe to read for us.

The Great Concatenation

At dawn, the morning fog crowds 

About church steeples as if pausing in meditation 

Before beginning the day

And in that quiet stillness 

I belong to you

The light of the setting sun 

Glinting off grain silos makes me pine for you

I can't explain why

In your eyes, there lies 

The pulsing flirtation of fireflies 

Hovering about paper lanterns 

Suspended effortlessly in the summer night

The space between us aches me,

As seas of mist converge above my head in cloudscapes

Like weightless gray elephants in some distant caravan across the sky

There lies a part of you to delight me in all the beauty that I behold,

From the eerie astral eye of the Hourglass Nebula

To the gooey center of a perfect grilled cheese sandwich

The thread of you is woven through the firmament

Even our very atoms were once the embers of ancient stars

But through some great concatenation

We have arrived here in this moment finally whole

To revel on the miracle that is us.


And now just before you say these vows to each other, I remind us all of what a vow is. A vow is a solemn promise, a pledge that binds. A commitment of heart, mind, soul and body.  A commitment that recognizes this as the most important of human relationships, above all others.

These are your vows. It is one of life’s greatest gifts…to give and receive such a commitment.  Understanding these things about your vows causes us to understand that these are not mere word, it is a covenant between yourselves and God, and so we listen in great awe and reverence as you make these promises to each other.

Louise and The Candyman, would you please turn to face each other now and join hands as you prepare to make these vows of love to one another.

The Candyman

I, The Candyman, take you Louise,

to be my wife,

to have and to hold from this day forward,

for better or for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish;

from this day forward until death do us part.


I, Louise, take you the Candyman

to be my husband

to have and to hold from this day forward,

for better or for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish;

from this day forward until death do us part.


Do you The Candyman in the presence of God and these our friends and family take Louise to be your wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband so long as we both shall live.

The Candyman:

I do, so help me God!

(As a side note, the "so help me God!" part was a surprise to me as well as our guests. As a lawyer, he says that the statement is more legally binding that way. It was said with such reverence that it kind of shocked me and I almost took a trip to Giggle Town, USA.)


Do you Louise in the presence of God and these our friends and family take The Candyman to be your husband, promising with Divine assistance to be unto him a loving and faithful wife so long as we both shall live?


I do!


The Candyman will you now take the ring you have for Louise. The Candyman, you are giving this ring to Louise as a symbol of your love her. The ring is a circle so that it has no end. In a like manner, your love for Louise will have no end, but continue all the days of your life. You may now place the ring on Louise’s finger and repeat these vows.

The Candyman:

With this ring I thee wed, and I pledge to thee my love, my devotion and my faithfulness, until death do us part.


Louise will you now take the ring you have for The Candyman. You are giving this ring to The Candyman as an outward sign of a commitment you are making to an endless bond of love. This ring is his ever-present reminder of your love. You may now place the ring on The Candyman's finger and repeat these vows.


With this ring I thee wed, and I pledge to thee my love, my devotion and my faithfulness, until death do us part.


The Candyman and Louise, let these rings serve as a constant, silent reminder of your love & commitment. When you look at them, let them bring a smile to your face as you remember that there is someone you love more than anyone else in the world; and that there is someone who loves you more than anyone else in the world.


Please join us in blessing this marriage with The Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The Candyman and Louise because you have made these vows of love & commitment to one another in the presence of God and these witnesses, and with the blessings of family & friends, by the authority vested in me I now pronounce you to be husband and wife. The Candyman, you may now kiss your bride!

Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you Mr. and Mrs. The Candyman, Esquire! (The Candyman wanted the Esquire part, I thought it was cute!)

On behalf of The Candyman and Louise, let me thank all of you for coming today. The wedding party will spend a few minutes taking pictures, and will join you shortly at the reception.

My advice is to make your vows your own. One thing I might discourage is to make silly promises to each other about particular actions. I think I read somewhere that in the vows that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt said to each other, one was about her promising to make some stupid smoothie for him every day - or some such nonsense. I think you need to be careful about that kind of stuff, in my personal opinion. Why? Because what happens when life gets in the way of making that smoothie? What I find important about the marriage ceremony is the meaning behind the vows. You are commiting your heart and soul to another person for the rest of your life. You will NOT make each other laugh every day. Don't promise that. You will, however promise to stick by that person and work through those days that you don't laugh together. I think that's what's important. 

The Candyman and I chose to have a semi-religious wedding. We both consider ourselves Christians, yet we do not belong to a particular church or faith. We wanted to marry in a chapel by on ordained man of God. That was our choice. We both love the Lord's Prayer and that is what we wanted to have said. It's the one thing about a sermon that I truly enjoy. I love hearing a congregation say those words all together. It fills me with an immense joy. However, if you want someone to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (love is patient, love is kind, blah blah blah) go ahead, it's your day. But I do want to stress that if you choose to read Corinthians, expect some eye-rolling over here at The Thirty-Something Bride. 

In addition, I have a FABULOUS wedding ceremony planner that I got from my officiant that totally lays out a ceremony for you. It covers who does what, where people are supposed to stand and lots of different options that include traditional and contemporary vows. It's a Word document that you can change as you see fit. It you wold like a copy of it, please email me and I can send it to you!

So, be honest now. Who's planning on knocking off their wedding vows?



Invigorated! Oh, and The Ceremony, Part II

I feel so alive after writing yesterdays post, reading the groovy comments and getting a little lost  in the blogosphere last night. How lame am I? I don't care. I don't. I made an effort yesterday not to just scroll down through my Google Reader, but to investigate out and about and I found some really great reading. I highly encourage y'all to do the same when you've got the time. Tip: Good blog writers generally have interesting reads on their blog rolls. Check 'em out.

Where was I? I think I was walking down the aisle? Yes, I think so. When I first walked in with my Dad and everyone stood up I was thinking:

"What do I look at? Who do I look at? Oh! There's Marie! Hi, Marie!  Oh, her dress is so pretty. That must be her new boyfriend. Oh! Don't cry Michele, you're gonna make me cry. Oh, and there's Spud (it's a nickname) and he's wearing a TIE! Oh, the big wreath looks so pretty. There's the guitarist. This is a nice song. Am I walking too fast? Man, there are a lot of cameras. I don't see my mom. She should be in the front. Oh, there's a tall person. She's probably behind him. My hand feels sweaty. Am I sweating? Ew. What's my veil doing? Will the guitarist end the song right? I never noticed those art deco lights before. The light in here is gorgeous! My dad's jacket feels scratchy. I wonder if he feels scratchy."

This all happened in my head in about 6 seconds.

And then I remembered a piece of advice a sorority sister gave me.

*Interruption - Yes, I was in a sorority. Delta Zeta at Indiana University. I joined for a few reasons:

1. I had transferred to IU, was a sophomore and knew NO ONE.

2. Midwesterners aren't the most welcoming group of people, compared to Southerners. I was having a tough time with that and thought joining a sorority would help. I was partially correct.

3. Indiana is a "dry" campus and they only way to get into a party was to be in a sorority/fraternity. So you could actually say that I joined a sorority to get my drink on.

4. Yes, we sang songs, clapped and wore matching t-shirts on occasion. This wasn't as bad as you might think. 

5. Rush - yes, it's as bad as you might think. 

6. I have to say that my house was cool in the sense that it wasn't about beauty queens (though we had our share), cat-fights (though they did occur) or being a skinny bitch (yup). There were cliques and there was bullshit, but looking at it in its entirety? We were an amazingly eclectic group of women from far and wide and we were smart (in the Top 5 GPA every semester). We donated our time and energy to philanthropic adventures. It was even fun at times.

7. I continue to have great relationships with a handful of women though so much time has passed. Hence the advice, that I will get back to now. *


So the advice was to make sure I looked at The Candyman. To make sure that I paid attention to what was said, to what I said and to get into the moment versus being swept away by it. So that's what I did. I zeroed in on The Candyman and my mind became crystal clear!

I think The Candyman was about to do one of two things here. He was either going to A) take a trip to Giggletown or B) cry. Neither occurred. Whew!

Words, words, words. Gettin' hitched.

Listening to the poem The Candyman wrote. My MOH looks a little bored, don't you think? I think maybe she was just listening really hard. ;)


Aw, Mom! Don't cry! I love how my Dad is holding my mom's hand. The Candyman will probably get irritated at me for this, but he says this picture makes him sad. It's the empty space next to his Dad, where his Mom should be. She passed away when The Candyman was 11. After he told me, it made me sad too.

Time for The Candyman's ring!


OK, so I love the progression of these next couple of shots. Check out the MOH's face too! I know she's looking at her daughter, The Flower Girl!



 And that's how you get married, folks. Nothing to it, right? We had a grand time, that's for sure. Neither of us cried, thank GOD! There was a little humour involved, always good at a wedding. There was a little gooey romance, a touch of God, a lot of spirit and the most important thing? Love. It's all about the love. It's all you need.


The Ceremony, Part I

Just a word of caution - this post is picture heavy. Why? Because a picture is worth a thousand words and I just don't have time for a thousand words, people. The photos tell their own story. However, my snarky comments make the story that much more fun (for me, at least).


 This is after we'd taken the first look, family and formal shots. I was sequestered away as the guests started to arrive. This is me attempting to escape the hidey-hole. I swear to God, this was the longest thirty minutes of my life. I was SO bored and antsy and people kept coming in and saying stuff to me and I was like, "Get the eff outta here and let me chill! I'm getting married in a few minutes!" OK, I totally didn't say that. I just wanted to at one point. However, I think someone (maybe my MOH?) figured it out and got rid of everyone so I could chill. So to whomever did that, thanks! Much appreciated!


Yup, the nerves are kicking in! You can tell by the vein popping out on my neck. I think some more make-up is in order. Lip-gloss, maybe?


Make sure you have some water around. I was parched. Again, I have no idea where the ice cold water came from, but I really appreciated it.


Key players in formation? Check! Wait. Where the hell is the Best Man?


My Mommy MOH telling her daughter she's up next.


Come on! Look at he little feet all criss-crossed! How freakin' cute is she!?!


I don't know if you guys remember me telling you this, but the Flower Girl ran out of petals about half-way down the aisle. Apparently, she was paying so much attention to the task that she over-allocated petals and ran out! I think this is her "uh-oh" moment. Happily, mom coaxed her the rest of the way down.


My turn! I absolutely adore my veil in this shot.


Sharon, Jonathon's (my photographer) wife took this shot. She told me later that she was so upset that I walked in and looked directly at her. I have no recollection of this at all, but I think it's a great picture. I do look slightly on the freaked out side.

Up next? Well duh, it's going to be Part II, where are the hot-vow and steaming-smooching action happens! Can I just tell you, I totally get misty when I look at all the vow photos. I am so shocked I didn't bawl during the ceremony. Who of the married blog-ladies out there hit the water-works hard during their ceremony. Anyone?