Happy New Year!

May 2010 bring you health, joy, happiness and love!

Photo: Meg Baisden Photography

As for me, I'm having a quiet evening as Mr. Encore is somewhere in the Middle East en route to his final destination. I'm not making any resolutions for the coming year, I'm just looking forward to celebrating the next New Year's Eve with my honey. This has been a great year, 2010 will be challenging due to the deployment but it will bring us closer to our goals.

Thanks to all of my followers and readers for your continued support, your comments and feedback have kept me going even in the midst of this temporary separation between Mr. Encore and I. I also want to thank all of you who have left appreciative comments for our service to this country. We love what we do and feel privileged to be able to do so.

Finally, I'll leave you with the scripture Mr. E and I have chosen as we prepared for this deployment with the hope that you can apply it to any dream or situation you want to pursue in the new year.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9


Ms. Encore Bride


Merry Christmas!
We're Out!

Mr. Encore is finally on his way home after being stranded in the Philadelphia airport for the last 36 hours. We are heading south for Christmas and will be back next weekend, after that he is off to the Middle East so please keep him in your prayers.

I wish everyone a beautiful Christmas/Holiday and I hope you get all your hearts desires!

How cute are my Christmas cards? I ordered them from Tiny Prints as they matched my Christmas decor this year. I was very happy with my purchase (they did not endorse this, I purchased them, was happy and thought I would share them with you)

See you next week!

Trying time and lessons learned

As I mentioned two posts ago I was involved on a small accident while driving Mr. E's truck. I didn't think it was that bad, until I came out of the truck and looked at the front. I'm not sure if you can tell but there is radiator fluid all over the front, therefore I couldn't drive it. The other person I hit was a younger lady, my first reaction was to get out of the truck and go check on her as I wasn't sure if she had kids with her. She didn't but was crying and calling her mother, boyfriend, neighbor...I don't know.

I calmly shared my information, took hers, called the cops and waiting inside the freezing truck. I was surprised at how calm, cool and collected I was...until I called Mr. Encore. I lost it but he just wanted to make sure I was OK, which I was.

I had never been on a car accident before where I had to call the tow truck and take the truck straight to a body shop. I was amazed how quickly I went into planning mode, called the insurance, call a friend for references on body shops, called the insurance again, etc. By the time the cop showed up I had everything lined up, the tow truck took me straight to the body shop, the rental car agency picked me up and I was at work 3 hours later from the time it happened.

What I learned: trust the professionals, they do this everyday. I quickly compared this to planning a wedding or major event in life. Since you don't do this everyday, hire the best planner you can afford, she/he can save you money and keep you under budget if you let her/him do their job. Also, ask for references and go from there, let them do what they do best and it will be as painless as possible.

All in all I had my truck back in three days looking brand new, thanks to all who made it possible, they did an awesome job!

Now, if I just had that much patience with the airline that left Mr. Encore stranded in Philadelphia for almost 48 hours this weekend.


What I've been up to...

Christmas decorations are going up like crazy, this year I decided to decorate using chocolate, copper, gold and ivory colors. I've been working pretty hard on the dining room and this is what I've done for the table centerpiece.

(click to enlarge)

My tree! All we need are presents!
(Yes, curtains still need to go up)

Source: Personal Photos, please do not copy.

Are you done with you Christmas decorating and shopping? What colors are you using this year to decorate?


The Encore Bride Style File
Pre-Fall 2010 Collections

The Christmas season is in full swing at the Encore Bride's house. Projects are being finished, decorations are still coming up and shopping is yet to be finished. I had a busy and ho-hum last week that included coming home early from work sick and getting into a car accident on Mr. Encore's truck (everyone is fine, there were no injuries). I will do a post later on what I learned from that day.

In the meantime, I will leave you some eye candy. The Pre-fall 2010 collections were presented by a few designers earlier this month and as always, we can always draw inspiration for that incredible event you're planning. Here are my favorites so far. Enjoy!

Donna Karan

(click to enlarge)
Source: Style.com

J. Mendel

(click to enlarge)
Source: Style.com

Oscar De La Renta

(click to enlarge)
Source: Style.com


(click to enlarge)
Source: Style.com

I love the draping Donna Karan and J. Mendel employed, Oscar de la Renta's "bling" and that Versace blue jacket is to die for! Which one is your favorite?


Happy Holidays!

Happy SITSmas day!

(click to enlarge)
Photo taken by Ashley Brokop

May your season be filled with laughter!~The Encores

Hopes for 2010

I truly feel like I've been given too much so far. 2009 has been a beautiful year and I am very thankful. My few hopes for 2010 are the continued safety of Mr. Encore as he deploys to the Middle East, the strength for all of us that love him to get through this period of separation and the health and happiness of our family and friends.


Thanks to all the Sitstahood ladies who have stopped by, commented and provided their support throughout my journey, your comments and luv keep me going, THANK YOU and I wish you much love, happiness and health for the new year.

In case you are wondering what SITS stands for, it is for "The Secret is in the Sauce", a blog by a "group of women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments. Lots and lots of comments". Please stop by SITS and join the community!

The Encore Bride Style File
A Dash of Black!

Welcome back to the Encore Bride! I'm still feeling the party vibe...must be the Holiday Season! The last bridal fashion week had many dresses with little black details. I decided to incorporate many non-traditional black elements to this board, the result is an edgy black and white style fit for an encore bride. As usual I have a mix and high and low pieces, great shoes and dress and handmade accessories from Etsy.com.

(Click to Enlarge)
Sources: Clockwise from top left: Earrings-LeeOhio, Headband-StacyLeighAtelier, BibNecklace-Bejewelled Bespoke, Cake-PinkCakeBox, Shoes-Kate Spade via Zappos.com, Dress-Elizabeth Filmore via InStyle Weddings, Bouquet-Martha Stewart Weddings, Stationery-Martha Stewart Weddings

I love the black headpiece and bib necklace, they are an unexpected detail for the bride. Are/would you wear non-traditional accessories on your big day? If so, what are you wearing, I want to see!


Life Is So Meant To Be...

Just after I posted the last entry I received an email from my future mother in law (my family and friends don't know about the blog), it said:

Hi (Ms. Encore Bride),

I truly hope you can open this site. This made me think of you and all the good you have brought into (Mr. Encore's) life. I give you credit for building a bridge for (Mr. Encore's middle daughter) and (Mr. Encore). She is truly taken with you and who you are. I could go on listing, but decided I might not love you if you had the "Big Head". Ha!

(Mr. Encore's mom)

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent

This is the video she was referring to:

I laughed so hard after reading her email but almost cried after watching the video and it occurred to me. That's what moms do, they build cathedrals...that's my answer to my kids debate, that's what makes all the sacrifices worth it, boy I tell you...this is so meant to be!


The Encore Bride's Kids Debate

***Calling all moms***

I've been having an internal battle for some time now in reference to whether I want to have kids or not.

*Disclaimer: Mr. E is fully supportive on whatever decision I make and I fully understand that it will be a mutual decision.

Source: PBK

BLUF (bottom line up front)

I know having kids is very hard, I know firsthand the sacrifices that go into raising a child (from my mom), the sleepless nights, the lack of freedom to go about without having to schedule babysitters, the financial strain, the activities they will have to be chauffeured to, the homework and school projects headache, etc. etc.

I am aware of all the hardships that entail having kids. Moms, I need your honest opinion, what are the pros? What makes you appreciate all the hardships of having them, what makes it all worth it? If you have to leave an anonymous comment in order to be brutally honest please go ahead and do so. On the other hand, what do you miss about being childless, do you regret having kids? Seriously, I would like to know both sides, most people talk about the bad but I don't hear too much about the good so here's your chance. THANK YOU!!!


The Encore Bride Style File
Winter Glamour

With Thanksgiving out of the way we can now concentrate on the next big event, Christmas! As soon as I came home from the Thanksgiving trip to visit Mr. E (which was great by the way) I focused on getting my Christmas decorations in place to decorate my home. Besides decorating for Christmas I've been thinking of all the beautiful decorations for the season and it is only fitting that I put together a Winter Glamour "mood board" (that is what they are called in the design world-as in the mood I want to convey in a collection).

As promised, I've been looking for inspiration in other "non-wedding" websites and blogs. The inspiration for this board was initiated by the living room picture at the top right from Elle Decor blog. The mood is opulent, glamorous and everything "bling". If you are on a tight budget you can consider a smaller guest list in order to go all out on the setting.

(click to enlarge)

Sources: Clockwise from top left: Lighting-Apartment Therapy, Living Room-Elle Decor, Table scape-Your Wedding Day, Headpiece-JennyPickle via Etsy.com, Necklace-Nordstrom, Earrings-Nordstrom, Shoes-Nordstrom, Bracelets-Nordstrom, Candle holders-Swarovski
Dress: Jenny Packham via Brides.com

This would be ideal for an intimate, opulent setting, maybe even for a New Year's Eve wedding, don't you think?


Happy Thanksgiving!

Pink Cake Box Cake

Thanks to all of you that follow my blog and allow me to share the ups and downs of my Encore experience. I am currently visiting Mr. Encore for the only day he has off from his training. I've been looking forward to seeing him even if it's just a day, I will be back over the weekend and posts will resume next Monday. Have a lovely holiday weekend!


What I'm Thankful For: Finding "The One"

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week I am most thankful for the health of my family and friends, the strength to endure some hard periods in my life and finally, finding the "one". I will try to make this as short as I can as I know that people get bored of long posts (I know I do!)

Source: Smock Paper

I've been divorced for 8 years, during that time I have been in long term relationships, dated and was even engaged before. Most of those relationships were pretty bad now that I look back on them. It came a point in my life where I just gave up on the idea of ever marrying again, finding the one or having a family one day. I was at peace with that idea and my independence, in fact I was nervous that I would never be able to share my space with anyone again.

Just I was coming to terms with that idea, I became friends with this coworker of mine, he is a very extrovert southern guy, the kind that you just can't walk by without talking to. As I just mentioned, he was the typical southern guy from the deep south, I was born in the US but raised in Puerto Rico (we both have accents!). Due to our different backgrounds I was SURE, let me say again SURE that nothing would ever go beyond a friendship for us, not to mention that he had a reputation for liking the ladies a bit too much.

Mr. E. never gave up and in the course of almost 8 months he asked me out an average of every two days, I couldn't believe how "busy" his social life was, he always had tickets or an event to invite me to. In the meantime I kept dating the same losers and getting even more disappointed. To the point that one day I prayed and told God to forget about sending me the one because "I want someone who is excited about me as I am about them".

After 8 months I got tired of turning him down and wanted him to stop asking because we would never be. I sent him a text message and asked what he wanted from me, he said he couldn't tell me over a text message, the phone or at work (I was intrigued by that), so he asked me to dinner. I said yes hoping that all I would get out of the deal was peace and a free meal.

Source: Le Love

We had dinner then went to a movie and he brought me home. By that time he'd told me he wanted to know what we had, and assured me that we didn't even have to see each other every day. Again in my mind I knew that it was a huge no-go, no way was I going to date this "country boy", well, he took me home and boldly kissed me goodnight....That's all I needed, I knew I'd kissed my prince!

I would be lying if I told you that I knew he was the one from that kiss, it was different though, I had to sit down and stare at my wall for 45 minutes until he called to let me know he was home. We've been together ever since (everyday I might add). Two weeks after that kiss I had been traveling for work and returned on Valentine's Day. His family was in town visiting him and he insisted that I went straight to his house from the airport and meet his parents.

He had two dozen roses waiting for me but we (his parents and I) wouldn't allow him to pull me aside, finally he did, gave me a beautiful pair of diamond earrings and I read the note from the flowers, it said:

"Baby, every time I see you it's like seeing you for the first time, I'm so excited about us". -S.

Right then and there I knew he was "the one", I knew that God had finally answered my prayers. I have been in the most mature, loving, respectful and supportive relationship of my life ever since that day. I don't regret all the frogs I kissed, for them I would've never known that I found my Prince and I am thankful for that too.


The Encore Bride Style File
The Bride Did Not Wear White

As an Encore Bride I'm not into looking like the meringue-whipped cake topper doll on my day. I know that I won't wear white and so far I only have one design house I truly love:Pronovias. That is, until I found the most recent bridal line from Essence of Australia called Martina Liana. I came across this designer from another encore bride at the encore board on Weddingbee.com. I love that most of the gowns are offered in gold, champagne, rose and blue. In my humble opinion as a fashion design major, details on a "colored" gown show much better in pictures than a white dress will, if you don't believe me, look at the countless real wedding pictures in all the major bridal blogs. Can you see the details on a white dress when you take a full length photo? I've also read how many photographers enjoy non-white gowns, possibly for the same reason.

Look at these lovelies....

(Click to enlarge)
Source: Martina Liana

Would you wear a non-white/ivory gown?


The Encore Bride Style File
Branding & Invitations

Who says you have to hire the most expensive "wedding invitation" designer when it comes to your invitations. Why not hire the best graphic designer you can find and have them design the "branding" for your wedding? I have a crush on graphic design and I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere, when shopping for invitations look no further. Branding suites can give you an example of how a simple, modern design can carry your event from start to finish. Would you consider a non-wedding invitation designer for your invitations?

Source: Top Row:Left, Middle, Right
Middle Row: Left, Middle, Right
Bottom Row: Left, Middle, Right


The Encore Bride Style File-Weddings Nouveau

Pink Gowns!

Source: Wedding Nouveau

I just came across a blog that I would love to share as I can identify with their vision of a non-traditional wedding. The description from their site says:

"WEDDING NOUVEAU is a cross cultural style guide for today’s bride. It features images taken by some of today’s sought after photographers documenting real weddings of interracial/ multicultural couples that dare to dream outside the box. "

They have beautiful images from real weddings where couples combined their cultural backgrounds to make a gorgeous event. Check them out!

The Encore Bride-A New Chapter II

...after finally breaking down from all the emotions stirred up I comforted myself by laying on the couch and watching way to many wedding shows. Between "Say Yes To The Dress, "Bridezillas", "My Fair Wedding", "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", "Battle of the Wedding Planners" etc. instead of cheering up I developed a Love/Hate relationship for the wedding industry. Frankly I shouldn't fault the industry, it's up to the consumers to buy into the crap they sometimes sell. As an Encore Bride I know that although my wedding day will be memorable I KNOW it will not be the most important day of my life, God I hope not! I would like to achieve some goals with Mr. Encore, become a successful business owner and more importantly bring new life into this world, now that's what I call pretty darn special!

I wanted to throw things at the TV after watching the many brides that go shopping for "The Dress" with a set budget, only to try on a dress twice and three times more expensive that their budget. In a recent episode the bride blurted that the dress was as much as her entire budget for the wedding! OK people, what's wrong with that picture? More than likely that dress will only be worn once (unless you sell it or hope to have a girl that will have the same taste as you in fashion).

I want a memorable event, don't get me wrong and my favorite designer-Pronovias, is not what we call "very affordable" but 8-10k for a dress! Now granted, if my wedding had a six figure budget then a five figure dress budget would be quite normal. But if the dress is more than the entire wedding budget? Come on!

As a result I decided to go back to my Encore Bride principals, "I'm older, wiser, in love and planning this celebration my way" yes, I am going to plan a fabulous party within our budget when the time comes and I will be wise about it. Inspiration for a party can come from anywhere, there's no set of rules that decide the things you must include, the traditions you must follow and how much you need to spend for the "most important day of your life" pleeaasse!

In the end, that's why I revamped the blog, I wanted a cleaner, brighter site where my inspiration could take center stage (shout to Sugarelli for creating a new banner and avatar in record time!). By inspiration I mean all the different things that I can use to design this party and not necessarily from the wedding industry. There are plenty of blogs that showcase those ideas and they do so very well.

So, if you're looking for non-traditional, individual style inspiration for your day stick around I promise to share my ideas of what that is for me with you. Thanks for sticking around!

Now excuse me while I call Elie Saab to have him recreate this in blue for my wedding! :-))

Source: Elie Saab via NYMag.com


The Encore Bride-New Look!

Finally, after much cleaning around here the new layout is here. What do you guys think? Feel free to leave me some honest feedback. Thank you!

The Encore Bride-A New Chapter

**Please excuse the mess around here as I try to clean up and organize as much as I can.**

As you all know there are many things going on in my life right now besides planning a wedding...OK, who am I kidding? I only have one major thing going on, Mr. Encore's deployment. It's been a couple of weeks since he's been gone (can't you tell?) and many things have happened that have affected how I'm coping. The time spent helping him pack his bags, spending the last night together and seeing him off seems like a big blur mess in my head right now. He is currently doing his deployment training so technically he is still "here", as in "in this country".

Surprisingly I did really well dropping him off at the airport, of course that was after his ticket wasn't paid for by Uncle Sam; by the time we got it fixed he was delayed 4 hours. It was fine though, we had breakfast, came home and took a nap, by the time he had to leave I was ready to drop him off. I did very good though, I did not cry, drove off and came home.

For the next couple of days I walked around like a zombie, feeling a little lost but OK, then something happened...The Fort Hood shootings. Not only was it painful because it involved my fellow soldiers or because I have friends there but Mr. Encore was in a similar facility somewhere else in the country going through the same exact process those soldiers were doing.

The rest of that day and the next I felt like I was 3 seconds away from breaking down...all day long. (To be continued...)


Bellissima-It's Open!

Who said this would be easy? Between the cutting and wiring and pictures and editing pictures and descriptions and oh my! Finally, it's open for business, please stop by, say hi, tell me what you think, etc.


Bellissima-My New Project!


I am working very hard to get the shop open and I am still in the process of finishing up the pictures and descriptions, please bear with me, visit the site and sign up to be notified as soon as the shop opens. Thank you!!

With Mr. Encore on his way overseas I've been looking for ways to stay distracted. Just in time for the holidays I decided to re-open my Etsy Shop; Bellissima Beaded Accessories. If you love to read and "bling" head over to my shop and sign up to be notified as soon as the shop is open for business. All items are one of a kind, if you see it and like it you better buy it! Hurry as the shop won't be open for long.

Opening: November 11, 2009 (Veteran's Day!)


The Encore's Couples Session

We just received the pictures from the couples session and I thought I would share a few more with you. All photos were taken by the fabulous Ashley Brokop!

I love this one, we couldn't stop laughing!

Here I'm doing my best ANTM pose!

We had to showcase those boots!

This one is Mr. Encore's favorite...he said it looks like it belongs in a magazine, I think he's referring to his Harley!

Trying to do our best bad a** impression!
All photos by Ashley Brokop (please do not copy)

Mr. Encore was still talking about our session 2 weeks later, we had a blast! If you haven't had a photography session with your better half you should schedule one now. For me it was very important to have one done especially with him being sent away. I wanted something I could hold on to when I had my bad days (and the good ones too). Every time my screen saver comes on I always get a big smile looking at those pictures. I miss him so...


The Encore Bride Style File-My Favorites

After going through all my posts this week I realized I hadn't post any wedding "porn". Here is a recap of some of my favorites style files. Please click on the title to view the original post with source credits.

Which one is your favorite?


I'm a Fabulous Sugar Doll!!!

Well well well, I was pleasantly surprised by Cupcake Wedding and The Roddy Bride with "The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award. Thank you ladies!!!

And now, on to the instructions: I have to post the award on my site, write 10 interesting things about myself, and then pass it on to 10 other bloggers.

In no particular order:

1. I have moved 10 times in the last 12 years.
2. I learned how to sew and design patterns in high school.
3. At the age of 21 I had driven cross country alone, in the snow!
4. It's been 8 years since my starter marriage and I didn't think I would ever think about marrying again.
5. I'm a vintage muscle car fanatic, my dream car is a 1964 and a half Ford Mustang.
6. I love arts and crafts, my latest obsession is learning how to quilt.
7. I joined the military over 15 years ago over a bet with a classmate.
8. I'm a terrible procrastinator...enough said!
9. I hate folding clothes and doing dishes!
10. Mr. Encore asked me out every other day for close to 8 months before I finally went on a "date" with him, we have been inseparable ever since. I was very skeptical of "fairy tales" but I must say I'm living my very own, he is the best thing that has happened to me. I have never been in such a mature, loving and supportive, he is my sunshine.

Passing it to on to other fabulous bloggers:
1. Foxy Wedding
2. God's Favorite Shoes
3. Sassy Chica
4. The Blog of Girly Guilty Pleasure
5. A Bride...Again
6. Bride on a Budget
7. Can cook and do housework!
8. Crafty Girls Workshop
9. Cup a Dee Cakes Blog
10. Girl with a Ring


The Encore Bride-30 Day Shred Challenge Week #4

Here are this week's (and previous) stats:

Measurements: (Wk1/Wk2/Wk3/Wk4)

1. Weight-175/171/171/170
2. Goal weight-140
3. Bust measurements-38/38/38/37.5
4. Waist measurements-32/32/32/31
5. Hips measurements-43.5/43/42.75/42.5
6. Thigh measurements (widest part of the thigh)-29/28.5/28/27.5
7. What level you're doing-Level 2 Day 3 (I've missed a couple of days so far)

Overall I am really surprised at my measurements. While Mr. Encore was here last week I really didn't count points and skipped my workout a couple of days. Overall I am pleased but level 2 is kicking my butt!


The Encore Bride-Couples Session

I received a wonderful email from our photographer this morning to let us know our pictures were up in her blog!!! As you know I wanted to have pictures of us done before he deployed, it is not an e-session however as I do not have a ring yet. These are just a sample from the many pictures our wonderful photographer Ashley Brokop took. She had many sweet things to say about us, to get the scoop head over to the Ashley Brokop Blog.

(Click to enlarge)
Pictures by: Ashley Brokop

Please excuse the small pictures; can you tell I ripped them from her blog?

Aisle Style-150 Years of Wedding Fashions

Last weekend Mr. Encore and I headed to Charleston, SC to hang out in what was our last weekend together for a while. I dragged him to the Charleston Museum where the Aisle Style exhibit was on display. The exhibit was a nice size and had many original gowns from the 1800's. I learned that many of these gowns were handmade in France, most were two pieces because it was perfectly acceptable to wear your gown again with a more simple top during the first year of marriage. Also, as we know colored gowns were popular at the time as well and they had a few on display. The exhibit will be on display until June 30, 2010, stop by if you're in Charleston.

(Click to enlarge)
All photos taken by me

For more information please stop by the Charleston Museum website!


Missing you...

Sorry for the lack of posts during the last few days. Mr. Encore is home for what might be the last few days before I see him next year. As you can understand we are trying to spend as much quality time together as we possibly can. Regular posting will resume on Monday, stay tuned!


The Encore Bride-30 Day Shred Challenge Week #3

Today I'll do a quick post with this week (and previous) stats:

Measurements: (Wk1/Wk2/Wk3)

1. Weight-175/171/171
2. Goal weight-140
3. Bust measurements-38/38/38
4. Waist measurements-32/32/32
5. Hips measurements-43.5/43/42.75
6. Thigh measurements (widest part of the thigh)-29/28.5/28
7. What level you're doing-Level 1 Day 14 (I've decided to do it for 6 weeks and do each level for two weeks)

Changes: Hips and thighs, I'll take that! Weight: Same, that's OK as long as I don't go up!

Thanks for following and keep shredding!!!


The Encore Bride Style File-Fall 2010 Bridal Week II

Reem Acra presented great alternatives for the Encore Bride, her gowns looked sophisticated but easy to wear.
(Click to Enlarge)
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I found Jenny Packham's collection to be very sexy and "grown-up", perfect for an Encore Bride. This is the type of gown you wear when you approach your wedding as the "best party" you two will ever throw together.

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I love the "bling" on Packham's collection, do you?


The Encore Bride Style File-Fall 2010 Bridal Week

There were beautiful collections presented at the recent Fall 2010 Bridal Fashion Week in NYC. Some were very innovative (for bridal) and others were pretty much "wearable" and as Michael Kors would say "They were clothes, not fashion" in my opinion. It is difficult to do bridal, you loose the color aspect of designing and it tends to be very traditional. Having said that, I will start with my favorites from the Encore Bride perspective.

Angel Sanchez, an architect by trade has been known for his geometric designs and architectural shapes. He presented a new diffusion line called "Angel". His shapes did not disappoint, his dresses were not fussy but were elegant and had a great fit.

(Click to Enlarge)

Claire Pettibone's collection was beautiful, the 3-D flowers, embroideries and use of color made her collection stand out from a sea of plain ivory gowns. I thought these would be great for an informal beach/garden ceremony. Your thoughts?

(Click to Enlarge)
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I'm wrapping up the other collections, more to follow! Do you have any favorites?


The Encore Bride Way-78 Ways to Stay in Love

Ah! Staying in love, that's what it's all about. After the party is over, the guests have left and the honeymoon is over the real one begins (don't we know that fellow encore brides?), how do you keep it going? Below are 78 tips I FFFFOUND! on that site.

(Click to enlarge)

Share your tips!


The Encore Bride-30 Day Shred Challenge Week #2

Source: Amazon.com

As you know The Roddy Bride and I started our 30 Day Shred Challenge last week. See below for my current stats:

1. Starting weight-175
2. Current weight-171 (lost 4 lbs wohoo!)
3. Goal weight-140
4. Bust measurements-37.75 (lost .25")
5. Waist measurements-32 (same as last week)
6. Hips measurements-43 (lost .50")
7. Thigh measurements (widest part of the thigh)-28 (lost .50")
8. What level you're doing-Level 1 Day 8

As you can see, there were some changes. Most noticeably my weight, I must clarify that before I started the challenge I had just returned from a long weekend in the deep south where I enjoyed every single plate of good food that was presented to me or even mentioned around me!

Besides the Shred I've also been counting points with Weight Watchers. I believe most of my weight loss comes from the joint effort. Overall I feel much better especially when I workout in the mornings, I seem to be in a better mood throughout the day. My pants are starting to feel better and I don't have that constant "bloated" feeling. I'm really excited and I look forward to catching up with The Roddy Bride and see if she got a chance to workout as I know she was moving. How did you do this week?

As always, you can follow us on twitter using #30DSBride



I just finished watching the documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags on HBO. As you may know my dream has always been to be a fashion designer (ever since I was 6 yrs old, waaay before Project Runway). Watching this documentary just broke my heart. If you can please watch it, do so. It premiered tonight on HBO and it will be aired until around Nov 24.

All I can say is please be mindful of where you invest your money, take the time to ask where the product you are purchasing has been made and please go out of your way to support your local businesses. Sign the Save the Garment Center petition and look for the "Made in the USA" label!

Here is what Blowback Productions company has to say:

"SYNOPSIS | The Garment Center is the heart and soul of Midtown Manhattan and the backbone of the fashion industry. It was the gateway for many immigrants to the American Dream. Now, it’s in danger of disappearing. This HBO feature documentary explores the rise and fall of New York's fabled schmatta (rag) trade as a microcosm for the economic shocks that have changed our lives."

Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags Teaser from Chris Walker on Vimeo.

Please watch!

68 Days 'till Christmas!

Yikes! There are only 68 days 'till Christmas, have you started your Holiday shopping yet? Made in England is a cute blog I found some time ago and they design a guys/girls shopping list every year. Wouldn't our shopping be easier if we had one of these for all our loved ones? They just posted the new 2009 version, skip over and download the files. I hope it helps with the shopping, isn't this great?

(I guess it's safe to assume this is the boy version)
Source: Made in England

The Encore Bride Style File-My Inspiration Board

As a follow up to my previous post I've put together an inspiration board focused on my personal style. Even as an Encore Bride I am still going the "traditional route" although I would love more color on the dress maybe a dark Ivory/Gold color. I couldn't help but include letterpress invitations and a beautiful cake. If I was planning a wedding today I would be heading in this direction. Your thoughts...

Sources: Dress: Radiante by Pronovias, Veil: Brenda's Bridal Veils, Earrings and Bracelet: Opheliax, Invites: Bella Figura, Necklace: Strands Of Grace, Paper: Paper Source, Shoes: BCBG Zappos.com, Bouquet: The Knot.com, Cake: The Knot.com via


The Encore Bride Inspiration File-Things I love

With Mr. Encore's upcoming deployment there are many things I have to focus on and a wedding isn't one of them, unfortunately. And yes, even though this is an Encore wedding I am looking at "traditional" gowns. Who knows? Maybe I'll wear two or three on the same day! A girl can always "window shop" though and I have been doing plenty of it. Right now I am loving these Pronovias gowns. I love the lace, the shirred detail in the bust area along with the pleated chiffon at the bottom of the skirt.


This one is from the current collection, I love the detachable train that comes out from the back.


Again, it has the same ingredients, lace+draped bodice=loveliness


Same formula, love the bolero but not the 3/4 sleeves on it.

Source: Pronovias

What do you guys think? Any other Pronovias brides out there?


How Did I Get Here? Part III

If you are new to the blog welcome, thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you keep coming back! This is the third part to two previous posts I did a while back, they are here: Part I here, Part II here.

As a fashion design student I interned with a major evening/bridal wear designer in FL. Seeing the process of how everything is created is very fascinating. All of the production was done in house, they had about 45 employees on site. They created the patterns, cut the fabric, sewed the dress, sewed the embellishments by hand, packaged and shipped the dress. In fact I was surprised to see him on the Martha Stewart Fall 2009 magazine, you can find his interview here.

His dresses retail around 3k-5k and after seeing how much work goes into it I understand why. Also, they are produced here in the US so they pay US wages along with benefits. Some of his employees have been with him since he started almost 25 years ago! As you select a wedding gown please take the time to research the company and where the dress is made. Every gown should have tags when you try them at the salon (it is illegal to remove the designer tags but many salons still do it!)

After almost finishing the fashion design program I returned to SC and went back to my normal life in hopes of one day starting a girls special occasion line.

Stay tuned for more!


Thank you Roddy Bride!

What a wonderful surprise to read that The Roddy Bride nominated me last week for a Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you!!!! This makes it all worth it! Now, I need to list 7 facts about myself and then pass it on to 7 other Kreativ bloggers!

I'm keeping it simple:

1. Word: Love

2. Dream: To become a fashion designer

3. Love: Motorcycle rides

4. Hate: Injustice

5. Place: Beach in Puerto Rico

6. Designer (s): Karl Lagerfeld (Couture) Oscar de la Renta (RTW) Pronovias (Bridal) OK that's 3 but I couldn't resist.

7. TV Show: First 48 Hours

Passing it on to (some may already have one but you can never have too many!):

1. Sassy Bride
2. A Bride...Again!
3. Bride on a Budget
4. Cupcake Wedding
5. Foxy Wedding
6. Pink Sugar Desserts
7. Jeanette's Journey


The Encore Bride Fitness-30 Day Shred Challenge

Source: Amazon.com

Jillian Michaels just kicked my butt! The Roddy Bride and I started our 30 Day Shred Challenge today. I barely have the energy to type so here you go, the ugly stats:

1. Starting weight-175
2. Current weight-175
3. Goal weight-140
4. Bust measurements-38
5. Waist measurements-32
6. Hips measurements-43.5
7. Thigh measurements (widest part of the thigh)-29
8. What level you're doing-Level 1 Day 1

These measurements are a rude awakening, I can't believe my thighs are as big as my waist should be! I also took pictures for my personal weekly tracking, I will probably post them once we're done.

You still have time to join us, come on and shred with us! Follow us on twitter using #30DSBride


The Encore Bride Style File-Paris Fashion Week

Welcome to the recap of my favorite Fashion Week...Paris! As an Encore Bride I have been looking for wedding inspiration outside of the traditional "wedding avenues". I have been following fashion week as a source of inspiration for everything to include attire and decorations.

On to my favorites!

First up is the incredible Karl Lagerfeld, his collection was very structured as you can see from the shapes of the garments. He's a master at what he does and I love his work, especially couture. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Source: Style.com

Elie Saab is a bride and celebrity favorite, his couture collection never disappoints and this year's Ready to Wear collection did not either. His use of neutral colors and draping created a timeless collection. Although his collection included more casual looks he did not disappoint in the evening wear area.

Source: Style.com

Lastly, one of my absolutely favorites designers: Valentino. Granted, he no longer designs his namesake collection but the new designers have done a great job at taking his design aesthetic and making it more modern and youthful. I loved their use of sheer fabrics along with ruffles and beautiful soothing colors. In my opinion, these are all timeless pieces.

Source: Style.com

A few of the major trends that you can see over and over in most of these shows were the use of neutral colors and sheer fabrics. Many designers presented an entire collection of casual wear making the search for the next great evening gown just a little bit narrower. Many collections were presented in just two colors: black and white. At times many collections lacked colors we associate with a Spring collection, making many wonder if designers sacrificed their art for sales by making pieces that were "too safe". In the end, it is no secret that the current economic downturn has forced many to re-consider costly purchases and it was clearly seen on the runway.

I look forward to seeing how the bridal designers will cope with the situation when they present their new bridal collections this month during bridal market week. I will be doing my recaps as soon as I can get my hands on the collections. Stay tuned!


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