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!


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