Friday, December 19, 2008

Speaking of Cover Models...

Congrats to our cover model finalist (from our Winter/Spring 2008 issue) Leah Purnell and her husband Ryan on the new addition to their family! Beautiful little Miss Addyson Lynn Purnell arrived on December 15th at 11:59pm. She weighed in at 7lbs 8oz and measured 22inches long.

What a wonderful blessing this holiday season!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do you want to be a cover model?

Have you ever dreamt about being in a magazine? Are you recently engaged or a newlywed in the Sacramento area? Well, now is your chance at an opportunity to get all guzzied up for a magazine photo shoot.

With each issue of Real Weddings Magazine, hundreds of young women enter and from these entries, we pick three finalists. These three young women get to play "model" for the day -- we bring in dresses from local area bridal boutiques, flowers from local area designers, hair and make-up teams for each of the three girls; and spend a whole day shooting with a top wedding photographer at a local wedding venue. The end result is a glorious fashion feature in Real Weddings Magazine, and ultimately one of the three women gets to grace our cover as our cover model winner.

Does this sound like something you'd like to be a part of? Well then, you need to complete our Real Weddings Magazine Cover Model entry form, and get it in to us by February 15, 2009. Be sure to read all of the rules to make sure that you qualify; and don't forget to send us your photos!

Here's the entry form:


Also, ladies, just a little tip -- the most important thing to us is personality -- we need to see your personality come through with your answers (and typically, short one-sentence answers don't give us much idea about your personality). So don't be afraid to let your personality shine through and let us know who you really are!

So come on! Enter now!

If you have any questions, you can email me at

My next blog entry will be about our three gorgeous cover model finalists Chanie, Tania and Lisa, who grace our current issue of Real Weddings Magazine. Now, I have to get back to work...until next time, my dear brides.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Now, the rest of the story!

Ok, now that you've heard my crazy wonderful wedding story, I have to admit something: while I had a blissful wedding day, the one item that I always wished I had, was the traditional gown. I loved that my husband was so thoughtful to buy me a gorgeous ivory silk suit for my wedding day, but I never got to experience the wedding gown.

When I told my girlfriend Sarah Maren (yes, of Sarah Maren Photography, -- fabulous new Web site by the way!) about my wedding story, she suggested a "Trash the Dress" photo shoot. After many months of trying to grow my hair out just a little longer (I loved my snazzy short 'do, but I really wanted to be able to have some fab hair goodies to go with the wedding dress -- yes, I know I'm vain, but hey, if I'm only getting one chance to do this, I wanted to make it just right), the timing was just right. So in mid-October, I got all guzzied up as a bride once again, but this time in a fabulous wedding gown.

The location was quite cool indeed, Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg ( We got to shoot in the warehouse -- an industrial space with plenty of interesting photographic details.

The dress was from Miosa (; and fit like a dream. When I went to try on gowns at Miosa, Sanea brought this gown in and I just laughed, thinking it was WAY too small. Amazingly it fit, and fit pretty darned good! I know it sounds a little cliche, but I felt like a princess in that gown -- it was THE gown.

My hair and make-up was done by the amazingly talented Raquel at Image Provocateur in Roseville ( Talk about feeling glamorous! Yowza!

The a word, stunning! Shannon from Flourish ( made the one of the most unique bouquets I've ever seen --exceptionally creative and distinctively beautiful!

And, lastly, I got the oh so fab hair accessories to go in my (finally!) longer hair! Sarah and I were feeling a very "Sex in the City" vibe, and the accessories that I got from Hair Comes The Bride ( completely fit that bill! The birdcage veil felt very Grace Kelly-ish (why aren't more brides wearing these these days -- they're very classic and quite elegant!) but when I put the monstrous flower on the side of my head, I instantly was channelling my inner Sarah Jessica Parker (think her Vogue wedding photo shoot from the movie).

Sarah, along with her husband Dustin (, was amazing and so fun to work with! Frankly there aren't enough superlatives to describe just how amazing these two are -- they directed me in just the right way to get the best possible shots. I had so much fun and felt so glamorous -- I felt like the quintessential bride. I cannot thank you guys -- and everyone else who contributed to my special day -- enough for everything!

For me, this photo shoot was the culmination of my wedding dream, nearly eight years after Terry and I got married, proving that it's never too late!

If you'd like to check out our photo shoot, check out the uber-cool slide show that Sarah put together on her blog:

Ok, truly, that's enough about me! Let's get started on your bridal journey!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Wedding Story

Since this is my first foray into blogging, I thought it would be appropriate to start out with my wedding story, so here goes (bear with me, it's a long one, but a good one I promise!):

When Terry and I first met, I told him that when I get engaged, I wanted to have a really good story. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he took this to heart and not only gave me a great story but a truly amazing weekend. I hope that you’ll indulge me in telling this tale as I told it to our friends and family…travel back with me to Monday, April 9th, 2001 and here’s the abbreviated version of the email I sent out sharing our happy news:

"Let me get right to the point…I got engaged and married this past weekend – all to my great surprise! Yes, it’s true, I’m now an old married broad!

My boyfriend (now husband, YIKES!) planned the whole entire thing down to the last detail. Here’s the thing, I wasn’t expecting any of this. We’d been planning a trip up to Santa Barbara next weekend and I was absolutely convinced that would be when he proposed – AND, we’d been talking about going abroad in July to get married. Needless to say, all of that was just to throw me off course, which worked brilliantly! I’ve never felt so gullible in all my life once I discovered all of this!

We went up to Victoria, BC for the weekend with two friends – Margie and Thom – for what I thought would be just some R&R. Little did I know that Margie and Thom, were Terry’s partners in crime.

We stayed at a luxurious and charming bed and breakfast, Fairholme Manor (, which provided the perfect backdrop for the weekend's festivities. Come to find out, the b&b's owner Sylvia Main was another of Terry's partners in crime, helping to coordinate many of the details for our wedding day. She was a delightful hostess!

On Friday, Margie’s mission? To keep me busy all day. So being the spa girls that we are, Margie and I trekked off to the spa for some pampering. Margie also insisted that I get a manicure (I’m so thankful she did!).

Later that evening, Thom and Margie were actually supposed to go out to dinner with “friends” who were coming up to see them. Conveniently their “friends” couldn’t make it for dinner, so we invited them to join us. So at 8pm, we arrived at Villa Rosa for dinner. Immediately, I should have known something was up, because the minute we walked in the door, everyone stared at us and this blatant staring continued as we sat at our table. Then, at 8:25pm, Margie and Thom got up to go to the bathroom – nothing out of the ordinary. Next thing I know, Terry mentioned something about a Bruce Springsteen song playing overhead (we’re huge Springsteen fans, but that’s another story for another time). My reply was, “Oh, that’s nice,” because I really couldn’t hear the music…at which point, Terry slid off the end of the booth, got down on one knee, which was the cue to everyone in the restaurant to hold up their signs saying, “Say Yes!” (While Margie and I were playing spa divas, Terry and Thom had dropped the signs off, along with the Bruce CD). This explained why everyone kept looking at us! Honestly, I thought it was a joke, but the minute I saw Thom in the back with the video camera, I realized that this was truly happening. Terry “popped the question” and poof, we were engaged. Thankfully, Thom was videotaping the entire thing because I was so taken aback that the entire evening was a blur. But it doesn’t stop there…the story gets even better.

The following morning, Terry brings me a gift of diamond earrings – he said that I needed a new pair for my wedding day. Still believing that we were getting married in some exotic locale in July, I said that was very cool, but our wedding day wasn’t until July. This is the point when I was finally let in on the secret that everyone else seemed to know…Terry’s reply, “No, today is your wedding day!” Yep, Terry had arranged everything: the marriage license (something unique about Canada – only one person needs to be present when applying for the marriage license – something else that Terry and Thom did while Margie and I were at the spa!), the flowers, the music, the clothing (yes, ladies, he bought me an ivory, silk suit to wear and brought a pair of my shoes to match!). So at 11am that morning, we were married on the balcony at the b&b where we were staying – overlooking the ocean and the mountains. Incidentally, by sheer coincidence, one of the harpists that Terry had arranged to serenade us during and after the ceremony, sang “our” song – I thought for sure that Terry had arranged that too, but he insisted that he had not. For me, it was the perfect wedding."

A month later, we honeymooned in Paris, and a few weeks after that we held a reception at one of our favorite restaurants In Malibu where our friends and family could celebrate our marriage with us. At the reception, Terry played our wedding video. Want to see it? Well, here you go (oh, it doesn't start until about 25 seconds in, so be patient!).

Fast forward to 2008, we've been married nearly eight years now and each time I think about that weekend, I still get chills. I've told this story a million times, and I couldn't ask for a better story to tell!

Now that we got that out of the way, let's get started making YOUR wedding story!