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From the bride: Well our wedding day was a success!  I couldn’t have been more happy with how everything turned out!  The weekend started off on Friday with manicures and pedicures at Rainbow Nails with my bridesmaids and personal attendants.  It was great to get the ball rolling with a nice relaxing afternoon!  I was so glad that everyone was finally all together!  Then it was off to the rehearsal at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, and then the rehearsal dinner at Lazlo’s in the Haymarket.  Lazlo’s was the perfect place to have the rehearsal dinner because we were in our own little room upstairs and we didn’t have to disturbe anyone else who was there eating that night.  It was a great night of family and friends and GREAT food and drinks!
I thought it would be hard for me to sleep that night but it actually wasn’t.  I was very calm and excited all at the same time!  The next morning a couple of my bridesmaids and I ate breakfast and then went to the Grand Manse to set some stuff up.  Elite Events Rental was who we got our linens from and they were putting those on, as well as the linen napkins and a few shallow bowls for the floating candle centerpieces.  Weddings Across America was also there, putting on the chair covers.  I have to admit, the chair covers really made the room look great!  I highly suggest Weddings Across America!  They were inexpensive and did such a great job!
After setting up we went back to Embassy Suites where we stayed the night before, and started to get ready!  I wore hair extensions to add to the fullness of my hair.  Sara Klein, who was also one of my bridesmaids, rents a booth at Utopia and she did my hair.  I wanted something very natural and very “me” so we just curled it and left it down.  It was perfect!  I did my own make up.  One of my favorite moments that day was getting into my dress.  It really made it feel “real”!  I got my dress at David’s Bridal, and it was different than any dress I had seen and it made me feel beautiful!  I loved the ruffles down the train!  My veil also came from David’s Bridal and was cathedral lenth.  It was plain but complemented my dress perfectly.  My jewelry came from Dillard’s, with the exception of one of the necklaces I wore that came from my grandmother.  It was a necklace that her bridesmaids had wore in her wedding!  It was an honor to get to wear it!  David’s Bridal was also where the girls got their bridesmaids dresses and I got my shoes.  I had my shoes dyed to match their dresses which were a dark purple.  
The guys got ready on their own and met at Embassy.  Their tuxes came from Tip Top Tux.  We had 2 limo’s from Luxury Limosuines, one for the guys and one for the girls, come pick us up at Embassy and then we went to the Capital to take some pictures.  Ryan and I first saw each other in a hallway at the Capital and it was my very favorite moment of the day!  
We then went from the Capital to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church for more pictures, and then waited for the ceremony to start.  Ryan was very nervous before the ceremony, but I was cool as a cucumber!  When the doors opened for my dad and I to begin walking down the aisle, I was so overwhelmed with the love in the room!  I know that sounds corney, but it’s true!  You could just feel it!  Walking down that aisle with my dad was more special to me than anyone could ever know.  He is the most decent, kind man and has done so much for me.  He hugged me so tight when he went to give me away and I lost it.  I cried, and he cried, and it was beautiful!  
The ceremony was awesome!  Pastor Wayne Alloway was our officiant, and we had music by Tony Hillhouse and a couple others that play in the band at church.  They sang “God Gave Me You” by David Barnes while we were lighting the unity candle.
After the ceremony, we walked through the tunnel of bubbles and got on the party bus, also from Luxury Limosuines.  What a blast that was!  It was so great to be surrounded by our best friends and to have everyone together just celebrating Ryan and I!  
At the reception and the Grand Manse, we served roast beef, chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and salad, which was prepared by the HyVee on 40th and Old Cheney.  They also did our cake.  Some was red velvet and some was marble and it was so yummy!  HyVee did our flowers also.  I was blown away with how great of a job Pam did on the flowers!  They were breathtaking!  HyVee was a great place to work with and we are still getting complements on the food we served!  
Then, the party started!  Our dancefloor was packed all night thanks to Jeff at Primetime Entertainment!  It actually was more fun than I could have hoped for!  He played the best songs and really knew how to keep everyone on the floor!  We even did a conga line through the room and almost everyone participated!  
I was so sad when the night ended but so happy at the same time!  It was a werid feeling when we were walking back Embassy Suites.  The day couldn’t have been better, and I couldn’t have picked a better guy to spend my life with!  
My advice to future brides is to really enjoy the whole process.  There are so many little things to think about but just take it all in stride and try to not let them stress you out!  Keep focused on why you are planning this event in the first place and make sure to get your groom involved a little at least!  
It was hard to pick just a few pictures to share with you all.  Townsend Studios was our photographer and he did a great job!  We have lots of great memories to cherish!  I hope you enjoy the few I have to share with you!

I can’t believe I haven’t even mentioned one of the other most important changes that I’ve made in the last five weeks. With the hot weather and the extra hard workouts, I am very consciously watching my drinking.  I’m not talking about adult beverages, of course. I’m talking about the good stuff… water!

 About a year and a half ago, at a family gathering, my aunt gave me an ultimatum.  I needed to drink more water, or else I’d end up in the hospital at some point, probably sooner than later.  She wasn’t joking with me.  Somehow in conversation it was brought up that I wasn’t much of a water drinker, and when I say wasn’t much of a water drinker, I mean that I was maybe getting a 16 oz. bottle of water a day. That’s it.   I’d sometimes drink diet pop or just nothing at all. I’d have milk with my cereal, maybe a pop at lunch and then some water or milk with dinner.   Not only was this unhealthy and not doing any good for my hopes of getting fit back then, but it’s dangerous!

 My aunt would be very proud now to know that as a part of this fitness challenge, my recommended daily amount of water is 120 oz. EVERY DAY! (That’s more water than I’d probably drink in a whole week.)   Even though I had been improving my 16 oz. water drinking habits, this is by far the most water I’ve been consuming regularly in my whole life.  In the beginning was I was very annoyed that I couldn’t go 45 minutes without a trip to the bathroom. Now I’ve realized by body has gotten so used to being this hydrated that I really feel thirsty and know when I’m not getting enough! It’s good for my skin, my organs, and it definitely helps keep my muscles from cramping up! (It also helps keep you full!) If you’re not drinking even 80 oz of water day, I’d highly recommend you start. I feel so much better each day when I’m drinking enough water and I never thought I’d say that. Find a water bottle that works for you and get to drinking! (I’m currently obsessed with my Tervis tumbler with a lid that I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It goes everywhere with me.)

 In just five weeks, I’m feeling good. I have to say that the nutrition is still a big challenge and always probably will be, but I’m hanging in there! The workouts are still very challenging but I think I’m getting the hang of it and starting to enjoy it more and more each time. (I was feeling pretty uncoordinated for the first few weeks!) Saturday is my five-week testing! I’m HALFWAY there. Can you believe it?  I hope to improve in all areas: The mile, sit-ups, push-ups and the sit and reach.  I’m currently working on putting a very short playlist together to help pump me up through the mile…. I didn’t have my iPod the first time and I always think music helps keep me energized. Do you have any song recommendations for me?! What do you jam out to while you are working up a sweat?

  • Alyssa - Hi there!
    I loved reading your blog today as I am currently in a bridal fitness challenge of my own and have set myself a water “quota”. You look fantastic! My song recommendations are ‘Stronger’ by Kanye West and even ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele. They just have an awesome rhythm to help you with time and energy! I’d also recommend Francesca Battistelli for a lighter, more fun playlist. Good luck and keep up the great work!ReplyCancel

  • K'Lyn Bergman - You look great Kelsey!! Keep up the good work! I agree about the water and I still don’t drink enough.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I love reading your blog each Friday! It keeps me a little bit more motivated to continue my own work out routine. As far as songs to keep you going, I would recommend Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” album. All of the songs have really good beats and rhythms and def keep you going! You’re doing an amazing job Kelsey! Keep it up!ReplyCancel

I’m an event planner by trade, so naturally, a very detail-oriented person. I say this because I do realize that I shouldn’t care about bridesmaid shoes as much as I have been, but I do.  I’ve found a couple pairs that haven’t worked out for my girls because of size issues or some other reason.  I feel like I’m at my wits end with this shoe stuff because I’ve literally looked everywhere; I’ve scanned the stores and web sites of all the usual suspects—DSW, Target, Chinese, Nina brand sites, Zappos and department stores, but  zip, zero, nada. Where, oh, WHERE am I going to find the perfect pair?!

Here’s all I want: chocolate brown, 3.5” heel max, preferably satin and peep toe, if possible.   Oh, and under $50! That’s not too much to ask, right?!  The dresses they’re wearing are also chocolate brown and are short, pretty much right at the knee, so shoes will definitely be on display.  My latest thought is to set some parameters and just have each girl pick out their own shoes. Not only would it give each of them a shot at wearing the shoes again, but it’d certainly also reduce my stress level some (however silly it is to be stressed about in the first place!)

The bridesmaid jewelry, on the other hand, is something I’m excited about!  It’s mustard yellow to really stand out against the dresses and it’s all is currently being custom made.  All the necklaces will be the same but different, if that makes sense.  It’ll be somewhat similar to what’s pictured below—emphasis on somewhat.  It’ll be part of the girls’ present from me –and a surprise—on the night of the rehearsal dinner, so this is just a teaser photo to get them as excited as I am!