Countdown to I Do: Part 1

Wedding Blog One
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 09, 2009

1 of 62

Clearly, I don’t have a relaxer.

2 of 62 Jennifer Cooper

Welcome to our first installment of ESSENCE.com Wedding Wednesdays! Kicking things off is Pamela Edwards, the stylish ESSENCE magazine Beauty Editor who is in the final stages of planning her destination nuptials in New Orleans next month. Read on to find out how Edwards saved cash on her save the date cards, how she plans to keep her hair tight in the Bayou heat, and why marriage is so important to her and her family.

Now, here’s Pamela…

3 of 62

Hi there! You’re invited to take this final 30-day journey with me to the pulpit. I’m a bit of a last-minute Lucy, so there is much to do before my big day in April. First up, my last wedding shower in Richmond, Virginia, my hometown.

Ladies, don’t forget to utilize your creative friends to assist in the wedding planning process. My good friend Erika designed these beautiful save the date cards as part of her gift to us.

4 of 62

Weddings have always been very special to me. Maybe because marriage is a big deal in my family. My paternal grandparents, Mr and Mrs. Morgan J. Edwards, Jr., were married for over 60 years…

5 of 62

My parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan J. Edwards, III, have been married for 42 years.

6 of 62

Before I head home for my final shower and more wedding planning, hairstylist Akira and his assistant at the Eiji Salon in NYC (eiji-newyork.com) whip me into shape.

7 of 62

All smooth and ready for Richmond. I’m still deciding on a hairdo for the big day. I just might go curly for my jump over the broom. But, if I do decide to wear a blow out, my trusty Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade will ensure shine and fight frizz.

Anyone know a great stylist in New Orleans? I haven’t found one yet.

8 of 62

Here I am at home in Richmond with my dear mother, Evelyn. She just might be more excited about this wedding than I.

My mom gives me a two-minute hug…

9 of 62

Before we get straight to work. Lisa (left), my cousin who’ll be singing at my wedding, mom (center) and I spend hours working out big-day details.

Another cost-cutting tip: Instead of hiring a wedding planner for the entire process, opt for a same-day coordinator like I did. My mother and cousin are very organized and know a lot about weddings. Lisa has performed in hundreds and has been a big help to me.

10 of 62

My big cous’ Lisa is no stranger to being in family weddings. Here she is (middle) with my mom again on mom’s big day over 40 years ago.

11 of 62

I got my first glimpse of the official wedding invites at my parents’ house. I love them! Matthew Kelsey (www.mkprinter.com) rocks.

12 of 62

This is my father, Morgan, who had been ordered by my mom to assist with mailing invitations to the big event. Dad is serious about sealing the wedding invites properly!

13 of 62

With all the planning and mailing going on, I almost forgot the real reason I went to Richmond: my final soiree as a single gal. Thirty days until the wedding, and one last engagement party to celebrate. I was looking forward to seeing my childhood friends and extended family.

14 of 62

We picked up Nigel (the love of my life for the past nine years) the next day at the airport.

15 of 62

My best buddy Heather, who I have known for 30 years, hosted the party. We went into the woods of Quinton, Virginia, for the party at her parents’ home.

16 of 62

Her dad, Reverend Charles Brown, will officiate my wedding in New Orleans. He’s holding an extended pruning tool in this picture because we caught him in the midst of some last-minute landscaping before guests arrived.

17 of 62

Mom, my husband-to-be, Nigel, and family friend Mrs. Binford are ready for the soiree.

18 of 62

The laughs were plenty.

19 of 62

The sangria was a hit.

20 of 62

The skrimps and the marriage advice….priceless.

21 of 62

The party’s over. Next week I’ve got to work on the dress, secure a band and a photographer, and focus on losing these last ten pounds. Wish me luck.

By the way, can anyone out there recommend a great, affordable cover band in New Orleans?

See you next week!

Read part 2 of our Countdown to “I Do” wedding special »

22 of 62

Back at the office, two hours before the flight time. I refuse to let any gray strands peek through my new do.

Say no to gray!

23 of 62

Here’s…..

24 of 62

Yes, we’re as tired as we look.

25 of 62

“Your granddaughter got a hug from Barack!”

26 of 62

Dr. Lisa Edwards Burrs says green juice is good for the vocal cords.

27 of 62

My handsome Daddy.

28 of 62

test

29 of 62

30 of 62

31 of 62

32 of 62

33 of 62

34 of 62

35 of 62

36 of 62

37 of 62

38 of 62

39 of 62

40 of 62

41 of 62

42 of 62

43 of 62

44 of 62

45 of 62

46 of 62

47 of 62

48 of 62

49 of 62

50 of 62

51 of 62

52 of 62

53 of 62

54 of 62

55 of 62

56 of 62

57 of 62

58 of 62

59 of 62

60 of 62

61 of 62

62 of 62