Countdown to 'I Do': Part 4

countdown to i do part 4
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 31, 2009

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Howdy. It’s ESSENCE magazine beauty editor Pamela Edwards here and this is my next to last Countdown to ‘I Do’ photo-blog entry on ESSENCE.com. I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by!

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I have less than two weeks to go until the big day, so I’m letting go of my micro-managing tendencies and opting for plenty of rest, meditation and exercise…

Here I am trying to think “lean” thoughts instead of focusing on the pain. My instructor Celine Burn of Erika Bloom Pilates (erikabloompilates.com) is reminding me that pilates builds lean, not bulky muscle—it’s also excellent for your posture. Gotta stand up straight at that altar.

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Speaking of letting go, Nigel casually informed me that he ordered our wedding cake. He just called a few cake vendors on Cafe Amelie’s vendor list and made a decision. I didn’t ask him to order the cake. We haven’t even discussed cakes. I know he expected me to flip my lid, but you know what, I didn’t? I simply smiled and said, ‘Thank you.’

What I will say on the subject of cakes is that I’d love to have some sparklers, like these three… Does anyone know of such sparklers? I think they’re gorgeous.

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On Saturday I paid a visit to the über-talented Jane Wilson-Marquis (janewilsonmarquis.com), a couture bridal designer in Uptown, NYC

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…I discovered her talent nine years ago when a stylist lent me one of her metallic silk voluminous skirts for a black-tie event, interestingly enough, my first black-tie with Nigel. I remember feeling like a million bucks that night. Funny that my friend Myrdith recently brought her name up. This silhouette would look perfect on my sister, perhaps in a pale blue….

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Isn’t this dress darling? I took a few dresses from Jane for Nigel’s niece (and my junior bridesmaid) Gabby to try. This blue one is nice…but only later did I discover that my sister, the maid of honor, took matters into her own hands, scoring a dress of her dreams—in petal pink. I called Jane. She says we’ll figure something out. One dress down, one to go.

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I think I might try one of Jane’s veils as well. I’ve got to figure out the hair situation first. Just called in a huge favor with Ursula Stephen (Rihanna’s hairstylist) for an updo practice run on Saturday. Ursula produced the most amazing, modern, textured updos a few weeks ago at my hair photo shoot (you’ll get to see them in the July 2009 issue)—perfect for a stroll down the aisle. I can’t afford to fly the star stylist to New Orleans, but she assured me that the look is easy, and I can guide a local stylist once she goes through the how-to. Stay tuned.

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Speaking of affordability, we chose the Omni Royal New Orleans as the wedding base camp. We were able to score a good deal for our guests months ago—I did do a few things ahead of time. :-) If I’d chosen to get married or have the reception at the hotel we would have had more savings. Hotel weddings can be cost effective. I’m still stuck on my courtyard and Cafe Amelie.

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Luckily Gabby, as well as Nigel, are being especially patient with my wedding issues. Nigel told me on our first date, April 22, 2000, that he would marry me. I thought he was a little nuts. Turns out he was serious.

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As I mentioned earlier, I’m doing whatever it takes to keep my cool. Facials are my absolute favorite treat. And I got an especially good one from the talented hands of Christina Coluccoat Spa H (spa-h.com) in NYC. She has magic hands and her extractions were painless. Every bride should get her glow on this way before the big day.

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Some say the dress is everything, others are consumed with the menu and decor. I just want to dance the night away with the people I love the most, including my dear friends Ylonda, left and Letena, right. They’re happily married with five kids between them. I’m looking forward to joining their Black wives club! No turning back now…

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I’m also looking forward to all of my family watching me jump the broom…

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In addition to my family, friends from college to present are making the trek down to N.O. too. And we will all dance the night away to celebrate love and life! This is a shot from my N.Y. bridal shower.

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Nigel and I have been engaged for three years. We’re both master procrastinators, but we’ve never doubted that we’d be together forever. The big day will come and go, but it’s the marriage that needs to be cherished and treasured. My eyes are on that prize.

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I took this picture of Nigel in Hawaii, our first big trip together. Our plan is to do a honeymoon down the road, when we’re financially able to take the vacation of our dreams. We’re thinking about Turkey and New Zealand. Any other out-the-box ideas? I’d love to hear your suggestions. See you next week for my final blog entry!

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