Countdown to 'I Do': Part 5

Countdown to 'I Do': Part 5
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 06, 2009

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Pamela Edwards, beauty editor of ESSENCE magazine, here with my very last installment of Countdown to “I Do." I literally have four days until my long-awaited walk down the aisle. My main objectives this final week are to save as much time and money as possible without sacrificing too much of my wedding vision and not becoming a bridezilla.

So, here’s what I’ve been up to…

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A same-day wedding coordinator is an absolute must, according to at least a dozen of my closest married friends. This angel, Jennifer Johnson, pictured here on her big day, is serving as my same-day coordinator. She’s a native New Orleanian and has brought much peace and resolution to all the planning.

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I did pick up the ring for Ni. It’s simple and he loves it. I recommend you shop around when you buy your rings, or anything else “bridal.” There’s a bit of a racket out there. I found a $600 difference in price for this same white-gold band. And quotes ranged from $500 to $5000 for the exact same flowers!

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I got a lot accomplished this week, starting with a trip to the NYC flower market with my trusty adviser and dear friend Karen (right). Many shops there offer hard-to-find flowers at wholesale prices. We selected the bowls for the centerpieces and shipped them down to N.O. Karen also advised me on bouquet choices. My florist was shocked to receive an order four days before a wedding, but she was also kind and made me feel like it’s going to all work out.

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“Unforgettable” it is! Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the bride-and-dad dance!

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Look, there’s no point in getting every beautifying treatment on the day of the wedding, so I booked an appointment at Cornelia. Most day spas offer special bridal treatments at prices much less than you would expect.

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So at Cornelia, I took care of my pedicure. Olga, the nail tech who serviced me, suggested a Scandinavian cruise as a future honeymoon option. Nigel liked the idea.

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We only have about 37 more things to do, but ahhhh, we’ll get there. Many brides forget about their hubby-to-be in the frenzy of planning for their big day but Nigel and I have been pretty good at keeping the “we” in wedding. While I finalize flowers and programs, Nigel ordered our cake and food for the rehearsal dinner. Plus, he’s frugal.

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One wallet-friendly bridal spot is David’s Bridal. They’re all over the country, everything is affordable, you can order your invites, your guy’s tux….the works. And how cute is this flower girl dress?

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…and these David’s Bridal shoes are only about $60! They’re dyeable and comfortable!

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I’m off to pick up my dress right now. Of course, nosey Nigel will see the blog tomorrow, so I can’t display the final deal, but isn’t this Jane Wilson Marquis gown simply elegant?

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I don’t have a relaxer, so I don’t want to worry about major frizzies. If my hair is up and out of the way, then that’s one less thing to worry about. My trusty Mason Pearson brush (a great investment) will help me keep the strands smooth.

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I only have one beauty stipulation—individual lashes. They’re so glamorous and look better than the strips. Here I am receiving my individual lash extensions with XTreme Lashes. They’ll last about a month and I now don’t have to worry about a lot of eye makeup on the big day.

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I did fall asleep throughout the two-and-a-half-hour process, so I do look like I just woke up, but focus on the lashes. Aren’t they fabulous?! So now I can cry all I want without a trace of runny mascara. Visit xtremelashes.com for a rep near you.

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I’m just not into wedding favors…more stuff! Plus, we’re all traveling—more stuff to pack. Anyway, my programs are especially cute (this is not it, but the inspiration) so hopefully that will suffice for those hankering for a favor.

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I will be wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something pink (my shoes). Look it’s my day. I’ll do it my way.

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The ESSENCE editorial team got me good. Assistant beauty editor Andrea, left, and fashion & beauty editorial manager Marcia, right, somehow managed to put together a New Orleans-themed wedding shower for me in the office full of bells and whistles. They hid it from me for a week! I was totally surprised.

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Senior editor Patrik Bass (left) and beauty & cover director Mikki Taylor chat it up during my surprise office wedding shower. Mikki lovingly shared her words of wisdom with me during the shindig. I gladly took heed—she’s been happily married for over 20 years!

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I still can’t find these sparklers. Apparently, they’re what’s known as “Roman Candles.” Does anyone know where I can get such Roman Candles in New Orleans?

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Thanks to you, all my new ESSENCE.com family. I appreciate your well-wishes and support over the past five weeks. Be sure to stop by next Wednesday for all the details and pictures from my exciting Nawlins nuptials.

Feel free to leave Pamela a congratulations comment along with any last-minute advice for the bride-to-be!

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