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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Let the Voting Begin! 

Oh my goodness, y'all! It was so hard to pick the four finalists in this contest! I am super-happy that I don't have to be the one to make the final decision as to who gets to win this here contest! Honestly, it would be WAY too much pressure to decide who deserves to win. I mean, doesn't everyone deserve to win? So party people, I am leaving that choice in your very capable voting hands. You can vote as many times as you'd like. Call your friends. Call your family. Waste all day at work clicking on a tiny radial button, if that's what blows your skirt. Tweet it, throw it up on Facebook - I am opening this contest up to as much flagrant self-promotion you can muster. Do it. All the cool kids are.1
So let's introduce everyone to our happy finalist couples!


Will you "abstain" at any point during your engagement?

Hmmm..since this may be potentially be posted online, I will go with the safe answer :) Yes. It makes it more meaningful and gives you both something to look forward to after the wedding is over.

WHAT or WHO is your greatest wedding day/wedding planning fear?

My greatest fear? Will my recently-divorced-after-40-years-of-marriage parents play nice when seeing each other for the first time since the divorce? It should make for some funny stories, later, but for now are making for a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights. 

Bridal party: "The more the merrier!" or "I don't need the drama."

Definitely no bridal party. I hadn't even come to any decision on whether I was going to have a bridal party and yet somehow managed to hurt someone's feelings because she thought I wasn't going to pick her to be one. It is too political and adds way too much drama. Ryan and I are secure enough to stand up there alone.

Describe your wedding vision in three words or less.

Understated. Inviting. Warm. 

If you and your fiance won a million dollars TODAY, where is the first place the money would go?

A million dollars would go towards travel and volunteer work. We both have a passion for travel and I have done a lot of volunteer work overseas. I had an epiphany last summer and quit my job, and traveled and volunteered in India and South East Asia for three months. Unfortunately my then boyfriend wasn't in a position to come with, but he did come out and meet up with me for two weeks in which we had an amazing time exploring Cambodia. I would love an opportunity to give back to the world together, as well as exploring cultures totally different from our own.

If you could invite one famous person (alive or dead) to your wedding who would it be and why?

I would definitely invite my Ryan's grandfather who passed away before I knew him. He's the only subject that I've ever seen my Ryan get choked up about. After his dad moved away and started a new family, his grandfather stepped in and became his father figure. I would love to have met this incredible man that made my betrothed the incredible man he is.

Wedding day fashion: heels or flats? Why?

Flats, definitely flats. I'm walking down the aisle in a garden with uneven paving stones. I'm clutzy enough without tempting fate in heels. Not to mention the fact that heels would put me awfully close to being my fiance's height...

What is your definition of "marriage?"

Equally yoked partners, full of respect, passion, and love for each other. i.e. neither of our parents' marriages ;)

How many carats (yes, we [meaning me, Carissa had no part in this!] are encouraging rock-envy)?

I have a six carat ruby. When we were traveling in Asia last summer, unbeknownst to me, Ryan bought a beautiful purplish-pink ruby and had it set in a ring here in Utah. I love jewel tones and I'm so happy he bucked the diamond trend and picked me something unique and colorful. And it's especially meaningful since it reminds me of our amazing trip together.

If your wedding was a movie, what would the theme song be?

Our theme song would be "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by the Scissor Sisters. Why? Because we're both tall, awkward white kids that can't dance and are always getting pulled onto the dance floor anyway.


Will you "abstain" at any point during your engagement?

During Andrew's and my engagement I will refrain from:  dragging Andrew to no more than three bridal fairs, demanding that my bridesmaids wear a certain not-so-cute dress on my big day, watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and other wedding related television shows (new and reruns) more than two hours daily, having our DIY projects take up more space than our furniture and, lastly, I will abstain from displaying any hint of bridezilla-ness. Our wedding is about celebrating our love with people we love - not about if everything looks so-so or about putting on a show.

WHAT or WHO is your greatest wedding day/wedding planning fear?
Hmmm... that actually is a difficult one.  I am incredibly lucky to have my wonderful little sister, Candace, as my wedding planner.  She and I are only 20 months apart and are very close.  I trust her whole-heartedly and I know she will help me create a day at I will remember - with or without a hitch or two, which is totally fine.  We have picked a gorgeous venue already and a great date to hold our day so I'm already really happy with how things are turning out.  To be completely honest, one of the things that I feel are very important to have on our day is a great photographer, whom we haven't booked yet.  I would feel very lucky and blessed to have Carissa since her work looks incredible!
Bridal party: "The more the merrier!" or "I don't need the drama."

For sure "The more the merrier!".  Andrew and I have been so lucky to have met the most wonderful and supportive friends in our lives and we definitely want them to be with us when we get married.  With that said, we are going to have 4 groomsmen and 4 bridesmaids even though we would love to have 10 on each side.  But we decided to make sure there are other ways those additional friends can contribute by being ushers, greeters, and other jobs - even if we have to make up a position or two.  Maybe we'll have to have a page turner for our reader....
Describe your wedding vision in three words or less.
Love. Happiness. Dancing.
If you and your fiance won a million dollars TODAY, where is the first place the money would go?

Ok so Andrew and I have had this conversation before when we used the numbers on our fortune cookies to enter the Powerball for that weekend.  I mean, we had to prepared just in case.  The first place we wanted to use the money is for our parents.  Both of us have the most supportive, loving parents ever.  They helped us both get through school and participate in all of the things we desired to help us grow and learn.  I've been overseas twice.  I paid for the trips by working during my high school and college years but it would not have been possible without my parents support, both monitarily (helping pay for college and college needs) and emotionally (you know I got homesick here and there).  Andrew is finishing up his doctorate in physical therapy - only 4 more months!!  He definitely has his parents to thank for helping when loan money would run short or when he struggled with school.  So, we know we would fist give it to our parents.  The question would be would be send them on a 2 month excursion of Europe or would we just buy them a new house/car/etc?  I suppose we'll cross that bridge when/if it comes.
If you could invite one famous person (alive or dead) to your wedding who would it be and why?

No questions, with out a doubt I would invite Tim Gunn.  I love him.  That's it - I just love him.  He is very talented in fashion design but more than anything he seems like a genuine, kind, and funny person.  I love watching him on Project Runway (in fact I found my wedding dress designer on etsy and she was one of the winners from the show) and I loved watching him when he had his own show (kinda like a What Not To Wear).  In his show he would help a woman sort through their closet and then go shopping for some basic pieces.  Not only does he help that women look more put together but he also provides a sense of empowerment with the women he works with.  He is so sweet and truly cares about each and every person he works with.  Every time I see him on T.V. I just wanna hug him, so having him there on my wedding day could make that happen.
Wedding day fashion: heels or flats? Why?

O fo sho fo sho heels!  I'm only 5' 2" and I like to look closer to 5' 5".  So despite the fact that my PT fiance keeps saying how my Acchilles tendon will shorten if I keep on wearing my tall shoes (I'm getting better about wearing flats at work) I'm gonna rock some heels on my big day.  Plus, I already checked - I can wear 4 inch heels and I will not be taller than my man.  So - no brainer for me.
What is your definition of "marriage?"

To me marriage is about solidifying who is going to be your best friend, go-to person, and supportive rock for the rest of your life.  Marriage is laughing every day together, bickering a bit together - in order to grow as a couple, traveling together, having children together, making decisions together (from what type of jelly we should buy to what house we should buy), crying a bit together, working out together, sharing holidays together, cooking together, supporting each others passions together and helping each other be the best person we can be.  That's what I envision for Andrew and I. 
How many carats (yes, we [meaning me, Carissa had no part in this!] are encouraging rock-envy)?

My ring is a total of around 1.5 carats (middle diamond and surrounding) and I love it!  I fought Andrew a bit when we were searching because I was for sure carat size mattered more than the other c's but Andrew was adamant that we sacrifice a bit of carat weight for it to be high in quality.  Wow am I glad we decided to go with Andrew's preference.  My ring may not a huge 2 carat middle diamond stunner but the sparkle catches people's eyes all the time.  So, though others may disagree, when it comes to ring rocks, size does NOT matter.
If your wedding was a movie, what would the theme song be?

That's pretty difficult.  Our wedding's soundtrack would have all types of songs- romantic, French, fun (think Lady Gaga or Beyonce).  But the theme song would be Home by Micheal Buble.  I used to play this song over and over while I would l sit in my dorm room in England when studying abroad.  I loved the adventure of traveling but nothing beats being close to your family and friends.  I would make this the theme song because our wedding does just that - brings together our closest family and friends making our venue feel just like home (because home really is where the heart is).  Not to  mention Andrew and I hope to be living in Omaha once he is done with school so we really will be home.  Finally settled and and living those things I described earlier of what marriage means to me.

Before I answer the 10 questions, I thought I would give you a little bit of background about who we are and our wedding first.

We are Sarah and Tony.  Tony and I met in Tucson, Arizona, when I was 14 and he was 17, way back in 1987.  It was love at first sight.  We dated for 1 1/2 years, but parted ways at the end of Tony's first year of college (the age gap between a 20-year-old man and a not-quite 16-year-old girl is quite a bit larger than a couple of thirtysomethings, it turns out).  He moved to San Francisco, eventually married, moved to San Diego and divorced.  I grew up, moved to Southern California, had two kids, and also divorced.  We bumped into each other on Facebook after Tony's 20-year high school reunion, where we discovered that somehow with all of that moving and marrying and divorcing, we had ended up about one hour away from each other.  We exchanged emails for a few weeks until we decided to meet during lunch one day.  As soon as I saw him again, we hugged, and I held onto his hand as if he was going to blow away.  About 15 months later, Tony asked me to marry him, and we set about making our wedding plans.

When we decided on our wedding plan, it was a compromise.  I wanted to elope -- just the four of us, an officiant, a photographer, maybe my mom, but we also knew that it was important to make sure my kids -- "Bean", who will be 7 this summer, and "Bug", who is turning 4 -- felt included in the plans and also that they saw our marriage as a thing worthy of celebration.  So, we decided to keep our wedding small (we're inviting about 60 people) and to have the ceremony at a beautiful City Hall so that the wedding would feel like the overgrown elopement we wanted (as it turns out, we're having a private ceremony inside a marble gallery in City Hall, but not a quick civil ceremony).  To make it easier to keep our wedding small, we decided to have it in San Francisco -- far enough away that we would not need to invite coworkers but close enough that travel costs would be fairly minimal for most of our guests. 

Will you "abstain" at any point during your engagement?

No.  Just, absolutely, no.  When you lose your Forever Boyfriend and then find him again 22 years and a bad marriage later, there have been too many lost years to bother with abstaining.  From the moment I held his hand on that beach, I planned to spend every night of the rest of my life with him.  I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

WHAT or WHO is your greatest wedding day/wedding planning fear?

I worry that I am not going to feel like a bride, which probably sounds ridiculous, but there it is.  I'm older, this is my second time, I have two kids, we already live together, I bought a blue dress from a department store, and my "flowers" are funky things made with love by my children out of egg cartons, old glass buttons and brooches.  When I started this adventure, I wanted our wedding to be as different as possible from the hotel-ballroom-country-club weddings that Tony and I had when we married the wrong people, which is how I ended up getting very creative with our overall wedding plan and the wedding details.  There are days when I look at the work we've done, and I am thrilled and proud.  But at the same time, I worry that those same quirky details are going to detract from the beauty of our day and the "wedding" feeling.  Perhaps it is the voice of my sweet, loving, but ever-so-slightly judgmental mother clucking and saying with a tsk-tsk, "You should just keep it simple." 

Bridal party: "The more the merrier!" or "I don't need the drama."

With a small guest list and our City Hall ceremony, we felt it would be awkward to have a team of bridesmaids and groomsmen.  At the same time, when we told my children we are getting married, my daughter immediately asked to be a flower girl and assigned roles to her brother (the ring bearer), and her three young cousins.  As a result, we don't have a traditional bridal party, but we each have a witness who will sign the license, my brother is officiating, and we have two flower girls, a ring bearer and two miniature ushers.  On the wedding day, I will also be surrounded by women -- my mom, my brothers' wives, and dear friends; they just won't match.

Describe your wedding vision in three words or less.

In order of importance: (1) Family; (2) Vacation; (3) San Francisco

If you and your fiance won a million dollars TODAY, where is the first place the money would go?

If we had a million dollars, the first thing we would do is pay off the alimony that I pay my ex (yes, you read that right) so that Tony and I would have a truly fresh start.

If you could invite one famous person (alive or dead) to your wedding who would it be and why?

I would invite ee cummings so that he could read a poem for us.  His poems are so heart-wrenching in their profound love and yet also so teasing, sly and sexy.  We had our wedding rings engraved so that my ring reads, "i carry your heart" and Tony's reads, "i carry it in mine" (yes, I know it's supposed to read, "i carry it in my heart," but there were space constraints, you know.)

Wedding day fashion: heels or flats? Why?

I started out looking for flats because Tony is slightly shorter than me, and I did not want to tower over him during our vows, but it didn't work out that way.  For my birthday, Tony took me to a Bed & Breakfast in a little town called Julian in San Diego County, where I happened upon a pretty, funky pair of heels that had a perfect mix of greens and blues to go with my dark blue dress.  They also had a perfect price tag, and so I left that little store with a pair of unusual low-heeled slides.  I will probably change into a pair of slippers at some point during the reception for comfort.

What is your definition of "marriage?"

I think of marriage as a romantic partnership and the most intimate family.  We fill many roles within our relationship:  lovers, partners, best friend, coparent, sounding board, life raft and sometimes cattle prod.  While many other people can also fill some of these needs, only one person in my life has ever managed to be all of them, and that person is Tony.  A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me to write something about what a wedding means to me, and this is what I had to say: In my mind, except in the strictest legal sense, we already are married.  We live together; we love one another.  He is a wonderful stepfather to my two children, who adore him.  We split up the chores and have our disagreements.   Under these circumstances, what does the wedding mean to me? To me, it is an end to limbo and the beginning of the next phase of my life.  I realize this sounds unromantic, but, you see, I don't think a wedding is particularly romantic.  Our relationship is romantic.  Romance was our Meet Cute, when a 17-year-old Tony shyly and slyly waited until I was standing alone in an empty hallway to introduce himself to my 14-year-old self.  Romance was our reunion some 22 years later, when we spent four hours sitting on the beach with our foreheads pressed together holding hands, smiling and kissing.  Romance was the proposal, when he sat me down on our rumpled bed and told me that I was all the birthday present he wanted.  Romance was the first time he whispered against my ear (I could feel his smile) how much he loves my children.  But the wedding is about fun, family, and yes, work.  "When is Tony going to be my step-dad?" my daughter asked me the other day. "At the wedding next summer, it will be legal, but he's already your step-dad," I told her.  "But not for real," she told me. "Not until the wedding."  As usually happens when Bean and I talk, her plain wisdom struck me as infinitely true.  The wedding, then, is when our family becomes Real in that same way that the Velveteen Rabbit became Real.  Our marriage, though, it began as soon as we gave ourselves into each other's safe keeping.

How many carats (yes, we [meaning me, Carissa had no part in this!] are encouraging rock-envy)?

I'm not entirely certain, maybe 3/4? maybe 1?  It's big enough to sparkle for me without being uncomfortably showy.  My ring is an antique art deco ring from the 1920's.  The diamond is original to the ring with mine-cut facets set into a low, octagonal basket and flanked by square-cut dark blue sapphires.  The setting is white gold.  My wedding band is also a white gold 1920's art deco band with mine-cut diamond chips.  I fell in love with it as soon as Tony slipped it onto my finger. 

If your wedding was a movie, what would the theme song be?

I've been trying to come up with a theme song that isn't cheesy, but, let's face it.  I'm totally cheesy, and I'm not remotely musically inclined.  I'm quite certain that Tony would come up with something better, or more fitting for our theme song, but I prefer to stick to our roots (not that this song has anything at all to do with the vintage San Francisco City Hall wedding and house party reception that we're throwing).  For my fifteenth birthday, my parents gave me a CD player.  It was one of the early ones.  Tony saw it, immediately left my house, and returned 2 hours later with five CDs that I still play all the time.  After our dates, I would lie in bed listening to "Just Like Heaven" over and over and over until I fell asleep.  I did this for years after we broke up, too, and I honestly cannot think of a song that makes me think of Tony more. 


Will you "abstain" at any point during your engagement?

If this is about sex.....ummm too personal hehe! 

WHAT or WHO is your greatest wedding day/wedding planning fear?

Worst fear would be if the caterer drops out or my hair/makeup make me look like a caked up bride. 

Bridal party: "The more the merrier!" or "I don't need the drama."

A little bit of both! we are having 5, even though he wanted to 10! Ahh too many for me!

Describe your wedding vision in three words or less.

Rustic, Romantic, Euro.

If you and your fiance won a million dollars TODAY, where is the first place the money would go?

School Loans, Wedding, buy a house with an amazing kitchen. If our parents need help with anything we would defiantly pay for any of that because they have been so supportive of our long distance relationship (California and London, oh yeah I mean long distance, anddd for 2 years)

If you could invite one famous person (alive or dead) to your wedding who would it be and why?

Audrey Hepburn-As she once said "If I get married, I want to be very married." She always carried herself so well and I love love her movies!

Wedding day fashion: heels or flats? Why?

Heels! they make you feel sexy and its my first day/night as a married lady, of course I want to feel sexy for my husband. 

What is your definition of "marriage?"

Marriage is eternity, its forever. Its the one person you can turn to no matter what happens and no matter what you look like and know that he/she will be by your side. It's not always roses and daisies but that's what a marriage is, you stick by that person for ever through thick and thin and through sickness and in health. Marriage is when you come home from a very long and draining day at work and he is there waiting for me with a glass of wine and lets me vent. It's talking about babies with smiles and knowing that I will be his #1 supporter and #1 fan no matter what!

How many carats (yes, we [meaning me, Carissa had no part in this!] are encouraging rock-envy)?

I know this is really lame but I don't know. I think its 2.5 or 3.0. He won't tell me! It's a vintage looking ring, he did such an amazing job :)

If your wedding was a movie, what would the theme song be?

Summercat-Estrella Damm 2009 because we are always at an airport saying hello and goodbye.


See? Tough call, right? Again, I'm glad I'm leaving this in everyone else's capable hands. Have fun and good luck to all our finalists!

To vote for your favorite couple, all you must to do is this:

1. Please send an email to DulceContest@gmail.com.

2. Please put the name of the couple you would like to vote for in the title of your email AND in the body of the email.

That's it! Easy-peasy, right?

We will count ONE VOTE per email address.

We will accept emails until FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11th at 11:59pm.

and announce the winner on Valentine's Day!

1Assuming that this group of wedding "enthusiasts" are considered "cool."

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Reader Comments (29)

How can I vote all day if your vote box only lets me vote once! URGH! I have a favorite couple and want to blow this thing up with votes for them :D

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Spoon

@Natosha - I'm looking into this. I'm not sure this is affecting everyone.

February 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

WOO HOO for Sarah & Tony!

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlizzie

I'm having the same problem with the voting only allowing one vote.

And no ... this isn't Sarah of Sarah & Tony. =)

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I tried to vote but it said I already did. Hmmm...please count several kajillion votes for Sarah and Tony?

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo

I can't vote at all. No votes! Vote not counted. You already voted, it says. I did NOT already vote. :(

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterverhext

Tried to vote for Sarah and Tony, it said "Vote not counted. You already voted." No, I haven't ...

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

It's not letting me vote either! I have not voted at all but it says I already have! Clearly there is some kind of bug...

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

Trying to vote for Sarah and Tony. Says I've already voted when I haven't.

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Bunny

I tried to vote for Sarah and Tony as well, and it said "Vote not counted. You already voted." Which I hadn't.

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

OK, I think I fixed this. I had to change survey companies. Don't worry! The votes that have laready come in WILL be tallied! Try again and vote to your hearts content. Sorry for the jack up.

February 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

Great competition my sweet!

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranna and the ring

I'm not certain how voting as much as you want is at all a fair way to vote for a winning couple. Seems a bit insane.

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

@Janelle - That bit of insanity is what makes it fun! Besides, it's how most polls that I've participated in on-line work. And I like them this way. Our contest. My blog. Our rules! And there really is no "fair" in a contest of this nature AT ALL. Any way you slice it, someone will win and three others will not.

February 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis
e.e. cummings

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Candyman

@Candyman -- Swoon.

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah


February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergader

I think this non stop voting for your self is ridiculous. the point of a contest like this is to have other people vote for u. If i were to vote for myself, that defeats the purpose of people having a choice or sitting behind a computer all day and voting myself.
Thats ridiculous

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbill

@Bill - you're assuming that people are only voting for themselves? Now, that's ridiculous! Trust me, four people (even 8, if both bride and groom are on it) could NOT do this all day. No way. Not a chance.

Oh, and by the way, the last time I checked a contest where you win free stuff? That's supposed to be FUN!! ☺

February 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

I think it should at least end within days....you can't really expect people to stay behind their computers. We have work and lifes!
maybe you should consider ending it soon!

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterna

Guys, this is her contest ... she can run it any way she wants. Lay off. Personally I'm finding it amusing to see how the numbers jump around, and how high they'll get by Friday. If you're not a fan, that's fine, but let those of us who ARE enjoy it, ok?

Again ... I'm not Sarah of Sarah & Tony ... silly common names!

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Hello! Love your blog!

Just wanted to mention that one of your entrants just jumped 6,000 votes in an hour. Looks like there is a voting bot at work. Which is a shame, no matter whom you're voting for.

I'm rooting for Sarah and Tony! (And Tiny Wedding Planner!)

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMouse

Love the blog, Louise! These contests rock. Keep up the good work.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradrianna

Just want to give a shout out for Lindsey and Andrew and Shelly and Ryan! I liked their answers and their pictures :0

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterginnyl

All - I'm not sure that there's a bot at work, or just super-crazy voting people. However, it is being looked at by the techs who host my web AND the techs who are hosting the poll, just to confirm.

February 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterLouise

Hopefully, someone will be able to determine whether or not there is a bot and where it is coming from, but my money is on there being a bot. My husband explained to me two days ago how easy it would be to sabotage this contest with one and how quickly it could be set up. Just saying.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Spoon

Glad you're checking! xo

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMouse

I love the contest..wish I could participate. All the stories are great however my vote is for NEEDAH & ALEXANDER only cos they are in a long distance relationship just like me....Hope you guys win.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuman

Vote? Why not!! I vote for Shelly & Ryan. To abstain is a very good thing. I'm speaking from experience.

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaMar from Idaho

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