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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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Entries in Inspiration (27)


Finding My/Your Wedding Mojo

So I've been frantically working on all sorts of hair toys and bridal accessories for some bridal blogging partners in crime as well as for a few others (Jenn C., I swear, you're next!) . It's been going well, but I get very nervous when I do custom stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to do custom stuff. On one hand, it's really easy because you get to hear exactly what the bride wants and I really enjoy creating something with a particular person in my head. On the other hand, it's completely nerve-wracking because I've got this insane need to please and I want people to be happy with what I do for them.

And it's weird (or maybe it isn't, I need some artists to chime in here) because I'll have an idea for something and start working on it. And then it won't come. Or rather, it won't come all the way. The creative juices just halt. The thing that I had in my head sort of becomes this fleeting image that I'm suddenly chasing around the corners of my right brain. If I can't see it, I can't do it. The same thing used to happen to me when I was designing lamps and home decor. I'd be overseas, all excited to go play with product and I'd have all these ideas and visions dancing around in my head and I'd get to a factory to work and my brain would go SCREEEEEECH and I'd be standing and staring at a project like a freakin' deer in head lights. Most times, I'd ask for a Diet Coke (assuming the lost creativity was due to jet lag) and wander around looking at old projects or rejected projects for the thing that goes "SPARK" and gets me up and running again.

Over the years, I taught my Asian vendors tons of American slang, one of them being the word "mojo" and how one could lose it. Most of them knew that if I went for the Diet Coke, my mojo was in hiding. My vendors would bring out pretty things to spark my interest, or make a suggestion to the design I was working on, or just generally distract me. Most times, that's all I would need: a diversion, another voice. I'm not one of those people who think that my ideas are the best, most creative out there. In fact, I second guess myself so much that another voice puts me at ease, whether the feedback be praise or constructive criticism.

So now that I'm doing these custom things, I find myself emailing pictures of possibilities to brides along the way, and getting their feedback. I don't know if that's the "right" way to go about this new venture, but it feels most comforting to me for now. I certainly don't want to make something for a bride that they don't like or is somehow "off", even just a little. I don't want to be the regret a bride has after all is said and done. Perhaps this is undue pressure I am putting on myself. I'm just not certain at this point.

So I have been trying to come up with a new designing diversion without success. Diet Coke only appears to work in China. Last week I was taking some pictures of a lace shrug to email to a bride. I needed to try it on to show the bride where the length would fall, etc. and to do so, I needed to show the shrug with a strapless dress. I put on my David's Bridal $40 wedding gown I bought on sale some time last year, snapped some pics and emailed them off. I took off the shrug, took down my tripod and organized the bride's goodies. I cleaned up my work space a bit and put away some folded laundry. All in the wedding gown. I didn't purposely leave it on, I just got side tracked with activities. I sat down to attend to more emails and realized I was still wearing the gown. So I kept it on. A few nano-seconds later, the radio started playing the dreaded,

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh

And I got up and started dancing. Just like that. To Justin Beiber. In my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown. And then I had an epiphany! "No! It is NOT Justin Beiber that I should be dancing to!" and I ran to my iPod and found, played and danced to "Forever" by Chris Brown. I swear, I cry a happy cry every single time I hear that song. Ever since those crazy kids, Jill and Kevin, danced their way down the aisle, it's all I can envision in my head when I hear it. And it makes me so freakin' happy. Their video came out in July of 2009, less than 8 weeks before my own wedding. It was my go-to video when I was feeling stressed. That video took me to my happy place when I was overwhelmed by tasks, drama (usually self-induced) or just plain ol' nerves. So I danced. I danced up and down the hallway and got funky to "Forever." Afterwards, I changed out of the gown and banged out some crazy bridal accessories. And just like that, I found my mojo. Is my $40 David's Bridal wedding gown and a little Chris Brown my new Diet Coke?

When it comes down to it, we all are pretty much obsessed when it comes to our planning, right? I certainly didn't expect to care or plan or DIY as much as I did. It all sort of just happened. I wasn't prepared for it, that's for damn sure. I think every bride needs a little go-to for de-stressing in the throws of wedding planning, don't you? Do you work out? Imbibe? Listen to Justin Beiber (don't worry, I won't tell anyone)? What's your tactic for getting your wedding out of your head?

And just in case you've been living under a rock, on another planet or in a general state of internet ignorance, here's a repeat performance of my favorite wedding de-stresser ever.

Over 61 MILLION people have watched this video and nearly $35,000 has been raised in donations to the Sheila Wellstone Institute to stop domestic violence. If that doesn't make you feel good, I don't know what will!



Brides of Color

Dawn, this one is for you!

A fellow blogger, The Happy Nappy Bride has done some interesting research as a bride. She purchases bridal magazines and then counts the number of women of color amongst the pages. The percentage of brides of color compared to white (non-Hispanic) is ASTOUNDING. More so than I ever imaged, or really, ever thought twice about. If you had asked me if there were ethnic brides in the pages of bridal magazines, I'd be all, "Well, duh. Of course Modern Bride has women of color all over their pages. They wouldn't be so modern now if they didn't, would they? Yeah. I'd be wrong. It really is a sad, sad thing that we don't have more images of brides and grooms in multiple ethnicities, skin colors and cultures to draw from. Being the lucky girl I am, I have been afforded the opportunity to travel far and wide and observe different cultures and inquire to their wedding traditions. I seriously considered getting the soles of my feet henna'd as Indian brides do, only as a nod to my own world travels. Sadly, truly talented henna artists are few and far between here in Nashville, so opted out of that tradition. But Happy Nappy has a point, we need more, people!

Last night as I approached a new post, I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about. I checked my Twitter account and had a little message from a local florist I met on Sunday night, Rhonda Patton. I was checking out her website and blog and I found some amazing pictures of brides in all colors and shapes and sizes! It got me thinking about The Happy Nappy Bride and her search for more women of color in the WIC. So I did some searching too. First, I want to say that I am appalled. Appalled. Google "Ethnic Brides." Google "Latina Brides." Google Asian Brides." You know what comes up first? Mail-order brides. I wanted to vomit. What the fuck does that say about us as a fucking country and culture? I REALLY had to dig to find positive images of brides of color. Seriously. I stayed up WAY past my bedtime trying to find images across the interwebs. And again, I think that is really fucking sad.

However, I did find some things. What I found made me super-duper happy. I hope you like them as much as I do. And I'd like to say to anyone who might, on the off-chance be part of the WIC and is reading this: Brides need inspiration. People are not made from a cookie-cutter image. Please stop showing all brides as 25, thin, blonde and with an $80,000 wedding budget. Yes, we want to see glamour. Glamour is fun. But glamour can also make you feel like shit when you know that you'll be shopping at David's Bridal and not Kleinfeld's. All I'm asking for is a little variety and a little reality.

*Stepping off soap box and shutting up so you can look at the pretty, pretty pictures of real-life brides.*

Image from Dove Wedding Photography, here in Nashville.

Images from Krista Lee Photography here in Nashville.


Image from L'Amour Photography


 Image by Matt Adcock.



 Images from Culture + Style Wedding Photography + Video.


Images from Sky + Carla Photographers.



Super-fab Amy Jean (The Relentless Bride)! This and images above from Hazelnut Photography.



*I think this might be one of my favorite posts.




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