Be Thankful Every Day

Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann

With Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) just around the corner, I wanted to focus this month's article on the power of being thankful. We’ve all heard of gratitude journals, and the reason they work is because they make you focus on the little things (or big things) that bring joy to your life every day - the things that may otherwise go unnoticed or forgotten.

It’s easy to get distracted with your wedding planning and in your married life. It happens to the best of us. But when you stop and take a moment and think about what you are truly thankful for, it helps to bring perspective into, what otherwise could be, a very chaotic time in your life.

The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

Let’s start with your engagement ring. Yes, it’s beautiful and of course you’re thankful your man proposed. But let’s dig a little deeper. I often find myself looking at my ring and thinking about the story behind it. All the time and effort that went into looking for the ring, dropping thousands on what could otherwise easily be a down payment on a car, and the planning that went into our proposal. I’m thankful for every moment that led to me meeting my husband, for every moment that led to me getting that ring and thankful that my husband loves me enough to make me his wife. Do you ever find yourself thinking the same thing?

Think about everything that came into your possession since your engagement. Your dress, your shower gifts, the parties and showers, the well wishes. Yes, receiving all that is somewhat of a given, but no one HAS TO do any of it.

What about these folks...

Your Bridal Party

For many of us, it’s assumed that if you ask someone to be by your side on your big day, they will say yes. However, do you ever think about how thankful you are to them for the financial investment they are making for you? Between their dresses, hair, makeup, nails, flight, hotel stay, plus wedding gift. That’s a big commitment!

Bridal Party // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

Wedding Guests

Again, just because you send an invite, doesn’t mean they HAVE TO come.

Many guests travel near and far to be with you. Having a room full of people that saved that date just for you is part of what made our wedding so special. Seeing everyone we care about in one room, together, for us, was truly unbelievable. Then, when we opened our gifts and realized how generous people were to us, it just sent us over the top. They didn’t have to do that.

Your Wedding Vendors

The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

Think about their jobs. Most weddings take place on a weekend, so that means that the workers, whether it be your photographer, your limo driver, your servers, hotel staff, your florist, cake baker, etc., have to give up their weekend to be with you. Could you do that? Even if you were paid? I know I wouldn’t be willing to give up my weekends so easily. 

Your Spouse

The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

The one you love the most can often be the person you take for granted the most. When was the last time you thanked your spouse (or future spouse) for taking out the trash, or doing the dishes, or shoveling your car out from the snow? (Yes, for those of us on the east coast, that time is coming again soon!)

Be thankful each and every day.

Help us name this gown: The Top Three

Thank you so much to everyone who suggested names for this stunning Celia Grace gown! The designer and I have now narrowed it down to our three favorite names, and it's up to you to vote and decide on the winner!

Help us name this Celia Grace Gown

The Nominees

Isabel [Allende]

Isabel is a Chilean-American writer whose books are based on her own personal experience and pay homage to the lives of women. She founded and runs a foundation which supports programs that provide fundamental rights to women and children in order to make them more empowered and protected. Isabel was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has received Chile's National Literature Prize, and just this year was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

Angelina [Jolie]

Angelina is a renowned American actress and filmmaker who also focuses her life on humanitarian work. She worked as a Special Envoy for refugees and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has received wide recognition for her work - the Inaugural Humanitarian Award from the Church World Service's Immigration and Refugee Program, the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association, the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA, the Freedmon Award by the International Rescue Committee, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, among many more top humanitarian honors and awards.

Gloria [Steinem]

Gloria is an American feminist, journalist, and a social and political activist. She became nationally recognized as the spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960s, while founding New York magazine Ms. She co-founded the Women's Media Center, and organization helping women to become more visible and powerful in media and currently acts as an international spokeswoman on issues of equality.

Which name do you think best exemplifies this dress?


Happy Holidays Coordination Giveaway

It's that time of year, and we're getting into the holiday spirit here at The Overwhelmed Bride! The holidays are all about giving, so we decided to give a gift to our bride readers! We believe that every bride should have a wedding planner, so we are going to make that wish come true for two of you!

We are offering two lucky brides $500 off of our full service coordination package!

And yes, we are offering this to brides around the world! If you need a coordinator, you are welcome to enter!


How to Enter

We know this time of year is busy for all of you, so we're making it nice and simple.

The Overwhelmed Bride Holiday Giveaway // $500 Off Wedding Coordination Services should only take about a minute to enter :)

1. Post this photo on your Instagram page

2. Comment with your wedding date (or estimated date)

3. #theoverwhelmedbride AND @theoverwhelmedbride

And that's all you need to do!

How many times can I enter?

You can enter up to one time per day!

Want more entries?

Have your bridesmaids, groomsmen, groom, parents, grandparents, and anyone you know enter one time each day to increase your chances of winning! If they're not engaged and they win, they can give the prize to you!

When does the contest end?

In the spirit of giving, we're going to choose a winner at random on Thanksgiving and another on Christmas day! So keep those entries coming our way!

Homemade Meatballs

Written with love, by Sarah-Elizabeth Labelle

Winter Meatballs Recipe // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

I always thought that the Holiday season truly started around the first snow fall; when the weather is perfectly crisp, without being painfully freezing, and the snow floats down kissing our noses on a bright, late fall morning. I threaten my fiancé that snow will soon stick, and he may just come home to Christmas town.  I adore the Holidays, especially because it gives me another excuse to cook those hardy meals we all love to indulge in when the weather gets colder.

 My absolute favourite is coming home to my fiancé starting supper. He’ll rifle through some recipes that I’ve taught him, and put his own fun twist on things. One hardy meal that we both love is a good plate of spaghetti and homemade meat balls. Sitting down with a glass of wine and just the right amount of frost around the window makes any evening perfect.

Homemade meatballs can be done in a slow cooker with a variety of sauces, or if your partner wanted to throw this dinner together the evening of, as mine does, these can be cooked on the stove top as well.

Ingredients (Makes 20)

Winter Meatballs Recipe // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

·         1 pound of ground beef

Winter Meatballs Recipe // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

·         ½ a cup chopped onion

·         4 cloves of garlic

·         ½ teaspoon of paprika

·         ½ teaspoon of basil

·         ½ teaspoon of parsley

·         ½ teaspoon of oregano

·         ¼ teaspoon of salt

·         Block of cheese

·         ½ cup of olive oil

·         500mls tomato sauce (or barbeque sauce)


Winter Meatballs Recipe // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

1.       In a large bowl mix the ground beef in with the onion, garlic and spices and kneed the ground beef so all of the spices get dispersed properly

2.       Roll the ground beef into 2’ think balls, much like making cookies

3.       Cut the block of cheese into 1’ think cubes, and place them in the middle of the meatballs, these will melt later as a gooey center

4.       Brown the meatballs in a frying pan with roughly ½ cup of olive oil

5.       Next place the meatballs in a sauce pan and let them simmer in either a pasta sauce or barbeque sauce for roughly 20 – 30 minutes

6.       Serve with pasta, grated cheese and a big slice of garlic bread


**Wine recommended for this meal is Nero, an Italian deep red wine

Winter Meatballs Recipe // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

Simply Silver Wedding Inspiration

When combined with lighter colors such as ivory or white, a silver wedding is both modern and elegant. The metallic color is sleek and classy and looks great in all aspects of the wedding decor. Shimmery silver bridesmaid dresses call for a beyond chic bridal party that everyone is sure to love! Silver looks great as either an added touch or taking the entire limelight. Whichever you prefer, a silver wedding is a beautiful one!

Tips for Tipping

Just like when you and your fiance are out to dinner on your Friday date night, tipping is completely up to your discretion. Well the same goes for your wedding. While there are guidelines that specific vendors expect or don't expect, just as 15-20% is "expected" at a restaurant, nothing is required.

So before you dive into this nifty diagram, please read the next couple of definitions (it'll only take 2 minutes) so you understand what we mean by "required" and "not required."


These are the vendors who, like waiters and waitresses, expect some sort of tip at the end of the night.

Not Required

These are the vendors who do not expect any sort of tip but are very thankful when one is given.

But nothing is ever REQUIRED of you. Bad choice of words on my part?? 

I will not speak for anyone but myself, but I never expect a tip from a bride and groom. I know that weddings are expensive. I've planned hundreds of weddings over the past six years and have been a bride myself so I know that money is tight, especially at the end of planning. Budgets are often maxed out, leaving little to no room for tips. And I get that! Just because I don't get a tip, doesn't mean that I think any less of you. And it doesn't make me think that I did a bad job on your wedding day. So please please please never think like that!

A tip is under your discretion and if someone did a terrible job, then you can reflect that in the tip you give them.

But here's the great news, a tip isn't always money.

I've received some fabulous tips before that truly showed a couple's appreciation for my hard work. And here are some ideas:

- a small gift or bottle of wine

- a double date out to lunch or dinner

- a personal thank you note (these just touch my heart!)

- an online review (this is HUGE for us!)

- a referral to a friend, co-worker, or someone you meet in passing (LOVE THIS ONE!)

So just because you don't have money leftover for a tip, doesn't mean you cannot show your appreciation for your vendors...if in fact they worked hard for you :)

This diagram is not a rule.

To me, there are no rules. Do what you feel comfortable doing because you are the only one who can make that decision. So use this as a starting point, and never a LAW.

Tips for Tipping Wedding Vendors // The Overwhlemed Bride

Get Rid of Anger

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a older woman in my church, prior to getting married. She simply said, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” That advice, to settle accounts quickly, has served us well over the years. We haven’t always done it but it is our goal. 

Let’s face it, we all get angry. One study showed that men lose their temper six times per week while women lose their temper three times a week. Anger is most intense toward those we love, not toward strangers. We express our anger most frequently in our home so getting rid of anger is crucial for staying in love.

Get Rid of Anger by Pastor Dave Page // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

Anger is a choice, it’s a natural human feeling and it’s a secondary emotion. We bolt over to anger after we’ve been hurt. Anger, per se, isn’t wrong; the key is how we respond. One writer says, "Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry - but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry.”1

What happens when we go to bed angry? If we fall asleep thinking about it we can begin to ruminate on it in the shower the next morning. If the anger persists we can become angry people. Now, it’s not that we get angry, we are angry. Anger becomes a characteristic attitude. We become time bombs just waiting to go off. Prolonged anger turns into bitterness and bitterness kills marriages.

What’s the remedy? Some therapists tell us to express our anger outwardly by screaming into a pillow, or by beating a piñata with a baseball bat, or by hitting a golf ball and pretending it’s your spouse’s head.  However, expressing anger only intensifies it.

Should we suppress anger? No.

The only way to effectively deal with the anger is to replace it with something far better. What do we replace it with? The same writer said, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger ...Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as ... God forgave you.”2 Replace anger and bitterness with kindness and compassion by forgiving your spouse. 

As we journey in our marriages we all get hurt and wounded and we can end up carrying around these things for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. After a while these hurts can get really heavy. So the only way to feel better seems to be getting back at them, seeking revenge. But does revenge ever truly satisfy? Maybe forgiving isn't something you do for someone else to let them off the hook.

Maybe forgiveness is about you.

God didn't create you to carry these wounds around. You were created to be free. 

Forgive as you have been forgiven. Let it go. Surrender the right to get revenge. Keep short accounts. Forgive and live. You have choice, to live angrily ever after or to live happily ever after.

1 Ephesians 4:26 (Message translation)

2 Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)