Real ECB Judy: Decisions, Decisions

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Today’s Real East Carolina Bride entry comes to us from Judy, a bride whose Jacksonville wedding is coming up in July 2016.

My name is Judy Vazquez and I am to wed Sean Dove on July 16, 2016. As a bride, I love talking about the wedding. As a Real ECB, I want to share my experience; my excitements and frustrations of wedding planning and everything in between. It is amazing how much research we brides do and how helpful it is to find helpful advice and tactics.

The Story of Us: Sean and I met at our workplace in 2011 and started dating in May 2012. The most important thing Sean and I have in common is that we are Christians and share strong values. Outside of that, we are from different extremes: I was married for 15 years and have three children – a 21 year old (young) man and two daughters, 14 and 11. He—on the other hand—does not have any children, has never been married, and has lived by himself all of his adulthood.  Despite this major difference in life paths, we managed to find a healthy balance by easing into the process of joining our lives. After three years, Sean proposed in May 2015.

The Proposal: Sean picked me up at work on a regular workday, took me to a casual dinner and then an uneventful walk at the park. We went back to the car and before opening the door for me, he got on one knee and, well…you know the rest. This was almost the very spot where he kissed me for the first time. We had been talking about marriage plans for some time but he surprised me that day.

And so begins the planning of the first day of our happily ever after…

The Planning: For the past year, we have been planning a wedding that is now a mere month away. This has been the most time consuming, expensive, and exciting process I have ever experienced. We constantly look at the days/hours/minutes/seconds countdown on our WeddingWire app. We have checked off 82 out of 140 tasks, mailed 130 invites, secured hotel blocks, ordered bridesmaids’ gifts and the list goes on. I am very grateful that Sean has been closely involved in the process.

There are many tasks in planning a wedding, but here are the ones that stand out in my mind:

Decisions, Decisions: There have been many decisions to be made – budget, venue, colors, flowers, centerpieces, honeymoon, etc. Some easier than others, but there was one thing I was certain of from the beginning; my team. My sister is my Maid of Honor, my two closest friends are Bridesmaids, my daughters are Jr. Bridesmaids, and my son will walk me down the aisle.

The first big decision I had to make was how to pop the question. To kick off the sort of simple elegance theme of the wedding, I decided on a red rose delivered to each bridesmaid in a long white box with a note. For my daughters, a carnation arrangement in ceramic ice-cream cones. For my son, the florist was kind enough to make a small arrangement of chocolate.

As for Sean, he called his closest four friends and his brother and simply asked. Grooms!

The Engagement Photos: We wanted the engagement photos to be casual, relaxed and most importantly, we wanted the location to be meaningful. After much thought and reading tips on the topic, I -er- I mean we knew exactly what we wanted. “Our” park…it was perfect! It’s where he kissed me for the first time and where I said “Yes!”

Engagement party: We had a small and semi-formal gathering for the wedding party and immediate family. It was nice to get everyone acquainted, play games, and have a good time.

The Dress: My dress was designed and made especially for me by a family member. Never mind that it is on the opposite side of the country. It has been an interesting process.

Dance lessons: I grew up dancing and Sean has never danced a day in his life so this was necessary for our first dance. Truth be told, I just thought dance lessons would be fun and now I had a good excuse.

Venues: To carry on with the spirit of “meaning,” we opted to have the ceremony at Sean’s church, where I will join him in attendance after we get married. We are having a late morning ceremony with the reception following in the early afternoon at our local Country Club.

The emotions: My co-worker who recently got married said that she wishes she could do the wedding planning all over again. I thought she must be crazy, but now that I am nearing the day, I think I understand. I feel like it’s all coming to an end. This emotional process has been a part of me for over a year now. It has brought me joy, excitement, happiness, surprises, disappointment, longing…so many emotions and soon, no more.

Favorites: I have enjoyed every single task but my favorite moments have been setting up our WeddingWire website, decorating the invites with my bridesmaids and mom, and receiving RSVPs. Oh and planning our honeymoon! I also had a nice surprise for Christmas last year. One gift from Sean was a multiple picture frame with pictures from the proposal.

Frustrations: The most frustrating thing has been making selections. I am very simple but painfully picky about everything from colors to fabric to flowers. My biggest relief was when I selected colors, centerpieces, and flowers.

Wedding day dread: My biggest wedding day dread comes from the very concept that it is the bride’s day and that all eyes are on her. As an introvert, I am a bit awkward around people and being the center of attention is not something I look forward to.

With the wedding right around the corner, I fear my most frustrating moments are still ahead. However, so are the best parts; the wedding day, the honeymoon, and best of all—the marriage!


Judy’s Vendor Team

Photography: Miramé Photography (Web)

Venue: Jacksonville Country Club

Photo Booth: Mojo of Jacksonville

Linens: CV Linens

Hair: 114 Hair Studio & Spa



We’re looking for more Real East Carolina Brides like Judy!  If you’re interested in becoming a Real ECB and sharing your stories with the brides of Eastern North Carolina, you can learn more and see if you qualify on the application page.  We can’t wait to hear about your wedding!


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