Trash the Dress Bridal Shower!

My bff (referred to as “Penny” in my  book, “Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s”) is getting remarried next month! Here we are at her bridal shower this past weekend. It was an intimate lunch with close friends. No big party needed this time around!

Here’s more proof of love and marriage post-divorce in your 20s. Happily ever after in your 30s!


Penny and me. If you’re a Hanson fan like we are, then you’ll appreciate that caption.


Kelsie Eloped! And It Was Adorable.

Trash the Dress private online support group member Kelsie recently eloped. The ceremony at Joshua Tree was officiated by her mom and Kelsie’s son walked her down the aisle. Get your Pinterest button ready because this wedding is one to inspire you the next time you say “I do.”

Besides the obvious reasons to love these photos, I think this is a great example of how to have a beautiful, affordable second wedding. A lot of second-time brides feel that by eloping you are sacrificing the whole wedding day experience. But that clearly didn’t happen here.  Destination eloping with immediate family members is a perfect options for those who still want to wear a gown and get glam, except you don’t have to worry about venues, seating, favors and that whole mess. Eloping is truly about the couple and what they want, as opposed to big budget weddings that typically cater to the guests.

Congrats to Kelsie and her happily ever after!

Photography by Samantha Smith Arroyo.


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Marriage After Divorce in your 20s: Second Time Bride Problems


Striking a pose on my wedding night. No idea divorce in my twenties was in sight.

It hasn’t been easy for me being a wedding obsessed divorcée. I’m passionate about every little detail. The cake. The dress. The favors. Bridesmaid attire. I’ll even judge a bride and groom based on the table seating. Numbers instead of creative names equals major creativity points lost.

I put my heart and soul into planning my first wedding (which you will read about in my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s) and have nothing to show for it, which is utterly disappointing. It’s not like you can whip out pictures of you and your ex-husband and swap stories with your newly engaged girlfriends/ co-workers, etc. when you’re divorced.  And you especially can’t do it when you attend weddings with your post-divorce boyfriend.  There were so many times my current fiancé, Frank, and I attended the weddings of friends and family and he raved that the cocktail hour was amazing and I wanted to say that nothing compared to the smorgasboard of food at my first wedding, which he would have loved. I just had to bite my lip and agree.

I’m getting remarried in a few weeks (omg!) and had to endure a whole new set of challenges along the way. Some second-time brides choose to go the simple knot-tying route by eloping or having a quickie courthouse ceremony. I’m clearly not one of those divorcee-turned-bride-again women. Call me superficial, but I refuse to rob myself of the wedding experience just because I happen to have divorced in my twenties and my fiancé and I are planning our Big Day on small budget. I deserve to wear a beautiful white dress and hire a top-notch beauty squad to glam me up and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I want pictures that I can actually hang up for more than a year and darn it, they are going to be the most stunning photos my efforts can achieve!

But how do you plan your dream wedding when you already had it- to the wrong man? It’s quite a task!  I have a very specific vintage-inspired style that did not change along with my last name. I still love cupcakes and want to feature photos of my dogs as the table names, but been there, done that. On my first wedding day, I almost cried when I saw how amazing Alexa Prisco/ The Glam Fairy did my makeup. But I have it in my head that if I do my makeup for my upcoming wedding the same way, it’s a jinx.

Since Frank and I just bought a house, the wedding naturally fell into the background these past few months. I didn’t realize until last week that I had no idea how I should do my makeup this time. I put it in my head that I should do a whole new natural look with clean eyes, winged liner and a bright lip – one that I like on some other brides but that is really not me. I pinned a million pictures of this look that I was trying to make the new me. Frantically, I booked a trial with Alexa. A few days later, I canceled it.

I need to represent the bride I am today. I’m stronger, smarter and doing it for the right reasons this time. I’m not betting on chance that things will change after the wedding. I know all that’s waiting ahead- the future I want is waiting for me to catch up with it. But I’m also a little bit of the girl I was before and that is perfectly fine. I decided that I can’t change everything about myself just because I am determined to have a completely fresh wedding experience.

I’m as glamorous as ever, so I will be moving forward with the ultra smokey eyes as I did for my first wedding. I’m even going to present Alexa with the same exact magazine photo I brought her last time to replicate. And I’ve decided that it’s OK. Because who is really going to remember such a tiny detail from like six years ago, besides other wedding obsessed people like myself?

If I’ve learned anything from my divorce it’s that there’s a greater plan out there for us then we know. They say, “life happens when you’re busy making other plans” and it’s true. I’m letting go of fears that something I do planning the wedding might impact my new marriage and I’m going to enjoy the process of being a bride again. I am going to have my cake and eat it, too-one year later from my freezer with my husband.











Here I Go Again


So here I am…23 years old and divorced standing at the alter saying “I do” again! None of that really fits together does it?

First of all, there’s being divorced so young at 21 and getting remarried at 23! Believe me, I was the talk of the town.

So rewind a year and a half when my ex-husband asked me for a divorce. Of course my life was over and all that blah that we’ve either went through or are going through, and in the midst of it all I meet this fabulous guy named Dewayne who comes out of nowhere and sweeps me out of my misery! I had told myself that I would never marry again because the hurt of one divorce was too much for one person to endure in their lifetime, and I of course wasn’t going to date for years.

Well, fate has its own way of changing things and turning your life upside down, but this was a good upside down. When I first met Dewayne I had no intentions of really dating him and tried multiple times to separate myself from him because in my mind I wasn’t ready to get back in the game of life. I was too broken and used at that point in my opinion! I had many offers of dates and such after my divorce and they had all turned into men just wanting to take advantage of my broken situation and use my body, which they did not succeed at!


So after a few weeks of dates every now and then and trying to separate myself from Dewayne I decided to give it a real try. What did I have to lose? We started having lunch dates, seeing each other after work, and talking every day. Well, after a few weeks we were inseparable; if we weren’t working, we were together. He was nothing like the guy I typically dated, but he was perfect for me! He took my hand and led me through my long hard battle. He would hold me while I cried over my ex-husband’s endless crap and then wipe my eyes and tell me that everything would be okay and that time was the biggest healer. I see now what a strong person that he was to endure all of the mess from my divorce, and he never once complained or corrected me. He was just there for me weathering the storm with me.

We spent countless nights laying in the yard on a blanket under the stars just talking and laughing and that is where he first looked me in the eyes and told me, “I love you.”  I crazily replied, “Well, I think I love you, too.”  Since then it’s been nothing but happiness for me. We moved in together last June and bought our first home together in September! We just tell everyone we did everything backwards because that worked for us! He asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve outside under the stars where it all began and I of course said ‘yes’ without hesitation. We began talking about marriage in the Spring and decided for July.

Now let me tell you ladies- as a divorcee in her 20s I was scared to death of marriage. Even though I loved him with all my heart, marriage made me want to run away! As the wedding drew closer I told him my fears and we worked through them. The wedding day was so fabulous. I wasn’t nervous; I was happy and ready. As my dad held my arm and we walked down the aisle for the second time something told my heart that this would be the last time and that I had found my forever.

So now here I am: 23 years old, divorced at 21 and remarried at 23. I’m as happy as I have ever been in my life! After a divorce, do not give up on your life. Take your days and cry and mourn the loss of the past, but when it’s time to stand up and move on be ready and willing. You never know at what point in your journey fate will step in and take you on a new amazing journey!


Avril Lavigne Wore a Black Gown for her Second Wedding. Would You?


We really shouldn’t have been surprised that Avril Lavigne, 28, married Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger wearing a custom-made black Monique Lhuillier gown for her June 29th goth-themed nuptials. After all, isn’t that what everyone expected when at 21 years old she walked down the aisle to marry Sum 41 punk rocker Deryck Whibley in a custom-made, ivory, strapless organza Vera Wang gown and long veil, proceeded by bridesmaids in romantic light pink dresses?


(After three years and one month of marriage, Lavigne announced her divorce on her blog and stated, “Deryck and I have been together for six and a half years. We have been friends since I was 17, started dating when I was 19, and married when I was 21.”)

romance-fire.com_Of her first wedding, guest and Lavigne’s producer Butch Walker told People the event was “storybook beautiful.” That traditional tone was an unexpected move from America’s pop-punk princess.

Her bridal look for marriage 2.0?  Completely personalized. No facades. We would have liked to see a pop of color with red roses, though.


Second marriages and weddings are a chance to learn from your past and do everything the way you wish you could have done the first time around, whether it be to elope on an island, have a spur-of-the-moment private ceremony in Town Hall or a take a year to plan that banquet hall bash you never got to have.  And if that means wearing a black gown, go for it.


When I was picking out dresses for my upcoming wedding (We’re two months away! Yay!), I was seriously considering a blush gown. I was thisclose to ordering a tulle wedding dress in blushing pink from Ouma on Etsy (below).  The only thing that stopped me was my groom.  Although this is my second wedding, it’s his first. And he wanted a traditional, friend-and-family-filled wedding. I don’t think a pink bride was painted in his vision and I also happened to have already purchased some ivory accessories that I didn’t think would match. So I nixed the pink and found an ivory gown to which I could add unique touches.


Truth be told, you can be a lot more adventurous when planning your second wedding.  If you already had the “bride” experience you can take this as an opportunity to make everything totally “you.”  Put a colorful piece of tulle under your gown, ditch the veil and wear a sparkling sash around your head like Lavigne (below), forgo the chain bridal store and order your dress from BHLDN, Ruche, Nordstrom bridal or even ModCloth.


Avril’s hair/makeup style for her second wedding? Roar: sexy and sultry.

Her first? Meow: beautiful and elegant but totally not reflective of her personality.


Read more about Marriage After Divorce in your Twenties.