I Wanna Marry You

80 degree weather, poolside, and a little Kendall Jackson is all I thought I needed to make this Memorial Day weekend the bestest. But an engagement video just made it a dash better and I can't contain my excitement any longer.

Thoughtful engagements make me giggle, cry and exclaim 'oh-my-lanta' and I'm takin' a bet that you're doomed for the same result! Read no further and watch. Amazeballs

Thank you, Chelsea for sharing! This is definitely going in my favorites folder. 



Nola Belles & Bachelorettes

Since becoming a Louisiana native, I've picked up on a few things 'round these parts. Po' boy is pronounced as it's written, it's not just hot - it's humid, and everything's better with a little Tony Chachere's. I've posed as the typical tourist, prancing around the River Walk and indulging in one too many beignets [Fr. ben-yey]. And other than Vegas, I've become aware that New Orleans is the prime destination for bachelorette parties!

There's got'ta be a reason the belles keep coming back so I've done my research! Below are a few places to begin your party planning. Now get out your Lilly planner and get'ta writting!


Existing for over 200 years, beginning as a trading post off the Mississippi River, the French Market has evolved into the perfect place for open-air shopping.

Belles, brace yourselves. This is a 6 mile long shopping oasis. Magazine is filled with awesome boutiques, galleries, and restaurants ta'boot. This is 'uptown' shopping at it's finest. You will d.i.e.

Breakfast and Lunch

Established in 1862, this open-air coffee and beignet (an amazing powered sugar, donut-esque pastry) stand is open 24 hours! So you know what this means...shall your night turn into morning and you're needing a little grub, there is literally no better place to stumble upon. Seriously. I could eat my weight in these things! 

If you want to let your hair down and kick off your pumps, head over to Cooter Browns! Not only does this place cater to all your local cravings like po' boys, burgers, and seafood but they have a beer menu with over 400 selections! All southern girls love a beer-n-burger kind'a meal! 

The first time I met Jeff's family they took me here. Wow y'all. This place is stunning. The outside courtyard is something from a fairytale. The food is authentic Louisiana creole and they usually have a jazz band playing. I melt.  


Y'all...this is the best Mexican food in town. The atmosphere is amaze and the margaritas are even better! It's located in uptown, it's hip and swanky with great outside seating. 

I'm pretty sure this place is owned by the same peeps that run Superior Grill. Either way, it is nom-nom good. Jeff and I went here before the Lady A concert and I'm still swoonin' over the oysters and stuffed chicken! This is a little more expensive but oh-so-worth-it. 

Famous for their steak and burgers, Port of Call is located in the French Quarter and is casual and cute! 

If you want to be close to all the action, hit up Bourbon House. Located on Bourbon St. (no surprise there) this is a nice place to stop before your night's extravaganzas.  

Late Night 

Ah, Pat O's. Known for an incredible piano bar and famous Hurricane drink. Go here to start off your night with a bang! They have napkins all over the tables - all you have to do is right down a song request and send it up to the piano players. Yep, they'll play just about anything and you can sing along all night!

Gold Mine Saloon

This place is said to have the best dance scene! The combination of cheap drinks and 80's and 90's music will keep the belles dancing for hours!

The favored of all karaoke bars and the best time you'll have in a hot minute! Even if you're not into showcasing your A.I. skills, this place is fun, clean, and energetic. It's a must-go for any bachelorette party! 

Now go have some fun ladies and let the good times roll! XO!


Keep Calm, Your Time Will Come

Are you in the 'life stage' I'm in? The twenty-something stage where everyone around you seems to be committed, engaged, or married? It's the time of life that's chaotically wonderful. You're growing into your adult skin, molded from college mistakes-heartbreaks-and wish-to-do do-overs. You're considering your life and the kind of person you want to spend that life with. So where's the ring? Where's the bended-knee proposal? Where, where, where?

Well'p, I'm here to say...simmer your sauce and just get happy! Because you my belle - you are in store for something great. You are in store for a perfect beau, a perfect engagement, and a perfect life for you!

Trust me, there have been moments when I catch the envy-bug and throw a pity parade filled with red wine and reality shows but that's not what God intended me to do! He intended me to celebrate, to call my friends and ask for all the deets, and write the most fantastic blog full of their love stories!

So this is the most comforting piece of truth I can offer you for now - His timing is perfect. It's hard to wrap our restless, list-oriented mind around it but His timing is greater than our 'schedule.' And you know what schedule I'm talking about:

18 - Graduate from High School
22 - Graduate from College (in 4 years, of course during which you'll meet Mr. Oh-so-Right)
24 - Get engaged (to some J. Crew lookin' stud who looks great in khakis)
28 - Start a family (that will dress in cardigans and polos for the yearly Christmas card) 

Sound about right? I'm sure your grinning to yourself as I am. For most of us, this quality of 'planning' allows us to be organized, sufficient, and reliable. But it's also cripples us to a world we are passing by. So allow me to hop up on my soap box and say, 'Let go and let God.' 

Single belles, have you considered that He has better taste then you? That He has not quite prepared your heart for your perfect match; that the man that matches your worth is still working on himself? 

And to all my taken ladies waiting for the sparkler. There will be a moment when your hearts combined are prepared for a lifelong commitment. Because that's what it is, right? We have to believe we are preparing for a lifetime.   

So celebrate in celebrations! Throw out your schedule and be comfortable in your 'life stage.' And above all else, keep your heart wide open.

Dream BIG belles and settle for nothing but your insurmountable worth. 

Follow @Southern_Bells on Twitter for a chance to win a copy of Handmade Weddings book!


I'll Cleave to You

This video was one of the first ever posted on Southern Bells. And every time I've watched it since, I hold back the urge to boo-hoo.

The vows are the killer. The girl is precious and her groom seems to absolutely adore her. Grab a hanky and join me friends. This one's good!


Man:  I give you my life this day in the presence of God and according to His will. I leave my father and mother and I'll cleave to you.

I will love you as Christ loves the church, giving my life to yours. I will lead and protect you, as we share our life with God, who gave us one another.

Wife: According to the will of God and my desire, I give myself to you. To be your wife and your friend and to stand by you as we share our life together. Leaving my father and mother, I now commit myself to you.

I love you and believe in your from this day forward.


You're About A Million

Ah...videography. It sure has come a long way from our parents beta tapes! Now-a-days it's a perfect mix of music, I Do's, and clips of wedding highlights. Think of it as a two minute collage of the happiest day of your life.

Today I came across this gem of Jessica and David. The compilation is perfection and it sure don't hurt that the bride and groom are ridiculously good looking. Check out the magic that is their wedding by Contrast Films. 


What'a Catch

Looks like a catcher for the Baltimore Orioles has caught his belle...

Spring is in full bloom and so is the love between Brooke and Caleb! From the tiny snip-its I've received, Brooke hopped on a plane yesterday to visit her beau. Caleb and Brooke's family weren't far behind...covertly headed to one spot on the map to see the engagement!

I want to save all the deets for when Brooke can tell you the whole story but for now here's a glimpse of some post-engagement photos. And, from what I hear, Caleb hired a photographer to go all 'secret-ops' to get the whole engagement on film! I know... I can't wait to see the pics either!

Congratulations Brooke and Caleb! We can't wait to hear more about the engagement and wedding planning! 


5 Nonnegotiables

Inspired by the 10 Things that make me happy post, I decided to list my 5 Nonnegotiables. These are the 5 things I can't do without on my wedding day. Read on and send me your 5! 

In the bouquet, on the cake, or placed in a mason jar. All is fine with me!

The Phi Mu badge shape will have'ta show up somewhere!

Bow ties
Patterns make me melt. 

Photographer, Courtney Dellafiora
My favorite photographer based out of Baton Rouge and owner of The Boudoir Vixen. 

Ring Blessing
To have all close family members (grandparents, parents, and siblings) have time in the ceremony to say a prayer of blessing over the rings.