Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I can't believe this note, wow

My breath is taken away by what she wrote, my "Swamp" bride Courtney on My Fair Wedding. It's pretty remarkable, and I wanted to share with others how special she is. This is why I continue to love what I do.

Hey David,
Here is a part of my book I have began. It is written "To My Love" as this is a diary I began when I was on my own....To you David-may you always be blessed for being such a blessing.
To My Love- My Frog Prince,
As a young girl I fell in love with frogs. Something about the four-legged creatures and their myth stole my heart. I eventually became obsessed. I found happiness and comfort in their eyes, color, and character. As an adult, I have found a meaning for my obsession. On March 23, 2010 a man came to visit me. His name was David Tutera. I knew very little of his character and creativity but soon learned his miracles. David is named one of the best wedding and event planners of our time, and I was a chosen bride. [From] the excitement in the voices of family and friends around me, I began to discover how wonderful this opportunity was. Although expectations were rising, I couldn't help but remain the me I lived with, the me I couldn't develop, the me I've been searching for.
A maroon van pulled into my driveway 3 weeks before my wedding. Packed inside were people, cameras, coolers, lights, and more. As the unloading began, I was greeted with smiles and questions. Nervously, I sent smiles and shaking responses in return. I had no idea what to expect. As they moved all the material needed into my home, they began re-arranging furniture and wall hangings. I took brief notice but left my concern to the arrival of this David guy. Some time had passed and the moment approached. I stood anxiously awaiting his knock. I opened the door and there he was. A handsome man, slightly taller than me with eyes that sparkled green. He had dark hair that stood firm with product to ensure every strand stay perfectly in place. David's smile could light all of earth and each planet. I quickly took both hands and greeted him with a kiss to both cheeks. I did not feel star struck, but I was definitly speechless and nervous was an understatement. As we made our way to the sofa, I realized I couldn't stop smiling. I was unsure why (certainly was not the wedding planning) but I smiled anyway. Wedding planning was a nightmare to me. The interest was never there before and remained uninteresting now. In my younger years I never dreamed of a wedding day, only the marriage. I had been so fickle with all of my choices for everything. I spent countless hours searching web pages, bridal magazines, and stores trying to figure out what would work best for my wedding day. As the pressure built, I placed the wedding details in the hands of others to prevent making decisions I had no interest in. A wedding day pre- David seemed a waste of time and money. It was a day to please those around me with expensive decor, top shelf booze, music and formal attire. Yes, I understand it is a celebration of love. As a guest of many weddings, rarely have I remembered the detail of the wedding, but [wondered] whether the bride and groom held the love they shared on that expensive day. People are spending thousands on a wedding to divorce days later. Clearly was a waste to me when I see real families starving. Children raising themselves and their friends because parents are struggling to keep a roof over their head and clothes on their backs. I did not and could not understand the concept behind a wedding day.
Anyway, I sat with David and told him of all the ideas I wanted for my wedding. I wanted an outdoor wooded oasis. Somehow it turned swamp by the introduction from family members that wrote the my fair wedding show to get David's help. Apparently, my ideas weren't enough for those involved. Either way, I truly want to say Thank You for the people who chose me, those that thought I deserved to have a dream and live it through. David has given me something to cherish for a lifetime. ME! For that, I will always be forever grateful to him and his team! David is my Frog Prince; when kissed, he made me a princess. David does not only create the most exquisite atmosphere for weddings and events. David gives women a sense of self. He creates beauty around the beautiful, brings confidence to those lost in everyday reality. Does he know how magical he really is?
After many changes to my original set of ideas, I couldn't wait to see the final outcome. My hotel room was full of people and cameras on my special day. Make-up artists and hair designers were at work, interviews were rolling, and cameras were gathered in my face. The only thing missing was the one who kissed the bride and tells her she's the most beautiful bride they've ever seen. I was missing my parents, my mom, my family; someone to comfort me was missing. As everyone applied their finishing touches, it was time to reveal myself. My chair was spun toward the mirror, and my heart stopped. "WoW" I thought! She looks like a model! That girl in the mirror is flawless, all grown-up, she's a woman. The most beautiful bride I had ever seen. I could only think how proud my mother would have been if she could have seen me on that day. As I fought back the tears of loneliness, I gathered my smile for the cameras and drifted into the role of a bride.
Making my way, blindly, from the limo to my room at the venue, the excitement and nervousness of a wedding set in. Although I felt gorgeous, something was still uneasy in my heart. It was time to show David just how beautiful he had chosen me to be. I slowly made my way down a few stairs that set me on a small platform leading to more stairs that separated me from David. I stopped briefly. The look in his eyes took my breathe away. It made me feel like I was the most beautiful in the World. I wore that feeling close to my heart from that day forward. David handed me the most beautiful, unique bouquet I had ever seen.
As I walked toward the aisle, David greeted me one last time. He kissed my cheek gently and whispered "this is your runway, enjoy every minute." I looked into David's eyes, smiled and began my walk. My veil was blowing roughly in the wind. I remember being yanked back when it wrapped around a tree in the aisle. I untangled it and finished what I had started.
After the ceremony and pictures, it was time for David to reveal his revision. Blindly, I entered the room. I could hear wind blowing ferociously around. I didn't know what to expect. David slowly counted to three and I opened my eyes. I began to cry. If I could take that room and place it my home, I would be the happiest girl in the world. David not only made my idea ABSOLUTELY breath-taking, he gave me something no one else can claim. David made me realize a sense of myself. Through his creativity and vision, he has taught me how to make decisions based on how I feel. I have learned to love myself and cherish all things given to me. I could never put a price on what this man has done. I truly cannot thank him enough. I am so blessed to have met such an amazing heart. I am encouraged to follow my heart and dreams. Dreams, they do come true, even when you think you never had one. David's love completely shines through. As for me, I'm still learning. I'm embracing the journey and cannot wait to see the miracles he brings in the future.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I just met a girl named Maria

I always say you can't judge a dress on the hanger, which is like you can't judge a book by its cover. And in this situation, I should have listened to myself because when I landed in Chicago last Friday--after a cancelled flight, being rerouted through St. Louis, and hours delayed, I finally landed hours and hours and hours late, I was exhausted and the car service that picked me up seemed a little sketchy. It was an old white sedan with a woman, the driver, standing in almost a big puddle on the street out by the snow. Honestly, I was a little reluctant to get in, but I was so tired and I just wanted to get as far from an airplane as possible.

The inside of the car was worse than the outside. It smelled like bad leftover takeout and had an oversized pink disco ball on the ceiling..... The driver turned to me and asked nicely, "Do you like my car?" and I said something along the lines of "Eh, it's OK," and long story short, she was like, "You don't like my car?" I quickly responded, "No, I like your car, I like your car. It's OK, it's OK." It was like midnight and I was so tired... But we got talking, she was asking questions, and she was just really really sweet. She's Greek and had lost all of her savings and everything in the financial downfall there, so she moved with her husband and her four-year-old son Nicholas here where she has family.

So we were just talking and she kept asking me if I liked coffee and of course I said I did, and she said she'd make me Greek coffee in the morning from her house when she would come pick me up. Also, when she found out what I did for a living although she didn't know who I was, when her husband called she said, "I have a Hollywood actor in the car!" which is obviously the wrong terminology for me... But she wound up being this, at first, stranger in the night, who was really this adorable, sweet person that I got a chance to speak with. And then when she came the next day, she was so excited to pick me up (with coffee as promised) and she told me all of her girlfriends were freaking out because she was driving 'David Tutera' around...

We ended up getting to Milwaukee two and a half hours early, thinking there would be more traffic with the weather, so we stopped for breakfast and went shopping at an outlet mall where I bought something for her son, and we had a GREAT time. After my speaking appearance, she had the car there waiting for me, and I guess she overheard me earlier ordering a Venti quad cappuccino, because in the car was one that she had went out and bought for me!

She just was the sweetest girl who was far more than just a driver for two days, she was actually like having a companion and keeping me in good company when I was with her. I tell this story because, I could have easily complained right away and got a new driver, or chose to keep my mouth shut and not spoken to her, but I'm glad I kept the wall down and let her in.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Patience equals power

While traveling abroad recently, I learned something about how people handle communication barriers. When you’re out of your comfort zone, it’s an incredible test of your patience. Visiting a foreign country and not being able to speak the local language can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re trying to get directions, make a purchase or decipher a menu. But when you react negatively to the locals in response to your frustration, you only make matters worse. Openly displaying impatience to the person you are trying to communicate with is just plain disrespectful.

I was disappointed to witness someone fly off the handle unnecessarily on several occasions during our travels. She lacked patience and lacked respect for those around her. Having patience—that is, stepping back and choosing to remain calm when you’re having trouble communicating—instantly earns you power and respect. I saw that firsthand. This kind of power lets you take control of any difficult situation and work toward making it better. Losing your cool does nothing but bring you the wrong kind of attention. It’s one of the worst ways of trying to get what you want.

Patience and power. Until now, I never realized just how much those two words make sense together.


Friday, January 13, 2012

One person CAN make a difference

This past weekend I attended a bridal expo in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, where I met the most remarkable young girl named Hayley. It was a highlight of a seven-week block of travel (which included flying on 16 different planes!). Hayley is a sweet girl with a beautiful heart. She started a charitable organization called Every-1 to help create jobs worldwide in a way that people in tough economic times can afford to give, one dollar at a time. Hayley’s message is simply that everyone can make a difference. And it’s so true! Every act of kindness, no matter how small, can really change the world. I truly believe that. Hayley, you are an inspiration—not only to me, but to everyone!

To help Hayley in her mission, visit her site: www.every-1.org.