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When Calvin and I got engaged, we decided to take 30 days to let it all sink in and enjoy the moment before all the stress of planning began. It was great! Everything changed on June 8th when we had our first wedding planning meeting. Sigh…Thank goodness I love my fiancé. Our personalities are SO different. I’m a planner and everything was orderly…until Hurricane Calvin came into my life LOL! Let’s just say he’s more spontaneous and laid back. Things just happen whenever and however. So this first meeting had me doing MAJOR breathing exercises. In my mind, if we are planning for a wedding for 2015, we are already a year behind. In Calvin’s mind, we have all the time in the world SMH

It took us some time, but after the meeting we had set our budget, picked a tentative wedding date, planned to look at local and destination venues, talked about who we wanted for the wedding party and started the guest list. So much!! I had a headache when it was over, but I was happy that we were finally in the planning stage. Since then I’ve created 1 million lists for everything “Givens Wedding 2015.” I registered with tons of wedding websites and blogs, and I am cheating on my fiancé with Pinterest LOL! I shared my wedding checklist with Calvin and my sister who is my Matron of Honor. Can you guest which one of them looked at the list to date? Gotta love him though ☺

So what else happened in June you ask???


I went to my 1st bridal expo and it was fun and overwhelming at the same time. So many vendors, so many people!! I got some good information, great free stuff and delicious food and desserts! I will visit a few more over the summer to gather more ideas that will help me plan our day.


I subscribed to The Bride Box, which is a monthly subscription box that lets us try products that help brides “plan, pamper and prepare for the big day.” Thanks to AP bride blogger, Alex Titelman, for the great resource. For June, I got some really cool stuff. Can’t wait to see what’s in the July box!


Calvin and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary during July 4th weekend and ended it with the Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert. It was the perfect time to wear my new feyoncé tank that I got from ThreeTwo1 on etsy.  I absolutely love my shirt and got so many compliments on it. I waved my hand all over the place singing, “He liked it, so he put a ring on it.” ☺

The most difficult part of my month was visiting wedding venues. Trying to set up times to visit the sites was hard. Many are not open on weekends and the business hours conflicted with our work hours. The few locations that I visited were nice, but not what I envisioned for our day. I was starting to get discouraged and annoyed with the whole process. So…we sat down and talked and decided that we wanted a more intimate wedding on the beach with our close family and friends. Once we made that decision the excitement returned!! It just seems like the perfect choice for us. Now we are trying to just narrow down the location and the date.

June was such a busy month, and July is going to be even busier. I’m happy that we have accomplished a lot in a short time though, and I’m hoping to have more to share with you in the coming weeks.

LOVE my ring

Me admiring my ring


Until next time…

  1. Annie

    Gorgeous ring! Looking forward to more of your blogger series.All the best with your planning

  2. Kunbi

    I’m obsessed with your FEYONCÉ shirt. Speaking of the king- I already told you how much I loved that concert. It was the best date night idea. About the venue search, you just took me back to the nightmare I went through when looking from mine. I think a beach wedding would be great – can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

  3. Phyllis

    Thanks so much Annie! Kunbi the concert was everything!!! Great date night indeed! Yes, the planning is so annoying. I’m still going back and forth with destination venues. Ugh hopefully I get a date set soon before I go to the courthouse haha

  4. hilaryjade1

    i love love love the feyonce tank!

  5. ms_sydneyk

    I enjoyed reading your page! The bride box is a good idea, will have to suggest that to others.

  6. Denise

    Love the shirt! IG @denisetruong

  7. Idowu

    I love the feyonce top! Beautiful ring by the way! All the best with the planning @eyedeee

  8. Yessenia S. Mercedes

    love love love the Feyonce tank! I would definitely hope I can win one! IG name: @s_yess11 😉

  9. Deniela

    Loved reading this post! Brought back many memories of the beginning stages of the planning process. Now I’m less than 100 days till the big day and wish I can go back to the beginning. It’s such an emotional, rewarding, fun, adventurous journey… Enjoy every moment! Best wishes xoxo Deniela den_nini

  10. Sophia A. Quintero

    Love this article and love the feyonce shirt !!!
    Wish you the best as you continue planning… I can’t wait to start planning mine one day 🙂 IG @sofilachoper

  11. Zainab

    Gorgeous ring! I can’t wait for your pre-wedding shoot. Goodluck with the rest of the planning. @Zainab_styledbyzee

  12. Tyra

    Omg I would have to say you made the best decision with the beach wedding idea. I honestly at times wish I didn’t get caught up with everything and kept everything simple as I started to in the beginning! It’s extremely overwhelming to plan a wedding on your own with so many vendor meetings! So exhausting! But I also enjoyed bridal shows, it’s a straight to the point approach which will save you time and gas! Btw I’m loving that AP has real brides to be as bloggers! Very relatable and helpful as you are currently going through the process as a lot of us brides 🙂 @_joelleamor

  13. Lauren

    I felt a little overwhelmed with I first started planning also! I think I did all of the same things you did but in hyperdrive… I was on a “bridal roadshow” as I like to call it with a goal to book everything as soon as possible and it was so much fun! I love the Feyonce shirt also!! @lkdris

  14. fabienne

    would love to win this shirt!
    IG: @Fab_Details

  15. Allyson

    Love! Hope I am picked for Feyonce shirt! @allycrad

  16. Melissa endres

    Love your story! And I’m obsessed with the feyonce shirt and keep asking my fiancé for one but have yet to get it lol also is the bridal box worth it? Good luck with everything! – @melis_x3

  17. Nazanin

    Loveeeeee the top

  18. Rebeca

    I wish I had known about the bride box! What a great concept! This wedding planning stuff is crazy fun and extremely overwhelming! Good luck to you on the rest of your adventure! I have 51 days to go and my check off list continues to get longer and longer! Lol
    IG: @rebelnoel

  19. DeonnaElizabeth

    I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from! As a fellow 2015 bride, I can’t figure out if my planning timeline is on target or always behind! In my opinion, you are moving at an excellent pace, so just enjoy the process! You only have this moment once, so cherish it 🙂 That “feyoncé” shirt was perfect for the Bey & Jay concert…I have been DYING to get my hands on one myself! Enjoy the rest of your planning, and I know you will be an absolutely stunning bride! I loved reading this post…so helpful to hear from real brides going through the planning process! Best wishes! @deonnaelizabeth

  20. Ashlei

    I totally agree with you about the whole picking a venue can be frustrating. I am in that stage now. All of my excitement is gone I’m just tired of making decisions. I’m ready for everything to be set in stone so I can get back to enjoying my engagement. IG Name: _Ash_Kardash

  21. Aisha

    Wow, u took the words out of my mouth, my wedding is in December n im going through most of which you just mentioned…anyway God has stepped in and things have started to look a bit better.. planning a wedding isn’t rice and beans… pheww. ..@ayeeshar

  22. Claudia akinsipe

    Congrats!!! Everything you talked about, I am feeling the same way. Planning a big Nigerian wedding is no joke. I am also a 2015 bride, with school and work it is so hard to meet with vendors during the week. I am trying to do a lot of planning between semesters.
    Me and my hubby to b are also going to the bey concert tonight. But good luck!!! I LOVE UR SHIRT!! Instagram name allergic2average
    I so want a Feyonce shirt

  23. Brandy

    I wish I had waited 30 days before beginning my planning. I stressed my fiancé out from day 1 : (

  24. oluchi

    The feyonce shirt!!! Could anything be cuter though. The time crunch I officially on for us 2015 brides.option abound yet it’s all still so overwhelming. Good luck with your planning and your rock I popping! – @luchiz_

  25. SonyaT

    Congrats! I got engaged a month ago and feel super overwhelmed 🙂 you are right venues hunting is hard! I love love love your Feyonce shirt! xoxo @steymo

  26. khadija

    I loved your story and..that feyonce shirt is on point .good luck with the planning .IG @africanlight

  27. Ogechi

    Destination weddings are such a beautiful thing! I wish u all the best in ur planning and of course on ur big day 🙂 I need to look into that bridal box thing, thank u 😉 IG: ogebelle

  28. jottino

    I think you and I are the same type of planner lol. I’ve been attacking wedding planning with the attitude that “nothing is too early!” And you may have just convinced me to look for some bridal expos in my area! I didn’t know what to expect at those things,but it looks like they could be a great resource for ideas! Maybe I’ll drag my mom & MOH to the next one hahah. Thanks for the great post, & congratulations! 🙂 (IG = @jottino)

  29. Williethia

    I’m convinced you’re living in my brain and engaged to my disorderly fiancé lol ! Great to know I’m not alone ! Congrats IG: willzgotskillz

  30. Markia

    Congrats to you on your engagement!!! I got engaged on 4-20-14…Easter Sunday!!! We are getting married on 10-10-15 and I CANNOT wait lol! Oh…and I LOVE that Feyonce’ shirt 😉 my IG is @kiajeter. Happy wedding planning!

  31. Lindsay

    Congratulations Phyllis!! I’m so glad your engagement excitement returned and you weren’t discouraged by some initial difficulties! I’m deep in the throes of planning as well, so I know it can get overwhelming sometimes. Sounds like you made lots of progress, and that bride box is genius! Can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming wedding details and plans!
    Lindsay, @homiepoo

  32. Brandy Robinson

    Ig @marlynmonro3 this story is awesome hope I win a shirt

  33. Sayo

    So i’m not a 2014 or 2015 bride, but i get where you’re coming from. Planning anything is generally stressful. All the best in your further plannings.

    By the way, your ‘feyonce’ shirt is to die for!!!!

  34. Deanna

    Love the fey once shirt @dmacki

  35. Deanna

    Must agree I cheat on everyone with Pinterest(even my students)!!! But my fiancé said it’s whatever I want it’s all about me 8/1/15! #HappyWeddingPlanning from one bride to be to another!!!!

  36. Fee

    Loving the T-shirt! The ring is Gorgeous!

  37. Deanna


  38. Stephanie Tejada

    Great post! nice to hear other women’s experience planning a wedding it can be crazy! Feyonce top is tooooo awesome! lol we had to postpone our wedding (for financial reasons) so I will be a “feyonce” for an extended amount of time! lol would LOVE to win the top!! ig name: Sickandfitchick

  39. Ivory Leonard

    Love that Feyonce shirt girl!!!!! You look so happy!!! My day is in 8 days!!!! I pray all the happiness and joy in your marriage! Congratulation! Instagram name: ivorycharm

  40. Bunnie

    I dig the shirt! I want one pleeeaaasseeee! @bunniebunnz

  41. Nancy

    Feyonce tank is so fierce!! IG name:nancy_nance

  42. Leigh

    I’ve had my eye on this shirt since I got engaged this past February! Best of Luck with your wedding process (i’m just getting started too)! IG: @__leigh_

  43. Chelle

    Looking good sis. Always a great read! Love the shirt and you always look fabulous! Can’t wait to be apart of this joyous day!

  44. Courtni

    So happy to read that I’m not the only one feeling a little overwhelmed with this venue-hunting! Whew! Looking forward to reading more about your journey to the big day and stealing some tips from you! Thanks for sharing! IG: @buggiebaby

  45. Tiifany

    Luv the shirt!! The bridal box is an amazing idea!!! IG @tiffsmiff

  46. Sharanda

    Congratulations…. your ring is indeed beautiful……hope everything goes well with your planning. … you will be a gorgeous bride….Remember you are going to marry your best friend. …what God has join together let no man or woman put asunder…Blessings and All the best to you and your future husband. …love you guys

  47. Keyona Freeman

    I love that shirt! My wedding colors are blush and gold so the shirt will go perfect with my theme. We also decided on a small intimate wedding to fit our personality. I hope I win! @kater2khloe

  48. Janae

    Listen… I smiled reading this post because we seem similar in so many ways, Phyllis ( I am totally a Pinterest addict as well! lol) I totally agree, looking for venues was challenging. Narrowing our guest list gave me a heck of a challenge as well. But as super planners, (as we are)… it gets easier as the time approaches… Just take a moment to always remember the beauty of that day will be the fact that you are married to your forever love.
    Def. loving the feyonce shirt. It makes such a statement! 🙂 -@nae_ashcash

  49. Yesideo

    Feyoncé! Lahvv it!
    I love the idea of the bridebox, I wish I found out about it earlier.
    A beach wedding sounds perfect, the sand in your feet with the sounds of the wave in the background as you commit yourself to your beloved… (I really wanted a beach wedding but with Nigerian wedding with a thousand guests, it was never a viable option). All the best with the rest of your planning!
    IG: @yesideo

  50. LeighAnn

    I LOVE this shirt! The shirt would be awesome for my bachelorette party weekend. Congrats and your ring is gorgeous! (ig: LoveLeighLiz)

  51. Miranda

    I just sent my FEYONCE the link to the Bride Box website! What an awesome idea! Instagram- mircoley

  52. Natasha

    We have a similar planning story! We’ve finished the same steps and have decided on an intimate destination wedding and possibly a party/reception back home afterward since we both have huge families who ALL want to be there. Good luck with your planning! @ellezeneaux

  53. Ranika

    Great post! I’m in love with the Feyonce shirt! Thanks for informing me of the bride box website I had never heard of it before. @ranikapedia

  54. Joanne Udeochu

    I love your story! It sounds a lot like my situation! We have been engaged for almost three months now and we are finally getting it together. Your post helped me to Realize all brides and couples go through but he same things! We are getting much better, I also went to a bridal expo, now I need to subscribe to that bride box and get that FeYONCÉ tshirt! I will follow this blog for more tips and stories and I would love to win that thirt! My Instagram name is jojosoflyy Thanks I will be back soon! ♥️

  55. Taleah

    The FEYONCE shirt is so fun. Who doesn’t love Beyonce and the fact that our guys put a ring on it. Very appropriate outfit for the concert. I wish I knew about the Bride box. Best of luck in your planning. Whenever you get overwhelmed just remember the bigger picture. 🙂 IG:@ihearttbut

  56. BryErica Barnes

    Ig: @Mrso_inthemaking

  57. @LinsBGold am a Feyonce having a Winter Wedding in January 2015 so the white shirt is very fitting. My amazing maid of honor tagged me in your post and I’m so glad I found your blog. Love is beautiful and there’s a special bond us ladies feel when we shar

    @LinsBGold I am a Feyonce having a Winter Wedding in January 2015 so the white shirt is very fitting. 😉 My amazing maid of honor tagged me in your post and I’m so glad I found your blog. Love is beautiful and there’s a special bond us ladies feel when we share the common bond of being a Feyonce. I would wear it with pride and represent all of us. 🙂

  58. Christine

    Great and informative blog post! @christiiiineee

  59. Woodlane

    I love your

  60. Woodlane

    I meant to say that I love your shirt! I love the idea of a beach wedding! Men think planning anything is easy, bless their hearts.

  61. Stephanie

    Loved the advice-I was thinking of getting the bride box! Glad you liked it. So obsessed with the Feyonce shirt, definitely hoping to get one for myself! @smattern

  62. Kendall

    Hey there! I just want to say I’m so excited for you and your intimate beach wedding! I have as well chosen to go the beach route. It wasn’t what I originally pictured when I thought of my wedding, but it ended up being the perfect fit for me and my fiancé. I am a personal trainer so if you ever need some tips or advice check out my Instagram
    @you-will-be-skinny so the feyoncé shirt is adorable and I would love to wear it soon!! 😉

  63. Shari

    Congratulations. My fiancé surprised me with tickets to the Beyonce concert that weekend too for our 5year anniversary and to celebrate our June engagement. Best wishes to you and your fiancé and Happy Wedding Planning.
    @livelifegolden #feyonce @aisleperfect #aisleperfect

  64. Vanessa Borov

    Stunning ring!! @Nesskaborov

  65. Lauren J.

    Love the blog. Love the suggestions. Love the style! Such an inspiration for my own wedding! The FEYONCE shirt is amazing! IG: lcjan

  66. Brandi Neal

    Im obsessed with the feyonce shirt so im entering the contest to see if I could win. My Instagram username is @str8BrandinoChaser. Pick me!!!

  67. Vanessa Borov

    Stunning ring! @nesskaborov

  68. Stephanie

    You know me of all people know of the struggles of planning a wedding. Sorry I haven’t been as involved as you were for me. Been a hectic summer for all of us. When I get back from DR, I’m all in! FYI – great blog. So proud of you big sis.

  69. Krysta

    So cute! @krystaaaah

  70. lori


  71. Sarah

    My fiancé and I did the same thing when we first for engaged, though we took 2 weeks instead of 30 days. It was really nice (tho I was so excited I sneaked some peeks on Pinterest and some blogs…hehe).
    Adding that feyonce shirt to my list of must haves for pre-wedding tasks!!

  72. Brandy Robinson

    Great story can’t wait to hear more me an my fiancé are totally different also but I am taking the lead all by myself wish I could afford a planner

  73. Jessica Buchhorn

    Great post! Although your experiences do make me a little nervous about planning my wedding! My fiancé and I got engaged at the beginning of this year, but we’re having a long engagement, so no wedding planning as yet. I can’t wait to see everything fall into place, as it happened for you! All the best for the rest of your planning and your life together as husband and wife 🙂
    IG: jessb2412

  74. Cierra

    Congratulations! My bestie just celebrated her anniversary with Jay and B as well! @livelifegolden and @teacherlove

  75. Alicia

    Lovely post and very cute Feyonce top! I would love to wear it for my hen do. Instagram name @alimac2014 x

  76. Holly

    I adore the top! Best of luck with planning! All brides-to-be need it! IG @iammermaid xoxo

  77. Denise DePina

    Love the Blog! What an exciting time but yes I can relate to some of your wedding planning stressors also! I love the bridal box and I need the “Feyonce” shirt xoxxo bc I’m a huge beyonce fan and I’m not only planning one wedding I’m planning two!!! Xoxo happy planning ladies Denise d.

  78. Lauren

    Love love love❤️IG name: laurengutschow Been wanting this shirt for so long.

  79. Kait

    Love the feyonce shirt! Good luck with your planning! IG @katipas

  80. I’sha Nicole

    Love the blog, post, and Tee 🙂 pick me, Please! @i_nikol

  81. Lauren P

    This is great! I am having a destination wedding too! Less stress. IG: @awessonwedding

  82. Chloe

    Love your ring and you are so cute with that shirt!! Good luck!!
    Hope I win a shirt too omg!! Insta: @cflynnxo

  83. Roseiby Duran

    I’m in love with this shirt please pick me! IG: @roseiby

  84. Thoiathoia

    My best friends is turning the big 30 and I plan on taking her to the “on the run concert” in sfo to take her mind off the stress of planning wedding and for some good old girls night out. This tee would look great on her. ig @thoiathoia

  85. Ugochi

    Gorgeous ring! Love the shirt!! And congrats!! IG: @gochigo

  86. Kelly

    Loveeeee the tank and the post! Hope I win one! IG name: kelly_ange

  87. hilaryjade1

    Love the shirt! and the blog! IG name @hilaryjade1

  88. Natalie T.

    You and your man sound exactly like me and mine! I’m the planner and he’s the laid back one. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think it works out for the best because they balance us and pretty much let us do our thing. Love the article and wish you two all the best! Can’t wait to see pics from the wedding! @natoosh23

  89. Casey

    I love you Feyonce shirt! This month has been a challenge for me too (77 days to go), but remember to take every moment in. Hopefully you only do this once. So enjoy it!

  90. Deanne Davis

    I’m planning my wedding for 5/16/15 & finding my venue was difficult as well but I ended up with the perfect match in the end. @ImLadyDee on Instagram #feyonce #aisleperfect

  91. Leah Swift

    Hi my Instagram is @LELEAMY I would LOVE to win one of these, been looking for them everywhere 🙂 xx

  92. Britney

    I loved the blog! Like you and your fiancé, my fiancé and I have very different planning styles. It will be an adventure preparing for our summer 2015 wedding. And, I love the shirt. IG handle @Britjenee

  93. Klissa

    Such a beautiful and fun story! People think I am crazy for having a two year planning period between our engagement day and intended weddung date. Me and mine are opposites in the same way! Love the shirt- hope I can win one! @kbonita88

  94. Gbeke

    Lovely post. It is surely a blessing to other bride-to-bes’. Love the Feyonce shirt and your ring is beautiful. All the best with your planning. I am also counting down to my big day and your post brings back memories of when my fiancé and I were deciding on a venue. 😉 @kanoyin_olads

  95. Arlene Rodarte

    I will be getting married on 2/28/2015! @arlenerodarte

  96. Alyson Walker

    Great Post! Very helpful & useful help me get a sense a of direction in which way to start our planning! @_theluckycharm_

  97. Ariel Polk

    Great post and the absolute CUTEST tank! My fiancé and I will marry June of 2015 and at this point it seems like we could eliminate a lot of the stress by having an intimate destination wedding as well. Pray for us! Lol. I wish you and your fiancé the best! #2015BridesRock! Instagram: @JustAriii

  98. Steve

    Love the article. Very well written I really like that part about you guys celebrating your anniversary with the most anticipated concert. Really awesome @Bigbubs79

  99. Daniela

    LOOOOVEEEE THE TSHIRT!!!!!! PICK MEEE!! IG daneemoran 🙂

  100. Ayawna

    You make this look sooooo fun. And with the photos, the blog, and of course the “LISTS” your bridal experience will be well documented. I must admit, I was scared of the entire planning process and just said “I DO” in a very simple fashion. But witnessing your journey makes me wish I went through the headache. You will have tons of memories – Good, Great, & Awesome! I want a Bride Box!!!! Lol. Hey maybe there is a 5 year anniversary box I can sign up for . . . Lol.