Tag Archive | dresses

Swords of the Caribbean: I hate packing, yes I do, I hate packing, how ’bout you?

This is a beast of a post but it’s informative and detailed and well, some of you asked for this so I hope you like it! ¬†ūüôā

Packing is the devil. ¬†It causes me the most terrible anxiety that falls somewhere in between being a car with someone who looks like they are about to puke (high anxiety) and waiting for the bus at night (low anxiety). ¬†I’m going to share the details of what I packed for our ten-day honeymoon, explaining what we used and what I didn’t use. ¬†AND OF COURSE, I will tell you ALL ABOUT THE DRESSES! ¬†ūüôā


Sunscreen- Like I said in my first honeymoon post, we bought seven bottles and used every last drop in all of them!  We almost had to buy more but the resort prices made us ration our supply and the last few days we used less and less.

Bug spray- We brought two bottles, came back with plenty left but were so relieved to have had some because the bugs got really bad at night, especially on days where it had rained.  And we still ended up with quite a few bites despite the spray!

Swimsuits- I brought five bikinis and one tankini (for the excursion day) for our ten-day trip and I wore them all multiple times!! ¬†My tip would be to bring as many suits as half the days in your trip. Example, 8 day vacation = 4 swimsuits. ¬†That way, you can change suits based on pool, hot tub, and ocean, and you’ll always have something dry to wear!

Mr.Sword took this pic of my pale body trying to catch some rays.

Mr.Sword took this pic of my pale body trying to catch some rays.

Mr. Sword (under my tutelage) brought four pairs of trunks and it was a good thing too because one of his got ruined in the hot tub after a cleaning where they used some type of chemical that wasn’t all dissolved apparently! ¬†Mr. Sword is a minimalistic packer and I think he was shocked to realize he needed so many, but his trunks could double as shorts so he was able to wear them everywhere!

Cover-ups- ¬†I brought four but I suggest bringing more than I did! ¬†One of the strings ripped off my white one the first time I wore it which meant I was down to three until I bought a gorgeous wrap at the gift shop. ¬†I was actually looking to buy a wrap in Chicago before we left but there weren’t many options. ¬†I’m glad I waited because I love that my wrap so much and it will remind me of our Jamaican honeymoon every time I wear it!


Cover-ups are crucial because they go on and off easier than dresses, they are more inexpensive so you don’t mind getting sand and ocean water on them, and they are extremely light-weight, and not confining at all. I probably wore a cover-up to almost every breakfast and lunch while on the resort.

Shoes- 4 pairs of flip-flops, two cheapo pairs, one nicer neutral pair, and one black wedge pair.  One pair of nude heels that matched almost all my dresses!  One pair of neutral strappy sandals.  One pair of boat shoes/loafer-type things for the days we traveled.  Mr. Sword brought one pair of flip-flops (and wore them constantly), his everyday shoes, and his dress shoes for our fancy dinner.

Water Shoes- Yes, they get their own section because Mr. Sword told me we shouldn’t bother with them but I bought us each a pair anyway (from Target) and we were lucky we had them because to walk up the Dunn River Falls you must have water shoes which means we would have had to buy or rent some while there.

Dresses-¬†I brought ten dresses and wore nine of them plus one I bought while I was at the resort. ¬†I wore a different dress every evening and sometimes two in one day! ¬†And I’m pretty sure I only wore one of my dresses more than once. ¬†Overall, I was VERY pleased with my dress selections and since so many of you asked about them I am going to do my best to give as much information as possible and provide links that may or may not take you to the exact dress.

You’ll soon find out my secret shopping spots are TJ Maxx and Marshalls. ¬†They sort of blend together in my head so excuse me for lumping them together. ¬†Unfortunately they have a quick turnover of merchandise so my guess is most of these dresses won’t be available anymore, but it might be worth a shot!

First up a chambray shirt dress from Old Navy. ¬†Perfect for throwing over a swimsuit and wearing to the spa although I’m wearing it to a restaurant in this photo.


honeymoon dresses ONE

(Going left to right.)

Long gray dress.  Perfect for our comfy casual first night in Negril.  TJ Maxx/Marshalls.

Coral striped dress with matching cardigan. ¬†Worn for a dinner date. ¬†Loft. ¬†(You’ll see this dress was bought for a different event and worn again on the honeymoon once I start my wedding recaps.)

Spaghetti-strap swimsuit material dress.  Perfect for wearing during the day because it can get wet and dry quickly.  Tommy Bahama.  NOTE: Everything in Tommy Bahama is made for a beach vacation and if I had unlimited funds I would have bought everything in the store!

honeymoon dresses TWO

Navy halter dress. ¬†A bit on the shorter side so it’s best for a really hot day. ¬†Pitya. ¬†(A few years ago.)

Modest white dress originally purchased for my bridal shower in MN.  Great for photos on the beach.   White House Black Market.  Not available anymore but any white dress for a beach vacation is a must-have!

Bright tropical cotton dress.  Perfect for lunch in the sand.  No clue where I bought it but my first two guesses are TJ Maxx and Marshalls!

honeymood dresses THREE

Sexy low-cut bright blue dress.  Worn to a fancy dinner.  TJ Maxx/Marshalls.

The most asked about dress I wore… a coral top with linen bottom. ¬†Great for daytime and evening (if only it didn’t wrinkle so much)! ¬†And big surprise here, TJ Maxx/Marshalls for the win! ¬†I got it a few months ago. ¬†The brand isn’t a name I recognize but maybe it’s still around somewhere??

Jamaican colors dress.  Casual and cool, I bought this from the gift shop at Sandals as a souvenir and I love it!

And finally, my favorite dress of the whole trip and the one I wore to our private candlelight dinner on the beach:


Maxi dress with stripes on top and floral print on the bottom. ¬†This dress is from a store called 2b and I couldn’t find the exact version but here is something similar.


Tennis shoes-  Umm, hiking much on the beach?  Noobs.  We thought we would need walking shoes but they were unnecessary at our resort.

A floppy hat- Wore it once but it was too windy and it kept falling off.  Plus, I felt dumb and no one else was wearing one.  I guess I will forever not be a hat person.  Mr. Sword on the other hand bought a Usain Bolt ball cap the first day we were there and wore it the entire rest of the trip!

A purse/satchel I bought this beautiful Coach satchel to carry around my personal stuff in but never used it, NOT ONCE. ¬†Luckily, it’s great for everyday life so I’m going to hang on to it, but don’t be stupid like me! ¬†You will never carry a purse. ¬†Your hotel room is so close and your husband will have pockets for your camera (and you shouldn’t be bringing your phone anyway!). ¬†For carrying things to the beach, we used an inexpensive thin backpack thingy.

Shorts- As a girly girl and a Northerner with limited hot weather supply, I couldn’t get enough of my dresses! ¬†I tried to wear my shorts one day but they felt way too tight so I immediately took them off. ¬†I did however, wear a skirt one afternoon.

Cash- Obviously you need some cash on you but don’t bring as much as you would normally take on a vacation. ¬†At a Sandals resort everything is charged to a credit card and all you need to know is your room number. ¬†We ended up paying cash for the photos we bought but they prefer you charge everything. ¬†I feel like I can control cash better but it’s nice to know that in the future we don’t have to fly with hundreds of dollars like we did this time!

PHEW! ¬†I’m exhausted. ¬†Does anyone have any additional packing tips or ideas? ¬†What item did you lug around but never use on your honeymoon?

(all photos personal)

Hive, I’m so PUMPED to start my wedding recaps but am still waiting on all of my photographs. ¬†That said, I’m hoping to be back in a few weeks (or less)! ¬†Until then, happy wedding planning! ¬†Bee.back.soon.


Mrs. Sword


I’m so honored… to share this update and talk about my wedding colors

First off, thanks for all the advice and comments. ¬†When I wrote about my awesome honor attendants here, you were all very helpful as usual! ¬†The general consensus was to avoid asking H Bomb and C Fri to order anything specific and that maybe eggplant and chocolate brown wouldn’t look so good together. ¬†Insert Miss Sword’s sad face here.

(Please note, this photo was not taken recently, but a few years ago when a very over-tired and over-emotional Miss Sword was traveling from the UK back to America.)

But I didn’t stay sad for long!! ¬†I rallied and talked to my girls and came up with a totally new plan!

And real quick, it’s worth noting that all of the men will be wearing different kilts. ¬†Instead of mismatched girls, I’ll have mismatched guys, and I guess that’s why I’m leaning so heavily towards having the bridesmaids and honor attendants be as uniform as possible.

I’ve known all along the honor attendants should be in a dark color, I just had chosen the wrong dark color. ¬†Why hadn’t it hit me before? ¬†The honor attendants should wear black!

Yes, black.  At a wedding.

Here’s why: ¬†All of the groomsman will be wearing kilts with black jackets, bow-ties, and shoes. ¬†The ushers will be black suits and dress. ¬†Plus, everyone can re-wear a LBD, right? ¬†Plus, I think black, eggplant, and ivory will look wonderful together!

I remember awhile ago someone commented on a post of mine saying they were curious to see how brown and black would mix together at my wedding.  Umm, SO AM I!!  Haha!

I finally made a color board of our wedding colors, thanks to the guidance of Mrs. Wizard¬†and the newly married Mrs. Wallaby. ¬†I’m pretty terrible at this sort of thing, and it took me longer to make than I’m willing to admit, so please be kind. ¬†As I look at all the colors together, I’m worried they don’t look as good as they did when they were still in my head. ¬†Does anyone else feel this way about their colors?

colors via Design Seeds/ edited by Miss Sword

Tell me, does this scream dark, dramatic, elegant, and romantic to you?  Does it make you think of running through the Highlands in Scotland?  Does it remind you of your favorite fairy tale?  Are you turning your head wistfully right now yearning for your love?

Yea, whatever. ¬†CLEARLY, you all lack imagination. ¬†ūüôā

For the sake of my sanity, let’s recap each color choice and it’s appearances at the wedding.

Black:¬†parts of the groom and groomsmen’s attire, ushers attire, honor attendant attire, frames and signage/decor

Ivory:¬†bride’s dress, flower girl dress, some flowers, some decor, tablecloths

Forest Green: ivy in the centerpieces, parts of the bouquets, the plants in the atrium space,¬†leprauchauns, some of the groomsmen’s kilts

Chocolate brown (kinda wishing I started calling this is espresso from the beginning): napkins, most of the centerpieces, the wooden castle (oops haven’t mentioned that yet!), one handfasting cord

Eggplant: bridesmaid attire, flowers, lighting, and one handfasting cord

There is one item that includes ALL of these colors, and it’s the kilt of course!

Sword family tartan/ image created at Scotweb

At the wedding, I encourage all of our guests to find a piece of the tartan fabric and stare at it closely, very closely, to see all of my wedding colors blending nicely together, because who the hell knows how the rest of the room is going to look!

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

I know Miss Panda shared¬†her fears¬†that her wedding day won’t be as magical or as put together as she hopes. ¬†Do you wonder how your wedding will look when everything’s all said and done?

What do you think of my honor attendants wearing black?

Bridesmaids continued…

I’m going to take a slight derailment from my second wedding planning trip updates to finish talking about my awesome bridesmaids. ¬†Back when I first wrote about¬†asking my sister to be my MOH and L Dawg to be a bridesmaid¬†I left you all hanging about the other two ladies! ¬†The reason the whole topic of bridesmaids was brought to my attention again is all due to an email I received yesterday morning from MOH Big Eyes (please note for the future that MOH and Sister are the same person but I use them¬†interchangeably¬†as I feel inspired. ¬†Sister/MOH has big beautiful blue eyes, hence the name).

The email subject was “Question for you” and inside was a bit of text and this photo:

used with permission from Sister Big Eyes, I’m on the right

I LOVE THIS. ¬†IT’S HILARIOUS and AWESOME at the same time.

The other lovely lady in the photo is our cousin, who also happens to be one of my bridesmaids. ¬†I shall call her BM Jo. ¬†She’s an amazing athlete and plays division I soccer at a college that shall go unmentioned. ¬†I have watched grow up over the years, and I’ve loved being around for all the major milestones in her life. ¬†One of my favorite memories of her childhood is the day she told me she didn’t want to be carried around anymore because she wanted to walk, waaaahhhh (that’s me crying). ¬†BM Jo just turned the big 2-1 and she is very special to both Sister and I.

Back to the photo above, I love how Sister Big Eyes added in the blonde hair, because both Jo and I are blondies, and ironically so is Sister’s third attendant. ¬†Her third attendant is our brother, aka The Glue. ¬†She wanted all her family on her side and this day in age, anything goes with bridal parties so I’m super excited about her decision!

Image via Offbeat Bride/ Limelight Photography

See the man of honor on the woman’s side? ¬†Isn’t it great? ¬†Well, obviously that is MY spot (right next to Sister as Matron of Honor by that time) but The Glue will fit in nicely with Jo and I. ¬†ūüôā

The Glue with Sister’s dog

Back to Jo, here are some photos of us from a few Christmas’ ago. ¬†We like to do photo shoots.

At Grandpa and Grandma’s house in North Dakota.

love this one.

Dressed up for Xmas eve service!

Sister Big Eyes was in living in England that year, we missed her… or at least pretended to miss her. ūüėČ

OK SO WHO IS BRIDESMAID NUMBER FOUR?!?!!?!? ¬†I’ll give you some clues, she’s super sweet, lives really really far away from me, and kind of resembles this guy:

Mr. Scottish and some flowers.

Yes, his lovely sister will also be standing up on my side as a bridesmaid as well! ¬†Mr. Scottish has The Glue on his side and I’ll have his wee sis on mine! ¬†“Wee” is a common word in Scotland, they use it in place of little or small, so I shall call her BM Wee Sis. ¬†She’s a lovely person and such a trooper since she will be getting her dress sent to her without so much as trying it on first or seeing it in person. ¬†Boo. ¬†But anything would look great on her so I’m not worried.

Out for a drink with Wee Sis and her bf on my first trip to Scotland

Phew, clearly this was a busy and picture-packed post!  I have more special people to tell you about but this is it for now!

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

Is your bridal party mostly family or friends? ¬†Are you having a man of honor or a best woman? ¬†I’d love to hear about it!!