Mr. and Mrs.: Part II – The Preparation

Oooo I so wish you, my dear reader could be sitting next to me right now.

The snow is falling softly outside my window and I’m sitting in front of my Christmas tree with a hot cup of coffee. 

So where were we? 


We had already discussed having our wedding in the Fall of 2021, and a potential engagement around Christmas time. I would like to refer you back to the “busy-body clause” from the previous blog post. There was never a chance that anything would be a surprise for me and out of Mr. H’s great love for me, he graciously included my nosey butt in the planning. 

But as we got to talking about it, we both wanted to just get married. 

We’ve never lived together and after 4 and a half years we were both just SO ready to join our lives in every sense of the word. 

He looked at me and said, “What about in December? If anyone should have a Christmas time wedding it’s you” and gosh my heart swells at him knowing that there is no one more obsessed with Christmas than me. 

So we plotted, and planned and made some calls. 

A Christmas wedding.

A secret wedding.

A wedding solely about our love and our marriage.

We both are secret introverts. Him more so than me, I have this “show must go on and let’s razzle dazzle the crowd” gene. If you know me, you’re nodding your head right now. So the idea of wedding in which we both didn’t have to be stressed out, exhausted, and would lead us to both fall in bed on our honeymoon night wishing for some alone time was RIGHT up our alley. 

But where would we do it? Who would be involved?

And then the thought came to me. 

My Pappa’s farm. 

More specifically, Pittsboro, North Carolina.

An idyllic little town 20 minutes from my Pappa’s farm that looks like it’s straight out a Hallmark movie. A town I had grown up going to with my family and eating the famous, 9 scoops of ice-cream, banana split at S&T’s Soda Shop.

A county in which the Brooks heritage goes back hundreds of years. The prospect of having my marriage license next to all of my ancestors documents was a dream come true.

Yes. That was it. That is perfect.

I had previously called the Michigan clerks office and was met with an icy, “What do you want? Yea no, that’s not going to work right now. You’re getting married? Yea no, that’s not going to work right now”. But when I called the Chatham County Clerks office I was met with, “Oh honey, CONGRATULATIONS. We are all just so happy for you and we can definitely get you married here”. My heart soared. 

We set the date for December 11th. Two weeks away.

I set out to work on a dress. When I say that God orchestrated every single detail of this wedding… I mean… God ORCHESTRATED every single detail of this wedding. It just so happened that a dear family friend had given me her wedding dress the month prior. I was blown away and speechless when she gave it to me, but when I realized that I could alter it a bit and turn it into my dream wedding dress. Well, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. I consulted my extensive Pinterest board and set to work. Just a little tweak here and there because miracle of miracles, the dress already fit me like it was made for me.

With the dress finished and carefully packed, the date set and all the appointments confirmed, an exhaustive and detailed itinerary completed and enough clothes to give me 4 outfit changes a day, I boarded my plane to North Carolina. 

Overstimulation and A-Line Skirts

I don’t know what I was thinking when I chose this coffee shop to write in. Well, actually, I lied. I know exactly what I was thinking. I envisioned myself perched at a corner table, wistfully gazing out the window and then turning to my computer and letting the words flow out of my fingertips.

All I really want is for my life to closely resemble a Jane Austen novel mixed with a 90’s rom-com. Is that too much to ask for?

Instead my current situation is me being incredibly overstimulated by the floor to ceiling windows which are open and letting in the most gorgeous breeze and the soft hum of traffic. It’s not the open windows, but the ability to see every single person walking by and I can’t NOT look ya know?

If you notice a spelling error or a grammatical mistake… I’m not going to lie, it’s most likely because someone walked by the coffee shop. We’re just going to roll with it okay.

So today I want to talk to y’all about thrift shopping. When I initially had the idea to share with y’all how to be #ThriftyAndGlamorous – “How to Thrift Shop” was right on up there in the top posts I wanted to write. Mostly because I think most people envision themselves being able to tell when something has been bought at a thrift shop… but that’s only if you don’t do it properly *wink*. So today I’m going to walk you through how to do it properly and honestly, no one will ever know if you don’t want them too.

Take a sip of your coffee, I just took a sip of mine and let’s talk all things thrift stores.

To make this a little more fun and into a little challenge for myself, I decided to see if I could find one full outfit for $20 or less.

I headed to my favorite Salvation Army (a thrift store in a nicer area is usually going to be your best bet) armed with $20 and less than an hour. Time management is admittedly not my forte. Now let’s talk about what we’re not trying to do. We’re not trying to get crazy and find a Gucci jacket for $10. Now a similar jacket? Maybe. That would be quite the find. But more than that I look for classic cuts that even though the item might be 5-10 years old, it’s still relevant and if made well, a good addition to your curated wardrobe.

I also look for color families that I know work well with my complexion. Blues are a big love for me right now.

Here’s some items I saw while shopping that caught my eye.

This is a Talbots button down and if I worked in a business environment I would have snatched this up. They retail for around $60-$80

This would be amazing for a layover outfit with some leggings and a chunky scarf. Just the outfit to go grocery shopping in Amsterdam haha.

Now White Stag is a Walmart brand (another thing that helps you with thrift shopping is knowing your brands and how each brand fits you). I saw a similar shirt at Banana Republic for $50 and this was $2. Not a hard choice.

This had the most darling chiffon flutter cap sleeves and with some sleek black trousers and sky high stilettos… all you need is a Christmas party invite.

I almost got this one because it was a Calia by Carrie Underwood piece and I adore her athletic attire. This would usually retail for $55 and it was marked for $5.

This A-line piece was incredible. I typically look for A-line pieces over incredibly tailored options like a pencil skirt or a tapered suiting pant, just because you want a cut that is a bit more versatile especially if you don’t know the brand and in my case, can’t try on anything.

Are you ready to see what I got?

Okay, don’t faint.

But I bought the jeans for $2 off the rack without trying them on. I KNOW! IT’S INSANE. Because of COVID most dressing rooms are closed… so how exactly did I do this?

One word – STRETCH.

This applies to everything I bought. I’m not going to find a “looks like it was made for me item” without it having some give to it. That way, even if I buy the wrong size, it’ll most likely stretch to the size I need it to be.

The shirt is a simple tunic by Ann Taylor for $3. I picked it because I knew it would fit me because of the flowy-ness. I also envision it tucked into a super high waisted pencil skirt with some big blingy earrings.

Now I thought I would just buy the one outfit and then realized I had only spent $5 so I found another outfit.

Couldn’t you just die?

I think I did. And y’all… this IS the norm for thrift stores. I find amazing stuff EVERY. TIME. I. GO.

Remember what I said all pieces need to have? STRETCH. This piece is no exception. I was able to do the pencil skirt because of the elastic waist and the material being a cotton tweed made it more forgiving. It was $5.

The t-shirt – well the minute I saw the Karl Lagerfeld letters shaped into the Eiffel Tour I knew it was the one. At $5 it compliments the skirt, but could also be just as cute with some ripped jeans and a messy bun.

The piece de resistance *insert an Italian kiss exclamation* was this leather purse I snagged for $5. I couldn’t find a brand in the interior, but it’s luxe y’all. You can never never go wrong with a black or brown leather purse. It’s a classic. To say I was floating on cloud nine out of that store is an understatement.

So let’s recap shall we?

  1. Look for thrift stores in nicer areas of town
  2. Classic cuts are the way to go – avoid trendy
  3. Know your brands and what cuts you like on your body. Stick to that.
  4. If dressing rooms are closed – STRETCH is the name of the game
  5. You can never go wrong with a brown or black leather bag or really any simple, but elegant accessory.

So with that, my meter is about up for my car which means I simply must dash. I hope you enjoyed this installment of #ThriftyAndGlamorous. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to tag me if you find something fabulous at your local thrift store. Have a dreamy weekend.