Dec 21, 2011

99. The Name Game

Your name. It's not something you necessary think about a lot - you're born with and use to it. When you get older and get engaged, the wheels start churning about the inevitable topic of changing your last name. In March, the wedding website surveyed nearly 19,000 women who got married last year. Of those women, 86 percent took their husband's name. 

My husband said he would still marry me if I didn't want to change my name, but he wouldn't be happy about it. He said it makes us a family and bonds us together.

86% is staggeringly high; however, just because women are willing to do it - doesn't make it any easier. I was my maiden name for 23 years - it's my mom and dad's last name...I really liked it. I was super excited to become my husband's wife but it didn't make letting go of "Gamble" any easier...especially since 99% of the people I grew up with all informed me how I would still be called Gamble which remains my nickname to all of them.

Kelly Ripa is legally Kelly Consuelos (her husband's last name) but she still goes by Ripa. In order to show her loyalty to her husband, she got his name tattooed to her wrist.

And even though most of us aren't Kelly Ripa - doesn't make it any less important to the value of what we put into our name change.

The reasons women cite for taking their spouse's surname vary: some like the tradition of it, and others find it romantic. In some cases, it's more important to their husbands, and some feel it will be more convenient once they have children. Some women even argue, counter-intuitively, that taking their husband’s name is a feminist choice.

The idea of marriage is two people coming together is like the joining from two teams to one team. And doesn't it make more sense to have one team name? House of Morgenroth? Simpler yet more complicated for the woman making the decision.

It's a difficult decision, you're changing a part of yourself. For me - it was much more difficult than I thought. Being a journalist I have been publishing for a number of years now under "Gamble" - I was concerned that my new name may be difficult to transition to. So while I am legally Morgenroth, professionally published I choose to be Gamble-Morgenroth. I love my new last name but it's hard to just walk away. And don't even get me started on switching email address. I do have an email bearing my new last name - my old email address reigns because it has just way to many emails, filters and labels in it to fathom switching over.

An obvious reason that people fret over this - is when it comes to children. Do you really want your kids to be hyphenated? Or make some type of mixed last name? The truth is - all members of the family bearing one name symbolizes the one team of a family that you are.

I personally think women can do whatever they want. You can be...
- Sara J. Gamble-Morgenroth professionally and Sara J. Morgenroth legally and personally
-  Khlo√© Kardashian Odom - and make your former last name your new middle name
- Katy Perry professionally and Katy Brand legally

The Blog Bitch PhD is very against the name is a snippet of the post found here.

Here's the case for keeping one's name. It's a sign of autonomy in a world where women are still regarded as inferior and are expected to defer to their husbands. It requires that you do no paperwork. It requires that you make no announcements about your new name, or that you ever have to visit the Social Security Administration related to your name. Your old friends will still be able to find you. All the work that you've already done under your name will continue to be identified with your current self. You will be, in your small way, working to change the culture of male-dominated families and male-dominated societies. Even those dreaded questions, that people will ask you, will give you an opportunity to present a different model and advance the cause of gender equality.

My bottom line opinion is that people should do what they want. I won't judge you for changing your name or not changing your name. It's such a personal decision that who are we as outsiders to judge why each person to decide why something is done?

I changed my name. So what. People can't spell it right, it's almost double the size of my old maiden name...but it's mine.


Looking for name changing information? Please check out these great sources:

Dec 19, 2011

98. TLC OMG Wedding Photo Contest

Discovery Adventures wants to send you on a Second Honeymoon.

The Grand Prize: A Mexico Civilizations Trip for 2 brought to you by Discovery Adventures

Upload your OMG Wedding photos to the TLC site for a chance to win a second honeymoon!

Here is the photo I entered -

We were trying to take some nice group photos but my little ring bearer was so hungry. It ended up being hilarious and I love these photos!

Vote for us! 

Dec 18, 2011

97. Big Bliss...Big Miss?

I love Say Yes to the Dress - love it.

I personally think every bride getting married and wants to buy a wedding dress should watch this show. I've learned a lot about what is out there, the different dresses and how they look on people. I'm glad I did before my wedding - and I love still watching it now.

My concern lies with the most recent spinoff Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss and frankly, I was surprised by it.

Having been an avid watcher of the show for the last two years - I have noticed they featured all types of women - big women, small women, tall, short....everything. So what did they feel the need to separate this?

Here is what a few of my Facebook people had to say about it:

Leanne: "I love the idea behind it but why does it need it's own title? I would much rather see women of all sizes on one show instead of teaching young girls that bigger women need to be separated from the "normal" size women."

Alyssa: "I think although it may be to make a positive statement to theory viewers I think its almost exploiting them because of their size. We are all different shapes sizes and colors.but were are all brides that say yes to the dress."

And yeah, I get what they are trying to do - but making the idea it's OWN show probably isn't sending the message they want.

But  - decide for yourself and let me know what you think :)

Dec 13, 2011

95. The Gift of...Giving?

We've all been there...facing our checkbooks, deciding how much to give the person's whose wedding you are about to go. You factor a million things and somehow still feel cheap...or feel like it's to much. But the truth is, choosing the dollar amount to give or picking up a gift off the registry is nerve racking. How long have you known this person? How much did they give us (if you are already married)? Was the shower gift to expensive? Are we spending a trillion dollars in travel expenses? And most importantly, how can I give this couple more when I have 7 other weddings to go?


And you thought just being a guest was easy?

As much as a guest will sit there and your food and decor, the couple who invited you, will sit and there and take a look at the gift you gave them. What do you want your gift to say about you?

Like I said, there are many factors into giving a wedding gift. Because money can be such a personal thing to most people, I will offer myself and my husband's financial opinions when it comes to weddings. Between May 2009 and August 2010, Jason & I attended 10 weddings, including our own and having been in two. I calculated the approximate total of the money we spent (not on our wedding) on bridal shower gifts, bachelor/bachelorette parties, outfits, hotel rooms and the wedding gift itself up and honey, I hope you're aren't reading this...but we spent close to $3,00. By the end of 2011 - we will have done 5 more with 3 for 2012, and one in the books for 2013. CRAZY.

Let that sink in. 3 grand. That's a down payment on a new car, an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico or a Chanel bag. What? I like Chanel.

I'm so thankful that we are in the position that we can still give our friends a nice gift, but what about those who aren't?

Let's first focus on the gift for the reception - which is truly the gift that will weigh the most of your mind.

The typical amount to go with (or start at) is $75 per guest, and if you bring a date then expect to double that amount. My dad yammered on during the planning of my wedding that the cost per head when my sister got married in 1995 was $55.50/person. Let me just say that price does NOT exist anymore so if you want to try and cover your plate $75 is the right price to start at. If you are attending a wedding where there will be a social group of friends/family members and you feel comfortable asking what they will give, what does it hurt? I noticed at our wedding circles of friends all gave around the same amount, and why shouldn't they? It's a good thing.

So starting with $75 here are a few more guidelines for higher amounts and different relationships that exist. If it's a co-worker's wedding, you should spend $75 to $100; a relative or friend, $100-$125; and if it's a close friend or close relative, anywhere from $100 to $150 or more is acceptable.

A wedding does not start or end with a reception gift. You have to be sure to factor in ALL events surrounding the wedding itself including transportation. If you attend the shower, bachelorette party and have to drive an hour each way for the wedding...I highly doubt the bride/groom will be expecting a $3-400 check. 

In order for you to get a better picture of it all - here are a few rules to follow.

  • Of all the events surrounding a wedding, the only one that technically requires a present is the bridal shower. The entire purpose of the gathering is to “shower” the bride with wedding gifts. The wedding and engagement party, on the other hand, are invitations from the couple to share in and celebrate the day. That said, while gifts might not be mandatory at these other events, they are common practice. - TheKnot
  • Don't extend yourself beyond your means. If all you can afford is a gift and your presence...than that's all you should do. A wedding is a joyous event, not one to make you go bankrupt. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask others that you know are going what they are spending.
  • If you still can't make it to the festivities - it is always polite to send a gift in your place! 
  • Couples put the time and effort into creating a wedding registry - there's little risk involved when choosing a gift from it. While there are the rare with the gift of off the registry purchasing (read here) - it's probably best to just choose from the registry.

Here is a good way to figure it out courtesy of TheKnot:

Whether you’re gifting cash or presents, the exact formula of how much you should spend depends on many factors: your finances; conventions in your family and social circle; how well you know the couple; and whether you’ll be spending a lot of money on transportation and lodging, etc.

Step 1: Come up with a total expenditure that feels right to you.
Be sure to consider all the events: the showers, engagement parties, and the wedding itself. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the couple, the more you should gift. If you’re traveling great distances to attend the celebration (and are thus spending a lot of money in transit) then you may be expected to gift a little less.

Step 2: Portion out your total sum by event.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to spend on the couple’s gifts overall, you can break it down by percentages so that the wedding gift gets the bulk of your cash.

  • 20% of your total on the engagement present
  • 20% of your total on the shower gift
  • 60% of your total on the wedding gift

That means if you're spending $250 total, you’d spend $50 each on the engagement and shower, and $150 on the wedding present.

(If you’re only invited to the shower, then spend the extra 20% beefing up the wedding gift.)

As with all other things wedding, every single scenario has a different set of circumstances and different costs to add or subtract. If you would like an opinion on what you should give to an upcoming wedding event feel free to email me at 

Dec 12, 2011

94. Christmas Spirit

It's the most wonderful time....of the year! The churches are decorated...all around us lights are popping why not have your wedding with an already decorated scene? Boom.

Disclaimer: I know not everyone celebrates Christmas - my husband is Jewish! So if you would like to see a holiday or culture themed of your liking please email me at

 Color themes:
  • Silver and White
  • Silver and Light Blue
  • Burgundy, Forest Green, and Gold (as long as the existing decorations aren't too primary)
  • Gold and Cream

Wedding Cakes & Desserts...
photos attributed to TheKnot


 Other Christmas wedding decor...

 Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday :)

Dec 11, 2011

93. Why you don't mess with brides...

 Sometimes I sink back into my old guilty pleasure of watching Bridezillas. Granted I can't stand watching it most days anymore - but this was an extra horrific episode but I just wanted to share how AWFUL this girl is...and how hilarious the three episodes featuring her wedding are.


Dec 10, 2011

92. Funky Engagement Rings!

We all know the traditional solitaire engagement ring - or the bling-bling one with all the diamonds; however, I think it's always fun to find a new and funky design! Here are just a taste of some of the diamonds-in-the-rough that are out there for you to seek!

Coming soon - awesome wedding bands for him AND her !

Dec 9, 2011

91. Congrats are in Order!

Daily Dose of Wedding loves being able to feature newly engaged couples and just married couples - this post gives me extra special pleasure because two of the couples just engaged hold a special place in my heart. 

Just Engaged...

Carol Nicole & Miguel  
Carol is my cousin and it makes me very excited to think about her Ohio farm wedding next year!


Kristi Renee & Greg
Kristi has been a close friend since 1st grade...this makes me very excited to see such an amazing couple get engaged!!!!

Kim & Shawn!

Christy & Christopher

Tyeisha & Justin!

Just Married...

Hilary & Brad
November 5th

Matt & Alysa
December 5th

Meg & Dave!

Jennifer & Ronald
November 11th!

Alyssa & Hector
September 10th

Mr & Mrs Clark!