Though I’ve hinted around about some aspects of my personal life in WIP Updates or Editing Diaries posts lately, I haven’t given y’all the real info about the girl behind Authoring Arrowheads in a while. So, to end August on a chill note, here’s what the life of Allyson Kennedy has been like over the past several months.
I believe the last actual life update I gave y’all was back in April 2020, when I announced our engagement. I’ve always heard that planning a wedding is stressful, but planning a wedding in 2020/2021 is a *ahem* special experience.
Finding my own dress was no problemo. I literally found the one on the first day I went dress shopping, at the first store I went in. Yes, I know this was a blessing. Yes, I know this is a bride’s dream-come-true. I had one of the most important factors taken care of and ordered 10 months before the wedding. Woo!
But then came the bridesmaid dresses. I still want to punch a wall.
The Great Bridesmaid Dress Fiasco, Part One
The issues we had were not for one second the fault of my bridesmaids. These girls are amazing. The fault, in it’s annoying totality, was wholeheartedly the retailers I tried to shop with. Please know that I realize I’m going to sound like a Karen about this, but you really need to know this information to know why I’ve been a ball of stress and have made so little progress on my books. XD These issues ate me alive.
I scheduled a trip to a local shop (local as in an hour away because we live in the sticks) with all three of my bridesmaids, and my momma, back in February of 2021. I was able to schedule the trip online, and nowhere on the website did it mention a limit to how many people could come to the appointment, though I had to physically input how many people were coming to the appointment with me. The dress shop even called to confirm my appointment time with me the day before. With brides these days having as many as 10 bridesmaids, I thought nothing of bringing an entire four people with me. But, no. When we arrived at the store, (and, again, we drove an hour away to come to this appointment), we’re told that only two bridesmaids can go back with me to look at the dresses because of “building capacity” issues, while my momma and other bridesmaid are forced to stand inside the front door and watch us across the store. In the same building. Not even outside to prevent the “capacity” issues.
That, among a plethora of other stupidities that took place at that store (forgive me, Lord), led me to follow my introverted heart and shop for the next dress online. So, I turned to my trusted Amazon for help.
The Great Bridesmaid Dress Fiasco, Part Two
If you’re a soon-to-be bride reading this… I no longer recommend doing that, honey, unless you have very thorough investigator skills. Just trust me on this.
Don’t get me wrong… I still love Amazon. It’s just that, unknown to me before this experience, while they have thousands of amazing seller accounts on their site, they also have a bunch of con artist third-party sellers who will do their best to take your hard earned money.
In early March, I believe, I began the search on Amazon for bridesmaids dresses and found the perfect one! It was even one that I had saved to my wedding planning board on Pinterest. The Amazon listing even allowed me to send in custom measurements. A win-win, right? Heck to the no.
I only ordered one dress as a “test”, getting it sized to my sister’s measurements since she’s my maid of honor. Thank the Lord above we only ordered one. The dress took two weeks to get in, but that was no biggie, because it was coming from overseas and the wedding was still seven months away at that point. When the dress arrived, it was nice-ish, though it was noticeably different than the dress that was pictured. The custom measurements I was asked to fill out were perfect.
But the arm holes/sleeves wouldn’t have fit Barbie’s arms.
For full disclosure, my “dream dresses” for the bridesmaids had long sleeves. Nowhere on that custom measurements form did it say anything about arm/shoulder size. So, then began the month long process of returning the dress.
Yeah, month long. Because this seller was a straight up piece-of-work.
I spent a good three weeks arguing back and forth with this dude for a refund. He would not allow me to print a prepaid postage label (as Amazon returns normally allow) to send back the dress overseas. Instead, he offered me $35 (the dress was around $75) to keep the dress (that no person of normal body proportions could wear) and “sell it locally”. His words, I kid you not.
So, what did I do? At this point, I had already contacted Amazon’s customer service about three times, and they kept suggesting I talk to this dude through the message portal and work things out. By the time the dude has told me to sell the dress locally, I left a bad review on his seller profile, to which he then started sending me messages in the wee hours of the morning stating he will send me a bribe offer of cash to take down my negative review.
No sir, not I. After about three creepy bribing messages, I found a way to report his messages to Amazon’s customer service (this is about three weeks to a month in) and finally get someone to initiate an A to Z Guarantee return.
Did I get my money back for the dress? Yes, though I still had to pay return shipping to a location within the US. But, at least I no longer have to deal with Captain Creeper.
Have I found bridesmaid dresses at this point? Thank the Lord, yes I have. I ended up finding some great ones (though I ended up compromising on the long sleeves) online at JJ’s House that were around the same price and actually fit my bridesmaids. So, if you’re a bride-to-be in search of reasonably priced dresses for your bridesmaids, I highly suggest checking JJ’s House over Amazon. Just take my word.
Other Misc. Wedding Planning Things
But, aside from the bridesmaid dresses, most of the other wedding-related planning has gone semi-smoothly. Both Josh and I are absolutely in love with our venue. It’s a newly built, yet rustic barn that is on the same vicinity as an old southern home that was originally built in the 1850s. We plan on having our ceremony on the outside of the barn in mid-October, which I’m super excited about. I’m praying for lots of changing leaves for aesthetic purposes and clear weather, because it’s been raining like absolute crazy here in NC lately.
We’re planning on doing a cookie bar in lieu of having a huge wedding cake (though we’ll still have a small one, of course), and my family and I have been making cookie dough for the past few weeks to prepare for that. My momma, who is a huge fan of The Shabby Tree, has pretty much invested stock in Hobby Lobby buying decorations, but thankfully they can be repurposed for my sister’s wedding someday or be used as decorations around the house. XD
Josh and I both have huge extended families, so we’re planning on a large crowd. I, a 100% introvert, don’t know how I feel about the large crowd, so please keep me in your prayers and beg God that I can make it through the ceremony without stuttering.
More Random Life Stuffz
Instead of going off on a great big tangent about everything else (I kinda went a little overboard on the bridesmaid dresses haha), let’s do a speed round for everything else:
- Earlier this year, I taught myself archery and used it to destress some, but now it’s way too hot outside to do that again until fall comes around.
- My frugal butt is trying to come to terms with how ‘spensive weddings are…
- I’m trying not to beat myself up over the fact that I may not finish writing The Dream this year…
- …but I’m somehow managing to squeeze in a surprise secret project for 2022 anyway (Lord willing)!
- Debilitating. Work. Stress. Which has manifested into just about all other areas of my life. June and July were a living hades because of it.
- I’ve been getting closer to God by reading The Bible every day and taking notes in my bullet journal, as well as prayer journaling.
- My sister and her boyfriend rescued a stray orange kitten from the middle of the road in June, and named him Pogue (from Outer Banks). Personally, I don’t watch that show, and I call him Poguey, but y’all… he is ADORABLE and has brought me so much joy during rough days the past couple of months.
- My parents, Josh, and I became kinda halfway obsessed with Manifest.
- Josh and I also watched the entire collection of Wheel of Fortune on Netflix, so there’s that.
- I’ve distanced myself from Instagram on and off again for months. Yes, my book marketing and sales have suffered from it. Yes, I do want to get back to posting consistently again after the wedding. But, at the moment, posting every single day is too much of a time suck and a comparison trap during this season of life.
- Josh and I both decided we wanted to lose weight back at the end of April, and so far, he’s lost around 30 lbs, and I’ve lost a total of 12-ish and am currently maintaining my weight so my wedding dress won’t be too big.
- I’ve read some really great books so far this year, including:
- Earth’s Last Empire by John Hagee
- God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel by Costi Hinn
- The Truth About Romantic Comedies by Sean C. McMurray
- Restart by Gordon Korman
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
- Royally in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones
…and, that’s pretty much it.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
I hope you enjoyed this life update! If you want, I’d love for you to join the conversation! Drop some comments below and let me know what you’ve been up to lately too!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.