Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We have been featured {twice}!!! has the time gone?  So much has happened since I last posted!  If you have not realized it already, I have basically given up journaling my wedding process step by step here as I had originally planned.  I really have a new found respect for blogging brides who also hold down a full time job :)!

A wise woman once told me that the most valuable advice that she could give me as a  bride-to-be was to enjoy every moment of it... I think that her advice is one of the few things that I have been able to sustain during this stage in my life... I have truly enjoyed every moment of our wedding planning process...

It is so amazing to me to see the hand of God at work in every element of this blessed union.  He never ceases to amaze me... I am so glad that I decided to delight myself in the Lord for He is truly giving me all of the desires of my heart!!!

As I share the magazine and the blog that our engagement story was featured in I am reminded of Psalm 37:5-6; "Commit your way to the Lord; He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun."  I thank You God for allowing your love, grace and mercy shine upon us!

We were first featured here in the Fall 2012 issue of the Engagement 101 magazine on page 98! You can pick one up here or at your local Books A Million. 

Secondly, we were featured on Truly Engaging Blog!  I was so pleased with the beautiful article that they wrote entitled, "Do You Believe in Fairy Tales?"  Here is a little excerpt from the article...

Do You Believe in Fairy Tales?

"Melanie and Robert do!

Once upon a time … a handsome boy named Robert, met a beautiful girl named Melanie. Their story is one of love, splendor and romance. A magical telling of dreams that come true–even those rooted in childhood! In fact, “Dreams Do Come True” is Melanie and Robert’s wedding theme. I admit to tearing up while reading their proposal story–and of Melanie {one of 5, raised by a single mom} who has always dreamed of going to Disney World. Well, the dream came true–replete with a perfectly-fitting glass slipper! Enjoy as Melanie tells the tale leading up to these stunning fairytale-themed engagement photos...."

Here is our save the date:

I am so thankful that we have been afforded the opportunity to share our story with so many others!  I pray that in the end we will touch the lives of that they will be able to see that truly it will be worth the wait!

Until next time,


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wedding Planning Step One: Set and Secure the Venue

Prior to getting engaged, I dabbled in planning a few weddings here and there...  Through helping others to make their dreams come true....I was able to learn few valuable lessons as it pertained to wedding planning myself and I will share them with you along the way...

Lesson #1: Selecting a date and finding/securing the perfect venue(s) for your wedding is the most important thing that you can do after getting engaged!

You can never start too early as most popular venues and churches can be reserved as far as a year out.... For me, finding my reception venue was fairly simple. However, finding the perfect church was quite different.... We must have looked at 50 or more churches in our area....
My future hubby, Mr. Falsetto, is the associate pastor at our church. We are currently in the midst of a building fund campaign and our current sanctuary is not large enough for the number of guest that we are expecting... So we were in pursuit of a church that would be perfect for our intimate and sacred wedding ceremony in our area.
Little did we know, this process would become very challenging and time consuming... So much so, that we enlisted the assistance of a church member and family friend to narrow down our options before making our next move in a game of church chess... I was appalled to find out the laundry list of exceptions for getting married in the churches in our area.... You must be a member for at least a year, you must be a part of {x} religion, your grandparents or parents must attend church here and so on...
I had my heart dead set on this one particular church downtown, but we were not able to rent it because we were not members. It was breath taking... so much so... that I did not even have to add a flower! And the stained glass windows were in my wedding colors... Crème and gold... Heartbroken, I walked away and continued my search....
Our first stop was St. James... It had everything that we needed, however, it was not in our price range :/.

I honestly don't remember the name of this one, but it was very affordable. However, it just did not feel right for us... Although, it was a beautiful sanctuary with gorgeous lights.

I don't recall taking a picture of the outside of this church... But I do recall thinking that the outside did not lend any clues as to how beautiful the inside would be.  I absolutely loved the architecture!!! But in the end, it just did not blend with our royal wedding theme.  {Maybe, we will do a rustic wedding here on our 25th anniversary}!

We also ran across this precious gem! It was one of the first African American churches in our area!  But it would have been way too small...

After days, weeks and months of searching... we found stumbled across this beautiful sanctuary nestled in the bosom of Killen, Alabama...

When we walked in we knew that it would be perfect for us.  It was overflowing with love, joy and peace!  And that is just what we want our guest to feel as they witness us being joined together as man and wife.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Eighty Days to Everlasting Love....

I have taken somewhat of an unintentional blogging hiatus and it has been largely due to my wedding planning process...

My original plan was to document the process along the way, however, my career paired with our wedding planning process and buying a new home has not granted me that opportunity thus far.  So, I decided to create one if I wanted this journey documented.
Over the next eighty days, I am going to blog my journey to everlasting love. However, I am going to take the next few days to catch you up on what has happened in the planning process thus far :).

Just in case, I fail to mention it later {or I haven't mentioned it before}, we are having a royal themed wedding with a crème and gold color palette. My fiancé proposed at Disney and we wanted our wedding festivities to flow with our magical engagement...
You can read the engagement recaps here:

Our Magical Disney Engagement: The Finale

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part IV

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part III

Our Magical Disney Engagement:Part II

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part I

Warning: I am Engaged!

And a testiment to the goodness of God in our relationship here:

Now that You have Read Our Story...

Now that we are on the same page....

Up next, wedding inspiration....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Four Months from Today...

I will marry my prince charming...

Our engagement has been a wonderful world wind filled with love, happiness, peace and joy.  I am still on cloud nine!  That is almost 99.999% of the reason that I have not been tending to this ole bloggy blog of mine :)!

We are having a royal themed wedding. In keeping with our theme, we chose a beautiful castle estate as our backdrop! It was a majestic moment that capture magnificent memories.

To commemorate this 4 month mark.. I am sharing one of my favorite photographs from our formal engagement session.

Gracefully yours,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Very Late 2011 Wrap Up! LOL!

Last year was an extremely busy year for me… Let’s wrap it up bullet point style! How I love those bullet points, they just hit the highlights in life! LOL!
• January- God blessed me with a new job as a product manger with a Fortune 500 company! This job marked my third promotion in less than a year!!! And my fiancé preached his first sermon!!! Glory to God!!!!!

• February- I launched a Valentine’s line for my company, Custom Creations by M’Shonta! Sells were very good and I thank God for the gift of creatively that He has bestowed upon me! I also planned a 14 reason why I love you Valentine’s Day Celebration with Robert!

• March- My pageant system, Purposeful Pageant Productions became official with a logo in hand!!! Our mission is for every pageant to serve a God given purpose in the earth!!!! We had our first pageant under this newly incorporated system and named it the Rhinestones and Rabbits Easter Pageant! It went off without a hitch! A percentage of the proceeds from that pageant benefited our Relay for Life team Princesses with a Purpose!

• April- I took my mother to Houston along with me to attend the Women Who Win Conference. She was laid off from her job in September of 2010 and I wanted to do something that would get it off of her mind… So I bought her a brand new wardrobe and paid all of her expenses to the conference! It was life changing! While there were met a relative whom we had not seen in years… We also watched the Royal wedding and gathered inspiration.

• May- Due to the tornados that hit in late April, I felt the desire to help others in need…. So I launched the Starfish Project and urged my FaceBook friends to give to $100 each so that we could give immediate financial assistance to those who were affected. It was such a blessing to be of service to others.

• June- It was a busy month for weddings! I served as a DOC and wedding planner for two weddings!! It was amazing!!!

• July- Was truly a month for celebrating!!! I planned a birthday party, baby shower and a pageant!! I think I only had one open weekend in July! Whew!!!

• August- Back to school for the kiddos and increased workload for me! LOL! I also managed to squeeze in a cupcake themed baby shower!

• September- I honestly don’t remember what happened! Most of the month was spent traveling, working an preparing for our 24th Church Anniversary!

• October- Was quite a busy month! I started ramping up for Christmas, went to AMMU Homecoming after five years, and celebrated our 24th Church Anniversary!

• November- I got engaged!!!! Did anything else happen?

• December- Deserves a separate post! LOL! But we will take a shot! My fiancé bought us a house, I found a wedding dress and most of the vendors, we had a photo shoot at the new house, I was hired as a professional tree decorator (LOL), we celebrated the holidays first class and much, much more!

So there you have it! I will do better next year! Recapping the year a few months earlier will be a great start!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now That You Have Read My Story... Let Me Give Him the Glory!

My proposal was nothing short of amazing!  I thank God for blessing me with a man of God who loves the things of God...

However, it has not always been this way!  This is the *real* testimony!!!

In 2009, my fiance and I were challenged to change our lifestyle so that it could exhibit more Christ-likeness...

We were both in church...  We were both spirit-filled... We were both tithers... We were both seed sowers... We were both servers.... We were both workers.... We were both worshipers....

And we were both DISOBEDIENT!  Yes, we did all of the things listed above + more... However, the lifestyle that we led behind close doors proved that we truly did not LOVE God. According to John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

We were not living a lifestyle holiness... We were dishonest... We were shacking... We were fornicators and therefore we were walking in unadulterated disobedience!  In short, we were not obeying His commands!
Our spiritual godmother confronted us and we elected to face this awful truth... And the truth was we were LIARS and FAKERS! 

We both wanted to change our lives and our relationship with God. So we took what would be a total of six months to establish a genuine relationship with God... We did not see or communicate with each other outside of church during this time...

We took the time to fast and pray and to allow God to do a work in us individually!  We honestly did not know if we would come together again as a couple... We simply wanted God's will for both of our lives and we were determined not to allow flesh to get in our way...

Realizing that he may not have been God's will for me was almost as hard as me realizing how displeasing I was to God.  However, I wanted Destiny and I knew that my destiny lies in Him..not him!
So, day after day I immersed myself in word of God... The more I read the word... the more I wanted to develop a closer and more intimate relationship with Him... One day,while in my prayer time, I asked God how to fall in love with Him... He answered my prayer through this ebook.  It changed my life and my relationship with Him forever!  I began to truly understand that it my association with Him was not about religion, but a relationship!

The closer I became with HIM the more realized that  I had my {now} fiance on the throne of my heart!  That was not his place... That place only belongs to God!  No one or no thing should have a place in your heart higher to or equal to God... According to Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
So I had to put God in in His rightful place and that was #1 in my life... Before I knew it the pain from the separation of my {now} fiance and I started to subside and God's intimate and abiding love overtook me...  As sudden as a summer's rain, several months had passed and I was busy enjoying my time of fellowship with HIM! 

I was immersed in a deep bible study, prayer life and other studies... I had truly fallen in love with HIM.  One night I had a dream that I was conversing with his mother and she informed me that our separation would last until September... My heart dropped!  September!!! It was only May!!!  I woke up and shared my dream with her later that day... She is a woman and a prophet of God and confirmed that it would indeed take until September for God to do the work that need to do in both of us!

I continued to nurture my relationship with HIM by constantly eating the word. 

Be we realized it; September was here... and we went on our first date on the first Friday of September.  We had a set of very strict guidelines in place to protect the both of us and what we had established in our spiritual relationship(s) over the previous months.
Our first date was so sweet and wholesome... It was almost as if we were meeting each other for the first time, but it was so much better!  I am so grateful to serve a God who makes all things new!

We exchanged stories about our spiritual encounters only to find out that we were enduring the some of the same things at the same time... Our notes even revealed some to of the same scriptures on the same dates! Talk about confirmation!!!

We spent the next few weeks establishing guidelines for our relationship.  No kissing, no music that would bring back *those* memories, no inappropriate touching and no putting one another before God... Call us strict, but they worked!

I am so Godly proud to say that we have been able to maintain our pledge of abstaining for nearly four years!  On our wedding night we will be able to come together as God has ordained!

I have learned that obedience is better than sacrifice! Because of  our obedience the favor of God is constantly manifesting in our lives... I have been promoted three times in two years and he is currently the holding a major leadership role at our church.  Everything that our hands have found to do has been blessed! 

From the engagement throughout the rest of our lives as  husband and wife...the hands of God will be at work in our lives...because we LOVE HIM... We LOVE HIM because we OBEY HIM!
I will be the first to tell you that this has *not* been an easy journey... but rather a necessary one! 

It was necessary because until I could establish a true love for God; it was impossible for me to love my fiance the way that God intended because I had never experienced true Love.

It was necessary because I needed to root out so many other things so that God could plant more seeds of joy in my life...
It was necessary because it was an essential detour on my road to destiny...
Destiny Awakes... I am Alive.... and I give all the Glory, Honor and Praise to God!

So on September of this year we will start a new journey together!!!  Praise God!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Magical Disney Engagement: The Finale {pic heavy}

So, I had the opportunity to meet every.single.princess during the rountable!  Here are a few shots...

I don’t know what I was thinking that night, but every princess left a subtle hint:

• Sleeping Beauty said, “ You are going to have sweet dreams tonight!”

• Belle said, “ I need your beau to train my beast!”

• Ariel said, “ This night will be out of this world!”

• Snow White said, “Has your prince been in the diamond mine with my dwarfs.”

• Cinderella said, “Dreams Do Come True!”

As apparent as they were I did not give any of them a second thought… I just assumed that they were in character and it was a part of the act! LOL! Silly me!

After my last snapshot with the princesses, I finally sat down to enjoy my dinner. Within moments, my wonderful Robert turned to me and said…

“Every princess has flowers…. And every princess has a tiara… What else does every princess have?”

I said, “A prince.” He laughed and got down on one knee and said, “I found your slipper and it is the perfect fit!” He slipped the glass slipper on my foot and began to sing “You are So Beautiful to Me “ in his loving, soothing and soulful voice!” He is an awesome singer… All the lights in the castle were turned down and the spotlight was on our table!

Once completed the song… He said, “You are a perfect fit in my life… My life is the better because of you.... (and some other stuff that I cannot recall no matter how hard I try)! Will you marry me? I fought the tears and the sudden feeling of fainting and let out a screech on that had been lying dormant on the inside of me for the past four years!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!

The knight then delivered the ring on beautiful platter with a dome that was covered in diamonds… The ring rested on a rose petal inside of another miniature glass slipper that read, “Melanie and Robert 11.24.12!” How amazing!!! He placed the ring on my finger and I got up to embrace him…. As I embraced him I held my left hand to get a view of the ring. It was gorgeous and everything that I could have desired and more! I screamed again as I fought to keep my knees steady!!! LOL!

There was a thunderous round of applause in the castle and we immediately toasted to our engagement! Someone came over the loudspeaker at the castle and declared that Lord Robert and Princess Melanie had just been engaged!

My appetite was non-existent at this point and Robert definitely understood why… But, the proposal was not over!!!

He rushed me to the front of the castle to our front row seats to watch the fireworks show… It was nothing short of spectacular!!!!! You have not seen a firework show until you have seen one @ Disney!!! It is the best ever!!!

After the fireworks show we returned to the castle so that we could settle our tickets… As we waited outside, his sister and brother-in-law gifted us with bride and groom Mickey and Minnie ears with our names engraved on the back in gold!!! Hence our wedding colors are crème and gold!

The rest of the night we floated through the park enjoying the scenery and the rides… Nothing enthused me like before though…

I had just witnessed my dream come true, Our Magical Disney Engagement!

Just in case you missed a Magical Moment, here are the recaps!

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part IV

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part III

Our Magical Disney Engagement:Part II

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part I

Warning: I am Engaged!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part IV

Shortly after our appetizers arrived, the waiter delivered a dozen of beautiful long stemmed roses. They were soooo beautiful that my eyes danced with delight. Robert always gifts me with roses; so I did not think any deeper into it… It was just eloquent touch to commemorate this special night.

The roses contained a card that read, “Dreams Do Come True!” I assumed that he was referring to my overall Disney experience… So, I began to diligently search through the stems looking for the Disney ears as the card had instructed… I found them with little effort and a much joy! How fun, I thought, where’s dinner….

Dinner arrived and it looked delish! As soon as I began to sample my garlic mashed potatoes, Robert commented that he was surprised that I had not purchased a crown in the gift shop earlier. I adamantly admitted that I wanted to; however, I did not want the family to make fun of me! At that very moment we had another special delivery. This time is was a gorgeous white pillow encrusted with diamonds and pearls resting on a platter of long stemmed roses. The roses were arranged on the platter like those thrown on a stage after a rousing performance. A beautiful tiara graced the pillow paired with an elegant corsage and a miniature glass slipper that engraved with the words, “Dreams Do Come True.” He removed the tiara and crowned me and pinned the corsage on the lapel of my leather motorcycle vest {if only I had known, I would have worn something totally different}.

During the crowning moment he asked me would I be his princess forever and I said yes…

Shortly after my “Yes” the princesses began to make their rounds. I was as giddy as a school girl on the playground with her first crush! I took photo opportunities with each of them as I wanted to treasure those memories forever! Now that I know that this was a proposal in the making; I am so elated that I did!

Up, next... I enjoyed a parade of princesses!

Just in case you missed a Magical Moment, here are the recaps!

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part III

Our Magical Disney Engagement:Part II

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part I

Warning: I am Engaged!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part III

So there we were… walking through the doors of the castle of the princess who graced so many of my childhood dreams and memories! There we were entering into the beautiful and enchanting castle of Cinderella!

I stood patiently in line awaiting my moment to meet her and I seriously had to fight back the tears! It took everything in me to muffle the voice the five year old little girl inside of me who wanted to eloquently bellow, “I love you Cinderella! When I grow up I want to be just like you!”

And just like that we were next… I don’t even remember what I said to her, but I do remember what I felt! First the first time in my life I felt that “Dreams really do come true!”

Robert and I posed for a few candid shots and were immediately seated until our names were called to join Cinderella for the royal dinner! I can’t recall all the details of that wait… But I do remember that will go down as the best waiting list for dinner in my life!

For those who know me know that I am never found to be at a loss for words! But as we sat there waiting for them to extend and invitation the Royal Turner Family for dinner with Cinderella, I became so overwhelmed with emotions that I began to silently weep… It started as a sweet inward welping… And then it became a sudden torrential outpour of tears! I don’t ever being this excited in my life! I cried so hard that I became embarrassed at my childlike reaction and I wanted to leave… We waited for what seemed like an eternity and I began to try and sway my sweetheart into leaving, however, he calmly refused.

Shortly later the bell rang and the voice over the loud speaker said, “Will the Royal Turner family please come forward? You have been invited to a Royal Dinner with Cinderella.”

Wow oh Wow! Me oh my!

Me....I….I was going to eat in Cinderella’s castle… My heart beat a thousand thumps that second… My hands shook uncontrollably… My feet suddenly began to weigh a ton and my steps were shortened significantly… I…. I was going to eat in Cinderella’s castle!

As we rounded the stairwell, I was enthralled with the beauty and splendor that surround us… The lights were dim and the details of the castle were just like I had imagined. I was standing straight.smack.dead in the middle of what I had once been just a dream.

We were greeted by a knight in shining armor and seated at our dinner table… The menus were delivered and selections reminded me that it was indeed Thanksgiving Day! I opted not to order a Thanksgiving dinner, however, in hindsight it would not have mattered at all…as I only a bit of my food and you will understand why in just a moment.

Our waiter asked who was the princess at the table and I shot my hand up like a teacher’s pet! I realized how eager I looked and I slowly lowered my left arm and began to point to Robert’s mother and sister who were also seated at the table with us! Oops!

The waiter handed us all magic wands and a star and instructed us to make a wish! My wish had come true and all I could do was to continue to relish in a moment of real life royalty.

We all placed our orders and indulged in a few engaging conversations! I was immediately distracted by the parade of Disney princesses and removed by camera to try and capture a few shots of them. I began to get frustrated because by shutter was not fast enough and I could not capture one good shot! Robert eased my frustration by informing me that every.single.Disney.princess.would.visit.our.table!

DID YOU HEAR ME? Every princess would stop by and converse with me! Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, Cinderella and Snow White! Excitement stole my appetite! And before you knew it the appetizers were being served.

Up next, roses are always appetizing!

Just in case you missed a Magical Moment, here are the recaps!

Our Magical Disney Engagement:Part II

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part I
Warning: I am Engaged!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part II

Now that I have completed our engagement story, I have come to the realization that it is quite lengthy  So... I will break it up into several smaller entries for your reading pleasure... Enjoy!

We arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 7:45 p.m. Corlandos and Robert scurried through the park heading towards Cinderella’s castle. We had been in the park earlier that day and had returned for an evening of fun and good food!

{Photo Credits: The Royal Turner Family}
 I could not understand why they were in such a hurry! Tamara and I stopped to enjoy the scenery and to capture a few shots of the beautiful castle that contained over 200,000 lights. Robert and Corlandos disappeared into the crowd…

We caught up with them a few times and they continued to delay our next venture. At this point Tamara got involved and distracted me with a Disney photo shoot!  You know I am always down for a photo shoot!  I was so captivated by the beauty of the park that I failed {in all of my FBI characteristics} failed to piece together their suspect behavior. 

They finally found us after a round of picture taken and pseudo photo shoots… I was growing hungrier by the minute… To my surprise we were having dinner in Cinderella’s castle!!!


Finally, it was time to dine and we entered into Cinderella’s majestic castle. I was totally taken… I was overwhelmed… I still can not find the words to express the myriad of emotions that I felt at that very moment!

I. Me. Melanie. M’Shonta. The lil’ country girl from Greenville, AL. The self professed pageant princess was in Cinderella’s castle!

What a dream come true!!!



I now experienced firsthand the lyrics of Kelly Clarkson’s hit, “For a Moment Like This!” I mean I can sing it from my soul!

For a moment like this… Some people wait a lifetime… for moment like this… Some people search forever… For that one special kiss…Oh, I can’t believe that this is happening to me… Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this!

That is so true! How incredibly blessed was I to experience that moment! The moment where my dreams and reality shook hands and agreed to bring me along for the ride!

Up next, the Royal Turner family is invited to have dinner with Cinderella!
Just in case you missed a Magical Moment, here are the recaps!
Warning: I am Engaged!
Our Magical Disney Engagement: Part I