Tag Archives: wedding planning

Wedding Wednesday #6: 4 months to go

3 Jun

weddingwednesday

A little late, and I skipped a month. Can you tell I’ve been busy!? Wedding planning had taken a backseat to other responsibilities recently, but I’m back and determined to get as much done as possible. I have a bunch of crafting, planning and purchasing to do. Zach and I have set up a day to sit down with my parents to finalize our budget so we can be 100% sure where the money is coming from for everything. I can’t believe the wedding is in 4 months. I’ve gone from the “I’ve got plenty of time!” attitude to total crunch time, and it’s making me crazy!

One big point of stress is figuring out where the money will come from for everything. Also, Zach and I have been working on something else huge in our lives recently which I should have more information about soon, so I feel a little strapped for cash lately.

But, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and paid for! 
  • Caterer — Caterer booked and partially paid for
  • Alcohol — Signature cocktails decided on, pricing wine/beer now. 
  • Escort Cards — We’ve decided to do away with assigned seating for now. I don’t know if Zach is 100% on board with this idea, but for now I’ve decided to nix it because it’s one less thing I have to do.  
  • Guest List  — the guest list has been finalized! 
  • My Dress — Please see below. 
  • My Veil — Something borrowed — I have it and it looks great with my dress. 
  • Bolero for over dressIt arrived, and it is PERFECT! I can’t wait for you to see it. Everyone who has seen it with the dress says it is just that special something that makes the dress “pop” — if you’re looking for something simple, elegant and handmade check out Wearable Artz  — Amy really did a perfect job.
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Still thinking about this. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearerThe groomsmen have their outfits picked out, matching socks have been acquired. 
  • Shoes for the bride — If anyone sees any amazing yellow shoes, please send me the link!  
  • Guest Book — Recieved! It’s perfect 🙂 
  • Save the Date InvitationsCheck! Here is my post about the Save the Dates.
  • Invitations — I’ve seen a mock up of the invites and I’m so excited to share this with you! But it will have to wait until they have been mailed 🙂 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests — This is something we will deal with a little closer to the wedding. I have some ideas. 
  • Bridesmaid dresses — One bridesmaid is fully outfitted, another has ordered her dress (but won’t get it until a month before the wedding) and we’re working on the rest. 
  • CakeWe’ve had our cake consultation. We are doing a naked cake, the flavors of the layers are: Vanilla, Boston Creme and lemon. Need to make the cake topper. 
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles (see below), 3 per table Handmade runners and tea lights, and framed prints — so far I have some bottles wrapped, the prints have been framed and the fabric for the runners has been ordered. Need to decide on flowers for the wine bottles (will do silk flowers) 
  • OfficiantI’ve emailed Adam (our officiant) again to give him a bit of an idea of where we were going with that. We will set up a meeting this spring to finalize everything. 
  • Photographer — My SIL-to-be and her wedding photographer partner are our wedding photographers. They do amazing work, so I’m pretty pleased about this.  
  • DJ – Zach has been in touch with our wedding DJ’s. They are friends of ours so we are just playing chicken on a price right now. 
  • The “somethings”Check! Veil, earrings, bracelet, dress
  • JewelryCheck! I have a lovely pair of blue earrings and I’ve commissioned a local jewelry designer to do a nice simple necklace for me, and of course my great-grandmother’s bracelet.  
  • Our wedding bands — We really need to get this done. 
  • Bridesmaid Gifts —  I’ve ordered part of this, just looking for a few more things. 
  • Groomsmen Gifts — Zach has ordered a few things. 
  • Rehearsal Dinner — I’ve spoken with a couple friends who are willing to host a BBQ the day before the wedding, so we will have somewhere to do this. We’ve talked about a pig roast with catered sides. If we do it this way, the rehearsal dinner can be a more casual affair that everyone who is coming to the wedding can attend. 
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I’m going to cut all of my hair off. See below. 
  • Garter — I’m probably just going to make this, something like this
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a friend has offered to help out with this. THANK YOU, Sarah!! 
  • Programs — I have this planned in my head, just need to order the materials and put them together. I’ll do a post on it when I finish them. 
  • Cake Topper — need to make. 
  • Flowers — See below. 
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower — One down, one to go. 
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers — No need for this if we don’t have a seating chart. 
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). I’ve been pricing buttons. Baking 150 homemade cookies is feeling overwhelming already. 
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop and photo frames…I’ll be frequenting the local flea markets/antique shops this summer for these items. 
  • Photo booth — I think I’ve definitely decided to go with a DIY photo “area” instead of a traditional booth (they are SO expensive). I think people will have just as much fun taking their own photos, especially since I’m encouraging everyone to bring cameras with them. 
  • Flower Girl attireSee below! 
  • Honeymoon.  — Zach and I are forgoing the Honeymoon to instead go on our annual beach trip with our friends about a month before the wedding. Since this is where we got engaged last year, I couldn’t imagine skipping it. 

Bridal Shower! 

The first thing I want to talk about is my very first bridal shower! A few of my bridesmaids and I went back to Pittsburgh for a lovely shower hosted by maid of honor (and sister), Michelle and my mom. It was so lovely!

2013-05-04 13.05.13

 

At this point in wedding planning, I would definitely say that the best part is getting to see/talk to so many family members and friends that you don’t usually see/talk to. I loved getting to see some old friends and family, and it’s nice to see my immediate family because I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. It was also really fun getting to bring my girlfriends home and let them meet my family.

2013-05-04 14.43.00-2

 

The shower had the cutest tea-party theme and everyone got to take home a unique tea cup and a vanilla flavored sugar cube shaped like a heart. I still haven’t used mine! I got some very nice gifts, but most importantly I felt very showered with love — it was awesome!

Flowers 

Zach and I had a meeting with a florist on Saturday. I showed her some photos:

flowers

…and now she’s working on a quote for me. As I’ve mentioned, our DIY centerpieces will be yarn-wrapped wine bottles with some sort of flowers, a framed print and a home made table runner (more on those below). I was originally planning on buying fake flowers for the centerpieces, but I’ve decided that it may be just as cost effective to get real flowers since I’ll only be doing a single bud in each. Jenni is going to run a quote with those and without them, so I can see if the costs will work. I’m pretty confident that Jenni will come up with something spectacular, but as usual I’m worried about cost. I’ll just have to weigh my options when it comes to flowers.

Fabric Table “Runners” 

My friend Mandee is a talented seamstress, and she has very kindly agreed to make the table “runners” for the tables. We will have 18 large round tables. Luckily, our venue provides the table cloths, but I wanted something a little more, especially considering our centerpieces aren’t going to be too over the top.

Mandee pushed me to order the fabric already (I’m the worst procrastinator!) and we got it just recently:

Picture1

 

These are just a few of the designs I picked, and Mandee will use a yellow binding around all of them with a decorative stitch. I have no doubt these will turn out amazing!

As of right now, the only things I’m working on are the decor items. We have most of the big things taken care of. Somehow, I still feel like things could get out of control at any moment!

Question of the Day:
If you had to choose wedding colors, what would they be? 

Wedding Wednesday #5: 6 months to go

27 Mar

weddingwednesday

How many times have I mentioned how awesome it is to have a sister-in-law who is a photographer?? We have so many amazing photos of us because of her and I’m eternally grateful. The above photo was taken earlier this month before my annual work Gala, on a rare lovely day. I love it!

I have been very productive with wedding stuff this month. There is still so much to do, don’t get me wrong, but we got a lot done this month, so let’s keep the momentum, shall we?

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and as of posting this, we only owe $200 on the venue! 
  • Caterer — We have a caterer, folks! Woo hoo! See below for more. 
  • Alcohol — After reading this post by Meghann at Meals and Miles about how she stocked her bar, I’m confident we can do a full bar at our wedding as well. I’ve reached out to a couple people I know to see if they would like to be our bartender. I’ve changed my mind — AGAIN! See below for my thoughts on this. 
  • Escort Cards — Going back and forth about this. I think I might just do a clothesline with pretty tags hung with clothespins. 
  • Guest List 
  • My Dress — Love it! 
  • My Veil — Something borrowed — I have it and it looks great with my dress. 
  • Bolero for over dressIt arrived, and it is PERFECT! I can’t wait for you to see it. Everyone who has seen it with the dress says it is just that special something that makes the dress “pop” — if you’re looking for something simple, elegant and handmade check out Wearable Artz  — Amy really did a perfect job.
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Some yellow flower accessory for all of us — I spoke with someone recently about making these. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearerThe groomsmen have their outfits picked out, and we have ordered matching socks for all of them. 
  • Shoes for the bride — If anyone sees any amazing yellow shoes, please send me the link!  
  • Guest Book — Recieved! It’s perfect 🙂 
  • Save the Date InvitationsCheck! Here is my post about the Save the Dates.
  • Invitations — a dear friend and groomsman is designing them. I fully trust him, so I’m not worried about this at all. 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests — This is something we will deal with a little closer to the wedding. I have some ideas. 
  • Bridesmaid dresses — One bridesmaid has purchased her dress! Woo hoo! I’m absolutely not worried about this at all. I search for dresses every once in a while, and there is no shortage of cute dresses that will look adorable together. See below for more on this. 
  • CakeWe’ve had our cake consultation. We are doing a naked cake, the flavors of the layers are: Vanilla, Boston Creme and lemon. So glad a dear friend is doing this. Now I need to decide on cake toppers. More on this below. 
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles (see below), 3 per table Handmade runners and tea lights, and framed prints (see below) 
  • OfficiantI’ve emailed Adam (our officiant) again to give him a bit of an idea of where we were going with that. We will set up a meeting this spring to finalize everything. 
  • Photographer — My SIL-to-be and her wedding photographer partner are our wedding photographers. They do amazing work, so I’m pretty pleased about this.  
  • DJ – We have two friends who are in an incredible band and are great DJ’s. They have agreed to be our DJ, and I really think they are going to do a great job. 
  • The “somethings”Check! Veil, earrings, bracelet, dress
  • JewelryCheck! I have a lovely pair of blue earrings and I’ve commissioned a local jewelry designer to do a nice simple necklace for me, and of course my great-grandmother’s bracelet.  
  • Our wedding bands — Still haven’t done this! Slackers! 
  • Bridesmaid Gifts —  I’ve ordered part of this, just looking for a few more things. 
  • Groomsmen Gifts — Zach has ordered a few things. 
  • Rehearsal Dinner — I’ve spoken with a couple friends who are willing to host a BBQ the day before the wedding, so we will have somewhere to do this. We’ve talked about a pig roast with catered sides. If we do it this way, the rehearsal dinner can be a more casual affair that everyone who is coming to the wedding can attend. 
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I think we have this
  • Garter — I’m probably just going to make this, something like this
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a friend has offered to help out with this. THANK YOU, Sarah!! 
  • Programs — I have this planned in my head, just need to order the materials and put them together. I’ll do a post on it when I finish them. 
  • Cake Topper — see below
  • Flowers — One of my to-do items for next month is to price three things: a professional florist, DIY flower kits online and buying my own flowers from Kroger.  
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower — Apparently there are TWO bridal showers in the works for me! I’m a very lucky and loved girl. 
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers — I bookmarked this tutorial , and even if I don’t use their printable, the idea of using binder clips is genius (and cheap!) 
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). I’ve been pricing buttons. Baking 150 homemade cookies is feeling overwhelming already. 
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop and photo frames…I’ll be frequenting the local flea markets/antique shops this summer for these items. 
  • Photo booth — I think I’ve definitely decided to go with a DIY photo “area” instead of a traditional booth (they are SO expensive). I think people will have just as much fun taking their own photos, especially since I’m encouraging everyone to bring cameras with them. 
  • Flower Girl attireSee below! 
  • Honeymoon!? — Zach and I are forgoing the Honeymoon to instead go on our annual beach trip with our friends about a month before the wedding. Since this is where we got engaged last year, I couldn’t imagine skipping it. 

Caterer: 

Yay! We have a caterer, and I could not be more happy about it. I spoke with several caterers early this month and was feeling very pressed. I ended up sending a (refundable) $100 deposit to a caterer I had only spoken with in order for her to save my date (she didn’t do tastings, so if we went with her, we’d just have to trust her on the menu). However, I set up a consultation and tasting with the ladies at Sweet & Sassy Bakery, who had come highly recommended. After speaking with Annette and setting up our tasting,  I was very happy with her menu suggestions, but I was worried about the price. The price quote by the other caterer had been very reasonable, and her menu was quite basic. Annette was talking about a simple, yet elegant menu and I was sure she would quote me  a much higher price.

Zach and I went to the tasting last week, and the food was amazing! We’re going with a simple Italian menu — spaghetti with meat sauce or marinara, and a chicken penne pasta with a Tuscan cream sauce for the main entrees, a garden salad with a choice of homemade dressings, and rolls with rosemary and basil sea salt. They also provide the flatware and plates, and two drink choices (we went with tea and a fruit-infused water). When she quoted me the price, it was very reasonable, so I wrote her a check on the spot for 30% of our total cost. I called the other caterer and got my deposit back right away. I’m so glad to have that taken care of!

Alcohol: 

In talking to Annette, she mentioned that some people cut alcohol costs by buying beer and wine, and then limiting the liquor selections by designing one or two signature cocktails and only buying the ingredients for those. I really loved this idea! I’ve already thought of one idea (a bourbon based cocktail with ginger simple syrup), and we’re going to try to think of one more. Zach’s only request is that one is called The Zachary Daiquiri.

Bridesmaids Dresses: 

As I’ve mentioned, one of my best ladies has purchased a dress. I’m leaving it up to the others to pick out their dresses, but if I get stressed, I’ll force them to let me go shopping with them, haha 🙂

One concern I’ve heard is that a bunch of mismatched dresses won’t look cohesive, but in order to sort of get an idea of what it would look like, I took a bunch of dresses I’ve recently pinned on Pinterest, and made an inspiration board of what they would look like together:

Picture1

love how this looks! One of those dresses is the one that’s already been purchased, but I won’t say which 🙂 What do you think? Keep in mind that the looks will be tied together with yellow shoes and yellow flowers in their hair.

Cake Topper:

LOVE this idea! The love birds will be super easy to make, and the Billy Buttons (the yellow flowers) are what I’m planning on putting in the bouquets and boutineers, so it will tie everything together. I also love the pop of color with the pink flower, and the rustic look that the baby’s breath gives it. My cake will be much bigger than this, but what I love about my cake designer is that if I just give her a mess of the flowers and the birds, she’ll make it look awesome.

More centerpiece ideas: 

Originally, I had decided on three yarn-wrapped wine bottles per table with baby’s breath or some other flowers in them. However, this month, I decided to cut that down to two bottles, and add a print to each table. Here’s what I came up with:

prints

This is just a sample, I made 10 total (I just used PicMonkey, it was super easy) and had them printed through Shutterfly. They arrived this week! The next step is to buy some frames. I’m planning on getting dollar store wooden frames and painting them white and then grey to make them look a little rustic. I’m counting on having 20 tables total, so I’ll have to repeat each print twice. The one that says, “We are so glad you are here”, I made one extra for the table with the guest book.

Flower Girl attire: 

Purchased!

flower girl

I bought this adorable outfit this month, and the whole shebang was less than $50! I had the idea that Easter dresses would be on sale around now, and I figured I’d find something adorable and yellow in that selection. I was right! I’m thinking plain white mary jane shoes with this.

I also purchased this on a whim this month:

Purchased from this Etsy shop, I can’t wait to hang my wedding dress on this while we get ready. Frivolous purchase, perhaps, but something I felt I definitely needed! Of course, mine will say 9.28.13 and Mrs. Browning!

Wedding Wednesday #4: 7 months to go

27 Feb

wedding wednesday

Where does the time go? I feel like just yesterday, Zach and I were walking on the beach in North Carolina and he got down on one knee to put a ring on my finger. Now, we’re right in the middle of planning the biggest party of our lives!

I’ve got to be honest: I’m starting to feel the stress of wedding planning in a big way. When I get things done, it’s a relief, but only a tiny one because there is so much more to do. When I’m not doing wedding related tasks, I feel guilty. The way I chill out and calm down is to picture the wedding, which I know is going to be incredible, and amazingly fun!

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and (partially) paid for (as the balance gets lower on this, I get happier and happier!) 
  • Caterer — I have narrowed this down to 2 caterers. We have a tasting scheduled for March 11th, and we’ll know more then. 
  • Alcohol — After reading this post by Meghann at Meals and Miles about how she stocked her bar, I’m confident we can do a full bar at our wedding as well. I’ve reached out to a couple people I know to see if they would like to be our bartender
  • Escort Cards — Going back and forth about this. I think I might just do a clothesline with pretty tags hung with clothespins. 
  • Guest List 
  • My Dress — Love it! 
  • My Veil — Something borrowed — I have it and it looks great with my dress. 
  • Bolero for over dressIt arrived, and it is PERFECT! I can’t wait for you to see it. Everyone who has seen it with the dress says it is just that special something that makes the dress “pop” — if you’re looking for something simple, elegant and handmade check out Wearable Artz  — Amy really did a perfect job.
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Some yellow flower accessory for all of us — I spoke with someone recently about making these. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearer — We decided this month that along with the suits of their own choosing (grey, but mismatched), the groomsmen will also wear a yellow tie of their own choosing. Matching socks have been received.  
  • Shoes for the bride — I’ve actually changed my mind about this, more about it later. 
  • Guest Book — Recieved! It’s perfect 🙂 
  • Save the Date InvitationsCheck! Here is my post about the Save the Dates.
  • Invitations — a dear friend and groomsman is designing them. I fully trust him, so I’m not worried about this at all. 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests — This is something we will deal with a little closer to the wedding. I have some ideas. 
  • Bridesmaid dresses — One bridesmaid has purchased her dress! Woo hoo! I made an appointment with David’s Bridal for late March to look at bridesmaids dresses and talk about alterations for my dress. 
  • Groomsmen attire: Everyone has decided what they will wear and we have purchased the matching socks for the groomsmen
  • Cake:
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles (see below), 3 per table Handmade runners and tea lights. 
  • OfficiantI’ve emailed Adam (our officiant) again to give him a bit of an idea of where we were going with that. We will set up a meeting this spring to finalize everything. 
  • Photographer — My SIL to be is a wedding photographer, having a photographer friend be her second shooter. 
  • DJ – Zach is handling this 
  • The “somethings”Check! Veil, earrings, bracelet, dress
  • JewelryCheck! I have a lovely pair of blue earrings and I’ve commissioned a local jewelry designer to do a nice simple necklace for me, and of course my great-grandmother’s bracelet.  
  • Our wedding bands — Will probably go this coming weekend to have my engagement ring cleaned and serviced, and we will look at wedding bands then.  
  • Bridesmaid Gifts —  I’ve ordered part of this, just looking for a few more things. 
  • Groomsmen Gifts — Zach has ordered a few things. 
  • Rehearsal Dinner — I’ve spoken with a couple friends who are willing to host a BBQ the day before the wedding, so we will have somewhere to do this. We’ve talked about a pig roast with catered sides. If we do it this way, the rehearsal dinner can be a more casual affair that everyone who is coming to the wedding can attend. 
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I think we have this
  • Garter — I’m probably just going to make this, something like this
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a friend has offered to help out with this. THANK YOU, Sarah!! 
  • ProgramsI have this covered, just need to order the materials and put them together
  • Cake Topper? – Will buy a flower topper for the cake from a local florist. The cake topper may be my only real flowers besides the boutineers, because….
  • Flowers — I’m thinking about going purely with the DIY/paper flower route. More about that later, but look at this link for an idea of where I’m headed. 
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower — Apparently there are TWO bridal showers in the works for me! I’m a very lucky and loved girl. 
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers —  I’m changing my mind about this… 
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). Need stickers to seal sleeves. — Update: I may purchase the cookies rather than making them. Again, I don’t want to get overwhelmed with DIY projects. Also, I’m also thinking about custom-made buttons. We’ll see.
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop…I’ll be frequenting the local flea markets/antique shops this summer for these items. 
  • Photo booth — I think I’ve definitely decided to go with a DIY photo “area” instead of a traditional booth (they are SO expensive). I think people will have just as much fun taking their own photos, especially since I’m encouraging everyone to bring cameras with them. 
  • Flower Girl attire — This is cute
  • Honeymoon!? — Zach and I are forgoing the Honeymoon to instead go on our annual beach trip with our friends about a month before the wedding. Since this is where we got engaged last year, I couldn’t imagine skipping it. 

Here are the things we have worked on this month:

I’m really embarrassed to say that this month has been less of a hands-on month and more of a thinking about things, calling people month. I wish I had a ton of things to show you, but I just don’t!

1. Caterer

I’ve spoken to three caterers. We set up a tasting with one for March 11th, the second caterer just gave me the available menus over the phone (plus I know someone who has had their food, so I’m confident it will be good), and the third is a bit pricey for the available options. So, I’ve ruled out the third caterer. The only problem is that I don’t want the second caterer to book my date while I’m waiting to go to the tasting for the first caterer. Luckily, she offers the option of giving her a refundable deposit to hold the date, and since it’s just a couple of weeks I’m probably going to do that.

2. Wedding Bands

It’s been 6 months since we got engaged (time flies, I tell ya!), so it’s time to take my engagement ring in to be cleaned/serviced. That means we’ll probably start by looking at wedding bands at the jewelry store where he bought my engagement ring. We’re both thinking we want something really simple. I adore my engagement ring:

Just in case you forgot what it looks like :)

Just in case you forgot what it looks like 🙂

….so I’m going to let it take center stage on my finger. I’ll get something simple that fits with my engagement ring, and that will be that. It will be nice to pick something out for Zach. I’m super excited to see him with a wedding band on his finger. It makes me feel all giddy inside, actually 🙂

3. Bridal Showers

I’ve been approached by my mom and sister and one of my bridesmaids about Bridal Shower plans, which I honestly cannot be more excited about. It just makes me so happy that people want to throw me a party. I love my friends and family so much, and it makes me so happy that they are as excited about this as I am.

4. Honeymoon (ish)

Zach and I might be the first engaged couple on earth to take their honeymoon before their wedding, but it’s looking more and more like that’s what’s going to happen. We got engaged during the annual beach trip with our friends, and at first I imagined we’d forgo that trip this year since it usually happens about a month before the date we had planned to get married, but to be honest, I just can’t even imagine skipping this trip. It has honestly been the best week of my life this past two years, especially last year, with getting engaged right at the beginning of the week. Plus, we just might not have the money and/or time to go away right after the wedding, so we figured, “Why not!?” — I’ll just have to work extra hard to tie up any loose ends before we leave and when we get back. I guess it’s not your traditional honeymoon, but we’re not your traditional couple, either.

The other thing I really need to do this month is to meet with a florist. I need to know how much that is going to cost before I start shopping for all the little things.

Until next month!

Question of the Day:
Did you take a honeymoon? Where? 

 

Wedding Wednesday #3: 8 months to go

30 Jan

It’s that time again! I’m really happy to be doing these monthly updates. They are keeping me focused on what needs to be done and what has been done, and they also keep my close family (Hi Mom! Hi Michelle!) who are helping me plan on board with what I’ve been up to. But, most of all, knowing that I have to do one of these posts each month motivates me to get something done!

That said, I realize that this is a healthy living blog and not everyone is into wedding planning. So, I won’t be offended at all if you skip over these posts! That said, let’s get to it:

wedding wednesday 3

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and (partially) paid for
  • Caterer — I have a list of caterers I’m working through calling and setting up appointments with. 
  • Alcohol — After reading this post by Meghann at Meals and Miles about how she stocked her bar, I’m confident we can do a full bar at our wedding as well. I’ve reached out to a couple people I know to see if they would like to be our bartender
  • Escort Cards — I’m probably just going to have a chalkboard sign, and the groomsmen will seat people. Since we’re doing the ceremony and reception in the same place, it seems like it will work. 
  • Guest List 
  • My Dress — Love it! 
  • My Veil — Something borrowed
  • Bolero for over dressIt arrived, and it is PERFECT! I can’t wait for you to see it. Everyone who has seen it with the dress says it is just that special something that makes the dress “pop” — if you’re looking for something simple, elegant and handmade check out Wearable Artz  — Amy really did a perfect job.
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Some yellow flower accessory for all of us — I spoke with someone recently about making these. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearer — We decided this month that along with the suits of their own choosing (grey, but mismatched), the groomsmen will also wear a yellow tie of their own choosing. We will be buying the socks as part of the groomsman gifts. 
  • Shoes for the bride — I’ve actually changed my mind about this, more about it later. 
  • Guest Book — Ordered! See below 🙂 
  • Save the Date InvitationsCheck! Here is my post about the Save the Dates.
  • Invitations — a dear friend and groomsman is designing them. I fully trust him, so I’m not worried about this at all. 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests — This is something we will deal with a little closer to the wedding. I have some ideas. 
  • Bridesmaid dresses — We’ve talked a little more about this. Since one bridesmaid found a dress she loves, we’re going to have her buy that one and once it comes in, decide on the other three based on the color/fabric/cut of that one. 
  • Groomsmen attire — Zach discussed this with the groomsmen. They have all decided on their own grey suits. Since I told them all that a full suit isn’t necessary, I think we’ll have some great variety here that will look really nice. 
  • Cake — Shannon (my talented cake artist friend) was super sweet and dropped off a slice of lemon cake with vanilla filling to me last Thursday. It was exactly what I want and since the lemon cake is yellow, will go perfectly with the yellow and grey decor. (I’m doing a naked cake, so the cake will be visible — no frosting). 
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles (see below), 3 per table Handmade runners and tea lights. 
  • OfficiantGot an email from my officiant, and he sent me a few options of ceremony layouts. Zach and I will go over these and tweak them, then set up a meeting with Adam — can’t wait for you to meet him, he’s awesome, and I know he will make our ceremony SO special. 
  • Photographer — My SIL to be is a wedding photographer, having a photographer friend be her second shooter. 
  • DJ – Zach is handling this 
  • The “somethings”Check! Veil, earrings, bracelet, dress
  • JewelryCheck! I have a lovely pair of blue earrings and I’ve commissioned a local jewelry designer to do a nice simple necklace for me, and of course my great-grandmother’s bracelet.  
  • Our wedding bands — I have to go in March to have my engagement ring cleaned and serviced. Will be looking then. 
  • Bridesmaid Gifts — This is pretty much done, I just have to pay for everything. 
  • Groomsmen Gifts — Zach is handling this
  • Rehearsal Dinner — Right now, we’re thinking about doing a catered BBQ at someone’s house. Since our house search has been postponed until after the wedding, we will need to do this at a friend’s house. 
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I think we have this
  • Garter — I’m probably just going to make this, something like this
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a few friends would be perfect for this task 🙂 *hint, hint*
  • ProgramsI have this covered, just need to order the materials and put them together
  • Cake Topper? – Will buy a flower topper for the cake from a local florist. The cake topper may be my only real flowers besides the boutineers, because….
  • Flowers — I’m thinking about going purely with the DIY/paper flower route. More about that later, but look at this link for an idea of where I’m headed.
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower — I was informed last time I posted that this isn’t a “to-do” for ME, but I want to leave this here for the future when I write recaps of them to link up.
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers — Red wine on tables with printable table number labels.
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). Need stickers to seal sleeves. 
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop…
  • Photo booth — I think I’ve definitely decided to go with a DIY photo “area” instead of a traditional booth (they are SO expensive). I think people will have just as much fun taking their own photos, especially since I’m encouraging everyone to bring cameras with them. 
  • Flower Girl attire — This is cute
  • Honeymoon!? — Originally, Zach and I decided to forgo the honeymoon since we’ll be trying to buy a house very close to the wedding, but recently I’ve been looking for deals, and I’m starting to think (hope?) we can do it, if even for a couple of days. 

Here are the things we have worked on this month:

Had more engagement photos taken:

As you can see from the photo above, we got some more engagement photos taken! It’s really nice having a sister-in-law who is a wedding photographer. We just hopped into her studio after she was finished shooting another client and barely took up any of her time. Here’s some more from that shoot:

more engagement

Photos courtesy of Courtney Bell Photography

Loving them! I needed some more professional photos done to add to our guest book, which I also ordered this month. See below for more on that.

Started on DIY yarn-wrapped bottle centerpieces: 

Step one in this process was gathering empty wine bottles. This turned out to be easy as pie! I just asked friends to hold onto their bottles, and I had quite a stockpile when my neighbor Ashley reminded me that she works at a wine bar. Just like that, I had two cases of empty bottles as well as the bottles I had already collected. We will have about 20 tables if everyone comes, so I’m going to make 40 bottles.

Without further ado, here are the first two bottles:

IMG_0386

So, they aren’t perfect, but I really think once everything is on the table (we will also have table runners and candles), it’s going to look great. I’m still playing with the flowers, I just bought the ones above so I could see the full effect. I think it looks great! Bottles that jut out at the top as opposed to a gradual slope don’t wrap as nicely, so as I go, I will either collect more that have the gradual slope or wrap them all to the neck. I like the way both bottles look, however. What do you think?

Attended a Bridal Expo: 

Yesterday, I attended a Bridal Expo! Courtney had a booth there, so originally she offered to sneak me in as a “helper” so I wouldn’t have to pay admission. I did help her, but I still paid admission, because it was only $5, and you were registered to win great prizes!

I got a heart sticker to prove that I was a bride to be! Haha!

I got a heart sticker to prove that I was a bride to be! Haha!

Unfortunately, the Bridal Expo wasn’t really that helpful for me. I did get some more information about rental of a dance floor (my venue doesn’t have one), but I was a little disappointed by the variety of the vendors there. However, one booth did stand out to me:

2013-01-27 10.41.38

2013-01-27 10.23.57

2013-01-27 10.08.54

Courtney and her new partner Mark’s booth was the best, in my opinion! Courtney was the only photographer featuring Boudoir photos, which I’ve seen all over the wedding blogs lately. If you’d like more information on Courtney and/or Mark’s offered services, please go here or here.

Oh, and I saw this gorgeous dress, that I have to share:

2013-01-27 11.23.14

Ordered our Guest Book: 

We went with a Shutterfly guest book. These are so neat! Basically, you go to Shutterfly and design your own photo book with spaces for your guests to write in their own messages. How neat is that!? Click here to see what ours looks like.

I got a great deal on our book. Normally these are about $60 with $11 for shipping. Since Shutterfly was having a 50% off deal for Valentine’s Day, and I found a code online for free shipping on orders over $30, I ended up only paying $36 for ours! The extra $6 was for a “storytelling” style of book ($4.99 extra) and I also added a clear “Memorabilia Pocket” to the inside cover ($1.99 extra). I think the Memorabilia pocket will come in handy! I’m thinking about making another of these for our wedding pictures. I’ll think about that later, though!

Question of the Day:
Did you DIY any aspects of your wedding? 

Wedding Wednesday #2: 9 months to go

2 Jan

Welcome to the second installment of Wedding Wednesday! 9 months is a long time, but when you’re planning a wedding, it definitely doesn’t feel that way! It feels like we just got engaged, and now we’re in single digits! Where does the time go? I’ll be honest, I haven’t done many wedding related tasks physically, but have been thinking about things, and when Zach and I went to Pittsburgh for Christmas, I spoke with my parents about budget and abstract plans.

wedding wednesday

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and (partially) paid for
  • Caterer — The caterer I spoke with said she wouldn’t be able to work around my budget, so it’s back to the drawing board. I’ve gotten some recommendations from friends, and I’m going to start calling caterers this week. 
  • Alcohol — We are doing beer and wine only, in the interest of staying within budget. 
  • Guest List 
  • My Dress — Love it! 
  • My Veil — I’m pretty sure this will be my “something borrowed” (thanks, Sarah!), just need to check it out first. 
  • Bolero for over dressIt arrived, and it is PERFECT! I can’t wait for you to see it. Everyone who has seen it with the dress says it is just that special something that makes the dress “pop” — if you’re looking for something simple, elegant and handmade check out Wearable Artz  — Amy really did a perfect job.
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Some yellow flower accessory for all of us — I spoke with someone recently about making these. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearer — Zach is dealing with this. Groomsmen are wearing gray suits of their own choosing, so all we need to deal with is matching accessories
  • Shoes for the bride — I’ve actually changed my mind about this, more about it later. 
  • Save the Date InvitationsCheck! Here is my post about the Save the Dates.
  • Invitations — a dear friend and groomsman is designing them. I fully trust him, so I’m not worried about this at all. 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests
  • Bridesmaid dresses — Going the mis-matched route, and the bridesmaids are free to choose what they want, need to get a color pallette for them.
  • Cake — Luckily a dear friend is making it, so we’ve had a few discussions. Will schedule a meeting in the next few months to finalize. 
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles, 3 per table, with hand-made billy balls in each. Handmade runners and tea lights. Wine bottles are already collected! 
  • OfficiantGot an email from my officiant, and he sent me a few options of ceremony layouts. Zach and I will go over these and tweak them, then set up a meeting with Adam — can’t wait for you to meet him, he’s awesome, and I know he will make our ceremony SO special. 
  • Photographer — My SIL to be is a wedding photographer, having a photographer friend be her second shooter. 
  • DJ – Zach is handling this 
  • The “somethings” — see below
  • Jewelry
  • Our wedding bands — Going after Christmas to look 
  • Bridesmaid Gifts — I have this all planned out in my head, will execute soon. 
  • Groomsmen Gifts — Zach is handling this
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I think we have this
  • Garter — I do not know what to do about this. Help.
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a few friends would be perfect for this task 🙂 *hint, hint*
  • ProgramsI have this covered, just need to order the materials and put them together
  • Cake Topper? – I’m not sure if I want one. I’ve been thinking of a naked cake (LOVE the way they look) and cupcakes, but I think I’d like fruit and flowers on the caker rather than a topper.
  • Flowers — I’m thinking about going purely with the DIY/paper flower route. More about that later, but look at this link for an idea of where I’m headed.
  • Guestbook
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower — I was informed last time I posted that this isn’t a “to-do” for ME, but I want to leave this here for the future when I write recaps of them to link up.
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers — Red wine on tables with printable table number labels.
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). Need stickers to seal sleeves. 
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop…
  • Photo booth — I think I’ve definitely decided to go with a DIY photo “area” instead of a traditional booth (they are SO expensive). I think people will have just as much fun taking their own photos, especially since I’m encouraging everyone to bring cameras with them. 
  • Flower Girl attire

Today, I want to talk about my “somethings” and dress shopping.

Early on, after Zach and I got engaged, I gathered together (some of) my bridesmaids and my friend Mandee to go check out wedding dresses. I had a lot of fun trying them on:

dresses

Don’t worry, none of these are THE dress!

…but ultimately I didn’t find “the dress” on that day. I thought about going to some other dress shops, but ended up finding my dress online, in a rather unique way. During one of my many internet dress searches, I came across a dress that was available “online only”, so I searched the product number in Google and came across a photo of a real bride wearing the dress on the David’s Bridal Facebook page! Since she was tagged in the photo, I sent her a message on Facebook asking her if I could see more photos of her in the dress. She sent me her entire bridal album! She was so helpful and nice, even answering all my questions. Since she was about my shape and size, and she was wearing the dress with a bolero (which I knew I also wanted to do), I went ahead and ordered the dress. I love it more every time I see it!

On to my “somethings” — I’m a sucker for a good tradition, so I knew I wanted to get all of my somethings —  Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. According to Wikipedia, if a bride carries all of these “somethings”, her marriage will be happy! Now, I know that Zach and I are the only ones who can truly make our marriage a happy one, this is a fun tradition I was excited to partake in.

Something Old: When I was home for Christmas,  my mom gave me two things I can wear for my Something Old:

PhotoGrid_1356538690981The bracelet belonged to my mother’s grandmother, who I never met, and the barrette is mine from when I was, obviously, five years old. I think I’ll probably wear both. I need to get the bracelet cleaned.

Something New: My dress, bolero and shoes will count. I’ll be wearing a lot of new things that day!
Something Borrowed: Again, my friend Sarah is loaning me her veil. It’s similar to this style:

According to the Wikipedia post, you should borrow something from someone whose marriage you admire, and Sarah and Bill happen to be one of the most adorable couples I know! This past year, they ran the Warrior Dash together to celebrate their anniversary (she even wore a wedding dress to run in! How cute!), so I’m happy with this decision.

Something Blue: I recently acquired some lovely blue earrings that will work perfectly.

So, it’s not a lot of wedding progress, but it’s a bit. I have a feeling my next post will be covering a lot. At least, I hope it will!

Question of the Day:
What am I forgetting!? 

Wedding Wednesday #1: 10 months to go

5 Dec

I realized right before I posted this that this is my 100th blog post! Hooray for me! 

In order to keep myself on task for wedding planning, I’ve decided to start a once-monthly wedding post detailing the things that need to be done. I’ll call it Wedding Wednesday, and I will post it on a Wednesday close to the 28th of the month.

Wedding Wednesday

I’m going to start this first post with a list of things we need to take care of. As we take care of things, I will cross it off on the list. As new things are crossed off, I will discuss them here. Hopefully this will keep you up to date on wedding planning, and keep me on task.

Need:

  • Venue — Reserved and (partially) paid for
  • Caterer — I spoke with a possible caterer last week. Once I get a quote, I’ll approach a couple more and decide
  • Alcohol — We are doing beer and wine only, in the interest of staying within budget. 
  • Guest List 
  • My Dress — Love it! 
  • My Veil — I’m pretty sure this will be my “something borrowed” (thanks, Sarah!), just need to check it out first. 
  • Bolero for over dress — Ordered and being custom made (Etsy) — can’t wait to see it! 
  • Hair accessories for bride/bridesmaids? — Some yellow flower accessory for all of us. 
  • Ties/socks for the groomsmen/ring bearer — Zach is dealing with this. Groomsmen are wearing gray suits of their own choosing, so all we need to deal with is matching accessories
  • Shoes for the bride — I know what I want, just need to buy them. 
  • Save the Date Invitations — addressed, sealed and ready to be mailed this weekend! 
  • Invitations — a dear friend and groomsman is designing them. I fully trust him, so I’m not worried about this at all. 
  • Welcome bags for out of town guests
  • Bridesmaid dresses — Going the mis-matched route, and the bridesmaids are free to choose what they want, need to get a color pallette for them.
  • Cake — Luckily a dear friend is making it, so we’ve had a few discussions. Will schedule a meeting in the next few months to finalize. 
  • Centerpieces — Yarn-wrapped wine bottles, 3 per table, with hand-made billy balls in each. Handmade runners and tea lights. Wine bottles are already collected! 
  • Officiant — Pretty sure we have someone
  • Photographer — My SIL to be is a wedding photographer, having a photographer friend be her second shooter. 
  • DJ – Zach is handling this 
  • The “somethings” — Veil is something borrowed, shoes are something blue. 
  • Jewelry
  • Our wedding bands — Going after Christmas to look 
  • Bridesmaid Gifts
  • Groomsmen Gifts
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Wedding RegistriesMacy’s, Target and online for cash gifts. 
  • Thank you cards — Love the idea of a photo of us on the day holding a Thank You! sign
  • Hotel Room blockthis was taken care of when we booked the venue
  • Hair person — I think we have this
  • Garter — I do not know what to do about this. Help.
  • Our toasting flutes — Here are a few I like
  • Cake cutter/spatula
  • Day-of Coordinator(s) — a few friends would be perfect for this task 🙂 *hint, hint*
  • ProgramsI have this covered, just need to order the materials and put them together
  • Cake Topper? – I’m not sure if I want one. I’ve been thinking of a naked cake (LOVE the way they look) and cupcakes, but I think I’d like fruit and flowers on the caker rather than a topper.
  • Flowers
  • Guestbook
  • Songs for the ceremony
  • Ceremony Readings — I’m going with readings from Children’s books. I have two picked out already. 
  • “First Dance” Songs
  • Bridal Shower
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Bachelor Party
  • Table Numbers — Red wine on tables with printable table number labels.
  • Favors — homemade lemon cookies in gray CD sleeves (already purchased). Need stickers to seal sleeves. 
  • Other reception/ceremony decor — need chalkboards, various sized jars and bottles, backdrop…
  • Photo booth? — If we have one, it will be DIY, with just a backdrop where people can snap their own photos. Our budget doesn’t allow for a separate photographer for this. 
  • Flower Girl attire

I fully intend for this list to grow as the months pass, but for now, this is what I’m working with. This introductory post will serve as a jumping off point for future Wedding update posts.

After a lot of wedding work in September and October, I petered off a bit in November. Hosting my first Thanksgiving Dinner meant my mind was elsewhere. But now, I’m back! I’ve been thinking a lot about wedding stuff lately, so if you’re a friend of mine I may have sent you a random, out of the blue, wedding related text recently. I apologize, but as I think of things, I act on them!

DISCLAIMER:

I totally stole this idea from Meghann at Meals and Miles. I’ve been closely following her Wedding posts, and she just has it all together. Her monthly posts seem to really keep her on track with the planning, so I felt that this would be a great way to stay on task, and also keep my Mama (hi, Mom!) up to date on what I’m up to, since she lives so far away!

Question of the Day:
What am I forgetting!? 

A Few Friday Favorites

30 Nov

Boy, do I love some good alliteration…don’t you? 🙂

Friday is in full swing, and I am having trouble wiping this smile off of my face. I’m having a good, productive day so far, and I’m not getting stressed out by the millions of things I need to do this weekend. Here are some of the great things that I’m smiling about:

– I spent some time on the phone last night with a potential caterer, and then my mother, talking about our wedding in September, which got me excited about the wedding all over again! Sure, I get to look at these beauties every day: 

beauties

…which reminds me of our upcoming nuptials, but discussing the big day is both overwhelming and exciting. There is a lot to do, but luckily we have 10 months to do it, and I’m confident with all the help we have, it will get done.

– Speaking of my lovely fiance, we had a nice Subway lunch today. Usually we go home for lunch, so we will watch the previous night’s Daily Show while we eat. Today, we just ate and chatted and it was quite nice. After we ate, we went over to The Wild Ramp to pick up a gift for someone. The Wild Ramp is our local year-round Farmer’s Market. It is completely non-profit, and I love stopping by. While we were there, I decided that I must finally try some Jeni’s Ice Cream:

ice cream

I’ve been dying to try the Salty Caramel flavor. They didn’t have any, but the above flavor just spoke to me. I can’t wait to grab spoonfuls of this for the next week or so 🙂 The other really great thing that I saw was this:

yay

That’s me!

The Wild Ramp recently had a Kickstarter Campaign, and the put up the names of all the folks who donated on their bulletin board. This was all the thanks I needed!

– After a hard week of scrounging through almost bare cupboards to come up with dinner every night (we desperately need to do some grocery shopping!), I’ve reached my reward: Sushi for dinner tonight! Hooray!

Question of the Day:
What is the best thing that has happened to you today? 

Wedding: Save the Date Invites and My Hair Story

22 Oct

After this morning’s whiny post, I felt I owed this blog another post, so I thought I’d tell you about our Save the Date idea. Although we haven’t had the pictures done yet (our “Engagement Session” is this Saturday, but it’s not really a formal thing since our photographer is Zach’s sister and we’re paying her in love and devotion — love ya Court!!), we have had a pretty awesome idea in mind for a while now and I’m ready to share it.

Zach and I formed our relationship over our mutual love of Horror Movies. Since that first October, we’ve honored our tradition of watching horror movies during the month of October. This October has been a little hectic, but we’ve still managed to squeeze a few in.

For that reason, we’re doing a movie-themed Save the Date invite.

Photo Credit: AMBphoto

I think it’s going to work out really well, and I can’t wait to share the finished product with you. The photos I’ve interspersed in this post are inspiration photos I’ve saved for our own photo shoot. I bought an adorable outfit (shoes and all for $30! I’m a thrifty shopper) to wear and hopefully the pretty fall leaves will stick around until Saturday…or Sunday, I suppose! In addition to the movie theater shots, we’ll be doing some photos at my favorite park to use for any other reason we’ll need photos for the wedding — the website, centerpieces, etc.

______________________________________________________________________

My Wedding Hair

I have always loved having short, short hair. I usually resort to the pixie cut, because it’s easy and it looks good on me:

I THINK this photo is from 2 winters ago.

However, I started growing out my hair last winter because I was sick of the constant trims I needed to keep up the pixie.

 

Me, December 2012 — Me, now

You can see how much it has grown in less than a year. I plan to keep up the growing, but since I haven’t had a haircut since December, I will probably go get a trim and shape soon. I like the idea of having long curls on my wedding day, so for now, the long hair is staying. I had planned to go back to the pixie after our beach vacation, but Zach went and proposed so now I’m stuck with it ;), but I’ll say for sure that right after I’m married I’ll entertain the idea of a pixie again.

 

Wedding: Planning Update

18 Oct

I don’t mean to be a braggart, but I totally rule at wedding planning. So far.

If you’ve planned a wedding, you probably know that the wedding planning websites can be pretty stressful. The endless to-do lists, the pages and pages of things you “have” to buy, etc. It’s just a bit overwhelming. I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll get more stressed out, but as of now, I’m feeling pretty on top of everything. In fact, according to this email I got from The Wedding Channel, I’m ahead of schedule:

 

Also, ONLY 11 months? Come on, give us brides a break! We aren’t having an engagement party, so I’m not worried about that (do Brides really throw an engagement party TOO? Let’s face it, that’s like throwing another reception). I’ve already told you about our venue, so let’s talk about the bridal party.

Maid of Honor: Michelle (my sister)

Here is my favorite (only) sister with my nephew Nick.

What can I say? I was her Maid of Honor, and now she will be mine. She’s my sissy!

Bridesmaid: Courtney

I absolutely love this photo of Zach and Courtney, I printed it out and it’s on my refrigerator.

Courtney is Zach’s sister, but she was my dear friend before Zach and I started dating. Of course, we’ve grown a lot closer since I’ve started dating, and subsequently got engaged to her brother, but I’ve always held her in the highest regard. Courtney has a lot of the same personality traits as Zach, so she’s pretty easy to get along with, but she also is a lot like me, so that makes it even better. She’s a wedding photographer, so she’s been a huge help with wedding planning so far. With the help of our other friend who is a photographer (and also named Courtney, to make matters worse they both have dobermans. It’s very confusing), she will be pulling double duty as a bridesmaid and a photographer. I have a little guilt about asking her to basically work at her brother’s wedding, but I think she wants to (I hope), so I’m trying not to let it get to me. Hopefully the only real work she’ll do is setting up the formal photos and taking some reception photos.

Bridesmaids: Allison and Susie

 

I had trouble finding a photo of just me and Susie (on the far left), so I’m putting these two ladies together. It’s appropriate, because I met them at the same time. Allison and Susie have been best friends for a long time, and one day when I was out dancing, these two ladies walked up to me (we had seen each other out before), and Allison said, “Why don’t we hang out?” — the rest is history. Over the years, these two have become very close friends of mine. Allison and I lived together for two years while she studied for the Bar Exam and searched for a job. We would workout in our living room together every day and go out pretty much every night. Susie is one of my favorite friends to hang out with, because she’s always the most fun ever. Susie is a Registered Nurse and luckily she never calls me crazy when I text her and tell her I think that I have meningitis.

These ladies are very special to me at this point in my life. I probably could have chosen more bridesmaids (I have some old friends who I would love to put in my wedding), but these girls have been there the whole time Zach and I have been a couple.

P.S. I think I may have found my dress!

Question of the Day:
How many bridesmaids did you have in your wedding? 

Wedding: Guest List, Attendants, Venue Shopping and My Decor Inspiration Board

7 Sep

I have jumped right into wedding planning. For someone who was never really that interested in having a wedding at all, I sure have embraced the idea quickly!

Of course, it helps that all of my friends and family are probably as excited about it as I am. I don’t think of my wedding day as my day — it’s OUR day — and not just for me and Zach. So many people have contributed to our relationship, love us, are cheering for us. That makes us a stronger couple so despite the fact that I never really was interested in having a wedding (I really thought we’d go the elopement or Justice of the Peace route), I’ve embraced it because I want to create a beautiful day that we can share with the people we care about the most.

Our plan for the day is a low-stress, lovely, DIY affair with some delicious food, drinks and a whole lot of love. So, we’ve started from the beginning.

Step 1: The Date
While this isn’t set in stone (I need to make sure we have a venue before I can say for sure), we have decided on September 28th, 2013. Fall in WV is a great time to have a wedding, as there are tons of trees changing colors. I also just love the fall!

Step 2: The Guest List
This part was the first tough part. I want to invite everyone, but we can’t. We have a very small budget. It’s very hard to figure out who to invite and who to leave off.  Right now we’re just adding everyone and figuring it out later.

Step 3: The Attendants
We both have picked the friends and family who will stand next to us while we commit to the rest our lives together. I can’t announce Zach’s picks yet, as he hasn’t asked them (I have — I’m way less patient than he is), so I’ll save introductions for another post.

Step 4: The Venue
We’ve started making appointments to look at venues, even though our guest list isn’t set in stone. As I’ve mentioned we are on a tight budget (prepare to hear that a lot), so right now I’m restricting my search to anything our Parks Board has to offer, which is a lot! Today, we went to see this place: 

St. Cloud Commons

At a very reasonable $170/day, I was excited about this, and they do have lots and lots of (pretty) outdoor space, with lots of trees (which will be great in the fall!)  The website says it seats about 100, but it’s very small. I don’t think we’d be able to fit 100 people in there having dinner, with a dance floor. So, St. Cloud Commons isn’t for us. On to the next one!

Step 5: Dreaming about everything!
I’ve just been spending pretty much all of my time thinking about how I want it to look (but that’s not as important as how it will feel), what I’d like my dress to look like, and how wonderful it will be to announce my intention to spend the rest of my life with my best friend to all of the people I love! I’m very excited! The other day I was going through Pinterest and dreaming about all the decor, table decorations, etc. when I put this together. I call it a ‘vision board’ for decor and table centerpieces:

Image source: Who knows! Pinterest!

Bright yellow mums, bottles painted grey (not blue like in the photo), tissue paper poms hanging from the ceiling. It’s all going to very DIY and fun.

So, yes. It’s all a big jumble of excitement right now, but I have no doubt I’ll be able to pull this together. I’ve been reading a few books too, which I highly recommend. I’m all about keeping wedding planning low-stress, as inexpensive as possible, and not making it all about the bride. I pledge to include Zach (when he wants to be included, sometimes he just doesn’t have an opinion and that’s fine) at all junctures, and rely on the expertise of my wise bridesmaids (they truly are). I also pledge to remember that the only thing that must happen on September 28th, 2013 is that we must end up married by the end of the day. Regardless of anything else, if we are married at the end of the day, it will be a success.

Here are the books I’ve been reading:

A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. This is a great book! It’s easy (even at the very beginning of wedding planning) to get caught up in the millions of details that wedding blogs, magazines, and even well meaning people want to tell you are so important, but Meg reminds us that the most important thing is getting married. One of the first exercises Meg has you do is to print out one of those exhaustive bridal checklists. Then, you take a red pen and circle the essential things. Which basically are: a person to marry, an officiant and clothes. That’s it. Then, take the green pen and circle the things that are most important to you. Not what everyone tells you is most important, but what you think is important. Then take the red pen again and cross everything else out. That doesn’t mean they won’t be included in your wedding, but it gives you permission to not stress out about it. That was a very fun exercise! You can also read Meg’s blog here.

 

 

Your Wedding Your Way by Sharon Naylor hits the same chord as Keene’s book. It’s not about tradition, it’s about what you want for your day. I know, above I said it’s not just your day, and that’s right, but it’s also not every Tom, Dick and Harry’s day either. I’ll be honest I just started this one, but so far it’s great.

You can find all of my book and DVD recommendations in my Amazon Store here.

Question of the day:
I want to hear about your wedding, or a fun wedding you’ve been to! Go!