Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Honeymooners

Well, we finally booked our honeymoon! I literally could not be more excited. The whole process was a bit of an ordeal (though well worth it in the end!).

We knew we wanted to go to a couple countries in Europe (specifically, Spain and France), so we figured a vacation package would be the best way to go. But when I looked at the package prices (from a company similar to Costco), the flights were way more expensive than some of the flights I was seeing on travel sites like

So first we decided to just book our flights through Orbitz and the hotels through the other company. As I started to look, though, one of those “would you like to chat with a representative?” boxes popped up. I happily selected “yes,” since I was already feeling a little overwhelmed by all my options.

This is when Ashley entered our lives. God bless that woman, because she spent five (yup) hours chatting with me and helping us to book three hotel rooms AND a flight plan that all came in at about $800 less than what we would have paid for the package (and with an extra flight!).

Needless to say, I kind of wanted to invite her to the wedding after that.

So here’s the plan! First, we’re flying to Barcelona the night evening after our wedding:

Next, we take a train to Madrid:

Then it’s a flight to Paris(!):

I cannot wait. Neither of us have ever been to Europe, and I’m sure we’ll have an amazing time.

Anyone have any suggestions for what we have to do while we’re there? Where is everyone else going?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Day DIY

Over last weekend, New York was pretty much at a standstill after receiving a dump of over eight inches of snow. (Eight!) So because I couldn't 't get to the office on Monday to think about everyone else's weddings, it seemed like an excuse to focus on my own, right?

Last week, I promised you another DIY project: ring pillows!

I'm happy to say they were mostly a success, although my version is a bit more rustic than Martha's. I started by cutting out he petals out of an ivory cotton material:

Next I gathered them in the center and sewed them tightly onto felt pillow "cases."

I ended up trimming the petals so they puff up a bit more and look more flower-y. I also added gold ribbon to hold the rings.

Then I stuffed the pillows and sewed them up. Not perfect, but not bad for a little DIY detail!

What DIY projects are you working on? If you're looking for inspiration, check out all the amazing details our crafty brides have dreamed up here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pretty Pillows

Does anyone else have a moment of panic every time they think about how soon their wedding is? I’m under the four-month mark. Which doesn’t sound so bad until I phrase it as, “My wedding is in three months and two weeks.”

Um, what?

I had a minor panic attack about it at work the other day, but one of my co-workers got me to calm down by telling me to make a list and schedule two appointments. I did feel a lot better after that. Then one of my bridesmaids offered to take me on any errand, so I picked the craft and fabric store.

Which means it’s time for another DIY project!

The fiancé is making me dinner tonight, so while he cooks I’m planning to whip up two of these:

We’re not having ring bearers, but I think it will make something cute for the flower girls to carry since they can’t scatter petals. Thoughts?

I’ll post pictures next week. Everyone have a good holiday break!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reason #514 I love

I can’t believe my wedding is less than four months away. That’s just…insane.

It also means I need to start getting more serious about finalizing the last-minute details. Here’s what I have left to do:

1. Finalize the menu. We’ve picked it, but I need to call our place and let them in on our choices.
2. Centerpieces. I’ve contacted the florist, but I need to set up an appointment to make the official order.
3. Bouquets. I’m making my own, but I need to order the blooms.
4. Cake. Some friends of ours recommended a local bakery, but the fiancé and I need to make a trip to find out if they’re in our budget.
5. Decorations. I haven’t decided between a seating chart or escort cards yet, and I need to find out if we’re allowed to add any extra décor to the venue. Plus I want to get a big chalkboard (or possibly a white board) to hang near the air hockey table so people can post their scores.
6. Bridesmaid gifts. I have a few ideas, but limited fundage has put a hold on this. At least I have plenty of time for that one.
7. Invitations. They’re all designed, I’m just waiting for the fiancé to approve before I make my official order. Then I just need to stuff and send!
8. Wedding bands. I have the stones for my band, we just need to go to the jeweler and get everything ordered.
9. Favors. But this is another thing that won't get done until much closer to the wedding.
10. The rest of my accessories.

I already got my shoes (I broke down and bought a new pair…trust me, they’re worth it), but I needed a necklace. At first I was going to do a long gold chain-type thing, but then, true to bridal nature, I changed my mind. Or really, this wedding changed my mind.

It’s actually one of my all-time favorite weddings. If I hadn’t done seafoam, I would have done this gorgeous blush pink. Ugh, doesn’t it just make you swoon?

Anyway, one of the many details I love about this wedding is the chunky pink and gold necklace the bride wore for the reception. I mean, seriously. Love.

Hers is from J. Crew…about two years ago. After a brief eBay search proved fruitless, I decided to test something that I’ve actually been anxious to try for a while: the Alchemy feature on (No one is surprised I’m on Etsy, right?)

I posted a link to the photos, explained what I wanted, and sat back to wait for people to start clamoring to create it for me. I actually got about ten solid offers. I picked a girl who included photos of the beads she would use (visual aids are a great way to win me over) and stayed within my requested budget. Now I just have to wait for my custom piece.

Have I mentioned how fancy custom pieces make me feel?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bang it out

Sometimes growing your hair out for your wedding can get really boring.

Case in point, I really want my hair to look like this:

Still long, but I miss my bangs. But my hair stylist has convinced me to wait until after I've said "I do."

Sigh…another day, bangs. Another day.

Anyone else looking forward to a post-wedding chop?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bouquet Crush

Sigh. I am so in love with this bouquet:

(From this wedding on The Knot!)

Pretty much all of my flowers are taken care of so far (centerpieces come with our venue, I'm making the boutonnieres out of fabric and the  bridesmaid bouquets out of baby's breath and pretty ribbon), but I think I may splurge a bit on my bouquet.

What are you doing for your flowers? Any brave brides creating all their arrangements?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Engagement Pictures!

Ok, I finally have pictures to show you! (I know, two day lag time. I’m sooo lazy.) It literally killed me to pare them down to these (there are so many I love!), but you can check out the full album (and see these ones bigger!) here. We had a lot of fun traipsing around rural Iowa with my sister and her fiance (AKA, her second shooter...what's with all these parentheticals?) And even though it was freezing and I destroyed a pair of shoes, I think you'll agree it was totally worth it. Enjoy!

all photos copyrighted and courtesy of:
Hair+Makeup: Amber L. Hathaway, FreeStyle Design, ( 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's A Party

Ok, so you have already met my junior bridesmaid and my flower girls. Now it’s time to meet the rest of my attendants!

First, the bridesmaids. I think this picture accurately describes all of them:

Megan and Dana are married (Dana’s husband is one of the fiance’s groomsmen), which is incredibly helpful since they already know everything I will probably forget. But they have all been totally awesome and ready to help with anything. Best (looking) bridal party ever? Probably.

AND I’m even going to give you a sneak peek of their dresses. (Lucky you!) Only one of them is wearing the actual dress she will wear, but we wanted to get an idea of what the colors all look like together. Check it out (sorry for the poor quality...the store didn't have the best lighting):

I think we’re going to add something like this to the silver one (but in seafoam) to add a pop of color. I’m liking the look so far, if I do say so myself.

Finally, my man of honor is my brother Jeff.

{the first picture is one of the only ones I have of him and's really old. the second picture is more recent, and shows his lovely wife, Lindsay!}

Jeff and I have been close for as long as I can remember, and I credit him largely with my sense of humor, nerdy interests, and in general a lot of how my personality turned out. (So I guess you can thank him too…right, guys?) Sidenote: he is also the aforementioned junior bridesmaid's step-father. So it's a family affair.

Jeff’s first question (after finding out that a “man of honor” is actually a real thing) was, “So…I wear a dress?” He was joking, of course, but having nontraditional attendants does pose additional fashion conundrums. I asked him to wear a light gray suit, but he’ll still stand out from the fiance’s guys because they’re all shopping together, so Jeff’s suit will be different. I’m thinking something like this (of course I hit up J. Crew for the photo!):

With a tie like one of these (the middle one is my favorite so far):

So there you have it! I’m getting really excited to see the whole thing put together!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flower Girl Fashion

Ready to meet the youngest members of our wedding party? The girls finally got their cards and confirmed that they’re in (yay!). First, we have Stephanie:

Stephanie is 5 (six in March), and she’s the fiance’s youngest cousin. (As you can see, adorableness runs in their family.) Next up…

Lily! Lily is my niece (she’s 4) and one of my favorite people.

Originally I planned to put them in matching dresses, but the top dress sold out much quicker than I anticipated. I kind of like how it turned out, though!

They’ll wear gold sparkle shoes like these:

And I want to make some kind of gold hair garland, like this but spray painted gold:

You can’t scatter petals in our ceremony venue, but I feel like they should hold something…maybe ring pillows of some kind? Though the idea of handing a small child diamonds has always made me a little nervous. Maybe pomanders or something. Any ideas out there I haven’t considered?

Dresses: Crayon Kids

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm a tease.

We took our engagement pictures! Now, before you get too excited, I don’t have any to show you yet. What I do have? A little e-pic teaser to whet your appetite.

First, you should know that my sister (also our engagement picture photographer, you may recall) is way cooler than I am. As a result, she knows a lot of cool people. One of her friends is a hair/makeup artist named Amber. (Amber has done my sister’s hair and makeup for fashion shows and shoots -- yeah, my sister is also a model. Told you she was cooler.) Amber wanted Joelle to take pictures of some of her work for her portfolio, so Joelle offered me up as a model. (I'll add Amber's contact info as soon as I get it from my sister!)

All of that means that I got my hair and makeup done by a professional. Which was a total relief, because I basically do the same thing with my hair every day and wear very little makeup. Here’s me getting glam-ified (photos taken by my sister on my Droid):

Later that night, my parents had a wedding shower for our Iowa guests. Here’s the fiancé and me with two of my best friends (and a sneak peek of the outfits we wore for the pictures!):

I know, I know, we’re ridiculously good-looking. Can’t wait to show you the actual photos!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bridal Party Planning

I'm a planner. And right now I'm trying to plan what my bridal party will wear.

Does this mean that I spent part of my lunch break printing "paper dolls" of the potential dresses to see what looks best together?

...well, it's doesn't NOT mean that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wanted: Flower Girls

Ok, my first DIY project, as promised!

I wanted to think of a cute way to ask our flower girls to be in the wedding, and since both of them live in different states (and are under the age of six) I also wanted to try to come up with something that would paint a clearer picture for them of what we were asking.

I had seen these adorable cards on a wedding blog, and I wanted to create something similar (but a little more girlie). And so, I created these:

Not bad, eh? The fiancé and family were impressed with my craftiness, so hopefully our flower girls will dig ‘em. I dropped them in the mail box this morning, so they should have them by the weekend!

Not only that, but we also asked our officiant to give our wedding talk last weekend, and we’re requesting use of our ceremony venue tonight. I love checking things off the list!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sign Your Name Here

Hoo boy, we’re under the five-month planning mark. It seems like the time is flying and dragging at the same time.

But we’re starting to get more and more details taken care of! For example, I got our guest book a couple of weeks ago. I had it made by designer Grey Dog Designs on (You know how I love Etsy.)

Here’s the sample version:

The only difference for ours is that we used a minty blue color instead of the green (and it’s our names and date, of course!). Guests will each leave a thumbprint "leaf," then sign their name by their print. Later, we can hang it in our apartment. (Instead of sticking a book of signatures somewhere on a shelf...does anyone actually look at those?)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for one of my first DIY projects!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kissing Cousins

Apparently getting engaged runs in my family. My cousin and her boyfriend just got engaged! So happy for them, and I can’t wait to see their details!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hanging by a thread

I have a lot of plans to spend my holiday break this winter demolishing wedding DIY tasks. One of the biggest things I’d like to finish? Reception décor.

I’d like to do some kind of garland-y thing to hang above the dinner tables, and maybe along the wall by the dance floor. Here are a few ideas I’m tossing around:

Burlap Bunting: I could also see doing this in seafoam- and mint-colored felt or fabric swatches. I probably would skip the words though.


Tissue Paper Pomanders: A could do a few big ones or some strings of mini ones. OR I could do this super cool newsprint version:

  Finally, this:

Felt Circle Garlands: I have gold thread that would be pretty to use, but I'm not sure what color to do. Probably the minty/seafoam, right?

So, here's a shout-out to all you creative/crafty types. What do you think? Is there any idea I'm missing?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The date is saved!

I totally forgot to post our whole save-the-date! Ok, here is what they look like. (Except we changed “Music” to “Dinner” in the final product…and I blacked out last names. Sorry.)

Totally rad, right? I’m more than a little obsessed with them...

Meet My Junior Bridesmaid

Wow, I have been really awful about posting the last week or so! Ironically, I have to blame the other wedding-saturated part of my life: my job.

But, even though I haven’t been good about sharing it, some very important wedding things have been in the works! We have almost our entire bridal party selected (you’re probably not supposed to do it in tiers, but a lot of our members live in other states). So instead of one big bridal party post, I’m going to break it up into each category.

First: our lovely junior bridesmaid!

This is Cameron (AKA, Cams), my totally awesome niece. She’s 12 years old, loves art, and is scary smart for her age (and, yeah, I know; scary gorgeous, too). Basically, she rules.

Like my other bridesmaids, I’m letting Cams (and her equally lovely mother) pick a dress they like in the wedding colors, but I’m hoping they can find one in a pattern so Cameron stands out a bit. I think it will add some dimension to the whole look, and hopefully make her feel a little special.

I’m actually kind of in LOVE with this dress, but it’s not the right colors:

Le sigh. But my sister-in-law, Lindsay, is a wizard when it comes to shopping around, so I have the utmost in faith that she will find something adorable. (Though she may have to wait until warmer weather. Turns out when you pick spring wedding colors and it’s still fall/winter, the clothing in stores doesn’t really reflect your palette. Who knew?)

And since I don’t have, you know, any children, I’ve realized I have no idea where to shop for dressy kids clothes. Any help from the interwebs? If you had a junior maid, where did you find her duds?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For the Win

So, my future mother-in-law loves bridal shows. And not just loves, loves. Even though I’m the one that works in the industry, she seems to know every bridal show in the tri-state area, and she’s very good about passing along the information.

Remember the first bridal show we went to? That was her idea. And we’re going to another one tonight that she found, too. My schedule is sort of nutty, so I would never have time to find these things if not for her.

She also works for a breast cancer awareness group that holds a dinner/dance every year (it takes place at the venue we almost picked). This year, the Fiance and I went, and it’s a good thing we did.

We got to see our DJ perform live:

One of my bridesmaids and me getting down

We also entered a raffle to win dinner and a hotel night at this really awesome inn nearby, and we WON.

We were going to use it on our wedding night, but then we would have to sacrifice the dinner (not cool). So instead I think we’re going to save it for our 2-year dating anniversary in June.  (Or, you know, anytime post-wedding life gets too hectic and we want a night away.)

I don’t know about you guys, but I really like winning things…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Save-the-dates? Check!

They're officially in the mail!!!!!!!!!!*

Go me.

*Minus one for my cousin because I don't have her address yet and one for a friend for the same reason.**
**EDIT: ALL SENT!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I love free things

Just found this little beauty on our free table in the office. It's my wedding color and everything!

Now to figure out what to do with it...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Which is your favor-ite?

So now that I have all these favor boxes sitting on my desk, staring at me every day (pressuring me), I’ve started to put more thought into what I would want to do for our wedding favor. In general, I’m kind of “eh” about the whole idea of wedding favors. I don’t like knick-knacks, or anything that is going to end up useless clutter in my apartment, and I feel like most people share that opinion.

The only time I’m in favor of favors (heh) is when they are a) edible or b) useful at the wedding (like sparklers, rally towels, flip flops, pashminas, etc.). I also don’t want to devote a lot of my budget to favors. (Sorry, guests, I love you, but I’m taking you out for a night of dinner and dancing, so that’s where I’m focusing the funds.)

However, I do want to do something, if only because a pretty little favor box will dress up the table (plus, I have the boxes and all…). And so I figured, why not use my oh-so-lovely blog audience to  get a little feedback before I decide? Here’s what I’m thinking:

Option One: Coffee Beans

Photo courtesy of

Of course, my bag would have a much cuter sticker (total disclosure: I would probably just steal this adorable bean phrase.)

Option Two: S’mores Kit

Ok, cute, but maybe a bit pricey to actually put together? Not sure. And I’m a little worried it’s too cute for its own good. I guess the guest could take it home and make a s’more…would anyone actually do that?

Option Three: Homemade peanut butter cups (one dark and one white chocolate in each box)

It’s our favorite kind of candy, and I could probably make 300 pretty cheap…but it would take a while.

Option Four: Mixed CD

It’s pretty, but music is such a personal thing. And I couldn’t really use the boxes for this, I just think it’s a cute idea.

So, what do you think? Place your votes (and reasoning) in the comments section!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fortune Favors the Bride

Ok, I know I keep saying that Knot editors don’t really get any special perks for their weddings that regular brides don’t get, but I have officially found the exception: The Knot Beauty Sale.

As you can probably imagine, vendors send us a whole lotta stuff that they want to get promoted in the magazine. A lot of it is beauty supplies, hair care products, and general toiletries.

Welll, today was the magical day they put all of the leftover stuff from the past year or so in the cafeteria and let employees buy it for a fraction of the original cost. (Example: I am now the proud owner of a $150 hair dryer I got for $15. All together now: Scoooooooore!)

We also sold off a lot of the Knot Shop items that were either used in photographs or monogrammed for sales pitches and whatnot. Including….

Favor boxes! I got 150 for $5. So I’m a pretty happy Knot editor/budget bride this morning!