Tuesday, October 30


Been super busy around here. Super busy and super dreary and cold. I spend all day today in a dreadfully boring continuing ed class and now I'm snuggled up on the couch catching up on DVR missing Ben (he is oot for work).

 I'm getting last minute things finished for our Junior League's Holly Day Market which is next week. I've really enjoyed being on this committee this year and am excited I was selected to be on it again next year. I think it is going to be a great event and if you are in the area, please come do some shopping!!

Friday, October 26

under construction

Please excuse the mess...I'm working on the look of the blog. Time for some updates!!

Wednesday, October 24

WWW - All In The Details I

What do you most remember about a great wedding? What sticks in your mind? A great band? The food? For me, it's the little details that make the occasion unique to the couple and make it stand out from every other wedding. We are getting married at our country club, everyone and their brother has a country club wedding....so, I think it is important that I pay attention to the details, to make our day special and different.

I'm going to start sharing some of the details I will be incorporating into our big day. At this point, lots of these things are still just plans, nothing has come to fruition thus far. With that said, of course I may not end up doing some of the things I will post about - in the end I imagine time and budget will play a hand in what will get done.

Up first, our wedding map! I've always loved custom maps for weddings. Be it for a save the date, or included in out of town guest bags, there are so many uses for them. The first wedding maps I came across (years ago) were by Laura Hooper. I loved the calligraphy and hand drawn locations...but, at nearly $500 for 100, they are out of the budget.  Then, I kind of moved away from preferring the LH style, and fell in love with a water colored map, like Designs by Robyn Love. Gorgeous, no?! Such a fabulous keepsake from your wedding! But, again, just for the design of the map prices start at $400.

I went hunting for an equally lovely, more affordable option. I found CaligrafiaBella, whose work is gorgeous, but her design fee $200 and you don't get the original artwork included in the price. So, I kept looking. That's when I stumbled up JLH Art Studio. She doesn't have the calligraphy that I love, but her artwork is fabulous! For $75 you receive the original artwork, an 8x10 size. You can then take it to a local print shop to have postcards or whatever made up and hang the original in your new home (well, mine won't be new, but whatever!) This is what I think I will do, add postcards to the guest bags with the weekend agenda and schedule printed on the back side. They will make for a nice souvenir for our guests!


What do you all think? Is JLH a nice compromise or should I shell out a bit more and get my beloved calligraphy from CB (who is still significantly less than the other options listed)?


Do you like the idea of a wedding map? Did you have one? If so, how did you use it?

Friday, October 19

WWW - How to put together a Wedding Planning Notebook

EDIT: Well, I was attempting to update the photo on this post and not re-post it...but apparently that is not possible! So sorry for the duplicate post!! However, I did update some of the info in the post!

I love lists. Lists for everything! There is something so satisfying in making a to-do list and marking it off as you accomplish tasks. Don't you agree?! I also need to have a tangible, in-my-hands planning tool in order to stay organized. I put together this Wedding Planning Notebook so that I could have everything in one place. After doing some research, I've added in lists, forms, and lots of things I had no idea I would need for planning our wedding! (The printables will link back to their original source)

I purchased all my products from the Martha Stewart office line. If you don't want to make your own planner, as I did, Martha has a pre-made planner for just $25. (I spent more than that on the binder, dividers, etc.) I got all my things from Staples, and they are beautifully color coordinated and pretty! I bought the binder, clear zip pouch, sticky notes, dividers (x2) and calendar. (here is a coupon, good until the end of 2012)

Now of course you can organize your binder however best suits you, but here is how I organized mine, what I have put in it, what I'm going to be adding to each section and how I plan to use it.

First up, the clear zip pouch I have used for fabric samples, business cards, etc. The sticky notes are for, well, notes (duh!) and I've used the little tabs for making additional sections by putting them on pieces of hole-punched card stock to serve as subcategories within the blue dividers.

After this I have the calendar. I do obviously have a colander on my computer (that is synced with my iPhone) but I like to have an actual paper & pen calendar too. (edit: I haven't actually been using this. I'd suggest you save your money.) I think this helps with long term planning. I will have dress fittings, cake testings, etc on here, but more importantly deadlines! I want to keep track of when payments are due, contracts have to be signed and final decisions made.

After that I have 10 blue dividers. I have broken them down into these categories:

  1. Important 
  2. Budget
  3. Ceremony
  4. Reception
  5. Guests
  6. Attire
  7. Photographer
  8. Florist
  9. Rehearsal
  10. Miscellaneous. 
I added photographer and florist to theses because they will apply to ceremony, rehearsal and reception. Within these categories I have added subcategories and worksheets and checklists that I printed from the web.

  1. Important
  2. Budget
  3. Ceremony
    • Copy of Ceremony text
    • What to Ask Your Wedding Officient
    • List of processional & recessional order
    • Contracts
    • Officiant contact information
    • Cost & tips
    • Music to be played and any musicians contracts, contact info and fees
    • Decor
    • Any seating arrangements and reserved seating 
    • Program
    • Confetti 
      • (Clearly all these items won't actually be going in the binder, but I will put the order forms, receipts, etc in there to make sure I keep track of it all and that I have completed it all.)
  4. Reception
    • Timeline of reception (dance, cake cutting, toasts, flower toss, exit, etc)
    • Music
    • Rentals (separate subcategory) w/ contract (see bottom for link to template) 
    • Decor
    • Setup info and instructions
    • Menu
    • Beverage List
    • Playlist with noted special songs (1st dance etc)
    • List of who will be giving toasts
    • List of people to thank at reception
    • Favors
    • Cake
    • Guest Book
    • Photo booth (if we end up having one!)
    • Exit sparklers
    • Reserved seat signs
    • Toasting glasses
    • Band contact information, pricing, tips etc
    • All relevant contracts
  5. Guests
    • Guest list (I will probably do all this in a  spreadsheet)
      • Mailing address
      • RSVPs
      • Dinner choices
      • Gifts received list
      • Thank you notes sent
    • Guest hotel information
    • Welcome bags
  6. Attire
    • Bride
      • Schedule of fittings etc (this is redundant, but I want it here too) 
      • Dress
      • Jewelry
      • Bag
      • Shoes
      • Lingerie
      • Veil
    • Groom
    • Bridesmaids
      • Dresses
      • Accessories
    • Groomsmen
    • MOB
    • Ring Bearer
  7. Photog 
    • Contract
    • Must-have photo list
    • List of everyone needed for photos - break this down into names (i.e. Courtney, MOH)
    • Any props (Don't think we will have any)
  8. Florist
    • Contract
    • Pricing & budget
    • List of arrangements for Ceremony
    • List of arrangements for Reception
    • List of bouquets
    • List of boutonnieres 
    • Flowers for family members
  9. Rehearsal
  10. Misc...

I also recently came across this fabulous source of Wedding Templates from "Russell + Hazel" - I definitely suggest you check it out for additional helpful form and such!

Thursday, October 18

GiGi New York Giveaway!!

GiGi New York is teaming up with Just Lovely to giveaway one of their gorgeous leather cosmetic bags to one lucky reader! Winner has their choice of color and personalization! Enter by next Thursday, October 24th!

My favorite? The rich eggplant color. Add a gold monogram and it's the perfect pouch to pop in your purse to keep everything organized! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 17

WWW - my Fiancé is 30!!

Happy 30th Birthday to my stud muffin husband-to-be! I love you so very very much! Here's to many many more birthday together as husband and wife! 

Monday, October 15

We have a winner! (Minted giveaway)

Congrats Legally Fab! You won the $50 Minted.com giveaway!!! Now get Dirk ready for his close up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 11

Happy Wedding Weekend, Rebecca!!!

I just wanted to wish one of my dearest friends, Rebecca (Beaker), a very happy wedding weekend! Rebecca and I were sorority sister, roommates, and best friends. I love you and am so so happy for you and honored to be your MOH :)

A few pics of us through the years!

Cheers! Wishing you many years of happiness and love!

PS don't forget to enter my Minted giveaway!! 
You could win $50 for some fab holiday cards!! 

Wednesday, October 10

WWW - to-do list update

Ha, I haven't really accomplished much, but I have decided that a few things are not getting done at all!! I should have florist, videographer, baker and save the dates completed by the end of the month! Actually I suppose the guest list has to be finalized before save the dates go out, so that will be complete too!
1.     Set a date
2.     Book a venue
3.     Book photographer
4.     Engagement photos
5.     Book videographer (if it is in the budget)
6.     Book band
7.     Ask bridal party to be in wedding
8.     Create wedding website (working on that currently)
9.     Book florist
10. Buy wedding dress
11. Select bridesmaid dresses
12. Select and order groom & groomsmen attire
13. Find veil
14. Book cake baker
15. Buy cake knife and server (put this on the registry & mom is buying as gift)
16. Order save the dates
17. Finalize guest list
18. Antique cake stand
19. Cake topper
20. Ring pillow
21. Order stamps
22. Send save the dates. Order guest book (I want to do something different with this)
24. Register
25. Reserve hotel room blocks
26. Hire a calligrapher
27. MOB & MOH dress shopping
28. Find wedding shoes
29. Choose wedding jewelry
30. Find garter (I've decided not to do this)
31. Clutch for bride (not going to do this after all, just don't need)
32. Sash or belt for bride (included with dress purchase)
33. Something old
34. Something new
35. Something borrowed
36. Something blue
37. 6 pence
38. Make day-of emergency kit
39. Going away outfit (just going to leave in my dress and save $$ or wear a white dress from a shower)
40. Book makeup artist and hair stylist
41. Wedding favors (monogram cookies or monogram suckers maybe?)
42. Getting ready outfit for bride and bridesmaids
43. Menu tasting
44. Cake tasting
45. Hair and makeup trial
46. Get measured for dress
47. 1st /only dress fitting
48. Order invitations (get custom artwork finished)
49. Send invitations
50. Bridal party gifts/groomsmen gifts
51. Purchase wedding bands (for him & repair Grandmother's band for me)
52. Put together picture list for photographer
53. Get marriage license
54. Book transportation for wedding party
55. Welcome bags
56. Gift for Groom
57. Music selection for band (1st dance, father/daughter etc) and for ceremony
58. Playlists for cocktail hour
59. Book wedding night hotel room
60. Order thank you notes
61. Tips and thank you notes for vendors
62. Engagement announcements in paper etc

1.     Book musician
2.     Book church
3.     Pre-marital counseling
4.     Wreaths
5.     Yard/directional sign
6.     Programs
7.     Confetti

1.     Book caterer (included at the country club)
2.     Order rentals (dance floor, lighting, any linens)
3.     Decorations for bride and groom’s chairs
4.     Candles
5.     Bar menu sign
6.     Family wedding photos and silver frames
7.     Cocktail music etc
8.     Monogram table runner, and monogrammed linens
9.     Escort cards and table number signs
10. Make table assignments and seating charts
11. Painting for over the fireplace
12. W (moss) for over bar area
13. Monogram cocktail napkins and/or drink stirs
14. Flip flops
15. Accessories for the bourbon bar (cigars etc)
16. Sparklers 
17. escort cards (calligrapher)
18. escort card display (DIY)

Rehearsal Dinner:
1.     Book venue
2.     Rehearsal dinner music
3.     Rehearsal dinner décor/flowers/cups
4.     Rehearsal dinner caterer (still need to place order)
5.     Rehearsal dinner rentals
6.     Order invitations
7.     Send invitations
8. Rehearsal dinner dress
9. Monogrammed napkins, cups OR koozies (depending on keg or cans)

1.     Bachelorette party
2.     Bachelor party
3.     Bridal showers
4.     Book honeymoon
5.     Honeymoon shopping
6. Hostess gift for all my showers
7. Dresses for showers

PS I found this Wedding Weekend Timeline & Checklist for Bridesmaids that is pretty comprehensive - 
thought I'd pass it along to you all!

Thursday, October 4

Bachelorette Survival Kits

Hello Ladies! I wanted to share with ya'll the little bachelorette survival kits I made for the lingerie party I hosted last weekend. They were really easy and make the perfect favor! 

  1. Gum for fresh breath 
  2. Advil for the next morning
  3. Energy drink mix
  4. Booze (love the "Kinky" mini bottle! Tasted like crap, but perfect for a bachelorette party!)
  5. Bandaids for sore tootsies
  6. Super cute treat bags to put it all in (I printed little labels to add to the tags that came w/bags)

The bachelorette got a few "extras" in her bag :)

Cute, no?!

Wednesday, October 3

WWW - the costs of tying the knot

I've been having a bit of a breakdown lately. I'm freaking out about the wedding. Not about the planning or the actual getting married (the whole reason for the wedding) but just about how much everything costs! It's SO MUCH money. I mean, of course I knew weddings were expensive, and I also knew I have expensive taste. But lately I've just been thinking about all the other stuff we could do with the money besides throw a party for one night. Does everyone go through this?

We are probably paying for half the wedding ourselves, maybe a bit less. For total transparency, I kind of expect the wedding to cost about $30,000. I don't have a hard and fast budget, because we will kind of be paying as we go. I have a certain amount my dad and grandmother are giving me, and Ben's parents are pitching in too, but the amount we end up spending depends on what we can afford. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about the costs associated with their weddings, what they spent on what and so forth, but I feel totally comfortable talking about it. It's a lot of money and its scary! I want to know how everyone else handled it!

So, former brides and fellow brides-to-be...did you feel this way too at some point in your planning process? Is the wedding really worth the cost? Will I regret not having the big wedding if we don't? Will I regret it if we do? I'm afraid I'll try to save money and end up forever regretting not having the wedding I've dreamt of. I also don't want to get caught up in planning a party and forget the real meaning of the day. I know the party isn't the important thing...idk. I feel like I'm having an identity crisis!! Help!!

Tuesday, October 2

Lingerie Shower Recap

The lingerie shower I hosted this past weekend was a hit! We had a great little happy hour lingerie shower for the bride-to-be, then hit the town for her last night out as a single lady! Come back Thursday for a how-to for making the bachelorette survival kits!