Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend in Pictures {a non-wedding post}

My friend Chelsea came for a visit all the way from Washington state :) I miss her already. We had a lovely time hanging out by drinking wine and shopping for make up. She's amazing with beauty products and convinced me to buy Benefit Erase Paste. I've decided I love it. A dang good purchase.
Me, My Sister, My Mom on Thanksgiving Day

This is me and one of my flower girls, my cousin Lora on Thanksgiving Day. She had her fifth birthday last week and she is absoultely adorable.

This would be my other flower girl, Lenna Mae. She's Lora's little sister and so precious.

AJR and I made a trip to Lake Gaston with his family for the weekend. He and his dad are fishing.

While in Lake Gaston we went to a vintage shop and found an awesome old type writer. We aren't sure what we will do with it, but we love it. Possibly just a conversation starter piece to have in a hallway table?

I love the keys :)

AJR bought me a vintage evening clutch. I'm really excited about this!

I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was one of those books I always thought I should read when I was in highschool and never did. Thank you AJR for buying it for me this summer :) I started it Friday night and finished Saturday... I couldn't put it down! My two favorite quotes from the book: "So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them." and "I used to listen to it all the time when I was little and thinking about grown-up things. I would go to my bedroom window and stare at my reflection in the glass and the trees behind it and just listen to the song for hours. I decided then that when I met someone I thought was as beautiful as the song, I should give it to that person. And I didn’t mean beautiful on the outside. I meant beautiful in all ways."

{Back to Weddingness Next Post}

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AJR likes these

And I like them too.

And the registry begins

Let me do a little posting on registry. First of all, this is something that when I tell people I am doing they go "Omigosh! Soooo fun!" (Well, if they are of female origin that is). And here is the fun part: Eventually you get really cool gifts. But first you have to choose these really cool gifts and that has proved to be a difficult thing! AJR and I went to Crate and Barrel on Saturday and were a bit overwhelmed with the choices. In fact, we were there for an hour and a half and never even touched the cool gun clicker thingy! We thought we would “look around” before we committed to putting things on the registry, but by the time we even got to the second floor of the store, we were exhausted.
And apparently the second floor is where all the good stuff is, like furniture. ie. Comfy leather couches that we could sit in while we dreamed of owning this trunk as our future coffee table. Anyhow, I decided to come home and do it online, which was a little easier since I wasn’t distracted by all the Christmas displays that were every five feet in the store.

Then last night I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, which is our second place to list our wants and needs for a refined home environment. I actually spent 30 minutes contemplating between towels. I also registered for two towels that were 39.99 each. My conscience is killing me. All the wedding marketing people try to convince you that you need to let guests spoil you by registering for completely unpractical and ridiculously expensive items. The guilt is eating at me. I may have to reconsider those forty dollar towels.

Images from here

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wedding Cake

AJR and I thought about going cake shopping this weekend but have instead decided to dedicate our weekend to relaxation and registry. (Crate and Barrel here we come!)

I wanted to look at cakes online a little bit before I talked to any bakers and I want a cake that looks like this! Bah, I love it.

So instead we will try to go cake tasting the weekend of Thanksgiving. Because one cannot fill up on enough pumpkin pie and must top off the holiday weekend with sampling wedding cake!

P.S. Sarah (my roomie/Maid of Honor) is the one that found the blog I stole this image from. I am now obsessed with Ruffle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bride Wars

So... I know I already posted today, but who says I have to stop at one post per day!?!? Psshhh, Not I.

Last night I walked into my living room to see the movie "Bride Wars" playing. Naturally it's about weddings and naturally I had to get sucked into it, because well... it's about weddings. Duh.

Anne Hathaway is in the movie and the dress she wears is O.MI.GOSH.TO.DIE.FOR.  My mouth was visibly hanging open with drool when I saw it. Seriously, it is drop dead gorgeous and I just had to search for it this afternoon. The dress was from the 2005 Vera Wang Wedding collection and it is just mouth watering (as I demonstrated with my reaction to it last night).

I couldn't find a picture of the back of it, other than a girl that posted about it on Wedding Bee. This lucky girl actually wore the dress in her wedding. Ahhhh-mazing.

So why am I posting about dresses when I already have one? Well, here is what happened. When I went to that bridal store last week and found my dress, I realized that there are a MILLION gorgeous dresses that really aren't anything like the one I would choose to buy for my wedding. For some reason, now that I don't have to stress about my dress, I can take pleasure in browsing and actually appreciate the beauty of many other dresses.

Okay, I feel like this post is getting a little boring, but to add to the boringness... update on my dress: Last night I took it to Oksana, my Russian seamstress that I may or may not have a girl crush on. She says things like "Ze Dress!" and "Oy!" and gets right down to business when you ask her questions about alterations. She pinned it all in since it was about 3 sizes too big on me and we talked about some options regarding the slight changes I want to make to it. I go back December 4th to make more progress after she takes it in. I'm so excited!

DIY Table Runners

I LOVE table runners. Seriously, they are just better than plain table cloths. I like that they expose the table but are still a nice little spread to lay your centerpieces over.

I think the place we are renting tables from are going to be round tables. I'm not so sure runners look good on round tables. Darnit. Maybe we can change our order...

I found this DIY table runner on Style Me Pretty. I really wish I had a sewing machine. It's my goal to become more crafty. Perhaps I shall make it a New Years Resolution. I also think I fell in love with this DIY project because I love burlap. Don't ask me why, but I just think it's cool. It can come off as artsy and organic yet masculine. I still find it pretty in it's own way, and totally do-able for a wedding.

One bolt of 54-inch wide burlap (you can use less, but 21 runners took the full bolt)
Teal Blue Thread

1. Cut fabric in lengths of 14 feet, two inches.
2. Cut in half lengthwise so that each strip is 27 inches wide
3. Turn the ends and sides under one inch and hem
4. Stitch with a zig zag stitch (my mom used the largest zig zag, about a quarter of an inch) on her machine and chose satin thread)
5. Iron flat

So... Who wants to let me borrow their sewing machine? I don't even care if these are for the wedding... I just think they would be fun to make!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"I'll put a Flower in your Hair..."

I am still completely infatuated with the idea of using succulents in the wedding. They are so beautiful! And they last forever... unlike all other traditional wedding flowers that will brown and die within 24 hours. Okay, they don't actually last forever but you can have them cut in a certain manner so they are easily replantable. And even if you aren't able to do that, they will still keep for weeks afterward. I am definitely infusing my bouquet with them! And how sweet does it look in her hair? That is gorgeous!
This image was taken from an amazing wedding I found in my inbox from Green Wedding Shoes. Everything about that wedding was incredible... I may have to put it under my "Favorites" and come back for ideas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Engagement Party

This weekend was absolutely lovely. My amazing Aunt Kimmy threw an engagement party for AJR and I at her house. She went all out and it was classy and divine and PERFECT. AJR and I had about 15 of our friends come in town for the event (and they ALL stayed at my apartment, oh my... that was quite the experience) and our families finally got to officially meet. There were about 40 or more people at the party and it was so hectic for me because I was so worried about talking to everyone and making people feel welcome, etc. I can't even imagine how it will be on the wedding day... *siighh

However, it was sooo much freaking fun. Kimmy has impeccable taste and decorated in all my wedding themed ideas. She put the perfect spin of southern class in the party and it was incredible. The menu was to die for... salmon and prime rib with delicious carrots and asparagus with the most tasty sauces I've ever had. There were countless wine options and cheese platters, individually wrapped gourmet chocolates, and even a coffee bar! The silverware was put into mason jars and randomly throughout the house were mason jars with votive candles in them. Surrounding the mason jars, she placed big magnolia leaves and it was GORGEOUS. I think I found my centerpiece! I don't even need magnolia blooms... just the leaves with the lit mason jars was so simple and elegant. I adored it all! The walkway leading to the house was lined with mason jars with lit candles in them and it was such a nice way to welcome the guests. She also made floral arrangements in large mason jars with small pink roses. One of the arrangements was all rose buds and they were so beautiful! Among all that we had several pictures of AJR and I in rustic frames and it really tied it all together. Eeee, I am getting all giddy thinking about it!

The engagement party was a perfect preview to how I want the wedding to look with all the splashes of things that I have been envisioning. Many thanks to Kimmy and all my aunts and Mom who helped her pull it all off. It was amazing! (And I feel incredibly spoiled. Sheesh.)

Our friends were also contributors to the amount of fun that was had this weekend. Saturday morning several of us got up at 6am and kicked off the weekend with an 8K race to benefit organ donation. It was a blast! All day we hung out and the guys went to a shooting range after watching college football at a bar. Meanwhile, Sarah (my roomie/Maid of Honor) and I hung out at home and tried to prepare for the night. After the party all my friends and I went to a place downtown for some dancing and more drinking. It was an awesome celebration and it couldn't have gone better. Sunday morning we all woke up to a breakfast casserole and recapping the night together.

Gah, okay I shall stop gushing about my incredible weekend, but I am all smiles on this Monday back to reality.

This is the cake that Kimmy had made for us... it was so pretty! She put fresh flowers on top and it was so fun cutting the cake together for the first time. (Good practice for the wedding ;) Take note of the silverware in Mason jars. P.S. The silverware was actually plasticware that looked like silverware. I am taking this idea with me to the wedding thank you very much!

This is AJR and I about to start filling our plates up. I just like it because we look so happy!

This is my Dad making a toast before the cutting of the cake. I love this picture because the similarity between AJR and his dad is so noteworthy.

Here is my Mom and step-dad, Vince. He made the first toast of the night and it made everyone say "aw".

I wish I had more pictures to share (especially to show you how amazing the decorations were!) but in the midst of all the people and drinking and food and excitement, I didn't take a single picture! Luckily my future sister in law, Lauren picked up my camera and took several pictures for me! Hopefully I can bum some pictures off of people who thought to take a few. I did see some flashes coming from my Aunt Wendy's way throughout the night...

Friday, November 13, 2009

We have a Photographer!

I mentioned in the last post that during my productive Veteran's Day off this Wednesday, I also met with our wedding photographer! She is incredible and I am SO excited to have her be a part of our wedding day! I decided to go with Kelsey Thompson, who is based in Northern Virginia and I am obsessed with her style! We met at a Starbucks and ended up having so much fun talking that we stayed for over 2 hours! She is so easy going and sweet and very professional. Basically, I want her to be my friend.

Her website:
Her blog: (my new favorite site to stalk ;-)

Here are some pictures I pulled from her blog to give you a sense of her work and why I fell in love with it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dress

And now.... for the biggest announcement of my wedding planning (drum roll please) I HAVE A WEDDING DRESS! Woo-Hoo!!! (alright I admit, it's a bit superficial to think the dress is the biggest announcement. but still. it's huge. i'm psyched.)

Yesterday I used my Veterans Day holiday to tackle a few wedding things and man do I feel great about it all! I now officially have a photographer (I will introduce her in my next post) and a beautiful wedding dress is hanging in my bedroom. (eeee!)

The Dress situation was definitely worrying me a little because I originally fell in love with a $3000 Paloma Blanca gown and I was convinced that it scarred me because while I could never even dream of being able to afford such a dress, I wanted to compare it to everything else I looked at afterward! But then my future sister-in-law, Lauren took me to the bridal store, Jeanettes (where she got her wedding dress a few years ago) and I was instantly in awe over the AMAZING selection! Everything was beautiful and quality and I wanted it all! Lauren was an awesome sport and sat through two hours of me trying on dresses and asking a zillion "Does this make my butt look big?" questions... I mean haha, just kidding, but a lot of "ahh... is this The One? Do you think this would be me?" Many thanks to Lauren for bringing me to the place where I found my dream dress and for bearing with me through it! (I'm really lucking out with the cool new family thing. yay!)

So next step is to take it to the seamstress I found and have her make alterations (and a few minor changes to the dress to make it perfect) and I am finito!

Unfortunately, that's the most you'll be hearing concerning the dress on this public blog where my loving fiance is just a click away from reading. However, if you're that interested and your name isn't AJR, I'll show you a pic :)

Now here are some dresses it ISN'T:

(hee hee ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Feeling Accomplished :)

This weekend was good... I feel like we waded a little further up the wedding creek. (is that even a saying? guess I just made it up)

Some things we have done this weekend:

-- Trying to make headway on the dress (well, this is something I am doing... obviously AJR can't know any details!) I know what I want, I found an amazing seamstress who can help achieve it... I just need to find a base dress to help me get there....

-- I have unofficially booked a photographer, and am meeting with her on Wednesday to discuss specifics (and hand over the mula to stake our claim on her for our date!)

-- The Save the Dates are coming together with the help of our lovely graphic design talented friend, Bridget.

-- We met with our pastor for the first time to talk about the wedding. He was late for our appointment. And it made me angry. But... as long as he doesn't forget our wedding then I suppose he shall do. (This is to be determined. I don't like when people aren't punctual.)

-- We found the PERFECT reception site. When we book it, I shall post more details... but it is ahhh-mazing.

-- We started exploring honeymoon options! How incredible does this look? I'm sold!

(This is the two of us today... sometimes in the midst of crazy wedding planning, you need to remember to just relax and enjoy the simple lovely parts of love. I like holding hands.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Succulents are so... well, succulent!

A few weeks ago I saw where a bride incorporated succulents into her bouquet and then had individual succulents as the main flower for the guys' boutonnières. I thought it looked so organic and different. Plus, it's also green! (not that I'm biased to green or anything...)

I'm at the end of my work day, so I decided to google image succulents used in weddings. Naturally my boss just walked in to see me doing so. "Um... these are totally for speech therapy research purposes. Yeah..."

image found here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Calligraphy on a Budget

This morning I stumbled upon this neat idea posted on Design Sponge.

Looks insanely time consuming, but would certainly spruce up the invitations without the major cost of hiring a calligrapher.

Basically, the girl that did these bought a font she liked online and printed each address onto individual envelopes in a shade darker than the envelope itself. Then she went back and hand traced the lettering with a calligraphy pen in a lighter color.

The end result: Beautiful calligraphy that looks hand written, but without spending a fortune. Terrific idea... but you would need some major help accomplishing this. And sometimes... it's worth it to just spend the money to save time. I must admit, having my envelopes addressed in calligraphy isn't a huge priority (most people don't save the invitations, much less the envelopes they came in!), but daannggg it looks purdy.

I have this belief that if I pick up a calligraphy pen, my handwriting magically becomes beautiful. Maybe I can just address my own invitations?

(Post is here)