Making the Cut

We’ve been working on our invite list since… oh, ’round about October and I do believe that it is in its final form now. That was TOUGH. Do we invite all the great co-workers? Do we invite the college friend that was a really good friend but we haven’t talked to in years? Do we invite the sorority/fraternity members? Do we invite those people who believe that they are “best friends” with us but we consider them acquaintances? So hard.

Modern Manners Guy had a great post about who to invite to your wedding – and who you didn’t have to!

  • You don’t have to invite who your friends or parents want you to invite – it’s YOUR wedding
  • You don’t have to invite all of your co-workers (or any of them!)
  • You don’t have to give everyone the option to bring a date – maybe they’ll meet someone!

I’d like to add to his list that it’s okay to tell people their children aren’t invited. Yes, they are cute, and we like them, but we don’t want children in the mix on the dance floor or screaming during the ceremony. Please leave the munchkins at home.

I have found it incredibly rude that people ASK if they are invited to the wedding. Who does that? I feel like if you have to ask, you probably aren’t invited and if you are invited, you wouldn’t feel the need to ask. If I haven’t seen you in 7 years and have only talked to you via Facebook every 10-12 months since then, yeah…. about that.

Our plan was to have 125 people at our wedding for a quaint, outdoors affair. After a first try, our list was at 168. We tried to modify, but for everyone we removed, we added someone else. And what about the great grad school friends we’ve made? So many tough decisions with this wedding stuff (eloping is NOT off the table! Just kidding, Mom). After my biggest decision, some people helped remove themselves from my list (15 to be exact).

So as of last night, we were at 153, including our pastor and photographer. Obviously, we know not all of those will show… it will be vacation time or a baby will arrive, and we’re okay with that. But our list finally reflects the people that we want to share our big day with and we’re so excited to finally get our save-the-dates out in the mail!

We’re still in the running for winning a Sandals Honeymoon package! You can vote for us once a day here – all votes are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!

Advertisements

Workout Wednesday!

You may remember, I posted a while back about my workout plans for 2013. And anyone who knows me, knows I love to work out (read: Run. I love to run). I’m really trying to incorporate weights and classes again this year so I can tone up before the wedding (and honeymoon!). I’ve been running as much as possible – mostly to stay on track for my half-marathon in March, and on Mondays I’ve been taking Group Power (similar to BodyPump), and this morning, I busted out my newest workout DVD. Okay, I may have purchased 2 DVDs… one  (Body Toners) at EarthFare when I was supposed to be getting food in case we got iced in and the other from Amazon (Wedding Workout). This morning, I tried the Women’s Health DVD.  workoutI had no clue what to expect when I hit play because I honestly just bought the DVD because it said “Wedding Workout.” I was pleasantly surprised when I was given the Strapless Dress or Short Dress workout options. AND then it gave options for DAILY workouts. How nice is that to have your whole week of workouts planned for you? I chose Thursday because I wanted the “upper body, core & cardio” workout, even though I opted out of the cardio. IMG_3960I thoroughly enjoyed this workout and think I could do it every morning. It’s nice to have that available when I’m traveling for work and taking 3 graduate classes this semester. I can get everything done before 7:30 AM and feel energized for the rest of the day.

Review of the Workout:

  • I liked that it incorporated moves I don’t typically do. This challenged me and made me feel like I was hitting new muscles and areas that I don’t normally focus on.
  • I loved that it had planks and push-ups. Using both weights and body weight in workouts is proven to be more effective, so I was a happy exerciser when these moves came up.
  • The abs part started with “standing abs” which again made me feel like I was doing something new and challenging new muscles. (I was already sore from my Monday abs workout so I can’t confirm if this had an effect).
  • Downfall: At one point it asked you to combine your weights in one hand. A) I don’t normally use 10 lb. weights but by combining both of my 5 lb. weights, that’s what I had to lift. B) I have tiny hands, so grabbing 2 dumbells is not an easy task. I would have preferred a screen telling you to have multiple weight options available – and I would recommend that to others.

Overall, I liked this workout. I recommend it for other brides-to-be and for people who just want to tone up (it does feel a bit like Spring out there today, eh?). I didn’t get much feedback last time I asked about your favorite workouts, but I would love to know if you’d be willing to try this one based on my review. Or if you have other favorites that you recommend? Or please share if you have another butt-busting method of getting in shape for the big day!

Sunday Funday Bridal Showcase!

On Sunday, I road-tripped it to Chapel Hill to hang out with the best MOH a girl could ask for – and to attend the Carolina Inn’s 18th Annual Bridal Showcase! A special “Thank You” to Jenna at Southern Bride & Groom magazine for the tickets to the show. To say we were underprepared for what awaited us, would be an understatement. I’m still trying to figure out how many calories I took in at all of those cake tasting booths! IMG_3956We had a day full of paper products, flowers, cake and petit fours … and champagne. How can I forget the never-ending flow of champagne? Sarah was giddy over the supply of macaroons that were on-hand – and as a bride who is loving the idea of “mini-desserts”, I loved seeing all the options available. What talented caterers the triangle area has!
bs1One of my FAVORITE cakes was from husband and wife duo Ashley & Co in Raleigh. This burlap delight made my heart skip a beat. And since I met my beau at work and we still work together, I love that they do too!

Ashley & Co burlap beauty!
Ashley & Co burlap beauty!

We hit up the hors d’ouevres pretty early on since neither of us had eaten lunch. Lots of deliciousness going on in that tent – and of course, we were smitten with the Carolina Inn ice sculpture!
IMG_3922Since my wedding is being held in South Carolina, I really just used this event to gain some ideas and not so much vendors. We did meet LOTS of vendors – and we adored the goodies that they were giving away. Check out this ADORABLE cooler bag from Erin McLean Events! I have been back and forth on whether or not to hire a planner/coordinator to make sure things go off without a hitch – and I loved the idea of just a “day-of” coordinator. Plus, I’ve only heard good things about Erin. And Martha Manning took the cake with her giveaway… Krispy Kreme? Who can say no to Krispy Kreme doughnuts? While I’ve already chosen my photographer, Martha was able to give some recommendations on videographers which was much appreciated. IMG_3952Next on my “to-do” list is to secure a florist for our big day. I want simple flowers (I really want the hydrangeas from my late-grandmother’s bush back home in VA, but that’s a little far-fetched). And since green is our accent color, I was hoping for green flowers – but the fiance insists on them being naturally green and not dyed. So, we checked out some booths at the event and got to actually hold some bouquets (it’s AMAZING how big some of them are!). I like the idea of adding something fragrant to the bouqet – like freesia or mint! IMG_3953We got to see a fashion show while we were there – and I immediately recognized the Southern style of Lula Kate in this dress – and also saw Christy, the owner of Bella Bridesmaid in Raleigh. She sold us our stylish dresses for my friend’s wedding this past August. We somehow missed the bridal part of the runway show, but we did catch the grooms and groomsmen and they sure did look dapper!
IMG_3935I had several totebags full of information and goodies as I left, including wedding magazines and honeymoon magazines. We definitely have some reading to do (and decision making on the honeymoon front!)! IMG_3954I LOVED the experience of the bridal show, especially sharing the fun with Sarah. I have to point out one vendor that I was head-over-heels for before we went to the show and I’m so glad I got to see their stuff in real life. I am even more in love now… if that’s possible. Pressed Cotton has some of the CUTEST things I’ve ever seen – and not just for gatherings but for your household. If anyone is interested in a special offer on their items, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to share the deal!

I want to say thank you to all of my readers! Almost to 1500 views (in less than 3 months!). Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement that has to do with ME, this blog, and you reading it!

Birthday Blog

As promised, here is an update on my FABULOUS birthday weekend. Many thanks to all those who texted, emailed, called, tweeted or Facebooked to wish me a wonderful day!
bday7

I woke up to my beau making me breakfast, complete with hot apple cider (best Keurig K-cup yet!). I had to have a birthday workout, so he informed me that when I returned we should get ready to keep up with all the plans he had for our day. But when I returned, I walked into present heaven! I got a new pearl necklace, bracelet and a fancy jewelry box to keep them in. I can say this about him, he’s always listening when I say I want something. He got the exact strand of pearls I was wishing for!
bday 3

We went to the Mint Museum uptown to explore their wood work collection… but not before stopping by Halcyon for a light lunch. Halcyon has creative meals and drinks, that they try to create with all local products. It truly is a gem to have here in Charlotte. We greatly enjoy their drinks and the food has been good the few times I’ve actually eaten there. We shared a cheese plate and some chicken & collards soup on Saturday, since we were preparing for a delicious, surprise dinner.
bday2bday6
We explored the Mint for a few hours before popping in Aquavina for a pre-dinner drink. And then my surprise dinner… at Bernardin’s! This place is special to us because it used to be Ratcliffe on the Green. We had a very special and romantic 6-month anniversary dinner there and we really fell in love with the place, the atmosphere and our waiter, Asa. Bernardin’s is slightly different but still delicious. We very much enjoyed every aspect of our meals. The butternut squash soup was delicious!
bday5
A very wonderful birthday weekend… and my sweet in-laws (soon-to-be) sent me these gorgeous roses that I am still getting to look at every day! How was YOUR weekend?
bday1

 

Happy Friday + Happy Birthday!

It’s FREEZING (literally) outside today and my birthday is tomorrow. I always wished I had been a summer baby so I could have fun birthday parties instead of Super Bowl themed ones or being snowed in for the celebration. Oh well. We’ll make the best of it! My sweet, sweet fiance has a day o’ fun planned for us and ending with a delicious dinner – but it’s all a surprise to me, so I’ll let you know ALL about it afterwards!

This week was a good one. We met with the caterer, I met with a magazine editor (eeek!), our best woMan ordered her dress, and I got to have lunch with a dear friend who is also one of my bridesmaids. So although it’s cold outside, I’m still a happy camper this week!

I’m sure everyone is wondering who my bridesmaids are and I’m happy to introduce them!

BMs

Sarah was my FAVORITE college roommate. We met the summer before junior year and were inseparable from that night on. I think people were probably surprised if we showed up somewhere without the other one attached to our hip. She is the definition of PIC and BFF and I could not be happier that she is my MOH. I am one lucky girl to have her by my side for so many years, and on the best day of my life!

MOH - Sarah
MOH – Sarah

Amy moved to my high school sophomore year, and I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment that we became friends – because I can’t remember ever not being friends with her. Although she was only at our school for a couple years, we’ve remained the best of friends – I even lived with her in Wilmington for a summer. I’m so incredibly excited to have her in my bridal party – and to also be celebrating her upcoming nuptials with the love of her life!

Bridesmaid - Amy
Bridesmaid – Amy

Brittney and I became friends one night over AIM. We had attended middle school together but didn’t become friends until high school… but when we became friends, it was forever. We shared all of those classic high school moments – some that can still make us laugh until we cry. I’m blessed to have friends like her that are still in my life after so many years, and so many miles between us! Excited to celebrate my big day with my Bre!

Brittney - Bridesmaid
Brittney – Bridesmaid

Michelle waltzed into my life on my first day of college in Jacksonville, Florida. Her sweet southern accent and charm let me know right away that I was going to LOVE being this girl’s friend. We ended up in the same sorority (same family too!) and came to find out that we both knew & loved Claytor Lake in Virginia. Now she and her sweet husband live in Charlotte and we are elated when our schedules align and we can get together with them for a fun evening. We adored everything about their chic wedding this past summer – so I’m glad to have her helpful hints when it comes to my own!

Michelle - Bridesmaid
Michelle – Bridesmaid

Katie, last but not least, my “little” cousin. I have always cherished any amount of time that we get to spend together, so I’m over-the-moon excited about all the quality time we’ll be spending together. Katie was supposed to coordinate our wedding, but having her as a bridesmaid means so much. And I know I can still count on her for anything that I will need. I’m so happy that she’ll be standing on my side on the happiest day ever!

Katie - Bridesmaid
Katie – Bridesmaid

I feel like such a lucky and blessed girl to have wonderful friends and family in my life to share this time with. With every turn of the planning process, we are reminded how much love is in our lives and it makes our little hearts so happy. We can’t wait to celebrate with each & every one of y’all!

Don’t ya wanna eat my cornbread?

The hubby-to-be and I have a joke going about a Dave Matthews Band song and cornbread being at our wedding. I told him if we have it, he has to go around to all the tables offering it up and singing “Don’t ya wanna eat my cornbread?” It’s probably not as funny to you… guess that’s why it’s an inside joke. Regardless, we are having cornbread at our wedding.

We met with our darling caterer yesterday – I loved that she hugged us instead of shaking our hands. We narrowed down our menu and trusted her opinions on what foods were “must-haves.” Now, I’m not going to TELL you everything that we’re having but if you are lucky enough to join us, you’ll see for yourself the delicious spread of southern goodness that will fill our guest’s bellies.

www.tickledred.com
http://www.tickledred.com

I opted out of fried pickles for an appetizer (too greasy + messy) and also out of a shrimp & grits bar. I originally INSISTED on having this because it’s one of my FAVORITE foods (top 5, for sure!). But my Virginia family, although they are in Southwest Virginia, they aren’t quite Southern enough to love grits with the same intensity that I do. Or at all. I’m actually pretty sure they would all turn up their noses at grits. Maybe for a shower or something we can do a shrimp and grits bar… with andouille sausage, cheese, texas pete, bacon, mushrooms, onions… all the fixins!

We will have 3 delicious hor d’ouevres to accompany cocktail hour (with our signature drink!) and two very Southern, very delicious meats, with 4 sides, 3 kinds of bread and dessert… well… dessert is the most important part and I cannot pick just one. So I’m thinking of 5… and we just have to figure out what those 5 are going to be, then we’ll dedicate a whole post to desserts.

Anyway, now that we have picked what we want (well in advance!) – we are going to taste it on March 16th and confirm or change the menu. Y’all, it sounded so good, we were both hungry when we left! Is it August yet?

Honeymooners

I thought today’s post would be about food, especially since we were both starving after talking about food with our caterer. Y’all get ready, our wedding food is going to be DELISH! But today… I’m going to talk about our honeymoon.

We have been ALL over the place with where we want to go… I started with a hut in Bora Bora which was countered by Europe/Greece from my sweet Fiance. Then, I compromised with 2 islands in Hawaii (Maui & Kauai) so that we could do the exploring that he wanted, along with the butt-in-the-sand time that I wanted, and was countered with several options in the Caribbean. With it being August, I’m hesitant to visit ANYWHERE in the Caribbean, even though my favorite co-worker tells me Aruba is far enough out of the hurricane belt that I shouldn’t have to worry about anything. We both LOVE the idea of the Galapagos Islands (flora + fauna + GREAT WHITES, oh my!) but it appears to be next to impossible to find lodging there.

37423_640368030483_1222669_n

We have ruled out Jamaica, Bahamas and anywhere in Mexico since we’ve traveled there before. Although each of them have their pretty and near perfect spots, we don’t feel the need to revisit any of them.
37423_640368798943_6875587_nLuckily, we still have time to make this decision. A timeline in Carolina Bride magazine recommends booking 4-6 months in advance. Our countdown is at 6.5 months and I’m not feeling TOO much pressure on this issue. Now that we’ve knocked out the catering, our next task is the flowers. And your next task is to vote for us to win this trip to the Caribbean from Wedding Paper Divas + Sandals. If we win, you will have helped select our honeymoon destination – but we need your help to win! All you have to do is click here, “like” Wedding Paper Divas on Facebook, and then click “vote” once a day for the rest of the week. Got it? Ok, go! (and thank you in advance!)