Knot what I wanted

Yesterday, I got an email from The Knot Wedding Shop that they were having a big sale. And anyone who knows me knows that I love a good sale. I finally found time to check it out as I was laying down for bed last night and I personalized the cutest beverage napkins (eco-friendly!) for our wedding. I kept getting rejected when I was placing the order – they weren’t accepting PayPal, Credit Card payment resulted in a “null” message taking me back to the checkout screen (twice)… so I gave up on the adorable napkins. And my phone buzzed with an email. “You have authorized payment from PayPal to The Knot.”

The Knot Wedding Shop
The Knot Wedding Shop

Did you just say “uh-oh?” Because I did. I checked my bank account and sure enough, there were also 2 charges there. Totalling 900 napkins and $90 dollars. Good news, we’ll have lots of left over napkins for our scrapbook? I’ve been emailing and filling out forms all day – hopefully they will cancel 2 of the orders. Their website does say they’ll do whatever it takes to make you 100% satisfied. Either way, we’re going to have adorable napkins at our wedding and they were on sale for a great price.

In other news:

  • We have ALL of the bridesmaid dresses and they are so amazing. I am tickled pink with how this turned out! They are all the same color but all different styles. Can’t wait to see these gals in them!
  • Both moms have purchased potential outfits for the wedding. I say potential because if they’re anything like me, they’ll find something else in the next 6 months that they like better. (Yes, I need to not look at any more wedding gowns).
  • I purchased shoes for the wedding – eeek! MY wedding shoes! (ps – they are Lilly Pultizer and to-die-for!)
  • I have a hair appointment for April 18th for a test run for the wedding-do.

So we are still truckin’ along, but also still don’t have a florist. But we will… we will have flowers!

Bluesday Tuesday!

I’ve been racking my brain for what my “something blue” will be at my wedding. Initially, I thought I wanted monogrammed Jack Rogers but I decided against those. Then I thought maybe my husband-to-be would surprise me with one of the sapphire rings I’ve been pining over – but I think I’ve changed my mind on that as well. So last night… I found the MOST PERFECT “something blue” (and something monogrammed!) to incorporate into our wedding and remember forever. I can’t share now but I promise there will be lots of pictures and that you will ADORE it as much as I do!

Now… on this rainy Tuesday, I think we could all use some cheer. Happy to share the story of Pat & Stacy (with no E) – two of our dearest friends, and the most genuine and sweetest people on earth.

Pat & Stacy met on their birthday, yep, same birthday. Stacy & Pat actually got married a year before they had their wedding celebration, but sure enough, on their birthday, they had a beautiful ceremony at a neighborhood park shared with family and friends (and their adorable son, Gray). Stacy kindly shared her thoughts with me:

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same time of year and venue?
Yes, absolutely.

What was the best thing about your venue?
The park was beautiful with a stone gazebo and reflecting pond, and having the reception at our house was awesome because it was a comfortable space, easy for everyone to get to, and close to hotels for out of town guestsPS2
What did you splurge on for your wedding that you just “had to have?”
A red carpet and velvet ropes/stanchions guiding people up the driveway to the reception.

What vendor was the best to work with, and why?
Our caterer (J&K Barbeque).  Very nice locally based fella who provides full service event catering.  Everything arrived on time and was delicious.

In 3 words or less, what was running through your head on your wedding day?
This is happening!

What was the best part of your wedding day?
Riding through the Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods on the back of scooter in my wedding dress.
PS3
How did you deal with stressors on/glitches in your big day?
My husband dealt with them.  I did get away with my brother for a little to have a beer at the Mexican restaurant by the house.

Tell us about your dress:
It was a Galina Tea Length Gown from David’s Bridal. I already had a different dress picked out online that I thought was no doubt ‘the one’ but when I tried it on at the store it looked like a bad Halloween costume. I knew I had to have a short dress to showcase my red shoes, and there aren’t too many options in that style, and the one I got looked too frilly on the rack, but I tried it on anyway. It was definitely not what I’d had in mind, but the second I looked in the mirror I knew it was PERFECT!
PS3

Favorite part of the ceremony?
Not falling down the stairs. Or maybe when my veil fell off as my dad was walking me down the aisle. Nope, it was getting to kiss my husband and proclaim our love in front of all our friends and family.

Favorite part of the reception?
Finding out what our first dance song was. My husband was in charge of picking it, and all the music at our reception, so it was a surprise to me! Also, enjoyed taking my heels off and putting my Chuck Taylors back on.
PS1
Did you incorporate any personal details into your big day?
From our 6 month old son as a tiny Groomsman dressed in a tiny tuxedo, to the scooter we drove away on, to the red and white checked tablecloths at the reception, almost everything was a personal detail with some sort of meaning to us.

Bar choices?
1 keg of Old Mecklenburg Brewery Copper, 1 keg of Yuengling and a few large jugs of red & white table wine, all served in black and red party cups. We also had washtubs full of Sundrop and Cheerwine, because it was mid-July in the South.

What was your first dance song?
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts by Gaslight Anthem

Do you recommend having a videographer at the wedding?
We didn’t have one, I actually didn’t even think about it, but I suppose it would be fun to have seen a video later and to watch it all from another point of view.
PS5
Do you recommend having a planner/coordinator to future brides?
Yes, if you are not familiar with planning large events. I worked as an event/party planner, so it was second nature to me.

Did you have children at your wedding? Why or why not?
Yes, our son was 6 months old at the time and he was a Groomsman! Not everyone brought their kids (if they had some), but they were certainly welcome to! I can’t imagine having any of our family or friends miss out just because they are kids or have kids.

I love the genuine smiles and happiness radiating from these two in their pictures. Such a fun day they planned that definitely shows their personalities! They are truly a picture-perfect couple and I’m so glad I could share their beautiful day with you.

 

(Vendors// Food: J & K Barbeque // Photography: Meredith Jones Photography)

New Last Name!

I’ve always heard what a hassle it can be to change your name over after getting married (up-side to keeping your maiden name?). Just kidding. I’m uber-excited to be Mrs. White… but I’ll take all the help I can get with changing everything over.

MissNowMrs is a service that assists with the process of changing your name over (think SIMPLICITY) – and this bride-to-be just claimed a Groupon for their services. It’s good for another two days for all those brides out there getting married before January 2014 – go ahead and scoop it up. One less thing for your pretty little mind to worry about!

Happy Monday!

Bake me a cake!

Not too much to update on today (still don’t have a florist, or hair stylist!) but we did email a “cake lady” about our dessert buffet (stomach growl!) and our mini-cake for cutting/photo purposes. Waiting to hear back on her availability – and fingers crossed we do not get yet another “I’m sorry” email. I do not understand how anyone can plan a wedding in less than 8 months with the way things are booking up! Kudos to you quick brides who obviously on-top of it and have eyes on vendors perhaps before the ring?

WPD

Wedding Paper Diva’s is still offering their stamp for 50% off (Code 50DEAL0207). Ours arrived yesterday in the tiniest package ever (that was the text I received from my future husband!) … and it’s perfect! We can’t wait to stamp those thank you notes after the wedding with our “Whites” stamp! Get yours today…. it’s perfect for all of those handwritten notes you send in life!

Happy hump day, y’all!

 

Pickin’ petals

So I took the first step and emailed two florists (both found on Carolina Bride‘s vendor list). The first wrote back and indicated that they are already book for that day, but were nice enough to offer their opinion on another local florist (much appreciated). The second wrote back asking when my wedding is (which was the first line of my email to them when I contacted them). You can see how this causes a little uncertainty in my mind about their attention to detail, right? I wish I could just go to the farmer’s market and buy fresh flowers that morning. I am also really starting to think that I need a planner… traveling more and more for work + grad school 3 nights a week is a doozy.

Once we lock down the florist, we can tackle the rest of these items on our immediate “to-do” list:

  • transportation for us + guests
  • hotel reservation (do we want King & Queen bed options or King only with sleeper sofa for our guests?!)
  • FIND A HAIR STYLIST
  • order BM dresses (hello 20% off sale at J. Crew Weddings today!)
  • Figure out desserts
  • Confirm catering order

And tonight… I’ll be doing hot yoga to relieve the stress of all these “to-do” items.

(Photo from www.flowersofthefieldlv.com

Catching up + The Tack’s Love Story!

So let’s catch up… this weekend we:

  1. Ordered our adorable bowties (yes, he chose bowties! eeek!)
  2. Finished sending out save-the-dates (and got lots of reports of those that have already been received)
  3. Narrowed down our honeymoon options (to specific places, but not one region!)
  4. Figured out what song I am going to walk down the aisle to (I teared up when we were talking about it!)

So things are moving along slowly but surely, still procrastinating on finding a florist, and getting my dress altered. Both of which need to happen ASAP since I had a terrible nightmare about it this weekend. Alas, it was just a dream… and our wedding is not ruined.

A while back, I asked a few friends to share their personal stories of finding happiness, their weddings and their happily-ever-after moments from their big day – so that I could share them on the blog. Today, I’d like to share one of those, Allison & Alex who got married in 2011. Allison is the younger sister of one of my bridesmaids, and also a good running buddy! I love hearing about other’s proposals, and special wedding moments, plus, what a great way to share ideas!

Allison and Alex were both students at Queens University and had the same Chemistry class. They were introduced through mutual friends where we ended up hanging out in the same group and their relationship developed from there.

(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)

Allison describes the proposal:
We were going to Asheville for our four year dating anniversary. He had scheduled a hot air balloon ride for that Saturday morning; however, it was cancelled the day before due to the weather. So he had to scramble for a new idea. We were staying at the Grove Park Inn and that first day after a day at the spa, we were getting ready to grab a bite to eat. We had never been there, so we walked out onto a terrace to get a glimpse of the views. Just as we were taking it all in, he mentioned he had something to ask me… I said, Yes!, while crying joyful tears, and the rest is history (as the saying goes) 🙂

(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
 

The Tack’s were married:
April 16th, 2011 @ Providence Country Club in Charlotte at 5:30pm.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same time of year and venue?
Yes and Yes. Even though that time of year is known for rain (we had an outdoor wedding), the spring flowers and weather down here was worth it.

What was the best thing about your venue?
They took care of everything. We went over stuff once, about how I wanted it to look, and they executed it perfectly. It gave me and the bridal party more time to relax and not have to stress about preparing anything.

What did you splurge on for your wedding that you just “had to have?”
I’d say the food and drinks/venue. It was overall a little more than we intended, but it’s what we wanted. We enjoy a nice dinner/evening out and that’s what we wanted to share with everyone else.

What vendor was the best to work with, and why?
Our DJ, Bill from Z Brothers. He runs the show, and he was so laid back and carefree that it helped us relax and trust that everything would go smoothly.

In 3 words or less, what was running through your head on your wedding day? This is Perfect.

(photo by Blue Sky Studios)
(photo by Blue Sky Studios)

What was the best part of your wedding day?
Walking down the huge flight of stairs while everyone looked at me, but I just stared at Alex (who couldn’t stop crying 🙂

How did you deal with stressors on/glitches in your big day?
I just made do and let them go. At that point, there wasn’t much I could do, and no one was going to know the difference either way. For instance, I had ordered 12 centerpieces from our florist, when we ended up have 14 tables. I completely forgot, but we worked it out by using the Bridesmaids bouquets for the other two.

The Dress:
It was satin, one shoulder, trumpet fit, diamond white, with lots of ruching by Sottero and Midgley.  It just felt right and made me comfortable, and feel like a bride. I had a hard time finding what I wanted, and as soon as I tried it on (I was actually by myself when I did), I just knew.

Did you do a first look?
No, and still don’t think I would’ve. His reaction was priceless at the alter.

Favorite part of the ceremony?
Seeing Alex get as emotional as he did. He could barely get the words out. It made me and my heart smile the whole time.
(Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios)
Favorite part of the reception?
Our first dance. Alex and I took dance lessons and he was on top of it. When we started, I completely forgot the moves – he had to move me around the whole time and I’m pretty sure our routine was totally wrong, but it was so much fun!

Did you incorporate any personal details into your big day? If so, what and why? A couple – 1. our tables were labeled according to places that Alex and I had traveled together. I think if you travel well with someone, it says a lot about your relationship (because it’s not always easy) and we always have the best times together when we do. 2. we had dessert tables, and each of our grandma’s made their signature or our favorite treats to be displayed and everyone have as a favor. It was beyond meaningful to us for them to take the time and make at least 100 pieces of goodies for our guests.

Libations Situation:
Open bar, because we enjoy drinking with family and friends.

What was your first dance song?
“Everything” by Michael Buble

(Photo by Blue Sky Studios)
(Photo by Blue Sky Studios)

Do you recommend having a videographer at the wedding?
I’m not sure. I think it would be nice if you can afford it or have extra money for one, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you have a great photographer. We didn’t have one.

Do you recommend having a planner/coordinator to future brides?
If you can afford it, Yes! I didn’t have one, other than the one that came with our venue (which was extremely helpful). If you can’t afford it, everything can be done just fine – you have to be prepared with what you’re in for though. I didn’t have one and I didn’t realize how much there was to it. There were so many more little details that came up that I expected. I even forgot some things – i.e. Our marriage license until the day before bc my Dad asked me if I had it! Having a wedding planner would help to reassure that everything is done and ready to go with less stress, but at the same time, then it’s all you’re doing and you do fill a great sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Did you have children at your wedding? Why or why not?
No we didn’t, except for our Flower Girl. We did not think that it was a place for children to be there. Our wedding was far from both our families anyways, so we knew it would be harder for travel. But other than that, we wanted to share the evening with the adults in our family/friends.

Thanks for letting me share your gorgeous love story, Allison!

(Vendors: Venue// Providence Country Club, Photography //Blue Sky Studios, DJ // Z Brothers)

Hair’s the dilemma

Last Friday, I went for a dose of hairapy and was given quite the surprise, my stylist no longer works at the salon I have been going to for a year. I was not contacted with this information and I do not know her last name, so I cannot search for her. The salon acted as if she never existed… telling me that I had only seen one stylist there (year ago) which was the very first time I was there. That kind of irked my nerves, but more than anything, I started wondering… who is going to do my hair for my wedding now??

We had discussed back in November some potential wedding styles and I loved the fact that she was engaged as well! Now, I still have a good relationship with my stylist back home in Virginia but after thinking about asking her to come down for the wedding, I realized I would be paying more for her travel than I would for the hair-do.

This is really the first “set-back” that I’ve had in planning and I’m sure there are many capable stylists in the Charlotte/Fort Mill area, it’s just that whole process looming over me now of going to meet a new stylist, see if I like how they do my hair and of course, seeing what they can do with it for the wedding. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out like this:

http://taber.edublogs.org/files/2011/02/Crazy-Hair-14gzyqo.jpeg

I would love to hear stylist recommendations for the area… who did your wedding hair?!

Wedding Show Wednesday!

This past Sunday, I made the trip back to my hometown to attend a bridal show with my Mom and high school best friend, Brittney at The Inn at Virginia Tech.
Bridal1It was a smaller show than the one I attended at the Carolina Inn back in January. And by “smaller” I mean… a lot smaller and different. There were maybe 20 booths set up, including photo booth rentals, caterers, photographers, Mary Kay, a nutrition store. I was surprised that there weren’t any hair salons with booths. Only one store showed off gowns (and suits/tuxes) and it’s the same store I bought all of my homecoming/prom dresses from growing up.

bridal3

I was excited to try delicious treats and champagne while we explored the booths but there were actually very few treats to try, and no champagne to be found anywhere. I did stumble across some ah-mazing macarons – I seriously might have to have these at the wedding.
bridal4Originally, we had planned to go to the bridal show for me – and so I could spend time with these two special ladies, but Brittney got ENGAGED on Friday night, so we were able to celebrate with her and help her get some ideas and information to begin planning her perfect day! Although the bridal show was slightly disappointing, I had a blast with these two ladies! Take a moment to wish Brittney congrats!

bridal2

Happy Hump Day & Congratulations Brittney & Josh!

Your wish is my command!

Now that I am a bride-to-be, I understand all the things brides don’t want to hear. Griping. Complaints about dresses/shoes/jewelry. Anything negative that’s directed at YOUR wedding. Thankfully, I have incredible friends and bridesmaids who have all said “whatever you want!” (I seriously love them!)

We are getting ready to place the order for our J. Crew bridesmaid dresses and I couldn’t be happier. I LOVE that my bridesmaids and I will be wearing J. Crew on my big day. Their dresses are just SO classy! And can definitely be worn again, right? I know everyone says that but I really believe it with J. Crew. They are very versatile and who doesn’t love to dress up fancy for a night out? I truly did want to find a dress that they would be comfortable in, loved, and could potentially use again. Maybe not as a “wear every-other week” dress or “wear to work” dress, but something that could be reworn to an event later on.
sarah1

For a while I was torn between the J. Crew ones and Alfred Sung styles (pictured above) – but ultimately, the girls picked the J. Crew ones. They’re going to look so stunning! Color and styles will remain secret – until the big day of course! Both J. Crew and Alfred Sung offered FREE sample swatches – which helped us decide the color. We had a very specific look in our minds, so it was easy for us to decide the color.
I have yet to book the florist (or even call any)… and time is ticking. But I did get this really adorable stamp for our post-wedding thank-you notes!

WPD

Wedding Paper Divas has a 50% off deal on their stamps today – check it out and order one! Great deal for brides-to-be, single folks and those of you that have already tied the knot! Something you can use long after the thank you notes are written and you’re on your way to growing old together!

Nothing better

To me, there’s nothing better (or sweeter) than a hand written note. Whether it’s a follow up to an interview, a “just because” or a thank-you for the super awesome gift note, handwritten is a MUST. (This is arguable on the interview one, but this is a wedding blog, so focus on the “Thank You” note)!

We display all of our Thank You notes on our fridge  – for probably far too long, but sometimes it’s nice to just look back and relive the memory. Each of these cards reminds us of special times with friends that we feel very lucky to have in our lives.

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Photo and Card by: http://www.essentialsunshine.com

photo-1      photo

Timelines tend to differ on the amount of time you have to write these after your wedding (but don’t forget about writing them after showers & parties too!), this one says it should be no later than 3 months after the gift is received. After our engagement party, we divided the list of names of folks that were kind enough to attend and wrote notes to each of them. It took us maybe an hour to do them all  – but best of all, it made us smile all over again thinking about how much fun our night was and how awesome our friends and family are.

There are so many options for thank you notes these days too, you can do folded, postcards (as seen above from Michelle & Ian’s fabulous wedding – HAPPY 6 MONTH ANNIVERSARY, love birds!), you can even have stationary created with your new initials, your married monogram or a picture, and still write the note on the paper. You’ve got options… so there are no excuses! Check out Etsy for some creative options!

Having typed notes isn’t the worst thing in the world… not sending them at all takes the cake on that one. We’ve been to 3 weddings that we didn’t get thank you notes from. The first one, I thought maybe our card got separated from our gift and they didn’t know we brought anything but after the other two happened, I chalked it up to laziness. People are taking time out of their lives to celebrate with you – a thank you note is the simplest thing to do, to show them that you care about them too.

Practice your hand writing now and show some love through the mail!

Happy Monday!