Get Friendly!

One of our goals this year was to make more friends and do more with the friends we already have. It might sound silly but once you’re outside of college (and grad school), it’s rare that you’re in social settings with tons of people who are your age and share similar interests with you – so making new friends can be a little tougher than it sounds. As far as the “doing more”, well, we (and I’m sure we’re not alone in this) have a bad habit of doing things with just the two of us. And while we love doing things as a couple, sometimes while we’re out and about (at a museum, at a park, hiking, etc.) we think, “man, so and so would probably like to do this, too!”

We said that we wouldn’t said “no” if asked to do something. We haven’t help completely true to that, but we’ve definitely been better (and even given up our 9:30 bedtime!). Recently, I emailed a group of friends to see who would be interested in starting a book club. Surprisingly, everyone said they were in and had always wanted to be part of a book club. We had about 12 people for our first meeting a few weeks ago and we read The Book Thief. We plan to rotate houses each month to as not to overwhelm any one host, and to give everyone a chance to put their own spin on the evening. It was fun to discuss the book, but also so nice to spend time with friends and meet new friends, too!

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This past weekend, we hosted “Drinktoberfest” instead of going to the Oktoberfest event here in Charlotte. We invited over our friends + their kids (and my brother’s family) to hang out, enjoy bratwursts, drink some pumpkin beer and play corn hole. The kids had a blast running around and playing with their Tonka trucks and the adults enjoyed catching up. It’s so nice to have a backyard where we can do these kinds of things!

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I’ve recently said “yes” when asked to go to Yoga on Tap at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery but someone I only knew online (no worries, we had plenty of friends in common and went to the same university for undergrad). And I had a blast, even though I’m far from being a yogi and was there with practical strangers.

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And made 3 new friends at NoDa Brewery run club (also gals I only knew online up until that 3 mile run). And I’ve also said yes to 3 miles with my friends Valerie and Katie. Friends and fitness? That’s right up my alley!
photo 3 photo.PNG-2 photo.PNGA group of grad school friends got together one night to hang out and catch up at Heist Brewery. These folks inspire me with their lives and the work they’re doing. I miss being in class with them and having 3 hours of intellectual conversations (or at least having them make me laugh all through class).

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Our fun friend Stacy joined us for Science on the Rocks at Discovery Place. A night where adults get to run the place, while drinking fun things like liquid nitrogen wine slushies. Oh, and it was 90s night!

photo 2Last time I was in the triangle area, I got to sit down for coffee with my most favorite college roomie and BFF. I had recently blogged about it being 2 whole months since I had seen her, but she’s the kind of friend where we can literally not speak for weeks and pick right back up where we left off. Most of the time we don’t go weeks without speaking, we send each other silly texts on the regular. I was pretty sure we were going to get asked to join a sorority while we were walking through Chapel Hill since it was apparently rush time for UNC.

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I feel like I have a pretty good friend base (even if they are all having babies and we’re the no-kid family). Not to say that I couldn’t have more. And not to say I don’t miss my friends who chose to remove themselves from my life just before my wedding. I’ve recently talked with a few of them, which was nice but it’s clear that things will never be the same. How could they? No need to re-hash the story here, if you want to read it, you can find it somewhere back in January 2013’s posts; we all made decisions that ended our friendship.

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It’s hard losing friends at any age, but I think probably harder to lose friends that you’ve had for so long and thought you’d have forever. I never really let myself get upset over it, I think I was so stunned that they just left. But now I see that we won’t go to anymore weddings together, we won’t watch each other’s kids grow up, we won’t plan summer beach trips together or ring in the new year together. Birthdays will only be celebrated with some, and only through text messages. Grad school graduations won’t be acknowledged. Rival football games won’t be mentioned. These things all make me a little sad. Those are things i expected to share with each of them. Occasionally, my husband will ask about one or all of them: have I talked to them, do I miss them, etc. The answer to the first is sometimes yes, the latter, always yes. I grew up with these girls, and guys. We did practically everything together. Some of my fondest memories are with them.

But I’ll make new memories with new friends…. life goes on. I’m so thankful for the friends that I do have here in Charlotte and the BFFs that I have sprinkled around. I’m grateful for the friends we have across the country who we may only see on occasion but are so special to us. I’m definitely more aware of who I spend time with and I try to avoid those one-sided relationships. I’m excited for us to continue building “our friends” as a couple and hope we get to spend lots of time with new and old friends in the coming years.

We always try when traveling to connect with friends wherever we are but sometimes schedules don’t work out. I love my new book club, and the Stella & Dot party I hosted was fun last year. I’d love to hear your tips for staying in touch with friends from all over! Where do you go, what do you do? Does anyone else have a goal to say “yes” to all the invites they get from friends?

My Best Friend’s Wedding(s)

This is definitely the year of weddings for us. We have been invited to 7 and have already attended 3. At this point, I would consider us professional wedding guests/party members.

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Two of the three weddings this year were for my best friends from high school. I’m lucky to be able to still call these girls friends and that we have maintained our friendship over the years. Amy had a blissful beach wedding in Ocean Isle and Brittney had a rustic chic farm wedding just outside of Blacksburg, VA. Both of them were stunning and amazing and absolutely perfect.

Amy’s gorgeous beach details were simple yet classy. I love the DIY touches of painted wood and chalkboards everywhere. She even had a signature cocktail served during the cocktail hour. My favorite part was her lace dress. It was absolutely exquisite and was clearly made for her.

I couldn’t be happier for Clay and Amy as they sealed the deal 10 years after meeting. Their day was truly a decade in the making and absolutely perfect.

Brittney’s wedding was also perfect, but the complete opposite of the beachy setting Amy had. Brittney got married at Sinkland Farms in Virginia. Hilariously enough, we used to go to parties there when we were in high school. There are several spots at the farm to get married, and Brittney chose up on the hill with the mountains in the background.

10441149_10100879461768673_7720758303346916939_nChalkboards are still in style for weddings, obviously, and what great decorations they make. Brittney gave us the most darling robes for being her bridesmaids, which we donned as we had our hair and make up done.

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We each picked our own style of dress from J Crew’s silk chiffon collection in ‘Bright Coral.’

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The flower girl was Brittney’s 22-month old daughter who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

The barn is already so well decorated, it’s an easy choice for the reception. My favorite piece is the mason jar chandelier! Brittney used coral roses and sparkly white table cloths on the tables, and whisky barrels outside also held mason jars full of roses.

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A local country band performed at the reception and guests danced the night away. I must say, early summer weddings have had perfect weather. These two couldn’t have asked for a better day to say their vows outside.

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And to top off the evening, my Hokie-loving husband and I snagged a picture with non-other than Frank Beamer. Such a special evening for special friends.

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So happy for both of my sweet friends and grateful to have been a part of their celebrations. From 15 to forever!

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!

Southern Weddings

What better way to get ideas for my own southern wedding than to attend a Southern Weddings party? As a lover of love + weddings, I have been reading the blog for sometime and pinning away ideas.

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I jumped on the opportunity to attend their launch party with my best gals thinking it would be fun to mix & mingle with amazing local vendors!
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My girls and I road-tripped it to Chapel Hill and stayed at the Carolina Inn on Thursday night. Everyone wore their Sunday best to the party – although somehow Liz & I missed the “wear-all-black” memo. We were enchanted by the sweet potato bar, mini desserts and of course, the tower of Cheerwine!
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It was such a fun evening! And we got to meet one of the folks of Blueberry Fusion who had their photos featured in Southern Weddings. Hoping my soon to be sister-in-law will use their services when she and her beau get hitched! It was a fun little soiree to attend before a night of fun in downtown Chapel Hill with my very best friends (minus Amy, who I wish could have been there!). And on Friday we went bridesmaid dress and wedding gown shopping… because not only am I engaged but Mandy is too!
I think we found some real winners for the bridesmaid dresses but I’m still undecided on my gown. Although Mecklenburg Bridal just called to say they’re having a black Friday sale and it’s 15% off. I’m such a sucker for a sale!

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On this Thanksgiving week, I’d just like to say how thankful I am for such amazing and supportive friends and family. Feeling very lucky!

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P.S.  I promise not to watch any war movies in the week before the wedding!

Maids of Dishonor

It’s been a long running joke with my friends to call each other our “Maids of Dishonor” but now that we’re actually getting married (still feels crazy to say!) we have to change that term to “Bridesmaids.”

It’s probably not hard to figure out who my bridesmaids are going to be. I’ve had the same “best friends” for most of my life. They are literally the best friends a girl could ask for and as cliche as it sounds… I can not talk to them for a month and pick up the phone and our conversation starts right where we left off before. It’s hard now that we’re all graduated and working and can’t spend half of our summers lounging on beaches together but it works and I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll always be best friends!

I put together fun little boxes for each of them, as a special way of asking them to be a part of my big day. I’m so excited to see the looks on their faces when they open them! And even more excited to have them by my side as I say “I do!” One has already received hers… so I know the answer there. Just 4 more to go!

Happy Monday!