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!

The Day I Got Called “Bridezilla”

Last week, I was called “Bridezilla” for the first time in my wedding planning. I might have expected this early on when I made changes to our wedding party (and subsequently lost 3 “best friends” in the process), but not now. I’ve been told by other bridesmaids that I was being too nice and shouldn’t allow for so many opinions and options. When I think “Bridezilla”, I think of this email from a bride to her bridesmaids. This is extreme, and I can assure you, far from any emails that I have sent.

My emails have consisted of dress options, shoe options, hair/make-up options and asking who will be available during the day of the rehearsal for getting our nails done (my treat). I have also mentioned in them how excited I am to see each of these girls at the end of the month and how thankful I am for their relentless bachelorette party planning and shower planning. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by these girls (and my incredible friend, Gean!).

Follow up emails/texts were sent regarding payment of dresses, shoes, etc, but not because I’m some crazy, controlling “bridezilla” – but instead because the payments were late or simply ignored. I would like to think that I’ve covered most of this list of things a cool bride would do. I let my bridesmaids choose their style of dress, I just chose the color and fabric. Find a deal on it? I say go for it! Shoes? I let them send options and offer opinions on the ones I found. We ended up with darling sandals for $25! I provided the option for having their hair and make up done, or doing it on their own. With 6 girls getting ready together, I think we’ll have plenty of hands to help with curls, do’s and make-up!

I’ve tried to limit my communication since I realize that everyone has their own things going on in life and I’ve made it clear that I don’t expect everyone to be at everything. I thought this list was pretty comprehensive of what a bride wants from her bridesmaids, the most important being communication. Again, I think I am lucky with the girls I have chosen to be a part of my wedding and I sincerely hope they don’t feel like I’m a “bridezilla.” At least I’m not requesting everyone do a cleanse before the bachelorette party!

What’s the craziest thing you have experienced a bride or bridesmaid doing during wedding planning? Would love to hear these stories in the comments!

Wedding Weekend!

High five to the hubby-to-be! We accomplished SO much this weekend (between golf/thesis writing/a 7-mile training run/shopping).

We decided to go with the hotel that offered us a $94/rate that has both king rooms and double-queen rooms but did not have breakfast or an outdoor pool (sorry kiddos!). The Homewood Suites was in the same area and offered an outdoor pool AND breakfast for $98 but only had suite-style rooms with a King bed and sofa-sleeper. I asked opinions of the folks who might end up on the sofa-sleeper and they all said they preferred the double-queen room. So there we have it… contract is being signed today.

My blood-pressure is much lower now that a florist responded positively, confirmed she is available and ALSO told me she was doing a very similar wedding this past weekend at our venue so she definitely thought my floral-wishes were doable! Whew! Happy + relieved to mark that one off the list!

The groom’s aunt & uncle have agreed to play at our ceremony (yay, family!). AND we picked our song to walk back down the aisle together to! (I can’t wait for that moment – eeek!)
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We realized that our timing was a bit off with the ceremony/reception – so we’ve asked to add some time to our big day (more time to celebrate with our family and friends). Fingers crossed that it isn’t too pricey of a deal to do this now.

My something blue arrived in the mail and I am DYING over it. So completely perfect. In the words of my bridesmaid, Michelle, “swoon.”

We decided that we don’t want to spend $3000 to fly to Hawaii, Tahiti or the Greek Isles, so we will be staying in the Caribbean for our honeymoon – and splurging on our stay (with maybe a couple extra days added in). With that said, our only prior location we had done any research on in the Caribbean was Curacao – which is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, I just wanted to have a few more options – also options that aren’t typical honeymoon spots like the Dominican or St. Lucia. I spent Sunday morning researching Aruba, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Turks & Caicos and Belize and provided them neatly in a spreadsheet (duh) to LW with names of resorts, prices, amenities, and flight prices (this spreadsheet also contains budget, invite list, addresses, RSVP list, vendors/deposits, rehearsal dinner – I might be a bit of an organized control freak). I gave him full rights to book whatever he thinks is best after evaluating all of the options, or to even add to the list if he finds somewhere else dreamy.

I ordered straws for the reception. Not a big deal but it’s something – and you’ll love them. My sweet bridesmaid Michelle is constantly sending me the most adorable wedding related sites (I tend to shriek a little each time I get one of these amazing emails!). The straws came from Shop Sweet Lulu – which they offer not just stripey straws but chevron and polka dots too!

So it was a busy weekend – but it feels SO good! Hope y’all had a good weekend too. Stay tuned for the announcement of which wedding magazine I will be blogging for starting Monday, 3/11! So, so exciting!

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.

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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!

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Happy Hump Day & Congratulations Brittney & Josh!

The Wedding Planner

I have been a bad blogger for the past few days and I’ll attribute that to 45+ pages of papers that had to be written for grad school and a reorganization at work that I somehow got a promotion out of when I wasn’t sure I’d even have a job. More details to come on this as I’m able to share but let’s just say a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I am one very happy bride-to-be!

My “little cousin” as I call her, has dreamed of being Jennifer Lopez’s character from “The Wedding Planner.” I asked her if she would be willing to be our coordinator on the day of the wedding and also help me with some details along the way. Based on the fact that both her mom and my mom have told me she wants to get a headset for the big day, I’m going to assume she’s excited.

My “little cousin” is not actually little. She’s been towering over me for years (I’m short, she’s not a giant) … and she’s almost 25, which is a mere 2 years younger than me. I should probably stop calling her my “little cousin” but that’s what she’s always been to me. Plus if she’s still little, I can pretend I’m not almost 27 (ugh, late 20’s!).

We have spent loads of time together over the years, some of my favorite memories include playing Power Rangers and arguing over who was going to be Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger. Going to the movies after Thanksgiving dinner and having sleep overs. The bird-cat-dog-owl-bug thing Halloween costume that my other cousin made for me one year that still brings Katie to tears when she thinks about it (there is no photographic evidence of this costume to be shared). Katie’s 21st birthday, which fell on Easter, and ended with us taking leftover casserole dishes to bed with us and a rude awakening the next morning when we were told to clean up our 3-am feast (You’re being disrepectful to the birthday princess – photo above). And of course, our cousin spring break trip to Cancun in 2008:
I love her SO, SO much and am so excited that someone who is super organized and designed to be a wedding planner, will be helping us with the details of our big day. While I somehow imagined her being a bridesmaid for my entire life, I think she’ll be the perfect helper. I also think we’ll be able to make some more hilarious memories to carry with us and share with our daughters one day. (Remember when I tried to pierce your ears with toenail clippers? Ouch. So sorry!)
Now… I just have to find a way to tell her that she doesn’t need a headset because she’s going solo on this mission and would only be talking to herself…

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!