Feeling Lucky

Last week, I traveled through Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama for work. I started in Knoxville, Tennessee with one heck of a tour of the city (a $35 cab ride) from my awesome cabbie. I treated myself to breakfast in bed on day 2 in Nashville – because hey, I deserve it. On Thursday, I left one of my running shoes at our hotel in Mississippi (this is a place I NEVER have to go again and I’ll be perfectly happy!) – so I bought new shoes when I got to Alabama and took a little run around the Ross Bridge area to scope it out. I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to arrive back home in Charlotte on Friday.photo2However, as I was sitting on the tarmac in Atlanta waiting for my connection to Charlotte, my mom called and told me I needed to come home to see my Paw Paw. My Paw Paw is not just any paw paw – he has really been more like a father to me and my brother, and is undoubtedly one of the most important men in my life. My sweet fiance picked me up at the airport, coffee mugs filled and snacks on hand and we drove 3 hours to Virginia. We didn’t get there until after my sweet Paw Paw was asleep but we saw him and got all the details. We spent lots of time with him on Saturday (most of which he was feeling much better!). I kept telling him he had to get better so he can be at my wedding (I’m tearing up writing this) and he promised he would. He also apparently told everyone that the hydrangea plant that was sent to him needed to be kept alive for my wedding (seriously? I love him).

So it was an exhausting week + weekend, and we missed our food tasting on Saturday. But family comes first – so we were in Virginia instead of South Carolina. We also delayed our meeting with our vendor for tables, chairs and linens that was scheduled for today, just to make sure everything is still improving. We came across “Luck Ave” while in Roanoke, Virginia – and boy could I use some luck! We enjoyed some green beers for St. Patty’s on Sunday at our fave local restaurant – Harry’s, took our boys to Lake Wylie for a long walk and chance to put their feet in the water and the best part, we came home to find these adorable forks had arrived complete with a stamp of our wedding date! (Less than 5 months, folks!!!). You can see all the pictures from my travels last week and our adventures in Roanoke, VA this past weekend on Instagram.
photo1 Although I wasn’t expecting any major set-backs in my planning (or family emergencies), I think we handled this one pretty well and nothing has been majorly impacted at this time. We confirmed our florist and mailed off a deposit and also booked a day-of coordinator (more to come on this!). And most of all, I feel completely lucky to have had such an amazing person by my side through this entire ordeal!

How have you dealt with wedding planning set-backs?

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.
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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)

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!