Post Wedding Purge

I mentioned several times throughout the planning process I mentioned all the crafty items I was purchasing for DIY decor at our wedding. Well, it worked. I spent HOURS painting and writing with chalkboard markers but it all looked wonderful, the pictures were framed, signs hung, and banners proudly displayed. But now that the wedding is over, I do NOT need dozens of chalkboards, Mr & Mrs signs, bubbles or stripey straws laying around the house (and my groom would prefer it if this was not the case!).

Another bride-to-be (Happy Wedding Week, Adrienne) approached me and my friend, Valerie about having a “Bridal Yard Sale” here in Charlotte after all of our weddings are finished up. This is a spectacular idea and I cannot wait to share the goodies with other brides who are knee-deep in planning. So, I’m sharing a preview now of some of the things I will have for sale (Southwest VA friends, I’m headed your way at the end of the week and am happy to bring items to you if you see something you like). We haven’t set the date for the Yard Sale but I will keep you updated! You’ll want to mark your calendar for this collaborative and creative day!

1. Tree Stump (used for sweetheart wedding cake – but could be used as a sign or other decoration) – $12

2. Mr. & Mrs. signs tied with navy ribbon – $15 (for both)

3. Wedding sign with arrow $10 – SOLD

4. Mailbox (used to collect cards at wedding – can easily be sanded and repainted (or change initial)) – $15

5. Please Leaf Your Thumbprint sign & frame (used for thumbprint tree at wedding) – $5

6. (4) colors of thumbprint ink for Thumbprint sign – $5

7. Large chalkboard with dark gray frame – $28 – SOLD

8. Window Frame Chalkboard (frame can be painted) – $18- SOLD

9. Pig shaped chalkboard (we used this for our menu) – $12

10. Heart Shaped Slate hanging sign – $3- SOLD

11. Rectangular Shaped Slate hanging sign – $3- SOLD

12. (2) Matching Slate hanging signs – $5 – SOLD

13. (20) Chalkboard picks (can be stuck in flower arrangements, buckets, etc.) – $15- SOLD

14. Hanging chalkboard sign – $7- SOLD

15. Easel (works great with the window frame chalkboard) – $12

16. Burlap & gold table cloth – $7

17. “I do” something blue for the bottom of brides shoes – $3

18. 50+ mini bubble bottles (leftovers from what we used for our exit) – $10

19. Small “W” (will stand on it’s own – about 3-4″ tall) – $3

20. Ampersand sign (would look cute hanging between chairs or for pics) – $9

21. Large (18″) “W” for decorating or photos (can easily be repainted) – $13

22. Lime Green Striped Straws (20) – $4

23. Navy Striped Straws (3 packs of 20) – $10

25. Love of my life sign – $13 – SOLD

26. Elegant picture frame – $7- SOLD

27. Best Day Ever + picture frame – $7

28. White Threshold Picture frame with rope pattern – $6

29. Large black easel (great for the BIG chalkboard) – $15- SOLD

30. “Just Married” banner (2 pieces) – $15- SOLD

Like what you see? Just think – there are at least 4 more brides that will be participating in this yard sale with similar goodies up for grabs!

Hakuna Matata

It’s finally my “wedding week” and I’m just two days away from walking down the aisle in my favorite white dress. We’ve been very calm and collected this week. Actually, so calm and collected that people have commented on it over and over again. After watching the Lion King production on Sunday, we’ve decided that “Hakuna Matata” is a pretty good mantra.

My favorite pieces of advice that have been shared with us are:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things are bound to happen that are out of your control and little things might happen that won’t matter in the long run. Focus on the day, the moment, and being with the groom.

For me, this is THE big one. I do sweat the small stuff. I have this beautiful vision in my head of our wedding day and a major stressor has been everything not falling into place as laid out in my head. However, I cannot control the weather and currently we have a 70% chance of rain. I will have to make the call tomorrow on weather my wedding will be inside or outside (there might be tears), but in the grand scheme of things, I’m still getting to marry the guy of my dreams and will have ALL of the most important people in our lives in one room for an entire night and THAT’S what is important.

 

2. Focus on the marriage, not just the wedding. A lot of time goes into planning a wedding. Even before the engagement, there were boards on Pinterest with loads of crafty wedding ideas. But the wedding is only one day and the marriage will last a lifetime. So there has to be effort figuring out how you will deal with the little and big things that arise in life. For some this is pre-marital counseling for others it’s reading books (e.g. The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman).

We’ve spent four years together, discussed money, kids, and we’ve already had to have the discussion about moving for jobs. We complement each other. The marriage is our first priority, although the wedding will be amazing.

3. Don’t forget to eat. For this girl, you don’t have to tell me to eat. But supposedly, you get so wrapped up in everything else that you “forget” to on your wedding day.

Not once have I “forgotten” to eat in my life and I don’t intend to on Saturday. PS, we are having the biggest, most Southern meal at our wedding. We will be enjoying it along with our guests.

Jamaica 2010
Jamaica 2010

 

Last minute advice for the bride and groom? Would love to hear it!

Countdown to Wedding: 3 days!

Y’all… it’s almost here. I can hardly sleep from all the excitement. It’s like Christmas, but better. I get to marry my best friend, my favorite guy, and the love of my life in 3 teeny-tiny days. EEEEP!

This past week has been a whirlwind. I am officially off work now and signed off too (occasionally “off work” still means checking email). Last weekend, I made a quick trip to the mountains of Blacksburg, VA for a birthday party for one of my favorite little girls – who happens to belong to one of my favorite bridesmaids and favorite best friends.
photoI also spent one evening exploring a gorgeous undiscovered park in Blacksburg with my mom and a photographer for bridal portraits. Shhh! These were a last minute decision. My groom will surely be surprised.
photo-4My favorite part of being home was spending quality time with the best Paw Paw a girl could have. Sharing little moments with him means so much. We enjoyed a homemade eclair that I brought safely in a cooler with me all the way from Charlotte. We took a walk to look at his fields and the mountains all the way in Blacksburg. We talked about life, the wedding, and my new job. And before I left we spent some time sitting on the front porch. My heart still breaks to think about not having him here with us on this earth but my heart was full of happiness for getting to spend some uninterrupted time with him and steal a bunch of hugs while I was at it.
photo-2After Hollins’ birthday party, I had to scoot back to Charlotte to celebrate the graduation of one of our dear friends from grad school! We have both worked closely with Courtney in the past and are proud of her success. She definitely has the “favorite coworker” award from me!
photo-1And after a wonderful brunch with our awesome friend Jeff who is providing the DJ service for our wedding, we spent the evening watching The Lion King! Such an awesome production – and so fun to reminisce on our childhoods. This was our last major event as an engaged couple and our next big event is THE big one!
photo-3

This girl cannot wait!
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Shuttle Shuffle

We hired shuttles to transport our guests from the hotel to our venue and back again after the wedding, thinking this would make everything easier. Thus far, it’s been a headache.

We have them for 3 hours, which is plenty of time pre and post wedding. The shuttle holds 24 people. The headache has been figuring out how to get everyone there without making some folks be there super early. So the Bride (ME!!!) and the bridesmaids will arrive first for pictures and then hide out upstairs in the dairy barn until wedding time. The Groom & groomsmen will arrive next for their photos. Then we have the guests. It’s a pretty even split on family/friends that will be taking the shuttle.

I decided that friends would be better go first and arrive approximately 45 minutes before the ceremony starts. The next group will arrive 25 minutes before the ceremony starts. We plan to have games and water for our guests to enjoy while they wait and of course our wonderful musicians will be set up and playing.

I know it will all work out fine and I’m trying not to stress of this little detail but I cringe at the thought of a shuttle flying up a gravel road at the start of my ceremony carring a quarter of a our guests. But I guess as long as the bride, groom and officiant are there, that’ll do the trick! 9 more sleeps!
keep calm

Practice makes perfect!

Last week we received a darling invite to our rehearsal dinner, hosted by my wonderful, soon-to-be in-laws. At the same time, I got a flood of emails from our coordinator, photographer and DJ asking for schedules, addresses, updated info, etc. Oh, did I mention I’m in the middle of starting a new job? (insert “ain’t nobody got time for that” comment here).

So, I’ve been digging through them, every chance I get and updating as I go (in between writing checks in amounts that hurt my heart). Somewhere in the midst of this, I realized that we hadn’t even given our wedding party a run-down of the details they needed to know about the rehearsal or day of the wedding. Lucky for my fiance, I am a pro at writing emails, so I quickly drafted a template that we could send to our respective sides.

Being the perfectionist that I am, or as particular as I am, or controlling as some may call it, it was hard for me not to type a big ol’ “DON’T YOU DARE BE LATE OR YOU WILL FOREVER GET THE STINK EYE FROM ME.” But I’m trusting that my guests got that from, “it is imperative that everyone be on time as we are only allotted ONE hour to rehearse at the venue.”

Ideally, I would like to run through things 2-3 times while we are there (I’m sure my coordinator has this all planned out). This will be the first time our entire wedding party will be together, and will be interesting to see how everything flows. It will certainly ease my mind if we can make things as darn near perfect as possible in that hour. Luckily, the rehearsal dinner is afterwards and I can have a glass of wine to ease my mind the rest of the way.

The wedding invite list was stressful, deciding where to budget money was stressful, but for me, counting on a dozen other people to handle the biggest day of my life is by far the most stressful. I want to have my hand in everything and preview and review everything to make sure it’s JUST RIGHT before any guests see it. This will likely not be possible on the day of and I’ll have to relinquish some of my “controlling” nature and let everyone do their thing. So here’s to putting my big day in the hands of friends, family and paid wedding-industry-members alike. Deep breaths!

répondez s’il vous plaît

If I know anything from my 7+ years of French, it’s what “répondez s’il vous plaît” means. And if I know anything from being a bride, it’s how important it is that people RSVP in a timely manner.
rsvp

We are now less than 4 weeks out from our wedding (3 weeks & 6 days to be exact), and our guests have until this coming Friday to RSVP to our big party. Thus far, we have 71 confirmed guests, which is great, but still only about half of the guests that we invited. While I enjoy the fact that they are trickling in and I’m not having to spend hours at a time adding names to our spreadsheet, I’m getting slightly anxious about those that have not responded.

We made it pretty easy on our guests by using postcards that were pre-stamped. Only a simple check to confirm they are attending, filling in of the name and number of guests required. And did I mention that we used adorable stamps?
rsvp_id rsvp_tgI am particularly fond of the wedding-spirit stamps that we used and ordered from Zazzle. They were also the exact postage for postcards, unlike the flower stamps which are Forever stamps and actually more postage than needed for our postcards. (Add that to the list of things you never thought of before you planned a wedding!). However, we did get complimented on our use of the flower stamps, and my fleur and garden loving husband-to-be was a big fan of them.

So here we are finalizing schedules, picking up last minute items, paying vendors and patiently waiting for guests to RSVP. I keep saying I’m not going to chase people down for RSVPs (see photo below), so, my hope is that when I return from my work trip this week (eeek! New job!), we’ll have a bundle of RSVPs to be added to our list and I can relax a little.
3oudox

Forever films

We have vacillated for most of our wedding planning experience on whether or not we would hire a videographer. The cheapest quote I was given was $1700 – but most were closer to the $2500 range for a base package. I get it, they put a lot of time into following you around on the big day, and also into editing and making sure everything is perfect before giving you those final discs. But once you’ve paid for venues, catering, flowers, coordinators, photography, and all the million other things weddings require… that extra money seems scary to spend. I talked about this a few weeks ago in this post for Carolina Bride.

My groom does not feel passionate about having a videographer or not having one. I am not sure I feel passionate about it, but I think I might regret it if I don’t. It’s not something we can go back and do, after the fact. I was discussing with one of my bridesmaids yesterday and we talked about how frequently it would be watched… probably only on anniversaries and maybe if our (one day) kids wanted to see it. She made a good point though that it’s “live” and you might not always have the opportunity to interact with folks that are at your wedding, and of course, it’s something you can keep forever.

Family members have also offered opinions, similar to my bridesmaid’s opinion yesterday. Again, I’ve also had people say that they don’t regret it. I’ve had people say that the ceremony was a disaster because the priest kept calling them by the wrong name. I’ve had people say that they love their video and it’s so special. And like Michelle said yesterday, heaven forbid something happen to one of us, but we could play the video to each other like Channing Tatum did in The Vow. (Or we could just watch Channing Tatum in The Vow).

So, I spent Monday negotiating with a videographer for the parts that we really care about being caught on camera and was able to get to a price point that I was happy with and my groom, knowing that I want it, said, “do it.” Love him.

1 month to go – and we are EXCITED!
1 month
Do you have an opinion on hiring a videographer? Please leave a comment & share!

Groom’s Gift

We are now less than 40 days out from our wedding and all of the little details are adding up. I have so many things left to do (and more that come up every day!). Picking songs, finalizing our vows (and writing my part!), ordering the programs, and still, all of those wonderful DIY craft projects that I have yet to start. One of my biggest “to-do’s” right now is finding a gift for my groom – or at the very least, coming up with the idea for what to buy!

I was pretty set on getting a watch for him with something sweet engraved on the back, and I think that’s a pretty traditional gift for grooms. I know of at least three brides that have given watches to their new husband on the day of the wedding. Searching for this on the internet didn’t really provide any additional insight.
watch

A friend told me she got her husband-to-be an iPad, but my Apple-loving groom already has one. Another idea was luggage for all of the traveling that we will do. Of course, I envision a great big monogram or possibly his name embroidered on a duffle bag, but I fear he might roll his eyes on that one.

So, alas, I am clueless. I have no more ideas on what to possibly buy him that will have meaning and also be of use to him. I know this is a gift that should have more meaning behind it than necessarily the value or practical use of it, but I do love giving practical gifts. Now, I need all the former brides out there to rally and tell me your best ideas for a gift for my darling groom. Ready, set, go!
clueless

Happy, happy, happy!

We had a splendid 4th of July yesterday – despite the rain (and by rain, I mean torrential downpours, thunderstorms and clouds all day). We celebrated my cousin’s 10th birthday – and America’s at the same time! We have been doing a lot of celebrating lately – and I apologize that this isn’t really a “wedding post” but I had to share. My ever-so-studious fiance just finished 2 more classes through Northeastern University for his Master’s and earned A’s in both (brag!). And last week, I was offered a BIG promotion with my company, while staying in the Communications arena.

I had to wait to make the announcement – which was tough – especially since I wanted to shout it from the rooftop! I applied for the job on a whim, thinking I really had no shot, it was grades above where I was, I had just earned my Master’s which they wanted but I didn’t have a lot of post-Master’s experience to apply, and I had just been promoted back in December so another jump so soon was not realistic. But alas, I had all of the qualifications and apparently didn’t sound too much like Miss South Carolina in my interviews.

I am so excited for this opportunity and all of the doors that it opens for me, and for my future family. Overwhelmingly, people have been happy for me (lots of screaming, jumping hugs in the elevators at work and tons of text messages), but I did have one person tell me “Don’t expect to be Top 10 again.” We are fortunate at my company to still get bonuses and those are based on your rating for the year. Last year, I was a Top 10 performer for the company and man, it felt good. Disappointing to be told that when I just got a “dream job” and am over-the-moon happy. However, since I’ve been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg, I feel empowered. I feel excited. I feel like I can do anything.

First and foremost, I am going to marry the love of my life and spend 11 spectacular days in Aruba with him. But then, we can focus on our careers and figure out where we want to be before we start a family. I’m not the girl who wants to be a stay-at-home mom (nothing wrong with it!). I enjoy working, and I especially enjoy new challenges and opportunities. My fiance is the same way and while he is knee-deep in his Master’s studies right now, he is well on his way to his next opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

The next 43 days hold lots of last minute details, DIY crafts and collecting of RSVPs. Counting down!

Happy weekend!

The last 60 days!

Monday marked 60 days until our wedding. We could technically get our marriage license at anytime now… but we’ll hold off for a little longer. Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary – our last June 20th anniversary, as next year, we’ll be celebrating August 17th! I still remember being so nervous before our first date (and so nervous at work that I went out of my way to avoid talking to LW face-to-face). I was so giddy afterwards and so sure that I wanted to be with him – lucky me, he wanted the same thing!
anniversaryAnd here we are, 4 years later, wedding planning our little hearts out and working relentlessly on the next big steps of our lives together (more details coming soon!). I love that I have a running & hiking partner, a concert/theatre/comedy show buddy, a travel partner and someone who is always up for a quick road trip – especially to a beachy location, my own handyman, grill master, and a best friend. We have so much fun together and really complement each other with our personalities and special OCD issues. I also love that I got a 2nd dog out of this deal, because those boys, they complete us! bowtiesReady for the weekend and another shower thrown by Aunt Jill (LW’s favorite banana pudding maker!). We are excited to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy SUMMER!

Happy Weekend!