January 11, 2012

wedding wednesday: meet n' greet

It's that time of the week again. Wedding Wednesday! I almost didn't post this today because I'm feeling under the weather, but I'm on a roll with posting so far in the new year and didn't want to lose my steam.

When we set out to plan our wedding we knew we wanted it to reflect our personalities and be rustic, but fun, even a bit old fashioned. We tried to show this not only in the Save the Date Cards [see below] but also the other invites we sent to all our guests.

SAVE THE DATE... OPPS too late it's over, sorry folks!

I originally wanted it to say "Are Gettin' Hitched" but I thought I should stick with a semi formal "getting married." Yeah, I chickened out. All invites/printed items were designed in partnership with Mike. We are both graphic designers and it seemed silly to pick something out of a book. I was foolish and decided to have our Save the Date card drilled at the top to allow for ribbon to be connected. It was adorable but let me be the first to say that if you are doing most of your invites and assembling alone - DON'T do this. We sent out a little over 100 invites to friends and family and let me tell you I was SO sick of ribbon I could have died! We chose a slightly pale sage-ish green ribbon, and the invite was printed in deep brown ink on kraft paper stock - which had bits of fleck in it and is a bit imperfect which is JUST what we wanted. Mike is always helpful with projects I take on but I didn't want him to be bothered with having to tie all the ribbons even though I KNOW he would have helped me and offered at great lengths to do so. I took his offering of help and used 100% in creating our invites [more on those in future posts].

Our wedding was by no means a destination wedding for Mike and I but it was for most of our family and friends. We had it here, close to home and close to the majority of his immediate family. My family is very small it consists currently of myself, my father, 2 cousins and their families and my Aunt and Uncle, all on my father's side of the family. As many of you may know my mother passed away a few years ago, and most of the family I knew personally from her side have since passed as well. Knowing that the majority of my guests were friends made it a bit easier to plan an in state wedding. We had considered going to Maryland to have the wedding but I wanted things to be as easy as possible not only on Mike and I in the planning process but his mother and father as well. His immediate family is huge, and I'm sure adding travel to the amount of money Mike's family was going to spend for our big day would only add to the lump sum they were going to have to spend.

Knowing we'd have so many friends and family from out of town coming in to celebrate, and most of which would be there early Mike and I devised a plan to have a "MEET N' GREET" night before wedding formalities were in full swing. We picked our favorite restaurant and bar to be the meeting place and reserved the patio for our fun evening of drinks, dinner and socializing. I'm not sure where I got the idea for the Meet n' Greet but I am glad I did. Most of my friends from back home hadn't met Mike's family yet, and my father had only had limited time to socialize with them as well. My best friends, ARE my family so I wanted time for them and Mike's family to get familiar with each other before the formal festivities!!! We had excellent weather for weeks leading up to the wedding weekend. It was warm, comfortable and most guests would be pleased. However, right before the wedding weekend it got colder locally and we were forced to take over the back room at the restaurant instead of the fun patio. It was simply, too chili to be out there for an extended amount of time.

The day of the Meet n' Greet:
My bridesmaids had been texting me all morning long on Thursday. The best was from my oldest friend, she and I met in middle school when she was new to our town and school. We've been friends ever since. We lost touch after college and thanks to the magic of facebook reunited and it truly feels like we haven't missed a beat. She texted me that she almost missed the plane. She and her husband had been taking their time to get to the gate and decided they wanted a Bloody Mary before the trip. Needless to say they made the flight when someone came searching for them but it made for a great story because the rest of my bridal party that was flying in for the big show were on the same flight!!! HA!

All the girls and their hubby's took separate rental cars from the airport due to staying in different locations that night and thus leading to different arrival times. My phone was buzzing NON-STOP! My girls were excited and so was I. I had told the girls that it may be fun to meet at the Marriott for lunch. Mike and I had been there a few times for happy hour and while the price of food is a bit over the top, we knew it was the perfect place to meet since a few of the girls were staying there for that evening. I wanted to make it easy on them since they had just flown into town.

Once at the hotel, I could hear them in the dining area - always a great sign right? Then again when you've been sippin' on cocktails all morning on a flight there's bound to be some loud talking! It was so great to see them all!!!! I almost cried. This marked the first time all my friends had come to Alabama [NOT counting the Maid of Honor and one of my maids making it for my bridal shower, a couple weeks before, as a surprise!!!]  But this marked EVERYONE I loved the most being there with me!!! Talk about wanting to well up!

Introductions were made as needed once a few other friends showed up with their husbands - Mike has met nearly everyone but at the same time there is always one or two people he has yet to meet properly.

Bless our server's sweet little heart... and all those around us!
MOH & Groom to Be!
Drinks were flowing, conversations were loud, enjoyable [at least for our table] and it was like old times! A happy hour style lunch for sure!!!
Dear friends, P, T {MOH} myself laughing while picture is being taken, and K {Bridesmaid}
Bridesmaid & MOH take over the Marriott Lobby! Heaven help the staff!!! And yes, she's planking!
After Lunch Mike and I finished up other things we had on our to-do list. Which mind you was pretty difficult with the buzz I had caught while eating lunch with my girls and their hubby's. Maryland KNOWS how to party!!!

Before I knew it, it was time for dinner at the Meet n' Greet. I realized by this time I had gotten a bit PINK in the tanning bed and wasn't pleased about it. I hadn't tanned in over 10 years!!! I was against it and fearful for skin cancer etc. Well I dropped that for 3 days so I could have some color on my big day and got too much on the final day. Thankfully it toned down but that is why I look like a ROSEY WOMAN in all these last pictures! 

MOH & I at dinner
K, My dad & MOH, T • Everyone loves this man!!!
We have quite a few pictures from the dinner but I figured I wouldn't bore you with the images. Let's just say dinner was great, delicious, we filled the entire back room with bodies and laughter and I had about 3 of those drinks in front of me {Captain n' Diet}.

We then decided to let the responsible adults take the kids home.... and the rest of us went out to our favorite watering hole downtown to continue the party. Joined by both FRIENDS and FAMILY!

Yes, she's planking... K started a trend this weekend passed down from her cousins. Needless to say it was a bit hit!!!

Mike, myself and my new family - 3 of my brother-in-laws, my Father-in-Law & My Sister-in-law
{I have 2 other SIL's and one more BIL as well - SEE HUGE FAMILY!}

LOVE this picture - we had a blast!!!

And we paid for it... trust me Friday morning I ate Gas Station Pizza for breakfast on my way to the resort!  Yes I said Gas. Station.  - classy!

I hope you enjoyed it I know we did - next up! The Rehearsal dinner!
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Carolyn said...

Looks like a great time! :) Love the save the dates and the meet and greet invites! SO CUTE!

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

Meet & Greets is such a good idea! Love it. And really would have been useful for my wedding with so many out of town guests!

XO. Britt
The Magnolia Pair


Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Wow, the meet n greet was a great idea! I love your announcements, too!

marie said...

I knew I forgot something. I never had a bachelorette party. Oh well, yours sure does look fun. Love all the invitations.

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

Technically Marie - I didn't have one either. I had 2 bridesmaids come down for my shower and we went out that night with Mike - more friends were supposed to meet us but didn't we made the most of the evening. but I didn't have a REAL bachelorette party at all! Which is ok...I partied enough with all my friends at theirs it was OK!

Kathryn said...

That is fun idea! You must have been a busy woman to have a meet n greet, then a rehearsal dinner, then a wedding, then a night out! LOVE both of your invites, by the way. They're kind of similar to some wedding invites I have been scoping out on Etsy lately (no, I'm not engaged...)

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