February 29, 2012

wedding wednesday: details part 1

One week later, we're back to Wedding Wednesday. Where does the time go? HAPPY LEAP DAY!!! I wanted to share the details of our special day. Things that often go unnoticed by some guests and others completely gush about. I thought instead of doing several different posts I would try to lump them together in two. I wanted to be able to share the flowers, the printed materials, the cake, the accessories and the important tid bits all in two posts.

It's All In The Details... PART I
Flowers, Accessories and Odd Bits

I think the best place to start is with the flowers. I could not have been happier with the arrangements put together by our florist he and his team did an amazing job! I wanted Autumn colors and never truly thought about incorporating bright green into this, but once I saw the flowers I knew it was the perfect pop of green to offset the girls dresses and our guys ties.

I had given my florist a ton of images for inspiration and told him flowers I loved. What he gave me didn't look exactly like any of the items I showed him but I mean that in a good way. I told him to do what he felt, use the flowers, his expertise and colors I suggested and give me something fun, something rustic and different. My only request in making my bouquet was that he incorporate my mother's tiara from her wedding day into the arrangement. I think he did an amazing job of not only doing that but highlighting it as well.  I absolutely love the wheat sprigs, and the berries that match Mike's flowers.

This is a better image showing off the tiara, and the fact that I wanted a fresh cut feel to the bouquet. I did not want it wrapped all the way to the bottom. My original vision was a garden wedding, something tossed together by friends and family for us, so I wanted the flowers to reflect that.

In Loving Memory of Marjorie, My Mother
I carried a second group of flowers down the isle in memory of my mother. Six long stemmed white roses with a chocolate ribbon were carried and I placed the bundle where she would have sat for the ceremony. It was a special moment, and one that after reading our program explaining this act, most of my guests applauded my "In Memory" part of the ceremony. My photographers grabbed it for me after the ceremony and I have since dried the roses to keep for the future.

I wanted my maids bouquets to be simple, timeless and not too over done. Originally I had thought a bouquet of Lily of the Valley blooms would be amazing... until I saw the price tag. [Note: the price is INSANE and probably only since has been amplified by Kate Middleton's wedding day bouquet]. BABY'S BREATHE IT IS! This bouquet was not only so fun but so affordable. I think it was the perfect pop for my girls to hold. I had intended to dry the left over bouquets [most of my girls left them since they would be flying home], and using them to stuff my Christmas tree but it didn't work out as planned.

Ends of the stems were tied with chocolate ribbon. 
Mike's little sister was our Flower Girl and she carried a basket that I decorated with flowers to match her hair piece. For the Junior Bridesmaids I wanted the girls to have something young and fun to carry. They both are 10 and 12 years old and I didn't want them to have to bother with stuffy flowers. These Pom Poms were the perfect combo, and the green again - popped. Originally I thought he might just use the geraniums I was happy to see he added the bright mums too when I saw them for the first time. Ladies, sometimes when you let go of the Type A Bride personality... magic happens. Every, single, flower arrangement was a surprise for me and I loved them all!

All the men in the wedding, minus the groom and fathers all wore simple sprigs of baby's breathe and lemon leaves for their flowers. I'm really glad I chose this. All too often the flowers for men are too heavy, and these held up great throughout the evening and all the dancing! Again I wanted the day to feel like a bunch of friends just picked flowers and put them on at the last minute, I didn't want the day to feel too contrived at all.

Originally I wanted to make Mike's flowers, but time was not on my side, and frankly I don't think I would have done such an amazing job myself with buttons or anything else. Mike chose his berries and we both were smitten with the wheat. Mike, my father and his father wore these. I didn't get pictures of Mike's mom and grandmother's flowers or the flowers for my program attendants. His mother and grandmother both had the beautiful green lilies for their wrists [as seen in my bouquet] and my program girls had white roses. I went with wristlets for them all.

ETSY, how do I love thee, let me count the ways! Etsy was my life saver through this planning process. I wish I could remember all the wonderful stores I shopped at to get items for my wedding but I will be honest it might take a year to write them all down. The ring bearer's pillow was a purchase from Esty. As well as Mike's cuff links, our guest book and many other little items along the way. We had two ring bears, they were Mike's two nephews. Only the oldest carried the pillow, he held his little brother's hand with the other. They did an amazing job!

For the reception space we had these lanterns with flowers on 5 tables and low center pieces with the same flowers on all other tables. We had a sweethearts table, and not a huge head table. I wanted my guests to mingle and I wanted my bridal party to be able to sit with their dates. Most of the husbands and dates of our bridal party didn't know each other that well, and I figured that giving them all time to mingle and "snuggle" with their sig others would make the evening more full of love, and honestly who wants to sit on display while eating their dinner. I know I didn't, but I did anyway since I was the bride and all.

Let me just tell you... I stressed about my shoes. I stressed about them more than anything else on my list of things, except maybe the jewelry, I stressed hardcore about that. Why did I stress about something covered by my dress? Well because I KNEW I'd want to have these shots taken.

 Don't you just love his shoes?

I'm really happy my tattoos don't stick out too bad in this shot! And yes, ladies he didn't wear socks, he doesn't like to unless it's freezing outside. Hey, it's his day too!

Our Rings - Mike picked out my wedding band - I gave him ideas and I was starting to feel like I'd never find what I wanted. A simple, small delicate band with diamonds that was a bit antique was what I wanted. Nothing fit up against my engagement ring until he showed me this. It was perfect, a bit more modern than I wanted originally but in the end fit me perfectly! Mike's wedding band is made of wood. This was another amazing Esty find. I ordered two. Thankfully I did, probably about 3 months into the marriage he broke his at work. I saved the pieces as a keepsake from our big day. The price was wonderful, the service was great and now that I'm typing this I am going to do a special post all about the etsy people I've dealt with, they deserve it so stay tuned.  You all might be wondering why we went with a wooden wedding ring, the reason is because Mike is allergic to all metals. It doesn't matter what he wears it breaks him out. Gold, Silver, Titanium, Platinum, and all the other fancy metals the jewelers claim will be OK. I showed him the wooden rings and he was hooked. I love the one he picked.

This ring belonged to my mother. It has been passed down from generations of women on her side of the family originally coming to them from over seas. There were only four of these rings made, and my mom's family owned 3 of them. It's very special to me. I wish they would have gotten a picture of my "Something Blue" - Mike's sister got me an amazing pearl with our wedding date and initials. I will share that etsy seller as well! SO cute!

My Jewelry - I stressed BIG TIME on these items.
I wanted a statement necklace from the minute I saw them featured in many of my bridal magazines. The issue I was having was... can I pull it off? Will it be too much? I had so much fear and doubt in my mind. When I found these gems on ebay [They are from J. Crew]. I was floored and swooned over them. Originally I was looking for green, or possibly a rose colored necklace to compliment my shoes. But when I saw these I felt like I had to have them. Even if I didn't wear them on my big day. I did this a lot, the second guessing. I stopped asking for people's opinions because that just confused me more. In the end I brought these, my bird cage veil and the hair clip I had made to the lodge. I figured I'd decide at the last minute. Necklace or earrings, both, or none. And I'd figure out what to do with my veil after my hair was done. Oh, did I mention I changed my hair from my trial too? Yes, I was that girl. But the hair I chose was actually easier on my hairstylist so that was good.

I totally dropped the veil. The night before the wedding during our rehearsal after party for some reason I started to fret about my choices for wearing a blusher/veil or not. Mike's cousin, C who is 22 said to me "Veils are so last year." I'm sure he was joking but he kept insisting that they were dead, no one should wear them, etc. The next morning while getting ready I started to fumble with my bird cage veil before the girls got there. I finally said F-IT! No veil. Instead I went with the hair piece I made myself using flowers, some bling and bits of my mother's veil. It was really important to me to have my mother represented on our special day. Having her items from her wedding day made it really special to me. I also made a flower pin for my little sister-in-law, the flower girl. Her's had brown accents in it and she wore it all day the next day she loved it so much!

Mike's Cuff Links - These were awesome!
Mike picked these out and ordered them himself, even before I had shown him anything that I wanted to order like the pillow, and the guest book made of wood that was burned with a wood tool. These were the talk of the night, everyone loved them! We wanted our wedding to have a big nature feel, and trees seemed to be a running theme.

Mike, the fathers and the ring bearers all wore chocolate brown ties with this tree printed on them. I squealed when I saw the little ring bearers ties, so cute, so adorable and totally clip ons!  All of the groomsmen wore the green ties shown above. Mike and I were so excited to find not only the tree design but the colors we needed for our special day [again esty is a miracle!]

 Our Wedding Programs
These were designed again by Mike and myself! The logo was displayed all over our printed materials, our koozies, and even on banners that were gifted to us, hand painted by a friend and also an esty store owner by commission.

Well there you have it - part 1 of the details from the wedding. My next post will be a bit more brief, showing off the cakes, and some of the fun at the reception and any little tid bits I might have missed in this post. I hope you enjoyed this! More to come!
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February 22, 2012

wedding wednesday: bridal party and ceremony

It's that time of the week again, Wedding Wednesday. Thanks for joining me. I hope you aren't too hungover, those of you that enjoyed Fat Tuesday festivities. Myself? Yeah I partied like an animal drinking water, eating a great dinner my husband prepared and watching Always Sunny reruns. I'm serious, I partied so hard I pinned over 50 items last night during and insomnia moment. I can't believe I'm not hurting this morning, I'm running on very little hours of quality sleep but yet, I'm still kicking.

Enough jibber jabber, let's get to the wedding ceremony goods.

As I may or may not have said before, our wedding was outside. The weather here in NW Alabama is very fickle, I really think the state slogan should officially be "If you don't like our weather, just wait 20 minutes." It changes on a dime. For weeks before the big day the weather was warm, Spring or perfect Autumn warm. The day before all my friends arrived the cold chill hit. It wasn't too bad mind you, I was happy for the relief, I wasn't looking forward to sweating through my make-up or while lugging my dress around. Why is it when you try on your wedding dress and you pick it that it never seems as heavy as it does during the first fitting, or the day you wear it?

After freezing most of the evening at the rehearsal dinner, I wasn't too worried about the ceremony. I knew I'd be anxious so being warm wouldn't be an issue.

Thankfully during the bridal party and family portraits our photographers scouted a perfect field, full of sunshine for us all to take photos. The ladies would be warm with their bare shoulders and the guys would be semi comfortable in their light colored suits. I wanted to share a few shots of the portraits it was a ball. Most of the girls were concerned and teasing me about having to walk into an open field - I reminded them to take it easy on me, A) I was the bride and B) I had already SAT down in the field in my ivory dress and survived to tell the tale. I was most concerned with Mike's sister's shoes. She was a trooper, walking in her Jimmy Choo's in the wilderness. I apologized and she told me not to worry one minute about it.

Sitting in the field, I know I looked unpleased but I was actually totally cool with this.
Especially since my photographer lent me her coat to sit on.

Me and my Father.

Our, HUGE wedding party.
I never once imagined I'd have such a large wedding party. Mike's family is very big and most of our party does make-up his brother's and sisters, as well as brother-in-law and nephew. I was really excited that we both had friends and family in the wedding that truly spanned most of our lives represented that day. I not only had dear friends I've known since middle school in my line up, but also dear friends I made in high school, college, my 20's and current close friends to both myself and Mike. Add to that my Junior Bridemaids, who are daughters to two of my maids and you have the second generation of friends. I call these girls my nieces. I also had Mike's sisters as well. I'm so happy to be a part of such a large family. We chose our Matron of Honor and Best Man according to not just friendship, but also to the fact that the two chosen were one of the main reasons Mike and I got together. If not for their help, I would have never met Mike. Two of our dear friends were not able to make it for the wedding My pal Lauren, who you all know as Salt, and our other friend R. Salt is expecting her first baby and was unsure about the trip, and R was called into work at the last minute - he's a cop, so we sort of couldn't argue that could we? They were both there in spirit and we hated not being able to party with them! Note: I allowed my girls to pick their own dresses - I asked they all be different, but 4 chose the same one!
what a massive and lovely bridal party, don't you think?
My favorite shots from the day are the candid ones. I like to call this shot our "Reservoir Dogs" shot.
Dear friend N, Best Man G, Brother J, the Groom, Brother J.O., Youngest Brother P, and Bro-in-law C
 My New Family
All of Mike's and now My, Brother's, Sisters, Nephews, new born Niece, Parents, Grandmother, and Brother-in-Law
 I love this picture of Mike and his siblings + his oldest nephew
How amazingly attractive is this family? I mean really?

One Final party shot after the ceremony - the resort is in the background

When planning our ceremony we wanted it to reflect our personalities. For years I've typed up wedding programs and I'm always typing the same songs, and readings over and over and over again. While I appreciate the classics and get butterflies when I hear the wedding march, I knew I didn't want that for our day and neither did Mike. We set out on a journey to find out how to make our music and ceremony our own. We originally asked the Best Man, who had joked for years about being an ordained minister to marry us. It had been the plan for years but faced with the actual situation made him nervous and worried. I can't say I blame him, can you imagine the pressure to marry your best friends and NOT screw it up? We quickly started to think and after much deliberation and thought we knew of one friend who is not only active in his church and responsible but a good friend if he would marry us. B jumped on the opportunity and I'm so thankful and pleased that he did. He took it seriously, as we hoped anyone in his situation would and he shined for sure! During all this Mike and I were formulating songs for our wedding and soon we figured out a list. Mike did scouting and much like his ability to find a DJ, and many other items on our to-do list for the wedding he found classically trained musicians through a friend of ours that played weddings. Through email he asked questions about music they like to play and prices. We met in person with the musicians, 2 who are part of a quartet. One a celloist and the other played violin. We brainstormed with them, and I brought them sheet music of the contemporary music we had in mind. The day they brought us back in to hear what they had worked on, I welled up not once but twice, maybe three times as they played. It was SO perfect and better than I could have ever dreamed.

Here is our ceremony, complete with music selections and pictures, enjoy!

Prelude - A Mix of Beatles Tunes
Ending with "Land of Imagination" 
from the Original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Soundtrack

Groomsmen & Groom's Entrance
"Man of the Hour" - Pearl Jam
Mike and his Groomsmen entered from the right side of the ceremony space on the back patio from a long line of steps, I wish I could have seen this moment, but I was below him in the reception room, with my girls doing one ceremonial "Lemon Drop" shot before the big moment.

Seating of Mike's Mother & Grandmother
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
I picked this song, not just because it was beautiful, but also as sort of a tribute to my late mother. She and I were always obsessed with the Wizard of Oz and this song always makes me think of her. Mike's mom has been so wonderful to me, and so supportive like having a second mom, even before I was officially her daughter-in-law.

Wedding Party Processional
"To Make You Feel My Love" - Bob Dylan
Written by Bob, but played as preformed by Adele
Our EXTREMELY talented musicians - waiting their cue to play the bridal march.
Brides Processional
"Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones

I have to say this song has always made me emotional, and thankfully on this day I didn't get welled up while walking. Mostly because my father and I laughed most of the time. Did I mention I had my seamstress cut my train off my dress... I didn't want to fuss with it!

 I am still floored at the amazing job my florist 
did turning that plain wooden stage into the work of art he did!

Our ceremony was amazing. I had written most of it with the help of the lovely internet, myself. I wanted to be sure that we not only discussed our love for each other but that we also thanked our parents and friends for teaching us what love truly was all about. Brian did a great job helping me edit the material and add his own blessings into the ceremony as well. He did a fantastic job as our minister. There was a little bit of a hicc-up at the beginning of the ceremony when my dad and I didn't realize it was time for him to be seated... so the jury is still out on whether or not my father and Mike may be hitched instead of us. 

All jokes aside it was amazing, quick but effective, tears were shed, smiles were shared and we were married on a cool fall day, outdoors, close to nature like I had always imagined we would be! Side note, B who married us, is engaged now! His date to the wedding is his new fiance, SO excited for them!!! We got cheers, hoots and hollas from all the boaters that were there that weekend as we sealed the deal with a kiss. The slip where all the yachts were parked were located right where the ceremony was held. At first it made me uncomfortable but there were lots of cheers.... and a surprise [see the last picture].

You may kiss your bride!!!

I know they say the first dance song is super important to a newly married couple but for me the song we heard walking back up the isle was just as, if not more important. I will forever remember the first song I heard as a married woman to be our wedding recessional.

Wedding Recessional
"You're My Best Friend" by Queen

As we walked back up the isle, one by one the boaters started blowing the horns on their yachts and hollering congratulations to us! I love that our second photographer Amy caught this moment! It's one of my favorite images of the day!

The ceremony was certainly one to remember for ever. I can't wait to see our video. We have seen the teaser and it was amazing. I will share that with you after a few more posts, I can't give away everything just yet.

I hope you enjoyed this! Next time... we'll discuss details of the big day! Happy Wednesday!

All photos taken by the lovely Breanna Fogg of Breanna Fogg Photography unless otherwise tagged/labeled.
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February 21, 2012

it's fat tuesday!

So today is the party day of all days, unless you count St. Patrick's Day, New Years Eve, and maybe your birthday. For me Fat Tuesday is right up there with other holidays and I really wish that it was noticed as a national one. Not that I would get off work, hell I was working yesterday while other children and adults got to celebrate President's Day from the comfort of their cozy couches.
via google

I'm really feeling the bitterness today. Bitterness of not being in New Orleans celebrating. Once you've been to the city you quickly realize why so many people love it, but also why people are so disappointed when they miss a prime party-time in that city. As I sat at my desk at 8:30 this morning, sipping on a cup of coffee I found myself stewing over the fact that I wished I was sipping coffee in the French Quarter. And not just any coffee, hell this Foldgers ain't got shit on what I assume the Cafe Du Monde's coffee tastes like... [for the record I've heard it tastes like heaven, I have yet to try it!] and I should have been feasting on beignets as well. You know, to prepare my liver for the evenings mayhem.

Now sure, the last time I was NOLA for Mardi Gras I had one hell of a time. [my first time was a blast!] Yes I had fun, but I also contracted pink eye [I think?] and had my wallet jacked on Bourbon Street in the crowd. I was bitter, pissed, fearful and at that moment never wanted to go back. They say time heals all wounds, and it's true. Since probably October of last year I have been longing for a walk down Bourbon Street. The frozen drinks, bright lights, the food and jazz music call to me.

While I won't get to celebrate in TRUE New Orleans fashion tonight I hope I will be able to celebrate a little bit at home. I just wish I had planned a real Cajun type feast, or at least thought in advance about making the light gumbo recipe I have in my recipe arsenal.

crowded, but heavenly - just hold on to your wallet!!!! • via

I hope you are celebrating in some fashion today! I'm going to try, but it's hard when you're chained to a desk, instead of watching a parade go by! I'm grumpy but I guess it's nothing a little Rum won't fix at 5:00!!!
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!!! Let the Good Times Roll!!!!
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February 15, 2012

wedding wednesday: pre-party

After a few weeks off Wedding Wednesday is back! Sorry it's taken so long but I seem to get overwhelmed at the thought of a big organizational post such as one with lots of pictures, stories and details. Yeah, I know that's what blogging is all about right? Duh.

After the long night of partying down at Mike's room after our rehearsal dinner I kissed him goodnight, gave some of my maids a hug and trekked back to my room which was on the other side of the hotel/resort. Once in my room, I realized I wasn't that tired. I had already organized my room to be nice and neat, all items for my bridesmaids were placed on the table, all my clothing and undergarments were laid out and ready for the next day. Jewelry was checked, and I was good to go. I sat there for a moment and took it all in. I was getting married the next day and couldn't wait. I couldn't tell you what time I fell asleep, it was really late and I was upset that I didn't sleep that long but I figured it was nothing that a little coffee couldn't cure. It was strange not sleeping in the same room as Mike the night before the wedding. We've lived together for 7 years before we tied the knot so it was just strange to be in a large hotel suite, alone, with no one to talk to.

I was expecting the hair and make-up girls to arrive at my hotel room by 9 am. I was up and rocking and rolling by 7:30. I figured I'd give myself a good hour for getting ready. I showered, shaved, did all my business and then realized I didn't have to fuss with my hair, or make-up. I could have slept longer, if my body and mind had let me. I went ahead and started a pot of coffee and turned on ESPN's Game Day. It was quiet, way too quite in my room. Calm before the storm I guess. I fixed a cup of joe and headed out on to the balcony of my room. It was a crisp morning and the lake was covered in fog when I first woke up, it was amazing!!! {Should have taken a picture}. The view below is from the day of the rehearsal taken by my bridesmaid and her family.

Awesome view from the balcony of our resort.
I sat on my balcony and watched the boaters cleaning up their yachts. Some possibly doing the walk of shame after their night of partying {The boaters convention was the following weekend, these were early arrivals to get the best spot for their week long party}. I took time and just relaxed and cleared my mind. I wasn't nervous, at all. Just ready to get the day started.

The first to arrive to my room was my oldest friend, K. She brought in snacks and helped me set up a mini breakfast bar complete with Mimosas and snacks. Mike's sister later brought us a breakfast casserole that hit the spot!!! Before long my hair and make-up girls arrived [can I just tell you how much I love that they came to the resort!!!], and my room was buzzing with tons of women, chatting, laughing, sipping morning appropriate cocktails and having a blast.

At first I thought having to get the day started at 9 am was too early but after seeing the time it takes to work on hair, make-up, and get everyone going I was totally wrong. It was organized chaos all day. Everyone kept asking if I was ok. I was calm, chatty but not overly talkative. At one point my make-up girl said I was making her nervous because I was so calm.

My hair and make-up both were completely different from my trial run. Less make-up and less hair being fussed over. I opted to wear my hair down after creating a flower clip using parts of my mother's veil. And wanted less make-up because I wanted to look like me, only slightly fancier.

Half way through the day I enlisted Mike's sister to deliver the gifts I had gotten him. I waited until our camera man and photographers had made it so they could catch our reactions on film.

suck it innnnnn!
One of my most favorite images of Mike of that day!
Dear Friends, Bridesmaids and Junior Bridesmaids helping me get ready.
accessories, perfume and shoes - oh my!
What the photographers might have missed my dear friend P and my girls caught themselves.
Excuse the non-pro picture but this is the only shot I believe we got of my garter.
By 1:30 - 2 pm it was time to get geared up to go meet Mike for our first look pictures. I wasn't sure where my photographers had scoped out a location for Mike and I to meet at first but then they informed me that they had found a secluded, wooded area close by. Well close for someone not in heels or dragging a heavy wedding dress on their person. My bridesmaids came to the rescue and ordered a golf cart from the front desk. My MOH carried me to the secret hiding place and we walked up the dirt hill.. yes I said dirt hill to meet Mike.

The beginning of the moment was sort of a blur, I didn't realize the photographers were snapping shots of me walking with my MOH, and neither did she. She was still in her sweats and flannel shirt helping me tote my dress as to not get it filthy before the ceremony.

I slowly walked toward him and the photographers instructed me to tap him on the shoulder and he could turn around to see me. It was so strange, I had so many butterflies in my stomach and I was so excited to see his face. Bottom line the moment was magic and his first words were "OH J.C. you look F#CKING AWESOME!" Only he actually fully said J.C. He quickly covered his mouth and apologized and asked if the camera guy could edit that out. It was adorable, innocent and awesome all at once!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves!
Just give him a little tappy tap.

After the first look photos were Bride and Groom portraits. I'm so happy we had moments alone before and after the ceremony. These shots are from both times!


First Pictures After the Ceremony!!!

All Photos Taken by Breanna Fogg Photography unless otherwise noted or labeled.

I am so happy I got the autumn wedding I had always dreamed of, honestly the colors were awesome! And the weather was perfect. Not too hot, but a bit chilly.

Next time I will feature bridal party portraits and the ceremony! I hope you all have enjoyed viewing these pictures as much as I enjoyed putting the post together!

Happy Mid-Week everyone!
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