Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dress me up!

Now that wedding dress shopping is over I am completely relieved. Phew. Well, on to more dress shopping! No, I can't afford to buy dresses right now, but I can virtually window shop for dresses that would be appropriate for the bachelorette, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon right?
Without taking into consideration my budget, let me share with you some dresses I am pining for!
I have been really impressed with modcloth lately:

Source out of stock =(
Anthropologie Anyone?

I love the idea of the bride-to-be wearing white at the bridal shower or to the honeymoon. I think it is so classy!

There are so many more I love from Urbanoutfitters and Macys but they won't let me save pictures =(. Where do you internet window shop? Do you yearn for summer dresses in the winter? It is always a problem I have!

Everything is coming into place!

1. I sent in deposits for our officiant and DJ. It is official!

2. My uncle set me up with a photographer that works in his company and gifted her cost to us. So sweet, and bonus, I love the photographer's work!

3. I bought my dress. BOUGHT the dress! I have no pictures to share with you (I am a horrible blogger!) You will have to wait until March when it comes in. I love it though.

Save the Dates are hopefully going out soooooon!
I have exciting posts coming up!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Happy Balance

When thinking about aisle decor, I knew I wanted something simple and elegant. There are so many ways to decorate for the ceremony.

Balloon arches are out. Even the more tasteful balloon arch on the left is too ostentatious for my taste.

Mason jars need to be included somewhere in our decor. I love them and they are so rustic and amazing. Well the ones above are nice and simple but not sure how I could make those work in an outdoor early evening wedding. I think mason jar candle holders may be out unless anyone can think of how we could use it. Boo.

Flower cones - nice and simple. They only need a couple flowers so it also is not too expensive. I don't like the shell on the one above - doesn't fit with my theme.
Hm. Giant love sign behind us as we get married. . . bold, way too awkward for our ceremony. Sorry Martha Stewart I am all set on that one.
This is more my taste - I feel that it would be way to expensive for our budget but so freaking cute!

Tulle is out. I have never been a fan of tulle not even in my wedding dress. I don't know what it is but I am interested in this for our decor. I also dislike large heavy pieces of fabric too. It just isn't right for my ceremony.

Have I mentioned FI is building our arbor that we are getting married under? Oh I have. Well let me show you a few beautiful arbors that I hope ours looks like!
(Minus the tulle of course hahaha!)

What aisle decor inspiration photos are you loving? Ever seen anything too over the top?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Extending the Party

We have lots of ways we are extending the celebration of our wedding. We love our family and we are so excited about the wedding we cannot bear to see it end after only 6 hours.

One of the ways we are ensuring to get more time with our family and friends is by reserving a room block at a hotel near the reception. We had several requirements for the hotel:

1.) Space for guests to hang out after the reception. FI's family for sure will want some time to unwind and chat after the reception. They can talk for HOURS.
2.) Space for a morning after brunch (at a reasonable price.) We would love to see the guests the morning after the wedding and have some time to eat, chat and laugh before we head off to the honeymoon.
3.) Suites available. We have families coming and it is more economical to offer them an opportunity to sleep four or six people in a room.
4.) A fantastic sales person. Speaks for itself. People will be paying a lot of money to stay over, and I will need to be in contact with this person a lot in the next year . . . I want to like her or him!
5.) Perks! Do they offer a shuttle, a free room, a free breakfast, a free one-year anniversary night etc, for reserving a large block of rooms?
5.) Pool, bar or other entertainment near or in the hotel for guests staying a long period of time. This wasn't a necessity but definitely a bonus.
We found the best place - Embassy Suites only 20 minutes from the reception. There are other hotels right next door which is great if people want to choose a different option. They are throwing in a free van to transport 10 people (probably the groomsmen) to and from the reception/ceremony. BONUS: Free breakfasts for all guests - buffet with cooked to order eggs and waffles. Yum! We can rent a room for $300 and have time with all the guests in the morning.

They also hand out OOT bags for free, send you cards with information about the room block to send out with invitations, and provide you with a personalized webpage for people to make reservations on with the discounted prices. If 25 rooms are reserved, ours is free!

How did you choose a hotel? When staying overnight at a wedding what is important to you as a consumer?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Honeymoon is where the heart is . . .

We went down to AAA this morning to meet with a travel agent and price out some honeymoon options. This next year is going to be a savings account killer, but we still want a honeymoon and we want to go somewhere nice. Honeymoon is still a priority in our budget because it is an important bonding time and decompressing time for us. Plus, with the LDR we are enduring now, we deserve a luxurious honeymoon.
Here are the top contenders

Riviera Maya - Now Jade

This is a gorgeous all-inclusive resort. Many of their preferred rooms have an outdoor jacuzzi on the balcony. yes.please.please.please. All food and alcohol is included as I mentioned as well as movies on the beach, snorkeling, kayaking, biking, ocean trampoline (sounds amazing!). It is not an adults only resort which is a downside for us. There are swim up bars which was a requirement on my honeymoon check list so CHECK! Plus, FI and I love to do a little historical sight-seeing and what would be cooler than pyramids and Mayan ruins? We could also spend a day on the island of Cozumel snorkeling, shopping and lounging by the beach. Total package including airfare: $2800 for 8 nights

(Image source)

Hawaii - Island Hopping
The travel agent went a little crazy on us and checked out 11 nights, three islands, five star hotels, car rentals etc. The total of the package was $5300 including airfare out of Boston. We cannot afford that option. It sounds amazing and FI would die if we could go check out the Volcanic National Park (I forget the name sorry). She said she could easily get that down to between 3 and 4,000 by changing some hotels and taking off some of the days of car rental etc.
Again, swim up bars are prevalent as well as tiki hut restaurants. We would love to see a luau and some of the island culture. Both of us would feel privileged to go to Hawaii and maybe bring back some of the island attitude and culture.

(Image Source)

Riviera Maya (hotel option two) Valentin Imperial Maya
This resort in Mexico is also all-inclusive as well as adult-only. We love that about this option. The rooms all overlook lagoon (which I read was really neat), pool or ocean. The rooms have jacuzzis in them with an upgrade or a jacuzzi tub without an upgrade. The food is amazing from what I read from tripadvisor. It is a great spot for couples. They also include a romantic dinner for two. They are offering a deal with $200 resort credit which would be great because we would love to do a couples spa treatment. They don't advertise any "extras" like entertainment as the Now Jade does. Of course this would be a more relaxing trip . . . decisions decisions. Total package cost $3400 for 8 nights(source)

Finally the last option is a cruise. We have been talking about a cruise for awhile - we both have cruised and loved it. There are great options but we would probably best afford The Royal Caribbean which is a great line. We printed out an option to go via The Oasis - the largest cruise ship which has a zip line on ship. Need I say more? Ok fine - hot tubs, aqua park, LARGE casino, outdoor theater. You need to google this thing!
Again, we would not have to worry too much about money for food but booze would be expensive of course. The boat has lots of entertainment and we could visit a variety of exotic places. Who would not love to do that? We could visit Aruba, Jamaica, Cozumel, St. Thomas, etc. The Oasis Cruise ship is a bit more expensive and if we wanted to upgrade to a balcony room we were looking at $1800 per person not including airfare. Yikes.

So what do you think? Where should we go on our honeymoon? Did I leave a good option out? Where are you thinking for your honeymoon? I want to hop on a plane and go right.this.minute.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Warming My Heart

Does anyone watch parenthood? The show with Lauren Graham (who I want to be when I grow up)?
If you haven't seen it, I would check it out. It is the most real show I have watched in a while and it essentially deals with relationships between married couples and parents with their children. One family has a child with aspersion and their struggle with it so heartfelt . . . It has its humorous moments too.
Regardless, I give it an A+ and would definitely watch it - I am usually brought to tears because I feel so warmed about the potential families have for success.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am struggling.
I love my new job and I have never loved my FI more, but I am still struggling. It is really hard living back home and being in a long distance relationship. Granted, he is home every weekend, but we have no privacy and no alone time.
I love my future in laws and my parents. But visiting them on the weeekends when FI and I had alone time all week was one thing. Now we spend all week apart and then all weekend visiting, doing chores, getting weekend things done. This leaves very little time for "us time." We try to have a date night each weekend to just unwind and catch up, but that isn't what I miss most.

I miss sitting on the couch watching tv with him, fumbling around the kitchen at night preparing lunches and coffee for the next morning, greeting him when he gets home from work, grocery shopping, making dinner in our own kitchen when I want and doing the dishes when we get around to it. I miss sitting in our living room doing separate things, not speaking but just being together.
These are the things that are what living together is about for us and what defines our routine. I have realized that I am no longer comfortable at my parent's home even though I lived with them for 20 years of my life - I am way more comfortable with my FI who I lived with for only a year.

We need a weekend away but that would just set us back from our goal of buying a house. Anyone hit a rough patch in your relationship that was really out of your control? Anyone have something shake up your daily routine that you can't seem to get past?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Wedding Weakness

Have I mentioned my undying devotion for OOT bags. I don't know what it is - maybe the beautiful way it feels to say "oot," or the lovely gable boxes so many brides use, or my passion for all sorts of snacks, or how incredible it was to get an oot bag at my FI's cousin's wedding . . . the possibilities are endless. However, my passion for them remains. Everyday I go to the DIY page on weddingbee and look for OOT bag inspiration photos.
I am pathetic. So I thought I would share some of my loves with you all. Please share any you have - I am a fiend. I want them all!

Chocolate Bars Courtesy of Mrs. Cloud

I did not upload the PDFs here but I love the idea of doing a brochure or welcome packet for the guests. They are personal and can give a lot of great info. Welcome Brochures! and this one is cute too!Wedding Ring Mold - These are for chocolates but I would love to do a little bag of homemade soaps used with a mold like this. They also have wedding bells. It would be great to find a massachusetts state one, but so far no luck.
Canvas Tote Bag

If I didn't want to spend a lot of money or didn't want to get a lot of goodies and snacks, I would probably go this route - which is so freaking cute too!
*Sigh* Can't wait to have some space to make and store some of these beauties! Did I mention my FFIL does homebrews and will be making our OOTers some of our own personal love beer?

Are you doing OOT bags? Have you ever received a good OOT bag?
Let's see your OOT bag inspiration photos!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

DIY Fail: the STDs.

So I decided for the Save the Dates I would DIY. My MOH graciously came over to work on design, sample print it at Staples and pick a winner. HAHAHAHA. What I thought would be an easy design turned into a very unfortunate end result.

Here is my inspiration picture:

Well. It didn't come out that good. It had cheesy yellow lines bordering the page and nothing I did looked complete. I bought a Martha Stewart paper puncher that made cute designs on the borders . . . didn't help too much. The more we looked at it - the better it got . . . because we were so fed up with the project.

Then my mom's GENEROUS friend, who is a graphic designer GRACIOUSLY offered to design them for me! I am so excited. Hope to show you some designs in a few days!
We are skipping the numbers part and instead putting a magnet in the mini-envelope with our info on it. Love.It. On the magnet we are using this photo:

And on the outside of the Save the Date we decided on this photo:

My mom mentioned it may be a photo overload. Do you think so?

Anyone find a good site to order magnets from? Anyone have a DIY fail that got them discouraged and behind schedule?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meeting the Master of Ceremony

We met with a potential officiant the other day. She is a justice of the peace as well as a Christian minister. My mother ensured that we knew to buy her coffee at the shop we met at . . . thanks, mom!
Anyway, we met her and it went great. She had SO many great ideas of ways to incorporate parents and grandparents and how to honor those who have passed away. We loved her. She was interested in us and what we do. I could tell that was an expressive and interesting lady. She has been an officiant for ten years but was a private investigator before that.
Well, after meeting with the officiant it felt like the ceremony was starting to come together in my mind. All the pieces that I felt were so disconnected start to flow. I am so excited to work with her and to meet with her to write our ceremony.
She was a little bit more than our budget allotted but after some discussion, we determined this was the place to go over. The reception wouldn't be much more than a party without the ceremony.
I can't wait to work more on the ceremony and share some with you all!
Some tips for meeting the officiant:
  • Have some pictures of your wedding ideas so they get a sense of what kind of wedding you are having. Bring your planning binder! They won't be intimidated.
  • Know what you are looking for in an officiant - list some qualities before meeting him/her
  • Ask him/her about their life outside of their job to get a sense of him/her as a person
  • Find out how they construct a ceremony, do they allow you to write any?
  • What type of tone do you want the ceremony to set? Will the officiant be comfortable setting that tone? Will they be good at it?
  • Relax! Don't be nervous and just let the conversation flow. Most likely they have done a lot of meetings and can carry the conversation. If they can't speak, they probably shouldn't be saying your ceremony.
  • Set out an hour for the meeting - you have a lot to talk about!
Did you meet your officiant? Did you gel with him/her more than you thought you would? Do you have any tips for interviewing the officiant?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bridal Party Boogying

At my friend's wedding, she had her wedding party all do the cupid shuffle. It was fun and they got the wedding guests up and involved after the first two rounds. My mother came across this video on youtube the other day and asked if we would be having a bridal party number.

The answer is no. I wouldn't put the guys through that because I know they would HATE it. I have already told the ladies they are in charge of getting people in the crowd interested in dancing, but we won't be doing any choreography . . . at least for the bridal party.
Are you having your bridal party do a dance? It looks like fun, but my ladies and gentlemen would have none of it. What song are you having them dance to?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wedding Dress Dilemmas

So I went wedding dress shopping a month ago and haven't been back. I found a dress I love. L-O-V-E. The problem? Well my friend's sister wore it at her own wedding. While this doesn't bother me at all, I saw pictures and realized I may not care for the dress as much as I thought I did a month ago. The swarovski beading around the neckline looked kind of fake ...

So now I am kind of back to the drawing board. I am going to try it on again and take some pictures of me in it. Here are some of my new inspiration photos and the one I thought I loved:

(Above) The one I tried on and loved! Below are just dresses I am thinking I might like to try on or try on something similar to:These are so different than the one I loved originally. I am not sure what is going on with my taste - it is a good thing I haven't put any deposits down or anything. I think I will continue to look and retry on the Caprice that I originally loved.

Did you have dress concerns along your search? Do you ever fall in love with something while shopping and then fall out of love later on? *sigh*

Friday, September 10, 2010

I've Fallen Off the Wedding Planning Wagon . . .

But I hope to get back on next week!

This is what I have been up to this week:
1.) I found out I got a new job last week, so I have been finishing up at the old job.
2.) News Flash (in case you couldn't tell) I am a teacher so I was also amidst first week craziness.
3.) Packing because I have to move!
4.) FI and I begin a Long Distance Relationship next week =( So we have been bickering to mask our pain and spending lots of time together when we are not bickering.
5.) Planning for TWO teaching jobs including reading (I am an English teacher) and writing lessons.
6.) LOSING my mind!

But next week we have an appointment with a DJ and our potential officiant. Any advice on what important questions to ask either of these potential vendors?

Did you run into any life throws you a curve ball moments during your wedding planning?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Awesome Shutterfly Deal

Today's Boston Groupon, a coupon website, is 67% off a photobook on Shutterfly. I love their photobooks so I figured I would share the sale with you all. I just recently purchased one of our engagement photos. It came out great! My parents want a copy so I will probably use the coupon for that.

No, I did not get paid to write this. I just wanted you all to get to take advantage of this too!

Happy book making!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Constructing the Ceremony

I grew up Catholic and the FI grew up congregationalist. We want to include faith in a God in our ceremony without having a wholly religious ceremony. Enter my FI's super fantastic aunt and uncle: They bought us this great book as an engagement congratulation:
So admittedly, the cover looks cheesy and why is it called "Into the Garden"? But the contents are great! They have wedding and love poems ranging from religious to sappy dappy to sexy! In the back of the book are examples of traditional wedding ceremonies. My favorite so far is the Zen-Unitarian-American - Traditional Ceremony. They also have Protestant, Judeo-Christian, Zen, Jewish etc. I highly recommend this book if you are going to use readings from the Bible, non-secular readings or are interested in reading some sweet, sappy poetry.

I was thinking, as an English teacher, it would be great if our readers picked a poem that they liked from this book or from somewhere else. Then I read one about burning desiring loins and I decided that leaving it up to someone else could be risky.

I am going to leave you with one of the poems from the text:

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
that all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

e.e. cummings

What books did you find helpful throughout planning the ceremony, reception, entire wedding? How are you putting together your ceremony? Any helpful hints?


So I love to think about things WAY in advance. I am going to share with you my hairspiration photos. First. Let me remind you of what my hair looks like:

So as you can see, my hair is a little past my shoulders or so. I am very low maintenance when it comes to my hair - I wash and brush it. For special occassions, I may straighten it but that is a toss up. I am also growing out my hair for the next 10 months hoping to get it a bit longer for the big updo.

Ok so here they are: I love the look of the back of this. I couldn't find front pictures so I don't know how good that would look.

How can you not love a good Carrie Underwood hairdo? She is so classy. So for the half up half down look - first of all, my FI requested that some hair be down. Whether or not I consider this is up in the air. I love the Carrie shot on the right this is the back of that hair:
I love the back of the hair too as well as the side swept bangs. I would love to include side swept bangs because they look so adorable with wedding hairstyles, but is this practical for my life pre and post wedding? Probably not.

Ignore the crazy outfit and weird face. I actually like this hair - it is unique but I think sophisticated looking. Am I just crazy? Please be honest about that style with me!

Okay so again, ignore the face, but I do like the hair here. I love the bangs again and the wispys on the side. It looks classy but not overdone.

Which one is your favorite? What kinds of hair inspiration photos did you find to hand off to your hair stylist? I think I am going to need 10 hair trials!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Things I wish I could include in the wedding but alack, alas, we cannot for one reason or another:

Mmmmm This makes my mouth water just looking at it. It would make a great dessert bar option or a great favor. Who doesn't like a good s'mores?!

Vintage cars. I love them. They are so freaking cute & I would love a grand entrance or exit in one. However, we are not doing any of those things in a grand way. Therefore, no grand vehicle transport for us.


A simple beach wedding or destination wedding. I love this look - it is so classy and elegant but not over the top. Sometimes I wish we had gone this route. However, we want so many people to be able to share in our day so a DW just wasn't in the cards.

But pictures like this make me reconsider (Source):

Mmmm more cute ways to display food & drink!

A popcorn bar!

Too cute signature
drinks! (Source)

I am sure I will have many more posts like this one.
Are there inspiration photos that make you swoon but you know you will never be able to replicate at your wedding? How do you get over wedding envy?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crazy life changes

I have been amiss & I have lots of things to tell you about.
First of all, I went sky diving. Whatttt?! I have no pictures to confirm such a tale, but it is true. It was the most amazing experience of my life. My brother convinced me by berating me for being old and boring (I am 23 by the way!) and then telling me we needed more sibling bonding time before I got married. Time out. I don't want to hang out with you when you are being so mean!!!
Regardless, I made it up 13,500 feet and managed to shimmy over to the door with a man strapped on to me. We hung out of the window while he counted to three and then the world moved around me quite quickly.

In addition to all that craziness, I got a new job. I am a high school English teacher and it was the weirdest mix of emotions to be getting a new job so close to the start of the school year. Overall, it will be a great move for FI and I. We will be closer to our families; I will move in with my parents for six months while he is away working. After saving money for the next six months, we will (hopefully!) have the money to purchase our first home.

BIG posts to follow!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Adding Character & FI's Personality to our Wedding

We are getting married at a golf club. A beautiful golf club that has more character than just a large room with a dance floor, however, it was not my FI's dream. His dream was to get married in an old barn and I love that dream.

Well, we couldn't afford the barn wedding of our dream, and we decided the money would be better spent on oh I don't know having food at the wedding? hahaha. So we are adding some other things to make it more "us."

The first thing we are doing is having FI build us the arbor for us to get married under. I think this is the greatest idea ever. We had decided this awhile ago, but then I saw Ms. Husky's fiance made her one for their wedding too. I was so excited! I just love the idea of getting married under an arbor; it is so sweet and romantic. I want him to carve in the date so we can put it up in our (non-existant) garden. It will be so beautiful. FI has already built us a coffee table for our living room. Here is a sample of his GORGEOUS work!FI and I sitting down behind our new addition to our tiny apartment!
(Photo taken by FMIL. )

He used a variety of different woods including old American Chestnut from a barn he is working on now. It is absolutely magnificent.

He also wants to build us the table we sit at for the reception. *Sigh* I am not sold on this idea. I love the cute little round couple table and he wants to build us a big sturdy dining room table that we will use and have forever. He wants us to eat at this table during our first meal as a family. *awwww* really cute sentiment - still not sold.
I can't wait for him to start work on these projects so I can show you all pictures!

What do you all think about the dining room table idea? Am I being bratty by not letting him have this one desire? How did you add character or your own personality to your wedding?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here's the Mail!

I was on vacation for two and half weeks and I had ordered myself a few gifts to welcome myself home. Without further ado, I give you the (wedding) mail I came home to.

First, I received the purse that I had won from babbsboutique (thanks Monica!). Check out her shop here: Babbsboutique. It is a tres chic clutch with white and champagne colored pleating. I posted it earlier but here it is in person! I am thinking rehearsal dinner or bridal shower accessory. What do you think?(Ignore the stamp on the side I will get to that).

I also received these super cute stamps from I cannot afford fancy stamps, but they were having a super sale and I bought a bunch for my save the dates. I thought I had ordered fifty - I ordered 100. Whoops.

The final thing I came home to was my first purchase off of etsy! I bought it from lovetocreatestamps. I bought a stamp with a tree (to go along with our motif) to stamp the backside of the envelopes. I can't wait to use them! FI loves it too which is great.
(I cropped out the last line).

Next up is the creation of the Save the Dates. Of course, first I need to create them. Can't wait!
Have you gotten anything in the mail lately that excited you? Do you love mail as much as I do?!?!?! Who doesn't?!