Saturday, April 30, 2011

2 years ago...

...this whole ball got rolling, even though we didn't know it.

You're a goofball and I love you. I can't believe I'll be your wife in less than 4 months :) I'm honored and can't wait to begin the rest of our lives.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I had a subbing job today, so I didn't get up and watch the royal wedding at 4am like everyone else in the world. And this makes me sad. I wasn't really into the wedding until I saw everyone predicting what she would wear! I DVRed two different news stations so I could see Kate in all her wedding glory on my lovely TV this afternoon when I get home.

But then I looked in my Google Reader, and everyone is posting pictures!

MAKE IT STOP! I don't want to spoil my surprise!

I am hereby not looking in my reader for the rest of the day!

Or at least an hour or two...

I'm SO not a designer...

So back here I wrote about my plan to use my Cricut for alllll of my papery wedding goodness. And how that plan failed. So, instead of having beautiful paper-cut invites, I opted to search Etsy for a vendor that could give me what I wanted. Because I'm not hard to please or anything...

I prefer Little Miss Selective thankyouverymuch!

In my Etsy search I found beeeeeeeautiful things. Amaaaaaazing things. Invites that were perfect... for someone else. While I loved everything I found, there was just something not quite right about each one of them for our wedding.
LOVE the modern take on a script font! From Etsy seller shineinvitations

Bold colors, a mix of fonts, and a touch of whimsy? Yes, please! From Etsy seller archangelgraphics

You know right away who this wedding is for! From Etsy seller He Saw Sparks
Now, I know that I could have any vendor design me exactly what I wanted, but I figured it couldn't be that hard to design an invite myself.

I figured wrong.

It was bad before I blurred it... trust me.
See? Plain and blah! Not impressive.

I thought maybe it needed more of a pattern around the edges. So, I played around with that, too.

Still not impressed... I wanted something more modern looking. Cleaner lines and fun fonts...

I spent day after day perfecting my next draft, and genuinely believed it would be my final. I showed it off proudly to my sister, boasting of my accomplishments! I'm a design pro! This is soooo easy! I should do this for a living!

She didn't quite agree.

She was supportive, but definitely did not like the design I chose. Now, I was prepared for people not to like it, but I just brushed it off  because of their "design ignorance." They don't know what's modern and trendy like I do. They have more traditional taste. Gah... I'm such a design snob, and I didn't even know it!

But really... it was bad. I'm almost embarrassed to show it. But in the interest of full disclosure:
It's a 4x9, and I love the shape, but all the words are too squished together.I think there are too many fonts going on, and the swirly flourishes bug me now. I guess it was an OK start, but I'm much happier with the finished product, which I'll reveal soon :)

Were you underwhelmed at a wedding task you decided to tackle yourself? What did you do about it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Lovely Ladies

Choosing my bridesmaids was one of the easiest and hardest things I’ve had to do for this wedding. I’ve always known who I wanted to stand up with me. I’ve got a core group of friends that I’ve known since middle school, and even one whom I’ve known since I was 3! It was a no-brainer to have those girls by my side. What was difficult was drawing the line at 6 girls. I didn’t want a huge wedding party, so I decided that six girls was my max, and six even seems big to me! It was hard because I’m excluding girls who I’ve been friends with for years, but haven’t kept in touch with. The hardest part was not including my friends who have had me in their weddings. I’ve been in 3 weddings of friends who will not be standing up with me. I feel extremely guilty about it, and I know I’m partially to blame for not staying in touch, too. It’s just an awkward feeling to think that maybe someone was expecting me to ask them to be a bridesmaid, and I didn’t do it. I sincerely hope they don’t take it personally and that they understand why I made my decision.

So who are the ladies who will be by my side?

 Lindsey – The one I’m related to
Lindsey , my sister, is 3 years younger than me, and although we’ve had our differences (usually differences of opinion during our teenage years regarding whether or not she should wear my clothes) we’ve become close over the last few years. She jumps at any chance to dog-sit for us, and usually brings lots of food over, too. She will be my Maid of Honor.
Erin – The one I’ve known forever
I’ve known Erin longer than I’ve known my own sister. Erin grew up across the street from me and we’ve been friends since we were toddlers. Her mom is friends with Josh’s mom, too, so it all just works. This picture was taken at Erin's wedding last September.

Jenna – The one I drink wine with
We met in 6th grade art class and have been pretty much inseparable ever since. Sometimes I think we’re the same person living in 2 bodies! Jenna and I are wine connoisseurs (translation: we like to go wine tasting but couldn’t tell you anything about how it ‘finishes’ or what type of ‘bouquet’ a glass has), and she is my sushi friend. This picture was taken on our annual wine tasting voyage to Traverse City, MI. 

Ashley – The one who’s becoming my new sister
Ashley and I are both studying to become teachers, so we tend to have a lot in common when it comes to discussion. Thankfully, we get along wonderfully – I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with nightmare in-laws!
Ashley – The one who is my planning partner.
I met Ashley in 7th grade, and we’ve spent a lot of time together over the last 10+ years. She’s also the mama to one of my ring bearers, Carter. Ashley is getting married in May this year, and we’ve been sharing planning secrets for a few months, now. 

Heather – The sister I’m not related to
Heather is my [step]sister but we’ve practically been family since I was 10. She’s like a big sister to me, and she always knows how to have a good time! Oh, and this beauty of a picture - this was Heather's senior prom night. I was in 8th grade and Lindsey was in 5th. Such a long time ago...

I’m so excited for each one of these girls to be next to me on my wedding day. I love them all so much and they mean the world to me.

How did you choose your bridesmaids? Did you have any residual guilt about not choosing someone?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Invites - Phase 1

I've mentioned before how I ADORE all things paper, making invites possible the most exciting part of this whole wedding shebang. However, I completely underestimated how time consuming the hunt for the perfect invite would be! From the very beginning I wanted my invites to be DIY. I envisioned an assembly line of my crafty family putting together some beautiful concoction that my brilliantly creative mind thought up. I also got one of these beauties for Christmas from my mom, and I was bound and determined to use it for all of my paper-related ventures.


It didn't quite happen that way.

I had the best of intentions, but I just couldn't figure out a design I liked. I purchased the Wild Card cartridge and experimented with a few designs. I didn't want anything too floral or cutesy. Josh and I prefer more a more modern look, so I threw together a few experiments:

I liked the idea of an argyle-ish design. It has clean lines and no flowers, and is pretty unique. But these experiments of mine were just... well... ho-hum. I wasn't overly excited about either of the color combinations, and these two things took about 20 minutes to do! Multiply that by the 170+ invites we're sending out and... ugh. That's math that my English-based brain doesn't want to think about.

Plus, it was quite a mess...
My sister was helping me, and she didn't know I took this pic. Sorry Linds!
So, we were back at Square 1. The DIY option  was looking less and less appealing to me, so I set off to Etsy to look for some inspiration, and maybe a vendor. That's when I figured it out - DUH! Why didn't I think of this earlier! I could design our invites in Photoshop myself! I've got about a year of graphic design background under my belt (it was my first major in college... needless to say, it changed).

So, I started designing. Want to see how it turned out? Stay tuned...

Did you DIY your invites or pay someone else? How did you come up with a design you liked?

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm probably a little crazy...

but I'm afraid to pick up my wedding dress.

A few days ago my cell phone rang. Now, I should probably preface this story by explaining that since Josh and I live in the Middle of Nowhere, we have horrible cell phone reception. It's virtually impossible to have a phone call with someone without the call dropping in a few minutes. However, we have a window in our kitchen that seems to get better (about one bar of signal) service, so if we do answer a phone call at home, we usually press ourselves up against that window so we can actually hear.
Just add a cell phone and this is what I look like... Source

So now that you have that nice visual...

My cell phone rang. I grabbed it, said hello, and rushed over to my window spot. Unfortunately, I could barely hear the person (it didn't help that Diesel, my dog, felt the need to bark at something out the window at that very moment). All I could hear was, "Hi... dress in.... appointment..." mixed in with a bunch of static. I immediately felt a pang of panic, blubbered the words, "Hi... huh?... oh, ok.... yeah thanks," (which, in retrospect, sounds a lot more rude than I hope it came across).

My dress is in. (I posted my lovely here)

Um... ok that was fast. A million thoughts raced through my head:
What if I don't like it anymore?
What if it doesn't fit?
I don't have wedding shoes!!
I don't have wedding.. ahem... undergarments!!
Why didn't I eat more celery sticks and less Reese's Easter Eggs? (sidenote: Isn't Easter Candy amaaazing!)
Where am I going to keep this huge dress?
What if Josh sees it?
And so on... you get the picture.

Then I decided that I must be insane. What bride is afraid to pick up her wedding dress? All the brides I talk to or read about are more than excited to see their dress in the flesh. But why not me? After all, I fell in love with it almost instantaneously. Every time I see it in a magazine I get butterflies. But still, it just seems so strange to me that it's here!

So I'm working up my nerve to go pick it up. I think I'm ready, I just have to figure out a time that works. I think this was my reality check. It's like this wedding is actually happening, and in less than four months! I'm sure my anxiety will subside once I actually try the dress on. Here's hoping!

Did you have a wedding 'reality check?' Were you afraid to get your dress (please tell me I'm not alone here!)? What part of your wedding gave you anxiety that you weren't expecting?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fabulous Photographs

Photography can make or break your memories of your wedding. Let's face it - once the day is over, all you have to remember the day is your pictures. This was the one part of the wedding that I really needed to be sure I would be happy with. The last thing I wanted was something like this:

Thank goodness I found Jennifer. I posted here about our engagement pictures, and my love of all things photography based. We found our photographer on Craigslist and haven't looked back. Josh and I are beyond thrilled with our wedding photographer, Jennifer at Emily-Waid Photography. Take one look at our engagement pictures and I think you'll see why! You can also check out our debut on her blog here... and check out some of her other amazing work while you're there!

We decided on a winter afternoon in February for our pics. Secretly, I was hoping that we would get some snow so we could have some awesome shots with a pretty white, snowy background. Well… my hopes were answered, and then some! Four days before our pictures were scheduled, Michigan was hit with a huge blizzard! We had 15  inches of snow dumped on us (which meant two snow days off from school for me!!) and spent a day just digging out from under the wreckage. However, Mother Nature’s snowy wrath turned out to be a beautiful backdrop for our engagement pictures.

We also decided that we wanted a few pictures taken at Yesterdog, one of our favorite casual places to eat when we’re in Grand Rapids. The atmosphere of the place is funky, laid-back, and retro. We dig it. I love the old advertisements on the walls and the fact that you can write or carve into the booths. Tons of fun! I was a little worried about all of the people who were there when we were taking pictures, but when you look at the pics you’d never know that we were maneuvering around a crowd of people.

I’m a big fan of how Jennifer edits pictures. I love the vintage-y feel of some of the coloring, and I ADORE the black and white.

So there you go! There are SO many pictures for us to choose from (this is just a SMALL selection), and I can't wait to see what creative things she comes up with for the wedding!

How did you choose your engagement picture location? Was it a meaningful place to you and your SO? Did it look great in pictures? Was it something you just stumbled upon? All of the above?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Babies, Bells, and Spider - My Floral Inpsiration

January through April is probably the most popular time for bridal shows, at least in Mid-Michigan. I think there is one almost every weekend during these months. Although I already had my major vendors booked, I convinced Josh that we needed to go a bridal show. And he played along. I bribed him with the fact that we could sample cake, look at limos, and check out honeymoon locales. And of course, the venue served beer, so that helped Josh make his decision. I wasn’t expecting to find anything of use, but I did want to see some d├ęcor ideas and have a chance to show Josh some of the things we had been talking about.

One thing that I was thankful for was all of the florist displays. I plan to do my own flowers, but I really don’t know what I want. I had visions in my head of large tufts of baby’s breath, like this picture. I love the simplicity of the arrangement and the whimsical touch it gives.

But at the bridal show, I was introduced to two other flowers that I’m starting to crush on:

Bells of Ireland
I loooooove the height of the Bells of Ireland, and I adore the cutesy shape. I’ve thought about submerging them in vases or using them as greenery in bouquets and arrangements. Once I googled them, I found they’re more common than I thought. Apparently I’m the last person on Earth to have noticed these flowers… or plants. Are they a flower or a plant? I guess there’s not a flower-y part, so maybe they’re just greenery? 

I digress…

The other flower I'm loving is  the Spider Mum, preferably in green.

How freaking perfect are spider mums! They’re funky but still pretty, and they’re not too expensive (super bonus!!) Plus, they’re one of the few flowers that come in the shade of green I love. Of course, the white blooms are gorgeous as well.

I’m still trying to find a flower that comes in a shade of teal. I’m not sure I’ll ever find it, but I’d at least like to incorporate that color into the floral arrangements in some way. Some people have suggested peacock feathers. While I’m a fan of feathers incorporated into floral arrangements, I’d like to something different, something unique. I’m still mulling this over in my head. 

However, my mind may be changing quickly, because how amazing is this centerpiece??
Love, love, love super tall and simple centerpieces. Ahhhh inspiration!

What was your floral inspiration? Any ideas about how I can incorporate dark teal into my green and white bouquets in a unique way?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Get in my Belly Part 2

This time, we've got pictures!

I posted here about our caterer and our menu... mmm. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. However, I didn't have any pictures for you all to see at that time! Well, my darling sister Lindsey sent these over to me and I just had to share. We loved our tasting and are looking forward to eating this food for realz!

Sorry for the blurry pic... Sister Lindsey sampling some of the delicious crab and lobster cheese spread. YUM!

Josh trying some of the appetizers

How adorable is this little fishy appetizer! I just love it. It's puff pastry filled with a cream cheese, dill, and onion mix. Pure delight!

I looooove me some sushi, but I think I'm the only one in my family who does. However, this is American sushi made with things like bbq pork, blt fixins, or in this case, imitation crab. I love this idea for an appetizer!

They serve salads in glasses - martini, wine, tumblers - whatever kind your heart desires! The display looks amazing, too. Very impressive!

OMG How I want this at our wedding. How perfect would it be to serve hot dogs around 10:30 - 11:00? Plus, our venue has a patio. What's better after a long day of drinking (and getting married) than a late night drilled hot dog with all the toppings??
Did you get to do a tasting? What was your favorite part? Did you choose to serve a late-night snack? What was it?