I asked my photographer for a few teasers so I can make our Thank You cards on Shutterfly. Here we are!! :)
My girls and I got ready at The Terrace Hotel in downtown Lakeland...
Some Detail Shots:
I want to make sure to give a shoutout to Alex (abattyref) for her amazing work on our invitation suite & coordinating stationary products. She was a DREAM to work with! Thanks Alex!!
Here are my awesome ladies!
Here are the guys! They made the entire day so much fun! I had our photographer meet them at a bar by the Hotel where we were getting ready :)
There are WAAAAYYY too many pictures of Ryan and I that I absolutely *love* but here are some that I was able to narrow down & post :)
I absolutely LOVE the photo below- In between our kiss you can see the Garden Gazebo where we were married! We didn't even know she was posing us for this shot & I think it is truly amazing!!!! :)
Here we are with our Bridal Party after the Ceremony:
I love that our photographer included BOTH of these shots HAHAHA! :)
Anyone up for some football?!? :)
Our Best Man and 2 Matrons of Honor :)
Ryan & I weren't originally planning on doing a First Look but as the weekend forecast rolled out and it was steadily increasing to 70% chance of rain on the Big Day, I was super bummed out. We had an outdoor garden ceremony planned and the SOLE purpose I booked Hollis Garden was for the gorgeous scenery for our photos. Well, my dear, sweet DH called my wedding planner and they coordinated a mini photo session with my photographer for Friday so we could get some nice, sunny shots. I was so so so glad we did this because when it DID rain the next day at the wedding, I wasn't nearly as stressed or worried about the weather as I would have been! :) Here are a few photos from our "First Look" sequence :)
It was raining right up to THE MINUTE i walked down the aisle... thank you to our family & friends who toughed out the weather for our OUTSIDE garden ceremony!
I was soooo nervous walking down the aisle. My Dad just kept repeating "Right, Left, Right, Left" to keep me concentrating on walking. I dont know if he was distracting me or himself ;) I am his ony child so it was very emotional for both of us!
My Dad officiated our Ceremony so it was extra special to us. He opened with a testimony of a father and daughter's love... I will always remember this day!!!
First Kiss as Mr. & Mrs!!!!!!
<< My Dad & StepMom
<< My Mom & sisters (Wow, I feel brunette here LOL!)
<< Ryan's Granny & Mom
Our First Dance was so special! We laughed, cried and hugged a lot! Ryan chose "Making Memories of Us" by Keith Urban for us.
My Dad & I danced to "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw...
Ryan and his Mom danced to "My Wish for You" by Rascal Flatts... he is her only child also so it was very special!
I absolutely LOVED our cake! It was 5 tiers with 4 flavors: Vanilla Chai w/ Cream Cheese Icing, White Cake w/ fresh Strawberry filling & Buttercream Icing, Dark Chocolate w/ Peanut Butter Mousse and Dark Chocolate w/ chocolate ganache... Yuuummmmmmm! The flowers were CLAY flowers custom ordered on Etsy :)
Ryan's groom cake was a 3 tier cookie cake (he doesn't like cake!!) FSU Alumni theme :)
My MOH & I spent THREE hours on these cake flags!!!!! I loved them though!! :)
Details of our Reception:
Signing the Marriage License...
"I Gotta Feeling... Tonight's Gonna be a Good, Good Night!"
Bouquet & Garter Toss (FSU Garter purchased on Etsy)
We incorporated some subtle New Orleans details in our reception because Ryan worked/lived there for a year soon after we started dating and was really a defining time in our relationship. Ironically, his company got some more work there so we are now living in NOLA for the next year and a half or so :) For our exit, our guests tossed beads and we wore masks! :)
We snuck away from the reception for a few minutes to walk along the lake :)
Here are some Non-Pro pictures of our BIG DAY!! :)
<< Ryan and his mom :)
Rehearsal was great, especially considering the large size of our bridal party. What can I say, we have great friends!! :)
We had an AMAZING rehearsal dinner afterwards hosted by Ryan's mom. We had it at Eaglebrooke Golf Clubhouse and it was so beautiful. She gave us a toast/speech that made EVERYONE cry it was so touching. I am marrying into such a wonderful family :)
We gave out gift bags to all of our bridal party (golf themed for the guys and frame, champagne flute,jewelry, bridesmaid tank & flip flops for the girls),personalized albums for our parents, and frames for the grandparents. Ryan gave me the "I Love You" hear pendant necklace from Tiffany's and I had to take him outside to give him his boudoir album!! :) It was like Christmas in there! :)
We got our marriage license on December 29! Everything is starting to feel more official!!
Hey there! My finace and I have been dating for a little over 3 years and live in Central Florida, technically! We are up in Richmond, VA for Ryan's job, and not sure how long we will be here. His company requires him to travel for months at a time, in the past 2 years he has "lived" in 4 states! After I graduated from USF in December, Ryan proposed and now I am traveling with him. :)
I am new to PW but I have found my second love!! I have spent so many hours browsing on here, its embarrassing!!
We had date night on Saturday.. here are a few of our mugshots!!! :)
The very talented Cari of Cari Vaughn Photography took our engagement photos in Orlando, FL
I knew we were going to get married, we had already picked out the ring, I was just waiting for the BIG question!! It seems like the 3 months leading up to it, I was constantly on alert. Everytime he would come home and we would go out, I would make sure I was dressed really nice and had my camera, ready to capture the moment. Towards the middle of January, I started to get a little anxious. I had already graduated, given my notice to leave my job (to move to VA with him), my apartment lease was almost up, and no ring!!
The next time he came home, we went to his family's house for a birthday party. After cake & presents, his cousin suggested we all walk down to the lake to get some family pictures. Being the photo-happy family that they are, I did not think anything of it. We got a big group picture and then started taking individual families. Ryan and I sat on a porch swing and cheesed for the picture. His family was lined up in front of us, and right after the picture Ryan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so excited, I couldn't cry!! I started jumping around and hugging everyone. We walked down to the edge of the lake and Ryan had set up a table out there with roses and champagne. I am so happy he chose to propose this way because we have tons of pictures and one cousin even videotaped it (I was so oblivious! Just posing for my picture!!) After doing a toast with the family, we had to drive Ryan back to the airport- he had a plane to catch back to VA in 3 hours!!
I really, really, really wanted an outdoor wedding, but I compromised and we are having an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. We chose Hollis Garden in Lakeland and the Lake Mirror Center for the reception. Here is a photo of the Garden:
And the view from our reception hall:
I don't have many pics on my computer of my shower but it was absolutely amazing!!!!!!!! My friend opened her gorgeous house for us and made a FEAST! She had my baker create a mini version of our wedding cake and the florist make a similar centerpiece that we will be using at the reception. Isn't she amazing?!?! :)
<< Just 1 of our very awesome gifts! Loaded with all kinds of goodies!
<< Me & my Dad- he's ready to load presents & get some CAKE!! :)
My lingerie shower was a month later and was sooo much fun!! My sister (MOH) and some of my bridesmaids hosted this shower and it was mildly inappropriate/awesome fun!! HAHA! We had lots of appys & snacks, champagne, sangria, lingerie cookies & a bustier cake :) After I opened all my lingerie, they picked out an outfit and made me model it!! Not so bad right, yea well my FMIL was there and that was just a bit embarrassing!!! :) She was a great sport and took a picture with me all decked out! :P
We had some FUNNY games, let me tell you! They had each girl decorate a pair of paper cut out panties and hang them on a clothesline, they did "hot potato" with a wrapped TEDDY. They said whoever ends up with it ha to model it. Of course, since I had to that a few minutes before, NO ONE wanted to end up with that damn present. I was the "winner" so I had to go in the room and put on another teddy. Well, the cute part was that it was a TEDDY BEAR! So everyone had a good laugh with that! Everyone also had to write me a piece of marital/sexual advice and I had to read them out loud so that was pretty funny! The best game to me was that they called Ryan and asked him 20 ??'s about us- where me met, craziest sex place, my fave position, etc. For everyone I got wrong I had to stuff a large gum ball in my mouth. Yea, towards the end, I coudnt even speak I had so many balls in my mouth (eeew! Sorry- no other way 2 say it!! hahaha)
< Me & my sis/fab hostess :)
<< Here I am in all my glory with my Mom & FMIL!!!! Goodness Gracious!
Ohh yea, they also had my friend's husband who is a cop come over in FULL uniform to "arrest" me. some of our guests (FMIL for one!!) got pretty freaked out we were about to have a strip show, but thankfully James just came over for some food :) :)
Our wedding colors are toffee, chocolate brown, ivory and champagne. The theme is chic elegance meets nature meets New Orleans. Haha we just added the New Orleans aspect, and it will mainly show up in our menu, table names, and favors. Only very subtle hints of NOLA!!
We will be using chocolate linens with gold chargers, like the pic below but square chargers and long rectangular tables.
Our centerpieces will be tall vases with willow branches, lots and lots of candlelight, and random vases of fresh flowers, all ivory/white. I am loving tulips and roses.. :)
<<last 2 pics by PW, Vikasarous :)
OoOoOoOOhhhh.. FEATHERS :) :)
who doesnt love a little touch of feathers? I found an awesome pic online of a centerpiece I would like to imitate, now i can't find it anywhere (imagine that!) Anyhow, it was a tall Eifel tower vase with curly willow spraying from the top and just a few ostrich feathers. It was very subtle and elegant. I will be using feathers sparingly: my bouquet, BM bouquets, a few centerpieces, and i would like to DIY these shoes..... :)
We will be doing assigned table numbers, our name cards will be chocolate cardstock with gold lettering, inspired from kristeen (pw) & this knot picture:
I got this pic from TheKnot, and this is how our escort card table will be decorated. Even have the wooden table like this pic! YAY :)
I *love* chandeliers and just HAD to have some at the wedding! I ordered 8 mini (26") chandeliers from Ebay to hang around the reception. I plan on spray painting them gold and buying additional crystals to hang on them.
Inspired by SarahinWonderland:
We are in the processing of finding & booking a caterer and have decided to go with a New Orleans theme buffet. This is significant to Ryan & I because he lived there for a year, helping to restore after Hurricane Katrina. It was a long year for him to be gone, but I got to visit every month and we have some of the best memories from that city!!
So, here are some of our menu inspirations:
~ Hor D'Ouerves ~
- Mini Crabcakes with remoulade sauce
- Cajun in a Blanket (andouille sausage en croute with Creole mustard)
- Cold seafood spread with crackers/pita points
- Remoulade with Vegetable Crudites
- Assorted Cheeses
~ Dinner Entrees & Sides ~
- Kickin' Creole Chicken
- French Quarter Chicken
- Voodoo Jambalaya
- Shrimp Creole
- Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage & Chicken
- Louisiana /gumbo
- Red Beans & Rice
- Dirty Rice
- Seafood-Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Fried Green Tomatoes with Chipotle Aioli
~ Drinks ~
- Keg Beer, Wine, Champagne, & Non-Alcoholic options
- Pat O' Brien's Hurricane Punch (YUM!!)
We chose a 5 layer round cake with 4 different YUMMY flavors!
1. White cake wth fresh strawberry filling and buttercream icing
2. Dark chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling
3. Vanilla chai spice cake with cream cheese icing (double tier-- OMG to DIE FOR!!!)
4. Chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse (Ryan's fave combo, even though he hates cake!)
My inspiration was Beltranbride's gorgeous cake!
My florist said anenome flowers are very fragile and may droop on the cake. The silk flowers just weren't cutting it so my amazing wedding coordinator/bff bought me these FABULOUS clay flowers from Etsy. Real anenomes have black centers so we were able to customize the order for chocolate brown centers and they are truly a work of art! I need to make some sort of shadow box frame so I can display them now after the wedding! :)
Here are my flowers:
Here's the end result of MY CAKE :)
As so many other brides, I have been completely inspired by kristeen (pw)'s all white bouquet :)
I will be wrapping it in ivory satin and using the broach that i wore as MOH in my sister's wedding :)
Here is my bouquet:
My ladies will have ivory and green mixed-flower bouquets.
Our flower girl will have an all ivory pomander fashioned after my bridal bouquet with a chocolate satin ribbon.
Our GM's will not have boutineers, but square pocketfolds, made out of the same material of the BM dresses.
We will be having a very large wedding party (all because of FI!!): 9 groomsmen, 8 bridesmaids, 2 junior BM's, 1 flower girl & 1 ring bearer! :)
My 2 matrons of honor (BFF & sister- no way to choose between them!!) will be in champagne with latte sashes
My bridesmaids picked out their own style floor length dresses from David's Bridal-- all in "latte" color.
My junior bridesmaids have similar DB dresses in "truffle."
Our flowergirl, Miss Kinley :) Ivory dress with truffle sash.
Our groomsmen will be sporting a choclate brown tux, similar to this:
But with latte vests & ties. Groom will be in an ivory vest & tie.
Our ring bearer will be in a Chocoalte suit with chocolate vest and tie.
I *love* when brides have loose, long waves and leave their hair down (like PW HMM & Kristeen) but sadly I have funky, thin hair that would NOT stay cute that way, so alas, I will have an updo. I want a low, messy sidebun with lots of volume around my face (even thought I dont have it, i want the illusion of lots of hair) haha
<< need some "bump" with my bun though!! :)
<i think her bun is just a little too much "to the side" for me
<< Brittany's hair color is *perfection* i will be adding some caramel lowlights...
<< Dear Hairdresser, Please dont make me look like this! ;O
~ ~ ~ ~** ~~~ mAkE mE uP ~~~ ** ~~~~
i LOVE bold, smoky eyes and thick eyelashes, so these are a must for my "big day" face... neutral, glossy lips..
I will be doing bridal portraits before the wedding.. and I want to go with a very urban/downtown feel.. here is how i would like to do my hair (clip in extensions = necessity) :)
and some inspirations poses:
I am obsessed with pictures.. I think my inner goddess is a photographer LOL
I am collecting some shots here that I would love to replicate...
<< PW Kohler (the WHOLE reason I want a loooong veil!)
<< PW amiller.. how romantic!! :)
<< PW beatie (definitely doing a b-pic book!!)
Here are some of our friend that were taken at our ceremony venue (Hollis Garden) kelliedayphotography.com
this is a gorgeous shot >>
>> PW Tiffany & James (love this FI & GM shot!!)
Stationary has been a roller coaster ride for me. I *love* paper products and have seriously made about 15 sample invitations. I have a constant tug of war with myself to make our Save the Date invitations either fun, or quirky, or elegant, or modern, or seasonal.. you name it, I have thought long and hard about it. I finally decided to incorporate both- an elegant invite that plays up our wedding colors, and a bright, fun magnet for the fridge. Here is my final product:
Each invite was printed on ivory cardstock, gold embossed stamp, and mounted on bronze metallic carstock. The bronze metallic envelopes were hand addressed in gold ink and lined with personalized ivory cardstock (it says save the date repeatedly on one line and the other says ryan and claudia repeatedly.
Michaels Paperandmore.com Scrapbook Store
Ivory Cardstock Bronze Metallic Envelopes Versamark stamp pad
Bronze Metallic Cardstock
My bachelorete party was the weekend after New Years and we had a blast!! We had about 9 girls for the weekend and we stayed in Orlando. We went to Church Street Friday Night & Wall Street Saturday night. My girls made sure I had a BLAST all weekend! My new favorite shot-- the OATMEAL COOKIE. O_M_G it is sooooooo good!!! :)
We had an AMAZING time in Puerto Morelos, Mexico at the Dreams All Inclusive Resort & Spa. We stayed for 5 nights/6 days and never had 1 complaint. The resort was brand new, it had just opened a few months prior so everything was in tip top shape and the waitstaff was soooo nice! Anything we needed, they were right there, even bringing us drinks without asking! :)
Here are some photos of the Resort and our room:
Here is the Beach:
Our awesome beach bar- all the chairs are swings!!! :)
Some of our YUMMY food! There were 7 different restaurants to choose from- no reservations required!
We left the resort twice. Once was for a few hours to walk around Playa Del Carmen. We took a cab ride from our resort and did some shopping and went to Senor Frogs. We were told to bargain at the stores there, but most of them had "fixed price" signs. It was a little more flea-markety than I had expected but it was still really fun. We got a gorgeous hand painted Sangria pitcher as our souvenir :) Here are some pics:
Our other off-resort adventure was WELL WORTH the money ($100/pp). We did the Tulum Xtreme, which was an all-day excursion of: visiting & exploring the Tulum ruins (the most gorgeous sea cliffs there!!), snorkeling in an underground cave, rappel, and zip lines. The zip lines were definitely our favorite! We zipped from 3 different towers, one 50' high, one 60' & the last one 70'. AWESOME!!!
We would definitely reccomend this resort to anyone looking to go to Mexico! The best part was we got everything including airfare for $2200!!!!