Fri, August 20 - AJava210 <---------I'M ON THE LIST!!
BIO OF THE WEEK!
On October 21, 2011, I was chosen as BIO OF THE WEEK! I am honored beyond words! Thank you all so much for making me a part of the PW family. I wandered on here as a lost bride and found inspiration and community beyond ALL of my expectations! It is without a doubt that PW made my wedding what it was and I am forever grateful! I hope that my wedding continues to inspire. Planning it was a true passion of mine--I would do it all over again if I could! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you ALL!
Once in a while,
Right in the middle of an ordinary life,
Love gives us a fairy tale.
This is Dan & I shortly after we got engaged. He's my best friend and soul mate, and I absolutely cannot wait for him to be my husband.
Where We've Been...
Our story begins over ten year ago in the green and gold halls of a middle school. Dan and I started dating on February 10, 2001. At the time, we were just little 8th graders trying to find our way. Dan had a thick blond bowl cut and I had the remnants of a blond dye job gone horribly wrong, but somehow, we found each other and have never looked back. Since that time, Dan and I have grown together, lasting through the tumultuous middle school days, the drama-filled high school days, and the overwhelmingly stressful college days. We've survived it all. But more important than just surviving it, we've survived it together. Through the hardest and most challenging times, we've always found comfort in the love that we have for each other and are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together in love.
These are some of the earliest pictures of Dan & I from 8th grade. Notice his bowl cut! Love it!
Who knew PW had a cool feature to create inspiration boards!? I sure didn't! BUT, now that I do...I can't stop! Here are some from my wedding & honeymoon! Enjoy!
Welllll... it's taken me almost a year to get these darn pictures up here, but I figured I owed it to all of you on PW who helped me plan! Our wedding day was truly the most beautiful and perfect day of my life. The weather was amazing and there wasn't one problem. Everything flowed so smoothly and I felt like all of my planning and careful attention to EVERY SINGLE detail paid off.
Our wedding party looked stunning. Our niece and nephew were the cutest and funniest flower girl and ring bearer ever. Our families were extatic and so supportive. Our guests ate, drank, and danced the night away. And my husband, well he looked so handsome and it all felt like a fairy tale. To think back to the little 8th graders we were when we met to where we were on our wedding day is amazing. I felt like a million bucks and I am so thrilled to finally say I have a HUSBAND.
Here are some pictures taken before the ceremony of my dress, shoes, bridesmaids, flowers.. etc!
Our ceremony was held at Fourteen Holy Helpers, our local church. It has special memories for both of us and it was the perfect place to say "I DO." My Grandpa walked me down the aisle since my Dad passed away in 2009. I know he was watching over us--I felt his presence and love throughout the entire day. Our FG and RB really stole the show--they were so darn cute and I'm glad my videographer and photographer caught it all in film since I was in the back of the church.
Dan and I started dating when we were in 8th grade... and never stopped. Someone gave us the great idea of going back to where it all began: MIDDLE SCHOOL. So, we stopped our limo and hopped off for a few quick pictures. They ended up being some of my favorites.
We had our pictures taken at a Forest Lawn Cemetary in downtown Buffalo. We spent a good chunk of the day sweating our butts off to get these wonderful pictures, but it was well worth it in the end!
Our reception was everything we dreamed it would be and more. Everything really came together. Below you'll see the table setting, centerpieces, cake and cake topper, place cards, card box, memorial candle and flowers, napkins, cheese & fruit table, our purple Waterford toasting flutes, and our Mr. & Mrs. sign. Loved it all!
Our reception was held at Harry's Harbour, a beautiful place located right on the Niagara River in downtown Buffalo. Below you'll see pictures from our cake-cutting ceremony, first dance, sunset, dancing, bouquet toss, garter toss, cookie station, and more. What a blast!
And the fairy tale continues...
Dan and I got engaged on February 21, 2009. We've taken a weekend trip to Toronto every year since our five year anniversary when Dan surprised me with a trip and tickets to a musical. It's become a sort of tradition for us, and one that we look forward to every year. That day was like any other. After traveling around Toronto all day and having a delicious dinner at The Keg, we started walking back to our hotel room. It wasn't long before we realized that we were totally lost. In a very Dan & Amanda like fashion, we got into a fight because we kept insisting it was the other one's fault that we were lost. So here we were, in the blinding snow and frozen slush trucking through the streets of Toronto in our dress clothes fighting about who was right and wrong. Eventually, we found our way back to our beauitful hotel room where we unthawed and settled in for the night (or so I thought). Just as I was dozing off, Dan got up and went to the bathroom. Suddenly, he was standing in front of me asking me to stand up. I had no idea what was going on. He told me that it was 11:07, the very time we had started dating 8 years ago, and then (after a very BEAUTIFUL and thoughtful little speech) got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. My reply? "Holy crap." and then a very emphatic YES, of course!
After seeing some beautiful pictures of other girls' wedding rings, I decided to take some of my own.
I'm really happy with how they turned out!
*The purple ring with my engagement ring was a gift from Dan when we were in high school.
We weren't originally planning on getting e-pics done, but they were included in our package so we went for it. SO glad we did. Not only was it good practice for the wedding (so much kissing-haha), but we had FUN! The pictures came out so beautifully that I bought 'em all! Here's a little preview!
Since we have a romantic story, we wanted the theme of our wedding to be elegant/romantic. After much debate, deciding, and RE-deciding, we've decided to go with a deep purple as our main color with purple and pink flowers. I don't know where these pictures came from, so if they're your's, let me know so I can give you credit. These pictures have been the inspiration for my whole wedding!
^^^^THIS IS THE PICTURE THAT MADE ME DECIDE ON MY WEDDING COLORS!
At the reception, we're having black table clothes with a white overlay, black chair covers with white bows, and floral centerpieces to match the BM's. We're going to have little hints of damask.. card box, place cards, table #'s. I think I love it.. do you? :)
I find sunsets & flowers to be so inspiring when it comes to choosing colors. Here's some pictures from Google that I love that show the combination of purple and pink in amazing ways!
At this point, we're going with simple and elegant floral centerpieces. The flowers will be the same flowers that the BM's will carry and the ones that will make up our cake topper. They'll be in short, round, silver vases.
**EDIT: We met with the florist and were planning on going with Pale & Hot Pink Gerbera Daisies, Lavendar Roses, Dark Purple Carnations, & Purple Lisianthus BUT--I decided I don't want pink flowers anymore.. I want ALL purple with lime green splashes. Here are my new inspiration pics:
***EDIT (AGAIN): Two months before the wedding and I'm going against the green! My theme is elegant/romantic and I just don't think lime green says that! I'm going back to what I originally wanted which was purple and pink.. but this time, I'm going with a darker pink. I'd like an ALL purple bouquet for me and a bright/dark pink and purple for my BM's.
EEK! I was sort of nervous about posting a picture of my dress, but I love it so much that I have to. It's a Private Label by G dress. It's strapless with a tight fitting beaded bodice. It has an organza overlay and pick-ups. It also has some beading around the bottom (hard to see in these pics) and is beautiful. These pictures don't do it justice!
Pictures of the FRONT:
Pictures of the BACK (unbustled and bustled):
Beading details on the bottom:
I had to hang this sign on the door of our spare bedroom once my dress came home and needed to breath:
Here's my jewelry! I decided not to wear a necklace because of all the detailing on my dress. Both pieces were designed by blustarfruit--a fellow PW gal who has a shop on Etsy. I ordered all of my BM jewelry from her too. She was GREAT to work with!
Here's my veil & hair flower. I wanted something simple and short(ish) because I'm pretty small and my dress is kind of big. The veil was $49 from David's Bridal. The hair flower came from Etsy. Here's the link:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/VirginiaGeigerJewels?ref=seller_info. It was $27.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue:
For my "something old" I wore my DH's grandma's necklace. The necklace is made from the diamonds from her originally engagement ring and is over 60 years old! I was really touched when she asked me to wear it. Because the necklace didn't match my other jewelry, I only wore the necklace for the ceremony, but I was really glad that I did!
For my "something new" I of course had my dress, shoes, veil, and many other accessories!
My "something borrowed" sort of snuck up on me and I ended up wearing my best friend's lotion that day! Lame! I wish I would have put more thought into it!
For my "something blue" I wore some cute (and comfortable) blue underwear from Aerie.
I knew I wanted purple shoes for under my dress... why should my BM's get to have all the fun? I found these purple shoes from Target for only $22.99 and I had to have them! They match my BM's dresses perfectly and I love them!
For the reception, I wanted to get some flip flops so I could dance the night away comfortably. I found these little gems at J.Crew for less than $20. I love them!
I know I want to go with an updo for my wedding because it's EASIER. I like the thought of knowing it's up and will stay (for the most part) the whole day/night. These are the pictures I love--I found them on PW from al0626's bio.. it even kind of looks like me in the picture!
I also like these similar hairstyles. The brown hair on the left is fellow PWer jjpeng.
I'm planning on wearing an elbow length veil for the ceremony and some pictures and then a hair flower for the rest of the night. Still not sure if the veil will go above or below my updo.. gotta wait for my hair trial.
I'm having 4 girls in my wedding party and these are some pictures of their dresses. I wanted to keep them simple because of how detailed my dress is. They're full length and will be in "African Violet," not the pink flower pattern pictured here.
**EDIT: The dresses came in. Here's a few quick pictures I took of one of my BM's wearing it--it was huge on her and needs to be altered, but you get the idea. It's beautiful!
Here's what FI & our groomsmen will be wearing for our wedding:
^These tuxes for all of them ^Dan's vest and tie ^These shoes for all of them
^These vests for the GM ^These ties for the GM
We were torn between getting purple vests AND purple ties for the GM, but decided on black to keep it more elegant and also so their vests would compliment FI's (they're both lightly stripped). They're gonna look HOT. :)
We're having 2 of each and they are the cutest kids ever. We have my niece, Sophia. She'll be 3 at the time. My nephew, Johnny who'll be 1 and a half. And FI's cousin Oliver who'll be 3 and his other cousin Caroline who'll be 10 months. Ahhhh! Melt my heart! :)
The RBs will be wearing little tuxes and the FGs will be wearing a dress from David's Bridal.
Here's the link to it, although it's not nearly as cute online as it is in person:
Here's my wonderful & adorable niece Sophie in it (keep in mind this one was 2 sizes too big, but she's still so cute!). It'll have a purple sash to match the BMs.
Here's the pillow and basket that FI's grandma and aunt made for us:
In terms of gifts, I got each one of them a book about being a ring bearer and flower girl. They're from Amazon and were less than $10 each. They're super cute and the little story just explains about a wedding while rhmying. As an English teacher, I couldn't resist.
They're also each getting a piggy bank. I got them from Target. They were $10 each.
I also wanted to get the FGs and RBs something cute (and purple) to wear.
For the little flowergirls I got them this poppy headband from Etsy seller MumsCloset:
And for the RBs I got them purple neckties to match the other guys in the wedding party! So sdorable! These came from Etsy seller babybystevie.
I put them in cute little gift bags with some other little toys and gave them to all 4 kids at the rehearsal dinner. I also included some DIY coloring books that I made for each kid with their names on the cover. I printed the pictures from Crayola.com and attached a box of crayons. Wish I had pictures of that too!
ALSO, I gave my oldest FG and goddaughter an "I Wanna Be Bride" Barbie. I gave that to her separately (possibly for her birthday since it was right before our wedding.. I don't remember exactly) and she loved it.
Since my e-ring was custom designed, we had to get my band designed to fit as well. Our jeweler was awesome! FI wanted a simple white gold ring that complimented mine and I love it. Everything came out so perfect and I can't wait until we can actually wear them! :)
My e-ring & wedding band!
Our rings together! I LOVE THEM!
On my finger! :)
For whatever stupid reason.. invitations were my biggest hang up in wedding planning. In an ideal world where I wasn't working full time, going to grad school full time, buying a house, and planning an entire wedding, I would have loved to DIY mine. BUT, it was just TOO much with everything else going on. So, I went with ordering them online. I got these from http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com/ and am very happy with them. I like their simple elegance. They were a decent price.. definitely not cheap, but not super expensive either. Overall, I'm happy with how they came out and even happier that they're DONE. :) Here's the sample from their website (invitation, reply card, & reception card). They're called "Perfect Peonies":
All ready to go in the mail & a close up of my invite to President Obama. :)
Reply from the Pres!:
This is the basic idea we're going with for the cake.. 4 tiers with white almond buttercream frosting and a raspberry cream filling. DE-LICIOUS! The little frosting designs on each layer will mimich the design on my dress. We'll have fresh flowers on top to match the bouquets & purple ribbon on each tier. I'm in love!
Our reception will be at a banquet hall named Harry's Harbous, located in Buffalo, NY. It's right on the Niagara River, a place that Dan and I enjoy rollerblading and hanging out! Here are some pictures I took when we went to look at it.
This is how the table's will look:
Black underlay with a white cloth, black napkins, black chair covers, white sashes, floral centerpieces.
When I became addicted to PW back in March, I saw some purple toasting flutes on emeraldlover's bio. After asking for more info about them, I found out that they were by Waterford and VERY expensive.
At that point, I looked for other alternatives because they were just too far out of my price range. My MOH told me not to worry about toasting flutes because she wanted to buy them for me. I showed her the Waterford ones so she knew what I had in mind, but I knew they were SO SO FAR out of our price range.
So, she surprised me at my shower with my dream toasting flutes! I was FLOORED. I don't know any of the details other than she didn't pay full price.. although I'm sure they still weren't cheap. So here they are:
DROOL. I love them SO much!
TWO NIGHTS BEFORE THE WEDDING, AND MY LIST IS COMPLETE! Check out the results below! :)
- Photobook guestbook
- Bathroom Baskets
- "I DO" letters for the cake
- Seating Cards
- Programs for the ceremony
- Menus for the Reception
- Vases for BM bouquets
- Card Box
- Mr. & Mrs. Sign
- Basket for FG
- Pillow for RB
WEDDING GUEST BOOK FROM SHUTTERFLY:
PICTURES FOR GUESTBOOK TABLE:
PLACE CARDS (I love love love them!):
VASES FOR BM BOUQUETS (to be spaced evenly throughout head table):
PROGRAMS FOR CEREMONY:
BATHROOM BASKETS (and poem):
FRAMED MENUS (to be placed on bar):
I DO LETTERS (they're purple.. I swear. My camera is making them blue for some reason):
MR. & MRS. SIGN (to be placed on head table.. inspiration picture is next to it):
I think that's EVERYTHING. It was a definite labor of love, but I'm SO happy with how everything came together.
My BM's threw me a gerber daisy themed shower--it's my favorite flower! They did vases filled with fresh gerbera daisies for centerpieces. It was absolutely beautiful. Here's some inspiration pictures we used (Thanks to PlumCrush & AppleCapital for posting these):
And here's how it really looked:
We used these adorable favor boxes and filled them with chocolate covered pretzels. It was a huge hit!
Here's the dress I wore. It's from Macy's.
And the shoes.. from Target!
And these are the little gifts I made for my BMs for throwing my shower. I got this idea from maybritt10. I just wanted to do something small for the shower since I'm getting them so much for the wedding. They really loved it and were all touched!
The night before our wedding, DH and I shared our last "unmarried kiss." I had no idea, but one of my BMs was standing nearby and caught it all on camera. I love these pictures--they make me smile every time. :)
On April 30, 2011, we got our first dog! His name is Jake (formerly Bingo) and he was brought up here to Buffalo from a high-kill shelter in Georgia. We were planning on getting a dog in July, but when we met Jake at our local pet store, there was no turning back! We loved him immediately and knew he had to come home with us. One week later, he did. He is so smart and loving. He has truly brought such joy to our lives!