The six of us went outside to the ceremony site to take pictures, and my jaw nearly dropped when I saw the altar. The weather was PERFECT...sunny, a calming breeze, and 75 degrees...completely picturesque by the lake.
We went back to the bridal suite as guests began to arrive. We started 15 minutes late because 6 of our guests got lost and my parents wanted to wait on them (the relatives who typically get lost to all family events). After hugging my mom one last time and my BMs all left the bridal suite to walk down the aisle, I was left alone. I will always remember that one minute I had alone to pray and thank God for all of my blessings.
I hugged my daddy, walked outside on his arm, and looked down upon all of my family and friends smiling up at me at the bottom of the hill. The walk down the aisle seemed like a dream. I was amazed I wasn’t a complete puddle of tears. I’m normally a major crier. Although, my brother, who read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, cried so hard. I felt guilty for giving him such a long verse to read. I made sure to think about every word I spoke during my vows, and my husband was more handsome than I’d ever seen him. The music was perfect, my officiant did the ceremony exactly how we wanted, and what was a bonus...the birds were singing and chirping beautifully (bird theme yay!). And I was married to my best friend!!!
After the ceremony, my new husband and I got to have a minute alone. Somehow the BMs and GMs got ahold of our signature drink, Carolina Wren, which is basically sweet tea with LOTS of Firefly vodka. Our bridal party was hilarious during pictures. And before we knew it, it was party time!
The reception was amazing beyond words. Our wedding coordinator went above and beyond with decorating. Sooo many people kept telling me that my dress was the most gorgeous they’d ever seen. The food was delicious. The cake was gorgeous and was the best tasting wedding cake I’d ever eaten...I’m so not kidding. Our DJ and MC played and said everything exactly like we wanted. My bouquet toss prank worked perfectly! And EVERYONE was on the dance floor...including my 94 year old great grandmother in her wheel chair!
At the end of the reception, after being pelted with birdseed, DH and I boarded our trolley with the bridal party and all of our friends and cousins to go to downtown Charlotte. The entire ride was so much fun and everyone kept talking about how awesome the trolley trip was. By the time we got to downtown, we realized that my coordinator failed to put my bag on the trolley, so I had no ID to go to the Irish pub where we were having our after party. But it was totally fine because DH and I decided we were exhausted and wanted to turn in. I’m kind of sad we didn’t go out, but I’m glad DH and I could also have our night just the two of us. This morning back at the hotel everyone could not stop talking about how much fun they had. Apparently the Irish band rocked and everyone got completely schnockered. They all had some hilarious stories to tell and said it was THE best wedding they had ever been to.
When I woke up the morning of the wedding, I said to myself, “Something WILL go wrong. Be prepared.” But nothing really did! It was such an incredible day, and I will never ever forget it.
I love the lakehouse feel of it all. Bird theme everywhere!
If you would like to repost any of my pictures, please credit my photographer Brandy Wine.
I could NEVER have imagined a more perfect day!!!
Despite being off to a shaky start by having overslept by 20 minutes, running on only 5 hours of sleep (because the club next to the hotel's bass was soooo loud until 2 a.m.), and getting lost 3 times on the way to the restaurant for the bridal brunch, it ended up being everything I ever dreamed and more.
When I arrived at the bridal brunch, the restaurant owner had surprised me with a HUGE floral arrangement in my wedding colors along with bridal pictures of me all over our table. My mom, grandmother, two aunts, my 5 BMs, and I all had an amazing breakfast and some tearful moments after they opened their handkerchiefs and read their poems.
After the brunch, my BMs and I arrived on time for our hair appointment, and my stylist was 15 minutes late getting started on us, which had me a little antsy. But my AMAZING BMs kept me completely calm and we relaxed with mimosas as we were all beautified. :) I could NOT have asked for a more amazing group of girls. The six of us got along perfectly, never any drama, always a good time. By 2:30, we needed to leave and the stylist still had one more BM's hair to do. When we got to the club, the BMs (and my Aunt Sylvia) all jumped in once we got to the country club to finish getting her ready and keep me laughing.
When I arrived in the bridal suite, my photographer showed up not with one but TWO assistant photographers! I had only paid for one assistant and even THAT was a deal! Along with the videographer, I had four photographers...I felt like a had the paparazzi following me all day.
Everyone got ready without a single problem. My BMs were GORGEOUS!!!
P.S. The fans my mother and MIL are holding are from our bridal brunch. The restaurant owner made them :)
Please give credit to my photographer, Brandy Wine. She did a great job! www.brandywinephotography.org
I had my first (and hopefully only) bridezilla moment on this day. My hair stylist was a no-show. I had no clue what to do with my hair. No matter what though, I learned early not to sweat the small stuff. The pictures turned out well and I still felt beautiful despite my nerves.
It was just a boring night at work until the person who would change my life walked through the door.
My FI and I met when I was waiting tables at a local restaurant while I was a junior in college. He walked in to eat dinner with his family and friends one evening. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I went to take his order. Since it was a slow night at work for me, I sat at a nearby table and read a book. After much prodding from his brother-in-law, my FI got up the nerve to come and talk to me. We talked for over 2 hours. He asked me out on a date, but I wasn't available, and he was home on leave from the military at the time. It just wouldn't work. He gave me his phone number anyway. Time passed, and I frequently thought about him. We kept in contact some with occasional phone calls and e-mails. When he got out of the military and came home for good, I agreed to go on a lunch date with him. Since he had just moved home and did not have a stable job yet, he was dirt broke. He spent his last $30 to take me out. There was not a second of silence the entire nearly 2-3 hours we were there. I'm sure the waiter was annoyed because it took us nearly an hour to break our conversation to order. It didn't take us long to realize that we were with the person we were going to marry. We have been inseparable ever since. He is my other half in every way and the best friend a girl could ask for. I currently coach a colorguard squad and teach 9th grade English at a local high school. My FI received his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps 2 years ago and, he is now working on his Bachelor's in Exercise Science and to become a physical therapist after his Master's. We cannot WAIT to start our new life together!
Engagement Session with Brandy Wine Photography
Our gorgeous view and picturesque weather
Our best man, Jim, before walking in for the ceremony
The GM, officiant, parents, and grandparents getting ready to walk down the aisle
Look how happy my hubby looks!
My brother and grandmother looking sharp :)
My FIL and MIL getting ready to take their seats. They look so nervous!
My brother and my beautiful mom smiling as always
My handsome man :)
One of our GM, Justin
He looks so nervous
My BMs about to walk down...they were so scared having to walk down a huge hill in 4 inch heels. Hey, I warned them.
The BMs waiting at the altar...how gorgeous are they!?
About to walk down the aisle with my dad...I was trying sooo hard not to have a cry face.
Right when I saw Robert :)
Still walking...notice the empty seats on my side because 6 of our relatives got lost!
My brother reading 1 Corinthians 13 4-7...he cried so hard. I felt bad for making him read such a long scripture. It was very touching though.
Here we go!
Pronounced husband and wife!
Pictures after the ceremony:
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law
Brother-in-law, both sisters-in-law, and Robert's Marine Corps buddy
Mare (my best friend from teaching), Jill (my cousin), and Beth (my best friend from high school and MOH)
And then...our DOC brought them Firefly Sweet Tea. That stuff is lethal.
My 5 best girls :)
My sister-in-law and father-in-law :)
Heading to the party after pictures with the photographers! YAY!
Our beautiful and delicious cake!!! Seriously, it was the best wedding cake I'd EVER eaten.
Our guestbook...so many people complimented me on it.
The Memorial Table
Our get-away trolley for after the reception
Our first dance! We did the Rumba :)
A little glimpse of the decor
Cutting the cake!
The bouquet toss...my bouquet-on-a-string prank worked! They totally fell for it :)
The garter grab...hubby kept it PG
The garter toss...Apparently Craig thought he would have the advantage on someone's shoulders
Then EVERYONE was on the dancefloor
The last dance was none other than "Don't Stop Believin" complete with air guitar :)
After being pelted with birdseed we boarded the trolley for the after-party. The ride was soooo much fun with all of our drunken after partiers!!!!
After our Bridesmaid Brunch, my 5 BMs and I went to William Henry Salon in the town where I teach. Our stylist was about 15 minutes late getting us started, which made me a little anxious. But my cousin and MOH ran down the street to get supplies for mimosas, and everything was smooth sailing from there.
(I had to have a 5 Hour Energy Shot...I don't know how I would have made it through the rest of the day.)
The morning of the wedding, my grandmother hosted a bridesmaid brunch for the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, me, and my bridesmaids at The Concord Cove Restaurant. The owner of the restaurant had a huge floral centerpiece and photos from my bridal session all over the party room. It was beautiful. And the food was awesome too. It was nice to unwind and enjoy the company of all of the amazing women I have in my life.
Robert and I had an absolute BLAST in Asheville, NC!
Day 1: We arrived Tuesday morning and checked in to our hotel, The Grand Bohemian. It was incredible!!!! We were upgraded to a honeymoon suite, which was HUGE! After checking in, we took a taxi to the Biltmore Winery and had a wine tasting. There were practically no other guests there, so we got to taste as many different wines as we wanted. Let's just say, thank goodness we took a taxi. We sat on the veranda and looked out on the beautiful landscape in front of us as we drank our wine and ate our cheese. After our little snack, we ventured over to the Antler Hill Village on the estate to look around in the little shops, and we walked to the farm across from the village to see some of the sheep and horses. Later that night, we explored the Biltmore Village, walked through the many art galleries there, and ate at a little pub...very us. When we got to the hotel room after dinner, a bottle of champagne was waiting on us.
Day 2: Robert and I slept in and had breakfast delivered to us in bed. Then, we went to check out the Biltmore Estate. We walked the enormous gardens and took a trail that ended at a waterfall. The hike was crazy hot but so much fun. After eating our weight in ice cream at the stables, we took a private tour of the mansion and got to see rooms not open to the general public. It was amazing. I love love the history of that place. After touring the mansion, we went to visit the Inn on Biltmore Estate where DH's sister got married 2 years ago. The view was absolutely stunning!!! Then, we ate at a little bistro under the vineyard arbor, and the waitress brought us some truffles as her way of congratulating us. If you tell people you're on your honeymoon, you get all kinds of goodies :) After our late lunch, we went back to the hotel and totally crashed. We were completely exhausted. We woke up really late, and having missed dinner, we trekked across the street to the coolest Micky Dee's ever! It had a fireplace and a self playing baby grand piano inside...whaaaaaat!?
Day 3: This was my FAVORITE day! We woke up early and drove about 20 minutes to where my great grandfather grew up in a town called Marshall, NC to go horseback riding. The weather was awesome and it was so so much fun. My horse's name was Smokey and Robert's was Midnight. We rode on a trail on private land, and there wasn't a single house or building as far as the eye could see. Just us, our horses, green meadows, and the beautiful Carolina blue ridge. Once back in Asheville, we did a little shopping around the village, and then headed up to our hotel room to don our robes for our couples massage at the hotel spa. It felt so wonderful after being bumped around on a horse all morning. Robert was on Cloud 9. He had never had a massage before. I think he's now addicted. After the massage, we had planned on going to a formal dinner at Horizons at the Grove Park Inn. We were so excited, and had called a taxi to take us so we could go to a dueling piano bar inside the hotel after dinner. Just as we were about to leave the hotel and I was getting dressed, the zipper on my cocktail dress completely broke. I had to totally rip my dress to get out of it. I was really upset that we couldn't go since it was already 7:00 and there wasn't time to get another dress. But Robert and I ordered a HUGE spread from the amazing restaurant inside the hotel and had it sent up with room service. We watched movies, ate an awesome dinner, and had some time just to relax.
Day 4: We checked out of the hotel and took one last trip to the Biltmore Winery. We bought more wine because, let's face it, we love the stuff. Robert was determined to buy a bottle of mead too. We have no idea what it tastes like yet, but I guess we will find out soon. Then, we ventured into downtown Asheville: Hippie Capital U.S.A. I've never seen so many peasant skirts, scraggly beards, and dreadlocks in my entire life. We ate lunch at the Mellow Mushroom where I had the biggest slice of pizza ever! We walked around downtown, listened to some of the musicians along the streets, and checked out all of the crazy shops before we headed home.
The day after we got home, we went to the National Whitewater Center with a group of friends for one of my BM's birthday. We did rafting, kayaking, and a ropes course. It was sooo much fun!!!! (I'm the one with the white helmet.)
- I was born in Raleigh, NC and raised in Lake Wylie, SC, a town literally just over the bridge from the city of Charlotte.
- I teach 9th and 10th grade English. By the way, grammar doesn't count on PW. Don't sweat it. ;)
- I am a colorguard coach and I LOVE every minute of it...the band nerd kind, not the ROTC kind. That's right...a girl who can dance while tossing flags, rifles, and sabres. Be afraid.
- My nickname has been "Barbie" since high school because I'm the girliest person ever. If it's pink and has glitter, it's my crack.
- I have some great girlfriends, but my mom is my absolute best friend.
- I was a ballet dancer for 15 years and I miss every minute of it. Nothing beats the feeling of being on stage.
- I was a studio photographer for 3 years in college. I would love to be able to do it again one day.
- I tried writing a novel once. It wasn't pretty. I'll stick to teaching literature rather than creating it.
- I would rather find a steal of a deal at T.J. Maxx than drop a load of money at Prada. I'll do anything for a bargain, and saving money is addicting.
- I love love classic movies. My 2 favorites- Singing in the Rain and High Society. If you haven't seen them, watch them!
- If I could pick an era to live in, it would be the 1950s. Life seemed less complicated without gadgets.
- I could seriously live on Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
- I would rather listen to orchestra music than rap anyday.
- I'm an introvert in reality. I'm the most talkative during my day when I'm on PW.
- I am dying to visit Europe. It's on the top of my bucket list.
- I love being up to my elbows in melted butter and crab leg juice. Mmmmmmm
- Favorite place on the planet- Charleston, SC.
- Jesus is my homeboy.
- I'm a Harry Potter freak and a Twilight nerd and I'm not afraid to admit it.
- No one can make me laugh like Robert. I don't know how I ever lived without him.
- Robert can find humor in any given situation.
- He has two older sisters, who are AMAZING!
- He looks like his dad but acts like his mom.
- Was a Scout Sniper in the Marines and toured in Iraq...but doesn't like to tell people.
- Grew up in a town even smaller than where I lived, and that's saying something.
- Studying to be a physical therapist.
- He is very proud of his Irish heritage and does the most hilarous Leprechaun impression.
- He has 8 tattoos! Normally I'm not a fan of tats, but his are hawt. ;)
- One of the most God-fearing men I know.
- Addicted to his Playstation (hence the inspiration for his grooms cake).
- Loves the outdoors even though I hate it. The kid could hike all day.
- Will blast Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong from his stereo...and belt it out along with it.
- Absolute favorite article of clothing- his fedoras
- Can grow a full on beard in 2 days...ironic since his last name is Shaver.
- Talks to anyone and everyone and learns their life story in a minute. He has never met a stranger in his life.
- Has so many guy friends it's hard to keep track.
- Will eat his weight in Hershey Almond bars
- Is an apprentice grill master to my dad. Seeing the two of them together always makes me smile.
- Is a die hard Cowboys fan through and through.
- Does the most hilarious accents and impressions ever.
- Is the most entertaining storyteller.
- Has a habit of folding his toes over each other when he's watching TV and it drives me NUTS.
- Has temper tantrums that remind me of a toddler's...then he gets over it. It's pretty funny to watch one of his episodes.
- Is an old soul and the most honest person I've ever known...besides my daddy.
We're goofballs. Our kids are going to make some weeeeeiiiird faces one day.
And...my future in-laws: Me, FI, and my two future sister-in-laws...we're going to get along juuuuust fine :)
We planned our wedding for Easter weekend since the month of April is always beautiful in the Carolinas (and my spring break was scheduled for then because I'm a teacher). Whenever I think of Easter, I think of pastels. And pastels always seem to translate beautifully into photographs. I originally chose blush pink and mint green, but I didn't want to make it too girly for FI. I'm pretty sure some of the GMs would put up a fight if I tried to make them wear pink ties. So, I substituted my other favorite color, Tiffany blue. What girl doesn't like Tiffany's, right?
The reason we chose this theme is because it reflects our personalities. We are fun-loving, free-spirited, and lively. Plus, Robert's father is an artist and carves birds for a living.
Found on Green Wedding Shoes
Found on Flickr
Photos found on Martha Stewart
Photos by Sarah Rhoads
Found on Etsy
Photo by Erin Hearts Court
Photo by Millie Holloman
Photo by Tec Petaja
Photo by Michael Norwood
Found on Duet Weddings
Photo by Our Labor of Love
Photos by Clayton Austin
All will be different in some way, but here are a few inspirations. (I found all of these pics before I knew how to source photos, so if these are yours, please let me know.)
I want flowers coming out of the tops of the cages similar to this:
Aisle Markers- We will only have two potted plants at the beginning of the aisle instead of all the way down. Sometimes budget doesn't always work out for your vision.
Arch and Strewn Rose Petals- We will strew the aisle with a white rose petal and shamrock mixture. It is our little nod toward my English heritage and FI's Irish heritage. :) The arch we made out of a birch tree and some grapevine. It took Robert, me, my parents, and his parents to assemble, but it was definitely a fun project.
The only things we'll really be doing in these inspirations are the birdcages and doilies on the tables, but I just love the look of these weddings. I started a group called Shabby Chic Brides for anyone who likes this type of style too. :)
Instead of using table numbers, we are using names of different types of birds to go with our bird theme. On the cards, we may also use vintage Audubon prints from field books my mother has in her library. We'll see if we can find some good ones :)
I love the look of vintage sheet music, so I will be using that along with the prints of birds for our table number collages.
A few inspirations:
We are having an after party in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. We needed a shuttle to drive the guests to and from the reception, but we also wanted something vintage. Voila! A fully restored antique trolley! The FI and I will jump on with them at the end of the evening to ride to downtown. It even has a back deck where we can hang a "Just Married" sign and stand for a photo op. :)
A family friend who used to be the head pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton in Miami is making our cakes at cost.
The Wedding Cake
The cake topper will be hand carved by FI's father who is an artist.
Flavor: 4 tier white almond wedding cake with whipped buttercream filled with white chocolate, hint of almond mousse, and fresh blueberries. Each layer will be brushed with consentrated blueberry sauce.
The Groom's Cake
Our cake made by a friend (served at the Rehearsal Dinner):
Flavor: Chocolate cake with milk chocolate amaretto mousse, chocolate ganache, and black fondant
Dress- Rhianna Royale by Maggie Sottero in light gold/champagne.
Shoes- I will sew matching silk ribbons to the ankles to make them resemble my ballet shoes since I was a dancer 15 years.
Veil- The Emma Birdcage Veil (I found this on ebay for $20!!! It was originally $50.)
DIY Make-Up-I raided the MAC counter and Sephora and got a ton of tips from Kandee Johnson the make-up artist. She's awesome!
I will be wearing my great-grandmother's engagement ring (circa late 1920s), my mother's pearl necklace, and my maternal grandmother's pearl earrings. I will have a little piece of all three generations walking with me down the aisle. I couldn't find any jewelry of my paternal grandmother's, so my FI and I will be using the remaining two champagne flutes of her wedding set (circa 1940s) for our toast. Vintage all over the place :)
My FMIL is making my garter from lace remnants of my mother's wedding dress. She is making two, one to toss and one to keep.
I found these beautiful lace invitations. They are pricey, but I'm going to wave the DIY wand again. Yet another project on my growing list. I have already bought the ivory lace, and the samples for the cardstock in a Tiffany blue and pistachio green.
Inspiration: (It will look very different though since I plan on using pocketfolds in blue and green and without ribbon.)
Actual DIY: (I'm so sad I forgot to bring one to the wedding for my photog to take a picture.)
Our ceremony will be held outside by the lake at the River Hills Country Club of Lake Wylie. The reception will be held in the Promenade Ballroom.
This will be the first and probably last time we will have everyone we love together in one place. We want to be able to spend time together as husband and wife of course, but we want to take advantage of the opportunity to go out with everyone. Our reception ends at 11 p.m. After the reception, we will be boarding the trolley with the bridal party and other friends to go to downtown Charlotte.
Holiday Inn Charlotte Center City
FI and his family are Irish, so we are going to our favorite Irish pub, Ri Ra. The bar and woodwork was built in the early 1800s and imported from Dublin. I LOVE this place:
We will be boarding the trolley at the end of the reception with our bridal party and traveling to downtown Charlotte to RiRa Irish Pub for our after party. I really didn't plan on changing out of my dress, but my mother convinced me that my wedding dress will be heavy and I'll probably be tired of it by the end of the night.
My dress: Petal Applique Dress by Calvin Klein (bought at Nordstrom)
We are so blessed to have a family friend who will be playing acoustic guitar as well as having someone else sing. Since the ceremony will be outside (God willing) and by the lake, we want to have a very relaxing low-key feel.
Here is our (tentative) playlist:
“Here Comes the Sun” The Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6tV11acSRk
“Here We Stand” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vCT8NERoEI
“This I Promise You” Ronan Keating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw-gjgbgJTg
“I’ll Be” Edwin McCain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJdiR5muWLU
“If You’re Not the One” Daniel Bedingfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amQmjqfUAWI
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Queen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj8JzqjIEX4
“Heart of Life” John Mayer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4m71L2oAT4
“Angel” Jack Johnson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9wu-lAQBHw
Seating of Parents and Grandparents
“Hallelujah” Leonard Cohen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVE2pQDiCZo
Bridal Party Entrance
“I’ll Always Be Right There” Bryan Adams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbkmjRPSs04
“You and Me” by Lifehouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vOzaHqczVA
“The Wedding Song” by Paul Stookey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkW3cJGhSew
“1234” Plain White T’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6pW_q1PvH0
“Sharp Dressed Man” ZZ Top http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3basiADVgiM&feature=fvst
“Just the Way You Are” Bruno Mars http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk
(It's a surprise!)
First Dance- We are taking lessons to do a Rumba to this
“Marry Me” by Train http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ess2qlVHl6E
Father / Daughter Dance
“My Girl” by The Temptations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZh7nRw6gl8
Mother / Son Dance
“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by Bing Crosby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NAxTG4DdAo
Cake Cutting Song
“How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsOBSo_jKnM
“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE
Garter Toss- My married initials will spell LEGS, so this only seemed appropriate.
“Legs” by ZZ Top http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo8fWrW_QdM
Other Must Play Songs
“Cupid Shuffle” Cupid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h24_zoqu4_Q
“Twist and Shout” The Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA9maAERDAs
“You Shook Me All Night Long” ACDC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bomv-6CJSfM
“Carolina Girls” General Johnson and Chairmen of the Board http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgkO7XGUJyA
“Devil’s Dance Floor” Flogging Molly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSwaVvF7rdU
“Boogie Shoes” KC and the Sunshine Band http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux2WXNsqfe8
“Don’t Stop Believing” Journey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfUYuIVbFg0
“What a Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVG80vqVfSA
“Sweet Caroline” Neil Diamond http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w-_Vtttrfc
“Busta Move” Young MC Tone Loc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy4FXhkm6Nw
“You Make Me Wanna Shout” Isley Brothers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kke9kaV9sMU
“The Twist” Chubby Checker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqVFJNcQ4X0
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Michael Buble http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me96X2liUpI
“If I Ever Leave This World Alive” Flogging Molly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AOp9c5DRzc
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” Wham http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIgZ7gMze7A
“Jump Around” House of Pain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwQbPgouUYo
“Ice Ice Baby” Vanilla Ice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rog8ou-ZepE
“Livin on a Prayer” Bon Jovi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXsmGSnq3lE
“Better Together” Jack Johnson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u57d4_b_YgI
“Make You Feel My Love” Adele http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0put0_a--Ng
“Fly Me to the Moon” Frank Sinatra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5twY6f-rU
“Cha Cha Slide” DJ Casper
“Electric Slide” Grandmaster Slice
“We Are Family”
“The Hokey Pokey”
Anything Country (We like country but just don't want it at the reception)
I'm an English teacher, so of course literature is my crack. haha I love finding beautiful quotes and writing them down in a journal. They're usually inspiring, and they always brighten my day.
This one we are printing and placing at each guest's seat (possibly with a favor, but we haven't decided if that's in the budget) My FH is Irish, so an Irish Blessing only makes sense. I also love it because it is about our two colors, blue and green:
favors by lisa
We are going to place these at each person's seat, and we will include these small birds nest cookies along with the favor cards. UPDATE: We won birdnest tealight favors through a giveaway contest, so we're nixing the edible birdnests. But it's a super cute and easy favor, so I left it here for others to use if they wanted.
Here is the recipe (Butterscotch birds nests with milk chocolate eggs) They are sooo yummy!
We are getting married on Shakespeare's birthday! Ah! I'm so excited, and, yes, I'm such a nerd. We are incorporating a quote by William Shakespeare in our programs. I think it's meaning goes perfectly with the joining of two in holy matrimony. It reads:
So they lov'd as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distinct, divisions none...
-- William Shakespeare
We will be having a buffet-style reception and serving the following:
Grilled Salmon Filet
Red Russet Mashed Potatoes
Wild Rice Medley
Fresh Rolls and Butter
$1000 worth of alcohol will be on us. After that, the alcohol will be served by cash bar. We don't want to drop a ton of money just to have people get shnockered all over the place.
But we are having a specialty drink that FI thought of. It's very popular in the Carolinas, and I took the liberty to rename it in order to fit our theme. It's perfect though; not too girly, not too manly, simple, inexpensive, delicious, and completely fitting for a taste of the South!
The Carolina Wren- It might look harmless, but beware!
One part Firefly sweet tea vodka
One part lemonade
On the rocks with a twist
My grandfather passed away just this summer, and I know it will be difficult without him. I want to have him there in some way, so we will have a memorial table set up with a photo of him as well as photos of my grandmother, FI's grandfather, FI's uncle, and two of FI's cousins. Candles will be lit in their honor as well.
We will be staying in beautiful Asheville, NC for 4 days at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
- We will visit the Biltmore Estate, Gardens, and Winery (where we will have a wine tasting and go horseback riding on the grounds).
- Go on a dinner tour through the mountains on a 1940s train
- Go white water rafting
- See a Shakespeare play in the park (YAY!)
- Experience the pubs/live music of the Antler Hill Village
The Biltmore Estate:
The Winery (where we will have our wine tasting):
The Gardens (in person the gardens are UNBELIEVABLE...the garden walk ends at a gorgeous waterfall):
Horseback riding on the Estate:
Tote Bags (all different designs): purchased for $5.95 at sammoon.com.
Hand Painted Wine Glasses
Here is my inspiration:
Monogrammed hoodies I found basic zip up hoodies at Old Navy on Black Friday for $10. I purchased the iron-on letter transfers at threadart.com. I chose monograms instead of putting "Bridesmaid" on them because I wanted the girls to be able to wear them again.
Here is my inspiration:
Pearl necklace and earring set purchased for $6.50 at sammoon.com
Hair styling- They will also have their hair styled for FREE because of a mishap with my hairstylist on my bridal portrait day. The hairstylist was a no-show for the bridal pictures (apparently something to do with her PDA appointment book crashing), so the BMs and I will be getting free hairstyling at the salon.
I stayed well under my budget of $30 per girl! And I got a TON of stuff!!!
The FI wants he and the guys to have a few cigars when they play on the golf course the morning of the wedding, so he bought Champagne Perdomo Reserve Cigars.
I bought giant beer mugs from the dollar store, and DIY etched each GM's initials into them. It was easy and cheap!!!
AND because my FI was a Marine Sniper, it seems only appropriate to get a lighter gun to go with the cigars.
It has a flashlight and laser pointer built in too, which is pretty cool. $7.00 on amazon.com
Total for the GMs: $14.00
I'm giving FI a little care package on the morning of the wedding with four items in it and a note attached to each item:
"A watch to get you to the altar on time"FI loves Frank Sinatra, fedoras, wing-tips, and anything vintage. A pocket watch is perfect for him! I'm going to have our wedding date engraved on it. Maybe one day we'll pass it down to our future son or daughter.
"A GPS in case you get lost"FI always has to borrow mine, poor thing. This one is simple, but that's all he needs.
"A pair of socks in case you get cold feet"FI will get a "kick" out of these (teehee). His family is Irish and he fully embraces it, so I'm giving him Leprechaun socks. AND they match his tan suit he'll be wearing.
"A pack of beer in case you get REALLY cold feet"FI's favorite beer is Smithwick's. I'm only giving him a six pack since I don't want him sloppy for the ceremony.
I love me some arts and crafts!
Lace Pocketfold Invitations
I designed the invitation suite just using Mac Pages software. I downloaded the borders, flourishes, bird images, and font from www.dafont.com For the cardstock, envelopes, and pockets I ordered from www.cardsandpockets.com while they were having their annual sale. They would have been $7 more per invite if I had them made by a pro.
Every table will have a different style of birdcage. The tall CPs with have silk cherry blossoms and curly willow. The low CPs will have a cage with a candle inside.
This is definitely my MIL's doing, but she did a phenomenal job. She used lace remnants from my mother's wedding dress and her own wedding dress along with some blue/green ribbon to match my colors. It was also my little something blue. I'm keeping it to pass down to my future daughter (God willing) one day.
My bouquet and wrap
I bought all of the silks at an after season floral sale at Garden Ridge. The blue hydrangea that matched my colors was a little harder to find, so I bought those at Michaels. For the wrap, I simply hot glued a strand of costume jewelry pearls to handle and finished the top with a costume cameo brooch.
This was the most fun DIY project! I love how they turned out. I found the wine glasses for $1.25 each at Steinmart. For a tutorial on how to make they, click HERE.
I bought my BMs' hoodies for $10 each at Old Navy while they were on sale. Instead of putting "Bridesmaid" on them, I chose to do the girls' initials so they could wear them again. I bought iron-on letters from www.threadart.com
I hadn't planned on doing programs until a month or two before the wedding, so I didn't put as much effort into them. But I think they turned out really well considering how little time they took. I bought the kit from Michael's.
I wanted some nice quality table runners, but I couldn't find any in my price range. Instead of buying/renting them, my mother and I went to a local fabric store and chose a drapery fabric that had my color scheme. We measured and cut them into strips and had them serged. Voila! Table runners. And the fabric was only $4.00 per yard.
Lace-wrapped votive holders
I bought clear votives from www.candles4less.com and found bulk lace on ebay. My mother and I cut the lace into 1.5 inch widths, wrapped it around each votive, cut to size, and glued with a hot glue gun. It was pretty easy and I love the final result.
Decoupage table numbers
I bought my table number frames used from Bridezilla101610. Checking those classifieds pays off! I found old vintage sheet music on ebay as well as Audubon bird prints on bookmarks on ebay. I cut the sheet music to fit the frame, cut out each individual Audubon print, typed each table name with the same font I used on my invitation suite on left over invitation cardstock, and glued them into the sheet music.
Photo Sharing Cards
Okay so this hardly counts as DIY, but it's a nice tip. I wanted to set up a photosharing website that wouldn't diminish the resolution of my guests' photos from the wedding day, so we used www.theweddinglens.com. It organizes the photos for you into categories and everything! I designed a simple little business card on www.vistaprint.com to give my guests the website login and password to post them. Here are the cards I made:
A Wee Little Irish Blessing
Robert's family is Irish, and they are definitely proud of their heritage. I thought it would be nice to have a little Irish blessing at each guest's seat as a way to say thank you. The best part is, the blessing includes our two main colors, blue and green. The blessing says, "May green be the grass you walk on. May blue be the skies above you. May pure be the joys that surround you. May true be the hearts that love you. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand. Thank you for sharing in our marriage celebration. Love, Robert and Lauren"
Bride and BM Dress Hangers
This was another pretty last minute project, but it was super easy. I bought wooden hangers from TJMaxx for really cheap, and I attached some stationary letters and rhinestones from Walmart with a little craft glue. Voila!
This thing was QUITE a DIY task, but it was well worth it. Robert and I walked down his parents' nature trail and cut down a birch tree with buds. While it was still green and pliant, we bent it into the shape we wanted and secured it with fishing line. Later with my parents and his parents helping, we wrapped grapevine around the birch branches and secured it with florist wire to give it more of a wild, unmanicured look. Using hot glue gun (love that thing!) and florist wire, we attached silk blossom branches and real-touch flowers.
We will be having our rehearsal dinner in Robert's parents' backyard. I couldn't imagine a better place to have it than their house. It's in the middle of the country with woods and fields that go on forever. The house was built in 1904, and it is so charming.
We can have pictures from our childhoods hanging on the line:
- Texas Barbeque Brisket
- Carolina Pulled Pork
- Cole Slaw
- Potato Salad
- Baked Beans
- Sausage Dip
Because of the setting, we want to embrace our country-loving, laid back roots. We didn't want country playing at a formal event like our wedding, but it's very fitting for the relaxing, casual feel of our rehearsal dinner.
And the list so far is...
Zac Brown Band- Whatever It Is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RJrNnRpVHg
Alan Jackson- Right on the Money http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onTLoDzDwLs
Brad Paisley- Then http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AtaZ_NU_tU
Jack Johnson- Good People http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43VyrUFEyNo
Brad Paisley- We Danced http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6lTU_bhISI
John Mayer- The Heart of Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2aT_RW146A
Zac Brown Band- Settle Me Down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY4OzJTkqcQ
Bucky Covington- It's Good to Be Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIjM6SNt8Hg
James Taylor- Carolina in My Mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gic6B-B6rpg
Keith Urban- Days Go By http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJOn8PVBGqY
Jack Johnson- Upside Down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLppReBGM4w
Nickel Creek- When You Come Back Down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng5-VUDcjJ8
Zac Brown Band- Free http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i97dh6iiY70
Keith Urban- Making Memories of Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ-15YIvH5Y
Zac Brown Band- Quiet Your Mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4-FSLo7Ww
Jack Johnson- Banana Pancakes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkyrIRyrRdY
Keith Urban- You're My Better Half http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct2xHQmGodo
Jack Johnson- Better Together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u57d4_b_YgI
Keith Urban- Put You in a Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfOHLSYc_yI
Coldplay- Green Eyes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbAZiVRG6h0
Keith Urban- Sweet Thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBx55KNyRrs
Kenny Chesney- You Save Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWsSDIQ1bHY
Lady Antebellum- I Run to You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs38lKxmtI4
Zac Brown Band- Make This Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO2n3AGbCl8
Jack Johnson- You and Your Heart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruxTT6hjbWQ
Lady Antebellum- Hello World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBOTrj94wig
Blake Shelton- Who Are You When I'm Not Lookin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xXD9-1mLBY
Jack Johnson- Angel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9wu-lAQBHw
Corey Smith- First Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2becq6ChjM
Lady Antebellum- American Honey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko8maYTMOY0
Zac Brown Band- I Play the Road http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc7UKmDLJ3g
Dave Matthews Band- You and Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f4TItnxVOw
John Mayer- Free Falling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTJcy6HKvLM
Sugarland- Fall Into Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SWOmCano7E
Tim McGraw- Just to See You Smile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP03ysPvfvc
Uncle Kracker- Smile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaIpdMZN3E0
Corey Smith- Carolina http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUfEKvzsfEY
Brad Paisley- Little Moments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP0CP37zKc0
Jack Johnson- Do You Remember http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y5kxOGhqrw
George Strait- I Saw God Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwD7fk6QSDQ
Miranda Lambert- The House that Built Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQYNM6SjD_o
Jack Johnson- Times Like These http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3FsVVHzmec
Carrie Underwood- Mama's Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpFW4Yhy08k
John Mayer- '83 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ARsJ2xReuw
I have absolutely no idea what is going on for my Bachelorette Party. FI and I are doing it co-ed two nights before the wedding, because that's when all of our friends will be in town, and we are not comfortable drinking if the other is not around. Plus, co-ed is just more FUN!
My dress: It was the last one from asos.com
Shoes (that I already own) by Nine West- Enzo Angiolini look-alike:
In January 2011, I was honored to be asked to be a PW Hostess! I stepped down in September 2011 to further my photography business, but I will always be a hostess at heart (no pun intended). I've "met" the most amazing ladies here, and they are all truly beautiful inside and out. :)
In March 2011, I won the Do a Friend a Favor Giveaway. Register for these things people! They work!
On April 23, 2011 I married my best friend, Robert. :) I made the list!
Sat, April 23 - Legentry <----------
Sat, April 23 - slacroix
Sat, April 23 - Caelasmom
Sat, April 23 - Judiejaz
Sat, April 23 - alexaruble
Sat, April 23 - graylove
Sat, April 23 - kkbrown7023
Sat, April 23 - Nik_1_T
On April 30, 2011, Starbux featured me as Pic of the Week in the Bling Brides Group.
On August 4, 2011, No Impact Bride blogged our engagement session and love story. Later in the month, it featured my bridal shoot and our wedding in the blog as well. Chamonix did a fantastic job, and I was honored to be the spear-header of the "Real Weddings" section.
On September 16, 2011, I was honored to be featured as PW's Bio of the Week!
Photo Wish List (I understand if not all of these can be obtained, but I would love to have these)
- Bride's dress on the hanger or over a chair
- Close-up of bride's shoes
- Bride in curlers or having makeup applied
- Bridesmaids applying their makeup
- Bride putting on garter
- Mom and/or bridesmaids helping the bride put on her dress
- Close-up of dress details
- Bride together with bridesmaids
- Bride hugging/talking to mom
- Mom or bridesmaids putting finishing touches on bride, adding veil, jewelry etc
- Bride spending moment alone, thinking quietly, praying or looking out the window/mirror
- Groom putting on tie
- Groom with groomsmen
- Groom with dad, hugging or talking
- Wide shot of ceremony space from the back
- Guests arriving
- hostesses (Ashley, Dana, Erin, & Sarah)
- Wide shot of guests in their seats
- Guitarists playing
- Ushers helping grandparents and special guests to their seats
- Close up of details (arch, aisle markers, programs, etc.)
- Groom and groomsmen waiting nervously for bride to walk down aisle
- Bridesmaids walking down the aisle
- Wedding party standing at the altar
- Bride just before walking down the aisle
- Back shot of bride (and father) beginning to walk down the aisle
- Full-frontal shot of bride (and father) walking down the aisle
- Close-up of groom's face when he sees bride for the first time (MUST HAVE)
- Back shot of bride and groom together at the altar with officiant between them
- Shot focusing on bridesmaids' bouquets, lined up as they hold them at the altar
- Close-up of hands as the rings are exchanged
- Close-up of bride's face, as seen over the groom's shoulder
- Close-up of groom's face, as seen over the bride's shoulder
- Shot of both sets of parents' faces as they witness ceremony
- The kiss
- Announcement as husband and wife, bride and groom facing guests
- Happy couple walking back down the aisle together, as married couple
- Bride and groom walking out of ceremony space, hand-in-hand
BEFORE THE RECEPTION/During the cocktail hour
- Bride and groom with bride’s extended family
- Bride and groom with groom’s extended family
- Bride and groom with her immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents)
- Bride and groom with his immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents)
- Bride and groom with her parents (Hank and Elaine Gentry)
- Groom and bride with his parents (Barbara and Ernie Shaver)
- Groom and military veteran guests
- Groom and military brothers
- Group shot of bride, groom, and wedding party
- Bride with groomsmen
- Groom with bridesmaids
- Full shot of bride and groom together, smiling
- Full shot of bride and groom kissing
- Bride being lifted or carried by groom or sitting on groom's lap
- Close-up of couples' faces
- Close-up of details (place settings, name cards, etc.)
- Close-up of centerpieces
- Wide shot of entire room before everyone arrives
- Bridal party’s entrances
- Bride and groom’s entrance
- Bride and groom's first dance
- Groom dipping bride
- Bride dancing with her dad -- close-up of faces
- Groom dancing with his mom-- close-up of faces
- Close-up of cake
- Best Man and Matron of Honor (or other guests) making a toast to the couple
- Bride and groom's faces as they listen to the toast(s)
- Guests smiling and clapping
- Guests dancing and cutting loose on the dance floor.
- Wide shot of entire room after guests arrive
- Close-ups of guests' faces, laughing and having a great time -- lots of these
- Parents dancing
- Close-up of DJ
- Bride and groom cutting the cake
- Bride and groom feeding each other
- Bride tossing the bouquet
- Guest catching bouquet
- Groom removing bride’s garter
- Groom tossing the garter
- Guest catching garter
- Bride and groom leaving (birdseed toss)
- Bride and groom on deck of trolley
- Back of trolley as it drives away
- Ceremony and Reception site: Lakeside ceremony and ballroom reception $1200
- Food/Caterer: Buffet meal for 100 guests - $4000
- Bar/Alcohol: $1000 (open bar until $1000 worth is gone; rest is cash bar)
- Bridal gown/alterations: Designer gown found for discount online - $1000
- Bridal accessories: $100
- Groom's attire (free with groomsmen's rentals): $0
- Groom's gift: $150
- Stationary/postage: $365 (Semi-DIY)
- Photography: 3 photographers, 8 hours, high resolution and edited CD- $1250
- Videography: 1 videographer, 2 cameras, high definition, 5 edited Bluray DVDs, 6 hours - $1500
- Ceremony music: Acoustic guitar trio - $0 (gift from family friend who is a musician)
- Reception music: DJ and MC duo - $0 (gift from family friend who is a pro DJ)
- Flowers: $200 (major discount at after season sale on silks and DIY)
- Favors: $0 (from winning a contest)
- Cake: 4-tier to feed 150 and grooms cake to feed 100 - $250 (at cost - family friend is a pastry chef)
- Officiant: $0 (family friend who is also a pastor)
- Hair/makeup: $0 (complimentary for bride and BMs because stylist was a no-show for bridal portraits)
- Wedding party gifts: $230 (15 people total with many gifts made as DIY)
- Transportation: Trolley $1000
- Hotels: Out of town bags - $80
- Misc.: Decorations, centerpieces, programs - $900
- Parents'/Grandparents' gifts: $30 (embroidered handkerchiefs)
- Day of Coordinator: $0 (included in venue)
Ceremony Guitarist- Ron Wright (family friend)
Centerpieces - DIY
Chair Covers - River Hills Country Club
Videographer - Vittorio Video
Wedding Dress - Maggie Sottero
Veil - eBay find
BM dresses - Af ter Six by Dessy
Groomsmen Attire - Jos. A. Bank
Cake - Helen Decker (family friend)
Day of Coordinator - Desta Hudgens
Programs - Semi-DIY Michael's
Guest Accommodations - Holiday Inn Center City Charlotte
Transportation - Trolleys Incorporated
Message me if you're interested!
Bachelorette Dress from Lulus.com Size Small (2-4)
New with tags...awesome dress, but my big bust didn't fit into it :(
Originally $80Will sell for $50 OBO
GORGEOUS 16 Formal Table Runners (76 inches long)
Reversible (mostly gold on one side and mostly blue/green on the other)
$6 each OBO or $80 for entire lot
Decorative Vintage Birdcages
Will sell with or without flowers
$15 each or $35 for all 3
Height- 15 inches
Height- 16 inches (I have two of these)
72 Lace Wrapped Votive Holders
$30 per dozen or $100 for entire lot OBO
Just when I thought I'd had enough of bird theme madness from our wedding over a year ago, I decided to reuse a lot of our wedding decor for the baby's "nook." We will be reusing birdcages from the centerpieces as well as our guestbook thumbprint tree.
This little one was quite a surprise and DH and I will most likely be moving next year for him to go to physical therapy school, so Olivia's "nursery nook" will actually be half of our rec room. The small space and shape of the room is a bit of a challenge, but I know she won't judge. ;)
Crib and Dresser (not our exact furniture because ours was on clearance and is discontinued but this is close to the color/style)-
Bedding My wonderful mother-in-law bought Olivia's bedding on sale at Pottery Barn Kids. It has birdies!!! And she had it embroidered with her name. No turning back now! This little one better truly end up being a girl!
My mom is also currently working on her cradle bedding for when she sleeps in our room for the first couple months. It's going to be beautiful!!!
Canopy for above the crib on the slanted wall
Inspiration (easy DIY with just a plain white sheet tied with ribbons to an upside down planter hung from the ceiling): Estimated cost $20
Decal/shelves over dresser/changer table Even better, we can peel off the decal and take it with us for her room whenever we move next year. I found this AWESOME DIY Instructable on how to make a wall tree decal for $20. Score!
DIY refurbish of toybox/bookshelf combo unit. I already have an old toybox/bookshelf that just needs some TLC:
I really love this stencil placement over the stripes on this piece. I would just stick to light pink, white, light green, and brown for the colors: