My name is Whitney. I've been planning this wedding foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr... We live in Virginia now, which is where we met as undergraduates at the University of Richmond. We spent three years long distance after college, flying to see each other every 4-6 weeks. But we're together now, and happy as clams. He proposed October 11th at the Shenandoah National Park, where we sometimes camp or hike.
Grover is a year and a half old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We can't have him in our wedding, because we live in VA and will be getting married in Texas. He travels fine through airports, but I spaz out big time! Just wanted to show him off to all you ladies :)
Here they are! Except mine have purple accents.
I am printing these at Minuteman Press. I paid $80 for a PDF of the invite and response card.
Also, instead of an inner envelope, I'm going to wrap the invites and response card in a doily. That's an idea from The Martha. You basically take a 9" square doily and put it face down with a corner pointing toward you. Then, start folding in corners and tuck it away! That's all there is to it. You know what I love? I won't have to put another name on the inside envelope, yet this will still have that polished "it's a wedding" feeling to it.
For the reception programs, I like the idea of attaching a little sprig of lavender in some twine. It matches my color palette perfectly.
We'll have ceremony programs, and we'll be printing them ourselves. I have NO IDEA how to do that, but I'll probably put my sister to the task. Ours would have our monogram on the front in our wedding colors, but I'd like something like this, from Etsy seller 2besquared:
Puppy Dog Thank You Notes--
We are so sad that we can't bring Grover to our wedding. He must be included somehow! So we're going to make thank you notes like Mrs. Cowboy Boots over at Wedding Bee:
Ours look like this:
Our save the dates are postcards made on Snapfish. They look like this:
We even ordered a custom return address stamp for $17 from Etsy seller RubberStampPress to use on our thank you cards and RSVP envelopes. Ours hasn't come in the mail yet, but here's a sample:
Our Monogram, by Etsy seller Bellestristics. It was only $6, so it was wonderfully priced and I can use it on our ceremony and reception programs, as well as our welcome baskets.
We're having a fajita night for our rehearsal dinner! Yaaay.
I'm looking at purple dresses for the rehearsal dinner. White isn't my best color anyway. These dresses are from Nordstrom. The first is a Suzi Chin dress, the second is another Suzi Chin Tie Dye dress. Haven't gotten to try any on yet.
Also at the rehearsal dinner, my bridesmaid Emile is going to sing a song for us and play her guitar. The song is Home Is Where the Heart Is, by Lady Antebellum, and it suits us perfectly. Lyrics below:
I felt I was spinning my wheels
Before too long the road was calling
I packed everything I own
So sure that I was leaving this small town life behind for good
And not a single tear was falling
It took leaving for me to understand
Sometimes your dreams just aren't what life has planned
Mama said home is where the heart is
When I left that town
I made it all the way to West Virginia
And that's where my heart found
Exactly where I'm supposed to be
It didn't take much time
It's just south of the Mason Dixon line
It's just south of the Mason Dixon line
I worked third shift at an all night diner
Only stayed to save a little money for
Enough gas to make it to the east coast
That's when I saw the brightest pair of
Deep blue eyes walking straight into my life
And every night we talked till it became so clear
And I could feel those dreams inside shifting gears
Cause love brought me here
And I'm standing in my veil about to say I do
As mama smiles with tear drops in her eyes
And then I realize there's something mama always knew
Love is what I really left to find
I'm really excited that I'll be getting ready with my mom, sister, and bridesmaids at home. We live only blocks from the church and think it will give a nice homey (literally) feel to the pictures. This is an inspiration pic:
And my dress is a secret! Since other important people have my login information, I just can't share it here.
Because who doesn't love makeup? The tarte that I have is actually "A Perfect Whirled." It's very pink, which works well with my super light skin.
These are the hair pins I purchased from Etsy seller Percyhandmade. I will wear them at the reception.
Tada! There's my bridal beauty inspiration :)
Don't have the boots yet, and I'm not sure if I'll need them. But I got these Nina shoes and I LOVE them. I'm going to have to practice in them at the house because I STINK at wearing heels. Luckily, these are only 2 inches, so surely I can manage that. At minimum, I'll need them for the ceremony. By Etsy seller thestellarkitty (the top pic), these are the Paris Opera House earrings. The bracelet is Etsy seller Livelovebead, and the bracelet is called Brides Perfection Bracelet.
These boots would be perfect for my reception.
My ceremony site is above. When guests arrive at the wedding, one of my cousins will hand them a pillar candle to take to the altar. At the altar, they'll light their candle to represent their family (or couple) at our wedding. This means there will be a candle at the altar for every family and pair present. I think it will be a nice visual reminder of all the people who support us in our marriage. This quote, "Your people will be my people," is from Ruth 1:16. I'd like to use that line in my ceremony somehow, and maybe include it on the programs.
I'd also like a family photos table at the entrance to the church (above). I found this picture on Kelzbelz's page for inspiration.
I read that Erindira made her own pew decorations using birch bark from Ebay and ribbon. I love how they turned out and may try the same.
We will be doing a hand blessing. Before we exchange rings, we will put our palms together while facing one another and lock our fingers. Then, his uncle will read a variation of the following, which we'll decide on together when we get closer to the wedding:
These are the hands of your best friend. They are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
May these hands always reach out with love, tenderness and respect.
May these hands continue to build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a symbol of the union of two hearts, two lives, and two souls.
Possible songs--All Instrumental:
Prelude--Then by Brad Paisley, When You Say Nothing At All by Allison Krauss, The Luckiest by Ben Folds, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (from Cinderella)
Processional Possibilities--Can't Help Falling in Love by THE KING :)
Bridal Processional--Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers
Recessional--And Then He Kissed Me by the Crystals
I also love the idea of having the girls carry crosses on their bouquets. I think the look is beautiful. Luckily, there's only five of us and I've got a very craftsy bridesmaid to head the whole thing up. Also, I love love love vintage brooches, and you can get them for very cheap on Ebay! I will use them to decorate bouquets and who knows what else..
First, my bouquet. Imagine gold wrap with lace on the handle, and I love the second bouquet that is all ranunculus:
And I gotta admit, I like the feathers in Kristeen's bouquet:
I think it would be awesome to use the bridesmaid bouquets as decoration for the cake and dessert table, or maybe at the sign in table.
ranunculus hyacinth blue cremon
lisianthus purple roses
ocean song lavender rose
All my bmaids will wear their own black dresses that they choose individually.
And here are the flower girl dresses, from mygirldress.com.
The guys will wear black suits--whatever they have in their closets will work fine. We'll tie the look together with matching ties and bouts...
Here's Stephen's bout:
And the groomsmen's bouts...
First, the parents!
Dad's walking me down the aisle and Mom is going to keep me in order. Not to mention she is basically my sounding board for all my wedding ideas and the two of them are making all of them happen! And Steve's parents threw us an awesome engagement party! Kathy (FMIL) will be helping out in all sorts of ways, too, as we get closer to the wedding:
Next up, the bridal party. The first two pics are Emile and Jason. Em is singing at our rehearsal dinner and also painting the tree for our guest book alternative, and Jason did all our engagement pics, which ROCKED:
Oh Goodness. Our family has LOTS of little kids, and they're all around the same age so I can't possibly choose just one or two! And plus, I love them all. We'll be having a ring troop of five boys, and two flower girls. Those are all my cousin's children, and I'm attached to all of them. This would be, left to right, Katelyn (the oldest) sitting next to Aiden, then below we have Gunner, Mason, Abigail, Gannon, and Jackson. Lordamercy that's a lot of kids. Love every one of them! And Abby and Aiden's mom is pregnant again, so right around the wedding, we'll have another newborn! What fun :)
We'll have three ushers, my cousins Richard, Russell, and Tyler. See below:
Richard and Russell, who are brothers aged 17 and 21 respectively; followed by Tyler, a ninth grader:
Here's our officiant and friend (and preacher) Dana, with her husband Harold:
The musical brains of the operation are on Stephen's side--thank goodness he has musical talent, because my side does not!
Katie, Steve's cousin who is in high school will play piano:
And Kristen, his younger sister who's in college at American will play violin:
For the readers, we'll have Kara, Steve's other sister who's in nursing school, and his Uncle Charlie (stole his pic from some random cardiologist website, so that's why he's in front of a heart diagram, hehe!)
And here's a funny pic of my cousin Michael and his wife Kayla, who will be teaching two-step lessons to the Rancourt clan and any other northerners who make it out to our Texas wedding. Then we have Papa Tom (my grandpa) who will head up the golf outing on Saturday morning. And Grandbird (my grandma, but we've never called her that) will be helping out lots too, along the way, with crafty things that grandmas are generally good at. Here's their wedding picture! How cute is that?
Aunt Brenda is making salsa for the welcome bags. That's her with my uncle, David:
More to come! Not all my jobs are assigned :)
Check out this pic from Stephanie Williams photography:
I would LOVE to have guests use their fingerprints to create this piece of art! It also really matches our manzanita centerpieces and the hint of fall present throughout the wedding. Swooooon.
My dear bridesmaid Emile has offered to paint the tree for us! So excited, because she is an excellent artist.
Oh I am torn. See the paper below? These little beauties are perfect for my color scheme and are $7 for a 50 pack on Papersource.com. So I'll just need to print names and table names onto cream card stock in a fancy calligraphy font, and attach with double sided tape. Last, attach a gold leaf. Voila!
This will be another DIY project. The tables will be given names, not numbers, and they will be places that are important to us. We've taken engagement pictures at some of those places and we plan to include the photos in our tablescapes.
The escort cards will be on a table like above, but I think the decoration for that table will be something like this below:
I think I'd like to have a king table in the center so that all the bmaids and groomsmen and their dates (and me and Steve) can all fit at one spot. Round tables on either side! An arrangement like this:
First, we'll start with purple linens.
We'll have alternating low and high centerpieces. Our low centerpieces will be cream funkins. The pumpkins will be hollowed out and used as vases for flowers in purple, hot pink, and blue.
Our high centerpieces will be manzanita branches with flowers attached sparingly that match the pumpkin flowers. We might incorporate some crystal garland as well. Our base will be a short box shape (not tall like this Tiffany blue one), lined with flowers.
We'll be incorporating lanterns over the tables. Each table will have three different-sized lanterns suspended overhead, tied together and hung at varying heights.
Our alcohol will be sort of DIY--we'll be bringing in our own. We'll have signature cocktails passed around for the cocktail hour so as to not plug up the bar at the beginning of the reception. We'll estimate the amount of alcohol using evite's handy tool: http://www.evite.com/pages/party/drink-calculator.jsp. Thinking spiked apple cider for myself, and since Steve is such a madmen fanatic, he wants an Old Fashioned:) I also love the eat drink and be married cocktail napkins, which would be royal purple with gold lettering, I think...
I also found this favor idea, which I love. Dirty Martini taught me how to do it with this article:
1) Wash and peel a large, fairly tart apple like Granny Smith. Using a melon baller, extract balls of apple. A large apple will yield about 6 balls (plus scraps for you to snack on). Place in a bowl and sprinkle with
2) Prepare a dipping station. You can use mini cupcake papers (as shown above) and lollipop sticks. In addition to a bowl of warmed caramel apple dip, you may want to add chopped nuts, m&ms or sprinkles.
3) Carefully spear each ball of apple through the ROUND end (not the part with the skin). Keep the flat end on the bottom, so they stand upright. Using a paper towel, blot off the excess lemon juice. This is important- if the apple has too much juice left on it, the caramel won't stick.
4) Dip the apple in the caramel, using a twirling motion to coat it evenly.
5) Transfer the apple to the nuts and roll, using a gentler twirling motion.
6) Stand the apples upright in the cups and let them chill in the fridge to solidify.
We are most likely having food stations instead of a long buffet. I like the idea of mini blackboards, which will be a DIY project.
First, I'll take inexpensive picture frames (maybe assorted ones from garage sales), and spray paint the frames pale pink (instead of white like the photo to the right). Easy enough, right? Then, I'll buy some chalkboard paint and paint several layers over the glass insert. Then, I'll write out the menus in chalk. Tada! DIY goodness :) I'll be using a menu at each food station, just so people aren't saying, "What is that, exactly?"
I can't wait to have a dessert bar. I have a major sweet tooth, (unlike my skinny love) and plan to go light on cake, heavy on other yummies.
But I'm going to nod to tradition by having a small, white cake. Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting :)
I suggested no cake originally, but my grandpa had a fit! Red velvet is my favorite. The cake topper belonged to my fiance's aunt and uncle, and they've gifted it to us! Sooo pretty :) I'd also like to borrow Kristeen's idea and make my own cake stand using votives and plexiglass. See below!
Pumpkin cheesecake from Go Go Gumbo is delish! It must make an appearance :) Isn't that frame above adorable with "Sweet Love" written inside? I think rather than trying to decorate a cake table in the traditional way, I'll just have all those sweets taking up the space! And those brownie heart cupcakes could not be any easier to make! Cake mix, brownie mix, voila! Then I'll decorate with just a few candles and a frame like the one above.
In addition to the lanterns that will hang over the tables, I'm also pretty nuts for luminaries, and I'm trying to think of ways to use them. I like the idea of using luminaries on tables--perhaps at the sign in table. This was done by gluing gold doilies to the inside of a paper bag. I think I may also wrap vases for candles in lace for an added romantic touch. The lace on the far right is 4.5" thick and one yard is $12. http://www.mjtrim.com/Catalog/Product/248/30956/30956.aspx
I can't wait to use sparklers!
Our welcome bags will look something like this--with stamping and ribbons in purple, pink, and blue. I like the idea of using our date--10.09.10.
Contents--ideas still pending:
Aunt Brenda's salsa with recipe attached by ribbon and covered in cutesy fabric + chips and a homemade decal
A map and directions to all locations
A Dublin Dr. Pepper (localish favorite)
A Texas shaped cookie cutter and a Texas shaped oatmeal raisin cookie
A homemade mix of reception songs (see cd cover template below)
This is the fabric I chose for the salsa jars:
For the cutie patootie Texas cookies, I got these muslin bags and some stamps so that I can decorate the bag to look something like this. Then, the guest gets a handy little cotton drawstring bag to go with it, instead of a ziplock. It's stupid, but they were cheap and I wanted it.
Taken from Budoh's Bio:
Ladies' Bathroom Basket
1st Aid Kit w/ extra band aids
Pain Killer (i.e. Aleve or Tylenol)
Eye Drops & Contact Lens Cleaner
Clear Nail Polish, Nail Clipper & Emery Boards
Hand Sanitizer & Moist Towlette
Cotton Swab & Cotton Balls
Hair Spray & Bobby Pins, Pony tail holders
Tampons & Pads
Gentlemen's Bathroom Basket
1st Aid Kit w/ extra band aids
Pain Killer (i.e. Aleve or Tylenol)
Eye Drops & Contact Lens Cleaner
Nail Clipper & Emery Boards
Cotton Swab & Cotton Balls
Hair Spray & Comb
I keep hearing that everytime brides set these up in their bathrooms, that everything GOES before the end of the night. I wish every time I went somewhere they had something like this! I'm always spilling food on myself or wearing my hair down when I wish it was up, etc...
Grand Mayan Los Cabos
We're so fortunate that a family friend has loaned us their timeshare for a whole week in Los Cabos!
Aren't the pictures amazing?
It has a beautiful kitchen!
And a golf course...
Can't forget the canopies near the pools, which are apparently always available and free of cost...
Pretty lobby, huh?
Can't forget the pool pics. It's huge!
And the restaurant...
And from a distance...
So, I'm not one of those people who wants to dictate everything Ms. Chelsea McGowan does, because she has incredible talent and deserves plenty of wiggle room. I don't plan on giving her a laundry list of every shot I want her to get. But I stumbled upon this picture, and LOVED it. We're having 5 ring bearers and 2 flower girls, and I just can't PASS UP this picture.
Or this one, because I really like my shoes, but don't really like the ones with the shoes by themselves: