Welcome to my bio! Thanks for stopping by!! Feel free to stay a while or leave some love before you go!
My wedding was entirely DIY (with the help of some talented friends and some newbie vendors - the only thing we splurged on was our photographer). The entire time I planned, I had a fear of my wedding looking like a kindergartner's finger paint project. A friend, upon seeing my pro photos, said, "So remember how worried you were that your wedding was DIY and wouldn't be as "fancy" as other weddings? Um, they've been pwned." The reason my bio is here is because I don't want ANYONE feeling like they can't do it. You can have a gorgeous, relatively inexpensive DIY wedding that will be filled with love and be about the two of you, which is how it's supposed to be, and everyone will love it.
If you have any questions regarding any of my projects, feel free to PM me.
I've tried to write articles for all of my projects, but now that it's crunch time, the article writing isn't as high on my priority list. :)
Now that my wedding is over, I've made my bio viewable by everyone.
If you need help with anything, feel free to send me a PM!
Happy planning! xoxo!
If you have used an idea or photo of mine, please credit me and provide a link back to my bio.
IF YOU USE A PRO PICTURE, YOU NEED TO CREDIT MY PHOTOGRAPHER, Lisa Hessel.
Don't steal pictures/ideas without giving credit (anywhere on PW). It's not nice. We all work really hard to plan
our weddings, and we'd appreciate a nod if you borrow an idea or use a picture.
If I have used an idea/photo of yours, or you know who it belongs to, please let me know and I will provide the necessary credit.
Flower Girls, Ring Bearers & Usher
Bridal Party Group Shots
Getting Ready Detail Shots
Ceremony Detail Shots
Reception Detail Shots
Miscellaneous Detail Shots
- I grew up in Illinois, right outside of St. Louis.
- I'm an only child.
- Both of my parents passed away before I was 24. My dad died when I was 4 in a car accident, and my mom passed away after a long battle with cancer in May 2009.
- I graduated from St. Louis University in 2007 with my BA in Psychology.
- I played Golf in college until I had to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum & rotator cuff.
- I was a fast pitch softball pitcher for over 10 years [I wasn't the best, but I practiced a lot!], which probably had something to do with my shoulder surgery!
- I graduated from The University of Alabama in 2010 with a JD.
- My degree says that I'm an attorney, as well as the Missouri Bar, but I'm actually an event planner and designer!
- I love arts & crafts, traveling, our dogs, trashy tv, my girlfriends, cooking, sushi, and all things wedding.
- I drive a '10 Prius. I love it!
- He grew up in (South) St. Louis.
- He has a fraternal twin brother, who married my college roommate/Matron of Honor.
- He plays semi-pro poker.
- He's [probably] addicted to working out/sports. There's always some sort of game to go to...basketball, baseball, football, you name it.
- His mom passed away in a house fire in 2001.
- He graduated from St. Louis University with a Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010 (joint undergrad/grad program).
- He works in a skilled nursing facility doing a variety of patient rehabilitation.
- He loves working out, poker, sports, ESPN, crime shows, video games, traveling, spending time with his huge family, our dogs, and doing romantic things for me.
- He's got a great sense of humor. He makes me laugh all the time!
- He bought his very first new car in May - a 2010 fully loaded Black Malibu LTZ.
We have two crazy furbabies (and they have doppelgangers!!). I don't think anyone likes them except us...maybe only me! They spend a lot of time in Doggie Jail, while momma is on P-Dub. ;)
COCO: He's our 5-year old Yorkie. He used to be the coolest dog ever. Lately he's been acting like a crabby old man! John refers to him as a meerkat because he stands up on his hind legs when he wants you to scratch his belly. In our family, he's also known as "Master Splinter" because he looks just like the TMNT character!
BELLA: She's our 2-year old Morkie (maltese/yorkie). She's super sweet, but she only has two modes...passed out and crazy woman. Her doppelganger is Falcor from The Neverending Story!
Background: I lost my father when I was four in an accident, and my mother passed away in February 2009 after a long battle with cancer. He was so amazing through everything, and he knew exactly how to comfort me because he lost his mother in an accident when he was in high school. I was in law school, so losing my mom during such an intense time during my education was extremely difficult. John and I decided to take a cruise in July 2009 to clear our minds and relax. While we were in Grand Cayman, John surprised me and took me ring shopping. He let me pick out this gorgeous 1.3 carat loose diamond and an 18K white gold halo setting with .75 carats pave diamonds on three sides and a milgrain finish with antique designs on half of the band (wedding band also included). He bought the ring but on the condition that he could plan the perfect proposal.
The Story - March 20, 2010 (TOTALLY worth the wait): So I've been hoping for this day for a VERY long time. I had a fairly good idea that it was happening on Saturday, so I couldn't sleep at all on Friday night it was like Christmas! On Saturday morning, I woke up at 8, got ready, and then he tried to throw me off by saying that it wouldn't be happening until I came back toSaint Louis for my birthday. I was so sad (and a little mad!) My FSIL sent me a text saying that she wished she could be here for me today (like I was for her on her engagement day), so I cheered back up and hoped that he was just kidding. He said he had to run a few errands and came back a little while later with 10 envelopes and told me to get my purse, camera, and get in the car and open the first envelope. So I did, and this is what it said:
Letter 1 - Saint Margaret of Scotland
Pull into the parking lot and look up at the school. This is essentially where I grew up. I spent my childhood playing sports on the playground, learning reading, writing, and arithmetic in the classrooms, and annoying the girls in my class for no apparent reason. Try to imagine a curly haired little kid with a kinda funny looking hand running around the playground and up and down the halls. I may have been on the cute side, but I couldn't tie my own shoes until I was almost seven!!! I didn't realize it at the time, but my days at Saint Margaret of Scotland helped to make me into the man I am today, the m an that wants to spend the rest of his life lighting up your life. Next, drive to Compton Heights Baptist Church. I love you.
I didn't really get it at first. I didn't know if I was supposed to be looking for things or what. On top of that, he didn't give me ANY addresses! Luckily I had my GPS. :)
Letter 2 - Compton Heights Church
Park in the parking lot and read this note. I know the church doesn't look like much, but this is where I found my faith and reinforced my strength as a person. This is also where my mom and dad were married. As a child, I sat next to my dad and listened to Wendy talk about such things as commitment, dedication, sacrifice, strength, and love. I took many of those things with me each Sunday as I left, and then shared them with my friends and family. I love sharing my faith with you, and I really look forward to spending the rest of our lives growing together in Christ. I love you. Now drive to my mom's old house.
Well this is a place I've avoided the entire time we've been together and not because I wanted to avoid it. His mom died in this house in a firewhen he was in high school. I lost it here. I mean, hello black lines down face. I totally should have worn waterproof mascara!!!
Letter 3 - His Mom's House
Park in front of the house. This is where Greg and I grew up, living with my mom. This is where an incredible woman taught me most of what I know about life. When I was older, I would stay up at night and talk to her about anything. When I was younger, I climbed up and down the bunk bed, played with the turtles we kept in the basement, and played sports in the backyard. I fell in the middle of the street and knocked both of my front teeth out. This is also where Dutchess, Tootsie, and Quackers called home! Those sound like really bad stripper names. Anyway, back to the point. I had some of my most vivid memories inside and around this house. It will always hold a special place inside my heart. I want you to know that my mom would have absolutely loved you. She would have just seen how much you light up my life, and she would have wanted to share in what we have. You're an incredible woman, and you make me very happy. Sometimes I wish you and I could have shared our childhoods together, but then I realize that we never have to truly "grow up" and that we can spend at least another 40 or 50 years being "big kids." I love you.
At this point, I'm just sitting in the middle of the street crying, and I have no idea where to go next, so I had to call him! He said, "open the next envelope, silly!"
Letter 4 - Shaw's Garden
Park in the parking lot and head into the garden. You'll have to ask someone where the maze is, since I am so terrible with directions. Walk to the maze. As you make your way there, look at all of the beautiful scenery, and think of all of the amazing things that you and I have already, and still will see together. I loved sharing the Grand Canyon with you, and can't wait for what the future holds. Walk through the maze, and try to find your way without me. It's ok if you have some trouble.; Once you escape the maze, walk up into the lighthouse building right next to it and look into the maze from above. Look at all of the twists and turns that might have confused you or thrown you off track. Isn't it so much easier to navigate from this point of view? I want to be your lighthouse. I know that you've been through a lot already in life, and that we still have many challenges ahead of us. However, I will always be here to protect you and to help you find your way. I love you.
I was such a mess when I got there that I had to show the ticket guy this letter, and he just smiled the most genuine smile I've ever seen. It was kind of a let down though because the maze was only about 3 feet tall instead of 6!! Still, a grand gesture. I hopped back in the car and opened up letter 5. Oh, so I DID get my sushi he promised and bailed on last night. ;)
Letter 5 - Lunch at Chi Sushi
I didn't want to break my promise of having sushi before you went back to Alabama. Find a parking spot, head into the restaurant, and use this $20 to have a nice, relaxing lunch. Think about the first few meals you and I shared here: my first time trying sushi. However, I didn't think twice about it. I knew how much you enjoyed it, and I wanted to share that with you. I love you. After lunch, get back in the car and head over to Barnes.
So it was a little weird eating alone. I never eat alone. But it gave me a chance to call my aunt (who is like my mom now). She bawled as I read the letters to her, and I did again, too. So there I am, alone, eating sushi, crying. Such a wreck. But the problem was, I knew that letter 6 was going to be awful. Barnes is where my mom died last February.
Letter 6 - Barnes Hospital
Drive to the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Hospital. Park wherever you can find a spot that will let you sit and think for a few minutes. I want you to think about the tough time that you and I made it through last February. I want you to realize that that is about as hard as it gets, and that I was by your side for the entire time. I want you to think about your mom. I have spent much of the last few months thinking about her, too. She was an amazing person, and I credit her for much of the strong, beautiful, independent woman that you see in the mirror today. I wish that I had the chance to ask her and your dad for your hand in marriage, but I have already promised her that I would take care of you. I know that they want nothing more than for you to be happy, and I will make sure that you are the happiest woman on the planet for the rest of your life. Now drive over to Forest Park. If you need to talk you can call me or Lori on your way over there. I love you, and I love how you love me.
HELLO WATERWORKS! Please turn off. Kthxbye.
Letter 7 - Forest Park Baseball Field
Just drive by the Forest Park baseball field. I'd rather if you didn't try to read this and drive at the same time, though. As you're driving, think about all of the hours you spent watching me and my friends play baseball at this place. I realize that you didn't necessarily love coming out to the games or going out to Calvary Church with us, but it meant a lot to me that you did. I really love playing sports and spending time with the people I care about, it's what will keep me young (for much longer than you expected). Now time to head over the SLU campus make your way to Gries Hall. I love you.
SLU is where we met, and the hilarious thing about this drivewas that I ran into him heading to the gym! He called me and was like "are you stalking me?" I said, "No, just opening letter 8."
Letter 8 - Gries Front Desk
Park on Laclede and put some change in the meter. Don't worry, I included some for you. Head up to the front desk of Gries Hal (yes, I still refuse to call it by its ridiculous full name.) Remember the first time Alicia introduced us during that summer. Remember how much you didn't like me at the time!!! I was a little intrigued by you, but I had absolutely no idea what was in store for us. Remember how much time you and I spent in this building, shaping our relationship into what it is today. All of the amazing experiences, and all of the challenges. I credit this environment for helping us to find each other. Remember the "it's official roses?" Head across Grand to the BSC. "(almost) official." I love you.
He had sent me a dozen red roses to the front desk when I was working to ask me out that just said "it's official" on the note. I always thought that he might propose by just putting a note saying "it's official" on a ring and leaving it for me. Haha!
Letter 9 - Busch Student Center
Walk into the BSC and walk past ABP. Remember when we used to grab lunch or dinner here? Walk down the hallway towards the student mailbox spaces. Walk to where Salsarita's once was...I'm not too sure what's there now. Either head inside or have a seat outside and reminisce about the excitement of that night we had dinner for my birthday. That was the first time that I realized that something special may have been happening between you and me. I was slowly falling for you. As you can probably tell by now, I am completely head over heels for you...and tonight is going to be very special! Come home and kiss me now. I love you.
Salsaritas was the first "date" I guess you could say. I took him there on his 21st birthday and paid in flex points. Super romantic. At this point, it's only about 2pm, and dinner wasn't until 6:30, so I called him and he said to head to the spa for a mani/pedi. Such a nice touch! I had a hot stone pedicure and a quick manicure before heading home to get ready for dinner.
Letter 10 - Dinner at Carmine's Steakhouse
Come back home and get ready for dinner. We have reservations for tonight, and we still have to get to Sarah's for poker so I can show you off! I will always love you.
The Actual Down-on-one-Knee Proposal - The Arch
We headed to Carmine's Steakhouse in downtown Saint Louis at 6:30. (Of course, we got there the minute Kansas lost!!) We had a fabulous dinner before heading out. Carmine's is about a block away from the Arch, so we walked over to the base of the Arch where he put his arms around me and told me that he wanted to do this in a place where I'd think about it every time I came back to Saint Louis and because it was the essence of where we were from. [He said a bunch of other really romantic things, but I just couldn't believe it was happening, so I can't remember ANYTHING else he said!] He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I was bawling at this point, fell to the ground and put my arms around him, and said "yes, of course!!" He kind of just handed me the ring...or I guess I took it from him. He took it back and put it on my finger.
We're FINALLY engaged!!!
John's Tungsten Band from Kay's
My 18K white gold set from Diamond's International (second band purchased on our honeymoon)
We had our engagement/housewarming party on July 23, 2010. We had about 60 people come throughout the evening. It was SOO much fun! I wish I hadn't forgotten the camera for most of the night!
I hit 5K on 8/10/10!
PW Ladies [and our few gentlemen],
I have had a goal to reach 5000 posts before my wedding. Well, I did it 13 months to the day before our wedding, so I guess that goal will have to be modified. :)
I am SO incredibly thankful that I stumbled upon PW back in December while searching for dresses with my FSIL. Even though I was a lady in waiting, you all welcomed me with open arms. I have enjoyed every moment with you all during this crazy, beautiful time in our lives, and I hope I've helped and inspired you along the way. You all are some of the best friends a girl could ask for, and I'm so proud to call this community home.
I want to thank the lovely hostess team, because I know how much work you put into making PW the positive, welcoming, inspirational place it is. You ladies are SO awesome. Chris, you're an AMAZING community coordinator. PW wouldn't be the same without you all.
And for the rest of you, I cannot believe how amazingly supportive you are--from helping Miriam and Cari win a photographer with less than 100 days to go, to helping Cassie find a dress just days before her wedding, to offering advice and support when weddings have been called off, to offering to provide services to other PW girls, to throwing Melissa a bachelorette party when hers didn't go as planned, and I'm sure there's a million unspoken things that you all have done for one another. I am SOOOOOO proud of you all for SUPPORTING women instead of putting each other down. I've never experienced that in my life, and it is SO refreshing.
So thank you, PW. My wedding and my life wouldn't be the same without you.
Here's to 5K, 10K, or 100K more. :)
So without further ado...I present my FI. I know he's been waiting for his big debut!!
Soooo...Ashley has requested that I write a little something for her 5,000th post on P-Dub (t-shirts to come soon)...
First and foremost, I am extremely excited to marry my best friend in the world in 13 months. We have shared so many incredible experiences throughout the course of our relationship, and I can't wait to share those in our future. I have truly found the perfect woman to be my wife, my lover, and the mother of our children.
I am also excited that she has found such a close-knit community for spending ridiculous amounts of time, developing new abbreviations, and venting about me. :P In all seriousness, however, I am continually impressed by the strong bonds that you girls share during this otherwise extremely stressful time. I am also impressed by your ability to rush to each other's aid in times of need.
Before I finish, our two (slightly handicapped) dogs would like to express their feelings:
Alright, I must get back to my busy night of poker, working out, and washing dishes. If I'm lucky, I might get to DTD with my BTB... ;)
Good night...now go kiss your fiance'!
I hit 10K on 5/10/11!
I seriously cannot believe that I have TEN THOUSAND posts.
In honor of the fact that we’ll be married on the 10th (4 months!!), today is the 10th, and this is my 10,000th post, I’m going to do this legendary post in a top ten format.
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love PW
10. The DROOL WORTHY projects, photos, dresses (OMG), shoes, engagement rings…seriously jaw dropping. I’m jealous. WAY jealous, but super happy for you all. I do my best to copy the awesome stuff.
9. Twatwaffle. <3 you Carolina. I will NEVER call you by your actual name. In fact, you should probably change it on Facebook. ;)
8. As creative as I am, I would have had a totally cookie cutter wedding if I hadn’t stumbled upon PW while “planning” before either my FSIL or I were engaged. You’ve all given me constructive criticism (even when I didn’t want it or like what you had to say), “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed over my completed projects, and given me faith that my wedding will be gorgeous, especially when I couldn’t see it and thought it would look like my five year old cousin just completed a Fingerpaint Session. :P I will always appreciate your honesty and all of your help.
7. I went through kind of a dark period about 6 months ago, and Cassie & my old pink heart team sent me a gorgeous mirror and some words of positivity. I’ve got both in our room, and I look at them every once in a while. I’ll never forget that a simple kind message can really turn someone’s day around, and I appreciate you all going out of your way to brighten my day.
6. For a while, I thought the days of selflessness were a thing of the past…that is until I came here. When Cassie didn’t have a dress days before her wedding, some of you offered your dress to her. When Melissa’s bachelorette party fell through, some of you got together and threw her one. You started the “something borrowed” group and brides were able to have something that they may not be able to afford (and that something borrowed!). You started the gifting thread and GAVE girls dresses, veils, jewelry, shoes, etc. Your generosity has made me SO proud of you, and what you’ve given to your fellow brides means so much more to them than you could ever understand.
5. I have met some amazing women on here. Amazing. Seriously-freaking-amazing. There’s so many more than these three, but GBTG, Kalenalena, & Kristen Tater….you’re amazing and have gone above and beyond for me. I don’t think I could use the word enough about you (or in this paragraph).
4. The inspiration. Between Natasha & Chances posts, I need to have 10 weddings! It’s so hard to narrow everything down, but I feel like I’m going to have the best possible wedding due to all of you ladies and all of the inspiration you’ve given me.
3. You make my work day go by so much faster, even when I don’t get to post. I haven’t been posting much, but I’ve been reading a lot (especially in the baby group you recent BFPers…). I wish I still had all the time to post like I used to (and maybe this post would have come much sooner), but having a paycheck is quite nice!
2. The oldies. Thank you for (1) creating PW; (2) paving the way for the newbies; (3) sticking around and offering advice; (4) and keeping PW positive. PW wouldn’t be where it is without you girls!
1. And time for me to get sappy. I’m not the best at keeping friendships. But here, I feel like I belong. I’ve watched you girls have the best night ever when he finally popped the question…watched you plan your dream weddings…gawked over gorgeous photos (I’m looking at you LadyESQ)…celebrated with you when you got that BFP…cried with you when you when you received devastating news…and formed some fabulous memories with all of you. My wedding wouldn’t be what it is without you. My relationship/soon-to-be marriage wouldn’t be the same without you. I wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for being a HUGE part of my life over the past two years. And thank you for letting me be a part of your lives.
Here’s to another 10K…or 100K ;)
[I can’t wait to post this since I want to keep posting tonight, so I’ll add in John’s 2nd debut when he gets home!]
<3 you all!
Ashley aka AJ/ajfisher
Inspiration: Never in a million years would I thought of having getting ready outfits for me and the girls,
but after I saw K.Leah09's infamous picture, I knew I had to do it!
The Bride's Outfit: I bought a white long sleeve terry cloth sweatshirt from Old Navy. I'm having it embroidered on the lower back to say Mrs. Fisher (like jackieg's). I also DIY'ed tank tops for all of us that I bought from Walmart for $2 each and then bought iron-on crystals from crystaldesignsus. I'll wear black yoga pants, and my B.O.C. day lily sandals (in black)
here are a few photos of the details of my sweatshirt:
The bridesmaids' outfits: they will wear wear a similar outfit, but with a black sweatshirt, and either a
black/purple tank (depending on their role in the wedding). We're going to be so cute!!!
How I ended up choosing Maggie Sottero Jenna...with a twist
My aunt and I went dress shopping in Champaign while I was visiting for Christmas 2010, and I just wanted to try dresses on to show her...not really to buy anything. Well...that changed. We pulled several dresses - maggie, enzoani, essence of australia...and the second dress I tried on was Jenna by Maggie Sottero (same dress Alliesauce wore). [I kept saying "my friend Allie wore this dress!" when I was trying it on. haha!] I LOOOVED it. I tried on several others, but they were all missing something. Then I tried on Adorae, and I loved her, too. I was SO confused.
My consultant, named Jenna, suggested that we put the Jenna back on. So I did. Something was still missing. So we grabbed a black and champagne belt from the Essence of Australia dress I tried on (the one Chances likes). It was stunning. I kept saying I wanted the belt from the Enzoani Fabi dress though. I was able to try on the Enzoani Diana belt, but it was just too much. The Essence of Australia belt looked better, but it still wasn't right. So I suggested a black sash with everything from the Essence belt. We "simulated" it, and it was PERFECT!
My aunt kept saying "that's the one," and I asked her if she thought my dad would have liked it, and we both started crying. She said that she wanted to help us out and her and my uncle had already talked and decided that they were going to buy my dress. I was floored! So she bough my dress, a matching cathedral length (raw edge) veil, and the belt components to add to the dress. :) I was also able to ask her if she'd walk me down the aisle, too, and we both cried some more!
After we purchased her and got in the car, my aunt said that it was meant to be, because it was my dad's birthday, and we found it in the city where my parents met and were married (in December...28 years ago). :) I wish they both could have been here to see me!
Since my dress has a pretty long train (as shown below), I'm going to have a french bustle added. Sources: KaitiePuff & Faye0314 (both from weddingbee).
First fittings are generally an awful experience. You go in super excited to try on the dress, but it just doesn't look perfect. You can't picture the extra fabric gone or the dress bustled or the special additions in your head. Trust the seamstress. It'll be okay! Also, stick with your gut instinct. I wanted the danglies. The seamstress said it wouldn't look good. I'm going back to the danglies for my next fitting on August 25th. :) Can't wait to see her again!!
Much better. Sash is pinned on. 9 point french is done. Top taken in 3 inches on each side...and still not enough. So this isn't my final fitting. [forgot to take pictures at my final fitting, so you'll have to wait til wedding day!]
Makeup: I'm going for a natural lip and a smokey eye. That's what I normally wear, and I want to feel like myself on my wedding day, but glammed up a bit! :) Sources: Kohler44, TiffanyD, & RockMyWedding
Hair: For the ceremony, I'll be
wearing my hair half-up and curly, with a raw edge cathedral veil.
For the reception, I'll be wearing my hair in a side pony, with a hair flower purchased from PW's own Woskov's etsy shop, Fascinate Me. [The Brittany photo is my hair color, too!] [I can't remember the source of the 2nd photo]
I forgot my extensions for my trial, so the back isn't very full, but here are the photos!
I went with a little more pink of a lip because it went better with my skin tone, but I'm SUPER happy with the results!!
[Excuse the redness...result of my droid photos]
Products I used:
Brushes (from L-R): MAC #188, MAC #129, Sephora Professional #43, MAC #195, Sephora Professional #23, Sephora Professional #10, Sephora Professional #13, MAC #217, Sephora Professional #21, and Bare Escentuals Brow
Skincare routine: Philosophy Purity, Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash & Hope in a Jar SPF
Setting up the face canvas: Makeup Forever HD Liquid Foundation (115), Makeup Forever HD Duo Mat (200), Makeup Forever HD Concealer, Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, and Microfinish Powder from Makeup Forever HD
Contouring: Nars Blush Bronzer Trio (contains Orgasm Blush, Laguna Bronzing Powder, and Albatross Highlighter)
Eyes: Two Faced Natural Eye Shadow Collection, Sephora Highlight Shadow in Californian Blonde, Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara in Black, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Black and White, Anastasia Brow Gel, Makeup Forever Aqua Black Cream Eyeliner, Mac False Lashes #3, and Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Black
Brows: Anastasia Highlight Eyebrow Kit
Lips: Stila Yumberry Crush Lip Stain and Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Gloss in Sugar
Setting the makeup for the day: Urban Decay De Slick
I'm wearing Versace Bright Crystal on my big day! Love the scent!
I never understood why brides had to have more than one pair of shoes. Now I have 4.
...I finally understand. :)
Pair # 1: Black Paris Hilton Suarey (probably not wearing); Pair #2: Purple Badgley
Mischka Randall (ceremony shoes)
Pair #3: Grey Toms (reception shoes); Pair #4: Silver Nine West Escher (after party shoes)
I ordered plain black garters from HelloDesignCrew on Etsy and DIYed the flowers and bling!
After originally DIYing my wedding day jewerly, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the famous Haute Bride B628 bracelet & EC701 earrings! I got a great deal on both, so I didn't spend quite as much as retail price! I'm so excited to wear these on my wedding day!! They're SO gorgeous in person. :)
I purchased this gorgeous purple sweater from Nordstrom (just in case it gets cold)!
I hope I get some pictures like the lovely Mrs.ABC.to.be!
The ladies from L-R: Opal (Maid of Honor - friend from law school); Dana (Matron of Honor - SIL);
Kasi (Bridesmaid - friend from college); Elena (Bridesmaid - friend from college);
Monica (Bridesmaid - friend from law school); Stacy (Bridesmaid - friend from law school)
My very first DIY project was my Will You Be My Bridesmaid cards. I got the inspiration from oncewed. I absolutely LOVE how they turned out! I put them in cute bags with small candle votives that I etched with their initials. Everyone loved them!
If you want to make these yourself, check out my article here.
The bridesmaids are wearing 5957 with a black skirt and ivory top (shown on the left) - $156 through Pearl's Place. My MOH is wearing Jim Hjelm 5819 in black - $199 through Pearl's Place.. We were quoted $199 through Pearl's Place. Here's also a mockup of what it will look like in black.
They came in!!!
Here's my Matron of Honor trying on her dress! LOVE the back!
I went WAY overboard with the Bridesmaid gifts! But I love everything, and I hope the girls will, too. :)
Each girl will get:
- A navy striped tote bag from the knot with their
monogram in pink
- a personalized clutch from eclu on etsy
- a t-shirt from InkBoxDesign (they're sheer, so wear a tank under them!)
- a DIY bling tank and an embroidered black zip hoodie for getting ready
- a DIY custom hanger - the MOH's are purple, and the BMs are black
- A bottle of Midnight Pomegranate Shea Cashmere Hand Lotion from BBW
-haute bride earrings
- DIY bracelet for the wedding
- a DIY hair flower for the wedding
- a DIY monogrammed candle
- a monogrammed pocket mirror
- a purple pashmina
I'm making day of emergency kits for me and the girls. I bought these super cute bags at Michaels for dirt cheap, and then I'll fill each of them with items that we may need. The bride bag will actually house my touch up makeup, and the six bridesmaid bags will each be a different "kit":
6 Day of Emergency Kits (inspiration from tbabian):
- Fresh Breath Kit: mini toothbrush, mini toothpaste, mini scope, mini floss, mints, and gum
- Perfect Hair Kit: bobby pins, mini bottle of hairspray, mini comb, hair tie
- Spotless Dress Kit: tide pen, shout wipe, mini sewing kit, safety pins, mini fabric glue, lint brush, double sided tape
- Fresh Makeup Kit: blotting papers, mini lip gloss, pocket mirror (from gift), eyedrops, straws
- First Aid Kit: tampons, tylenol, tissue, band aids, tums, wet ones, blister relief, mini deodorant, lotion, hand sanitizer, baby powder, crackers, rubber bands, insect repellant, sunscreen, water, perfume
- Polished Nail Kit: file, polish, mini clippers, glue
Volume 1: 9/10/10 ~ 1 year out
One of my PW bff's, miriamrogers, sent me her powerpoint template and I edited it to fit our wedding [you're awesome, miriam!!]. I snail-mailed this issue to my girls, which was a HUGE mistake! I had it printed at Kinkos on Glossy Paper, double sided, in full color, and it cost me $48 dollars plus stamps for six copies!! They looked fabulous, but I will surely be emailing PDFs for future volumes!
In Volume 1, I did a brief intro to the newsletter, gave them the website information, printed pictures and info about each BM, put together all of their phone numbers and email addresses, gave them a tentative BM timeline over the next year, asked their opinions on a few things (hair & makeup, accommodations, spa day, etc.), covered the look and things they need to do, gave them a brief overview of our wedding plans and gave them my PW bio website info, and wrote a little thank you note.
I have the template for sale on my etsy shop! :)
I'll probably send one issue each month, but from here on out, all issues will be via e-mail!
Bridal Bouquet: My bouquet will be made with 60 dark purple double lisianthus blooms, and will be hand tied with black satin ribbon and exposed
stems. If it looks good, we're also going to use black feathers at the base of the bouquet.
Bridesmaids Bouquets: Each of the girls will carry a dozen white roses hand tied with black satin ribbon and exposed stems.
Update: Well, unfortunately, lisianthus isn't doing very well in the midwest this year, so my awesome florist/DOC came up with an alternative. I
believe she called them Moon Shine, but I'm not positive. They'll be wrapped with black and white striped ribbon.
Boutonnieres: Each of the guys will wear a dark purple double lisanthus boutonniere with 2-3 blooms. John's bout will have black feathers, as well, to make him stand out. :)
The Gentlemen from L to R: Greg (Best Man - John's fraternal twin brother); Jonathan (Groomsman - John's best friend from college); Ben (Groomsman - John's best friend from childhood); Brandon (Groomsman - John's friend from high school); Mike (Groomsman - John's friend from college); Andy (Groomsman - Ashley's cousin)
John is wearing a black multistripe suit by Michael Kors that we bought at Nordstrom. Greg, his best man, has the same suit, and the other boys were asked to purchase or rent a black, two button, double vent suit for the wedding. Most of the groomsmen are actually in both John and Greg (his twin brother)'s weddings, so it works out nicely! John will be wearing this David Donahue shirt with french cuffs and cufflinks and this black David Donahue textured stripe silk tie from Nordstrom. As part of the GMs gifts, we're purchasing a similar black Calvin Klein tie for them to wear for the wedding. John's shoes are Air Jefferson Oxfords with Nike Air Technology by Cole Haan.
The groomsmen aren't nearly as spoiled as the bridesmaids are, but here's what they're getting!
Each guy will get
- An Under Armor duffle embroidered with their name
- A pair of socks for the wedding
- a Calvin Klein tie for the wedding
I ordered these from Vistaprint! I absolutely LOVED them (just NOT the quality of these pictures)!! :)
I absolutely LOVED my DIY Save the Dates! I wish I could take all of the credit for this idea, but I can't. I originally saw this "tying the knot" idea on Martha Stewart Weddings, and then after researching it a little more, saw these Miss Duckling's STDs over on WeddingBee and these on a photographer's blog.
I created a mockup in powerpoint and emailed them to my trusty designer, Sarah Goff of Signatures by Sarah, since I don't have adobe creative suite and needed help with the graphic design. Once Sarah finished the design, I created the rest of the components, put them together, and had my future in-laws help me stuff them, address them, and mail them! :)
Components (and where to buy):
- Paper & Envelopes: ordered from The Paper Source (#1 baby black envelopes, A7 black envelopes, and luxe cream A7 note cards)
- Ribbon: punch ordered from The Paper Source and ribbon from Michaels
- Save the Date Rubber Stamp: ordered from The Paper Source & ink from Michaels
- Rounded Squeeze Punch: ordered from The Paper Source
- Embellishment on Envelope: Florish Stamp, Embossing Powder, & Embossing Tool from Michaels
- Wrap Around Labels: DIY - Powerpoint & 8.5x11 Avery Full Sheet Labels from Office Depot
- Envelope Liners: DIY - Envelope Liner Template from The Paper Source and Silver Wrapping Paper from Walmart
- Numbers: Punch from Amazon, luxe cream cover 8.5x11 paper from The Paper Source, stamp and ink from Michaels
- Magnets: ordered from Vistaprint
- Seals: ordered from Zazzle
- Glue: glue dots from Michaels and Elmers glue runner from Walmart
Here's our completed invitation suite! Designed by Signatures by Sarah!
Inspiration: We're going to be doing gable boxes for our OOT bags! My inspiration is JackieG's gorgeous gable box! Ours will be almost identical to these boxes (but white), but with our monogram.
Purchase Information: We are purchasing our gable boxes from mrtakeoutbags.com. [We chose the large white gable boxes ($.59/each - 100 to a case) (9" x 6" x 6"). I'm not sure we'll need all 100, so I probably will be selling the remainder.]
Contents: wedding weekend newsletter, chips, cookies, mints, water, local beer, fruit snacks, aleve packets, chocolates
Here's my rehearsal BOWquet made out of the bows from my bridal showers!
I'm DIYing petal programs to double as fans since our ceremony is outside at the beginning of September. I am SO excited for this project, even though I know it's going to take FOREVER!! Photo by Boucher Photography
Here are the proofs of the pages (designed by Sarah Goff):
Special thanks to jackieg for the In Remembrance wording!
While these are a nice touch for an outdoor wedding, I wouldn't do them again. They're a huge pain in the butt, as over half of them didn't line up properly. I love them, but they're just far too difficult to DIY. Labels designed by Sarah Goff.
Our reserved signs for the ceremony (printed on white shimmer paper) - they'll be tied to the back of the chairs.
Designed by Sarah Goff.
When I first laid eyes on you at the Gries front desk six years ago, I knew you were something special. I just had absolutely no idea what God had in store for us. Fast forward a few years, to that cold day in February 2009. We were standing in the atrium at Barnes, and I just couldn't deal with talking to anyone about what was going on with my mom, so you talked to my family. But it was when you were talking to your dad. I don't think that you knew I was watching or that I could hear you, but you got all choked up. That's when I knew, without a doubt, that you would be my husband.
I have waited my entire life for you. I’ve dreamed about having someone as wonderful as you love me the way that you do. You have been my best friend, my mentor, my confidant, and sometimes, my greatest challenge. But most importantly, you are the love of my life and you make me happier than I could ever imagine and more loved than I ever thought possible.
With you, I’m completely alive. You make me laugh, you let me cry, you pick me up when I fall apart, you provide a safe place for me, and you teach me how to love. You have inspired me to be a better person. I am truly blessed to call you my husband.
I promise to always appreciate how lucky I am, and I promise to always strive to make you feel as special as you make me feel. I promise to always work at our love and make our marriage my number one priority. I promise to be your partner in all things. I promise to encourage and support your hopes and dreams, as they are now my hopes and dreams. I promise to cherish you, respect you, be faithful to you, and always be truthful with you. I promise to be kind, patient, and forgiving. When we are faced with challenge, I promise to stand by you and uplift you, so that we can accomplish more than we could alone. I promise to celebrate the joys of life with you. Above all else, I promise to love you for all the days of my life.
Our reader cards (designed by Sarah Goff)
Our two readings are 1 Corinthians 13 and Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda.
My SIL had this candle made for us from our wedding invitation. It's a soy candle, so it burns straight down, and the woman who made it will refill it throughout the life of the candle. It's pretty cool! The tapers were purple metallic tapers from Michaels.
We ordered our guestbook quilt from The Younique Boutique! We were able to add 9 of our favorite engagement photos to the black & white quilt, and also received 4 fabric pens with our order. I found a coupon online for 10% off, so don't forget to check retailmenot before you order for the current coupon code! It's expensive (~$170), but worth it!!
It came in!!!! I am SO happy with it!! Sarah, of course, designed the guestbook sign. :)
And here are the 9 photos we selected for the quilt (the first one is the center):
I made my cardbox at the very beginning of our engagement, but I hated the way it looked. After I had some practice
making these for etsy clients, I redid my cardbox. Here it is!! It spins! :D
Our reception will be held at our pastor's estate under a white tent. We're going for a super-romantic feel with a LOT of candles!
Globe Lights: I purchased a TON of these for our reception! It's one of my favorite purchases so far!
Candles: I love me some candlelight. There I said it. There's going to be a TON of candles at our wedding. We're also going to make several luminaries and have candles all over the place! I cannot wait to see the romantic effect the candles will have! :)
Reality: I purchased my vases, sand, & branches from Michaels. I DIYed the cards & wrote the names by hand. Here's the result!!
Inspiration: We're using crystal manzanita tree/branches! We're using three trees divided up between A-I, J-R, and S-Z. Crystals from KCbride's bio. Tree photos from jenndover (and fenwick photography).
Setup Inspiration from Cayann32 & Meeshmosh
I finally convinced FI to have a sweetheart table so that our Bridal Party can sit with their families (and so that we can enjoy a little alone time). I fell in love with this stunning black and white look that our very own Kristeen put together. Of course, our table will be bigger! ;) We're using a 48 inch round table.
Unfortunately, the linen is $225 to rent [yeah...for ONE!] (not including shipping), so I'm in the process of coming up with an alternative. Hopefully I can make this happen, because I am head over heels in LOVE with this look! It's perfect! Update! I found a replacement linen! I actually found the exact linen as pictured above for only 80 bucks, but you had to buy 10. So instead, I got this gorgeous linen from CV Linens. I'm so excited about it!
For the actual decoration on the table, the look we're going for is something like this:
The pink flowers will actually be the six bridesmaid bouquets in vases. For my bouquet, I purchased a bling pillar candle holder and a smaller glass cylinder vase to go inside. I'll be putting a battery tealight under the glass cylinder vase and water inside of it. :) I also have six bling votives and purple chargers for us!
All courtesy of my friend (and PW resident graphic design guru), Sarah Goff. Placed in Ikea Tolsby Frames. Love them! :)
Printed & In the frames!!
No clanking glasses for us!! I hope this goes over well! Designed by Sarah Goff.
Since we're doing a quilt guestbook, I didn't want to miss out on hearing our guests' advice!! Sarah created these 10 advice cards for me, and then I put them in these envelopes for our guests to fill out. Two envelopes will be placed on each table for the guests to fill out. I also got these awesome custom pens from vistaprint for the guests to use!
Update: the advice we got was HILARIOUS. Definitely happy we did this! :)
This was John's first DIY project as the lead!
We printed our trivia squares and used modge podge to decopauge the squares onto 4x4 tiles! Each guest will get a different one of the 10 to use as a coaster AND to break the ice if they don't know people at their table! :)
I don't have any pictures of the proofs before final edits, but here are the earlier versions:
Not bad for $1.99 each! I engraved them by hand with the monogram that Sarah designed for us. :)
I haven't decided yet how to decorate the bar, but there will be two of these "last call" signs:
Easiest (and super adorable) DIY ever! Flags designed by Sarah Goff.
I DIYed my caketopper purchased from Crafty Eddy using 10ss amethyst hotfix crystals from island*girl*crystal and Black Krylon Paint. I wrote an article with instructions here. Before and After pictures:
I bought five silver opulent treasures cupcake and cake stands and a bunch of apothecary jars from Hobby Lobby for 50%
I am IN LOVE with jjpeng's setup! Photo by Jen Skog.
Sarah Goff created these adorable tags and this candy buffet sign for me, too. :)
For our favors, we're going to be making a donation in our guests' honor. We are making DIY tokens and giving each of our guests (children included) three tokens worth $1 each. Each guest will be able to choose which of the three charities they want their donation to go towards. They'll have the option to give all three tokens to one charity or split them up among the three charities.
Photos courtesy of Jaryce21
We ended up choosing these three wonderful charities:
Each guest will get one of these favor packets at their place setting with instructions on what to do:
I found these pashminas at FashionUnic for a steal! I bought 22 (7 for my bridesmaids and me) and 15 (5 of each color) for my lady guests, and including shipping, only paid right over $92 dollars! The checkout online is weird, so if you have questions, PM me!
Our tags were designed by Sarah Goff. I printed them on white metallic cardstock, rounded the corners, added an eyelet, and tied them onto the pashminas with 3/4" black ribbon before tossing them into a cute black and white basket.
We ordered 25 pairs of flip flops in our colors from Old Navy and had Signatures by Sarah create custom size tags. I printed them on white shimmer paper, backed
them with black shimmer paper, added an eyelet with my crop-a-dile, tied the tags to the flip flops with 1/8" black ribbon, and tied the pairs together with 3/4" black ribbon. Here's the finished product!!
Size 6: 3 pairs
Size 7: 7 pairs
Size 8: 7 pairs
Size 9: 5 pairs
Size 10: 3 pairs
I went a LITTLE overboard with the bathroom baskets, but we're going to donate the remaining
contents to our pastor's church after the wedding, so I don't feel as bad...
Contents of the basket (the men's basket has a little less):
Secret areosol deoderant, Q-tips, First aid kit, Nail kit, Lint roller, Bobby Pins, Hair ties, Tampons (variety), Liners (variety), Lotion, Hand Sanitzier, Makeup remover wipes, Wisp toothbrushes, Wet ones, Tide to Go, Shout wipes, Kleenex, Midol, Ibuprofen, Brush, Cotton balls, Blotting tissue, Toothpicks, Fabreeze, Mouthwash, Body Spray, Breath Freshener, Static Guard, Hairspray, Hair gel, Baby Powder, Nail Glue, Tums, Advil, Aleve, Gum, Clear Nail, Polish, Floss, Visine, Chapstick, Altoids, Friction Block, Sewing Kit, Double sided tape, Bandaids, & Safety pins
Bathroom Basket Sign (Designed By Sarah Goff)
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard!!! We're ordering 100 cups of this St. Louis Staple mixed between Chocolate, Vanilla, & Strawberry.
I love our Do Not Disturb door hangers designed by Sarah Goff! Each OOT guest will receive one,
and then we'll also have extras at the reception.
Love this!! Designed by Sarah Goff.
I finally chose my wedding night lingerie! I purchased my white Lacie Bustle-Back Slip and Lacie Bride Thong from
Victoria's Secret during the semi-annual sale! :)
Serenade of the Seas - Royal Caribbean
We are sooooo excited for our honeymoon! We threw around a lot of ideas, but decided that Europe needed to wait so that we could do it right, Hawaii just didn't seem right, and all-inclusives are nice, but we just don't love them as much as cruises. We love seeing a bunch of different places, eating lots of food, and relaxing. That's why we ended up choosing our Caribbean Cruise!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
We will be flying from St. Louis to San Juan, Puerto Rico at 6am on Sunday, September 11. We'll enjoy the day in San Juan and have a nice dinner before boarding the Serenade of the Seas for a 7 night cruise!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Castries, St. Lucia
Thursday, September 15, 2011
St. Johns, Antigua
Friday, September 16, 2011
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
Saturday, September 17, 2011
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Sunday, September 18, 2011 - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
2 nights at the Ritz Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, then flying back to St. Louis on Tuesday evening!
I had our very own Chest173 create this artwork piece for me! It's pieces of cut paper that depict the
St. Louis Skyline and the Arch where John proposed.
Then I had Sarah Goff create these for me:
They're the ten letters from the proposal! I'm having it custom framed and giving it to him at the rehearsal! :)
Seating of the Guests:
- Arioso (Bach)
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, Allegro (Bach)
- Pathetique Sonata, Adagio (Beethoven)
- Intermezzo (Bizet)
- String Quintet, Minuet (Boccherini)
- Waltz in a Flat (Brahms)
- Claire de Lune (Debussy)
- Pastoral Symphony (Handel)
- Water Music, Hornpipe (Handel)
- Meditation (Massenet)
- Bacarolle (Offenbach)
- Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Rachmaninov)
- The Swan (Saint-Saens)
- Trumpet Concerto in D, Allegro (Telemann)
- Guitar Concerto in D Major, Largo (Vivaldi)
Processional of the Bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Prayer: The Lord's Prayer (Solo by Lisa Rothauser)
Unity Ceremony Solo: At Last (Solo by Lisa Rothauser)
Played by the pool:
- You Are The Best Thing (Ray LaMontagne)
- Question (Old 97's)
- Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
- You Are So Beautiful (Joe Cocker)
- Can't Help Falling in Love (Michael Buble)
- Feels Like Home (Chantal Kreviazuk)
- Let It Be Me (Ray LaMontagne)
- Home (Michael Buble)
- Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)
- When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
- You Don't Know Me (Michael Buble)
- The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
- L-O-V-E (Nat "King" Cole)
- Stand By Me (Otis Redding)
- How Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
- It Had to Be You (Frank Sinatra)
- My Girl (The Temptations)
- Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
- Come Fly With Me (Michael Buble)
- Let's Stay Together (Al Green)
Introductions: Forever (Chris Brown)
First Dance: To Make You Feel My Love (Garth Brooks)
Slideshow: Marry Me (Train) & True Companion (Marc Cohn)
Cake Cutting: Grow Old With You (Stephen Lynch)
Couple's Dance: Have I Told You Lately (Rod Stewart)
Bouquet Toss: Mix between Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison) & Single Ladies (Beyonce)
Garter Toss: Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
Bridesmaid/Groomsmen Contest: Footloose (Kenny Loggins)
Limbo Contest: Limbo Rock (Chubby Checker)
Groomsmen Special Dance: Ice, Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)
Last Dance with the Guests: Dirty Bit (Black Eyed Peas)
Bride & Groom Last Dance: Must Be Doing Something Right (Billy Currington)
My wedding wouldn't be what it is without PW girls, past and present.
I wanted to put this page together so you could all see who inspired me during
this amazing, but stressful, process we call wedding planning. :)
Pre-Planning Stage: The PW Vets
Kohler44 - Kristeen - MommyLynda - HolyMolyMatrimony - its.nicsknack - beatie - tbabian - kristinkay - GoingToBeGoff -
d1rtymart1n1 - theprincessbride - wildfirej29 - WhitneyWoods2B - MountainBride - puzzlepiece - lingy - jackieg - starg8zer -
gatorbride - CalJax - yelppuppy - genae - WMforever - Sparkle060509 - ShellS - MizBiz - midnyteblue110609 - emeraldlover - amiller - lovestruck - thechicbride - birthdaybride -
Early Planning Stage: More PW Vets
Katierose0324 - 38chi - clightner - miss_em2010 - JohnsGirl0310 - 2bemanning013010 - ilcoyotekait - pinkpan - rae32 -
starbux -Tovaqt - K.Leah09 - Adlergray - Bocaestupida - mydreamring - melly1588
In the thick of the planning: My PW Mentors
hurleygrl135 - rock.star - slashimoto - kaytana17 - abglane - mrs.ABC.to.be - misshammy - MeeshMosh - al0626 -
plumcrush01 - laurasweet - LuckysBride - YaryandAlex - Mrs.KC - Jaryce21 - alliesauce - DreaminBride - jjpeng - pwani20 - THJ2010 - Aroma - missdoxxy - starsong - woskov - miss._nat - shenanigans - as4968 - blustarfruit - milkgal - Heidsmu33 -
dish0814 - jasminealaine - snufflesgal2010 - bridezilla101610 - miriamrogers - *slm* - dreaday - girllygirll - avanna -
chest173 - jenndover - WorstTwinEver15 - labrumwedding - missbliss - pinksanity - cassandrajl - slinn2b - holidayjones -
mabv812 - redwhitebride - ladyhope - NYC.bride - floydh2 - mariajaeg - linzee - kebel_83 - joandcompany - brittabee - krismoxie13 - whit.love - moffy - vheartsm - lalubell - tassie - murphnomore - cheekymar - par228 - calli - savannahbride - ms.sc - sabbysarah - gammagirl -
My PW Troops...Planning Right Beside Me (and Inspiring Me)
Jennifer25 - thenewmrs.elepano - lex484 - ajbevents85 - erin.leigh - haleighb - kcollette - hisblueyedoll - inspiritedbeing -
Natasha118 - kalenalena - MrzLemUS - fromcoldtofire - ms.griffin - hottiebun - mainebride - aswan87 - akbridehi - mymadell - mistya0730 - kcbride050711 - pinktulip - futuremrsg2011 - sunnydbride - kirabugg - ilovemydog - aklovesmc - msdl - miss_jules - legentry - hiddengrace - kristen_tater - nubianqueen - thegirlnextdoor - patches66 - beebees - MrsAmandaKurtz