(What these pictures *don't* show is that I was on crutches during the photo shoot as I just had my ACL surgery on my left knee less than a week before this - thank goodness for airbrushing those surgical bandages! The show must go on!)
FI had my engagement ring completely custom designed for me (us!) - I even have the sketches and autocad drawings! It means a ton that he would go to such effort for me, and I am in love with this ring! He even had our soon-to-be last name and two sapphires placed inside the band. It's just perfect.
My FI designed these with our subtle ocean theme in mind...he got the design from iphoto and then customized it with the text and sandwriting. He ordered the design on a 4"x4" square magnet with rounded corners (custom request apparently) from magnetstreet.com. We received lots of compliments on them - I was just thrilled to have him be a part of everything! :-)
We mailed these in silver metallic envelopes, with a sand dollar double punch on the back flap. This ended up being highly frustrating. The USPS is a hot mess and their machines scanned half of the envelopes backwards and sent them back to me (we're talking 50+ STDs). And of course they ripped out the sand dollar punch in the process. I was irate, but at least I could reuse the custom stamp since it hadn't been marked, due to their error.
I thought I'd do something completely different for our Rehearsal Dinner. I wanted to feel like I was planning a completely separate event with a different atmosphere. So black and white damask and hot pink is what we ended up using at our venue.
Our Rehearsal Dinner was held at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant in Midtown, Atlanta, GA. We had the upstairs private dining room and bar all to ourselves. It was a great time!
Our colors are royal blue, silver, and ivory. This decision took me for. ev. er. My FI and I absolutely love all shades of blue and I had it narrowed down to royal or more of a dark teal. I know the blue/silver combo is kinda wintery (the wedding is in June), but then I decided not to care. But then the blue flowers (which pretty much come in only one shade) pretty much clashed with the teal so the decision was made. The ivory is part of the plan due to some non-negotiables: some of the linens at our venue, and more importantly The Dress.
I designed something simple. We'll take the background "R" out for the invitations and programs, but include it for everything after the ceremony for once we both officially have the "R" last name! Can't wait! :-)
I am getting married in 90 days or so. Three weeks ago I tore my ACL (and numerous other things in my knee) skiing. So I can't walk right now and need surgery before my wedding. Awesome, huh?
But I am busting my behind to get back in fighting shape because I plan on wearing TWO pairs of 4 inch heels at my wedding, and will walk and dance on my own! These shoes are helping me with my motivation and I can't wait to wear them!
Yes, I'm wearing two pairs of shoes. And yes, I'm wearing blue ones too!
Update 3/22: I think the ivory ones are going BACK! I just love the blue ones too much, they're easier to slip on, and I'd probably never wear the ivory ones again anyway. So one pair it is!
I hated this part. Do you realize how expensive bridesmaid dresses have become? I couldn't believe it. I've been in 6 or 7 weddings myself, and granted it's been awhile, but how can I expect my closest girlfriends to spend several hundred dollars on a dress after springing for airfare, hotel rooms, etc.? I just can't do it. Plus, with them spread out all over the country I needed a store they all could easily get to. So David's Bridal it is.
I also wanted to try my best for each of my five girls to wear a dress they liked, so I asked them to pick out any dress from DB that was knee length or shorter, and comes in "horizon", the darkish-royal blue color. I am thrilled at what they each chose (and a couple had similar taste so we ended up with only 3 styles for the 5). They can add whatever strappy silver heels they may already have.
vitations, Menus, Programs, Labels, Signs
Stamps (Outer envelopes): Zazzle.com
Stamps (Response & outer envelopes): USPS.com
Card Stock (Invitations, Insert Cards, Response Cards): Paperandmore.com in Bright White Linen Card Stock 80#
Envelopes (Outer): Cardsandpockets.com in 6.5" Sparkling Sapphire
Envelopes (Response):Cardsandpockets.com in 3 5/8" x 5 1/8" Silver Metallic
Pocketfolds: Paperandmore.com in 6.25" Himalaya Silver Metallic
Mat Paper (behind invitation and monogram): Michaels stores (or Gartner.com) Letter Paper Pack in Buckle
Ribbon (around pocket fold): Lingsmoment.com via eBay in Millennium Silver
Brads (on top of invitation): Formal-invitations.com in Silver Sand Dollar design
Stamp & Ink (Return address): Rubberstamps.net & Silver Metallic Ink
Embosser & Foil Stickers (Outer Envelope): wgpress.com
Menus & Programs
These labels went on each of the 3 bags included in the hotel gift totes:
I designed these to go on the Coke & Diet Coke bottles to make them a little more "wedding" relevant:
Favor tin labels:
I had the initial intention of making paper signs for the parents, and use wood plaques and letters to make the Bride and Groom signs. After this DIY project was good and finished, the wood letters spontaneous jumped off the plaques one by one, almost pushing me over the edge because of course it happened within days of leaving for the wedding, when they had been completed for months. So all signs were paper and ribbon. :-)
I set out a couple trays of sand with sand dollar magnets on the entrance table. The sand dollars had our names and the wedding date written on them with silver pen, and then blue and white name cards for each guest were tied with blue satin ribbon and included their table name.
I wanted to make whatever favors we gave to everyone to at least be fully consumable (aka edible) or reusable. This worked in a couple places, but there were some things I couldn't make work whether due to the additional cost or just the practicality.
Each guest had a silver tin at their seat, and within the tin was a CD of our favorite songs (yep, I know, so controversial) and two of Grandma LuLu's fantastic lemon zest sand dollar cookies. We ordered more cookies than needed, but not a single one went to waste! I used two different label designs because I couldn't decide between the two I narrowed it down to, and then tied long blue satin ribbons around the edge of the tins into a big hanging bow.
The hotel bags were fun to put together. I ordered blue fabric tote bags, then filled them with Coke, Diet Coke, and Dasani bottles (the wedding is in Atlanta, the Coke capital of the world). I also had 2 types of our favorite snacks - Monster Mix (from Target) and Peanut (and plain) M&Ms in our colors. I couldn't find a place to order the peanut M&Ms in specific colors ANYWHERE - thank goodness (?) my fiance went to Vegas for his bachelor party and trucked back 20 lbs of blue and silver M&Ms from M&M World on the Strip. I also put a CFL lightbulb in each bag to spread some extra "green" to our guests. I made labels for ALL of these things - look closely to the pictures! I also made a Welcome packet that included a letter to our guests, a packet of our personalized matches, and a packet of Advil (just in case!).
And we can't forget the flip flop basket!
I saw there were a lot of cute ideas out there for a card box, but none quite felt right. I also thought this would be a fun thing to keep long after the wedding for practical everyday use - and of course, a fun reminder of a fantastic day. I found a great beach-themed box with a magnetic closure, and just added simple silver lettering. Perfect!
I ended up with a couple options on flowers. I enlisted a florist, Southern Bouquets, to take care of our altar bouquets, my bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, and the guys and parents' flowers. I originally had her quote roses for centerpieces, but when she wanted $55-65 per TABLE, just for the flowers, I decided to take the centerpieces into my own hands.
So I ordered flowers from SB, requesting ivory roses collared by blue delphinium for my bouquet, with blue hydrangea for the bridesmaids. Then the bouquets were giant arrangements of hydrangea and delphinium. Everything turned out gorgeous (though hydrangea and delphinium are not excited about hot weather) and I received so many compliments.
I ordered the ivory roses for my pave centerpieces from www.globalroses.com. This was a great decision, but I could not have accomplished all that I did the week before the wedding without my sister, who graciously de-thorned all the roses for me, as well as several of my fantastic girlfriends who did all the arranging of the pave roses for the reception.
I also order hot pink long-stemmed roses from Global Roses for the Rehearsal Dinner, and then my sister casually arranged those in tall glass cylinder vases. They looked gorgeous.
I did a dozen mock-ups of these on my dining room table, and finally decided on one option. I arranged three different size/shape glass vases in the center of the table. One had sand and an ivory pillar candle, one had ivory pave roses with the table name and ribbon around the outside, and one had blue sea glass and white starfish. I made black and white pictures of Chris and I from all our travels around the world and added the city names to them, and put them in blue frames to also hold the table name so it was visible from either side of the table. The venue provided additional votives. I used royal blue table overlays (the venue provided ivory tablecloths underneath) and royal blue chair ties.
We had the most fantastic food at our reception. Unfortunately, I was too busy to get to try all of it, but at least I had the tasting experience! We got nothing but rave reviews!
We did buffet stations because we didn't want people to a) have to stand in one long line, and b) get served anything they didn't want.
We served (cut + pasted from the menus I made) :
Herb-Crusted Prime Rib
Maple Glazed Ham
Spinach Salad with strawberries, Mandarin oranges, feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette
Jumbo Steamed Shrimp with Cajun seasonings, served with cocktail sauce
Pan Seared Scallops with sauteed garlic and spinach with a roasted pepper cream sauce
Steamed King Crab Legs with clarified butter and cocktail sauce
Steamed Clams in a white wine and garlic broth
Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes with assorted cheeses, chives, sour cream, salsa, sweet butter, and bacon
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with cinnamon and brown sugar
Our cake was made by the wonderful and talented Ramona, from Unforgettable Wedding Cake / Perfect Wedding Cake. Her consultation was miles above all the others we experienced, and her cake tastes delicious. As you can see, none was left. We can't wait to eat the top tier next year on our anniversary! In one of the photos you can see the flavors of the cake, which alternated by tier (and with less chocolate on the tier we'd be cutting to avoid chocolate on the white dress).
Thanks to the excessive travel needed for both my career as well as my FI's career, we are full of travel points and miles. SO we said, "Where can we go that Continental's Partners can fly where Hilton has a hotel?" Our answer:
We will be leaving the morning after the wedding, where we will be spending 10 days and 9 nights (not including the 2 days it will take to get there and back each way!) at the Conrad Hotel & Resort in Bali. It will be a long flight, but as we have booked First Class tickets (all with airline miles!) on Singapore Airlines, I am actually looking forward to that part too!!!
I LOVE my bridesmaids, so I wanted to give them some fun things that were also useful and practical.
I ordered black canvas totes with black and white damask on the inside, and their first initial on the outside (in the color they used at their own weddings (and for my sister, used her fave color purple). Inside these bags were a spa set that included a white terrycloth robe, a white terrycloth hair towel, a white terrycloth body wrap, a loofah, an eye mask, and a bath mitt.
I also included the necklace they would be wearing for the wedding, which was an ocean blue-green Swarovski crystal pendant on a silver chain, ordered from CuteJewels on Etsy.
The following items are available for sale:
Glass Cube (6") Vases SOLD!
Glass Cube (5") Vases SOLD!
Glass Cylinder Vases SOLD!
Square Satin Table Overlays SOLD!
Satin Sashes/Chair Ties SOLD!
Silver Favor Tins SOLD!
Damask Table Runners SOLD!
Glass Jars with Locking Lid SOLD!
Color: Dark blue (not quite navy)
Dimensions: 3" x 5"
Quantity Available: 16
Condition: Like new (we used these for table "numbers")
Price: (Paid $4 each) $1 each + shipping (or pickup in Houston, TX)