First Look at Botanical Gardens
**Please Add me to see my full bio** :)
My name is Shanna and I am 23 years old. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. GO PACK GO! Yes, I am a Packer fan :) I love to travel and enjoy working out, watching movies, cuddling with the fiance, doing crafts & home decorating... I'm very addicted to HGTV and PW! I am currently in Beijing, China teaching English & developing curriculum with the FI. We're living with his parents until June when we come back for the wedding (YES I AM PLANNING A WEDDING FROM ACROSS THE WORLD... imagine trying to call vendors with a 13 hour time difference). I will teach 2nd grade next year at an International School in southern China. I am super excited for all that is coming up!! :)
Kurt is 23 years old and will teach 3rd grade teacher at the same International School in China this fall. He loves tinkering with things (he built his own computer), he loves wake-boarding, biking, traveling (he's been to WAY more countries than I have), watching movies, and I think it's also safe to say he loves cuddling with me too- haha! Kurt has a much more exciting exotic life than me. He was born in Cortez, CO and moved to Beijing, China when he was going into 3rd grade. Both his parents are teachers so they decided they would try something new and teach in another country. So, Kurt grew up in China attending the International School of Beijing, so all of his friends are from all around the world. He even lived in Saudi Arabia for one year (7th grade). When Kurt and his family would come back to the U.S. for summers they took road trips around the U.S. His dad's family is from Michigan, and his mom's from Kansas so somehow they ended up staying "up north" in Minocqua, WI, somewhere along the way which leads into how we met....
Since Kurt lived overseas and was only in Wisconsin for 6 weeks out of the year, it was difficult for him to find a summer job like everyone else in high school. He started bringing fresh water cultured pearls back from China to Wisconsin and started selling them at the Flea Market. I also happened to go up north (P.S. up north means northern WI for those of you who are wondering where in the world up north is!) every summer since middle school.
Summer of 2007, (going into soph. year of college) I was up north with my best friend Laura. We always went to the Flea Market every single summer. We were shopping and I stumbled across Kurt's pearl booth and stopped to look at the jewelry. I immediately noticed Kurt and thought he was super cute! Finally we started talking and he invited my friend Laura and I to go boating at his place. A couple days later we went, Kurt and I had instant chemistry and were flirting the whole time!! The problem was I had a boyfriend (tsk, tsk) and Kurt had a girlfriend! He also went to Michigan State which was about a 8-9 hour drive from Green Bay where I went to college.
We had a fun couple of days and then he left to study abroad in Australia for the semester. We kept in touch while he was in Australia, he broke up with his girlfriend and I broke up with my boyfriend. We kept joking that we should meet up, etc. In February, he texted me telling me he was in the hospital because of something with his heart (he jokes to this day that he went for the sympathy text-HA!).
Kurt convinced me to come visit him at Michigan State...so during my spring break I dragged my best friend along to visit Kurt and drive the 8 hours. NOTE: everyone thought I was CRAZY since Kurt and I had met the summer before and only seen each other a handful of times. It went SO well and the next of me visiting him we started dating. While I was visiting, Kurt's parents suggested he should ask me if I want to go back to China with him for a couple of weeks that coming summer. So, he asked me casually at a party after we both had been drinking and of course I agreed, I mean who wouldn't want to visit China?! It was fun interesting explaining to my family and friends that I had a boyfriend and that I was going to China with him in a month or so... haha. I'm pretty sure people thought I went off the deep end.
Anyways....from then until now, he ended up transferring to my college and here we are over three years later, graduated from college and both teachers and getting married in
June... could it get any better?! :)
When I woke up on August 23rd, Kurt had brought me breakfast. While I was eating, he told me he had the car all packed and that we were going to Door County for the night. I was beyond excited because I LOVE Door County. For those of you know don't know, Door County is a huge tourist spot in Wisconsin... it is so beautiful and romantic. When we arrived, we went to lunch at a restaurant called Shiprwrecked (The building was built in the 1800's. It also happened to be one of Al Capone's favorite hideouts.)
After lunch, we went kayaking for two hours and the weather could not have been more perfect and calm for our little adventure. Later on, we went on a bike ride, and swam in Lake Michigan. At night, we went to a drive in movie, one of our favorite Door County traditions. We closed the perfect night with a nice fire before bedtime!
I obviously was a bit suspicious of this surprise trip... thinking it would be such a perfect place to propose since Kurt and I have gone there together for special mini-vacations. However, no proposal happened that night, so I figured it wasn't going to happen since we were leaving the next day. The next morning, we packed up the car and Kurt asked if I wanted to bike to the lighthouse before we left. I agreed, and it was a beautiful bike ride through the wooded trails. When we arrived to the lighthouse, it was a lot busier than we anticipated. We were sitting on a bench when Kurt asked if I wanted to see the other side of the lighthouse (which was very private). We walked over and stood in front of the 1800's lighthouse facing lake Michigan. Kurt began saying all of these amazing things about me and our relationship. He kissed me on the cheek and then bent down. When I looked down, he was on one knee holding a grey box with a beautiful ring and asked, "Shanna, will you marry me?" I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I started to cry a little bit and I said- "Oh my god! Are you serious?!" He replied, "yes!" and I said "OF COURSE!" I felt so excited and over the moon that I will get to marry my best friend in the whole world and get to be Mrs. Callahan! :)
Where he proposed :)
We are getting having our ceremony & reception at Badger Farms in Madison, WI! For our ceremony we will be getting married outside, overlooking the field and the reception will follow in the 1920's remodeled barn. We are so excited to do something different and we scored it for an awesome price!
Inside the Barn (3 stories!)
We're going to get married in front of that tree outside the barn.
Our colors Shades of Teal, Coral, Yellow/Mustard, Burlap
Kara Counard took our beautiful engagement pictures. She did an awesome job and we had a blast. We decided we wanted something more fun and colorful so we decided to take them at Bay Park Beach (a mini-amusement park) in Green Bay WI. If you use any of these, please make sure to give Kara Counard of Bloom Photography credit :)
This might be my favorite!
Since I'm currently in China, I don't have mine here with me,so I just have this picture that someone took of ours when they got it in the mail.
I got the template for free off of Wedding Chicks found here
They were super easy to do! I just bought the paper of Paper Source and used our Epson printer to print them. I used Photoshop to add our wedding website & for the addresses.
These are the ones off the Wedding Chicks website
UPDATE: Here are the replica dresses I had made for the girls in Beijing. They turned out beauitful and the attention to detail is amazing! They only cost $50.00 each.
(Sorry I don't know why it goes on it side when I upload it!)
So I completely changed my mind about my dresses. Initially, the girls got to choose their own yellow dress. As the girls bought their dresses, I realized that I messed up because we had too many patterns going on and I wasn't feeling it.
Luckily no one spent much on their dresses and not everyone had even bought them so after much searching, I am getting their dresses made here in Beijing for them! They sent me their measurements and they are being made as we speak. They are similar to the Anthropologie Olive Shift Dress (I'm in love with this dress... I want one for myself!) It retailed for 150.00 and their dresses are being hand made and costing about $50.00 each. I'll post pictures when I pick them up from the tailors!
Anthro. Olive Shift Dress:
Tan/Beige Neutral Dresses
....with cardigans! :)
I love the dress my FMIL ordered. It's from Nordstrom and goes perfectly with our color scheme & is very summery!
I knew flowers were expensive, but I had no idea how flipping expensive they are until I started calling/emailing places a month or so ago. I finally found an awesome and affordable vendor! She's letting me drop off my mason jars (I've been collecting over the last year or so) and I will have to pick them up the day/night before the wedding. I didn't want to pay to have them arranged and she re-assured me that they would be cold enough.
I want something loose, gardening, rustic for my bouquet & the bridesmaids :)
P.S. I LOVE billy balls (those are a must in my bouquet)
Photo credit: Cameron Ingalls Photography
I want something similar to this, but with raffia instead of ribbon tied high.
Photo from Mrs.ABC.to.be's bio
Photo Credit: Eliesa Johnson, Tom De Bruyn & Ryan Ferguson of photogen-inc.com
The dads, uncles, grandpas will wear something similar to this for their bouts!
Both the FI & I aren't huge fans of cake. I absolutely LOVE ice cream cake so at first we were thinking we could have ice cream bars or something, but then it's the matter of having enough freezer space, transporting them, the list goes on. We finally decided on doing a Pie Bar which we're very excited about- YUMMY YUMMY IN OUR TUMMIES! It will go perfect with our rustic/barn theme...We'll have about 12 different kinds of pies (sliced in small pieces) so the guests can try more than one...with vanilla ice cream of course!)
Our flavors will be:
Bumble (apple strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
Peanut Butter Cup
Caramel Apple Pecan
Blueberry Peach Crumb
Door County Cherry
PIE BAR INSPIRATION:
Photo found at: Love & Lavender
Photo found at: Green Wedding Shoes
Here's our adorable pie topper that we got from etsy seller OrangeCrushSeattle:
I will be having my make-up done and want a dewy, natural glow, with smokey eyes and nude lips.
UPDATE: My previous dress got ruined when I got it altered a week and a half before the wedding. Long story short... I ended up going to David's Bridal with my sister (MOH) and found my dress. I bought a Galina and I was in LOVE. I also got a sash from JCrew instead of the one that came with it. I'm convinced everything happens for a reason because I LOVE LOVE my dress...
I scored. And when I mean scored, I did BIG TIME! I did not want to spend a lot of money on a wedding dress that I would wear just one time. At the same time, I didn't want to sacrifice quality/style just so I could say I got a good deal. Initially, I ordered a custom dress of Ebay from China for 100.00. I was so excited when I came in the mail, I tried it on and I absolutely hated it. It actually was done quite well, but it just was not for me!
Then... I was browsing online and I saw a wedding dress at J.C. Penny's marked down for 64.99. I couldn't believe it... a wedding dress for 65.00?!!? I actually really liked the style but was skeptical about buying a dress online and getting disappointed again. I ended up ordering it (since I could just return it to the store if I didn't like it) and I got a coupon so it came to 55.00 with free shipping! I love my dress. I'll take a picture when I get back home in June BUT it looks much better on! It's chiffon, flowy, simple, and SO comfortable! :)
I am also going to have the seamstress add a bow to it like this:
Photo from JCrew
We're going to have a Photobooth and we are both pretty excited about it, especially when the props come in to play (I can't wait to see those pictures). Photobooths can be pretty expensive... I shopped around and emailed many vendors and just asked if they were running any specials at the time. We ended up booking with Classic Photobooth of Wisconsin. The man who owns the company actually got married a couple of a years ago where we are getting married (talk about a small world!).
Our rental includes:
CD of all of images
1 copy for us, 1 for our guests
4 hours of service for a grand total of:
Photos from Classic Photobooth of Wisconsin
If we choose to have just the barn area, there are no open flames allowed (understandably). So I'm thinking we'll do something simple for the round tables with wheat sprigs in mason jars (I have a lot of blue mason jars so that might add a fun pop of color?) I have a lot of burlap so I will cut that and put a piece in the middle of each table similar to the second picture below. Our other option is, if we also rent out the other area of our venue, we can have open flame. I already bought tons of tea-lights so those would go in mason jars in the middle of each table at different heights...
**I have had these images on my computer for a while and have no idea where the majority of the came from, let me know if you want credit!**
For guestbook table, desert table, other tables I want something summery and rustic like this:
Burlap Bunting...YES PLEASE!
I definitely want to hang picture of us throughout the years on twine like this:
Instead of having programs, we are going to buy a chalkboard and write down the information. We will also use a chalkboard for the dinner menu! (I'm kind of chalkboard obsessed)
Speaking of chalkboards, we also ordered these manila chalkboard tags off Etsy that we will write each guests' name on and use tie it around their mason jar mugs like this:
For our mason jars at each table, we ordered these adorable rustic wood table numbers from BraggingBags (Etsy):
For the table seating chart, I think we're going to try and find an old window pane with the glass and write on it with a "chalk pen:"
For lighting along the path leading up to the barn, we'll do something like this (simple yet effective):
We also made lots and lots of DIY bunting. I followed instructions that I found through 100 Layer Cake. All you need is no se w adhesive, fabric of your choice, twine, an iron, scissors. You cut the strips 1.5-2 inches wide fold them in half. Place the no-sew adhesive in between and iron onto the twine:
Instead of tossing rice or confetti, we will have guests toss birdseed after the ceremony
Template from MintDesignBlog
We will hang mason jars with flowers on shepherd hooks outside for the ceremony like this:
My bubble girls will blow homemade bubbles down the aisle out of a mason jar like this:
I wanted to do something different for our guestbook. I fell in love with the idea of a scrapbook guestbook. I got a sample template off weddingbee and changed it to fit our wedding. The sheets will be printed out on 8x8 paper and we're going to buy a bunch of markers, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, etc. for the guestbook table so our guests can go to town on them. Can't you tell that we're teachers?
Here's the template I made in Word. if you would like a copy just message me and I'll send it over. I also have a copy of the tree with a blank heart so you can add your own initials.
The questions are:
- How do you know Kurt and Shanna?
- Where did you travel from? How did you get here?
- What are some of your favorite memories of Kurt & Shanna?
- Any advice for the newlyweds?
- Three wishes you have for Kurt & Shanna?
- What was your favorite part of today?
- Your predictions- date of first child, boy or girl?, name, how many children, pets?
This is the book we have to put the pages in from Amazon:
Scrapbook Guestbook table inspiration:
For our honeymoon we're going on a road trip to CO Springs, Denver, and Boulder! I have never been to CO, but my FI is originally from there. Initially, we wanted to go somewhere tropical but since we'll be moving to Southeast Asia at the end of July, we'll have plenty of opportunities to travel to amazing places then. We are so excited to go on a road trip together. So far we are staying at these bed & breakfasts:
The Queen Anne (Organic/Eco- Friendly B&B)
Colorado Springs Area: