Jun 26, 2010

  • Last updated on March 28, 2010 at 3:46 am
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My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 1

First wedding gift (a few days before the shower)...and me after dance class...haha


THE FOOD (hope you're not lactose intolerant!!!):

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 2


Me and my bridesmaids...LOVE THEM!

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 3


The lovely BMs made it a wine themed shower! :)

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 4


My FMIL, me, and my mom! <3

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 5

And of course, PRESENTS!!!!

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 6


Last but not least, getting the loot back to

My Bridal Shower 3 6 10 photo 7

  • Last updated on March 23, 2010 at 5:32 am
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We're going for 5 nights, six days to The Royal Playa del Carmen!  This will be the first time to Mexico for either of us and we SERIOUSLY can not wait!  This all inclusive is adults only, has about 8 restaurants, and is close to the 5th avenue shopping distirct.  Parasailing and snorkeling are definitely on the to do list! :)

THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive guests enjoy three full meals a day plus snacks any time at the beach bars, lounges and the air-conditioned 24 Hr. VIP Lounge, plus festive theme nights and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, offering the very best all-inclusive value, when compared to other Playa del Carmen all-inclusive vacations.

  • Garden, ocean view and oceanfront suite accommodations of your choice include the following features:
  • NEW! Innovative (Mexico’s first) online check-in available within 48 hours of arrival
  • In-suite double Jacuzzi
  • Spacious, modern bathroom with deluxe amenities
  • 29” flat screen satellite TV and DVD/CD player
  • Coffeemaker and in-suite mini-bar, stocked daily with water, beer, soft drinks and snacks and a convenient liquor cabinet system with a selection of international liquors
  • Unique “Magic Box” for discreet room service delivery
  • Terrace or balcony with furniture and hammock
  • NEW! In-suite electronic laptop-size safety deposit box
  • 2-line direct dial cordless telephone with bi-lingual voice mail and bathroom extension
  • NEW! Royal Bed® with pillow-top mattress, fine high thread count linens, plush duvet cover and multiple pillows
  • Modern, state-of-the-art, fully equipped Life Fitness® Center & Stott Pilates®, spinning, aerobics and yoga sessions
  • A la carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner; “show cooking” and international buffet plus all natural, low calorie, vegetarian, and delicatessen-style menu choices
  • Unlimited domestic and international premium brand liquors, a variety of beers, wine and sparkling wine by the glass, plus an extensive selection of fine wines included. Exceptional vintage wines, cognacs and tequilas available at surcharge
  • NEW! Trade nights between THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen and THE ROYAL in Cancun (based on availability)
  • Exclusive exchange privileges at all Real Resorts
  • NEW! 24 Hr. prompt room service
  • NEW! 24 Hr. VIP Lounge serving hors d’oeuvres, premium snacks, domestic, international, premium brand beverages with table games and large screen Plasma TVs
  • NEW! Personalized check-in/check-out with welcome and departure refreshing cocktail and cold towel service
  • Olympic-size fresh water pool with 50-meter lap lane & starter block (quiet pool) plus an oceanfront active pool
    • SCUBA introductory lesson, snorkeling equipment and boogie boards
  • Lighted rooftop tennis court with complimentary equipment. Onsite tennis pro available
  • Volleyball, billiards, ping-pong, table games and library
  • Daily social entertainment, non-intrusive games, unique activities
  • Nightly entertainment including live music and fabulous professional shows
  • NEW! Educational wine & tequila tasting hosted by hotel sommelier
  • Canopied shade beds & lounge chairs on the beach & at the pool, in-pool sun chaise and plush beach towels
  • NEW! Exclusive Royal Beach Cabanas® upon availability
  • NEW! Convenient flag system for guests to request waiter service on the beach
  • Beach Butlers provide cold towel service, ice water, suntan lotion, newspapers, magazines and much more
  • Nightly turndown service
  • Casual evening Management Cocktail Party
  • All resort taxes and gratuities

Honeymoon photo 1Honeymoon photo 2

Honeymoon photo 3Honeymoon photo 4Honeymoon photo 5Honeymoon photo 6


  • Last updated on February 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm
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I'd love to have a groom's cake for Frank that looks like this:

Cakes photo 1Cakes photo 2

He's a University of Wisconsin Alumni, and a HUGE Badger fan.  My stepbrother makes wedding cakes (score!) so he'll be creating hopefully a combination of the above.  Frank and his UW alumni fans will LOVE this if I can pull it off without giving it away! :)


Cake inspirations:

Cakes photo 3Cakes photo 4Cakes photo 5Cakes photo 6Cakes photo 7Cakes photo 8Cakes photo 9Cakes photo 10Cakes photo 11

Cakes photo 12


Cake Stand Inspiration:

Cakes photo 13

  • Last updated on February 16, 2010 at 10:09 am
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Doing this soon.... I love the idea of grey suits and since the BMs will be in grey with black heels and accents, thought this idea might look the inpiration pic from PW user CheekyMar! :)

Groom s Attire photo 1

Photo credit:

These are the GM's suits (they'll wear a black vest and tie underneath):

Groom s Attire photo 2

And then here is my handsome FI's suit:

Groom s Attire photo 3

He will be in a grayish silver vest & tie.

  • Last updated on February 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm
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Meet the VIBs:

My Maid of Honor- my sister Emily

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 1

My Matron of Honor- my friend Ashley (and that's my godson in the middle- isn't he so cute?)

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 2VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 3

My Bridesmaid- My Pal Val

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 4

My Bridesmaid- my dear friend Caitlin

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 5


These are the 4 women in my life who I really could not live without!  They mean the world to me and I love each of them so much; I'm so honored to have them in my wedding party!


Bridesmaid Dresses:

I really wanted the girls to 1) feel comfortable in what they were wearing, and 2) have something that they could wear again.  I'm also not into the matchy matchy thing too much, so I wanted their individuality to come out in their bridesmaid dresses.  For three of the girls, we went through J.Crew special events, and my matron of honor will be wearing Ann Taylor.  See below- the silvery color goes with the bling theme, don't you think??

Here are their dresses:

Dresses from L-R, first row:

J. Crew Erica dress in Light Pewter and J. Crew Sydney Dress in Light Pewter:

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 6VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 7

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 8VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 9

Above from L-R: J. Crew Juliette dress in Graphite and Ann Taylor Silk Taffeta V-neck in Silver Moon.

BM gifts/Jewelry:

Matching Earrings and bracelets from the Chicago wholesale jewelry district:

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 10VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 11

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 12VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 13

I bought myself a matching bracelet with clear beads so we could match! :)

Got them these necklaces from I highly reccomend this website- they have great understated jewelry that is so cute.  Plus each comes with some sort of "wish"...I got one from a friend and I went from never wearing a necklace to wearing the one she got me everyday. 

With the sparkly bracelets and earrings, I thought it would be a nice balance to get a less flashy necklace, and give them something they can wear after the wedding for everyday wear.

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 14

The necklace is silver silk thread with a grey pearl.

And here are the brooches for their bouquets:

VIBs Very Important Bridesmaids photo 15


Plus, I'll pay for them to have their make-up done with our wonderful make-up artist, Jen Thurston, the day of the wedding! :)



  • Last updated on January 13, 2010 at 10:11 am
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Guests are seated

There is a table set with two containers of sand and a larger, empty container


“Seasons of Love” – Cast of Rent (instrumental)

-Special guests are seated

-Celebrant walks to ceremony area

Celebrant: We are about to begin.  Please make sure your cell phones are silenced.

-Frank's mother will be escorted by Usher, with father following them

-Attendants walk to ceremony area

“I’m Ready” – Jack’s Mannequin (instrumental)

Celebrant:  Please rise for our beautiful bride.

-Maria, mother and father walk to ceremony area

Celebrant:  Who presents Maria to be married to Frank?

  Maria’s mother and father: We do

-Maria hugs her parents and they are seated

-Frank brings Maria to ceremony area

-Maria gives her bouquet to Maid of Honor


Celebrant:  Greetings all!  We have come together today to witness a wedding ceremony, to honor the love and friendship shared between Maria and Frank and to offer support and love to them, as they begin their journey through life…together.

Frank and Maria are very grateful to all of you – family and friends - for being here to share this very special day with them.  Frank and Maria summed up their feelings by saying, “To say that it means a lot to have everyone we love here today is an understatement. Everyone here has played a role in our becoming who we are.”  They went on to say, “You are all so important to us and we couldn’t imagine celebrating the beginning of our lives as husband and wife, without you!”



Marriage is a special bond shared by two individuals.  It brings significant stability and substance to human relationships.  Couples marry for many different reasons.  Their love sometimes grows slowly and sometimes is almost immediate…

Frank and Maria knew, almost as soon as they met, that they were supposed to be together.  Frank said, “I felt that I could just be myself around Maria.  I just knew she was exactly the kind of person I was looking for…fun-loving, pretty and intelligent.”

Maria said, “When we met for the first time, I felt I was meeting someone that I’d known for a very long time.  My first impressions of Frank were that he was smart, funny, laid-back and dorky…like me!”

Are you ready to seal your commitment to each other in marriage?


Celebrant: Frank, do you promise to be there for Maria

when times are wonderful and when times are challenging?

Will you offer her hope, acceptance and love

as her husband?

FRANK: I will

Celebrant:  Maria, do you promise to be there for Frank

when times are wonderful and when times are challenging?

Will you offer him hope, acceptance and love

as his wife?

MARIA : I will.

Celebrant:  Family and friends, have you come here to support the union that Maria and Frank will form today?  If so, please voice your support by saying “WE HAVE!”
Family and friends: WE HAVE!   


Celebrant:  Frank and Maria’s friend Caitlin XX will read… (Reading TBD)


Celebrant: The following definition of love comes from an unknown author:

Love - a wildly misunderstood, although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.  ~Author Unknown

When asked ‘What do you love about one another? Frank said, “The number one quality I admire/love about Maria is the effort she puts into her personal relationships.  She really cares about the people in her life.  I also love when she makes the “biscuit face!”

Maria loves Frank’s sincerity, integrity, intelligence, his sense of humor but, most of all she loves that he is genuine.  She said, “I love that we are better when we’re together.”

 And now is the time to celebrate your love by speaking directly to each other, making the promises that will guide you through the rest of your lives.

Please look into each other’s eyes and repeat your wedding vows after me
I promise to share with you all of myself.  
I promise to be your advocate; your constant friend;
your partner in mischief and your faithful companion.  

I promise to respect you truly:
as an individual, as my partner, and as my equal.
 I promise to love and support you
 when it's easy and when it's not
 in good times and bad,
 completely and forever.
 I promise you my unconditional love for all the days of my life.

I promise to share with you all of myself.  
I promise to be your advocate; your constant friend;
your partner in mischief and your faithful companion.  

I promise to respect you truly:
as an individual, as my partner, and as my equal.
 I promise to love and support you
 when it's easy and when it's not
 in good times and bad,
 completely and forever.
 I promise you my unconditional love for all the days of my life.



Celebrant:  For centuries, rings have been exchanged as a symbol of the bond of marriage. The circle in rock art, sacred stone arrays, and astrology represents both the Sun and the Moon, astrological and alchemical symbols for the masculine and feminine aspects of the cosmos. Wedding rings combine the art of the jeweler, the reverence of the betrothed, and the beauty of love and partnership in a single, resonant symbol.

-Celebrant takes rings from Best Man, Jon

-Celebrant offers Maria's ring to Frank

CeCelebrant: Frank, as you slide the ring on Maria’s finger, please repeat after me

FRANK:  I give you this ring as a symbol of all that we have promised and all that we shall share.

-Celebrant offers Frank's ring to Maria

Celebrant: Maria, as you slide the ring on Frank’s finger, please repeat after me…

MARIA: I give you this ring  as a symbol of all that we have promised and all that we shall share.

Celebrant:  And now Maria and Frank will perform the Sand Unity Ceremony

-Maria and Frank move behind table holding sand containers

These containers of sand hold countless grains, just as each of you are made up of all your life experiences which you bring to this marriage.

When the sand is poured into the larger container, is it forever changed and, although you are still individuals, now you are something greater.

As these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, may your family and marriage be as difficult to break apart.

You may pour the sand. Take turns, have fun and pour in all your love for one another, as you pour the sand.

-Frank and Maria combine their sand

“The Gambler” – Fun, excerpts played and sung, while Maria and Frank give gifts to family


Celebrant:  Maria and Frank have asked Laura to read…The Art of Marriage by Wilfred Peterson.

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.


Celebrant: According to Norman Mailer – “A good marriage is at least eighty percent good luck in finding the right person at the right time. ..” Frank, Maria you fortunately found each other.  You have made promises, exchanged rings and symbolically blended your lives together.

May the meaning of this moment may last throughout your lives,And long, long years from now, may you look at one another  and be able to say,“With you, I have lived the life, I always wanted to live.
With you, I have become the person I always longed to be."
And now, it is my great pleasure to declare
that Frank and Maria are husband and wife.

You may celebrate your marriage with a kiss!

-Frank and Maria kiss

-Maria takes her bouquet from Maid of Honor

I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Maria XX


“Made for Each other”- Jack’s Mannequin (instrumental)

-Here Ends a Beautiful Ceremony.  Here Begins a Wonderful Marriage-