Monday, May 24, 2010

DIY: Flower Power

I've been really inspired by flower accessories lately. I am already going to wear a flower in my hair, so I didn't want to add any more flowers to my outfit, but I thought it might be nice to give some flower accessories as thank you presents. I hope to come up with a different flower accessory for each of my bridesmaid, but that might be too ambitious. I started off with a present for the flower girl and junior bridesmaid. I decided to make a flower headband for both of them because it seemed like an easy project and I had most of the materials. Here is an inspirational picture:

I had some left over white petals from making my hair flower and I picked up two headbands at the dollar store. A before picture of the headbands:


I used about 3 petals for each headband and decided against sewing the petals together. I grouped the petals with the smallest one in front and then hot glued them together. The petals were laying flat, so to make them more flower-like, I bunched the sides in until it looked right, then I hot glued the folded parts to hold the petals up. Once the flower looked right, I hot glued it to the side of the headband and was done!

It only cost me $2 to make two headbands, I hope Olivia and Sarah like them!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mountain Music

After all the wedding dreams and a panicked phone call to my mom, we have now resolved almost all the issues that were giving me nightmares. The first thing my mom did was to email her friend about playing for our ceremony. Growing up, I always wanted a string quartet, but now I am over that. I wanted something that represented the mountains and so I decided I wanted a dulcimer! Not only is this a mountain instrument, but my mom plays the dulcimer. She is even in a dulcimer group (my mom has become so much cooler since moving back to the mountains) and one of her fellow group members had agreed to play for our wedding! He is going to be playing his first wedding in May and its also outdoors so he can judge whether he is loud enough alone or if we need more than one dulcimer.

In case you don't know what a dulcimer is, here is a picture:

I don't think I'm going to tell him what music to play during the ceremony. I might pick something for when I walk in but in general I love the sound of hymns played on the dulcimer. (I was going to insert a video of a hymn on the dulcimer, but since I wrote this post three weeks ago and still haven't found the time to do that, I'm leaving that to you! There are a lot of videos on YouTube)

I'm really excited to have our ceremony music be something that reminds me of the mountains and my mom.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Reality of Seating

In my dream wedding, guests would be sitting on plain brown benches. I love the way the benches are low and don't interfere with the views or the surrounding. I think they are perfect for an outdoor wedding. Unfortunately, they are so hard to find! I was able to find about 35 benches from a rental company in Raleigh, but they were white and 5 hours away.

Once I figured out it was going to be impossible to have brown benches, I moved on to my second choice, haybales. This was much more attainable, my great uncle promised to set aside enough hay to have seating for everyone. I really liked the idea of haybales since they were still low and I loved how they looked when covered with a bunch of different quilts. Then the reality of getting all the hale up to the ceremony site and finding enough quilts to cover the hay set in. I was also afraid the haybales would be too low for some people and too scratchy.

So I finally resigned myself to actual chairs. I'm sure guests will be much happier and I was able to find wooden chairs so I'm hoping they won't be as noticeable as white ones. We will be using the same chairs for the reception, which makes me excited to think about long rows of wooden chairs with the white tables.

BTW, this last picture comes from this wedding that I am totally obsessed with, they also used haybales as ceremony seating.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Wedding...According to Olivia and Will

Will and I are very lucky to have such cute kids in our wedding party. When we first asked them to be in the wedding, they were both really excited and wanted to know what they were going to do. We told Will he would carry the rings down the aisle and told Olivia that she would be carrying some flowers. Now, anytime I ask them what they are going to do for the wedding, Will says that he is going to pass the rings around to everyone. Sometimes he adds that he is going to sell them and sometimes he says that he will have a ring for all the girls, but none for the boys. Olivia always gets her role straight, carrying flowers, but she is unsure of our color choices. At first, she was insisting that she would only wear yellow if the dress also had pink on it. Now, if I ask her about the wedding, she says she is going to be wearing a yellow dress. I think I might have to make this a weekly post because everytime I ask them about the wedding, they have new ideas.

To read more of their cute quotes, check out their mom's blog: The Marsh Notebook

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wedding Dreams

Last night, I had the third of my wedding related dreams, all were bad and all focused on the wedding flowers. In the first dream, it was my wedding day and my bouquet was made out of lillies and orchids, neither of which I want in my bouquet. After the ceremony, the flowers were all dead, so I decided to go to this community garden and pick flowers to make a new bouquet. The only problem was there were so many bees on those flowers and they kept stinging me.

The second dream I had took place the morning before the wedding. We had flowers but couldn't find any vases to put the flowers in. I was searching through someone's attic trying to find something to put the flowers in but couldn't find anything. I just remember being really stressed and thinking we weren't going to be able to have any centerpieces.

In the dream last night, I was getting ready for the wedding and was already in my dress when I realized we didn't have any flowers and had never booked a florist. At first, I wasn't upset because I thought we could just make the bouquets ourselves from the flowers we had cut for the centerpieces. Then I remembered, that we had forgotten to cut the flowers and were now missing all our wedding flowers. Luckily, we happened to be in a building lobby that had a florist and my bridesmaid Donna knew him. She asked him to make all the bouquets but he made them all with white roses. I hated them and refused to use them. After that, I realized that we never booked a band for our reception. Thankfully, the ever helpful florist knew the number for the band I wanted to book. I called them right away and they were able to play that night! All they needed was a credit card to secure them. I asked my mom for one and she handed me a Verizon rebate credit card but the first three digits of the card number were electronically displayed and keep changing, so I couldn't give them a credit card number. I thought maybe the musicians for our ceremony could play for the reception as well but then I didn't think my mom had booked them either and I could no longer find her to ask. Finally, Donna suggested I go get a pedicure and manicure to calm down, but I was already in my dress. She said she would hold it up for me so it didn't get ruined. Luckily, I woke up before we went to the salon.

I think the dreams all stem from the trouble we've had booking a florist. The first one never called back and then we found an awesome florist who could do all we wanted for a great price but then they went out of business. I keep asking my mom to find a new one, as well as book the ceremony and reception music, but she hasn't done it yet. I called her this morning to tell her the latest dream, hoping it would hurry her along. She promises to have it worked out next week. The weird thing is I don't think I'm worried about the flowers but I can't stop dreaming about them!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Save The Dates!

Our save the dates are in!! If you remember, I won 100 free custom designed save the dates from Uprinting and Grace Hester Designs. I was really happy with the whole process. I sent Grace the five words I wanted to describe the save the dates (mountains, unique, vintage, fun, outdoors) and this is what she sent back:

Then we found out that Uprinting was including two sided full color printing in the giveaway, so I designed this back to use. Grace offered to design a back, but I really liked the postcard graphic I had, so I went ahead and used what I had designed. 

The ordering process with Uprinting was pretty easy, we just uploaded our pictures and then received a free proof the next day. After we placed our order, we received our save the dates in less than a week. Now we just need to address them all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Put A Ring On It

Since my engagement ring has a curved band under the diamond and has pave diamonds on the sides of the band, I decided I didn't want a wedding band that I would wear everyday with my engagement ring. Instead, I wanted a simple engraved wedding band that I could wear if I thought my engagement ring was too much or if I was traveling. I knew I wanted something with a design on the band but that also had millgrain around the edge. I could not find any ring I liked, I even looked at antique rings. Finally, one day when I was shopping in Alexandria with my mom, we decided to go into Gold Works. We meet with the owner, David, and he showed us a few rings. I found one I really liked that had a flowerish design. It was in yellow gold, but David said he could make me the ring in white gold. I told him I would bring Will back to show it to him.

About a month later, Will and I went one day after church. When we walked in, David told us he had actually gone ahead and made the ring in white gold the day before. It hadn't been sized or buffed yet but we were able to see what it would look like. We decided that was the ring for me (!) and paid the deposit. That was back in October. David was having surgery in November and we decided to wait till after his surgery to go back but we didn't make it back until this past weekend. Luckily, my ring was there and was finished! I really liked the way it turned out.

David suggested that Will get a wedding band that had the same design as mine in the middle and then a section of yellow gold on the outside of my design. Will liked the idea of incorporating my ring into his, but he hasn't made up his mind yet.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wedding Site!!!

We have decided on a wedding site! Its a family friend's farm complete with an orchard. We are getting married in one corner of the property where three trees form a triangle that open to great mountain views!

You can even see the mountain where my family lives.

The reception will take place a few feet away under the apple trees. Tables will be placed under these trees.

And the food and drinks will be under these trees.

There is an open area right next to the trees where the band and dance floor will go. I am really excited about having found this spot. Its free (!!!) and we can setup ahead of time. This site has a lot of improvements over our old site. Since there are two houses that are not being used right now, we can store things for the wedding there and we won't have to rent bathrooms! We won't have to figure out how to transport everyone from the ceremony location to the reception location, we will have electricity and lots of shade.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Love Pork!

While we were in North Carolina, we stopped for lunch at Big Mountain Barbeque in Waynesville, NC, which is someone we are considering for catering. The food was reallly good, we all had pulled pork sandwiches, but tried to vary the sides. Their pork is served with no sauce and they have 5 different sauces to choose from: spicy, Eastern NC style, Western NC style, Honey bbq, and South Carolina style. I tried both the Eastern and the honey and loved both! We also loved loved their hushpuppies and Will and my mom loved the baked beans. We will also have chicken and a salad as well as other sides, so I hope everyone can find something they like. We meet with the manager to discuss catering and were really excited by their reasonable prices. They don't charge a travel fee to Franklin and they provide all the table cloths we need, plates, silverware and glasses. I'm just waiting for them to send me the menu with the various packages and then we will book them! Our trip was so productive!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We've been in North Carolina for 5 hours and have found our wedding site! It's not any of the places from the last post but I'm posting from Will's phone so no pictures for now. All I'll tell you is it involves mountain views and an orchard!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Search For A Venue

This weekend we will be heading to North Carolina to hopefully find a venue for our ceremony and reception. I am determined to make a decision this weekend and to move forward with booking the rest of our vendors. Here are the top potential options:

Option 1: Nantahala Village. Its 30 minutes away from Franklin but is reasonably priced and includes all the tables, chairs, linens, silverware, plates and glasses we need. We would have to use on site catering, which is more than we were planning on paying for barbecue. Here is a picture of one of the potential wedding sites:


This picture was taken by my dad while he was standing in the parking lot and the highway is directly behind him, so I'm not sure we want to be that close to the road. We do want people to be able to hear us. 
Option 2: Family land in Burningtown. This would be free (!) but we would have to bring everything in and set it up. We would be able to use any caterer though, which would save money. I'm not sure if there is a big enough flat area to have the ceremony and reception, but I imaging having the ceremony up on the hill and then the reception by the barn. This is a bad picture of me, but its the best one I can find of the location. 

Option 3: Wayah Bald Picnic Area: Its close to our original wedding location, but its not as pretty since there is not tower. It still has great views, but I don't its as pretty. We would have to bring everything in here as well. The only picture I can find is of Will and me on Christmas morning but we are standing in front of a wooden fence and there is a grassy area with a gravel road around it in front of us.
Option 4: Something yet to be discovered!

Monday, February 22, 2010

How Sweet It Is

Long before Will and I were engaged, I went to the Asheville Farmer's Market and saw the cutest little jars of honey. I showed my mom the jars and told her that I thought it would be so cute to give out jars of honey as favors at my future wedding. My mom replied that there was no way she was going to put honey in that many jars. Fast forward one year and now Will and I are engaged. I am discussing wedding favors with my mom and the honey idea comes up again. This time she seems a lot more interested and willing, so we start to develop a plan.

My grandfather was a beekeeper and sold his honey under the name Wayah Mountain Honey. After he passed away, my mom moved to the mountains and took over his beekeeping. She also joined the beekeepers club and through that was able to order little honey jars at a discount. Honey is produced in July and August and doesn't really go bad. So instead of being super rushed and trying to get the favors together at the last minute, we decided to use last year's honey. We were actually really lucky because my mom started new bees last year and usually bees don't produce enough honey the first year. Also, there is a serious honey bee parasite going around and somehow my mom's bees weren't affected!

Over Christmas, Will and I spent a few days pouring all the honey in the jars. Then we put on labels I designed with "How Sweet It Is" and hang tags (from Big Lots!) that were stamped with our monogram and wedding date. Here are the final products, we have two types of honey for our guests to choose from:

DIY: Fascinator

I have never wanted a veil. I think that they block your view and just get in the way, especially if its windy. A veil would not work for my outdoor wedding. But I did want something in my hair, so I started to dream about a fascinator. I have no idea why they call a hair flower a fascinator, but I'm going with it.

This is the fascinator that I feel in love with:

But at $60, I couldn't justify buying it. Thankfully, my obsession with wedding blogs paid off! There are tons of guides on how to make a fascinator and it looked pretty easy. After a quick trip to AC Moore, I had a white flower that looked like it had potential and it only cost $2.

One boring Saturday, I set out to make my fascinator! I followed this tutorial pretty closely. I just detached the flower petals from the stem and arranged the loose petals until I liked the way it looked. Then I loosely arranged some pears that my roommate had leftover from another project and sewed them in place. I also sewed on a barrette that my roommate wasn't using anymore and finished by putting a little hot glue between each petal layer so the flower wasn't so floppy. I love the way it turned out and it only took $2 and about 30 minutes!

Front View
 Side View

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I found out this morning that I won 100 custom designed postcard from Grace Hester Designs!!! I'm going to use them as our save the dates. After looking at her Etsy shop, I'm really excited to see what she comes up with. All of her other designs are so bright and fresh. She asked me for five words that I would want people to think about when they saw our design, I told her mountains, unique, vintage, fun, outdoors. I can't wait to share the final product!


I have always loved the way brightly colored shoes look under a wedding dress.

I knew as soon as we picked yellow as a wedding color, that I had to have bright yellow shoes. The search started shortly after we were engaged (if not before). Every time I went to a shoe store, I searched for yellow flats. One of my bridesmaids even had her husband looking. I spent so many hours looking online and never found any flats that I loved. I found plenty of super cute yellow heels but never flats or wedges. All I wanted was a yellow open toed flat with some kind of detail over the toes, I was hoping for a flower or a bow. Since we are getting married outside and possibly in grass, I didn't want my heels sinking into the grass all night. Finally, last week the search ended! I found these shoes on and ordered them in three sizes (I didn't want the correct size to sell out!).

One of them fit perfectly! I'm so glad to be done with the search for perfect shoes! Now I have to find Will some cute yellow socks...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I love getting a good deal!

I have always loved the Casablanca 1900. There were so many times when I saw pictures from a wedding, thought about how much I loved the dress, then found out it was Casablanca 1900. I called around the DC area to find a sample of the 1900 in close to my size. My mom and I went to Jeanette's Bridal in Manassas back in September and I really did like the 1900. After trying on some more dresses at a couple other stores, I decided that I really wanted the 1900. About a month ago, I found out that Jeanette's was going out of business and was selling their samples for 30-70% off. I called immediately to see if I could get the 1900 sample, unfortunately, they had already sold the sample that was my size.

I immediately starting trying to find another store where I could get the 1900. Jeanette's had been selling the 1900 for one of the lowest prices I could find in this area and I didn't want to buy a lot more. After calling a few stores that were selling the price for around $400 more, I ended up at TLC Bridal in Frederick, MD. I'm so glad I went there! All the ladies that work there were so amazing to work with and their prices were very reasonable. They also knew SOOOO much about Casablanca dresses. After my first visit, I was debating between the 1900 and the 1885. I went back today with my mom to get her opinion and ended up buying a completely different dress. I'm trying to keep my final choice a surprise, but I am really excited about the one I choose. I felt like it combined the things I liked about the 1900 and the 1885. I was even able to get the dress at a lower price just by asking! I would highly recommend TLC Bridal to any DC area brides.