Thursday, April 18, 2013

sharp dressed man.

This past Saturday Matthew and me went to Dress to Impress in Downtown Kingsport. They are in charge of alllllllllllllll of the suits for the groomsmen, ring bearer, and anyone else involved with our wedding who wants to dress fancy :)

Back in October when Matthew and I were waiting to hear the announcement for who won the Dream Wedding at the Women's Expo, we were goofing off and watching the fashion show they were having prior to the winners. We were laughing and having fun picking out what we thought would look the best for our wedding. So, when Dress to Impress had their models walk the stage in their suits, Matthew and I both knew right away which one we would want if we won the Dream Wedding. And surprise surprise, that's the one we picked out at the shop on Saturday!

Out of all of our meetings so far, this one was probably the easiest. It could be because it was all about Matthew and his guys and I had very little involvement. Plus knowing what we wanted wayyyyy back in October definitely helped too. We did look through some books and talked about other suit/tux options, but we couldn't get away from the gray :)

The first one Matthew tried on was the darker gray suit with the lavender vest and tie. I loved this suit on him, but he refused to choose anything but the light gray (which was his choice at the Women's Expo.) This suit is a little too dark for our wedding. But nonetheless, it's still pretty!

So, of course we went with the light gray. And I have to admit, after seeing him in both colors of suits, I love this one the best. Isn't my future husband gorgeous?!?? Ok, I may be a little biased, but I do love him in this color :)

Gabby and Rhonda were so helpful when we were trying to make decisions. They knew exactly what suit Matthew was talking about when he said "The one at the fashion show!" So they made our lives much easier.  They also helped us pick out the perfect lavender shade for the vests and ties. I can't wait to see all the guys in their suits on our wedding day! I'm also excited to see them next to the bridesmaids, since their dresses are gray, too :) Shhhh...don't tell! 

I definitely recommend using Dress to Impress if you haven't found someone to provide the suits or tuxes for your groomsmen. They have a TON of choices and they can order anything! Plus, a friendly staff counts for a lot in my book. happy planning! xoxo

Monday, April 15, 2013

Non-Wedding Post.

For starters, this is a NON wedding post. So if you are looking for wedding tips or advice, you will have to skip this one. Sorry! I need a little "me" blogging time.

This weekend I deleted my Facebook. Before you say anything, I know that sounds stupid and childish. But, coming from someone who has SADLY been a social networking queen for the past 5 years, IT'S A BIG DEAL. I have been dealing with a lot of different issues lately. Some good, some bad. But mostly having a hard time letting go of things. I dwell on everything. For days. And it is so annoying. But I'm working on it! Lord knows I want to give up my burdens to him, and I do most times. But sometimes, I take part of them back, and start dwelling. So, to help me with my "dwelling" issues, I deleted my Facebook. I honestly have thought about deleting it a million times, but I knew I would die without it. So I hesitated. But something came over me this weekend and I took the plunge. It was an instant weight lifted off of me. Crazy, right??!?!? I have never felt so at peace about something so insignificant as that! It was amazing. I made Matthew promise to keep me in check and make sure I don't go back.

My main reason for deleting it is TIME. I say I don't have time to exercise. I don't have time to pray. I don't have time to read my Bible. I don't have time to INSERT WORD HERE. But yet, I had time to play on Facebook all day? hypocrite.

Another reason I deleted it? OMGGGG did you see what she did this weekend?! Yeah.....that should be enough for anyone to delete their Facebook. Whyyyyyyyyyyy do I care? I'm not sure, but hopefully now I will never know what anyone did or is doing and vice versa.

Yes, I am a little sad that now I won't be able to flaunt my wedding and honeymoon photos for everyone to see, but why do I need to do that? I want to please God and not be so concerned with things of this world. Lord, help me! This is going to be rough, but I know I can do it. Facebook is something man-made that doesn't even concern my God. He is so much bigger than that. I'm thankful he loves me even when I am a Facebook drama queen :) Here's to hoping I will spend my extra time in His word.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

let's eat cake!

This past Monday, on April fools day, Matthew and I met with our cake designer, Hannah Meade, at her bakery/house. My brother and sister-in-law also attended. I wanted some other opinions from family members that I trust. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend an evening taste testing cake?!?!

Like all my other wedding ideas, I had been pinning cakes for MONTHS on Pinterest. I'm about to sound really morbidly obese, so brace yourself.............. I love cake. ALL cake. Any kind (except lemon). I could eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still want more cake. Yup. Thankfully I do not do that, but I could. lol. So needless to say I was desperately excited about our cake meeting.

Hannah had a glorious spread of 14 different types of cake and 6 different types of icing.

I was in CAKE HEAVEN! Being the cake expert that she is, Hannah told us which icing to pair with which cake. The only cake I didn't try was lemon (because I know I hate it) but other than that, we didn't taste one bite of cake or icing that wasn't amazingly delicious. We also knew immediately after tasting each row which flavors we wanted  for our cake. But, we waited until the end of our meeting to make the final flavor decisions.

So after tasting a bit, we began to talk about cake design. I showed Hannah some of my Pinterest cakes that I had pinned and she began sketching one of her own creations.

I know this is a terrible picture. It's from my phone, so I promise I will upload some better ones later! But her sketch was EXACTLY what I wanted. And I didn't even know that's what I wanted until we met with Hannah! She is amazing. The actual cake will be a very pale blush color, with hand-painted ivory lace designs covering all of it. Tiny pearls will also line the bottom of each layer. And lastly, wildflowers similar to my bridesmaid bouquets and centerpieces, will be placed on top with stemmed brooches carefully placed throughout. So our cake will still be vintage, and have a touch of some amazing brooches provided by Hannah.
Our wedding cake will also consist of 4 layers as shown. Of course the top layer we are keeping, so the top and the 2nd layer are going to be Hannah's vanilla cake with vanilla icing. And let me tell you, this is the best vanilla cake I have ever tasted. It's spicy and unique. It's soooooo good for vanilla cake! The third layer from the top will be her white chocolate strawberry cake with white chocolate icing. In between the cake layers of this one will be a great strawberry filling that tastes amazing! And finally, the bottom layer will be mine and Matthew's absolute favorite, caramel cake with vanilla icing and another filling in between the layers flavored with apple pieces and cinnamon.
I am so so so so soooooooooo excited about our cake! I love the flavors we have chosen, especially the caramel cake with the apples and cinnamon. It is SO FALL and anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love fall. Plus, this cake flavor takes me back to our original rustic farm wedding plan and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I LOVE IT.
Don't worry, I didn't leave Matthew out :) He is also getting a groom's cake. Something similar to this one. His chosen flavor was dark chocolate caramel with vanilla icing. He said he thought we needed some chocolate somewhere, and I agree!
Hannah couldn't have made our cake experience with her any more perfect! She is also providing us with a to-go box that she is packing full of cake for me and Matthew the night of our wedding. So thankfully, if we don't get to eat any real food that night, we will be sure to have cake!
My sister had been talking about the "best wedding cake ever" for months after her niece's wedding last summer. I have been curious to find out who made her cake since I got engaged, and it turns out it was Hannah Meade from the Cake Gallery :) God is good and his plan is perfect. Happy Wedding planning! xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Green Thumb.

Last night me, mom and Jesse (my sister-in-law) met with Phillis of Rainbow's End Floral in Downtown Kingsport. Matthew had to work late and couldn't make it. He actually said the flowers were all up to me, anyway, so I don't think he cared!

Phillis will be in charge of all of the flowers for the wedding. I have known her for a couple of years now. When I had my shop on Broad Street, I was also the Merchant Chair for Downtown Kingsport, so I kept in touch with most of the Downtown businesses on a daily basis. Phillis was one of the first fellow business owners I talked to :)

Before the meeting, I spent most of the day yesterday looking at all of the flowers I had pinned on Pinterest for our wedding and gathering my thoughts. Since we started planning the wedding, I knew that I wanted our main flower to be lavender. Lavender is not only my favorite color, but it's my favorite flower too. I love how delicate and pretty it looks. Not to mention it smells amazing! Plus I have said that our wedding theme is "lavender and lace," which I think is very fitting. So with that in mind, I wanted the rest of the flowers that we chose to compliment the lavender. I was thinking a soft, rustic but romantic color palette for the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.

This is exactly what I love. All of the colors that I want, but not too bright or overbearing. Simple. Romantic. Vintage. Rustic. Yes, please!

When we got to the meeting, we sat down with Phillis and I showed her this picture and a ton of others, too so she would get exactly what I was looking for. And of course she understood completely! She is, after all a flower expert. She knew that I still wanted the "rustic" look without going too far, since we are getting married at the Carnegie now, instead of a barn :) So this picture is pretty similar to what my bridesmaids will be carrying, and my centerpieces will have the same look as well.

After deciding "the look" that I was going for, we then discussed what type of centerpiece container we would be using. I am not a fan of plain glass vases. I'm not sure why. That's just never been my taste. So when I spotted these beautiful garden urns that Phillis had, I knew those were what I wanted to use! Not only do they look vintage, but the are unique and not your typical wedding centerpiece. LOVE!

We also decided on having two tall columns with flower arrangements on top displayed during the ceremony, one on each side of the beautiful mantel in the ballroom where Matthew and I will say our vows.

After all of the major decisions were out of the way, we then talked about my bouquet. Since the fad of the "brooch bouquet" started, I have wanted to have one for my wedding so bad! So, for the past 9 months I have been diligently collecting brooches and jewelry pieces.

I have over 70 total. Some of them are Matthew's mom's, some of them are my mom's, some of them were given to me, and the rest I've collected at different antique and thrift stores. When we first got engaged, I was going to take on the project of doing the brooch bouquet myself, but since Phillis is experienced in this department, I decided to let her have at it! I know she will do a much more professional job than I ever could. She is also going to add fabric from my mom's wedding dress around the stems of my brooch bouquet, instead of using ribbon. I can't wait to have that "hand-me-down" touch added :)

This is my favorite brooch of them all. It's purple of course, and it belonged to Matthew's mom. Phillis is also adding another (less feminine) brooch of Matthew's mom's to his boutonniere. I think he will be excited to have something of his mom's with him on our wedding day, too.

I can't wait to see what my bouquet looks like when it's finished! I am so so anxious! This is Miranda Lambert's brooch bouquet that she carried on her wedding day. I love the way it looks with all of the different pieces.

Phillis was such a huge help throughout our meeting. She knew exactly what I was looking for and helped me make decisions based on what I wanted. She also gave me different ideas and opinions about what other brides have done, and about what she thought looked best. My advice on flowers? Make sure your florist knows their flowers!

Phillis and her husband have been in business for 20 years, so I know they are experienced. I couldn't have picked anyone better to help me with this crucial part of the wedding planning process! I can't wait to walk into the Carnegie on September 14th and see all of the beautiful arrangements :)

Dream Wedding Bride

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Budget Savvy Honeymoon.

Matthew and I have been "researching" a honeymoon spot ever since we got engaged. We got so frustrated at one point that we were almost decided on not having a honeymoon at all. I had looked at the Sandals website a million times thinking that it would be the best deal for our money since they are all-inclusive resorts. I also know several people who have honeymooned and vacationed at a Sandals and they said it was the best trip of their life. So needless to say, I was determined. 

We looked at all of the locations for Sandals, and decided on Jamaica. We picked a room, when we were going to stay, and wrote down exactly how much money we needed to pay for the trip in full (not including plane tickets or passports). Last week when we got paid, we both took money from our paychecks to give to the "honeymoon fund." I was waiting until this Monday to make the deposit to my bank, and then found out it was closed for President's Day. So yesterday, I deposited our cash and decided to book our honeymoon on my lunch break at work lol. When I started looking at the website there was a countdown for the discount they had been offering, which was ending that day. And because I had waited until the last minute to book our room, it was reduced by almost $300. I was so excited! Like I keep saying, God is blessing us in tremendous ways throughout this whole wedding planning process! I am so thankful and humbled. I am also super glad that we were able to pay cash for our honeymoon instead of putting it on a credit card or taking out a loan. I have been pretty budget savvy lately and I absolutely refused to take a honeymoon unless we paid cash. Matthew probably thinks I'm psycho, but he will thank me one day...I hope.

After my calculations, and our 60% off deal from Sandals, we saved a total of $2,211.00. I can't wait to have an awesome honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort! I honestly think that we will be saving money in the long run because food, drinks, tips, and a TON of other things are all included in the cost! Sandals runs discounts like this all the time, so it may be the best choice for you, too. So, my advice (as usual) when it comes to brides everywhere regarding your honeymoon---RESEARCH. I was about to give up, but God led us in a different direction and now we are honeymooning somewhere beautiful and tropical! Jamaica, here we come!

Let's hope the water really does look like that :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

pictures are forever.

Besides work, wedding planning, and a horrible eye infection, I haven't been that busy.

This past Monday night, Matthew and I met with our 3rd vendor (and one of my favorites), our photographer, Anna Hedges. Let me start off by saying she is hilarious! She probably has one of the best personalities of anyone I have ever met. Which makes me super excited for our wedding to be shot by her!

I think I have mentioned before that our original plan was to get Andy and Kayla Stacy (our good photography friends who shot our engagement pictures) to shoot our wedding too. So when we found out that we won the Dream Wedding, I will admit I was a little sad and worried that they might be too. But, it turns out that Anna actually took Andy and Kayla's engagement pictures a couple of years ago! Remember how I keep saying God is working everything out for Matthew and me? Well, there's another perfect example! He is so good to us.

One of the things we have been debating on, is whether or not to do a "first look" on our wedding day. My mother will probably kill me, but during our meeting with Anna, we decided to go for it. First looks are becoming more and more popular now, and I can't wait to have that moment captured. I think doing a first look just between just the two of us will be much more personal and will mean a lot more when we look back on our wedding pictures. I'm still old-fashioned at heart, but that doesn't mean I think Matthew and I will end up divorcing because of this first look we're doing haha.

Still not convinced that it's a good idea?
First looks are beneficial in sooooo many ways! Trust this OCD bride when I tell you that I have done a TON of research on first looks and why they are a great choice. My top 3 reasons for doing a first look:
1. Alone Time. I know we are going be so busy worrying about our guests and everyone else except ourselves on our wedding day. Matthew and I have always been that way. A first look with give US a chance to spend some time together before the craziness starts. Most importantly, it will give us a few moments to soak in the day and realize, "Wow, we're getting married!" And of course tell each other how in love we are and blah blah blah :)

2. More family pictures. A first look will also allow more time for family pictures to be taken. I have been to plenty of weddings where the photographer rushed everyone, and there was no time for family pictures. And then the bride and groom are disappointed with only 1 or 2 good pictures with their relatives. I want to have pictures of me and Matthew with our families on our special day. Doing a first look will get our pictures out of the way, so we can have more time to spend with our families and capture those sweet moments too :)

3. Control. Not only will the first look help us with our time frame for the day, but we will get to have it captured at a location that's not at the Carnegie. There are some great intimate settings in the Johnson City area, so having our first look shot somewhere private (instead of when I walk down the aisle), will look so much more personal and romantic in pictures. And trust me, I want romantic!

Here's an awesome photography blog that might persuade you a little more ;)

SEE?!?!?! talk about awesome!!!

Anna also talked with us about all of the photography details of our big day. She's capturing everything! And I can't wait! I know we won't be disappointed with her as our photographer. Here's our picture with her we're submitting for the paper. Of course we had to have the buffalo in it :) LOL

And Matthew with the buffalo....

I hope this was a helpful blog post and that all of your traditional brides will consider doing a first look. I don't think you will be disappointed.

 Happy wedding planning xoxo

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Busy Bride

Well besides work, I have actually been busy planning our wedding :)
I have set aside some time lately to focus on different wedding things, and I'm pretty proud of that! I told my mom the other day that my plan was to just buckle down and pick something I liked and stick with it, no matter what. So that's what I'm doing!

I wrote in my last blog post about ordering our save the date cards. Sad thing is, I picked out "post card" save the dates, so the back was literally a postcard where you wrote the address and placed the stamp. I didn't think that would be very pretty, so we chose another save the date, which I love MUCH more. My sister-in-law helped me choose this one. Sorry for the crappy picture from my phone. But these have arrived, so I just need to address some envelopes and send these babies!

We have that checked off the list :) We also made a decision about where we are honeymooning! Our plan is to stay at Sandals either in Jamaica or St. Lucia. We want somewhere that's all-inclusive and tropical, so I think we won't be disappointed! I am hopefully going to make time to talk with a travel agent about that tomorrow errr or sometime this week when I'm not working lol. I also made a decision about the style/color for my bridesmaid dresses too, but that isn't set in stone, so I don't want to give it away just yet ;)

Another thing I have been thinking about a lot is decor for the reception. Ok, I have been thinking about that since the day we got engaged......but I have so many Pinterest wedding projects pinned that I need to eliminate a few haha. One of the things I definitely want to do is a memory ladder like this one:

It's still my style of rustic, and a great way to show pictures of our loved ones that we have lost. It's much prettier than just a table. I also started collecting some awesome antique frames of different sizes for the pictures.

Our next two vendor meetings are in February for our photography and for our flowers, so I am sort of waiting to make any decisions regarding those two, but of course I've been pinning things like CRAZY!!

Oh, and also our second article was published today! :)

Other than that, you haven't missed much :)

I hope this has inspired all of you brides!
happy planning xoxo