Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving



These past couple of months, both personally and professionally, I have been reminded how lucky we all are to even be here. So this holiday season, it's time to cut out any extraneous bullshit there may be and just enjoy every single moment with the people who matter to you most. 

Hoping your Thanksgiving is great however you may spend it!

Monday, November 24, 2014

American Music Awards

In case you didn't get a chance to see the carpet or watch the awards, here are my Best and Worst Dressed picks of the AMA's...

Best Dressed: Taylor Swift. You annoyed me for a while...not going to lie. But as you said 'haters gonna hate.' Now I sing along to your catchy little tune in the car as I shimmy. Well played. 

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Selena Gomez. No Bieber looks good on you. 

Worst Dressed: Diana Ross. Now you will always be the original diva, but I guess this is what happens when your son marries a Simpson. 

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: Heidi Klum. I'm not sure where you went wrong, maybe a little more zig and a little less zag.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Contingency Account

If there is anything you have learned about Kyle through this blog, it's that sports takes precedent over everything else...even on our wedding day. So when the Ohio State game was on during that day, it was important that him and his groomsmen be able to watch it while they were getting ready. 

But if there's one thing I learned about the wedding industry, it's that nothing is free... 

In order for the hotel to simply move a TV into that room, it was going to cost a cool two hundo. Kyle then suggested he walk over our TV from our apartment which was a couple blocks down from the hotel. Of course I looked at him like he was insane. 

He was already constructing and dropping off a photo wall, running people around, and trying to get ready. Did he really need to be a lugging TV down the street too?

In the end, Kyle and the guys ended up getting ready at Terranea, a resort closer to the ceremony. TV crisis averted. 

But this was just one of the many costs that popped up at the end. My advice would be to set 1k-2k aside in an account for any possible obstacles that may happen in the end. That way you can pull from your already designated pot, instead of having to lose it from somewhere else in the wedding you wouldn't want to. 

Because even though wedding costs may like to kick you when you're down...at least you'll be able to watch TV while it happens.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Husband


Just wanting to wish Kyle an early Happy Birthday which he celebrates tomorrow. Off to Target to pick up some candy, underwear, and socks. I always believe in giving the gift of necessities. Romantic, I know.

This picture was taken on our first date over 14 years ago and he's kept me laughing every day since. 

Have a good one Husband!

xo

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Getting Ready Robes

Sometimes brides can forget yet another needed element of their wardrobe for the Big Day - their 'Getting Ready' attire. In my attempt to be fashion forward and cutting edge, I thought I would order an abstract print caftan from Bloomingdales online. 

But as you can see, the final outcome ended up being a Technicolored Pterodactyl.

While snapping this picture Kyle couldn't keep a straight face. Needless to say it was immediately put back in the plastic packaging and returned. After much searching, I finally found the Josie by Natori robe that I wore on my wedding day at a Bloomingdales store. This time I made sure to try it on before I bought it. Who knew a robe could go so wrong.

And below are some of my picks for possible Getting Ready Robes for all of you! Hopefully they will leave you looking dynamite...not like a dinosaur in my case. 







Monday, November 10, 2014

Holly & Randy : Ferrerfoto Photography

Meet Holly and Randy. Their wedding in the woods is one of the prettiest I've ever seen! The back drop was perfect as was every DIY detail, but one thing that wasn't so perfect was dun, dun dun...the weather. Enjoy Holly's entertaining I Guess I Do moments in her own words below!
...

Hi! I am so excited about sharing my I Guess I Do moments with the world! My name is Holly (Mittelmeier) Weakland and I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and work in higher education. I have recently moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where my husband, Randy Weakland, accepted a new job in the Research Triangle (he is an engineer). I enjoy yoga, running, dancing, working with students, red wine, Netflix, Target, coffee, and NPR. 

Randy and I actually met on Match.com while I was still living and working in Indiana. I had been on and off Match for a long time, and out of a moment of sheer vulnerability after breaking off yet another tumultuous entanglement with a friend from grad school, Randy emailed me. I knew I was heading back to Cleveland so I had changed my zip code to hopefully attract a lovely gent that would be waiting for me once I moved back. We took it slow and as Gwyneth would call it, entered into a “conscious coupling” and fell in love. He proposed in October of 2013 in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at sunset. 

Randy and I really enjoy the outdoors, so it was important to us to have some element of our wedding outside. In Ohio, that is slightly difficult no matter what time of year one chooses for the wedding. It can be blazing hot, raining, or really cool at any point from May-October. It was going to be a gamble no matter what! Luckily, we found a gorgeous barn venue in the middle of Mohican State Park where we were able to have elements both inside and outside, and would be able to have our ceremony inside if it rained (which of course, I put that thought out of my mind from the very get-go of planning, no matter what the ceremony was going to be outside). Planning was mainly enjoyable and fun, with a touch of stress and anxiety, but a lot of learning along the way. In order to keep myself sane, I promised myself that I would not get caught up in the stresses of planning this event, as it was the marriage that was so much more important. 

The Cake. 
Anyone that knows me well can tell you that I have a major sweet tooth. I especially love cake. I get excited for cake at any occasion, and will internally squeal with delight upon having cake that has my favorite kind of frosting. So obviously, I was extremely excited to taste and pick out MY own wedding cake. I scoured Pinterest for the designs I liked and based on a recommendation from a colleague on a bakery she used, we booked our first tasting appointment. I had previously given the owner designs I liked so she was going to have a quote for us. Little did I realize all the designs I liked had used fondant. Little did I also realize fondant is highly labor intensive and most people don’t even like the taste of fondant so they usually didn’t eat it with their slice of cake. She gave me the quote of $1300. $1300!!!! I was a bit taken back and then when I called my mom and informed her of the quote, her response validated that we needed to keep looking. 

This had been my first planning roadblock so I was feeling sad and discouraged…were all cakes this expensive? Being pretty ignorant of the world of wedding cakes, I had no idea how much they usually went for. A few days later, my mom called me and told me she just watched a wedding-themed episode of The Chew that morning and Michael Symon said that “no-one should ever pay over $600 for a wedding cake.” Well, if you like food and are from Cleveland, Michael Symon truly knows best so I was going to use Michael’s advice. We ended up going with the bakery associated with our caterer, and they had great reviews on theKnot. Our tasting went well and she was able to create a texturized look with the icing that resembled fondant and EVERYONE LOVED THE CAKE and said it was some of the best cake they had ever tasted. Mission accomplished! 

The Colors/Flowers. 
My adventures in wedding colors, now that I look back on it, make me laugh because they seemingly took a journey all on their own and changed from the beginning to the finished product. Like many brides, I scoured Pinterest for hours in the initial planning stages, created color palettes, etc. The difficulty is, there are SO many beautiful color combinations out there and with the help of a little creativity and imagination, anything can be made to look fantastic and accomplish the overall vision the bride is wanting. The options were overwhelming and I had to set an hour limit to my Pinterest research or else a panic-induced anxiety attack would set in (okay, maybe not, but you all know what I mean). In my eyes, the colors set the whole tone for the wedding-they decided everything-the décor, flowers, dresses, cake, it all came back to the colors- so picking the wrong ones would be bad. 

We had chosen Labor Day weekend, those days of passage signaling the end of summer to beginning of Fall….so to choose summery shades or autumn shades? Or maybe neglect both and do what I want? Maybe others would interpret summery shades for fall shades or vice versa? Criminy, this is awful. I went with my gut and chose the color palette I first really loved. Poppy tones of a peachy pink and dark eggplant/plum with a contrast of ivory and a sage green (Visit designseeds.com and you will see how specific one can get). I really love the dark, dreamy, victorian shades of purple and wear them often, but I was a little nervous because I wanted to stay away with brighter, royal shades of purple and hoped the two wouldn’t end up meeting somewhere in the middle. 

Planning moved forward. I learned overtime that many have differing views on what eggplant is and had more wine-colored options or their version of eggplant was burgundy. No people-are you color blind? Burgandy and eggplant are two completely different colors. I was also really excited about my flowers. I had given my florist a couple different photos of bouquets I loved and we used her services for my sister’s wedding and my mom had referred her out to many family friends. She was extremely receptive to my vision of a elegant, yet rustic theme for my barn wedding and she set my nerves at ease. I kept encountering the same issue though-vendors never had the EXACT shade of dark purple I wanted to I had to make do with the options they had that were the closest. Invitations were designed, bridesmaid dresses were bought, tablecloths ordered-slowly, I knew the colors were changing a bit but I was also proud of all the crafting I was doing and slowly let go of my tight-fisted grasp of the color I wanted. 

The wedding day finally comes and after I have on my dress and it is time for our first look photos, I go downstairs to get my bouquet since my florist had arrived. I walk down the stairs with anticipation to see all my gorgeous flowers and low and behold (incite Psycho theme music) PURPLE. All I see is purple. The color purple I did NOT want. BUT the flowers looked gorgeous in the wooden box centerpieces and looked perfect with everything else I had put together. I knew at that point there was absolutely nothing I could do about it so I smiled, hugged my amazing lady of a florist, smelled the sweet scents of my bouquet, and went to see my future husband so he could finally see me in my dress. Everything came together and all my trips to Michael’s and Pat Catans had paid off-my elegant, rustic vision blended wonderfully in the wooden barn, tucked deep in the Ohio forest. Second mission accomplished! 


Rain. 

Or as I call it, $#@&. They had been calling for a brief period of rain all morning of the wedding. I was internally panicking that my outside ceremony would not happen. I was hoping that it would be one of those normal Ohio days where the weather people call for thunderstorms all day but it ends up being sunny and bright instead. It was warm, but that nice warm between hot and cool. The previous day was HOT, around the low 90’s and the venue owners (Laura & Kevin) had said the wedding that took place the previous day was misery because of the heat, so I was grateful for the cooler temperature. Laura looks at the Doppler radar and says there is a little rain that will move through between 11-1, but we should be in the all clear afterwards. 



Our first look is supposed to be at 1:15 and photos will be until 3:30, so we should be in the clear. Our first look session was under grey skies and just as we were walking into the woods for some more photos, it starts to drizzle. Kevin offers to drive me through the woods on his very muddy looking John Deere cart, and lays a towel down for me so I wouldn’t get dirty. Paul (our photog) and Randy follow, and by the time we get to the area we want, it starts to nearly pour. Paul & Randy keep a towel over my head as I hold my lace train so it doesn’t get muddy. I internally scream bloody murder. This is NOT what I had in mind for our photos! One of the main reasons Randy and I chose this venue was because of its natural beauty and all the amazing opportunities for photos. We elected to not do engagement photos to save money, so this was our one shot! I want to cry and throw a brick at something, but I collect myself and we go back to the barn to do some photos there and wait it out. It stops after about 20 minutes and we are able to go back out and do the rest of the photos we wanted. 

The ceremony gets set up outside under brief intermittent periods of drizzle. Everyone keeps telling me to calm down and the sun will come out. Sure enough, it stops raining before guests arrive and the sun comes out as our pastor declares us husband and wife. I felt like Princess Kate when the sun came out when she stepped out of her car to go into the Cathedral to marry William! (Sorry for the dramatic analogy, but I love Princess Kate and was one of those crazy women that woke up at 2am to watch their wedding on TV). Interestingly enough, as soon as all of us sat down to dinner inside the barn, it poured and thundered on and off for an hour and was insanely humid the rest of the night, but none of us cared. Third mission accomplished! 

Cue Cheesy Music. 
So all in all, it was a wonderful experience. And here comes my Danny Tanner moment-when I look at Randy, all I feel is gratitude and happiness for finding “my person” and being with the love of my life. We never would have imagined we would find ourselves in NC a mere year after him proposing, and here we are-living our first life adventure together. The wedding happened just the way it was supposed to, and just as many brides told me post-wedding, the small stresses and worries just DO NOT MATTER at the end of the day. You found the person you are supposed to grow old with! Can’t get much better than that! <3 

Venue: The Grand Barn Wedding Center  Wedding Planner: Heart 2 Heart Occasions Florist: Countryside Florist Caterer: Taste of Excellence  Cake: Patisserie 42  Dress: Allure Bridals via Catans   Headpiece: Nordstrom  Bridesmaids: Weddington Way & Alfred Sung  Ceremony Quartet: Alliance String Quartet  DJ: RaisetheRoof Entertainment  Invites, Save The Date's, Programs: TheMoxieStudio Photography: Ferrerfoto  Decorations: Michaels, Pat Catans & Etsy (all décor--ask Holly) 


 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Life Happens



As I've come to find these past couple of months, while all of your lists may be checked, and your T’s are crossed, nothing can prepare you for the unpredictable and unexpected road ahead. As much as we like to plot and plan for everything to be perfect, sometimes life happens.

And the same can be said for weddings. All of your visions and tireless months of planning may all change in a single day. I have had friends who’ve scrapped plans because of a father’s pending liver transplant, or who have drastically had to scale back because of the loss of a job.

The fact is, we cannot control what happens, but we can control how we react to what happens. Kyle and I have already looked at all of the ways we can scale back. Are the expensive gym memberships, the dry cleaning, and the endless amounts of dinners out really worth it? When the servers at your favorite Mexican joint know your life story – you know you eat out too much!

So if unexpected situations arise during your wedding planning process, be proactive rather than reactive. Sometimes stepping aside and taking a realistic look at ways you can cut back will not only help yourselves, but your pocketbooks. The personalized favors, the boutonnieres, the custom napkins, the welcome bags…all are nice, but all add up.

In the end, when it comes to both weddings and life, even though you may have to strip away all of the excess, you’ll find that there is still much to be grateful for. 





Monday, November 3, 2014

Speaking of Halloween





People out here find it shocking that engagement announcements even exist in my hometown, let alone write ups about when you get divorced, have a kid, buy a house, or run a stop sign. I feel like if you break wind in JC Penney's everybody knows about it. 

Regardless, when it comes to pictures, I hate how I look in every one. Needless to say, my Mom wanted to shoot me when it came to what picture she would put in the almighty paper. 

Now I'm not going to lie, I do enjoy a good Instagram filter (can we say Thank God for Amaro?), but I hope some day we can live in a world without duck faces, peace sign poses, and selfies. 

A girl can dream can't she?