Wedding planning update: 16 days to go

30 August 2012

Oh my. This has been a rough week in terms of wedding planning – the most to do, and seemingly not much time to do it. We did get a few things done, but I’m hoping to finish the week strong so that next week can be all about organizing and packing.

Another task we completed this week — mapping out a wedding day car schedule, so our 16 bridal party + family members can get around in five cars on 10 different legs… without leaving anyone behind

Since my last update:
— I finished scanning all our slideshow photos and we’ve loaded them into the program – now just need to add finishing touches
— We finalized our wedding day schedule (we also timed out our ceremony to make sure our estimate was accurate!)
— We chose songs for all important moments (except first dance – still trying to decide on that one!)
— We made the final selections for our bar
— I printed the wrappers for our favors
— I sent the ceremony programs, welcome bag inserts, and maps out to be printed
— I’ve painted a first coat on our remaining large reception signage
— I mapped out our menu board and bought the additional paper needed for the rest of our signage (oh signage…)
— We sent final payments to several of our vendors – exciting!
— My veil arrived!
— I wrapped gifts for my bridesmaids and our greeters, readers, and pianist

A few of the tasks still on the list for the remainder of the week:
— Finalize details with our bandleader
— Finish the slideshow
— Write our toast
— Finalize our personal vows (eep!)
— Invite guests to Sunday brunch
— Finish the bar menu signage
— Assemble our menu board
— Make reserved table signs
— Find something to hold our cards at the reception

Wish me luck!! Hoping to get something up besides an update in the next week!

Wedding planning update: 24 days to go

22 August 2012

Yikes, time for our next update already! We have been super productive, though, I must say.

Reminder on our kitchen chalkboard this week

Since my last update:
— We alerted our ushers to their ushering duties
— I finalized all linen and rental orders, and our floor plan
— I assembled drink stirrers
— We invited guests to the rehearsal dinner and alerted our rehearsal participants to the rehearsal
— I designed our programs and designed and printed stickers for our welcome bags
— I purchased John’s gift (WHOO!)
— We deputized rehearsal dinner detail planning to John’s very talented sister
— I lettered three more pieces of signage
— We received our ring bearer bowl and switched out the ribbon for one matching our palette (so pretty!)
— We bought a second cat carrier (Yes, this counts as a wedding-related to do, because — per special request from the groom — our cats will be joining us for the drive up North and the week before the wedding. No, I am not kidding.)
— I bought a rehearsal dinner dress (THANK YOU for all of your help!)

A few of the tasks to be completed this week:
— Invite guests to Sunday brunch
— More signage
— Assemble slideshow (almost done scanning photos!)
— Put together our menu board
— Print the wrappers for our favors
— Finalize our wedding day schedule and reception songs (first dance, last song, etc.)
— Print maps, welcome bag pieces, and ceremony programs
— Make final selections for our bar

A picnic bridal shower

21 August 2012

There are several topics I need to cover before the wedding, and one of them is my wonderful bridal shower! I actually ended up having two bridal showers, but when this one took place (July), I thought it was going to be my only one. Even if it had been, I would have been completely satisfied — it was such a fun morning!

John’s two sisters and mom were the hostesses, and they did a remarkable job! The loose theme was “All You Need is Love” (perhaps an homage to our proposal video?), with heavy doses of pink, laid-back picnic style, and Parisian flair. A few of my most favorite things!

Marget sourced the invites from Minted. It was so exciting when this pretty showed up in my mailbox!

The day of the shower dawned exceptionally hot, especially for New England – about 95, with bright sun. Since we were outside, the ladies made a last-minute store run for several extra beach umbrellas, which went a long way towards keeping everyone shaded and cool!

The tables were delightful, filled with glitter-rimmed berry baskets, pink seersucker runners, gold painted mason jars (a DIY project!), and sunflowers in picnic baskets.

John’s mom is a phenomenal cook and baker, and his sisters are not far behind. The spread at the shower was delicious! We had chicken salad, egg salad with dill, croissants and baguettes, pea pesto salad, and watermelon and feta salad, and for dessert, an assortment of quick breads and mini cupcakes. YUM!

Once everyone had filled their plates and sat down to enjoy, the ladies went around the table saying something they loved about me, or sharing a memory from our lives together. Let me tell y’all — best thing ever! Since the attendees included my grandmother, my best friend from birth, the parents of my best childhood girlfriends, and many other important people in my life, the stories shared were wide-ranging and brought back memories I had almost forgotten about.

The rest of our time was taken up by two activities: a fun Emily and John trivia game, and opening this stack of goodies:

Me oh my! I’m working on a post about our registry right now, and I’ll highlight a few of my favorite gifts in an upcoming post! Needless to say, we are blessed with very generous family and friends.

Speaking of whom, here I am with John, my bridesmaids, my future brother in law, and my beautiful ribbon bouquet!

Back to the game for a minute. They titled it “Who Said It?” and it was a fun twist on the usual newlywed type game! Marget and Natalie came up with a list of questions (What was the best trip you’ve taken together? When did you know he/she was the one?), and got our answers beforehand. At the shower, guests split into teams of two, and each team was given a mustache on a stick and a pair of lips on a stick. The gals had chosen either my or John’s answer for each question, and teams had to guess which one of us said it. (They indicated their choice by holding up either the mustache or the lips!) It was harder than it sounds!

At the end of the morning, guests left with these sweet seed packet favors.

Everything was so thoughtfully planned. I had the best time, and am so thankful to John’s family for hosting, and our friends and family for braving the heat!

Thanks to a mix of attendees for sharing these photos!

P.S. The bridal shower I threw for Marget

Rehearsal dinner outfit

16 August 2012

Y’all, I need some help finding a dress for our rehearsal dinner. I was initially inclined to choose something white and go with the whole bridal theme, but if I’m purchasing a new dress, I’d like it to be useful post-wedding, and seeing as I already have a short white dress, I probably won’t have too many opportunities to wear both in the foreseeable future.

So no white – probably. Our rehearsal dinner is ocean-side, so something with a little nautical flair might be good, or I could see myself wearing “something blue” — Marget wore the cutest blue skirt and white top to her rehearsal and dinner, which I loved!

In the course of my hunt, I’ve searched the following sites:

Anne M. Cramer (nothing caught my eye), Anne Taylor, Anthropologie, B.B. Dakota, BCBG, Belk, Bevello, Gretchen Scott, H&M, J. Crew (nothing looked good), Kate Spade (too expensive), Kiribilla (too expensive), Lilly Pulitzer, The Limited, Loft, Madewell, Modcloth (either they were out of my size, the length was too short, or the fit+fabric had poor reviews), Nordstrom, Piperlime, Shopbop, Topshop, Trina Turk, and Zara. Whew.

After searching those 23 sites, here are the seven possibilities I found:

1) Coral one-shoulder dress by BCBGeneration via Piperlime ($89.50)
2) Color block tuck shift dress via TopShop ($95)
3) Colorblock crepe dress via Nordstrom ($98.90)
4) Cotton pleated sleeveless dress by LOFT ($85 – not available in my size online, but I might be able to find it in a store!)
5) Colorblock crepe de chine dress by Eliza J via Nordstrom ($92)
6) Jacquard cotton dress by Taylor Dresses via Nordstrom ($92)
7) Tylar dress by Lilly Pulitzer ($298)

Is anyone surprised that my favorite of the bunch is also the most expensive? I just adore the scalloped hem on the Lilly, and love that it has some nautical flavor (and is something (dark) blue) while still being endlessly wearable. I’ve also seen it in person, and the quality and fabric weight is awesome.

So, friends, to stop me from spending $298 on this dress, please suggest your best alternative shop or design. Or try to convince me that one of the other seven is a better choice. Or try to convince me that I should just go with the Lilly :)

Thank you in advance!!

Wedding planning update: 1 month to go

15 August 2012

Oh my goodness. Ohmygoodnessohmygoodnessohmygoodness. How did we get here?? I am trying my best to stay calm, but am not always successful. I am very thankful that though wedding planning is not John’s specialty, he is doing a great job picking up the slack on household chores, giving me extra time to check things off the master to do list. Speaking of the to do list? I decided to consolidate my three or four lists into one, and to break out every task into each of its component pieces (so, for example, “make drink stirrers” has now become “choose ribbon color”, “order ribbon”, “cut ribbon”, “cut sticks”, and “assemble stirrers”). This makes the list look more daunting (currently sitting at 122 to dos – yikes), but it also makes me feel good to know exactly what needs to be done and to have it all in one place. With that said, let’s check in!

Belathee Photography

Since my last update:
Invitations have arrived, been addressed and stuffed, and sent back out the door! So far we’ve received responses from 79 of our 157 invited guests (68 yeses), and our RSVP deadline is today.
— I had my final dress fitting last week, and my dress is being shipped to Connecticut soon!
— We’ve placed the order for our ring bearer bowl – short and sweet. Can’t wait to share!
— We’ve finalized all of the details for our ceremony – order, readings, songs, everything – and are waiting for confirmation from our pastor. We’ve already sent the details out to our musicians!
— I’ve FINALLY been making some good progress on our DIY projects! There has been much wood cutting, ribbon tying, cardboard painting, hot gluing, signage designing, and calligraphy-ing happening over here!
— I ordered bridesmaid/reader/helper gifts and John bought his groomsman gifts.
— We secured a dream photo location :)

A few of the tasks to be completed this week:
— Finalize rental and linen orders and reception tent layout (almost done with this – not for the faint of heart!)
— Invite guests to rehearsal dinner and Sunday brunch and decide on outfits for both
— Finish scanning photos for slideshow
— Complete a number of DIY projects – mostly more signage
— Buy John’s wedding gift

What do you think – is it boring to have a planning update every week for the last month? Or fascinating? Good motivation? You tell me!