Somethin’ For the Fellas

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Even though everyone says that the wedding is just for the bride, I tried to make sure that the groom and groomsmen had something to make them feel special – and a little loosened up! With the help of my Matron of Honor, the boys enjoyed a whiskey and cigar bouquet before the ceremony!

Groomsmen Liquor Bouquet

Groomsmen Liquor Bouquet

Flower pot + floral foam + a dozen whiskey minis and cigars on sticks x a paper mustache = happy groomsmen.

Our Non-Traditional Wedding Music

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Our wedding music was probably the most difficult aspect for me. I love music, and I love all kinds of music. But this was for our wedding day, and I wanted to get it right. Nothing cheesy, nothing too slow, and certainly nothing traditional!

Since I know there are other brides out there who are struggling with the same dilemma, here are the songs we went with:

Prelude: Zebra by Beach House
Seating of the Mothers: Reckoner by the Vitamin String Quartet
Processional: Love and Some Verses by Iron and Wine
Presentation of the Bride: Skinny Love by Bon Iver
Recessional: 5 Years’ Time by Noah and the Whale
Reception Entrance: Feel So Close by Calvin Harris
First Dance: Fingernail Moon by Jason Whitton
Father/Daughter Dance: Down in the Valley by Otis Redding

Which non-traditional songs did you, or are you thinking about going with?

DIY Wedding Flowers

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One of the most expensive things you’ll encounter during your wedding planning is the flowers. I got a quote from a florist for one bouquet that was over $100! Multiply that by six, add eight boutonnieres and three corsages, and suddenly you’re thinking of more ways to have less food or alcohol (the things that really matter to your guests). And I’ve always believed that – especially for an outdoor wedding – no one has ever said, “Gee, I wish there were more flowers at that wedding.”

So, I decided early on that I would not be spending a ton of money in that area. You might be surprised to know that the buy-in-bulk club stores like Sam’s and Costco sell flowers in bulk, too, and they are beautiful (and affordable). We spend a little over $400 at Sam’s and got enough flowers for everything you see below, and more. It also didn’t hurt that I have amazingly creative friends who dedicated the morning of the wedding to helping me put all this together.

Wedding Bouquets, Centerpieces, Accent Flowers

Wedding Centerpieces, Accent Flowers

Bride's Bouquet with Cotton

Wedding Centerpieces, Accent Flowers

Groom's Groomsmen Boutonnier
Aisle Flowers, Mason Jars, Shepherd Hook
Aisle Flowers, Mason Jars, Shepherd Hook
Aisle Flowers, Mason Jars, Shepherd Hook

Jars: Bulk from Kmart.com ~$9.00 a dozen – the best deal I found
Lace Ribbon: DIY Wal-Mart ~$4.00 a spool (we used four)
Hemp Twine: DIY Wal-Mart ~$8.00 a spool for the bigger gauge (one was plenty)
Shepherd Hooks: Amazon.com ~$8.00 each (we used 12)
Burlap: JoAnn Fabric ~$4.00 a yard (we used one yard)
Cotton: Real Georgia cotton donated by a friend
Sage: Publix ~$3.00 for one bunch
Vases: DIY discovered in the house where we held the wedding

All photo credit to Woodland Fields Photography.

Wedding Photos

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The knot has been tied! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted much, but the dust is still settling. Two days after the wedding, we left for our 12-day honeymoon in the Virgin Islands (pics coming soon), and then closed on our house the Friday after we got back. It’s been a little crazy, but we couldn’t be happier.

I plan to post about lots of details from the bachelorette party, the wedding and honeymoon, but for now, I’ll just share a few photos that we just got back from our oh-so-amazingly talented photographer, Catherine Taylor.

First, I’ve got to talk about this packaging! When I realized that the photos had come in the mail, I was ecstatic, but was so sweetly surprised to find that they came looking like this:

Woodland Fields Photography Packaging

Woodland Fields Photography Packaging
Woodland Fields Photography Discs

Adorable! Now, on to the professional!

All of the following photos were taken by Catherine Taylor of Woodland Fields Photography, and her blog is breathtaking!

In the Dress
Bouquets

Dress BouquetMason Jar Shepherd Hook

Mason Jar Name Tags

Wedding Photos Field

Wedding Photos through the trees

Funny Groomsmen Photo

Funny Bridesmaid Photo

Mismatched Bridesmaids

Wedding Party PhotoFirst DanceFather Daughter Dance

Wedding Exit

As you can see, we had a bit of fun with the photos, which is exactly what I wanted. I really couldn’t have asked for more.

Venue: Southwood House and Cottages in Tallahassee, Florida
Photography: Woodland Fields Photography
Flowers: Sam’s Club w/ DIY arrangement by me and my maids (A Pretty Penny would be proud!)
Mason Jars with tags: DIY
Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Wedding Dress: Tyler by Watters in Ivory (neckline altered to sweetheart by Hayley Lauren Couture of Tallahassee, Florida)

Recipe: Mama’s 5th Sunday Sweet Iced Tea

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Tea Glasses

Being from the south, there were a few things I had to adjust to when I moved on to city life. Winter was a hard one, and missing Publix was pretty brutal, as well. The worst one of all, however, was the non-existence of sweet tea at restaurants. Come on, people, we are still below the Mason-Dixon! And no, adding sugar to the already chilled tea is NOT the same. Where are your manners?

It’s a good thing my mama raised me right and taught me how to fry, sew (although I’ll never be the cook or the seamstress she is!) and make my own sweet tea. And, since summer’s abrewin’, I thought I’d share the recipe with y’all.

Tea BagsFirst, add your tea bags to a small boiler of water and turn the burner to High. I used three tea bags because I accidentally bought the small ones.

Brewing TeaAfter a few minutes, the tea will start to make its appearance.

Brewing TeaThen, the tea will start to bubble a little and get foamy on top. This means you’re almost done. As soon as the tea begins to show signs of bowling, turn off the burner. DO NOT let it boil or you’ll break the bags!

SweetnessAllow the tea to steep for as long as you can stand it, but don’t let it get cool. In the meantime, add your sugar. I like to use a little over 1 cup per gallon. You can sweeten to taste, but if you use less, you can’t call it 5th Sunday tea, which gets its name (according to Mama) from being so sweet, it’s as if it’s been ready for a month of Sundays and then some!

Next, add the warm, steeped tea to the pitcher with the sugar and stir. Fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water and continue stirring. Use a frilly glass for summer sipping, and there you have it!

5th Sunday Tea

INGREDIENTS:
2 Large Iced Tea Bags (or 3 small ones)
1 & 1/4 Cup of Sugar per Gallon to taste (but this is 5th Sunday tea, so be generous)
Cold Water

Bridal Shower Brunch

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So, it’s been WAY too long since my last post, but in the meantime, I had my Bridal Shower Brunch and I want to show you all what my amazing bridesmaids did for me! The details were so thoughtful and done so well!

Bridal Shower SignWhen I first walked in, I was greeted by this lovely sign and there was no guessing where I was supposed to sit.

Special Seat for the BrideMy beautiful corsage was hand-made by my dear friend and Matron of Honor, Sarah, who plucked the camellia and rosemary straight out of her backyard. She made similar, smaller ones for my mom and future mother-in-law. Adorable! And there’s that dress again, in all her glory with the necklace belt from this post.

A Florida GirlThere’s my Florida Girl making a cameo to put some finishing touches on the decorations! Love her <3

The RefreshmentsAnother beautiful hand-made sign to adorn the refreshment table!

Tiramisu CupcakesA closeup of those amazing Tiramisu Cupcakes, made from scratch by our darling friend, Brenna. They were delicious!

Bridal Shower BellinisThese Ginger Peach Bellinis were amazing and my maids even decked everyone out with their own Mason Jar. The jars and the lace and southern elegance made me even more excited for the wedding!

Advice for the BrideAdvice for the bride!

Dainty FlowersLacy details…

Forever For AlwaysThis framed piece was actually a gift being utilized as decoration. I fell in love with it when I first saw it and, to my delightful surprise, it was mine to keep! Swoon!

I have the best friends in the world and I have never felt more loved by them than on this day. They went over and above anything I could’ve asked for and I truly had a memorable time. Love you guys!

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

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Although I am still about 4 months away, I’ve been anxious to find an outfit for my rehearsal dinner. After several failed attempts at finding and ordering a bunch of dresses that might work, I finally found The One.

Cream Lace Rehearsal Dinner Dress

I originally saw this dress by ASOS on Pinterest and fell in L.O.V.E., but since it was pinned from a popular blog (I would credit the blog here, but I simply cannot find it again), by the time I got to it, the dress was completely sold out in the cream color I wanted. Recently, however, I was back on the ASOS site and lo and behold, it was back in stock! I scooped up this sexy little number and couldn’t be happier.

Here are are some of the other contenders that are beautiful, but just didn’t work out for me:

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

ASOS One Shoulder Dress with Drape Front - $80.57

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Rare Chiffon Wrap Dress With Cut Out Shoulder - $80.57

Rehearsal Dinnner Dress

J.Crew Kira Dress in Dark Mushroom - $250

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Lulu's Motown White Dress - $38

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Forever21 Floral Lace Dress - $29.80

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Lush 'Harper' Chiffon Dress (Nordstrom) - $46

These were all gorg. Which one would you have chosen?

Glasstastic Weekend

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One of the best things about living in DC is being so close to some amazing neighbor cities. The future hubs and I are always taking the weekends to explore the area and see what’s right in our backyard.

Recently, some friends of ours from Baltimore invited us to spend the weekend with them for the Super Bowl. It was a FULL couple of days, but the highlights were definitely the glassblowing class we took, and the $10 AYCD Brunch at a local restaurant/bar.

For the glassblowing class, we all chose to make stemless wine glasses. There were 3 couples and we all took turns blowing the glass for each other and catching the finished glass at the end. They turned out amazing!

Glassblowing

Adding the colors to the glass.

Glassblowing

Heating up the colors.

Glassblowing

Filling the glass with air.

Glassblowing

Forming the mouth of the glass.

Glassblowing

Catching the glass as it's broken away from the rod.

Glassblowing

The finished product!

This was one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done. And, we all now have a conversation piece and something we can use every day (or at least I do since I don’t go a day without mah wines). I can’t wait for my family and Florida friends to come up and do this!

As for the brunch, we had quite possibly the most delicious mimosas and screwdrivers ever made, thanks to our bartender, Corey. Not to mention this gem of a breakfast:

Waterfront Hotel BrunchSo, if you’re ever in the Baltimore area for a fun weekend, here’s where you must go:

McFadden Art Glass Workshop
The prices vary depending on what you choose to make and the size of your group. Tim is an amazing artist and teacher. SO fun!

The Waterfront Hotel Brunch

$10 AYCD Mimosas, Screwdrivers, Bloody Marys, & NattyBoh from 10am-2pm Saturday & Sunday

Bridal Shower Dress on a Budget + DIY Accessories

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One of the more challenging fun aspects of planning my wedding has been looking for something to wear all of the upcoming festivities. Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, my Bridal Shower is coming up. Soon. Eek! So, yesterday, I made it my mission to find the outfit, and I definitely succeeded…on the style AND price.

Here’s the winning dress:

Bridal Shower DressCute, appropriate and simply sweet, right? Well, it needed a little something and I’m not usually known for leaving the house without an arm full of bracelets or some dagger earrings.

So, I popped on over to everyone’s favorite, Forever 21, for some ideas. What I was really looking for was a slinky little gold waist belt like my Florida Girl style queen has, but no dice yesterday at The Forevs. What I did find, however, was this amazing little gem of a beaded necklace that was about to be turned into a belt:

Necklace BeltI removed both sides of the chain and moved the clasp down to the first link. Instant belt!

I also found these dainty little earrings to finish up the jewelry:

Flower Earrings
Finally, the shoes! This is most important, right? One thing I’m also not known for is being afraid to be tall. Enter, the best thing that Payless has ever had for sale:

Nude PumpsAmazing, right? Not only can I wear these with my schmancy little Bridal Shower dress, but since they are nude, I can reasonably wear them with anything else I may find for other wedding events. In. Love. I’ll update with pics from the shower with ensemb in total.

So, what’s the damage? Not much. Check it out:

Nordstrom Lush Mesh Overlay Dress: $46.00
Forever 21 Necklace (Belt): $6.80
Forever 21 Gold Flower Earrings: $3.80
Payless Fioni Knot Pumps: $29.99
Total: $86.59

So, tell me: what amazing little money-saving finds have you been super proud of?

Bridal Shower Invitation

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My bridal shower is coming up in a couple weeks and look what arrived in the mail!

Bridal Shower InvitationHow amazing is my bestie little maid of honor for whipping up these simply beautiful invitations? The little sleeve at the bottom is flocked for added whimsy and sweetness. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! You probably know this crafty little lady as A Florida Girl, but to me, she’s the truest of friends with a heart of gold! Now, get on over to her blog to check out all the other gems she’s creating!

Let’s see your bridal shower invites! How did you like what your maids did for yours?

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