Throwback Thursday – High Tea Bridal Shower

Back in August, I traveled to Maryland to celebrate one of my best friends Bridal Showers!

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We went with the High Tea theme because Jacey is a very prim and proper type of lady. The Bridal Shower was held at the Harbor Court Hotel in the Brighton room, which overlooked the Inner Harbor.

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I bought the invitation to the High Tea off of Etsy and had them printed locally. If you are looking for an affordable way to send out invitations, this is the way to go!

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I also had the same Etsy company make me a game called “spill the tea” in the same print that was used on the invitations. The game had questions for the guests to answer about Jacey and Brad’s relationship,  but mostly about Jacey since it was her shower.

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The tables were decorated with teacups and teapots I bought at an antique store in New Jersey. I bought flowers from Whole Foods and added some flower “confetti” to give the white table cloths a pop of color. I also made a few glitter votive candles that you can see in the last picture.

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Favors were completed by the grooms sisters and they stuck to the high tea theme by buying a bundle of tea samplers. I tried the blueberry lemon tea and it was delicious! I made the glitter letters behind the favors by purchasing plain white wooden letters from Michaels, painting them gold and then sprinkling a fine gold glitter on top.

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Instead of a guest book I thought it would be fun to make a date idea jar for Jacey to use when her and Brad have a free weekend. The jar was super easy to make – I bought fabric tape and popsicle sticks for the date ideas and stuck them inside of a mason jar that had ribbon/twine on the outside.

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I purchased a small banner to go above the presents on Etsy (of course) that said High Tea Bride to Be. I could have made this myself to save money but I was so sick during the planning days that I used Etsy for a lot of things!

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The frames with the sayings in them around the room were made by my friend Melissa who also has her own Etsy shop.

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I ordered the large teapot shaped cake from Kirsten’s Cakery and I loved the special touch they added by having a tea bag on the side with Jacey’s name.

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The candy jars were added around the cake for people who weren’t interested in eating cake. I found the chalkboard clothespins at Michaels and we made Southern dessert names to go with each candy on the table. To make the to go bags I just bought regular brown paper bags, lace doilies and used a glitter pen for Brad and Jacey’s initials.

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For the last decorative touch, I made a small photobooth for others to take pictures in front of. The room had great lighting and the pictures turned out really well. I bought some props off of Etsy and printed/cut them out myself. We then glued them to wooden rods I found at Michaels and placed them in milk jars I hand painted.

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Harbor Court Baltimore served a light lunch that consisted of scones and fresh jam, mini tea sandwiches, a trio of desserts, strawberries and whipped cream (some with liquor), tea and champagne (or sparkling cider).

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Jacey opened lots of amazing gifts with the help of her sweet little flower girl.

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We loved seeing everyone get into the High Tea spirit and it was such a beautiful day for the beautiful bride-to-be.

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Wedding Recap – Welcome Bags

I thought I was done with the wedding posts, I really did. But when my MIL gave me an extra “Wedding Welcome Bag” that she had saved, I figured I could show you what we did.

During the 7 months I planned our wedding, I never felt overwhelmed…until it came to the welcome bags. I don’t know why something so small (and something that had nothing to do with the actual day) stressed me out so much. I didn’t cry when the Bridal store had ordered my dress a size too small, but I cried when someone in our welcome bag assembly line put two shuttle times in one bag (seriously!?). Clearly, I needed some sleep.

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Our invitations (and colors) were grey with pink lace so we decided to replicate that look onto the bags. I originally had bought kraft bags but my moms friend Rene searched for these above! We ordered the lace from the same woman who made our invitations and the stickers from My Own Labels.

Custom Door Hanger.

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I also ordered these on Etsy. Etsy really was my best friend while wedding planning!

Custom Cups.

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My Grandma ordered these cups from a store that specializes in monogrammed items. We were thankful that she thought of this and that they were able to get them to us on time!

Water Bottles.

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Not the clearest picture… We had two of these in each bag because who wants to pay $5 for a hotel bottled water?

DIY Crab Mallet.

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Oh you know… Just another way to stress myself out! Painted 50 of these (with help!) 2 nights before our wedding. On one side we had the date, the other side was our last name initial (K). We wrapped them with a ribbon that said happily ever after.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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My Aunt Kathy makes THE best chocolate chip cookies so I, of course, asked her to make some for the bags. We tied them shut with a lace ribbon and I can’t tell you how glad I was to have these in my hotel room at midnight.

Crab Chips.

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You aren’t in Maryland unless you have a taste of Old Bay. These are one of my favorite chips… Yum! Side Note: I heard they don’t sell these anywhere but Maryland. Is this true!?

Homemade Bride & Groom Pretzels.

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Also not a clear picture… My MOH, friend Crystal and myself spent the Monday before the wedding making these. I think it took us 6 hours to make 120 of them but they were worth it! I love that I have creative friends to help me out. It would have taken me a lot longer to do it alone.

Advil.

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To cure your hangover the next morning…obviously.

Shuttle Information, What to do in Baltimore, Post Wedding Brunch Invitation and Welcome Letter.

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We bought actual wedding invitations to go in the bag because I loved the print! We used the invitations for the welcome letter and the “response cards” for the Post Wedding Brunch Invitation. Card stock was used for the shuttle times and “Things to do” insert. I found the chevron print online and used that as a watermark.

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If you aren’t OCD about planning, let someone else take over the welcome bags – it really is the easiest task of all and shouldn’t put pressure on you!

If you made welcome bags for your wedding, what did you include?

 

 

Newport, RI – Part 2

Friday morning I woke up at a time where even babies are still asleep… 5am. I ran to the cliff walk to have some “me” time before a busy day with the bride!

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I woke Adam up shortly after the sunrise and we enjoyed breakfast at Corner Cafe. It was 7am on a Friday and this place was PACKED. I don’t usually like to eat at the same place twice when I’m visiting a city but I HAD to go back for more. I will do a post later on the food because it was that good.

After breakfast we took a quick walk to find our future mansion. We’re leaning towards renting out The Breakers but it’s still undecided at this point 😉

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Adam went off to play golf and I spent the remainder of the day with the bride getting dolled up!

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After putting on our dresses, it was go time!
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We got a sneak peek of the room before the ceremony and it was absolutely stunning! It was the perfect venue for this princess.

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I met up with my own handsome prince in between the ceremony and reception and he had a glass of champagne waiting for me… Thank goodness, because taking pictures makes you thirsty!
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We had so much fun at The Fiora wedding and I’m so happy when couples get to experience the love of marrying their best friend. It’s the best feeling in the world!

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Newport, RI

Last week Adam and I took off to Rhode Island for a few days to celebrate my sissy getting married! I had never been to Rhode Island but had heard great things and did A LOT of research on where the best places to grub were, of course.

Our first stop when we arrived in Newport was to Easton’s Beach. I read that their snack shack (of all places!?) had an amazing lobster roll. To make it even better you could order TWO for $11. Music to my husband’s ears…

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We both ordered the lobster roll and sat on the beach to inhale them.

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Mmmm. The best COLD lobster roll I’ve ever eaten (Boston holds the number 1 for a hot roll in my heart).

We walked along the beach before heading back to our hotel to check-in. Rehearsal was at 5 so we had a few minutes to walk around near the shops. I decided we needed something sweet and had my eye on The Fudgery ever since we drove into town.

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It was a tough choice but we went with the Oreo Fudge. You buy a slab, they throw it in a bag and then you eat as much as you want (aka the entire slab).

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We headed off to the beautiful venue where The (now) Fiora’s practiced their I Do’s.

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The rehearsal dinner was at The Landing which was a cute restaurant right next to our hotel. We had the entire upstairs and custom menus for the event.

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I’m not usually a fan of Key Lime Pie but this was phenomenal! The bride also planned a grooms cake made out of rice krispie treats since Chris does not like cake (he is a weirdo).

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There were lots of drinks and plenty of dancing but after a full day of travel i was ready for bed. Adam and I headed back to the hotel around 11 so we could get up early for a run by the mansions and a delicious breakfast… More on that later!

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Wedding Recap: The Honeymoon Part 2

If you missed Part One, click here to see some amazing views and the nightlife that St. Lucia / Sandals offered.

Sandals is an all-inclusive resort which means unlimited food & drinks. I felt like every time we sat down to eat, it was for a 3 course meal. Not good for the bikini!

We started everyday off with a quick workout in the gym or a run on the beach. We had to do something so we didn’t come back 10 lbs heavier! Some days we had breakfast delivered to our room.

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But most days we visited the breakfast buffet. They offered make your own omelet stations, french toast, oatmeal with plenty of toppings, fresh fruit, smoothies, cereal, pastries and more. My plate usually looked like this: Lots of fresh fruit, egg whites with salsa and a piece of french toast with whipped cream and blueberries.

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There are plenty of things to do during the day when staying at the resort. My favorite was definitely laying out! Be sure to claim your chair first thing in the morning or you probably will miss out on a good seat.

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and send your husband to the bar, of course.

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Adam and I played tennis a couple of times — but as you can see from below, I’m not the best person to play with.

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I am however, a fantastic golf cart driver.

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The views in St. Lucia are absolutely stunning — If you ever visit, make sure you go hiking!

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We tried two excursions. The first one was the Simon Says tour (we booked everything through our hotel). I go back and forth about this tour — In one way I felt like it was torturous, in another way I felt like it’s necessary to see everything.  We started off with a boat ride tour and when we first got on the boat it was raining. Wind + rain whipping into your face on a boat ride = not so much fun. Our first stop was the Piton’s. They are truly gorgeous and I wish the sun would have been out so we could have stayed a bit longer.

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Once we arrived to the snorkeling spot, the sun had finally arrived.

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I chose to stay on the boat because I was already feeling sick and didn’t want the fumes of the boat or waves to make me any sicker (yes, I’m a baby). After 45 minutes of snorkeling the rest of the crew joined me back on the boat and we went to the sulfur volcano.

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I have never smelled anything worse than this place! It certainly didn’t help with the nauseous feeling but you get used to it after a few minutes. We headed to the hot tub and it was no joke probably 110 degrees. Against our sunburn it was VERY painful so if you do this, go on your first day!

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(faking the smiles) — They ask that you get your face wet too but we snuck out as quickly as possible. Next you rub sulfur, which felt like rough mud, all over your body. OUCH.

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Then you get back in the boiling water to wash it off. This is supposed to help your skin look ten years younger… Do we look 18 yet?? Once you wash the sulfur off it’s time to head back for a St. Lucian local lunch at the tour guides house.

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Fish, rice, mac & cheese, veggies & potatoes were served. Adam and I loaded up our plates and felt guilty when other people were just take a tiny bit — We had worked up an appetite!

Once we finished lunch, we headed to the natural spring waterfall. This water was FREEZING. So we opted to not torture ourselves with insane temperatures for the second time in a row.

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I know it sounds like it was a horrible tour…but I would probably do it again. It’s the best way to see everything in one day!

Our 2nd excursion was ziplining. It wasn’t a rainy day, but it was in the rain forest so it was damp. We brought a change of clothes to ensure we would be comfy for the ride home.

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There were 18 lines and we hiked through the rain forest to each one. I got yelled at a few times for stopping too short. I didn’t want to kick the guy and would get nervous!

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Rainy day activities included pool, board games and food, of course.

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The pub:

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The pizza place:

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The crepes & ice cream:

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More ice cream – I swear, St. Lucia has the best ice cream EVER.

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Oh…and more ice cream in the form of milkshakes.

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We made dinner reservations every night rather than just go to the walk-up restaurants. There was a restaurant we visited twice, which was Adam’s favorite – Italian!

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The lamb chops were his choice and he ordered double portions.

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I had some type of shrimp pasta — I wouldn’t have even remembered what I had if it weren’t for this picture since it was so long ago!

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Our least favorite was the hibachi restaurant. I am a big fan of these in the US so I guess their different way of doing things didn’t compare for me.

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The view was gorgeous though! Another favorite was the French restaurant ( I can’t remember the names, sorry!)

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Adam tried frog legs which weirded me out!

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Dessert after every meal.

There were a couple of restaurants on the beach and the first one we visited we caused a HUGE scene.

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Picture every man in a restaurant crawling on their hands and knees with flashlights & metal detectors looking for my husband’s wedding ring that flew off in the sand. Yep, we are that annoying couple!

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There was one restaurant you had to pay extra for that we went to – Gordon’s.

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Another couple told us they had gone 3 times because it was THAT good. We didn’t think it was greater than any of the other “free” restaurants but it was a nice switch.

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All in all St. Lucia was a great time — I think for a vacation that long we would like to stay at two different resorts so we have a change of scenery/eats. If you are choosing which resort to stay in between the 3 Sandals locations in St. Lucia – I think you can’t go wrong with La Toc or Grande… Halcyon was kind of a bore (probably why it’s the cheapest!).

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Glamorous Bridal Shower

I told you I’ve been busy at Bridal & Baby showers lately! I’m a busy wedding bee this year 🙂

My sisters bridal shower was at Lakewood Country Club and it was a gorgeous spring day!

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The invitation went perfectly with our venue & theme.

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Her wedding colors are champagne and blush so we decided to play off those for the shower too. I always like to stay within wedding colors for a shower because I know the bride is guaranteed to love it.

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This was a seated luncheon so we had place cards for the guests – gold sparkles for chicken and pink for salmon. The circle garland on the above picture was bought off of Etsy as well… Etsy is my best friend when you’re a busy girl.

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Big thank you to Lakewood Country Club for alphabetizing these for me… For some reason I was not doing a good job!

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The guest book was a drawing of a tandem bicycle and guests were to leave their thumb prints in gold or pink and write their name above it.

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I bought the pink frame at Target and purchased the drawing here.

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The favors we’re so perfect for Ashleigh! Miniature bottles of Rose Champagne and a bag of chocolates. What girl doesn’t love champagne and chocolate?

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We also added a small candy table to give the guests something to snack on with dessert.

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I bought the candy at Party City who has entire sections of pink & gold candy making it easy on you. I made the pink covered pretzels because I couldn’t find them anywhere. I chose the raspberry sherbert candy topping from Michael’s and it was GOOD. I found most of the jars at TJ Maxx and tied them with sparkly ribbon I found at Michael’s.

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The take-out bags were pink chevron and polka dots that I purchased off of Etsy. I took a gold paint pen and wrote the date of the shower on each one to spice it up.

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My friend Crystal made the cake for me and as usual did an amazing job!

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She also made these pink rose cupcakes with edible gold dust. It’s great when a cake is pretty and tastes good.

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The I Do sign was perfect to go in between the windows above Ashleigh. Thanks Kelly!

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The gift table had a banner that said Bride to Be which I also purchased off of Etsy. We added flowers to the tables and Chris & Ashleigh’s engagement pictures throughout the room.

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Once the table was set with favors, pictures and flowers, we used the extra ribbon to tie around the napkins.

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You can never have too much glitter 😉

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We also added pink straws to each table for guests who weren’t drinking alcohol. The straw flags can be purchased here.

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Once the guests were seated we played the Almost Newlywed game with Ashleigh. Yes, I do this game at every shower — It’s a game that’s fun for everyone and doesn’t make anyone participate by wrapping toilet paper around themselves.

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Ashleigh did surprisingly well — but I think she cheated 😉

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 The glass Ashleigh is holding above was also purchased off of Etsy.

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Once the game was finished, lunch was served. I chose the salmon and it was cooked perfectly!

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Lastly, Ashleigh opened gifts. She got some amazing new things and I’m sure she will be cooking for her future husband verrrry soon.

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Congrats to my sissy!!

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We love you 🙂

Shabby Chic Bridal Shower

This past weekend I headed to Maryland to celebrate the beautiful bride-to-be, Jenn!

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As bridesmaids, we were up late the night before and early the next morning to set up for the event so excuse the bags under our eyes 😉

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Each bridesmaid made two or more dishes to create a huge spread for the guests to snack on during the day.

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The dessert table was OF COURSE, my favorite.

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Cake!

Cake!

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Cutest Cookies

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Jenn’s wedding colors are mint & coral so we used the same theme for her shower with thoughts that she could use everything for the wedding too.

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The drink station included something blue lemonade, iced tea, sangria and custom water bottles (wrapped with lace and an engagement sticker)

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Flowers were placed in mason jars and pictures of the couple surrounded the room

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We set up a table near the entrance with homemade (by Jenn’s mom) favors of sugar scrub and an advice station for the almost newlyweds.

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We also had a banner that said Getting Hitched hanging over the couch that was hand made by our friend Crystal. Jessica painted the birdcage, cross and bird feeders that were placed around the sign.

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We played one game, which was called “the almost newlywed game”. We asked Jenn’s fiance, Andrew, 18 questions ahead of time and asked Jenn the same questions. Every time she got an answer wrong we had her stick half of a jumbo marshmallow in her cheeks.

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Jenn needs to quiz Andrew more often.

Next, came gifts and Jenn got a lot of great things for their new house! Our friend Danielle gave her a personalized hanger that goes perfectly with her theme to hang her dress on during her wedding day.

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I can’t wait for June 8th to celebrate Jenn’s big day! I know it’s going to be beautiful – Just like her!

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Wedding Recap: Details

Ahhh, just when you thought the wedding posts were over! This will be the last actual wedding post and I have a Honeymoon post planned for Thursday.

As a detail oriented person, I really appreciate small details at weddings and yes, I notice them. I know most people wouldn’t notice that we served pink and grey (our colors) m&m’s with our ice cream sundaes, but things like that were important to me (and drove Adam crazy.)

This post is all about the details… Get ready for a lot of pictures!

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I ordered our invitations from a seller on Etsy. Etsy was no joke my best friend throughout wedding planning. Yes, I’m a crafty person but I honestly didn’t have time to get too crafty! I loved these so much and got message after message on how much everyone else loved these too.

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I had a vision of lace and hearts for my place card and my aunt really helped that come to my life. She was such a big help and is so amazingly talented. I hope she starts her own Etsy shop soon!

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Our guest book was another Etsy find. I found this shop that actually hand painted the tree (instead of screen printing) and fell in love. We had it mounted on foam and matted to help with sturdiness throughout the night.

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My friend Ali had a large birdcage at her wedding for her cards that I thought was beautiful so I asked if I could borrow it. She told me to keep it so I changed the look!  My cousin spray painted it grey and I placed the lace and flower inside, wrapped the crystals on the outside and made a ribbon sign for the front of the cage.

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I rented the pink tool box and night stand from Rusty Love Vintage Rentals (very affordable!) and my aunt made the adorable Happily Ever After starts here sign. I wanted something to hold the programs and my vision came out perfectly.

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I wanted paper bag programs but I could not for the life of me figure out how to design them on a computer myself. I ended up ordering them off this shop on Etsy (shocker) last minute and she did an amazing job! She even stuffed them with grey, pink and white pom poms because I didn’t want birdseed. You can kind of see the pom poms being thrown here.

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 (one of my favorite pictures from the wedding)

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I also rented the dresser as part of the “alter”. Our florist provided the pergola and chandelier that I also added on last minute. It’s kinda like my brain didn’t work until 2 weeks before the wedding.

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My veil was custom-made from the lace on my dress. I absolutely loved this statement piece and wish it wouldn’t have been so windy so I could’ve worn it longer.

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My ring bearers held 2 custom pieces as well. I made the bottom piece (which did NOT turn out how I expected, but still worked) and bought the top one from this shop on Etsy. Side note: How cute are they??

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Something else I ordered last-minute were the menu cards. I wanted ones that wrapped around napkins and begged this company to make them for me ASAP. You can also see the lace linens I rented on the table.

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Table numbers were mirrors I found at the dollar store (woohoo!) and my Aunt drew on them with paint pens. Thank goodness for someone with good hand writing.

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We chose to have flip-flops at our wedding for guests to feel comfortable while dancing. My friend helped me make the tags for them so guests didn’t have to rummage through and find their size.

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We had pictures of us as children on the bathroom doors. Me for Women and Adam for men…obviously.

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I purchased the Cake topper on Etsy (I think?? but can’t find the link) and it was made of swarovski crystals. The candles you see around the cake I handmade with pearls and votives I bought at Michaels.

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On the bar we had a few signs with our signature drink… This baby is potent.

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My favorite detail was the heart I had stitched in to the bottom of my dress. It was made from one of my Uncle Chuck’s dress shirts who passed away in 2008.

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Which leads me to our donation, in memory of my Uncle Chuck. ❤

I have a few more details but can’t seem to find the pictures… If I come across them I will do a continued post.

PS: My vision came together with the help of this little lady. I hired her 5 days before my wedding and SHE ROCKED!

Questions: What was your favorite detail of your wedding?

 

 

 

 

Wedding Recap: Wedding Video

I’m not ready for the wedding recaps to be over! I’ve had so much fun going through our pictures one by one and telling our story out of them. Below is our Wedding Highlight video. If you have doubts on whether or not to get a Videographer – I highly suggest you cut back on something else to make it work. We also received a 30 minute video and a 2 hour-long video on a DVD. I know our kids will love it one day 🙂

Alyssa and Adam from Bowen Films on Vimeo.

Video: Thomas Bowen Films

Wedding Recap: The Reception

After our pictures it was time for the fun to begin!

I had Adam pick the song for our bridal parties entrance and his choice was Europe – The Final Destination.

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Adam and I chose to be introduced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Adam Kartzman to Calvin Harris – Feel so Close.

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Honestly I felt that this part was SO awkward! We picked a clubbish kind of song so I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to fist pump or what? Ha, looking at this picture reminds me how weird we felt with all eyes on us.

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Our first dance song was Making the Movies Jealous. I asked the DJ to invite others on the dance floor after a minute of us dancing because we really didn’t all eyes on us. I know, weird when it’s our wedding!

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Next came the Horah… Adam had no desire to do this but it was important to his parents so he went along with it.

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Then the scary part..

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Adam’s friends were a little rough trying to throw him out of the chair… Luckily I had family members!

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The DJ asked everyone to grab their place card and head to their respective table.

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We had 19 tables with 10-12 people at each and a separate head table for the two of us.

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While everyone else was  being served their salads we were served dinner so we would be able to eat. We chose Filet & Crab Cake with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a corn relish to serve to everyone so there were no confusions.

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My Father in Law kicked off the speeches for the night! His speech was filled with memories and well wishes for a lifetime of happiness.

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My Maid of Honor shared memories full of laughter and a few tears.

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Adams best man shared plenty of laughs and a few embarrassing moments as well – He had to get him back from his wedding last May!

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We finished up with a blessing from my mom which was very sweet and sentimental.

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Cheers!

After Adam and I made our rounds of thanking people for coming it was time to hit the dance floor.

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Our DJ was AMAZING and I couldn’t recommend him enough. He kept everyone on the dance floor from age 3-90 all night long.

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He also added uplighting to our room in a light pink color. We had about 18 lights around the room to give it a warm feeling.

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Halfway through the reception we had our cake cutting.

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I am giving Adam the “Don’t you dare smear cake on my face” look.


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Whew. Mission completed.

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We also had a grooms cake for Adam but served it the night before at the Rehearsal Dinner.

I changed right after the photographer and videographer left (video on Thursday!) to a BCBG dress I found at Saks a couple of months prior.

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I also removed my shoes because my feet were KILLING me. Classy, I know.

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The night ended around midnight and I can honestly say this was the best night of my life. It’s hard to explain how perfect everything was in a couple of blog posts but I hope you enjoyed me sharing our memories with you. I feel blessed to be married to such an amazing man and I can’t wait to celebrate our love for each other year after year.

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All Wedding Posts will be here for future reference.

DJ – DJ Kopec

All pictures taken by MB Photography

Cake and Grooms Cake – Creative View Confections