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.



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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



To cure your hangover the next morning…obviously.

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


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.


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!


After putting on our dresses, it was go time!

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!

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!


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.


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.


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.


and send your husband to the bar, of course.


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.


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


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.


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!


(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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The pub:


The pizza place:


The crepes & ice cream:


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


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


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!


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


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!


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.


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


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.


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!


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


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.


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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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.



 (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.


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


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.


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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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.


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.


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


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.


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



Wedding Recap: Ceremony

The ceremony is one of my favorite parts of a wedding!

The look on the grooms face when his bride walks down the aisle.

The look on the brides face when she walks down to her groom.

Their vows.

Their first kiss.

How happy they are when they walk down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs.

I mentioned before that my bridesmaids walked down to Taylor Swift – Love Story. The groomsmen also walked down to the same song while Adam and his parents walked down to Beatles – In My Life.

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I hired a singer to sing this song with the trio for my entrance.

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I walked down the first set of stairs myself. It was VERY windy and my veil kept flying to the side and wrapping itself around the railing. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I was so frustrated and took the veil off. I had someone re-do it before continuing my walk.

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Once I was put back together I walked down the aisle with my mom and my dad.


It was such a gorgeous (but windy) day – Can you believe the Catering Manager at my venue tried to talk me into doing the wedding inside?  So glad I followed my gut!

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We asked my uncle to become ordained and serve as our officiant. He did such an amazing job personalizing our ceremony and making sure everything was perfect.

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My friends Jacey & Ashleigh did our readings. I really wanted to involve them in someway because they were both there the night Adam and I met. Ashleigh & Jacey picked their own readings and we heard them for the first time that day. They did such a great job finding words that explained our relationship so perfectly. We are so blessed to have good friends!

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Adam and I wrote our own vows to each other – full of promises for our lifetime together.

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Instead of a Unity Candle or sand we joined families using wine. Both of our moms poured their wine into the glass which Adam and I sipped from. OK, Adam kind of chugged it. You can see that I’m standing as far away as possible because I didn’t want any wine on my dress!

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Mr. & Mrs. Adam Kartzman!

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We walked out to the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz while our guests threw the pom poms that were included in our programs.

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Off to take our first pictures as husband and wife…racing to beat the sunset!

To be continued…

All Photos taken by MB Photography

Trio: Perfect Harmony Strings

Singer: Tomika Arnold

Wedding Recap: First Look, Without the Look

Adam and I knew we wanted to see each other before the wedding but, I knew I didn’t want him to actually “see” me until I walked down the aisle.

We asked our photographers to capture our first look…without the look.

They set us up behind a brick wall

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and we held hands.

I asked him if he was nervous.

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He replied “Nope! I’m excited”

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I was so relieved Adam was as calm and as ready as I was.

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It was time to become husband & wife.

To be continued…

All Photos taken by MB Photography