Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding memory ten - sharing the day with loved ones...

I'm posting the next memory early, because tomorrow we are celebrating our anniversary at "America's Toughest Tour!" Yes, I know that sounds entirely unromantic...but, I'm completely obsessed with Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, so really it's perfect! Sooo excited! Anyways, in an effort to not be a slacker on my daily wedding memories...

We have billions of great memories from our families and friends at the wedding. Each person truly helped make the day perfect. I don't even know where to start on sharing the stories, so I'm just going to leave it at this...we love and thank you all more than you'll ever know!

I do have to share this photo of my beautiful grandmother though. I am beyond grateful that she made it to the wedding. I love and miss her so much and can only pray that I am even half as beautiful (inside and out) as she was.

[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12.]

Wedding memory nine - the ceremony...

One of the best parts of a wedding is always watching the groom's face when he first sees the bride. Well, it's even better [way better] when it's your future husband seeing you walk down the aisle.

Lighting the unity candle to I Can Only Imagine (barbershop style) was another favorite part...except the whole burning our fingers on the hot wax part. Piece of candles! The whole time we were up there we were whispering to each other something like this:
"Ouch. That was really hot." "No kidding. You look really handsome though." "You look so beautiful. And that was so hot!"
Funny thing was, after the ceremony everyone told us it made them cry how sweet it was when we were talking to each other.
Also during the unity candle, we surprised our moms by taking roses to them. Their faces as we walked over to them was priceless. :)

And, of course, another favorite part was hearing "I do hereby pronounce you husband and wife."
[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12.]

Wedding memory eight - the amazing party...

Oops - I totally missed posting a memory yesterday, so here it is a day late...We have great memories from the reception. Relaxing, dancing and celebrating with our guests - perfect!

Ever since I was little, I have been excited for being at the front of the wedding march. That probably sounds strange and you might not even know what the "wedding march" is, but it's a pretty big deal in my family. And it was even more fun that I had imagined. And our first dance to Dance with Me was incredible. (Not incredible dancing, just the most incredible feeling.)

My father-daughter dance to Stealing Cinderella was another one of my favorite parts. My dad told at the beginning of the song that he didn't want to we joked about the line about "riding her first bike." Turns out I am horrible at bike riding and learning to ride my first bike was anything but pleasant. My dad is a very patient man. :) (He's also a great poet! His poem toast at the reception was a big hit!)

Unfortunately I can't find a picture for this last one...but another great part of the reception was the Supaman dance. Nick's little brother (one of our great ring bearers) did the whole dance. By himself. Perfectly. And he was six. Too funny!
[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding memory seven - our amazing wedding party...

So, my blog doesn't have enough storage space to even begin to share all of the great memories from our amazing wedding party. Seriously, everyone was incredible and truly helped to make our wedding day perfect.

We are so thankful to have such great family and friends! I especially want to thank my wonderful sister and matron of honor for all that she did...including giving a great toast at the reception (she was so nervous about speaking in front of everyone that she had a back-up plan for if she passed out)! Best sister ever!
[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding memory six - the details...

My favorite thing about all weddings are the details - especially the ones that make the wedding unique to the couple. I already showed all of the baseball details, but here are some of my other favorites. I loved seeing all of the details come together after the months of planning...

Clockwise: Ring bearer pillows made by my mom with lace from my wedding gown; Scrapbook guestbook with engagement pictures made by a good friend; Invitation and reception cards; Basket of programs; Flowers with our wedding bands. (Designing and making the invitations and programs was one of my very favorite parts of the planning...and definitely the most time consuming! It was a huge compliment when we went to our friends' wedding a few months later and they had designed their programs like ours.)

Candy table...yum! And our personalized champagne glasses at the head table - a gift from my husband the Christmas right after he proposed. :)

Cake table with homemade mints, pink punch and a pink fountain. My husband loves fountains! Oh, and the groom in the cake topper is wearing a gray tux, just like my groom and the groomsmen did.

[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wedding memory five - the rehearsal dinner...

And to get all caught next wedding memory was our great rehearsal dinner. We had a fun Mexican theme with food catered from our favorite restaurant. Delicious! But best of all, was that my husband's parents were willing to let us have our sort of ridiculously large guest list (seriously the size of a small wedding). The night was exactly what we wanted - time to relax and hang out with our wedding party, relatives and guests who had traveled a long ways. We also loved the fun toasts from our family (especially the one from my cousin about me boxing him when I was little).

[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Wedding memory four - baseball touches...

My excuse for not posting yesterday (going to the Royals game) goes along with my next memory - the fun baseball touches throughout the wedding. We are huge baseball fans and wanted to incorporate that into our wedding to make it unique. My husband and I had a lot of fun figuring out ways to do it and everyone really enjoyed them!

[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Wedding memory three - the whole engagement...

Okay, I am a total slacker about doing the posts I will have three today to catch up. Friday night we were busy at a couples' shower for good friends of ours which goes along with my third wedding memory - all of the fun that takes place throughout the whole engagement.
From the night of our engagement, everything about the wedding planning process was GREAT! I loved spending time with our family and friends talking to vendors, shopping for bridesmaid's dresses, making programs and everything else. And our amazing families and friends also planned some great showers to help us celebrate.
There were, of course, a few stressful moments (like when we had already sent out save the dates but still hadn't found a church), but overall the whole process was very fun!!!

[Check out memories 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wedding memory two - my mommy-made dress...

Like lots of girls, I grew up dreaming about my wedding gown. And my mom absolutely made all of my wedding gown dreams come true! With her own two hands, lots of time and even more love, she made me my dream dress. She definitely deserves the Most Amazing Mother Ever Award.

This is what the dress looked like in its very first stages:

And this is what my mom beautifully created:

Together my mom and I got to design every single detail of the gown – from choosing the
fabric to choosing where each piece of lace would go.

Every single sequin, bead and pearl was hand-sewn onto the lace by my mom - and trust me, there were lots! And then each piece of lace was hand-sewn on – again, lots! (Our wedding was just eight months after we got engaged, so my mom had very busy hands!)

One of my very favorite things about the dress was the message my mom embroidered inside the back panel for my “something blue”. My mom also made my sister’s wedding gown and did the same inside hers. (I’ll try to remember to add a picture of my sister’s beautiful dress sometime so that you can all be even further amazed.)

And to secure her Most Amazing Mother Ever Award (as if she didn't already deserve it!), she also made my veil, slip and garters. And the ring bearer pillows. And mints and table runners for the reception. And she made me the luckiest bride in the world!

Seriously, Most Amazing Mother Ever!!!
[Check out memories 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding memory one - the little ones...

Some of my favorite wedding memories are from our adorable flowergirl and ring bearers...
Our precious flowergirl is my husband's niece. She was so excited about wearing her "flower dress" in the wedding, but then got super nervous when it came time for the rehearsal. She would only go down the aisle if her mom went with her and even then was nearly in tears. After the rehearsal, she had her mom stay to practice with her. When I got to the rehearsal dinner, she was waiting at the door to tell me - "Paige, I practiced and I'm real good now!" And she was! (I don't know if it was the practicing or the toy we have her when she got down the aisle, but she did a great job!)
This little cutie is my cousin and Godson. And yes, I realize he looks totally frightened of being in this picture. He actually wouldn't take any pictures unless my dad was in them too. He wasn't so sure about all this wedding business yet, but I'm pretty sure ours was the first wedding he had ever been to, yet alone in! His oldest brother, however, had been a ring bearer a couple of times already and was a little upset because he "is the ring bearer in the family." I guess now the family has more than one... :)
Our other ring bearer is my husband's little brother. The original plan at the wedding was for the flowergirl and ring bearers to all sit with their parents during the ceremony, but this little guy was having none of that. He nicely explained to us that if their other brother (the best man) got to stand up by Nick during then wedding, then so did he, because "he's a brother too and that's what brothers do." So, of course, here he is... (I'm sure you noticed, but as it turns out these wedding memories are more like (big) groups of memories. What can I say? It's really hard to narrow all of the amazingness done to just twelve things!)
[Check out memories 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Best year ever...

Our one-year anniversary is almost here!!! This year has been absolutely amazing and I am loving every minute of married life. In honor of our upcoming anniversary, I am going to post my twelve favorite memories from our wedding over the next twelve days. :)
[Check out memories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh, how I love Oreos...

Ever since my husband and I bought the limited edition baseball Oreos this weekend, I can't stop eating them. Seriously, I've had them as part of two meals today. But don't judge me - I just really love them. Anyways, imagine my excitement when I found these two "Oreo cakes" today:

I love this cookie-shaped pan from Williams-Sonoma found here.

And this looks delicious! (I also love the name of the blog where I found this one - "3 B's....Baseball, Baking, & Books"!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Very fun idea...

I adore this summer braid scarf made from t-shirt material. Check out the instructions for three different versions of it here from Pickles. There are tons of other fun projects there too, but some appear to require much more than an old know, things like talent and patience. Truly amazing projects though!

Also, check out the blog Dollar Store Crafts (where I found this scarf) for more awesome projects.

My project to-do list is getting really long...can't wait to get home and get started!

A new form of torture...

I am back in Canada for work this, that is not the torturous part, but I am praying the trip goes much, much, much better than last time. The torture is that we drive past IKEA to go to work, to go eat and to go back to our hotel. Oh, and once I get to my room I see it from the window.

And we don't get to go.

Turns out since we are here for work, we are supposed to work all day and not shop at IKEA. This is true torture - especially since there are about five million things I would love to buy there right now. Such as these:

My new goal for the week is to make it to IKEA...but I will definitely have to revise my "want list" so my purchases will fit on the plane back to the IKEA-less Midwest with me. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wedding gift...

Yes, this is yet another post about the wedding last weekend - I can't seem to help it. :)

Anyways, I made a framed initial picture as part of their wedding gift. I forgot to take a picture of the actual finished product, so instead here are some "pictures" of what it looked like. This first one just shows the initial which is made from the words to the song Dance with Me:

This second picture is sort of, kind of, what it ended up looking like. The letter was printed on blue paper and then matted with a brown paper that had a really cool blue design in it (none of my fill options in PowerPoint were anywhere near as cool as the real paper - sorry, I don't really have much to work with here). And then I put it in a bronze frame. It was made to match the towels we got the couple and all of the bronze accent items on their registry.

This definitely doesn't even begin to show what it really looked like, but hopefully you get the idea. My husband actually liked it so much he asked me to make one for us too. Works out really well since our last name starts with "W" and our first dance was to Dance with Me. :) (That was totally not intentional either - just a very happy coincidence!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bridal survival kit...

I'm getting a little obsessive with the posting today, but I wanted to post this before I forget. As the matron of honor for the wedding, I put together a very large "bridal survival kit." Another bridesmaid asked for a list of the items I included so that she could use the same things for another wedding later this summer. I thought other people may be interested too, so here is my list. I put all of my items in a huge black purse, but I have also seen people decorate cute bags/boxes for their kits. Whatever you use, just make sure to save room for anything else the bride needs you to keep track of for her. :)

Recipe ideas...

Okay, so I am definitely not an expert (or anywhere close) on cooking or baking, but I'm going to pretend to know at least a little for a few minutes. :)

After my bridal brunch baking bonanza, I got a lot of compliments on the food I had made so I thought I'd share. First, the Rachael Ray's monkey bread minis were awesome! And if I can make them, so can you! And most of the ingredients were things I had at home, which always makes me happy. Of course, I didn't notice the recipe called for buttermilk until I was halfway through, but Betty Crocker told me I could substitute milk with lemon juice and it worked. :)

Another favorite at the shower were the caramel brownie bites. My mom made these a couple months ago for our family reunion and I finally had a reason to make them. Check out the really easy recipe I put together here.

Everyone at the shower also thought all of the muffins and breads were made from scratch...but I was actually a cheater and used box mixes for all of them. I did make some kind of topping for each one though that give them that homemade-feel. Most of the ideas came from my Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook: Bridal Edition (awesome, by the way!), but I adapted them to be all things I already had at home. Check out these easy ideas here.

I'm done pretending to be some kind of master baker now. Thanks for hanging with me on that one. :)

Bridal shower advice cards...

Everyone has heard of or been to a bridal shower with cards that say "advice for the bride". So, I thought I would expand on that idea and make cards with a variety of different questions. I made stacks of the cards and bundles of pens and tied them together with ribbons. We then put them on each table and had each guest fill out as many as they'd like. The bride read them aloud at the end of the shower. Here are the various questions and my favorite answers:
  • The best marriage advice is...hire a housekeeper & eat out.
  • The best description of love is...finding the person who makes you want to be an even better person, but they love, accept and support you as you are!
  • The best tradition to start is...picking a day & alternating houses & family members and cook (anything) to keep the family connected. Get out the good dishes - it makes for magical memories!
  • My best date night idea is...remember to have one, even after 25 years. Everyone needs romance!
  • The best part of a wedding is...seeing love in each others' eyes and feeling love in each others' hearts as you say "I do."
  • The best part of marriage is...looking forward to coming home to someone who will stop the earth from spinning for you!
  • My best memory of Nicole and/or Drew is...There was a comment from the bride's brother's girlfriend that she didn't let us read out loud, so I'll be nice and keep it to myself. :)

I am going to put all of the cards and pictures of the shower in a scrapbook for the bride. I guess I should be working on that now instead of writing 42 blog posts, but it's my day off so I'll do whatever I want. :)

Bridal shower...

Here are a few pictures and fun details from the bridal shower the day before the wedding:

This is one of the two food tables. I wrapped boxes in red paper and decorated them with ribbons and flowers so the food could be at different levels on the tables. To keep the cleanup simple, we displayed most of the food on the red and black paper plates. You can't see them very well in the pictures, but there were little signs for each food that matched the invitations.

This is the second food table with a "Congratulations!" banner. We mostly used the wedding colors (red and black) but added in some yellow to match the flower arrangements another bridesmaid put together and add a little fun.

A close-up of the "mint for each other" favors.

The bride and her new sister-in-law at the front table. The banner says "Nicole & Drew."

This is the bride telling funny stories while reading the advice cards (I'll talk more about them in the next post.) Also, if you look closely you can see a couple pieces of evidence that I am totally OCD - the advice cards were tied together in coordinating ribbons, the pens were all red and black and I even made a matching cover for the notebook where I wrote down the gifts.
The whole shower (except a few stories I wasn't able to filter the bride from sharing) was great! We all had a very fun and relaxing time and...multiple people called me "the next Martha Stewart" - officially the best day ever! :)

Wedding weekend...

The 4th of July wedding was absolutely amazing! Everything from the shower to the rehearsal to the wedding to the reception was a blast! There were so many incredible parts of the weekend, so these are just a few of the highlights: the pictures by the firehouse where the groom volunteers, the beautiful location for the outdoor dance, and spending time with friends I hadn't seen in years. My very favorite part was how incredibly excited the bride was right after the ceremony - she was jumping up and down singing "We're married, we're married!" - it was adorable!

I'm sure this is just the first of many posts about the weekend, so get ready for more wedding fun! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What a productive day!

So, I'm not going to lie...I'm pretty darn impressed with myself right about now. Today I worked all day and made the presentation for a client proposal. Then ran errands - CVS, the dollar store, Target and the grocery store. Then enjoyed an incredible dinner my husband cooked. And then started the bridal brunch baking bonanza (hehe). I made two kinds of muffins, two kinds of breads, cookies, and caramel brownie bites - YUM! Oh, and I also cleaned the kitchen twice, did three loads of laundry and wrote a blog post about it all. :)