Tuesday, July 24, 2018

our wedding: the bridal party

Gah, I am so excited to share these pictures with all of you! I'm splitting up some of the pictures into different batches to keep it all organized - we had over 600 pictures to pick from, so that would make the longest blog post of all time! So today we are going to talk about our wedding party.

Both CR and I are the oldest of four, and actually have the same number of boys/girls, but just switched! So it goes me, my sister, my brother, and my youngest sister, and in his family it goes CR, his brother, his sister, and his youngest brother. So obviously they were all going to be in our bridal party. We decided to have two more people on either side, as our friends are just as important to us as our family. On my side, I felt really conflicted about who to have, as I've had so many great friends from my past lives. In the end, I asked my best friend Caitlin, who is my friend from medical school, and my friend Lizzi, who remains a close friend from college and marching band. CR had his two close friends from college on his side.

I asked my bridesmaids to be in our wedding last year - I made them little boxes with personalized champagne glasses, champagne, and champagne gummy bears, and gave it to them when I saw them...or in Lizzi's case, I had to mail it to her and ask her over FaceTime.

Having my bridesmaids spread all over the country made it more difficult to figure out details for dresses and so on. I spent a lot of time looking on Pinterest for dress ideas, and online for different bridesmaids dresses. We knew we'd have to eventually buy online, so I really focused on that. In the end, I decided I really liked the look of having everyone in the same color, but letting every choose their own style of dress so that my girls could wear what they felt most comfortable in.  We decided to go with Azazie for the dresses - I love that you can filter by color, fabric type, and then any other requirements. I also really liked that site because the girls can order styles to try on, so they could try several and not be afraid they were committing to one style they may hate. We had a lot of text messages going between the six of us picking out our favorite dresses. In the end we went with full length chiffon dresses in dusty rose. I initially thought my girls would wear knee length dresses, but I liked that with long dresses, you can wear whatever shoes you want, so all the girls could just wear their own sandals and it wouldn't matter. For their bridesmaids gift, I gifted each of them with a simple pair of pearl earrings for them to wear the day of. I wanted to give them something they could use in the future, and I figured pearl earrings are about as timeless as it gets!

The day of the wedding, we had quite the whirlwind of getting ready. We basically had three groups of women, between me, my bridesmaids, and my mother and mother-in-law getting our hair down and our make-up done. Part of my gift to the girls was paying for their hair and make-up - I feel it's a lot to ask someone to be in your wedding, to buy an expensive dress they very likely will never wear again, pay to come all the way out, and then on top of that expect them to drop $150 on hair and make-up, so I chose to pay for the hair and make-up for everyone.  We had groups of us getting our hair done while some of us got our make-up done, and then just round robined it until we were all done. For our hair, we all chose to have our hair put up. When my mom got married 30 years ago, she had roses and baby's breath in her hair, so even though my parents got divorced last year, I wanted to pay tribute to my family, and have all of us have a few roses and babys breath in our hair as well. I'm going to talk about that a little more in a future post, but I love how it turned out. Our make-up was done by Tierney, and I love how she made everyone just look like the best version of themselves rather than a different person all together.

The boys, on the other hand, were a lot less complicated. We decided to have the boys buy navy suits instead of renting. The groomsmen were also spread literally from coast to coast, so again we couldn't do anything local. CR and I went to Macy's, and had him try on a few different navy suits, picked the one we liked best, and then let the boys know when a good sale came around so they could get a good price on it. We had them wear their own white button ups, cognac belts, and cognac shoes, and then provided them with their ties (The Tie Bar from Nordstrom actually has quite a few great tie options, if you are ever looking for inexpensive ties!). They had a bit more work to do before the wedding at the actually ceremony/reception site, so they got ready there!

After the ceremony come the staged pictures. There are lots more of the individual pictures too, but I love seeing everyone together!

blush bridesmaid dresses

^ these goofballs!

blush and navy bridal party

azazie bridesmaid dresses

Our flowers bouquets were a mix of peonies, english roses, hydrangeas, baby's breath, and greenery. The girls had slightly smaller versions of my own.

augusta jones yasmin

my gorgeous sisters <3

bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
groomsmen suits: Alfani
my dress: Augusta Jones 'Yazmin'
bridal hair: Tru Salon, Pittsford NY
bridal makeup: Makeup by Tierney
florals: Rockcastle Florist
location: Twin Silos

Saturday, July 21, 2018

just because it's on sale doesn't mean you have to keep it.

Hello, and welcome to the first review post of the year! 😂

Okay, so it's been a hot second, so lets just get to it. The annual Nordstrom Anniversary sale opened to card holders last week...you may have seen a post or two on the internet about it. This is my second year as a card holder, so I was excited to finally get to be a part of the early access group! Like I've mentioned now a million times, I don't wear my real clothes that much anymore as I wear scrubs to work every day, but I still like to buy a few new items occasionally for that life outside of work, and especially if I'm going to get a good deal! So I put in about five separate orders (after that issue with no one being able to order, I got three of the same order sent to me!), and have slowly been annoying my UPS man with all the separate orders that came in! But here's a quick review of what worked, what very much did not work, and what I'm keeping! Just as a disclaimer, some of these things may be currently sold out, but there are so many returns being made during this time that I'd suggest just keeping an eye out and rechecking a few times over the next few days as sizes keep popping back.

Okay, let's do all the "omg I hate this" things first.

Monday, July 16, 2018

our wedding: the invitations

Hi guys! I am so excited to finally share details from our wedding with you guys! You were there with us for the planning parts of it, from picking a venue to finding our photographer to buying my wedding dress to trying to decide what we wanted for decorations, so I'm pumped that we now can share all the pictures from the big day. In the next few weeks I'm going to share parts from the day and the days leading up, from bridesmaids dresses to what I did to prepare for our wedding to decorations to just sharing a few of our favorite pictures. Today to kick it off, I'm going to start with sharing our invitations!

One of the big things we spent a lot of time on was our invitations and everything that comes with that, from finalizing the final guest list to sending out the invites to chasing down those last RSVPs.  I spent sooooo much time thinking about what we wanted our invitations to look like (one of the first pinterest pictures I ever saved was a wedding invite from Minted!), but the actual process of finding the perfect card wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

You may remember that for our Save the Dates, we were really fortunate to work with Minted, and I was every more excited when we got to work together again on our wedding invitations. Minted has always been my go-to for invitations, Christmas cards, and personalized gifts, so the fact that we got to pick from their wide selection of beautiful wedding invitations was like a dream come true.

I spent several weeks poring over the options. Did we want the classic wedding invitation where there are lots of envelopes and sleeves and multiple things all together? Did I want the 3-in-1 option, where the RSVP is attached to the invitation (and most costing around $1.75 per card)? Did we want our pictures on the front? How were we going to have people respond to the invite, and how were we going to get their answers for what they wanted for dessert? I spent a lot of time playing around with all of the options!
In the end, I wanted something that represented us, to be similar to the style of the wedding, and have it be pretty. I really gravitated towards white backgrounds, lots of greenery, and simple font.

The design we finally decided on was "Paradise" - I love the simplicity of this design! Our florals for our actual wedding were a lot of greenery with pink and white flowers, so I thought this would be a perfect homage to that. I really love that so many details on the Minted designs can be customized when picking out invitations, and you can even request changes to be made! I asked that the Minted artist change the little white flowers to be blush pink flowers instead, which was a simple change that really made the whole invite more personalized and reflective of our wedding day flowers.

My favorite detail? The gold embossing for our names and the ceremony site - a bit of a throwback to our Save the Dates that also had a touch of gold on them. 
My second favorite detail? One of our engagement pictures on the back. I wanted the front to be simple and include all the details for the actually wedding, but loved using one of our engagement pictures on the back. I figured most people would have the front of the card on their fridge or wherever, but this was a way to keep a bit of "us" on the invites as well. We also used the free service of having a wedding webside on Minted so our guests could get a bit more information about the actual wedding day that we didn't include on the invites, like where to stay, the bridal party, and our registry, so that website address was included on the bottom of the backside of the card. 
The cards themselves were printed on a beautiful thick paperstock, and the envelopes were thick and sturdy. We, of course, used the (free!) addressing service through Minted, so we didn't have to hand address anything, and had our address printed on the back of the envelopes as well. I loved the cute little RSVP cards, and getting those back for three weeks was so much fun - I always looked forward to getting the mail! Our dinner was buffet-style, but we choose to do individual pies for the desserts, so we had our guests initial their dessert choice. Here's my mom's - I can't believe she chose berry over apple!

I am thrilled with how our invitations turned out, and am forever grateful to Minted for being such an important part of our wedding planning process. We have loved working with them over the past several years, and will continue to be paying customers of theirs. 

Next up - decorations (spoiler: these little candles were the perfect compromise for a no-flame-allowed venue), and then my gorgeous bridesmaids!

PS. Have you seen Minted's adorable monogram maker? You can download any style, and use it for wedding things (like decorations or print on napkins or whatever), or just as a cute background for your phone like I did ;)