Our Wedding Photos
I am soooo glad everything is over... now we can get back to "real life" :) I think those stresses on the last few weeks really took away from the fun of planning up until that point. I do feel a little lost not needing to go to Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Joanns every other day though :P
A few weeks before the wedding, my sister flew in from Alaska. I had forewarned her that I would be "putting her to work" though, as I still had quite a few of projects to do. I wasn't kidding LOL. I think she may have regretted her "early trip" at a few points. She was a big help though, and once all was set to go, I got about 90% of my desired projects finished. The remaining few weren't a big deal.
As the days came nearer, I was SUPER busy. There was hardly time to breathe. My bachelorette party was supposed to be that Monday... I was dreading it because I still had so much other stuff on my mind. So as I was in the shower, I called my maid of honor and asked to post-pone it to the next night. I really wasnt into doing it at all, to be honest. Normally I like a good party, but with all that was on my mind and the crunch on time, I just wasnt in the mood. I knew all my girls were excited about it though, so I felt obligated. So we postponed it until the next day, so I could get a lot more stuff done that night.
The next day, I was cutting it really close to make my party... I was still doing last minute stuff. Finally I had to pull myself away, pack up the car, and head to the hotel. Thats where all my guests were staying, where I was going to stay the night (away from my groom), and where we were all meeting to go hit the town.
I got checked into my room, and jumped in the shower. I heard voces of everyone starting to come in my room, and everyone was stressing me out, asking why I wasnt ready. So they are all itching to leave, but are giving me a hard time because they are having to wait on me to get ready. I was a little stressed. The first bar we went to, I wasnt drinking or anything. I was just thinking of all the stuff still left to do. afterall, the NEXT DAY was my wedding day! Thats another concern- I didnt want to drink and feel crappy the next morning when I still needed to go and decorate the venue.
The barteneder at that first bar could see I was a little uptight, so he made me a shot, and challenged me to drink it. Of course, my crowd was agging me on, so I did the one shot. Man, that thing instantly gave me a little buzz. Thats really what I needed to loosen up, and from there on out, we all had a great time.
The next morning, I woke up. I laid there thinking... "uh oh.. how do I feel?" I was very nervous about having the bachelorette party the night before wedding day! But I actually felt great! I went down to the hotel's restaraunt and got some breakfast, rallied my bridesmaids together, and went to the venue to begin decorating. The day before, my groom had delivered all the stuff to the venue, but they closed before I could get down there to start working on any of it. I didnt think it would take too long to set everything up, but I was wrong. I had my girls, and about 10 other family members helping set up... and I still didnt get everything done by the time I had to leave to go get ready. I had originally wanted to leave the venue, go grab lunch, and start getting ready at around noon that day (ceremony was at 6pm). I didnt leave until I forced myself away at 3pm! The photographer was already there. He was stressing me out, with drawing attention to the fact that I wasnt even close to my original timeline.
The guys were supposed to be at the venue and do photos at 3pm. Only 2 groomsmen were there, my groom wasnt, nor the 3rd groomsmen. The photographer kept asking me where everyone was, and so on top of all I was doing, I had to stop and call to track people down. I told the photographer to just go with the flow, and we would get what we could as far as the photos. But he was stressing me out. Side Note- I AM a wedding photographer... I know that only about 15% of weddings stick to schedule. When someone is running late, I make the bride feel at ease about the situation, and assure her that we will work around the flow of the day. I dont make her call and track people down when she hasnt even showered or began to get ready yet!
Finally, I HAD to leave. Whatever wasnt set up yet, I was leaving in the hands of my wedding coordinator, and had asked my FMIL to come to the venue an hour before the ceremony to help with a few things. As I was pulling out of the driveway, My groom was pulling in! He swore he didnt see me though. On the drive back to the hotel, I got severe cramps... It wasnt "that time of the month" though, so Im sure it was because of all the stress. I was literally having to do breathing excersizes like when you have a baby! They hurt so bad.
I got into my room, jumped in the shower, and started to get ready. A friend of mine was doing my hair and makeup, so she started on my hair. I had showed her a photo of what I wanted it to look like. Poor thing, she tried really hard, but I finally had to just do it myself. I think I may have hurt her feelings a little bit. After my hair was done, I did makeup, and jumped into my dress real quick. My bridesmaids were all dressed and ready to go also..... another sidenote.... a few days earlier, my sister (MOH) had taken my son to one of his baseball games. Remember how she is from Alaska? She got sunburned really bad, and had a beautiful "T shirt" sunburn line on her arms for her halter style dress. Oh Well.
We got to the venue at about 6:10. Not bad... only 10 minutes late. I was ready to just get it done. No nerves at all! Again, I was surprised, as I thought for sure Id have a lot of nerves. But the minute I got out of my car and hate to wait inside the doorway as they got everyone in position, I kept telling them "lets get this show on the road- Im ready!" LOL. Walking down the aisle, I didnt see anything except Jeff. He looked hot! The officient was a nice lady, but didnt say half of the things I had talked to her about previously. We did a sand ceremony, and she barely spoke anything about the significance of it. It was like "okay, lets take a break from the ceremony and go pour some sand into a vase". After we were done, we exited out the front doors to go do some photos.
I was really excited about my photographer. He is one that I am inspired by, as a photographer myself. His work is great. I was severly caught off guard by his lack of personality though. When I am shooting, I am doing all that I can to make the wedding party feel at ease and have fun. My photog barely spoke to us at all. We did group shots of the wedding party in 3 locations... two of which- I suggested! I really didnt want to "work" on my wedding night, and emailed him a few days prior that I was leaving all the ideas up to him, and trusted his creativity. So I felt a little irritated that I had to step in. Dont get me wrong, Im sure the photos he got will be amazing.... but I am not really happy with him stressing me out to begin with, his lack of personality, his lack of ideas, and lack of motivation in general. He had brought an assistant along thank goodness. That girl was working hard and took 3 times as many photos as the photographer.
After photos were over, we went in to be announced into our reception. I had to hide in the bathroom for about 10 minutes though, as the chairs from the ceremony were still being moved into the reception (I didnt want to spend another $300 in chairs!). I was caught off guard by this, as this was supposed to all be done in the cocktail hour already. Oh Well. We enter our reception, and everything looked great, thanks to my bridesmaids and family that had pitched in! We had a huge buffet dinner, and I didnt touch but two bites of it. With everything going on, I just didnt have an appetite. During dinner, I found an AMAZING singer-songwriter who came to perform. He was BY FAR the best vendor of the night. Man, that guy was super amazing. Turns out, we had a lot of musicians, studio producers, etc in our crowd of guests, and I was really glad to hear that one of the studio producers had been blown away by him as well. He talked to him about doing some possible work with him in the future. I really hope something comes of this for him.
Dinner was at 7pm. Another more "upbeat" cover band was to play at 8pm - 11:45pm. They came on stage and were so loud, that people started to leave (we had some older people in our audience). I asked the band to turn down their volume, and they did. But people still werent feeling it. We had asked them to play a lot of Motown specifically. To be honest, I cant even tell you a single song they played- obviously it wasnt anything that peaked our ears. As a matter of fact, noone even got up to dance until the band took a break and we had Ipod music for 15 minutes! Yeah, people were dancing to the Ipod. Still though, a lot of people were leaving, so we decided to go ahead and cut the cake. We sped through our whole timeline actually, and by about 9:30, we were done with all the "key elements" of our reception. From there on out, it was free "dance and mingle" time.
By 10:30, everyone was gone. We told the band to go ahead and quit an hour early. Thats okay though, I was ready to get home.. it had been a long day. The problem was, our furniture rentals were being picked up when the venue opened the next morning. So we had to have everything cleared off the tables, and sashes off the chairs, and glasses in their crates, all ready to be picked up. So there I was, just me, my groom, MOH (who was pretty tipsy and un productive), wedding coordinator, and venue coordinator, cleaning up for the next hour and a half. I was miserable and hot doing all of that in my dress! The band was packing up their gear, and the older creepy drummer kept hitting on my "tipsy" sister. She told him she was married, had 3 kids, and lived in Alaska. Apparantly he is also an attorney, and told her she needs to leave her husband, move to Tennessee, and he will be her divorce lawyer- and gave her his card. What a Sleezeball!
so anyway- that is my wedding story! There were a LOT of snafoos- but all in all, two weeks later, people are still talking about how beautiful it was, how "expensive it looked", and what a great time they had. So even though people left pretty early, the time they were there was great apparantly. That was our main goal- to throw a great party for our family and friends. And while I know of a lot of things that went wrong or didnt get done, its not anything that many of our guests would have known about. All in all, I think we spent about $13,000 on EVERYTHING (catering, venue, decor, photographer, clothing, coordinator, bands, cakes, etc), but people later were trying to guess what we spent, and the consensus was it looked more like a $40,000 wedding. YAY! Mission accomplished :)
Here are my tips-
1. Make sure your officient does their job!!! In addition to not saying what we wanted her to say, ours forgot to have us sign the license! We had to track her down the following week to get it signed.
2. If you MUST clean up at the end of the night (which is NO fun!), bring a change of clothes! You will be irritated trying to clean in your dress!
3. Hire a photographer who brings an assistant, because if the photographer is having an "off day" for whatever reason, that assistant will be invaluable. Also, give the photog examples of photos that you would like to try and re create. I have brides do this for me if they want to, but didnt want to do that to him as I was trusting his creativity. I think photo examples would have been a good idea afterall.
4. Hire a coordinator. Even if they just become a "helper" on wedding day, that extra set of hands will be very helpful. Id suggest FULL DAY "coordination" at the very least though. Even though mine brought an assistant with her, I really could have used her for the entire day, instead of having her get started in the afternoon.
5. Put together a specific desired playlist for your band or DJ... dont leave it up to them to play a "genre" of songs
6. Dont have your bachelorette party the day before your wedding. Fortunately, mine turned out okay, but it could have been a horror story!
7. Designate someone else to speak on your behalf to the vendors.. your maid of honor, mother, whoever. I really needed someone to communicate my thoughts and feelings to a few of my vendors (including telling my photographer to stop stressing me out!), but I was too nice and didnt want to come off as a bridezilla.
8. Spending the night AWAY from my groom was really great... it made the moment I met him down the aisle, even more special.
9. Have a rehearsal. I didnt. While ours was more of a casual ceremony, we all just winged it and it was fine. But my maid of honor waled down the wrong aisle and felt really embarrassed.
10. Be sure you tell your photographer to capture "every moment as it is happening". There are so many things that you wouldnt typically think of, as a "photo opportunity", but I still hope my photog got a shot of... things like "were people watching our slideshow in the theater?" "were people enjoying the appetizers?" I didnt get to see any of that stuff, and constantly wonder how it went.
TONS of stuff for sale!
Yay! we are finally married, and truth-be-told, I am glad it is over with :P Now we can get back to our daily lives... I thought for sure that I would be one of the brides that had the "empty feeling" after the wedding was over (after planning for nearly two years and all), but thankfully, Im not :) Im ready to get my house cleared out, cleaned, up and organized again! So I have listed several (103 to be exact) items that are available to anyone who may be interested... some items are not able to be shipped though, so if you are interested in something, just inquire about it. All is on a first come, first sell basis :) THANKS!
Ive posted photos and descriptions of everything at the following link:
wow... my FINAL post as a single woman!
LADIES!!! Thank you ALL SOOOO much for your help in this wedding planning journey! I CANT believe my wedding is just 5 days away! I have had some ups and downs, and even though I am still working out kinks here and there in the final hours, I know it will all be worth it. I will post pictures for sure, and have lost of goodies in the marketplace that Ill get posted in the beginning of June. THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!
PS- for those of you who didnt know, I am also a professional full time wedding photographer. I havent mentioned that in any of my posts until now, as I wanted to be a "real bride", and NOT come across as a vendor. However, In celebration of my upcoming wedding I have put together a BIG TIME discount for my clients. Since you all have been so helpful, I have attached a photo of it to this blog. NOT trying to promote anything... just more of a PSA and "thank you" for any northern GA, northern AL, TN, KY, southern IL, southern IN, and Cincinnati brides who are still seeking a photographer.
After much stress and sleepless nights over the past two days, my maid of honor and I went to David's Bridal today. I told them my situation and that I didnt have a lot of money to spend on ANOTHER dress at the last minute.
I picked out three that I liked to try on. They all looked HORRID on me! I WAS SOOOOOO upset by this point. EVERY dress that I liked, looked like crap on me, and made me look relly REALLY huge. I was in tears. I told the caonsultant that this experience was worse than being at the dentist.
She asked me if I minded her bring me a few dresses that she thinks would hide my problem areas. At this point, I was ready to go home and be defeated, so I was willing to stay for 10 more minutes and try her options.
She brought 3 in the room for me. One of them I knew would make me look pregnant with the way the material hung. I didnt even try it on. I tried the 2nd one even though I didnt like the color, and it was 3 times what I was willing to spend. The third one didnt dazzle me either. I would have never picked it... It was white and I wanted ivory. The accents were silvery. My colors are gold. I like the "bunching" look on the skirt. This one was straight. Anyway, I gave it a try.
OH MY GOSH!!!! I looked SOOO skinny and had a TOTAL hourglass figure! After feeling so incredibly fat over the past few days, and having dress after dress confirm that- I was now practically in tears with relief that I looked skinny... uh oh, but I hadnt looked at the price tag yet. It was only $249!!!! AND with their sale right now, it was down to $199!!!!! HOLY COW!!!!!
Still posting the picture here on the blog, I wouldnt have picked it by just looking at it. But when I tried it on, it looked totoally different! I have learned my lesson! More importantly, I have an amazing flattering dress, that I feel super sexy in!
I have a beautiful dress! It looks amazing in the picture, on the hangar, and on the model (I ordered it online). It has been hanging in my closet for months, and I adore it. Bought all the accessories for it, etc. Problem is, it laces up in the back and I havent been able to properly try it on until this week when my bridesmaid flew in to help me with some things before the wedding. Ive got no friends or family around my town, so I have been waiting for her to get here to really see what I look like fully tucked into my dress.
I get it on, and look in the mirror, expecting that "Oh My Gosh, how beautiful!" moment. NO!!!!!!!!
I LOOK HIDEOUS in it!!!! SOOOO terrible. It is really unflattering on my shape. I want to cry. My wedding is in 11 days!!! the wedding budget is spent. I cant get another dress that actually works for my figure, have alterations done, and keep within my "slim to none" price range can I????
Ive woried so much about the BM dresses, that a catastrophie with my own dress never even crossed my mind!!!
I REFUSE to have 150 people looking at me in that thing. Id rather wear jeans or ANYTHING else but that dress. UGH!
BM dress crisis avoided!
After my last post, I agreed with you ladies... the black and nude looked better on my maid of honor. My bridesmaid with the "too short" dress got her alterations done (FINALLY) and sent me a pic of her in it- It looks great!!! AND it is long enough! SHWEW!
So now that that is settled... on to conquer new crisis(es)! LOL
My maid of honor flies in tomorrow!!!! She is going to stay with me until the wedding, and help get stuff made, prepared, created, and ready. YAY! Im hoping for a lot of progress in the next 14 days!
PS- my 3rd bridesmaid has not sent a pic of her dress, but Im not worried about that one. Im sure it will be fine.
HELP- OPINION NEEDED!!!
Here we are, 3 weeks until the wedding.... and I am having bridesmaid dress dilemma (If you have read my blogs thus far, you know this issue has been a constant source of stress for me!)
Originally, I was going to go with black and burgundy all the way around. The groomsmen ARE definately wearing:
black pants, black jacket, and burgundy shirt as seen in picture #1. My ring bearer is wearing black pants, black vest, and burgundy shirt. My groom is wearing all black- black pants, black jacket, black shirt (as seen in photo #1 also). THEY are set in stone... no going back.
Originally, I was going to have my girls coordinate with those colors. I found my maid of honor a black dress with burgundy on it. See Photo #2. Totally matches the guys. The other two BM's would wear black dresses (of their own choosing, in their own style). Flower girl has a black and burgundy dress as well.
THEN- I really liked the look of the "black lace over nude" look. So I figured I would have the girls do that instead and got them all the dresses that are pictured in photo #3. I even got a size small of another style for my flower girl that will have to be cut down to fit her. They all picked out their own style of dress, which I am okay with. The middle dress though is a lot shorter than what is on my pic. It is a "juniors" dress, and Tacadia is really tall, so its pretty short on her. Her seastress said she could make it a bit longer, but still will fall just above her knee. On someone who is so tall, that will still look really short.
The thing is, I have had THE HARDEST time finding decent priced "black lace over nude" dresses that have satin matierial (thats the only way all the different dresses will look co-hesive (sp) is if they are at least made out of the same material). I dont want my bridesmaid lookin' like she is going to the club instead of my wedding. SO- I got to thinking... maybe I should go back to my original plan. Afterall, the first dress in photo #3 is a bit off in color from the others anyway... the others are more "golden", hers is more "peachy" in person.
SO- since my flower girl and maid of honor already have two dresses no matter which direction I go, Should I just have my other two BM's get basic black? That way they will match the groomsmen, and no more worries about trying to find a very specific type of dress?
After this thought, I asked my maid of honor to send me pics of the dresses (photos #2 and #4). To be honest, I think I like #4 better, BUT #2 is great with me as well, so really, I dont care at this point. However, when she emailed me the pics, she also emailed them to her mom (my grandma). Tonight, my grandma called me laughing and asked if I had seen the pics yet. I hadnt, so went and looked at them, and couldnt figure out what she was laughing at. They both look fine to me. She tried to play it off about she was laughing at the socks... but she finally admitted that she nor her husband could stand dress #2. Mybe its just because I had already seen it person, but I dont think it is bad at all....
SO at this point, I need some fresh eyes to give me opinions please!!!!!
Do I go with "black and burgundy" across the board (the easier option), or do I go with "black lace over nude" (a bit sassier and unique, but more difficult to find, especially with only 21 days until the wedding!)?
PS- Sorry Tina!!! I HAD to post these pics of you to get an opinion!
PPS- No other BM has sent me pics of them in their dresses
120"-132" black round tablecloths
Does anyone know where I can purchase these for cheap? Does anyone have any for sale? I need 11 of them by May 27th.
The least expensive I have found so far is $15. I have searched craigslist and ebay already. I did find a few sites where I could rent them for about $9, but once I paid for shipping and return shipping, They were about $15 anyway. Id rather just buy them if the rental price is that comparable. My local rental company rents them for $18 each.
my new serving set
cake flavors that I ordered
more cake flavors ordered
my arch that Ill paint gold, and hang strands of rose petals from
the rose petal curtain that I want to make hang off of the arch
my original idea... now that I have tweaked it, imagine some of the feathers flowing off of the rose ball
my other centerpiece idea
paytons shoes totally match her "nude with black lace" dress! Yay for Payless!
another registry gift forthcoming
my sashes arrived from ebay!
favor boxes for the music note bookmarks
OMG- I get soooo nervous when I see my countdown clock here on the site. 26 DAYS??? SERIOUSLY??? I have sooooo much to do. It really is a never ending cycle. I get tons done and feel accomplished, until I look at everything I still need to do.
I am really excited- My Matron of Honor will be here in 13 days! She is coming into town early to help me get ready for the wedding. MAN, do I need the help! I have so many little DIY details left to do.
Jeff has really been involved lately. I think he has finally realized all of the money, time, effort, etc that I have put into this day. Also, he realizes that out of the 130+ expected guests, only 30 of them are MY friends and family. 100 of them are his. So Now knowing I am doing all of this work for 100 of HIS friends and family, well, he has seen the light :P
I have had two more nightmares since I last posted. One was that our wedding reception was basically going to take place off of a friends back porch out in the woods. It was pouring down rain, and the only thing for guests to do was jump on the wet trampoline. I forget what the second one was.
Anyway, April 27th was the deadline I had put on my RSVP's. I know a few will trickle in late, and a few may not send it in and come anyway. We have 109 confirmed guests, and expect about 25 more.
We have received another wedding gift off of our registry! We got a cake platter, and 4 wine glasses. Also, someone has purchased a glass bakeware set for us, but it didnt come in the mail, so not sure who that was yet :)
SO- Here is all the stuff I have gotten done in the last 27 days:
1. I ordered a new cake serving set. I love it!!! It is gold, which was hard to find.
2. We booked our band. And actually, in that search found an acoustic guy who was amazing, but too "soft" for a reception. So we have booked him to play during dinner. Jeff's friend offered to play live music for the ceremony. So everything except cocktail hour will be live music, from three musicians! Im really excited about this aspect
3. I have bought everything except the veggies for cocktail hour. Cutting them myself will save quite a bit of money from buying the pre-packaged trays. I know Ill have a ton going on that day, but our family and friends will be in town by then, and I think Ill have some of the moms, aunts, and such over to help with those final details. We will have: chex mix, bar mix, trail mix, mixed nuts, 4 kinds of crackers, 4 kinds of cheeses, various Hershey kiss flavors, summer sausage, deli turkey and ham slices, deli spirals, and various veggies and dip. Yay for Sams Club!!!
4. We paid off the balance on our venue, and due to our growing guest list, have decided to rent the whole building. So now we will have "run of the house" in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. That was our most expensive bill, and it feels good to get that done.
5. I have touched base with my vendors.. figured out the plan, timelines, etc.
6. Due to renting the entire place, we are now moving our ceremony to a larger room, which means I have to re-think my decor. I was at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. They got new wedding rentals in (arbors, candleabras, etc), so they were selling their old ones. They arent bright, shiny, or new, but perfect for me! I bought a large arbor that I prefer to paint gold anyway. So that fact that there are a few scratches here and there, is fine. I only paid $35 for it! It rents for nearly that, so that is a big bargain!
7. All the guys shirts have been bought. They will wear the shirts, and a black suit. Chase's vest and pants came in, and I got his and Payton's shoes. Everyone now has all of their clothes and accessories.
8. I paid for and ordered all of my cakes for the cake buffet. We are going to have SOOO much cake, and 14 different flavors! Publix makes amazing tasting cake, so I am really confident in this idea. The main cake will be a dummy cake, but will be taken in the back to be cut up. In reality, there will be two sheet cakes that the guests are getting instead. Noone will know. All of the cakes came to about $340, and we have plenty, in flavors that everyone can sample.
9. Since my maid of honor is coming into town early, she will be staying in my daughters room. So my daughter will bunk with her brother. So I ended up getting Chase the twin over futon bunkbed that he wanted anyway. It is the right time, given the sleeping situation, plus he wanted it anywany. So thats all done and set up for when Tina arrives.
10. I mentioned in the last post, that I got bookmarks for the favors, along with the glass of Hershey kisses. Well, I found great little gold plastic favor boxes for the bookmarks, and have changed my Hershey kisses to Lindor truffels. Each glass will hold 6, so everyone will get 2 white chocolate (in gold wrapping), 2 dark chocolate (black wraping), and 2 milk chocolate (red wrapping, even though my color is technically burgundy). I just think the truffels are a bit classier, and the colors still match my whole theme.
11. I have yet again, revamped my centerpieces. I still need something cheap, and I have had a hard time finding all the feathers I need to do 6 full feathers, and 6 with rose pomander balls. So I cut my tables down to 11. I will do 6 "branch" style centerpieces with roses and crystals hanging from them (perfect since we have a tree that is dead and needs to be cut down out of our backyard). I will do 5 of a pomander ball with a few feathers on it as well. That way there will still be a variety, and I still have a variation of my pomander and feather centerpieces. The branch ones will be really cheap... I found great vases at Old Time Pottery on clearance for $2. The branches are free. I already have the flowers and crystal garland that I will cut into 1.5 strands to hang from the branches.