Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy new year!

HAPPY 2011!!!

I did my happy dance into 2011 because it's the year, my year, our year, THE YEAR WE SAY I DO! However, after the clock struck midnight I began to feel something other than totally excited - I began to feel butterflies. I couldn't quite place why, but quickly realized all of the wedding related tasks I'd put off until 2011 were here. It was 2011 & I couldn't use it as an excuse any longer. Ahh dangit! Ry & I immediately began working like mad little wedding bees!

Ry & I ordered our invites last week from this cute little Etsy shop. I can't tell you much about them because they are so cute & I want them to be a surprise. The colors, the theme, and the graphics perfectly coincide with the feel of our wedding, if that makes an
y sense. Once guests arrive in Fontana, they'll understand what I mean :) We'll be sending them out in late Feb/early March, so make sure to check your mailbox everyday. Yes, I mean it. EVERYDAY!

I ordered my girls first part of their day-of presents. I bought their earrings off of Etsy from a lovely jewelry designer. They are super affordable & gorgeous. They are sparkly, yet elegant. I cannot wait to give them to my girls. I'm still working on the other parts, but I think they'll be a breeze to find. Want a sneak peak? Ok, fine...

Ry & I are getting ready to order our cute guestbook. It's very different than a traditional guest book & I think it's a really fun &
hands-on idea. You see we're having a thumbprint guest book, which we are ordering from another Etsy shop (notice a theme?). The idea behind this is that we have a blank canvas with our names, date, and an image printed on it. There will be 2 ink pots available for guests to stick their thumb into & place their print on the canvas & then initial their thumbprint. This will be such a fun piece of art to display after the wedding, don't you think?

Finally, we're getting to order all of the fun little things (linens, cocktail napkins, ceremony decor, etc) that will help make the reception more like us. The extra special touches here & there are things that maybe our guests won't 100% notice, but they'll help create a fun & personal environment for all to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Projects I'm looking forward to in 2011

No real update here, but thought I'd give you an idea of what projects/ideas I'm getting ready to tackle in 2011!

1. Instead of using a typical guestbook, I'd like to create a wishing tree. I'm not the craftiest person, but I'm feeling like this is something I can do. Don't know what it is? Click here to find out more!

2. Ribbon Pomanders for the pews in the Church. They're fun & cute & inexpensive - I LOVE all of those things :) I want to do them in yellow & navy, but we'll have to see what ribbon I can find! Click here to find out more!

3. Ordering our invitations. They are absolutely beautiful & just reflect Fontana perfectly. From the lovely paper to the nautical graphics, I just died when I saw them. I cannot wait for you all to receive them!

4. Designing jewelry for my bridesmaids & myself with Chicago designer, Rach B. She's originally from Rockford (small world, I know!) & I've been lucky enough to work with her a number of times. She's absolutely darling & so is her jewelry. Click here to find out more!

5. Finding my shoes. Omg - I literally almost die everytime I even begin looking for the shoes. I love anything that is sparkly with a high heel. However, in the back of my mind I know I need to find something a little more practical. With my tendency to fall & the need to be able to walk on my honeymoon, I think I need to go with a smaller heel. I'll keep you updated!

I don't think I'll be updating a lot due to the upcoming holidays. Please have a lovely Christmas & safe New Year! I positively cannot wait for 2011!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Moving onto bigger & better things!

So bridesmaid Megan, bridesmaid Elise & I went back to Lily's Bridal Store to try on dresses again. Megan was undecided & Elise was sick during the initial trip. We walked in & met Lily herself! She's was a nice woman & got things taken care of, but maaaan does she need to work on sales/people skills. I won't go into details, but some of her comments were a little ill received by my bridesmaids. Anyway, they decided on their dresses & guess what?! They're the same dress! The girls literally had the same measurements, so of course the dress that is most flattering would look great on both of them!

Here's bridesmaid Elise & bridesmaid Megan's dress -

Now my new favorite adventure in wedding planning is finding our invitations. Of course I thought I knew exactly what I wanted when I began planning well before I got engaged (whoops!), but am so over it now. I ordered a few samples from Etsy & am enjoying all of them. They are beautiful & different! Ryan picked out a few himself that he liked & I ordered a few that I like. Of course the one I LOVE is one that Ryan wasn't crazy about, but we'll see if I can work my charming ways into convincing him that my favorite invitation suite is something we just can't do without! Unfortunately my mom promised me to secrecy with the invite, so you won't be seeing it until you receive in your mailboxes come March. Maybe I'll give you a little preview one of these days.... ;-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

First off, thank you to the ladies who dared to venture to the random part of Chicago (N.Pulaski & Belmont) to try on dresses this past Sunday. I know the store looked a bit sketch & there may have been 1 too many hot pink dresses with sparkles, but I appreciate your openness & ability to laugh at the oddity of the store. Secondly, bridesmaid E wasn't able to join us because of a terrible cold so I hope she's feeling better! Thirdly, my sweet jr. bridesmaid Megan & I had a special trip over Thanksgiving weekend to try on some dresses & figure out her size. I didn't take any pictures, but trust me - she's a babe.

Anyway, bridesmaid Melissa, bridesmaid (and future SIL) Megan, and Maid of Honor (and seester!) Catherine joined me
early Sunday morning for some homemade quiche, coffee, and orange juice before heading out to Lily's Bridal & Gifts. When we walked in this was the 1st dress we saw & boy were we worried.

Yep, that's Cheetah print underneath.

Luckily we were pointed to the Alfred Angelo dress section & were quickly relieved. There were tons of options! The girls each grabbed about 10 dresses & off the dressing rooms they went. Each girl looked really pretty in every dress, but MOH Catherine & bridesmaid Melissa found their dresses. My jr. bridesmaid Megan found one online, so that's 3 down. Woohoo! I have some pretty funny shots of the girls trying on the dresses, but I'm not able to share them with the interweb (sorry!). However, here are the dresses the ladies picked! Keep in mind, they'll all be in navy blue carrying yellow rose bouquets. Swoon!

MOH Catherine -

Bridesmaid Melissa -

Jr. Bridesmaid Megan -

Stay tuned for Megan & Elise's picks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coming soon to a mailbox near you!

So, we did it. After all the hours of sweating, bending over, and lots of teamwork it's over with & I couldn't be happier. Get your mind out of the gutter -- I'm talking about our Save The Dates! They are addressed, stamped, and ready to go. Thank goodness!

I had no idea how much went into Save the Dates & trust me, I did them the easy way. I ordered a simple save the date on Shutterfly, ordered yellow envelopes (to go with our navy, yellow, and white color scheme), and bought an "all you need is love" stamp at Michaels. Not only was hand addressing them tedious, but getting people's addresses took much longer than I thought! Come on people, it's our wedding! It's a super special moment followed by a super, awesome party. You're invited - we just need your address! Anyway (pardon the rant!), we are still working on the last few stragglers but the majority of them should be arriving in your mailboxes within the next week or so. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Here's a picture of an envelope. Not sure why I chose this one. My handwriting looks horrendous! Sorry for the blurriness too - I didn't want to put her full name or address. Check out the cute little stamp the corner. That's my favorite part!

Monday, November 15, 2010

We're all good in God's eyes!

Just wanted to update y'all & let you know that Ryan & I are officially done with our Precana requirements to get MARRIED! It was an awesome experience & we learned so much. Old St. Pats did a wonderful job of incorporating major topics that need to be discussed without making it scary or awkward. In fact, I caught myself talking at my hair salon to a group of women about how awesome it was. Um...what? Yeah, I did that.

Anyway, here's the proof:

I hope you all are getting excited for Thanksgiving. I know I am! Ryan & I are taking his parents to Fontana, WI for the 1st time on the 27th & we're so damn excited to show them the sights. We're meeting with florists, stopping by the rehearsal dinner location, having our tasting at the reception venue, and will probably enjoy a few brews at Chucks! We'll also be sending out Save the Dates out soon, so keep an eye out for them after Thanksgiving ;-D

Monday, November 8, 2010

Precana -- is that even a real word?

I've always dreamed of getting married in a church. The tradition, the words, the blessing, and the sanctity of it all has always drawn me in. To repeat words in a sacred place that generations upon generations have celebrated their love seems so timeless to me. It's an extra special touch to our very special day.

While Ryan & I aren't the most "religious" people, we definitely are spiritual & believe there is something bigger than ourselves out there. We don't go to Church every Sunday or pray every night because we see God in our daily lives & in the people we meet, help, and share our lives with. It was relieving to know that Ryan was on board to have the Church be part of our wedding day.

St. Benedict's in Fontana said we could do precana in our home church. Thank goodness! We ended up signing up for the precana classes at Old St. Pat's here in Chicago. I absolutely love this church because they make it fun to go to church. Yes, I know. It's hard to believe, but it's true. The congregation is young, the priests are so friendly & really connect with whats going on in the world, and they accept & love everyone. Woohoo!

We had our 2nd session yesterday & are still absolutely loving it. It's much more focused on talking & communicating versus the religious aspect of marriage. They give a little talk on 2 major parts of marriage & then ask us to go & talk about them on our own. Ryan has been unbelievable about opening up & being honest. I do think it has made our relationship stronger & it's made me fall even more in love with him. I wish everyone who is getting married had to go through this program because it really does help us realize whats important & not to sweat the little things. I am so lucky to have someone so willing to give all that he can to our relationship (and he's lucky to have me too :)!