Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Post: Tips for Getting (and Staying!) Organized

Hi, Burning River Bride readers! My name is Amy and I blog over at Little Miss Wedding Planner. I am so honored to be guest blogging for Em during her Honeymoon Week! We have been Internet-friends for quite some time now, and I am so happy for her and Josh.

So why did I call my blog Little Miss Wedding Planner? Because Planner should definitely be my middle name! I am Type A to the extreme, and as Emily put it in an email to me, “super ahead of schedule” when it comes to our wedding. I have set one goal for myself during wedding planning, and that is to have nothing to do during the wedding week Honestly, keeping that mantra in mind—and knowing how awesome it will be to have a few days off of work to just relax and welcome family and friends to town—has helped me to have a relatively stress-free experience because I am constantly reminding myself to stay ahead of the game.

I’ve always been really organized—ever since I was a little girl. My closet is color-coordinated, my DVDs are alphabetized, and my work life? Looks like this:

So you see, wedding planning is cause for me to be equally organized. It appeals to my Type A freakishness—to the extreme. Case in point: I have not one, but TWO wedding binders: one for general wedding planning and one solely for the guest list

I thought it might be helpful to give you guys a few tips and tricks for staying organized both during wedding planning AND in real life…so with that, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Lists, baby. I am constantly keeping to-do lists. I just love the feeling of checking stuff off. [Wow, Nerd Alert!] Whether it’s wedding planning or grocery shopping, find a list format that works for you and stick with it. I love the wedding templates on the Russell and Hazel website, and even though I am not a mom yet, I am pretty much obsessed with the Mom Planners by MomAgenda

2. The key to organization is to make it your own. As soon as we got engaged, I ran right out to the bookstore and bought the biggest, baddest wedding planning binder I could find. Guess what? I hated it and never used it. It was big and bulky and out-of-date. If I had done a little research, I would have saved that money and gone ahead and made my own…which I did eventually. Lesson learned—and now I LOVE using my binder because it’s exactly what I need.

3. Get ahead, and stay ahead. I may be organized, but I can sometimes fall prey to that nasty habit of procrastination. Shocking, I know…but I have to say, wedding planning has helped me with that bad habit sooo much! We are in the midst of a super-long engagement (23 months total, when all is said and done), and I have knocked out so many projects that a lot of people would wait until two or three months before the wedding to do. (See also: bathroom baskets, all aspects of the rehearsal dinner, and day-of survival kits.) Get stuff done early and you’ll be thanking yourself later.

4. Give yourself a break. I’ll go on benders where I am working on projects multiple days in a row and into the wee hours of the night. This inevitably leads to a crying jag when I get tired. The key to avoiding this—and not having a lot of stress when it comes to this stuff—has been having self-imposed moratoriums on wedding stuff. If I feel like I am getting too bogged down, I take a break—even for a couple of days or a week, if necessary. Just stop thinking about it for awhile, and then you can come back to it feeling really refreshed. Same goes for other areas of your life. Spring cleaning got you overwhelmed? Work on one closet or room at a time before moving to the next. And if one closet takes all day? That’s fine! But after that, give yourself a break! Have a glass of wine and watch some crappy reality tv. You can get back to cleaning—and wedding planning—tomorrow. Trust me, it will definitely save your sanity!

5. Similarly, while it’s a great idea to make a plan, it’s also important to allow yourself to be flexible. Easier said than done, right? Especially if you are a perfectionist (ahem, like me). Just be realistic when you’re taking on new tasks. Example: I designed and put together our Save-The-Dates and envelopes (with liners!), and while it was a fun project and I love how they turned out, I learned a valuable lesson in doing so: DIY invitations are not for me. So the new plan is to order our invitations, but make all of our other paper products—menus, place cards, favor tags, etc. Originally, did I want all of our paper products to match? Yes. Am I ok with the fact that because of the new plan, the invitations will look similar to the menus but not exactly match? Yes. Why? Because I’m the only one who will notice, and honestly? I don’t care. Your reception paper products will still look cohesive, and I promise no one is going to notice that they don’t match the invitations. 

So, that about wraps it up for my quick tips on how you too can be a freakishly organized bride (or wife!). Give them a try! Now you tell me: what are your best tips for staying ahead of the game?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Post: Blog, baby, blog!

Hi guys! I was so excited when Em asked me if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for her while she was on her honeymoon. It’s hard to believe she’s seriously married! We’ve been ‘blog friends’ for several months now and our weddings used to seem SO far away. Now she’s a married woman and I’m less than 3 weeks away from my wedding!

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to blog about, but I decided what better topic than blogging itself? When I started my blog last July, I had NO idea what a great experience it would be. Now I encourage all brides to blog about their planning process!

First, I have met some of the BEST women and fellow brides in the world, hands down. I’ve gotten feedback on ideas, assurance for my silly worries, and most of all friendship from these ladies. While I’ve only met two of my blog friends in person, I seriously hope I’ll have the pleasure of meeting more of them in the future. I talk to several of them almost every day, and I honestly count them as some of my favorite friends.

There are also SO many resources available to brides through wedding blogs. If you’re a DIY bride, there are tons of free tutorials and templates that are incredibly helpful. And if you’re not, there is so much inspiration and so many gorgeous weddings that can help you find the feel you’re going for.
Lastly, I’m a huge sentimentalist and I want to remember how much I loved (most of the time) planning my wedding. There are a couple different sites out there that allow you to turn your blog into a book, which would be such a fun keepsake! Blurb offers a product called Blurb Books and Blog2Print offers books as well. All you have to do is put in your blog hyperlink!

I can’t emphasize enough what a great experience blogging has been and how much I’ve gotten out of it. If you’re already reading this you’ve obviously discovered blogs, but if you haven’t started one of your own, DO IT! You definitely won’t regret it. 

Em, I’m sure you were an absolutely gorgeous bride and I seriously cannot wait to see your pictures! I’m so thankful for your friendship and that our blogs provided us with an opportunity to get to know each other! Enjoy every single second of your honeymoon, girl!
For the rest of ya’ll, feel free to come visit me at my blog: Lucky in Love

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Post: She's Soo La La

Hey-o Burning River Readers! “Happy Hour with a Housewife” blogger, Laura here (some others may know me as Miss Mojito from “With this ring, I thee blog”) and I was delighted when Em asked me to be a guest blogger while she was on her fabulous honeymoon with her new hubby!  When Em asked me to write a post for her blog I started stressin’ yo! I didn’t have any clue what to write to impress ya’ll... and let’s be frank, I’m using this opportunity as a shameless plug for my own blog aren’t I?!

So you can put a face with the name

So Em is awesome... I could go on about so many things! We live across the country from each other but we couldn’t be more similar and meant to be bloggity buds.  We share a love for RENT (the musical, not paying for it monthly), bitching about idiots involved in our weddings, and talking about the differences between a Brazilian Blowout & Wax. (Editor's note: I secretly believe that there is actually *no* difference between the two and Laura is pulling a fast one on me.)

So now that I’ve blabbed on a little bit, mostly because I still don’t know what I’m going to write about, I guess I should get to some type of point.  I guess what I want to share with some of you today is what I feel are the top things you need to discuss with your significant other before tying the knot.  Agree or don’t, this is just the Top Ten things I feel are important to have a clear understanding about with each other before jumping in...

1.   KIDDOS – This always seems like an obvious one but make it clear.  Because I’ve personally known girls to act completely blindsided when they find out their husband doesn’t want any kids.  Discuss how many children you want to have and more importantly when.  Most girls want to be young moms and finishing up by the time their thirty... while your hubby might be more interested in having fun for a while and possibly waiting until he feels his career is more established.  Okay now you’ve had kids... who’s going to stay home with them? Or will you put your child in day care.  And will you be putting them in public or private school, maybe even homeschool?  This is one we haven’t decided on yet.  I went to private school my whole life and the hubs went until 8th grade. I think it might depend on our location once we have children.

2.   RELIGION – Do you both share the same views? Is it alright if you don’t? If you don’t share the same religion do they at least “mesh”?  Is one of you willing to convert to the other’s religion?  Will your religious value affect your sexual values? For example, some religions don’t believe in ANY form of birth control.  This is definitely something to spend some time discussing if you don’t share the same views.  My hubs and I had all of the same religious views when we met so this was thankfully an easy one for us.

3.   DAY TO DAY LIVING – How do you live day to day and what do you expect your living situation to be like? What are your eating habits that you grew up accustomed to... eating out every day or just on special occasions? Where will you be eating the dinner... in front of the tv or at a table as a family?  What is one persons extra expenses that maybe the other thinks is a waste? The hubs and I decided we would have a specific dollar amount a month that we can spend on WHATEVER and anything over that we should talk to each other first.  My whatever money goes to things like nail appointments and Brazilian blowouts while his might go to a round of golf with a buddy.

4.   FINANCES – Who is primarily in charge of the money? Who will be paying all of the bills? Will you both work full time? Will you have separate checking accounts or will it be joint checking? We decided to do joint checking which we actually did about four months before we were married.  Best decision we personally ever made.  It was never a discussion (read: argument) on who was paying for what... it was paid and that was it.  Next, how are you going to save and what are you going to save for?

5.   DEBT LEVELS / CREDIT – This I think is really important.  Before the hubs met me he NEVER had a credit card... that was until he wanted to buy me an engagement ring, buy couches we wanted, etc. I on the other hand had a lot of credit cards in my time.  About the same time we got engaged I paid off a good chunk that I had built up when I first moved out when I was younger and was spending it all on food, gas, and booze.  It’s not fun paying for that Long Island Iced Tea from four years ago let me tell you.  Sometimes debt is really important to one person... I have a friend who didn’t tell her future husband about $6k in credit card debt she had... but you have to remember, your debt is now going to be his debt as his will be yours.  EVERYTHING needs to be put out on the table.  If possible, I think it’s a great idea to try and find a financial advisor to help you find the best way to get out of debt in your situation (school loans, credit cards, etc.) and how you can start saving money for emergencies and retirement.

6.   “ME” TIME – How will you both be spending your free time after work and on weekends?  Will there be a specific day of the week that will be YOUR date night and nobody will consider planning anything that night?  Are you used to a girl or guys night out that is a tradition that you expect to keep? I had to make it clear when I first met my husband that I love my friends and I don’t plan on giving up regular time spent with them.  Luckily he loves them so has never had an issue with me spending time with them whenever I want.

7.   CHORES – This one’s simple. Who’s going to do what? Cooking? Cleaning? Shopping? Trash? Etc? This is what the hubs and I did and it worked out fantastic.  Both of you separately write out a list of what you think the “husband duties” are and what you think the “wife duties” are.  Come back together and compare lists.  The ones that match, perfect. The ones that don’t discuss and come to a logical decision.

8.   CAREER – Will you both be working full time? Maybe you will work part-time and then do the stay-at-home wifely duties? What about once you retire... are you seeing yourself on a cabin in the woods, the balmy beaches in Florida, or the dessert resorts of Palm Springs or Scottsdale?

9.   LOCATION – This has been a biggie for me and the husband although I think just within the past week we know where we see ourselves... and that’s pretty much right where we are.  We have both grown up in Southern California and have wanted to be anywhere from Oregon to Arizona to the beach.  Make sure you both see the same vision on where you want to have your family’s home be.  The more you cannot have to move around the better and you both want to be happy... not all of us can be a little bit country and a little bit city.

10. PERSONAL GOALS – Discuss your personal goals that you’ve had set for yourself since before you even met your significant other.  Make sure you both are fully aware of what you want to accomplish in life and support each other in the most realistic ways as possible.

Duuuuuude, am I boring or what? I think I tried to hard to want to be the funny blogger on Em’s blog... instead I felt compelled to share something my husband and I did before getting married and it was a great experience.  We made it a big date night and discussed all of these things... most we already knew but it was nice to reiterate some things as well as learn more about each other we didn’t really know.

I swear I’m not always so preachy and I actually do have some fun on my blog... so if you’d love to follow my journey as a newlywed please visit me at my blog, & if you’d like to see the journey before my big day you can always check out my old blog,!

Thanks for having me Em and I hope your wedding was nothing short of fabulous! And Burning River Readers... well, if you’re still reading... thanks for listening to me blabbb.


P.S. You can also follow my daily antics on Twitter...

 The Mojitos!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Guest Post: Keep It FUN

*Today we have Stacey aka Born to be Mrs. Beever from Thoughts of the All Consumed Bride. She is, in a word, awesome. Please check out her blog (she's recently married and in the process of recapping her gorgeous wedding!)

I am thrilled to be able to write a guest post for Em over here this week while she is basking in the glory of her new love and marriage!  What a joy I know it will be for her and I am so excited to see the amazing photos and beauty that will exude from her on her wedding day!

Today, I'd love to share with you a little quote I found from Katherine Hepburn:

I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.

In life, as in love, you need to always have a little fun.  After all, what is the point of being in a relationship if there is not a good deal of laughter and enjoyment from the day to day routine activities?  Especially once you're married.  I have found that in the 2 1/2 weeks that Mr Fix It and I have been settling in to married life in the same home as husband and wife, it is difficult to not fall into a boring, mundane routine with little or no excitement.  And that's where Mr Fix It's personality comes in to the rescue!

Mr Fix It was definitely a little rambunxious as a child, but today, he's a big kid almost every day.  Don't get me wrong, he works...and hard.  His job is physically and mentally demanding.  And he's pretty tired after a long day at work.  So when it's time to run errands, he has to find ways to interject some fun.

For example, when we went shopping for my nephew, PJ's 1st b-day gift at Toys R Us, he found a big bin of bouncing balls in the middle of an aisle.  He grabbed one and said "I'll give you a 3 second hard start for dodge ball!"  When I looked at him and told him to knock it off and be an adult and put the ball down, he just reiterated that I was only being given 3 seconds.  When another customer came around the corner, I assumed he would put the ball down and act his age, but when I turned over my shoulder to look at him, I knew I better run!  And there we were, causing havoc in Toys R Us.

And that is one of the reasons I married him just last month...because no man has ever been able to do silly things like that and learn to just have fun in the silliest of ways.  It's really there within all of us, that element of fun.  We just need to learn not to stifle it and to let it come out and play once in a while.  I'll admit, that I don't typically lean that way in my day to day activities, but being around Mr Fix It, I've learned to play some jokes, make funny faces or even pull off some fun wrestling matches sometimes at unexpected times.

I believe laughter and fun are an essential part of any relationship...not just with children, but with spouses as well.  And today, as I congratulate Em and her new hubby on their recent marriage, I also wish them a lifetime of fun filled days and lots of laughter.  I am sure we will see those beautiful smiles full of joy and fun in the photos and recaps that I for one am so excited to follow very soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Guest Post: 10 things I learned from my wedding

Here to kick off Guest Post Week is Kelly and all you need to know is that she's hilarious. And awkward. And she loves pugs. And her husband. But I think she may love pugs more.

So. I'm married. For about two months now! My wedding was awesome, but not without drama. If you've ever read my blogs, you know that drama and awkwardness tend to follow me. I stressed out before the wedding about small details and things that could go wrong. Few of those things went wrong - but plenty of others did. Here are the ten things I learned from my wedding planning, in some cases things I wish I knew before, others, things I'm glad I did. I hope they can help you guys who are engaged... but also, I want to hear what the marrieds think! Anything you disagree with or could add would be welcome!

1. If you dislike someone before your wedding, you're not going to like them at the wedding. Just ignore them. My hubby's aunt wore a full on white dress to our wedding. I cringed during my MIL's impromptu speech at our reception.

The uninvited uncle who brought a date didn't bring anything else by way of a card, gift, or even a kind word. These people, who make your lives miserable on a daily basis, they aren't going to kiss your feet cause it's your wedding. They're there for free food. Ignore them, limit the time your photographer spends photographing them, and move on. No use being shocked. Prepare yourself now.

2. You are going to have no time before your wedding. Get things done early. When I tried to make plans, I pretty much procrastinated, thinking it was "too early." Prime example- the music and readings for our ceremony. I felt like making those assignments early was silly and would be laughed at. Who was laughing when I was cutting our program sheets the week of our wedding? The Kinko's man, that's who. I should have just sucked it up and figured that out months before - then I could have made the programs early instead of finishing them while my hair was being done.

3. Don't take shit from vendors. If you want something, yes, listen to their suggestions. But then decide on your own. No one should push you around. Do your research, ask around, and absolutely do not hire anyone who gives you crap. If a vendor ignores you (like my cake-topper maker did) or gives you crap, then just tell them they can give you a rim job for all you can. Then blog about them. It's fun and vengeful. Luckily I figured these things out pre-wedding and at the end of the day - my vendors were amazing. If you cannot hug a vendor, IMHO, either you need to loosen up, or you need to fire them. But then again I'm awkward and hug-friendly. Use your own discretion.

4. Tell your groom what to do. I tried to be hands-off and we were three weeks out with no tuxes and no groomsman gifts. Make your fiance a list early, and tell him to do it all. Check in monthly. I wish I had. Luckily we busted it out and got stuff done, but it could've been a disaster. And it wasn't fun showing up at Men's Wearhouse month of.

5. Eat. Ugh, nuff said. I didn't at our appetizer hour and ended up stuffing my face at the reception. Luckily I had a reception dress, but if I hadn't, my poor corset might've burst. Bring yourself snackies.

6. Give yourself at least a day between the wedding and honeymoon. I know, I know, not typical. But if you are a last minute idiot like me, you won't have time before the wedding to shop for bikinis and flip flops. We frantically shopped and packed the day after our wedding. Then we had a good night's sleep and an easy trip to the airport the next day. It's not required, but it definitely improved our situation.

7. Take pictures of EVERYTHING. Assign your camera to a family member without shaky hands who doesn't have their own camera. Make a list before the wedding of all the cute tiny elements of your wedding that you want pictures of. You don't want to go to blog about a detail, only to realize that it never got it's 15 minutes of photographic fame!

8. First looks- do them. Your flowers will only wilt more, you will only get more tired. I worried endlessly about taking pictures before taking away from our time at the ceremony. And yet, walking down the aisle was one of the most emotional moments of my life. I'm sure for some people, it's not the right choice. However, if it seems like it would work for you, but you're nervous about the ceremony being less important, don't. (Worry, that is. Don't worry.) Geez, let me just sum up my rambling with first look = convenient and special.

9. If someone/something is important to you.... have them be in your pictures. For me it was Pugs and my mom. They were in our pre-ceremony pictures. If you have a pet snail that means the world to you and you can't imagine your day without your precious snaily, then include snailypoo by all means. If it's not possible to have your loved one there for some reason, include a picture, or do something meaningful. Don't give a shit about anyone saying anything about "weird snail weddings" or "pug hair on black tuxes." That's what lint rollers are for.

10. Always wear sunscreen on your honeymoon. Seriously.

I'm still finishing my wedding recaps on my wedding blog, You can find my regular blog at as well. Don't forget to check out Blog Buddy Appreciation Day this Tuesday!

Guest Posting

Hey everyone! If you're reading this that means I'm MAAAARRRRIIIIEEEEDDDD! And on my honeymoon. Bow chicka wah wooooowwwww! Or something like that.

But in reality I'm writing this on Monday May 17. Thank God Blogger offers post scheduling.

I just wanted to let you know that all this week I'm going to feature some of my favorite bridal blogging buddies. Kristin from Happily After All actually gave me the idea when she asked ME to guest post on HER blog this week (we're date twins, if ya didn't already know). My post will go up on her blog sometime this week. So please give these ladies a warm welcome, lots of love, and lots of comments. I'll be back soon to regale you with tall tales from the wedding, the honeymoon, and my big move to DC!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's here!


Today, May 22, 2010, is my wedding day.

Um, WHERE did the time go?? In some ways it feels like we've been engaged forever, yet in other ways it feels like just yesterday Josh was proposing. This shit is CUH-RAZY, ya'll!!

To Josh, you are the most amazing man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Today we will laugh, cry, dance, and celebrate. All of these people are here for *us*. Can you believe it? Today is the day we've worked so hard for and planned for so many months. Let's enjoy the hell outta it.

To my family/friends (those who read this), thank you for your undying love and support. This day would not be as special without you as a part of it.

And finally, to my beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, sassy, sexy readers and followers...thank you. Every comment, every conversation, every tweet, every friendship....all of it means so incredibly much to me. Please know that you are all with me today. Without all of you I would have lost my shit even more than I did throughout planning this wedding. Mere words are not enough to describe how important you all are and again, I thank you for following along with my journey. I hope I made you laugh a little and maybe even cry a little :) 

I can't wait to come back with lots of pictures and recaps. I'm really going to try to be present all day so I can absorb it all and report back. 

See ya on the other side!

Friday, May 21, 2010

In-law Jackpot

On this day, the day before my wedding, I want to take a few minutes and talk about the amazing family I'm becoming a part of. Ugh, I'm crying already...

You see, somehow I got ridiculously lucky in the in-law department. Josh's parents have accepted me from pretty much Day 1. I *LOVE* them. Like big, pink puffy heart with rainbows and kittens *LOVE* them.

My future mother-in-law Nancy is incredibly kind and loving with a little bit of sass thrown in. She raised her boy RIGHT and should be incredibly proud of the job she did. Plus, this woman knows how to PAR-TAY. She even came to my bachelorette party!

This is one of the tame pictures. I don't want to embarrass her.

My future father-in-law Brian is basically Josh only 20-some years older. They are so much alike, it's scary. He is a notorious jokester with a heart of gold. He taught Josh not only how to be a man, but also how to be a gentleman. Brian has become an amazing father-figure to me and for that I will forever be thankful.

Rockin' out at a wedding last summer.

Not only did Nancy and Brian raise two fantastic children, but they are the epitome of a fantastic marriage. Over the past few years they've exposed me to something I've never seen my entire life: a married couple who, after almost 30 years, still loves each other. They are the perfect model for "making it work." Has it always been easy? Hell no. But have they always made it work? Hell. Yes. Maybe one day they'll reveal their secret.

Finally Josh's sister, Brianna, Bree, Breeze, Breezy (she has many names). I immediately loved her and while it took a bit longer for her to accept me, I know she loves me, too. Once everything was put out in the open, we became extremely close. She is everything I look for in a friend. Kind, hilarious, smart, sassy, loyal...the list could go on. She is beautiful inside and out and I'm *so* looking forward to calling her my sister (ooh and hair stylist, too!).

 Classic Em and Bree.

Oh, and not only do I love Josh's family and they love me, but my mom loves Josh's family and they love her, too! Winner, winner chicken dinner! We're so incredibly blessed and I don't know how it happened, but I must have done something right in my life to be awarded with such an amazing family.

Our rehearsal dinner is tonight and Josh's parents are graciously hosting. So here's to them! 

What is your in-law dynamic like? Familial bliss or Monsters-in-Law?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Please find your seat

One of the first "I am doing this and no one will convince me otherwise" wedding decisions I made was that I was going to have a seating chart instead of place cards/escort cards. I'm not sure where I first saw the idea, but it's been in my plans for a long time. Did I have any idea how I was going to accomplish this? Nah, of course not. But then, fate intervened.

I came across the blog Happily After All written by the beautiful and talented Kristin. We're basically wedding twins. Same colors, same wedding day, and our fiances have the same name. Freaky, right? Well, I came to find that Kristin is super crafty and has an Etsy shop! And what is one of the products in her Etsy shop? Seating charts!! I made note of this and told her that when the time came SHE would be doing my chart.

Fast forward a few months: it's a little over a month before the wedding, we're getting more and more RSVPs with each passing day, and are able to start doing table assignments. I check out Kristin's Etsy shop and it's CLOSED! Nooooooooooooo!!!! She needed to close it due to her OWN wedding coming up. THE NERVE. (Lol, totally joking, Kristin.)

After a bit of a panic attack I sent Kristin an email basically begging her to accept one more project. Well, she took pity on me and told me she could do it! YAY! She set up a Google Doc so I (ok, actually Josh did all of this) could put in the names and table numbers of people as they replied. Um, fantastic idea. She was also able to include our invitation graphic! 

Wanna see the result?

My mom had this iron easel thing so we're using that to display it.

I love it!!! I'm so so so pleased! Kristin sent me the file as a jpeg, I put it on a USB thing, took it to my local Staples to have it printed up. It was done in no time (they even custom cut it and framed it for me). I think our guests will really like it. And if they don't, screw 'em, I like it.

Definitely check out Kristin's blog as well as her Etsy shop. She has tonnnssss of awesome stuff, is super fast, super nice, and super talented. But she's also super busy right now, so maybe wait til the beginning of June to place your order :)

 What's your method of showing people to their seats? Place cards, escort cards, chart, or maybe something way cooler?

*I am not getting paid or compensated in any way for writing this post. I just love her and love her work!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gifting the Groomsmen

Since I'm fairly certain none of Josh's Groomsmen read this blog I'm not going to worry about the customary warning sign for them to GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE. But, you know, just in case

Please Leave Now.


So Josh was totally on top of things when it came to gifts for his boys. And I'm not being sarcastic at all! All of the boys are really fun, like to party, and are big movie buffs. Knowing this, Josh got them a really great gift. 

Ok, now pretend this is rotated properly. Something funky is going on with this stupid computer, Blogger, and iPhoto. So, just kinda turn your head. Thanks.

We got the boys personalized beer mugs from Things Remembered (they're on sale right now, by the way!) and a t-shirt with a line from one of their favorite movies. Not surprisingly most of the t-shirts are fairly inappropriate (this one, for instance, says "Eat A Dick" on it) so I'm not going to show those. We're also giving the boys ties and pocket squares, although that is mostly for our benefit :)

Did your guy take care of the gifts for his Groomsmen or were you left with yet another thing to do?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We have a LOT of people staying at the Marriott the weekend of our wedding. This thrills me to no end and I wanted to express my gratitude by providing those guests with a few treats. Thus, our out-of-town/hotel bags were created!

So many brides have put together simply amazing OOT bags complete with monogrammed canvas totes and specialty...stuff. Well, folks, if you're looking for those skip this post and do a quick search on Weddingbee. Ours are relatively simple, no muss, no fuss. Truth be told, this just wasn't something I wanted to agonize over. They're nice and they get the job done and that's all that really mattered to me.

These bags are something that my FMIL and I worked on together so I want to quickly say thanks to her for funding most of this project.

We decided on simple black bags found at a craft store. I think they were less than $1 each. I found green tissue paper at Target which served as the perfect pop of color.

The tissue paper looks yellow, but I assure you it is green. 
I know, you were worried.

Let's take a look inside:
I feel like Jack and Locke peering down into the Hatch for the first time on Lost.

I'm a nerd.

Let's see what we put in these babies!

Two bottles of water (with cute little labels that Josh's mom printed)
Mixed nuts from Heggy's in Josh's hometown
Buckeyes (representing The Ohio State University Buckeyes and the state tree for the great state of Ohio) from my hometown fave Malley's Chocolates
Assorted granola bars


a welcome letter!

The cute paper is from Office Max (or maybe Staples). I had the damnedest time trying to find the right wording for our welcome letter. If I'm being 100% honest, I grabbed wording from all over the place. Since I know how effing hard it was to find wording, here is the full text in case you need some inspiration (or in case you just want to copy the whole darn thing. I don't really care):


Dear Family and Friends,

We are so happy that you are able to join us here in Cleveland for our very special day! We are certainly blessed to be surrounded by so many close friends and family. Regardless of whether you came from near or far, we are elated that you were able to make the journey here. In this bag are a few treats to make your stay more comfortable. In addition, if you are driving to Windows on the River, please remember your parking pass to ensure free parking at the venue.
We hope that our wedding celebration will hold great memories for you as it will for us.

May we offer you a ride?

Shuttle service between the Marriott and Windows on the River will be provided approximately every 20 minutes, starting at 3:00 p.m. The last trip to Windows will be at 4:00 p.m. sharp (we wouldn't want you to miss it!) Return service back to the Marriott will begin at 9:00pm, and continuing every 20 minutes thereafter until midnight. 

Love, Emily and Josh

Yay all done! I hope our guests enjoy the sweets and treats!

If you're doing OOT bags, what did you put in them?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Keep 'em fresh

Oooooook so it's definitely Wedding Week! Yeah...just putting that out there.

Anyway, like so many who have come before me (and many who will come after) I put together bathroom baskets for our guests. While they're certainly popular in wedding blog world, I've never been to a wedding that had them so I'm assuming that many of our guests have never seen them either. Hopefully they are enjoyed by everyone!

Here they are in all of their glory. 
Please ignore me in the mirror. It's for your own good, I promise.

Wanna see what's inside? Let's start with the ladies:

In the basket for the women-folk we have the following:
Lint roller
Mini pads
Tide To Go pen
Face wipes
Hand sanitizer
First Aid kit
Bobby pins
Hair ponies 
Nail file
Body spray
Hair spray

And for the gentlemen:

Lint roller
Hand sanitizer
First Aid kit
Tide To Go pen
Axe body spray
Tic Tacs

To go along with the baskets I printed up some signs. 

I found the wording for this...somewhere. I know, I'm so bad. If you recognize it and can I.D. the source I'll be happy to add that in. Here is the wording:

Whether your skin feels dry
or your hair our of place.
You're not feeling so fresh,
or whatever the case.
We've put together a basket
to help you along.
Now hurry back out
before you miss the next song!

I added part of our invitation graphic, printed these babies up on some 5x7 cardstock, stuck them in a frame and VOILA! 

As for the baskets themselves, I found them at Michaels around Christmastime. They originally had cloth inserts but I decided I hated them so I took them out. I put shredded paper (found at the Dollar Store) in the bottom so the contents would have something to rest on. My mom added some fake hydrangeas to the front to spruce it up a bit. I think they turned out really nice! Here's hoping people actually *use* the stuff!

Anyone else doing bathroom basketr? If you had them at your wedding, were they a success? 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dance, Dance

My love of dance is well-documented on this lil blog o' mine. I bought a 2nd dress specifically so I could dance at my reception. My bachelorette party was centered around dancing at a club. I try to dance on a daily basis, if only in front of my bathroom mirror for a few blissful minutes. And honestly, for a white girl, I'm not half bad.

I wish I could say the dance I'm most looking forward to at my wedding is my first dance with Josh or even my dance with my dad (but we all know how I feel about that). But no, the dance I'm most looking forward to is the one I'll do with one of my best friends (and a Groomsman), Tyrone.


Ladies and ladies, may I present to you, Get Me Bodied:

 Yes, that is Queen B, Miss Beyonce. I love her, Tyrone thinks he *is* her on occasion, and at my wedding we will pay tribute to her fabulosity. The song came out a few years ago and has stayed in my "Dance Mix" rotation ever since. If I need a pick me up? I play that song. Getting ready? I play that song. Itchin' to dance? Well, you get the picture.

I've had most of the moves down for awhile now, but I've been brushing up on it the past few days and will continue this week. To get an idea of how serious this is, let me show you the text I sent to Tyrone last night:

"I'm watching "Get Me Bodied" from The Beyonce Experience on YouTube right now. Better practice that, bitch. We got a performance a week from tonight."

And then another this afternoon:

"Just practiced our dance in my pumps. We got this. So fucking excited!!"

I'm not messing around. Tyrone get into town on Thursday afternoon and TRUST, we will be doing a run-through. Now, I'm not planning on really announcing this "performance" of sorts. Tyrone and I will probably just start dancing and if people notice, great. If not, their loss!

What dance, if any, are you most looking forward to at your reception?

Friday, May 14, 2010

And I just can't hide it!

Is it normal to be *THIS EFFING EXCITED* a week before your wedding?

Because you guys....I'M REALLY REALLY EXCITED!!!!

Ok, I just had to get that out.

I think I'm supposed to be stressed and worried and anxious, and people are supposed to ask in hushed tones "Emily, honey, how are you doing? Are you ok?" But I'm honestly really good! Maybe under a bit of pressure to make sure I've crossed all of my Ts and dotted all of my Is, but for the most part I'm a happy bride.

Mind you, this could all change at the drop of a hat (or the drop of my wedding dress or something really breakable and expensive). Let's just hope that doesn't happen.

I have lots of things to show you so hopefully I'll get a bunch of posts written and scheduled this weekend so I don't go completely MIA next week.

One more thing: I love you guys SO MUCH! All of my blog friends and my Twitter friends and my real life friends who read this....I just love you all so very very much and I'm so thankful to have this outlet. Oh, and that's just a taste of the wedding day post I have brewing. I plan on making each and every one of you cry (tears of joy, course).

Do you guys think this is just the calm before the storm and next week I'll be all "WAAAAAHHHHH CRAZY BRIDE"?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Ha! Perfect, right? 

I just wanted to take a minute to wish my mom, my future-almost-in-two-weeks-Mother-in-Law, and all of the mommies and mommies-to-be out there a *very* happy Mother's Day.

My mom, me, BM Claire Bear, and FMIL at my bachelorette party. 
So blessed to have 2 of the coolest moms on the planet!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Make" me up before you go go!

I knew from pretty much day 1 that I would do my own make up for the wedding. In the past when I've had my make up professionally applied the results ranged from "meh" to disastrous. For some reason make up artists tend to make me really pale even when it's the middle of summer at the peak of my tan-ness. Ugh. One guy, who supposedly worked with "celebrities" out in LA, did such a half-ass job that I had to literally FINISH applying it myself. Believe me, I could go on. Ok, rant over :)

So for such an important day, I knew I couldn't chance it. I love doing my own make up and I know what colors and applications look best on me. Plus, I have experience applying make up for professional pictures. I did my own for our engagement pics and our recent bridal session.

So I figured I should probably practice before the big day and last weekend I did just that. Needless to say, I'm super happy with the results!

Because I LOVE all of you little lambs SO much, I'm going to put up a picture of me with no make up. Please, do not be afraid. I rarely go out of the house looking like this (and trust me, I'm not fishing for compliments, I know I look like shit without make up).

I must really effing love you guys. So not cute.

And here is the end result! ::drum roll please::

I'm a new woman!

I took this one on my computer after I added a bit more eyeshadow. 
Not the best quality picture, but this was easier to do than use my point and shoot.

Close up. I'll do it a touch darker on W day.

Again, from the computer, but the colors showed up nicely.

I'll probably add a bit more blush, but other than that I'm totally happy with how it turned out. I'll also have one of my bridesmaids carry my make up bag with me in case I need to touch up (which I'm sure I will).

Do you guys want me to do a post about the products I used an a little tutorial? If you're interested let me know, I'm happy to write one up.

Are you doing any beauty DIY for your wedding day or are you leaving it to the professionals?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making it Official

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Josh and I are not particularly religious. I was raised Catholic but have completely cut ties with the Church for multiple reasons (reasons that I'd be happy to get into if you're really interested and contact me privately). Josh wasn't really raised with any religion. It's just not something that's important to us.*

When it came to finding an officiant, we had a few choices. My dad is a lawyer so we could have found a judge to marry us. A close family friend is licensed to marry couples in the state of Ohio, so we could have asked her. Or we could find some one the "new age" way: on the Internet. Guess which one we chose.

Internet, baby!

We've received more than a few raised eyebrows from people upon hearing this decision, but hear me out. I don't like asking my dad for favors and having a judge marry us just wasn't how I pictured my wedding. While we would have loved for our family friend to marry us, I wanted her to be a guest first and foremost. So we were left with looking online. Luckily, it worked out really well for us.

Our officiant is Peter Boruchowitz, a licensed minister from Our Wedding Officiant. We met him last summer and instantly knew he would be a great fit. His background is incredibly interesting. He was a theater major and a professional extra in New York City for many years. He also performed in many off-Broadway productions and a number of movies. Score! He's comfortable in front of large groups AND kinda famous! (Anyone who knows me knows how much I love celebrities. One day I'll be famous. One day.)

Together we've worked to create a personal and emotional ceremony that fits us incredibly well. I sent it to Josh for final review a few days ago and he told me he cried. All together now "Aaaawwwww." I know we're both going to be serious messes come vow time.

Doing something like this is not meant for everyone, but it's perfect for us. As I alluded to before, we've had quite a few raised eyebrows regarding our decision. Here's the thing: you don't have to like it, I just ask that you respect it. And trust me, we've had some seriously DISrespectful reactions. Twice I've been asked (by acquaintances, not people who know me well) if I believe in God. Um, in what circumstance is that an appropriate question, especially in mixed company? The answer is never.

Fortunately, I haven't let comments like that get me down and I'm fully confident in our decision. Our wedding ceremony is going to be meaningful and something I know I'll cherish for the rest of my life.

Who is officiating your wedding ceremony? Anyone else find a guy (or gal) online? (Please tell me I'm not alone here.)

*That is not to say religion isn't important. I fully support your right to freedom of religion as long as you support my right to freedom of no religion :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

If after the party is the after-party...

Then is before the party the...pre-party party? Just sayin'.

We've had our rehearsal dinner venue booked forEVER but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. Whoopsie!

We really lucked out when it came to the RD venue because the building that houses our wedding venue also houses a restaurant (along with a dueling piano bar and a comedy club). Our rehearsal guests will literally have to walk only a few hundred feet from the place where we're rehearsing to get to the restaurant. We didn't even bother looking anywhere else because of the incredible convenience (and reasonable price) this restaurant provided.

So without further ado, our rehearsal dinner spot:

Rock Bottom Brewery! Yummy food and beer brewed on-site...doesn't get much better than that! Of course, for those who aren't the beer type, we'll be offering an open bar as well. I just hope no one wakes up hungover the next morning.

The food is super simple: buffet-style chicken parmesan, Italian sausage w/ onions and peppers, potatoes, green beans, and salad. And to top it all off...chocolate fondue!! Mmmm that's what I'm looking forward to the most. 

Although the restaurant is fairly casual, I asked everyone to dress up a bit. Girls in dressy-casual dresses, boys in nice pants and a button down shirt. I've had my dress for quite some time (it's not even available online anymore) but lucky for all of you I grabbed a pic of it back when I bought it:

(The dress is from Nordstrom)

I think this is a weird pic of it, but it looks SUPER cute on (if I do say so myself). Because I'm totally psycho (hey, at least I can admit it) I asked Josh to buy a green shirt so we match our wedding colors. Again, I know how ridiculous that makes me sound, but oh well. 

After dinner I think we'll head down to the dueling piano bar Howl At The Moon to let loose a bit. But I've instructed numerous people not to let me stay out past 11. This bride needs her SLEEP, yo!

What are you doing for your rehearsal?