Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas!   After an eventful few days of travel I'm finally back home spending the holidays in Illinois with my family.  This year will be a special one - while it's certainly not my last Christmas at home it will be my last Christmas at home as it always was - just me, my parents and my sister watching old Christmas movies over and over, snuggling up to the fireplace with hot toddies, eating too much food and unwrapping too many gifts.  I will savor this Christmas and reflect on all the Christmas times past enjoying all of our old family traditions.  I'll miss spending Christmas with my love who is off cruising in the Bahamas (not feeling too sorry for him) but will be looking forward to welcoming him into our family next year and starting new traditions of our own together.  Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones and let us all remember those less fortunate this holiday season.   

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Inspiration Board: Bridal Showers

I'm still playing with the inspiration board template over at Style me Pretty's Style Circle site but I think I'm getting the hang of it a little better now.  I'm sure it's just as easy to do it on my own with Photoshop but I'm still learning that too.  In fact so is my Guy - he made the new header for my blog which carries a similar look as our wedding save the dates.

I thought I'd try to do a bridal shower inspiration board since my friends and family are throwing me a shower while I'm home over the holidays.  I love planning and helping throw parties so it's hard for me just to be the guest of honor and not want to help with all the little details.  I've never really been into the whole cheesy games they do at bridal showers so I'll have to have an open mind about that - I'm more interested in girlfriends coming together for a celebration with good food, drinks and of course - dessert!  I'm really looking forward to the shower and having all my Midwest girlfriends and family together for one fun afternoon in the city. After the shower I'm going to pick out all the fabrics for my wedding dress - can't wait!

Bridal Shower

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Travel Tuesday: Remote Mexican Paradise

I've decided to start a new series called Travel Tuesdays dedicated to my obession with travel.  We LOVE to travel and I have a credit card payment to show for it.  I can justify that though b/c I've always felt that nothing can replace the experience or memories made when exploring new places.  I've been so fortunate to have traveled to so many wonderful places and look forward to the many adventures ahead of us. 

I really do have quite an obsession with travel - I buy just about every travel magazine or book on the shelf, watch every travel related show or TV network and regularly scour the internet for our next trip.  We started a travel file that is right now bursting at the seams with cut outs from magazines or articles on places we'd like to go and we've even made a vision board that is dedicated to our travel wish list. I've dreamed of being the next Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel - I mean how did she get a job like that? 

As you might imagine I'm having quite a good time researching places for a honeymoon.  Our typical vacations are trekking through places like Costa Rica usually exploring every new town or village we come across and ziplining through the rainforest or spending the day surfing.  We are usually always on the go trying to squeeze in everything we can while we're there and it's ususally on a pretty tight budget.  We've decided for the honeymoon to find a place to just relax, enjoy good food and drinks and really unwind (if that's possible). 

I stumbled upon this place somewhere in the blog world a while back and can't get enough of their video -

What a perfect spot for a honeymoon!  Etched into a hillside on the Pacific coast of Mexico - you have to take a boat to get to this place and then mules carry your luggage up the hill.  If you are looking for total relaxation in a really remote jungle paradise with amazing views of the ocean this might be it.  Look at the Palapa suite and the Tea House - all of the little thatched roof houses look amazing!  Wow...this is definitely what we are looking for but Verana didn't quite win out for the honeymoon spot but we'll add it to our list.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Real Wedding: Simple Beach Wedding with a Travel Theme

Oh my...I love, love this wedding in Jekyll Island!  If we had decided on a beach wedding this would have been the vibe. The guests rode their cruisers to and from the beach wedding and back to the reception.  The travel theme and the map with push pins from where the guests were from is such a nice tough.  I can't believe they got those great shots with the plane flying over head!  We are also considering what elements we can add to our wedding to show our love for travel - I am drawn to maps so we'll have to get creative!

Great series of shots

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wedding Update!

Scary...we are only 5 months and some days from the wedding, how is that possible?  Time flies when you are in the engagement bliss stage!  I never wanted a long engagement but now I'm wishing we had just a few more months.  Don't get me wrong - I can't not wait to marry my guy but having the extra time to plan and to be in this really fun and exciting time without too much stress would be nice.  I figured I'd give a little progress report on where things are at - even though it won't look like we have a lot done I feel good about the planning. 

Things completed:
- Location selected
- Ceremony and Reception venue booked
- Save the Dates sent out (which means guest list is done)
- Wedding Website complete
- Registry - started and active but still needs work
- Officiant booked (our friend!)
- Groom ring ordered

Still need to do:
- Book caterer
- Book photographer
- Confirm location for day-after wedding picnic and caterer or food service
- Book tickets to Oregon
- Figure out where we are staying in Hood River
- Wedding Dress - having this made but still need to buy fabric, etc
- Book wedding transportation (school bus)
- And 100 other little details

There is still a laundry list of "other things" and then of course decor and look and feel of the wedding day.  This has been the most difficult since as you can see from my other blog entries I love so many different things.  We might like the overall rustic look but there are so many little details that I love that it's tough to narrow the focus.  We might have to renew our vows every year so we can fit in all the things I love! 

My goal is that with the holidays and some downtime around the corner I can chip away at this list.  I'm going home to Mom and Dad's and I typically don't get out of my pj's or stray far from the couch in the comforts of home so it should a good time to get this done.  And since sadly my guy will be at sea this holiday season(frowny face) he will gladly let me take this on!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inspiration Board: Rustic Accents

My first attempt at creating my own inspiration board vs. stealing others inspirations for my blog. Although some people come up with such good ones I just have to share and I'm sure it's flattering to folks.  I know I'd be thrilled if someone shared mine but it won't be this one.  I'm not sure why but it's giant!  I'll need to play around with the template some more.  Style Me Pretty offers such a great service within their online community with this inspiration board maker.  You could actually run an entire blog from their site if you didn't want to start your own.  Check it out!

Rustic Wedding

I LOVE the old window with the table numbers - if I can find one we may be using this idea for the wedding.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rustic Decor: Trees

I'm really loving all the wood and tree themed accents and decor I've been seeing in several recent weddings. Especially if you are getting married outdoors and in a rustic woodsy setting it would be a perfect theme.  I think the symbolism of wood - strength, longevity, protection, shelter -  is also quite fitting for a wedding day.

Love this save the date with initials etched in tree

Another one using a log font is fun...

This tree trunk cake stand is really cool

Trees as the base of a centerpiece - you could do a lot of cool accents on top of this

Wood ring pillow...hmmm - might go good with wood rings?

Tree saplings as a favor are a great idea - plant a tree!

Greatest guest book idea from August and After - love how it is something you can actually frame in your house and have as a keepsake to remember all the loved ones who attended your special day

Favorite thing - personalized dessert plate/mugs with your initials etched in a tree by Jessica Rust Designs!
She has other really cool personalized designs on her site too.
This is my next bridal shower gift - who will be the lucky girl?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Real Wedding: Emily and Josh

I would love to post photos from our site visit to our wedding venue the Gorge Crest but it was 20 degrees and the ground was frozen and snow packed so we didn't spent too much time outside roaming the grounds or taking photos.  I have definitely done my research on the venue and on weddings in the area by reaching out to other brides who have been married at Gorge Crest or anywhere in the Columbia Gorge area to get advice and any helpful suggestions. I have found most brides are eager to help and happy to retell the story of their memorable wedding days.  One in particular has become my new email buddy and has been so kind in giving me feedback on vendors and wedding planning in the Hood River area in general - so I'm excited to share her wedding and the numerous cute details of their day.  I originally found Emily through Gabriel Boone Photography blog and was resourceful in finding her from there!

They were married at the Gorge Crest Vineyard and Farms (our wedding venue) but used the Griffin House along the Columbia River as their bridal headquarters.  This is a beautiful location with those sweeping views of the Gorge and a great site for pre-wedding photos.

Love this photo by Gabriel Boone - view from the Griffin House

Emily and Josh on the lawn at the Griffin House

Emily's expression giving Josh this card before the wedding is so adorable!

There are a series of swing shots - all super cute.  And her shoes...outstanding!

Ahh...that view from the Gorge Crest - making me excited for our big day...

Great decor idea - sheet music cones and what looks like a butterfly cut out for the string too!

Table numbers were done in scrabble pieces with milk glass vases on all the tables

The milk glass theme carried out on the welcome table

All the cute vintage details in their blue color palette all tied together nicely

Her shorter length wedding dress was so perfect! While I'm having mine made by a friend she highly recommended a great place in Portland called The English Dept where she bought her dress. Emily had her gorgeous bolero made out of her mother's 1969 wedding dress by clothing designer Elizabeth Dye owner of The English Dept.  See what it once looked like here on Elizabeth Dye's blog.

I'm loving the glow of Mt. Hood and the moon in the background - crossing my fingers for a clear day

My favorite touch - The Voodoo Donut display - Emily said this was a huge hit and a great way to tie in a little Portland culture into the evening.  We are thinking about doing donuts as well right before everyone leaves for the night - late night donuts are always a hit if you ask me!

Thanks Emily for letting me share your big day and to Boone for the great photos!  It's getting me pumped for our wedding day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Backyard BBQ Fun

So I hate that I've neglected the blog all week but I've been extremely busy and traveling - first to Las Vegas for six days (five too many) and then to freezing cold Oregon that was experiencing a major Artic blast (coldest weather in two years according to the weather man).  The Oregon trip was a really quick trip to check out our wedding venue and meet with as many vendors as we could in two days time.  It was tough to get a full appreciation for the venue or to visualize what it would look like with trees and flowers in bloom.  Oh...not to mention we didn't want to be outside trying to take pictures for more than 2 minutes since the wind chills were in the teens!

Since we'd already booked the wedding venue we were more concerned with finding a place to have our day after picnic that we are calling our "Hair of the Dog" brunch/picnic.  We are asking our guests to join us in Hood River over Memorial Day weekend so we really felt we wanted to give them a place to go the day after the wedding that could be low key, laid back, and fun.  I also figured we'd be a lot more relaxed and have only our honeymoon to look forward to and nothing to stress about so we could really spend some quality time with our guests.  I will be posting pictures in the next few days of the space we've found for the picnic but I found this great picnic on Snippet and Ink that captures the feel we are going for.  Our picnic may have a bit more of a "fiesta" theme since we are thinking of incorporating a little bit of Costa Rica in our picnic since it's such a special place to us (more to come on that!).  

Super fun invitations

Love the classic checkered picnic tableclothes - looks like they had an assortment of different colors

My favorite part - Bambu dinnerware and super cute DIY name cards

Looked like a great time - casual picnic with tons of cute details without breaking the bank.  I really think folks appreciate this type of event even more than a sit down rehearsal dinner or next day typical brunch.  I can't wait to post more details about our picnic as the plans come together.  Read more about this picnic from the bride at Snippet and Ink