Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rehearsal Dinner

Our Rehearsal Dinner (RD) was held at The Light House in Ft. Myers, Florida. I chose this venue because it has the most perfect outdoor patio overlooking the water and had great sunsets! It was also screened in (no bugs) and has a few overhead fans (for the sweltering northerners). I was so excited about this because they typically have an acoustic guitarist at the bar, so free entertainment!

When we got there, I was overly distraught to see our tables and buffet all set up INSIDE! I panicked in true bridezilla style. It was the day before the wedding and I was having the official melt down. We all knew it would happen, just didn't know when. I got all snippy with the manager who claimed our contract says "inside." She then said, "Do you want me to get it and show it to you?" I flipped and said, "No, I don't want to see your doctored document." So I am still officially mad at them because they refused to seat us outside when there was no one out there. So they would not have had to inconvenience any other patron to accommodate us at all.

Finally, our best man, Austin (who had just had his own wedding the month before us) took me aside and ever so calmly said, "Stacy, look around (then forced me to look around). You are with your family and friends so who cares where we are as long as we are together?" Ugh, how right is he?! This made me cry, partially because he was right, partially because I was stressed and partially because I was giving in to the meanie manager. But after Austin got me a glass of wine and embraced the inside-ness of it all, I had the best night of my life! All my family and friends were in one place to celebrate me and my fiance! Who could ask for more than that at that moment?

This was the first night I had relaxed in weeks! I never wanted it to end. All of our favorite people in one spot and we were the life of the party. Here are my favorite photos from the evening.

First of all, it always makes for a better night when you are wearing a great dress! I loved mine! Fun and flirty and from Banana Republic. You can't have a bad time in this dress! I swear!

Here Comes the Bride! And her 4 beautiful bridesmaids! At my wedding, I kept looking at them and thinking how pretty they all were! More to come on their dresses and hair later. These ladies are all sorority sisters of mine and I hope to have them in my lives for years upon years to come.

The best ring bearer EVER! This is my 1.5 year old nephew. He is adorable! And the apple of my eye!

Last, but not least, my oldest friend that I have. We have been friends since we were little girls (think NKOTB, the 80s, splatter pain, Debbie Gibson Electric Youth and crimping irons) and she came all the way from NYC to be with me! I can't wait for the day I get to return the favor!

This is us saying goodbye to one another. We both started tearing up and one of our groomsmen, who refused to give us a moment alone, snapped a picture. The next time we will lay eyes on each other will be when I am walking down the aisle!! I am soon to be Mrs. C!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bridal Party Gifts

There are many ways to appreciate your bridal party. Some people choose to pay for the party's wardrobe and accommodations, some choose to get them something to remember the day, some choose to treat your party to a day of pampering, and some choose to write the individuals in their party a letter explaining the magnitude of their friendship. Big or small it doesn't really matter, the point is to celebrate your friendship.
Also consider getting each of your wedding party something different. If they are all very different personalities, there is no reason not to honor that and get them all something unique. Luckily all my girls are close friends and are very similar in taste.

Many girls are stumped on what to give their bridesmaids. I think I went a bit overboard with mine, but here is what I put in there and hopefully one aspect of it will inspire you.

- A pearl pendant necklace from to wear on the day of the wedding that complimented their dresses. (NOTE: I am the queen of returns and bought 2 necklaces and figured I would just pick which one I liked best, and return the other. Overstock has a pretty strict return policy that I did NOT research with hefty "restocking fees.")

- A DIY photo album with pictures from the bachelorette party, shower, etc.

- A silver bracelet from Luckily I bought these a week before their prices went up!

- A home candle and body creme from Jo Malone found at They gift wrap everything that they sell, so this cut down on some things for me to do. (Madonna gave these as favors at a party once :)
- And then for the pampering, a makeup team came to the house before the wedding and did their eye makeup.


Our groomsmen didn't do much or participate much in preparation for the wedding and this group of men are much pickier than any girl on the planet! So we didn't mull this one over too much. Anything they want they go out and buy that second anyway because they are so impulsive.

We got them valets (a man's jewelry box) from (see: accessories, storage, and then jewelry boxes). They were black leather and had their initials imprinted in the leather.

I was really proud of how I wrapped the guys' gifts by keeping with my color palette and still keeping them "manly." Feel free to steal this idea - the guys actually gave me hugs for putting so much time into wrapping their gifts! Wrap the gift in brown kraft paper, and just print out the names on your computer in your chosen font and color. Slice a slit into each side and feed your chosen ribbon through. Ta da! Manly and pretty to the eye : )

The Art of the Out of Towner's Gift Bag

I got a lot of compliments on my OOT bags, so I wanted to give them a little spotlight today. Many people do them for guests who are traveling to your wedding from out of town and are staying in a hotel. These guests many times do not have the luxury of getting online and mapquesting directions they forgot, nor did they remember to get water and Advil for the killer hangover they are going to have the day after your wedding. A gift bag is an attempt to make these guests feel thought of and make their stay a bit easier on them.

First of all, I urge you to be creative and keep your eye out well in advance. Gift bags will always do, but I found these straw beach style totes at the Bealls Outlet (found in most Florida cities) on sale from $20.00 down to $3.00 a piece! So now they have a beach bag or purse along with all the goodies inside!

Information: I went to Staples and bought white folders and put labels on them. Inside was a post card that I made with our welcome letter, directions to and from all wedding related events, important phone numbers, coupons, general city maps, and a great book from the visitors and tourism office (for free) on the history of the area.

Medicine: Go to Sam's and get your guests some Advil/Tylenol and Imodium! These cure the things you didn't quite plan on.

Water: To get those pills down! I made DIY water bottle labels with our monogram on it.

Something local: Treat your out of town guests to something local. In my case, I got them some Florida oranges and packaged them up. I admit my "slogan" is cheesy, but it went over really well! I got more comments on this one aspect of the OOT bag than anything else!

Goodies: I wanted to do something fun, so I got personalized margarita mixes, margarita glasses from JoAnn's for $.99 each, umbrella straws and travel sized tequila bottles. I tried to mainly put these in the younger crowd's bags. For guests that wouldn't appreciate this, I got personalized coffee pouches for the hotel in room coffee maker. Even if they don't use it, they will bring it home and think of you next time they want to make a pot of coffee. And lastly, buy some munchies in bulk. Everyone got chips from the variety packs they sell at Sam's Club.

Something this big isn't always needed, but it is a nice touch and let's guests know you are thinking about them. It also kind of kick starts the weekend's festivities because the moment they check in, they are being reminded of what a good time they are about to have celebrating your love!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My GTG with Bahamas2007

So on the Monday of my dress fitting (the week of my wedding) I got together with Chrissy (AKA Bahamas2007). She might be the sweetest thing EVER! We had a great time! She witnessed a near flip out at my fitting when they told me the ordered the wrong veil and it was too late to get the right one, and then we went off for lunch and shopping.

My mom was in attendance too, which is scary, because I am quite certain that when we are together, people who don't know us might be either (a) scared or (b) think we are downright looney.

Anyway, I had a great time with her and am happy that I frequent Florida often enough so that this wasn't a one time deal.

Wedding Showers

OK, so this post is beyond late since I am now a married woman, but I had trouble logging in for quite a while. So to make sure I document everything under the sun, I thought I would write a quick post about my showers.

Shower #1 was at my mom's house in Florida and it was mostly the older gals (A sorority sister of mine was getting married that weekend and my mother didn't know to plan it a different day. It was a surprise, so I couldn't have warned her). But I had a lot of fun. There were a lot of family friends there that have known me since I was a little girl and you always feel safe and like you are amongst family when you are in that setting. This shower we got a LOT of the essentials (see how I make TP holders look cool?). You know, the usual: waste basket, bath mat, spatula, etc. They really stocked me up! My mom went all out and did everything in pink. Pink champagne cocktail, pink petite fours, etc.

Shower #2 was thrown by Brian's grandmother in Michigan and was held so that Brian's family, who mostly couldn't come to the wedding, could celebrate with us. Here we got less gifts, but we got the big items. You would have thought my mom and FGIL organized it to work out like that because it was perfect. To limit this speil, I will tell you my 2 favorite gifts: a wine cooler (I have always wanted one for some reason) and the Dyson Animal vacuum. I am NOT a housecleaner, but if I can brag about that vacuum for a min., I will! I have 4 dogs and it has been a life saver! I am less disgusted with my home than ever!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Feel free to click on the slides below to make them bigger. Vendor reviews and links to come shortly!