Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Gifts!

Wedding Wednesday

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

First of all, I wish the happiest of birthdays to my sister and Matron of Honor!
Love you, Kate!!!

Now on to this week's post!!

A long time ago I wrote about bridesmaid gifts, but did not divulge what I had up my sleeve just yet. For those of you who have been around for a while, you will recall that I started gathering gifts for my girls about six months before the actual wedding. After being in 7 weddings myself I had a good idea of what I wanted to give them...but knew that I could not afford it all at once.
I had to start early, which made it that much more fun!

I also didn't want to blatantly ask them detailed questions to potentially give away what gifts I could get them.

Instead, I emailed all of them a series of random questions, relevant or not, just for fun.
The girls loved it and their answers were awesome!

Here they are, in case you want to do the same! I of course added some sassy remarks in brackets.

  • What is your favorite color?
  • Long walk on the beach or snuggle by the fire?
  • Cat or dog?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Go-to cocktail? [it's OK if it's beer. You know I'm all about my Guinness.]
  • What is your favorite memory from the 90s?
  • NSYNC or Backstreet? [It's OK to lie to me if your truth is the WRONG answer]
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your middle name?
  • If you could travel anywhere - right this second! - where would you go? [For example, my head tells me to travel back home and go back to bed, whereas the flannel shirt I'm wearing says that I should go for a hike and eat s'mores. Mmmm...s'mores...]
  • What is your favorite candy?
  • In terms of jewelry, do you prefer to go dainty and simple or make a statement?
  • What is your favorite sports team?
  • Polka dots or stripes?
  • Would you say that you have more of a trendy or preppy style?
  • Do you have a favorite pizza? [Trust me, I know it's hard to choose. Feel free to take your time on this one.]
  • What is your shoe size?
  • Guilty pleasure TV show?
  • Guilty pleasure song/artist to sing in the car? [Back in the day when I drove a bunch mine was Jessica Simpson "With You" and Mandy Moore "Candy". Judge away. I deserve it.]
  • What is your fitted t-shirt size?
  • How do you take your coffee?
  • What would you do with 15 minutes of fame?
  • Do you have a quote that you live by? [It can be funny or real. Mine is "Go big or go home," for example.]
  • What is your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
  • What is your favorite thing to cook or bake?
  • What song(s) make you crazy dance?
  • Are you smiling right now? 

  • It was so fun to read their answers!
    It really helped to put together the best gifts I could imagine for them.
    Considering how much they did for me, though, it certainly wasn't enough!
    First of all, I knew I wanted to take care of their hair do's the day of the wedding. 
    That is always one of my favorite gifts as a bridesmaid! 
    So that was one thing! My parents helped with this one because they wanted to thank my girls for everything they did to make the day so special for me. 
    Here's the rest!
    First of all, typical bridesmaid gifts contain footwear and jewelry, so I knew right away that I wanted to give them those.
    I got Old Navy flip flops in wedding colors at the end of the season for an incredible deal. 
    I tied them up with ribbon in different wedding colors. 
    Done. Easy. Sure flip flops are cheap and not too classy, but their dresses were long and no one would see their feet anyway.
    Jewelry, though? 
    That can be tough.
    Luckily I found a dream deal with this Etsy shop. They were able to get me a set of necklaces with matching earrings! I looooved how they looked with the dresses! 
    They came in little bags, though, so I knew the presentation needed a little something.
    So I consulted my pal, Etsy, and voila! Personalized gift boxes!!

    After that, though, I got a little more creative.
    I wanted to use my (amateur) calligraphy skills and write out their favorite quotes. The best part was that none of them remembered telling me their favorite quotes in the email so they were very surprised when they opened the gifts!!

    I got the frames at Hobby Lobby and wrote out the quotes on card stock.
    I purposely got small frames, that way they can tuck them in little nooks around their homes to read from time to time.

    Next I got a little monogram crazy.
    I read this little lady's blog post back in February, announcing that she, Emily of Be Blessed, Ya'll, opened an Etsy shop. 

    I had to reach out! She answered my monogram prayers!
    (Seriously, it was really hard to find someone to monogram scarves!)

    Emily DEFINITELY delivered! I have waited so long to reveal this!!!
    I bought the scarves on Amazon and she embroidered them with each girls' monogram in plum!
    (And one for me, too, with my new monogram!!!)
    Since the wedding was in April, you never know if it will be chilly weather or not. 
    Hence, the girls could wear the scarves if they got cold the day of the wedding.

    Didn't Emily do a beautiful job?!?!
    The girls loved them and the mint color looked so pretty on all of them!

    Finally, and you get a peek in the image above, I needed some way to wrap the gifts, so I used a knot sale and bought monogrammed bags for the girls (and one for myself - I told you I went a little crazy!)
    I also had four other best friends heavily involved in the ceremony and I wanted to do something for them, too. 
    I got them the same monogrammed bag from the knot and I put a dual photo frame in it. 
    One photo was a recent picture of me and the gal. The other frame had the following in the frame:

    This way I will send them a professional photo from the photographer of the two of us to put in the other side of the frame!
    All of the gals loved it!
    I wish I could have given them more since they really contributed so much!
    Finally, we had to thank our beautiful Flower Girl!
    I did not take a photo of her gift, but we got her one of the bags the other girls got (only it said "Lizzie" and didn't have a monogram). We also got her a personalized teddy bear in wedding colors from this Etsy shop!
    We also gave her some flower stickers :)
    She loved her bear!
    That's about it!
    I loved giving my girls their gifts, but like I said, it wasn't nearly enough. 
    I hope to use the rest of the bridesmaids' answers in future holiday and birthday gifts. 
    hehehe :)
    Next week I HOPE to start recapping the wedding! 
    I am GOING CRAZY waiting on the videos and photos!!!!

     Have a wedding story that you want to share? Please join the linkup!
    All I ask is that you grab the button, link back to me and visit the other blogs!

    Please share the linkup on social, too, if you wish!
     @marysue20 is the name, #WeddingWednesday is the game.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Little Bit of Sass Thursday

    {Like the new button?!?}

    OK I have some snark to share.

    First I must ask, how do you feel about flower headbands?
    I'm talking about the kind that wraps around your head like a crown rather than pulling back hair and serving a purpose.
    The kind that, in my mind, are only acceptable (and loosely so, for that matter) at hippy-esque festivals and concerts.
    Something like this:


    I guess babies and tweens could get away with it, buuuut that's about it.

    I'm curious because I don't understand the trend. I've seen some with real flowers, too.
    Someecards has some cards about the topic, but are only related to babies.


    Someone had to say it.


    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

    Wedding Wednesday

    Happy Wedding Wednesday!

    Time to recap the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner!
    It was quite an evening. SO SO SO fun having super close friends all in one room!

    This post is very photo-heavy, but these photos help me relive it.
    Sorry I'm not sorry! ;)

    My sister is the best!

 our Aunt/my Godmother - she's the coolest!

    Posing with a few of the groomsmen

    My gorgeous sister-in-law and brother

    Aren't the flowers beautiful! Definite benefit of having a wedding the week after Easter!

    I will show off these beauties any chance I get!

    Andrew wore his abuelo's tie. So sweet :)

    All done and rehearsed! So ready!

    My favorite girls in the world.
    6 states and DC are represented in this photo if that tells you anything.
    OK, a couple gals from Chicago (Mary and Daniela) are missing, but they couldn't be there.
    Still, I treasure this photo so much!!!

    Groomsmen (minus one - he couldn't be at the rehearsal for work/training purposes. He was missed!!)

    Groomsmen selfie. This makes me giggle every time I see it!
    Love these guys!

    Now let's get to the grub!
    We had our Rehearsal Dinner at Shaw's, a quaint restaurant and hotel in downtown Lancaster. We have many family memories here, so it was our favorite option when picking a spot for the dinner. Plus, the out-of-towners stayed there and we all got ready there the morning of the wedding!

    Andrew's parents and Aunt really created a beautiful ambiance.
    The lights were low, the music sweet, the food delicious, the wine divine, and the company was of course the best part!

    They copied photos of Andrew and I over the years as well as some baby photos and hung them from spray-painted black branches adorned with twinkling lights. It was perfect!!

    Andrew's Mom also got us cute forks and my bridesmaid, Callie (the one who orchestrated the incredible letters!) gave us toasting glasses!

    And here's a good one of two of my best and dearest friends in the world, all living in different states and all getting married within a year of each other!
    The fun just doesn't stop!!


    Andrew's groomsmen gifts were cuff links of the guys' favorite baseball teams (to go along with our Save the Date theme and a couple of other things the day of!).

    Andrew and Steve's cuff links aren't pictured, but they are of the Detroit Tigers.

    I'll make my bridal party gifts a separate post :)

    After dinner there were speeches.
    My oh my were those incredible.
    Not only did our parents say a few kind and sweet words, but many other people in the room also joined in! It was incredibly touching and there were many happy tears. Andrew and I also enjoyed sitting back to take it all in: I mean, we put people together at tables who didn't know each other or didn't know each other very well...and we kept hearing eruptions of laughter and fun conversations all evening. It was so special!!!

    Goodness, I'm tearing up right now as I write this!
    I wish I had the words to express how wonderful that night was!

    OK that's all for this week!
    Thank you for viewing all of these photos and reliving the day with me!
    I absolutely love reminiscing about the day before the wedding. 

    So many things were brewing without my knowledge this day, but I'll get to that when I reveal the big surprise that took place!!!!

     Have a wedding story that you want to share? Please join the linkup!
    All I ask is that you grab the button, link back to me and visit the other blogs!

    Please share the linkup on social, too, if you wish!
     @marysue20 is the name, #WeddingWednesday is the game.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Birthday Tuesday!

    That's right! It's my Birthday! My first 29th! 

    This is the most low-key Birthday I have ever experienced.
    No bars, no dinners out, no new outfit.
    No big deal. 

    I mean, April 26 was a pretty big deal so I think I'm good on big deals for a while.

    Instead, Andrew and I are cooking dinner for three friends. 
    Just a little party of five with a cat. 
    And lots of wine.

    In preparation for guests, we decided to organize all of our new, beautiful and thoughtful gifts!
    (that I still need to finish writing the thank you cards for ahhh!)
    Let me tell ya, this was no easy feat, but Andrew was a champ!
    We owned Ikea this weekend and killed the directions putting together five new structures.

    Yes. Five.
    Five assemblies.
    Five different ways to curse Ikea directions.

    Five new organizational dreams come true!!!

    Our TV/fireplace area:

    Our shoes:

    And my favorite, two new bookcases to showcase some of our lovely new gifts!

    Obviously this is the most dramatic transformation, as after the wedding our previously bare corner was stuffed with stuff. 

    We still have some closets and our desk area to organize, but we tackled the biggest obstacles - and made our place presentable for guests - first!

    I also follow two rules on my Birthday:
    1) Eat anything I want and don't feel guilty
    2) No working out

    Well, I am amending the rules this year...don't worry, I still plan to eat all of the food, but I went for a run this morning. I figured that if I have too much wine tonight and need the extra shut-eye, tomorrow would be a good day to take off. Then again, I'm a chubster and will eat sweets today, so we shall see. I don't really deserve a day off. Whatever. Details.

    Do you have rules that you follow for your Birthday?

    Soooo considering that my Birthday post is about cleaning and working out, I think I may be officially old.

    Nah...I'll just keep acting my shoe size (8 1/2!) and I'll never be old.

    Toodles until tomorrow!

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    Wedding Wednesday: Ladies Luncheon

    Wedding Wednesday

    Happy Wedding Wednesday!

    Today I'm recapping the lovely Ladies Luncheon the Friday before the wedding!
    While the ladies lunched, the gents went to shoot pool, drink beer and eat pizza.
    The guys had a great time, and so did the gals!

    The ladies met at Henry Manor, the same place that catered our party the night before!
    I had never been to this quaint B&B, but lemme tell ya it is cuuuuute!


    We had a delicious meal of chicken salad croissants with fruit, followed by the most incredible Buckeye Blitz cheesecake. I ate the whole slice.
    What? I knew my dress fit at that point! ;)

    I loved chatting with my girls, watching Lizzie play after eating and hanging out with my aunts, Mom, and Mother-in-Law-to-be.

    The florist called during our lovely luncheon, though, and said she couldn't find one of the fillers that I wanted: the Brunia Berry. I wanted the grey from the berry in the bouquet to match the girls' grey dresses. I had a really cute inspiration bouquet that, in my mind, would be perfect. She assured me that my bouquet was still beautiful and would still match the girls with the grey from the Dusty Miller. She even sent me a photo to make sure I was cool with it.

    Um, duh. I'm cool with it.
    It's GORGEOUS!
    Plus, the girls' dresses didn't end up looking grey, but a grey-ish lavender (grrr), so it didn't matter anyway. I actually love my bouquet more than the inspiration photo, so nice job, Bloomtastic!!
    I really appreciated that they called, too!

    My Aunt and Godmother saw me fret (because it was a day before the wedding and my feelings were on overdrive - so silly!). She advised to let it go, saying that it's not worth letting flowers, of all things, get to me: "Mare, you can let this control you or you can control it. They're beautiful. No big deal!" She was so right.

    Ugh. Feelings!

    Aside from that ridiculously minor hiccup, the day was so wonderful!
    All of us enjoyed our little respite from activities and inhaled the delicious food in such an idyllic setting.

    And of course we took pictures.

    Two of my aunts!

    Cutest and coolest Mom ever! Thanks for hosting!!!!

    Best Flower Girl in the world. 
    Of course she's barefoot. Love it.

    Best everything! Love my sister.

    Ha - Kate's face.

    Lizzie's pictures were of our knees.

    So blessed to have an amazing Mother-in-Law!

    Love these girls. I stole this from Instagram, obviously.

    Next up: the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!
    How is your week going?

     Have a wedding story that you want to share? Please join the linkup!
    All I ask is that you grab the button, link back to me and visit the other blogs!

    Please share the linkup on social, too, if you wish!
     @marysue20 is the name, #WeddingWednesday is the game.