Monday, October 17, 2011

We Did It!!!

I married the man of my dreams on September 24th. I can't believe the big day has come and gone. All the preparations and planning! If I didn't have a new house to make a home I would probably be a crazy person right now. Now that it's not wedding blogs it's onto DIY house blogs and DIY gifts to make for Christmas. Yikes!

BUT...before the DIY postings I just need to share the pictures from some of those DIY projects we had done for the wedding. I received SO many compliments on all the handmade touches. My Mom and I worked our tushes off and it REALLY paid off!

AND...a tribute to "da Mama"...
She's gonna kill me for adding this...but this picture just shows how much joy this woman brings to a room. My dream wedding could NOT have happened if it wasn't for her. I am still in disbelief at everything her and my Dad did. Luckiest girl EVER!
OK...and...a tribute to Daddy-O!
This is that amazing guy that was painting, chopping, tying, drilling, etc. just to make sure my day was exactly how I always imagined it would be. Again, luckiest girl EVER!

Enough mushy stuff. On to the DIY's...yay!
Boots I found on sale, hair piece I found in a jewelry section and added a barrette to it, jersey willows Mom found at Sam's Club like back in July, $7 veil we added a comb to :) and then the programs we finished the night before...which I swore to myself I wouldn't do, but it happened, what can ya do...hehe
My beautiful Grandmother making my bouquet. We were brave souls and ordered all kinds of flowers from Sam's Club and had them delivered. Every blog I read said not to skimp on flowers and how I HAD to hire a florist...but I don't know, you tell me...they look freaking amazing. And the girls loved that they got to put their own unique bouquets together. 

Beautiful ladies...beautiful flowers! Whoop whoop!
I made the boutonnieres for the guys out of feathers and fake stuff from Michaels...well Grandma helped put them together...but SO nice to have them done and not have to worry about real flowers for the guys on the day of. And don't they look handsome in those Mens Wearhouse suits that were such a pain to get? 

This is funny...that hanger was from what my Mom's dress was on. The morning of I whipped up some cute decor to add to the hanger for when the photographer took pictures with my dress. Love it. That's just how we roll :)
Here's that cute menu board and easel my parents made me...looks pretty perfect with the menu on it!
And my nephews carrying the "here comes the bride" sign! SO CUTE!
And here's a sneak peek at "the wedding wall" that I had talked about. We used the frame off a canopy that had broken and those are dollar store frames that my Dad painted off-white/ivory for me. The metal frame was covered with wedding pictures of our was such a special tribute that meant so much to us!
Pie stands that were cut by Joe and painted by Dad
Table numbers I made stuck in sign holders my Dad made.
Here's what each centerpiece looked like. It's hard to see it all, but it's an ivory table cloth, with a burlap piece, then a big wood slice with 3 mason jars. A big jar with the jersey willows, medium jar with sunflowers and a small jar with a wildflower mix. The pail has homemade chocolate dipped pretzels (made to look like Birch) that were done by my Auntie! And the things at each person's place are these...
It was really important to Joe and I that each person know how much they really mean to us. Our favors (mini trees in burlap) had a cute thank you tag on them but just a "thank you" wouldn't have been enough. So not only did we do thank you favors, but my Mom and I designed these "place mats" with a heartfelt thank you and then we attached sticks, feathers, wheat grass and jute. And when I say "we" I really mean Mom, Dad, Grandma, Dusty, bridesmaids, etc. Almost everyone had a hand in helping with these and it was time consuming...but SO worth it!
As guests arrived they were greeted by two lovely ladies who handed them their program and found their seating tag for them (which then clipped right to their program). Guests were able to go straight from the ceremony to their table already knowing what table to go to! I made the tags and stamped the trees. Mom, Joe, Dusty, and I tied the bow's. Mom hand wrote out each tag (she also had written out all the invitation addresses...which looked amazing!) And then finally, Grandma placed a clothespin on each jute bow. Labor of love though :)
For some reason, early on, Mom and I had come up the idea to have earrings and these wristlets made for my girls. Back in April (I think it was) we found a lady at a craft show who sold these cute wristlets. I met with her and had her design some to match my theme. I then found the earring style I wanted and had a lady on Etsy make the girls' earrings. And for the final touch to the bridesmaids gifts, Mom and I found vintage handkerchiefs. It was such a cute little package!

  There were so many more custom touches...but these are some of the fun ones...for now. So much love put into one special day. Thank you to everyone who put in the time and effort. Every detail was absolutely perfect!

Oh and one more thing...gotta have some it girls!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

DIY Blessings!

WOW I can't believe it's September. There is not a single day open on my busy calendar this month and it's all incredibly fun things. Most of it I'm just bursting at the seams for you all to see when the BIG DAY is finally here. BUT...these do-it-yourself creations just need to be shared now.
For my DIY wedding I just knew I needed some cute signs. So I cut out the stencils on my Cricut, Mom found me some vintage barn wood on Craigslist, Dad cut and painted them, Mom painted my letters and then Dad drilled any necessary holes. GO TEAM!
I have two adorable soon-to-be nephews who will be carrying this sign before I walk down the aisle!
Another sign...with the theme on it :) To go by the display table with our pictures and stuff.
I made some hanging lanterns (with help from Joe's Mom) filled with moss and a flameless candle. There are shepherds hooks leading up to the reception hall that these will hang on.
We made some other fun signs as well but those you'll have to wait and see :)

So, not only am I super blessed to have a crafty Mama but I have the most handy Papa on the planet. Not many girls can dream up something and voila, Daddy makes it! (Joe has BIG shoes to fill :) hehe) I love that every step of the wedding process he was asking what he could do to help. He didn't necessarily need all the details, but he wanted to help. So cute! I've had him painting, chopping, tying, name it!

The most recent surprise he had for me was this easel that he just whipped up. Ya nothin!
so perfect!
So Mom had found me that cool frame and bought chalkboard paint. Dad (being the painter that he is) taped it off and sprayed it with the chalkboard paint to make me a menu board! AH LOVE!

His next little project is the wood chunks that will hold the table numbers. Now to find a design for my table numbers so I can work my scrapbook magic on them :) Too bad I can't get married again cuz this is sure fun!!! Having super helpful, super creative parents helps. Feel the love?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Photo Booth!

For as long as I've thought of my ideal wedding I knew I wanted a photo booth...more specifically a vintage looking photo booth. 
The more I looked and looked we would've ended up spending about $1,000. Which I honestly would've cut something else out so that I could do it. I had it all planned out...a guest got a copy and then the other copy goes right into the guest book where they sign...perfect! Good plan. So ok, I found another option that was a bit cheaper, served the same purpose but wasn't as prob!
So these you can usually find for about $799-$900...they customize the print outs with your name and it's all wonderful. What's weird is that for how badly I knew I wanted one of these I didn't book one right away for some reason. But then in June I happened to see a friend from high school did a different type of photo booth. I wasn't a fan right away (because you don't sit in a booth), but then I started to see how SUPER FUN all the pictures were. As I scrolled through I saw people on piggy back, swords, and pictures with like 20 people in fun! There was so much creativity! It seemed like everyone that stepped in front of the camera was having a blast and no two pictures were the same.

Turns out...another friend from high school actually owns the company, fotomatic. The pictures aren't printed on-site, they'll be upload to a website where guests can view them later and put on facebook if they want and then I get a flash drive with all of the photos. Because that saves so much money from not printing every photo, my high school friend is able to drop the price down to $499 for the whole night. BRILLIANT!
I booked it right away and am SO excited for all the creativity to follow. I just can't wait for the party to begin!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's coming together!!!

I cannot contain my excitement as I write this post! So, last weekend Joe and I were finally able to get out and look at suits. We started at Mens Wearhouse because that was the place that I had the best coupon. I mean if George says "I guarantee it" then the men better like the way they look, right? 
Although the staff were absolute idiots, they had EXACTLY the outfit I wanted the men to wear (and that Joe loved). Being that my profession is in customer service I had a hard time giving them the business. Actually I almost walked out. But what's a girl to do when they have exactly what I want and then have a BOGO sale coming up? Can't pass up a sale :) So they each get a CK suit for half the normal price, score!

I was thinking this would be an all day adventure, but thank the Lord it wasn't or Joe would've gone crazy.
Yesterday Joe and I went back to MW to fix a few issues we had (turned out to be nothing too major) and then David, Stuart and Dusty happened to be able to head up there to get sized. Since Joe was still filthy from working all day, David decided to be the male model. You're wondering why I didn't take pictures when Joe tried it all on last week? Yeah...mmmm too :(  But I got pictures yesterday and that's what matters!
We actually hadn't found the tie I wanted last weekend, but David (the fabulous helper that he was) actually found exactly what I wanted! I was SO glad I met up with them yesterday to get these final pieces resolved. AHHH RELIEF!
Anyway, as much as I would like to wait for you to see the bridal party outfits on the wedding day...I just CAN'T!!!!!!!!
It's a Calvin Klein linen suit, ivory dress shirt and then the fabulous tie! It's a stretch to do the linen in September but I think it'll look amazing! We also had considered brown sandals for the guys but I just don't think it will look right. Maybe for a beach...but we're going to be in the woods :) So they'll have a brown belt and then brown shoes of some kind. I just really don't want the guys (or the girls) to spend a ton of money :(
Here's a closer look at the ties we bought for them...just because I am SO excited about how perfect they are!!!
The ushers will wear the same ivory dress shirt, with the brown tie below and then just normal dockers. The brown tie is kinda hard to see but it has that same paisley type feel to it.
The guys will just have their cute vests on but Joe will have a vest and the suit jacket...super cute!

Now onto the GIRLS OUTFITS...which have come together SO amazingly. I just die!
My beautiful Matron of Honor found her dress and cowgirl boots already. They were asked to find a dress somewhere in the brown, linen, champagne, ivory line and basically just make sure it looks cute with whatever cowgirl boots they find. All of us girls, along with my Mama, Grandma and Auntie went dress shopping at the MOA back in May. I've encouraged them to wear a belt if they wear their hair however they would throw a flower in their hair...whatever it may be :)  I just love how it's not all matchy matchy. Each girl was able to find a dress that fit their frame and that hopefully they can wear again! So fun!
So that's all I got for now...can't wait til we finalize the ring bearer/flower girl outfits! That'll be a fun post for sure!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Good Things in Life...

This past weekend I finished up moving out of my 5th apartment...hopefully the last apartment I ever have to live in. I moved home with my parents for the last 2 1/2 months before the wedding...hopefully the last time I ever have to move home. 
When Joe moved out of his apartment last year he put all of his things in a unit at Public Storage. So when it was time for me to move out we considered just getting another unit or upgrading to a bigger one...because we have a lot of stuff. But eventually it came down to a time crunch and we just decided to cram it all into his. We made multiple trips, spreading out the move over 2 1/2 weeks or so. Every time we took more stuff we commented on how much was in there. (This would be a good place to add a picture of the crammed storage unit, but I just couldn't bring myself to show the ridiculousness of it).
This last load that we brought really just put the icing on the "this is ridiculous" cake. I took a step back looking at the packed storage unit thinking..."how in the world do two people who aren't even married yet have all this stuff." I'd go back in forth in my brain thinking, "well we're blessed to have so many things, think of all the stuff we don't have to buy after moving in together" or "wow, I feel sick to my stomach that we have all this and a lot of people have nothing." And now we've registered at 3 stores so that people can buy us more things for our wedding! Yikes!
Granted, I'm 28 so it's not like I'm right out of college with nothing to furnish a house. I've lived on my own now for what, 7 years? So...of course I'm gonna have stuff. And Joe and I truly have been blessed with a lot of hand me downs. But I just couldn't help but reflect on what's important. 

Somebody had posted this picture on Pinterest today and I just thought the timing was perfect. 

Lord help me remember that I cannot take things to Heaven and that the good things in life...are not things.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh Hilarious!

So these two pictures never fail to make me crack up. I love whenever I stumble upon them...they're just as funny as the day it happened.

So here Mom is trying to take a picture of the two labs behaving themselves for Dusty. Jake, the black lab is mine and Reagan, the chocolate lab is Dusty's. So picture #1...normal...

Until we realize what is going on just feet away in the background...picture #2...hilarious...

Yes, yes...that is definitely Beau, the bulldog, dropping a deuce while we're taking cute pictures. It's not hilarious that Beau is taking a dump (he does that frequently...usually in threes, known as the "trifecta") but what's hilarious is the look on Dusty's face and the full out laughter that ensued. Just had to share!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Woo I'm on a role with this blog thing and loving it! One of the other major reasons I wanted a blog was to highlight all the fun scrapbooking, cards and creative projects I'm working on. I'm obsessed with searching DIY/scrapbooking blogs so maybe someone else can find good ideas from me too!
For my 28th birthday present to myself this year I upgraded from the Cricut Expression to the Cricut Imagine. I found a steal of a deal and I'm so excited for the possibilities! I can now design, print, and cut all from one machine! Happy Birthday to me!!!
I've never found a hobby I love to do as much as scrapbooking. Thank goodness Joe supports my nerdiness :)
I love nothing more than a day all to myself to scrap and watch movies. We'll see how that goes when we get married, hehe.

Let the creative juices flow!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rooted in Love

Here's the background to not only the theme of this blog, but to the theme of our September wedding that's coming up. Warning: this is long...really long  :)
Now I know you might hear a lot about the wedding...but the reason for that is how incredibly special our theme is. I've always known I wanted an offbeat type of wedding. I never pictured getting married in a church, or even indoors for that matter. I think there's something natural and beautiful about having a ceremony outdoors in God's landscape. I also have always been prone to 1. do what everyone else ISN'T doing 2. go above and beyond and 3. be extremely crafty and creative. So, when I met a man who loved the outdoors and expanded my love for nature I was truly blessed. When Joe and I started dating he was still in school for landscape design and horticulture. We'd go on walks and I'd constantly be quizzing him on the names of plants, trees and flowers. To this day it amazes me how he remembers them all...however, what amazes me more is that God created each and every plant, tree and flower. What a creative God he is! 

But every major moment in Joe and my relationship has involved being out in nature....of course we would get married outdoors!

Rebecca Park is where we had our first date, our first kiss and where he asked me to be his wife
So naturally (haha, naturally...get it?) we decided to go with the nature/tree/roots/heritage theme. And from the moment we realized we would spend our lives together we knew we wanted to get married in September. That time of year holds a special place in our heart because that's when we started dating...the smell and look of fall is really the most amazing time ever. If only it could be September in Minnesota all year :)
The Woods Chapel, where we're getting married!
A mighty oak tree is the symbol of our wedding that represents huge, strong roots...being our friends, family, and loved ones who have made us who we are today and the strength that is our relationship with each other and our Heavenly Father. 

Ephesians 3:13-21 is the basis to the theme and the prayer to always, no matter what, help keep us grounded in our faith as we embark in marriage.

Instead of a traditional guest book, Joe and I will have a personalized tree/root print so guests can literally sign the roots...symbolizing their role in our lives. Instead of a book that gets stored away, we'll have a beautiful wall decoration to constantly remind us of those we cherish dearly :)  (no, it won't say Eric & Amy...and it'll be a beautiful brown)

It's amazing how much a wedding makes you think back to how you got to where you are, how you want to celebrate, and who you want to celebrate with. We want our wedding to be a tribute in a way to those roots that built us. It also helps that I love all things vintage :) When building my wedding base I started with my parents wedding. I remember thinking at a young age that I wanted my wedding to look like theirs (minus the in a church part). My parents were married in November 1978. Now remember, it was the 70's...but I just love the brown, ivory, champagne colors. (And no, I don't consider the 70's vintage...we'll get to what I consider vintage later). But, my Mother's laced, ivory dress was gorgeous and what a lucky girl I am that she's letting me use part of it for my veil. It might have been impossible, even if I tried, to go away from the style that my Mom had and has. I am in fact, her "mini-me". And here's where it gets pretty emotional for me :) Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, in all it's magical splendor. Well, thanks to my parents I will in fact get everything I've ever dreamed of for that day. Don't get me wrong, I am not the spoiled diva that many brides can be. Every step of the wedding process I have been overjoyed and overwhelmed as people have come together to support Joe and I. And luckily my Mother raised me to be a thrifty little garage saler. Every thrifty, crafty bone in my body actually comes down through my Grandma, to my Mother and straight into me! So I couldn't help but plan a wedding that was crafty and different than any wedding I've ever been to. 

So back to the "mini-me" part...after Joe and I got engaged in December I spent hours and hours looking at blogs trying to find the pictures of what I've always envisioned. I put it all together in a book, brought it to my parents and pitched my vision. It took about a minute for them to "get it" and be on-board. Well, I take that back...Dad got the western hoedown impression, and he might still picture that, but it'll make sense to him later. But it was almost as if I didn't even need to show my Mom the pictures. We have this creepy way of speaking without finishing sentences. We've never teamed up in charades, but I'm guessing we would whoop up on anybody who tried to go against us! I've heard horror stories of Mothers and Daughters butting heads in planning a wedding. But I don't have the faintest idea what that would be like because since December we have been attached at the hip and loving every minute of it. It helps that we were bff's before all this...but I barely have a thought without including her in it. I love that she gets the quirky things I want to do, helps me make these visions come true, yet still keeps me grounded. We both have a vision of creating a wedding and reception that's not just focused on a color scheme and pretty flowers, but really transforming the venue into a rustic/vintage experience. We're not half-assers and it's impossible for us do anything simple...but together, Mom and I can do anything...and you can bet it won't be lame-o! Love that Mama! And Joe and I want nothing more than to honor our loved ones whom we treasure so dearly. 
Mom, Me, Dad and brother, Dusty
A wedding is ultimately an expression of love between two people before the whole world and we want that love to permeate in everything that happens on our wedding day. One of the biggest things Joe and I wanted to focus on too was making it more of a party than a stuffy wedding. We want it to feel like one of our bbq's at home. So it was a no brainer when we decided to go with Chuckwagon Catering who will be cooking on-site and out of a real chuck wagon. Guests will walk through buffet style, grabbing pulled pork, corn on the cob, coleslaw, etc. I smile ear to ear thinking about it! Especially because we didn't want people sitting down to eat food they couldn't pronounce the name of. Who doesn't love some good ol' bbq?!

To keep things feeling rustic/vintage/down home I've chosen to do fun things like wildflowers/sunflowers, mason jars, handmade wood signage, fruit pies instead of cake, big chunks of wood, lace crochet, burlap, handmade boutonnieres, vintage postcards, antique suitcase, doileys, and even a photo booth (so you get the idea). My Mom and I LOVE thrift store shopping, garage saling and antiquing. We've spent the summer on so many fun adventures. Our favorite is chatting with the cute antique store owners as they try to help us find treasures for such a unique style of wedding. Collecting vintage treasures to decorate with is another way for us to honor the past, reuse beautiful things and contribute to that rustic/vintage experience I'm going for. And it's amazing how all the right pieces have just fallen in our laps. I can't even begin to describe the bargains, random finds and tiny miracles that keep happening to us to keep contributing toward the big day! But the contribution I am most looking forward to are the pictures of Joe and my relatives on their wedding day. We've asked all our relatives to send us a couples picture of their special day to go on "the wedding wall". A wall of pictures in mismatched antique-y ivory!

Our Wedding Website

But that's all I got for now...can't spoil all the surprises :) 

I can't wait for the day and to see it all come together. Joe and I are truly blessed!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I did it!

I've finally started a blog. I've been wanting to do it for years now and I finally have some brilliant reasons to do so. In three months I will be marrying the most amazing man in the world (well second to my Dad of course). Getting married brings about so many thoughts, emotions, hopes and dreams. My head is going to explode if I don't get it all down. What an incredible time in a person's many changes...and I want it all documented. Someday I want my children to be able to see what God is doing in our lives as we prepare to become husband and wife, home owners, parents, etc. The older I get the more I wish my family history was documented. To hear everything my Mom would've blogged about as she was about to marry my Dad would've been amazing!

Just so you know where I'm starting out at, I met Joe back in 2004, we started dating in September 2006 and in December of 2010 he asked me to be his wife. We are getting married on September 24th, 2011, after 5 years of dating. You'll hear more about the wedding details soon enough I'm sure :)

We're SO excited to start our life together (well with Jake, the black lab and Beau, the bulldog too) and I can't wait for what is to come!

More later...posting #1 complete...go me!

The Proposal