My Wedding Inspiration Photos

So the big day is just THREE days away now, and I'm getting so excited.

Tomorrow Ian and I head down to Columbia around 1pm to start the festivities.  We have a final walk-thru from 5-7pm Thursday night of all wedding details with our fabulous wedding planner, Leslie Ellison.

I'm so excited to see my wedding day visions all come together.  I've been saving wedding inspiration pictures for over a year now, and here are some of my favorites:

{Disclaimer: I started saving these before I ever even had a blog, therefore did not save the sites where these are from.  Sorry for no sourcing!}


Wedding Table Runners & Honeymoon Bikini

On Sunday my sweet mom came up to Charlotte from Columbia to help me with a big project.

Wedding table runners.

Ironing one of the four runners.  Total bicep workout.

Seems simple, right?  Well, we made 4 runners for our long wedding tables -- one 28 feet long, one 44 feet long, and two 52 feet long.  Yes, we cut/ironed/hemmed 176 feet worth of table runners.  And if you really want to get specific, since we cut/ironed/hemmed both sides of the runner, that was 352 feet worth.  That is equivalent to 117.3 yards, which is 17.3 yards (or 52 feet) longer than a FOOTBALL FIELD.

One upside of waiting for our West Elm furniture to arrive = LOTS of room for working!

In addition to completing the runners (which happened at midnight on Sunday), we covered 2 pillows and also cut out the fabric that will replace the generic fabric in the back of the photobooth we have rented.  Want to see that fabric?  You'll have to look under the big furry mound here that decided it was better than his dog bed.

It felt great to cross those projects off of the to-do list and know that our beautiful long wedding tables will have a customized look.

In other news, WE GET MARRIED IN FOUR DAYS!  And we leave for our honeymoon in just five days!

Want to see what I'm really excited about in regards to the honeymoon?

Oh, YES I DID.  :)


Why Brides Lose Weight

I always heard people say "Oh, all brides lose weight before the wedding, they just are too busy to eat!"
I thought, "Pish posh."

Nobody could ever be too busy to forget a meal.

Today I have had the following:
  • 1 cup coffee with sweetener and fat free half & half
  • 3 Chick-fil-A chicken strips
  • 1 Chick-fil-A diet lemonade
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 glass red wine
I wish I were exaggerating.  I know it's not enough food.  And nutritionally, it's severely lacking -- the food pyramid would shudder.

Here is what I got done today:
  • Had a security system installed (au revoir, burglars!)
  • Unpacked 4 moving boxes and broke down boxes
  • Online banking
  • Got together clothes for consignment shop
  • Helped Ian organize garage
  • Took out trash
  • Had a 2 1/2 hour hair appointment
  • Spent too much time in the drive-thru of Chick-fil-A
  • Picked up dry cleaning
  • Picked up a girlfriend and went to a neighboring town for a boutique's tent sale
  • Purchased a cute-ass dress
  • Went antique shopping with said girlfriend
  • Had a glass of white wine in a store with said girlfriend
  • Shopping at my archnemesis, Wal-Mart
  • Washed and folded 3 loads laundry
  • Swiffered and vaccuumed house
  • Cleaned 2 bathrooms
  • Washed sheets & remade bed
  • Spent QT with the dog
  • Organized my yards of fabric
  • Had menu cards & programs printed (debacle; good ending -- story to come)
  • Poured glass of red wine
Alas, it's time for bed.


Our Honeymoon Destination!

I'm so excited about our honeymoon, and Ian is too!  We are going to Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic for 7 days.  We fly out the day after our wedding (which, did I mention we are only EIGHT days away now?!).  Just looking at other traveler's pictures and reading rave reviews on Trip Advisor gets me so excited.  It can't get here soon enough!


Dinner Recap (Oh It Was Lovely) + Recipes

Ian and I have been watching what we eat recently.  You know, that whole getting-married-in-TEN-days thing. 

Ian likes to make me laugh by telling me how worried he is about fitting in his wedding dress.  HA!  I will say, I've ended up with the funniest person I've ever met.  That's the honest truth. 

Normally for dinner we have one protein and two veggies.  No starches unless it is in liquid form in our glass.  :)  The other night I made a pretty good meal for us, if I do say so myself.

Tilapia in Lemon Caper Broth with
Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

Tilapia in Lemon Caper Broth:
2 tilapia filets
all purpose flour
olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 lemon
2 Tbsp. capers
fresh basil, for garnish

Start by salt & peppering both sides of your washed filets of tilapia.  Shake some all purpose flour over a dinner plate and coat each side of the fish filets in flour.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan on medium high, and brown fish on both sides.  When flaky and cooked through, transfer fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Add 2 cups vegetable broth to your saute pan and scrape up browned bits.  Add juice from one lemon and capers.  Let heat through.  Transfer each filet of fish to a bowl and ladle the lemon caper broth over the filets.  Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts:
brussel sprouts, rinsed and halved
olive oil
salt & pepper
herbes de provence
balsamic vinegar

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Place your halved brussel sprouts on a baking sheet.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil and then sprinkly with salt, pepper, and herbes de provence (or any other desired seasoning).  Toss to coat.  Before roasting in the oven, give a good shake of balsamic vinegar over the baking sheet.  Toss again and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes.

And my starch of choice.

Bon appetit!  (And do you spy my awesome new Vietri plates and bowls aaaaaand my Edge wine glasses from C&B? ... I am in LOVE)


My Bridal Portraits & Ode to a Makeup Artist

So last week I mentioned that I'd done something reallllllly fun on Wednesday.

I had my bridal portraits taken!

It was an absolutely fantastic experience.  I loved every minute of it.  But who wouldn't love feeling like a princess all day?

The day started with hair & makeup.  After reading Beantown Prepster's post about her fantastic experience with Jami Svay (and seeing how GORGEOUS she looked on her wedding day), I contacted Jami immediately.  Jami is a complete joy to work with.  She's full of positive energy and just FUN!  Jami can make magic happen, and if you don't believe me, I'm about to show you a picture of me with no. makeup. on.

Okay ... I will probably regret that later.  But for now, it will stay posted. 

Jami started by putting a primer on my face and eyelids.  I was shocked to see that she was using La Mer products.  I said "Jami!  I didn't ever think I'd have La Mer on my face, ever!"  She spoiled me rotten.

After priming, she set my hair in rollers and started working on my makeup.  When that looked just right, she pulled my hair into a pretty low side chignon with just the perfect amount of pouf at the crown.  Here's the final product and one very happy bride-to-be:

I can't wait for our wedding day (just 11 days away!) to be able to work with Jami again.

I'm dying to show you more pictures, pictures of me in my dress (LOVE), veil (LOVE), jewelry (LOVE), and all the other goodies, but you'll just have to wait.  What I will show you is my gorgeous bouquet done by Scott Jones of American Floral.

White hydrangea, cream roses, billy balls, and yellow ranunculus ... it was exactly what I was hoping for.

Now the hard part ... waiting for the wedding day to get all dressed up again.  It can't come soon enough!


Our Proposal Story - 05.15.10

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the sweet, sweet day when Ian asked me to marry him!

What girl doesn't like a good proposal story?  Here's my recount of May 15, 2010.

Ian and I decided to escape to the mountains for a little R&R on Saturday, May 15.  We hopped in the car with our furbaby Drake and headed up to Ian’s family mountain house in Boone, NC.  The weather was great and we spent the day at an outdoor art festival in downtown Blowing Rock (hint #1: I knew something might be up because it was Ian's idea to go to this festival).  Then we stopped by the nearby outlets to do some shopping (also Ian's idea, hint #2). 

Suddenly, the sky began to turn grey and we knew a storm was blowing in.  We headed back home and, funny anecdote, Ian was pulled over by a cop on our way home for an expired registration tag due to his recent change of address.  Looking back at this, I knew this was probably the last thing he needed at that point!

We arrived back home right before the sky opened up, and so we began getting ready for the evening.  Ian told me that we’d go out for dinner, but that he couldn’t decide between two restaurants and we wouldn’t need reservations at either.  (This was the point where I thought NO proposal was going to happen.  I knew if he was going to propose, we'd have reservations.)  True to form, Ian was done getting ready for the evening well before I was.  (I also noticed at this point that he was dressed pretty casually in a button-down and khakis.  Another strike against my proposal hunch.)  He told me nonchalantly that he would head downstairs and enjoy some music and a drink until I was ready, and to just take my time.  I asked him to bring me up a drink, and he said all they had in the house was beer.  So he brought me up a Coors Light.

I finished my makeup and hair and walked downstairs like a true classy lady with my Coors Light in hand.  I turned the corner to see that the light in the kitchen was off.  Finding this a little strange, I turned another corner and found that the lights in the great room were also off and there was my handsome Ian, standing at the back of the room in front of the French doors leading to an outside veranda.  The doors were wide open and the thunderstorm was going on in full force behind him.  Leading me to him was a path of rose petals and tealight candles – perfectly romantic.  Our favorite song was playing on the stereo and filling up the entire room.  I stood there frozen, and thank goodness a voice inside my head said "April honey, put the beer down."  I didn't want to get engaged holding a Coors Light.

Don't worry, I snapped this pic AFTER saying yes! 
I wanted to recreate it to always remember
what it looked like.

I made my way down the path to Ian.  He said really lovely things to me and took a knee and asked me to be his wife.  Of course I said YES!  He pulled out a bottle of champagne which his mother had hidden for him along with champagne glasses during a recent trip she took to the mountain house.  We walked out on the veranda and stood in the rain and popped the cork off into the night sky.  We toasted each other and our new engaged status!

Ian then told me that we were not going to either of the restaurants he'd previously mentioned, but that we did, in fact, have reservations at The Best Cellar and that the folks there knew that we were a newly-engaged couple!   Oh, and he pulled a sportscoat out from where he had been hiding it from me.  He knew it would be a tip-off!

We spent the rest of the evenings talking to our immediate family members and just enjoying each other’s company.  His brother called the restaurant and had a bottle of champagne sent to us.  It was a truly magical evening.

The next morning we enjoyed coffee out on the veranda and spoke with aunts/uncles, grandparents, and more friends on the phone.  We drove back to Charlotte and met up with a bunch of friends for a Sunday afternoon beer to celebrate our engagement.  It was the perfect end to the weekend!

What's your proposal story?


Weekend Frittata Recipe

That wonderful goat cheese and pancetta frittata that we had for Mothers Day got a few comments requesting the recipe ... and I don't blame you!

It is deeeee-lish.  My sister Laura is a wonderful cook, and lucky for you, she posted the recipe on her blog!

Check it out and whip it up this weekend.  I promise you'll love it.

PS:  I did something very fun today .... details coming soon  :)


How We Celebrated My Sweet Mom

On Sunday, Ian and I drove down to my family's lakehouse for Mothers Day.  My youngest sister Laura and I decided to make brunch for Mom.  I put together some fruit kabobs while Laura worked on a frittata with pancetta, goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes.  She is an insanely good cook.

And of course, we had mimosas!  In our home, mimosas make an appearance at almost every holiday.  Mothers Day, Easter, Christmas, we've got the champagne pouring!

I got the cutest card for her from Tiny Prints and a lilac candle -- her favorite scent.  Ian and I also sent her a bouquet of a dozen colorful roses that you can see part of behind his arm.

In other news, we've painted our bedroom.  {Disclaimer: I am embarrassed to be showing you pictures of our bedroom with NOTHING in it.  But the paint transformation was so amazing I just can't help to.}

It was this shiny chocolate brown color.  Not necessarily horrible, but we have big heavy wooden furniture -- a sleigh bed, a big nightstand, and a long dresser that you can't see here with a large mirror on top.  This bedroom was brown central.  No thanks.

So we went with an antiquey-looking aqua ... Valspar's Sparkling Lake.  I'm simply obsessed with it.

Now, close your eyes and imagine this bare bedroom filled with art, lamps, a comfy linen chair and the cutest darn ottoman you've ever seen (they make up my little reading area).  Also lots of colorful throw pillows.  And that is hopefully what this bedroom will look like in a few more weeks!  I'll share pictures along the way.

To all of you mothers, Happy {belated} Mothers Day!


Yummy Margaritas + Hanky Panky

Did you read too much into the title of this post?

Ladies, ladies -- I am talking about the lingerie brand, not a tequila-induced activity. 

Anyway, last night Ian and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with margaritas (of course) which I fixed, and also with delicious fajitas and refried beans, which Ian fixed.  He used skirt steak, green peppers, and onions, and low-carb tortillas.  Girlfriend's gotta don a wedding dress this month, after all.  :)

Ian felt a little frou-frou when I told him that we were having mango margaritas, but after one sip he quickly changed his tune.

You see, they were made with the oh-so-fine Williams Sonoma mango margarita mix, Milagro silver tequila, and (just for good measure) a splash of lime-flavored sparkling water.  Okay, okay, I mainly put that in because it was a school night and I'd already had a heavy pour with the tequila.  On the rim was a mixture of salt and sugar ... very tasty.

I will say, however, that after the first margarita, Ian switched to the more manly Modelo.  :)

In other news, my beloved brand Hanky Panky is on sale at Rue La La!

Don't fall in love with this set below (like I did) because it's sold out.  Boo.

But these lovelies are still available!

And you know with Hanky Panky, the low rise are the best.  That's what I think, at least!

One more reminder: Hanky Panky undies are fabulous for lingerie showers because they are one size fits all ... so no worries of insulting the bride with huge ass panties.  Happy shopping and TGIF!  
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