Hello From Greenville!

I am having a great time in Greenville, SC!

I am here for work, but I've found that only by mixing a little pleasure with business will you stay sane. (Take for example my recent Memphis and Dallas business trips where I hung out with bloggers or the New Bern "shopping coup" trip.)

After arriving in Greenville this morning (and if you follow me on Twitter - @alizadventures - you know about the debaucle I had on 85 South last night that forced me to abandon my trip and postpone until this morning) I did the work I needed to and then met up with my sister, the Reedy River Recessionista as you know her.

We had lunch and then went to the beautiful campus of my alma mater, Furman University
Ya'll ... my college campus is absolutely gorgeous.  We went to the bookstore and then walked a bit around the rose garden and grounds.  It was wonderful reminiscing about all of the fun times there.  Can I re-enroll?!?!

I'll have more updates when I return to Charlotte but just wanted to say hello!


Whirlwind of a Weekend

This past weekend was just wonderful.  It all started with a half-day on Friday and getting picked up by my girlfriend Kerry so we could head up to Greensboro, NC to celebrate the marriage of Ashley and Chase!

Friday night we had the rehearsal dinner and Saturday was the wedding.  I'm planning a separate post for this event, because as you can imagine, I took tons of pictures!

Ian and I returned yesterday to Charlotte and did some housework and errands -- typical Sunday stuff.
The weather was just so gorgeous, and so we spent the last few hours of the evening relaxing on the patio together.  I had my Kindle and and a red wine spritzer (idea courtesy of Lindsey) and Ian was studying some info for work.  Later we fired up the grill and went to work on dinner, which was lettuce wrap burgers with chipotle sweet potato fries!  Some folks on Twitter asked for recipes, so without further ado...

The spritzer - almost gone and ice is melting quick from being outside with me.  But still delicious!

Red Wine Spritzer
  • Red wine
  • Ginger ale (I used diet ginger ale)
Add both to a glass in whatever proportions you wish, and top with lots of ice.  Simple!

Sweet potato fries, lettuce wrap burger, chipotle ranch sauce

Lettuce Wrap Burgers
  • Head of iceberg lettuce
  • Hamburger patties
  • Brie
  • Desired condiments
Pull some large leaves from the outside of the head of lettuce, doing your best to keep them intact.  Run them under water to rinse them and lay on a dish towel to dry.  Grill burgers and top with brie cheese slices towards the end.  Lay 2-3 large lettuce leaves on your plate in a narrow "V" shape with the strongest ends together.  Place the patty on the strong ends, top with condiments, and then fold lettuce around to eat. 

The sweet potato fries are just out of the freezer -- they are the Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and they are heavenly.  We love them because you can make only as many as you want, and keep the rest of the bag in the freezer.  We eat rather healthy during the work week, so we like a little splurge on Sundays!


Wedding Week: Our Reception

After being pronounced man and wife, Ian and I gathered with our wedding party in a room upstairs while our wedding guests went downstairs, found their placecards, and grabbed a drink from the bar.  I loved the time we all spent in the upstairs room to just catch our breath, hang out with friends and family, take more pictures, and get changed for the reception (Ian changed into a grey suit and I took off my mother's veil and changed into the birdcage veil I made). 


Getting bustled up

Making our entrance to the reception.  We came out to "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix ... another surprise from me to Ian.  This is the song that is played as his beloved ECU Pirates take the field for home football games.  He (and the other ECU grads at the wedding) LOVED this surprise.

Blessing the food

Listening to Dad's sweet toast to us

I made the "B" and "G" for the back of our chairs.  I love this picture that our photographer snapped from outside of the reception venue looking in through the window at us.  That mac and cheese we had as part of the dinner ... it was out of this world amazing!

After dinner, we all went back to the cake table, where Ian gave a really sweet toast to me.

After cutting the cake, Ian and I snuck up to the rooftop for some quick pictures during the sunset with our photographers.

We did our first dance to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are The Best Thing"

Dad and I danced to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong before the DJ phased the song into "Miss Grace" so we could shag.

Ian and his mother danced to Rod Stewart's "Forever Young"

One more sneak-away for us outside to take a few shadow pictures.  Our photographers were so creative!

Last dance song of the night -- Black Eyed Peas "Time of My Life."  The DJ started out just having us on the dance floor and everyone surrounded us.  Then, when the tempo of the song picked up, he told everyone to join us on the floor.  It was perfect!

The reception ended and I went back to the bridal suite to change into my BELOVED Tory Burch gold getaway dress and do some touch-ups.  Everyone was outside getting their sparklers ready!

A quick kiss to Mom and we're off!

Our getaway car was a white Mercedes ... classic!

Don't be fooled into thinking the night ended there ... we totally went to a BAR!  It was such a good time -- most everyone from the wedding reception all went to the same spot and they were so happy to see us out!  The next morning we got up early, drove back to Charlotte, and caught a flight to Dominican Republic for our honeymoon.  I'll do a recap of that wonderful trip soon.

This weekend I'm headed to the wedding of one of my best girlfriends, Ashley, and her fiance Chase.  You met them in this weekend wrap-up post.  Can't wait to show you pictures of their gorgeous weekend!  Plus I am wearing the new Cynthia Rowley dress I got in Charleston recently tonight for the rehearsal dinner and I am in love with it.  Have a great weekend!


Wedding Week: Reception Decor

I had a definite vision for our wedding reception venue.  We got married upstairs at the lovely 701 Whaley and then guests took the elevator and stairs to the 1st floor for the reception. 

Care to take a peek?

Upon entering the room, guests took their escort card from this board.  I used simple corkboards that I covered with our signature wedding fabric using spray adhesive.  I had a co-worker to cut the shapes out of grey heavyweight paper and I did the calligraphy of the names and table numbers on each.

Also on the same table was the photobook we used in lieu of a guestbook.  I had a certificate to print this for free at our Wolf Camera store.  I used the disc of engagement pictures we received from our photographer, Ashley Brokop.

Wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents were on a table joined with my wedding portrait.

Our white leather lounge area.  You'll recognize the pillows - they are the ones Mom and I covered and, as you know, the ones on our bed!

Four long rectangular tables and mahogany Chiavari chairs

I purchased this chandelier (it now hangs in our dining room!) and we had it hung above the cake table.  You'll see more of this set-up in tomorrow's post with reception pictures.

Tall centerpieces of white hydrangea alternated with babys breath

There were also mason jars on each table filled with flowers or white votives that twinkled in the dark

The head table had a little more bling!

Remember Mom and I making those table runners?

A napkin, placecard, and menu card was at each table - see this post for details about how I made the menu cards. 

The table numbers were also covered in this post.

The black and white checkered dance floor was surrounded by round, high tables that could hold drinks while people were dancing.  The bar was to the right and there was a photo booth (such a hit!) in the back right corner.

Do you spy our table runner fabric on these tables too?

Topping those tables, arrangements in tea tins and candles in charcoal glass votive holders.

Atop the bar was this arrangement of hydrangeas.

And grey and white striped straws ordered from Modern Lola

Our custom koozies were in baskets atop the bar

And the dinner, OH THE DINNER.  Pulled pork barbeque, baked mac & cheese, sauteed haricots verts.  We also had cornbread muffins and butter.

Right after we cut the cake, a line of waiters came out of the door with trays holding these yellow and white cupcakes.  The yellow had lemon icing and the white had cream cheese icing.

And here is our gorgeous cake, surrounded by macarons!

Now ... would you believe me when I told you I bought this cake for $10.99 the Thursday before our wedding from our local Harris Teeter grocery store?!  I took it down from Charlotte to Columbia in a cooler and our wedding planner kept it in her fridge until Saturday.  True story.

It was never a big priority for me to have a large, fancy, "traditional" wedding cake.  My priorities were in the photography, the reception decor, and not gonna lie -- the wedding dress. 

This cake was delicious and it had a raspberry filling ... to die for.  And the best part is, for our one year anniversary, rather than pulling some freezer-burn cake topper out of the freezer, I can just go down the road and pick up an exact replica of our cake since they always carry this style in the bakery.  I don't regret for a single moment not doing a gigantic wedding cake.

Where did you save money on your wedding?  What did you decide to prioritize?
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