- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens- LG holds a special place in my heart. Not only does my mom volunteer there, but I've always enjoyed visiting when I was younger. The venue was gorgeous, but just didn't feel like 'us.' After looking at LG we realized we needed a place that was more private (vs. people couldn't come and go as they pleased and watch your wedding!)
- Historical Mankin Mansion- This venue fit the bill as far as an all inclusive with a good outdoor ceremony/reception area. At the end of the day, we realized we wanted a venue closer to Short Pump vs Downtown Richmond.
It's been far too long since I've written a wedding post, and I've been meaning to update ya'll on what's been going on behind the scenes. So today I thought I'd talk about a fun little project that I did for my bridesmaids with the help of my mom. Also it's officially SEVEN months until the big day! WOAH!
With social media and the expectation that everything wedding related appear picture perfect, it can be somewhat overwhelming when it comes to something so simple as asking your bridesmaids to be a part of your big day! Now I will be the first to say, that it really isn't necessary to 'propose' to your bridesmaids. Simply asking is perfectly fine! But I really wanted to try my hand at crafting something fun for my girls just to show them how excited I was to have them stand by my side <3
With that said, I came across this picture that served as my inspiration for the boxes. While fairly simple, it was exactly what I was looking for. I didn't follow the directions 100% since I wanted to make this my own, but you'll see below....
First things first, gather all of the material. I ordered the custom champagne flutes above from this etsy shop with each girls name in gold. They turned out awesome, and I'm hoping we can all use them to toast the morning of the wedding.
Once everything was ordered from Etsy, I went to a few different craft stores to find the white boxes. OMG finding boxes proved to be an impossible task on it's own. Who knew white boxes were hard to come by? In the end, I purchased these.
Next up was glitter, straws, Lindt truffles, Elmer's spray adhesive, Krylon sealer, gold ribbon, and shredded crinkle paper. I noticed the crinkle paper was ridiculously overpriced at craft stores, so I ordered in bulk on Amazon 😉 I also found these monogram letters at Target which were really affordable and the perfect finishing touch!
After I had all the materials, I posted up shop at my parents house to get to work. I am NOT crafty whatsoever, so I was nervous how this would turn out. But I'm pleasantly surprised with the results. It was really easy to get the ombre look too with the glitter. Just make sure to apply the first layer up top and blend two colors in the middle before ending with the second color. Easy peasey!
Here's how my finished boxes turned out. I apologize for the quality of these pictures, but I think you'll get the point!
How did you ask your girls to be a part of your wedding? I'd love to hear below!
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Eeee!!!!! I'm so excited to share our engagement pictures with ya'll today! Myles and I worked with the incredibly talented Alicia Lacey, and I could go on and on about how wonderful she is to work with. Seriously, she is the sweetest and her work is stunning!
Alicia is based in Washington D.C., so we were fortunate she was able to make the trip down to Virginia Beach for our sunset shoot. She's welcoming a little one to the family very soon!
Funny story. When I was in the VERY early stages of wedding planning, I first set out on finding a venue. I luckily stumbled upon the Mill at Fine Creek and one of the first blog posts I saw was shot by Alicia. Her pictures really stood out, and I immediately knew that 1. Not only did we need to have our wedding at the Mill but 2. We needed Alicia as our photographer.
I'm pretty sure I didn't even look into any other venues or photographers at the point..... Myles will tell you, once I have my mind set on something, I'll make it happen 😉
I immediately reached out to Alicia and luckily she was free the day of our wedding. We booked her ASAP and the rest is history. I knew instantly we'd be in good hands, and never doubted how our pictures would turn out (especially after seeing our engagement pictures now!)
I also really was at a loss of where to have our engagement session, so I asked Alicia if she had any ideas. Our only requirement was that we wanted to be somewhere near the water, since the beach is really special to both Myles and I. Alicia recommended First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach and mentioned that there was Spanish moss. Insert all the heart emojis. Once again I was sold.....
We scheduled our session for late August and hoped for the best regarding weather. Weather in Virginia can be really questionable. One day it can be 70 and the next 100 degrees. Lucky for us, it was on the cooler side with overcast lighting. It was perfect, and I'm sure Myles appreciated the 'cool' weather since he was wearing a sport coat and pants!
As for me, I really struggled with what exactly to wear. No pressure at all having a fashion blog right?! Ha! I knew that I wanted a more formal, classic look as well as a more casual, flowy look that would work well on the beach. I seriously looked for weeks to find the perfect dresses and thankfully found two about a week or so before our shoot. Talk about cutting it close!
The dress I chose above is a gorgeous Eliza J ivory sheath dress that was actually on sale! The quality is SO good ya'll. I was so surprised! It has the cutest zipper detail on the back as well. For those who are looking for an ivory dress for any wedding related events (or just because!) I couldn't recommend this one enough. It's simple and classic, yet has gorgeous detailing. I also ordered the 3/4 length sleeve version to try on and it's equally as stunning. In the end the short sleeve just fit me better.
For my second dress, I went with a beautiful light blue Show Me Your Mumu maxi. This dress is what dreams are made of <3 It was EVERYTHING I was looking for and more. I really struggled to find this exact style. Everything I found was either strapless, halter, or spaghetti strap and I really wanted a little sleeve. As soon as I stumbled upon this maxi, I knew it was the one (despite the less than stellar reviews online).
Just a heads up, I did have to get the top altered. The reviews were correct in that it definitely is too low cut and loose up top. But that was no big deal, I simply took it to the tailor. They ended up raising the front, as well as sewing the V together so I had nothing to worry about on the day of our shoot!
As for shoes, I went very simple with two pairs I already had at home. As well as without shoes for some shots! My trusty Tory Burch Millers were perfect for the beach shots and super comfy. My Sam Edelman sky high sandals worked great for the Spanish moss shots. Although I will admit I struggled HARD walking throughout the trees in those. Thanks Myles and Alicia for being troopers since I was walking SLOW and sinking into the ground!
For jewelry, I also kept that very simple. Less is more after all right?! I ended up wearing two Yurman bracelets, a Yurman ring that Myles gave me a few years ago, and of course my engagement ring 😉 I really wasn't sure about necklaces, and just decided to go without. I'm really glad I did. The dresses ended up speaking for themselves......
As for hair and makeup, I made the last minute decision to try out Shine Blowdry Bar in Richmond. I was SO impressed! I'm really glad I decided to have both professionally done, since I'm by no means a beauty guru. Caitlyn at Shine worked her magic, and I felt so confident on the day of our shoot. Despite the sticky weather, my 'waves' held up for over 6 hours prior to the shoot which is very shocking for my thick hair. For those debating whether or not to get your hair and makeup done, I say GO for it! Not only is it one less thing to worry about, but it's nice to be a little pampered for the special day.
And now that I've overwhelmed ya'll with dozens of pictures, I think I'll end this post before I sneak in a few more! I really can't recommend our photographer Alicia enough for those in the VA/DC area. Now that I've seen our pictures, I'm even MORE excited for our wedding day.
I love you Myles and I can't wait until 5/5/18 <3
**For those who want to see even more pics, check out Alicia's blog post here. She truely did capture Myles and I as a couple so perfectly! **Read more link text
Happy Wednesday friends! I hope your week is going well. For those who were off on Monday, I hope you're enjoying the 'shorter' week (I know I am 😉 ). As I mentioned in my post the other day, I've been wanting to share our wedding journey with ya'll on the blog. Since weddings will be on my mind most of 2017...and well into 2018... I figured what better way than to bring ya'll along for the ride 😉
I am by NO means an expert at this, but I thought it would be fun to share the highs/lows of the planning process and our thoughts along the way. If my wedding series can help one person out there, then it will be well worth it!
"Where to even start"......
That was my first question after the initial shock of our engagement!
Just a quick background- Myles and I have been dating for 6+ years. We've lived together for well over three years, and boy has time flown by (when did we get so old, lol!)
Which brings me to one of the first discussions we had....figuring out a date. We were engaged in October, and according to the 'average' engagement length of around a year that would put us at an October 2017 wedding date (if we pushed it). Personally, I've always dreamed of a spring/summer wedding growing up...so fall and winter of 2017 were out of the question. And that's how we decided on spring 2018, simple enough!
Once we had a general idea of a date, we began discussing venues. We decided that a venue in Richmond would make the most sense, since we live here (as well as my family) and it would make planning easier. Plus most of our guests will be coming from around the east coast, so Virginia seemed like the most central location for everyone.
After deciding on Richmond, I immediately started googling every venue imaginable and stressing out per usual. I think I started getting ahead of myself, and realized that I needed to take a step back and figure out our estimated guest count (since that really does drive the budget in the end). Once I had an idea of the size of the wedding, along with our budget, I was able to narrow down a few venues in the area.
In my head, I've always had a vision for our wedding day. I picture us surrounded by all of our closest friends and family in a comfortable environment that isn't too stuffy, but still formal enough for the occasion. I picture LOTS of flowers and blush/champagne/neutrals as our 'colors'. Ideally we will be married outside with the sun shining, but in case it rains it's important that we have back up plan that we both feel comfortable with.
We both want the day to be as stress free as possible, and want our guests to enjoy good food, drinks, and company. I don't want our guests to have to worry about transportation between sites or awkward times etc...so a venue that we could get married at + have our reception was a major priority for me.
Our venue wishlist:
1. Outdoor ceremony and either indoor/outdoor reception (with the option of an indoor space for the ceremony given poor weather). We want to spend our entire day on site and not have to worry about transportation. A bridal/groomsman suite also would be a plus....
2. A venue that doesn't require 'much.' I want the space to speak for itself, as well as the flowers/scenery.
3. Somewhere close to good hotels. I know this seems funny, but since a lot of our guests are coming from out of town I want them to see the best that Richmond has to offer! (whether that's Downtown or out in Short Pump)
4. Good food + alcohol packages. Our friends/family are definitely foodies and appreciate good drinks 😉
5. A place that feels like us. As much as I love barn weddings and gorgeous formal weddings, that just doesn't fit our personality. We are both pretty laid back and want an elegant, but comfortable day with our loved ones. Finding that balance is crucial.
Where we looked:
So this is actually kind of funny, but we really only toured one venue - which ended up being the one! However, we did drive by a few and visit another one on our own just to check it out 😉 Here were the contenders:
Which leads me to our venue...
I had a feeling this place was the one as soon as I started researching venues. Once we stepped foot on the property it was confirmed, this was the place where Myles and I were going to get married! The venue couldn't be more perfect for us. Not only are the grounds BEAUTIFUL, but the venue itself is private. The indoor area is stunning too (just in case it rains!)
The staff are so warm and friendly (southern hospitality at it's finest!) and I love that they do whatever it takes to make your wedding day as stress free as possible. Also, the fact that they're building a brewery on site and have an in-house chef that will tailor the menu to your liking doesn't hurt 😉
I really could go on and on about the Mill, but I'll save that for another day ... For now, we couldn't be more excited to officially have a venue and date on the calendar. May 2018 can't come soon enough!
For those who are married, what was your venue like? If we lived closer to the beach, Myles and I probably would have done a beach ceremony 🙂Read more link text
This past Saturday, in the comfort of our own home, my best friend and love of my life asked me to marry him. It may have been hurricaning outside, and I may have been a little bit sick- but it was simply perfect. Words can't even describe how excited I am to spend my life with this man- I’m sitting here five days later and I’m still in shock/excited/overwhelmed with love….but really just trying to process it all (in the best ways possible).
Myles and I have been dating for over five years, but have known each other since we were just about 20. We met through mutual friends, and instantly just clicked. Everything was always so easy with him – I really could go on and on about the reasons I love this man (I once gifted him with custom Hershey kisses for our first Valentines Day together, each with a different saying of "I love you for XYZ reason....," but that's a story for another time).
He keeps me calm and level headed (as best he can!), he has the kindest heart, he’s hilarious, he's handsome, he’s loved by everyone who meets him, he’s ambitious and motivated, he’s a hard worker, and he is all around the most genuine person I know.
Myles- I love you more than anything, and I can’t wait to spend my life with you. So many good times ahead, and I’m forever grateful to have you by my side…
Thank you for all of the love on Facebook/Instagram. I appreciate all of the sweet words. Regular blogging will resume, as the craziness dies down (did I tell you leave for Mexico in 8 days!)
I’m thinking of starting a little wedding series, if that is something ya’ll would be interested in – If anything I’d love to have a place to chronicle this time in our life.
Thank you so much for reading, I love you all!
PS: Here are just a few outtakes right after it happened, taken with my iPhone! If anyone is celebrating (or looking for a nice dinner rec in RVA) Bookbinders is the way to go! <333
For all you ladies out there, I would love to hear your engagement stories (please share!) Also, any advice for future wedding planning would be greatly appreciated <33Read more link text