Cheers to One Year!

Yesterday was B and I’s official one year wedding anniversary.  It’s amazing that it’s been one year, sometimes it feels like our wedding was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like it’s been years! I was looking back at my wedding final update on The Bee Life, and it was fun to read the 6-things I was looking forward to the most.  As a refresher, here they are along with some fun memories for each.

  • Seeing the reception venue all set-up and all the tables put together – it has all been a vision in my head for well over a year… and I can’t wait to see it all put together. This was one of my most favorite parts, luckily we were able to get in on Friday to get stuff set up before the big day – the venue was everything we dreamed it would be and more, completely obsessed.
  • Walking down the aisle to B and seeing him all done up in his suit! This was a surreal moment, I was trying so hard not to cry – which I was successful keeping it together.  This part was such a blur! But seeing videos of this, I was sprinting down the aisle, ha!, probably so I wouldn’t cry.  Recap: Our Ceremony
  • My Father/Daughter dance – it’s going to be a tear jerker but that’s all I’m saying. I loved this moment and it definitely got a lot of guests teared up.  We danced to A Whole New World from Aladdin, which happened to be the same song my dad and I danced too when I was about three – and we had that video playing in the background as we danced to it again!
  • Dancing the night away with B, our family and friends.  So. much. fun.
  • Eating MY wedding cake and drinking champagne! Our cake was so delicious and I didn’t drink nearly enough champagne!!
  • Finally being B’s wife! The best part.

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If you missed all our wedding fun, catch-up on some old posts; Girls getting ready and the groom getting ready pre-wedding.  And check out the links above for the Venue and Ceremony!! Our wedding was pretty perfect, and our first year of marriage has been a nice coast through and happy to have all the wedding festivities behind us!

Cheers!

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Here are some helpful wedding planning posts if you’re getting ready for the big day! Creating Your Sweetheart Table, Planning Your Honeymoon, Tips for Creating Your Wedding Registry, 8 Wedding RSVPs You Won’t be Expecting, and Tips for Swoon Worthy Engagement Pictures.

#EmnBWed – The Venue

If you are an avid bee reader, you may recall we had a whirlwind of wedding planning from traveling out to Jackson Hole to plan our intimate wedding of 30… to halting planning completely… to changing all our plans after falling head over heels for our venue.  As soon as we saw our venue which (by the way) was under construction with puddles of water, open walls and no fixtures we were heart-eyed emojing with goosebumps.

The venue was a bank from the 1920’s – 1923 to be exact, that was restored to be an event venue.  The original bank vault is in near mint condition with it’s nearly foot thick original door, and the bankers office was the perfect space for photos ahead of time with original wood ceilings and a stunning fireplace. So without further ado, please enjoy the finished product with lights, flowers, lots and lots of marble and pure perfection.
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One of the benefits of this venue was that it was so beautiful to begin with that we really didn’t have to do much with the florals, or other decor, although we had some stunning centerpieces that definitely made a statement.  Pro-tip: Look for a venue with natural beauty, you’ll save with the extras in the long run.  Although to further show off the beauty and details of this venue, we rented six, sixty-inch mirror table tops that reflected the gorgeous original ceilings, allowing our guests to enjoy the original beauty at all times.  The venue also had original bankers tables that we were able to use as bars in the main room, this pulled everything together and really tied in the history of the venue.

We were so in love with how it all turned out, how beautiful everything looked and how it all came to life for the most perfect day!

Image Source: Timothy Logan Photography 

#EmnBWed – The Guys

When we were coordinating with our wedding photographers, I was a bit anti the “getting ready pictures,” mainly because I think a lot of them are overdone and just for the sake of the photographers portfolio, and me as the bride it may be great in the moment but in 20-years looking back am I going to be swooning over the artsy getting ready photos?

Well… maybe.

But I may be biased because my hubs is so handsome and these behind the scenes pictures captured precious moments of him laughing with his brother and parents, sweet moments with his niece (who shall not be named/pictured) and then just his overall happiness on our wedding day.  So because the guys don’t always get a ton of wedding love, here are a few of my favorite photos of the guys getting ready the morning of the big day!
I28A8992I28A8939I28A9052I28A8952I28A9057_TLOCCI28A9107I28A9231I28A9179B and I had fun putting together all of the pieces and parts for his wedding day look, after a lot of inspiration, we started with a custom suite in the most beautiful blue, then created a custom vest, and pulled everything together with beautiful ties and pocket squares from Sweden.  Without these pictures a piece of our special day would be missing, all those details lost, and these help complete the moments of that day!

Xo

 

 

 

Image Source: Timothy Logan Photography

Local Love: Wedding Edition

I wanted to share some local love with the amazing team that helped me pull together my dream wedding! And I can’t stop gushing over how perfect everything was, it was so beautiful, I seriously look at pictures and can’t believe that was OUR wedding!
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Bouquet Studio. What sold me on our florist, Amy was her knowledge and love for what she does. We first talked in early 2017 for over an hour; talking through our initial vision before having a lot of details finalized – her suggestions of different greens and florals to use within each of the pieces were spot on.  Not to mention she helped envision a grand space with different centerpieces; allowing me to have some of my dreams fulfilled from a floral perspective, including peonies!

Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes. Quickly becoming a household name in the suburbs of CLE, I’d swooned over KEC cakes and sweets on instagram for over a year plus.  Our compromise was to have a special cake made just for B and I and then give our guests other sweet treats – but we picked the Hand Painted Florals Cake from KEC’s Buttercream Collection; we were able to select colors, the flavors this helped us make a statement especially after topping it with our custom cake topper.

Borrow Rentals. This was definitely one of our splurges, but it was SO worth it.  We really wanted to make a statement with our sweetheart table, which included needing a grand chair – once we toured the Borrow Rentals showroom, we fell for the double wide Settee.  We also ended up renting a few 60″ mirror table toppers to make a statement and play into the space of our venue with the amazing ceilings.  Finally we picked out the Gigi chairs for lounge seating with a cute side table, they were the perfect touches and just enough. Furniture rental for weddings is pure genius.

Campbells Sweets Factory.  We used another local sweet spot to help us fill our hotel Welcome bags with delicious popcorn and also a sampling of cake pops for guests at the reception. The flavors we got; Buckeye, Chocolate Cheesecake and Wedding Cake were eaten right up, they were so delicious!

Little Mondays. Although this isn’t local to CLE – I worked with an artist out of NYC who is a friend of a friends; she helped us create a few custom pieces for our wedding day.  These were also splurges, but for me it’s all in the details. We had a series of our favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, hand drawn for added accents around our venue. She also created a wedding map for us to include in hotel Welcome bags for guests, sharing the days events and also pieces of our love story!
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We also had cookies that were made and brought from my hometown by a family friend who is very talented at making pretty AND delicious cookies.  She made 100 cookies for us that included our hashtag, wedding date, a W-initial and just a pattern – these were the finishing touches to our sweets and coffee table!

It was all the details that made this special for us, and all the details that came together and blew me away. Not only did these lovely teams help bring our vision to life, the customer service and passion was in line with how we felt for our wedding day! We are so thankful and lucky to have found amazing vendors for our special day.

#EmnBWed – Sneak Peak

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a blessed and loving day with family, friends, loved ones and furry pals.  Our Thanksgiving this year was one for the books and a bit out of the ordinary since we were on our honeymoon! But more to come on that… so since we finally tied the knot, I wanted to give my readers a little sneak peak of our wedding since we are anxiously awaiting the final photos from our photographers – although they have teased us with a few.
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In a nutshell, the day was absolutely perfect.  Everything seemed so surreal, I couldn’t believe it was actually our wedding day – I felt like we were playing dress-up the whole day. But it was so beautiful, everything worked out as planned and our guests seemed to enjoy themselves! The day didn’t seem to go too fast, but there were moments throughout the night where I almost pinched myself and a few times when I just sat down and soaked it all in.
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No one can prepare you for what you feel on your wedding day, the mix of emotions, the wave of people, love and support, the overwhelming feelings and the moments of perfection. I imagined how I would feel, what the day would bring, things I wanted to try and do, but you can’t do anything but live in that moment at that very time, and oh what a crazy beautiful moment it all was.

Cheers!

Photography Credit: Timothy Logan Photography

#EmnBWed – The Final Update

In case I have any avid bee readers out there – yes, I’m still getting married, and no, we haven’t gotten married yet! But it’s happening, and it’s happening very soon! I figured I would fill you all in with the latest and greatest, but keeping in bee fashion and not spilling too many deets of the big day.IMG_4765So about a month ago, we hit a few hiccups – and I’m only sharing in case any other brides are reading and have experienced the same thing; and I’m sure many have experienced much worse.  All of the following hit at once; B started a new job, B lost his voice and was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord (still happening, 5-weeks strong), the electric in our garage magically stopped working ($$$), my debit account got hacked and drained my savings account – thank you overdraft, oh and our DJ mentioned he was declaring bankruptcy.   We rallied through most of these and as mentioned, B is still working through the whole paralyzed vocal cord diagnosis, which is pretty crazy, since one day within a few hours he just couldn’t talk. Our awesome and super handy neighbor was able to help us through the garage electrical drama and saved us the money and headaches we would’ve had to manage had we gone the contractor route. And we’re learning to have a little faith with our DJ. But woah, was it a lot, all at once.

So now that hopefully the worse is behind us… here are all the things I’m most excited for, and I think B would probably agree about most after our recent chats.

  • Seeing the reception venue all set-up and all the tables put together – it has all been a vision in my head for well over a year… and I can’t wait to see it all put together.
  • Walking down the aisle to B and seeing him all done up in his suit!
  • My Father/Daughter dance – it’s going to be a tear jerker but that’s all I’m saying.
  • Dancing the night away with B, our family and friends.
  • Eating MY wedding cake and drinking champagne!
  • Finally being B’s wife!

The details have come together quite nicely, there are still a few things to do on the list but nothing crazy it’ll only be a matter of time before I’m straight butterflies, complete ADD, and ready to walk down that aisle to my husband!

Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share all the details and a behind the scenes look on the blog later this month!

Until then! XO!

Photo Credit: Timothy Logan Photography

Weddings: Creating Your Sweetheart Table

One trend that seems to be increasingly popular is the idea of a sweetheart table for the bride and groom. I’ve read a few articles about the pros and cons of having a sweetheart table, and I am sure each bride and groom have their own reasons. For us, it’s simple. We have a small bridal party, and I think it would silly to make them sit without their sig-o’s at a table! Plus I love the idea of B and I having our own intimate spot to sit together and watch the magic of our wedding unfold.

And since we’re doing a sweetheart table, I wanted to do it right, which means pulling in the key elements to really make a statement with our table. Those key pieces to help make your sweetheart table standout are; the chair(s), floral accents, pop of personalization, and placement. Creating Sweetheart Table - the bee lifeThe Chair: Consider a furniture rental vendor that has awesome vintage chairs or a bold settee, these will stand out from the rest of your chairs in the venue signifying these are for the bride and groom.

Floral Accents: My personal favorite for a sweetheart table is a garland floral arrangement. This adds texture and depth to your table, while also calling it to be different from the rest of the tables.  Also consider bold arrangements that could be placed along side the tables or back flanking the space.

Pop of Personalization: The go-to seems to be adding Mr. & Mrs. on top of the table or a sign hanging from the back of the chairs. But consider other meaning full words that might be used or even using the initial of your new last name to make a bold pop.

Placement: When considering all of these elements for your sweetheart table, think about where this will be – if you’re going to have signs on the back of your chairs, will your chairs be in a place that others will be able to view and admire? Is a floral arch behind your table going to flow with the space or look out of place?  You can also work to make your sweetheart table to be the focal point of the venue if it’s lack luster our outdoors.

Pulling these key elements together will create a special place for you and your groom to dine to enjoy your first meal as husband and wife! Happy planning!

Image Source Inspiration: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

The Truth: Weddings & Registries

It’s that time of the year again, wedding season! And with every wedding season, comes the cycle of bridal showers, multiple registries to review, and the actual wedding gift…  As a bride-to-be this upcoming fall, and a guest to four-weddings before then, I feel your pain! But here are answers that will help ease some of those questions and help you conquer all your gifts with success this wedding season!
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The Gift. If you’re like me, you’re often conflicted with wanting to give the couple something unique and not on the registry.  But I’ve also heard from many past brides/friends say; “I just want the stuff off my registry!” I always thought buying off the registry was boring! But, news flash, it’s not about you or me!

Ultimately it comes down to knowing the bride/couple.  Will they like something specific and personalized if you stray from the registry? Or are they picky and have a specific style, so it’s best to just buy off the registry?  When in doubt, buy off the registry.

Money. Yes, it is tacky to talk about money, but it’s a topic many people struggle with, myself included! How much is enough? Especially if you’re attending four or more weddings in one year!  So I did a little research, and asked my friends and fellow brides-to-be. The consensus for a bridal shower gift was around $50. Although, there is an exception if you’re in the wedding party/close family friend.

Okay, so now how much for the wedding? The going response was basically covering the cost per person/per plate. As you can imagine, this could vary depending on the city, venue, type of food, but a low, but safe baseline is about $50 per person. So between you and your hot date, grand total/minimum of $100. But again, this all depends if you’re in the wedding party, family, or simply just a guest!

The Wedding. So back to that $100 for the wedding gift.  Do you just write a fat check? Or do you head back to that registry for more goodies?  Well consider this; a box of envelopes is much easier to transport after the wedding for whoever gets stuck with gift duty vs. 50+ different sized presents. Also, logistically as the guest, lugging around a gift during the ceremony and cocktail hour might not be the most enjoyable! The couple will most likely buy items they didn’t get off their registry (with a discount) with that cash anyways. So when it comes to the wedding, stick with cash/check.

Before I dived into all my registries, I jokingly talked about creating an online fund for our kitchen remodel! But I found something better, Zola Registry! Zola is a one stop shop for planning the big day, registering for your standard gifts from a number of known/unique brands, but also allowing couples to register for experiences, trips, and personalized cash funds for a kitchen remodel or honeymoon!

As a bride-to-be that has spent many hours searching for the perfect pieces, I’m learning a new found respect for gifting off registries and knowing when it’s okay to just gift with cash.

Happy Wedding Season!

#EmnBWed – MOH Dress

In prep for our upcoming shopping trip, I been doing some searching for MOH dresses. I definitely have a lot of ideas and want something that is unique, stunning and going to make a statement for my right-hand MOH.

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I’d like to say I have the color figured out and style – but about the only thing I am certain about is the length. I have some color ideas, but it ultimately comes down to what Kates feels comfortable in and what looks best on her! Since Kates is my one and only in the bridal party we can totally work and find what she likes, be picky and shop around more.

I think Nordstom has a lot of stunning bridesmaid dresses, but the price point (no surprise) is a bit higher than I would want my bestie to spend. And as much as I would love to check out one of the newer sites with dresses, there are just a lot of styles and fabric combinations that just need to be tried before buying. We will make the rounds closer to Katie so that she can work to order and pick-up at her convenience.

More to come on the first shopping trip!  I am hoping we find something so we can cross it off the list and start looking for accessories, but I also don’t want to rush it and make sure it’s perfect from all aspects!

Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right