My Bridal Shower – Part 2

In case you missed it, part one was up yesterday, gushing over all my friends and family who came to my bridal shower this past weekend and helped make it so so special!  Part two, is all about the decor and food that was the cherry on top to everything else! And since I am used to running the show, it was hard for me to take a back seat and not be involved in the planning or decorating, but I kept myself busy and let them do their thing, and I was BLOWN AWAY!
My Bridal Shower P2 - the bee life
My mom, MIL and MOH<3 did an amazing job of coordinating all of this across state lines and literally building a beautiful space out of our garage.  From the food to the decor, everything was thought of and done to a tee, on theme, and exactly what I would’ve done! So now, here are the deets you’ve been waiting for!

The Menu: Cucumber cream cheese sandwiches,  egg salad sandwiches, turkey apple cheddar sandwiches, fresh fruit, and salad.  Accompanied with Sangria and a Mimosa bar!

The Dessert Table: Two amazing cakes from Scratch Bakeshop in Rochester (with GOLD!), peanut butter bars, raspberry bars, dipped chocolate pretzel sticks, custom sugar cookies, doughnut hole kabobs, and fruit pizza cups. OH. MY. GOD. It was a dream come true.

The Decor/Games:  Centerpieces filled with white and pink roses, gold, pink and black stripes everywhere and on the Date Night cards, the Who Am I? game cards, card table signage, and lots of balloons! It was all so beautiful.
Bridal Shower P1 - the bee life (2)
The shower was just an absolute dream, and I know how much everyone put into this to make it a special day for me, and it truly was!  The weather also shaped up and the sun was shining so it was a beautiful day for an outdoor backyard party.  I was overwhelmed by all the love and support.

Next up, the bachelorette party and then… the real thing!

My Bridal Shower – Part 1

This past weekend our wedding festivities officially kicked off!  We kicked it off with my bridal shower, and it was absolutely amazing! So where to even begin? My shower was hosted by my mom, my MIL and my MOH and we were able to have it at our house, as many people had to travel anywhere from 5-minutes to 4-hours, so I was very grateful to everyone who made the journey!  So bare with me through the upcoming sap…
My Bridal Shower P1 - the bee life
Family and friends are so important, and you truly learn who your friends are as you grow older in life – whether they’re new or old, it’s the bonds that keep you together. From our amazing neighbors, to a group of former co-workers, to B’s amazing family, to my best friend/MOH from high school and her amazing mom, to my incredible family, it was all the people who matter – just like our wedding will be one night with all the people who B and I love, and have seen us grow and become us.

The one game we played was called Who Am I? which allowed me to have a special moment to connect with everyone there, shower guests wrote a memory on a card, and Katie read them for me to guess who the memory was with!  I was definitely stumped a bunch, only because there were multiple shower guests at the same event/memory – but it was fun and funny to see what most people wrote about or remembered about me, (and maybe even a little embarrassing!).  The note cards will be a nice keepsake to have as part of our wedding memories!
Bridal Shower P2 - the bee life (2)
I’m just grateful for all of the love, plus the shower wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (the attention, and being on display opening presents!) … haha, I was a bit anti-shower for awhile.  It went so quick, that I wish I would’ve been able to socialize a bit more with everyone but I got hugs from everyone so that itself was a success!

I’ll be sharing part two featuring all the perfect details and decor, tomorrow!

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!
Weddings &amp; Registries Guide - the bee life
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!

Weekend Recap – College Showers

This past weekend was a good mix of work and fun.

We started yet another house project Friday afternoon, even though we’re working with contractors, so we aren’t doing too much of the heavy lifting, just heavily babysitting. *winks*  But that should be finished up by tomorrow, so fingers crossed we got all the snafu’s worked out.  Don’t worry I’ll share the full project at a later date! Friday night we attended a watch party to watch the Cavs murder the Celtics in game two of the Eastern Conference finals, only to watch them loose at a buzzer beater last night. *grrrr*

Saturday after some of the babysitting stress subsided, we made it out of the house, over to our friend’s to celebrate her 30th! The theme of the night was “party like you’re in college” so there was plenty of drinking games and even a keg of beer.  In order to keep on theme for the night, we gifted the birthday girl with a t-shirt that read; “I Can’t Adult Today” it was perfect! We of course partook in some of the “college party” fun and ran the beer pong table for a few games before we retired and became spectators, mainly because we lost to a few cheaters (you know who you are.) It was a lot of fun, although B and I definitely didn’t party like we were in college. #adulting

Sunday was one of my bestie’s bridal showers.  It was fun catching up with friends and meeting a lot of her family! It was a beautiful shower with mimosas and lots of sweets, so it was extra perfect. A was spoiled with all of her beautiful gifts, because she has amazing taste. I can’t wait for her wedding in July!

On a side note, I can’t believe this next weekend is Memorial Day – where did May go?! What are your favorite May memorials of 2017?

XO

Wedding Planning – Shower Dresses

Happy First Day of Spring!

As I am planning my wedding, I can’t help but try and find the perfect dresses for other wedding festivities, like the Bridal Shower, Bachelorette, and the Rehearsal! Since most of these festivities are in the spring/summer the clothes and options are starting to become endless and the decision is going to be tough!

Although I haven’t found my perfect dress(es) yet; I’ve pulled some looks that are serving as my inspiration, as there are a few different routes that I could go and you might be in the same boat!
Bridal Shower Dress Inpiration - the bee life
01 | 02 | 03 | 04

If you’re like me and already started your hunt, consider the following…

All White: This is definitely an easy way to go and a classic option, wearing all white at any one of these festivities keeps you as the bride and truly the focal point!

Make A Statement: With a bright color! Showing up in a bright pink or patterned dress will help keep the focus on you.  This might be a fun way to show off a bit of your personality too!

Know Your Venue: Is your shower/rehearsal a sophisticated backyard soiree? Or is it a casual setting at a family members house? Or maybe a tea party theme at a local country club? Be sure that you’re standing out but also dressing to your venue to keep the theme of the day/night on point.

Will You Wear It Again? Ask yourself this question as your picking out the dress. You’ll want to make sure you can wear it again for a date night,  the honeymoon, a friends shower or family function! That way you won’t feel so bad if you invest a little more money that you were planning!

Happy Shopping!

DIY: Bridal Shower Decor

The fun thing for every party or event, at least in my opinion, is in the details! It’s the little things that make an impact and can really elevate the look and feel, every little thing, from the signage to the centerpieces to the activities and photos. You may remember a few of my inspiration ideas for Katie’s Bridal Shower from THIS POST, back in January… well now you get to see the spin I took on them and even how to make these yourself!

Photo-Booth Ribbon Wall

You will need…
1) About 5-6 different types of ribbon (different thickness, patterns, colors) and about 2-spools of each type (total of 12 spools; try and go when it’s on-sale or you have a coupon!)
2) Rope or cord long enough for 6-ft length (can vary based on your need)
3) Hot glue gun and glue sticks
4) Measuring Tape
5) Scissors

I cut my ribbon pretty much at the same length and did a little over 4-ft, again you can customize as you please but this may affect how much ribbon you buy.  I did a little over 4-ft to accommodate for a fold-over in the next step.  So, the purpose for my ribbon wall backdrop, was to simply serve as that, a back drop for a make-shift photo booth that the shower (not intended for full body picture taking!)

Once I had all of my ribbon cut I began to start a pattern of how the ribbons would be organized, I did a little mix-matching too because I wanted to make it look more organic.  I tied the ends of my rope, so that it would be even, and then I started gluing the ribbon by folding over the edges and gluing these tight.  I would suggest doing this on a surface you don’t mind getting sticky and hot glue residue everywhere.
CAUTION: You will burn your fingers, it might be smart to use a utensil of some sort to push down the folded ribbon, unless you don’t mind burning your fingers (like me).
CAUTION #2: Be careful where you put your hot glue gun down, and to not rest your hand on it and burn your pinky (like me).

So hopefully you can finish this with only minor or no burns, and have a beautiful backdrop for your special day!

A few other tips: knowing where you’re going to hang this banner ahead of time (and the color of the walls) may be helpful, as I mentioned in the post about Katie’s shower I had never been to the venue, so I was hoping and praying it would all workout. Luckily the venue didn’t mind tacking things to the wall (but other venues might not!) and the tacks were a bit tricky with the thickness of the rope.

Mimosas & Bride-to-Be Banners

So you can buy these on Etsy for $18-20 each or you could make these for a grand total of $6-8 each and a little bit of your time!

You will need…
1) Scrapbook paper sheets (you should be able to get 4-letters out of one 12×12 sheet – buy a few extra is you think you might mess up! I would also recommend the heavier card-stock pieces too, usually solid colors.
2) Roll of ribbon of your choice (at least a half-inch thick)
3) Paint/stencils or markers
4) Hole punch and scissors

I fold the scrapbook paper in half, and cut and then cut halves of the half’s, to get four squares.  For the mimosas banner, I used different patterned paper and for the Bride-to-Be banner I used a darker, burlap like color to mimic the inspiration I found on Pinterest, aka Etsy. You can then start lettering on the squares, again for these two banners I did a mix of markers and then paint with stencils to do a more rustic look. Once everything is dry, I use the hole punch to cut two holes at the top corners of each square and then I thread my ribbon through and cut appropriately for length. These both worked out perfectly for a little something extra at the shower!

IMG_1133IMG_1113A few other pieces that help top everything off where mason jar centerpieces with ribbon glued around the center, with baby’s breath and carnations filling the jars! Adding something fresh to the tables, definitely made an impact. I also had mini-chalk boards that were signs for a table with goodies and even for the photo-booth.

The cost to make these vs. buying them definitely saved money and I was able to create completely custom pieces that fit a theme to have everything match, while incorporating her bridal colors when and where I could.

Weekend Recap: Easter Showers

This past weekend we headed north to my parents again for the weekend since it was Katie’s shower and a bonus of Easter!

Katie’s shower was Saturday morning, a brunch at a local country club. I got there early to help decorate with her mom, and having never been to the venue I was a little nervous about how some of my decorations (future post coming with some of the fun DIY’s I did for her day) would work in the space. Luckily everything worked out perfectly and looked great! Katie was so happy with everything, woo, success! It was fun celebrating Kates with the official countdown starting towards her big day. Having been friends for over a decade, it’s crazy that we’re at this stage in our lives! I can’t wait for her bachelorette party and the big day!!

It has been a few years since I’ve been home for Easter, and the first time since B and I have been together, I am usually dog sitting! My brother and sister-in-law came over Saturday and stayed over so my mom had a full house, she was beyond happy. Sunday morning, the six of us headed to church, which was full of Alleluia’s! After church we snapped some pictures at the house and then mom and dad got cooking brunch! Yes, two back-to-back days of brunch, it was terrible. =) They made their signature waffles, bacon and an egg souffle all to end with a triple layer carrot cake! #foodcomma

To top off the weekend, we found Hank a home! Our close friend’s parents ended up taking him, they came up Thursday night to see him with their dog and ended up taking him home- for a test run, and ended up falling in love with him! We’re so happy he is in a (permanent) loving home and is going to be so spoiled. That was a big relief, this past week was very stressful for B and I trying to figure out what we were going to do with Hank!

I’m looking forward to getting back into our routine and starting some workout classes! Here’s to a great week!

 

MOH Duties – Let the Countdown Begin

A little over a year ago I was thrilled to be asked by my high school best friend to be her Maid of Honor (MOH)!  I was also a bit worried and nervous that being a few states apart would hinder my MOH game and participation with planning things.  It’s hard enough for me to find my own ME time, that adding in extra planning that’re hours away would be just as hard. Well it’s almost go time, so no more excuses. We are 4-months out from Kates & Travis’ big day, which means there is a whole lot of bachelorette and bridal shower planning to do!

First batter up: The Bridal Shower
The bridal shower is in March, and I am helping her mom with as much as I can (mostly decorations) and hopefully ordering some custom cookies from Snicklefritz Bakeshop. Here are a few of the  decoration ideas I’ve found that I’m going to adapt for Kates’ shower.

Main items needed: Centerpieces | Cute signage for gift table | Signage for desserts, mimosas bar, food | banners | balloons

Of course I am going to adapt and make a lot of these pieces myself – I always love a good DIY.  I’ll also be in charge of wrangling the other bridesmaids to make game prize gift baskets, luckily we will be splitting this up, so it shouldn’t be too painful *famous last words*

Next batter up: The Bachelorette Party
Now I am not one for all of the typical bridal fo-pah stuff, so luckily it’s not me getting married :-)… yet… luckily Kates isn’t really either, so planning a fun weekend getaway for her is more like hosting a party than buying penis straws, cramming into a tight short skirt and going out solely to get drunk.

Originally Kates wanted to keep this SUPER low-key and have a ‘girls night in’ at her own house, I pushed her to explore at least a mini weekend getaway in wine country – it looks like that might be the winner.  Now all we have to figure out is how many people, the house, the limo bus, invitations, the food, the cost, and the rest of the 500 other logistical things I am probably forgetting 🙂   Planning is kind of on hold until I get more deets from my girl, and then it’ll be full swing – this will be in early May so still coming up in the very near future…. as long as winter usually feels, I have a feeling this is going to go by quick!  Until then, I am doing my research and vetting out options along with gaining inspiration to make this a fun and memorable weekend for Kates.

Thank goodness for Pinterest and all the inspiration and great ideas I’ve been getting – it also helps me think of creative, low cost ideas to adapt to make these events super special for Kates!

Let the planning begin!