Weekend Recap – Family Wedding

This past weekend was full of family as we celebrated my cousin Tim’s wedding to his long time girlfriend, Morgan! So here is a quick recap of the weekends events.

Friday, we both took a half day in hopes that we could head out mid-afternoon and get down to Columbus early evening… but I had a little too much on my to-do list before that happened. Running around making stops, getting an oil change in, and then forgetting about our call with a wedding planner that I was expecting to have while we were already in the car, pushed back our leave time by about 2-hours, oops! We dropped Moz over to our neighbors, and then finally hit the road and got into Columbus a little after 7pm.

Dinner reservations were at 8:30pm, whenever my family has a weekend of any sort together (especially weddings) it is ALWAYS jammed packed with family dinners, activities, workouts, you name it. So we headed to Bravo! Cucina Italian – my first time there, andddd I know it’s a chain, but I wasn’t impressed at all. Service was slow and the food wasn’t that great. Which only led me to snack on Doritos later in the evening. *smiles* After dinner was over, some people went to the casino and others headed back to the hotel.  We stopped and grabbed some adult beverages to hang out at the hotel with my parents, Nate and Kiera.

Saturday morning we slept in until 9:30!! We haven’t slept in, in so long, it was so amazing! We got up and headed to Starbucks and then came back to workout and hang with the family. The hotel had a basketball court so everyone was hanging out between there and the pool while I sweated through a 45-minute boot camp workout, luckily my cousin Niki joined halfway through! From there we headed to lunch at First Watch, yum! (Avocado toast for days, please and thanks.) By the time we got back after lunch it wasn’t long before we had to start getting ready for the wedding.

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The ceremony; was so nice and the vows were beyond sweet. Tim and Morgan have been together for nearly 11-years, not to mention living long distance, so this has been a long time coming. My cousin Tim is a bit more reserved than the rest of us, so it was so awesome seeing him pull out his handmade scroll with his vows and reading them with so much love and truth in what he was saying.  After they said their vows, and kissed the rest of the night was about celebrating!

The reception was at La Scala Restaurant, which had a back room for the reception area and was the perfect size to accommodate everyone. The staff was great catering to everyone and we had our own private bar in the back which worked out perfectly too! Although it took some tweaking for the mixed drinks, since I’d like to say my family is a bunch of alcohol snobs, it would’ve been easier if we could just get behind the bar, ha! The dinner was served family style, which I really liked. It was a mix of lasagna, two types of chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes, with salad and bread as the starter. Yum!

Once the dancing finally started, the rest of the night was toast (unless a country song came on, then the dance floor was nearly cleared out, yet the DJ still insisted on playing his set-list).  Everyone tore up the dance floor and definitely got a second workout in. I think B danced the most out of all the weddings we’ve been too together, it was so much fun! Of course, there were a few breaks for shots – although we had to order them in the main restaurant, so it was funny to see the bartender mix up 25-lemon drops and a rowdy crowd come into the main area demanding shots.

It was a great time,  and family drama was at a fair minimum, minus a few situations which I am currently ignoring for the time being. *smiles* You could tell how happy Tim and Morgan were and how excited they were for their big day and commitment to each other. They’re truly just a sweet couple. It’s always a great party when we are welcoming another person into our family, needless to say everyone was hurting the next day.

We had a family brunch Sunday morning so everyone could see each other one last time before we all went our separate ways, a family tradition for wedding weekends. B and I were back home by 12:30 and got our little pune baby back (Moz). She was exhausted from her weekend with her friend Maybel! We were exhausted too, so it was a lazy afternoon.

Cheers to another beautiful wedding and fun weekend!

Wedding Plans – An Update

Now that it’s officially June – I figured I would start sharing and writing a little more about our wedding planning (or lack thereof).  If you remember, I wanted to wait awhile before we started planning since I feel like a lot of couples rush into it, and don’t actually enjoy being engaged or take advantage of it! (I might be taking a little too much advantage of it :])

Venue
Source: Style Me Pretty

So here is the thing I’ve learned with the tiny bit of “planning” aka research I’ve done so far… EVERYTHING IS SO MUCH MONEY.

Period, end of story, done.

But seriously, I truly can’t believe or fathom spending that kind of serious cash on ONE DAY. Granted it’s a day of celebration and the start of a new journey, but it’s just crazy to me, there are SO MANY OTHER THINGS, I would much rather spend that money on. Don’t even ask what, because the list will be endless. I don’t even want my parents to spend that much money on our wedding either – it’s crazy! Unless Donald Trump wants to pay for our wedding, it’s hard to reason it all.

Long story short, there has been no wedding planning, just a lot of chats to try and figure out what sort of direction we want to go in (small, large, or half-half).  We were set on one direction, but the more I started researching and vetting out options, the less interested I’ve become, mainly because it doesn’t seem like it’ll save any money, and would be more involved from planning. So I truly just don’t know what to do. B and I have a few more chats that need to happen, I am thinking an evening or afternoon with some continuous beers will help make some decision, and then of course sticking to it.

One of these days, I’ll actually have something solid to report back on. The only thing we have planned right now is our engagement pictures… so stay tuned for a first look at those in the next few weeks!

 

#CoakleyEverAfter – Part 2

Ready for Part 2?!

Katie was one of the most beautiful brides. Her dress was perfection and she was glowing. We made our way to the venue after everyone got ready at the hotel, the rain was starting to pick up on and off as we got to the venue, so came the decision of keeping the ceremony outside or setting up inside just in case. It was touch and go for awhile, and it got set-up inside just in case. About 15-minutes before the start of the ceremony, Katie decided to make it happen outside. The venue was beyond accommodating and made it happen, sprinting to clean off the wet chairs and getting everyone from inside to the outside location.  After all, her vision for the last year+ was having an outdoor wedding, and it was going to happen, rain or shine!

Katie and Travis wrote their own vows, which were very sweet and touching, in fact that was one of my favorite parts – it was truly personal and unique to them and their relationship. And the rain held off! Woo!!

From the ceremony we went and took pictures while the rest of the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour before the festivities got started around 7.  We were announced and quickly got into the speeches, Katie’s dad spoke, then the best man, and then myself. I was surprisingly so nervous, like shaking nervous! I think it was the setting, and I wanted everything to be perfect. I was told it sounded great! Phew.

After dinner, was the cake cutting, first dances, and then real dancing! It was such a fun night, and like I mentioned before completely surreal to see Katie and Travis married, yet so awesome because they’re completely meant to be. My family was at the wedding too, so it was great to hang out with them, and B once all my official duties were finished (although they never seemed to be, we had to get Katie ready with a new up-do after all the key moments).  There was also a photo-booth, which is always fun to take a few photos with everyone. Enjoy some of my favorite pictures from the night!

The night was just perfect mainly because it was Katie’s wedding. I can’t wait to see her professional photos from the day, not to mention her photographers were awesome. We helped shut the place down and clean up. By the time we got back to my parents it was probably 2AM. It was strange saying bye to Katie with no future plans in hand like we’ve had for the last few months, which I’ve truly enjoyed. But I know we will be seeing each other soon. Hopefully they’ve landed safely for their honeymoon!

Cheers to the bride + groom!

 

 

#CoakleyEverAfter – Part 1

The festivities for Katie & Travis’ big day started Thursday night, when Katie, Jodi and I met up for manicures to get our fingernails in tip-top shape for the big day, a wedding must in my opinion if you’re in the wedding party! The entire long weekend was really surreal to the fact that is was actually Katie’s wedding. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve known each other for so long and have gone through so much, or what? But I kept having moments of disbelief, yet being extremely happy and emotional through the whole thing!

Friday was the rehearsal, which went as most rehearsal’s go, a little chaotic but smooth at the same time,  working out the kinks and asking all of the questions.  From the venue, we headed out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a nice dinner, especially when it came time for the presents – because the thought that was put into them by Katie and Travis was overwhelming, especially for the parents, there were tears all around. She gave all us bridesmaids a bag of goodies, including our jewelry for the big day and she gave me a special bracelet that reads on the inside; “Today my Maid of Honor, forever my best friend ❤ 5.21.16” it is so perfect.

After the rehearsal, Katie and I headed to the hotel, to have one “final” girl’s night together before the big day! It was nice having some one on one time before the craziness of Saturday happened. She actually brought a notebook that I had made her all throughout high school and even early into college, it’s an old composition notebook that is filled with pictures, notes, stories, memories, stickers, from all of our fun times. It was pretty funny to look back on and read. We of course popped some bubbly and chatted more about “can’t believe you’re getting married tomorrow” and Katie also finished writing out her vows. Not to mention the hotel cups were pretty funny.

Saturday, May 21, 2016. The big day! We both woke up pretty early, it got to the point where we were just sick of laying in bed, trying to fall back asleep. So after Katie rewrote her vows, we had a Backstreet Boys/N’Sync jam session (I highly recommend this on a daily basis). It was the fun little start to the day to help get the jitters out and have a carefree moment during the day. Then the morning started with a Starbucks run (of course) and over to the venue to set-up some of the centerpieces and last minute details before we needed to be back at the hotel for hair and make-up to begin at 10AM.

The day didn’t seem to go too fast, although Katie might object to that statement. We (me and her sister Jodi) had to make a few trips to get some last minute things that were forgotten or needed throughout the day and making sure everyone was on track and where they needed to be, transportation was ready, and even checking on the weather for the ceremony location, since the rain clouds were rolling in.

Come back for Part 2 – tomorrow!

XO

TBT – BFF

In honor of Katie’s wedding this weekend, I wanted to do a little TBT in honor of all the years we’ve been friends, and back to when it all started.  So with that, I will be sharing some embarrassing photos from way back!

I truly cannot believe the weekend has finally come for Katie’s big day. I can’t wait to stand next to her as she vows her life with Travis, and then dance the night away.  The amount of love I have for Katie in my heart is enormous, this weekend is going to be filled with so much love and happiness!

5 Unique Wedding Gifts

With wedding season quickly here, I wanted to share some unique gift ideas for the bride and groom.  If you’re like me and in the wedding party, you seem to bring gifts to every occasion you go to, so coming up with fresh, unique ideas without just buying off the registry can get hard after awhile. Wedding Gift Guide - the bee lifeAlso to clarify; these gifts could be for any of the many wedding festivities from the bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, rehearsal and day of the wedding.

Make Something. Find a local shop/studios were you can create and make you’re own ceramic pieces, whether it be from scratch or painting a pre-made piece. My future MIL, owns a studio (Studio Clay) where you can create plates, bowls, dishes, ornaments, figurines… you name it, out of clay.  Visiting a place like this, not only gives you a fun experience but also allows you to create an original piece for the couple.

Remember Memories. You may need to get a little creative for this one, but this will help the couple remember all their memories, especially as they start their journey as husband and wife. You can make the couple a custom jar (decoupage), a box, or basket with instructions for the couple to fill it with love notes or memories throughout the year. Then on New Year’s Day each year, instruct the couple to take turns and read them to each other reflecting over the year. This is low cost, genuine and something the couple can use year after year.

The Honeymoon. Think about the honeymoon, especially if your in the bridal party, buy some special necessities or gear for the bride and groom. Whether it be matching swim suits, sunglasses, or even a honeymoon survival kit with sunscreen, condoms (or not!), lingerie, lip balm… you name it. Or just focus on the bride, a cute carry-on, new make-up bag or even a fun purse she can rock.  Just think of things that they couple may not be thinking of, but want/need!

Pitch-In. If you know the couple is saving up for a house, or big home renovation, find some family and friends to help pitch-in on a fund for their future projects as they start their life together. When you tie a meaning to the money, it can add that much sentiment and use for the couple. To make it a little more personal, accompany the money with a gift or trinket, like a toaster (if the couple desperately wants a new kitchen).

Photo Gifts. Here is a little plug for Shutterfly, simply because I just love them.  They’ve expanded their offerings immensely, you can customize table runners, candles, ornaments, mugs, pillows, blankets… shall I go on?  Use pictures from the couples engagement session to help customize these pieces for a unique and special gift for the Mr. + Mrs. (Not to mention there are always a few good promos going on to take advantage of!)

I think it’s easy to get lazy and just buy the couple a gift card or something off the registry (guilty), especially when you have multiple weddings to attend in one year, but going the little extra step will not only create something memorable for the bride and groom, but will also remind them of the special time you took for them.

Cheers to Wedding Season!

Wedding Woes

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you.

I’m a bit afraid to start planning our wedding, it’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve resisted planning for a few months… and why whenever someone asks if we’ve started or have a date I give a sigh, try not to roll my eyes and say, “no.”

Wedding Woes - the bee life
Photo cred: Grey Likes Weddings & Rachelle Derouin Photography

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why? She should be so excited to plan her wedding and everything that comes with it!

Yes, I am. But I am also very afraid of everything that is going to come along with it, and I blame everyone else whose gotten married or is getting married, especially my friends and family – you’ve all scared me poop-less!

To keep it simple, here are all of the reasons why:

  • I don’t want to be a traditional bride; I don’t want a bridal shower, I could care less about a bachelorette party, and I would prefer to forgo the whole wedding reception thing and just elope. But I can’t. (Now you’re probably saying; so do it, it’s you’re wedding! But is it? I know I am going to get pressured into things, because other people want that for me.)
  • I don’t want to end up hating my (future) family. With my non-traditional ways, I am sure I will piss of a few people or unintentionally hurt some feelings – but I really want to live up to the saying; “It’s my/our wedding.” Although, I already know there will be some compromise.
  • It’s just SO much money… for one day. I just want a killer dress.
  • Everyone has an opinion, and wants to share it. I have one too. *smiles*
  • If B and I do get our way for our wedding, we will end up making a lot of people mad – because they won’t understand that it’s about us and not about them.
  • Either way, I don’t think there is a way to avoid hurt feelings or drama.

Not to mention, I’ve been to, two bridal showers so far this year, and each of them have had drama; hurt feelings, tears, and stress (at least behind the scenes).  And in between all of that and the planning more drama, petty family crap, that I frankly don’t want to deal with. I cut out the drama in my life a long time ago and have since kept it to a minimum. At a time in my life that is supposed to be so happy, I don’t want to remember so-and-so didn’t come because they had hurt feelings.

And if I give into the pressures, I know I will still end up loving my wedding and having a great time, only because I’ll have B by my side… but I can’t help but cringe in fear every time someone mentions my bridal shower, or bachelorette party or the rehearsal dinner and just think to myself – umm I don’t want one!

I know, poor me. But seriously guys, I need some help, especially before I get started!! Any advice? Tips? Experiences from when you planned your wedding? How did you overcome some of the stereotype traditions, or not?  Is it worth it?

Many love and thanks in advance!

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!

 

Weekend Update – Engaged!

This past weekend was an exciting one, definitely one that won’t be forgotten as it was full of celebrating B and I’s engagement! He popped the question on Thursday and caught me completely off guard – which was his main goal, success!!

Engaged! - the bee life

Of course I’ve always imagined getting proposed to by B and being engaged, but at the same time it always seemed so far away! So until it happened, I was totally caught off guard not only when and how, but for all the follow-up afterwards…. here are some things I learned from my experience;

1. It’s not official until it’s Facebook official (we waited a few days before “officially” posting)
2. Everyone loves a good engagement story (and everyone wants to hear how it happened)
3. Everyone wants to tell everyone else
4. I couldn’t sleep worth a damn for 2 nights, I like to compare it to the Christmas morning jitters! (drafted this at 3am on one of the said nights)
5. Everyone has an opinion (about all the wedding planning you haven’t done yet)
6. I wish I would’ve printed a story of the engagement to hand out to people – it was fun telling the first 10 times…
7. It’s officially acceptable to starting looking at wedding stuff (unhide the Pinterest board) !!!!
8. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like attention (especially at work) until I received it – yes I am beyond excited about it but there doesn’t need to be a million announcements about it! Although it’s nice that everyone is so excited for us (thank you everyone!)

For the record, we don’t have a date, we aren’t starting to plan at least for 3… 4 months? I just want to enjoy this time with B!  Oh, and we aren’t having babies anytime soon.

XO