May 21, 2013

Engagement Basket

Recently one of my dearest friends Amanda got engaged and I couldn't be happier for her! She and I have been friends since elementary school and being able to share in her excitement has been so much fun. To help celebrate her newly engaged status, I put together a little basket of goodies to gift to her at our monthly girls night!

First, I gathered up the goodies:

{1} wedding cake vodka
{2} champagne
{3} set of champagne flutes for toasting
{4} nail polish - specifically pink diamonds by Essie - to ensure nails are sparkling!
{5} ring pop - so the other fingers aren't lonely!
{6} The Knot magazine - a definite must-have for any bride

The flutes are actually etched with a really pretty wave pattern, but my camera couldn't capture the details. They looked so classy!

I took the supplies, added tons of white tissue paper, a cute banner and added it to a big blue bin. Since Amanda and Justin like to entertain I was hoping they could use the bin for a future party, great to hold drinks, right?

I wrapped the entire basket up in cellophane and added a big white bow to make it as scene-stealing as possible. I wanted everyone in the restaurant to know it was a special day for my friend!

Congratulations, Amanda!

April 30, 2013

Etsy Loves

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to shop, much to my husband's chagrin. In stores, doesn't matter! I love a bargain, I love unique pieces and I love the feeling when I find the perfect gift for someone or the perfect item for me.

After planning my wedding last year I became addicted to Etsy. The creativity of the handmade and personalized items on the site are absolutely incredible! Plus I love to support small business.

The first item I ever ordered from Etsy was our burlap "thank you" banner that we used for our wedding thank you notes.

The banner was purchased from MirtilloShop. Despite the fact that this Etsy shop is in Italy, I was impressed with quick arrival of our banner. It was exactly what we wanted!

Another wedding related Etsy purchase was our return address stamp from ForYoo Designs. It was perfect for all of our thank you notes as well as our Christmas cards.

My most recent Etsy purchase was my monogrammed wine koozie. It was my very first purchase with my married monogram!

It was purchased from Emily of E. Olsen Designs. Working with Emily was absolutely incredible! She communicated with me through all steps of the process and I could not be more pleased with the results. I've only had my wine tote for a week or so now but I've already used it three times. With BYOB patio season upon us, I have a feeling this baby will be getting lots of use. Check out the E. Olsen Designs Facebook page, too! A monogrammed wine tote would make a great gift for a bride-to-be, right?

I have so many other items on my Etsy wish list - husband, if you're reading's a great place for gift ideas {hint, hint}!

I was not compensated in any way by any of these shop owners. I just really, really love Etsy and wanted to share my favorites with you!

January 12, 2013

Wedding | Why You Should Do A First Look

Up until the last few weeks before the wedding I was convinced Jason and I would not see one another prior to the ceremony. I was adamant about him seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle dunes to the altar designated ceremony area.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do first-look photos. I completely realize that they're not for everyone, but here are the reasons we chose to do them:

{reason 1} I didn't want everyone else to see me before Jason did. Of course my mom, Andrea and Anna all saw me as I was getting ready. And I had a special moment when my dad saw me, too. Other than that, though, I wanted Jason to have the opportunity to see my excitement prior to anyone else. After all, his opinion matters most!

{reason 2} I wanted the opportunity to spend a few minutes together, just the two of us, before the ceremony. Although it was a fun and exciting day that went by too quickly, it was also very stressful and I needed someone to help calm me down.

{reason 3} Doing these first look photos gave us the opportunity to get emotionally prepared for the ceremony. Having the chance to talk and see one another without the eyes of our guests looking at us was exactly what we needed to stay calm and excited. There was plenty of time for them to watch us later!

{reason 4} I wanted to have pictures of us doing the first look. Something to have and to cherish forever.

{reason 5} Doing the first look gave us the opportunity to take family pictures prior to the ceremony, which turned out great for us. With the freak storm that came through and delayed our ceremony by an hour we saved a lot of time by doing pictures together before the wedding.

It also helped that we had seen each other before the wedding because I was in full-on freakout mode when the rain came. It was the ONE THING I couldn't control that day and when it happened I felt lost. Having Jason there while we had to quickly figure out what to do was necessary that day. Maid and Matron of honor can only handle so much crazy.

Overall, I believe the choice to do first look pictures is something that should be decided by the bride and groom. There are convincing arguments either way, but I can honestly say that I am very happy I changed my mind and that we chose to do the first look. I could not be happier with how our photos turned out.

In the midst of a day that went by faster than I ever imagined it would, these few moments between just us were some of the most memorable and special.

5 Reasons Why You Should Do First Look Photos at Your Wedding

Should You Do First Look Photos At Your Wedding?

Why You Should Consider First Look Wedding Photos

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