Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wedding ... food

FOOD - it's a biggie!!
when deciding where to put your money, this is one of them!

We tossed around the idea of a plated dinner but sometimes that can take so long
So we decided to go with the buffet. And here comes another pet peeve...when dinner is announced, have you ever noticed how people get all lined up for dinner and then the line starts wrapping around tables, people have a hard time getting back to their seats and just all kinds of crowding.
So we decided we would have our DJ annouce 2 or 3 tables at a time to get their dinner.
We started with the bride, groom and wedding party.
Next we did parents and grandparents
Then aunts and uncles
then cousins and friends.
This worked out great for us. And we knew guest would be comfortable because they had already had some appetizers at the cocktail party.
And even though we did buffet, we still decided to have menu cards on the table.
A nice way to let your guest know what they will be eating and plus, they just look cute!

For dinner we had.....

Garden Inn Salad
Grilled Chicken Breast served with spiced rum butter and kiwi strawberry salsa
Crab stuffed flounder roulades
seasonal vegetables
roasted red potatoes
chocolate covered strawberries

we printed up our own cards and included cutting them in one of our DIY days.

(picture credits go to my wonderful niece Mallory Pendleton)

wedding tip ... don't skimp on the food!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding ... table names and cards

As in the previous post where I mentioned a pet peeve, another one of mine is the seating at receptions.
I've been to some where people rushed to get as close to the bride and groom
as possible without giving any consideration to the older family members
who rightfully should sit up front.
So we all agreed that we would do seating with name cards.

But instead of just listing the tables as numbers, we decided to name the tables after locations on the Outer Banks!
The bridal party tables were Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.
the bride and groom were Kitty Hawk, the location of the wedding.
the rest of the tables were..... Manteo, Hatteras, Pine Island, Corolla, Oregon Inlet, Buxton, Avon, Rodanthe and Ocracoke!
I think this just added another little personal touch.
We printed these on our printer, cut and then glued to heavy stock scrapbooking paper in one of the wedding colors.

For the name cards, we bought starfish and tied name cards to them with small twine.
After Jacquelyn and Bucky did their table assignments, then I just hand wrote them more of a personal touch.
Johnny made the sand tray that all of the starfish would stand up in.
we lined them up alphabetically so it would be easy for our guest to find their names!

We had this sitting in the foyer of the Pier House before you entered the main room

(photo credit to Aaron Williams)

(photo credit to my niece Mallory Pendleton)
wedding tip ...  we could have ordered pre-printed table number cards and printed name tags. We also could have ordered the sand tray. But I'll tell ya, we would have spent about 5 times what we paid to do it ourself. Plus, I like the more personal touch by doing it ourself......and we had fun!!
Again, pick and choose where your money goes!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding ... cocktail party

In helping Jacquelyn and Bucky plan the wedding, I tried to give them
advice on the flow of the wedding. I myself had some pet peeves I wanted to share with them.
One of them is that dreadful time period between the ceremony
and the reception.
the bridal party is having pictures done and the guest are kind of on their
own for a little bit.
I've been to weddings where you almost were at the point of boredom in waiting for the festivties to begin.
I've been to weddings where guest actually started in on the buffet before the bride and groom rude!

We decided that it was important for us to take care of our guest during that time period. So we decided on a cocktail party on the pier! The reception was in the Pier House that sits out on the pier but Jacquelyn did not want guest in there until right before their entrance. So having the cocktail party on the long part of the pier worked out great. Not only did our guest have drinks and good food, they had the awesome Atlantic ocean to look at!
We had beer and wine and then served appetizers butler style. We had Shrimp, Teriyaki chicken on a stick and spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms.

I never made it to the cocktail party...but I heard it was good :)

wedding tip ... remember I mentioned before pick and choose where to spend your money. Well, this is one of them. Don't skimp on drinks, food or keeping your guest happy.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding ... favors

Jacquelyn and Bucky always knew they wanted candy for their wedding
favors to guest
candles, bottle openers, koozies...all of those things are nice but
they LOVE candy
so that's what they wanted their guest to have.

They decided on little white pails filled with rock candy in the wedding colors
we ordered personalized stickers for the pails and little drink umbrellas to add
to the beach theme
then we printed on our printer the cute little thank you tags

We had 2 DIY days at our house and invited the bridemaids, Bucky's mom and
my nieces to come over and help put all of the wedding things together.
it was a HUGE help

wedding tip ... google google google!! It took us awhile to find the best prices on exactly what they wanted but it sure was worth it! And if anyone out there is getting ready to plan a wedding, let me know and I'll give you some good internet sites!

and a bonus tip ... have DIY days!!! We sure had a lot of fun. I made a bunch of food, added the extra sections to the dining room table and we all gathered around and worked on different projects. And of course, we were loud and laughing the whole time!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weddings ... speeches

Speeches at the engagement party, the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception are very special.
they also cause people to worry, get nervous and re-do and re-do their speech!

As mother of the bride, the only speech I gave was at the engagement party.
I do not normally like to speak in front of a group of people but I looked forward to my speech.....though nervous!
I just wanted it to be special to Jacquelyn and Bucky

below is what I said.......

I want to first thank everyone for coming out to celebrate the engagement of Jacquelyn and Bucky and to join our families together.
Bucky has been around our house a long time...yes, a very long time!
At one point we wondered if he would ever leave ... and he didn't but we are glad.
Because it was then during Jacquelyn's surgeries that I witnessed a true love story.
And we feel so honored that Bucky will now be an "official member of our family.
And Jacquelyn, well, what can we say ... you are such a joy to our family and you deserve every bit of happiness that you have found with Bucky.
When children find true love, parents find true joy because it's all we ever want for our children.
So here's to your joy and our's from this day forward!

so then Johnny had to give the father of the bride speech at the wedding reception
and believe me..he was nervous!!
but he did great
here is what he said but he also made some side comments too that I can't really remember.

On behalf of Diane and myself, we would like to thank everyone for coming and sharing in Bucky and Jacquelyn's special day.
We would also like to welcome Lynn and Tom, Gail and Buck to the family and to a continuing and growing friendship.

As usual, Jacquelyn looks beautiful but even more beautiful today in her wedding gown and smile.

When Jacquelyn was about 6, I remember her telling Diane and I that she would never marry but would need someone to do all of the husband things. We said like what and she immediately said "Like moving refrigerators". So Bucky, here's to moving refrigerators!

I don't know if many fathers can sincerly say at their daughters wedding that they are very happy with the choice their daughter has made but I know that I can. Bucky is a good and thoughtful man and I know he loves my daughter with all of his heart and will take care of her. Your daughter being safe and happy is a fathers biggest concern.
Jacquelyn, like I said, you are always beautiful and especially beautiful today. Your mother and I are proud of you. Bucky, even though you have been a part of the family for a long time, I want to officially welcome you.
I'm sure that everyone here would like to join me in wishing you both a long and healthy future together.

I would like to recite a quote that Mark Twain wrote ...."No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century"
I am lucky enough to have experienced such a marriage. And I can only wish the same for Jacquelyn and Bucky. So please join me in raising your glass in a toast to the new Mr. and Mrs Mawyer!

The maid of honor also makes a speech at the reception. Our oldest daughter Nicole was her sisters maid of honor and below is her speech ....she also did a fabulous job!

As most of you know, I am Jacquelyn's older (and favorite) sister. I would like to first thank you all for making this trip to the Outer Banks. It means a lot to our family. Second, I want to thank you Jacquelyn for letting me be a part of your big day. I am honored to be your maid of honor but even more so, your sister.
Jacquelyn, when you were born, mom said I adored you. She said I wanted to hold you and feed you and kiss you every chance I got. But after a week, I wanted them to return you! Although, as we got older, I was glad they didn't return you. You started to come in handy and really, you weren't that annoying. You were good for playing Barbies and games. I realized you actually enjoyed letting me put crazy dress up clothes on you and play house, so you were pretty good entertainment. I even liked it when you came into my room and sat with me when I was sad, even though I told you to go away.

As we got older we didn't play Barbies or house anymore but we were still sisters and nothing could ever change that. And yes, I'm glad we kept you!. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to share in the excitement of your engagement, plan your bridal shower and have so much fun dress shopping nor have the honor of proudly calling you my sister ... the best one I could ask for. You've always been there for me when I needed someone and listened to me even if you do think I talk too much!

Congratulations little sister and thank you mom and dad for not listening to me when I was little.

And to Bucky ....  I know you're the perfect man for my sister because I have never seen her so happy as she has been these past 7 years. I want to welcome you to our family and say I am proud to officially call you my brother in law. I'd like to propose a toast to my sister Jacquelyn and her new husband Bucky. Here's to true love!

So those were our speeches. We didn't have to give any at the rehearsal dinner as that was up to the grooms parents...and they were wonderful too but I don't have them.

so this wedding tip ... it's ok to be nervous, most people are. But really take the time to work on it and make it special for the bride and groom. It really is something that both of them will cherish for years.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wedding ... water bottles

Personalized water bottles are pretty popular at weddings.
some people do bottles of wine

Since Jacquelyn and Bucky's wedding was on the beach, in June, we figured
a cold bottle of water would be perfect.
so we bought a large galvanized bucket from Lowes and had it sitting at the top
of the steps before you walked down to the beach, filled with ice and
some cute little water bottles!

So along with the guest having a program fan, they also had some cold water!
Jacquelyn and Bucky really wanted their guest to be comfortable!

wedding tip ... keep in mind your guest comfort. They will remember...and they will appreciate it!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Wedding ... well wishes

The details of weddings are so much fun!
you just didn't have that 32 years ago when I got married. So I really enjoyed working on all of this with Jacquelyn and Bucky.
Jacquelyn had such great ideas and I was very honored to help her carry them out.

One very cute idea was the well wishes for the couple.
She actually saw this idea in a wedding book and since the wedding was going to be on the beach, we thought it worked great. You know, like a "message in a bottle".

so we took a tall glass cylinder and wrapped one of their water bottle labels around it
we had a wooden tray with sand, notecards and pens
then added the following sign ....

and here's the cylinder filled with well wishes
not a good picture at all but I promise once we get the photographers pictures back, I'll post those.

this is what it looked like.......but we painted the tray white and we had white sand in it. looked very cute

so this wedding tip ... browse wedding magazines and internet sites before deciding on your details.  It is so easy to fall in love with all of the ideas. there is sooooo much out there so take your time and find what is just right for your wedding. Compile your list of ideas as you go along and then when you are all googled out (haha) sit down and look at all of the ideas.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wedding ... guest list

The very first thing we all started working on was the guest list.
Bucky requested from his family their list
and we began working on ours.

Coming up with the guest list is not as easy as many might think. The venue that Jacquelyn and Bucky had picked out for the reception limited us on how many we could invite. So we went by the rule of besides close family and their close friends, you had to have known the bride or groom a
long time and / or played a significant part in their life.

And since the wedding was out of state, we just didn't know how many people
would be willling / able to travel.
The venue could hold 150 but would be tight
and 125 to be comfortable.
We ended up inviting 155 and 122 traveled to the beach.
It's hard to even explain how much that meant to us that people
traveled out of town to share this day!

One of the best things we did was to make up a master list of guest in an Excel spreadsheet.
We had a column for name and address, number of guest from that household, whether invited to the engagement party, wedding, invitation, table assignment and relationship to the bride and groom. 
This list became our main wedding reference sheet. We used this over and over again and really depended on it.
below is our sheet so marked up! but that shows how much we really used it. I have blurred out addresses for privacy.
we also printed up after the engagement party, I then deleted that column.

and my wedding tip .... make one of these! was one of the best things we did to stay organized!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wedding ... music

I think picking out the music was probably one of the hardest parts for Jacquelyn
her and Bucky LOVE music so it was an important element of the ceremony
and each song picked had a special meaning for them

and they did not want to go with the traditional songs

listed below is their music
Bucky has promised his mom and I that he will burn us a CD ... yeah!

all songs were the instrumental version

The prelude
Somewhere over the rainbow - E Y Harburg
Storybook Love - The Princess Bride theme
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers

for the seating of the Grandparents and parents
Can you feel the love tonight - Elton John

The bridesmaid processional
Forrest Gump theme song - Alan Silvestri
(Forrest Gump is Bucky's favorite movie)

Brides processional
Your Song - Elton John

Sand Ceremony
Hallelujah - Vitamin String Quartet

Is This Love - Bob Marley

Wonderful tonight - Eric Claption by Vitamin String Quartet
I don't want to miss a thing - Aerosmith by Vitamin String Quartet

I thought all of the music was beautiful
and I loved that they strayed from tradition

My wedding tip for today - don't feel that you have to go with the traditional tunes for your wedding. Pick your favorite songs that have meaning to you. That is what will make your ceremony different and special to you. Note Jacquelyn did not use the traditional bridal march....she said everyone does that. She wanted hers to be different.
So now when I hear "Your Song" by Elton John, I will remember my daughter walking down the aisle......sweet!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wedding ... signs

Jacquelyn and Bucky's wedding was on the beach at Kitty Hawk, NC
you had to walk out on the pier to get to the steps that took you down
to the beach area.

we had been seeing wooden signs that are popular right now directing your guest
to the reception, ceremony or just happy thoughts

so we searched and good grief.....found them for prices starting at $95!
as I have said before...pick and choose where you spend your money
and a wooden sign was not one of them

So Johnny and I went to Lowes and bought a fence picket and a nice piece of wood

Johnny cut the signs and smoothed out the edges
then we spray painted purple, one white and one blue
we spray painted the fence picket black

then Jake and I both took turns trying to hand paint the wording
no just wasn't looking right
a friend of ours makes vinyl lettering so we hired her to make our wording
then glued on a few starfish, tied some ribbon and for less than
$30 we had a beautiful sign for Jacquelyn and Bucky!
we stuck it in the sand at the beginning of the pier

My wedding tip for today ... don't underestimate what you can make for the wedding that adds personality and sweet details. If you're not crafty, ask a friend because believe me, everyone loves helping with weddings!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Wedding ... wedding gown

Before I start this post, I will say this right up front
I am not a snob
I buy desinger clothes only if the price is good!
I am the first to hit the sale racks

with that being said......we started shopping for a dress
Jacquelyn did not want an off the rack dress
she did not want to shop the chain bridal shops and have a cookie cutter dress
she wanted a designer gown and she wanted it to look good

my opinion was....I agreed but it had to be in our budget or close to it.
I mean afterall, I was only going to see my daughter in a wedding gown once
and I wanted her to look beautiful.

so off we went to a tiny little town that had a very small bridal shop
and on our first shopping trip we found it
she had actually narrowed it down to about 20!! haha
but they had the most wonderful staff that really knows how to work with you
to come up with the dress of your dreams

She ended up with a Casablanca couture gown made of Duchesse silk satin with Swarovski crystals and crystal sequins, pearls and beaded flower appliques. Neckline had one shoulder strap and bodice was ruched going into a fit and flare silhouette. It had the low back and covered tiny buttons all the way up.

Going with a Casablanca gown was the perfect choice for Jacquelyn. She's a tiny little thing and short, so having her gown made for her was good. Casablanca gowns are made to order one at a time.......they do not mass produce. It took about 5 months to get it in and then 2 fittings.

and they are reasonably priced!

here are some pics I took of it but once we receive the photos from the professional photographer, I'll post those. And I noticed when I posted the pics, I did not include the shoulder strap, it was folded down in the front...oh well

and this is what your gown will look like after lots of dancing!!

one more note ... I know you often see wedding pictures where the photographer photographs the wedding gown hanging. A lot of the times I notice they are just hung on an ordinary hanger. You can order personalized hangers and satin hangers and they just look so much better than a plastic hanger. We searched, never found one that Jacquelyn really liked so we bought a velvet hanger and tied a starfish on to it. I think it turned out nice.

my wedding tip for this post ... don't be afraid to look at the designer gowns, you may be surprised by the price...we were! And buy a pretty hanger for your dress :)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wedding ... programs

We did debate back and forth about wedding programs
we didn't want to bog people down with too much to carry
especially since it was outside on the beach
but yet Jacquelyn wanted folks to know the order of the ceremony
and the titles to the music

ordering programs is almost as expensive as ordering the invitations
so we decided on a DIY project

there are many templates out there for programs
and Jacquelyn wanted to make hers into fans in case it was super hot on the beach

we thought about buying punches to scallop the top but in the end
loved the simplicity of the square paper
we used a heavy cardstock, 110 lb so they would stand and actually
cool you off!

we think they turned out great
printed on our own printer, then sprayed with adhesive
laid the handle down and folded the paper over
tie a ribbon!

Wedding program tip ..... decide where is most important to spend your money! You can spend lots on custom printed programs or have fun with family and friends and make your own. We had other places we wanted to spend money so making our own fans was the best choice for us

tomorrow ... the wedding gown


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wedding ... colors

Jacquelyn and Bucky had an idea of the colors they wanted
it was a toss up of Navy blue / yellow OR purple / carribbean blue
I was so secretly hoping for the navy / yellow combo....2 of my favorites
but they went with the other
and it turned out beautiful

but wasn't easy to work with

for example .... Geoffrey Beane ties!
their carribbean blue comes in 3 different shades
so if you get the store to order them, you may have 3 matches or you may not
we ended up buying ties from Richmond and San Antonio to only end
up returning them!

we used lots and lots of ribbon
so finding the correct shade of blue again turned out to be a bit difficult
and purple wasn't always easy either... we were trying to stay away
from the "grape" purple. And seriously, who knew there were so many shades!

we were trying to match up jewerly, rock candy, ribbons, paper lanterns and flowers
so it was quite the task but doable!
it just took a lot of extra work

My color tip ....... try to stick with the primary colors or the basic pastels. When you vary too much, you will spend a lot of time ordering and returning!

tomorrow ... wedding programs


Friday, June 17, 2011

Wedding ... invitations

You would think ordering invitations would be easy
but it's not. I think one of the reasons is because there are just too
many choices!

Jacquelyn and Bucky knew from the beginning that they wanted a beach wedding
but not the "shorts / bathing suit, pull up a beach chair" kind of wedding
they wanted a more traditional, "fancy" beach wedding
so that was their starting point
they wanted their invitations to be a bit more formal but with a simple beach flair

we searched everywhere......believe me, I think we looked at every single
invitation site on the internet
and came up with nothing!
there was one we found but they wouldn't do it in the size we wanted
we were at the point of settling for something they didn't really want

then along came Chloe! I've been following Chloe's blog for about 4 yrs and she lives right here in Richmond but we had never met.
Then one day on Facebook, she noted that she was now offering wedding invitations.
I emailed her immediatley! We had not entertained the idea of custom invitations due to the price. But decided to meet with Chloe and see what we could come up with.
And wow! Chloe came up with a few for us to look at, Jacquelyn and Bucky tweaked them a little and then........the perfect invitation!
and at a very fair price! Plus I got to meet a fellow blogger....

So my invitation tip .... don't rule out custom invitations!

then the next hurdle was stamps!
I thought it would be easy to just walk in the post office and get the wedding stamps
but no......we went to several and found out that when the wedding stamps come in
they sell out right away.
So we went to the post office website to order them and they were all on back order except the 64 cent ones.......which we didn't need.
So we went with the "Love" stamp and since the flower was purple, one of the wedding colors, we figured that was a good choice.

My stamp tip .... order your wedding stamps when you order your invitations. That way you will be ensured to get them on time!

please check out Chloe....she does great work and hand draws all of her creations
plus, she is a really great person and soooo easy to work with!

also check her out on Facebook

tomorrows post .... colors!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have been a bit MIA lately
all due to the wedding!
what fun
and I learned so much about planning a wedding

1. set a budget and then add half of that amount to it
2. read all of the fine print in contracts
3. have a back up plan for EVERYTHING
4. have a master list of will refer to this list constantly
5. the 3 weeks prior to the wedding is the busiest no matter how long you have been planning

I am going to post a bunch about the wedding since I was unable to share much about it during the planning
Jacquelyn always wanted everything kept secret so the guest would be surprised
and I'm glad we did

so look for my upcoming wedding post
and I'll put in some pointers for anyone planning a wedding

and have you ever seen a more beautiful bride!