Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 4th ...

July 4th we went down to the Chesapeake Bay to spend
the long holiday weekend with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend

and wow......we had so much fun!!

The Chesapeake Bay is just so beautiful ....

But this time of the year with the heat, it's full of stinging nettles ...yuck!
Lucky for all of us, they have a super nice pool

also two boats to take out for cruising or fishing

and such a beautiful home

they call their river home "This is It"
and yes it is!! What a great place to spend weekends in the summer

this porch side is the side that faces the water
so relaxing.......


Saturday, July 30, 2011

After the wedding ...

I have to admit that it is a bit of a let down after the wedding

you're just so busy planning, shopping, getting together, traveling to the beach that when it's over, it's a little sad

Jacquelyn and Bucky's reception was so much fun that Johnny said
he wishes he could throw that kind of party
every month!
of course he didn't want the price tag that comes with that...haha

the other sad part is our families from Georgia and Texas left
and we miss them so much

and since we had no other activities planned, it was great to think
about going down to the beach and just RELAX
no appts with vendors
just an appt with the surf and the sand!

we went down there for an extra long weekend with my
sister and her husband
we wanted to treat them to a fun weekend
as a thank you for everything they did for us for the wedding

we went wandering around a bit while down there
here's the road to no where
a 5 1/2 mile long bridge
just to see nothing! haha

then we went over to our favorite little "small town USA"
Manteo, NC
they were having a Farmers Market ... fun!

we hung out on a the beach a lot .... and drank beer ... a lot

there was a motorcycle / car accident in front of our condo
that's about as much excitement as you will ever see in the OBX

We also visited Jennettes Pier while there
We spent a lot of time there through out the years
and have some really great memories
But Hurrican Isabel took it out a few years back
it's now re-built and beautiful

mostly, we just enjoyed relaxing


Friday, July 29, 2011

Sunsets ...

Sunsets are the most the most beautiful to photograph

I was always taught to put the sun behind
you when you took a picture

then I started taking photography classes
and you learn
to shoot right into them!!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wedding ... honeymoon

So the last part of the wedding festivities is the honeymoon!

Jacquelyn and Bucky went to Turks and Caicos........ahhhhh!!

they had never traveled out of the country before so they were not
real sure on how to get transportation around the island as they did not
want to rent a car

So I called the resort on Sunday after the wedding to inquire.
They let me know what to tell them and then asked for the names so they could
just pull up the reservation.
I told them they were on their honeymoon, which the resort did not know!
the resort assured me that they would be taking extra special care with them!!
I did not tell Jacquelyn and Bucky this part

So they arrive at the resort and they were upgraded to a suite
and not just a regular suite but a 1500 sq ft suite! WOW

they had food, flowers and champagne and were treated very special all
week long.

And they had a blast!!
They thought I was picking them up from the airport but Johnny, Bucky's mom and stepdad Tom and Lynne, and their best friends Melissa and Joe came along
we made signs to welcome them back........haha
I know, kind of child like but we just thought it would be fun to welcome them back that way.

and here they are returning.....

so that's it....the weddings done, the honeymoon is done
and my wedding post are done!

and I hope you enjoyed them. My main reason for doing these was to
document for Jacquelyn and Bucky.
I'll  have all of these post printed into a little book for them so
they'll never forget.

and I do have one more wedding tip ..... always tell the hotel or resort
that you're on your honeymoon!!! These places love honeymooners so they
are always willing to take the extra step and do nice things.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wedding ... wedding day coordinator

the very best thing Jacquelyn and I did for this wedding was
to ask my sister Vickie to be our wedding day coordinator

I'm not sure we could have pulled it off without her
Vickie is my older sister (by only 17 months)
and she's always liked being in know, of us kids! haha

so I just knew that if she was in charge of the day, everything would come together
just as Jacquelyn and Bucky envisioned

One thing Jacquelyn worried about was how could someone pull off what she saw in her head as her wedding.
I assured her we would explain all details to Vickie

So in addition to Vickie being at all of our DIY days, we also had a
sit down a week before the wedding
it was during this meeting that Jacquelyn went through their wedding, step by step
we covered every aspect of each step and Vickie had tons of questions

But this is how we knew that Vickie would see Jacquelyn's vision
and she did!

It brought tears to my sisters eyes when at the reception
Jacquelyn told her Aunt Vickie "You saw my vision"
just look at her at the top of the steps during rehearsal....with her notebook
she was born to do this stuff!!

and here's my beautiful sister Vickie and her wonderful husband Scott

And she really knew how to take charge......she put Scott to work right away
he set up the beach along with help from Aaron Williams, one the bridesmaids boyfriends
they hung the lanterns and really, I don't know what else they did....
but I know they were a huge help to Vickie
so to all of you....THANK YOU!!!

wedding tip.....get someone, family member, hire someone....just get someone to take charge of the day. We did not hire a wedding planner as Jacquelyn and I wanted to do all of that, plus we had other places to spend our money. But DO have someone in charge of the day!!
especially for the bride and mother of the's a day to enjoy and relax not to be stressing over hanging lanterns and where flowers go!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wedding ... budget

this is the worst part of the planning!
But you have to do it......and you have to do it as the very first step!

this is how Jacquelyn, Johnny and I approached it

Johnny and I talked with Jacquelyn and Bucky about the kind of wedding they wanted
then I did a little research around each component of the wedding
trying to come up with what I thought the dollar amount would be
we then listed it all by line item and presented it to Johnny

he was shocked, he recovered...then he was cool ....and in the end, he wanted Jacquelyn
and Bucky to have the wedding of their dreams.

We tried very hard to stick with that budget.
for example, say we had budgeted $500 for something and the actual cost
was going to be $800
then we tried to take $300 from somewhere else.....or instead of buying something
pre-made, we made it ourself.
We were constantly doing trade offs.
As I have said in previous post, choose where to spend the big money
We ended up doing a lot of DIY stuff
we had 2 DIY days set aside with the bridal party and some family
these days were fun, productive and I wished we could still have them!! haha

wedding tip for today.......the secret that no one will tell you
But I will
take your budget total
cut it in half
take that half amount and add it to your budget total
and that my what you will spend!!

and I have no pictures for this post.......well, guess I could have posted
a picture of Johnny's empty wallet! ha!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Wedding ... staying organzied

I can't stress enough how important it is to stay organized

as organized as I thought I was, there were a few times I felt
very discombobulated!!
Jacquelyn was depending on me to keep all of the contracts, websites, receipts, ideas, etc....everything together.
That way we could both put our hands on things.

we went down to the wire on finding the chair sashes and when we did find them just a couple of weeks before the wedding, I ordered them. But I failed to print out the receipt
then we couldn't remember who we ended up ordering from since we had
looked at what felt like 100 websites!!
Jacquelyn's best friend Melissa came through for us......she had written it down!

One thing we did that worked great was to buy these clear folders from Staples
I had a folder for every Hilton, gown, food, guest list, florist, photographer, beach rentals, dj, decorations and misc.
this way it was easy to pull it right out when needed

I also kept a notebook for us to keep appts and notes in.
as we thought of things, we could keep a running list

wedding tip for today .... STAY ORGANIZED!!
it will make the wedding planning so much easier.
and it's easy to stay organized when you have months to go but the final 4 weeks before the wedding, it's easy to stray. Those weeks will be better if you stay on top of it.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wedding ... order of events

No matter who you work with on a it a coordinator, hotel, other venue, you have to put together a timeline of the events.

Jacquelyn and Bucky had their rehearsal on Friday before the wedding from 4:00 to 4:45
the rehearsal dinner was at 7:00 so this gave everyone
plenty of time to shower and get dressed for the dinner.

then the timeline for the day of the wedding went as follows....

9:00 breakfast in parents room for wedding party
11:00 hair and make up appts start at the spa
3:30 back to the hotel
4:00 photographer arrives for getting ready photos
5:30 ceremony
6:00 cocktail party
6:45 guest start entering the Pier House
7:00 announcements of bridal party and new Mr & Mrs!
7:05 First dance
7:10 parental dances
7:30 dinner served
8:30 Cake cutting and toast (Father of the bride, best man and maid of honor)
9:00 Bouquet and garter toss
9:30 dancing
11:00 late night snack served
12:00 reception ends

we only had 2 problems with our schedule
first, the minister was in a fender bender accident on the way to the ceremony
so we were delayed by 30 min

second, the light on the beach by 6:30 was so wonderful, the photographer
had a hard time passing it up so he kept the wedding party a little longer
taking pictures. Which was TOTALLY fine with me!!

we eventually got back on schedule so all was good.

Look at the picture above......this is on Friday before the wedding
that is the smoke moving up the beach road from the wildfire that is still
burning in NC
we were sooooo lucky that the winds shifted on Saturday and the smoke did
not hit the beach until we were all inside at the reception!!

here's Johnny walking Jacquelyn down the aisle during rehearsal

Bucky looks pretty excited at the rehearsal :)
and see that speck in the sky to the right, that's a piece of dust on the sensor in my camera.....grrrrr!
I need to take it to get cleaned but haven't really had the time!

wedding tip for this post ..... have a good schedule but one that will allow for flexibilty.
even though the minister was late, it worked out fine for us.
Most receptions are 4 hours long.....we had reserved the Pier House for an
extra hour. And as it turned out, that was a smart decision on our part!!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wedding ... cake

Splurge on the cake!
everyone loves cake so go for it

and today's wedding cakes are just so different

Jacquelyn and Bucky did a cake tasting last year and wow, it was so hard to choose

they ended up doing 2 tiers of chocolate eclair and 2 tiers of key lime

and I had both!! haha....they were so good.
they had purple ribbon around the cake
and purple delphinum flowers. Well, I thought they were purple
delphinums but in the pictures they look blue!

(photo credit Aaron Williams)

I know it looks like the cake is leaning but it's not
the Pier House is old....and the floor leans a bit
so the table was actually leaning

And I'll just say....I was a bit shocked by how much wedding cakes cost
but here's your tip

it's soooooo worth the money
the cake was so good, everyone enjoyed it and the baker we
purchased from had already packaged their one year anniversary
top tier prior to the wedding.
packaged so that it will taste just as good as their wedding day!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding ... response cards

Since pretty much everything you do in planning and purchasing for the wedding
is based on headcount, those precious response cards
are pretty dang important!

It is perfectly proper to call people who have not responded by the date
given on the card.
And we had to call quite a few.

Because you are at a standstill when you don't have your headcount.
you need it for food, chairs, favors and so much more!
We also made sure that our invites were out early enough that
we would have our headcount 8 wks prior to the wedding.
It almost worked..

One tip we were told was to number the back of the response card as sometimes
you will receive them back with no names!
so working from our master guest list, we numbered our cards in small pencil on the back to correspond with a name on the guest list.

this way, if one comes back with no name, all we had to do was look at the number on the back to see who it was.
But alas, all of ours came back with names!

and here's another thing....I've responded to many RSVP cards but I've never thought to write a note on one. Well Jacquelyn and Bucky recv'd a few with personal notes. And they loved them. And what a treasure to put with all of their wedding goodies. The next time I receive an invitation, I'll remember to write just a little "looking forward to it" note on the RSVP card.

I took all of her cards and tied them up with ribbon so she'll always have them!

wedding tip .... just as I said, number the back of your cards in pencil down in a lower corner and put the corresponding number by the person's name on your list where the invite is going. Hopefully, you'll not receive one without a name but you never know so just in case!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding ... ceremony decorations

Usually for a church wedding you have alter flowers and palms
and then maybe some flowers or something on a few of the pews
and candles
lots and lots of candles

but we were on the beach and as much as the ocean is the most beautiful
decoration of all, Jacquelyn and Bucky wanted to add some small touches here and there

so we found some beautiful patina finished lanterns and we had 6 for the path from the steps to the chairs
we tied ribbons on the top and put in the flameless candles as we knew real candles would not stay lit.

then for the chairs, one of the bridesmaids, Kayla, at our DIY day made starfish decorations with ribbons and rope and then used twine to tie them to the chairs.
they turned out beautiful

In the picture below you can see the "hoopa" which is used for the alter. Jacquelyn just wanted a simple linen cloth across the top.
we then tied ribbons and purple wire balls to the top corner

the picture below shows the pier where the cocktail party was
and the Pier House where the reception was held

we also had white flower balls made for 2 shepherds hooks at the front of the seating but they were too heavy for the hooks so we ended up hanging
them from the first 2 chairs
and then one of them ended up on the bride and grooms table since we were missing
their centerpiece....see flower post!

wedding tip ... even though it is outside and mother nature is the best decorations, adding a few simple elements will really add to the overall feel of the ceremony


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wedding ... photographer

Now you know this topic is near and dear to my heart
Photographs mean the world to me
but not just regular photos
I love photographs that "speak"
photographs that you can look at and know what that person is feeling
it's what I strive for in my own pictures
I catch it sometimes and sometimes I do not
it was important for me to have a photographer that could not just capture the moment
but capture the feelings of the day

I wanted an excellent photographer for Jacquelyn's wedding
She had 2 picked out
I adored both of their work
We contacted the first one and even though I think this is another piece that you spend good money on, I couldn't spend that kind of money!
so far off our!
he understood and made a recommendation for us
and the recommendation just happened to be our 2nd choice!
and he had shot his wedding!!

so we were feeling really good about this
our meeting with him went great
he would also have a 2nd shooter which is always comforting
and now we wait..
don't know how long it will take to get the pictures but I know
they will be good
and I'll be ready to share with all of you when I can

wedding tip ... you know it.....HIRE THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER THAT YOU CAN AFFORD!! This is one of the things to spend the money on :)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wedding ... DJ

here's another item to spend good money on
get a good DJ
he will make or break your reception
I repeat.....he WILL make or break your reception!!

haven't you ever been to one of those receptions where you have an old guy...and I can say that because I'm old
anyway, he's old, or maybe even middle aged and he makes those corny jokes
you know the ones, they are kind of funny the first couple of times but then
you just really get tired of them!
and you give him a kick butt playlist but it's not really his style of music so
he plays what he wants.
this happens all of the time!

When Jacquelyn started seaching for a DJ for their wedding, she had to depend on reviews that other brides had written since it was out of town.
and the name that kept popping up with excellent reviews was DJ Bruce!
mostly the reviews said.....if anyone can get people on the dance floor, it's Bruce!

So that's who we went with
and our dance floor stayed packed the entire night.....all the way up to midnight!!
and really, he didn't do much talking...very little as a matter of fact.
but he played the right music and somehow it just worked
everyone was dancing.
My Johnny boy danced more than I have seen him dance in 32 years!!
so you know that's a good DJ
also, as many of my regular readers know, my mom and dad have had some major health issues over the past year. Well look below.....even my mom and dad were dancing the night away and having such a great time!

my wedding tip for this post ..... spend the money and get the best DJ you can!!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Wedding ... decorations

Decorations are just fun
it's so cool to come up with so many different ideas
Jacquelyn had a vision and she has let us know that her vision was seen!

as you walked into the Pier House after going through the foyer
there was a skinny table to the left that would be used for gifts
so we decided to come up with some pictures of the happy couple to hang up
We included a picture right after they became engaged, a collage of old pics of them through their years of dating, and then a recent one. We also bought a J and a B from Michaels and spray painted those to hang with the pictures.

We purchased a wire bird cage for the cards. You can buy these fabric covered boxes but that just wasn't Jacquelyn's style.
I found a great site for ordering the bird cage and it came with a little patina on it so it looked just right for the Pier House.

This picture was taken before the party got started....
that table quickly filled up with gifts after the guest starting coming in!

just beyond the gift table was the table for the grooms cake
As you can see from the picture below, we hung paper lanterns from the ceiling using fishing line. We wanted it to look like they were floating. We hung 47 lanterns!

you can also see in the picture above that we wrapped the wooden post with tulle...this gave it a little bit of a softer look

let's talk about those chair sashes! The Hilton rents their sashes for $1.00 each but they did not have purple. So we talked to the rental company that we rented the chairs for the beach and they had a price of $3.85 each. YES, you read that right! so multiply that by 122 chairs and that's a lot of money. So we decided to turn to google...and found  satin purple chair sashes for $1.18 each! And then the Hilton turned around and bought them from yeah!
(photo credits to my niece Mallory Pendleton and friend Aaron Williams)

wedding tip - shop around because you can find some great deals. And if the website says "wholesale" go for it. I bought off of 2 sites that said that and I never had to put in a tax id obviously they do sell to the public. We also bought the ribbon that criss crossed on the tables from a wholesale place.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wedding ... engagement party

I know I'm a little out of order here!

But I wanted to touch base on this one more time

We had the engagement party back in September



I am really glad we had it

it allowed both sides of the family to meet and have some time together.

it made the wedding and reception more fun and relaxed since everyone already had met

we did not have to go through lots of introductions


wedding tip ... most def have an engagement party! It's fun, you get to make a speech and everyone gets to meet...which makes the wedding even more relaxed! And it's just a great way to start all of the festivities that surrounds the engagement and wedding.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wedding ... flowers

Flowers are such a beautiful part of the wedding
I think Jacquelyn loves flowers as much as I do!

A lot of brides go with white bouquets but Jacquelyn wanted contrast with her gown and flowers and the same for the bridal party
So for her bouquet, she had white lilies, blue orchids, purple delphinium and then some smaller flowers that were mainly blue and purple

see the white hanging from the bouquet .... that is the baby bonnet that she wore home from the hospital when she was born (her something old)

the bridesmaids had bouquets of white hydrangea along with some other small white flowers. The florist was supposed to add some purple and blue lisianthis and delphiniums but here lies one of the mistakes they made.

the flower girl wore a halo of purple alstromeria and white baby's breath.
she carried a metal pail with starfish and ribbons and it contained
purple and blue petal buds from the delphinium

the groom had blue dendrobium on a skinny starfish

the groomsmen wore fuschia denro with blue delphiniums

we had 3 long stem calla lillies in remembrance of grandparents no longer with us

the centerpieces for the tables were square vases wrapped in purple and blue ribbon
they contained blue hydrangea, blue and purple delphinium and sea holly.

We dealt with a lot of vendors and I can say I was completly satisfied with all of them except the florist. We did not receive the centerpiece for the bride and grooms table and the florist has been in dispute with us.
That is not to say the flowers were not beautiful.....they did an outstanding job on them!
But they messed up and they do not see where they are at fault...It is at the point of just saying forget it!
and I will not name names BUT.....if you're planning a wedding in the Outer Banks, let me know and I'll tell you which florist to avoid! 

wedding tip ....  review with the florist over and over and over and over!! haha