Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Bridal Portraits

Bridal Portraits
The Ford Plantation - Richmond Hill, Georgia
August 28, 2011

True Story: I was so up and down on whether or not I wanted bridal portriats." Do I really want this many pictures of just me? No, I don't. I'd much rather Aaron be in them." That's what my answer was when I was asked, are you doing portraits? Also, I didn't want to pay a fortune for pictures of just myself. I just didn't see it happening. As time got closer, I started questionion myself, Do I want these? You can NEVER do this again. So... when talking to my best friend, Danielle {aka my maid of honor} back in July, we were discussing what I would want if this happened. "I would want a Southern Belle look with old houses." Then we ran into issues with my dress needing more time with the busseling & such so in my mind I canceled portraits out. There was just no time. The Thursday before Dani called me and said "I have a crazy surprise for you so get ready." She then told me that we had an appointment to take pictures that Sunday, bridal portraits were gonna happen....  at.the.Ford Plantation. I was confused yet SO excited. I grew up very close to this plantation and know it's NOT easy to get in. Actually, you can't get in unless you have the hook up OR pay a whole load of $$$. Well she got the hook up.
With only F.I.V.E days before my wedding day... this happened!

The Main House = only one area of this place. We weren't aloud inside, but... we did  & we could be there for as long as we wanted. :)

The Bible & Handkerchief pictured is a family tradition. My grandmother was given this when she was four years old on communion day by her mother. All of the woman in my family has carried these two items on their wedding day. All of our names & wedding date are written inside the bible. Also, my wedding shoes & my "throw away" {handmade} bouquet. 

This was my original hair piece I purchased made at the beginning of my planning, however decided not to wear it on my wedding day. Loved it but chose another look. However, I wanted to use it in my portraits so I could have the best of both & never had to say these words "I wish I would have..." 

The girls had me doing all sorts of poses & doing everything!
It was so much fun!

At the end of the day {3 hours}, I was exhausted. We all were. However I was so happy I decided to do these because if I ever felt like a princess or a character in a movie... I did this day.
If any of you ever question whether or not to take bridal portraits DO IT. It's worth the time & money..
even though the best part about this... is my photographer did not take these.
Danielle's mother did, all 295. Wow, right? Yes she did with just her regular canon camera.

I did my own make-up, my own hair, & no professional photographer.
It was just a day with my mom, my best friend, & Mrs. W {who is like a second mom}
& it was a day I will never forget and I never felt so comfortable. I don't think I could have done some of the poses I did and feel relaxed as I did.

It was the BEST day with the BEST people at the BEST location!
{maybe one day I can post more. I didn't want to overload}

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

{Re-CAP} Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner
{go here to see rehearsal practice}

Hosts: P & K Drew {my in-laws}
Where: The Mill House, Statesboro Georgia
What: Mrs. K worked very hard to make this perfect.
This restaurant has a huge variety of entrees therefore Mrs. K chose
two of every category of dishes and had The Mill House personalize
a menu for each person {62} who was taken part.
Pasta, Steak, Chicken, or Pork - everyone was served a salad & then each couple
or single had one choice of appetizer. Crazy! It was so nice. So nice that I peppered my salad and ate for shrimp out of my Shrimp Alfredo and then spent the rest of the night
talking to everyone. So nice that Aaron wore his meal down his pants leg. {you'll see in the pictures} On top of that, they had an private bar set up.

Everything was perfect!
{Pictures were taken by a wonderful friend, Shanna}

The Gals + some
1} Maid of Honor, Danielle & boyfriend, Nic
2} My sister, Kim also Matron of Honor & BIL Tommy
3} Brother Brian, also Groomsman & SIL Kerri, Bridesmaid
4}Bridesmaid, Rachel & husband, Bj
5}Bridesmaid, Holly & husband, Matt
6}Bridesmaid, Kristie & husband, Michael  also a Groomsman
7} Bridesmaid, Heather & boyfirend Brett

The Guys + some

1} Aaron's close friend Chad {hunting buddy} from Macon & his wife Pamela
2} Groomsman, Paul & wife Amanda
3} Groomsman, Daniel & wife Candice, also Bridesmaid
4}Aaron's sister, Bridget also a Bridesmaid & BIL Patrick, also a Groomsman
5}Groomsman, Joe & girlfriend Raisa
6}Groomsman, Jon & wife {& rehearsal photographer} Shanna
7} Groomsman, Nathan & wife Ashley and little girl, Lelia

The Parents Table
{& out table}

{My Aunt would kill me for this picture but it's the only one that was taken.
Garrett, another USHER also Aaron's cousin is missing from the picture.}

Opening Presents

{It was crazy busy when the bridal party was opening, so no photographs were
taken as well. Only the parents.}

... last but not least

 after everything was over
we packed up and I kissed my groom husband good night!
For some reason I found this bittersweet. I don't know why.
He went home to our house along with a few guys
WE.. Me & a few of my maids went to my parents house.
I knew I wanted to spend my last night single with my mom so...
some of the ladies weren't able to tag along due to family left behind but some stayed...

 At 1:30AM my mother came out and worked her magic on us...
really me.
She demanded I get some sleep!!! :)
I actually sleep like a baby... up at 7:00am to round everyone up for

The FUN has just begun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gifts to our Family & Friends

Picking out {33} gifts was something I took my precious time with. I thought hard and put lots of love into them. Many hours searching for the perfect gifts. 
So, here they are....

Our Dads-
we bought all three of them cuff links based on their love or hobby. Also in the vintage addition to fit the feel of our wedding day.

Elvis = My Dad, Aaron!
He is an HUGE Elvis fan!

Acoustic Guitars = Aaron's Dad.
He sings & plays religiously!

Yankees = Daddy
HUGE fan and always has been.

 Mama's Gift-I searched forever for this. I wanted meaning and thought... found myself struggling until...
Ever since I was in grade school, I wore the same spoon ring on my left {ring} finger. Very rare did I take it off. {1} is a 1958 spoon made into a bracelet. 1958 is the year Mama was born. In addition I had a "Mother's Pearl" attached to the bracelet. {2} A simple coffee cup... being I have morning coffee with her at her house on the weekdays. Looking for the perfect cup, finally I ran into this one at HobbyLobby. I thought the scripture fit perfectly for her. {3} A Mothers Handkerchief to carry with her the day of the wedding, with a few words from a bride. The heart was something I attached to the hanky that said "Mother, You Inspire me"
Aaron's Mom-
She was hard. Countless hours of searching we ended up going with something simple. Aaron isn't really a "deep thought" person and I didn't want to make it just from me. I wanted him to have input, so... In town one day, We ran into this necklace and he so happened to think she would like it. We also had her a handkerchief however this one had special words from him to her.
Other Gifts-
{1}Grame' {Aaron's Grandmother} a black shaw that is monogrammed. {2}Joe {Pianist}- A wine bottle holder with his family initial eventually filled with a bottle of Merlot.{3} My step-Mom, Diane- She too received a black shaw that had her name monogrammed. {4} Ashley {Soloist} - This isn't a  very goo picture. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of her gift, but it was the fall collection of candles and sprays from Bath and Body works!
Each groomsman, usher & then our videographer received a Tervis Tumbler with their favorite sports team on it. I used the Cricut machine to print their names on the backside & were filled with golf balls & tees that were imprinted with our wedding date.
The guys were spending the morning of playing golf.
Maids -
Of course I did not take pictures of all the different style necklaces {you can see them in photos that will be shared SOON} I chose but I handmade their earrings to match their necklaces & each wore a pearl bracelet. {4} is a forever keepsake, a Christmas ornament to hang every year. Handmade by ME, I chose our wedding colors and used vinyl to write their initials & filled the inside with pearls. I chose a robin egg satin ribbon instead of a hook.
{1}From the beginning I had all intentions of making a "survival kit" but really.. I never got around to it with everything else. So they all received a Maid of some sort Koozie {I added the black feathers}, Pocket Tissues with their initial on it, a small bottle of lotion, a back massager, Lip Gloss, a nail filer, & hand sanitizer.  {2} These were their gifts wrapped and ready to open {not really}. I wrote each of them
a small note thanking them for everything & how special they were to me & attached it to the outside of the bag. {3} ANYTHING I made {These bags, Out of town bags, My Thank You cards, Favors, +} had this stamped to the back.
Out of Town Guests-
We had SO many out of towners. I knew I had family from everywhere, but didn't realize he had a lot of out of towners also. I wanted the bags to symbolize the SOUTH, so I chose two bottle of Cracker Barrel Maple Syrup along with a Cracker Barrel map showing all the locations & a little history. Two goodies powder for the next morning.
Two personalized bottled waters, hand wipes, homemade chocolate covered oreo pops, packs of combos to set the tummies, winterfresh and last a small bottle of Southern Comfort & a small bottle of Pink Lemonade Vodka to start their nights off. Every guest who traveled received one and also all the ones who stayed in the hotel!

Thats all folks!
{Be sure to come back soon...
Part TWO of Rehearsal is coming up}

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rehearsal {Re-Cap}

September 2, 2011

Originally this was a day I was super excited about. Things were changed around for some of my maids {why things changed} but It didn't stop Aaron and myself from living happiness!
It ended up really being an awesome day!
9:00am - Our Couples Massage!
{True Story - Aaron was frightened to death. Seriously. He was.
But together we went to Serenity Day Spa located in the town we were married in, where my mother had it set up for us to enjoy peace and quite together. It was! Yes, he ended up enjoying it. So much that I could hear him snoring. It took everything I had to not die laughing, but I knew he was okay once sound effects started. ha!}

{camera phone picture}
We later had lunch together & then he dropped me off to meet with a few of my bridesmaids for more spa treatment: Mani's & Pedi's!

Rehearsal - 6:00pm
This wasn't as "graceful" as I thought it would be.
As you can tell I used parasols instead of bouquets. Why stay inside of the box?
I never do.  All along I pictured this look... well come rehearsal practice I was panicking because the parasols weren't blending. I had to tell myself "everyone isn't in their attire..."
Rehearsal Practice

Arranging the bridal party was tough. I had no order in which I wanted everyone to stand.
In the beginning of planning, I knew I wanted both guys and gals on each side which worked best with the parasols. From our very first trip to see our venue, I knew I wanted to use the slight hill to stagger my bridal party. This helped the rather tall people not look to monstrous on us shorter people {me & my groom}.  


"This side is struggling... It needs more" -me

My groom husband looking so handsome!

The ushers waiting patiently

Being I forgot to the equipment to play the music, I had to use our truck.
Which sucked, but it worked.
This is me discussing how things will play out with my {uncle} our pianist!
Listening to the music play out and the bridal party walk out...
was a huge moment for me. It gave me a feeling I will never forget!

Waiting to walk down.

Our preacher wasn't able to be there the night of rehearsal, therefore we had a small rehearsal with him the night before. Buddah {Brandon} was our Usher but also our fill in
Preacher!  Isn't my arch beautiful? This was exactly how I wanted it & drew it out.
It's completely hand made.
Aaron's daddy made the posts & with help of my Aunt & cousins they worked extremely hard starting days before the wedding, putting the final touch together!
It couldn't have been any prettier!
My Dad & our fill in bride, Julie {a cousin}.
Justin & my step mom, Diane!

Mama & Buddha getting instructions.

Buddha really had no clue how to play the preacher part.
So, I just briefly went over it. Of course, we did not read it out or say our vows.
Aaron looks thrilled, doesn't he?

Rounding things up to leave for dinner!

At the end of the practice, I felt good. I was just ready for everything to start and come together. I will say, it was the perfect look I wanted. Everyone looked right on the money.
And I had NO fear of the parasol whatsoever when I saw my ladies in their gowns.

Rehearsal Dinner...
Part 2
{to be continued}

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday...

only it's Saturday...

I'm here on this beautiful {holy humidity} day!
Work is so slow, why am I here? Oh wait, because I took the first two weeks off
of the month.
My husband is only 10 minutes from me along with the rest of my family
at my sisters house. Every year her and my brother in law host a 'boston butt cook-off'.
We brought our camper {for the first time} so we can enjoy the entire day and {sip on cocktails} ... oh wait. I'm at work. Our friends, Jon, Shanna, & their son Jonathan are joining us also.
Hurry up 2:00pm! I ready to join the crowd.

I'm bring these two things for my covered dish...

Spicy Chick Tortilla Rolls {Pinterest}


Taco Cups {Pinterest}

Both first timers for me. Both simple and delish!
Can't ya tell I love anything in the 'mexican' department.
Ohhh yummy. You just can't go wrong!

Ending this post with a little fun!


1. The best thing I did all week was ________________
{get up with Aaron and enjoy breakfast together.
It really started our days off happy & also I found extra time in the evening to relax
due to getting house work done in the mornings! Why haven't I been doing this before?}

2._____________ make me super happy.
{walking in from a long a day of to find Mr Wonderful wearing my apron
preparing a wonderful dinner. AND the table set!}

3. Pets are _______________.
{another family member & a wonderful friend.}

4. _______________ is the best thing about my life.
{waking up to see another day. There isn't one best thing, life is really great in all aspects.}

5. With the cooler weather, I'm looking forward to___________________.
{That feeling I get every year when it first turns fall. The crisp air makes my heart feel so in love and warm. Snuggling up to a warm backyard camp fire. Making smores' and drinking hot chocolate [even though I drink it year around]. The look of pumpkins and the smell of a Christmas Tree. Thanksgiving Dinner! Boots, sweaters, and scarves...

6. Something that is on my wish list right now is _________________.
{a new closet make-over}

7. This weekend I am going to______________________.
{Well, half of it was stated before this fill in the blank linky, but LAST NIGHT
I had a Pure Romance party, it was a bachelorette party and yes, I will give myself a pat on the back for saying it was my BIGGEST party yet. Very happy.}

Thursday, September 22, 2011

a thank you note

 I would like to Thank everyone
for ALL of your wonderful, kind, sincere comments this week
regarding the loss of my friend. My heart is more at ease by reading your words.
Writing that remembrance post was a way to put myself at ease; writing has always been the best way I can release thoughts or words that hide deep within my heart. I didn't realize how many other people out there I touched nor did I realize how many of you also lost a friend or family member as I did Cj.
Of course with time, it'll get easier but never can our hearts be healed.
But know on my weakest days, I will return to my remembrance post and your words for
support & strength.

I'm going to end this thank you note with inspiring thoughts and words that I've come across. They've helped me see things in a different light & maybe they can do the same for you.