Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Auburn Bride: Kate

Meet Kate.

Kate is a sweet friend of mine and she is marrying another great friend of ours named Jack! They are the cutest couple ever and they just ooze with joy and fun! Jack was sweet enough to let us in a little during his ring shopping and proposal planning. It was so fun to see him glow with love and excitement. Jack and Kate are getting married March 26, 2011 in Auburn, AL. Can I get a War Eagle??

Check out the great vendors they are using:

Rehearsal Dinner: Auburn University Alumni Center
Hotel: Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center
Caterer: Terra Cotta Catering- Billy Lee (334-821-3656)
Ring: Charlotte's Jewlery, Sales accociate- Autumn
Organist: Dr. Bruce Murray (professor of reading education at AU!)
Dress: Priscilla of Boston (Ivory Silk Faille)
Bridesmaids: Priscilla of Boston Vineyard Collection (pewter floor length crinkle chiffon)
Wedding Photographer: Alea Moore Photography (whoop whooooop!!!! Alea did my wedding photos too. She and Kim are super fabulously creative and wonderful and fun)
Engagement Photographer: Little Acorn Photography (Remember them from our first feature post??! Love them!)
Invitations: Fine Stationery
Flowers: Village Floral
Key Colors: Pewter and cream with hints of peachy-orange

Q&A with Kate...

How did you choose to get married in Auburn?
Auburn is the ideal location for our wedding. We met and fell in love as undergrads at AU and absolutely adore the campus and town. St. Michael's Church is where my parents were married in 1984. I am close to my priest there and felt strongly about having the ceremony officiated by him. Auburn is also the half way point between Newnan (my hometown) and Montgomery (Jack's hometown). I always knew I would get married in Auburn!

What has been your favorite part about planning a wedding?
The details. I am finding ways to add a little quirkiness to the reception while keeping it traditional and classy. There are so many DIY options to make your reception more unique and personal to your individual personality! I am having fun scoping out websites and antique shops to find little items that will add some fun to the party.

What is one sneak peak fun detail you can give us about your wedding?
We have a fun travel theme that will show up everywhere from the save-the-dates all the way to the guest favors!

What has been the toughest part about planning so far?
BUDGET and timing. Of course budget is barely a word in my family's vocabulary anymore because it is a total "runaway train" as my mother would like to call it. She has a "whatever" attitude about it now because whatever you think things will cost, go ahead and tack on about 30% more! It is so hard to think that allllll that money is for 1 night; however, it is going to be the best night of my life! So it is going to be worth it. I am also the oldest and only girl so I definitely have that working in my favor!
The timing has been a little bit of an issue as well. Our engagement is 7 months long (which I thought was average, but apparently not). Booking vendors had to be done ASAP because some couples are engaged for 2+ years, making it impossible for brides like me who don't have all that time to get vendors. I was extremely lucky to book most of my top choice vendors! But I am certain that if we had waited even a few weeks later, they would have been all booked up before we could call them! Also the time is flying by and there seems to be so much to do, but in so little time!
I am very glad that we aren't having a super long engagement because I am so ready to be a wife!

Enjoy these photos of Kate, Jack and the rinnggg!

How cute are they, seriously? Y'all be on the look out for some more details about their wedding festivities in the coming weeks and months!

In the meantime...check out their wedding website!

Warrrrr Eagle, Hey!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

River Region Bride: Meredith

Meet Meredith.

Meredith and I know each other from Auburn and she is a Montgomery native. She moved to East Asia with Campus Crusade last year and came back engaged to the man of her dreams!!! It is an beautiful story for sure. Y'all are going to enjoy hearing from her and learning some details about her river region wedding. We have her vendors listed below and then some great question-answers below that.


Fiance: Rush Stuart (Auburn grad from Marietta, Ga and basically the most amazing man in the entire world!)
Ceremony: First Baptist Church, Montgomery
Reception: The Ballroom at Alley Station (managed by Partner's Realty)
Rehearsal Dinner: 129 Coosa
Bridesmaid Luncheon: The Young House
Dress: My Mom's! (But Bridals by Penolia's is making some much needed adjustments... You know the 1970's full sleeve removal)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor
Key Colors: Midnight Blue (accents scattered throughout are green, cream, and white)
The Rings: Brown and Company of Roswell, GA (my engagement ring diamond is actually Rush's late grandmother's in a new setting)
Florist: Elizabeth Fritz
Caterer: Jenni Weller Catering
Cake: Peggy McKinney
Photographer: DiAnna Paulk
Bridal Party Transportation from the Church: Trolley by Capital Trailways
Get-away Vehicle: Montgomery Pedi-Cab
Invitations: Costco
Embossed Napkins: Kwik Kopy Shop
Hotels for Guests: Embassy Suites and The Renaissance

1. Tell us about how y'all met and about your engagement.
We are both Auburn grads, but somehow we missed each other all for years of college, so the first time we met was while serving with Campus Crusade for Christ in East Asia. Everything started as just a very simple friendship, but by February I had completely fallen for him. Thankfully, the feeling was mutual! We had a short vacation time to travel when our East Asian college students went home for Spring Festival and Rush asked me out for our first date on a beach in Malaysia. Our first date was in Phi Phi Island, Thailand. It was such a beautiful way to start our relationship! God is so good!
Rush proposed on May 21st. We lived in different parts of the city we served in so we met in a central location and had dinner at Pizza Hut (honestly, it is the finest dining you can get on that side of the world). We then went back to my house. There were really not a ton of really great date night locations so Rush and I spent a lot of time in our relationship just walking on our campuses and talking and that is exactly what we did that night. We were walking around campus when we turned a corner and I saw rose petals and candles. We walked over and I saw a note with my name on it. Rush had actually written a prayer about us and our future marriage. I read the sweet prayer and then he popped the question!

2. What has been the hardest part about wedding planning?
Being organized. You just don't realize how many little details, long emails, spreadsheets, and lists you have to keep up with when planning a wedding!

3. What has been the most fun part about wedding planning?
The most fun part has definitely just been planning things with Rush! I absolutely love having his advice and learning more about his tastes and opinions. Since I am living at home now, this has also been a really sweet time to spend with my family since Rush and I are planning on returning to East Asia long term. Wedding planning is a joint effort for sure!

4. What have been some of the pros/cons of the wedding planning process in Montgomery?
1. Being from Montgomery, I've been able to piggy-back on the incredible ideas of some of my high school friends! Most of my vendors were recommended because my friends used them recently and they did a great job at their weddings.
2. The newly revived downtown area is awesome for weddings! There are wonderful hotels, venues, and churches!

1. Feeling like there is a lack of compiled vendor information for the area. (Thank you Emily for starting something so good!)
2. Knowing that a fall wedding somehow interferes with everyone's football schedule. Only Southern brides can commiserate on this unique con.
3. Very few reception sites available for a large guest count.

5. Do you have any advice for river region brides?
Relax. Have fun. Don't feel like you have to live up to weddings that you have seen in the past. Focus more attention on your marriage for a lifetime than on your wedding for a day!

Some fab photos of this great duo:

[saying yes!]

[east asia. campus in the background. engagement setting. amazing]

[so happy to be engaged!]

[the ring]

[calling their families over skype to tell them the wonderful news!]

[engagement photo]

Thank you so much, Meredith! We can't wait to see the wedding photos!!! Best Wishes!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tid Bit #6- Beyond the Wedding Dress

Let me start this post by saying that the wedding gown is my favorite part of any wedding. I love a perfectly unique but classic gown.

When you get engaged, one of the first priorities is to find a dress! It is possibly the most fun part of wedding planning (unless you find yourself having trouble making a decision...maybe we should discuss this soon..hmmm...ok).

The thing is, you also need dresses/outfits for various showers, an engagement party, the bridesmaids luncheon, the rehearsal dinner, a possible going away dress...just to name a few.

This all sounds fun and good until you really start shopping and try to put it all together. You may have 5ish great dresses, but which should you where for which shindig??

Here are some examples from the one and only Anthropologie.


Engagement Party:

Bridesmaids Luncheon:
Rehearsal Dinner:

Getaway dress:


There are so many great dresses out there that I just decided to focus on this one fabulous store for today. My inspiration comes from my friend, Kate Woods, who will be the next featured bride!! She went shopping at Anthropologie today for dress to wear for her engagement pictures (ah we didn't even cove that one)!

Well, the lesson is there are tons of outfits to think about throughout the wedding season. Just have fun with it, try to find some deals on the sale rack, and go for it. Try not to rethink purchases too much. It is so easy to love something, buy it, come home, and panic. Do not panic. I am sure whatever you picked out was perfect and fab :)

Oh one last thing- most of these dresses are in the $100-$300 range. Not too bad. The good news is, you WILL re-wear this stuff! You will be so happy to have these nice dresses in your married wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Dear faithful reader bloggy friends,

I love you all. Thanks for all of your sweet encouragement. I am in the middle of "recruiting" season right now for work and things have been CRAZZYYY. It requires a ton of travel. I am so sorry I have not been giving out any good advice or River Region ideas. I have tons of thoughts and ideas that hopefully I will be able to get out to y'all soon!!! I can't wait!!

In the mean time, if you or a friend of yours is a River Region or Auburn bride, please let me know if they would like to be featured! I would love to highlight them and all of their vendors!!

Y'all have a great week!



In the mean time... check out

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tid Bit #5- How to Handle those Crushed Wedding Dreams...

Once you begin planning a slowly realize that there are some things you have always "dreamed of" that are just not attainable.

Whether it is the $20,000 designer gown or the $15,000 worth of flowers. I mean, I realize that some people can afford these things, but let's be honest, not me or anyone I know!!!

Then there are instances when the photographer you have always dreamed of is booked, or the venue you have always imagined your reception in is booked for the next 2 years. One of my recent favorite stories is about my river-region-bride-friend, Elizabeth. Y'all remember Elizabeth? Ok, good. Well she is an avid wedding blog reader, and she loved the idea of using beautiful elaborate fine china for her reception. When she dropped this bomb on her sweet mom (duuurrring a floral consulation), she basically laughed in her face. And what did Elizabeth say? "MOM, You are CRUSHING MY DREAMS!" These things really happen, folks. . . And it is alllll gonna be alright. Let's sing together now, "everything's gonna be alright, everything's gonna be alright!"

Ok now that we got that out of our system, let's talk about your next step.

The next step is pretty simple:

Take a deep breath, get over it, and move on :)

We have to remind ourselves that we can't have it ALL but we can have a lot! There are tons of ways to fit amazing things into your budget and schedule, but it is not all going to work. Occasionally you just have to give up a couple things. You have to decide what is MOST important to you.

Is it the dress? The flowers? The venue? The food? The band? The photographer? The invitations?

Of course you can put a heavy emphasis on a few of these things, just know your personal wedding priorities.

So when you feel like this...
or this...
turn that frown upside down.
Because you are getting MARRIED!

PS I promise Elizabeth and I do have other friends. I will introduce you to them soon. They are pretty legit. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tid Bit #4: Spreadsheets!

Ok kids, the lesson today is not super duper exciting, but it is super-dee-duper important.

Who here loves Excel? I personally hate it and am usually confused by the whole thing. NONETHELESS, it can be a saving grace while planning a wedding!

The GOOD news is, you don't necessarily have to use formulas. You can just use it to keep your guest list straight. But if you want to get really wild and crazy, you can do the simple formula to add up your total number of guests . And as you get your response cards in (if you are doing response cards), you can put those numbers into the spreadsheet. I am not currently offering Excel lessons, but I hear it is pretty powerful. Seriously, if you just spend some time with it, it can save you a lot of head aches.

Other things spreadsheets can help you with:

-Your Buuuudget (painful word...I know...we will talk about this later)
-Floral proposals
-To-Do lists
-Thank you notes
-Shower lists
-Schedules (wedding week, wedding day, etc...)

What Mom and I did was make one master spreadsheet that included the full name, address, guest (if applicable), yes/no RSVP, final number attending per family/couple, and gift received.

This list served not only as our guest list, but also a thank you note to-do list. Killing two birds with one stone here, people. Amen to that.

That is all for now!

Until next time...get going on those spreadsheets!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

River Region Bride: Elizabeth

Meet Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is a dear, dear friend of mine who just so happens to be a River Region bride. She is currently planning her wedding for this fall. It has been so fun to be in on some of the plans and to watch her go through this process. She loves cute little details so y'all get ready to be blown away! She has some really great ideas that have made me occasionally reconsider decisions I made for my own wedding! Dang! Haha, basically she is extremely creative and I think y'all are going to LOVE the way her fabulous fall affair turns out.

Quick facts:
Wedding Date- November 20, 2010
Reception- 129 Coosa Street
Rehearsal Dinner- Capital City Club
Dress- Mother's wedding dress altered at Tang's
Cake- Brenda's Bakery (334-365-0191)
Flowers- Barbara Haisten (my Mother-in-Law!)
Bridesmaid Dresses- J.Crew
Invitations- Crane & Co. purchased at Richardson's Pharmacy (334-262-5775)
Photographer- Meagan Gibson
Key Colors- Yellow and Grey (with hints of gold, silver, and white)

Elizabeth and her fiance, Evan in Maine!

Another cute shot of the happy couple!

Elizabeth and I on my wedding day last November! Our wedding dates are exactly a year apart (well plus/minus one day...11.21.09 and 11.20.10)! Ok Ok Ok we both choose the Auburn football off sue us...we care about football....we live in the South...and we mainly just LOVE AUBURN. War Eagle. Ok wow.

Elizabeth's fabbbbulous ring that was passed down by her grandmother!

Admiring the gorgeous antique bling.

So, ladies and gents (if there are any out there), be ready for some more details from Elizabeth's wedding coming up! I know they are so excited to become husband and wife and I just cannot wait to witness it. Cheers to Eliz and Ev!
PS Check out she and her sister's awesome cooking blog HERE.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tid Bit # 3- Get going on the...dun dun dunnnn....THANK YOU NOTES!

I know, I know. It can be pretty rough. I was not the best thank you note writer myself. We have even had a mail thief at our apartment (not joking) so who knows if my thank you notes even ever got to their destination!!!! AGH.

Anyway, the best thing you could ever do for yourself is to not wait until after the wedding to tackle that loooong loongggg list of notes. If you have a shower, try to get those done within a few weeks. Unfortunately, that is the easy part. The hard part is staying on top of the notes for the wedding gifts coming in as you get closer to the big day. Going back to our very FIRST Tid Bit...write it all down! When you get a gift in the mail, or someone drops it off at your house, just keep a list nearby where you can scribble it down. It may be smart to even write the date that it was received. If you want to get real wild, you could keep a spreadsheet on your computer!

If you have hundreds left after the wedding, don't panic. Just take it in strides and have your GROOM help you! Do something really easy for dinner and both knock out 10 a piece. That would be 20 over with in one evening!

Emily Post has some pretty serious but smart rules, so if you are curious about these standards check them out HERE.

ANNDDD if you are in need of some super cute notes to write your lovely thank yous ETSY! Etsy is one of my favorite places to find unique things for weddings. It is kind of like the ebay of everything crafty, artsy, vintagey, and awesome.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tid Bit #2- Have a HELPER!

Like Luke from Little Acorn Photography suggested, having a reliable "helper" during the wedding planning process is priceless. Every single bride needs someone they can count on to help them with planning, stressing, list making (hehe), meetings, etc... Whether this is your mother, your sister, your Maid of Honor, a friend, a roommate, or a professional wedding planner, find someone to be your right hand man!

I will be the 1st to admit, without my Mom, there is a good chance that BJ (the husband) and I would have had to elope. She literally booked the church 30 minutes after we got engaged and had some quality to-do lists going from day 1. She always pointed me in the right direction when my head was spinning or when I was trying to make a silly decision :) She awed as I tried on wedding gowns, Oh and she literally picked out the bridesmaid dresses. I was convinced it was a bad idea to put my girls in strapless dresses, but Mom found one that was just perfect and I could not say no! (Thank you beautiful designer Jenny Yoo). The main thing is, she was always right. She could often see the big picture that I could not. She made things happen and happen smoothly!

So, ladies, find someone you can rely on. Someone that loves you and loves to plan. Someone that can handle a little stress and knows your style. Someone that won't be afraid to tell you no and won't be afraid to tell you that you are THE most beautiful girl in the world.

Look at my beautiful helper in the picture at the top...followed by a picture of the rest of my team of helpers (my sisters and nieces)!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tid Bit #1- Make Lists!

I am occasionally going to throw random "Tid Bits" of advice out there to you brides/future brides/MOBs/bridesmaids/wedding lovers.

My first one is something I learned while planning my own wedding last year.

What is it you ask??


Ok Ok Ok...I am not the best at making a neat, readable, sensible list, but I HAVE to make a list or nothing will get done. If you are like me, you like that feeling of crossing something off. It makes you feel like you are actually getting somewhere in the overwhelming wedding planning process.

Some of my Mom and my lists looked like this...

This is actually very neat for us. Most of our lists were random words written at every angle all over a notepad. But hey, we did it!

However YOU do lists, just do it! It will be nearly impossible to get through planning a wedding without knowing what you have done and what is left.

Here are some ideas of lists to make/work on: guest list (duh), thank you notes, flower ideas, vendors to contact, shower plans, bridesmaid things (dresses, shoes, jewelry, etc...), any DIY materials to purchase...

These are just a few very basic thing. I know you are probably yawning right now, but seriously, any time something pops in to your head about the wedding or events surrounding the wedding, WRITE IT DOWN. :) ... Right Mom?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feature: Little Acorn Photography

Hi everyone!

I am sorry that I have been a little slow getting this off the ground. I just wanted to have some good info in line to get out there to you!

For our very FIRST featured vendor, we are taking a look at Little Acorn Photography. They are a fabulous husband-wife team who are passionate about
marriage, photography, and the river region! One random thing I love and appreciate is that they have an AMAZING website that even has their calendar on it. So when you are in that bridal panic, wondering if the photographer you have always dreamed of is available for your big day, you can just hop over to their site to find out!

To get some background info on Little Acorn, I have asked them 5 questions...

1. How long have you two been in business and how did you get started?
"We have been in business as Little Acorn Photography since Fall 2009. Prior to that, Jackie did some side work specifically in baby portraiture as a supplement to her full-time job as manager at a Montgomery portrait studio. Jackie didn't just fall into photography on a lark; she received her ht6BFA from the University of Montevallo with a focus in photography. Her niche in college fell squarely into documentarian work, something we've found exceedingly useful when doing weddings. Many brides today want full documentation of their day, from pre-dress snacking to the last person leaving the reception, and Jackie's skills, eye, and attentiveness to the subject play brilliantly into that mode of shooting. As for me (personally), I don't have any true formal training; I graduated from Montevallo with a degree in history and currently work as graphic designer. I picked up the photography bug from my dad and my grandfather. I spent many summers armed with an old 35mm SLR from my dad, and one summer with my grandfather's incredible collection of Nikon lenses and F3 SLR. I studied books and manuals and picked up what I could from both my dad and grandfather. Since then, obviously a ton has changed and everything I know now, I know from Jackie. We finally took Little Acorn Photography (named on a long drive back from Virginia) full-time when Jackie left her job at the portrait studio to pursue her own work."

2. What is your favorite part about photographing weddings?
"Our favorite part of photographing weddings has to be the moments that we catch between the new bride & groom. Not the posed or formal shots, but the moments they think no one is looking and they feel its just the two of them: the head on the shoulder, the shared look or laugh at something someone said, the random kiss on the forehead... those are the moments that, above everything else, mean the most. When we get those shots, we know we've done our job."

3. What is your best advice for a bride in the River Region?
"The best advice is something we've determined from the outset: have a helper! Whether its a paid coordinator or an aunt or uncle, you need someone who knows whats going on right now and whats going to happen next. The wedding day is a "big thing" and you don't want to be burdened with telling everyone whats going to happen in 20 minutes, especially not your photographer. We've yet to have a bad experience at a wedding, but we have seen too many brides get simply overwhelmed with too many questions from too many people (including the photographer). A bride needs someone they can point to from the start and say, "Ask them!" Its your day to be on display and to be the focus... but you want to make sure its not the type of focus reserved for an information desk. Some churches, like the one we were married at, have people available to help plan & coordinate. . . Ok, and one more piece: remember, no matter what happens during your wedding day, at the end of it all, its about being married, nothing else."

4. How would you describe your photography style?
"We tend to shy away from most buzzwords when describing our style. Since I work in the graphic design field, and consequently do a whole lot of reading about trends in the design world, buzzwords tend to just start falling flat, especially when everyone essentially is using the same ones. When pressed though, we like to think our work is a well-balanced mix of traditional and contemporary, elegant, candid, and artful. It used to be (and not so long ago) that wedding photography was viewed almost as a joke, something a photographer did for quick & easy money. There was little thought put in to the process and everyone knew the poses and setups and everyone used them. But somewhere along the way, within the last ten years or so, there's been a huge shift in what is expected with wedding photography. There's an expectation for the typical "required" stuff, but there's also a heightened desire and awareness of artistry that is, or should be, present in the work. Part of that weaves itself in with the documentarian style we champion, and part of that is in our willingness to take risks with shooting: shooting at different angles, finding interesting spaces to shoot in, clever framing, and sometimes just asking the bride, groom, and party to try something wholly unexpected."

5. Tell us a little about your own wedding!
"Our wedding was fantastic! We were married at First United Methodist Church here in Montgomery in 2006 and had our reception (outdoors) at Hillcrest Manor. We'd set our date based upon what we thought would be a perfect in-between time, right between summer & fall, hoping for slightly cooler weather, but surprise!, the high that day was in the mid to upper 90s. Despite that, everything went absolutely according to plan, thanks in large part to our coordinator at the church (who, at a minimal cost, definitely made a huge difference) and the built-in coordinator at Hillcrest Manor. They both took so much of a load off our planning for that day, we were actually able to enjoy it. Side note: we also had a good two-and-a-half years to plan our wedding, as we determined from the start it made more sense to wait till I graduated from college instead of rushing headlong into planning whilst I was still in the midst of finals, research projects, etc."

Aren't they cool? I just had to share all of this information about Luke and Jackie with y'all.


Also, one more thing Luke told me that I felt was really important is:
"We see our brides as
friends, not just clients, and feel its important that we develop a relationship and rapport with both the bride & groom. In that way, we strive to make it feel as if a bride is working not just with a vendor, but with someone they can trust. Working as a married couple, we love the institution of marriage & love to see it celebrated, and every opportunity to capture a new bride & groom on their first day together as husband & wife is an opportunity to take."

So here is the deal guys and girls, do
not skimp on your wedding photography. It is not worth it. [am I sounding too harsh?]

I heard a quote saying, "In 20 years, the cake is gone, the music is quiet, the flowers are dead, and all you're tangibly left with are the photos - good or bad."

And have no fear...Even amazing photographers like Luke and Jackie can work with any budget. You do not have to get the most expensive package a photographer offers. You can always pick and choose between some great options to fit your budget.

Please hit up Little Acorn's website to see some more fabulous photos and contact info!