- New York life, style, travel & home blogger
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Filed In: Wedding
My entire shower was absolutely perfect. It was so thoughtful and planned out and I just felt so loved. I did a full recap of it here!
After we did presents my bridesmaids came out with one more super special gift, this basket full of wine! They then each took turns reading their card out loud and showing everyone which wine they picked. I thought it was such a fun idea, plus they were all so creative with their alcohol choices! So many of them fit so perfectly! Then, at the end my mom joined in and read hers, which is the “Just Because” one. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly this is when I started crying ha!
I tried to get a picture of all of the cards and the accompanying drinks but some of them didn’t come out as clearly as I would have liked, so I typed them up as well. I would have taken new pictures, I know these aren’t the best, but we were going to miss some and it was time to drink and enjoy!
If you’re a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding I really recommend this idea, not only did it really mean a lot at the shower, but it’s a nice way to keep remembering the wedding and how special it was throughout the rest of the year!
Thank you again to everyone who made our shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner, and wedding so special. We are still so incredibly humbled by it all and love you all SO much!!!
“From day 1 Susie said it was meant to be, August 2015 Bill got down on one knee. November 12th is finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for all year. The cake is cut, you’ve said I do, I bet you can’t believe the day is through. The big day has come to an end, now you’re married to your best friend. Still dressed in a tux and wedding white, open this bottle and toast the night!”
“Here’s a perfect addition to your 1st turkey dinner, stuffing, pie and a wine that’s a winner. Celebrating with loved ones and friends, uncork this bottle and share until the end!”
“The tree, the lights, decorations and more, family, friends and gifts galore. Wise men say wine is better than beer, this is the season for holiday cheer. So open this bottle and sing Silent Night, your first Christmas married, what a delight!”
First New Years:
“A time to celebrate the start of the year, so we have champagne for you right here. Toast your future, the present and the past, your love is something that will always last!”
First Valentine’s Day:
“Roses are red, violets are blue, February 14th will be special for you two. Cupid saw Susie and shot an arrow through her heart, she then found Bill and now you won’t find them apart. Toast to the day of candy, love and kisses…To Mr. Gagas and his new Mrs!”
“He said she said it happens from time to time, sometimes after too much liquor or wine. So when arguments occur and the tempers are hot, take a second to be thankful for what you’ve got. Kiss, makeup, and drink this after your first fight, and then be sure to make up all night!”
“It’s been 365 days since you said ‘I do’, there’s nothing more to get used to. No longer newlyweds but you still have that glow, my how fast a year does go. Now open this bottle and share a toast, cheers to an amazing year with the one you love the most!”
“Remember investments are for the best, don’t let the stress put your marriage to the test. The day you dreamed of is finally here, the future surrounds you with hope and fear. Turn that key and carry your bride through the door, the house is yours though your bank account is no more. May your home be filled with love and laughter, it’s your very own Gagas happily ever after!”
“You’ve skipped a period and guess what that means? Soon it won’t be that pizza keeping you from fitting in your jeans. Is it going to be a girl or a boy? Either way this baby will bring you so much joy! Baby Gagas is on the way! Don’t worry Susie, Bill has been preparing for this day! And then he will say sorry Sue this bottle is just for me..and in 9 months you’ll be a family of three!”
“When a random spark happens to ignite, on a lazy ordinary average night. Pop open this bottle and get your drink on, with a love like yours, it couldn’t go wrong!”
I’ve found that wedding invitations mean something different to everyone. To Bill and I they were pretty important. We wanted something that was classic and elegant and I think we found it! Our invitations are the Charming Go Lightly from Minted and we loved them! We also got the Charming Go Lightly RSVP Cards and the Charming Go Lightly Reception Cards.
Overall we were very happy with the quality of the invitations, the customer service and the fact that Minted always has discounts. The one thing we didn’t love though was that the invitation only comes with one outer envelope. For some people this is fine but we wanted our invitations to be traditional and have the outside envelope where you put the recipients name and address and then the inside envelope with just their name. We had to track down our own envelopes and even our local printer wasn’t able to match them exactly.
My favorite tips for finding the perfect wedding invitations:
- Take some time browsing to get a feel for all different styles of wedding invitations. You might think you love traditional styles and then realize your wedding Pinterest board is completely full of more casual ones. By the way, are we friends on Pinterest yet?!
- Once you and your fiance narrow down your style preference check out different invitation sites to see what is out there at this moment. You’ll also want to do this to compare prices. Some sites that we used throughout our wedding planning were Minted, Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy, and Paperless Post.
- Which brings me to my next point: do not under any circumstance buy anything from any of these sites (minus Etsy) without waiting for a coupon or sale. I honestly felt like I got an email everyday from all of them offering a discount on something. Sometimes they were more specific, like 30% off monogrammed cocktail napkins and other times it was more generic, like 20% off your first order.
- Decide on the wording of your invitation and the additional pieces that go with it with your fiance. Don’t just surprise him or her and get just your parents name if he/she is under the impression that both sets of parents will be on it. Or maybe your fiance will want just your names or maybe it will read “Blank & Blank with their parents”. Whatever you decide just make sure it is what both of you will want and what your parents want.
- Make sure to add in an accommodations card. This is where you list the different hotels where your room blocks are, if you are providing shuttles, and if you have a wedding website. This way if people aren’t web savvy they’ll still know where to book their room. Then, for everyone else they can check out your wedding website where you can put any additional important information for people. For example, if your wedding is on the grass let the ladies know so they have the option of wearing wedges or sandals instead of heels.
- Save time writing and get a return address stamp. We bought this stamp with my parents address on it and I stamped all of the return envelopes. Not only did it look really nice but it was a much faster process than writing them all out. Plus it looked a little more personalized than getting them printed.
- Register for a picture frame that holds your wedding photo and invitation. This might be personal preference but I can’t wait until we get our wedding photos back to put in the frame next to our wedding invitation. I also think it is something that your children and grandchildren will want as a memento as well.
- My last tip isn’t about the actual invitation but more so how to track your replies. The best way we found was to make an excel spreadsheet where you can store all of the information in one place. We used the columns: surname, first name, last name, address, invited (so you can total how many people you are overall inviting), and coming. This way you have everyones names and addresses in one place for invitations to all of the different wedding events and thank you cards. Plus you can save them and update it as people move so you’ll always have everyones addresses for holiday cards and such!
Photos by Diana of Brett Matthews Photography
During wedding planning/moving I kind of let blogging slip to the side but now that the wedding is over (and was amazing!) I’m going to go back and go into more detail about different parts of it every Wednesday! A kind of Wedding Wednesday thing! I hope you find these posts helpful while planning the wedding of your dreams!
Today is all about the engagement photos! Our photography package came with them but I really would recommend them either way. Bill and I both found it to be extremely helpful to get the chance to work with our photographer, Diana, before the actual wedding. Trust me you don’t want to be learning how to pose with your future husband on the day of the wedding. You have enough things to think about that day, let the photos not be a stress for you.
So now a list of my engagement photo do’s and don’ts!
Do wear something classic.
Trendy pieces are really fun, just not for your engagement photos. Stick to those tried and true pieces that you know you love and will continue to love. You don’t want to look back in a year and be upset with your outfit. Plus, those pieces you love tend to fit you the best because they’re not too loose or too tight. Which brings me to our next one…
Don’t wear anything you’re not 100% comfortable in.
If you’re not feeling like a superstar in your outfit it’ll show in the pictures. You don’t want to be adjusting your clothing or shoes in between each photo, or worse, during the photo. This also applies to how fancy your outfits are. If you and your fiance live in your t-shirt and jeans and hate wearing dresses then show that in your photos. Same goes for if you both love dressing up, why would you suddenly wear something you wouldn’t normally?You want your photos to be a reflection of you as a couple.
Do coordinate without being cheesy.
What I mean here is wearing coordinating or complimentary colors is a good idea, wearing matching outfits is a bit more awkward family photos. Also, if one of you is in a ball gown the other shouldn’t be in a sports t-shirt and ripped jeans. Either both dress up or both go casual.
Don’t have more than two outfit changes.
Bill and I each wore two different outfits. One that was a bit more dressed up (me in a dress and him in a suit) and one more casual (me in an off the shoulder top and white jeans and Bill in khakis and a white button down). We found that this was more than enough outfits to give us a ton of photo options. If you’re dying for a few looks I wouldn’t recommend having more than one more change after that. Three outfits is more than enough, plus the time you waste changing could cut into your photography time.
Don’t wear logos.
Do you really want to look back in five years and see a giant logo across your shirt? Probably not. Plus they’re just distracting. Peoples eyes will be drawn to that huge logo instead of your smiling faces.
Do get your hair and makeup done.
I admit I kind of felt like a diva doing this but am sooo happy I did. Your hair and makeup never looks as good as when someone else does it. I don’t know about you all but I also feel 1 million times more confident when I’m loving my hair and makeup. This is ultimately why I got it done, so I could just enjoy the day with Bill and not be worrying that my hair went flat or I looked too pale. Another bonus is that I used the makeup artist I planned to use for my wedding for the engagement photos. I had already gotten a trial but didn’t love the under eyeliner, so this time I didn’t get it and ended up loving my makeup and feeling more confident in my decision to use her for my wedding. I wouldn’t recommend scheduling your initial trials for the day of the engagement photos though, you can never be too sure if you’ll love it or hate it and you don’t want to be upset at the photos.
Do paint your nails.
I kind of feel like this one is a given but I added it in anyways. You know there will be close ups of your hands and painted, non-chipped nails always look the best.
Do get your ring cleaned.
This goes with the last one. Your engagement ring is why you’re taking these photos after all so you know it will star in at least one photo. Getting it cleaned before the photos will ensure it is looking it’s extra sparkly best!
Do bring your pet.
This one I didn’t do because we don’t currently have any pets but I personally love when people include their pets in their photos. Not only are they a part of your family but they make the photos even more special. Just make sure to bring a friend or family member with you to watch them while you take the rest of your photos. They might be your first child but you won’t want them in every shot.
Do have fun with it.
And most important of all, have fun with it! These photos shouldn’t make you feel like you’re getting your teeth pulled, they should be fun! Yes they might be a bit awkward but you’re with the love of your life, getting ready for your wedding. How much more special can it get? Bill and I just kept making one another laugh while we took the photos which not only made it more fun but also made it so we had genuine smiles in the photos. A big ol’ win win!
Have any other engagement photo questions? Feel free to email me at Susie@SequinsandStrawberries.com, I’d love to help in anyway I can!
The other weekend my family and friends threw me the sweetest bridal shower. It was honestly exactly what I would picture for my shower and I couldn’t be more thankful to have such amazing women in my life. They seriously know how to make a girl feel loved! They all put so much planning, thought, time and effort into making this the perfect day and I am seriously so grateful for all of it. I love all of you so much!
Thank you for this incredible photo wall Jamie and the whole Carey family! It truly was a highlight for everyone!
How beautiful is my friend Jess’ handwriting? She did this all freehand with no stencil or lines or anything! Such a talent! Thanks Jess!
My amazing and beautiful bridesmaids!!! I couldn’t have dreamed of a better group of ladies!
The showers theme was a wine tasting, how cute is that?! It really made for a good time! The little name tags were just adorable! Also, very helpful because everyone wrote their names on the back to make it easier to tell the glasses apart. Some of us still managed to end up with more than one glass though!
For the menu they went with all lactose free choices because I unfortunately am lactose intolerant. The food was all catered by Buscos Gourmet Kitchen & Catering and the lactose free bride cake and adorable cupcake wedding dress was by Cupcakes Made by Lauren. Everything was absolutely delicious!
My wonderful mom and sisters! A big thank you to them not only for planning and hosting the shower of my dreams but for always being there for either a great laugh or a shoulder to cry on. You are four of the most amazing women I’ve ever met and I’m honored to call you my mom, sisters, and best friends!
My future sister-in-laws and my future Mother-in-law, Aunt-in-laws, and cousin-in-law. I couldn’t be marrying into a nicer, more welcoming family! The past three years growing closer to everyone has been incredible and I cannot wait to officially be apart of this amazing family!
Some of my adorable nieces and nephews! How flipping cute are they?! Teddy and Natalie unfortunately weren’t at the shower and little baby Graham was absent from these photos due to the fact that it was so sunny out.
My handsome husband to be! All of the men went golfing during the shower and then joined us afterwards for a BBQ and swimming! I can’t wait to marry you, Bill! Love you to the moon and back!
And if you’re still with me (thank you!) here are more snaps from the shower! Thank you so much to everyone who came and to everyone who helped out! The best group of women ever! And of course thank you for all of the generous gifts, Bill and I cannot wait to start our married life together decked out with the best housewares!
A big thank you to my bestie and bridesmaid Kelly for taking all of these photos and allowing us to capture these perfect memories!
Creating a wedding registry is one of the most fun things you’ll ever do. Seriously though, it really is. What you are basically doing is shopping and picking out everything for your future home but not having to purchase any of it. That comes off very bad but there really is no other way to explain it. Since so many other peoples precious time and money are going into making this event extremely special for you, it’s a good idea to know some helpful tips before jumping in.
For starters, it will take HOURS to register. If you are anything like Bill and I then you will end up super hangry and ready to get the heck out of there. We ended up basically running to a local pizza place to chow down after because we were famished. Which is probably a good place to start…
- Eat before you go to the store and bring a snack in your purse. Not only will your stomach thank you but your also (probably pretty bored) fiancé will too.
- Before you can even get to the food though, you need to sit down with your fiancé and figure out what you will really need. Having an idea in mind will help cut back how long your registering takes. Bill and I barely talked about what we wanted and instead went with the let’s just wander around method. Although it was fun, it wasn’t really the best idea and we had to go back to our lists a few more times before they were perfect.
- Once you decide what you need, do a little research on different stores and their wedding registry policies. Macy’s for instance has such a great registering program. If you have a Macy’s card, for every purchase you make on anything in the store up until the day of your wedding you get 10% back and anything someone else purchases for you from your registry you get 5% back. This money gets added together and you can use it to purchase things that were not purchased off your registry! PLUS you, your now husband, and both sets of parents get 20% off everything at Macy’s for 6 months after the wedding! Another great thing to consider when picking where you register is what kinds of deals your friends and family will be able to get. Macy’s always has a TON of coupons and sales so people have a chance of getting a discount.
- I’d also suggest registering somewhere that can be accessed online and also has store locations that are easy to get to. This way you cover the people who want to order online and have it shipped and people who like to shop the old fashioned way or might not use a computer at all.
- Linking your registry to your wedding website is also a great idea. I used TheKnot.com for my site and there is a section called registries that makes it super easy to put it on. It’s nice having it on your site because if someone forgets or loses your shower invitation, where it’s also a good idea for your wedding registry to be on, then they can check it out on your website.
- Nowadays when you register in a store (which I highly recommend because there is nothing like actually seeing a product in person) they help you make an online login as well so you can edit your registry online. This is a godsend because Bill and I have added and removed so many different things already. So my advice is to every once in a while go through it and see if there is anything you don’t need and can remove, or if there are things you missed and want to add.
- With that being said, it is better to have too much than not enough on your registry. You’d rather give people tons of options in every price range so no one feels forced to buy you that $500 vacuum that picks up dog hair. Yes that is on my registry and yes it is important because ONE day I will have a dog and she will shed everywhere. And if we don’t end up getting it, that’s okay too because we can use those special Macy’s points towards it!
- Don’t just be practical. Make sure to put some pretty things on your wedding registry as well because you won’t be able to afford pretty later on and will forever be purchasing practical. As the years go on a new dishwasher will always beat out that crystal vase in your budget but when you have family and friends over you’ll love having special pieces to bring out and display. One of the pretty pieces, a silver picture frame that had Mr and Mrs engraved on it, actually made me tear up when we were registering. It was the realization that we were going to be putting our wedding photo in that frame which was so exciting!
- It’s also a good idea to create your wedding registry early enough in case friends and family would like to buy you something for an engagement or a holiday gift. This way they will know exactly what you are looking for and need and lists make it much easier!
- Lastly, enjoy it! This is such a special time that you and your fiance are sharing together and every moment should be celebrated for the amazing occasion it is! Pop some bubbly, you deserve it!