dress dilemma.

I'm having trouble deciding which route to go with the bridesmaid's dresses. I had everyone pick their first and second color choices out of the three, and it ended up as alternating blue and purple. So I'm considering just using the 2 color dresses and then having the guys wear green ties. The other option is adding a couple green dresses in the mix and having the guys wear purple ties. I'd like to get the dresses ordered ASAP so I need help making this decision. Which do you prefer?
Photoshopped images by my lovely sister Dani, or "MOH" as she likes to call herself.

my favorites.

These are by far my two favorite pictures that Heather took. I am so happy that we decided to take our pictures in the winter, and especially some all bundled up. They turned out just like I wanted them to. Enjoy!
Photos by Heather Vivio of h. vivio photo.


engagement pictures.

While we were home for Thanksgiving, we took our engagement pictures. I didn't blog about it because I had nothing to show for it. But my cousin (who happens to be a photographer) just got our pictures back to us and I am so excited to share them with you!
If anyone is in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area or the U.P. and is looking for a photographer, you can reach Heather of h. vivio photo at 734.649.8855 or email her at hvivio@msn.com. She is awesome and I heart her! Thanks Heather for all of your hard work on these pictures!

All photos by Heather Vivio of h. vivio photo.

groom's attire.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We've been making a lot of progress on the wedding plans while we've been home. Here's what Adam will be wearing on the big day.It's got subtle ivory pinstripes, and will be worn exactly as shown with a white microfiber shirt, a black satin vest and an ivory satin tie. The rest of the guys will be wearing a different color tie that we will be purchasing for them, possibly in purple.

I'm excited we can check something else off the list!

Tux from Joseph Abboud. Photo from DuBois Formalwear.


things to do.

I'm back in MI for Christmas, and there are lots of wedding related things to do while I'm here:

-decide on a decorator
-check out hotels to block rooms at
-choose guy's attire
-register at a local store
-get ceremony information from church
-get our engagement pictures back!
-meet with the florist

The last time I met with the florist, she told me she thought ranunculus were only available in the spring. She was going to check to make sure, so I'm hoping she's wrong. If not, I think I found another option for my bouquet, minus the overpowering amount of ribbon:

I know dahlias are fall flowers, and I'm almost considering using these even if she can get ranunculus. Dahlias remind me of the garden that Adam proposed to me in, because they were all over the place!

Which do you prefer, dahlias or ranunculus? Or is it ranunculi if it's plural?

Bouquet from here.


the big 2-5.

It's my birthday today. I'm officially a half a century old. Adam made sure to remind me of that this morning... not nice! But he has been quite nice to me for my birthday so far. Last night he took me to the Welcome Yule! show at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We were up in the nosebleed seats, but the view was pretty cool. I would've taken a picture but no cameras were allowed. And I thought it was kind of rude to take pictures with a cell phone, although that didn't stop a lot of other people. So here's a picture I found to give you an idea of what it looks like, although last night it was even prettier with Christmas lights and decorations. Gorgeous architecture. The music was good too of course!
This morning Adam gave me part of my birthday present. I desperately needed a new wallet so that's what he gave me. The inside is purple! I have an unhealthy obsession with purple.
I guess the rest of my present is at his parent's house in MI, so I'll have to wait until Christmas for that one. He tries really hard to separate my birthday from Christmas, so I think he feels bad about me having to wait. Not like mixing Christmas and birthday is anything new to me. I used to hate it when I was little but now I don't mind. Christmas is my fave anyway... why do you think my parents named me Holly?
I'm not sure exactly what we're going to do for the rest of the day, possibly go to the Chicago Botanic Gardens (where we got engaged) so we can test out our new camera. Then we'll go out to dinner, possibly at Oysy for some sushi. Who knows after that. I'll share some pictures with you tomorrow.
Cupcake from here. CSO from here. Wallet pictures are my own. Holly from here.


purple decor!

That's what I found this past weekend while shopping for Christmas presents. I guess you could say I got a little distracted...

But I think they'll look great at our reception! I guess we could use the candlesticks for the unity candle lighting too... but our church doesn't allow unity candles. Oh well.

I think we'll use the vase to hold the white branches for our guestbook/wish tree, although I think the opening at the top might be too small. I guess I'll have to try it out and see. I'm hoping our tree will look similar to this with a little less crystal and smaller tags. A few crystals hanging on branches are fine, but this is a little over the top for me.
How do you feel about the guestbook tree idea? I just want to get away from the regular guestbook, because really what do you do with a book of names after the wedding?

Top photo is my own. Wish tree photo (and a how-to) from here.


i heart the little ones.

At Thanksgiving, Adam and I decided it was time to ask the little ones if they would be in our wedding. Adam has 4 nephews and a niece. One of his nephews, Hunter, is 9 and therefore a little too old to be in the wedding. Brandon is way too young, he's maybe 6 months at the most. But the other two nephews, Derek and Parker, are 3, which is just about the right age to play a part in our wedding. And his niece Aliyah, at 5, is the perfect age to be our flowergirl!

We decided we wanted to get them an inexpensive gift when we asked them. I bought a really soft bear for each of the boys, and we asked them to be our ring "bear"ers. Since Ali is very much into princesses at the moment, we bought her a tiara and jewelry set and asked if she would be our princess.
They were all excited to open up their gifts, and while I don't think the boys fully understand what we're asking of them, Ali definitely knows what's going on. Our conversation went something like this:

me: "Ali, will you be our flowergirl and walk down the aisle in front of me at our wedding?"
ali: *nods her head* "Does that mean I get to wear a Cinderella dress?"
They are all too cute. And they are going to look adorable walking down the aisle!
Note: That isn't dirt on Ali's cheek. She went to see Santa at the mall and got her face painted and then fell asleep and smeared it, but did not want to wipe it off. She's even cute with a black blob on her cheek!
All photos are my own.


an excuse to drink wine?

I saw these vases yesterday after finding a new blog (well new to me, at least) called VintageGlam.
Here are a few reasons why I like them:
1. They will work with simple flower arrangements (think 1-3 stems of one type of flower).
2. The green ones would go perfectly with our color scheme.
3. I can make them myself!
4. It's a way to recycle old wine bottles.
5. They are made out of wine bottles... a good excuse to drink more wine?

I happen to love wine. I also happen to have a favorite wine that comes in a olive green wine bottle. Coincidence? I think not.

wedding playlist.

The wedding playlist is definitely a part of the wedding that Adam and I have been neglecting. Lucky for us, we have a family friend who has volunteered to be in charge of the playlist. Of course we'll have a DJ that can pick songs on his own, but I'd like to give him a list of songs that need to be played at the wedding.

This is going to be one of them. And the best part, I heard it on one of my favorite shows, Dirty Sexy Money!

The song is called "Somebody Loved" by The Weepies.

Video found here.


i think i like this.

This necklace is... interesting. I think I like it. Even though it is very assymetrical which doesn't really jive with my anal retentive personality.
The necklace is from a Chicago store called Shebang. We went there are part of the ShopWalk tour we went on during Dona's bachelorette party. They have tons of really cute jewelry... Dona even bought her bridal jewelry while we were there!

Speaking of bridal jewelry, I have no idea what type of jewelry I should wear with my dress. Any suggestions?


more pretty shoes.

Today Tara from In This Instance let me know that the shoes I posted about are even cheaper on Amazon! Thanks Tara! So of course while I was on Amazon I had to look at the other options available, and I found these.
Cute? I thought so. And only $15. But not in my size....sad. I don't think I could pull off a 6.5 ever let alone when I'll be running around on my wedding day.
Do you think the teal shoes would look stupid with an ivory dress and a purple bouquet?

Shoes by Soda on Amazon.


something blue.

As I've said before, I really like the trend of wearing colored shoes under a wedding dress. I've been looking for some to wear on my wedding day for awhile now. The problem is that since Adam is almost the same height as me, I can't wear heels. It's much harder to find cute flats than to find heels! But I think this pair may have potential...and they can be my "something blue"!
And they are on sale! Do you think I should buy them?

Shoes by Ras at Neiman Marcus.

my first attempt.

Last week, while I was visiting my family in Michigan for Thanksgiving, I had to meet with some potential decorators, the florist, etc. While sitting at the kitchen counter on Tuesday night after I driving home, I put together some pictures to explain my wedding vision. Here's my first attempt at an inspiration board for my own wedding.
What do you think?


successful weekend.

This weekend, Dana (one of my bridesmaids) and I went to Minneapolis to visit Kiera and Dona (bridesmaid and matron of honor). It was Kiera's birthday, she is now a quarter century old! Happy birthday Kiki! Anyway, while I was there, we went to David's Bridal to try on the dresses that I am thinking they will wear for the wedding. The girls tried on two styles of dresses. The "bubble dress" as we are calling it, and another style made of the same material. They have decided that they are fine wearing either one. After the rest of the girls try on the dresses, we'll decide between the two. I think they are both cute, although the bubble dress is much more my style. If we are going with the multi-colored dresses, I definitely think we can only get one style dress. Otherwise I'm also fine with them wearing both styles in the same color. I think the different color effect would be kind of cool and a little more original, but either way is fine with me. What do you think?After trying on dresses, we went to a store called Francesca's Collections. While we were there, guess what I found!
Headbands! In the same exact colors as the dresses! Meant to be? I thought so!

All photos are my own.


sew excited!

Forgive me for the pun. I just made something on my new sewing machine (thank you mom & dad for the early Christmas gift) and it turned out really well for my first time making anything! I've sewn before on my mom's machine when I was younger, but nothing more difficult than a pillow (which is the most basic project ever). I was a little more ambitious this time. I'd tell you what it is, but you'll have to wait! It's a gift and I don't want to give it away.

Speaking of gifts, it's getting to be that time of year. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of Christmas is trying to find the perfect gift for everyone...and then wrapping it in pretty paper. I am sucker for pretty packaging. I'm also sad to admit that I want to get a second job as a gift wrapper during the holidays. My fiance won't let me. :( So instead, we went out last weekend and bought most of our Christmas gifts. And then I came home and wrapped them all. In color-coordinated paper that matches the colors of our Christmas tree and decorations. Which I put up on Sunday. I am slightly OCD.
Note: These are not my wrapped gifts. I am too lazy to take a picture, I apologize.

Photo from Flickr.


my best friend's wedding part tres.

So Dona asked me to create another board using a navy and yellow color scheme. She is going to try to get past the fact that her high school colors are navy and gold. Get over it :)
What do you think? Do you have a favorite color palette so far?


my best friend's wedding part deux.

Here's the next color choice for Dona's wedding. Green, navy, and white. Do you have a preference between the two?
By the way, I'm liking this inspiration board idea. Maybe I should make one for my own wedding sometime soon! Especially since I'll be meeting with decorators when I go home for Thanksgiving! I'll work on that.


my best friend's wedding.

So my matron of honor, Dona, and I were discussing color schemes for her wedding tonight. Since we've already purchased our bridesmaids dresses, navy and white have to be in the color scheme. Dona thought pink might be a good color to pair with them. I put together an inspiration board to see what it could look like. Go easy on me, it's my first time making one! What do you think?


the girl effect.

Totally unrelated to weddings, but everyone should visit the website for The Girl Effect and watch the video. What a great cause for girls like us to support! Actually, to make this post wedding related, you could donate to the cause in honor of each guest as your favors.
Photo from the wedding line.


ceiling inspiration.

I don't think I ever mentioned it on here, but we decided on our reception location awhile ago. We decided not to go with the ballroom. Too many less-than-stellar reviews from people who have attended weddings there. So we have decided to go with the armory. A gorgeous location? I think not. But it is one large room where no one will feel like they have been left out of the action, which is more than I could say for any other location in the area. Hopefully we will be able to disguise the gym-like qualities by doing some serious decorating. I'd like to lower the height of the room with some fabric swagging to cover up the military paintings and make the size of the room a little less overwhelming. Here is my ceiling inspiration.I'm loving the chandeliers, but we may have to substitute chinese lanterns as a more budget-friendly option.

And maybe I can throw in a little color, like this.

I'm hoping with all the details above, people won't notice the free throw line on the gym floor below! I think the tables will help disguise that as well.

Lantern photos from WeddingFanatic. I cannot remember where the chandelier picture is from...but if you know I'd be happy to post the source.

blogging debut part II

Melissa at Masterpiece Weddings posted my story today on her blog! Go here to check it out! Thanks Melissa for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your "Blogging Brides" series!
Photo by my future father-in-law, Mel.


bridal bouquets.

There is a lot to learn about wedding bouquets. There are so many different types of flowers, it's overwhelming! White bouquets are classic, but I find myself always drawn to the more colorful bouquets. I love the look of a bouquet that has varying types of flowers all in shades of the same color. For my wedding, I think I'd like to carry a purple bouquet. I think it will go nicely with my ivory dress. Although I am not a florist, I have looked at some options that I think I'd like to have in my bouquet. Of course I wouldn't have to have all of them!
Anemones, dahlias, delphinium, orchids, hydrangeas, and ranunculus. Of course, I would want them all in varying shades of a plum/purple color, if possible. Here are a couple examples of the flowers in the right colors.
Orchids, ranunculus, hydrangeas (please ignore the stephanotis in the middle) and dahlias. I hope the bouquet would look something like this pink one as far as size, shape, and it's also where the idea of mixing flowers came from. I realize none of the flowers are the same.
Although I also love the idea of having a bouquet of just ranunculus, they are by far my favorite flower! Something like this bouquet in shades of purple, minus the peonies, and smaller (you'll have to use your imagination!).

Most pictures from The Knot. I can't remember where I found the pink bouquet, sorry!