Just Do It!

July 23, 2010

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, but keeping it together {mostly}. Between having a full-time job, writing (see newest article Hair Comes The Bride here!), planning a wedding and teaching dance… let’s just say there’s a lot going on these days.

That being said, here are some things I’m determined to get done:

  • Get insurance for my engagement ring. {Or rather, I’m determined to get WILL to do this, since he’s been planning on doing since we got engaged.} I fell off a jet ski tube at the lake a couple weeks ago and nearly had a heart attack thinking about the ring. Whew.
  • Get the Save The Dates in the mail… with their $0.44 stamps and all (it’s a long story. The short version is that the ONLY $0.28 post card stamp that the U.S. Post Office offers is a polar bear. I know it sounds a little impractical, but I can’t stand the thought of putting those ugly bears on my cute STDs (Save The Dates… lest you be confused!). So, it’ll be the more expensive, $0.44 King & Queen of Hearts stamps, below. Cute, huh?).
  • I know it’s way late, but I need to do a “spring” (er, summer) cleaning on my condo, which is for sale (please, Lord, let it sell pre-wedding!). I’m not one of those people who loves to clean, as though it’s a relaxing, mindless activity… nope. I kind of hate it and have been putting a deep clean off for sometime now.
  • Get my car washed. Now, if I were being extra industrious, I would say, “wash / clean my car.” Let’s be honest – I’m going to take it to Cactus Car Wash… and I think I’ll still feel some element of a sense of accomplishment for fitting it into my schedule.
  • I need to find / confirm a place to host my Bridesmaids Luncheon. Over the past week for so, I’ve been astonished at A) the lack of fun, stylish restaurants in Atlanta that are open for lunch (many are open for Sunday brunch, but closed during the day on Saturdays) and B) how unreasonable or un-accommodating restaurants are (i.e. Murphy’s, one of my favorite brunch spots, told me that even with a signed contract for a pre-set menu, they wouldn’t hold a table for my party of 17… WHAT?!). I’m pretty sure I’m going to have it at The Hil at Serenbe, owned by my friend, Chef Hilary White… It’s a little bit of a hike from Atlanta, but I think it’ll be totally worth it!

    The dining room at The Hil restaurant, by the very talented Hilary White!

I’m sure I’ll think of more items “to do,” but I think this will “do” for now!

<3, Jennifer

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Kitschy Cupcakes

July 20, 2010

Everyone loves a little eye candy… How cute is this cupcake store on wheels from Los Olivos, California? It’s called Enjoy Cupcakes looks like I imagine June Cleaver’s kitchen would be, if it were in technicolor. I wish they had them in Georgia!

Reading their “Flavors” list makes my mouth water… Chocolate Blackberry Syrah, Ginger Lime Chardonnay, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Crunch, Chocolate Ginger Snap, Cinnamon Bun Cupcake… The list goes on {and on, and on…}.

Accessorize It

July 20, 2010

I love it when I run across weddings when brides really prize being themselves / stylish over being traditional and doing what’s expected. Funky heels instead of white slippers. Cardigans instead of a more traditional “wrap.” A statement piece of jewelry instead of the typical dainty pearls. I think it shows such confidence and shows that she really knows who she is.

When I first started looking for a photographer for my wedding, I fell in love with Atlanta-based Our Labor Of Love. They have such an artistic, edgy style and really seem to see things in cool ways. Even though I’ve selected the fab Alea Moore to do the photography for our wedding (who also has a fun, edgy style that suits the future hubby & me perfectly!), I still check the OLOL blog from time to time to be inspired by the creativity of their brides – it seems that because the photography teams are so creative, they attract edgy brides too.

I stumbled across these photos of Ashley & Shane’s wedding at Serenbe – a gorgeous sustainable community and farm south of the city (& home of one of my favorite restaurants, The Hil). The environment is stunning all by itself, but I LOVE how Ashley (who has a cute business called Icemilk Aprons) decided to accessorize herself and her bridesmaids. How fun to do strands and strands of beads / pearls! Plus, girlfriend has excellent taste in flowers – anemones and rinanculous – two of my favorites, which will no doubt make an appearance on Nov. 13th. Enjoy!

Budget Bridal

July 19, 2010

It’s no secret that weddings are big business. From the flowers to the shoes to the flowers, someone is making a killing at each juncture, selling brides something the JUST MUST HAVE {insert sarcasm here}. Even at moments when you know that it’s not 100% rational, as a bride, you find yourself caught up in the inertia, dreaming about that perfect day and buying into the commercialism of it all.

All of that being said, weddings are fun. Part of the reason I love scanning the wedding blogs is that I find the level of creativity out there fascinating. Let’s face it – your wedding is the one day that can be {if you choose} the ultimate expression of your personality. Perhaps that’s why brides feel such pressure? They’re saying, “This is me, this is my style.”

That long-winded intro is to say that weddings are big business {wait – I said that already!} and big mass retailers are getting in the game. J. Crew, Ann Taylor and now, The Limited are all offering bridal lines. Some of the dresses are offered in white or a color, making them work for either a wedding gown or for a bridesmaid. Here are some of my favorites!

J. Crew "Dune" Gown, $895


J. Crew Silk "Gracie" Gown, $475

J. Crew "Goddess" Gown, $475

J. Crew "Seraphina" Dress, $149

"Romantic" by The Limited, $298

Ann Taylor Silk Bridesmaid, $215

Shoe Fantasy Land

July 13, 2010

It’s fun to dream about the shoes {for the purposes of this post, shoes, but insert your favorite item here – for Will it would be kayaks) you would buy if money were no object. I’m realizing that, in a few short months, my love of high heels is well-documented on JennAndTheGiantPeach.com.

For those of you who are already inclined to roll your eyes by reading the above paragraph… I warn you: STOP reading and check back later when I *may* decide to post something less girly / indulgent. If you’re thinking, “Yes! I love to look at shoes that double as words of art…” Read on!

Christian Louboutin Jeweled Platforms, $2,830, http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com.

Givenchy Crocodile Sandals (with tiny gold flecks); $1,150 at net-a-porter.com.

Donna Karan 5 inch Matte Gold Heels, $795 at net-a-porter.com.

Chanel Carnival Wedges in Gold & Black Suede, $895 by calling 800-550-0005.

Brian Atwood "Farrah" Heels, Peep-Toe Stilletos, $915, email info@brianatwooddesigns.com

A thing of beauty is a joy forever… I’m sure the biblical author wasn’t referring to Louboutins, but these definitely make me smile in a dreamy-I-would-never-spend-$1000-on-shoes-kind-of-way!

Have A Seat

July 13, 2010

I love these ruffled chair covers at this Nashville wedding (via StyleMePretty). Sigh.

That’s all – they speak for themselves (in a pretty, girly voice!).

Only Words?

July 13, 2010

I’ve been scanning the files in my memory for readings at weddings I’ve been to that have been meaningful and memorable. I know we’re going to have Will’s eldest sister, Brooke, do one of the readings… and I actually love the idea of doing a Greek choral-style reading as well. Basically, we’d give 3 or 4 friends / family from the crowd read a couple of lines of a piece of poetry or literature, which they would stand and read from their pew. I read about someone doing this in their wedding once, and it struck me because I know how much a marriage’s success can bee encouraged by the community of family and friends around you.

Here are some I’ve found that I like… Please post a comment if you have another one to suggest!

“The Bargain” by Sir Philip Sidney
My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

Scottish Wedding Prayer
Lord help us to remember when
We first met and the strong
love that grew between us.
To work that love into
practical things so that nothing
can divide us.
We ask for words both kind
and loving and hearts always
ready to ask forgiveness
as well as to forgive.
Dear Lord, we put our
marriage into your hands

Colossians 3:12-17
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I Love You…

I love you.
You are my best friend.
Today I give myself to you in marriage.
I promise to encourage and inspire you,
to laugh with you, and to comfort you
in times of sorrow and struggle.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
when life seems easy and when it seems hard,
when our love is simple, and when it is an effort.
I promise to cherish you,
and to always hold you in highest regard.
These things I give to you today,
and all the days of our life.

I Promise
by Dorothy R. Colgane

I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realize that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost
fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship
alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Ruth 1:16-17
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

“Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Save The Date!

July 10, 2010

I’m a little behind on getting the Save-The-Date postcards done, but they are finally done (printing this week!). I had a local designer (Michael Bergman, the one who did my logo) design it, compiled from our engagement photos. Below is the front – I love it. I couldn’t pick just one photo…

Four months and counting! Save the date! 🙂

My Kind Of Camping

July 10, 2010

My friends (hi, D & J!) will tell you… I love not camping. Now, I like a good adventure, perhaps more than the average person, but I also really like having plush pillows and a shower and great food (like the time Katie & I “roughed” it zip lining in the jungles of the Dominican Republic, only to find ourselves – hours later – back at our resort eating dinner and drinking wine). I may have found the perfect answer for me – it’s called “Glamping” (i.e. “glamourous camping”) at The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana.

Guests can stay in either a luxury cabin or a 270 square foot luxury tent. The six tents available have all the comforts of home – a fluffy bed, fine art on the canvas “walls,” a spacious luxury bathroom with heated floors and even electricity. If I were there (which I hope to be, at some point), I’d definitely go for the tent – how fun!

Each tent comes with a variety of tempting amenities: a camping butler to cater to your every whim, daily housekeeping and nightly turn-down service, a full-time chef, and Adirondack lounging chairs to take in the stunning scenery.

To step up the adventure quotient a bit, Paws Up offers backcountry camping expeditions with fly-fishing and horseback riding trips, which allow you to camp more out in the woods, but still enjoy a plush bed and chef-cooked meals. Spa junkies can enjoy spa services and yoga / Pilates classes.

The Resort at Paws Up is Pet Friendly

Often, resorts add dog-friendly elements as sort of an afterthought, to attract the four-legged friends’ monied owners. At Paws Up, a love for animals has motivated everything – from the logo (a claw mark) to a special dog bed available in any room (the rate for pups is $50 per night).

Perhaps I’ll find a newfound love for the outdoors? Happy camping!

Counting Down

July 6, 2010

There are precisely 131 days until my wedding. I know this because all of the requisite sites that you “simply must” create accounts on (TheKnot, MyWedding, Macy’s registry, Crate & Barrel registry and such) all tell you when you log on… To the tune of “Hi Jennifer & Will! It’s 131 days until your wedding!” The exclamation points seem to make the sites scream it at you in a frantic, frazzled sort of way.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been feeling much more under control when it comes to wedding planning things – most of the really significant ones are checked off the list… Wedding dress? Check. Venues? Check. Music? Stationary? Bridesmaids dresses? Check, check, check. However, I’ve also started to have the anxious, “oops! I forgot something REALLY BIG!” dreams that all of my friends who have gotten married told me they had too.

Last week, I dreamed I forgot to pick a veil (which, note to self: must still do) and that I somehow didn’t ever sign the florist’s contract, so there weren’t any flowers. I woke up all panicky and flustered.

All of this makes me committed to A) being an even better list maker than I typically am and B) remembering what I swore I would at the beginning of the engagement: to be sure and enjoy the process and not be so outcome oriented.

The truth is, there will likely be something that goes wrong on my wedding day. Someone will be late or the linens on the reception tables will be burgundy (ew!) instead of fuchsia / magenta or some such travesty (sarcasm intended).

But really, I want to relish the fact that I know I’m marrying the right person and have fun with all of it, knowing that I’m only doing this once – it’s a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’m getting to share with my best friend. I guess if I forget, I can re-read this blog post.

Happy week, friends!

<3, Jennifer