Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Proposal Story

It's taken me a while to write this post. Mostly because its hard to capture the emotion of being asked to marry someone. That and coupled with the fact that riding high on emotions causes you to forget some of the details. I wanted to tell the story right. So here's my best shot . . .

We became "officially" engaged on July 3rd, 2010. I say officially because we knew we were getting married months before he actually asked. Some would argue that beginning to plan our wedding before Nate proposed was doing things a little backwards. I think it's a personal preference thing. We knew we wanted to get married in 2011 and I loved the idea of having it in the spring. We had discussed it. . and discussed it some more. So the fact of getting married was no surprise for me; and I wanted it that way. Frankly, if I girl has no inkling that her boyfriend is going to propose and then he pops the question with no discussions on marriage, kids, live values etc. . .isn't that a slight problem? I'm a planner and I needed a year to plan the wedding we wanted. So I planned. . without a proposal.

That being said, I wanted a proposal to remember; something to tell the kids and grandkids if you know what I mean. It was also important to me that Nate had a chance to do things his way and "play the role". I knew he wanted to ask me,  I just wasn't sure when.

Then reality hit. To sum things up, an engagement ring just wasn't in the financial cards. I was "ok" with it. It was just a piece of jewelry after all, and although my disappointment was obvious, I knew that ultimately all that really mattered, was being able to marry each other.

So I forgot about rings (tried to) and stopped hoping for a proposal (mostly). So it should come as no surprise that when Nate suggested a 4th of July trip to visit friend R in Charleston (now groomsman R!) I suspected absolutely nothing. I really should have been suspicious, yet even when I complained about not wanting to make the drive, Nate was incredibly insistent that we go on this trip; I should have known something was up. So I relented, and off to Charleston we went.

On Saturday, the night of the 3rd, Nate, myself along with friend R and friend D, walked downtown to find a place for dinner. The weather was typical Charleston summer weather. Even though the sun was dipping behind the trees, the heat and humidity still hung in the air. My sunburn, gained from the day we had spent at Folly beach, had turned me into a touristy lobster. Friend R suddenly stopped on the sidewalk.

R: "Oh man, I just realized I forgot my wallet, D, walk back with me to grab it, (to me and Nate) we will meet you guys at the restaurant."

Me: (slightly annoyed at this point) "um, ok, we'll text you when we decide where to go"

I found out later that R did not actually forget his wallet. This was all part of the plan.

Nate and I continued on towards the waterfront to hunt down a dinner location. I was hungry and was very focused on naming off dinner options, when Nate suddenly announced that he wanted to walk over to waterfront park.

Me: "???, ok, but there's nothing to eat in the park."

We reach the fountain that looks out over the pier. Nate is fidgety and acting really weird. Then he says he wants to show me something over in the grass.

Then, at that moment, I knew something was up.

I feel like a total bride FAIL at this point, because I don't really remember the details after that!! I know I know, isn't that terrible?! My memory of what came next comes in snippets.

I know we sat down on a bench, I know that the sun was almost completely gone below the horizon and that the gas lanterns in the park had come on. I remember that the air smelled like gardenia blooms, delicious smells from the restaurants over on King Street, and the salty brine of the harbor.

I remember Nate asking me what it is I loved so much about this park. It is my favorite place in Charleston, the best of what Charleston has to offer, the beautiful buildings, the towering trees and spanish moss, and the beautiful view of the water.

He says something, something about how pretty I look, something (ok let me ask Nate really quick what he said. . . )

o.k. back, He said that we had been through so much together and had so many wonderful memories and that he could think of nothing better than spending the rest of his life with me.

He got down on one knee, cue ugly crying face from me, and asked me "Katie, will you marry me next year in Charleston on May 1st?" Then he opens the ring box and I gasp.

It was my mother's ring. even after her divorce from my Dad when I was three, she had kept the ring all these years. I didn't recognize it for a second, it had been changed to white gold from the yellow gold that she preferred.

Me:" It's so pretty, wow, it's just so pretty. . "

Nate: "So, um ,is that a yes?"

Me: "Oh! Yes yes! sorry, yes I will!"

A crowd of tourists that happened to be walking by had stopped to watch the whole thing 30 feet behind us. At the nod of my head, they errupted in cheers and congrats, causing me to erupt in a fit of giggles, I shouted "Thank you!!!!"

As we left the park, Nate repeated his question:

"So what do you love so much about this place. . .now?"

I love it because . . . it's where I said Yes.

No pictures of us in the park, we were much to excited to pause for pics. I will leave you with a picture from our dinner that we finally got around to that night. Sunburned, excited, and so so happy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To China and Back!

Put your chopsticks away cause no, we did not actually go to China recently (or ever for that matter; it's on the bucket list). What I am referring to is registering for our fancy schmancy china set that we are going to use when we are old and sophisticated. Riiigghht. I'm not so sure about the sophisticated part, but we are almost certainly guaranteed to get old. It seemed only fitting for us that we should go the traditional route and add fine china to the list. I don't foresee us ever buying it for ourselves in the future and Nate and I absolutely love to entertain people.

My first thought when we were narrowing down where we wanted to register was to head straight to a big department store such as Macy's or Dilliards. I didn't invest much time in researching how registries work beforehand so I assumed that it was just something that everyone did. You go straight to Macy's, find the snootiest sales associate you can find, pick out your china, your 400 count egyptian cotton sheets, and your top of the line blender, and that was that.

Enter the wonder of the world wide web, and with it the quick, easy, and ohsomuchfun online registry. No longer did I feel like I was on a one way train to typical town; I had options! Pottery barn, Pier One, Williams Sonoma, Amazon, and even the store where you can never come out with just one thing, (Target of course!). We initially tried the in person registry at Pottery Parn and encountered a major FAIL. We enter on a Wednesday night thinking this will be a breeze. 45 minutes later we walked out having no idea what we just registered for, feeling extremelly overwhelmed, and had a hunch that the girl who was helping us had no idea what she was doing. 10 points for our intuition, because sure enough when we checked the online list several days later, it was very much blank. Yey girl at the store who didn't know what she was doing! A certain movie comes to mind.

After this experience, we were officially terrified of the registry experience. Holy monkey was it harder than I thought it was going to be. I never thought that picking out a bunch of stuff that you wanted but didn't have to pay for could be so stress-inducing!

Online registry it was! A couple quick clicks and I could easily add things to the list or remove them at will. Oh the technological power!


Slight problem. . .it is incredibly hard to register for china online. You can't get a good view of the pieces, it's hard to see if the colors really match with other items, and it can be so confusing!

"o.k so I have 12 sets of 6" butter plates, and then 12 sets of the saucer dishes and then I need to add the salad dish, but wait which size is that, 6" ok, but . . huh, that's the same size as the butter dish, sooo what's the difference? Well let me just add those anyway (click), oh, crap I wanted 12 not 122!"

Ughh, you get my point. We had to give the in store registry a second shot. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to grab some items today and we passed right by their bridal registry section. Huh, I noticed, they have a lot of options with china and stemware, same brands as the big bad department store, well, we're here, let's take a look.

I eat my words about the evils of in-person registering. It was so much fun ya'll! The associate, Amber, who helped us, made the process go so smoothly. She was at the ready with suggestions and directed us to look around and see what caught our eyes. Nate liked one pattern, I liked another, hmm what to do?

Nate's favorite: The Crestwood Platinum Dinnerware by Noritake

My Fav, which was much more girly than his choice: The Parchment Dinnerware by Mikasa

Ooooo, pretty flourishes and swirls, yes please.

I had been inspired by a post by Miss Seashell over at weddingbee who had mixed two patterns together and the results were fantastic! I knew this would be the perfect solution for us. Our two favorites look like they were made for each other. A few decisions and an adorable bird napkin ring later, here were the results:

A perfect pairing!!! We were both really happy with the compromise and both very pleased with the results. The bird napkin ring has to be one of my favorite elements, it adds a little french country to the set and really speaks to our personality; traditional with a twist. I am looking forward to using these dishes for years to come on holidays and other special occasions.

It would be tempting to say that I am reformed on my idea that registering in the store is not so bad after all. We really enjoyed doing this together. But, just to keep my sanity, I think I'll stick to the click click aspect of the internet for all our other items. More on those other items later!

Did you conquer your registry demons? Or perhaps you were the lucky duck who conquered the scary in store scanner? If you're not to the registry point yet, are you looking forward to it?

*All photos unless otherwise noted were taken by moi!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's DIY . . . Now wipe your Mouth!

One of the first major projects that I decided to tackle for our reception was making napkins. Why make napkins? Truth be told I could just as easily use paper napkins (I mean hello! You wipe your mouth and hands on them) or we could have probably swung it and rented cloth napkins. They are not that expensive to rent in the grand scheme of things.

But no! Some part of my brain says, “the napkins must be unique, the napkins must be homemade, and surely doing it ourselves will save tons of money!”
Well, hmm, brain, I hate to break it to ya, but I think we spent way more money on the fabric than it would have cost just to rent the darn things. But unique? Check! Homemade? Most definitely! I think they will add such an elegant and colorful addition to our table décor. Because in wedding world napkins morph from utilitarian to “décor”, right? Of course, duh. . .
Only one problem: I had no idea how to make napkins. Let me give you a little background here. I was really into theater in high school. I spent a lot of time. . .correction. . I ate, slept, and basically LIVED in our theater in high school. On stage diva extraordinaire? No, not this chick. I was the black wearing, headphone sporting, paint on my face backstage girl. I worked the sound booth, the lighting, had a stint as Student Director and spent many, many (did I say many, cause it was a lot) hours constructing sets and costumes. I got pretty familiar with my mom’s sewing machine during those years. It too took up residence in our tech theater department during our tech theater costume finals. It’s not exactly a new model, so it takes some finesse to work. Here it is!

Totally kidding, the machine is in fact, not that old. Ok for realz this time:

Personal Photo
Hello napkin making new best friend, yes it probably knows I am buttering it up so it will be nice to me during our napkin making adventure. It was time to get friendly with the Singer again.
It took me an hour just to re-learn how to thread the machine. . . there were definitely grumblings heard from the dining room during this process.
After a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies (ha! Lies, the lady at the fabric counter knows me by name because I spent so long in there) I returned home to set up napkin making base camp. Can you see the explosion of crap behind the sewing machine? Yep, our dining room aka “base camp”.
I found a great tutorial online for how to make one sided napkins. I needed to know how to do two sided though, so I winged it (wung it? darn you grammar!). You see, when you use a nice pretty non-cotton fabric on the front, it essentially becomes, as Nate observed, a pretty lap decoration and nothing more. In order to actually serve the function of a grease and liquid absorbing napkin, it has to have a cotton-esque or linen fabric on the back. Linen = holy cow batman that's expensive! So I went with good old cotton.
Here's the skinny on making the napkins!
The supplies:
Above Pictured: Large cutting mat, yard stick, rotary cuter (seriously, make the investment, buy this, it will save time and your sanity), scissors, pins, thread, and seam ripper (cause mistakes happen)
First: cut your fabric into the square size of your choice. I wanted my napkins to be around 12" and since I was going to have a 1/2" edge around my seam, I cut my squares at 13". Your fabric, your choice.

Second: Line up your front and back fabric squares. Make sure the "fronts" are facing each other, cause you will eventually turn the fabric inside out.

See the threads hanging? yeah, backside out, like I said

Three: Pin the fabric in place! Make sure your pins won't get in the way of your sewing machine foot when you are running it through, you may have to test this out to get the right width.

Four: Sew Sew sew! You want to sew around 3 sides of the fabric leaving about a 2 inch gap on the fourth side. It's like sewing a pillow case! Only . . . no pillow. . .

Five: Reach in and pull the fabric inside out and end up with a wonky looking blob like this

Six. . oh jeeze you can count never mind. Use the blunt end of a pencil, or other stick object to straighten out the corners of your fabric. I went with a wooden grill skewer.

Once you have all the corners poked out and nice and straight, run the napkin back through the machine to sew the 2 inch opening shut, then iron and admire the results!

Sage green front with useful cotton backing!

These napkins are going to provide a great pop of color on our ivory linens and I think they will fit right in with our southern affair with a pride and prejudice twist.

So I have appr. 65 more of these to go, but hey, Nate won't mind not being able to use our table for the next 2 months, right?. . .right?

What DIY projects have you tackled lately? Were your efforts met with success?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Putting the www in Wedding

I know I want to keep our invites simple. The invite itself, a postcard style RSVP, and the outer envelope. No fancy pocket fold contraptions, no "wedding booklet", no belly bands. Just clean and simple (read, less expensive).

Therein lies the problem. If I want simple invites, then I need another way to inform our guests about all the things that would traditionally go into the invitation. Directions, lodging, reception and ceremony info, and registry preferences. So what's a girl in 2010 to do?

Create a wedding website. 99% of our guests are tech savvy enough to type in a URL, and a website is by far the easiest way for all of our guests to access any info they may possibly need about our wedding. In fact, it may be more information than they ever care to know.

I spent a good chunk of time today reading up on all the major "create your own" wedding websites. Some are free, some are not. Let's explore.

Wedsite was just. . .o.k. I wasn't really impressed by the templates and the interface was not very intuitive. Moving on. . .


eWedding is a great site. It offers a variety of templates and is fairly user friendly. Yet I still felt like I couldn't customize the templates enough and they all seemed to be very "modern" looking.

{Wedding Website from the Knot}
Way before we even got engaged, I was a shameless member of the knot. When you sign up with the knot, you automatically have a website that is linked to your profile that also syncs with your guest list manager on the site. It was easy to use, and I even set one up for us to show how easy it is. The templates were kind of . . .meh. I wanted a website that I could truly customize and make it truly look like us.

I ultimately decided to go with wedding window

Although this one is not free (a monthly membership to have unlimited use of the site) I was really really impressed with this site. Creating our website was so incredibly easy and I was able to customize the colors, photos, text, well, pretty much everything about the site. It also comes with a handy budget tracker and guest list manager that is so fun to use! 45 minutes worth of fiddling with it, and here are the results

As we add info to the site, it will show up on the left hand side. Yeah, it's a little blank right now, but I am crushing on our wedding website big time! Now when we send out our invites, the only info they will need to know is our URL! I plan on adding information in the coming weeks so the website will be ready to go when guests receive their invites.

How have you used technology to make your wedding or life easier? Did you decide to make a wedding website?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Cake gets a Crown

Yep, I'm talking about our cake topper, the "crowning" glory of the pretty confection that will take center stage during our reception. Don't ask me why this was one of the first details that I focused on after all the major stuff was decided, cause I have no idea. O.k. that's a complete and utter lie. I focused on deciding on our cake topper early on because of one very very scary (for my wallet) discovery; Etsy. This crafty website for all things handmade and vintage quickly made its way into my favorites toolbar and I haven't looked back since. I love the discoveries I have made on there; fun, unique items from jewelry to wooden signs to original artwork. It's a treasure chest of goodness! And with so many different sellers, everyone can find something in there price range.

O.k. since Etsy isn't paying me by the line for marketing I'll shut up about how much I love them (but I do so so much!). On my very first trip through Etsy I had cake toppers on the brain, so it was for cake toppers that I went a 'searchin. Cuteness overload! I knew I didn't want the traditional cake topper, bride in white, groom in tux,  surrounded by white plastic and lace, you get the picture. Who knew there were so many amazing cake topper options? Behold the toppers!

Cute as pie turtle toppers from seller kikuike
A totally unique take on the traditional topper by seller mudcards
Ok so this next one is definitely not my style, but how cool would it be for a Dia De Los Muertos or Goth themed wedding!
Creepy but cool skeleton cake toppers from seller  fuzzydicecreations

I could go on and on, there are animal toppers, stick people toppers, wire figurine toppers, custom carved wood toppers, and yes, plenty of the traditional ones too (boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp sauté. . .Bubba Gump anyone?). I found so many that I liked, but none that I couldn't live without. Then I stumbled upon seller BentBranch and my heart melted at the sight. . . oh how freakin adorable is this?!
I convod Krista, sewing mastermind behind this cutie lovebird and she set up a custom listing for me. We went back and forth several times as I was so picky about the fabrics to use on the boy and girl bird. (Don't let anyone tell you that the details don't matter, because they do). Krista even added a little sign with our wedding date in the middle that really brought it all together. I am so impatient when it comes to things like this, but she was so prompt to respond to all of my questions! She was so easy to work with and I couldn't be happier with how the process went with her. We finalized everything, I gave her the go ahead, and then the hardest part of all, I had to wait. . . Did I mention my lack of patience? Oh right, yeah I did, several times.

A couple weeks went by. Then one day after work I went to check my mailbox and found the package fronm BentBranch waiting for me! It was like Christmas . . . times ten. 

Oh what's this? A package? For Moi?
 Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Here are the adorable results

I think these will be a perfect addition to our cake and cannot believe how well they turned out.

Anyone else out there an Etsy addict? What's your cure? Cold turkey? Or do you give in to the awesomeness?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Doors

I bought two doors today. . but these are no ordinary doors. They are the wedding doors.

{Wedding Door number one, aren't you lovely}

{Wedding Door number two, I heart you}
These doors travelled well over a hundred miles to be with me, and although our relationship is new; I'm in love already. A found an amazing antique dealer and artist out of Alabama who had some wooden shutters for sale. The conversation went a little like this:

"Hello, this is Joseph?"

"Hi Joseph, my name is Katie, I'm responding to your ad for some hardwood shutters that you have listed on craigslist."

"Oh, yes! Are you interested in the shutters?"

"Well. . .no actually, I'm not"

"Ok so. . ."

"You see the door that's in the corner of the picture? Will you sell me that?"

A ridiculously low price sealed the deal, and they were on their way to Atlanta in a pickup truck. Worn, weathered, and showing their age, these doors are just. . . perfect.

Now, you may wonder, what on earth would I use two old doors for?

Hint Hint, it has something to do with this:


Do I smell a DIY project? Why yes, yes I do. You'll see more of these wedding doors, because they will be making an appearance at the reception. For the time being, they are taking up what little space I have in my dining  room and furbaby Elmo thinks they smell very very strange.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Right Hand Retailers

I've gotten quite used to ducking into stores every day on my way home from work, looking for. . .well I'm rarely sure of what I'm looking for other than "for the wedding". Sometimes I look to get inspired, other times I'm shopping for any excuse to start another crazy crafting project (I'm a glutton for punishment). If a detail from an inspiration shoot catches my eye, I suddenly think I'm Martha Stewart and dash off to the store to gather my supplies.

A couple hours later when I am throwing the hot glue gun across the room and muttering obscentities, I second guess my Martha Stewart-ness.

Crafting abilities aside, there are a handful of retailers, both online and brick and mortar, that have become my go to places when I need (insert litany of random wedding crap that I am accumulating) for our big day.

Online all things handmade and vintage mecca Etsy

{From etsy seller thebackporchshoppe}

 {From etsy seller heknowsmyname}

{From etsy seller cupcakesocial}

{From etsy seller lampgoods}

Whether it's signage, veils, invitations, or jewelry, etsy has got it all. I feel good about shopping here too; it's a website for the small business owner who has got some serious talent. Oh and the mason jar sconce? It has nothing to do with wedding shopping, I just really really want one.

Crafting Castle Michaels

With their amazing coupon deals and the ability to house pretty much everything under the crafting sun, I have been going to Michaels quite often to find materials for my paper, stamping, cutting, glueing, and painting projects. I can get in serious trouble in this store. My wallet gets the shakes when I step foot on the premises. Don't worry wallet, the crazy crafting only has 6 months left to go.

Paper Source

With an online store and a location not too far from me, this has been a great place to look for the right card stock and textured paper for all of my little projects that have come up. I am going to personalize our eventual invitations with a pretty envelope liner. This will be my first place to look.

Antique stores, lots and lots of antique stores.

What better place to find milk glass vases, unique display items, and other vintage treasures than at the hundreds of antique stores that are sprinkled throughout my part of the state? I was never much of an antique shopper before I started planning, but I have learned to love the thrill of the find. Especially when I do some haggling with the owner and get some great prices on items! I have managed to score some great blue mason jars and a really cool looking barrel so far. Frankly, I have no idea how I will use them yet. I'll find a place for them, though Nate has his doubts about the barrel . . .

What have been your go to places in the planning process? If you're not planning, is there a store that you always seem to find exactly what you are looking for?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Tale of the Unplanned Planner

Old Self, pre-wedding education says:

"Small wedding of maybe 50 people tops, wedding in a city that I've been to before, nothing too out of the norm in terms of concept. . how hard can it be?"

Ha, haha, hahahahaha!

Old Self, I laugh in your face.

Planning weddings is hard y'all. Not hard in a "wah, poor me, I have to pick a shade of peach" hard. I'm talking about some major number crunching, spreadsheet creating, negotiating and following up with vendors, and juggling a bunch of monkeys (aka our friends and family. . no offense), spending hours on the computer to create one stupid program kind of hard. I really, honestly, truly thought that I could handle planning our wedding all by my little self. Yet when I started to research, I discovered that there was so much more to this than pick a dress, grab the groom, and go.

So I lived, I learned, and then I got Luvs. . or rather I fell in love, with the ladies at Southern Protocol.

Ah Lizz and Sara, I remember it like it was yesterday. A rainy spring evening, me standing outside the restaurant that the rest of my family was already inside, enjoying their dinners and leaving me to my wedding craziness. I talked with Lizz and Sara for 5 minutes, trying to drown out the crappy 80's music that said restaurant was blasting out the speakers, and they just. . . got it. I hardly had to explain what I wanted, and they started to put into words what I had been trying to conceptualize for months. I was completely at ease and to be honest, completely giddy over the fact that they sounded as pumped about our wedding as I did.

It has been the best money ever spent. You think me to be dramatic? For your consideration, ladies and gentlemen of the jury:

Not sure the best caterer to go with in Charleston? Oh I'll e-mail Sara, she'll know

Need an idea for the right table linens that will go with the napkins? Oh I'll e-mail Sara, she'll know

Help! My future in-laws need ideas for a perfect rehearsal dinner location! Oh I'll e-mail Sara, she'll know, she always knows.

See what I mean? This is just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on about the pros of having a planner, but you get the gist.  I'm so glad I decided on having a wedding planner; it has made planning this wedding FUN, not frustrating. Not to mention, Sara has been a fantastic mediator for all of the little "sticky" issues that come up. I don't have to be the bad guy, which I love. I'm a conflict avoider, what can I say?

I know that having a wedding planner is not for everyone. Heck, when we first started all this, I didn't even think it would be possible budget wise. We made it work Tim Gunn style, and I'm so so glad we did. If you can't fit a full on wedding planner into the budget, get a DOC (day of coordinator). Trust me, I've heard from other brides, you don't want to be cat coraler on your wedding day, you want to be the bride.

Would you, or did you, consider hiring a planner for your big day? Or are you the brave bride going it alone?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inspiration Origination

I wish I could take credit for having a completely unique, all new ideas, never before created wedding. Let's be honest though, that's pretty much impossible. With the thousands and thousands of weddings that occur each year, it's a safe bet that whatever idea you may have, someone, somewhere, in some fashion or form, has done it before.

Take heart! This is not a bad thing. I can take all of the things that I love most from other's weddings and mesh them together; adding a dash of my own perspective and personality. No worry about not being unique, because even if I were to borrow every single idea from anothers wedding, it is still unique because it is OUR wedding.

Without further ado, I present the weddings that came before me, and why I love them oh so much.

The first wedding is in fact, not a real wedding at all, but an inspiration shoot styled by the talented Anne Sage over at The City Sage. All photos from this shoot were taken by Lisa Lefkowitz . Pride and Prejudice was the dream for this shoot. I love the modern regency elements that were incorporated; it was a perfect balance of feminine details and refined elegance that defined the period.

O.k. o.k. the pictures really speak for themselves


Soft feminine florals and fluffy petals

Vintage looking frames and a classy jacket for the groom


Scroll work patterns were abundant and milk glass and ceramic completed the garden party vibe.

I was also smitten with the wedding of Alicia and Ian in Tabernash, CO. Alicia, who was Miss (now Mrs!) Cowboy Boot on weddingbee, planned the perfect country vintage wedding on the ranch that had me squealing with delight.





Ali and Ian's wedding is what really sealed the deal for me in terms of color palette. Before I really got into the thick of planning, I had been under the assumption that I would be going with a much brighter color palette.

This wedding changed all that.

The peaches and cream colors that gave a soft ethereal glow to the decor and attire was just so romantic to me. Natural, organic, and such an attention to detail. Granted, our wedding will not be country in the slightest, but there are some major elements of this wedding that I plan on pulling in; including that yummy pie bar (more coming on that!). I also loved the natural looking flowers that Ali chose as her centerpieces and bouquet. Almost as if she had wandered through a garden and gathered them up.

This next wedding is a more recent addition to my inspiration palette. As soon as I saw it, I thought of "Elizabeth Darcy meets southern charm".

The Classic Bride wedding


I love the creeping fig climbing the walls, the large urns with overflowing southern blooms of hydrangea and magnolia, and the simple elegance.


The classic southern details of this wedding are everywhere! Spanish moss initials? Genius I tell you! The crisp white and green palette and the sterling silver accents really give a timeless quality to this wedding.

With the amazing pictures from these weddings as my spring board, I knew that I had the makings of a super cool (fabulous? chique? posh?) no, just really cool wedding. So thank you brides of yesterday, for giving this bride of tomorrow a freaking clue as to what her wedding should look like.

Where did you get your inspiration from? All in one place? Or a little of this, a little of that?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Change is a Comin!

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed it has been a little quiet around here lately. There is a reason! Koala Chique is getting a new look and a new home, coming very soon! My dear friend over at Moose Wreck Designs is putting the Chique in Koala Chique!

More fun wedding talk coming again soon. So much to catch up on!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lasting Love

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” 

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery~

The statistics are grim: the divorce rate in America is hovering around 41% for couples in their first marriage. Nate and I both have personal experiences with divorce; both sets of parents in fact. We understand that it was all for the best and that all parties involved are much happier now because of this decision, but it has left us both a little gun shy in the marriage department. We struggled with the idea of a lasting relationship and what it truly takes from both sides to be in a happy marriage. As a result, our expectations for one another in the early stages of our relationship were high reaching to put it lightly. Of course, we are human, thus we fell short of each other's unrealistic wants; naturally, disappointment ensued. 

It was the little things that unraveled us, the WAY he said something or perhaps he left his wet towel on the floor, which I was convinced was a testament to the overall health of our relationship. Or perhaps it was the terse manner in which I said something that came across as a little too harsh, or the bobby pins that seem to infiltrate every corner of his apartment. None of these things were a big deal in themselves, but because we didn't tell each other it was bothering us, it became a big problem.

Now here's the good news; we are not who we were four years ago. Are we all knowing and ever wise when it comes to making our relationship work?, No way jose! But I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately, what with that little thing called OUR WEDDING coming up, and I've come to a conclusion. Our marriage is gonna last, and here's why I know this to be true.

~We fight and yell. . and that's ok


I'm not going to sugar coat it, fighting with the person you love the most sucks. You feel anger, guilt, and in my case, an overwhelming desire to be stubborn at all costs. Why is this good for us?

Because it's communication. If we are angry, we let each other know. If one has hurt the other's feelings, we let each other know. If we are feeling like we are being pushed down the priority list in the other person's life, we let each other know. Some may argue that yelling and fights in a relationship are unhealthy, but I make a case for the opposite. Yes, if all you do is fight and nothing healthy comes of it, that is bad. However, if you can express your emotions to one another in an honest manner, make progress, find a solution and move on, that is so so good.

~It's not what we are doing, it's the fact that we are doing it together


Folding laundry is the bane of my existence. I avoid it all costs. Right now there is a huge pile of clothes sitting on the couch just waiting to be folded; it's taunting me. You know what makes folding laundry suck less? Folding laundry with Nate. 

It doesn't matter if we are having a night out on the town or cuddled up on the couch absorbed completely in our Macs (nerd alert!), it's better because we are doing it together. We enjoy the simple things that daily life brings, because we are experiencing it together. Him making his scrambled egg whites in the morning (as I look on in complete and utter disgust). Wandering the isles at the grocery store, and inevitably spending a good chunk of our time in the wine aisle. Taking a walk through our neighborhood as evening settles in and the sun sinks below the tree line . . it's the little things that make up a life together, it's the little things that make it all worthwhile.

~We never go a day without saying "I love you"


Even if it sounds repetitive, even if what's really going through your mind is "wow they are really getting on my last nerve", say it anyway. We try never to assume that the other person knows how we feel, because assuming has never worked out well for us. So we say it, and we say it every day from a place of honesty and sincereness. Nate is so much better at telling me this than I to him. I need to tell him even more.

~We make goals, and we accomplish them together

{It's good to have goals}

I'm trying to get in better shape for the wedding and Nate offered to be my workout buddy cause I need some serious motivation that never seems to appear when I exercise alone. Strange. . .
We are both itching to go on a trip to Scotland. It probably won't pan out to go for the honeymoon, but we are saving up a little at the time so that someday we can both realize a dream. Even last week, after we had finished dinner, we peered into the kitchen to find that a mysterious kitchen elf had come in and trashed the whole place! Not to be defeated by mischievous elfin behavior, we gave ourselves the goal of cleaning up the kitchen, and rewarding our gallant efforts with a trip to Starbucks. Amazing, you throw coffee in the mix and it's crazy how much you can accomplish in such a short period of time. Goal. Met.

~We compromise, and learned to say "I'm sorry"


Say it with me, "I'm sssss. . .I'm ssssss. . .I'm sss. ." ARRRGGG! Why are these two simple words so freaking hard to say!? I have a stubborn streak a mile wide and six feet deep; it is BAD. Admitting my wrongs is one of the hardest things I have ever had to tackle. I hate admitting I'm wrong, it feels like an admission of failure. It's also a very humbling experience. 

But sometimes, I just know that I have screwed up. I said something hurtful, I dismissed his feelings, and it makes me feel cruddy. So I screw up the courage, take a deep breath, and spit it out, "I'm sorry". Whew, wow the sky didn't fall? That's not so bad.

Not only have we learned new vocabulary, but we have also learned to take a step in the other's direction. That is, we have to compromise. Sorry Burger King, oftentimes in a relationship, you can in fact, NOT have it your way. More often than not, it is not about you at all. It is about the other person, and how much their happiness means to you. I may be less than thrilled about the creepy tiki mask that Nate insisted be hung in our apartment, and he may be less than stoked about my choice to cook with copious amounts of butter and salt (I'm southern! It's in our genes!), but we smile, shake our head, and move on. 

 This is not a soap box preaching on how perfect our relationship is (quite the opposite!)It is a hard learned lesson and the message is this:

 A lasting love is not one that is perfect, love is after all, not a feeling, but a commitment. Acknowledging each other's flaws, and loving them all the more for it. A commitment to appreciate one another, support each other, and most importantly, laugh as much as possible.