Matrimonial Monday: Coastal Maryland Wedding

My best friend, Michelle, married Rob (who my Husband and I love!) this past November in an absolutely beautiful wedding and reception in Annapolis, Maryland. This was not only the first wedding where I’ve had the unbelievable honor of being the matron of honor, but it was also the most elegant wedding I’ve ever been too. Michelle has had a huge impact on my adult style, which is probably one reason I loved it so much. She is unbelievably detail-oriented and was probably the least-stressed bride I’ve ever seen. She planned a super elaborate wedding while studying for the bar and didn’t forget a thing – every piece of paper was designed by the same graphic designer; she had rain boots that matched pashminas and throws on the patio just in case it rained; she had swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins and adorned every place setting with rosemary – the Polish symbol for love; beautiful signs told you where to go to drink, sit and party; and personalized matchbooks (which Michelle collects) were tied to sparklers for the send off …it was an unbelievably beautiful and fun wedding. (P.S. I intend on devoting a whole post to Michelle’s dress.) I loved Michelle’s photographer and she did a great summary of the event accompanied by her awesome work:

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Chesapeake Bay Beach Club:: Michelle+Robert

Courtesy of tPoz Photography

Rosemary. It is the polish symbol for love, but you didn’t need a symbol, to know that love was abundant at Michelle+Rob’s Chesapeake Bay Beach Club wedding!

While everyone prepped for the wedding at the Westin Annapolis Hotel, Julie Flurry from Jewel Hair Design, and Ryan Krasney of Blend helped to glam up the girls. Michelle excitedly slipped into her Anna Maier (custom by Charles Bunstine) gown, with the help from her mother and maid of honor. She made time to call her grandmother who couldn’t be with them, and a big smile spread across her face as she shared her excitement.

After a beautiful wedding ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis, I got to spend time with the bridal party and the stunning bride and groom at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. Between the beach, the cornhole games, and the toasty warm (thanks to some heaters!) rooftop cocktail hour, this brisk November day was just brimming with sunshine and laughter. Some of my favorite details of their wedding included the chalkboard seating chart, the three different cakes provided by Sugarbakers, and the Hot Cocoa and Cider bar. Plus – the rooftop space was just so cozy, despite the temperature! And you know I always love when the dance floor is packed, courtesy of Devin from MyDeejay!

I could tell that Michelle and Rob put so much thought and effort into every little detail, to make this wedding truly about them as a couple. From the table settings with photo frames, to the crab cake toppers, to the photos of their parents on their wedding days – you really got a sense of how special the relationship that they shared is.

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::Vendors::
Hotel :: Westin Annapolis
Ceremony Venue :: St. Mary’s Church Annapolis
Reception Venue :: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club Chesapeake Bay Beach Club – Tavern by the Bay
Wedding Gown :: Anna Maier (custom by Charles Bunstine)
Bridal Store :: Hitched
Florist :: Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Inc.
Deejay :: Devin from MyDeejay
Bakery :: SugarBakers Cakes
Transportation :: Bayside Limos
Linens :: Party Rentals LTD
Chalkboard Seating Chart :: Sara Metzger
Invitations+Paper Goods :: Laura Nehls of Letter Box Inc
Hair Stylist :: Julie Flurry of Jewel Hair Design
Makeup Artist :: Ryan Krasney of Blend
2nd Photographer :: Natalie Franke Photography

Matrimonial Monday: Laid-back Austin Affair

One of our nearest and dearest couple friends tied the knot this past fall and this wedding was hands down one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever attended. This group of friends is huge, loves to dance and knows how to celebrate in style. The ceremony and reception were held at Casa Blanca in Round Rock, TX. This venue was perfect for Juan and JoAnna’s style. The beautiful open space overlooking the river made a breathtaking alter and big, open porches with globe lights set just the right ambiance for the reception. Being in the heart of Hill Country, I love that the attire was cowboy boots, Wranglers and bright beautiful dresses. It was laid back and elegant all at the same time.

Wedding Favorites:

The Photography: Twinty Photography – The Rankin Twins not only take great photos, but they can also sing.

The Bridesmaids Attire: Super flattering purple dresses adorned with brown cowboy boots and their accessories of choice.

The Desserts: Juan and JoAnna aren’t big on sweets so they went with cake balls and the famous Round Rock donuts – a nice change from the traditional.

The Friends: We got in some serious QT with a ton of great friends.

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Images: Twinty Photography

Matrimonial Monday: New England Nuptials

As you may recall, the Husband’s family is from Boston so we try to get up there for a visit as often as possible. Well this month we had the perfect excuse – Chris and Hope’s wedding! They got married at a sweet little church in Weymouth and celebrated in Quincy in a great ball room with beautiful tall centerpieces. We drank many cocktails, danced, caught up with lots of family members and made some new friends.

Wedding Favorites: (1) The church – It was my favorite kind of church: small with a huge steeple; (2) the bag piper they hired to honor those Bruce Scottish roots; (3) the cocktail hour – open bar, a table devoted to cheese and great hor d’oeuvres; and (4) the late night supplemental snacks.

Matrimonial Monday: Bridesmaids Asks

A couple of weeks ago I received this cuteness in the mail from my little sister asking me to be her MOH:

And these sparkling beauties are the ones Michelle sent:

I love, love, love formal bridesmaids asks. I didn’t do these for my wedding (because I got too excited and just blurted it out to everyone on the phone or in person) and I so regret it. It’s such a great opportunity to tell the special friends in your life why they are special and just how much they mean to you. There is some beautiful stationery out there for this particular purpose and I’m obsessed:

If you really want to go all out, these are great to pair with a little gift. Who doesn’t love wine, chocolate or a good koozie. Or if you really want to ensure happy bridesmaids – a monogrammed Longchamp. My friend Martha found vintage clutches that she put a note in to give to her bridesmaids. If that doesn’t make your friends feel special, I don’t know what will.

7.5-ounce Belgian chocolate postcards adorned with completely edible images.

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Monograms and Margaritas

We  threw a insanely fun couple’s shower at our house a few weeks ago for our great friends Juan and JoAnna. I loved the Margaritas and Monograms theme we chose! The possibilities with this theme are endless. One of the biggest hits of the evening was the Strawberry Basil Margarita that I pulled from Pinterest. This is definitely a recipe that will be made over and over. We had the cutest and most delicious cake balls made by Mo Cake’s in Austin and JoAnna’s BYO Lunch Bags stuffed with Anthropologie goods were a wonderfully creative (and well-received) hostess gift. Unfortunately, I did a horrible job at photographing this event so here is a mix of pictures of our party and some of the inspiration I collected while prepping.  Also, a big thank you to all my co-hostesses – it was a great group to throw a party with.

Some more M&M inspiration:

Matrimonial Monday: Byrd and Bleeker

I’ve been meaning to highlight this store for a while now, but was reminded when a girl at work sent me this great Fort Worth city guide from Design Sponge written by Libby, the super stylish owner of Byrd & Bleeker. This is where I ordered my wedding invitations and I was blown away with the selection, professionalism and quality of what I got. I think I really took to the owner because she is a former attorney from New York who followed her passion for paper and opened this cute Fort Worth store on Camp Bowie. I’m a paper freak and spent way too much money on my invitations, but if you are interested in doing the same, this is the place to go. She carries all of the latest designs and if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she’ll either track it down or get someone to create it for you. My invitations were from Bell Invito and turned out amazing. They carried over flourishes and fonts so everything matched and Libby ensured my effort was minimal (which is oh-so-nice when you are planning a wedding). Byrd & Bleeker really sealed my loyalty when they sent me a beautiful calendar thank you gift for choosing them six months after my wedding! The store is adorable and has a great gift selection with accessories from the likes of John Adler and other hot designers.

I should also mention my awesome calligrapher, Marilynn. I feel like she is one of Fort Worth’s best-kept secrets. She has been doing this for years, had the best samples and the best prices. Send me a note if you want her contact info. She’s one of the best.

Matrimonial Monday: Bachelorette Invites

Happy Labor Day! I’ve spent a wonderful weekend at my parents. It was not only my birthday, but we also celebrated my sister’s and her fiance’s engagement, which meant looking through lots of wedding magazines and spending lots of time on Pinterest.

I’m also prepping for our Charleston girl’s weekend coming up this week – just making final reservations and planning my outfits. I really enjoyed picking out the invitations for this weekend. I’ll be honest, in the past I have been underwhelmed with the selection of bachelorette invites out there. They were all hot pink and all had the same look and feel. My favorite bachelorette invite I received was one my friend Martha made for our friend Lindsay’s bachelorette. It was hand drawn, thoughtful and very-Lindsay; I loved it! But, I do not have the craftiness of Martha, so for Michelle’s bachelorette party, I began researching some print options and was pleasantly surprised by what’s out there now. We went with the “We Love Michelle” invitation from Minted. I loved this one because it really reminds everyone of why we are celebrating. (Only 3 more days until Charleston!)

Martha’s handmade cuteness

Love the rhyme

Paperless Post’s virtual invitation

IMAGES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Matrimonial Mondays – Majors

Major Love

Remember our friends Patrick and Rachel who we hosted a fabulous fiesta for a few weeks ago, well we followed that with a wedding full of dancing, photo montages, hugs and reliving the glory days. I’ve known Patrick since pre-school, had his mom as a teacher, our dads work together and we went to college together, so his wedding was like a childhood/family/high school/college reunion. Patrick and Rachel are two of the funniest people I’ve ever met and we laughed at their humor, wit and nervous excitement all the way through their sweet ceremony. The ceremony and the reception were at the City Club in Fort Worth, which you may remember is one of my favorite venues.

Wedding Favorites:

The band: Identity Theft out of Dallas – They were phenomenal and could play new, old, indie, classic, anything you wanted.

Photographer: The Minnericks – This husband/wife team were everywhere and got some great shots.

Favors: Koozies with “Major Love” – a play off Rachel’s new last name

[Last three images by The Minnericks.]

Stock the Bar Showers

One of my favorite wedding trends has been the ever-popular Stock the Bar Shower. Grooms love them, the wedding party doesn’t dread them, and brides get a chance to blow off a little steam.  I love these because glassware is my second favorite thing in the world (behind paper goods, of course). If you have a lot of local friends that appreciate a good cocktail, this is a great modern twist on the bridal shower. Here are some stock the bar party and gift ideas to inspire your own version:

Love Lemon Tree Paperie

Pinterest find

Love these highball glasses from Furbish

Great gift or serving ware for a stock the bar shower

A saloon theme with these as a gift would be awesome.

Great theme for a fall shower

The perfect in-theme pass-around.

Images: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

I had the opportunity to throw two stock the bar showers last year, which were both a huge success. Here are some of the highlights:

Michael and Brittney

The first was for one of my sweet friend, Brittney, from college. We had not met many of their local friends before so I was a little nervous about how it would be received. Well my worries were unwarranted. We had a blast! Michael and Brittney got a ton of fun liquors, bottles of wine and barware and we got to know their friends much better (it made the wedding that much more fun). I thought these invitations from Invitation Box were fitting since we all met in Raiderland. (I did have some issues with Invitation Box though – just FYI.) I found some really cute napkins at Target and used that as my color scheme. I think it turned out really well.

The second was for my law school friend, Saniya and her husband Ali. I co-hosted with two other classmates, Kathryn and Lindsay, and let me tell you – attorneys know how to throw a party.  We combined Mediterranean  food with wine-themed décor on the tables. For a guest book, we had guests sign corks with well wishes and the corks now sit in a beautiful glass hurricane in their dining room.

Caprese skewers (Pinterest idea)