Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pre-Wedding Activities

I'm back from the honeymoon and easing myself back into real life and blogging.
Since I don't have my photos from the wedding or honeymoon organized, I thought I'd post about the events/activities leading up to the wedding.

On Thursday, MG and I both finished up our last days of work, and his family started making their way down to Virginia.

By Thursday around 5:30, MG's parents, and one sister (and her family) had made it down, along with MG's uncle and aunt from Maine. We headed to the hotel to meet up with them and to go out to dinner for our niece's 8th birthday (my nugget).

We went to Maggianos for dinner and had a delicious meal where I reminded myself that I had to fit into a dress in 2 days, so I tried not to overindulge :)

We celebrated this little nugget:

And then the waiters we had were nice enough to bring MG and I champagne with sparklers to celebrate our upcoming nuptials:
It was a super fun night! After dinner we headed back to the hotel to say good bye to everyone, but little did we know that we would run into MG's other sister and family arriving, along with a few other friends from out of town.

What was supposed to be a quick drop off, turned into a mini reunion in the hotel lobby :)

After a bit, MG and I headed home to get some rest for our Friday activities.

During the day, the guys went to play golf at Top Golf before getting ready for the rehearsal dinner. The girls and I went to get our nails done at a nail salon and then had lunch together. The nieces all got their nails done, too:

I got a french manicure (shellac) on my hands and a pretty purple color on my toes. The nails actually lasted all the way through our entire honeymoon, which I was super pleased about :)

It was surreal getting our nails done for the wedding day, knowing it was coming only a day later. 
Yes, I took this pic at the nail salon lol
Luckily, too, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I knew we were going to be in store for a beautiful wedding weekend :)

I'll recap the rehearsal dinner and all of the other fun wedding stuff in another post!
Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'm baaaack!

Somehow, some way....I'm back!

MG and I made it back into DC last night around 11pm...needless to say that after 12+ hours of travel, and being away from paradise, we are pretty tired this morning.

But, we are coming back to our daily lives as a husband and a wife, and that's pretty cool. Not to mention all of the awesome wedding and honeymoon photos and stories that we have to share. I'm hoping those will help keep me going through the day today.

Since we got back late last night I haven't had a chance to get a legit post together, so for now, this post and a picture of our amazing honeymoon resort will have to do.

Don't mind me while I pretend that that is the view I'm looking at out of my window, rather than the view of the inside of my office! :)

Be back tomorrow hopefully with some fun posts!

Also, BIG shout out to the AWESOME ladies who guest posted for me while I was gone--I loved reading your posts! Thanks for keeping my little blog nice and cozy over here for me :)

And Trishy-poo, thank you for the sweetest post ever about the wedding day yesterday.  I'm SO glad that you were a part of it all! Love you!!

I'm off to try and get re-acquainted with the real world.... :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Guest Post {Tales from Trish}: 4.21.14

Hey Gals!

I'm Patricia from Tales from Trish  and while Jenn is coming back to reality after an AWESOME wedding and an incredible honeymoon - I'm here to share with you some pics from the 4.12.14 nuptials and par-tay.

First - I have to say this (and I know everyone says/thinks this but since it's coming from me it's really true): Jenn made THE MOST beautiful bride.  She looked absolutely gorgeous - the hair, the make-up, the dress = perfection!
First we started with the wedding rehearsal and dinner. Great mingling time to meet the groomsmen, family, bridesmaids and friends.
The bride even showed up in a cute white dress as practice (while 4 out of 5 of the bridemaids randomly (and unplanned) showed up in black. weird right?! LOL).
The Bride & I.

Bride & Dad - Love this pic! Mr. Bride's Dad looks so handsome!
The after rehearsal - after dinner - Bud Light shot! Mr & Mrs sure know how to party!
In case anyone gets confused - THIS is the bride :)
The excitement was terrific! It all felt so much more real when Jenn stepped in and zipped up her dress:

 I didn't get too many shots at the church (because I was busy being a bridesmaid in all) but I did get to snap this one:

The weather was PERFECT. The sun was shining, bird singing and overall a very happy weather day!

My favorite part of the whole thing: CAKE!

After the ceremony and after the cocktail hour (which the bride and groom was awesome enough to have a little cocktail hour set up for the bridal party since we missed a lot of it taking photos) there was lots of eating (the steak was so good), lots of wine drinking, lots of laughing, dancing, photo boothing and just overall fun. I'm STILL sore and my feet STILL hurt but it's so worth it!
3/5 bridesmaids

One last image to leave you with today - True Love:

Congrats to the beautiful couple!
Up next: some beautiful blue eyed babies! Woot!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Guest Post: Katie at Life, Love and Pursuits of Katie

To wrap up this week of guest posters (I have one more special one planned for Monday so hold your horses!), I have Katie for you today. She and I have been bloggy friends for quite some time now. I remember when Katie got engaged to her sweetheart and when they got married. And now I follow along on her married journey. Katie is a sweetheart, so check out her post and her blog!

Hello, new friends!  I'm Katie, and I blog at Life, Love, and Pursuits of Katie.  Like me, I'm sure you guys are so excited for Jenn on her wedding last weekend!  I have been married for a year and a half now, and it's definitely an adjustment, but a great one.  I've come up with what I think are the worst and the best things about being married.

1.  Boys need to be fed.  When I was single, I frequently ate cereal or chips and salsa or whatever I had in the house for dinner.  I didn't care-- I didn't always even eat dinner.  But now there's a man in the house who is HUNGRY and needs to be fed real food (meat, in other words), lest he get cranky.
2.  There are lots of boy movies, and not many are good.  Now, my husband and I are pretty good about this-- we don't make each other go watch movies that the other one is going to hate.  But every now and then, he really wants me to come with him to see a movie that I have ZERO interest in.  So, I go without (much) complaining because I'm a good wife.  And because that means I get to ask him to come see one of my movies next time... :)

3.  Boys take up space.  No more sprawling out in the bed while you sleep.  No more parking your car in the middle of your two-car garage.  No more having all your beauty products all over the bathroom.  Boys actually have their own stuff and need somewhere to put it.  Who knew??

But of course, the benefits to having a husband WAY outweigh these minor adjustments.  For instance...

1.  You have a built-in handyman.  Within the first year we were married, Donny fixed our washing machine, replaced the garbage disposal, worked on our vehicles, cleaned the gutters, and worked in the yard.  None of those things would have ever been done by me if I was living alone.
2.  You have a helper.  When my feet get cold, he warms them up.  When my back itches where I can't reach it, he scratches it.  How did I ever live without this??

3.  You have an audience.  I don't know about you, but some of my cleverest ideas or jokes hit me when I'm home.  Now I have someone to witness my brilliance!  Not to mention that now there's someone who now knows just how amazing I am at Jeopardy!

4.  You have a cheerleader.  When I'm sad/mad/upset/whatever, I know that when I get home, the person I love the most will be there to cheer me up and encourage me.  This is probably my favorite thing about being married.  Just the knowing that he's there is amazing.
Jenn, I'm so happy for you that you've found your person.  I hope your wedding was wonderful and that your honeymoon will be the perfect first memories of your marriage!  Thanks for letting me take over your blog today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Post: Christy at Planes, Trains and Running Shoes

Today I have a fellow DC area blogger for you, who is also planning her wedding (pretty soon we'll be hearing the wedding bells ringing for Christy!) I read Christy's blog, Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes way back when I was in a Long Distance Relationship. Luckily, she and her fiancĂ© both live in the same city now, though! Check her out--I'll just be over here, drinking a mimosa on the beach  (yes, I feel your glares at me...I'm ok with it) :)

Hey there! I'm Christy and I blog over at Planes, Trains and Running Shoes where I chronicle my daily adventures in running, traveling, living life in DC and more, recently wedding planning! It's a little crazy to be guest posting for Jenn while she's busy getting married/honeymooning because that will be me in just 5 short months! I don't really remember when Jenn and I started reading blogs, but it was through the wedding planning process that we really started to connect! Jenn and I have a lot in common: we live in the same area, are both planning weddings, love to read, love to cook and we both started out in long distance relationships. I've loved reading all of Jenn's posts about wedding planning, so for my guest post, I'm going to let you know a little about myself through the details of my own wedding!
  The Who: You already know that I'm Christy. I work in DC doing nonprofit fundraising. On my blog, I call my fiance The Pilot. He's a commercial airline pilot.
We met in high school, started seeing each other during our senior year of college and have been together ever since. We moved to DC in December 2012 and absolutely love it!
  The What: We got engaged at our favorite spot in DC - the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. To incorporate our mutual loves of both travel and DC, we're having a travel theme wedding in the heart of DC.
From our engagement photos...right in the spot where we got engaged!
The Where:  I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He grew up in central New Jersey, where I moved during high school and where we later met. With my family split between Texas and New Jersey, his in New Jersey and our friends living in far off places like Florida and Hawaii, it made sense for us to get married in DC. After all, no matter where we did it, most of our guests would have to travel! DC's Old Ebbitt Grill is a quintessential DC institution. Established in 1856, it is DC's oldest bar and restaurant. While the restaurant isn't in its original location, its new location - across the street from the White House - makes it a prime spot.
We'll have our ceremony at our church, move over to the National Mall for pictures, and then to Old Ebbitt for a rooftop cocktail hour (featuring the restaurant's famous raw bar!) before moving down to their Atrium for the reception.
  The When:  September 13, 2014 (I'll skip over the why because I think that's pretty obvious!)
  The How:  We're incorporating our theme through the entire wedding. From the airplane cufflinks The Pilot will be wearing to a world map seating chart and tables named after places we've traveled together. The signage directing our guests from place to place will be reminiscent of an airport and I can't wait to see how it all comes together!
He'll wear a tux and I'll wear a custom designed ball gown...made entirely by my mom! We have 4 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen, 2 junior bridesmaids (my nieces), a flower girl and a ring bearer (my niece and nephew).  Wedding planning has been a lot of fun and I've loved reading Jenn's posts about it! She actually recommended her florist to me and I'm so excited to see what both of our wedding flowers will look like!
So, there you have it! Congratulations to Jenn! I wish you and MG all the love and happiness in the world! Have fun in Antigua!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Post: Megan at Fried Green Pickles

If you like pickles, the title of this girl's blog will make your mouth water! Megan is a super sweet blog friend who has definitely provided me with advice and encouragement through the wedding planning process. I watched her plan and then have her wedding a little over a year ago, so it was super fun that she agreed to guest post for me while I'm off celebrating my new nuptials!

Hi everyone! I'm Megan from the blog Fried Green Pickles, where I just talk about the normal day-to-day things that happen in our newlywed life. You'll see lots of pics of our dog, Brady, yummy recipes, and random things I'm loving each week! I hope you'll stop by for a visit! 

Since my husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary on March 30th, and Jenn just tied the knot (woohoo!!), I thought putting a list together of one year anniversary gift ideas would be helpful to Jenn, and any of you other newlyweds!
One Year Anniversary Gift Ideas

Framed First Dance Lyrics - This could also be your vows. Hang them in your bedroom so that you can read them and think about that special day, every day!

Photo Book from your First Year of Marriage - This is actually one that I did for my husband, Cameron. I went through all of my pictures on my phone, Facebook, and Instagram, and picked out significant and even non-significant things that we did together throughout our first year of marriage! How fun will it be to look back at it 10, 20, 50 years from now?? I think this may be a yearly tradition. 

Concert Tickets - This is a pretty common paper gift, but if a good concert is coming to town, it's a great one! I bought Cameron (and I) tickets to see Ray Lamontagne in July! Can't wait! 

Framed Photo from His Favorite Place - For my husband, it would be a picture of the Stono River here in Charleston. During the summer, we are on the boat every weekend, and even got married overlooking the Stono River! It's a special place for both of us. 

Masculine Stationery - I know guys don't get giddy over stationery like us girls do, but it's good for them to have. Perfect for sending a hand written note after that job interview. Just a simple navy blue or black monogram (block, no script for guys) on some thick white paper will do the trick! 

I hope this helped anyone out there that was having a hard time coming up with the perfect gift for your man!
Jenn, I hope you are having an amazing time on your honeymoon with your HUSBAND! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guest Post: Samantha at "It's all in the details"

Today I've got the lovely Samantha from It's all in the details, to keep you all company while I'm away. Samantha and I have especially bonded over wedding planning, details, etc. Since she lives close to me, we've also been able to talk vendors and other details, too. She's a super sweet girl, so go get to know her!
P.S. Happy tax day, and happy birthday to Miss P!nky :)
Hi friends! Yes, we're already friends. Didn't you know? Anyways - I'm Samantha and I blog over at It's all in the details. While Jenn's off being lovey dovey with her new hubs, she asked me to stop by and give you some wedding low down. Or rather, I should say wedding planning low down because I have yet to tie the knot.

Ward Photography
Some of you might be thinking - you're so lucky, you still get to enjoy your wedding day! While I know there are others of you out there that are thinking - oh you poor thing, I was so happy when the planning was done. I know that might sound harsh to the ones of you thinking the former, but I have a few friends who were more than ready to just get the party started. However, I'll admit - I'm not one of those people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm SO excited for our wedding day and to marry my fiance, JC. But I have a thing for might stem from my love of details (hence the blog name). And since I've been enjoying wedding planning for a good 8 plus months now, I thought I share with y'all what I've learned thus far.

one. If you have a specific date in mind, make sure your other half is aware of said date, so he knows that there really is a deadline for him to propose. I knew I wanted September 27th, 2014 to be our wedding date. I made sure JC knew this, along with the fact that I really wanted more than 12 months to plan our wedding and to enjoy our engagement, so he was able to time his July 2013 proposal perfectly ;)

two. Find your venue as soon as possible! Regardless of whether you have a date in mind or not, venue is probably the most important thing on the wedding checklist (photographer just behind that). It's what sets the theme for the entire event and in turn, most decisions are based around the venue. Now if you do have a set date in mind, do this within a week of your proposal like JC & I did. You don't want to find a venue that you love, then find out that it's already booked for that date.

Our venue - Mount Ida Farm.
three. Determine your deal breakers and then make sure to ask the right questions around said deal breakers to each vendor - especially venues. You never want to go visit a venue, fall in love, then learn it's way too expensive or they are booked for your date and every other date around it. 

four. BUDGET. This one should probably be first on this list since in reality it actually is the one thing that EVERYTHING depends on. Also, figure out from your parents (or whoever is paying) if they are going to budge at all. Ha.

five. Hire a wedding planner. Now you may be thinking - Samantha, I thought you said you loved planning, why do you need a planner? Well, let me tell you. First, my venue requires, at the very least, a day of coordinator - someone the event director at the venue can go to on our wedding day instead of bugging me. Secondly, the last thing I want to be is stressed out on our wedding day. I want to be pampered, I want to relax, I want to drink mimosas gosh darn it! I ended up hiring someone to help out a bit more than just on the day of, but only because her next package up from day of coordination included free rentals and who says no to free? Not this gal. It has turned out to be the best decision ever. Wedding planners have connections to people you'll never find online. It may have cost us $300 more, but she's saved us far more with other vendors with her connections alone. I HIGHLY recommend.

six. Get your dress early. I have had so many friends have issues with their dress once it's come in for their first fitting or not coming in on time. I got my dress in September, over a year before the big day. I picked it up from the salon in February, was able to try it on and make sure everything was as it should be and now I have plenty of time to get the alterations, customizations and fit juuuuust right!

seven. Don't expect your fiance to help much. Honestly, expect that when they do try and help, their help is not needed and will be more of an annoyance than anything. I'm just kidding, I love when JC chimes in with his opinion - although more often than not his opinion is the opposite of mine and since he doesn't have a wedding opinion often, I always feel obligated to go with his choice. Except that time I said I wanted gold accents and he told me gold was tacky. On September 27th, everyone will see how much I paid attention to that opinion. 

eight. When in doubt, blog it out. I cannot tell you how many times I have had reservations or questions about something regarding the wedding (budget, bachelorette parties) . Nine times out of ten, I've taken those issues to my blog and I've gotten amazing feedback/suggestions! I can honestly say, my wedding posts are typically the posts that have the most comments on them. Wedding Wednesdays are my happy days. 

nine. Beware of Pinterest. Sure, Pinterest is great and there are more ideas than you could ever know what to do with. But because of the plethora of ideas, it's sometimes hard to focus. If you're like me and you had a wedding board before you ever got the ring, you'll likely need to create a new board. Lord knows I had every idea under the sun on my first board. I needed a new board to help narrow down my ideas. And hey, it doesn't hurt to narrow them down even more to specific categories like flowers, stationery, photos. I've found this super helpful, as now I'm able to send the specific board links to the appropriate vendors I've booked, so they have an even better idea of what I'm looking for in the end.

ten. HAVE FUN! Enjoy the planning process. Don't let it stress you out! Include the most amazing people in your bridal party. And most importantly, take the time to make sure that your (and your fiance's) day is exactly what you want it to be. Sure, the focus is truly on the marriage, but I think it's important that you also have the exact day you've always dreamed about. Throw some little things in here and there that speak directly to you and your future hubs. Even if no one knows the meaning behind them, you'll know and later on down the road, you'll be able to look back and remember exactly why those details were included in your special day. 

See? Now do you believe me when I say I think wedding planning is so much fun?!

Congratulations Jenn! I'm sure you and MG are having the time of your lives right now, while we're all back here at our desks being very jealous. You deserve it!

And last, but not least, thanks for letting me stop by and ramble for days ;)