Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brunch Bridal Shower

Well, I don't know about you all, but I am really feeling fall this year! I am really excited about the cool weather, wearing sweaters, and bundling up under blankets. This weekend is especially exciting because we get to celebrate the Deep Roots Festival in our sweet little town of Milledgeville. This makes it feel like it's officially fall around here. It is especially exciting because my bridesmaid Ana-Maria and her hubby are coming to visit! 

This fall has been extremely busy so far; Mark and I have been traveling to Atlanta almost every weekend for our wedding events and for Amber and Joe's wedding events! 

One of the wedding events recently, was one that myself and another bridesmaid planned for Amber. It was a brunch shower, which turned out amazing! 

Becca and I started the planning months ago after we settled on a date. The theme wasn't even questionable, considering that brunch is one of Amber's favorite things. 

We decided that I would be in charge of decor and Becca would handle all the food, which only makes sense because we love each of those things (I mean I love food too... but I would rather craft all night than cook!). 

We decided on a theme of burlap, sage, and cream- very simple, yet classy.

Let me just walk you through all the great stuff we did: 
I always have so much fun decorating for a shower or party. I made some fun banners for the gift area and the special seat for the bride. I also create a "Bride" pin for Amber to wear at the shower (which can be seen in the seat). One of my favorite crafts was writing on the chalkboard signs- I think they add a lot of fun to the decor!
Here is the mimosa bar, because what kind of brunch shower would this be without mimosas? After all, "brunch without mimosas is just breakfast." I created the banner from scrapbook paper, some rope, and a gold paint pen-easy as that! We had a few different juices available for guests to mix with their champagne: orange, cranberry, grapefruit, and pineapple. For garnish, we had blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple. One of the guests was a soon-to-be mom, so for her we provided some sparkling white grape juice instead of champagne (she said it tasted pretty much the same)!
We asked that guests go ahead and write their addresses on an envelope to save the bride the trouble of doing it herself (great idea Becca!). Also, we picked out some recipe cards and asked that guests leave the bride with one of their favorite recipes.
The favors were so cute! We purchased some small jars and filled them with delicious jam. We also made some miniature biscuits to go with them. I attached some tags to the jars that said either, "Jam packed with love," or, "Spread the love." How cute is that?! Thank you pinterest
And here is the beautiful bride-to-be! She was a champ and participated in one of our games- if you said the word "wedding," you had to wear the tiara until someone else said it! Let's just say, it was passed around quite a few times. We also played some bridal bingo, which I like to believe makes the gift opening a little more exciting for the guests!

What are some of your favorite themes for a bridal shower? Do you have a favorite shower game?

 In my opinion, any shower with mimosas is a good one!

Food Menu: 
Grits with cheese, bacon, and chives
Pancakes (plain and chocolate chip)
Lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Fruit Tray
Mini Quiche with cheese, spinach, and ham
Homemade cinnamon and walnut bread

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Choosing Bridesmaids

If you are living in Georgia, you understand that the start of the fall season this year has been magical, which is totally unlike this lovely state. The first and second day of fall have been cool and windy- it has been so awesome and making me want to stay home and snuggle up with some coffee (a girl can dream!).

In the mean time, I have been staying busy with wedding stuff every weekend (travel, travel, travel, ATL here I come!) and becoming an aunt to the most perfect baby boy, Killian!!

One of the first things we did after the engagement was decide who will be in the bridal party. It was probably be one of the easiest decisions I have made during the wedding planning process.

So, of course I have to blog about it: how do you choose? What things do you need to consider?

Fortunately, for me, it didn't take much considering.

It was a given who my MOH would be: my bestie and 'friend soul mate' Amber. I feel very fortunate and excited that my best friend, twin bride, and MOH is getting married three months before me-it's like a dream come true that we get to plan our weddings simultaneously, because it has made the whole process even more fun. It is especially nice to have a friend who will tirelessly discuss weddings with you because she also wants to talk weddings 24/7. I will be the MOH in Amber's wedding coming up in December (less than 100 days ahh!)
It is important that your MOH be someone reliable and someone who will make your life as bride as easy as possible (Thanks Amber!). Typically, this person is a sister or close friend.

I decided to have four bridesmaids total, why? Because, 1. I'm OCD and wanted to have an even number of bridesmaid on each side of me during photos and 2. because these ladies are my four closest friends, so it was really an easy decision. They are my closest friends for reason, they are funny, loving, giving, and most importantly-reliable women who I can always lean on.

Each each of my bridesmaids entered my life at a different stage and has remained close to me over the years.

Becca and I met in middle school, continuing our friendship through high school, college, grad school etc. We met during the awkward/immature stages of life and it's safe to say that, although we have grown up, we might still be a little silly and immature when we get together. I planned Becca's bachelorette party back in the day and was her MOH as well!
She is probably the prettiest red head I know!

Ana-Maria and I met during college, but our friendship really flourished during grad school when we realized that we were in deep! Without her, I'm not sure I would have survived! I was a bridesmaid in Ana-Marias wedding almost two years ago and helped plan her bachelorette party!
Psych nerds for life.

Brittany and I met during college and she was my big sister in Phi Mu. We were instant besties and were also roomies for a couple years in the best house ever (I mean, it had a pool with a slide!). I was MOH in Brittany's wedding this past May!
My most talented bestie!!

I sent all of the girls cards from Etsy, but Amber's was a little different since she is the MOH.

I am fortunate that my decision of who to choose was so easy! It is important to choose bridesmaids you are close to, who are reliable, who will be there for you, and who you will have fun with!

What are some characteristics you find important when choosing a bridal party?

Monday, August 4, 2014

This Bridesmaid is Engaged!

So, other than my girls day post I have been kind of elusive... BUT, in my defense I have been busy!! I started a new job, Mark and I moved to a new house, and most recently- WE GOT ENGAGED!!

What a happy surprise!

Mark proposed July 25th- a little over a week ago...

He had [apparently] been planning the whole thing for months and basically all of our family and friends were involved.

It just so happens that we were already planning a visit to Las Vegas to visit my brother and his fiancĂ© and also, to attend a baby shower for my future nephew.

Mark had suggested a "fancy dinner night" at one of the many beautiful restaurants in Las Vegas. He ended up choosing Olive's, which has a balcony over-looking the famous Bellagio water fountains.

During dinner, a photographer was taking pictures of different couples during the water fountain show, so of course we welcomed her to take our photos. She later came to us and stated that her memory card, "messed up," and asked if we would like to re-take our photos. We readily agreed and got up right before the 8:00pm show and watched it together for a few minutes. We turned around to take a couple more photos and the photographer said, "one more!" That's when Mark looked at me and said, "Are you ready?" and got down on one knee.

I was taken aback at first (who wouldn't be??), until I quickly realized what was happening. Mark started into a beautiful speech, pulled the beautiful ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him (of course I said YES!). It was a perfect moment and a perfect engagement that I will certainly never forget.

Thus, I will no longer be, "always a bridesmaid."

And that has been a high point of conversation since the engagement....
"What are you going to do about your blog? Are you going to change the name? What are you going to blog about?"
As for now, I have no intent on changing the name. I have loved being a bridesmaid for all of my friends and think it is one of the most important roles we play as friends. I also plan on taking good care of my maids, because after all, they are my favorite women.

Also, I chose the blog name because I thought it was catchy and part of the old saying "Always a bridesmaid, never the bride." Not because I was bitter about being a bridesmaid so many times, those are memories I treasure.

There is still plenty to blog about regarding my own bridesmaids- how did I choose? How did I ask them? What gifts will I buy? My own bachelorette party... the list goes on and on!!

So, for everyone asking- No! I do not plan on changing my blog!

Bridesmaids are important too :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Girls Day!

I don't know about you all, but I love a good girls night and in my opinion they don't happen often enough around here.

I just love getting to hang out with my best gal pals and doing all the girly things we can think of. Which is exactly what we did a couple of weekends ago when I traveled up to Alpharetta from Milledgeville for a day (and night!) filled with girly activities.

It all started a few months before when Amber told me that her fiancé was going to be out of town- we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to have a girls night- no-boys-allowed- kind of weekend.

We began the day prepping for spent several hours at the pool with drinks and snacks, including some yummy sangria Amber made. 

The 6 hours of pool time was followed by dinner and drinks at a place called Vintage Pizzeria in Alpharetta (I recommend the "Blue Pie" if you are a fan of blue cheese- yum yum!).

After dinner we headed back to Amber's place, opened up some wine, and set up the crown jewel of the evening-- a face mask bar:



We all created our own, different, concoctions to try and afterwards we were all raving about our baby-soft skin!

The night ended with some Cards Against Humanity, more wine, and capped off by watching "The Sweetest Thing," one of my favorite movies of all time!!

I definitely recommend you all try a face mask bar- this is a great activity for a sleep over with your bridesmaids or best girlfriends and will certainly leave your skin feeling refreshed!!

What are some of your favorite girls night activities??


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spray Tan Review

Because, what could be more important to a bridesmaid than a good spray tan?

Afterall, you are in the photos forever- so it's important to look your best. And for me, looking my best includes a tan-preferably without having to deal with the actual sun. 

I was recently at a girls day event where we spent time at the pool with some cocktails and one of my fellow girlfriends mentioned something about a spray tan. While we were on the topic I started discussing the different spray tans I have I tried and what I thought of them. 

And that's how this blog post was born... 

Here are all the spray tans I've tried and my thoughts on them:

Spray Tan Booth: I have tried a few different spray tan booths, but Versa Spa has been the best by far. 

It was so fast, easy, and included a moisturizer pass as well. The color turned out awesome, not orange at all. It was around $25 at the place I went (not too shabby) especially since it lasted about a week. 

Sometimes when I think about doing a spray tan in a booth I think about that episode of Friends where Ross gets a spray tan and it goes horribly wrong....

...Thankfully, the directions are much simpler these days with no counting involved!

(If you're concerned about toxins, there are some places that offer organic solutions). 

At home spray tan: I have used Salon Bronze Airbrush Tanning System from Sally's. I absolutely LOVE the color that comes from this spray tan. Not too mention, it's only $12.99 to order online and the refills are only about 8 or 9 dollars. This spray tan has lasted my about 4 days on average. 

However, it can be difficult to do at home. My boyfriend has been a trooper and spray tanned me a couple of times.  Trust me when I say-it takes some practice and good lighting! 

Nowadays, I only use this spray tan when I'll be wearing a dress that covers most of my body just in case we have some issues with missing spots. I wouldn't recommend this before a beach trip unless you're a professional!

Spa Spray Tan: This has been, by far, my favorite type of spray tan. The kind where you go into a spa or tanning salon and a professional sprays you with some high quality tanning solution. I feel that this is the way to go, because you get special attention and they always make sure that you are totally covered. Also, this type of spray tan has always lasted at least a week as well. 

The downsides? Well, you have to get naked in front of a stranger (I usually leave my undies on) and it costs a little bit more- around $30-$35 dollars. But, like I said, I think it's totally worth it! 

So, there ya go! My two cents on spray tans because I haven't been in a single wedding where I didn't get one before the big day! 

What spray tans have you tried? Did they work? Not work? Tell me everything! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bridal Shower In Progess- Easy DIY project

One wedding down as MOH this year, one more to go!

For now, I am on hiatus from official MOH duties. I have a good bit of time before the serious planning begins again, but that doesn't mean I'm not constantly thinking of ideas for Amber's upcoming bridal events!

Amber's wedding will take place during December. For now, I'm in the midst of figuring out details for her bachelorette party in NOLA, the bridal shower I'm planning with Becca, and the bridesmaid luncheon my mom is planning.

Let me just start by saying that I am counting down to this trip to NOLA... it is going to be mind-blowingly awesome!! But for now, I must concentrate on the bridal shower!

Becca (fellow bridesmaid and third part of our friendship trio) and I decided to plan this shower together. Becca and I have been friends since the seventh grade... which makes me feel old and she is actually the one who introduced me to Amber. I really can't imagine planning this shower with anyone else.

Oh, by the way, it's a brunch shower- who doesn't love a good brunch event?? I know I do.

Of course, the first thing we did was create a secret Pinterest board with our many ideas, giving us the opportunity to plan stuff without Amber knowing. We have seriously come up with some good ideas and I can't wait until I get to share it all!

However, the shower isn't until September...

For now, I leave you with this creative, easy, DIY project...

I bought some simple, black, plastic tubs for Brittany's bachelorette party in order to create some survival kits. I wanted to "fancy" them up a little bit and I came across an idea to spray paint plastic tubs so that they look like metal. Let me tell you, it turned out awesome!

Plus, it was so easy!

I looked for some spray paint at Hobby Lobby and made sure to read the label to find out if it would work on plastic. I chose this brand:

                                             I went with gold, because well...I love gold.

                                     Here is the before picture, you can see it is just a plain ol' plastic tub.

                          Ta-da! Here is the after picture. Now the tub looks like fancy metal!

The spray painting part was easy and not as messy as I had envisioned. We had a couple extra boxes from stuff that was shipped to the house, so I put the boxes outside on the grass. I just followed the directions on the back of the can, and voila!

These will be put to good use at some upcoming events, especially the brunch shower. I'm picturing these guys holding some ice and champagne bottles-- because you certainly can't have brunch without mimosas!

I'm looking forward to sharing more details on the brunch shower... eventually! 

Has anyone thrown a brunch shower before? I always love hearing different ideas!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Graduation Party

Recently, I spent a weekend celebrating a BIG event- Mark's graduation!!

We had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time and it was well worth the wait. My parents, Mark's mom, and Mark's brother came down to visit and we had ourselves a graduation cookout.

We had all of the classic cookout foods- burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, deviled eggs, potato salad, coleslaw, chips and dip, soda... and that's really not all of it. Our families were very generous in the amount of food they brought! Of course, the crown jewel of the food (in my opinion) was the cookie cake!

I made this sweet little "Celebrate" banner for the food table using scrap book paper for the flags. I found some big glittery-gold letters on sale at Hobby Lobby (score!). The table was also covered in graduation cap confetti, which I am still finding in the carpet!

We put up as much "class of 2014" decorations as we could! Including some festive "2014" streamers wherever we could fit them. I also decorated the chalkboard in the living room, which I try to do for any special occasion!

While searching Pinterest for decoration ideas, I kept across graduates holding signs that said "I'm done!" and I just loved that idea. I'm not sure Mark loved it as much as I did (I think it's really hard to plan stuff for boys, or is that just me?), but he was a trooper and let me take his picture holding it. I think he actually got into it after a while because he started posing with it- adorable!

My favorite decoration was the picture collage in the form of "2014," as you can see in the picture below. It turned out so great and Mark loved it! It was so fun to look through the scrap books his mother had made in high school and to see what a stud my man was back in the day. Mark's mom also emailed me some old pictures too, which I just could not get enough of!

Overall, the weekend was a success and we had a lot of fun celebrating. I have been so proud of Mark and all of his hard work over the past few years. Now, to look forward to life without school!! Congratulations to all of the 2014 graduates!