Supporting Small Business Saturday

In case you didn’t know about it, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is referred to as “Small Business Saturday,” a marketing push that is geared towards getting consumers to support small, local businesses (more on that here). As a consumer, I made sure to do my part in the days after Thanksgiving by not only participating in Black Friday shopping (not a fan of the switch to Midnight instead of 4 AM btw), but also in Small Business Saturday (and Still Shopping Sunday- ok I made up that last one). Since my sister hadn’t seen me in my dress yet, I made an appointment when I was home over Thanksgiving break to pop in and try on the dress on Saturday morning. Luckily, my sister approved. Of course while I was there I was coerced into trying on a veil- torture I tell ya- and I ended up buying it on the spot since as a part of Small Business Saturday, all veils and accessories were on sale for 50% off. Yep, that’s right half off.

Not that he reads this, but just in case:

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Craft Fairs are to Weddings…

We were actually able to return to visit our venue, Brooksby Farms, in November, about a month after our wedding will be taking place. They were having a craft fair so I didn’t take any pictures of the barn (since it looks a lot different with craft booths set up instead of tables), but it was great to get to see it in the Fall and get an idea of what it might look like when we are there “for real.”

Sign by the house with the room I will be “getting ready” in

Nathan Felton House, where the ceremony will be behind


The Barn


Barn sign


More signage- this is a historical site in case you missed it.

Farm stand

Apple weathervane- so cute!

It was great to see the venue in the season of our wedding to get a real idea of what it will be like. Also we got some amazing apple pie and incredible apple cider doughnuts- and craft fair! Win win for me, at least Mr. Fenway liked the treats :). We went with my family too so it was cool to get my sister’s take on the venue as she had never seen it before.

Did you “visit” you venue for any events after you had booked it?

Party Time, Excellent

My friend L, was so kind to offer her house up for a small Engagement Party for us. It was so much fun!


Mr. Fenway admiring one of our gifts from our fabulous friends.


Our fabulous hostess!


oooh classy, wine in actual glasses. How times have changed since college.


Group Shot! Mr. Fenway surrounded by beautiful women 🙂

Our friends were super generous and got us each a “survival kit” for the wedding day including things like deodorant, band aids, Tylenol, etc. Unfortuntaly Mr. Fenway was too quick for me and put all of our itmes away before I had a chance to do a photoshoot with them. You can see the cute bags they came in (sort of) on the side of the couch in the picture above.

Mr. Fenway did have fun doing a photoshoot with our Bride and Groom specialty beers that we got as well.


Bride Beer

Groom Beer


Detail Shot


Groom Detail Shot


Together


Showing the beers


Bride detail shot

At this point I was pretty impressed with Mr. Fenway. I had just turned him loose with my Camera after a quick lesson on how to use it. But then I kept going.

* sigh, guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He can’t be all classy after all : )
(There are multiple shots of this as well, but I figured I would spare you all those)

Thanks again to my friends for their generosity, and especially to L who did such a great job hosting! It was perfect and we had so much fun with everyone!

*As a thank you gift for hosting, we got L “A Muppet Christmas Carol” on DVD, a favorite of ours when we watched it on VHS in college. Man that makes me feel old!


(Source)

Was your engagement party a small gathering of friends? Did your significant other surprise you with any hidden talents (like photography)? Does the Muppets Christmas Carol remind you of college- or was that just my random friend group? (I am guessing the Muppets thing was pretty much just us).

Anthropologie

One of my favorite places to window shop (because sadly I can’t afford many of the items in this store- yet, I’m holding out hope that someday I will) is Anthropologie. When it came to the wedding, I found even more reasons to wander around and take some shots of things that I loved. Especially because one of the places we registered at was Amazon which has the absolutely amazing universal registry where you can add items from any store (and I may have added some of the Anthropologie items to my Amazon wedding registry).

How awesome is this sewing kit? Even more awesome is this tutorial on a knockoff of this $48 anthro kit here.

I love these mugs, used in so many weddings lately. Like the image below:

(Source) So pretty!


Love these drinking glasses


Oooh pretty Paris plate…

Awesome measuring cups

Pretty stackable measuring cups. Is it possible to have too many measuring cups?

Awesome vintagy (yeah, that’s totally a word) kitchen timer.

Cute bowls

I love this apron!

LOVE these coupe champagne glasses (no longer available)

Amazing coasters with the teal color I adore


Pantone pie dish

Cool pencils for the kids, and also an INCREDIBLE copy of Anne of Green Gables, one of my favs. Would it be too much to buy this edition even if I already own two other versions of this book?

And look, more measuring cups. Seriously, how many sets can one have before it is “too much?” I know Mr. Fenway would say I only need one. Darn his practicality.

Did you find any wedding inspiration or items for your registry in Anthropologie?

 

*All pictures personal unless otherwise noted

Favor me this: Mulling Spice bags

Early on in the planning process, I thought of the idea of giving mulling spices as favors to our guests. It fits with the “Apple Orchard” vibe of our venue, and would be easy enough for our many out of town guests to tote back with them without taking up too much space. With that in mind, I gathered my inspiration.


(Source)


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Tutorial here

I used three different stamps for this project.


Rolling Alphabet Stamp (Source)


Apple Rubber Stamp (Source)


Heart Wooden Stamp (Source)

The ink pads were Eggplant and Midnight from Paper Source.


(Source)



I had to saturate the stamp with A LOT of ink to get it to show up right on the cotton bags.


In progress stamping shot courtesy of my iPhone- hence the lovely quality in this and all personal pics in this post.


After I stamped the bags, I heat set each one using my embossing heat gun. This step might not be absolutely necessary, but I wanted to try to ensure the stamped ink didn’t run.


Oooh, ahh, pretty stamped bag.


In process. I stamped all of the bags at the same time, first stamping all the favor bags with the apple, then with Mr. Fenway’s name, then with the heart, then finally with mine. I found working from the bottom up helped me to gauge the spacing better.


Name blurred.


This was one of those projects that I had to “let go” a little bit on. I wanted each bag to be perfect but let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth. I have yet to completely master stamping, as you probably noticed. I am just going to display these bags in baskets or something to be determined later and let guests choose their own. Those who care can rifle through and find the “best” stamped bags, and those who are not as particular can just grab one at random (probably a majority of our guests will fall into the later category, after all a good number are Mr. Fenway’s fraternity brothers and from what I heard about their living conditions in college, they don’t seem the type that will care if they get the perfect favor bag or not. For example, Mr. Fenway’s frequent roommate was Mr. Jingles- a squirrel, an actual squirrel who would “visit” from outside whenever he chose. Maybe it’s just me but the thought of “sharing” my room with various wild animals- Mr. Jingles was one of many “guests” – is not so sanitary).


I picture it being something like this (Source)

Anyways, our bags will be filled with mulling spices from MySpiceSage.com which had the best rates.


Fancy Mulling Spices (Source)

I already bought the spices during a sale, but the bag and the favor bags are now safely tucked away at my parent’s house- away from my lovely but destructive animals, awaiting packaging closer to the actual wedding to keep the mulling spices as fresh as possible. We will just cut out Cheesecloth squares and measure the spices in and tie with twine- easy peasey lemon squeezy. The bags will have tags on them providing instructions as to how to use these lovely spices to mull cider or wine.

Back of tags- Bride and Groom used in place of our names. The logo is a modified version of The Wedding Chick’s downloadable monogram.


Cider instructions- modified from About.com

Did you tie your favors in to your venue? Did you also get your favors done ridiculously early?

*All images unless otherwise noted are mine, such as they are.



Finding a Photographer

Photography is extremely important to me. In fact, I started researching photographers well before we were officially engaged (like almost 3 months before we were engaged-whoops). The positive to having done this research beforehand was that we were able to book our photographer within two weeks after choosing our date and venue. This worked well since we were able to get someone for our date, who was in our (relatively low) price range, which can certainly be a challenge as you get closer and closer to that elusive “big day.”

I started with a spreadsheet on Google docs (similar to the one I did for the venue search)

This time my categories included contact info and website, pricing, the rights to the images, hours of coverage, second shooter, prints/albums, engagement session, online gallery, other included, notes

I tried to put the categories in order of what was most important to me, so I could see at a glance what each photographer offered. I had a list of about 34, and narrowed it down quickly to one who met all of our major criteria and some of the minor ones as well.

We chose Hello Love Photography, which is based out of Boston.

I loved the vintage yet classic feel to the photos and the fact that she even shoots some pics in film.


I love the pure joy in this one! Also, the heart confetti is awesome!

What a great moment captured!

Such a sweet first look!

Love this!

Action shots!

All images from the incredible Hello Love Photography.

I am so happy we have this incredible photographer. Not only do we get 8 hours of coverage, but the rights to print our own images, a second shooter and an album.

Did you have a fairly easy decision deciding your photographer? Or was it a hard process?

Guest List by the numbers

I love seeing charts breaking down RSVP numbers, so I thought I would do my own take on that breaking down the numbers of our guest list. (And yes, I am a dork and I am ok with that). I do have spreadsheets further breaking things down, but I will spare you that excitement.

Here are our breakdowns:

Here’s what I got from all the pretty charts. Despite the fact that Mr. Fenway thought he would be inviting more friends and I thought I would be inviting more family, we both ended up about 50/50 with each (my list was literally 50/50 how random). My definition of family was strictly those blood related, so my mom’s college friends and their children fell into my “friends” category along with any friends I have made in my life that I have stayed close with.
Side note: This is another semi-controversial area. I only invited friends that I have kept in touch with somewhat regularly in the past year or so. That means some of my college friends who I haven’t spoken to in a few years didn’t make the cut, even though we were once close, we haven’t remained that close. Conversely, some people I only casually talked to a few years ago made the cut because I have heard from them more lately. More and more guest list drama….

Also what I got from the pretty charts is that I only have myself to blame for going over in invites. I knew I was going to be over, there was just no way I could get my list to 75. With 50 family members, I couldn’t imagine only inviting 25 “friends” who are so important in my life. I did discuss things with my mother who, along with my father, is contributing 75% of our wedding budget and she said that she would be able to help a bit with any guests that went beyond the 150 guests we had budgeted for.

Now, I know this sounds a bit harsh, but I am hopeful that we get about 75% acceptance, which would leave us with about 142 guests (statistically speaking) and would keep us in budget. We do have a few things working in our favor for this, as it is a “destination” for most of our guests and it is a Friday wedding, which some people might not want to take the time off for. We are hopeful that all of our friends and close family make the effort to come and of course would love to have everyone attend, even if it does push us a bit over budget. We could always work a few things out and cut corners other places if it comes to it, and celebrating with family and friends is ultimately the goal. I will be sure to give a breakdown once our RSVPs come in and see how things compare.

Did you do any analysis on your guest list before the RSVPs came in?