Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Love for the Bride November 7, 2013

As many of you readers have probably gathered by now, I was in a few weddings this summer.  It just so happened that some friends near and dear to my heart were all getting married within a few months of each other, and I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in 3 of their weddings.  As a bridesmaid, I wanted to do something special for my friends who were getting married.  I had come across a pin on Pinterest that was entitled “Letters to the Bride.”  I checked it out, and decided that I wanted to revamp the idea to make it something super special.  Now ladies, I know that you’re focused on seeing your soon-to-be-hubby as you walk down the aisle, but let’s not forget that your girls loved you first and we’ll love you forever, and we may just want to remind you of that 😉  Here’s how my reminder worked…

I sent each lady in the wedding party, plus the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom a packet.  That packet included:

  • 2 plain 10×10 pieces of scrapbook paper in 2 of the wedding colors
  • 2 8 1/2×11 pieces of patterned scrapbook paper to use as decoration in another one of the wedding colors
  • a scrapbook-safe Elmer’s glue stick
  • Some accent piece adhesives (flowers, pearls, jewels to get the ladies excited and thinking glitzy!)
  • This letter (tailored to each Bride & Groom) explaining what each lady was responsible for

I tried to send them out at least 2 months in advance of the weddings so that people would have time to do them and not feel stressed by this extra little project.

In the letter I requested that people either mail their 2 pages (one with a letter to the bride, and one of pictures with the bride) back to me or bring it the evening before the wedding to the rehearsal dinner so I could put them all together.  I had purchased basic 10×10 page scrapbooks in corresponding wedding colors from Michael’s with a 20% off coupon for each bride.

When the books were presented there was gut-busting laughter, there were tears of sentimental happiness, and there were hopeful feelings of friendships continued as the bride said “I do.”



I also added photos accumulated of the brides with all her special ladies for a few fun photo collage pages at the end of each book

I also added photos accumulated of the brides with all her special ladies for a few fun photo collage pages at the end of each book



Love Sweet Love August 10, 2013

2 weekends ago I traveled (once again) to Chicago for my beautiful friend Brittany’s bachelorette party.  Her Maid of Honor Emily put me in charge of picking a theme, and I offered to create the decorations since I was going to be able to arrive at the hotel before she and the bride did, and could spruce up the room ahead of time.  Brittany is one of the absolute sweetest, kind-hearted friends and brides I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  For that very reason, I knew nothing too wild or raunchy would fit the bill for her classy weekend…which lead me to “Love Sweet Love.”

At first, I searched high and low for the awesome candy jars people have used for similar themes on Pinterest.  However, I quickly found that they were quite expensive, and thought I could probably create something of my own to fit the bill.  I went to the dollar store (the Dollar Tree is my favorite, they’re pretty consistent with their merchandise, and have higher-quality things than a lot of other dollar stores I’ve been to).  There, I found some tall, simple vases I figured I could use, as well as some candle holders and candle stick holders that I thought I could create a tiered look with.  I glued the candle stick holders onto the bottom of a few of the simple low candle holders to make them look similar to the leveled candy dishes I was modeling from.  I asked the bride for her favorite candy choices, and filled my leveled jars with her adored sweets.  I was also lucky enough to find that they had adorable little chocolate votive candles that I couldn’t pass up for additional theme-appropriate room decor!



Set up on the hotel room desk


There were a lot of adorable signs that fit my theme on Etsy, but again, everything is pretty pricey out there!  Instead, with a quarter yard of canvas I was able to cut out triangular pennant shapes, then using letter stencils and pastel candy-colored paints that I already had, was able to make banners for “Love Sweet Love” and the bride and groom’s initials.  I cut holes into the sides of each banner, stringing simple twine through each letter pennant and tying bows on the ends of each word to make it look extra sweet and girly.


IMG_4474As you’ve seen Kelly post for Karla’s nautical-themed shower and other events, tissue paper poofs are an excellent and low-budget way to spruce up a room.  Dollar Tree has multi-packs of pastel colored tissue paper that were easily folded and poofed for the ceiling to make the room really feel sweet!



We also played some games at the shower, the one I made up being a Chicago scavenger hunt.  I was lucky enough to find lollipop pens on clearance from the dollar section at Target that the girls could use to check off the scavenger hunt items as they found them around the city that night.


What do you think, did I hit the bulls eye with this “sweet” party theme?


Last Wedding Before the Big Wedding May 29, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

The Knot kindly reminded me this week that there are less than 120 days until I get hitched. However, it wasn’t the Knot reminder email that made it seem like the big day is getting closer. Instead it was another wedding! The last wedding that I’ll stand up in 2013 until my own.

The weekend was a blast. Friday night kicked off the wedding weekend with a manicure and pedicure date at Hannah’s Nail Salon. They were very friendly and allowed us to bring in a few beverages to enjoy. The bride gave us our first present too, the nail color for the wedding. It’s a beautiful magenta color that matched the wedding accent color perfectly. Saturday included the run-down at the church followed by the rehearsal dinner at Giordanos. Once again we had a great time getting to meet the rest of the bridal party and swap bride and groom stories. Plus the bride gave the bridesmaids more goodies (as did the groom to the groomsmen). But we received earrings for the wedding that were hand-made by the bride’s aunt, a wooden hanger for our dresses, a freezable wine glass and a lunch bag with our name embroidered. Oh, and a sweet hand-written letter from the bride. So now we were all set for the main event on Sunday.

The girls were up early to be at the hotel for hair and make up by 9:30AM. Luckily, I made a Starbucks run which gave the perfect pick-me up to all the bridesmaids. It was a lot of fun to watch the hair and make-up transformations in the morning. From lots of teasing to troll hair to smooth and sleek and ready for the dance floor. Our timing throughout the day was perfect as well as the vendors. We were all dressed and ready to go by our assigned time with our flowers.

Bridesmaid Flowers

We made it to the church in an awesome party bus for the ceremony to start right on time. The ceremony was beautiful. It was a little longer than the typical Protestant wedding I’m used to, but I made it through the full Catholic mass without a problem. Luckily for the bridesmaids, we got to sit down in between the long parts!

After the ceremony we were off for pictures. We stayed in the church for a few formal pictures but then we were off to a local park. We took a ton of fun pictures that I cannot wait to see. We even managed to beat the rain and make it to cocktail hour with plenty of time for a drink and appetizers.

The reception couldn’t have gone better. Every detail was accounted for – from the favors, the table centerpieces of a single rose and the up lighting around the room. Plus the food was amazing.  I mean, any wedding that has two desserts gets an A+ in my book. And the DJ, he just kept rockin’ it so you felt bad when you left the dance floor to get water.

The bride and groom definitely set the bar high for Matt and I to follow. Matt even commented a day later that he would “totally do-over that wedding and go back in time and do it all again”. Guess we gotta get to work because we’re not competitive or anything 🙂


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