Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out of Town Gift Bags

If you are feeling crafty enough to make your own gift bags, here is some inspiration from Martha Stewart.  She shows a cute way to make bags full of treats.  It's much more cost efficient to buy in bulk and then seperate the goodies into seperate bags.  While your at it, you can encorporate the look to compliment your wedding.
We opted to make our own bags.  Here is the post if you are in the DIY spirit. 

Want more inspiration?  Click on the label OOT gift bags.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Out of Town Gift Bags

I am a huge fan of out of town gift bags.  There is nothing like getting off a plane (or worse, a long car ride) and checking in to a hotel with some treats waiting you.  On more than one occasion, we have checked in on a Friday afternoon with just enough time to unpack and get ready for the rehearsal dinner.

Back to the OOT gift bags aka Out of Town Gift Bags.  Really, they are a godsend.  If you have the money but are lacking in the DIY spirit, contact Swell Sweets.  They will make your gift bags for you.


Another option would be Bagable Gift.  Based in Chicago, the company focuses on making gift bags for your wedding.  I really like that they use customized labels to seal up all of the items.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Congratulations... I mean, Best Wishes!

Over the holiday's, I am sure that some of you were engaged or you knew of someone that became engaged.

Best Wishes!

Before you enter the overwhelming world of dance lessons, DIY projects, and findining the perfect linens, sit back and relax.  Enjoy your engagement for a few days before entering the world of wedding planning.  I can assure you that from now until you walk down the aisle, you are going to have at least one meltdown.  Don't fret.  It happens.

Until then, just enjoy the wonderful time. 

When you are ready to start planning, check back here for more details on Wedding Planning 101.  And incase you are a blog newbie, I have tagged all posts with the label Wedding Planning 101 so that you can sit and read these posts together and at your leisure.


 

Our engagement on the Canary Islands

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Love, Actually

I will be spending the holidays with loved ones.  And, of course, watching my favorite holiday movie.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wedding Presents We Adored

Besides getting a slew of gifts off our registry, we received mostly money.  It's a Chicago thing.

We did get 3 presents that were neither cash or registry items.  They were all wonderful, heartfelt gifts. I already blogged about the fabulous earrings my best friend bought us (read me). 

I was adament about no brunch/ breakfast/ luncheon the day after the wedding.  I've seen brides with bags under their eyes trying to be a gracious host.  No thank you.  We let everyone know in advance that we preferred not to be bothered.  

Well, I made such a big deal about wanting to be alone that my Greek Mom gave us this FABULOUS gift of an in room couples massage for two.  Hotel Allegro offers in room spa services


It was amazing!!  

The morning after the wedding, we awoke to breakfast in bed.  Then, the two massage therapists arrived to set up in the living room of our suite.  Finally, I hopped into the jacuzzi until I turned into a prune.

The hotel let us have a late check-out so we finally emerged from our suite around 3PM.  Our first day of marriage was off to a fabulous start.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tis the Season... to give a gift


As many of you are probably out making a few last minute holiday gifts, I thought you might enjoy this article from CNN, "Here Comes the Bride, There Goes Your Wallet".  It talks about gifts such as cash VS registry gifts VS non-registry gifts.

What do you think?  Would you be happy with a blender?  Or do you prefer cash?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Wedding Presents: Home Decor

Besides getting a slew of gifts off our registry, we received mostly money.  It's a Chicago thing.

We did get 3 presents that were neither cash or registry items.  They were all wonderful, heartfelt gifts. I already blogged about the fabulous earrings my best friend bought us (read me). 

Another gift came in the mail a few months after our wedding from one of our groomsman and his wife.  It was a framed photo from the company, Just The Thing.

Close up of the gift


The artist, Erin Duggin, has a wide of array of services beyond her name collages.  She does framed collages in both color and print.  

In our dining room, above the bar

Friday, December 19, 2008

M+D: After Party

As guests were leaving (or heading to the After Party), they took home their choice of favors: Girl Scout Cookies!  While I know that some brides feel that no one takes home their favors, it wasn't a problem with us.  We only had 8 boxes leftover.

 I prefer having favors on the escort card table.  By the end of the evening, the table is empty of escort cards except for the centerpiece.  Most guests forget to go back to their table to pick up the favor but everyone passes the escort table on the way out.

As soon as the reception ended, I headed upstairs with my bridesmaids.  While we were in the elevator, they all started working on the real satin buttons.  I emerged from the connected suite only a few minutes into the party.

I was famished.  After a 36 hour adrenaline rush, I finally could eat.  We brought in mini burgers and mini-sandwiches along with pomme frittes from Minnie's.


I adored my second dress with it's "something blue" train.  

Besides eating and drinking, there was also a pool table.


On the flatscreen in the back of the room, we played our favorite Chicago movies on mute.  The iPod had a eight hour play list.


The life of the party!  Susan brings in the leftover beer from when the guys were getting ready.


David served as our bartender.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

M+D: Dancing the Night Away

My Mother in Law with her good friend.
Hilarious.
Really. My in-laws didn't leave the dance floor.


Ashlynn was my Greeter and a Reader. She joked that two jobs should mean she should get two gifts.

With friends and family. When it got late, there were definitely more girls on the dance floor than guys.

Miracles never cease: my nephew out on the dance floor with his Mom.


Dancing the night away... off went the Oscar de la Renta for Old Navy flip flops.


It was nice to see that everyone had such a good time, even if they were exhausted.


Just one more dance! Sheila and her husband were going to leave right after dinner because her daughter had been hurt.  They had so much fun that they stayed until past 11PM.  I dragged her out for "Just one more dance!"


Darling, save the last dance for me.   We had the band play Your Song.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

M+D: Anniversary Dance

The Anniversary Dance kicked off the third dance set.  Although we still have our last course, the music never stopped.  By this time, everyone was ready to celebrate.


The winners of the anniversary dance were Denton's fraternal grandparents.
They have been married for 61 years.

My in-laws were on the dance floor all night long.

Towards the end of the night, the boas came back out.
My Greek Mom was doing all sorts of crazy things to Denton.  It was HILARIOUS!

The pictures that mean the most to me are the ones where people are just having a good time.
My Maid of Honor doesn't normally dance.  I was so happy she was out there all night long.
A slow song with my Greek Mom.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

M+D: Mille Grazie y Mangia!

After the second set of dancing, Denton and I went up to say thank you to all of our guests.  It meant a lot for everyone to be there, especially since our guest list was 80% out of town.  I also reminded guests to pace themselves as there was an after party!


The entree, a duet of a filet mignon and crab cake, was served.   I asked the hotel to serve me two crab cakes.  Of course, I was so overwhelmed that I barely finished my first one!


My "oldest" (read longest) friend, Kim on her way back to her seat.
Everytime we sat down for another course, there was much to be discussed!


As I mentioned in my previous post, we had the candy buffet set out since the beginning of the evening.  By the time dinner came along, everyone had already raided it at least once.  




We had three different types of candy containers: glassine bags, small red chinese  to go containers, and large white chinese to go containers.  To make them look cohesive, we did a very easy DIY heat embossing project.

Monday, December 15, 2008

M+D: Dancing between the Courses

After the toasts and the salad course, the second dance set began.  The dance set began with the Mother Son dance.

Denton's Mother, Susan, was so excited for the dance. She picked the song "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" by Van Morrison, her favorite artist.


Denton and his Mother are very close. They both smiled the entire time.


Although it looks like we aren't paying attention, us girls were talking about how sweet they looked up there.



Briana watches her Brother and Mother during the dance.

It was past 9:30PM, we hadn't even gotten to the entree yet, but everyone was out cutting a rug. Here is our Officiant, looking a lot less official.

Sweet Caroline is sure to get the crowd going.

Bum Bum Bum... It was one of the hits of the night! 


Denton isn't a big dancer so he opted not to dance during some of the "girly" songs.


However, he will always dance to a slow song.  Here he is with my (now our) Sister-in-Law, Justine.
Other guests opted to hit the candy bar. Instead of waiting to serve it after the entree, we left it open all night long.  Who says you have to wait for dessert?
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