Wednesday, October 29, 2008

THE DRESS (that's right....THE one!!!)

Another breakthrough in wedding planning happened last Saturday (Oct.25th)!

The search for the dress had only begun 3 weeks earlier. It all started the 2nd week of October at the White Room in Helena, AL. I got word that they were having a sample sale, but was sure I wasn't going to be able to make it since Mark and I had plans to go out of town that weekend. As luck would have it though, we decided that we would return early on Sunday so that Mark could get in some more study time for the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering Exam) that was coming up pretty quickly. After we made that decision (on Friday) I decided I'd call the White Room to see if by any chance they had any open appointments on Sunday (after 3pm) during their sample sale - turns out they did!! So I made an appointment then sent a text to my two B'ham bridesmaids, Deana and Ruth Ann. By some miracle they were BOTH available to go to the dress shop with me on Sunday! (on a side note...we are all usually really busy and its nearly impossible to get together, much less to get all 3 of us together!) So things were working out just perfectly! :)

At the dress shop on Sunday I tried on some beautiful dresses. I ended up narrowing it down to 2 and then started looking closely at price (I gave the saleswoman my budget for my dress on the way in and she was going to "police" our search based on that). Unfortunately, even with the sample sale discount (in some cases 50% off!) the dresses were STILL out of my range. They were very beautiful though, the saleswoman was amazingly patient and helpful and kind, and we had a wonderful experience there. I would definitely recommend The White Room - if you can afford it ;)

The next weekend my mom came up from Montgomery, AL to go dress shopping with me once again. This time I went to the Carriage House in Homewood, AL and The Something Blue Shoppe in Hartselle, AL (a little over an hour's drive from Birmingham!). The Carriage House had some beautiful dresses (hello Monique Lhullier and her beautiful lace! Another stand out was Christos), but once again the dresses were quite pricey! So we headed up to The Something Blue Shoppe where i had heard they had beautiful designer (yet more price-friendly) dresses. Our time there was limited because they close at 4pm on Saturday (like most dress shops around Birmingham - which i think is RIDICULOUS! I mean come on...does no one work??) So I grabbed as many dresses as I could to try on in a little under an hour - of course I went over that time and the sales ladies (somewhat) patiently waited for me. We left the store about 4:45 or so i think :) During that flurry of dresses there was ONE that stood out. It was beautiful and flattering and romantic and stylish and I couldn't get it out of my head all week! Unfortunately, that shop doesn't allow for pictures to be taken in the dresses (dumb!) so I didn't have anything that i could go back and stare at...errrr, i mean reference. :)

So this past Saturday my friend (and bridesmaid) Deana went back with me to check out that well as others since I hadn't had much time there the week before. We chose several dresses for me to try on as well as "the possible" dress. I tried on all the other options first and then put on THE dress. :) It was as beautiful as I had remembered. With the veil I had tried on the week before it was the perfect mix of modern/vintage (which for those of you who know me know that's totally my style). Deana even started to get teary eyed!! :) I knew this was it. Deana and I managed to sneak a few pictures in the dressing room so now i have a few (although not the best) pictures to gaze longingly at until the dress comes in :) Which the dress should be here by mid-February...I can't wait!! 

I have to admit I had a small battle with anxiety right after i ordered the dress. You see, as I've mentioned before, I'm "slightly" obsessive. I always have to research and research and think and make lists and research some more before i make important decisions. And I couldn't believe I had already ordered my dress just 3 weeks after i began searching! I think that's a record!! My mind started to freak out a bit though - had I looked at enough dresses? What if there was something better - for {gasp} a better price?? After about 15/20 minutes my mind began to settle down. What was I thinking? I LOVE this dress. This dress is AMAZING. This dress is THE DRESS that I'm going to be wearing while I marry the man I love with all of heart, my best friend, the love of my life. :) I'm SO excited. 

(and NO Mark...I'm not going to post any pictures! those are under lock and key :)'ll just have to wait! )

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I love this Bouquet.

Not much time for an entry at the moment, but I had to share this bouquet. I love it! It's so soft and romantic and so garden-like. I love the colors and the texture. I could do with a little less greenery in the middle between the peony and the ranunculus, but overall it's pretty close to perfect!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A *little* switch-a-roo

So...we'll start this entry with a little background...

when Mark and i got engaged it was a total surprise to me. I mean, I knew in my heart that we'd eventually be married...I just didn't know when. Mark and I had never talked about engagement rings and certainly had never gone to look at them...i had never dropped any hints or anything. So, the ring Mark picked out was an emerald cut diamond ring from Levy's Jewelry in downtown Birmingham. They told him when he purchased the ring that no wedding band had been made to go with it and that he might have to have one custom made. 

Fast forward to us getting engaged and several months later going to look at bands..... we looked everywhere. Seriously....everywhere we could think to look in Birmingham. None of the bands i tried on looked good with my ring. My ring has a unique curve in it where the diamond sets and the curved bands didn't fit nor did the straight ones. The diamond setting also wasn't high enough for a band to slip in under it. So, we realized that our decision was going to come down to 2 options. 1 - have a custom band made to go with my ring or 2 - switch the diamond into a setting that comes with a wedding band. After MUCH thought and searching we decided to go with option 2. We switched the diamond into a different setting. We found an amazing setting that came with a band at Diamonds Direct in Birmingham. The people there we so friendly and helpful (they don't work on commission!) and the set was an awesome deal. It actually ended up being less for us to change the setting than it would be for us to have a custom band made. So we ordered the setting and 5 weeks later it came in. I went today to make the switch.....and here's the result:

I love it!!

It turned out so beautiful!!! I could not even imagine it would turn out so well! I couldn't be happier. I had so much anxiety about this decision. I'm such a sentimental person...I felt so torn making this decision. the end, the thing that settles my mind and my heart is that I am able to keep my original setting. Mark and I plan to put a sapphire in that setting and I'll wear it as a right hand ring. The thing that makes me happiest is the thought that Mark and I will have 2 rings to pass down to our children and their children and on down. :)

and just for good measure (what started this entire process!) here's a shot with the matching wedding band...

I'm still getting used to seeing this ring on my hand. It's so strange to look down at my hand and see this ring instead of the ring I've worn throughout our engagement - 8 months now! And...I still have a piece of the other ring on my hand...the main part actually!...the diamond and the sentiment of my man! :) 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wedding Website

So in addition to having a wedding planning blog, I decided that Mark and I needed a wedding website - one that was actually for us (not just me like this one!) :) It was also very important to us to make the travel plans as easy as possible for our guests. With a website, we can put up to date information, accommodation info, travel, directions...even a way to RSVP online!  So I did a little research (mostly through WeddingBee where there is TONS of referrals, reviews and advice!) and I decided on I had a few requirements for our website, which this service happily met:
1 - it has to be free
2 - it has to be customizable 
3 - it has to give us an easy domain name
4 - it has to have lots of different features (, please!)
5 - it has to have additional pages I can add for the info of my choice
6 - it has to be easy to navigate for our guests
7 - it absolutely cannot be super cheesy (you know the wedding websites i'm talking about here!!) a HUGE can add music on this site, as well as take music requests from you guests! YAY! Any of you that know Mark and I know that music is a very very big part of our lives so this feature was just a huge added bonus to us!

Here's a link to our page:

And here's a screenshot of the welcome page (minus the verbiage): 

I'm not done with all the pages yet. For example, I haven't uploaded our picture album yet or added all of the music that we want to add (although i did make sure to put up the song that Mark wrote for me - sweet) :) but everything I've done so far has been super easy and user friendly. So...I'd definitely recommend them!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

big BIG News!!!!!!!


I'm so excited and so relieved to say that :) So...who did we book?? McLellan Studio from Franklin, TN (right outside of Nashville). Their work is amazing and I'm so excited that they will be our photographers! These guys only book 15 weddings a year so I'm so glad that we were able to book them. So, enough about the details...let's get to some of the images!!

These pictures are all from a wedding they did last September. All images are owned and copyrighted by McLellan Studio.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I couldn't resist that title. I've seen it written numerous times on wedding blogs, but i still think it's shocking, confusing and hilarious :) STD's, of course, stands for Save The Dates. You know, the little cards that are sent out to your guests prior to the wedding invitations. They let guest know the date of the wedding and also often list a website for more info. Well, I've been thinking about these lately. STD's (ha!) are usually sent out 6-8 months before the wedding. Well, at this point we are 7 1/2 months out so it's time to start thinking about them!!! (woah!!)

I'm considering using either a magnet or a postcard STD. With magnets....they are easy and convenient for the guests - just stick it on the fridge and you will daily be reminded of the wedding! For postcards, they are cute and inexpensive (both to create AND to mail!).  So...which to pick?!? I've done a little research (surprise, surprise huh??) and found some companies to use for either. For the magnet I'm considering Fresh Impressions  and I'm specifically considering this design:

Of course the picture would be of me and Mark (I know, seems obvious...but just thought i'd be clear!!) and the colors and font can be customized - at no charge!! So we could change the pink to a deep purple and the writing in that area to a pale aqua (yay!). I think I'd keep the "Save The Date" part in black font though and I'd change the font in the monogram to something a little more elegant.  So...this is option 1. I can order these - including the envelope - for the cost of 100/$1.29 each or 150/$1.09 each.

Option 2 is postcards. I could order these from Overnight Prints and I could completely customize them at no extra cost. I could order 100 of these for just $29.95!'s cheaper postage for postcards - only $.27/each vs. $.42/each for standard letters.  Here's a great example of a STD postcard made from Overnight Prints:

The personal information is obviously blocked out on this postcard, but you still can get the idea.  This person actually took the pictures herself at her home in front of her curtains, using her 10 second timer on her camera! those curtains kind of remind you of these by chance?!? :)

yeah, I love Damask. No big news, right? :) So...what do you guys think?? Magnet vs. Postcard?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Centerpiece Inspiration

I know that for the centerpieces i want something very garden-like...loose, lots of greenery and kinda "flowly" ...yeah, i know...that's not a word. But you get the idea? I want varying shades of deep purple (NO LAVENDER OR LILIAC PURPLES!!) mixed with whites, creams, blush and lots of greenery. I'm thinking leafy, vine like greenery intertwined and cascading. Although I like the short "just-gathered" centerpiece look, it would look best in our venue to have tall centerpieces. The reception is in a tent with VERY high ceilings and we'll need tall centerpieces to make that space seem not quite so empty and high.

Of course, as you all know, I'm quite picky on my shades of purple :) but i've managed to find a couple pictures where i like the color and the flowers. The shapes of these centerpieces would not work for me though - because of the whole height issue. Here's the inspiration pictures i found for our centerpieces:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Will you be...oh won't you bridesmaid?!??

My First DIY Project!

So when i asked all of my lovely bridesmaids to be in our wedding I wanted to do it in a special way. I wanted them to know how much i appreciate them, their friendship and their support and I especially wanted them to know how much it would mean to me for them to be in mine and Mark's wedding. Because of those reasons, I decided that i wanted to give them a little a "pre" bridesmaids gift. What i came up with was a silver necklace with a small silver initial hanging from it. Something simple, personal and can be worn over and over again. After looking through various Etsy sites I couldn't find any that were just right - some were too big, too small, too know how it goes. So i decided to order the materials and make them myself. I ordered the silver chains from Fire Mountain Gems and the alphabet letters from Art Beads. It was really quite simple...the only trick was getting the chain into the teeny tiny loop that the letter was attached to. So..I had to whip out the needle nose jewelry pliers and squeeze the necklace clasp enough to get it through the loop - then try to reshape the altered clasp - all without breaking the delicate silver. Slightly tricky, but I think it worked out well. The next step in the "Will you be my Bridesmaid" gift was the card. I found these at Amy Smyth Made It. They were perfect - cute and plenty of room to write a personal message! :) I then used the plastic pouches that the silver chain came in and printed out labels with the message:
Mark and Liz
May 30, 2009
and affixed it to the plastic pouch. 

Here's the end product:

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Old Quality vs. Quantity Value Dilemma

I've been struggling with this issue over the last week AT LEAST.  

I'm almost too embarrassed to write another photography post....but here's the update: the photographer I blogged about a few posts ago - W. Scott Chester Photography - booked our date a few weeks ago. I was totally devastated. Especially since when they got booked I was awaiting some answers from them on some questions I had sent - as soon as I heard back on those questions, as long as everything worked out, I as planning to book them. So yeah....that sucked. Bad. I guess there must be some other photographer out there for me then, right?!?

I've found two photographers that I'm closely considering. Number 1 is an associate photographer from the Our Labor of Love team. She seems pretty cool and she's been shooting weddings for awhile - although, she is just an associate photographer. Her pictures look good and i totally think she'd be capable of capturing the day and giving us some quality images. BUT...from looking through her "full wedding galleries" I can definitely tell that she's an associate photographer - just because there's some room for improvement. I mean she certainly gets some great shots, but there's also a lot of "filler" - know what i mean? Stuff that could just be tossed. Now, on there other hand Number 2 is a husband and wife team by the name of McLellan Studio and they are absolutely great. The photos are amazing. Their full wedding galleries are super impressive. They spend countless hours editing every single one of their photos to bring them to their fullest potential. They describe their style as chic, dramatic and edgy - to sum it up it's fine art photography and they're badass

That brings us to the dilemma -  They are both about the same price-wise, BUT what you get for that price is totally different. On Number 1 you get the disc of images (basic editing), a 9x12 or 10x10 30 page album, 8 hours of shooting time, travel included and the print prices are typical ($10 for 4x6 and it goes up from there respectively). With Number 2 you get 7 hours of shooting time, an engagement session (good time to get to know the photographer before the wedding!) and all images "artfully edited" - but you don't get the disc of have to purchase that if you want it and it's super expensive. Also, their print prices are a good deal more ($25 for a 4x6). On the plus side...all of their albums are custom made - in other words there's no template or no limit of choices you have on which album you get. They create it from the ground up just for you. Also - you have NO TIME LIMIT for ordering your pictures or your albums. If in 5 years Mark and I decide we want to order an album then we can order it then. Same for prints. They also have a "gift registry" for the pictures so people can purchase like a $50 gift certificate (basically) for you from the photographer and we could put that towards whatever we wanted - prints, album, disc of images...whatever. The gift registry is through the personal website that they'll create for our online image gallery. 

So...obviously with Number 1 I'll get very good photography, an album and a disc of images that i can print from whenever I'd like. With Number 2 I'll get awesome photography and unlimited time to order products, but no physical pieces upfront. 

What's a girl to do?!? 

Also - I've been told I'm being compulsive (by my mother and my fiance), and i know i probably am...but this is super important. I know to some people it's just wedding photography, but i can be quite sentimental (my zodiac sign is Cancer afterall!) and i really do think it will be one of the most valuable things to me that i will own and something that we can pass down in our family for a long time. As far as Mark's opinion - he agrees with me on the quality of Number 2 and thinks either one is way too much money to spend (and in theory i agree - unfortunately that's just what photographers cost and there's no getting around that). Other than that insight he doesn't have much to say on the subject - although he did say to just book the one i like. Opinions? Suggestions? Advice? 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm Committed., not to a mental institution...I haven't gone that crazy from wedding planning...yet. And no, not to Mark (well i mean of course i'm committed to him but that's not what i'm talking about here!!). I'm committed to a color scheme. There, I SAID IT!! The Color Scheme of the Reeves/Boger Wedding (wow - that sounds kinda strange...haven't gotten used to saying that i guess!) IS..... Deep Purple, Pale Aqua and Black/Ivory Damask.  My commitment was solidified after this purchase:
They're two damask ottomans that i will use with a little lounge area by this reflecting pool at our venue:

We're also going to have some highboy cocktail tables along the side.  The ottomans are a flocked damask print with a really pale gold cloth. They look a little darker in this picture than they actually are.  I'm planning to purchase a small loveseat/couch at IKEA sometime between now and the wedding to go along with these ottomans. I'm thinking white or offwhite. I'll probably pick up a couple side tables there as well. After the wedding is over we can either keep these and incorporate them into our study/office OR we can sell them...I guess we'll make that decision when the time comes! BUT....want to know the best part about these ottomans?!? They were only $35 each....yep, that's right! ONLY 35 DOLLARS!!! wow, huh? I had seen them at Target for $50 each a couple weeks before and then i went back to Target last week, saw them on sale, and couldn't resist!