It’s been a while

So I kind of fell off the wagon again.  I got a promotion at work and have pretty much been sucked into that.  But here’s a look at all the engagement photos we got back.  We plan on doing another shoot at some point in Tulsa, so we can get a little bit of that “big city” buzz… hahaha.  We had a family member do these, Richard’s cousin and it was a great experience.  The shoot was at their families farm and it is beautiful out there!  The only unfortunate part is we didn’t get to take as many photos as we wanted due to weather and our hectic schedules.  Oh well, what we got was great! Enjoy!Richard&Whitney (1 of 1)-3 Richard&Whitney (1 of 1)-4 Richard&Whitney (1 of 1)-5 Richard&Whitney (1 of 1)-6 Richard&Whitney (1 of 1)-7

Music Monday: Going to the Chapel

This weekend we met with and decided on our wedding officiate.  It is so ridiculously exciting to check things off our to-do list!  This week’s Music Monday is in honor of the latest task we’ve accomplished.  This is the quintessential marriage song, “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups.  We’re not getting married in a chapel but the point is WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!  I know that there is TONS more to do but as each decision gets made it seems like my mental image of our wedding day begins to get a little less fuzzy.

The ceremony is the most important part of the day but until Sunday morning when we were walking to meet our officiate candidate we had never really discussed what we wanted to include.  Would we include prayers, bible verses, a unity ceremony?  Would we prefer traditional vows where we repeat after the officiate, or just say, “I Do” or would we like to do our own vows?  So many things that we’d never even thought about until those 30 minutes before we would be bombarded with these questions.  The good thing is we have plenty of time to really decide what we want and don’t want.  We’re excited about our choice, Donna Deen of Two Oaks Weddings.  She was so easy-going and eager to meet all our expectations and demands for the ceremony.  Not only that but she was well within our price range and had great backup plans.  (I’m positive that as many things as possible will try to fall through on our wedding day, it’s just my luck.  I’ve been checking and double checking that anyone we sign a contract with has an acceptable contingency plan for any unexpected occurrences.)  As we walked home following our meeting I kept humming this song to myself.

Wedding Theme: Hippy / Boho

I’ve been accused of being a hippie in my life and I’m not ashamed of it.  I was am a bit of a nerd who LOVES history.  Growing up I was wild about the 60s.  From the music to the style and of course all the political activism that burned across our country.  I always thought that at some point I outgrew my obsession with the hippie era but it seems that in actuality the fixation just became a part of who I am.  On multiple occasions I have been called a hippie and even if someone meant it as a snub I’ve always received it as a compliment.

This past weekend I went wedding dressing shopping for the first time.  The associate who helped me said she wanted me to see a very unique veil that she had a feeling I would like.  The floral lace headband was worn across the forehead and was as someone said a little “hippie-ish.”  Now, I don’t know if I’ve settled on the veil but it got me thinking of how I can feature my love of the style on our big day…

Daisy Aisle Runner

Flower Power Backdrop

1. Daisy Aisle Runner & Flower Power Backdrop:  Daisy’s are such happy flowers.  I could see them lining the edges of the aisle leading up to a simple and natural alter backdrop like the one above.

Floral Crown 2.  Floral Crown & Boho Inspired Dress:  I will have a flower crown at my wedding.  I just haven’t decided if it will be full of big luscious blooms or a small spray of flowers.  I also love the unexpected dress above from Free People.

Long Tablescape

Via Wedding and Gems

3.  One Big Family Tablescape:  I love this long and winding tablescape.  I’m not sure what makes me think it’s hippyish but I think it would fit the evenings theme.

Wedding Favors

Click the image to buy your own flower bombs!

VW Van

Via Style Me Pretty Blog

4.  It’s all in the details:  I am in love with the idea of ending the evening with a drive in a VW Bus.  I will own one of these someday.  And as for the party favors, is there a better way for your guests to keep the flower power going than taking home flower bombs?!?

Shall We Dance

For a long time I thought I was 100% certain of what our first dance song, but that has changed.  I recently decided that “our” song is  much too slow.  I’m still using it but in a different way.  Now our first dance spot is wide open with a bajillion options.  Here are my top 6 (I just couldn’t whittle it down to 5) with a pro and con for each option.  Vote below for your favorite option!

1.  Jack Johnson – Better Together

Pro:  I made a mix-tape CD for Richard that very first summer we were apart after freshman year.  This song was the second track on the album.  Also we unexpectedly saw Jack Johnson in concert at Bonnaroo this past summer after he stepped in last-minute when Mumford and Sons cancelled.  It was such a wonderful surprise!

Con:  This is a pretty popular song so is it too cliché to play it as our first dance?

2.  The Temptations – My Girl

Pro:  I have loved this song my entire life!  My art teacher from elementary through high school, basically my idol, used to sing songs and walk around the classroom… this was one of his favorites and he’d always make me join in.  I was such a self-conscious little thing, I wish I could go back in time and belt it out.  Also my aunt’s thought I looked like the main character of My Girl and always made references to that.  In fact, thinking back, I’m pretty sure I thought this song was about me for a little while.

Con:  This song really focuses on the girl, me, and not the couple.  Also I REALLY wanted this to be the daddy daughter song but he said it sounded too much like a couple song and didn’t like it.  So is it weird to dance it with Richard when I thought it was more of a daddy daughter song?

3.  The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t it Be Nice

Pro:  We had the pleasure of seeing The Beach Boys in concert at Bonnaroo 2012.  It just about made my life!  I like to think I have an old soul… or at least the part of my soul that dictates taste in music is old because I have always loved The Beach Boys and so many other artists from the 50s through 70s. I love the lyrics to this song:

“Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married
And then wed be happy”

I wish I was a more musical person because my preferred method of sharing my feelings is by finding corresponding song lyrics.  It is just such a moving and powerful way to communicate your thoughts and feelings

 Con:  Did the movie “50 First Dates” hijack this song and that’s all anyone thinks of now that they hear it?  My sister nayed this song because her mind went straight to that movie when she heard it.

4. Coldplay – Till Kingdom Come

Pro:  I own every Coldplay album and they are probably my favorite band.  Their isn’t a single song on any of their albums that I dislike.  Despite listening to each album about a million times, it wasn’t until recently that I decided this song was perfection… I mean just read these lyrics:

“Hold my head inside your hands
I need someone who understands
I need someone, someone who hears
For you I’ve waited all these years

For you, I’d wait ’till kingdom come
Until my day, my day is done…”

Con:  How would we dance to this?

5. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home

Pro:  One of the lyrics repeated in this song is:

“Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you”

For a long time even before hearing this song, I felt this way about what defines my home.  I’m not a very big fan of living in Oklahoma.  I miss my home state and my family too much but I realize that I really felt at home here for some reason.  Then it hit me that I felt at home here because this is where I’ve made my life with Richard.  So upon hearing this song it immediately became one of my favorites that I played on a loop for weeks maybe months.

Con:  How would we dance to this?  We saw them at Bonnaroo and of course we totally jammed out but will we feel to conspicuous to do our best music festival dancing in front of all our friends and family?  Our  music festival dancing involves a lot of jumping and twirling and swaying sort of rhythmically.

6. The Troggs – With a Girl Like You

Pro: This song is so much fun!  It was the first record I ever bought because I loved it so and the iTunes version sounded horrible.  After buying the record Richard’s mommy let us use one of her record players and Richard would try to start the song right on time to when I was walking through the front door from work.  Sometimes he is just so sweet and precious.

Con:  I would probably have to use the iTunes version of this song at the wedding because I think the speakers there may have a hard time connecting to the record player.  If we did use the record player we’d have to get someone to drop the needle, which is a little tricky.

Wedding Rant

Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning (Photo credit: MyEyeSees)

I hate being negative but today has not been a good day on the wedding planning front.  Today marks the second time I have been informed by a photographer that I LOVED that they are booked on our date.  I loved these photographers because they had great photos and were within my price range.  In fact, most of the wedding planning has not been easy or fun.  All of my officiants have quoted me double my budgeted price and I really wanted a wedding video but I don’t think that will happen.  The videographer I really like charges $2,500 for a 10-15 minute video… what the what???

Don’t get me wrong, I am so ecstatically happy to be marrying my best friend.  He knows it and I’m so glad we’re on the same page with these feelings of frustration.  This never ending to do list also known as wedding planning is stressing me out.  Also, I hate spending money that I don’t have or that could be better spent paying back my student loans, furnishing our home, or even earning a tiny amount of interest in savings.  It literally makes my stomach knot up every time I think of prices.  Why do weddings cost so much?    I want to share this day with my family and friends but due to the sky high price of everything wedding related I’m having to savagely cut back my invitation list.

So what is a penny-pinching bride to do?  DIY?  Did someone say DIY?  Well, I do plan on DIY-ing the bugeezus out of my wedding but I also think this will make the day of my wedding and the night before a little (or a lot) more stressful for me and my crew.  Is there any other option?  It just seems like absolutely too much work and stress and planning and organizing and thinking about it all just makes me shut down.

To all my family and friends who might be reading this, I hope this blog post will keep you from thinking I’m horrible the next time you hear me hurl some insult at this wedding or the planning process.

Focused Inspiration

I went home for the long weekend and got some much needed family time!  While there we also discussed the wedding.  Turns out I have waaaay to many ideas.  I am told that I need to focus all my ideas and maybe decide on a specific feeling or theme that I want for our wedding.  So this week I’m going to post a few photos from one of my Pinterest inspiration boards.

Whimsical Vintage Wedding

Hanging Candles ribbon or paper backdrop

1) Wedding Alter Backdrop:  I like the hanging flowing feeling of ribbon or paper for the wedding alter backdrop.  I think this image could be high impact with minimal cost.

Light bulbs & candles Mason jar lighting string lights on floor

2) Lighting: I love the interesting decorative candles.  The candles are functional but also beautiful and add a vintage feel.  I also have a TON of mason jars at my disposal so perhaps I can DIY that lighting idea above.  I also like the touch of moss which could bring the outdoors indoors.  And those string lights trailing across the ground look so magical.

Long table & GeeseMossy centerpieces3) Table Settings: I love the idea of one long table.  It seems so intimate.

glower crown Messy hair

4) Hair: I love the long flowing hair and I am almost certainly decided that I will have a flower crown.  I’m also considering a messy up-do.

Wedding Dress 2 wedding dress

5) Wedding Dress: I love the detailed beading and how the dress seems floaty.  I’m also pretty crazy about long lacey sleeves though I don’t know if that would work for a summer wedding.

I love how light and flowing all of the whimsical inspiration feels.  It’s all so feminine and there is a lot of DIY opportunity which likely means a lot of money saving.  Please check out my whimsical vintage inspiration board on Pinterest and feel free to send me pin ideas!

Love Games

My least favorite part about blogging is coming up with titles.  Usually all I can think of are super cheesy things… what can I say, it’s who I am.  When giving this blog a title, Lady Gaga’s “Love Games” popped into my head.  But just the part that says “Let’s play a love game, play a love game.”  So now after that long explanation, let’s get to business.

I’m very determined that there should be games at our wedding.  I think that some people think this is a silly idea but this was one of the first ideas I was certain about.  While most weddings these days feature signature cocktails and crazy dance parties that just isn’t quite our style.  Richard and I rarely drink alcohol and rather than dancing the night away at a club, we’d choose a night in with friends enjoying good food and fun games.  I think that’s kind of the main theme of our wedding day, an overgrown dinner party filled with yummy food and lots of fun.    There will be music and an area for dancing, because even though Richard’s not crazy about busting a move I sure do enjoy it.  Here are a few of the games I hope to have at our wedding.  Most of these games link to their DIY instructions, you know just in case anyone really loves and really wants to help me scratch something off my to-do list.

Giant Jenga

Via A Beautiful Mess.

1.  Giant Jenga – This DIY was something I assumed would be pretty simple and straightforward and I was right according to the A Beautiful Mess instructions.  I came up with a monogram for Richard and I awhile back and it might be cute to put that on the blocks.

Bean Bag Toss

Via Katelyn Miller Designs.

2. Bean Bag Toss – I think this game is tons of fun and it could make for a very pretty game set.  I also hear it’s fairly simple and affordable to make.

mikado-game

Via La maison de Loulou.

3.  Pick-up Sticks – This is a game where no one even has to leave the table.  They are colorful, cute and can be taken home by guests at the end of the night.

outdoor tic tac toe

Via Chicken Scratch NY

4.  Tick-Tack-Toe –  This seems easy to make using materials we either already have or can find on the farm or at the Dollar Store.  I like that the wood round could be used as part of the centerpiece to prop up the florals and the rocks could be placed around the table as part of the decor.  Just scoot the flowers aside and you’ve got a game table.

I Spy

Via Martha Stewart Weddins

5.  I Spy:  I love the idea of handing out an I Spy List and a disposable camera to each of our younger guests and letting them capture specific moments and little details.  Not only does it keep them happy and busy but it’s a great way to capture a different view of the night.

 

Guest Book Ideas

There are many decisions that have yet to be made but I’m thinking the guest book is definitely one of the things we’re sure about.  The guest book is something that every wedding has and it’s a great opportunity to get creative.  Too often guest books are the same old same old but a quick peek on Pinterest shows many people are stepping away from traditional.

A Beautiful Mess

Via A Beautiful Mess

One of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, featured an out of the box guest book idea.  One of the blog writers, Emma, recently got married and of course her wedding was filled with a wonderful DIY spirit and unique ideas, like the guest book.  Though it’s not my cup of tea I really appreciate the creativity here.  Plus, Emma is using her “book” as an art piece in her new home.  What a great daily reminder of the beginning of your life together.

Via Dani Stephenson Photography

Via Dani Stephenson Photography

Another art piece I found fell in love with on Pinterest was featured at a Minnesota wedding.  The tree design alone would be a great piece but it means so much more with all of your loved ones names on it!

balloon finger prints

Similar piece by Peachwik on Etsy. Click to check out the shop.

I’ll mention just one more art piece, finger print guest books.  Now, I’m not so sure if I’m crazy about this or if I dislike it.  Who wants to dip their finger in an ink pad when their dressed in their nicest attire?  I know not everyone is as clutzy as me and therefore it isn’t absolutely certain that they will wind up covered in ink but, if it was me, I’d end the night with an ink mustache and lots of prints all over myself and probably my date as well.  I do, however, love the balloon print.  I would like this idea even better if everyone had also signed their name along with their print because most of us don’t have a FBI database we can run those prints through so as to remember who they belong to.

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Just as good or maybe better than having a guest book that doubles as an art piece is something you bring out on special occasions, like a game.  I love the idea of having guests sign Jenga game blocks.  You’ll likely bring the game out when friends and family come to visit and it’s a perfect opportunity and prompt to reflect on the happy day together.

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This puzzle guest book is also really cute!  Not only could it give guests something to collectively work on at the wedding but it’s something you can hand down to your kiddos when they’re developing their problem solving skills.

Via Something Turquoise

Via Something Turquoise

And another interesting spin on the guest book is guests notes.  This nature inspired wedding had an antique typewriter set up just for their loved ones to leave  messages of love and advice for the couple to read together in the future.

My guest book idea is a mix of the traditional (because there will be a book) and the new.  I will also be asking guests to write words of love and advice because reading over them later will be a wonderful opportunity for me to get emotional and sentimental.  The problem with my guest book idea is that it requires the use of a Polaroid camera.  If you have any tips on where to buy or rent one, let me know!  And no, I’m not posting my inspiration photo because, Hey, there have to be some surprises come the wedding day right!???

I found it!

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I finally found a copy of Brides of Oklahoma and of course I bought it! Can I just say nearly $10 for a magazine is kinda pricy but worth it since there is almost NOTHING on the internet to help with wedding planning in Oklahoma. If I lived in Dallas or Austin or even 1.5 hrs southwest of here in OKC it might be easier but I can’t find anything on Tulsa. We’re still searching for a photographer, videographer and a musician or two for the ceremony and cocktail hour. I’m going to go peruse my new magazine for leads! Readers I’m being 100% serious when I ask  beg PLEAD you to share any helpful websites, blogs, tips for a bride planning an Okie wedding!

Wedding Alter Inspiration

Time for another Wedding Wednesday! We’ve selected our venue which, to me, seemed the most daunting task. It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned when we started planning but it is very beautiful. My family was able to come by the venue, Canyon Crossing in Sand Springs, right before the engagement party and they all gave it a thumbs up! Each of my aunt’s had a gorgeous wedding so the fact that they approve of my venue choice made me very excited!

photo 1

My precious Granma taking a peek behind the pergola / ceremony site.

My precious Granma taking a peek behind the pergola / ceremony site.

Canyon Crossing was the first place we looked. When we walked in, I kind of knew it was the place. I immediately started envisioning where different parts of the day would happen… I would enter through here, the alter would be there, we’d serve late night s’mores here etc. But because it was the first place we toured, we decided to continue looking but nothing else really made either of us as excited as the first option. After a month of searching we called back and saved our date.

Now comes the real work, dreaming up the decor. I always thought I’d be one of those girls who was super excited to plan her wedding but I’ve realized I’m not. I am excited about being married but I am just not excited about the planning. I’d love to pay someone else to handle it but since I don’t have the funds for that, this will be a very hands-on and heavy on the DIY wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE looking at beautiful wedding photos but the thought of making choices for that special day is terrifying to me. What if it turns out bad or ugly? I just want everything to look like a magazine!

While looking at the venue this second time I realized that the alter area is very evident which is great because I Richard won’t have to build something but it also kind of plain which gives you lots of decorating options. There are good bones there just ready to be beautified but how, I’m not sure. So as I always do, I headed over to Pinterest to find some picture perfect ideas. Here are some of my favorites that I think I might be able to replicate. Some have links you can follow others do not.

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1. The Floral Curtains:  I like the impact these beautiful curtains bring. The part in the curtains also draws attention to the main attraction.

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For more on how the bride DIY’ed this beautiful background click the image.

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2. Simple Hanging Decor:  I love how simple this look is and how it compliments a beautiful natural location like ours. It doesn’t seem like this project would be that difficult to pull off on our own either.

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3. Asymmetric Floral Arch:  I really like that the entire arch isn’t thick with flowers and the area that is full is set at a jaunty angle. It’s unique and is a great way to add some color. And it may not be quite as expensive as a full arch brimming with flowers.

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4. Flowers + Curtains:  I like the mixture of the gauzy fabric and the thick bunches of flowers that keeps it grounded. I really that the arch has a thin silhouette but the more I look at it the more I think 80s music video.  Is anyone else catching that vibe?

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Check out the photographer’s Facebook page by clicking the image.

5. Outdoor Chandelier:  This look may also be a little too ritzy but I keep envisioning how great an antique chandelier would look!

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Check out the artists website by clicking the photo.

6. Dream Ceremony Backdrop:  This is my FAVORITE alter idea but I think it would distract from or obscure the beautiful natural background during the ceremony.

Which one was your favorite? How was your wedding alter decorated?  Also follow me here on Pinterest!