Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Maid of Honor

Meet Michelle aka my Maid of Honor!!

After a lot of planning and pining over how to ask my college roommate, Michelle, to be my Maid of Honor, I finally did it!

It wasn't as glamorous as I imagined, since my original thoughts were to spend the day at the spa, or do something (expensive and) grandiose like that. However, it was marvelous and I'm so excited that I have a Maid of Honor now!

We got together at California Pizza Kitchen (not very glamorous, I know), in our sweats (even less glamorous), and I finally got to pop the question! There was no hesitation on her part, as she's just as excited about the wedding as I am. I turned over about a half-a-dozen (small and mostly funny) gifts, we discussed the wedding plans (or lack thereof), and left anxious to get this show on the road!

While we didn't get into what exactly she's going to do as MOH, I am 110 percent confident that her wheels are turning! Plus, if you knew Michelle, you'd know you don't have to ask or tell her to do anything--she's the type to just get it done!

She's a Leo and very outgoing and friendly. She's career oriented and successful. She's a planner and has great leadership skills. She loves red bull (sometimes with vodka) and she also has a pit bull, Kia, who is just as sweet as her!

Michelle and I went to the same High School and lived together in college. Not only has she helped me through countless crises in my life, I've learned a lot from her too. Plus, she's always been non-judgmental, easy to get along with, and supportive.

She was also the first to know that Aaron and I were dating. She's been there (literally, in the same house) during arguments Aaron and I had, as well as, during the many, many good times we've shared.

Overall, Michelle has always been a very reliable friend. We always have a blast when we hang out and the truth is, she has never let me down and I know she never will.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd... She's going to be my Maid of Honor! Woo hoo!

The handmade card for Michelle (she loved it, btw)
Michelle opening her gifts

Michelle's favorite drinkSticky notes on everything!! Tissues--for when you cry (tears of joy).

A notebook--for when you get wedding ideas.

Bingo cards--for when you feel like just goofing off.

A whoopy cushion--for when I need a good laugh.

Socks--for when I get cold feet (in the meantime, you stay warm).

A receipt book--for when this MOH thing gets too expensive (bill me back).
A tee shirt that says Maid of Honor--for when you feel like showing off!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! One down, about 5 more gals to go! Stop back by, because I'll be introducing each and every one of them very, very soon! I can't wait to present everyone--these are my best (best ever) friends (in the whole world), got it? They are amazing people, with unique qualities, and I love them! Until then...

DIY Cards

It wasn't a week after I became engaged that I began looking at all the wedding accessory websites and shops for something to get for my friends to ask them to be my bridesmaid.

I saw everything from robes to makeup cases to tote bags and cookie cards, but I couldn't find anything personal enough. Plus, there wasn't much for asking, "Will you be my bridesmaid," as there was for thanking bridesmaids.

I was really set on getting something. I didn't want to rush off and call or text my friends because I wanted to make it more of an "occasion,"and present them with something that shows how much their support means to me :-) Not to mention, I'm a stickler for presents and surprises anyway!

I did found some really cute, handmade cards on Etsy (a bride's best friend), but unfortunately, the seller was pregnant and not taking any orders. I kept looking, but nothing really struck my fancy, and I was starting to run out of time. I know my friends were wondering if I was even going to have a bridal party!

Finally, I took matters into my own hands and made a visit to Michael's.

The result?

Some awesome DIY cards!!

I honestly didn't know I had it in me. I just decided I was going to do it and somehow it all came together! All I did was buy cardstock and those sticker gems. I cut and fold the paper into the shape of a card and I cut out other shapes with the leftover paper (hearts and squares). I used the leftover stuff to decorate the inner part of the card and decorated the front with gems and a few fake flowers (that I found in my basement closet!).

I typed up a little message on the computer and printed it on clear labels (which I also already had at home!). I think the most difficult part was placing the label onto the card. There were a few I had to toss, because I put the sticker on too quickly, and it was either bubbled or was crooked.

I was really happy with the outcome, but I still didn't feel it was enough. How about a t-shirt to seal the deal?

After scouring the internet for BM shirts, I stumbled across Bridal Party Tees and I loved the place instantly! Not only do they have some really cool designs, but you also have the option of customizing! With each bridesmaid in mind (their favorite color, personality and all), I designed one shirt at a time.

Finally (after about a month of getting everything together), I scheduled dinner with each BM, and they were all very excited to get a little package! They loved everything! One of them even cried!

Maybe it was because of the lovely poem (that I found online) in each card:

A friend knows the song in your heart
And can sing it back to you
When you've forgotten the words.

It's hard for me to believe
That in just a short while
Mr. Brooch and I will be
Walking down the aisle
Nothing would give me
More joy and pride
Than to have you there by my side.

I'll need someone to help hold up my dress while I pee too!

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Not too shabby for my first DIY project, huh?

Check out these awesome t-shirts! A perfect fit for every girl. I can't wait to order more for the bachelorette party!

Did you do or make anything special to ask your friends to be bridesmaids?

The Hendry House

Presenting The Hendry House

When I first started thinking about marrying Aaron (back before I was engaged), I envisioned our reception taking place here, at Fort C.F. Smith's Hendry House in Arlington, VA. I found the Hendry House through a search on The Knot for unusual reception venues.

On my first trip to the house, I was surprised to find that it was less than 2 miles from the church where Aaron and I are thinking of having our ceremony!

The house is a blank slate, very clean, and open. It's up to the bride and her planner to bring everything in--from the food, to the chairs, to the decorations. Initially, I thought that was one of the nice things about this place, however, after learning how much goes into having a wedding, I'm not so sure.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of undeniable pros about the Hendry House. For starters, it's the the most inexpensive venue we've found thus far. It's actually about $1000 cheaper than almost every other venue we've looked at!! Not to mention, Arlington County residences get a discount (not a huge one, but still).

As you can see from the pictures, it's very quaint (which we like) and there's a lot of land surrounding the house. Aaron and I saw it together for the first time back in May. I have to admit, I liked the landscape a lot better then. Not to say the red and yellow trees framing the house aren't goregous, but the view from the house was a lot greener (not as brown as it is now).

The only other real downside to this place is that it only seats 65. ONLY 65!! Even if we were willing to scale back our guest list, seating 65 in the house doesn't leave much room for a dance floor. Renters may seat up to 150 with the addition of a tent, which is where most brides opt to have dinner served, but we're not sure we want our reception split into two locations (inside a tent and inside the house).

We have not by any means ruled out this location as the reception site. Cost and location are important factors. We also might change our mind about having a fall wedding (that's still debatable, like I've said, because we also like the spring). I think we could also creatively solve the tent and house issue.

Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Right beyond the front porch
The view from the porch (a lot nicer in the spring)
The front of the house
Aaron standing in front of the house
The entrance A fireplace in the foyer
The wrap-around porch
The sunroom
The main room
Room to the left of the foyer
Built-in shelving
The hallway
The kitchen
Stairwell to the upstairs
The brides suite (a large bathroom to the left)
There are a few rooms not shown in these pictures, such as the groom's changing room.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Off to more venue shopping...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Pretty Dress

Like it? I do!

(All Photos Credited to Daniel Min via Daniel Min Wordpress)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Ice Cream Doughnut

Mmmmmmmmmmm..... My favorite dessert of all time!

I finally got a picture of it!

Did you happen to read my post on Modern Vintage? If not, check it out here.

In a nutshell, the above pictures are of the dessert that Aaron and I plan to serve at our wedding. It's a combination of our two favorite foods--ice cream and doughnuts. Did I mention the pecan and apple caramel sauce?


This marvelous mouthful is from Del Merei Grille in Del Ray, Alexandria, VA, which is one of our favorite restaurants. If you've never been, definitely go, and check them out. Not only will the doughnut wow you, their food and service will too!

More Venues

Morrison Clark Historic Inn & Resturant in Washington, DC
(Photo credit: The Morrison Clark)

George Washington's Mount Vernon Inn
(Photo credit: Here Comes the Guide)
See more pictures of weddings at the Mount Vernon Inn here by Bella Pictures.

Oatlands Historic House in Leesburg, VA (Photo credit: Oaklands Historic House and Gardens)

Tregaron Mansion in Washington, DC

Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA (Photo credit: The Marriott Ranch)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deciding on a Date

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall... Help me Pick a Date Y'all!

(Photo credit: via

Do I want to get married in the Winter? No, not really. I'd like to get some pictures outside and not have to freeze!

Do I want to get married in the Spring? Yeah, kind of. I like the lush green trees and tulips in the Spring. However, if I want a Spring wedding, it's going to have to be Spring 2011, because I refuse to plan a wedding in less than six months!

Do I want to get married in the Summer? Eh... I like summer, but we've all been to one of those outdoor weddings where everyone's sweating and suffering! Plus, I can only imagine what the summer heat will do to a girl in a wedding dress! Yikes!

Do I want to get married in the Fall? Well, I like the fall. I like cool breezes and I like the fall foliage, but I don't like all the rain we've had this fall! I can handle a sprinkle, but it's been pouring for days at a time lately!

Aaron and I have talked about a couple of wedding dates. Especially since my mother assured me "this is the first order of business!" I would have avoided picking a date, because once the date is set, there's no changing it! It's kind of a big deal, right?

Well, we've come up with the following possibilities:

September 25, 2010

October 23, 2010

December 31, 2010 (call me crazy!)

May 15, 2011

Our favorite date is May 15, 2011. We really like MAY 15TH! It's the only date listed that has a sentimential value. Also, I think we are partial to the fall. It's just soooo far away!!! It's still an option though.

We've sort of ruled out December 31st, for the obvious reasons. Aaron's family is really busy during the month of December (who isn't, right?). Also, one of my bridesmaids made the very excellent observation "Everyone will be broke!"

September 25th is just a random date. Same goes for October 23rd. We like these days because they are in the fall (and as I stated, we like the fall), but that's it. I'm not sure I'm okay with just picking a random day to get married though.

To make this decision, I've decided

1. I need to take my time (even if it is the first order of business)

2. I need to solicit help!

I've talked to Aaron's mom about the dates and she thinks they are all great (she's just wonderful, let me tell ya)!

I've told a few friends about our ideas and all of them agree, any date will do. A few of my coworkers suggested we go with the sentimental date (May 15th) and my parents are saying give yourself as much time as possible!

Thoughts on this anyone?

Here's what The Knot has to say--"Engagement To-Dos: Picking the Perfect Date"

-considering marrying on the day your grandparents did (go with sentimental if you can)
-consider your wedding personality (for flipflops pick summer and for cider pick fall)

Here's what Elizabeth Anne Designs' Wedvice says-- "Day by Day Picking your Date"

-be flexible and don't pick a date unless you have to (whew)!
-give yourself a big window, such as 2 to 3 months
-consider the discounts that apply to weekday or Sunday weddings
-OH, I love this bit of advice--"Remember the one cardinal rule of wedding planning: you will never please everyone."

Project Wedding says--"Don't get married on these days"

-9/11 and April Fool's Day (duh)!
-During big sporting events ... hmm! Hadn't thought of that!

Well, enough talking wedding dates for now! I get totally bent out of shape on this! I just don't know when I want to do it!! I'm going to give all of this more thought and try to remember that there's no rush! Right?

Trying to stay optimistic!



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