Happy Wedding Year!

Dan and me at a New Year's Wedding

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that 2011 has flown by so fast! A lot has happened this year- I became engaged, earned a Master's degree, and have my first real job. But the best thing about 2011 being over is that Dan is halfway through his time in Korea!! In about 5 more months, I will have him home and in about 9 he will be my husband. Being only 9 months from the wedding is crazy, and means that my New Year's Resolution is this: start (and finish!) all of the DIY projects that I want to do for my wedding! So, if I share them with you, you promise to make me do them, right? Here is the list:

1. Lanterns

I want to do white lanterns in our tent. I love the look and the glow of them. But instead of just paper lanterns, I want to do different textures, like coffee filter lanterns, doily lanterns, and balloons. I also want to DIY a "light installation" centerpiece for over the dance floor.

coffee filter, bunch, balloon, doily

Instead of just having the lanterns hanging randomly around the tent, they will be in a certain pattern, so I should be able to calculate exactly how many I need. And then I need to make LED lights to light them! Hopefully, this is the biggest project on the list.

2. Cake and Cupcake Stands

Cake stands are expensive! I plan to have a few one layer cakes and cupcakes, so that adds up. I want them to be presented nicely, so I am going to DIY stands. This way, they are exactly what I want, and much less expensive!


3. Photo Booth

The photo booth craze is amazing! I think I have figured out what I want... just need to execute!


Other projects on the list: wood table runners, programs, direction signs, & escort card displays. What do you want to see me DIY? Hopefully my ups and downs can make things smoother for you! One project a month is my goal- and I will show you the results.


Merry Christmas to All...

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, happy Sunday to those who don't! Although my wedding is in September, there is something magical about the darkness of winter and the festiveness of the holiday season.

From decorating with ornaments:

Top right; top left; bottom

To an elopement on the beach...


To the romantic ambiance of string lights, which will definitely be utilized in my wedding:


I hope to capture  the happiness, togetherness, and love of the holiday season in my big day. Happy holidays to you and yours!

For The Love of Paper

I am a teacher. Often times, I feel like I am drowning in paper-- papers to grade, papers to hand out, papers to file... But this is all just ugly lined white paper. So, perhaps this is why, when I got to pick out beautiful paper to represent my wedding, I went a little over board. First, I fell in love with envelope liners-- they can be cute, they can be modern, and they make people happy as soon as they open the envelope!  

top; bottom left; bottom right

Then, I fell in love with letterpress & typography! The texture, the fonts, the beauty in the simplicity!

clockwise from top left: 1; 2; 3; 4

And vintage stamps!



top; bottom left; bottom right

Then... I realized that while save-the-dates and invitations set the tone for the wedding and are very important, I did not want to spend my entire budget on them. They are beautiful, yes, but most people will just throw them away. So, I scaled down my expectations, and started planning with my awesome bridesmaid to design my own paper products. What is your must have in an invitation suite? Do you want multiple envelopes, tissue paper, and calligraphy? Or are your tastes more simple? Leave a comment and let me know!

PS- If you love the look of vintage postage, you can buy individual postage stamps on Etsy or here. Beware, though! Postage will be going up in January and there are rumors that it could go WAY up in the future! Brides, you may want to stock up on Forever stamps!

Modern Inspiration

Last week I told you how I was drawn to rustic details-- barns, wood, and everything laid back. My husband to be, on the other hand, is the more modern type- clean lines, simple, and traditional.

love; barcolumnsinvitation

So in the name of compromise, I started looking at some more modern inspiration, and I came across chevron details. Love! In bright colors they are fun and very modern, but in softer grays and pinks, they give a modern touch without being over the top. And, I loved the (small) military connection-- chevrons are placed on uniforms to denote rank.


I definitely want to have a chevron theme through the wedding to help keep it modern and fun-- starting with the save-the-dates and invitations. (More on my specific invites later, for now, lots of inspiration!)

Clockwise from top left: 1; 2; 3; 4

I also want to incorporate chevrons on a few table displays. Having them on the main tables might be a bit much, but perhaps on the gift or cake table.

Clockwise from left 1; 2; 3; 4

What do you think? Where else could we incorporate chevrons? What other modern details do you love?

Rustic Inspiration

When I started looking at wedding blogs (before I was even engaged, oops!), I was totally drawn to barn weddings. You know the kind, barns with high ceilings and chandeliers, with the guests sitting on hay bales and people drinking out of mason jars.

barn weddingbarn

After getting engaged, I remembered that I am marrying a city boy- a city boy who had never seen a cow until he joined the Marines! I grew up in a pretty small town (with a lot of cows), thus I was more drawn to the rustic feel. Dan is more traditional- he is more into churches and clean lines; thus our wedding combination of rustic and modern.

I went back to those barn weddings that I loved, and tried to put my finger on what it was that I loved about them. One common theme was wood. It  is natural and beautiful without being pretentious. My grandfather was an amazing wood worker. My dad is also very talented and I grew up helping him in the workshop, so wood details are a must!


table runner; candle

{Real Brides} Madeline:: Modern meets Rustic Military Bride

Hello Engaged & Inspired readers! I am so honored to be sharing my inspiration, experiences, successes, and frustrations with you all over the coming months!

Name:   Madeline
 Location:   Winchester, VA
 Budget:  Around $20,000
 Age:  24
 Occupation:  Latin Teacher
 Wedding Date: September 2, 2012
 Venue:   Stoneleigh Golf & Country Club
 Planner:   Myself, my sister
Photographer: Darling Photography
Follow Madeline on Pinterest
Madeline and Dan
About me: Amazing how you could get so from where you planned, and yet find it was exactly where you needed to be. –Sarah Dessen

This quote somewhat describes my life right now. If you had asked me in high school where I saw myself in 5 years, I never, ever, would have said: 1. Living in the same town I grew up in 2. Teaching Latin at my rival high school 3. Engaged to someone in the military that I met while being a princess in a festival (true story) But here I am- and I couldn't be happier! Its funny how life turns out.

Photos: tablegarlandchevronbouquetbaby breathbicyclegolf cartflowers

Wedding Style: Dan and I are getting married on September 2, at Stoneleigh Golf & Country Club in Round Hill, Virginia. The wedding and the reception will take place in a walled garden with the happy hour (as I like to call it!) on a patio outside of the garden.

Dan is very traditional when it comes to weddings, and I am well, not. At first he thought my ideas of photo booths, lawn games, and a first look were preposterous. But after looking at lots of wedding pictures and thinking about what we want the day to say about us as a couple, it is coming together! I want my wedding to be elegant and rustic but also modern and fun.