Mary & Jared {A Real Wedding}

The Mister and I had the pleasure of attending our friend Mary's wedding to her dashing fella Jared on June 16th in Fresno, California. This wedding wowed! So before I dive into the details, meet Mary & Jared!

Aren't they beautiful? Mary and Jared really wanted a vintage feel to their wedding and with the help of friends and family they accomplished that in just three months.

Tons of family help went into the DIY elements of their wedding. In fact the only true vendor they used besides the venue, which was their church, was their photographer Rachel McNamara. Between the paper flowers that hung from the ceiling during their reception, all of the table decor, a beautiful song that was played by Mary's talented sister, and the sweet guest "book" art, Mary & Jared's wedding turned out beautiful and very personal.

I loved Mary's dress, the detail was beautiful and she looked stunning in it. Mary made her own veil. As her "something borrowed" she wore her mother's pearls. The pearls were a gift from Mary's father to her mother whom had passed two years prior (but I know was right there beside Mary). She also included lace that her mother had at each of the tables. For shoes Mary wore Toms to match Jared's which was too cute for words and an amazing way to avoid uncomfortable heels!

You all know how much I love sweets and not only was the cake delicious, it was also super cute! The song decorated onto the main cake is an actual song, how neat is that? The song is Cantaloop by Flip Fantasia. A couple days after Jared and Mary started dating, the song came on the radio and he sang along with it. It was the moment Mary started falling in love with him! I mean seriously? It doesn't get cuter than that...except when you hear about how Mary had the rings attached to the sweet plush dog Jared used to propose to her with as a surprise during the ceremony. This day was so full of love.

Since not everyone can pull off a wedding so pretty and sweet in just a few months, I asked Mary if she had any tips for brides trying to do so, or tips for planning a wedding in general. Mary had this to say:

  • Only select a few ladies closest to you to do most of the helping. Having too many people involve can add stress on you and sometimes if not everyone is in the loop people can start to feel left out.
  • Make sure you stand up for yourself if your feeling overwhelmed or even not well in general. Trying to tough through it could cause resentment on your end for not having time to yourself and resentment from others who may feel like you're not pulling your weight that day. Even with just a few months to yourself, you need time with your fiancee and time for yourself.
  • Lastly, soak in all in! You will be sad when the only way you get to see all your hard work and that of those who helped you come together is in pictures. It your day, so make sure you take lots of mental pictures and enjoy the fruits of your labor with your new hubby!
I also made sure to ask what the favorite memories were from their big day. Mary said that taking pictures in front of the hay and Jared reading his vows were her favorite. Jared's was seeing Mary for the first time that day and I can't blame him, she was stunning!
I can't end this post without sharing my personal picture of the Mister and I and the lovely newlyweds!

Venue: The Bridge Church | Photographer: Rachel McNamara | Wedding Dress: Blossom Boutique | Cake: Anna Cleary (Bride's Sister) | Floral Arrangements: Kathleen Hoeflinger (Bride's Cousin) | Decorations & Favors: Bride's Sisters, Friends & In-Laws | Bride & Grooms Shoes: Toms | Stress alleviation and smiles: Jared (the then groom to be!)

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Our Tasting Appointment

My posts here began with one thing on my mind, dessert. So, you can imagine how excited I was for our food / cake tasting appointment! Great tasting food is very important to us, especially on our wedding day! We are a having buffet style dinner of yummy Italian food. Not only is our chef very talented, but he uses some of the best local ingredients. One amazing thing about living in the agricultural center of California is that we are  provided with lots of amazing vegetables for each of our dishes. We had the pleasure of tasting all three of the dishes we'll be serving and some amazing bread sticks.

The bread sticks were ridiculously good, lots of flavor and flaky but also soft.  (I know you're thinking, bread sticks? Big whoop, Ash. But I implore you, these rival those of Olive Garden and I could feast on those for years.) The first dish was an angel hair pasta with fresh roasted tomato, capers and goat cheese (not pictured, I ate this much too quickly). The second dish was fettuccine with roasted vegetables, and thirdly fancy mac n' cheese. Honestly, the mac n ' cheese was my favorite with provolone and smoked white cheddar it was delicious comfort food done right.

Source: Frosted Cakery

We were able to also try several different cupcakes, though we already know we love the cupcakes from our baker, Frosted Cakery. From left to right, salted caramel, chocolate chip cream cheese, snicker doodle, and vanilla bean raspberry. We ultimately decided on the last three and possibly the salted caramel for the cake for the Mister and I to cut at our reception.

Source: Frosted Cakery

Though we did taste our cupcakes at the same meeting as our food, we had a separate meeting to figure out what we actually wanted our cake to look like and the details of our desserts. Above is a loose vision of what we'll be going for. I wanted everything to be spread out and also keep with our overall theme.

What do you think about the layout? How important is/was food to you for your wedding?

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Engagement Photos Revealed, Part Two

I'm back with the second half of our lovely engagement photos by Ashley Cortes of Agape Creative Studios. If you missed the first half, you can check them out here.

To give you a bit of background on the sword and shield, these were the first gifts I ever gave Frank. They are the master sword and shield for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which was the first game I watched him play. So, in true nerd love fashion, we used them in our engagement shoot! I also like to think of them as symbols of our relationship, working as one against a myriad of life's obstacles.

We're really excited to use our favorites (which I omitted from these posts) and include them in our Save-the-dates. The Mister is great at designing things and I know they're going to turn out amazing.

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Engagement Photos Revealed, Part One

Now I can finally reveal our photos! I'm over-the-moon excited about them! As I said before, our friend Ashley Cortes took them for us as a favor, and I'm so happy we went with her because it made it fun and a bit more relaxing. 

It was really hard to choose which photos to share, so I decided to break them up int two posts. Next week I will be sharing the second half of our photos.

Unfortunately Ashley doesn't do photography as a regular gig (don't worry, I'm trying to convince her to) but she and her husband love doing videography for weddings. If you are interested in their work or would like to talk to them about you're wedding you can check out their website, Agape Creative Studios.

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Planning Progress Report {Nine-ish Months}

So I have to admit, having an all inclusive venue and very little planning to do on my own has been pretty tough. Checking off so many tasks at once has left me a bit wedding restless. Since there isn't a time machine to take me to the week before our big day I've been keeping myself busy and when my involvement in planning the wedding is needed, I drag it out as much as possible. I've even made the standard two meetings that are typical for planning with this venue into four different meetings and I'm hoping I can squeeze in one more. On the topic of planning meetings, we recently hashed out most of the big details. Unfortunately we weren't able to chose the ceremony site since the second site isn't yet done and though we really love the ceremony site that is completed (if you could only see it my friends!) we really want to see how the second one will turn out. We're also really torn about which site to have our reception. Inside vs. outside has been our biggest see-saw the entire time. We've actually had our hearts set on a complete outdoor wedding since day one, but this place has so much to offer that we really want people to experience the entire place.  Luckily our coordinator is very understanding and we also have lots of time before we have to finalize those decisions.

During our meeting we also got to meet our DJ. I've pretty much left the Mister with music duty, and of course I'm helping. Our DJ was super helpful and really cool. He was really good about asking what type of music we wanted and making sure we didn't just go with music we're supposed to have at a wedding. He also made sure to make a list of the songs we didn't want played, which funnily enough were the songs he here's every time he asks that question. Who knew everyone hated the chicken dance? Since I'm still on the hunt for the best songs to dance to, here is some fun photos of wedding dancing fun!

Source:  Wedding ChicksStyle Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding ShoesStyle Me Pretty

We have lots coming up that I can't wait to share including our cake appointment and our save-the-dates!

What is your favorite song to dance to at a wedding? What first dance did you share with your new husband! Share with me! 

 Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Will You Be My? {A DIY}

Hello engaged lovelies and wedding lovers! I'm here this week to share two simple DIY's with you. The first is a dress stamp that you will use in this DIY and on various wedding things. The second is a easy and sweet card to use to ask your girls to stand next to you on your big day or any other occasion you may see fit. Before we get started, here's what you'll need!


  • Foam Sheet (Michael's $1.99)
  • Xacto knife or pair of sharp scissors
  • Dress template (download here)
  • Clear Block (Optional)


  • Dress Stamp
  • Card (your dimensions from cardstock or premade card pack from Michaels, $1 for 8)
  • Colored cardstock ($0.49 -$1.50 per sheet)
  • Ink pad, colored marker, or paint of your choice
  • Glue stick
  • Scalloped scissors or other design scissors
  • Cutting mat or cutting board
  • Envelope (if not using the premade cards, template download here.)
  • Ribbon

So lets start with the stamp! You'll want to print out your template or free hand a dress sketch if you're awesome. Then place the template over your foam sheet and start cutting with your preferred tool. We  didn't have any problems with movement of the paper, but if it worries you you can just tape the paper to the sheet. (I say we because I have zero luck on cutting things out with the xacto, so the Mister did this for me.) Then, you're done! You can use as is or make tape loops to secure it to a clear block.

Now for the card. Chose what sort of paper you'll be using and once you have the card base ready, lay it down with the front on the card ready to be decorated. Now cover your newly made stamp with your desired paint or ink and stamp on to the front. (If you're not in to stamping, cutting out the dress from a pretty paper works just as well. This is what I did for this DIY. Just take a glue stick and glue it down.)

Next you'll want to open the card up and size up the area in which to put a piece of colored paper, this will be where your message goes. Now add your message in writing or print it out (I left out mine because my handwriting is atrocious). Then take your fancy pants scissors and cut around one, two, three or all of the edges of your inside paper. Now just center your paper and glue down.

Last step is adding ribbon. While keeping it attached to the rest of the spool, measure out how much you'll need to make a pretty bow (do this but wrapping it around the front page near where the card folds), or to cover the width of the front of the card it you just want to glue it down and snip. Tie your bow and you're in business! Here's how mine turned out.

If you're feeling extra crafty, you can always add crystals to the dress or maybe draw on a sash. I think they are super cute as is, but you could always gift them with a little something as well. Next week I will be sharing the actual cards that I made for my girls since I have two more to ask!

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Running Away With The Circus

Planning a wedding can turn into a real circus with all the different tasks brides and couples have to juggle. Between appointments, decisions and budgets, you may feel like you need a clown car full of people to help you get everything done. What if running away to the circus, was the wedding your planning? Sounds fun right? These weddings are just the ticket to a wedding day your guests wouldn't soon forget. This Nashville wedding is a super sweet and understated circus theme. How fun is the brides pink reception dress?

Source: Circus Wedding in Nashville on Style Me Pretty

This next wedding is the perfect blend of whimsy and elegance. The vintage umbrellas hanging from the sting of lights can be added to a vintage themed wedding as well to add a bit more drama to your skyline.

Source: An Old World Circus Wedding on 100 Layer Cake

 This last wedding is the real deal my friends. Imagine saying your vows under the big top, fire breathers on stilts and super cute attire and decor to complete you big day, circus style.

Source: Vintage Circus wedding on Green Wedding Shoes



 What do you think? Would any of you incorporate a circus or another fanciful theme into your big day?


Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog


Engagement Photo Sneak Peek

We were extremely lucky to have our friend Ashley shoot our engagement photos since the business she has with her husband is strictly videography. With a great location and a great friend behind the camera, we were ready to shake our jitters away. The Mister is so used to being behind the camera that I thought he would be uncomfortable but it ended up that I was the one that was stiff and giggled like I was being mercilessly tickled. Luckily Ashley was able to keep me from making too many crazy faces and the photos are looking absolutely beautiful. Here's a little teaser!

Photo by Ashley Cortes

I cannot wait to share the rest with you, Ashley did such an amazing job. We've also check off a few things on our to-do list and I will be sharing the details with you soon.

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Animals on Your Wedding Day

Today I bring you a fun topic, animals in your wedding or wedding photos! Something we tossed around was including our dog in our wedding, unfortunately our venue doesn't allow any animals other than the horses they have for their carriage (which we didn't opt for as of now). However, I can't help but imagine the beauty and love that animals could add to our wedding. Of course who better to join in the festivities but man's best friend? 

Source: Grey Likes Weddings, Style Me PrettyStyle Me PrettyMartha Stewart Weddings100 Layer cake

Farm and ranch weddings add rustic charm and a natural feel to your wedding venue, why leave out it's residents? 

Source: Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty

If you're thinking about including a pet or animal in your wedding, check out this article on Martha Stewart Weddings to help you decided how big or small their part will be and tips on how to make sure to keep both you and your pet happy in the process.

Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog


May Love Always be in Bloom: Decor

As I said in last week's post, we had out first wedding planning meeting and it was with our florist/coordinator. Now that I've covered the bouquets and boutonnieres, let's talk about centerpieces. To give you a refresher, we were looking for a very natural, easy-breezy feeling and with our decor, we want it to be very romantic with a hint of modern-vintage. Here's a bit of inspiration to help you envision it.

Source: Hey Gorgeous, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty

Source: The Bride's Cafe, Martha Stewart WeddingsMartha Stewart Weddings

One of my biggest concerns about the decor is that I really didn't want it to be blingy. This was a relevant concern for two reasons. Trends here locally seems to be bling. At the bridal show, 99.9% of the companies and tablescapes were just that, swarovski crystals and rhinestones. Don't get me wrong, those things are perfectly fine. They just really aren't my taste. the second reason I worried about this is that our florist specializes in exotic flowers and does all the floral arrangements for the Miss California pageants.

Luckily after talking with her and showing her what we were looking for, our coordinator got us right away. She thought our vision not only fit us perfectly but would only enhance the beauty of our venue without overwhelming it. I truly feel after that meeting that this wedding is going to be everything we dreamed of for our special day.

Next on my to-do list is tackling our save-the-dates and asking my girls. I can't wait to share both with you.


 What do you think? If you had or are having a coordinator, did they really help bring your vision together?



 Connect with me elsewhere! Twitter | Pinterest | Blog