Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peek sneaking

It's taken me awhile to figure out where to start this post and how to progress it. See, I don't want to seem unhappy or dissatisfied or disappointed or regretful in any way.

The day was fantastic, and I love every single one of my vendors and the end results were fantastic and everyone loved them...

Enter Ashley brain. I'm not dissatisfied, but I can't stop thinking-- in hindsight-- about all the different photos I wanted, and I can't help feeling that we were more concerned with time than with letting Ben do his job. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he got lots and lots and lots of pictures (around 3000 I believe) but I remember-- again, in hindsight-- that we completely forgot the awesome balcony at Riverdale:
because I was worried about being 5 minutes late for the ceremony (yes, being on time is important, but it probably wouldn't have even taken 5 minutes!). We also didn't take the time to do my Vanity Fair shots:

But I think that might have had something to do with the fact that I couldn't take the smile off my face all day, and you have to look bored and pompous for these shots. We're not models, or actors, and I have to stop being so neurotic!

Again, I trust Ben, I'm just worried that I've built this whole thing up way too high and that I'm going to expect too much...

Then Ben posted our sneak peek! I wish I could display, but I don't want to steal his stuff, BUT if you would like to see, his blog isn't password-protected or anything:

Sorry, I don't like stealing images if I can't right click-copy. ANYWAY! The point is, the pictures are fantastic (except for the typical "OHHEMMGEEE is that what we look like when we kiss?? I need to relax my chin!!" and "Please tell me I looked at the camera AT LEAST once walking down the aisle!"). Ben's image processing is top-notch fantastic. We look hot!! I cannot wait to see more... but like I said, it makes me think horrible things; did he get this, did he get that?! Someone please slap me and snap me out of it. Ben, if you're reading, I would never doubt you! I need to get out of my own head.

In the mean time!! Some of our fantastic family and friends have sent or posted photos... You wanna' see my favorites?? They're all mixed up, but thanks a million to Keri, Rae Ann, Uncle Dave, and Aunt Lori! I stole your photos!!

So here are some prep shots:
 I love that we got pictures of Ben in his hot painted-on pants ;)

Thank you Mia, you read my mind!
Welp, here goes nothin!

Then we headed to the ceremony:

Can I just say that no matter what else, the music for the ceremony was 100% on point thanks to Nick, our awesomely fantastic friend and DJ.
This is what I was talking about!!! Did I look at the right camera at least once? Did I smile a normal smile at least for a second?!?!

The Mister didn't cry
But I did...

I'll dedicate another post (probably not till after the honeymoon... sorry!) to the reception, but I wanted to post up some details too.

The ceremony space, ALL DIY:
Hooray for getting the alter done!!

 I loooove these two shots. I really loved the aisle markers my sister put together, and I adore that second shot there with the candles as the aisle runner (so to speak).

Fantastic yes?! I thought it was gorgeous and it tasted phenomenal! Really!! And thanks again to my Aunt Keirsten for making our love birds:


Not 100% what that face is about but I absolutely love that his mom got this picture. I love it when grooms carry bouquets, and this was a total accident! But anyway, the flowers were phenomenal (I personally liked all the bouts better than all the bouquets, but still LOOOVED everything).

Decor (some DIY, some from Tara):
Don't know if anyone even noticed our chair banners :(

Hooray for chalkboards!!

I love it when a plan comes together! Oh, by the way, the candles that were lining the aisle were multi-purposed for the reception centerpieces ('cause I'm efficient like that!) so these shots took place before the candles were moved from the ceremony to the reception space.

This is by no means my recap. I'll do a nice... long... thorough recap once the professional photos come back, but for now, I wanted to honor those who did the right thing and posted their pictures to facebook! Or e-mailed them to me in huge zip files or burned me CDs! THANK YOU!!! Like I said, I will do another post for reception, because I seriously have over 150 pictures of the reception to go through, so I have to cut this off somewhere!

For now, I hope you enjoy! What do you think so far? And did you have a crazy-anxious phase before the professional photos came back??

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I'm going to disappoint by not having pictures but I COULD NOT go another day without officially posting that I am officially a married lady! Everything was perfect... I mean perfect, and it would not have been at all possible without the help of the fantastic people around me.

To my family, I would have been a wreck without you. I love you so much. And I'm not going to gush anymore because I know that no amount of words would mean as much in repayment as finishing my education. So instead of words, I'll give you letters at the end of my name. I promise. I would do anything to repay you, and all you want is for me to better myself... A small price to pay.

To my friends, how can I possibly thank you enough for being there with us?! Did we have fun or did we have fun?? I love you guys too, especially because most if not all of you drove hours or took planes or trains, had to get babysitters, or bum rides to get to us. You're all awesome!

To my new husband; WHOO HOOOOO!!! We did it! And we did it with style. I love you so so so much. I am so glad to be married to you, and I'm not going to gush to you either because we have the rest of our lives to tell each other every day how awesome we are for each other :) I'm so excited for this new chapter to begin.

There is so much more to come. I am beyond antsy for our photos to come (Ben, you were so fantastically awesome!) Until then, thank God for facebook! Post those pictures people!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My bags are packed...

I'm ready to go... We're all at the hotel ready for a wedding tomorrow. We had Thanksgiving dinner catered at the hotel and I saw The Man tonight for the first time all week. He got a haircut (but not a shave) and he was lookin' good. Our families came from all over to have dinner with us and watch Thanksgiving football games! Tonight was a great night.

I went to the spa yesterday and got a facial and a mani/pedi... It was amazing. I was sad to not be there with any of my bridal party, but it was very nice getting some ME time. Kyle and I spent some US time after dinner tonight just catching up and talking about us. We have the rings, and we have the marriage license... that's all that matters... and ourselves of course. In 15 hours, we'll be husband and wife. I can't believe it! I can't wrap my head around it yet. I've been planning a party for 14 months, tomorrow is the fruition of one big planned event.

I want to thank everyone for your support, wishes, thoughts... you made this whole blogging process such a pleasure. This is such a supportive community.

I can't say much more... I'm a tad scattered right now, but I will leave it at this; I go to bed a Miss, and tomorrow I will be a Missus. The next time you hear from me, I'll be a married woman! I'm a little tipsy now, which I feel is exactly how I should be :) I hope to get a good night's sleep and then try to relax tomorrow; I surrounded myself with a fantastic core. Thanks to my mom and dad and brother and sister... I couldn't have gotten everything done without them. I am so thankful that my family will all be around me, that his family will be around him.

To my best friend, the man of my dreams, my soul mate, the love of my life: I love you so much, I cannot wait to marry you. I cannot wait to start our life together. I am beyond ecstatic right now. I am on cloud 9. I would be more philosophical... but I sooo tired! Hopefully my vows will be more eloquent!

How did my married readers feel on the eve of your wedding??

I'm leavin' on a jet plane!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What a day

And it's just now coming to a close. The last awesome thing to happen today was my computer dying in front of me... But I'm being overly dramatic because that was the only bad thing to happen today. I suppose I'm also in a bad mood from being away from the man for a few days before our wedding, and he's busy with work and not happy about the tasks that he has left to do at home while I'm here at my parents, apparently eating bon bons and reading Redbook.

No, he didn't actually say that, and obvs, I have not been just eating bon bons and reading Redbook. Just like last night was text heavy, get ready to get photo-blasted:
Small taste of the stuff that I invaded my parents' garage with. This isn't everything either.
Hooray!!! Place cards!!
Say hello to my little friends! My awesome helpers sister Jordan and Mama who were so awesome today. We worked non-stop and without them, I'd be pulling an all-nighter on this one, and stuff wouldn't have turned out as nice:
Sister Jordan's aisle markers! And the milk jug and watering can above are my Mama's handy work.
Two extra sets of hands was pivotal in getting these babies packaged and labeled. Yes, I used a pineapple for scale, who doesn't?
I did some stuff too though... Plus:

Ta-da!! PVC pipe magically transformed into... something that doesn't look entirely like ugly PVC pipe. I'm sure once it's all said and done, the fabric strip backdrop will remain the focus anyway. Otherwise, we had a problem, we came up with a quick solution, hopefully this solution is... not a total disaster... Full mock-up tomorrow.

My Ma was instrumental in not letting me panic about what time we had left or how many things we had to do still. We got everything that needed to be done to take to the venue tomorrow done. The only tasks left are my personalized hanger, modifications to further prettify my hair flower, and maybe some more bunting. Couldn't have done it without her. Lastly, my pops was on hand too to offer emotional support, and when he wasn't there, I worked most of the day and night right next to this bad boy:
Boom... Yeah, I asked for something like a 3-4 foot picnic bench, I got a hope chest. I'm not complaining!! On the contrary! And my dad then immersed himself into finding just the right marker for guests to sign. He took this request so seriously, and for that, he makes me feel so special.

While I miss the man and could use his support, I'm pretty sure I'm in the right place right now. I'm sure Kyle would be telling me to relax and have a beer, my mom never told me 'Oh, you can put it off till tomorrow' but she's also not freaking out and her calm is keeping me calm. 2.5 days left, and it's crazy late, so I must get some beauty rest. We're taking all the non-perishables to Riverdale tomorrow so they can set stuff up for us on Friday, then I get to relax with a facial and mani/pedi. I have to say that I feel guilty about spending the money but THEE LAST thing I want right now is a freakout or a zit to... pop up :)

How was my fellow brides' last few days? Where did you draw your strength and calm from?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Exit sanity, enter bride-brain

I am safely ensconced into my parents' house and everything wedding-related that was in my house in Philly is now in my parents' garage. I DID NOT want to delay us any further by taking pictures of our positively JAM-PACKED little crossover though, before we set out, plus it was dark. I'm not really great with pictures right now anyway, because I take most of them from my phone and e-mail them to myself, well, my parents live in Podunk, PA and so I'm not exactly getting killer 4G service out here. ANYWAY, until I move to a more civilized area (believe it or not, the hotels in Amish country!) I'll just pop in with quick notes here and there. Sorry ahead of time for no pictures, oh but it'll be well worth the wait, then you'll have all sorts of magical wedding goodness flooding your eye orbs.

So soon my pretties! Until then, please believe I have lots of lists and things are slowly getting checked off. Vanilla extract favors are bottled, the whole kitchen smells delish. Place cards are inserted into corks, and the bubbles are ready to be blown! ( keep your minds out of the gutter, I'm so excited about blowing bubbles!!) My mom has almost finished my garter and my dad, almost the bench, which is more of an amazing hope chest. Both have gone above and beyond what I had hoped for. My garter is kind of traditional, but it's also got some fantastic burgundy detail and will have some feathers and be a little loud with a pretty decent-sized rosette detail. I also got my little birdie cake toppers from my aunt and they're fantastic, and the fabric; a musical score cotton, is just perfect.

I ended up buying new pashminas, on a whim; I am tired of dealing with this woman with her aqua-for-light-blue pashminas and I just angrily pulled out my credit card- you know, retail therapy. They came, really quickly, and with no fuss, and while a little thin, they happen to be the perfect color. As in, they match the groomsmen ties perfectly. That was an unexpected pleasantry, I thought I was going to have to run out and pick something half-assed last minute.

Vows are written! And after all my nagging, I'm sorry to say that Kyle finished before me. I might have started earlier, but in this race, the hare won... this time. Well, there's much and more to do, with 3.5 days left, I'm still feeling good. I had a few small moments today, but I have a great core group around me that won't let me go crazy. I'll update with pictures when I get service :)

Tomorrow I finally tackle this alter support system!

Friday, November 18, 2011


After a harrowing car ride (not really), the man and I arrived at the Bucks County courthouse yesterday and after not waiting at all... literally, there was no line, we got our fancy marriage license. I can't show you though, because we didn't actually get it! Boooooo, we have to wait three days to even have it in our possession. It was depressing, because I wanted to walk out with it and get one of those pictures that everyone always gets outside the courthouse with their marriage license.
Yeah, Kyle wouldn't have been havin' any o' this!


(all google image searches)

I mean, this is why we blog right? Or is it the other way around. It was all very anticlimactic as well; they fill all the info out on a computer screen so there's no hunching over a form trying to remember where your mom was born (I mean, no, you still need to remember where your mom was born, but you just blurt something out because the lady is waiting for you so she can enter the info into the computer and it's already 4:00 and the place closes at 4:30 so HURRY THE HECK UP!)

I kid, it wasn't that stressful, it was actually a lot easier not having to write all the info out... someone was just going to have to enter it into a computer eventually anyway! So, good move on the courthouse's part. Kyle had had a ridiculous day at work too so even if I wanted to get a picture sans license, I don't think he would have been feeling it, regardless.

Well, anyway, in other big occurrences, I woke up this morning, hopped in the shower, and realized that in exactly a week, I would be taking a shower at the same time, in the same way, but it would be only a few hours before my wedding. I did my hair in a similar way that I'll be doing it for the wedding. I picked my intimates with care, only differences were that I didn't have time to moisturize, and I probably won't be wearing jeans and an old sweater exactly one week from now. Anyway, I got to work this morning and sat down and realized that at this time, today I was running around like crazy, cursing at machines, but in exactly one week I'll be eating breakfast with my party and my parents. Ten o'clock hit and things slowed down at work, and I realized that in exactly a week, my brideslovelies will be getting their hair done.

In an hour, I'm going to lunch with my friend Derek, but in exactly one week, in one hour, I'll be showing up at Riverdale and setting up for the day! In exactly one week and four more hours, precisely, I'll be a married lady!

But for now, a week seems like an eternity away. I still have to get back to work now, then go to lunch, then get back to work, then go to a journal club this afternoon, and I still have way too much stuff to do... I'm happy I still have a week. But, my stress level is still at a very reasonable place right now, so I'm a happy happy bride-to-be.

How did everyone else feel at the one week mark? Was your marriage license trip underwhelming?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Must-Take photos and BOOOOOOOOZZZE!!

Does anyone else have a list of must-take photos for their wedding in their heads? I got an e-mail from my photographer about our final timeline and it made me think 'shoo, we're getting there, and I assume this is all just going to fall into place.' But that's not necessarily true! What if he wants us to come up with all the locations and 'poses'? Well, I thought long and hard about it and after the smoke cleared, I realized that what's most important is just going to be me and the man, looking lovingly at each other... heehee, I couldn't write that with a straight face, sounds so cheesy!! But seriously, I'm not going to agonize over every location that would be great for pictures or every single pose that I've been poring over on the interwebs.

That being said, I have been storing away a few here and there, that represent the only sort of 'necessary photos' that I MUST. HAVE.
Don't know why I'm so in love with this style, but I am... I mean, I'm sure Mr. Darcy has something to do with it ;)

Kyle has so many cute little grandmas and great aunts, and the funniest part is how he towers over all of them, I want pictures with ALL of them!

What would be sweeter than me and my girls close up 'cause we loooove each other so much!

Some of my favorite moments at weddings is how bored people look at some points. I love this idea of the overly-bored or the Vanity Fair overly-privileged group shots. Now, I know it can be taken out of context, especially when it's too overdone:

Actually, now that I've seen that shot, I want to do it even more, and make the guys get in on it too; they'll probably have more fun than I!

Otherwise, obviously we want to get the standard formals, but I'm putting my foot down when it comes to people wanting shots with JUST the man or JUST me. No! Our families have had our whole lives to get pictures with us individually, now Kyle and I come as a set. Jumping in and out individually would double our formal shot time. That will make for a cranky Kyle, which will make for an anxious Ashley. You don't want that, do you, Family? I just hope there's not bickering, I will turn bridezilla quick. I'm tentatively putting my mom in charge of rallying the troops because I'm afraid of her... everyone else should be too right? ;) Just kidding, Mama! But seriously.

Kyle and I will then just get to walk around and enjoy each other's newlywed company! I plan on using that time to have our take-a-deep-breath-it's-over time, and just have Ben happen to follow us around, when an opportunity presents itself, start snappin' away! I don't know if this approach is too laissez faire, but I don't want to put pressure on myself, Kyle, or Ben, because Kyle already told me he wants no posed shots. I already think he's probably going to fight me over a head-in-the-lap shot. BUT, I trust our photographer, I think everything will be perfect.

Lastly, we're picking up our booze this weekend! Whoopie!!
We were always drawn to the idea of a BYOB reception venue, and we're so happy with the fact that buying your own is massively cheaper than most venues' alcohol packages. It's allowing us to have an open bar but still make it full (at some other venues, we were going to have to choose because we just couldn't afford their full open bar packages!)

Only problem was, now I had to play bartender; Kyle's pretty knowledgeable but I really didn't want too much or too little. I don't feel the need to have massive amounts of extra booze at my house, and obviously we don't want to run out. So of course, I googled wedding alcohol calculator, and of course, the very first link that came up was "Wedding alcohol calculator":
Pretty impressive, yes? The most impressive part is that I most definitely estimated booze costing a hell of a lot more. I'm kind of flabbergasted at that total cost, but, it's all written out there, it's all correct... I have no idea where I got my original huge number from. Anyway, just to be sure (and because this website didn't have a liquor breakdown) I checked one more site:
So there's some discrepancies, this site would cost an extra $150 over the first website, but I'm definitely not getting 10 bottles of champagne, sooo... yeah. We're actually getting more bottles of booze than is listed here because we have several guests with eclectic tastes so we'll get smaller bottles of a few different types of rum, whiskey, etc... Obviously not everyone can be accommodated- I can only do so much- but I hate it when I go somewhere and they only have one standard gin, one standard rum, one standard whiskey, etc...

Anywho, marriage license will be obtained TODAY! We're going to pack up all our wedding stuff and take it to my parents' house this weekend... We're renting a truck. Ha! Seriously. And I can't wait to show how packed that truck is going to be! Till then, what do you guys think of my booze charts?! How about my must-have photos?!