Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: How I Asked My Bridesmaids To Be In My Wedding

Hi! I’ve missed y’all. After heading to Fairhope Wednesday of last week I knew that I probably wouldn’t have time to juggle wedding planning meetings, work, and getting new blog posts up, but I am happy to be back now. This specific blog post is one I’ve been extra excited to share with y’all, and based on your responses to previous question boxes about wedding planning on Instagram is one you’re eager to see as well. 

I’m starting to see firsthand just how excessive some of the costs and details of a wedding can be whether that’s because of Instagram or people just want their wedding to look different from someone else’s and it doesn’t take much to go down the rabbit hole of thinking you need *everything* for your wedding to feel beautiful or special. Some of the little things definitely aren’t necessary and I’d argue that asking your bridesmaids to be in your wedding with a gift falls into that category. Yet, here I am sharing the box I sent to mine…While I know that a phone call or handwritten note would’ve resulted in the same number of “yeses” as a gift box, gift-giving has always been something I’ve loved, and putting together a box of happy items for the girls willing to sacrifice a weekend to travel to and be in my wedding was something I looked forward to. At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to go about doing this, but I’m so pleased with how these turned out! 

For the past six months, I’ve been collecting items to include in these boxes for my bridesmaids and putting them in a drawer until the time came to package them up and send them off! I knew that I didn’t want the items inside to feel junky, but I also was doing this myself since in the grand scheme of things I didn’t want this expense to come out of our wedding budget. I am lucky to get to partner with some brands I love and had gift cards to both Joy Creative Shop and Weezie Towels (not sent for this purpose, just what I chose to use them on) that made curating these items more affordable. 

If you have an idea of what you may want to include then I think that’s a great place to start and after looking at the sizes of the items I wanted in the packages I decided to order the boxes I would use. Holy cow does Amazon have a lot of different choices in this department! I decided on these 10 x 8 x 4-inch gift boxes because I knew size-wise they would work well with the items I wanted to include, but I also was drawn to the curved front flap and the ability for me to tie a bow on them! Since they came as a pack of 15 and I only needed 8 now I have a few leftovers to use for future gifting purposes. I’ve received bridesmaid gift boxes with really nice magnet closures that I considered as well, but since I knew I needed to ship a few of them I didn’t want to be adding to the overall weight unnecessarily. You’ll see lots of different price points and sizes when shopping for these boxes, so ideally there should be an option out there that fits your needs! 

I knew the boxes would need some sort of cushioning in them, but I didn’t want crinkle paper to be the first thing that was seen when opening the box, so I ordered this adorable tissue paper by The Enchanted Home in collaboration with Carolyne Roehm as a nod to the colors we’d be using for our wedding. Since I somewhat work in retail I was able to use our Faire account to get this at wholesale pricing and am tempted to order the reversible wrapping paper for bridesmaids' gifts day of! I folded a piece of the tissue paper into thirds and placed it at the bottom of the assembled box and then put some navy crinkle paper that I ordered from Amazon on top of it to cushion the items I was including. Once those items were inside I put a bit more crinkle paper on top (I put bubble wrap under that for the ones being shipped) and finished the box off with another piece of tissue paper folded and a note to finish it off and make a pretty first impression! 

While those little packaging details are fun to me, I know y’all are likely more interested in what items I included inside! I had stocked up on Weezie Towel’s Makeup Towels during their birthday sale since I personally love using them and knew they would be a cute and practical item (that took up a good amount of space) for these boxes. They come in packs of two and I opted to place one of their classic “eyelids” style in each box. Beneath that, I had customized a notepad for each girl from Joy Creative Shop. I stuck to the same color scheme on each but played around with font choices based on what I thought each person would like best! I use to-do lists from Joy Creative Shop daily, so I thought this was a fun nod to something I love but also something that would definitely get used. I actually have a discount code for the website that gets you 10% off when entering DOROTHY10 at checkout. The stationery and gift tag stickers used on the boxes are also from the brand! Once we decided on an October date for the wedding I knew that was the perfect opportunity to purchase adorable ceramic ghosts I had seen to include in the boxes (and I definitely ordered a couple of extras for myself)! I was fortunate to be able to get these at wholesale pricing as well, but they are by Moon Moon Ceramics. I ordered the small size to include in the box and meant to put a battery-operated tea light candle in them but forgot about that until they were already tied up! I just can’t get over how cute these little ghosts are, and while I won’t be embracing Halloween with any wedding items this felt like a fun keepsake for everyone to use in their homes to commemorate the occasion. Since Karleigh, the owner, makes different size ghosts I was also sure to include her business card in the box in case anyone wanted a few more! 

While those were the main items, I knew I wanted to include Fairhope in some way within the box and decided two frosted cups from The Fairhope Store with a small bottle of Prosecco was a celebratory way to do so! I love going into my cup cabinet to grab a frosted cup and seeing what writing is on them whether it’s from a trip, a friend’s wedding, or an event I attended and hope that these provide that same feeling for my friends! 

As I mentioned, I included a handwritten note on Joy Creative Shop stationery that briefly summed up my appreciation of our friendship and asked each girl to be a part of our wedding party. The boxes I ordered came with a light blue ribbon that could be used to tie them, but I wasn’t sure how the quality would be, so I ordered navy 1-inch double-faced satin ribbon just in case. The ribbon that came with the boxes would’ve been fine to use, but I liked the way the navy looked better so I ended up tying the bow with that and placing a sticker right above it! 

I’m going to work on gathering additional ideas for items to include in bridesmaid “proposal” gifts to hopefully share with y’all soon. In the meantime, you can shop the items I included below! 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Shopping vol. 96

 Happy Sunday! I put off posting this yesterday since I shared about the Target Designer collaborations, but with so many cute new arrivals online I didn't want to skip a weekend sharing some of my favorite finds! We've been at the lake for the weekend which is always a fun (and convenient) escape. Hunter and I went for a run, we helped do a bit of cleaning, watched golf, played golf, and ate well! Hunter's parents and his sister and her fiance were also there for the weekend.

Spring is speeding by and with a busy few months approaching I'm excited to have the opportunity to pull some favorite items out of my closet for events we have. Typically when my calendar is filling up I like to browse around to see what else may be out there to wear for the events! I think I'll be sticking to using what I have in my closet, but many of the items in this week's Sunday Shopping roundup would work well for springtime events, work, and even just wanting to look cute on the weekend. Links to each of the items shown can be found beneath the image! 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Target Designer Collaboration Drop with Rhode & Agua Bendita

 I've loved shopping Target's designer collaboration drops for years. I still remember my mom and I making our way to Target to shop when Liberty of London collaborated on a collection and I think one of those pieces remains in my closet to this day. Over the years I've added many other collaboration pieces to my closet when the brands were ones I already knew and loved! I was especially excited when I saw that this spring's launch would be with Rhode and Agua Bendita. While I've only become familiar with these brands over the past couple of years the colors and styles make a fun statement and feel much more attainable at a Target price point! The collection officially launches today (Saturday), and due to the popularity of these brands and Target collaborations in general I suspect many sizes will go quickly. If that's the case shopping in person at your local Target can be more successful than you'd expect! 

I've included some of the styles that caught my eye when browsing online for those of you interested in shopping. With a honeymoon on the horizon after our wedding I may order a few different pieces to enjoy now and pack away for whatever tropical destination we ultimately decide on since many of the shades are a bit more muted and would work well for a warm climate in the fall! Links to each of the items can be found beneath the image. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Planning Update and Engagement Gift Ideas for Friends

I am so excited to be back with my second edition of Wedding Wednesday! If you missed the first one, it can be read here. We covered a lot in it from when and where we will be getting married to quite a few of our vendors and today's post will be somewhat similar since I've discovered that most of the initial planning involves researching and eventually hiring vendors to make up your team for the day-of. I think after this one, the next couple of Wedding Wednesday posts will get to be focused on more specific topics that I think y'all are going to love to see! 

Here's the laundry list of what I've been focused on the past few weeks! 

 The Band: From the beginning I've thought of the band as a priority since at the end of the night I'd love to have as many people on the dance floor enjoying themselves as want to be! Hunter is very musically inclined despite no formal lessons and can whistle any tune, has a much better singing voice than me, and even decided to teach himself how to play a keyboard during covid and was somewhat successful. All that being said, I knew the band was a high priority on his list too! My favorite bands at weddings I've been to are the ones in decked out in matching outfits that seem to be having a great time with coordinated dance moves and lots of energy. We found that in a band that my wedding planner has seen and worked with quite a few times called Musical Fantasy. They are based out of Mobile which is convenient and checked all of our boxes with a song list that appeals to a variety of age groups! I am so excited to see them in person and also excited to pass the baton of deciding a first dance song to Hunter. 

Asking My Bridesmaids: I'm thrilled to say that I finally accomplished this task. While a text or note is completely sufficient, gift giving is my love language and I had been stashing away some items that I wanted to give my best friends when asking them to be involved in our wedding. Assembling the boxes didn't take too long, but I say finally accomplished this task because writing each of them notes and shipping the boxes for friends that weren't local took me longer than it should have. I'll be sharing all of the details of what I chose to include and how I put these together in my next Wedding Wednesday post!

The Guest List/Address Collection: A less glamorous task, but a necessary one! I know a lot of people say this is one of the hardest parts and while it's definitely not easy I am fortunate that my parents made this pretty easy. My mom is SO organized and she and I were able to put together she and my dad's list and mine together in the span of an hour when I was last in Fairhope. It did make it easier that she had the full names and addresses of many of the people that would be invited from when my brother got married a few years ago, but we were very much on the same page when it came to most of who would be invited. The church where we will be getting married only holds about 180 people which was important for us to keep in mind although the reception venue could accommodate closer to 300. Our max number of people in attendance would be around 200 since we will have our bridal party standing with us. We're obviously not taking all of those invites, so after we finalized our list, I had Hunter work on which friends he wanted to include in his list and then had a number to pass along to his family to fill with all the remaining spots! 

For address collection, I know people do this a variety of different ways. When talking to recent brides and my planner I decided to stray away from postable and instead reach out directly to my friends to ask for the information I needed. My friends were quick to respond, so for the time being it feels like that worked well but we shall see how that goes when I get Hunter to start asking his friends for their details! I think because our guest list isn't huge and we know what prefix to use since everyone being invited are people we know well this worked, but for a much larger guest list portable or a google form may work best. I should also note that because we are not doing a seated dinner, I don't necessarily have to know guest's guest's full names which makes this easier too. In case you need a template, these are the messages I sent:

For An Individual Guest (this also works for an invite that includes the guest you're inviting and a plus one whose full name you may not need to know):

Hi! Would you mind passing along your full name and mailing address when you have a chance?

For A Couple:

Hi! Would you mind passing along both yours and XXX (the person you're texting's significant other's name) full names and your mailing address when you have a chance?

Ta-da. Nothing fancy and it got the job done!

Custom Crest: Another fun task that was on my list. I will definitely be sharing more about this process as well (will likely do an entire post on this process and save the dates), but I am obsessed with the first proof I've seen of our custom crest. We will be using this on our save the date instead of a photo of us and then plan to incorporate it on our wedding day through huggers/koozies, napkins, etc! We're working with my friend Eliza of Paper Eliza and she is so talented, well priced, and FAST. I sent her a photo of Winnie Monday morning and saw a proof of Winnie on the crest in less than 24 hours! I'd recommend her to anyone and you'll even see one of her paper products in the round up of engagement gift ideas below. She does more than just wedding paper if you're looking for stationery, and I adore getting to work with her. 

What I'm Currently Working On/What's Next:

Save the Date Wording // Finalizing Guest List // Hair & Makeup // Bridesmaid Dresses

The above tasks feel a bit more like chores than some of the other things I've been working on, but next week I have an in person meeting with our planner, the reception venue, and our florist so I'm feeling motivated to get some of these tasks squared away ahead of that since I suspect I'll walk away from that with some added to-dos. I also suspect that means there will be some more fun and picture filled Wedding Wednesday posts to share in the weeks to come! I can't wait for next week's post that I'm working on for y'all with how I asked my bridesmaids. I had so much fun putting together a box of things I've been collecting for them and the girls seemed to love them. As always, feel free to leave any specific topic requests for this series either in the comments here or on my instagram!

For our end of post round-up this week I wanted to focus on engagement gift ideas for friends. While a text and your support are gift enough we felt like our friends went above and beyond to make us feel celebrated with tokens of their excitement. From flowers to champagne to a ring cleaner and dish and even a surprise supper club celebration complete with a framed photo from our engagement we felt spoiled! I can't wait to return the favor as friends get engaged and went ahead and put together an idea list of what to get a friend who just got engaged. Links to all of the items can be found beneath the image! 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Saturday Shopping vol. 95

Happy Easter weekend! We are staying in Birmingham this year to celebrate with his family since I'll be heading to Fairhope later this month for some wedding planning meetings and will get to see my family then! Unfortunately, it's really rainy here this weekend although I'm hopeful it'll clear up for Easter Sunday.

Luckily, Hunter's brother planned a fun lunch and dinner for us to enjoy together while watching the Masters today. Hunter's parents are there so we'll be keeping our eyes peeled to see if we can spot them! Speaking of the Masters, I think the blue ruffled romper shown in the top left corner would have been an adorable outfit for the event if the weather cooperated. I've ordered a couple of the items shown and will have to report back! To shop any of the items shown you can click the links beneath the image.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Saturday Shopping vol. 94

 I was sad to have not had a new Saturday Shopping post live for y'all last week! Hunter and I spent last weekend as a working weekend with lots of cleaning, home improvement, and yard work projects on the to-do list. It'll be nice to have these things done when I do eventually move in, but it has been a lot of work and there is still a ways to go. This weekend we are planning to continue with yard work and a few inside projects, but I don't think it will be quite as much work as last weekend! It'll be really exciting when new sod can be laid in his backyard since right now it's just a lot of dirt from where we've dug up weeds. 

Today's Saturday Shopping post is a much prettier view than that! With local schools having been on spring break this past week I definitely am itching to pull out all of my bright colored spring and summer clothing and take it for a spin. Here's a roundup of items that fit the bright spring and summer silhouette description if you're shopping for something new! 

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