DIY Photo Booth

I absolutely loved having my wedding and reception at the same venue. I would strongly recommend it to any bride out there. There was no frantic running around between two places to set up. My only fear having it at the same place, was what my guests would do while we were taking photos after the ceremony.

I opted for a do-it-yourself photo booth!

The idea of a photo booth was appealing to me, since I wanted as many photos from my wedding I could possibly get, but the cost of renting one was more that I paid for a lot of things in my wedding.

Lucky for me and my internet searching I found some amazing photo booth software! For $60 I downloaded Sparkbooth which uses your laptop’s webcam to take the pictures. I actually used a better webcam, hooked up through USB and mounted on a tripod, to get a little better photo quality, and alleviate the need for my guests to cram around my small netbook.

The best part about the software, is all guests have to do to start the process, is hit the space bar! Sparkbooth is the coolest software I have ever used.

Once we had the software in place, it was time to buy silly props for guests to use. After Halloween sales and the Dollar Tree became my friend, as I found cheap hats, glasses, boas, and chalk boards. I bought every crazy thing I could find and most items were used!

The photos we  got back were hilarious and something we will treasure forever.

The best part is, I’ve used the Sparkbooth software several times since then. It’s fun and easy.

If you thought about having a photo booth and just can’t afford it, this is a great alternative, especially if you have a laptop and a webcam!

The pictures you’ll get back will be well worth the $60.

Fun Accessories!

When planning my wedding I learned that picking the right accessories is really important.

The accessories that I bought showcased my personality.

Nothing about my wedding was traditional. My dress was technically ivory, the guys wore brown suits, and we were married outdoors, so why would my accessories be anything less than non-traditional.

In surfing the net looking for the perfect hair pieces, jewelry, shoes, etc., I found that Etsy.com became my best friend!

One of the very first things I purchased for my wedding was my shoes. I found a pair online and although, I hate buying shoes online, I couldn’t help myself. I also don’t like spending a lot of money on shoes, especially dress shoes, because I don’t get to wear them often.

I must have gone to 10 different shoe stores looking for something that was cheaper and that I could see myself wearing under my wedding dress. And I never even came close. And the shoes I bought, had no resemblance to anything else in my wedding vision.

Bright red shoes with blue peacock feathers on the sides. Perfectly adorable, and I already had something to cover my “something blue.” The best part ended up being that next to my girls dresses they appeared to match the color. They almost looked more orange than red. And anyone who happened to catch a glimpse of  them under my dress, loved them!!

I purchased a veil early in the planning stages, but I ended up not using, despite my mom’s desire for me to wear one. Instead, I purchased beautiful hair pieces from Peacock Pixys. Stacey worked with me to make custom hair clips for me and my bridesmaids. She used beautiful colored peacock feathers.  I had the pieces quickly and they were absolutely beautiful. I can see myself wearing mine again and they made a nice gift for my girls. The peacock feathers actually tied together with my shoes! I still can’t get over how pretty it was. And Kim, who did my hair, made it look even more amazing.

My jewelry was one of the last items I bought. I purchased my necklace and bracelet from Sweet Findings 4 You. I will be honest, I received  the pieces quickly and they were beautiful but the bracelet broke within an hour of me putting it on, when I went for my dress fitting. I was quickly told that I would be sent another, however actually receiving it took about two months. This was one of the only bad experiences I had regarding my wedding planning, but I received it in time for the wedding and it was absolutely perfect for our fall themed wedding.

I think one of my favorite accessories was my custom made garter belts. Once again, I purchased them from a store on Etsy. Flourish by Lauryn made them to match my shoes. She is great about custom orders. All I had to do was send her a picture of my shoes, and she made them to match perfectly. They looked amazing. I was so pleased with how they turned out and the color match was amazing! Lauryn was easy to work with and was a great communicator. I had the garters within a few days of ordering them! Quite impressive for a custom order. They were definitely an added pop of color to my wedding.

I really think that having fun with the bridal accessories helps make your wedding feel more personal. I didn’t really care that it was non-traditional. I’m not a very traditional girl anyways.

It’s your wedding, so have things that make you happy! You only get one shot!

And become acquainted with Etsy. You won’t regret it!

My Wedding Dress

I purchased my wedding dress at Edith’s in Fond du Lac, WI. The ladies there were incredibly nice and very helpful. They also altered my dress, which was a little scary, as I wouldn’t be able to try it on after the original alterations.

When my mom brought the dress to me a month before the wedding, I experienced my worst fear. The dress was so tight, that I could hardly breathe. I was afraid that would happen as I purchased the dress a year prior to the wedding. I decided that once I had it one for awhile it would loosen up so I really didn’t worry about it.

When the wedding day came around, my dress fit perfectly. No trouble breathing in it, no trouble moving in it, no problems at all.

The dress that I purchased was called Medieval and it was made by Pronovios. The make of the dress was exquisite. The beading was subtle and beautiful. My favorite part of the dress was the framing along the top. It was something different that I hadn’t seen on a wedding dress before.

And yes, my dress was technically ivory, though no one could tell.

My advice to brides out there looking for a dress, is to go with you gut. I tried on a dozen dresses and I knew that the one I picked was the one, even though I think I tried on a few others after it.

The Wedding of My Dreams

October 8, 2011 was the day I got to marry my best friend. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t one of those girls that dreamed about their wedding day since they were a little girl. All that changed when Mike asked me to marry him. I had a vision of what I wanted my wedding to be like, and I had over a year to plan every last detail.

Fall in Tennessee, rustic colors, with close family and friends. That was my vision.

And that’s exactly what we had. Our wedding was absolutely perfect! Everyone told me, “Something will go wrong and you probably won’t even know about it until later,” but we were fortunate to not have a single snag along the way.

The festivities started the night before the wedding, as the whole wedding party helped us set up our amazing venue. We were so lucky to find such an amazing venue to have our wedding and reception. Joy & Jesse from the Pick Inn were amazing! They are some of the sweetest people ever. Our wedding would not have been what it was without the beautiful scenery provided by the Pick Inn.

My bridesmaids and I spend the night together, laughing and reminiscing about the last 11 years I’ve spent here in Tennessee. I’ve never laughed so hard. I have amazing friends, who have been with me through thick and thin.

The guys spent the night before the wedding playing video games. Boys will be boys.

I was awake early the day of the wedding, and sat on the porch looking about at the beautiful fall colors of the Tennessee hills. I was determined to soak it all in. Lucky for me, we planned the wedding for late afternoon, so there was no real hurry in the morning.

The fun began when our hair and make-up team got there. Kim and Kim did an amazing job on all of my girls. We had so much fun getting ready. All of my bridesmaids looked absolutely amazing. I’m so grateful that we had the Kim’s come out to the venue to do our hair and make-up.

Our photographers, Michael and Britanie from Doerman Photography, arrived in plenty of time to cover the entire day, starting with getting ready! I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they were. We could not have asked for a better photography team.

Once our hair and make was done, it was time to put on my wedding dress. I remember trying in on and absolutely loving it. It fit almost perfectly, but after I purchased it and went for 9 months without seeing it, I began to doubt my choice. Even after the fitting I wasn’t 100% sure, but when I stepped in to it that day, I knew that it was perfect. My biggest fear about the wedding was the dress not fitting, so putting it on and being able to breathe and move in it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I knew the rest of the day would be fine!

Once we were all in our dresses, it was time for group pictures. Anyone who knows me, knows that picking my photographer was the hardest part of planning my wedding. But I didn’t go wrong. Michael and Britanie were with us from start to finish and captured every moment of our day. The photos we got from them were truly amazing.

The pictures of the bridal party were some of my favorite from the day. I wanted my girls to feel comfortable all day, so I let them pick out their own dresses in the same color. They all complimented each other so well. I am still can’t get over how amazing everyone looked.

The guys didn’t look half bad either!:-) I think Mike was a little skeptical about wearing a brown suit, but they really looked amazing with all the fall colors.

I’ll admit I was watching out the window and guests started to arrive. I was looking out at the beautiful scenery watching my friends mingle. It made me smile, heck, just thinking about it now makes me smile.

Our ceremony was short and sweet. We had the greatest officiant you could ask for. I’ve known Wendell for the better half of a decade and having him marry us made our day that much more special.

I’ll be honest, I thought I would cry. I thought walking down the aisle without my dad would make me burst in to tears, but with my mom holding my hand, I managed to make it down without any tears shed. There’s no one else I would have rather had by my side than my mom. And I know my dad was there in spirit. I had him with me. There was a personalized charm in the wedding bouquet that my mom made. I wanted to have him close to my heart. I know he was there watching over us. I’m glad he got to meet Mike before he passed away.

Instead of the unity candle, we opted for a sand ceremony, which our pastor had never heard of. We managed to find an amazing picture frame that would hold the sand. I feel like that was made just for us! We wanted to include Scott in our ceremony, since it wasn’t just me and Mike becoming a family. So in planning we got three colors of sand, brown, orange and gold. Little did we know that the gold sand was glitter. So as we poured sand, glitter filled the air. Our guests thought we planned it that way and said that it looked beautiful floating through the beautiful clear sky.

I’ll admit that Mike cried during the ceremony, though he’ll tell you didn’t. My favorite part of the ceremony was getting to hear my amazingly talented brother-in-law sing a song that he wrote. It was truly special for all of us. I love the song and was so glad that he was able to step in when our original performer couldn’t make it. It was an amazing performance. I will treasure that forever!

After three and a half years of dating and a 15 month engagement, Mike and I were finally married! What an amazing feeling!!

More pictures and then it was time to party!

The Pick Inn had so many places to take beautiful pictures. Pictures I will cherish forever. Lucky for me our photographers and I had the same vision for our wedding pictures. It’s put me at ease to know that we were thinking along the same lines when it came to the picture spots!

The old barn was my favorite spot. And the pictures there looked incredible! I still look at them almost every day and remember what an amazing day we had!

Our reception was just as wonderful as the ceremony. Our food was catered by a good friend of mine and his wife. And it was amazing. I’m so lucky to have such amazing friends who helped us out with all of our wedding details.

A day after I got engaged, my aunt asked me if I had anyone to make my wedding cake. Of course, I didn’t, so she volunteered to make our cake. After giving her a few ideas of what we wanted, she made us a beautiful three layer, topsy turvey cake. And our cake topper was incredibly fitting for us, since we are both photographers.

As we were cutting the cake, Mike kept telling me, “I won’t smash it in your face, if you don’t smash it in mine” Which I was fine with until everyone started yelling to smash it in his face. I finally gave in to peer pressure, knowing I would get it too! It was worth it though. I mean, you only get that chance once!

The cake was delicious, even after it was smeared on my face!

Our first dance was my favorite part of the reception. Once again, Mike and I, asked Chris to sing for our first dance. Chris played acoustic guitar and sang “History in the Making,” and it was absolutely beautiful. Another moment I will treasure forever.

I am so blessed to have such a talented brother-in-law who was more than willing to play for us. It made our day more special!

The rest of our reception was so much fun! The photo booth we had was a hit! It gave everyone the opportunity to let loose and have some fun! It was fun to look through the photos that everyone took!

I’m glad I found the SparkBooth software to create our own photo booth, because we wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise. My only regret is that I didn’t get to use it more!

We were also fortunate enough to have our friend Jed Watts play during the ceremony as well as the reception. It was great to have a live band, who could play any song that our guests requested. I never thought we would end up doing the Hokey Pokey at our wedding, but we did, and everyone joined in. As you can tell from the picture! Everyone was enjoying themselves by the end of the evening.

The evening ended with the guys pumpkin bowling and rolling down the huge hill on the property. I never thought pumpkin bowling would be how we ended our wedding reception, but that’s what life is about!

Looking back, I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding. Not the hours spent making programs and drink umbrellas, or the stopping at every K-Mart between Nashville and home to buy candle holders, or the decorations, or the colors, or the attire.

I truly could not have asked for a more perfect day. Perfect weather, beautiful ceremony, amazing friends and family, and a wonderful husband. It was everything I ever dreamed of. The best part, is that it’s not a dream- it’s my reality.

Thank you to everyone who made our day special. Whether you were in the wedding party, one of our vendors, a friend who came, or just there in spirit, our day would not have been nearly as memorable without you.

Venue: The Pick Inn

Photographer: Doerman Photography

Catering: V & P Catering

Hair & Make Up: Kim Warren & Kim Grayson – Salon 7

Cake: Anita Hilt

Flowers: Sheila Wyer

Necklace & Bracelet: Sweet Findings 4 You

Earrings: Cloud Cap Jewelry

Hair Pieces: Peacock Pixys

Garter Belts: Flourish By Lauryn

Charms: Tiny Tree Boutique

Gettin’ Hitched – Bridal Shower

When I purchased my wedding dress, I was back home in Wisconsin. Originally it was not my intention to buy a dress while I was there, but when it fit me, almost perfectly, I couldn’t pass it up. This meant I would have to go home for a fitting, which I did a few weeks ago. So we decided it would be a perfect time to have a bridal shower for my family and friends back home.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a country girl, so my maid of honor decided to have a western themed bridal shower. Everything about  it was perfect!! From the western decor to the BBQ sandwiches to the keg root beer in mason jars!! And don’t forget the boot shaped cake!!

I truly enjoyed everyone creating their own version of my bridal bouquet with crayons and paper plates!! It made for a fun time and got everyone involved.

We got lots of nice gifts that we don’t plan on using until we move into a new house. That is up next on the list of things to do after the wedding. If it wasn’t so stressful I would be doing it right now! I’ve lived in my house for 11 years and am ready to move into a house, that Mike and I can make our home. I hope that with money we receive at the wedding, we will have a nice down payment.

Thanx to everyone who came out to celebrate with us. We hope to see you at the wedding in TWO MONTHS!!

Invitations have arrived!!

Our wedding invitations arrived today! They are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for my fall wedding.

I have to admit it makes me smile to see my name next to his. We are almost three months out from the big day and I cannot wait!

Dress Fitting & Bridal Shower

In three weeks I’ll be heading to Wisconsin for a short break. I’m pretty excited because I get to see my wedding dress again. The day I bought it is kind of a blur, as I tried on so many dresses. I’m so excited to e able to put it on again, knowing that I will be wearing it in a little over three months for my “I dos”

My maid of honor is also hosting my bridal shower while I’m there. I’m pretty excited for that too!

Things are really starting to come together. I spoke to our officiant yesterday and we are well on our way to having a wedding! I’m beyond excited!! Come on October 8th!