Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bridal Faire and Cake Dive

I went to the local bridal fair a few weeks back.  This was supposed to be the biggest and best bridal show in the area.  Spoiler alert, it wasn't.  Don't get me wrong, it was fun and I booked my photo booth from it, but they always stated the most giveaways, freebies, cake, champagne, etc.  Well the cocktails you had to buy which the My Wedding Library bridal fair in February (where I only went as a friend of a bride) had free cocktails, cake, waffles and appetizers.  My Wedding Library's wedding fair was so much better and free.  This one you had to pay to get in.  The only giveaways they had were at some booths you could enter to win and the cake dive. 

I had never heard of the cake dive, but could guess what it entailed.  Plus the prize, free diamond earrings.  Basically, there was a dance off for the brides since there was so many of us.  We danced to "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga.  They picked four of us out of the 25 or 30 brides, and I was one of them and so was my co-worker, Jae.  They brought out a four tiered wedding cake with roses on it.  Gorgeous cake.  They told us to take our shoes and socks off and stand on the plastic.  On the count of three, they told us to tear the cake apart looking for a small plastic bag with the diamonds in it.  So much fun.  I didn't find the diamonds, but I did try like crazy.  My co-worker found them and I was super happy for her.  Now they are not very big diamonds at all, but hey they are free.

Here are two lovely photos of us diving in the cake.

Don't mind the butt shots.  As you can see we went at it and tore the cake apart in seconds.  The girl in the green shirt in the first photo was the winner.  It was so much fun.  Clean-up was another story.  We had so much cake on our feet and arms that I smelt of cake the entire day.  My puppy, Walter loved it though.

At least I have these memories from my wedding planning!

Bridesmaid Dresses

I have looked at tons of bridesmaid dresses being a bridesmaid myself and for my wedding.  I wanted something the girls could wear again.  I know, everyone says that, but after being a bridesmaid, I can say that I have two dresses that sit in my closet that I will never wear again.  Ok, maybe if someone has a bridesmaid dress/groomsmen suit party, I can, but probably will never wear them again.  Those dresses cost me around $200 to $300 for the dress, alterations and accessories (as in a sash, flower, etc.).

I searched all the common websites (david's bridal, pinterest, etsy, local bridal shops, weddingtonway, Nordstrom's, ).  On pinterest I found a picture of bridesmaids wearing taupe lacy dresses.  Hello, we have a winner.  Alas, they were from a different season and not available.  So I looked at other dresses that were similar on Nordstrom's website, and I found none to my liking.  At least I had an idea of what I wanted.  I found the dress I loved on  It comes in several cuts, but these two were my favorites.
Watters Dress Camillia
Watters Dress Iris

I used their locations search and found they had the dresses at the shop I bought my wedding dress, Swoon.  I met up with the bridesmaids on a Saturday afternoon and had them try on the different cuts to see what their favorites were and if these were dresses they even liked.  They loved the dresses and said they could and would wear them again since they are not the "classic" bridesmaid dresses.  Well at least I hope they are being honest about that.  After all four girls tried on different cuts, I asked them to pick out their favorites.  I told them if there was one, two or four different cuts they liked, we could work with that.  After asking each of them, they decided they all wanted to wear the Iris dress.  They will be navy lining with navy lace.  I am so excited to see them in the dress!  They tried it on in white which was not a good color for the dress, so hopefully navy is better.  Plus they are adding bra cups in them and they will be their size.  I will spare them the classic photos of them in each of the dresses.

Super excited and I wish it was June when I get my dress and they get theirs too! 
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Save The Date

We took engagement photos in March after picking our photographer.  Now I was a bit apprehensive as we booked her for our wedding without even doing engagement photos.  Luckily, we loved her photos she took of us.

We got our photos back 2 1/2 weeks later and were onto save the dates.  We went through our engagement photos and picked out our favorites.  There were way more then we could ever fit onto a save the date which is a good thing I guess.  After many go arounds we picked out six photos and put them into the template to see which we liked the best.  That was the easy part, compared to trying to pick out a font the fiance liked and change things around a bit.  Why fix it when it isn't broken.  We picked out everything then set out to dinner to mull things over and when we got back make sure it was just right.  Nope, fiance didn't like it as much, so after much toying, we missed out on the 25% off deadline.  Boo for me, not so much for him since he wasn't paying for them.  We went back to the original fonts (just like it should have been) and made it only one sided which was a better option.

So here are some of our engagement photos...

And last but not least, our Save The Dates...

The Marriage Carriage

I was lucky enough to win a ticket for the Marriage Carriage this past Sunday.  None of my bridesmaids could join me, but I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity, and hey if I won something, even better.  The Marriage Carriage is a tour bus that takes you around to different vendor locations with many vendors located in one place.

Here is a picture of us on the bus.

We started at Hidden Valley Golf Course where we had a breakfast and met with Reno Photo Booth, It Works, Kiss and Make-up and Huong Photography.  We were given yummy mimosas and free to look around.

Since I came by myself, I found two awesome girls there to hang out for the day, Cece and Rachel.  Cece is Rachel's Maid of Honor, and they remind me of my friends and myself.

Next we went to Michael and Sons jeweler.  We looked at mens rings mostly, but a blue and white pearl necklace caught my eye.  I so want them, hint hint.  Next up was Lavender Ridge.  I have loved this place for years.  But we just found out they stopped their retail store and now are just a wedding venue and place to buy lavender bushes.  Total bummer.  I have so many amazing products from there.  At Lavender Ridge we met with a photographer, a cater, a coffee place (yummy free lattes) and Jewel Kade Crystal.  Ummm can we say in love?  I want a canvas from them and tons of jewelry (maybe bridesmaids gifts).  We walked around enjoying champagne, laughs and the gorgeous weather.  Cece won a bow necklace from Jewel Kade, and I think Rachel might just steal it.

Next up was Boomtown for some lunch and vendors.  After going to Boomtown, when we got on the bus, they did another raffle and this time I won.  I won a $400 teeth whitening package before my wedding.  I have pretty white teeth, so it may go to Rory, or I may use it for even more whitness.

After Boomtown, we went up to Somerset Country Club.  This is the community Rory's parents live in so I am familiar with it.  We went into a party bus limo to check it out, saw the area you can get married in (inside or on the golf course), had tons of chocolate, a cupcake, make-up artist, dj and on the go bride.  I won my free ticket from On The Go Bride.  I love their blog.  So much local vendors, wedding ideas and amazing photographers.  Then we went downstairs to an Italian restaurant for free wine and champagne.  Yes!

Here is a little ring bling we took on the tour

Last but not least we went to Lime Spa and Taylor 41.  More champagne cocktails, Courtney Aaron Photography (amazing boudoir shots) and spa packages.

We arrived back at Hidden Valley Golf Club late, but well worth it.  I met tons of vendors, entered into many raffles, won something, met two amazing ladies and had a great day with fellow brides who didn't care how much we talked about weddings.  Total win win.
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Choosing Our Wedding Colors and Theme

I am on the wedding kick and really wanted to document planning my wedding, so I can look back on the adventure and hope that it helps my friends out when they plan their wedding.

I read wedding blogs, forums and inspiration sites on a daily basis, and all of them basically state that I need a wedding theme to have some sort of cohesiveness in my big day.  I thought about certain aspects that I wanted and tried to come up with a theme, but it wasn't until I met with my florist that I really picked out our wedding theme.

Let me back track just a bit.  Both the fiance and I went to the University of Nevada, Reno.  Go Pack!  When it came to deciding our wedding colors, I searched pinterest for wedding color inspiration.  Wow, major overload.  I narrowed it down to my favorites: gray and pink or navy (and the guys would wear black suits).  I asked FH (future husband) which he liked.  He liked them both, but thought black suits would get hot having the ceremony outside in August where daily temperatures could easily reach the high 90s.  Ok he had a point.  We compromised with navy and gray.  But those are our college colors and since the FH and I are such big fans, we didn't want to get grief for it.  After some thinking, we didn't care what people thought, it is our wedding.  So navy and gray/silver it was.

Next was my meeting with the florist.  I went by myself since the FH wasn't picky on flowers and said I could choose what I wanted.  It was overwhelming and I wasn't prepared enough.  I had pinned tons of photos and I knew I wanted peonies, lilies and roses.  But alas, peonies are spring flowers and cost a fortune to get for the summer months.  I was super bummed.  We worked through ideas and I had a vision set since peonies wouldn't work.  I chose hydrangeas (in place of peonies), but after coming home that night and researching what my florist said, being that they wilt fast out of water, I knew I had to change it.  And did I mention getting blue flowers is harder than it looks.

Basically I will have pinks and whites in my bouquet with silver and blue ribbon and lots of crystals.  My bridesmaids will have dyed blue roses (see got some in there) with other flowers in pinks and whites.  Groomsmen will have dyed blue roses and others will have white flowers.  Trying not to give too much away since I want some surprise.

But after picking out flowers, I came to realize I love elegance and sparkle, but with simple overtones.  So there you have it.  My wedding will have simple elegance with sparkle.  So excited for everything to come together.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yes to the Dress

On March 9th, I went wedding dress shopping with three of my bridesmaids, my mother, my future mother-in-law and two amazing friends.  We went to a local shop, Swoon.  I have been dreaming about this day forever...since I was a little girl.  This was definitely been one of the best moments of planning a wedding.

Swoon was having a sample sale, and I couldn't pass it up.  I came in with an open mind, though I had ideas of what I would like to try on.  I have watched my fair share of Say Yes To The Dress, and knew that I should be open minded because I may not know what looks best on my body.  I along with my consultant picked out 6 dresses.  The first was gorgeous and the most beautiful top, but the bottom was way too big to dance in, walk down the aisle in, or do anything in, well at least for me.  The second dress was lace and beautiful.  I loved it, other than it need to have alterations for a more dramatic sweetheart neckline.  The third dress was all of the things I wanted in a dress, but simple.  Ok, let's "jack me up".  That did it.  I cried.  I told myself if I cried I knew it had to be the one, but I still wanted to try more dresses on.  The forth dress was very similar to the third dress just a different bottom which was too plain jane for me.  The fifth dress was a blush color with a line down the center of it.  Though it was beautiful and I could have gotten it in white or ivory, it was not me.  The sixth dress was one the consultant picked out and it just wasn't me.

I went back to the third dress, tried it on again, and added a sash and necklace.  Wow.  My future father-in-law told me I looked stunning in it.  He only saw a picture for a brief second.  I cried once again and knew this was my dress.  Now my mom wanted me to try on veils which I did, but didn't think I wanted one.  Then I tried on three different ones and I loved them.  Like it completes the look.  I did try on a floor length one with a train, and I hated it.  The consultant asked me to describe myself in it, in one word.  I came up with virginal.  The look on my mothers and mother-in-laws face was priceless.  I explained that I look like a 16 year old bride from the olden days and it just wasn't me.  I didn't buy a veil yet, but plan to.

My mom and dad bought me my dress and all of my accessories.  So blessed.  I can't show you my dress because my fiance checks on here every so often.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Asking My Maids

So during my first and only wedding dress shopping trip, I asked three of my potential bridesmaids if they would be a part of my wedding party.  I have pinned tons of wedding ideas, so I decided to use one of the pins I found as part of my asking.  Now I am not the best DIY person, though I am trying to be more into it for my wedding.

I went to Michaels and bought wooden boxes, bunches of bridal stickers, glow rings, tissue paper and pens.  I think they turned out pretty cute.

What you can't see is the sides where I added my wedding date and my fiance's and my names.  Here is a picture of the Maid of Honors box up close (get your mind out of the gutter).
I am happy to report that all four of my girls have said yes!

Picking My Venue

So I moved pretty quickly when it came to starting my wedding planning.  I had been going to bridal faires and asking/helping my friend Stacey with her wedding plans, so I had already obtained a ton of information from the bridal faires.  I got ideas on photographers, djs, cake, flowers, etc.  I had already been secretly looking at wedding venues in hopes of getting engaged.

We decided that we wanted to get married in August, yes as in this year.  The first weekend in my opinion was out since I turn 30 on August 2nd and I didn't want my wedding the day after.  Not sure how I will take turning 30.  So we decided the 10th, 17th or 24th would work.  After thinking and checking around at venues, we picked the 17th.  Plus it seems to have some luck as my friend will be married for 11 years on that day and Rory's parents 41st anniversary is two days later.  So I will become the future Mrs. Butler on August 17, 2013.

So it came as no surprise right after we got engaged that we finalized the places I thought were ideal for our wedding.  We went to David Walley's Hot Springs.  Now I have always loved this place, but in recent years they have changed owners and it doesn't seem like it was kept up to the standards I had seen before.  The sidewalks outside the gazebo where the reception would be held were torn up. This would be an issue for myself who would be walking in heels, as well as my bridesmaids and any older guest, heck even younger guests.  I loved the gazebo, but it was really hot.  Ok, they can open all the windows, awesome, but only 75 or less guests could sit inside and the rest outside of the gazebo.  Ugh, I didn't like that at all.  The bar area and buffet area were great though.  And even taking chairs out and moving things around after dinner for the dance floor didn't bother me.  This venue has hotel rooms (time shares), but they were already pretty booked for our wedding weekend, and only the groom and I could stay there.  So basically after all we heard, we decided this wasn't our venue.  Though the views are breath taking.

I inquired about Thunder Canyon Golf Course as I love this golf course and the sites.  I have spent more time looking at venues then I should have.  But Thunder Canyon was gorgeous, had a great staff and we even have a friend who works there during the summers as a cart girl.  I inquired if they had any of our dates before we picked our date and they had August 24th.  Score, but another couple was looking that Wednesday and we weren't scheduled to look at it til Friday.  Long story short, they booked the 24th that Thursday.  We still looked at the venue thinking maybe we could pick a Friday instead.

Now the actual venue....Genoa Lakes Golf Club and Resort.  I love love love this venue, and so does the fiance.  Right at the entrance is a beautiful waterfall area to take pictures.  Breath taking and it is where my Aunt took her photos many years ago.  We decided we loved the Lakes Course side more.  We will be getting married outside looking at Jobe's Peak.

After the ceremony, we will have our reception inside the Supper Club.  So pretty.

Pictures don't even do it justice.  I can't wait to show you more as the flowers bloom and everything is planned.


So I haven't posted in a long time as I GOT ENGAGED!  And it seems like everything wedding has consumed me, and I love it.  Now don't get me wrong, I do miss reading, my daily celeb gossip and trying out new recipes, but this is what I have been waiting for.  I have dreamed about getting married since I was a little girl, and now it all becomes a reality.

I am definitely a Type A personality, so it comes to no surprise that I have a lot of the details planned out before even getting engaged.  I may have created a pinterest board for my future wedding.  Don't judge.  But seriously, I love following bridal blogs, forums and anything pinterest wedding related.

I am so excited about the next several months of planning because we are getting married this August.  I don't think I could have waited and planned for over a year.  I am just too excited for the marriage and what comes after that....BABIES!

So here is my proposal story.

On Wednesday March 6, 2013, it was like any other day.  We went to work and had a Nevada Wolf Pack basketball game that evening.  The last home game of the season.  Rory and I did not drive together, as he had a haircut and other errands before going to the game.  Little did I know, when Rory got to the game, he had shown a picture of the engagement ring to his parents, surprising them.  I arrived to the game just as it had started, not knowing anything that just had happened.  The Pack lost the game and it was a horrible ending to a not so great season.

We drove home, seperately, and I got caught at several lights, which ended up being ideal for Rory.  I got home and went about usual business...mostly playing with Walter.  After 15 minutes, I started to wonder where Rory was.  Walter and I looked around the house and didn't find him.  I went into the kitchen and saw the door to the garage was cracked open and the lights were off.  This was a bit alarming since we had a break in a few years back. 

I slowly opened the door to find Rory on one knee with a ring box open in the dark.  The only lighting was from the hallway behind me and the LED light shining on the ring.  I was surprised.  He said, "Danielle Kira Cook, will you marry me?"  The only thing I could say was, "Is this really happening?"  I was so stunned and excited that I almost forgot to answer him.  I said YES! 

It was surprising, romantic and perfect.  

And the ring...WOW! Take a look for yourself.