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Archive for June, 2010

I have had quite a few DIY projects over the past few weeks. I have been a very busy girl and Sundays seem to be the day I get the most done when it comes to my projects.

In the past month or so I have completed the following

1)      Hanging Door Letters with Ribbons-A project a copied from the DIY Queen herself, Martha Stewart. I found them early in my wedding planning search about had bought the supplies months ago. Thanks to Michael’s coupons and several layers of paint I created something that will look adorable hanging on the doors of our ceremony site.

2)      Cleaned nearly 200 mason jars-There will definitely be more word on these special little buggers to come as I have lots planned for them  but they have been a lot of work thus far. Brandon and I have been collecting for months. We have driven an hour to rural TN to purchase 120 from a lovely elderly couple (married 50 years and she gave us a jar of jam). I also couldn’t have pulled this off without the help of my family including my sister, Grandma and Aunt Martha who donated some awesome jars. The ones from my Grandma and Aunt Martha were particularly awesome because many of them were really, really old or unique and because I knew they had belonged to my family. I plan to keep hold of those even after the wedding.

3)      Personalized Aisle Runner-This is by far the project I am most proud of thus far. Our aisle runner is made of burlap purchased from Joann’s using a 40% of coupon. I found personalized aisle runners online but they were really expensive. Turns out a lot of DIY brides have made them so I figured I could do it too. I borrowed (with permission) our projector from work and shot the image of our logo on the wall. After pinning the aisle runner up I was able to trace the logo using a marker. Then I used brown, acrylic paint to paint the inside. It looks so good and I can’t wait for people to see it in person.

4)      Leaf Us a Message Trees (1/2 completed)-I mentioned this idea in a previous blog. It has proved to be a lot of work as I had to gather quite a bit of supplies including flower pots, stones, branches (from our backyard), moss, clear coat paint, and floral styrofoam. Next came printing and cutting out 200 paper leaves. Now I have the task of hole punching and stringing them with ribbon.

I am so proud of how everything is turning out and I couldn’t be more pleased with these personalized DIY projects.

Below are some photos to prove all my hard work.

So, as you can see I have been a busy girl. I hope all my hard work will pay off though as Brandon and I celebrate our wedding day in DIY style!

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Brandon and I have been blessed with some gorgeous, loving, little munchkins in our lives. Brandon’s brother and sister-n-law, Thomas and Sara, have two beautiful girls, Abby and Kyrie. Abby is six and Kyrie is four. My sister has blessed us with a rambunctious and totally crazy but handsome nephew. Stephen is currently 1 ½ years old. They are all awesome kids and remind us why it will be a quite a few more years before we have children.  They will all have important roles in our wedding and I wanted to share those with you all.

Abby and Kyrie are total girly girls and love to wear dresses and be pretty so they will be walking down the aisle as co-flower girls. I haven’t yet decided whether they will be dropping flowers or leaves but nonetheless they will do awesome. We are so excited and lucky to have both of them helping us out with such an important job. And man….are they psyched!? They bring it up on a regular basis and I can’t wait to get them their awesome dresses and see them “set the stage”.  They are both just the perfect ages and have such great personalities to share with the world.

Abby, being the oldest, is super strong minded and opinionated. She has more energy than any human being should and is a total whiz kid.

Kyrie is sweet and incredibly caring. She will try anything and contemplates everything.

I can’t wait to spend my life with Brandon and watch them grow into strong, capable, and fantastic young women. (They are both so smart!) I know Brandon loves them dearly and loves being their Uncle Beez.

Stephen will have a unique role in the wedding given his age and role in our family. Stephen is the only “man” left in our family being that my father and both of my grandfather’s have passed away. But don’t worry because he has more than enough personality to handle this role. He is too little to carry the ring pillow but I wanted him to have an important role. So he is going to “lead” me down the aisle. He gets to wear his awesome baby tuxedo and proceed down the aisle before me (his mom will be waiting as my matron of honor). Really, his role is to walk me down the aisle and also to be cute. I expect some hiccups since two year old seldom do what you want them to. Stephen is a ball of energy and stubborn too. He is just starting to talk and I can’t wait until he can say “Auntie Shannon”. That would be the best wedding gift ever! I definitely love him bunches and can’t wait to watch him grow up. I’m the weird Auntie who kisses his cheeks and gives him crushing hugs and I always will be.

Because we will not be having a traditional ring bearer our wedding rings will be placed in safe keeping with one of the groomsmen. We have already begun making a ceramic ring bowl in place of the traditional pillow fit for the occasion and style.

I have no doubt Abby, Kyrie and Stephen will have an awesome presence and role in our wedding. They are lights of our lives. Yay!

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Writing our Vows on the Beach= Best Idea Ever

Right away Brandon and I knew we wanted to write our own vows for the wedding. We are doing a completely secular ceremony and most of it is written by us. That’s not to say it is going to be unstructured or anything. The order of events will flow much like your traditional wedding. But because the words would be our own (for the most part) we thought it would be fun to get away and have the chance to relax and write them without distractions and the like. I got the idea early in our wedding planning and knew we wanted some private time to make it happen.

So at the beginning of May, Brandon and I took an extended weekend trip and made our way to Gulf Shores, Alabama. It turned out to be a wonderful trip and our first trip to the beach together. We loved every minute of it. We left very early Saturday morning and stayed through Monday afternoon. Highlights of the trip include major sunburns, wine tasting, stuffed tummies, my first po’boy, picnics, some of the best soul food I have ever tasted and of course, writing our vows as we listened to waves and tasted the salt in the air.

Brandon and I love to travel together no matter how big or small the trip is. My fondest memories of our relationship have been the awesome trips we have taken. Our relationship really started with one trip after another. As I sit here and write the memories we have made together enter my mind one right after the other….Sitting on the rocks of the waterfall in the Great Smokies, watching the moon rise over the Grand Canyon, posing for picture after picture with our mouse ears at the happiest place on earth. Knoxville, Atlanta, Chattanooga, AZ, OH …every single one holds a memory for me. One of the things I most forward to in our marriage are the many trips we plan to take together. I’m so excited!

I am so glad we took the opportunity to get away and write our vows together.  We had checked out many books from the library and read through pages and pages of ideas. We then gathered all of our ideas in a notebook including adjectives and phrases we really wanted to include. These served as sort of like the core values for our vows and ceremony. It was quite a process of pulling out our favorites and ditching the ones that were repetitive or not as important.

We made our way back to Nashville with a narrowed down list. Later, during a vow writing session at one of our favorite coffee shops, we cut them out on little slips of paper and selected our favorites with what Brandon called “draft style”.

In the end our vows are a perfect compilation of his thoughts and mine. The vows we will make to each other are not total replicas of each other but a combination. They will follow letters we have written to each other during the ceremony.

Writing our own vows was a wonderful and meaningful experience. I would definitely recommend it for anyone. It allowed us to connect and get to the heart of our big day. I loved the trip. I loved writing our vows .  I love Brandon.

P.S. Brandon and I were in Gulf Shores on the weekend of what will go down in history as the Nashville Flood of 2010. We watched on TV as the city we love suffered from some of the worst weather related catastrophes in its history.  It was surreal to learn of the unimaginable rain pouring down in the North and also watch the oil spill coming our way from the South. Both disasters very different but devastating nonetheless. Our thoughts and love go out to all of those who were affected, are still rebuilding their lives and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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