Sunday, August 9, 2015

NYC: end of summer... (2014)

Well... since it has been a year since I updated this blog I will just throw some photos in here since I don't really remember the specifics of what we did the last few weeks we were in NYC last summer.

Here is a recap of the fist half of our 2014 summer.

Designing for Provo Fashion Week:

While in NYC I spent most of my time designing my collection, exploring all the fabric stores, and sewing. ALONG with planning and producing 

 ^^The final designs for my Fall 2014 Collection!

 ^^Hand beading ALL DAY while watching Netflix


 ^^The CRACK Pie!!!

 ^^The only time all summer we were able to go out to dinner together 

 ^^Terrible quality but had to document our new FAVORITE Mexican in the city - Dos Caminos

 ^^Sarabeth's is ALWAYS a must

(Once Taylor finished up his internship (we had about a week before we were heading out) we decided to stop by all of our favorite places).

 ^^ CHEESE is always a good idea. And so is our favorite French restaurant, Le Grainne

 ^^ And of course, Mushroom Ravioli at Luce

 ^^Taylor received his full-time offer the second week in August!

Lake Powell:

My family goes to Lake Powell every summer and I haven't been able to go for the past couple years. I was lonely in the apartment all day while Taylor worked 110+ hours each week and I was talking to my dad and we decided to split the price of a plane ticket and surprise my family but coming to Lake Powell. I flew home and Sy picked me up from the airport (he was the only other one in on the surprise). When I got home I surprised Bain and then we all waiting for my mom to get home. We were watching TV in the family room together (the 3 of us) and my mom came home and started talking to Sy and Bain (who were on the couch facing her, I was on the chair with my back to her and all you could really see was the top of my head). They were talking for a while and trying to stifle laughter and she was so confused as to what was going on and what was so funny. They would look at me and laugh, she would look down at me and was confused (she didn't recognize it was me, she thought I was just one of Bain's friends or something) and finally they pointed at me and said "you're daughter!" It still took a second to sink in until she finally put it all together. I guess I surprised her so much she didn't even recognize me! It was the best ever! We left for Lake Powell the next day and spent the week at one of our favorite places on earth. Of course I missed Taylor so much, and of course while I was gone he had his two busiest weeks of his life where he literally worked 135 hours for two weeks in a row, as in he got home at 6AM everyday and would go back to work at 9AM for two weeks straight.

Gavin DeGraw Concert in Central Park:

We decided to stay in the city the week after we finished the internship so that Taylor could enjoy the city a bit and so that we could go to the Gavin DeGraw concert - since he is my all time favorite singer ever! I have now seen him in concert 5 times (3 times together).

Drive to Utah via Atlanta, Gulf Shores, and McKinney:

We packed up our apartment and headed up to Connecticut to pick up the van at Taylor's aunt and uncle's home. We stayed over night and left bright and early to drive into the city, hopefully find a parking spot close to our apartment on the street, carry everything down our 6 flights of stairs, load the car, and drive the 14+ hours to Atlanta. It was a long day!!! And the traffic was terrible and it took around 16 hours to get there.We visited Seth, Jenn, and Taytum for a couple days and then headed to Gulf Shores Alabama (stayed at the Phoenix All Suites Hotel) for 2 days on the beach!!

 ^^We found a spot on our first try!! Our apartment was the one with the black door


We then made our way to Texas to visit Brooke and Hadley! Taylor's family met us there at Brooke's home and we were able to spend a few days all together before we headed back to Utah just in time for school to start back up at BYU.

 ^^On the way home we stopped at the 4 Corners

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wedding Planning: Plan & Organize

Taylor and I knew we were going to get married it was just a matter of timing. I thoroughly expressed my need to Taylor of a LONG engagement - I had a lot of planning and creating to do and I had specific vendors already in mind that I needed to book. Taylor was gone on an internship the summer of 2012 and was home for just a couple weeks in August/September before he left again for another internship during fall 2012. We had been discussing rings and the one we ended up going with I knew wouldn't be ready in time - I didn't even know if Taylor was taking the bait and actually going through with the ring at that point and I was getting worried, he knew I was taking the fall semester off from school to plan the wedding - I just REALLY wanted a ring to make it more official. He surprised me the night before his internship started with a promise ring since my official engagement ring wasn't ready yet. So I got unofficially engaged on September 5, 2012 - and official engaged on November 24, 2012. So I unofficially had 8 months to plan my wedding - which was perfect!

My wedding binder was wonderful, I was able to keep all my documents in one place and I could easily take it where I needed to go. Like I mentioned in my last post, I also had a pinterest account and a huge folder on my desktop with many many documents.

 ^^there weren't many options with my colors so I went with a simple navy binder and personalized it with gold ink.

 ^^perfect for counting down the weeks and scheduling appointments

 ^^kept all my contracts and misc. items in clear sheet protectors

^^I printed off lots of my inspiration photos as well

The most important things for me to book early on were my photographer, the temple, and venue. I needed them to all be available on the same day and they were all things I wouldn't compromise. It took me less than 3 days after getting my promise ring to call and schedule those vendors for May 4, 2014 (I just needed to see my potential venue in person and solidify the date). Let's just say the temple was completely wide open and I am pretty sure they had never heard of such a long engagement before - ha! But since that temple is smaller and only has a couple rooms I needed a specific time in order to get down to Manti (without making people wake up too early), have a luncheon, and get back in time for our reception in Provo.

Photographer - I had already done my research. Rebekah Westover. Hands down. She just has such elegant and timeless photos. Working at a bridal store for many years I had seen lots of different wedding photography styles and most bridal photos make me sad because the gown gets washed out and you can hardly see and of the gorgeous detailing - Rebekah somehow captures the details of the dresses and doesn't wash out the gown. I knew Rebekah would capture my gown and our wedding day PERFECTLY. And she did! Best decision.

Temple - Taylor and I knew we DID NOT want to get married in Provo, Timpanogos, or Salt Lake City. Too cliche and overdone for our tastes. I think they are all perfectly fine temples and perfect locations for many weddings - just no ours. We were then toying with the idea of Draper (we went to the temple dedication and walked through it together at the Open House years ago) and Manti. There were pros and cons to both and we eventually landed on Manti. It was intimate and more secluded. No one we knew had been married there recently. The color of the temple matched my dress wonderfully. The mini road trip added an element of destination to the day. AND the past 3 generations of Taylor's family were married there.

Venue - I was worried I wouldn't find a venue I liked - I wanted something that was elegant but not decorated, because I wanted to add all of my own decorations. I visited the Manor at the Riverwoods and after my first glance inside I was SOLD! It had a gold tint to the walls, hardwood floor, no weird decorations, it was smack dab in the middle of both of our parent's homes, less than 5 minutes away, AND I could have open flame candles and choose my own catering vendors. It was PERFECTION. I liked it so much I had my bridals taken there as well!

I had created a list of things that needed to be done (thanks to all the million bridal magazines that come through Avenia Bridal) and set deadlines for myself.
Personalized notes are always more fun and sincere so I decided to ask my sweet best friends if they would be my bridesmaids through good old-fashioned snail mail.

I created a spreadsheet and a budget breakdown in excel to keep track of my finances, I also printed off a basic sheet for my binder with my breakdown and actual costs of things.

I set weekly and monthly to-do lists and sent them out to my mom, Taylor, and anyone else who needed to help that week on specific things. 8 months seems like a long time but between spending over 375 hours on a wedding gown, making bridesmaid skirts, designing and creating all of the decorations, and going to school - it was just barely enough time. I had to-do lists on word documents and on excel documents planning everything from appointments, to stuffing invitations, to painting my nails, to specific decoration instructions, to trying to schedule bridals during the end of the semester.. etc.

Below is my schedule (you can click on it to make it bigger) of what needed to get done and when - At the beginning of each week I would look at this schedule and send personal emails with specific to-do lists to my Mom and Taylor, of course I'd make one for me too.
I had to be super organized or things wouldn't get done. It worked out great, we weren't incredibly stressed the last couple weeks because we tried to have everything done early, and the day-of was as smooth as can be. It really pays to be organized and have awesome people on your team who work hard to get things done.

Finally there was my day-of schedule which everyone got multiple copies of! Haha I sound like a crazy person - but being the bride and the wedding designer/planner - I wanted everything to run smoothly and be everything I dreamed it would. And it was. The night before I think my whole family only slept a couple hours (Taylor and I put off honeymoon packing and making our wedding playlist (we didn't bother with a DJ) until the last minute and my mom and dad were just finishing up finalizing last minute decoration details that took much longer than anticipated) - but I don't think any of us would have really slept much anyway.

Next I will talk about the process of executing the wedding - making all the inspirations and plans a reality!

wedding posts:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wedding Planning: Inspiration

So it has been in my plans all along to do a little wedding planning series about my wedding - and now that it has been over a year I am finally trying to tackle it! I am excited about putting down my inspiration and ideas behind my DIY wedding! I hope you enjoy this little segment!

First I will talk about my inspiration! I have ALWAYS been into wedding planning so I had thousands of photos saved on my computer (from back before the pinterest days) and many many  more on my pinterest boards. I went through all the photos and selected ones that I was most inspired by for my wedding. I made files on my computer of these photos (by category) and I also created a pinterest account just for my wedding - I didn't want anyone I knew to see it so I named it something that no one would find (this was back before secret boards) and I also put together a wedding binder.

Colors - I knew from the get-go what I wanted my colors to be. Navy, mint, sparkle, all shades of gold, and a touch of ivory.

Bridal Attire - I already had all my material for my gown (been collecting it since 2010) and I had the bottom portion of the gown designed but I had NO idea what I wanted to do with the top... There are also about a hundred earrings and shoes pinned..... those were definitely the two hardest things to find for me. Took me many months of ordering and sending things back until it was perfect. My gown was such a unique color it made matching difficult. We also had a difficult time selecting a wedding ring for me, I loved and ordered a green amethyst stone ring but - we decided a diamond was more classic.

 ^^my first basic sketch of my gown

Groom - Taylor was pretty easy, we knew he'd have a navy suit and some sort of ivory/golden tie that went well with my dress. The tie proved again to be a difficult task but it ended up working out perfectly! And lucky for me he wanted a yellow gold ring (like me) - I like when wedding rings match.

Wedding Party - I already had my bridesmaids picked out and I believe I knew early on that I was going to make them silk taffeta skirts (you can see in the photo of the J.Crew window - I loved the long wrap skirt), I for sure wanted them floor length. I was dreaming of having them wear navy sequin 3/4 length shirts BUT that was no where to be found for a few months until magically at J.Crew Factory's Black Friday sale they popped up on MAJOR sale and we bought all of them!

Hair and Makeup - I at first wanted an up-do but more of a side pony type thing to show my hair, but once I designed the top of my gown with all the beaded detail I decided to do a full up-do. I wanted natural golden/peach makeup. I also was maybe going to do flowers in my hair (again, before flower crowns got SO popular) but again - when I added so much detail to the bodice and with the skirt being so elaborate I decided against it.

Announcements - I saw these AMAZING mint with gold foil invitations on pinterest and knew I NEEDED them. I wanted to make them classy and use all my wedding colors. I am a curly cursive girl and wanted a gorgeous font. I played with the idea of some extra fun graphic detail but in the end decided to keep it simple.

Decorations - I wanted a hanging timeline so lots of the decorations I pinned had to do with that. Mostly I wanted flowers to be the focus, and candles. I used the idea on pinterest to make the huge written canvases and CD favors. I would have loved to do more things with hanging/streaming lights and I love the ribbon chair (bottom right) - but... my budget did not allow for that. I LOVED the fun tassel idea with words and so I incorporated that into my wedding too.

Flowers - I wanted gold/ivory/peach colors in my bouquet but for the rest of the flowers I didn't really have a preference - since navy and mint (my colors) aren't really flower colors. I love mixing different types, shapes, and colors of flowers and luckily I trusted my florist (and Aunt) enough that I knew it'd be amazing.

Cake - I liked simple with gold and flower details. I ended up using fresh flowers which I didn't think I would, but it turned out perfect!

And that is the start of my wedding day planning! Pin pin pin like crazy and then narrow it down. Stay tuned for many more wedding planning posts!

wedding posts: