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Cheers! Part II

Oh my, 13 days until the wedding! We are so excited… but you know what these next 13 days are going to be about: details, details, details! Right now I’m working on putting together the programs and some last-minute decorations for the chapel.

But a few weeks ago my mom, my sister Jen and I went to bottle our wine! This winery is so cool – they taught us how to do everything and then left us to it! We even got a few glasses to sample – delish! Here’s a virtual tour.

some of the bottles!

some of the bottles!

hard at work ;) haha why is Mom the only one who got the apron?

hard at work πŸ˜‰ haha why is Mom the only one who got the apron?

bride and wine. i am so excited by how it turned out!

bride and wine. i am so excited by how it turned out!

don't you love the labels?!

don't you love the labels?!

We had a blast getting it all ready, and now it’s almost time to truck it down to Athens! It’s getting so close…I can hardly wait! Bring your dancing shoes, everyone!

❀

Maria

honeymoon update

Hi everyone! We’ve got some news…

Though we have room in our wedding budget, Aaron and I have decided not to spend our honeymoon in Spain as planned. We were presented with an amazing opportunity a few weeks ago – Aaron’s uncle Alan offered to let us stay at his INCREDIBLE beach-front condo in Pompano Beach, Florida for free! We will have the place all to ourselves. What a blessing! We decided after a few weeks of thinking/praying about it that saving the money we could have spent on Spain would be wise, especially as we face the cost of moving out to Arizona and getting furniture for our new apartment.

Though we were a little bummed at first, we are so excited to go down to Florida and so blessed to be able to do it for free. We have spent two Spring breaks down there already and love it – it’s one of our favorite places. Actually, Florida is the state where I first told Aaron I loved him! πŸ˜‰ (I know, I know, ew. Sorry.) Here are a few pictures of the incredible condo we’ll be staying at.

The view right inside the front door. MTV cribs!

The view right inside the front door. MTV cribs!

i LOVE how open it is. And that couch. that COUCH!

i LOVE how open it is. And that couch. that COUCH!

it's called "The Cristelle."

it's called "The Cristelle."

dining area...i wish i had a good shot of the kitchen. it's amazing!

dining area...i wish i had a good shot of the kitchen. it's amazing!

our beach access

our beach access

This will also be a special trip for us because it will be the first time we fly down!! That drive gets lonnnnggg….right Aar?! πŸ˜‰ (he always yells at me for sleeping on the way…what else does he expect me to do?!)

In a funny way, I was remembering the other day one of the conversations Aar and I had a few years ago; right when we were first talking about getting married. I was in Colorado and we had this e-mail/facebook conversation about our honeymoon and we decided we wanted to go to Key West. I had completely forgotten about that conversation until a few days ago…and here we are, going to south Florida! Yes, we are planning a trip to Key West, too. After all, it’s not a far trip from Pompano! (I SO want to see Ernest Hemingway’s house! Amazing!)

We’re also planning on getting a real ritzy hotel room one night in Miami Beach, for kicks! Awesome. I’m going to wear a semi-formal dress just to check in. Like they do on the T-V.

We feel really blessed to have this opportunity, and don’t worry, we will make it to Mallorca one day. I still vow to speak Spanish at some point on this trip though…shouldn’t be too hard in Miami Beach, eh? (does anyone else automatically hear “welcome to miami BIENVENIDO A MIAMI” everytime i mention Miami?)

Anyway, regarding our honeymoon registry online (www.honeymoonwishes.com) we haven’t decided quite what to do with it yet, but if you have donated already, don’t worry, your money isn’t lost. We will get it figured out and keep you all updated.

38 more days, friends! Wow! Ok, one more picture to leave you with, just in case you weren’t jealous enough. πŸ˜‰

one of the MANY views from the wrap-around porch...doesn't this photo just make you EXHALE?

one of the MANY views from the wrap-around porch...doesn't this photo just make you EXHALE?

“The Earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, 46 MORE DAYS!!! Aaron and I could not be more excited…isn’t it amazing that God introduced the two of us? I can’t believe I’ve found somebody who loves me THAT much! And we’ve had so many “yes” RSVP’s – more than we imagined, actually – and we are so so so grateful! We get to spend our big day with so many of our closest friends!

Ok, sorry for the mushiness. But 46 days before a wedding a girl gets a little mushy! Sue me!

So one of the last “big” wedding items we’ve tackled lately is flowers. We are ordering them from Kroger in Athens, and then with the expertise of Aaron’s mom, Allison, and beautiful sister, Missy, we will be putting the bouquets and corsages and bouttaniers together ourselves! And the OU Inn has been generous enough to let us store them in their refrigerator overnight. Perfect!

So, I don’t want to give you guys TOO much info on exactly what the bouquets will look like. Where’s the fun in that? πŸ˜‰ I actually have an exact picture of my bouquet – I’m not too flower-ly creative so I am basically recreating one I saw in a magazine. But here are some of the flowers we will be using throughout the ceremony:

1. LOTS of roses!Β  – and burgundy roses, at that.
iceberg-burgundy-rose

2. Purple Aster – sooooo beautiful.Β  Props toΒ  Grandma for realizing this was the flower in a photo I saw.
aster

3. Lisianthis! MAJOR props to the guy at Athens Flower shop for suggesting these. I wanted purple roses but apparently they’re really hard to get. But these look scary close, don’t they? So incredibly pretty. (Don’t get too excited, this isn’t exactly what the bouquet(s) will look like! πŸ˜‰
lisianthus bouquet

4. Purple Gerbera Daisy – no words needed. I DO love purple.
gerbera

5. There will be a special appearance from this lovely number. πŸ˜‰
white_rose

6. Now THESE may not seem to “go,” but trust me! They are going to be used for something quite special.
A_sunflower

Now, last but CERTAINLY not least, I should warn you all. You are going to be seeing A LOT of ivy. It’s so so pretty, isn’t it?

my new best friend

my new best friend

SO, everyone, I hope you enjoyed this floral preview. Now get dress-and-suit shopping and be ready to feast your eyes on earth’s beauty!! πŸ™‚

❀
Maria

Cheers!

Happy almost-August, wedding enthusiasts! Aaron and I are planning away… only 58 days until I am the luckiest girl alive and we start our life together! We are amazed every day at how God is blessing us; in opportunities, financial provisions, and our friendship together! How lucky we are.

This week, the main wedding task is… a toasting wine!

wine

There is an adorable place right near my home, called “It’s Your Winery” on Copley Road. You get to go, taste all kinds of wines, pick your favorite and make your own batch! Then it ferments for six weeks, and you go back and bottle it. You can pick your own bottle label – adorable! And voila – it’s yours! Such a cute idea!

So Aar and I decided we should make a bottle of sparkling wine to have at each table at the reception, for everyone to pour their own glass when it’s time for our toasts. Since he’s out in Arizona working working working (it’s hot out there, friends! I just got back from a visit…so beautiful!), my mom, sister and I are going to make the wine this Friday. It should be a blast!

So, what’s the vote – white or red? πŸ™‚

❀

Maria

You’re invited!

SO MANY INVITATIONS!!! GET THESE THINGS OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!

Achhh…! Just kidding everyone. πŸ™‚ Although these invitations have proven to be A LOT of work…and taken more glue tape from Michael’s than I think they have manufactured in the last year. But I have photos for you of this extravaganza…and if you watch your mailbox, one of these bad boys should be showing up some time next month!

First off, I want to show you the invitation that we modeled ours after, thanks to the blessed photo galleries on theknot.com (what would we do without you??!?):

invitationsampleIsn’t it pretty? Simple, elegant, not frilly…and I LOVED that instead of putting the couple’s name on the square, they suggested putting the names of the people who are receiving the invite…wouldn’t it be so nice and personal to get an invitation with YOUR name on it? We really want everyone we invite to feel like we truly want them there, which we do, and we thought that was a great way of doing that.

So we decided to set out and try to replicate, to a degree, that invitation, using paper from the gloriously cheap paper store in Brunswick called Hollo’s. (Seriously, if you scrapbook, you MUST go there.)

BUT, obviously, we could not tell how this couple designed the inside of their invitation. We thought we’d be creative.

And while our invitations have turned out absoultely gorgeous – everything I wanted and more, I can’t help but think there must have been an easier way to put them together. So much measuring and cutting and gluing!! A square here, a ribbon there….too many details for 150 invitations!!! Ahhh but we had fun.

A few weeks ago, a few of my lovely bridesmaids and I worked for a Saturday on the first batch. I can’t thank you girls enough!

Amy hard at work filling out registry cards...

Amy hard at work filling out registry cards...

maid of honor doing some cutting and folding!

maid of honor doing some cutting and folding!

this is how the groom helps (he's still a cutie)

this is how the groom helps (he's still a cutie)

Stefanie, me, Jen & Amy - Ash we were channeling you!

Stefanie, me, Jen & Amy - Ash we were channeling you!

We had a blast…but we didn’t finish all the invites. Since then, Aaron and I have been working slowly but surely on them…and tonight, i present to you…

THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!!!

THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!!!

I'm so proud! it's like a really really involved art project. that I want to show my mommy and have her hang on the fridge. and never throw away.

I'm so proud! it's like a really really involved art project. that I want to show my mommy and have her hang on the fridge. and never throw away.

the craft bag i've been lugging with me everywhere...no more!

the craft bag i've been lugging with me everywhere...no more!

my room is full of them!

my room is full of them!

So, alas, we are just about finished…all we have left is to gather a few addresses here and there and print the address labels. So watch your mailboxes, friends! And PLEASE, for my blood pressure, wait a few days before tossing it out!!!! πŸ˜‰

Love,

Maria

Reservation Complete!

Hey everyone…drumroll…we chose our honeymoon hotel in Mallorca! CHECK OUT THE NIXE PALACE!

ahhh...

ahhh...

AHHH....

AHHH....

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can’t wait one more minute!!!!!

We will be setting up an account with our lovely travel agent, Liz, as well so that if you, our lovely guests, are interested, you can call her and give some money toward the trip as our wedding gift. (For example, you can give $50 toward a day at the spa if you’d like, or a few dollars toward a nice dinner out – you get to decide what the money is for! Fun!)

And if you’re wanting to feel EXTREMELY jealous, as if you are not already MUAHAHAHA – go visit the Nixe Palace’s web site.Β  πŸ™‚ It looks gorgeous!

We are so blessed!
❀
Maria

a new life takes a lot of new stuff

Hello everyone! Though we haven’t updated in a few weeks, we’ve still been madly planning the biggest day of our lives! πŸ™‚ This weekend, we went to Columbus and along with the help of bridesmaid extraordinairre Amy, we registered for gifts at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target.Β  You kind find our registry’s in those links, just by typing in my name.

The registry’s are still a bit rough, though – there are some things we are possibly going to change around, once we look online for some extra things that we didn’t see in the stores. You can shop online for the gifts which is awesome, or you can go to the stores, obviously.

Also, we are going to have to figure out where we will have the gifts sent – we might have our guests have some of the bigger gifts sent directly to Arizona so that we don’t have to figure out how to move all of it there once we move. The stores also suggested that if guests want to buy some of the bigger items, they buy directly from the store locations in Scottsdale, and then the items will be waiting for us there when we get there.

But no worries, we will get that figured out in time for ya’ll before it gets to be that time when you’ll need to do your shopping!

Also, just because we’re loving people and we don’t want to deprive you from what you really want, if you really feel led by God to get us a 52″ LCD TV, even though it’s not on the registry, please don’t let that stop you! πŸ™‚

And for your enjoyment, here are some pictures of this weekend’s extravaganza:

Amy and I reviewing our impressive list, thanks to some gloriously helpful bridal magazine!

Amy and I reviewing our impressive list, thanks to some gloriously helpful bridal magazine!

Nice face, Aaron - we were very excited to use the scanner-thingy.

Nice face, Aaron - we were very excited to use the scanner-thingy.

We had to take a break in the towel section. Home decorating is hard work when you don't have the home yet! ;)

We had to take a break in the towel section. Home decorating is hard work when you don't have the home yet! πŸ˜‰

finkin' hard about what knife set to choose...

finkin' hard about what knife set to choose...

Amy and I at Target - our last stop of the day, after a long afternoon at BB&B and Cinnabon, of course! Love you Amy!

Amy and I at Target - our last stop of the day, after a long afternoon at BB&B and Cinnabon, of course! Love you Amy!

So, everyone, happy shopping when the time comes, and stay tuned – this weekend is Invitation-Making weekend! It should be a blast!

❀
Maria