Sunday, October 28, 2012

All the Little Details

      Tom and I got engaged on June 1, 2011. We were out in Colorado on a beautiful hike when he popped the question. I allowed us a full five days of basking in our engagement before I jumped right into wedding planning upon our return to St. Louis :) I very clearly remember Tom being shocked and amazed when I started talking about venues and photographers just days after returning from our trip. Needless to say I had the photographer, venue, caterer and my dress by the end of June. That gave me a full 15 months to focus on the details of our wedding. I had such a great time doing so! After many, many Pinterest searches and visits to wedding gawker I had ideas that I would make my own for our wedding on October 13, 2012. Some of my ideas were original, but many were stolen. Since they were stolen I wanted to share them so that someone may steal them from me if they so chose. Without further ado, the details of our wedding. 

Bridesmaid Gifts
My 3 bridesmaids couldn't be more different. After much thought I decided it would be fun to give them a bag of things I love instead of trying to think of something they would love. Their bag included a shirt, chapstick, coffee, a starbucks gift card, a candle, a Tervis tumbler cup, gum and a necklace.
The Paper Products
Left: our program
Center: Our Save the Date, a written out and slightly poetic version of our dating story.
Right: Our invitation and response card

The Apparel 
My shirt monogrammed with my new name... to wear to the hair salon
My groom's tie... purchased from Etsy
My Mueth hanger for my dress
Mueth Hnager
The belt/sash on this dress was added. I was so happy I chose to take off the smaller belt and put on this thicker gorgeous beaded belt. It was such a nice touch. 
Left: My baby bonnet
Center: Earrings purchased by my matron of honor and sisters
Right: A bracelet made of vintage buttons purchased from the Portland Market
My yellow shoes
The girls wore yellow shoes and the guys wore yellow and gray argyle socks

The Venue Decorations
Our venue was beautiful and simple...requiring very little in the way of decorations
Beautiful sign purchased off of Etsy. At entrance to ceremony

Simple bushels of babies breath in hobnail jars lined the aisle
Our florist did an incredible job putting together beautiful bouquets with impressive wraps of twine and buttons
They were simple and classy. I especially love the lace and rhinestone on the bridal bouquet.

The Signs
The ringbearers: Here
The Flower Girl: The Bride

Signs at our head table
On the other side of the MR and MRS sign it said "Thank You"
I made this sign of burlap and stained wood.. against large mason jars full of sparklers
Our alternative guest book. Notecards written to be opened on our one year anniversary
Our anniversary time capsule
Cards: Instead of a birdcage we did a large candle lantern with a wood and burlap sign
Candy coated almonds: a family tradition

We handmade coasters for our guests as our favors.
We tied four coasters together for each couple and attached a little tag with their name, table number and a thank you.

Cocktail Hour Yard Games
My dad and I made these bags sets in our wedding colors to be played during our cocktail hour
the bride playing bags
guests playing bags... we also had two sets of washers

The Tent

My groom, father, brother and some brother in laws helped hang the lanterns the day before the wedding. They went back the day of the wedding and lit them. They added an incredible glow to the tent as it got dark outside. 

The cake was decorated simply with stucco icing and a few flowers
The Candy Bar with bags to take candy home and a sign that says "How Sweet it Is"
the simple head table
Lantern centerpieces 
the babies breath from the ceremony was moved to the tables for the reception.
Yarn wrapped letters were used for the table numbers.

When I look back now it all seems SO simple, but it was a lot of work. However, every last bit of work paid off as I loved how it all came together on our big day.

Costa Rica 2: Nicaragua Day Trip

There were many opportunities of different excursions we could take from our hotel. Before we got to Costa Rica we decided we definitely wanted to do some excursions to experience more of the culture. After reading some reviews and talking to different people we decided to try a day trip to Nicaragua. It would give us the opportunity to see more culture, walk through a Central American town, go to the summit of a volcano and take a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua. It was a long day but well worth the time especially since we found out that it poured all that day at the resort. We started our day at 4:45 am when we met in the lobby of the hotel. After a bus change and some breakfast we arrived at the Nicaraguan border. The pictures of the day are out of order ... just an FYI.

When we arrived at the border there was about a mile of trucks lined up. The tour guide told us that sometimes these trucks could sit for 72 hours waiting to get through the border... some battle between the truck drivers and immigration officers. 
At times we would pass cattle running down the street with a man on horseback leading them. The tour guide told us that farmers often dont have enough land for the cattle so they run them back and forth down the road during the day. 

These next pictures are actually from the last thing we did in Nicaragua. We ended our day with a beautiful boat ride on Lake Nicaragua. It was such a gorgeous way to end an awesome day. 
see the monkey in the tree

there were little islands all over the lake that were left behind from volcanic activity. Many of them had houses built on them that could only be accessed by boat.

our friends, Karen and Travis... also honeymooners

this kid isn't joking. I have never seen as many people on ONE bike as I have in Nicaragua. I think the record was 4
The next set of photos are from our stop in Grenada, a city in Nicaragua. 
a colorful dining area in downtown Grenada
beautiful church and blue sky 

the streets were tiny and the shops were all painted in bright pretty.
when we arrived in Grenada we went right to this church. We were able to go up in the clock tower and get pictures of the city. The view was phenomenal. 
view of Grenada and Lake Nicaragua from clock tower

Tom and I up in the clock tower

When we pulled up to the church our tour guide told us to give a donation of $1 to the church in order to go up in the tower. Tom walked up and handed the man sitting in the doorway a $5 bill to be generous. We walked in and started to walk into the tower. We were stopped and asked for the $1 donation. Tom said, "I gave it to that man". When we turned around he was gone! Ha, stupid American tourists. Our tour guide made us feel better by telling Tom he did two good deeds for the day as we were forced to pay again to see the clock tower. 

we got to go to a cigar factory and watch them roll cigars. One of our friends even got to roll one of his own
beautiful colorful streets

An old hospital being restored to a hotel
It rained for about one hour of the day which was unfortunately right as we got to the Masaya Volcano. We still got to drive up to the summit of an active volcano and look inside. It was smoking like crazy and stunk of sulphar. Bizarre experience, despite the pouring rain. The pictures below are terrible at best but are the only ones we have from the volcano. 
the cross used to release the witch living in the volcano so the people of the Mayan times would stop sacrificing women to the witch. The conquistadors put a stop to that Mayan tradition. 

The next set of pictures are from our stop in Masaya. We stopped here for the market and lunch. 

A stop for some drinks
we watched these men thatch together a roof from palm leaves...pretty cool

REALLY old fortress walls now housing the market
Our first stop of the day was at a dormant volacano that has filled with water to create a beautiful lake. There was also a small open air market where we bought a hammock chair for $9. 

Costa Rica is 100% natural energy
This final group of pictures is back to the boat ride... ( i dont know how they got all mixed up) This is how we ended our day! It was incredible.

We had an absolutely wonderful time in Nicaragua. It was a super long day but it was such an experience and so pretty!