April was a busy, busy month for us, but so much is pinned down. We're at the five month mark, which seems so soon and yet so far away! We've done so much, but there's still so much to do.
In the past few weeks we've mapped out a good portion of things, including a color scheme, flowers, and finalizing our booking with all vendors, which is a huge relief. Our invitations are off to the printers as we speak, and lots of fun decor projects are in the works.
Here's what we've done for April, and here's where we're going for May. Hold your breath, because we're holding ours!
Finalized our table count, linens, flatware, and plateware for the Carriage House dining room: 9 tables + 1 cake table.
Booked our florist, Judy Gerow, for 2 bouquets, 13 pin-ons, and flowers orders for 9 mason quart jars, 4 pint jars, lavender sprigs, napkins, and other.
Have a color scheme: ivory, white, expresso, purple, lilac.
Selected a shape for a bridal and matron of honor bouquet, as well as the type of flowers to be included.
Found an amazing boutonnierre design, as well as the type of flowers to be included.
Finalized our invitation wording, which is now off to the press.
Sent half our payment to our honeymoon destination.
Finalized decor in dining room of Carriage House: 3 votive candles in lace per table, table card printed by Bella Figura, mason jar of flowers, express napkin wrapped with twine and sprig of limonium and aster.
Created "wedding" sign!
Began drafting schedule, logistics plan document for ATrendy Weddings.
Next Steps for May:
Finalize flower order, send in half payment.
Send fabric swatches of color palette to moms, grandmoms, and Jen.
Finalize vendor schedule, detailed plan for arrival and assembly.
Finalize table count for bars, guest table, etc.
Order/text different lights for dance hall in Carriage House.
Have a testing day at the Carriage House for the dance hall--furniture arrangement, decor testing.
Begin looking at suit options for Chris and gang.
Begin creating wine/champagne/beer list for reception--dad is leading this effort.
Pick out fabric for boutonnierre leaves; work with mom to sew them.
Purchase 30 more glass votices + lace; begin making these.
Finalize concept for lavender sprig escort cards: type of paper, writing, presentation, placement in dance hall.
Figure out whether there needs to be place cards at the tables for guests, and whether Ally has the energy to write letters to each guest!!
Begin planning outdoor area for sign placement, number of signs, and luminaries.
Continue researching rehearsal dinner invitations--postcards or stationary.
Send invitations to calligrapher; select calligraphy, purchase stamps.
Find pair of shoes for wedding dress.
Begin dance lessons in group setting.
Send engagement picture and announcement into the Washington Post.
Call bridal boutique, inquire about June delivery of wedding dress, when to begin fittings.
On Saturday, we met with Ms. Judy Gerow, now our wedding florist! Judy will design my bouquet, Jen's bouquet, all boutonnieres, and pin-ons, as well as order all of our flowers for the four cocktail pint mason jars, the nine reception quart mason jars, the flowers for the napkins, for my hair, and the lavendar for our escort cards.
After testing out a variety of flower color combinations at the Carriage House on April 11th, we absolutely fell in love with a lilac/purple combination against the ivory ridged table toppers. Simply lovely. As such, we are carrying our color theme--now ivory, expresso brown, and purples of many rustic varieties--into our bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, our boutonnierres for the guys, and our pin-ons for the gals. Bouquet and Boutonniere Specifications:
Bridal and matron of honor bouquet shape: Hand-tied bouquet, wild, whimsical. Mine will be larger, Jen's smaller/more compact.
Flowers for bouquets: Purple mums, lilac statis, white dahlias, oregano blossom, hypericum berries, lilac/light-purple daisies with ivory centers, Queen Anne's lace, light purple/pink limonium, purple calla lillies.
Boutonnierres/Fresh Pin-Ons for Ladies: Leaves will be made of fabric, and sewn (inverted) so as to resemble veins (see picture of concept to the left). Oregano blossom, wheat, rosemary sprig, limonium, hypericum berries, and lavendar. Chris, dad, each groomsmen, Chris' parents, grandma, my mom and grandma, and Somer will all have a unique, fresh arrangement.
Preliminary Plan for Flower Pick-Up/Delivery
During our meeting with Judy, we also reviewed a preliminary plan for picking up flowers and having the bouquets and other wedding pieces delivered:
Friday, 10 a.m.: Pick up flowers (at Judy's house) for cocktail jars and reception jars. Cut and arrange flowers early Saturday morning, secure with twine ribbon. Store where cool; arrange to deliver flowers to Carriage House, probably when I head to Oatlands to get ready. ATrendy coordinators will set out flower jars on reception and cocktail tables starting at 3 p.m. prep time.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Judy delivers bouquets, boutonnieres, and pin-ons to Oatlands. Chris and I will need our bouquets for a 4:15 p.m. photo shoot with Jen Chase before the ceremony. Jen, mom, grandma, and Somer (along with my bouquet) will have their pieces delivered to the mansion. Chris, Bert, Matt M. Matt W., Bill, and Brenden will have theirs delivered to the groomsmen house. And Chris' dad, mom, and grandmother will have theirs delivered to the garden area. More coordination on this will be required via Atrendy coordinators. Next Steps:
Draft of contract from Judy + list of flowers and preliminary plan.
Send 50% of cost to Judy.
Match flowers to fabric swatches; send to ladies for dress shopping purposes.
So, in the last few weeks we've done a crapload of figuring out in the realm of design for the Carriage House. And by crapload, I mean CRAP-load.
Here's where we are, and here's where we're going. I've made a list of both, and it's both a relief to cross items off our planning list, but stressful to see just how much more we have to do.
Here's where we are:
Color Scheme: Ivory, Expresso, Lilac/Purple
Favor Boxes: We're using natural, brown 4-inch bakery boxes for the little pies. The boxes are wrapped in ivory lace, secured with twine, and then decorated with fresh hypericum berries--peach, green.
Reception flowers: Quart mason jars (9 total, one for each table) filled with limonium, purple calla lillies, Queen Anne's lace, mums, daisies, hypericum berries. Jars will be accented wth twine.
Napkins: Expresso (to match expresso chairs and expresso accents on table cards, see below). Napkins will be secured with twine, and accented with a fresh stem of aster and limonium.
Lace votives on tables: 2-3 on each table. Ivory lace. Small glass votives. Still need to find a way to secure
Table cards: Same design as stationary, designed by Bella Figura, with expresso colored calligraphy numbers in center.
Escort Cards: Bunches of lavendar sprigs, secured with ivory paper with guest's name on either written or typed.
Lighted tree branches: 8 natural branches decorated with white lights secured by natural-colored twine/wire on each of the four posts (in front and behind) in the Carriage House. Lights secured by expresso colored gaffer tape along floor, and olive colored gaffer tape on the base of the posts (to blend).
Cake table: Secured with ivory pleated topper, placed to the left in the dining room for display. Table adorned with springs of lavendar, or perhaps leftover fabric boutinneires with sprigs of fresh flowers and herbs.
Tables: Nine tables in dining room, each seating 8-10, depending on the numbers of guests we have. Three tables will line the right, them center, and the left. Expresso chairs with ivory cushions. Ivory table cloths. Ivory pleated toppers.
Typewriter + guest book ivory paper.
What we still need to figure out:
Light strands/placement in dance hall: What kind of lights? How are they strung?
Placement of two lighted tree branches in dance hall.
Furniture plan: Need plan to remove all furniture and paintings from dance hall, and where to place wooden dresser, escort card table, guest book table, bistro tables. Rent extra tables?
Bartender table: Placement? How many do we need? One for Carriage House. Two for outside--mansion and gardens. Do we reserve via Ramona?
Decor on guest table: Votives? Milk jars with flowers?
Arrangement of escort lavendar sprigs: Are they hanging from something? Or just flat?
Paper-wrapped electric candles for dance hall: How many, what kinds of paper? Placement?
Wedding signs for gardens: Carriage House. Elsewhere? One will definitely say "Wedding." Another "Reception." Perhaps "Supper" or "Dance Hall" to secure on the white railing when you walk in? Exploring having the signs made by designer Willie Stull.
Favors table: Placement? Perhaps on way out of Carriage House? How will the favors be organized? Signs indicating what kinds of pies are available? Perhaps using the table card design provided by Bella Figura (we are ordering 5 extra)?
Favor boxes: Do we need labels to indicate what kind of pies?
Letters to each guest/family/couple: Still not completely decided on this. It's a LOT of work!!! If so, will require stationry and expresso envelopes. If we don't do letters, then there's no need to indicate where each person sits, which saves us a LOT of work!!!
Expresso paper leaves for wine glasses to indicate where each guest sits? Not sure. Still need to think on this.
This Saturday, Somer and I are off to see gardener Judy Gerow, a lovely lady who grows all of her own flowers in Virginian soil. We're looking to explore our options for wildflowers for the mason jars on reception tables and cocktail tables, a bridal bouquet, bouquets for Jen and/or mom, and groom and groommen's flowers.
As you may have noticed, in addition to ivory and expresso, our new accent color is lilac, purple, mauve, and shades in between--a gorgeous combination of contrast and rustic, autumnal spirit.
Flowers we adore: limonium, statis, mums, daisies, aster, dahlia, Queen Anne's lace, spider mums, anemones, lavender, and green Virginia berries. Planning to send pictures to Judy this afternoon of our dream floral arrangements!
Okay, this is pretty cool: the U.S.P.S. offers a unique customizing option for our very own stamps, postcards, and anything else that needs to be mailed: http://www.zazzle.com/custom/stamps. Holy wow: awesome.
This is most excellent for three reasons: (1) we want a vintage/antique-looking stamp for the invitation envelopes, reply envelopes, and rehearsal dinner postcards (see #2), and (2) we want rehearsal dinner postcards featuring an old-timey image of downtown Leesburg.
Next step: finding these super cool images. More to follow, and (as always) open to your suggestions.
So, I am completely in love with having rustic-looking wooden signs all over Oatlands like these!
Perhaps one to point the way to the wedding, one to the cocktail hour, one to the reception (maybe even an "Almost there!" sign since there's a bit of walking), one that says "Supper" for the Carriage House and maybe even "Dance Hall." Or, maybe I'm completely crazy.
Point is: these are awesome. Challenge is: making them. I've inquired if Chris' manly crew can assist us with these--getting scraps of thin wood planks, some white paint and we're good to go.
Any thoughts? Any takers? I need a sign maker, ASAP. If not, then I'm getting out my tools, saw, and other sharp objects (and you know what happens to my pinkies when that happens).
So, I ordered a few more samples today to play with when we all head out to Oatlands for TESTING DAY 1.0 on April 11th. By then, I'm hoping to have made a sample eyelet/lace votive, a favor box, and perhaps select a few flowers from my favorite bouquet list to try out in the mason jars. Also in attendance will be two sample reception chairs, as well as a variety of linen and flatware/platware, so we can see what works in this Carriage House of ours.
Other updates: we're still not sure about battery-operated lights on the tree branches that will hang from each of the four poles. Reasons?
(1) they're expensive (2) we'd have to buy a crapload of them (3) even with all of them, they only come in 20 lights bulbs a strand and we need 100 bulbs for each tree to make a difference (according to the designer who's loaning the branches to me) (4) even with 5 of these strands, we have 5 battery packs that we'd have to conceal--a lot more cumbserome then properly securing plug-in wires for normal Christmas lights.
So, Chris was a genius and found thin, brown gaffer tape (that matches the floors--we hope!) to secure the wires. We'll try it out on the 11th and go from there re: plug-in vs.battery-operated.
Still left to consider: lights for the dance hall portion of the Carriage House. I'm still undecided about all of this, though I'm thinking of ordering a few types of lights to sample from Sival Lighting.
After spending weeks looking online, studying what flowers are available in October, I have fallen in love with these bouquets. My dress is ivory, and Jen's is expresso, though there's lots of flexibility here in our accent colors.
However, I know I'm in love with hypericum berries, roses, ranunculuses, white freesias, lilacs, viburnums, alchemilla, sweet pea, silver dusty miller, and green hydrangeas. But above all, I'm in love with rustic, natural, clean. Thoughts? What would work best with my dress and our venue?