9.21.13: Details, Details, Details…

Hip, hip, HOORAY, it’s Wedding Week! This week, we’ve covered how we celebrated one year, the timeline of the Wedding Day, how we asked our friends and family to be a part of the experience, and today we’ll be diving into the tiny little bits that made the day so special- the details! Consider this your backstage pass to the WhoWhatWhereWhen of September 21, 2013. You’re thrilled, I’m sure. 🙂LM-_R7A5853

Before you read on, you should know what our goals were going into this. One: We wanted the process to be as stress-free as possible. Of course there was some, as with most weddings, but by the end of it we could look back and say, Wow- that was a fun time. Two: We wanted to save money wherever possible so we DIYed anything and everything we could. Three (and the most important): We wanted people to get to know us better through the experience. It was important to us that every detail would reflect who we are so that by the end of the night, our guests would feel as if they knew us better than when they got there. We wanted them to feel like they are a part of our story- because they are!  So with that in mind, here we go…_R7A6965-115

WHERE: We were married at Shelemiah United Methodist Church and had the reception at Elk Manor Winery , both in the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland.new phone 022There is a reason (and a story!) for why and how we landed where we did. The Chesapeake Bay has always been a special spot for both of us. Growing up, I spent every summer at my grandparents house “down by the bay”. After we met at college and began dating, Mitch came with us one weekend to the bay and we realized that every 4th of July, my family had been watching fireworks at the same marina that Mitch’s family always docked their boat! Here we are, the first time Mitch came to visit, watching the fireworks at the place we had both grown up visiting:1937127_114259447497_3341386_nIn the end, we figured it would only make sense to start our next adventure there. Elk Manor, our reception venue, had two available locations- the Manor house up on the hill, and the Beach house and tent down by the water. We were all over that water/beach house/dock combination.Beach HouseBeachDock

WHEN: No, we did not choose the date because of the EWF song… that’s just a happy accident. Actually, the only reason we chose 9/21 is because originally there was supposed to be another wedding at the Manor House that same night and the father of the bride owned a fireworks company. Their plan (as told to us by the venue director) was to shoot off a ton of fireworks from a boat in the water and we figured, hey, why not jump on the chance to be the “other” party who gets to reap the benefit? And so, our date was chosen. The other wedding ended up getting cancelled, so we didn’t end up with any fireworks, but it still makes for a funny story. Even funnier- my favorite numbers are even numbers and growing up I always wanted my wedding to be on an even numbered day. Well, we were married on 9/21/13. Go figure. 🙂invites 005

STATIONARY: We chose to save some moolah and do all of the wedding stationary ourselves. The other benefit to this was that we got to custom make our Save the Dates, Invites, and Programs. Remember that bit about the details reflecting who we are? Well, this was true down to the littlest things on the stationary. My mom designed the Save the Dates- she did a watercolor (she’s an art teacher so it makes sense that she can just whip up a design) of a lighthouse to represent the Turkey Point Lighthouse at the bay.invites 009

As for the invites, we continued the “bay theme” with rope and wave decals- drawn by mom. Our favorite part of the invites was the return card because we gave guests the chance to make song requests even before they got to the wedding. It was so much fun to see what they wanted to hear and was very helpful when we went to communicate with our DJ about music-y stuff!invites 006 (2)

The programs were another favorite part of the day… we wanted them to be personal, but more importantly- interesting! We’d been to enough weddings to know that there is a lot of sitting and waiting for things to get started- especially before the ceremony. For this reason, we wanted to give our guests something interesting to look at and read while they waited. And again, to get to know us better in the process. LM-_R7A6977Our programs included the Ceremony Order, some fun facts about the wedding party, some fun facts about Mitch and I, and a thank you to our guests. We heard from many people that it was fun to read some “behind the scenes” stuff while they waited for the Ceremony to start.

THE DRESS: This was one of the most special elements of the wedding for me because I actually wore my mom’s dress! We DIYed a lot of this wedding, but not even my mom and I could have predicted that we would make the dress too… and out of her wedding dress! Here she is, wearing the original, as I’m wearing the new version:LM-_A4A0569

Making the dress might deserve its own post someday, but the gist is that we used the body of it, did some re-structuring, and added some elements to make it reflect me too. Here’s what it looked like when my mom wore it:

Mom's Dress

And after we finished (now, when I say “we”, I actually mean she did all of the work and I was the cheerleader/observer/pin holder/try on-er) it looked like this:

DressShe did a great job and words cannot express how special it was to be able to wear her dress on my wedding day. I literally could not have had her any closer to me that day.


THE BRIDAL PARTY: The goal with our bridal party and what their attire was to have them get something that they could wear again if they wanted- there’s nothing worse than having to shell out a lot of money for something you only get to wear once. The girls wore mint dresses and platinum (I still don’t fully know what color this is- just ask the girls) shoes and the guys bought gray suits. Will they wear them again? You’ll have to ask them that. 🙂LM-_R7A6372 LM-_R7A6452 In terms of jewelry, the girls all had the same earrings, but anything else was their own choosing. We bought the guys matching ties (and fun socks!) to wear. The flower girl wore a darker turquoise (that matched Mitch’s tie) and the ring bearer had gray pants, suspenders, and a navy bow tie.LM-_R7A6889  In the end, we loved how it all came together.Bridal Party

THE FLOWERS: Another DIY piece- my mom did all of the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. She watched a few YouTube tutorials and then just gave it a shot- and they came out great! I’ll have to get her to give me some of the tips she learned along the way. We stuck with mostly whites and greens, but tied in the blue fabric from the table centerpieces. Couldn’t have asked for prettier arrangements…LM-JA4A0384LM-_R7A6828THE CEREMONY: From the beginning, we agreed that we wanted the Ceremony to be focused around worship. We purposely ordered the service to include prayer and worship right after the pronouncement of husband and wife so that the very first things we did as a married couple were to pray and worship alongside our family and friends.

LM-_R7A6693My Aunt Jennie and Uncle Steve officiated our wedding and they did such a wonderful job. We had family members read Scripture and close friends lead worship. I just remember feeling so peaceful- there were no nerves, no anxiety, no worries- just peace. God was at work in those moments and what a joy it was to share that with so many people that we love.LM-_R7A6873At the end, the pastors asked everyone to remain seated after we exited because Mitch and I wanted to come back in and dismiss each row individually so that we could hug and thank each person. This was our version of a receiving line. That way, folks could start heading over to the reception site right away instead of having to wait in line to see us.

LM-_R7A6955During the dismissal process, we had a slideshow of baby and childhood pictures of each of us, photos from our time at Eastern, and a few Engagement shots for our guests to look at as they waited. Again- keeping it interesting and giving them more chances to get to know us and our story.

THE FOOD: We hired a caterer by the name of (well, this is what we called him) Chef Riley. He is a retired police sergeant who decided to take up his passion in life: cooking! Catering Solutions is based out of Philadelphia, his food is awesome, and his philosophy is that people should not have to pay inflated prices for a product just because it’s a wedding. We liked him from the start. 🙂 LM-_R7A7615Riley was a lot of fun to work with and took into consideration our personalities as he worked with us to create a menu for the wedding. We wanted the food selection to reflect us (do I sound like a broken record yet?), so we chose some of our favorites! In the mix was crab dip (holla, Chesapeake Bay), wings (one of Mitch’s favorites), macaroni and cheese (my favorite), and salmon (a top choice for both of us).LM-JA4A0994Neither of us have ever had a wedding cake that left us wanting more, so we chose to go a less traditional route.cheryl 034 I love pumpkin pie and Mitch loves apple crisp, so those were our dessert options… and they were a hit! I am still bitter about the fact that I never got to have any more than the bite we fed each other after cutting the pie.LM-_R7A7731We had lemonade, iced tea, water, beer, and wine for guests to drink and later in the night, hot chocolate and apple cider. It was fun to pay some tribute to the season while we were at it. Oh, and the toast? A favorite of ours… sparkling apple cider. 🙂LM-_R7A7499

THE DECORATION: We focused most of our decorating energy on the reception venue because we would be there for the majority of the time. Everything that we used was chosen to reflect elements of the bay. We painted wooden crates white and had them stacked around the tent, gathered TONS of glass jars in a variety of shapes and blue tones, and laced the perimeter of the tent with white Christmas lights.IMG_0362

My mom saw this in an episode of The Middle, so we stole their idea: We gathered large branches, cemented the bases into pots of concrete, and spray painted the branches white. These frosty “trees” flanked the main entrance of the tent. LM-_R7A7114

To highlight the dance floor, we wrapped rope tightly around the four center poles to create a large square in the air and hung yarn globe lanterns that we had made beforehand. LM-_R7A7138As for outside of the tent, we kept it simple (and good thing, because it poured rain!)- a few tables and chairs for cocktail hour with blue vases, baby’s breath, and a few stones to keep them in place.


Along the water, we lined glass jars with white candles for a simple, but elegant feel.LM-JA4A0403

TABLE SETTING: Each table got a white table cloth, a patterned turquoise square of material in the center, and a glass hurricane/vase/lantern with a candle for the centerpiece, and five votive candle holders.IMG_0366The votives were just baby food jars (thanks to the many people who helped to collect them for about a year before the wedding!) wrapped in twine and filled with sand from the bay and a battery-powered candle (no real flames allowed).new 058The candles inside the centerpieces are actually cut, sanded, and painted pieces of PVC pipe (a stroke of genius from my mom), filled with sand and a battery-powered candle. No flames in the tent that night! She even used a hot glue gun to create the “dripped wax” effect… no one was any the wiser!cheryl 038For each place setting, we had a dark turquoise napkin topped with the silverware. Guests’ places were marked with stones from the bay (authentic, no less!) that had their name painted on with paint pen. For the table numbers, we ate, cleaned, and painted lots of crab shells and added glittery numbers.

new house 001Each guest got to take a large chocolate covered pretzel (a Christmas classic at our house) home as a favor with a tag that said: “Thanks for helping us tie the knot! Leslie and Mitch, 9.21.13″ How’s that for a nautical/pretzel-y play on words? Hah!cheryl 036

THE RECEPTION: We just wanted people to kick back and have a great time- whatever that looked like for them. If that meant exploring the beach and dock (there wasn’t a whole lot of this due to the rain), chatting with friends and family, or dancing til they could no longer walk- that was cool with us. Both of our families LOVE to dance, so we wanted to give them as much time to get their groove on as possible. We opened the dance floor right after the first dances, even before we ate! Everyone took a break for some food and toasts and then we got right back to partying. We had a blast the whole night and hope that everyone else did too.LM-_R7A7798Whew! That about wraps it up, I think. Hope you enjoyed your backstage pass to the wedding madness… gosh, memory lane is fun. I’ve been listening to “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire on loop while typing up all of these posts… makes me want to get married all over again! Thanks for hanging out today (and the whole week, for that matter)- we’ll be bringing this Wedding Week home tomorrow with our Honeymoon adventure to Mexico! See ya then… 🙂

Four for the Fourth

The 4th of July has always been a big day in our family. It’s my favorite holiday and it also happens to be my mom’s birthday! We like to joke that the entire country is shooting off fireworks for her. 🙂 So, in honor of the upcoming weekend of celebration, I thought I’d do a patriotic post with a few fun and easy ways to add some 4th of July flair to your party, BBQ, etc.four ideas

The idea here is that the following four ideas are things that you can do in under $4 and under 4 minutes each… are you getting the theme here? Well, let’s get started so that you can start trimming your house and table with 4th of July fun!

Idea #1: Add red, “white”, and blue ice cubes to any drink! This one is super easy- all I did was grabbed an empty ice cube tray, chopped up some berries, put a bit of strawberry and a few blueberries in each, filled it with water, and stuck it in the freezer like normal ice cubes.patriotic ice cubes

All of this took me under five minutes, so you can definitely do it in four to keep with the theme. 🙂 I put two blueberries in each cube and used about two strawberries in total to fill all of the tray. As you can see, it’s a lot of bang for your buck (and your effort).fourth 016 fourth 015Just look how festive they make a simple glass of lemonade or water! Plus, when the ice cubes melt, there’s a sweet treat leftover to enjoy with your drink! Oh, and here’s a bonus idea: Grab those festive striped straws (I always get them from Michaels) and put them out for guests to really get into the red, white, and blue spirit!fourth 021They come in all sorts of colors and are a foolproof and EASY way to add to your party decor. The best part? All you have to do is put them out (definitely fits the “under 4 minutes” qualification)!fourth 018

Idea #2: Make your own table fireworks. Grab a vase and fill it with any glittery, stick-like thing you can find. I used a white ceramic pitcher, so you can definitely get creative and hunt around your house for other interesting items to fill for your table. For ours, I used these twirly sticks from the Dollar Tree, but it would be just as cool and festive if you added some sparklers to the mix! fourth 011fourth 012

Idea #3: You’re a star. Literally. Let your guests be the stars of your party as you incorporate this patriotic element into your decor.starsTo get the look, I created a cardboard template of a star, traced it onto scrapbook paper (one for each guest), and cut it out. I ended up adding a thick black line of Sharpie to make each star pop just a bit more. After that, just add the name of a guest to each star and you have yourself a quick and easy (and oh-so-patriotic) place card.fourth 022 fourth 013fourth 029

Idea #4: Label those drinks. Find a bunch of red, white, and blue trinkets to attach to rubber bands for your guests’ drinking pleasure. This will help them identify their drink and be able to do so throughout the night as well. fourth 025For this look, I grabbed a few packs of red, white, and blue 3D stickers from Michaels (thank you dollar bin) and stuck them to white rubber bands for each glass.

fourth 002This made for a classy patriotic, but not too redwhiteandblue-in-your-face look.

fourth 005fourth 026So that wraps up our four (ideas) for the fourth (of July) for four (dollars or less) in four (minutes or less). I know, that’s a lot of fours. Let me unscramble your mind with a few more pictures of how everything came together in the end. I’d say we’re all set to party it up Uncle Sam style…fourth 028 fourth 027 fourth 010 fourth 003What’s happening at your house this 4th of July? Any red, white, and blue making an appearance on your table? Got your sparklers and fireworks all ready to go? Ooo, I can’t wait! Happy “Birthday” USA (and mom!)


PS. As you can see, we’re loving the additional feature of adding another “wing” to the table for serving/seating purposes. To learn more about the table we purchased, click here. If you’re lingering on those clean-lined, black chairs, find out more here. And if teal is your jam and those cushions are calling your name, you might like this post. Happy reading!


Thrill of the Week: Watered Down

Oh, and this is Happy Belated Earth Day (Part 2)!

For this week’s thrill, and in honor of the earth and the last of the April showers, let me introduce you to one of our latest finds in the Target Dollar section…watering can

How cute! And actually, quite functional (we’ve already used it to water some of our indoor plants). You can grab one for yourself at Target for a measly three buckaroos for instant spring decor! Just pop in a plant, and you’re ready to go…watering canwatering canI’ve been enjoying switching in different plants and flowers throughout the month and just letting it do its thing on the kitchen table. For a brief time, I considered spray painting it white or silver, but for now, we’re enjoying its lime green punch. It fits in great with our kitchen decorations and gives us a kick in the pants to keep the table nice and neat and resist the urge to let it become a “catch all” for things throughout the week.

watering canwatering canHankering for a close up of that table setting? Let’s just say all of those colors together make my heart race…

watering canwatering canAnd of course, we’re loving that it ties in nicely with our newly “teal-ed out” chandelier

watering can

I’ll pay $3 for a unique, charming, and easy piece of decor any day! Anyone else decorating with watering cans these days? Send some pictures our way! (ohthefunofit@gmail.com) We’ve recently been enjoying some neat reader-submitted projects and even a curtain job inspired by our very own family room curtains! (You can see our curtain story unfold here and continue here.) We can’t wait to share those reader goods with you soon!

So, for one last time, Happy Belated Earth Day, everyone!