Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tired

Man, time is FLYYYING and it's making me dizzy.

I had a nice series of blog posts lined up and now I've plumb forgotten them. I have a feeling that's how things will go from here on out.


We have 44 days until the wedding, and we received the keys to the little house last night. I am so excited but also severely torn between two major to-do lists: WEDDING // HOUSE.


Sigh.

Almost a month ago, I made the decision to say "No" to anything new that came up: volunteer opportunities, trips, projects, plans, etc. This was to protect my time in the last two months. To quiet myself. To focus.

It's been nice to test all things against that. It's a relief, actually.

Because I'm tired.

Bless,
BTB



Thursday, May 26, 2011

RSVP

The RSVPs are rolling in!

With great excitement, I log onto theknot.com to check our guestlist dashboard a few times a day. At this point, there have been no real curve balls as we have a pretty good grasp on who may not be able to attend.

Therefore, this particular RSVP came as no surprise... but its medium did!




Our dear friend James sent us this video message on Monday. It's funny to imagine him sitting on his couch two blocks away while a particular dog named Prudence and a roommate nicknamed The Fizzle looked on.

Nonetheless, James is the lead singer of what we typically refer to as "the band." Ironically, said band (The Dirty Guv'nahs) have recorded at the home and studio of Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist of The Band, in Woodstock, NY, while playing The Midnight Ramble twice.

After moving to Knoxville in 2008, I fell into community with several members of the Guvs due to connections at church. Friendships have deepened, countless shows been attended and late night rides in the Blue Bullet and this monster have been taken.

Adam even received permission to propose on stage during their Bijou concert in September. Thankfully, Sara talked him out of that one. (I. would. have. died.)

All of this to say, Adam and I love and support and believe in the pursuits of The Dirty Guv'nahs. While we are sad that James (and Doody!) can't be at the wedding, we are so excited he'll be chasing after something equally as God-given as marriage: a calling.

Don't forget to RSVP, y'all!

Peace,
BTB


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Linen Stitches

There's no turning back.

The invitations are out!



I've been holding onto these sweet little things since December. They were ordered along with our save the date postcards from Wedding Paper Divas, and we couldn't be more pleased with how both items turned out.

The
5 x 7 invitation is on a textured 110 lb card stock. It looks and feels amazing; just enough weight with a dimpled surface that gives it a fibrous and organic feel.

Invitations are said to set the tone of the wedding, and I believe my "Linen Stitches" hit the nail on the head. They're rustic yet refined, and have an air of shabby chic femininity.

They beckon you one step closer to a garden wedding with white-washed grapevine wreaths, linen table runners and antique glass watcher pitchers.

Paired with my DIY direction cards
(in a complimentary peach tone) and the newly issued "Wedding Roses" commemorative stamp, the invitations were hand-addressed by my mom - who was a Kindergarten teacher for 35 years and has perfect penmanship ;)
We directed guests to RSVP online via our wedding website which did away with the need for RSVP cards and their matching envelope (plus postage!). From what I can tell over the last five days, this decision has made my life a living heaven.

But more on that later!

xo,
BTB


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Band of Grandmothers

I went from being a girl who didn't want a wedding band to one who now has two.

Yes, two.

Here's how.

Over my Virginia weekend, my mother and I were rooting through her jewelry - the family heirlooms, if you will - when she pulled out my paternal grandmother's wedding band.


I couldn't believe my eyes, thinking, "WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE??"


Shoved under the bed in a lock box, that's where.


While it was several sizes too big, it snuggly fit against my engagement ring when I pinched it back - a quality I had yet to find in almost every band I tried on.

I ran around the house showing everyone, apparently making weird alien hand gestures (pictured above) saying "Can you believe it? I just can't believe it! It's just perfect!"

So, here I am with two wedding bands - one plain knife-edged band and then
my grandmother's white gold band with six diamonds (one of which is being replaced).

I've chosen to look at it this way: my original band is a symbol of my covenant with Adam; the family we are becoming. My grandmother's band represents the family from which I have come.

The ring belonged to my father's mother and its six diamonds can represent my mom and her five sisters - the six Woodward daughters - who have all been forces in my life.

As one of my favorite Jane Austen quotes explains, "
I have always maintained the importance of Aunts as much as possible."

It's funny how this has come full circle - both literally and figuratively.

I just can't wait to get all those rings on my finger.

Love,
BTB

Cohabs


We're getting married AND moving in together!

That's how it works, right?

I've been so wrapped up in planning the wedding that I overlook this fact most days. But
that's definitely how it works, and we have a house to prove it.

It's an adorable yellow cottage in Fourth & Gill. While we're sad to leave Old North, we're only moving one neighborhood over.

Our prayers were answered in finding this dog-friendly, two-bedroom house with a yard, largish kitchen (with a dishwasher!) and hardwood floors all within biking distance to downtown. We'll still be living in community with our friends, plus we'll only have to haul our stuff exactly 1.1 miles down the road.

Oh, and there is a ginormous walk-in closest.

We were sold.

The story behind this house is pretty great.

Adam and I have been house hunting for, oh, five months now. We originally fell in love with this little yellow number, but it wasn't meant to be.

We scoured Craigslist and drove in circles through neighborhoods we dreamed about until the process began to drive us crazy.

Then, while on a run, Adam saw a FOR RENT sign in front of a cute house in a great location.

Turns out, the house wasn't big enough, but after learning what we were looking for, the landlady mentioned she had another unlisted rental property down the road.

One thing led to another, and with two months until the wedding day, we're now able to plan for the Great Cohabitation of 2011.

Get your game faces on!
BTB

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bach Party



Following the Derby Shower, my girlfriends and I headed to Staunton for a little bachelorette celebration - not a classical music party (see above).

Sara and I couldn't get over how we shared a room in the same hotel with our dates during a sorority formal in 2006.

For the record - I would say I had more drinks at that dance than I did during my bachelorette. Ha!

Does that mean I'm getting old? Maybe we really did listen to classical music that night...

What I can tell you is that I fell asleep in my "last fling before the ring" v-neck after being
surprisingly tickled by the "Bride-to-Be" tiara and sash which I wore all night.

Thanks stocking my delicates drawer, ladies!

xoxo,
BTB

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Derby Days

This past Saturday, my five aunts hosted a Kentucky Derby themed bridal luncheon in my honor at the Mimslyn Inn in Luray, Virginia.

Forget about monogram parties - this was a good theme.

All guests were asked to creatively decorate their hats which couldn't help but remind me of
Derby Days laced with Foxfield - two highly anticipated events within the Greek community at James Madison University.

During Derby Days, there is a fierce house decoration competition; at Foxfield horse races, you aren't caught dead without your hat.

To prove a point:




Over 23 ladies - all donning hats - attended the luncheon which included one male in a seersucker suit: my Uncle Wayne, Master of Ceremonies.

He would've fit in at Foxfield, for sure.

The shower did in fact occur on the day of the Kentucky Derby, but the significance of the theme reaches back to Adam's experience photographing the Derby for Sports Illustrated.

(To view his published photo from two years ago, which was shot from the MetLife Snoopy 2 blimp, click here.)


Derby details were carried out throughout the day - between the hat judging, roses on the tables and mint julep cupcakes made by my Aunt Mimi!

A big THANK YOU to my family for planning and executing this event is southern style, and lots of HUGS to my friends who traveled to join us.

I leave you with a photo of two beloved Tri Delta sisters, Sara and Kerri-Jean.

We've been to Derby Days a time or two.

DL,
BTB

p.s. - Thanks to Hopkins for providing the Derby Days photos.
ΔΔΔ Nation.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Wonderful things happened this weekend, but none of them would've been possible (one way or another) without this beautiful lady.

I love you, Mom.


Your,
BTB

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bach Time


Tonight I am headed to dear Virginia for a weekend full of bridal festivities: a bridal shower hosted by my five aunts AND a bachelorette party coordinated by my two Virginian bridesmaids.

I can't believe I'm hitting the bachelorette benchmark. That's a milestone, y'all - one that can't h
elp but conjure up images of sashes, tiaras and high heels.

The thing is - I would just about die if I had to wear any of those. I think I might just wear cowboy boots.

If that ends up being a bad decision, I'll have another go at it.


I'm a teensy bit embarrassed to admit this, but I am having two bachelorette soirees - one in Virginia and one in Tennessee.


My friends are split between the two states (with one outlier in Maryland and another in the District), and I couldn't imagine asking either group to travel.


Time, money and sanity are precious resources for all ladies during wedding season.


This weekend I'll celebrate with some of my oldest friends from home and college, and at the end of June, I'll celebrate with my Knox friends (who will certainly be OK with me wearing boots.)


I'm counting down the hours until I see you: Emily, Laura, Kerri-Jean, Brittany and Sara!

Love,

BTB


p.s. - image via Curly Girl Design -- the perfect all-occasion treat for your gal pals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love Shoot

As someone who fervently follows wedding blogs (I've given them up on Google Reader for Lent...twice), I have been awaiting the day we took engagement pictures.

It was a dream to collaborate with our photographer, who is also my roommate. Carrie gave me liberty to style the shoot (hence the five outfit changes and props) and she drew heavily upon sessions I found inspiring.


In the end, we absolutely adore our engagement pictures. They have such personality that reflects the story of our relationship. I can't stop staring and sharing.

Here are a few of my favorites and the scoop behind them:


1.) We are behind my neighbor's shed using a Beacon Two-twenty five that my parents gave Adam as a wedding gift. The Beacon is symbolic for many reasons, but mainly because Adam got his start in photography as the photo editor of The Daily Beacon at the University of Tennessee.

2.) A world map was the perfect backdrop in this shoot by Lang Photographers, and I was lucky enough to find one in our friends' dining room. Adam and I both studied abroad in Wales and Florence, respectively - and we can't wait to travel the world together. (We love that Kate and Wills are moving to Wales!)

3.) I saw this pose captured by Shannon Norman on Green Wedding Shoes in June 2010. For 10 months I've been itching to recreate it in the field at Maple Grove Inn. Now I'll be itching for the rest of the week from the grass!

4.) To create consistency between our engagement and wedding photos, I wanted to use similar elements in both that will make it easier to group framed pictures. This JCrew blouse is the same print as the bridesmaid dresses.

5.) I loved the idea of creating a photobooth after seeing this session by Erin Hearts Court. We rigged Adam's backdrop frame in my backyard with an old sheet. It was perfect practice for the wedding reception!

We are so thankful for the creative direction and patience of Carrie. She is a fantastic photographer who connects with the heart of the couples she photographs. If you're engaged, book her -- book her now!

To view our full engagement album on Texture Photo's Facebook page > click here!

Love,
BTB

Monday, May 2, 2011

Holy Moly


Let these wet your whistle!

We're waiting for a few to pop up on Facebook later today... until then, this sneak peek has me _______ (fill in the blank).

Speechless,
BTB

Joey Donner

We had a blast taking engagement photos yesterday with Texture Photo!

Apparently Adam and I have quite the knack for the "pensive face."


Only the photos will tell!


Throughout the entire shoot, I couldn't help but think of this scene from 10 Things I Hate About You.

















Joey: [holding up headshots] Which one do you like better?
Bianca: Umm, I think I like the white shirt better.
Joey
: Yeah, it's-it's more...

Bianca
: Pensive?

Joey
: Damn, I was going for thoughtful.



Smiles,
BTB

p.s. - I'm still talking about the Royal Wedding.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

These Five Things


Earlier today, fellow blogger and friend Caite followed Marcy May's lead and wrote 10 (well, 8) little things about herself. She then turned the table on her readers, and asked them to do the same.

I took interest in this challenge because after college I kept a tiny blog called
These Five Things. While I wasn't divulging five facts about myself, I was sharing five things in which I'd taken interest.

One day shy of exactly two years ago, I had taken an interest in
Mr. and Mrs. O. More so, Mrs. O's style, but who hadn't from the moment she started wearing belts around cardigans and shopping at Target?

Back to the point - I'm going to play along with Caite, but today I'm aiming to write five wedding-related things about myself.


1. The first time I heard Pachelbel's Canon on the 5-disc changer in my aunt and uncle's Volvo, I knew I'd walk down the aisle to that song. I slaved away to learn it on the piano, which always put a smile on my mother's face, and it's probably the only song I can still play by heart. With that being said, there are no secrets come July 16th!


Admittedly, Adam and I thoroughly discussed using the acoustic intro to Sigur Ros' "ágætis byrjun" off their hvard-heim album. But that wasn't in the cards for our string trio.


2. After a service trip to the redwoods during college, I broke my habit of religiously wearing mascara. These days, my make-up regimen is minimal. I get by with under-eye concealer, blush and bronzer - and when I'm feeling sassy, a little clear mascara on the brows. All that to say, the thought of wedding make-up scares the crap out of me. It's the one time where, "more is more!"

3. When I was the flower girl in my cousin's wedding, I lost my two front teeth at the rehearsal dinner. The daughters of that bride will be handing out programs at my wedding! At the wedding of another cousin, I was snuck my first mimosa. Her red-headed cutie-
patootie is my flower girl.

4. My wedding paradigm was shaped by the following cinematic moments: 1) The armadillo groom's cake in the "blush and bashful" wedding //
Steel Magnolias; 2) A father in denial befriends the cooky wedding coordinator // Father of the Bride; 3) Julia Roberts' bridesmaid fitting with Cameron Diaz // My Best Friend's Wedding.

5. I have never been a bridesmaid. Imagine that - planning a wedding without ever having been in one!


Enough said!

BTB


Hide and Seek

This has nothing to do with weddings.


The south was unexpectedly hit by a series of tornadoes yesterday.
Tuscaloosa, AL bore the brunt of the storm while pockets of severe weather continued to sweep through South-eastern Tennessee and Southern Virginia. Reports indicate that over 170 people were killed.

I pray that number does not rise throughout today.


This morning we are extremely thankful that our family and friends are safe after such an eerie day in Knoxville.

Adam's brother, sister-in-law and nephew who live in West Knox took cover in the bathroom during a hail storm that shattered windshields and house windows, while his parents withdrew to the basement as a funnel cloud was spotted in Morristown, TN.

We had several friends who lost power for the second time this week, and knew of others with significant damage to their homes due to fallen trees.



My roommate Meghan,
Lily monster and I spent most of the night between our house and our neighbors' who have a basement. Meghan is from Alaska and was largely unfamiliar (and therefore super calm) with the storm scare.

However, I was reminded of the time my 12-year-old home alone self hid under the basement steps with our dog Windsor, the Brita water pitcher and my Bible after hearing that a tornado was coming up I-81.

Mind you, that particular interstate runs the
entire length of Virginia.

Thankfully, I felt less alone yesterday.


Despite covering the developing storm from the newsroom, Adam kept in touch the entire day. I received funny little texts asking me to "keep an eye on things" and "be safe." But as conditions worsened, I understood more deeply Adam's concern and care.


At one point he even thanked me for taking cover.


My sweetheart.


Contained in this post are several photos Adam took yesterday courtesy of knoxnews.com. Below is my favorite scene which he captured from the top of the parking garage I use for work.




Y'all take care now!
BTB

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Round and Round

Many of you have asked for an update on our wedding bands.

Here is the full scoop!


Earlier this month, Adam and I purchased our wedding bands.


Less than 30 days later, we returned both of them thanks to a glorious return policy at a large-scale jeweler where "he" infamously "went."


The reason behind this decision was that I was having a
crisis concerning the prospect of wearing an additional ring, yet I was also caught up in the idea that "bigger is better."

Could that make any less sense?


Of course not.


Therefore, Adam returned my first band and we turned to
East Tennessee Diamond - where he purchased my diamond and setting - to find a matching knife-edged band.

The hometown jeweler ordered two sample bands from the same designer as my ring, and we thankfully found a winner between the two.


On top of that, ETD offered a discount on the grooms' band since my diamond was purchased in-house. This not only suited my fancy, it sat well with Adam who preferred to buy the bands from the same (local) place.


What a practical man he is!


So, Adam went ahead and ordered my band on the spot. I returned his original one the next day, and ordered a new band from ETD which gave me the opportunity to have it engraved - something that slipped my mind the first time around.


When the bands came in (today!), the wrong one was accidentally shipped for me.
This gave Adam the chance to have mine engraved - something that slipped his mind the first two times around.

We can't wait to share our inscriptions with you!

But until then, here's a picture of the lone wolf.



xoxo,
BTB

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Like A Glove

I'm a little skiddish as I write this for fear of giving something away. I almost blew it the first time I approached this topic.

On Friday, I had my first fitting since the wedding dress was altered.


And boy, did it fit like a glove!


It's amazing how they can do that. A little nip, a little tuck and voila! You no longer look like a saggy wedding cake.


Believe you me, I never doubted Michelle's ability as a seamstress. During my first appointment, she floored me with her working knowledge of
my dress - the dress that I (secretly) thought was the most unique, most special, never-before-seen dress.

Michelle humbled me with the fact that she has altered
my dress several times.

And praiza Lord for all those brides who have gone before me!

Michelle had learned that its fabric was actually longer than the underpinning of the dress so she knew what to expect during alternations; she had created both a traditional and french bustle on the gown and was able to demonstrate both options; she even assured me that my EXACT undergarments were a common choice among brides who chose this dress.


I mean, is she good? Or is she good?


In my opinion, she's up there with
Cindy.

One lucky bride,

BTB

Doodle


Having a professional photographer as a fiance is a dream.

He always has his camera(s). Your photos are never blurry. Plus, you end up with quite a stock pile of profile pictures.

(Can you
imagine our children's profile pictures?! Pffft.)

However, what
also ends up happening is that he barely shows up in any of them! I may as well be single according to half my photo albums.

That's why I'm super excited for our official engagement session this coming Sunday with Texture Photo (see Carrie, it totally works!).

It had been difficult to find a time that worked for all of us; professional photographers have tricky schedules - and we had two in the mix!

To remedy this, I used a helpful online scheduling system called Doodle.

After I selected several possible dates and times, a poll was created and we each voted on what worked best. Before I knew it, we were able to see our common availabilities.

While this may not be my favorite doodle, it is fantastic for efficiently scheduling an event between several people without a headache. It would be perfect for planning bridal showers or bachelorette parties.

Now if I could just find something to help plan my outfits for downtown scenes and dogwoods...

xoxo,
BTB

p.s. - again, thanks to my MOH Sara for shooing our save the date photos back in November!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Name Change

As much as I loooove all things Google, I had not looked into securing my married email address.

I've doodled my new name all over things for months now (many, many months).


But I hadn't given much thought to my electronic signature.


Good thing I had a bridesmaid lookin out!


Lindsay emailed me yesterday to let me know that she checked the availability of my new name and went ahead and set up the account.


Coming soon to an inbox near you!


BTB

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bride(smaid)


One of my best friends got engaged on Monday.

I had to keep it a secret for a whole 48 hours, and I don't think I have ever been so excited.


I take that back.

I was pretty much itching for my proposal.


Since being engaged, an entire piece of my heart has been beating to a slightly different tune. It's not as though my single friends are out of tune - rather, we've formed a new song.


But I'm overjoyed to have another gal pal join the chorus.

I can't wait to listen to her as she processes, prays and laughs her way through this.

My favorite line from William Shakespeare holds true: If music be the food of love, play on.

Congrats L and J!
BTB

Hitchin Age


I turned 25 this past Sunday.

That sounds old enough to get married!

Thanks to everyone who celebrated me on top of what seems like an entire season of celebration leading up to the wedding.

I feel some kind of special.

xoxo,
BTB

p.s. - That's the first time I saw 25 in writing. Phew. Where has this little girl gone?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OCDirections

As detail-oriented as I try to be, some things manage to sneak past me. And when they do, I try to be as relaxed as possible while I let my obsessive compulsiveness run its course.

For instance, I recently printed, cut and hole-punched over 100 direction cards only to find that the ink was a little too bold when paired with the invitation.

Did it ever cross my mind to check such a thing before I got so far into it?

Pffft, of course not.

I could have let this slide, but it irked me so. Even my mother conceded, "Kate, there are those who will never notice. And then there will be a few, who like us, will think, 'Now, that doesn't make any sense.'"

That was all she had to say.

There are now 200 direction cards - half of which will be used as scrap paper.

I certainly got my money's worth out of this $14 project!
  • $4 ream of card stock from a party & paper company close-out sale
  • $10 Martha Stewart doily lace punch on sale at Michael's


DIY,
BTB

Monday, April 11, 2011

Navy Baby


Here's a little Monday haiku for you:

We are in a bind.
Navy suits are hard to find.
Can you help us, please?

That's right. We haven't found navy suits available to rent. I never expected this to be a hang up! Do you have any suggestions??

A little desperate,
BTB


Image via
SMP

The Newlywed Game


What made me sweat at my shower was not the nightie I opened FROM MY MOTHER - but playing the newlywed game.

My friend Susan had asked Adam a series of questions in advance, and I was to guess how he answered them.

Opening gifts + talking + thinking like Adam was a lot to juggle, but it made for a hilariously sweet time. I hope someone got a picture of me fanning myself with the shower invitation.

Here are a few questions with my answers followed by Adam's. Feel free to laugh at the inconsistencies. We did.

--What is Kate's favorite flower?
K: Baby's breath
A: She isn't crazy about flowers....

-- What is Kate's favorite season of the year?
K: Spring
A: Summer, methinks

-- What is your favorite feature on Kate? g-rated :)
K: My legs?
A: Her eyes: green halos with brown in the center, one black speck in each

-- What is her favorite feature about you?
K: His hands
A: My smile

-- What is her "go-to" meal?
K: Anything with pork
A: BBQ nachos! Calhoun's patio in the summer and/or Dead End

-- What is your favorite thing that she wears?
K: A purple crewneck from JCrew
A: She has a striped shirt that looks like she'd wear it sailing... I love it. Oh and jeans and flats. that is Kate to me. She has great style.

-- What is Kate's favorite movie?
K: Pride & Prejudice or Under the Tuscan Sun
A: Star Wars :)

**Adam's response is clearly a joke as I've never seen any Star Wars movies. Apparently this is a requirement before becoming a Brimer.

-- If she could travel anywhere, where would she go?
K: Florence, Italy
A: Florence, Italy

-- What was the date of your first date?
K: I have no idea; it was a date to Litton's sometime in June. We officially started dating on June 27 after a trip to the aquarium in Chattanooga.
A: June 27 is when we got Lily... and technically when we started dating. We went to Litton's for dinner a week or so before that... so really that was our first date but I don't remember the exact date... It's like the queen's birthday, we have an official date and then the real date. I side with the Litton's dinner, but in my infinite forgetfulness I don't remember when it was.

-- How many kids does she want have?
K: 2
A: 2-3. I know she wants a girl first. I want a boy first. Guess we'll have to figure that out :)

-- What is her childhood pets name?
K: Windsor!
A: Windsor, a cocker spaniel

-- What is her top love language (words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, gifts)?
K: {I started out by asking if that meant giving or receiving - turns out Adam answered for both!} Receiving: words of affirmation; Giving: acts of service
A: To her: words of affirmation; From her: quality time

-- If she could change one thing about herself what would it be?
K: {I had no idea}
A: She'd be married to me already. Haha!

We're 6 for 13. We're meant to be!


xoxo,
BTB


P.S. - Thank you, Susan!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Showers


My small group hosted my first bridal shower over the weekend.

I'm so thankful for the generosity and loveliness of (L-R) Angela, Susan, Elizabeth, Caroline, Kasey and Nora. They made me feel so special, and certainly eased me into this shower circuit I face in the next three months.

Guests included my mentor Leah, my teacher Susanne, my mother-in-law Cheryl, my Mom and Lindsay, one of my bridesmaids.

These women are so dear to me. Pictured clockwise from top left: Leah, Susanne, Mom and Cheryl.


Thank you, all!

Love,
The new owner of a duvet cover & shams, hamper, wine glasses, pillows, wire baskets, throw blanket, bathroom trashcan, memory board and more!

AKA BTB

Mother of the Bride

Preface: I'm sorry for the confusion in having to remove the last post about my dress fitting. It bums me out, too! However, I wasn't thorough in my fact checking, and I risked almost outing myself. Enough said.

Instead, I want to share with you the handiwork of my mother who is in her element as Mother of the Bride/wedding planner/creative director.

She certainly wears a lot of hats - stylish ones, at that!

As far as theme goes, we are envisioning a shabby chic rustic wedding, one that blends perfectly with the cobble stone & gardens at the Maple Grove Inn.

Therefore, Mom is currently white-washing grape vine wreath after grape vine wreath, and creating a gorgeous floral, twiggy, tulle-y spray on the top.

I absolutely love it and am already thinking of what we'll do with 14 wreaths after the wedding!

But most of all, I am thankful for her care and precision in carrying out the vision we've cast for this celebration.

She absolutely floored me when she revealed the "Mr." and "Mrs." signs that will hang on the back of our chairs at the reception.

The handkerchiefs belong to my dad, which she then tea-stained and hand-stitched. They are just the cutest little things. I can't wait to find a place to them in our house when all is over and done with.

Don't you wish you had a mama like her?!

Love,
BTB

Thursday, April 7, 2011

100 Days


The countdown has officially begun. We have 100 days until ze wedding.

With that being said, this weekend holds a lot of excitement.
Bring on those double digits, baby!

However, I am not only looking forward to day 99, 98 and 97 - but also to a visit from my parents, my first dress fitting and my first bridal shower.

Let the games begin!

Cheers,
BTB


P.S. - Wondering about that cute bunting pictured above? Well, that is actually an endearingly sweet wedding invitation I received yesterday from my friend Amelia. Along with her mom and some gal pals, she handmade each invitation which was designed by the talented Ashley Addair.

My invitation was created with pages torn from
A Severe Mercy - although I know others included works by Jane Austen (swoon). Guests flip up the pages & fabric to reveal a portion of the invitation beneath (as seen on the far left). A true labor of love!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Food of Love


One of my wildest wedding dreams has come true.

Someone has purchased the Kitchenaid stand mixer off our registry!

Forget about the towels, the dishes, the much-needed 24-piece tupperware set. This is one sharp cookie.

We're looking at 325 watts, 10-speeds, a 5-quart bowl and an empire red finish.

Now, I know this is a common registry item for brides - even for those who have no intention of ever using the dough hook or the horsepower. As for them: shaaaame on you.

But to me - the girl who hand mixes everything save for the time I whip out my immersion blender from the early 90s to finish the job (do you even understand how wrong that is?) - this is the icing on the cake, literally.

Thanks to online registries, brides have the awkward but thrilling knowledge as to when items on their registry are "complete," or shall I dare say it - left unfulfilled.

HAPPY SIDENOTE - When you register at Pottery Barn, you receive 10-percent off all items left on your registry - as well as any items you wish to add - for six months after the wedding.

However, in cases like this, you're left overjoyed with a splash of intrigue and dash of excitement. You have absolutely no idea who bought it or when it will arrive - as if brides weren't antsy enough :)

So, to the Lovely Person who purchased the empire red 5-quart, 10-speed, 325-watt Kitchenaid stand mixer, I can't wait to squeeze your neck and send you cookies, or a cake, or whatever baked goods your heart desires.

xoxo
BTB

P.S. - This is the first thing I predict making! Or maybe this.

With This Ring


Please ignore how flesh-y this photo is. We are no hand models.

However, we did shamelessly run home for our own photo shoot with our newly purchased wedding bands.


It's a good thing mine is out of focus because now it's entirely out of the picture.


Yep, I'm that girl.


I picked out a wedding band and then asked my husband-to-be to return it.


Ugh. I wish I was better at this process, but I'm not.


Thinking about wearing two rings is an adjustment - especially for someone who likes to get her hands dirty in the kitchen and in the garden.


Plus, I'm content with the one I have now.


Luckily, Adam is smitten with his, plus he looks like a stud.


But what a tease! We have 3 more months to go!


That gives me plenty of time to find something.

Let's hope!
BTB

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Halfsies


Adam kindly reminded me that today marks the 4-month mark:


Four months of being engaged.

Four months until we're married.


Does it surprise me that I've overlooked this fun fact?

No!


But that's only because I'm making sure that I haven't overlooked the fact that:


- invitations are addressed

- birdseed is wrapped

- bridesmaid gifts are purchased

- wedding photography time line is complete
- wedding bands have been purchased

YEAH!
BTB

P.S. - Adam will be traveling intermittently during March Madness depending on how the Vols advance. He's on the road to Charlotte, NC today!

Island of Women


As you can see from our website, our honeymoon is booked!

Adam joined forces with my Dad to plan a trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Located 8-ish miles off the coast of Cancun, the Island of Women is a low key Caribbean getaway with Corona-esque white-sand beaches but with plenty of Dos Equis and Modelo.

As we began thinking about honeymoon locations, we took into account all-inclusive luxury resorts marketed towards newlyweds.

However, smitten with adventure and local color, Adam and I quickly agreed that we wanted the freedom to roam and eat as we pleased with a fair degree of confidence and comfort in where we were staying.

Having traveled to Isla several times with my family (and Sara!) - my parents happened to be on the island when Adam and I decided on it for the honeymoon - the decision was fairly simple.

And thank goodness! Had we waited a few more weeks, we may be facing increased rates and travel headaches as Yahoo Travel recently voted Playa Norte on Isla one of the top 10 beach destinations of 2011.

In all the hoopla, keeping our accommodations a surprise from me was more tricky. My dad accidentally spilled the (refried) beans when he told me Adam made reservations at Na Balam
which is located on Calle Zazil-Ha No. 118, Playa Norte.

Baller.

Until then, I'll be working on my Spanish.

Adios,
BTB

p.s. (upside down exclamation point) Gracias, Adam! Te amo.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Online {and in love}




The stats don't lie- I haven't blogged in quite a while.

There have been too many registries to complete, showers to plan and marriage counseling sessions to attend.


To put it simply, I'm exhausted.

I've got good blogging material... it's just being held captive behind my eyelids.

Thankfully, in the midst of the hoopla, I have finished our wedding website. That alone allows me to cross off 23,329 things on my to-do list.

Activating our wedding website means that I have:

- entered guests into the online guest list manager (I'm still amazed that the guest list is finished!)
- compiled blurbs on members of our wedding party
- confirmed all event information
- provided various driving directions via Google Maps (it's 2011, people)
- booked a block of hotel rooms for guests (thanks, Mom!)
- completed all wedding registries
- compiled a list of our favorite Knoxville sites/sounds for out-of-town guests

For all that and more, please click
here.


Love,

BTB

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm a Beta Tau Beta

I was formally initiated as a Beta Tau Beta on Wednesday.

Apparently I was only a BTB (bride-to-be) pledge to this point. But now there's no denying it - I'm officially part of the sisterhood.


Only this time there was no secret password, candle light or promise of raised letters.


There was just one big fat awful wedding nightmare.


And as president of
my sorority in college, I can assure you that it was a rite of passage far scarier than that of my freshmen year.

I awoke on Thursday from a wedding day with no photographer, no manicure and no idea how to pull together the mess around me.


It left me anxious and forlorn for most of the afternoon, certain that my future was destined to such misfortune.

But then my BTB sisters shared with me their inaugural wedding nightmares, and I felt much better.

I'm back to being the big (wo)man on campus - with even
greater resolve to ensure there are no loose ends by July 16.

So tell me, what is your worst wedding nightmare?


Life Loyal,

BTB


* - to be true to my Delta Delta Delta roots, I must clarify that we call our ladies "new members" not pledges. But in the context of the blog, the terminology made greater stereotypical sense.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

J'adore Polyvore

Bridesmaids


I feel like I just ran a marathon.

In heels.

This afternoon I learned of the brilliant Polyvore from my writer/stylist/foodie friend Caite.

Caite is currently using the web-based application to create new looks for her personal styling business Sparrow & Whistle.

Like Pinterest, Polyvore allows you to capture images of things you adore online - but the fun doesn't stop there.

Within Polyvore's interface, you can mix and match these items to create cohesive collections - in Caite's case, entire new wardrobes.

Moreover, Polyvore provides pricing information and links to the retailer's website!

Therefore, being quite impressed, I took on the (Poly)voracious challenge of creating a few looks for my bridesmaids.

Lately, I had been intimidated by their dress' print and beloved belt, and was thinking there was little room for fun accessories.

But today, I think I proved myself wrong - with the help of Polyvore and Caite, of course.

What do you think?
Do you have a favorite?

Click the image above to be linked directly to my Polyvore page.

xoxo,
BTB


PS - If my font appears two different sizes, please excuse the blip! Formatting has been tricky today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Royal Affair


It was released this weekend that Prince William and Kate Middleton invited 1,900 people to their April wedding at Westminster Abbey.

To put things in perspective, our guest list is barely 7% of that of Kate and Will's.

My favorite factoids from this royal affair:

On this side of the Atlantic, brides-to-be can invite American "royalty" to their wedding. By sending a wedding invitation to the President and First lady, formal etiquette requires a letter of congratulations be sent in return. How fancy!

Consider adding two more to your guest list under:

The Honorable Barack and Mrs. Obama
The White House
Greetings Office, Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500


Cheers!

BTB

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Valentine from EE Cummings

On Valentine's Day last year, Adam and his roommate Austin made dinner for "Katie Lady" and "Megatron" (pictured above).

This was after a day hike at Ijams Nature Center where Adam propped his camera on a ledge but prefaced the self-timer by blurting out, "I'm not proposing!"

Guys are so edgy around Valentine's Day. Poor things.

This year, we are eating crepes at the The French Market and then going to see Audrey Hepburn's "Sabrina" at the Tennessee Theatre.

Now, that is romantic.

And so is this Valentine snippet from EE Cummings "dive for dreams"-

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding)

What are your Valentine plans?
xoxo,
BTB