Wedding Wednesdays – A Bride’s Story Part 2

| A Bride's Story, Wedding Wednesdays

Hey guys!  For those of you that read last Wednesday’s Blog – A Bride’s Story by Amber, you heard the story of how “he asked, and she said yes.”  Today’s blog takes a look at the beginning of her planning process.   From the girl that is working with her on her invitations, let me just preface her blog by saying – she definitely has her act together!

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Well, this whole wedding thing just got REAL. We cut the deposit checks for the ceremony and reception and signed the contract for the hotel. We already hired the photographer, I actually did that as soon as we settled on a location because I knew long before we got engaged who I wanted to photograph our day. (I keep typing my day, but I need to stop that and remember that it’s our day!)

I guess it’s time to back up a little bit and tell you, dear readers, where we are getting married and why! In March of 2010, I was working in this great little British pub, Six Pence Pub. I walked into work one day and said to a coworker, “Who is the big white guy in the kitchen?!” For any of you that have ever worked in a restaurant, you know that generally speaking there are not often big white guys in the kitchen. He and I hit it off immediately, we bonded over baseball and sarcasm. A good foundation for any lasting relationship. A few months later, we had our first date and as cheesy and RomCom as it sounds, I knew the second he kissed me that I would marry him. The thought alone gave me heart palpitations. I was seriously commitment phobic and the thought that I could marry anyone was TERRIFYING! Okay, so I tell you all that to let you know the original Six Pence Pub is in Savannah, GA and we spent our first anniversary there and love everything about it! The charm, the history, the fact that you can walk around with booze…all wonderful! We chose to get married in Savannah, with the reception held at a hotel Hilton Savannah DeSoto that is a stone’s throw from Six Pence. Without Six Pence, we never would have met and we both felt that bringing it back to where it all began (in a sense) was just perfect!!

I didn’t think through how I was going to write this (I warned you, I’m not a blogger and certainly not a writer!) However, I think now is a perfect time to talk about my photographer. Susan Crutchfield Photography is in a word, AMAZING! I have been honored to call her a friend for years and have had the privilege to watch her talents unravel and hers is a talent that you cannot simply pass by without being blown away! She doesn’t rely on editing to make her photographs amazing, she makes them amazing. If anyone lives in the Atlanta area (not solely, contact her!!) and needs photos done, Susan is a MUST! She is a kind, funny, and beautiful soul that will tell your story in ways you didn’t even know it could be told! So, of course she was my first thought when it came to my…our wedding!

Most of you don’t know this yet, but you will over the next year, I will not give anyone undue praise…when I tell you that someone is a must, I mean it. I am blessed to be surrounded by very talented people and I want to give them their due. This is my pulpit from which to do it for now, but I promise that I will never steer anyone wrong!

Okay, so here we are with 367 days away from the big day and I have already crossed off some of the most important things. I am not a very girly girl though and I haven’t been planning my wedding since I was a kid, not that there’s anything wrong with that, so I never read any bridal magazines or books until now and I missed the most important thing to do when getting engaged. BASK in the glow of marrying the love of your life! Take a beat and don’t jump right into planning, love your intended and enjoy every second because the planning is going to go so quickly and then before you know it it’s the big day and everyone says THAT goes so quickly and then you’re married and sitting on the couch in a few years and think to yourself, “What happened?! I was just engaged a second ago and now I’m married!!” At least that’s how I imagine it’ll happen. Have I mentioned I’m a little melodramatic while daydreaming? No? Well, prepare yourselves for that! With that being said, now that the biggest stuff is taken care of, I have realized that I need to take a little bit and enjoy this wonderful man of mine and this time that we will only have for a year. There will be plenty of great memories and times to come, but this is the only year that we will be engaged and hearing him say, “my fiancée,” just warms my heart and makes me smile.

I have been basking in the engaged glow for the last week and we’ve discussed some of the smaller things, but only one decision has been made, save the dates – more to come later on those – we will continue to plug away a little bit at a time, so that we can relax and enjoy our wedding! Funny how when I started writing this a few days ago I struggled with the my vs. our wedding and now it’s just coming naturally. He and I have been a “we” for years and everything we have is “ours,” but even he said my wedding last night and corrected himself…funny how a wedding turns everything upside down! We always land on our feet though and we will adapt and adjust and face this new chapter hand in hand and at the end of this journey…OUR wedding is going to be AWESOME!!

Till next time,
Amber

Site of my first dance as a "we"

Site of my first dance as a “we”

Where we met!

Where we met!

For those of you that want to keep up with Amber’s wedding – be sure and follow this blog to get the latest information and follow my Pinterest board just for this… http://www.pinterest.com/LaurieLouiscom/a-brides-story-amber/

Travel safe for the holidays!

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Fun Friday’s – Countdown to Christmas

| Fun Fridays

I went to the Apple Store at the mall on Tuesday and it took me 15 minutes to find a parking place.  It was November 11th and the malls were already packed with shoppers and believe it or not, the kids were in line to see Santa.  At this rate, everyone is going to be finished shopping before Black Friday gets here. Sadly, I can tell you that I haven’t started.  I have, however, been busily working on new gifts for you to purchase as you dwindle down your shopping list.

For those of you that know me, you will recognize my style in this year’s line.  All of the pictures below can be found on my etsy shop:  LaurieLouisshop.  We have added a lot of new items over the last week so if you haven’t checked out the shop lately, it’s time to go back.  We have new disposable coasters (don’t forget the customized ones though), cute spiral notebooks and notepads for your desk and purses, as well as fun, graphic design desktop calendars.  This 12-month calendar has one unique style for each month…and sits on a clear easel.

NAUTICAL CHIC COMBO wine combo beach combocalendar

 

Of course what would a Holiday Line be without the Holiday…disposable coasters just in time for those celebrations and assorted gift tags to decorate those packages.

2014-11-07 16.59.38 christmas gift tags

But for those of you shopping for men this Christmas, I did some online investigating as to what the top gifts for 2014 are for men. Of course, most of the lists had laptops, iPads and gaming tablets and the new iPhones. What also seems to be very popular are fitness trackers that you wear like a watch. This year definitely seems to be a techi Christmas for guys.

And for those of you that haven’t thought about your holiday cards yet, it’s only 40 days until Christmas. Check out my etsy shop, I have some great Christmas card designs and if you purchase them between now and December 1st, you can also purchase the option to have them addressed, stamped and mailed for you.

Happy Holidays!
Laurie

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Wedding Wednesday – A Bride’s Story

| Wedding Wednesdays

Hey guys!  I know that it’s been awhile since we’ve talked.  Sorry about that.  If you have been following my instagram you have seen the photos of my Launch Party last Thursday and the new designs that I have on sale for Christmas.  Check back Friday for a blog on my new items.  I also promise to get back to Mom’s Menu Monday’s starting Monday.

Until then, I have a surprise for you….DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!

A good friend of mine is getting married next November and her friends suggested that she start a blog to archive her journey.  With some fast talking, I talked her into guest blogging for me.  Today will be her first entry and I know you will love it.

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Six days ago the man of my dreams asked me to marry him. It was the most amazing moment of my life to date. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when or where he would do it. I had concocted all sorts of scenarios in my head about it, but nothing I could have imagined would have lived up to the actual moment. There are no words to describe the joy I felt. About ten minutes after he asked me, I turned to him and asked him if I had even said yes?! I couldn’t remember if I had squeaked out that single word amidst the tears.

We were sitting in my favorite old bookstore in Asheville, NC. We had just had an awful lunch and neither one of us felt so hot, kind of a running joke in our relationship, we always seem to spend part of the happiest moments feeling sick to our stomachs in one way or another. The weekend that we moved in together we both had the most horrific stomach bug you could imagine, thank god we had more than one bathroom in the house! I remember laying on the bathroom floor praying for death and he was on the floor outside the bathroom, all curled up in his comforter and he just reached his hand out to me and said, “I love you.” In that moment, I knew that we could handle pretty much anything life could throw at us. It sounds trivial, but if you have ever felt like that and looked at your partner and felt that love, I know you will understand. I knew that no matter how bad it got, how bad I looked or what horrible noises he heard out of me, he would always love me.

I digress though, we were sitting in this amazing old bookstore and I had my head on his shoulder and I felt so…content. I had this amazing man sitting next to me, the man that I knew that I would one day marry and I could have sat there blissfully for hours. I said to him, “This is my favorite place in Asheville! I love everything about it. I love the smell of the old books and how cramped and cozy it is in here. It’s just perfect!” I had no idea that my uttering that simple statement would lead the best moment of my life. When he asked me, I was in shock. I thought for sure that I had misheard him. Instead of “Do you want to get married” he must have said something else, anything else. I was so taken aback that all I could do was pop my head up and repeat, “What? Are you serious? What? Wait, what?” When he smiled and pulled the ring out of his pocket, I knew it was for real and I burst into tears. The best kind of tears, the kind that make you feel pounds lighter when they subside, the kind of tears that wash away all the bad things that have happened in any and all aspects of life for the last several months. The rejuvenating tears that start the biggest build up for the best DAY of your life. I have had my moment and now I am planning my day.

I am planning my wedding, already in record time according to friends and family, for 374 days from today. It is going to be a wild ride and I may have great ideas, I may have horrible ideas, I will definitely have days when I want to kill someone, and am counting on the days when I regret not eloping. No matter how insane it gets though, in 375 days I will be a wife. I will marry my best friend, my confidante, my biggest cheerleader, and my favorite person.

I have no idea how to blog, but my good friend Laurie Louis has agreed to allow me to guest blog on her website (www.laurielouis.com) and we will learn as we go! I don’t know how much or how little I have to say, but I will try my best to keep it up. Thanks for reading so far. The next entry will have more wedding planning information, but I thought it was unfair to expect you to read something from a complete stranger. So that’s me, Amber, and I hope that along the way we can share some laughs, some tears, and some great ideas. Thank you Laurie, for giving me this opportunity!

Amber

The couch where he proposed!

The couch where he proposed!

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What’s New?

| Weddings

Hi guys!  I know that you are looking for the newest recipe from Mom’s Menu Mondays…and don’t worry, it will be back next week but I thought I would take a break and tell you all about what I have been up to.

The last few weeks have been really busy for me.  I spent two days at Tradeshow Bootcamp in Los Angeles, CA.  I met a lot of great new friends and learned a lot. I went with two goals in mind.  (1) Did I want to look at having a wholesale line and (2) did I want to show at the National Stationery Show (NSS) in New York in May.  After two days of informational sessions, I have learned that I indeed to want to work on a new wholesale line but that I am not ready at this point to debut it in May at the NSS.  I did learn that there are two shows in Atlanta (driving distance).  My new goal is to walk the show in January and look into having a booth at the July show.

When I came back from Los Angles, I immediately began working on my Launch Party.  On November 6th, I will be having a Launch Party to introduce LaurieLouis.com to the wedding industry community in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.  The party will be at Bryon’s South End.  I am definitely looking forward to it but it will be a lot of work.

Circle Icon_RedNavy

As part of the launch, I will be debuting my 2015 Wedding Collection which will feature over 20 new designs.  Don’t worry, I will tell you all about them after the debut.

That’s not it for the next few months though.  I will be attending Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill in October and my stationery and gift items will be at two events.  One in November and one in December.  Stay tuned for information on what items will be on sale and where and when the shows are.

Have a great week and talk to you soon!
Laurie

 

 

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Mom’s Menu Mondays – Barbecue Sauce

| Mom's Menu Monday's

Hey guys!  Sorry that I’m a little late today posting this.  I was busily working on an invitation order for Rehearsal Invitations.  As part of a new service that LaurieLouis.com offers, I will provide you with addressed and stamped invitations ready to go for a minimal price per invite…so I spent my morning stuffing envelopes and stamping them.
With college and pro football in full swing, it seems that all of Facebook is full of tailgating pictures.  I thought that mom’s Barbecue Sauce recipe would be a perfect fit.  Don’t forget though, as with a lot of mom’s recipes, this is also something you can package in cute jars and give as gifts.

bbq-sauce

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Mom’s Menu Mondays – Shrimp and Grits

| Mom's Menu Monday's

Today’s menu is Shrimp and Grits. One of my dad’s favorite meals. Although the recipe calls for the bacon grease, not the bacon, I think you might want to try it with the bacon in it and see what it tastes like. Everything tastes better with bacon, even chocolate.

shrimp-and-grits

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Mom’s Menu Monday – Sour Cream Pound Cake

| Mom's Menu Monday's

Happy Labor Day!

After last week’s Mile High Ice Cream pie, I thought I would stick with sweets this week and share Mom’s Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe.  You will notice several different flavorings and at first I thought that was crazy but they actually taste really good together as long as you don’t add too much of any one.  This would probably be one of the things my grandmother would say to actually measure.

sour-cream-pound-cake

Have a great Labor Day and as always, please let me know what you think of the pound cake.

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Mom’s Menu Mondays – Mile High Ice Cream Pie

| Mom's Menu Monday's

Is your mouth watering…it should be.  Imagine chocolate and vanilla ice cream, meringue and chocolate sauce…YUM!  Perfect for that last summer cookout before it gets cool in the evenings.

This recipe calls for chocolate and vanilla ice cream, basically because those are my favorites.  My dad’s pie would have had vanilla and strawberry.  For a little change, consider an oreo cookie crust or oreo cookie ice cream as one of the two flavors.

mile-high-pieNow if you aren’t a big fan of chocolate sauce, you can leave that step off, but if you are, here is an easy sauce that mom would use with the pie.

mile-high-chocolate-pieEnjoy and as always, don’t forget to let me know what you think.

 

 

 

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Wedding Wednesday’s – What’s going on…

| Wedding Wednesdays

The last few weeks have been really busy for me.  Since this will be LaurieLouis.com’s first full wedding season, I am still in the learning stage and full of questions.  And as my to-do list continues to grow, my ability to gauge my time continues to be non existent. I have also been taking lots of different classes about the wedding and paper industry as well as classes on how to promote my company through social media.

In the last month, I have been lucky enough to meet with two different ladies who were willing to spend an hour with me answering all my questions.  Heidi McBride, Account Executive with Best Impressions Caterers, was able to give me a little insight into the world of catering as well as the recent trends and time frames for area Charlotte brides. I was also able to see their banquet facility – Byron’s South End.  It is located in a restored knitting mill. For those of you that know my design tastes and have been lucky enough to attend a function there, you know that I love the atmosphere.

Then last week, I met with Erin Padgett, owner of Simply Southern Wedding & Event Design.  We talked about everything from wedding trends to popular area venues to which months tend to be the most popular for local brides.  She was able to give me some feedback on some of my current wedding designs and we also talked about the best way for me to launch my new wedding designs for 2015 and who to invite.

Speaking of my new designs for 2015, I have taken two Wedding Album classes in the last two weeks.  One by Tradeshow Bootcamp and one by Amber Housley.  Among other things, I learned that I wasn’t close on the number of different wedding design suites that I was planning to create.  I needed to double them.  Secondly, one of the best ways to become known in the industry locally and launch my wedding designs for 2015 is to have a party.  After talking with Erin, I have decided to have the party at one of the local venues in Charlotte and invite all the wedding planners, local venues, photographers, caterers and florists in Charlotte and right over the South Carolina line.  Not only will I be able to showcase my designs, I will also be able to meet other people in the local wedding industry.  Because October is one of the busiest months for weddings in Charlotte, my goal is to have the party in November.  With that in mind, I have a LOT to do.  Like I mentioned, my TO DO list keeps growing!

to-do-list

 

Along with all the other things going on, I have also decided to start advertising on TheKnot.com.  By the end of the month, I will have featured pages in both the North and South Carolina databases.  While North Carolina will have pictures of all my wedding suites, my South Carolina page will concentrate mostly on my beach invitations with smaller photos of my other designs.

So, when you see in the next few weeks and I look like I don’t know whether I’m coming or going or when I can’t go to lunch with you, know that I am working frantically to get everything accomplished by my November deadline and I promise things will slow down then (but only for a little while hopefully).

 

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