Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Wedding Chronicles: Picking a Videographer

In all honesty a wedding videographer was something I dreamt of but thought was no where in my budget. As time went on and I kept seeing other wedding videos and reading reviews from Brides as one of their biggest regrets from their wedding I was itching to have one. When  I first met with my wedding coordinator, she asked me my reasoning on why I did not have a videographer and highly recommended I check out Matt Stambaugh. I FELL IN LOVE! I immediately contacted him for a quote. Soon we were in business and he would be doing our wedding! Back in Febuary Wade and I met Matt halfway at a Starbucks in Gettysburg to discuss our wedding and our visions for the video. Matt was so great! He is so easy to talk to and truly listened to everything we had to say. Matt totally got us pumped for our wedding even in the never ending winter we were having!

Check out Matt's website here

Matt has also been featured in Wedding Chicks! Yes THE Wedding Chicks. I picked a good one y'all! 

Here is one of my favorite video's Matt has filmed. Enjoy! We cannot wait to see our wedding video and to have Matt be apart of our special day! We can't wait to share our wedding video with you all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Wedding Chronicles: Picking a DJ

Figuring out my DJ situation was something I got RIGHT on as soon as Wade and I got engaged back in fall 2012. I did not want some cheesy guy I did not know from some random company. I really wanted someone who I knew would do an amazing job- who I trusted and who also has an eclectic taste in music. This was vital since we have a ton of different types of people from various walks of life that all love different types of music. We wanted everyone to have fun and feel energized!

I quickly contacted my favorite local DJ and friend- Tim aka DJ Sidekick and we set up a contract almost immediately! That was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

A few weeks ago Wade and I met up with Tim at BJ's Taphouse and went over the timeline, music selections for the first dance, etc as well as the overall feel we were going for. It was a very productive meeting and above all else a blast!

We are so happy to have Tim as our DJ and for him to get us all on the dance floor on Saturday!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Wedding Chronicles: Wedding Coordinator

At the beginning of the wedding planning process I never considered a wedding planner or day of coordinator. I was so sure I could do everything on my own. In April 2013 I went to my venue's open house {check out the post here } and a lot changed. Mathwig had a Wedding and Event Planning as one of their featured vendors. It was not until By Design Events emailed the attendees list that I started considering their services. {Website here } At first I was going to go with their s'more package but the more I read the details of what they offered I was very interested in other services.  

I met with Courtney at The Frederick Coffee Company {which quickly became out place} one afternoon about our wedding and how her services could help us.  Within minutes I knew I HAD to have a wedding coordinator. Courtney was amazing and listened to my visions of the day and how I wanted everything to flow. We instantly had a connection. She told me where I was on track and where I need to hunker down and get things done!  She also helped me with logistics of what did and did not make sense. She gave me multiple checklists throughout the wedding planning process and wedding vendor recommendations. {She found us our amazing Videographer- Matt Stambaugh } Above all else she wrote our timelines. Yes plural. She wrote a detailed one for our vendors and herself down to when she needs to light our bonfire, to a simple one for our bridal party to follow, to even a rehearsal/rehearsal dinner timeline! 
{Our snowy walkthrough}

Throughout the last year plus Courtney has been there every step of the way. We have had multiple in person meetings, a walkthrough of our church and reception venue and countless emails and phone calls. She has go above and beyond what I expected and I truly do not think I could do it now without her. (especially with our ceremony and reception being so far away from each other) She is the best and I highly recommend her to anyone. It is always great when a vendor becomes a friend! Although my wedding has not happened yet (6 days away!) I am completely confident Courtney and her team will help make my wedding day absolutely perfect! Thank you so much Courtney for all you have done for us! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Wedding Chronicles: Bachelorette Party!

In Mid April some of  my amazing Bridesmaid took me on an epic trip for my Bachelorette Party to Charleston, South Carolina. I had never been and was over the moon excited for the adventure. I am into everything Old Money and who doesn't like the beach? So Charleston was a perfect location selection.

On Wednesday night Jessica, Sara and Amy met at my house after work and we all hopped into Sara's car to drive down to Richmond, VA to Ashley's (My Maid of Honor) house to spend the night. With a little help from me-we woke up at 4:30am to hit the road. It took me a while to realize it but Sara had written all over the car windows: "SC or Bust" "Bride on Board" and my favorite "Bride to be" with arrows pointing to the exact spot my face would be when sitting the passenger's seat. We were all so excited we seemed to hit the South Carolina state line in no time! However in North Carolina, we were pulled over for "following" someone too closely. The cop was super weird and came to the passenger side back window and immedeltely told us to remove our blankets and food from the back window. Long story short it was an interesting encounter and Sara ended up with a $200 some dollar ticket. Not cool!

When we hit the SC border we made a stop at South of the Border. I have never been and was so intrigued but the theme park. We spent a good amount of time looking around in the knick knack shop and had a blast trying on hats and looking at all the crazy things to buy.

{Endless Knick Knacks}

The last 2 hours seemed to last forever. I think it was a mix of excitement and that our legs were starting to get the DBTs (which turned into one of the many inside jokes of the trip). Since it was only 11am and check in wasn't until 4pm we went straight to Sullivan's Island for lunch and a little bit of beach action.  The sun was shining and Sullivan's Island was filled with palm trees and lush green everywhere! We tried to eat at a well known place named Poe's (after the poet of course) but it was a seat yourself situation and we were ravenous so we went across the street to Taco Mamacita's. I ordered an El Comino Margarita and it was amazing. The tacos were super fresh and delicious.

After lunch we headed to the beach! We filled up our little heart cups with some Bud Lime-a-ritas (thanks to Sara!) and sat on the beach for a bit. It was super windy which made it pretty chilly so we were not on the beach long, that was okay because our room was ready!

When we walked into the hotel I was so impressed. So much in fact the phrase "pleasantly surprised" became one of the many sayings of the trip. The hotel looked so much more modern, fresh and upgraded from the hotel website. They must have literally re-do the place (we could smell the fresh paint!) and had not had time to update the website. It was beautiful. 

We all unpacked and got organized before taking showers and getting ready to go out on the town. When I got out of the shower the girls had decorated the room with streamers and banners. it was so sweet. Ashley made adorable little goodie bags for everyone.  Mine was filled with candy, a Bachelorette sash, mini bottles, cute little stickers/little girl temporary tattoos, glow sticks, a purple bandanna and fireball!

After getting ready we blasted music and pre-gamed with champagne before heading down for the shuttle.

We were all so excited when we got on the shuttle. It was kind of crowded but still fun! I went to take a selfie pic with the girls behind me and the father sitting next to Jessica with his daughter on his lap whispered "get in the selfie!" it was pretty funny and she was adorable!

The shuttle had a designated drop off spot at the heart of everything. We saw a restaurant called "The Noisy Oyster"right next to the bus stop. We decided to give it a try. The place looked pretty cool- it was exposed to the outside and had everything ocean/beach themed. That was about all that was good with the place.  It took forever to get a drink- luckily we were having such a great time we didn't notice 20 mins had gone buy with us not being greeted. In a nutshell the food was blah and the service STUNK to put it lightly. We were glad to get the heck out of there. All we could do was laugh and make the best of it!

After our dinner experience we headed to the Pavilion Rooftop Bar. It was so cool! Each table was surrounded by a clear glass cubby to block the wind and they had the coolest outside heaters I have every seen! needless to say the place was pretty fancy! After a bit we headed to the Rooftop Bar at the Vendue before heading home.
{"get in the selfie!"}
 {"Take me to the Spanish Moss"}

{Meh Apps at the Noisy Oyster}
{Sara and I}
{Pretty lights at Pavilion Bar}
{Coolest outside heaters ever}
{My girls}

{Rooftop Bar at the Vendue}
 {Elevator Pic}

The next day we all crawled out of bed and headed down for the FREE breakfast. Our experience at this hotel kept getting better. The breakfast was delicious and just what we needed. After Breakfast we all got ready and hopped in the car and headed for downtown. We spent a few hours wondering around the Battery, Rainbow Row and just exploring nooks and cranies. We had a blast and I was of course blown away by the beautiful houses.! Truly the entire city wow'd me. I could have spent days wondering around just looking around.

After exploring we headed to Boone Hall Plantation. We all are pretty in love with the movie The Notebook {what girl isn't right!?} and part of the movie was filmed there. Finally I would get to see a plethora of Spanish Moss that I had been longing to see!

The driveway was long and lined with Oak Trees with beautiful Spanish Moss! I was in heaven!

We took a quick 20 minute tour of the plantation house. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos. :-(

Before heading out we went down by the river and walked around the grounds. We checked out the "Slave Row" as they called it with all of the old Slave houses.

By this point we were ravenous. We had issues with waiting too long to eat! We stopped at this little cafe type restaurant called "Five Loaves" and got little boxed lunches to go.

Back in the room we relaxed and took a nap before getting ready for the big night out! We changed our reservations for dinner from 7 to 5:30 (old of us I know) so we would have plenty of time to enjoy our meal and digest and still time to go back home and pre-game before heading out on the town!

When we went to leave for dinner. It was monsooning outside. Thank goodness for Stanley! Stanley was the hotel shuttle driver for the day. He was great! He dropped us off right in front of the restruant (which normally it is just one drop off location downtown) so we didnt have to walk in the rain.

Back to dinner. We went to eat at a place called Blossom. It is a sister restaurant (and right next to) the famous Magnolia's Restaurant and the experience and food was fantastic!

The bread was out of this world. It was a baguette with rosemary and honey butter. We could not get enough- literally! and asked for another basket. We ordered their green fried tomatoes which were out of this world.  It has pimento cheese, country ham, pepper jelly and tomato butter. I was in heaven. Definitely much better than the fried green tomatoes from the Noisy Oyster thats for sure! We also shared steamed mussels with white wine, tomatoes, capers garlic and basil. For an entree I ordered my first steak ever at a restaurant! No lie! I never have really been into steak but I am so glad I got a steak here! The Grilled NY Strip has a port blue cheese butter dolloped on top and it was phenomenal!The steak came with asparagus and a mushroom & Yukon gold potato gratin. Talk about YUM!

{Bad picture I know but it had to be documented}

After dinner Stanley picked us up  right from the restaurant again  and brought umbrellas and ponchos for us to use the rest of the night! You can't get better service than that. Oh but wait you can! because he then proceeded to stop at a gas station for us so we could get some adult beverages! What a sweetheart.  He was seriously THE BEST By this time is was more than monsooning. We went back to the room and changed back into jammies and played card games, swapped gossip and danced for hours. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me for sure.

We caught the 10PM shuttle and took the suggestion of our beloved driver Stanley (who is currently going to The University of Charleston)  to go to Republic Lounge. We were diggin the bathroom. We danced and hung outside for a bit (there were little fire pits and a band!) Some nice young lads bought us a few drinks before we decided to head to Stanley's next suggested place- Trio!

We walked upstairs to in Trio and danced the night away. It was truly the most fun I think I have had in a long long time. My girls were great making sure I had drink in hand and made sure my purse and heels were taken care of while I bopped around with glee. We were having so much fun we forgot to take pictures. But I assume you it was a great time! I didn't get many pictures in my beloved white sequined dress. :( Oh well that just means I can wear it again!

On Saturday morning I was hurting.. like ALL Day! Amy was awesome and made us all shirts for a mini bar crawl. Amy and I have an inside joke with the movie The Hangover, and made Tara;s Wolfpack shirts. Finally at like 3PM we all headed over to the Central Market. It seemed to go on and on and it had so many cool artisans and neat stuff to buy. I ended up buying a traditional Sweet Grass Basket and I LOVE IT!
After shopping we started our mini bar crawl and headed to Wet Willies. Wet Willies is just like a Fat Tuesdays {which I had been to before in Miami} All of use got some frozen potent concoctions and hung out for a bit.

Next we headed to Southend Brewery for some drinks. The place reminded me of a much bigger Brewer's Alley. We tested out the samplers and the beers were pretty darn good!

Finally we headed down the street to Pearlz Oyster bar. Amy made it a point to order us all tons of Oyster Shots. I LOVED them- however I always had to eat the oyster after the fact. We all sat and had good food and a great time.

{Oyster Shots!}
{The best burger and slaw ever!}

{Post Oyster Shots}
After feeling pretty good from those Oyster shots we decided to head home and relax. In the parking garage there was a line to get out and we all decided to jam out ans scream out theme song of the weekend- "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. A nice young lad dressed as a pirate approached us and forced me to take a shot of his rum. 

We all hung out and watched Forrest Gump in bed {it was Gump Week y'all!} and woke up bright and early to hit the road home.I made it in time for Easter Lunch at my Cousin Jimmy & Laura's house. I had an absolute blast at my Bachelorette Party in Charleston. I twas truly a trip of a lifetime and something I will always remember and will cherish. Thank you a TON to Jessica, Amy, Sara {thanks for driving us all in your fancy car!} and especially thanks to my beautiful Maid of Honor- Ashley for organizing everything. It was perfect! Love you all!