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Ronnie Got Engaged!

Growing up, most girls envision a picture-perfect moment…the marriage proposal!  I never really had something specific in mind, but knew that when I met Joe, things were different. We understood each other’s jokes, had similar interests, and awkwardly (or awesomely) operated on the same wave length the majority of the time. Here’s a summary of what has happened on our adventure, and where it all stands today.

The Engagement

Joe was gearing up for his graduation from business school at Boston College in 2017. Little did I know, Joe called my parents (who live across the country) ahead of time and asked for my hand in marriage. After receiving my father’s blessing, Joe began the process of secretly getting a ring made that was reflective of who I am. Always a fan of the fabled “two-for-one” deal, Joe was planning on proposing to me right after his graduation ceremony. I had no idea, but his mom, my parents, and a couple of his close friends knew what I was in for.


After the ceremony, Joe dragged me around campus to take pictures together. I grew a bit frustrated and annoyed (it was cold out!) and wanted to just get in the car and to warm up. Finally, as I began to walk to one of the dozens of locations, Joe instead grabbed my hand as I was walking away and when I turned around, he was on his knee in his cap and gown!

Moving In

Moving in was a crazy concept to us….and finding a place in Boston in June is difficult! Joe went to see an apartment in Quincy, MA, and before I knew it, he had locked us into a two-bedroom apartment near the red line in a brand-new building. We love our new apartment!

Venue Shopping

The hardest part about venue shopping is figuring out what type of experience we want our friends and family to have. Given the size of my family, we knew the wedding would be in Seattle to make it as easy as possible for everyone. We flew out to the West Coast figuring we would end up at the winery that we had a soft hold on. But little did we know that the “wildcard” venues we threw in would actually win us over! We still have a bit of discussing to do, but are getting close to a decision. We are so excited to plan our wedding and have the time of our lives!  Stay tuned for updates on our journey.


How to be the Best

From the desk of Christine Altieri… 

How to be the Best was the theme of the 21st Marketing to the High End Bride breakfast at the Harvard Club on Commonwealth Ave.   Hosted by Arlene Cronk, owner of Invitations & Company, and in collaboration with Boston Magazine, the breakfast topic was about being the best at what you do in a highly competitive market. What traits do Boston’s best wedding professionals share? And how do you convince others you are the best?

It was my great pleasure to serve on the panel, along with Boston Weddings editor Brittany Jasnoff, Ben Elliott of Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen, Stacey Kuehn of Stacey Kuehn Hair, and Jenny Williamson of Jenny’s Wedding Cakes. We were charged with answering some of these challenging questions, and to find ways to inspire others to be the best.

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What is being the best? Everyone strives to achieve this, but I think this quote sums up my philosophy: “It’s not about being the best, but it’s about being better then you were yesterday.” As a company we are always striving to be better, to find better ideas and approaches, and to bring our clients the best that the market has to offer.

I thought I would share a few of the questions from the panel, and my answers.

 

Do you always look for the best people to help you? Or do other factors play a more important role in the success of an event?

We work with the people that are knowledgeable about their product, who are willing to think outside the box to help create a memory. We often refer to events as puzzles, and each piece is vital to creating the final product. For that reason we like to work with vendors that are clearly the expert we need and can be that important piece of the puzzle.

 

What do you think high-end wedding clients in general look for in a great event planner? Is it possible to generalize?

Brides are looking for a planner who has knowledge of the industry…venues, trends, etiquette…and who can help navigate the process and advise on how to best allocate the budget in order to achieve their dream wedding. For most couples, this is the first big event they are hosting, and it is a lot of pressure. Most couples have full time jobs and look to a planner to be their voice. They need to trust this planner to communicate their vision, on what clearly is one of the most important days in their lives. Our goal is to listen, understand what they are looking for, and then keep them on track, help them to stay focused, alleviate some of their wedding nightmares, and create a memory that they will share for years to come.

 

Creating the Breakfast for the High End Bride

As a company we were charged with gathering the best teammates to help design and execute the HEB breakfast. We are so fortunate to have such great friends in the industry, so it was easy to form a team of professionals who donated their time, equipment and services, to create a WOW moment for the attendees while giving each of them a chance to showcase their products and services. As a team we laid down a foundation, a starting point to build from.

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Weddings are no longer just spring or summer, but all seasons. That became our foundation, and we used that to think about how we could create a room that would take the guests through each season at a wedding of their dreams.

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The theme was expressed in subtle ways…we used color and texture to evoke the feeling of each season, and it was the little details that share the story simply. We shied away from the expected: snow, leaves, heavy colors, and furniture, and instead worked to create a room design that flowed together.

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It was an honor to participate in Marketing to the High End Bride, and I look forward to attending future events, and continuing to grow our wedding business.

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CHRISSY KRATZ – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Senior Event Manager

SENIOR: DEFINED
sen·ior /ˈsēnyər/

adjective
– of a more advanced age
– holding a high and authoritative position

noun
– a person that is a specific number of years older then someone else

We’re sure Christine (whom we dubbed Chrissy for obvious reasons) would love the definition of “Senior,” ha. She is far from advanced age, but now does hold a high and authoritative position. Five years ago we held our first interview via skype with Chrissy, and immediately knew that she is someone who has it all…smart, creative, detailed oriented, thoughtful, etc, etc! So as luck would have it, she packed her things, headed back east, settled in Boston, and has grown into an event manager extraordinaire.

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Whether the event is a non-profit gala, a corporate anniversary or a wedding on the ocean, she does it all. In her new role she will have the ability to do more, and create more fun.. she is not afraid to have fun.

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Chrissy works hard, but she has many passions outside her job. Running, she plans on tackling a marathon this October, Rock climbing…and always a great team member.

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Along with Chrissy’s passion for events, a little known fact, she also is a wine connoisseur.

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Cheers to Chrissy as she takes on her new title. We look forward to what her future holds, it certainly looks very bright. Right now she is studying away for her CMP test. We know she will give it her all, that’s just the ways she rolls!

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MINDY HOME – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Creative Event Director

CREATIVE: DEFINED
cre·a·tive \krē-ˈā-tiv, ˈkrē-

adjective
-having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas
-using the ability to make or think of new things : involving the
process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created

noun
-one who is creative

So when we started thinking about Mindy and her role at AE Events…the word “creative” definitely came to mind. Six years ago, and in one of our best moves as a company, we hired Mindy (Melinda) Home. She came to us after meeting a friend at a baby shower, and the rest is history. With little to no event experience, but a RISD degree, a desire to learn and a keen eye for style…she took off!

Planning weddings in the DR, working on fundraisers in DC, and taking the time to design events that speak to our clients, Mindy understood our mission from the very beginning, and continues to make it her own.

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We pride ourselves as a company that we do whatever it takes to get the work done. Nothing is ever too much for Mindy, a team player…packing up 3000 toys…no problem!

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Pouring the LARGE bottle of wine for guests, no problem…

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We look forward to what this new adventure holds for Mindy, and supporting her every inch of the way. We hope she will always stop to smell the flowers, and keep her sense of humor and lightness that helps all of us smile!

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The Big Day – June 20th, 2015

A final post from our in house Bride…

A little over 3 months ago all of the planning and hard work culminated into literally the wedding of my dreams. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figured I’d share some of my favorite shots from the day…

AJust one more thing before I shift into bride mode…

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Our vision was a romantic and classy estate wedding.  If you read any of my prior posts, you’ll remember that we settled on The Bradley Estate in Canton, MA, a red brick Gregorian-style mansion with an amazing brick edged parterre garden, romantically set behind the house and a large side lawn for a tented reception.

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For our ceremony we kept it mostly traditional, though we added in our own vows and a special sand blending ceremony with sand from both coasts to highlight our commitment to combine our two lives. To top it all off, we had one of our closest friends, Kate Baker, officiate the ceremony.

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We wanted cocktail hour to be classy yet fun, so guests sipped cocktails while they roamed the property and played games like corn hole and washers personally built and monogrammed by Tom.

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   The reception of course went by all too fast but what I remember most is being so in awe at all of the people who came to one place for us.  Our perfect day was made possible by our family, friends and of course our vendors who worked tirelessly to make everything perfect for us.  Gourmet Caterers did an outstanding job with the food, presentation and service.  And our DJ, Adam Conrad did an amazing job of keeping the night (and our guests) moving.

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Sperry Tents provided a wistful and light sailcloth tent with bamboo poles and candelabras.  I loved how it made the reception on grass still feel both upscale and intimate.

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We wanted our wedding to be romantic and classic with a little bit of sparkle. We worked with Peterson’s Party Center to accomplish this look with traditional fruitwood chivari chairs for both the ceremony and reception and alternated champagne and blush linens on our guest tables.  One of my pet peeves is when guest tables are too crammed, so we simplified the tables to include only rose petals, votives and centerpieces of gorgeous pink, cream and ivory roses from LauraJean Floral Design

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The table numbers were kept simple too, though each was placed in its own beautiful frame, which I had begun collecting from the moment we became engaged! I loved how this gave the tables a unique yet cohesive look.

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And for the sparkle, I scattered a few rose gold sequin linens (from Rentals Unlimited) throughout cocktails and of course on our sweetheart table.

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Our menu cards, along with the ceremony program and other various signage was beautifully designed by Mr. Tom Boates himself!

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In the end, everything turned out just exactly as we had envisioned it.  Perfect weather, the love of family and friends from across the country and Tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!   

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                                                                                                                                        – Mrs. Boates signing off!

Venue: The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate
Tent: Sperry Tents
Caterer: Gourmet Caterers
Cake: Konditor Meister
Floral: LauraJean Floral & Event Design
Rentals: Petersons Party Center
Rose Gold Sequined Linens: Rentals Unlimited
Photography: George Street Photography
DJ: Adam Conrad
Officiant: Kate Baker
The Dress:  Mori Lee by Madeline Gardiner
Hair: Janet Rodriguez
Makeup: Danielle Austin


HOW COOL IS THAT?

Our team at AE Events found out yesterday that we were awarded “Best Wedding Coordinator of 2015” in Boston Magazine’s #BestofBoston.  Needless to say, we are thrilled and honored.  We may have even jumped up & down in the office just a little bit…I mean, these are the things to celebrate in life, right?  How cool is that?

Ah yes, celebrations.  The spirit of our company is built around crafting experiences that really and truly reflect and celebrate the people that each event is about.  We hope that what comes through to our clients is that we love being a part of creating their moments and their memories.

So we raise a glass to our clients, with a few tributes here….

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Being a part of designing someone’s wedding day?  How cool is that!


2015: Be Engaged

Happy New Year and Congratulations to the newly engaged!  The holidays are a season of giving and receiving.  We’ve found that a lot of those gifts include giving an engagement ring and receiving love to last a lifetime!

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Image courtesy of Zev Fisher Photography – to see the full photo and more – go here!

In celebration of all that lies ahead for you and yours, here are a few websites that we like to check out when looking for new or unique wedding ideas (or just fall in love with Love!).

Dorfman Jewelers – If you don’t have the ring (but know there’s a promise), be sure to have one of their specialists help you with the Art of Engagement. Discover the newly renovated Dorfman’s when shopping for your wedding rings as well! (and fiances of the world – have your sig-other keep a running list of things they like here – it will make future gift giving easy!)

How He Asked – a website dedicated to marriage proposals, with thoughtful words, photos and even video.  If you’re in the mood to cry out of joy and all things good in the world – go here.  If you’re in the mood to share your story of love – go here.

BHLDN – vintage, delicate, ethereal are all words that describe the dresses, accessories and other beautiful things you can find on this wedding website from Anthropologie.  Sometimes all you need to complete the look is that one perfect thing…

Vows – searching for your wedding dress can be fun, exciting and overwhelming.  The staff at Vows in Watertown, MA will help you find that perfect look. This bridal outlet offers high-end designer wedding gown samples and overstocks from famous designers.  You are one of a kind, maybe the dress should be too!

Style Me Pretty – See what other real couples have done for their weddings – great for inspiration and current trends. We love to see what wedding trends are happening around the country.

Squarespace – thinking of designing a personal website for the Big Day? Check this out – they have wedding templates and make it easy to customize to suit you and your fiance’s style.

Recycle Your Wedding – figured out your wedding style and feeling a little DIY?  We do our best to help our brides find ways to save some dollars here and there.  Sometimes this means buying accents (votive holders, lanterns, and other little tidbits) which can be hard to store.  From the Ruffled Blog – here are some classifieds to buy and sell your wedding goods!

Congratulations again on your recent engagment!  AE Events is here to help you create a beautiful and magical day for you and your family – give us a call or email us to inquire about our services and how we can help you go from Ms. to Mrs.!

 


#11 – 6 Months To Go!

It’s #WeddingWednesday and time to check in with our bride to be, Elizabeth! Holy cow, only 6 months to go?!

We’re Halfway There!

Yes, as of December 20th, it will officially be six months until our big day.  Where does the time go?!  This year just flew by… and I feel like we all say that every year, but seriously, this year went by even faster than normal…

I cannot believe that just about this time last year, in about 5 days to be exact, Thomas was getting down on one knee and asking for my hand in marriage…a whole year ago!

I’m constantly fielding the “How’s the wedding planning going?” question and I think that while it’s assumed that all brides are stressed out – people don’t always know (unless they’ve planned a wedding) exactly WHY it’s so stressful.  So, since I’m about halfway through the planning process I thought I’d give everyone a little window into what’s been done and what is still yet to come…

A few of the things we can cross off our list…

– Set a date
– Chose a venue
– Set a budget
– Develop a Timeline/To Do List and finances tracker/budget keeper
– Chose an officiant (One of my dearest friends – thank you Kate Baker!)
– Chose a caterer, had a tasting, and set a menu
– Purchase my dress
– Begin our rental order
– Finalize the guest list
– Chose a photographer/videographer and have our engagement shoot
– Reserve hotel room blocks and our Bridal Suite
– Reserve a tent
– Select bridesmaid dresses
– Create and send out Save the Dates (design courtesy of my amazing Groomy)
– Create our registry
– Set up our wedding website (again, thank you Groomy!)

 And here’s a peek at what still needs to get done over the next 6 months:

– Secure day-of transportation
– Finalize Honeymoon plans
– Purchase wedding rings
– Select, order and send out formal invitations
– Book rehearsal dinner location
– Finalize floral order / table decor
– Finalize cake order
– Purchase wedding favors
– Order groom/groomsmen attire
– Schedule dress fittings
– Order additional print materials (menus, escort cards, etc)
– The dreaded seating chart
– Find makeup and hair stylists
– Final walk through at the venue
– Obtain marriage license

 …and that’s a little glimpse into my world right now.  It’s also not even half of my list, so I better get going, I have a lot of work to do!  Until next time….Happy Holidays to everyone!

 


Happy Anniversary Joanna and Bryan!

It’s Wedding Wednesday and while we can’t believe this lovely wedding is already a year behind us, we are still basking in it’s beauty!  Set at a gorgeous private estate, we brought some amazing vendors together to create the perfect wedding day for Joanna and Bryan on September 21, 2013.  They wanted a classic wedding, with elegant, romantic touches. It started with an outdoor ceremony (perfect weather), cocktails in the house (lots of bubbly), then dinner and dancing (Moroccan spiced lamb, yum!).  Happy Anniversary, you two!

We leave you now to enjoy the beauty of it all from the start of the day to the end – courtesy of Sarah Bastille Photography!

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Flowers by the talented Benjamin Newbold at Winston Flowers

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Joanna made such a beautiful bride!!!

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The Happy Couple! Congratulations all over again!

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Alternative to a traditional guest book – hand typed (or written) notes from guests offering “wishes and wisdom”.

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Many thanks to the vendors that made this wedding possible:

Photographer: Sarah Bastille Photography ¦ Flowers: Winston Flowers ¦ Linens & Rentals: Be Our Guest ¦ Audio & Lighting: High Output ¦ Tenting: Peterson Party Center ¦ Catering: Max Ultimate Food ¦ Videographer: Heirloom Pictures


#7 – Drum Roll Please… The Dress.

Not so fast… stop reading now if you are expecting to catch a glimpse of arguably the most touted part of a wedding – the dress.  Unfortunately for my guests, the big reveal will be June 20th, 2015, right around 4 o’clock pm.  However, I thought it would be useful for those of you who may be newly engaged or soon to be engaged, to share what I learned during the dress shopping process.  And I’m going to tell you up front – it’s not at all like you envisioned when your Barbie got married….

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10 Things I’ve Learned About Wedding Dress Shopping

1) The Myth of Dress Shopping – It’s NOT an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”: I will admit to watching endless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” and “I Found the Gown” with my Saturday/Sunday morning coffee… And even though a lot of professionals will tell you the “this is the one!” moment is a myth perpetuated by such shows, I was so excited for my own “Say Yes to the Dress” moment that I went shopping just five days after getting engaged!  Boy was I knocked off my feet.  Even though I went into the shop knowing I wouldn’t leave with a dress, the pressure of having an opinion (and trying to gauge what my mom and sister thought) was overwhelming.  I wish I could say I came home from that first visit glowing, but truthfully I was so exhausted I needed a nap.  My shopping visits over the next months were just as exhausting, though I will admit I did finally have my “this is the one” moment. Bottom line: Be prepared to be frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed and let the experience run it’s course.  I still believe everyone gets their moment.

photo 1-Dress shopping just 5 days after getting engaged!-

2) Knowledge is Power: After that first overwhelming experience, I knew the key to my success was to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible.  I credit theknot.com and their amazing directory of designers.  I was able to go through and see not only what styles I was interested in, but also what designers I liked.  I then weeded out the ones which were out of my price range, found out what shops in my area carried the designers I liked and went from there.  I’ve gone dress shopping now 6 times and at 4 different stores (Miss Ruby, Chryssie’s Bridal, Manhattan Bridal and of course the famous Vows Bridal Outlet), all of which offered an amazing selection and even more amazing customer service!  With the help of the associates at the stores and my friends and family, I was able to fine tune exactly which style and designer I liked the most.

3) A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: With all that “Say Yes to the Dress” watching, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you need to spend thousands of dollars on a dress.  And I am here to tell you – as a fellow dress enthusiast – it’s very easy to find a dress you love that’s well within your budget.  Believe it or not, “The average price of a wedding dress is $1,355” according to a recent survey in Brides.com. Use your resources to find designers within your price range, find the stores that carry them, and do not try on a dress that is outside your budget… Which brings me to my next point…

4) DO NOT TRY ON A DRESS THAT IS OUTSIDE YOUR BUDGET:  I wrote that in caps for a reason.  It’s undoubtedly the worst thing you can do…In my opinion anyway.  Yes, there is a chance that you could try on a dress, outside your budget, and end up hating it.  But we all know the reality is that you probably will love it – and then you’re in trouble.  If you really have your heart set on a specific dress or designer that you cannot afford, try finding a sample that the store will sell you off the rack, or find a store like VOWS (From the popular TV show “I Found the Gown”).  Vows scours stores all around the US for designer samples – from Lazaro and Monique Lhuillier to Vera Wang and Oscar de la Renta – they then purchase them on sale, fix them up and resell them at a discounted rate.  Definitely worth a visit if you are in the Boston area – though be sure to make an appointment in advance!

5) Keep Calm and Carry On:  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the craziness when a sales associate tells you they can give you a discount if you buy the dress today. Or at a store like Vows, where dresses are off the rack, you risk losing the dress altogether if you leave the store without it.  I found myself really struggling with putting a deposit down on a dress at Vows to essentially hold it for 5 days while I thought about it.  I left the store, grabbed some lunch, took a deep breath and realized that if someone else bought that dress I wouldn’t be devastated – that was my answer. My advice…don’t make a monetary move unless you can’t live without the dress…I ended up not getting any of the dresses I almost put a deposit down on at Vows.

6) The Extra’s: Don’t forget to add in any likely alterations and accessories.  Most brides need shapewear (which isn’t cheap), shoes, and a veil or headpiece.  Either have these items built into your budget separately or include them in your dress number. Most likely you will need some sort of alterations, even if it’s just a bustle.  Keep in mind that some dresses will require more alterations than others.

7) That’s Classified:  Keep that dress under wraps!  I know it’s hard – I wanted to show off my dress to just about every stranger I ran into.  But the more people I told, the less special my dress started to feel.  Leave the big reveal for the big day… good things come to those who wait!

8) Sit IN it for Awhile and Sit on it for Awhile Literally, sit in the dress.  Walk around in it, jump up and down in it, and sit in it.  Is it comfortable?  You’re going be wearing it for 8+ hours so it better be!  Then sit on it… the decision that is.  I technically found my dress 2 ½ months ago but only recently made my decision that it was definitely the one. Unless you are under a time crunch there is nothing wrong with sitting on your decision for a while.  It gave me time to really envision the dress with our wedding and with a clearer head I felt more confident in my decision. Plus, if you have more than a year before your wedding, you also risk finding another dress you love even more!

9) Does it Match?: I personally had a tough time making a decision on a dress because of my extreme appreciation for all dresses.  I loved almost everything I tried on because I love everything about weddings!  The decision was made easier by reminding myself that the dress needed to fit with the rest of our wedding.  And while I think there are brides who can pull off any dress in any environment, I think most of us agree that the design of the dress worn for an art gallery wedding is much different from the one a bride wears for a beach wedding.

photo 3-My most recent shopping trip with my Mom and Sister-

10) Make sure it’s YOU: In the end, there were two dresses left.  There was the dress I had always envisioned myself wearing.  A very traditional look I had dreamed of and dressed my Barbie in.   But then there was the one I had envisioned in the last 6 months since being engaged… The one that matched everything else in our wedding… The one that gave me butterflies… The one that was the most like ME.  And while it’s hard to describe what this means without giving away what it looks like – everyone will know what I’m talking about when they see it next June…

…It’s the one. 

That’s all for this month!  Tune in next month for more wedding planning adventures!

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