Tag

Wedding

Wedding Planning: Wedding Photos

Get the scoop and sources from our rustic lake side wedding in Crozet, Virginia


Welcome back! Thanks for being so patient with me as we take a break and move into our new home in Ohio. It has been a whirl wind month filled with demo, packing, unpacking, sanding, priming, painting and a lot of mystery bruises. I can’t be the only gal ut there that gets about 5 bruises a day while doing any sort of project, right? Anyway- the house is moving a long and I cant wait to share some progress updates with you all. Until then, I want to share the final post from our wedding Planning Series.

Brian and I feel so blessed to have had our dream wedding day last May. We opted to go against the grain and have a very small, private and DIY wedding. We rented out 8 cabins around a lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, Virginia. We kept it simple by only inviting our parents, siblings, grandparents and my two best friends. We hosted all 20 guests for a three day mid-week wedding. We enjoyed going to wineries, breweries, hiking, fishing and tons of family time. It was such a relaxing week, filled with so much joy and love. Our wedding was truly a reflection of what we enjoy, and I am so happy we decided to get married in our own way.

We stayed at Montfair Resort Farm, which is a family owned and operated property that operates as an eco-friendly and rustic destination for vacations and events. We rented out their entire property for three days allowing each guest to have a beautiful rustic cabin to stay in. Our guests arrive on Tuesday, where they found custom DIY welcome baskets in each cabin. We held a “welcome dinner” that night, which was made my Brian’s brother who is a chef in Pittsburgh. After dinner, we enjoyed a big bonfire besides the lake.

We held our wedding ceremony the following day at a scenic overlook on the property. We woke up early and decorated the isle ourselves, and put up the alter decorations. It started to rain while we were decorating the alter, but we finished up laughing about the downpour. I distinctly remember my friend Becca saying to me “A wet knot is harder to untie than a dry knot!”

We retreated from the rain to our cabin where I did my own DIY hair and makeup surrounded by my mom, and soon-to-be sisters and mother-in-law in our cabin. We laughed, ate and enjoyed the morning together. Brian’s mom made our wedding cake, and we decorated the cake together that morning. Once the rain subsided we made a break for it and had our ceremony just as the fog began to lift over the mountains. Everything was so green and lush after the morning storm, and was the most beautiful backdrop as we said “I do”.

After our short and sweet ceremony, we took photos around the property with the ever so talented Lauren Nevoid, who took our engagement photos earlier this year. Lauren had such great visions on how to transform the surroundings for such breath taking photos. My favorite photos are of us canoeing after the ceremony on the lake.

Later that evening we hosted our “reception” at a local restaurant a few miles away in Charlottesville, Virginia. C&O restaurant was fantastic, and allowed us to rent out the art gallery next door for a private dining room. It was so nice to be able to have all 20 of us sitting down at one table to enjoy such a beautiful meal together. After dinner everyone returned to Montfair, where mostly everyone changed into more comfortable clothes. We then returned to the lake front to cut the cake and enjoy a huge bonfire.

Having only our family as guests made it so easy to be calm and flexible that day. I couldn’t be more excited to share these photos with you guys! Sicher-2Sicher-9Sicher-55Sicher-56Sicher-13Sicher-16Sicher-18Sicher-15Sicher-27Sicher-34Sicher-42Sicher-47Sicher-48Sicher-52Sicher-53Sicher-60Sicher-61Sicher-71Sicher-68Sicher-74Sicher-124Sicher-125Sicher-127Sicher-133Sicher-142Sicher-149Sicher-154Sicher-97Sicher-98Sicher-100Sicher-116Sicher-118Sicher-121Sicher-103Sicher-104Sicher-129Sicher-163Sicher-167Sicher-168Sicher-174Sicher-176Sicher-177Sicher-180Sicher-181Sicher-184Sicher-188Sicher-194Sicher-200Sicher-207Sicher-210Sicher-218Sicher-219Sicher-221Sicher-224Sicher-226Sicher-228Sicher-229Sicher-232Sicher-234Sicher-237Sicher-243Sicher-254Sicher-268Sicher-274 Sicher-288 Sicher-290Sicher-279Sicher-312Sicher-325Sicher-351Sicher-369Sicher-401Sicher-395Sicher-413Sicher-415Sicher-419Sicher-421Sicher-425Sicher-428Sicher-430Sicher-433Sicher-439Sicher-440Sicher-444Sicher-445Sicher-449Sicher-455Sicher-457Sicher-459Sicher-464Sicher-466Sicher-469Sicher-473

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Sicher-652Sicher-664 Sicher-665Sicher-663 Sicher-682 Sicher-677 Sicher-672 Sicher-667 Sicher-686Sicher-661 Sicher-657Sicher-655That’s a wrap! It is so nice to be able to re-live our wedding day by looking at these photos. I hope you were able to find some inspiration from our wedding as well! Let me know in the comments below if you’d like a specific source for anything 🙂

Be sure to keep up over on Instagram and Facebook– I’ll be sure to share more images of the moving progress over there, as well as touch base with a post really soon!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Wedding Planning: DIY Hair and Make-up

How I saved a boat load of money by doing my own DIY Hair and Make-up for our Wedding Day


Hello There!

Thanks for the love on our new living room designs and the color scheme for our house! I can’t believe the day is here and we are moving! Be sure to follow on Instagram to see some photos as we go! I’ll be sure to post about the progress on the house over here too, but it might take a minute. Moving is pretty crazy.. and we won’t have internet right away. I am hoping to be able to share about the house soon though!

Today I wanted to switch back to our wedding and share how I saved money by doing my own hair and makeup. As you might remember, I was trying to cut some costs and save as much as we could while wedding planning. After doing my research and calling around I was finding that the cheapest hair and make-up artist I could get in our area was $500.00… for just me… Look, I know that being in an artistic job field that people are always expecting you to work for nothing.. I get it, I really do.. but $500 for an hour of hair and make-up seems pretty steep. So, I decided to try and tackle the task by myself. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I have compiled a list of tips that helped me along the way:

  • Do your homework. Professional makeup stores will teach you how to use their products. Head to a store like Mac or Sephora and request a makeup lesson. Some places will take walk-ins while others ask you to reserve a spot. Most stores will teach you for free as long as you make a minimum purchase- which is makeup you’ll need for your wedding look anyway! Consider bringing photos of a makeup look you’d like to learn how to recreate.
  • Go big or go home. My photographer reminded me that my makeup should be darker than I might normally wear it for it to look good in photos. I wore faux eyelashes and much darker eye makeup than I would have normally worn. She also asked me to darken my makeup a few times. It was good to feed off of our photographer to make sure the look was as good on camera as it was in person.
  • PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. I did my “wedding look” several times in the months before our wedding. I tried out different lip sticks, shadows and blushes before I perfected the perfect look. I also opted to wear faux eyelashes for a super glamorous look. I highly recommend test driving these puppies before the big day- it can take a few tries to really get the hang of it.
  • Have your hair done a week or so before the wedding. Do not have a fresh cut or dye right before the big day. It helps to have at least a week for the color to fade a bit and the cut to grow out so it looks more natural. I went to my local beauty supply store and purchased clip-in extensions to wear for my wedding look. It was so simple and really helped amp up my look.
  • Invest in quality products. I wasn’t about to spend a boat load for one day- but I can stomach spending a little as long as I can keep some quality products to reuse. I spent around $150 and purchased some good quality foundation, powder and brushes. It was worth every single cent. I love the new brushes and use them daily. The foundation I selected was Makeup Forever Mat Velvet in color #25 warm ivory. This foundation was made to last- even on a humid and sticky day like ours. Its also great because it helped to keep my skin matte and not shiny. I tend to get oily quick so it was a huge help! After the liquid foundation- I topped it off with Sephora Collection 8 HR Mattifying Compact Powder in color #16 linen. This really set in the liquid foundation and helped even out my skin. My sister in law gave me a Stila eyeshadow palette which had so many shades and options to layer on. It was great! While this particular one is no longer in stock- its nice to have so many options (especially while you’re practicing your look!) Thanks Nellie- I loved this one!
  • Try out different hair curlers for different looks. I purchased 4 curling irons and tested each one before deciding which I would use on the wedding day look. I also looked at a few youtube videos to perfect the techniques for each one. I settled with a Remington 1/2-1″ Curling Wand  which was around $20 online. I loved how my curls turned out with it!Sicher-125Sicher-70Getting help curling those extensions! It was tricky!Sicher-124Sicher-127Sicher-133Sicher-138Sicher-142Sicher-141Sicher-146Sicher-149Sicher-154Sicher-163Sicher-174Sicher-180Sicher-181Sicher-183Sicher-188Sicher-194Sicher-200

Sources: Embroidered Shirt | Personalized Hanger |  Wedding Dress |  Shoes | Similar Headband

Face: Foundation | Powder | Blush | Primer

Eyes: Liner | Shadow |  Mascara

Lips: Liner | Stain

Hair: Curling Wand | Extensions | Headband | Brush

Thats a wrap! What do you think about doing your own hair and make-up for your wedding? Would you ever trust yourself for it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Be sure to check into my Facebook and Instagram for more photos and to stay up-to-date!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Check out some of my other wedding posts:

DIY Florals | DIY Wedding Cake | How to Plan a Wedding in SIX Months | Wedding Invitation |  Wedding Color Scheme | Keeping Wedding Costs Down

 

 

Wedding Planning: DIY Flowers and Alter

Hi there!

Thank you so much for all of the love on the recent launch of my E-Design Services! It is something I’ve been itching to do for quite some time, and I’m happy that the timing is finally right! I am floored that I already have booked four of you to work with in the last week. I am so excited to get going on these projects, and I’m hoping to be able to share them with you soon!

I also wanted to say thank you for the love on the last Wedding Planning series post- DIY Rustic Wedding CakeI am so happy with how our $60.00 cake turned out, and so grateful for all of the help from our family in pulling it off! Sicher-623Its been way over two months since our wedding, I still can’t believe it. I received our wedding photos back from our wonderful and amazingly talented photographer Lauren Nievod. You might remember her work from our engagement photos that I shared last winter. I am really excited to share our wedding using Lauren’s photos little by little. Just in case you’re new around here lets recap the overall wedding plans to get you up to date:

We decided right off the bat that we wanted a very small and affordable wedding. 20 guests and under $10,000.00 to be exact. To be honest, a wedding was not very important to either of us and the expense of a full blown wedding seemed silly. We wanted to be able to invest our money into a new home instead. We decided to take a different approach, and to think outside of the box for a venue. We opted to rent out 7 rustic cabins around a lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. We would enjoy some time in nature and with our family before we would be married at a scenic overlook on the property. I knew that we would have to be doing a lot of the work ourselves because of the remote location and in order to keep costs down.

Last Fall, Brian’s sister was getting married. Before her big day her florist quit unexpectedly, leaving her without anything… She was searching for a good florist that could do her wedding but was having no luck. Now, I’ have no real experience as a florist but I stepped in and offered to do her flowers for free.

The one major catch was that I live in Washington DC, and her wedding was in Pittsburgh. There wouldn’t be enough time from when I got into town to the ceremony for me to style fresh flowers. I knew I’d have to do all the flowers prior to her wedding and then travel with them to her wedding. Now, we all know real flowers weren’t making that kind of trip and still looking nice. We decided to go with faux flowers and see how they looked. To my surprise they looked and felt so real. Everyone was pleased, their wedding was beautiful and I chalked it up to a win!Image-10585447-230671450-2-WebLarge_0_f39112fe6fac46704fb91505a0950cb3_1

With the experience of helping on a prior wedding under my belt, I felt pretty good about DIYing my own wedding flowers. I knew I needed the basics- bouquet, boutonniere, flowers for the isle. I also wanted some sort of flowers to decorate the arch we would be married under. Like any other bride- I spent approximately 7 billion hours on the internet getting ideas. I shared some of my ideas in this post showing off our Navy & Blush color scheme.Navy Blue and Blush Wedding Colors Actually AshleyWith that inspiration in mind, I went shopping. I purchased all of the faux flowers and vines from my local Hobby Lobby. It took me a few weeks at a slow pace, but I got it all done with lots of time to spare. Here is the overall view of the scenic overlook where we had the ceremony:Sicher-221For the front of the ceremony area I wanted to add a little welcome sign. I purchased a board at Home Depot, then took it home and stained it in Midwax’s Walnut. I used the Silhouette Cameo to design and create the vinyl lettering for the sign. I bought a $15 easel from Michael’s and spray painted it in navy. We draped a Hobby Lobby vine over it, and using some green floral tape we attached a few simple pink roses to it.  Sicher-222Sicher-228Sicher-226For the isle, I created little floral bundles using various faux flowers combining them with floral tape (and a lot of hot glue). I cut long strips of navy ribbon and attached it to the floral bundles, allowing them to flow down a bit. Each bundle was slightly different, but I tried to use the same flowers in each to create unity. I used simple plastic pew hooks to attach the flowers to the chairs. These were so simple and fast to make, really any crafty guy/gal could tackle this project!Sicher-224Sicher-229We wanted to make the birch archway feel a bit more glamorous, so we decided to add drapery. I purchased $9.99 (for the pair!) curtains from Ikea. We used a left over birch branch as the ‘drapery rod’, and simply used zip ties to attach it to the arch. The curtains covered the zip ties so it all worked out! We attached the ready-made vines from Hobby Lobby directly to the drapes using a staple gun. I had made two longer floral clusters for either side of the arch, and a small flower cluster for the top. We attached these to the drapes with navy ribbon. Sicher-234Sicher-232Here is how it all looked during the actual ceremony:

Sicher-325I kept Brian’s boutonniere simple. I used two small with faux flowers as the base. I mixed in faux eucalyptus to add greenery and a pop of navy with the little blue branch. Once I liked the arrangement of the faux flowers, I began to warp the bases with floral tape. I used hot glue to secure the tape at the end, then wrapped the base in navy ribbon to hide the tape. Lastly, I tied a small bow out of twine and hot blued it under the flowers.Sicher-237For my bouquet I kept is small and simple. I used 7 larger roses and peonies in a mix of blush pink and white to start. I then added in layers of lamb’s ear, eucalyptus, and the same blue branches. Once I was happy with the size and shape I began to wrap the base with the floral tape, hot gluing as I went. I left the very bottom of the stems exposed to try to achieve a more ‘real’ look. After it was all secure, I wrapped the base with navy ribbon. I cut a long piece of ribbon and attached it to the bottom, allowing it to flow freely. Sicher-515I am so happy with how the faux flowers turned out. It saved me so much time & money, and I honestly don’t think anyone noticed they were fake!

Sicher-224Later in the day we went to a local restaurant to eat dinner. I took two of the chair flower clusters with us. I made simple “Mr.” and “Mrs.” signs using pre-cut wood, spray paint and the cameo cutter. I used tiny little clothes line clips to attach them onto the bottom of the flowers Sicher-567It was such a simple way to reuse the same flowers from the ceremony!

That’s it for our DIY wedding flowers. The overall costs of the vines, flowers and supplies to make them came to $650.00. I know that seems like a lot for fake flowers, but I had a bunch left over. Not too bad considering the average wedding florist budget is around $1500.00. (My coworker spent $7,500.00 on her wedding flowers, yikes!). I hope you enjoyed the post. Please check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages to see more from our wedding!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Wedding Planning: DIY Rustic Wedding Cake

Actually-Ashley-DIY-Wedding-Cake

Hello there!

Its been over two months since our wedding, I can hardly believe it. I just recently received our wedding photos back from our wonderful, beautiful, and amazingly talented wedding photographer Lauren Nievod. You might remember her work from our engagement photos that I shared back in February. My jaw about hit the floor when I opened the photos from our wedding day. She captured each moment so beautifully that looking back at the photos was truly like reliving the day.

I am really excited to share our wedding through Lauren’s photos little by little, one detail at a time. I want to do it like this so I can share more details about each piece that came together to make our wedding day perfect. Today I am giving you the full run down of our DIY Rustic Wedding Cake. But first, lets recap the larger wedding plans to get you up to speed!

We decided right off the bat that we wanted a very small and affordable wedding. 20 guests and under $10,000.00 to be exact. To be honest, a wedding was not very important to either of us and the expense of a full blown wedding seemed silly. We wanted to be able to invest our money into a new home instead. We decided to take a different approach, and to think outside of the box for a venue. We opted to rent out 7 rustic cabins around a lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. We would enjoy some time in nature and with our family before we would be married at a scenic overlook on the property. I knew that we would have to be doing a lot of the work ourselves because of the remote location and in order to keep costs down. That meant DIYing all of the decorations, flowers, invitations and you guessed it, cake!

Luckily, Brian’s mom is an avid baker and had actually made the wedding cakes for his sister’s wedding last year. I quickly roped her in for the project. We started with a plan, which involved finding a few photos from Pinterest of rustic cakes that I liked. We also made up a “mock” cake with cake pans that I shared on Instagram for me to see the size of the cake she was planning.

We decided on a three tiered cake. I wanted to have two flavor options for the wedding, and the top tier to save and freeze for special occasions like anniversaries. My mom and I found a perfect cake stand at Home Goods. It would be so simple to recreate by using a piece of sliced wood and gluing a small wooden bowl to the bottom. The size of our largest bottom tier was determined by the diameter of the cake stand. It ended up being a 10″ Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Cream for the bottom, 8″ Vanilla cake with Strawberries and Cream Cheese for the center and a 6″ Yellow cake with Berries for the top. Our wedding was centered around the mountain surroundings, and being on a lake I really loved this inspiration image for our cake topper.

Canoe-Cake-TopperSource

Brian’s little sister Chelsea was taking a wood shop class for her final year of high school, so just like her mom, I roped her in for a project. It was so nice to have so many details created with the love of our family. It truly made each item so special. Chelsea did an amazing job creating the canoe and ores.Sicher-98Sicher-102Unfortunately I haven’t found a good source where you can find your own carved canoe cake topper, but I’ll keep you posted if I can source one! Brian’s mom made the cakes at her home before bravely driving them the 3 hours down to the lake (with three dogs in the car, mind you!) The morning of the wedding she brought them to the cabin I was getting ready at to ice and decorate. Sicher-97Sicher-100Once she had beautifully iced the cake and added the canoe cake topper, I was called in to help decorate. Brian’s sister and Grandmom had already laid out the flower selection for me. We used all faux flowers from Hobby Lobby for the entire wedding. I wanted to have the flowers for the isle and bouquet done well a head of time so silk flowers fit the bill and looked so great. Honestly, no one really realized the flowers were fake until they touched them.Sicher-48Sicher-50Placing the flowers on the cake was really trial and error. With the icing being a sort of messy look, it was easy to pull them off and replace them as we went. Sicher-116Sicher-118Sicher-113Sicher-112Sicher-122We started with the three largest flowers placing them diagonally down the cake starting with one by the canoe and moving downward. We then layered in the smaller flowers to create groupings at each layer. Lastly we used bits of small vine like flowers to connect the groupings. I couldn’t be happier with the final result! Overall the cake was very inexpensive.. the cost of 6 boxed cake mixes, some fresh fruit and ingredients for the icing, the faux flowers (mostly left over from the other wedding flowers) and the $20 Home Goods cake stand! I think we spent under $60 for the entire cake. Here are the photos of it all done, and the cake cutting:Sicher-623Sicher-626Sicher-628Sicher-632Sicher-635And it wouldn’t be a good wedding if the dogs didn’t get some cake!Sicher-637Sicher-639Sicher-640I made this cute little sign with my Silhoutte Cameo. I picked up the navy board from Michael’s craft store for .99 cents. I also grabbed a wooden plate stand and pink spray paint for the sign holder. The grooms “cake” was a big bowl of dirt with a gummy worm B for Brian. Sicher-644Sicher-642Thats a wrap for our DIY style wedding cake. I can not thank Brian’s mom and sister enough for their help and contribution. We are so grateful for their love and support! Be sure to stay in touch! You can find me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to see even more! Be sure to check back for when I share our isle decorations and florals with you!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Big News: We’re Moving!

Hi There!

Long time no talk! Its been over a month since my last post, eeekkk! I’m so sorry to be so absent over the last month.. So much has changed in my life over the last few weeks. I posted about the final stretch of wedding planning and how I would be missing in action for the month of May. Little did I know that when I’d be ready to come back to the blog, not only would we be newly weds, but we would also be moving!Actually-Ashley-VA-House-SoldBrian is an Air Traffic Controller, and his job is being relocated from just outside Washington DC to Columbus Ohio. Wow, so many amazing and big life changes at once! We are happy to say our home in Virginia sold in 4 days. We are so lucky to have sound an amazing house in Ohio on 60 acres of land that I hope to transform into our home. It is a beautifully maintained 4 bedroom colonial that has been truly loved by its owners. When we first found out we’d be moving to a completely new state where we knew no one, I was a little panicked. We knew we wanted a few key things in our new house:

  • Brian wanted land, the more the better.
  • I wanted a place we could stay for a long time. A forever home of sorts.
  • We both want to start a family here, so we need space and a few bedrooms.

Other than that we were open to options. We looked into building, buying and fixing up, as well as turn key options but nothing felt right. We looked a dozens of homes but did not feel attached to anything we saw. On a whim we stopped at a winery near Columbus to take a break from house hunting. There we met the wonderful owner, Jim, who became an instant friend to Brian and I. Over the next few weeks Jim asked around to help us try to find a hidden gem. A winery customer mentioned to Jim that their neighbors might be looking to sell their home in the next few years and gave us the address. With no other information and some courage Brian and I knocked on the front door and asked the owner if they like to sell us their home. After an afternoon of hanging out, bonding and good laughs, the rest is history and we have purchased our dream home in Ohio that wasn’t even for sale. Brian’s job doesn’t start for a while, so we have leased back our new house to the previous owners until they can find and buy a new house. They weren’t listing the house after all… We will be moving to our new home September 1, 2016. Actually-Ashley-OH-HouseYou might ask…”Wait, you’re not moving until September but you’ve already sold your old home?!”  Well, yes. We didn’t know what to do at first because we only have about 4 months until we move. After a little research and some more courage, we’ve purchased a full size RV camper to call home for the time being. We were forced to sell most of our belongings which will give a fresh start when we move into our forever home. The camper has been surprisingly great so far. Its not too much to clean, and we have everything we need including a little fireplace and flat screen TV. Its like HGTV’s Tiny House! IMG_7283 IMG_7280Well guys, that my big news! I am so excited to start the next chapter of our lives. I am so ready to design and decorate this amazing new home and share the progress along the way!

I am also so excited to begin to share how our wedding went! I couldn’t have asked for a better day, it was filled with so much love. Once our amazing wedding photographer sends us over the photos I’ll make sure to share them with you!IMG_7409Until Next Time,

Ashley

Wedding Planning: The Final Stretch

Good Morning Loves,

I want to apologize for being missing in action over the last few weeks. We are less than a month away from the wedding any I am feeling stretched pretty thin. We are both so very excited for the day to finally be here, but in the mean time the blog has suffered. I will be taking a tiny step back from posting in the next few weeks in order to focus on getting the remaining wedding tasks done. For example, Brian doesn’t have a suit or wedding band yet… yikes! Remember my tips for planning a wedding in SIX months? Maybe I should have re-read my own post a few more times.

We decided to have a really small wedding (20 people on our guest list) because we wanted to be stress free and really be able to enjoy our own wedding. Funny thing is, I’ve been a little too relaxed about planning.. I’ve put a lot of important items off until the last minute. In the end I know it will all get done, and it will be a wedding that really reflects us as a couple. (I hope!)Ashley-Brian-Engagement-111

Photo by Lauren Nievod Photography

If you want to get caught up on the wedding action, feel free to read my posts:

Wedding Planning: How to plan a wedding in SIX months

Wedding Planning: How to keep wedding costs down

Wedding Planning: Navy & Blush Wedding Color Scheme

Wedding Planning: Engagement Photos

Wedding Planning: Save the Dates & Photo Books

Wedding Planning: Camp Theme Wedding Invitations

Thanks for being patient with me as I take such a huge and exciting step towards our future! I will still be posting between now and the wedding, but just not on a very consistent schedule. Our wedding is a three day event from May 10-12, 2016. I will be back right after to share photos, vendors, wedding DIY projects and my source list in the end of May 🙂

Until Next Time,

Ashley

 

Wedding Planning: Camp Theme Wedding Invitations

Hello There!

Its been a while since I last shared some of my wedding planning… Over the last few months I’ve shared my wedding mood board and color scheme, our engagement photos, our save the dates, my tips on planning a wedding in 6 months, and how to keep wedding costs down. We are officially 5 weeks out from the big day. Holy crap.

Today I wanted to share our camp themed wedding invitations. Yes, I know. You’re thinking “camping theme?! Where did that come from?” But yes!  Let me break down some details of our big day so it will all make a clearer picture of what our wedding will be like, and why we did our wedding invitations this way 🙂Sicher-13

Originally Brian and I wanted to elope. However, my mom insisted that she needed to be there. Then eloping turned into a very small destination wedding with just our parents. Do you have any idea how much destination weddings cost these days? I almost fainted when the cheapest quote I got was $3,000.00 PER PERSON (not even including airfare to get there!) Destination wedding was quickly given the boot. Brian and I started to look into alternatives for a traditional wedding. We knew right away we wanted a very small guest list. The final guest count is 20 people including bride, groom and the photographers.

We needed to find a venue that would allow us to have a casual, small and fun wedding without breaking the bank. I looked into everything from farms to wineries- until I stumbled upon a great Pinterest idea… A Summer Camp Wedding. This couple rented out a kids summer camp, and had a laid-back wedding there. I was smitten with the idea.

Fast forward a bit.. Brian and I have rented out an old campground turned eco-friendly weekend retreat that is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of the Shenandoah National Park.The property has a lake, two ponds, and amazing views.  The surrounding area is littered with wineries, breweries and amazing nature trails. We decided to rent out the entire property for two nights. The venue has 8 cottages and a two bedroom home on the property, where our guests will stay. We will all enjoy the outdoors, have bonfires and really enjoy spending some time with each other for our big day.

Now, we needed our invitations to reflect the casual camping style wedding we are having! Brian is an amazing graphic designer so he seemed like a pretty good guy for the job. DIY wedding invites are hard work. The fonts we used are Arial Narrow and Asterism.Sicher-15Wedding-Invite-Package-Camp

1- Back Of The RSVP Postcard: Our Guests can simply drop this right into the mailbox to let us know if they are coming. We pre-paid the postage so it would be super simple.

2- Front Of The RSVP Postcard: I love an RSVP in Postcard form. They can simply fill in their name, check a box and drop it in the mail. Its always easier to get an RSVP when it is super easy for the guest to do.

3- Calligraphy Pen in Size 10: I have the handwriting of a 10 year old boy. I always have, and I always will. If you do too, I highly recommend calligraphy pens to help mask the shaky penmanship.

4- Hand Stamped Tags: I ordered this super cute stamp from Etsy, and got navy ink from the craft store with these pre-made tags. This was a very simple way to combine all of the invitation items, and adds to the rustic laid-back vibe of the wedding. We also ordered the matching return address stamp for the back of the envelopes!

5- Front of the Information Card: Our wedding is unique and needs a little explaining. It is three days long, held at a campground, and is actually on a Wednesday. We thought it was easiest to include a “info card” in the package to let the guests know we already paid for a cabin for them, they can bring a pet, and to expect a camp ground (aka don’t wear heels to the wedding, unless you hate yourself)

6- Map of the Grounds: On the back of the information card is a map of the grounds. It helps show where the cabins are, where the bride and groom are staying, the lake, the ceremony field.. we just thought it was nice to show everyone the layout of the space. They actually own some 100 acres with intense hiking trails, but I wasn’t going to make Brian draw all of that!

7- Schedule of Events: Again, our wedding is unique and needs a little explaining. We opted to make a schedule that shows how the tree days will play out from check in to check out.

8- Navy & White Twine: I am using this cute twine in a few of my DIY projects for the wedding. I picked it up at Hobby Lobby for under $5.00. It was the perfect addition to tie the invitations together.

9- Stamps: I purchased these adorable fern leaf stamps from the post office. I love having more customized stamps to go with our “camp theme” and Brian will tell you how much I love ferns.

10- Brown Bag Envelopes: We made our invitations, then realized that the size really limited our envelope options. Brian might have killed me if I made him resize each piece, so I started searching high and low for a good option. These simple string & button brown bag envelopes are on Etsy, and were super affordable! (less than a $1 each!)

Sicher-16

Wedding-Invatations-Camping-WoodsSicher-18What do you think about our Camping Themed Wedding? Love it or hate it, either way I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below! You can also check in on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Wedding Planning: Save the Dates and Photo Books

Good Morning Loves!

This time last week, I was sharing our amazing engagement photos from the ever talented Lauren Nievod Photography. We are seriously so please with how the photos turned out, we couldn’t be happier. On the wedding planning front, we are moving onto the graphic design of the wedding. We need save the dates, invitations, programs, site maps… you get the idea. First up, we need to send out those pesky save the dates. We decided to incorporate our engagement photos into the cards! I turned to the always amazing designs from Minted. I’ve used Minted once before for our Christmas cards this year, and I loved the way they turned out. MIN-053-HPC_A_FRT source

I decided to turn back to them when we were designing our Save The Date cards. I knew Minted had a large selection of wedding items, but I didn’t realize how many different options they had! Not only save the dates, but menus, programs, invitations, table numbers… you name it, they have it. We narrowed it down to the Postcard Style save the dates. The actual postcards ten to be a tad bid cheaper and the postage stamps are less to, double win! I selected a design that I liked and started to play around with it. MIN-010-SPC_D_FRTsource

I dropped in some of my favorite engagement photos until I found the look that I wanted. I changed the color of the center box to be navy to better fit the overall color scheme of the wedding. I really love how the navy looks with these photos! Minted is so easy to make little changes to get the perfect card. I also played around with the back of the cards. I changed to verbiage to be exactly what we needed. Back-Of-Save-The-Date-CardsI love the way the cards turned out. They are perfectly suited to our wedding. Thanks to Minted for such great designs to choose from! Secondly, I wanted to create a photo book to have to look back at our engagement photos. For me, there is something to be said about photo albums.. Seeing them on Facebook or the computer is just not the same as a real live book. I enjoy looking back at my parents wedding album or my own baby book. I wanted to create a keepsake that would have the same meaning for my future self and family! I’ve used MyPublisher in college for a project that required a bound book. The quality was great and they had so many customizable options. MyPublisher is unlike other photo to book companies, in that you don’t just upload and hit “order”. With them, you download an easy to use software that allows you 100% freedom to design. I created a modern, clean lined photo book within an hours time. Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.33.52 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.33.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.59.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.58.59 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.34.05 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.34.21 PM

I created a 20 page book that is 15″ x 11.5″. I did this large size so that it can be mixed in with my coffee table books at the house. I even ordered extra copies for both of our parents because I loved the end product so much!  Thanks to MyPublisher for allowing me to be creative with my designs!

Wedding Planning: Engagement Photos

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Before I start this post, I need to do a public announcement:

1- If you hate Valentine’s Day and don’t want to see mushy-gushy-loved-dovey photos.. don’t go any further… That’s all I got today.

2- If you’re one of Brian’s friends, stop right there. For some reason, Brian thinks mushy-gushy-loved-dovey photos will hurt his street cred and his friends will make fun of him (side eye).. Please don’t tell him about this post so he won’t make me delete it. Please?

A few weeks ago Brian and I did an engagement photoshoot with Lauren Nievod Photography.  Lauren was fantastic in every way, shape and form. She was amazing at ‘coaching’ us, and making our natural movements seem beautiful and effortless in the photos. Somehow she was really able to capture how we really are on film and I am ever so grateful for how great of a job she did. We met Lauren at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland. The location boasted a ton of different areas and backdrops for such a wide range of scenes. All of the photos were take at the same general 2 mile radius within a 3 hour time frame, and only one major outfit change, amazing!
Ashley-Brian-Engagement-75Engagement Photos- Actually Ashley-4Ashley-Brian-Engagement-73Ashley-Brian-Engagement-118Ashley-Brian-Engagement-15
Ashley-Brian-Engagement-31Engagement Photos- Actually Ashley-3Ashley-Brian-Engagement-111Engagement Photos- Actually Ashley-2Ashley-Brian-Engagement-113Ashley-Brian-Engagement-84Ashley-Brian-Engagement-93Engagement Photos- Actually AshleyEngagement Photos- Actually Ashley-5Ashley-Brian-Engagement-157Engagement Photos- Actually Ashley-6

All photographs are taken by Lauren Nievod Photography, to learn more about her photos check out Facebook and her Blog! I can not rave about her enough! I also wanted to touch on the fact that while the above photos look like they could have been 5 outfit changes and multiple different days, with a few tricks you can also have such a great range with only ONE outfit change. Yes, I only changed my clothing ONCE!

Outfit Selection 1Look One:

On Him- Plaid shirt, dark jeans and a black coat, worn open for some photos, worn closed for others.

On Her- Red target sweater, dark jeans and a long necklace layered with a charcoal jacket. Make the most of this outfit by opening and closing the jacket!

Look Two:

On Him- Same plaid shirt, same dark jeans.. remove coat and layer with a sweater like this one from Banana Republic

On Her- The only outfit change of the day.. Same jeans, remove boots and add booties, switch to light colored sweater and statement necklace. Make the lost of this outfit by layering in accessories like a picnic basket, blanket or sign

Look Three:

On Him- Same plaid shirt, same dark jeans, same sweater.. simply add a beanie. You could also try adding a hat or scarf for a different take!

On Her-  Same jeans, same sweater, same booties and necklace.. again, just added a beanie and a navy coat for an entirely different look. It took 15 seconds to switch it up!Outfit Selection GroupWhat do you think of Lauren’s photos? Aren’t they fab! Leave me a comment below to fill me in on what you think!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Wedding Planning: Navy & Blush Wedding Scheme

Good Morning 🙂

I’ve been full-steam-a-head on the wedding front this month. I posted last week about keeping wedding costs down and how to plan an entire wedding in six months. I am excited to share some of my DIY ideas and wedding color scheme with you guys!

After about a month of non-stop pinteresting.. I went back through all of my wedding pins and tried to find a common ground. This really helped me to narrow down my goals and the overall feeling I wanted for the Big Day. Most of my pins included a rustic/chic style with simple and sweet details. After confirming and booking with the venue, I was able to further tune into my vision. We booked with a campground for the wedding. I know it might seem a tad-bit out there, but I am confident it will not look like that on the wedding day. I used the camping venue to really hone in on the rustic details in my pins, and considered the May date to settle on the color scheme. Navy Blue, Slate Grey, Blush Pink and a pop of Mint and White.

Navy Blue and Blush Wedding Colors Actually Ashley

Top Row: Left, Center, Right

Bottom Row: Left, Right

I love that this soft pallet speaks to the time of year (spring) but also the the setting of our event. The soft pinks, whites and mint will be brought out in the florals, white the rustic elements like the raw wood create some contrast.

I’ve also started to plan and organize the trip for our guest. I’ve begun to set a schedule of events and timeline for the ‘weekend’. (I say weekend even thought it is a Tuesday-Thursday wedding). Every single one of our guests (and us) will be traveling multiple hours to get to our destination, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am hoping that this schedule will help smooth over any bumps we might run into. I am also planning and crafting some welcome baskets.  Because of the travel, I want s

ome fun little gift baskets for our guest to combine the wedding favor and traditional gifts. For example, a bride might give her parents and her soon-to-be inlaws some small sentimental gifts, or the couple might give the wedding party gifts. I am going to include these items into my welcome baskets. I am also planning to include some camp-wedding must haves like bug spray and area maps.
6 Baskets with TableSource
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What do you guys think? Do you like the color scheme we’ve picked out? Leave a comment below to check in with your thoughts!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

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