The Wedding…Party Time!

If you didn’t have a chance to view part one, check it out here:Bride and Dad UmbrellaOnce we had dried off our clothing…and our tears…it was party time! Heading into the cocktail area, our guests finally had a first glimpse of what we had been working on over the course of the previous year leading up to the big event.

Candle Light DecorWe had devoted quite a bit of time to the DIY decor representing international travel as the theme…since many of our guests…including the groom’s family, who hail from Northern Ireland, were traveling to the US to attend the wedding. Throughout the year we had gathered our supplies, creating centerpieces of painted globes (remember the global love project?)

Globe Pilephotographs of the bride and groom with their various travel selfies

wedding globesand vintage windows featuring little teeny, tiny airplanes holding the escort cards.

Airplane Escort CardsA mile marker was also constructed representing the 19 different cities and countries that our guests had traveled from to help our families celebrate this special union.

mile marker sign(A special thanks to our son’s lovely fiance, Ashley

#Crashley 1for all of the hand-painted signs…a tedious labor of love…) As a special surprise to the bride and groom, I had ordered a cupcake tower from Let Them Eat Cake featuring their little Frenchie Bartlet perched on top of the world.

Let Them Eat Cake Cupcake TowerSo sweet!

Let Them Eat Cake Bartlet FigureAlthough he’s not quite as sweet in real life…

#bartletthefrenchiebut we do love our little guy anyway…Once the speeches were completed and dinner consumed, the party really got started. Honoring the groom’s Irish heritage, the night lead off with a troupe of incredible Irish Dancers from the Stillson School of Irish Dance,

Carlene Stilson Irish Dancerswho soared and shook the old inn to the rafters

Irish Dancers Shoesin their colorful costumes,

Carlene Stilson Irish Dancersand had our guests at the ready to jump in and dance as well!

Carlene Stilson Irish DancersA difficult act to follow for sure, but no problem for our band Bearfight,

Bearfight and Crowdwho rocked the night away and had the guests on their feet until closing time! Add in a couple more tunes from Andrea and Ben of BeatRoot

Beat Root At the Partyand a bridal rap with her brother, Bearfight’s lead singer Chris…and the night played on.

yo DiggityAt the evening’s close, the crowd joined forces with the band for a rousing rendition of Piano Man

Piano Man Crowd Sings(an “end-of-the-night” classic by Billy Joel). Once outside in the cool (now dry) night air, the guests had a perfect view of the wedding-yup, even the bride in her gown-party’s Ice Bucket Challenge (in honor of their friend, Pete Frates, who leads the fight against ALS)

Ice Bucket Challenge Bridal Party…from the In Town Trolley, who would take them to the “after party” at a downtown pub.

In Town Trolley(Now I don’t know about you, but after being up at the crack of dawn and partying all night, attending another party was the last thing on my mind. Off to sleep for this exhausted MOB!)  An incredible (albeit wet) ending to a perfect (albeit wet) day and night that most of our guests will not soon forget.

Slainte SignLooks like it’s gonna be another warm (albeit wet) day in the Northeast! Slainte, everyone!  Susan

 

The Wedding: The Ceremony

This past weekend I met up with some dear family members that I’m not in touch with very often…except via social media. They were asking me about my daughter’s recent wedding, which made me realize that I never really wrote about it or shared any photos! So, three months later ( boy, how time flies…) here is the beginning of the story…

Kate & Chris in ArborWe had spent a full year planning this wedding, focusing on every detail from decor to dining to the ceremony and music. But what we learned that day is despite your best efforts,  you just cannot control Mother Nature. During the week leading up to the date, we all kept checking our iPhone weather apps and noted little sunny icons in a row with the exception of the zero hour- 5pm on the wedding day-which was clearly marked by a lightning bolt and dark rain clouds. Hmmm. So, with our wedding planner checking the weather continuously on his radar, he decided we should go ahead with the outdoor ceremony as planned and rehearsed, keeping our fingers crossed that we made it before the weather hit.

780The warm, sunny day started out rather promising, with the groom leading many of the wedding guests…

IMG_7944in a Wedding Day 5K along the rocky Maine coastline.

 

While the bride and her party were busy being primpedand pampered by hair stylists and the lovely Kate from Kosmetics by Kate…

IMG_8011preparing for the day ahead.

After their run, the groomsmen were also getting set for the big day

(hair and makeup consultants not necessary here, just a brew or two : )

After the groom and his entourage

made their way to the reception site,

it was time to get some dancing shoes on and get this party started!

As our amazing photographer, Paul Granese, of Paul Granese Photography and other family members snapped away, creating pictorial mementos to last a lifetime,

in the bright, hot sunshine,

IMG_8072there were umbrellas at the ready to protect everyone from the heat…

so we optimistically assumed it was all going to be fine.

But, as the ceremony time rolled near and our guests gathered in their seats on the green expanse of lawn near the lighthouse…

Seated Guestsominous, threatening black storm clouds gathered overhead,

so we quickly gathered the wedding party together to begin the ceremony. Just as the dashing FOB (Father of the Bride, for those wedding-uninformed : ) took our daughter’s arm to begin their walk down the aisle,

the first gentle raindrops fell. Someone from the crowd dashed over to hand him an umbrella to protect the beautiful bride…

IMG_8151and as the first notes of the lilting folk music were sung by the lovely Andrea Magee of BeatRoot– the ceremony was interrupted by a startling flash of lightning and a tremendous clap of thunder.

BeatRoot Ceremony SongAt which point the wedding planner raced down the aisle and asked the bride and groom if they would like to move the ceremony inside…which they agreed would be a good  fantastic idea…

…creating a scene right out of an adventure film…everyone ducking for cover and looking back over their shoulders

Guests Running from Rainwhile scrambling to race inside as the pelting rain soaked suit jackets and shawls and created a “bad hair day” for all…

…and a pond of water where the lawn games had been played just moments before.IMG_8189But then, something quite magical happened. Dampened by the downpour but not shaken, the bridal party quickly reassembled, then entered the small function room (not really meant for the size of this crowd) to cheers and applause,

something you don’t often see at a wedding ceremony…and exchanged their loving

Vowsand oftentimes quite humorous vows,

surrounded by a very close circle of family and friends.

Circle of LoveWas this our ceremony space of choice? Nope. But it was perfectly suited for this happy couple and their guests…providing a much more intimate and moving ceremony that ended with a rousing rendition of “All You Need Is Love” by BeatRoot (and our guests : ).All You Need Is LoveA crazy start to an unforgettable wedding day celebration!  Part Two: The Party is next! Have a great weekend everyone-hope it doesn’t rain on your special day! Susan

Mason Jar Margaritas!

Mason Jar Margarita Wedding Shower FavorsLast Sunday we kicked off our “summer of wedding fun” with a bridal shower honoring our daughter, the bride-to-be, Kate and her fiance Chris at River Bar in Assembly Row in Somerville.

The Bride & GroomThe day was stormy, so the original plan of being outdoors on the patio was a wash. But this trendy restaurant, with its glass walls overlooking the Mystic River

River Bar Somerville MAwas the perfect (dry) setting for a casual brunch with family and friends. When my generation were the “brides-to-be”, a shower favor was typically some Jordan almonds (um, yuck) wrapped in mesh and tied with a pretty ribbon with maybe a plastic ring as an embellishment. Whoops…so apparently those are still a thing…when I googled it to find a picture, there were almond favors everywhere! Apparently there is some significant history to the almonds…to read, click the link below…

Jordan Almond Favors via The Knot

Jordan Almond Favors via The Knot

 

Instead of those, for our shower favors I decided to create a Mason Jar Margarita (the bride’s fav : ). Most of the supplies came from Michaels Crafts…with the exception of the tequila and drink mixes! I bought the pint mason jars by the case

Pint Mason Jars MichaelsNext came the filler, strings and straws…

Mason Jar Shower Favors Paper Shredblue for margaritas,

Mason Jar Margaria Shower Favorsred for non-alcoholic strawberry lemonade.

Mason Jar Shower Favor Lemonade MixI spray painted the metal ring tops to match.

Rustoleum PaintThese cute little chalkboard circles, also from Michaels, were the perfect size to cover the floral design stamped on the metal sealing lids of the mason jars.

Mason Jar Shower Favors Jar TopsTo those, I stamped a “Thank You” and embossed it with special powder and a heat gun.

Mason Jar Shower Favors Shaking Off Powder(If you don’t know about embossing…which is totally awesome and magical…that DIY will be following shortly) I found the Bartender’s Margarita mix at our local grocery store and added the Starbucks Strawberry Lemonade for a non-alcoholic treat.

Lemonade and MargaritasI created these labels to adhere to the fronts of the paper mix packets.

Mason Jar Margarita Bridal Shower PoemTo assemble: a bit of paper shred, a tequila nip (which are the perfect size to fit inside the pint mason jar)

Tequila Nip for Mason Jar Margaritaa drink mix packet. Screw on the tops, add a straw (we taped the straws to the side first to secure them, then tied the string around for the design.) The assembly went quickly once all the components were ready to go.

Mason Jar Margarita Shower Favors

And then, the sign.

Shower Marquee Chalkboard SignI had the chalkboard for weeks, awaiting my design genius to kick in to create something fun…you know, nothing really rhymes with margarita… which didn’t happen until 5 am on the morning of the shower…sometimes I do my best work under extreme pressure…so you’ll have to excuse the slightly off-centered-ness. The jars looked so cute all stacked up, and along with some mason jar centerpieces,

Mason Jar Flower Vasesadded a touch of bright color to the decor. The shower was a huge success, the bride and groom had a great time, and everyone departed carrying a mason jar-hopefully making a toast to the bride while enjoying their drink of choice. Next up, invitation assembly day! Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan

 

Wedding Date Chalkboard DIY

If you have been following my blog, you know that 2015 is the “Year of the Wedding” in our family. Our daughter and her fiance have set the date and plans are well under way for what we hope will be a great wedding weekend come this August. Of course, since we are a DIY kind of family, lots of the decor will be created by yours truly, with assistance from our multi-talented family and friends. One of the first things the newly engaged couple did…other than book the venue, the band, the photographer and the florist…and buy a dress, or two…was schedule a photo shoot for their engagement photographs. Since their dog Bartlet is such a big part of their lives, there could be no photos taken without the little guy in tow. The engagement photos are courtesy of Marcy Rolerson Photography and were taken in the North End of Boston.

Bartlet Photo Courtesy of Marcy Rolerson PhotographyMy daughter requested that I create a small sign with the wedding date that she could hang around his neck or attach to his collar, so I created this Wedding Date Chalkboard Sign. It is so simple and makes a really cute addition to the engagement photos, don’t you think?

Wedding Date Chalkboard Marcy Rolerson PhotographyHere is the How-I-Did-It:

1. I found an old chalkboard kicking around my workshop, but you can purchase these at any local crafts store.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Before Sanded EdgesSince Bartlet is mighty in personality but quite small in stature, we had to make sure it was little enough so it wouldn’t hang on the ground once it was attached to his collar. I dry-brushed it white and then sanded the edges, just for a bit of rustic contrast.

2. I created the chalkboard pattern on Avery.com.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Avery.com Screen ShotThere are a limitless amount of fonts and styles to choose from on this website, typically used for designing labels and cards. Design what you would like, then re-size it to the dimensions of the surface of your chalkboard. Simply print it out on a regular piece of copy paper that has been cut to the size of your chalkboard.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Printed Pattern3. Coat the BACK of the printed paper with the chalk-rubbing with the side of the chalk all over the surface until it is covered.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Coating Reverse Side of Pattern with Chalk4. Place the chalk-covered pattern on the surface you are transferring it onto-tape it down along the edges to secure-then take a sharpened pencil and trace the lines of the pattern onto the chalkboard.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Tracing Pattern with Pencil5. Carefully remove the paper pattern from the board and you will see the transferred pattern, faint but there.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Peeling off Pattern from Chalkboard6. Sharpen your chalk…did you know you can sharpen pieces of chalk with a little pencil sharpener? No? well, now you do!

Wedding Date Chalkboard Sharpening Chalk with pencil sharpening7. Begin tracing the transferred pattern with the chalk, re-sharpening as you go until the entire pattern is clearly defined. Try not to press on the paper other than what you are tracing, otherwise you’ll have more chalk than you bargained for on the chalkboard.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Re-chalking Printed Chalk8. To clean up the edges and smudges, you will need some Q-tips and water.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Q-Tip and Water CleanupJust dip the tip into the water, then squeeze most of it out until it is damp only. Use the dampened tip to wipe away all of the smudges and unwanted lines.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Cleaning up Chalk with damp Q-tip9. I had originally added some side scrolls on the printed pattern, but decided to erase those and add some color instead. That’s the beauty of chalk-simple to erase and start over! So I used some scroll stencils to create the blue side scrolls.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Stenciling Scroll Pattern10. It’s simple to make a perfect dot! Dip the butt end of your paint brush into the paint-just the very tip-

Wedding Date Chalkboard Paint Dot

and then dot it onto the board. The bigger the brush end, the bigger the dot. Makes a perfect circle every time.

Wedding Date Chalkboard Adding Paint Dot Embellishment11. The finished wedding date chalkboard. Now at this point, you have some options. I actually drilled two holes in the top and added the raffia rope for hanging, but you won’t need to do that if you are planning on hanging it on a wall rather than a dog. If you don’t have a drill, you can hot glue the rope or ribbon to the top- this piece is super light-weight so it should be fine.

DIY Wedding Chalkboard By Country Design Home12. Also, if you want this to be permanent, then you would just need to spray it with a light coating of varnish or acrylic finish so it doesn’t smudge or erase. NOTE: You cannot brush on a top coat because it will smear the chalk. Or, you can keep the painted pattern on there and use the chalkboard again (perhaps you could update it each anniversary with a new love message : )

13. So here is Big B with his chalkboard sign attached to his collar. Apparently he was quite the rock star that day and posed perfectly for the camera. Thanks to http://www.marcyrolerson.com/ for the beautiful photographs!

Wedding Date Chalkboard Bartlet with SignAnd we’ll just chalk this one up as wedding project number one-done! Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! Susan

A Bridal Party @ Crate & Barrel

Did I mention somewhere that our daughter is getting married next summer? Plans are well underway, and I know that what seems so far away right now will be here and gone in an instant! To date, we have secured the venue, the band, the photographer, the florist, 2 wedding dresses (yes, 2, at least for now) and an international guest list which should make for a very exciting event!  Now that our daughter and her fiancé have started their online planning journey on weddingwire.com, they have begun receiving invites from various local vendors who wish to offer their services for the newlyweds-to-be. This past Sunday, I got the call-up to attend a Crate & Barrel Wedding Registry

Crate & Barrel Wedding Registryprivate party with my daughter, as her fiancé was traveling on business and was unable to attend. At 9am sharp, 2 hours before the store opened to the general public, the doors opened and we were greeted by some very knowledgeable folks-meet Bill, everyone-

Crate & Barrel Wedding Party Registrywho took us through the ins and outs of proper wedding registry protocols and the how-to’s of utilizing the registry app. Of course, since I was not registering…

although I wanted to…

I have grown pretty weary of my 25-year-old Corelle dinnerware-that stuff just won’t break…

I stood in the background to follow the bridal goings-on, but was repeatedly distracted by the festive holiday displays scattered throughout the entire store. So many gorgeous holiday decorations and potential DIY projects!! These twigs are actually something (not sure if they were real twigs or wire or what, but I’m certain the store would have frowned upon me unwrapping them to figure it out…) wrapped in birch-log look paper. Gotta get my hands on some birch paper!

Birch Log TwigsDid you know that birch logs are a thing this year? I have three and I feel as if I am in possession of some coveted treasure. Loving these sweet log cabin holiday pillows.

Craet & Barrel House PillowHow many of you have the luxury of using holiday throw pillows in place of your regular ones? I know I would love a whole bunch of them scattered around my house, but what would I do with them after the holidays?? I have enough troubles storing all of those dishes!

Crate & Barrel Holiday Pillows

When we ventured over to the cooking section, while Kate chatted with the All-Clad rep about the virtues of stainless steel vs. non-stick cookware, I spotted these yummy (faux) cupcakes

Crate & Barrel Cupcake Displayand these adorable red striped mixing bowls

Crate & Barrel Red Stripe Mixing Bowlsand these holiday aprons and towels-I’ll take one of each, please!

Crate & Barrel Holiday Towel DisplayIn the Tree Lot, there were Christmas tree candles and soaring pines and spindly sparkly trees,

Crate & Barrel White Wire Treeresplendent in glittery ornaments

Crate & Barrel Christmas Ornamentsand twinkling lights for the upcoming holidays.

Crate & Barrel Christmas TreesHoliday dinnerware displays.

Crate & Barrel Holiday Dinnerware DisplayI have a confession to make…I’m a plate addict. Is there such a thing as Dinnerware Anonymous? I already have 6 sets of dishes, but every time I see new festive ones, I want to add them to my collection! I know, I mentioned that set of old Corelle that just won’t break-which is why we use them every single day. All of the other sets are “The Good Dishes“-preserved for holidays and special occasions. But I digress..I’m supposed to be helping pick out stuff for the bride-to-be to show her groom! But she only chose a few things, because she was waiting for him to return to the store with her to choose their items together. Sigh…young love.

Loving this dinnerware in all shades of chalky pastels. Wouldn’t these look amazing displayed in a chalk-painted antique cupboard?? Hmmm…

Crate & Barrel Pastel DinnerwareThe two hours flew by, as I know the next 10 months will, and we turned in the registry “gun” and headed out, but not before purchasing a couple of items for me to use for the upcoming holidays. You didn’t think I was going to get out of there without at least one new plate, did you?? I hope your Thursday is an eventful one, everyone! Susan

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