Getting Things Accomplished and Surviving the Holidays!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Long time, no blog!

This Christmas thoroughly exhausted me. From rushing back forth from Lexington to Cynthiana and back to Louisville to last minute shopping and the very sad passing away of my Granddad, I still have yet to recover. My sister and brother in law have been in town and I've totally fallen in love with my nephew, Franklin. I've spent lots of time holding and playing with him and I will miss him a lot when he goes back to Canada!

Abe and I also got lots of nice Christmas presents! 

And we got a few things done on the wedding front! I officially asked all of my MOH and bridesmaids to be in the wedding and they all said yes! I love Lindy, Amanda, Kendall, Megan and Whitney and can't wait for them to stand next to me on the big day in October.

In addition to asking all of the girls, I also went to Twirl boutique in Lexington and tried on wedding gowns for the first time! I knew that I wanted to do something fun and wedding-y while my sister was in town, so trying on gowns seemed like the perfect choice.

There were mimosas and lots of tulle involved! 

I tried on a bit of everything since it was my first time and although I didn't find anything I totally fell in love with (and had a Say Yes to the Dress moment) I did find one dress that I really liked. The style was something I wouldn't have expected for myself, but when I put it on, I really liked it! Obviously I won't put any pictures of myself on the blog in a dress that I liked, but I will leave you with this picture of one dress I clearly DIDN'T like (look at my face!).

As we wrap up the holiday season, I'm hoping I can get back into my normal routine of working and exercising and sleeping at least 8 hours a day (I love my sleep). I also hope to do a lot more with wedding planning. I already have a wedding show on my calendar for January and I want to go to several more boutiques and try on additional dresses! 

It's hard to believe 2015 will be here soon, but Abe and I have a lot to look forward to in the coming year!

Invitations, and Caterers, and Stress! Oh My!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I've been in several weddings and totally loved helping the bride plan for the big day and choose details for their weddings. From buying bridal magazines, to sending Pinterest inspiration and attending bridal shows and showers, I loved it all. Now that I'm planning my own wedding all I can think about is the stress that comes with planning. Never before did I had to worry about the logistics of feeding 200+ people or deciding on an invitation suite that both Abe and I like. I didn't know about the fees that come with hiring a caterer or understand how hard it is to create a guest list. Everyone tells me to stop stressing but all I can think about is money. Every time I get excited about something I then think about the cost associated with said thing and I don't want to include it anymore. Lush floral bouquets and delicious sounding food? Forget about it...unless you want to break the bank.


10 Months To Go!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I got an email from The Knot yesterday that reminded me that I only have 10 more months till the big day. This reminder made me excited, but also a bit nervous! There is so much to do on the wedding front and I've taken a little bit of a break from the vendor planning and instead have been dreaming about wedding colors and design. The words I like to use to describe my wedding are southern, preppy, and classic (anyone who knows me should not be surprised about this!).

I've been envisioning a billowing white tent and outdoor dance floor (twinkling bistro lights are a must).

Navy, being one of my favorite colors, will have to be incorporated into my color scheme.

Also, bows. Gimme all the bows.

And monograms are a must!

There are so many lovely photos and inspiration on Pinterest and websites like Southern Weddings...I could (and do) spend hours looking at them!

Back to the checklist that The Knot sent for month 10 I'm supposed to:

Book officiant
Find and meet caterers and then book one 
Book photographer (DONE, yay for Bella Grace Photography
Book reception and ceremony site 
Ask bridal party to be in wedding
Take engagement photos (probably get this done in January) 
Block out hotel rooms
Try on wedding dresses (Squeeeeeee!!!!)
Pin invitations, flowers and cake pictures
Find a florist

December is an especially busy month (with the crazy holiday season and my sister, brother in law and nephew coming to visit!), so getting things done should be interesting! 

Check Venue Off the List!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As I mentioned previously, I knew that I wanted to have my wedding on my Granddad's farm long before Abe proposed. Growing up, the farm was such a special place for my cousins and me. We would spend long summer days swimming and walking through the woods that surround the property. As a family, we have celebrated countless birthdays and holidays in the old brick house that we now all consider Home. 

Spending summertime on the farm with my cousins and sister was always fun!
In May 2014 we threw a baby shower for my sister at the house!

This past weekend we were finally able to visit my Granddad and ask him if we could get married on the property next October. He immediately said yes and told us how excited he was that we wanted to have our day there. We plan on telling the rest of my family next week at Thanksgiving and I hope that they will be as excited as we are to have a big party on the farm!

In other news, finding a photographer is currently my largest stressor. While doing research, I have found that I want a professional photographer that will be there day of, quietly snapping away, getting candid and in the moment photos that I will cherish forever. I've searched high and low, all over Louisville and Lexington and am running into issues over availability and budget. Some that I love are already booked and others are so outrageously priced that I can't understand how anyone has enough money budgeted to book them! To me, photography is one of the most important things to splurge on for the big day since after the party is over, photos will be the things that last forever! So the search for the perfect photographer continues...

A Wedding Checklist

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So I've been reading a lot of wedding magazines and each one includes its own wedding countdown timeline (intimidating checklist included). Since I like lists and all things involving organization, I want to compile my own checklist that I can work on for the next eleven months (most of these come from Kentucky Bride and The Knot!).
  1. Announce engagement
  2. Pick a date
  3. Set a budget
  4. Decide on a venue
  5. Choose bridal party
  6. Collect pictures of dresses I like
  7. Create guest list
  8. Decide on wedding style/colors
  9. Contract photographer
  10. Plan engagement party
  11. Hire caterer
  12. Figure out alcohol situation
  13. Book party rentals (tent, tables/chairs, etc..)
  14. Select officiant
  15. Choose florist/meet with to determine vision
  16. Select musicians for ceremony and reception
  17. Engagement photos
  18. Throw engagement party in Northern KY
  19. Decide on dress/veil and purchase
  20. Decide on shoes and purchase
  21. Choose bridesmaids dresses and order them
  22. Look for honeymoon destinations
  23. Compile list of names and addresses for invitations
  24. Register for gifts
  25. Launch wedding website
  26. Send save the dates
  27. Find hotel for out of town guests/block rooms
  28. Choose attire for Abe and groomsmen
  29. Book honeymoon
  30. Choose transportation for wedding day
  31. Figure out where bridal party will get ready day of
  32. Cake tasting/select cake
  33. Finalize guest list
  34. Choose all invitations, thank you notes, etc and order them
  35. Order return address stamp from Etsy
  36. Plan rehearsal dinner/ book venue
  37. Plan bridesmaids luncheon with Mom
  38. Find info on marriage licenses
  39. Meet with officiant and review vows
  40. Choose any poems/music that will happen during the ceremony 
  41. Make a list of people giving toasts 
  42. Meet with photographer and discuss shots and locations
  43. Purchase gifts for attendants
  44. Purchase gift for Abe
  45. Guestbook (?)
  46. Verify accommodations for out of town guests
  47. Order wedding favors
  48. Select wedding bands
  49. Purchase any accessories for wedding day (yay statement necklaces!) 
    • Something old
    • Something new
    • Something borrowed
    • Something blue
    • Something monogrammed
  50. Send invitations (two months prior to date)
  51. Complete menu with caterer
  52. Make appointment for trial of wedding day hair
  53. Send wedding announcement to local newspapers
  54. Schedule alterations for me and bridal party
  55. Schedule appointments for hair treatments 
  56. Confirm all orders with each vendor
  57. Schedule final gown fitting
  58. Make welcome baskets for out of town guests
  59. Gather up gratuities for vendors 
  60. Make wedding day emergency kit
  61. Start breaking in shoes
  62. Print menu cards/table cards/programs
  63. Bachelorette party!
  64. Have showers
  65. Bury the bourbon (1 month prior to the date/time of wedding)
  66. Bridesmaids luncheon/get mani/pedis
  67. Distribute timeline/contacts to family/vendors
I'm sure I'll add more to the list as we get more into planning, but this is a good start! It seems like a lot...but it should be fun!

Planning and Organizing

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Although we are only a little over one week into our engagement, wedding planning is in full swing!

Abe and I knew we wanted to get married and my Granddad's farm long before he asked me to marry him. It's a beautiful piece of land and it'll mean a lot to my family to have a wedding there! Since we knew that is where we wanted to get married, setting a date was the next step. We were able to choose a time of year that was best for us instead of choosing a date around when a venue had availability. With that said, we have deiced that our wedding date will be October 3, 2015! It feels very strange (but also exciting) to have an actual date set and marked on the calendar. Now we just need to visit my Granddad and confirm that it's ok to have a wedding on the property, but I don't think that'll be an issue!

In other news, my mom and I went to Macy's earlier this week and discovered they were having a Sip and Scan event for registering. Even though we are still pretty early on in planning, I immediately RSVP'd (yes, I was very very excited about this part). This event would give me one on one attention with an employee, which would be awesome and a lot less stressful! Also my mom encouraged us to go on and register for some things since she wants to throw us an engagement party soon! So today, Abe, my mom and I went to Macy's and met with the nicest employee! She got us signed up and set us loose in the store with a scanner.

We had a lot of fun walking around and selecting things to put on our registry (even Abe!). Even though we still need to add a lot of things to the list, I'm not too worried since we have lots of time!  

In organizing news, mom and I picked up a wedding planner from the bookstore and I've started filling it out and reading their recommendations. We have a lot to do over the next 11 months, but I'm sure we will get it all planned and ready!

We're Engaged!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

After blogging my way through Spain in 2013, I decided when another exciting adventure presented itself, I would consider blogging again. Well my friends, the ultimate exciting thing HAS happened. On October 31, 2014 (yes you read that correctly, Halloween) Abe asked me to marry him!

The week leading up to the big question I became suspicious. In October, Louisville puts on its pumpkin spectacular. Abe knew I wanted to go and he suggested that we go Halloween night. He also knew we had a Halloween party later that night and that I wanted to stay home and hand out candy, but he was insistent that we go. That day, I woke up and checked the weather for that night only to find that it was forecast to be cold, rainy, and maybe even a bit snowy. I doubled checked that he did in fact want to go that night, and he informed me that the tickets had already been purchased. It was settled. We were going.

He came home from work and we got ready for dinner. Normally before a party Abe and I pick up Chipotle and have a few pre party drinks at our apartment. This night, he told me that he wanted to take me somewhere special, specifically a new wine bar down the street called Louvino. We arrived, ordered our wine flights, and enjoyed some delicious supper.

After a few more glasses of wine, we decided that it was dark enough to head to the spectacular. We had been warned that there would be long lines, but were pleasantly surprised to find only a few others had braved the weather to see the pumpkins. Spectacular doesn't even begin to describe what we saw in the park. There were over 5,000 carved pumpkins glowing in the dark, strategically placed along a trail through a portion of the park. We were in awe (even though it was freezing and starting to rain).

I had a feeling this night was going to be special, but after we made our way through the park and back to the car, I began to doubt myself. Maybe my gut was wrong, maybe he would pop the question around Christmastime. We drove back home to get ready for the party. When we arrived, Abe had me go in the apartment first. I turned on the light to go up our stairs and he immediately turned it off again. It was then that I noticed the pumpkin at the top of the stairs shaped like an arrow. I slowly walked up the stairs and peeked into our glowing dining room...there in our home he had created our own pumpkin spectacular. Abe had carved "Will you marry me?" along with a Camino shell into pumpkins. He led me into the room and I immediately teared was here, the day I had been waiting for. He dropped to his knee, said some very sweet things (all the while I kept saying "You're crazy! Oh my gosh!"), and then asked "Anna Katherine Rush, will you marry me?" and of course I said yes!

I then found out that our friends Logan and Emily had come to the apartment and set up the pumpkins and then hid in our living room to take photos of us after he popped the question (such a good surprise!). 

Turns out the night before when Abe went to Logan's to "watch football" he had enlisted his friends to carve all of the pumpkins!

After the shock had slightly subsided, we began calling family and friends. It was so fun and so exciting to spread the word! When everyone was called and texted, we got dressed in our Halloween costumes and headed to our party. Everyone there already knew that Abe was planning on asking that night, and they were so excited for us! 

This year we went as the Tooth Fairy and a little boy who lost his tooth!

We celebrated late into the night with champagne and scary Halloween movies! 

Now the wedding planning is in full force...I've stocked up on wedding magazines and am scouring the web for advice and inspiration! The next year is going to be so exciting and fun! I can not wait to begin this next step in my life with my best friend!