It's been about a month since my last post so bear with me this one is a little long...
Kevin and I have been busy traveling on the weekends and trying to knock things off of our "wedding to do list". I don't think Kevin or I really had any concept of how much planning a wedding really entailed until we got a little deeper into the process. We've had our share of fun times and some not so fun times when it comes to wedding planning. Aside from the obstacles we've faced with losing our venue it has been a fun time in our lives. We have really enjoyed the time spent together making decisions as a couple knowing that our wedding is just that...Ours :)
This past weekend we packed the car and headed off to Oak Island for a weekend filled with wedding appointments. The main reason we were headed there this particular weekend was for me to take my bridal portraits. When we decided on an indoor wedding venue I really wanted to make sure I was able to have my bridal portraits taken outdoors. We were a little sad at losing the "natural" outdoor feel that Orton provided, so this was the perfect opportunity to bring back a little nature. My photographers need about two months to edit and produce the portrait from the time they are taken. I realized with an April wedding February was going to be entirely too cold for outdoor pictures. Kevin's step mom always tells us how beautiful it is down there in October so I decided to knock another "to do" off the list a little early. What I hadn't thought about was the fact that I needed basically everything I would need on my actual wedding day...shoes, hair, make-up, nails, jewelry, a bouquet, etc. Luckily I had already found the shoes I was going to wear. I hurried to make sure I had hair and make-up appointments, ordered jewelry and the bouquet. I got in touch with my florist just in time for her to make the order and have the bouquet ready on Friday. I found some neat jewelry and a gorgeous flower for my hair both on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/) and quickly ordered them. A friend of mine from college just so happened to have a sister in law that owns a hair salon and make-up store in Wilmington. She made the call for me and got me an appointment just in time. All in all everything seemed to fall right into place.
After work on Thursday we took off for the 7 1/2 hour drive to Oak Island. Friday morning we got up and started towards Wilmington with a busy schedule ahead of us. My mom also planned on joining us and got up after an all nighter of altering my dress (it wouldn't be mom if it wasn't last minute :) and headed from Raleigh to Wilmington. We started by visiting a cupcake shop in downtown Wilmington called Coastal Cupcakes. Little did Kevin know I was in there working on an order for our rehearsal dinner. I told him I was picking up a few cupcakes for my mom (her birthday was the week before). Instead of a grooms cake I thought it would be fun to have grooms cupcakes. The bakery is working on an ECU themed cupcake idea. There will also be a cupcake bride and a cupcake groom. I can't wait to see how this idea turns out. On a side note, the cupcakes we tried were AMAZING!!!
Next stop was the Halyburton Park Events Center. This was the location I found online that I really liked for our rehearsal dinner. I was a little nervous because we hadn't seen it in person and I was really hoping it would be just what we were looking for. Luckily, it was! Kevin, my mom, and I loved it. It is a public park in Wilmington with a neat events center that we can rent for the night. There is an indoor building where we will have the dinner as well as an outdoor patio where we will have the band, bar and dancing. We were so excited to know that everything was really falling into place. Another thing we loved about this venue is that it brought back a bit of the nature feel we wanted. I have included a few pictures below...
This is the outside view of the Events Center @ Halyburton Park from the patio This is the view from inside looking out on the patio. It's a little dark but we really like the gorgeous wood floor.This is the outdoor patio view. The woman who showed us around told us there would be beautiful flower all around in April.Next up was the salon. Kevin headed back to Oak Island and my mom and I headed off to prepare for the portraits. Little did I know how much fun the rest of this day was going to be. I arrived at Lavish and the pampering began :) Alicia (the owner) began her magic. I thought for sure I was going to have my hair down for my wedding. I am not much for updo's. However, a few weeks prior I began contemplating should I go with up or down. I found hairstyles that I liked of both. I decided to leave it up to Alicia. When I got there I showed her a few hair style clips I brought in. I told her my dilemma on not knowing whether I should go up or down. Well, she was awesome. She took one look at me and said hair for the bridal portrait can be different than hair for the wedding day. She also mentioned that because it doesn't need to last as long it may be a good idea to go with my hair down for the portraits and up on my wedding day. She even showed me how they can do my hair up to where part way through the night I could let part of it down. That sounded great to me and off she went working on my hair. Let me just say it turned out better than I could have imagined. I absolutely loved it. She did big wavy curls and put the top up a little. Unfortunately I can't share the picture of me or my hair...that will have to be a surprise on my wedding day :) Next up was make-up. She had just opened a make-up store next door. We headed over and she began her magic on my face. I loved the end result and the awesome make-up line that she carries. I had never heard of them before. The line of make-up is called Jane Iredale (http://www.janeiredale.com/). Of course I had to purchase a few things :) The end result was wonderful. I was so relieved to know that I loved my hair and make-up. This definitely eased my mind for the actual day.
Next my mom and I hurried off to Salt Harbor Designs to pick up my bouquet. It turned out beautiful. Now all that was left was getting the dress on and I would be ready for the photos. My mom and I hadn't exactly planned out where I was going to get this dress on. I couldn't put it on and then jump in the car. So...we departed for the location where we were taking the pictures. Once we got there I jumped in the back seat and began the process of getting into my dress. Luckily we were on a little street with no traffic. I jumped in the car from one side and eased my way into the dress across the back seat of the car and jumped out the other side with it on. It was a bit hysterical to say the least. I was finally ready to begin the photo shoot.
We met the photographers and headed on our way around downtown Wilmington. The shoot ended up lasting about 2 1/2 hours. Let's just say I picked some good shoes for my wedding day. I know if I was able to make it all over downtown Wilmington in them that they will be fine on my wedding night. Luckily my feet didn't hurt in the slightest. We started in a neat little area with tons of ivy, ventured to some old Victorian houses that had a lot of character, stopped in front of neat old downtown buildings, and ended at the water as the sun was setting. My mom, the photographers and I had so much fun. I cannot wait to see the photos and how they turned out. After it was done I realized some of the benefits to having pictures taken early. First of all we will not need to take as much time for pictures on the day of the wedding. Second is that by the end of the shoot I really felt so comfortable in my shoes and my dress. Third, I feel so relieved to know that I am comfortable with my hair, make-up, jewelry, etc now that I've seen it all ahead of time. I really feel that the morning getting ready for my wedding is going to be a lot less stressful. I wish I could share some of the pictures I have of the photo shoot, but it's just going to have to wait till the big day!
Saturday we didn't have a lot planned so we enjoyed relaxing at the beach house and watching the ECU Homecoming game. We were sad we weren't able to make it to Greenville for the game so watching it was the next best thing. It was a great game and ECU ended up beating Marshall. We are now 5 and 2 and undefeated in our conference...Wohoo Go Pirates!
Sunday morning we packed up and jumped back in the car. Before we started the long drive home we had an appointment to meet Rich Leder and our florist/wedding planner/ design team at the Brooklyn Arts Center. We hadn't seen the venue in over a month and were anxious to see how far they had come in the renovation process. It may not look like it to someone who hadn't seen it a month ago, but they have been working hard. There is still a lot to be done and it's a bit scary, but we are super excited with this new venue. It wasn't our original vision, but it has so much character and is going to be fabulous when it's complete. It was neat to hear what Salt Harbor had in mind for the big day. I have included a few pictures below so that after it's done we can have memories of what it looked like in the renovation process and how great it turns out in the end. They are on schedule at the moment to be complete with the renovations in January. Luckily that gives us a 3 month grace period for delays.
This is where the guests will arrive from... It doesn't look like more than a dump right now, but this is where the ceremony will be. The landscapers begin work this week.These are the beautifully restored original doors on the outside. This is a view of the neat windows from inside.This is a view of the doors from the inside.This is a view of the front where the DJ will be with the dance floor. This is a view of the balcony. We are going to have cocktail tables up there where the guests can enjoy drinks and look down on the crowd.There's a lot to be done but this weekend certainly got me excited for all that's to come in the next 5 months. I simply cannot wait to walk down the aisle and marry my best friend!