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Teapots, China Patterns, & Fresh Flowers

After years of planning other people’s baby showers, bachelorette parties, and bridal brunches, it was finally my turn! My older sisters joined efforts to throw me beautiful bridal shower and they could not have chosen a better day! The inspiration for the party was Downton Abbey, one of my favorite TV shows, and was decorated with bunches of fresh flowers.bridal_shower_punch10403848_10152641550340921_5371912300590093013_o

In true bridal shower tradition, the women gathered to share advice, play games, and shower me with gifts. I’ll admit there were moments when I felt a little uncomfortable – I’m so used to throwing parties for others but I can’t recall ever being on the receiving end of something like this. I felt very loved, and I’ll admit a tad spoiled as I opened gifts.opening cardbridal_shower_gifts2I was blown away by the generosity of the women in my life and excited to use my new dishes and other household items. My oldest sister, a restauranteur and amazingly talented cook, provided an elaborate array of finger foods – prosciutto wrapped melon, miniature strawberry short cakes, individual-sized rhubarb pies, chicken cordon-bleu bites, and plenty more that I ate an embarrassingly large amount of! BRIDAL_SHOWER_GUESTS

My favorite part of the whole shower was the guest book – a teapot for everyone to sign! I’ll definitely cherish this teapot for the rest of my life and remember the beautiful women who shared this day with me. IMG_0142But my bridal moment doesn’t end there – since my fiancé’s family lives several hours away, his mother and sister threw me a second shower, in Minnesota! This time, the shower was Beauty & the Beast themed – my favorite fairytale.

It was a fantastic opportunity for me to get to know the women on Charlie’s side of the family and I had a wonderful time! Consider this bride well-showered! attached signature    Bri Baby shower diy bride jaime bridal shower

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000JAIME_edited-1Last Sunday, my friends and I threw a brunch-time bridal shower for our sweet friend, and soon-to-be-bride, Jaime. It was a beautiful morning of sunshine,  tulips, and stuffed french toast! It’s not every day that the girls and I have an excuse to dress up and drink mimosas, so we welcomed the opportunity to indulge in a little elegance while celebrating the upcoming wedding of our friend.DSC_0018_edited-1

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DSC_0016_edited-1We borrowed from Jaime’s wedding color scheme, which was perfect for a sunny morning in April. A turkey platter doubled as guest book and I turned a decorative banner into a fun afternoon DIY project. The finishing touches were a custom-designed canvas with one of her favorite quotes and thick slices of french toast stuffed with strawberries and cream! The best part of all, however, was spending time with some of my favorite girls – cheers!

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Orange Lilies and Pink Champagne

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone! 2014 is really cruising and with that, my wedding day gets closer and closer! As exciting as it is, I still have lots to do so I have no desire to rush it along. I still have to select my musicians, order decorations, compile our photo slideshow, and find shoes to go with my dress. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to find a pair of ivory heels that I like, but it’s beginning to feel a bit like I’m searching for the holy grail. Oh, and I still have about 15 pounds to lose. So there’s that.

With all the running around and organizing wedding details, it’s nice to take a moment to pause and remind ourselves why we’re doing all this – out of love for each other. We had a low-key Valentine’s Day and stayed in, but with our busy schedules, that actually felt wonderful. Charlie got me a beautiful bouquet of orange lilies, and in honor of the holiday, we opened a bottle of pink champagne. Cheers to all you lovers out there!

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Kayla + Michael

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding with the amazingly awesome Jessina Kary of Designs by Jessina. Kayla and Michael had a beautiful fall-colored wedding and were a joy to photograph. DSC_0238Shooting Kayla and Michael’s big day made me even more excited for my own and I think I learned a lot from Kayla, like how to let things roll off your back and how to be an incredibly positive and gracious bride. Little things will go wrong but the important thing is enjoying the moments you are surrounded by the people you love and most importantly, marrying the man of your dreams. DSC_0281

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DIY Bride

This Spring, my fiance and I made the decision to challenge ourselves by altering our wedding budget. We agreed that if we could cut our wedding expenses nearly in half, our reward to ourselves would be a dreamy honeymoon in Scotland! Since then, I’ve had fun looking for ways we could save money and the best way to save is to DO IT YOURSELF! One DIY project that I am incredibly proud of are my flowers. Take a look at my bridal bouquet.DSC_0170

base of bouquetThe bouquet is very much my taste and epitomizes everything I want my wedding to be: simple, elegant, and classic. Ivory roses wrapped in satin ribbon with a touch of pearls. The bouquet is clean, delicate…..and FAKE! That’s right – I am using silk flowers for our wedding! *cue wrinkled noses and shocked gasps* Before you pass judgement, let me tell you that I am very happy with my decision and I’ll explain why. But first, take a look at how incredibly lifelike they are!

You can’t feel them but trust me – they feel real too! In fact, unless closely inspected, most people would never notice that they aren’t real roses. Here are some of the reasons why I am confident I made the right decision:

  1. Silk flowers, when done right, cost a fraction of the price of real flowers. I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby and kept an eye on the sales so that I was able to purchase all my flowers and materials at 50% off! That’s a couple extra nights at a hotel in Scotland.
  2. A lot of brides try to save money by doing their own flowers but still use real ones. I chose not to because real flowers have a short lifespan and the arrangements can usually be made no sooner than one day prior. Who wants to be up late on the eve of their wedding, frantically putting together corsages?? Not this girl. My flowers will have been done months in advance so I’ll be stress free! Instead of working hard the night before, I can get a good sleep.
  3. I can keep my bouquet. After all that hard work and/or money, I won’t have a bunch of dried, dead flowers to try to preserve – I’ll have a perfectly intact bouquet! I made a second, simpler bouquet to toss at the reception so that I can keep the actual one in the cedar trunk that holds all my most precious mementos.

I didn’t just stop at the bouquets – I did the corsages and boutonnieres as well. Here are the materials you need to make your own DIY bouquets and boutonnieres:

It’s amazing what can be accomplished using a little hot glue and a lot of creativity! For the bouquets, I purchased long-stemmed silks but for the boutonnieres and corsages I bought rose buds at only $0.99 a piece. Here is a look at a finished boutonniere:photo(2) The best part about doing my own flowers? It’s so much fun! Remember to think outside the box and be creative when it comes to DIY projects and you’ll find they are all the more special because of it!attached signature

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Engagement Photos!

Engagement photos are in! Check out the fantastic work of Heidi Selch with HJ Selch Photography!

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