Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wedding Wednesday.....The Colors

I'm a day late in posting. Whoops!!

Picking your wedding colors is a pretty big deal. Your entire wedding revolves around these colors, so you want to pick something that you not only love, but that will look good in pictures, on your bridal party, etc.

For us, we knew one color that we wanted was green. Green is both of our favorite colors, it was one of my sorority colors, and KY in the spring is very, well, green and super pretty on top of that. I've always known I would have green as part of my wedding, but that was about it. So, when it came to picking our other colors we had some decisions to make. Initally we both decided we would go with black as our 2nd color. Black is classic, it goes with everything and it coorelates well with green. However, we I started to look at things for the actual wedding, I just wasn't loving it. It just didnt seem to fit our early June, southern charmed filled wedding, so I began to think about another option. I didnt want to do pink with it because another friend of ours had just done a pink and green wedding and I didnt want to sacrifice  using our favorite color in our wedding by picking an enitrely different color scheme sans green.

Then, one afternoon, while shopping at Target with my mom, it hit me. Navy. We totally pulled an HGTV move and went into the towel section to see what colors we liked. You know on their shows when they find inspiration pieces and then decorate a room around it?! Well I did that, with towels. ha! We began layering bath towels, hand towels and wash clothes on top of one another to see what we liked. People were probably looking at us like we were crazy, but we didnt care; we were finding our "inspiration" pieces. After placing the navy with the green I knew I loved it. I immeadeatly texted M and said, "What about green and navy?" He replied that he really liked it. Sold. Perfect. Mom and I sat there for a few more moments adding in some other colors to find our accent colors and we decided upon champagne and pink. Together, the combonation just seems so spring (altough most people consider June as summer) and southern.

The Matrons of Honor will be in navy dresses (all the same from Ann Taylor) with green jewelery and the groomsmen will be in navy suits with green and navy bow ties. The Honorary Bridesmaids will be in champagne colored dresses (any dress they choose) and the ushers in tan suits with green and navy bow ties that match the groomsmen. The pops of pink will appear in some of the flowers and the champagne will continue into the reception serving as the base color for the table cloths. We don't have all of the details of the reception worked out yet, but I do know I'm having navy napkins and will accent with green on the table (possibly with apples, limes, or pears). I really am loving our overall color scheme and cannot wait to see how it all comes together on our big day! Here's a few inspiration boards I've been looking at to gather ideas:

loving the pops of pink

Love the navy sash and the apple escort cards!
The striped tie below is perfect for the fellas!!

LOVE those navy shoes! Not sure if I want my girls carrying all green flowers, white, or a combo? Thoughts?!

In other wedding news, M and I took a much needed "wedding free" date the other night. It was SO nice to get fixed up, go on a hot date (which consisted of Bella Note and some Dillards Clearance shopping-he knows the way to my heart), and not worry about inviations, DJ's, make-up people etc. I was dealing with some pretty crazy wedding stress last week and just needed a break from all of the planning. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with this whole process and I had pretty much reached that point after some pretty frustrating calls with some potential vendors. We took the entire weekend off from planning and it was just so nice to re-connect and enjoy each other without wedding decisions coming into play. I highly encourage any engaged couple out there to do this, epseically when the planning starts getting stressful! Although I'm still having crazy wedding dreams on a weekly basis (last night it was the church booked 5 other weddings for the same day as ours and  my hair feel down before I walked down the aisle) I feel much more relaxed about things this week :)
                                             The Bride to Be :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday....The Dress!!!!

I found my dress very quickly and easily- alot quicker and easier than I thought. I bought it 3 days after being engaged and at the second store I went into. It was probably the 10th or so dress I tried on and I just knew that it was, "the one." No, I'm not showing you THE dress (only a few people have seen it), but I will show you one I almost purchased and other dresses that I LOVE!

Because I'm getting married in a church and a pretty large, old, very open scantuary church, I felt that I needed something "grand" to match the grand scale of the sanctuary. Would I wear my dress if I were getting married outside or in a non-church type setting? Probably not- I think more fitted, lace type dresses are perfect for outdoor venues; and although I love them and tried on a few, they just weren't right for MY day and the setting of our wedding. Here is one lace dress that I absolutely LOVE

love the back of this dress!
LOVE the back!

When I got to the bridal store, I knew what I liked (based on pictures) and what I thought was going to look good on me. If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed that I kept pinning a lot of dresses like this: gorg'!! and this LOVE the dress!!! 

I just LOVE the grand scale of the skirts and I think they look so elegant and classy. However, I've watched enough epsoides of "Say Yes To The Dress" to know that you should try on ALL styles of gowns because you may just fall in love with a style of dress that you always thought you didnt like and/or wouldnt look good on you. I confessed that I tried on one dress before I was engaged. It was this dress and I loved it!  It was very simple, yet elegant and was super comfy! It reminds me of  Amsale gowns which I absolutely ADORE but are definitely out of budget!!! Because I tried this dress on at Davids Bridal, I decided to make DB my first stop. I was very anti Davids Bridal at first, but because they have SO many dresses, I wanted to start my official search there. I had my mom, Memaw (it was Memaw's first ever time wedding dress shopping), flower girl, and one of my MOH's with me. I tired on about 8 or so gowns and loved seeing all the different styles. I was very surprised at how some styles that I thought would look terrible, didnt. And to my surprise, I fell in love with a dress from their Vera Wang collection. I never thought I'd like the drop waist style or that it would look good with my big ol' Beyonce booty, but it is a very flattering dress and looked very elegant and modern when on.

I really did love the dress, the fit, everything, espeically the fun skirt, but after realizing how much I loved the ball gown style, I wanted to find something that was a mix of the 1st and 2nd dress. DB didnt have anything like what I was envisioning in my head so we opted to keep searching.
My friend Lauren is consultant at Wedding Wonderland, so mom and I made an appt to go there the next day in hopes that they had what I was searching for. I went home looking for pictures of what I was envisioning and found this:
It's Monique Lhuillier and the perfect combo of what I wanted. Elgent and classy, yet fun and modern with the fun skirt. However, it came with a heafty price tag; somewhere around $15,000. Oh. My. Word.
I showed Lauren what I wanted and she suggested that I try on the dress that is now MY dress. I put it on and I didnt want to take it off. It was so me and just so perfect for our big day. I went on to try on a few more dresses just to make sure that it was 'the one' and after trying on the others, I kept going back to my dress. I liked it better than the one I loved at DB, it was super comfy and light, and I liked the price a whole lot better than the ML one.I knew then, that I had found THE dress and we purchased it right then and there. It should be coming in soon and I cannot wait to try it on and take it home with me! I may just have to wear it around the house a time or two? Is that weird?! Ha!

The Bride to Be

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fun Friday Finds!

I thought I posted this on Friday, but I guess I forgot to hit 'post' Whoops! So here it is, 2 days late :)

We had our first snow day today and what makes miserable, cold weather better?! Well besides an extra day to the weekend....Fabulous finds!! Here are some great finds that I have found this week:

1. Rent the Runway. This website allows you to rent high end clothing, accessories. and such for wayyyy less than you'd spend if you purchased the items in the store. I think its an awesome site for events where you just need a new dress for the night such as parties, weddings, professional family photos, etc. I am definitely guilty of buying a new item of clothing for an event and not wearing it again afterwards, so I'm LOVING me some Rent the Runway! Here's a link if you'd like to join: Rent the Runway

2. Perfectly Preppy Resale on fb. This is a page/group on fb that allows you either to A) Buy either new or gently used Lilly, J Crew, Coach type clothes or B) sell your items to others. I just found it this week and there are some ridiculous cute clothing pieces on there for fab prices! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lilly Pulitzer, but I definitely cant afford to pay its retail price on my teacher's salary. M told me I could buy a new one for our rehearsal dinner, but my rule is that any other Lilly items MUST be bought on sale!  New items are constantly being updated on PPR, so be sure to 'like' the site and get yourself some great deals!

3. was introduced to me last week. It's an invitation only site that allows you to get 'fab' items for discounted prices! There are all sorts of items on there (mostly fashion related) and some items are even 70% off of retail pricing! Here's the link to request to join:

Happy Deal Finding,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding Wednesday....The Honeymoon Plans :)

It really hit me last week that I am getting married. Whether it was meeting with the photographer, narrowing down our invitation choices, attending the bridal show, or hitting up the VS big semi-annual sale to buy things for our honeymoon, it hit me. I'm getting married. Soon. and I am SO excited! Speaking of the honeymoon, here's our plans:
I always swore I would never go to Sandals for my honeymoon. It was just so "what everyone does" and I was going someplace unique and unheard of. And where are we going? Sandals. Ha! Funny how things change.
After our trip to Mexico, we knew we wanted two things for our honeymoon. 1. Adult Only and 2. A place that caters to Americans. Our resort in Mexico, while beautiful, was none of the above. There was a Secrets Resort next door to our's, and after sneaking over there and seeing what we were missing, we knew for our honeymoon we wanted something totally geared towards couples and in particular, honeymooners.
Now, my ultimate dream vacay is to go to Greece. We tossed around the idea of going, but then realized that we are going to be exhausted after our wedding and we want to go someplace to truly relax. We don't want to have to plan anything, and if we did a Greece trip we would be on the go. Alot. So, we're saving that one for an anniversary trip.
Secondly, we looked at going to Alaska. Yes, Alaska. When I told people about this they about died. Me, biggest beach lover in the world was going to Alaska for my honeymoon. It was true, I wanted to, and still do want to visit Alaska. But, we realized that like with Greece, we'd be on the go a lot sightseeing and such so we decided to post-pone that trip as well.
Thirdly, we wanted to go to Tahiti/Bora Bora. We were seriously looking into this one. I was working with travel agents, etc and then we realized that with our budget, we'd only be able to go for 5-7 nights and stay in those beloved over water bungalows. While that is a decent amount of time, we just feel that if we are going allllll that way, we wanted to be able to stay longer. So Tahiti will have to wait for another time :)

That left us with our final choice....the Caribbean. We could get there without having to be on a plane for hours at a time, we could relax without feeling like we were missing tons and tons by not sightseeing 8 hours a day, and the water is simply amazing! We began looking at resorts and different islands and we kept coming back to the one resort I said I'd never do. Sandals. We didn't want to go to Jamaica, St. Lucia or the Dominican Republic because it seems like that's where EVERYONE goes. And while those are all gorgeous locations, we wanted someplace different and we wanted to stick with a big name resort to insure we knew exactly what we'd be getting. After hearing about Sandals Grande Antigua being voted "the most romantic resort" in the Sandals chain, we began seriously considering it. After talking to several friends who had honeymooned with Sandals, we were sold. Not one person said anything bad about it and every person said it was a trip of a lifetime. While none of my friends had been to Sandals in Antigua; they had been to several other in the Sandals chain and no matter the resort, the reviews were great. We hopped on the webiste, saw they were having a huge sale and booked our room. We are staying for 10 days and while we aren't in the super deluxe butler suites, we are excited to spend 10 days in paradise! Thanks to other great advice from our married friends we decided that we aren't leaving until Tuesday after our wedding so we don't feel rushed and can enjoy our friends and family being in town. We are even stopping in South Beach for a night on the way home to re-visit the first beach we first enjoyed as a couple :) I cant wait to share the honeymoon fun after we return as Mr and Mrs! Be sure to check back in June for the post!

The Bride To Be

Must Have....Birchbox

I learned about the Birchbox last week through a beauty website- I cant remember which site, but I remember thinking it was such an awesome idea!! Then, last night, one of my friends from college posted the picture of her's on her fb page and I just knew I had to get one! If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a box of high-end/new-to-the market beauty product samples ranging from nail polish to hair care to make-up. The samples are very generous in size as well! It costs only $10 a month and it comes right to your front door-each month! I signed up for mine last night and knew it was one of those 'must share' items! Here's the link so y'all can get your hands on these beauty goodies, too:  Birchbox

Happy Beauty-ing


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Today, I'm linking up with Lovely Indeed for Thursday Thoughts

My thoughts for the day:


I just ate a Lean Pocket and am reminded at my LOVE for them, especially the pizza flavor. They're only 220 calories, too!

It really hit me last night that I am getting married. I was at the mall and went into VS for their big sale and realized that now, instead of always going in and buying fun sexy stuff for my friend's lingerie shower's, I can start buying it for myself- well actually for M, but you get the picture ;)

Speaking of M. I don't refer to him as M because I'm trying to be cryptic or anything, It's because when we started dating, he was mentioned in a lot of my texts..... typing out Michael a billion times a day became too long, so I just shortened it to M. Soon, everyone kept referring to him as that in texts and emails to me, so it just stuck. I don't think I've ever really told anyone the reason behind the name, so there ya go!


I was thinking last night, "Man it is SO warm out!" It was only 40 degrees. That's what days (okay so its only been 3 days) of frigid temps will do to you! I hate cold weather. Period.

The Bachelor came back on this week. Hellllooooo Drama-o-rama! It's still very early on, but I'm liking the girl from TN and the girl who rode in on a horse.

I'm starting Barre Amped next week. I'm doing the boot camp classes and I'm pumped and nervous at the same time. I am awesome at cardio, but awful at strength training. My legs have muscle and well, that's about it. Let's hope these flabby arms are gone by June 2nd!!

What are you thinking about today?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Travel Tip Tuesday....New York City

We returned from NYC around midnight on Friday night. It was both M and mine's very first trip to The Big Apple and it was amazing! I have been to Chicago several times and thought NYC would be similar, but it just doesnt compare. It is SO big and there is SO, SO much to see and do that you really need a month to see it all! We crammed as much into 5 days as humanly possible and we are both just now feeling recovered from our whirlwind adventure. We walked an average of 12-13 miles each day (hello half marathons on a daily basis), saw some famous sites, and ate some delish food! In true Ashlee form, we stuck to a budget and found some great ways to save money while enjoying everything the City has to offer!

Here are some of my suggestions for how we saved money:
1) Booked the hotel through my travel bff, Hotwire. We scored a $350+ night room (rates normally a little less than this, but raised for peak holiday time) The W.... for $123

2) Stay in Hoboken NJ vs NYC. I was skeptical about this at first. I was picturing a hotel full of Snookis and Pauly D's, trashy streets, and a long commute into the city. It was neither; our views were stunning, Hoboken was super cute, and it saved us about $150 each night vs staying at a decent hotel in Times Square! That x 5 nights = mucho $$ in our pockets!

3) Remember here when I said to always become a member of hotel and airlines reward programs. Well, it paid off, yet again, getting us a FREE upgrade from a Hoboken view room to a Manhattan View room. About a $75 a night upgrade. I just asked upon check in if it was possible to have an upgrade and was granted one for simply being a Starwoods Rewards Member (free to join).

View from our hotel room! Amazing!
4) Use public transportation vs taxis. Taxis are costly and the subway moves a whole lot faster-especially if you know which trains to use and during peak vistor times when traffic is CRAZY!!!We used the Embark NYC app and it was a lifesaver. It was free (I rarely ever pay for an app) and would tell us exactly what subway to use, where the nearest station was located, the quickest route possible, etc.

5) Use the Explorer Pass to see the sites. I researched several options before leaving and found this to be the best option. You pay $69 to see 3 attractions from a list of 55. We chose the NBC Experience, Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour, as well as the TV and Movie Sites tour. Total, these would've cost us around $120 if booked individually, so it saved us about $50 each. We also did the Statue of Liberty and Top of the Rock, but paid for those out of pocket and used the Explorer Pass to cover our more expensive options. It didnt matter how much items costs on the Explorer Pass-it was just any 3 attractions from their list (which covered basically everything touristy in the City). So, we opted to use it to cover our more expensive options and paid the other's (Statue of Liberty was only $13 each) out of pocket. We couldve used the Explorer Pass to cover those, but why use it for a $13 site when you can use it for a $45 site?! Make sense?!

6) Buy a Metro and Smarlink Card (if using the PATH from NJ) vs paying out of pocket each time you ride. The Metro card is also good on NYC buses.

7) Everything in Times Square costs about 25% more vs. a few block out of TS- especially souvenirs! Avoid buying anything right in the heart of TS!

8) There are LOTS of free things to see and do, so take advantage! Central Park, some museums, The Today Show, etc.

Get there around 7AM for a primo spot! She did the entire weather segment in front of us!
9) Greenwich Village has a lot of cute boutiques full of things at awesome prices! I got the flower to pin in my hair for our wedding for $3 there and it is c-u-t-e and exactly what I was looking for- plus it came from right around the block from the actual apartment that was used as Carrie Bradshaw's "apartment." I can only imagine that if she were real, she would shop there, too! ha!

10) And finally, get your Rolex's and Louis Vuitton purses from either Canal Street or in the South Street Seaport area. The people on Canal Street were super rude, so we opted to buy our items from Seaport. I would recommend this as well if you dont like rude people being in your face while trying to decide on what purse you want!  You cant come home from NYC without something "designer" and at only $45, I feel like my Louis was a steal ;)

**We didn't see a Broadway show while we were there, mostly because the one show we both wanted to see (Book of Mormon) was sold out months before we left. However, TKTS sells last minute tickets for shows not sold out at 50% off so if you're willing to wait in a line for an hour or so, it will save you big bucks!! There's a TKTS in Times Square and in South Seaport! We just didnt have time to wait in line since we were trying to see and do so much!

Happy New York City-ing


Monday, January 2, 2012

Thirty-One Outlet Sale!!

We are back from NYC and 5 months from our wedding day!!! I hope y'all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year!! If you haven't shopped the Thirty-One Outlet sale yet, shop soon before everything is gone!! There's still some cute cute items at great prices :)
Or click the Thirty-One tab at the top of this page :)

Happy Shopping