Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: First Look and the Dress

I've always been the nervous type and I knew my wedding day would be no exception, so I asked Mr. Snail early on if we could have a "first look" rather than waiting till I walked down the aisle to see each other. 

It ended up working out perfectly and I highly recommend it to all my friends who are getting married. It felt so much more intimate and it really capture the moment. I love the look on his face. 

It also gave me the freedom to cry and get all my emotions out (ok, not all, I still cried like a baby during our vows) before I greeted people. I had been so nervous the whole day but after that, having Mr. Snail with me calmed me down. It felt real. And it felt natural. I feel like part of the wedding day jitters have to do with not being able to be with the most important person before you make the most important decision.

It felt perfect. And it ended up being some of our favorite pictures as well. 

The dress is usually my favorite part of any wedding. I used to work at a bridal store and it cannot be expressed how much a dress can transform a girl. So when it was time for my beautiful dress I skipped back to my stomping grounds of Amore Bridal and Tuxedo

There are a few things I always told my brides when they were shopping with me: 
1) Know how to dress your body type
2) Just about anything can be altered, changed, or added to. Love the dress but want some straps? Done. Need a little more coverage up top or want a deeper sweetheart? Done. 
3) Any dress can be made into a corset back and you should do it. A corset allows you to gain or loose as much as 5-10 pounds (depending on how tall you are) before the wedding. And it makes you look skinny to boot. 

I knew with my big bust and hour glass shape I needed something that covered, had no waist line and fitted through my hips. This particular cut hides some areas that jiggles and gave me a teeny tiny waist.  

 I'm not a big sparkle girl so the muted beading and ruching was all the detail I needed. And the pop of tulle underneath gave it just a touch of whimsy and magic that I wanted. 

Amore really is one of the best places in Kansas City to shop for a wedding dress (or a Bridesmaid Dress or tuxedo for that matter) and I'm not just saying that because I worked there. They have an in-house seamstresses to take care of any alterations and they are fabulous. On my dress they added fabric to the top, put a corset in the back, and put in bustles (I think about 14). They really know their stuff and have a great selection. My dress was designed by Allure Bridals but they offer dresses by over 10 other beautiful and affordable designers.

Featured Vendors:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Music: Dane Davenport

I love knowing talented people. 

You may recognize Dane from my Wedding Wonderment series, him being the best man in the snail wedding and all, but I really feel that this hugely important person deserves his own blog post. And I think you'll agree. 

Dane has always been on the outskirts of my life (I like to tell people that I've known him longer than Mr Snail to make myself seem more important) but in the last year he's grown from casual-person-status to friend and with that comes lovely new talks of Peter Pan and the under-appreciation of Elizabethtown and children's literature. 

But one thing I truly love about this new relationship is the beautiful music it's brought to my life. Dane is an incredibly talented musician (seriously, his lyrics makes me obsessively listen to his songs so I learn them all) and I wanted to share all the goodness with you people. So...

Time Flies - Dane Davenport

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 25

(in particular his blog)
I heard about Blue like Jazz forever ago, but my mentor from high school suggested a more recent book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. His honest and unique approach to writing and the Christian walk has been such a burst of inspiration for me. 

"The brief was to portray Disney princesses enjoying a little tea party but they all had to be portrayed the same age as their respective movies (for example: Snow White would be 75 years old, Aurora 53, Belle 21, Rapunzel 2, etc)."

Kansas City, in general, is a pretty awesome place for kids, but Crown Center is so wonderful. So many free exhibits not to mention shopping and fun restaurants. It's a favorite of my three-year-old. This one was "Funville: What do you want to be when you grow up?"

4) This cover of "I Will Wait" by Mumford&Sons sung by Daniel Ma, Ariel Frey, and my talented sister, Emily Cole

I've been reading it with my 7 year old and it's taking me back to the days of playing "pioneer women" in my backyard. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: Guys and the Ceremony Site/Details

When the guys were all set to start getting ready, Adam (one of our photographers) left his wife Wendy with the girls and zoomed midtown to the apartment that would soon hold both Mr. and Mrs. Snail. 
When I looked through the pictures the first time with Mr. Snail I teared up a bit having our little home in the background. 

It makes me wonder if Mr. Snail felt the same way looking at the pictures of my girls and I getting ready, like peaking into the others world. Both my bridesmaids and his groomsmen had been part of our lives for so long (I've known our best man longer than Mr. Snail) that their personalities were so apparent, doncha think?

Believe it or not, when we were first talking about guys gear, Mr. Snail was always pushing for more formal. I liked the idea of the guys keeping pretty casual and we eventually reached the compromise that we used. No suit rental, just ordered all the suspenders and bow ties offline and the guys got their own shirts and pants. We both were really happy with the effect and that way Mr. Snail didn't get too hot with a suit jacket. And let's not forget the epic boutonnieres that our fabulous florist, Blue Bouquet (more on them later), made for us. Superheros for everyone!
When we finally arrived at the venue, Faulkner's Ranch, I was completely floored. When we first toured the little pumpkin farm in Raytown, I was unsure. I had to book a venue with just mom and dad for help because Mr. Snail was in Virginia at the time. We really wanted a vintage and natural feel for our wedding, and while Faulkner's had the outdoor appeal, it also felt a little too "ranchy." I asked our fabulous coordinator Christine if we could play down the country and play up the vintage and together, with help from Blue Bouquet, they really came through.
Our ceremony took place by the small pond they have on the property in a large field. I asked Mr. Snail if we could have lots of pumpkins (no surprise there) and he obliged, stopping me at ordering a semi load of pumpkins (sadly, I'm being serious, there was talk of a semi load at one point.) Blue Bouquet started by lining the whole walkway with pumpkins and mixed traditional chairs with hay bale seating to give it a more casual feel. 
Easily my favorite part of the entire decor was the arbor we were married under. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and Mr. Snail pretty much gave me free reign. I showed Blue Bouquet a picture of an arbor and they pretty  much made an exact replica for our wedding. I loved the effect of candles mixed with wildflowers. Everything about that arbor screamed fairytale to me. 

Vendors featured: 

Next installment: First Look and the Bridal Look

Friday, February 15, 2013

Memory 22

On a level of 1 to Doctor Who fans how obsessed am I with building forts? Well let's just say I have a metaphorical Tardis fridge, a scarf that can wrap around my neck 37 times, and have an aversion to every statue around our apartment. 

So wait, are we talking about Doctor Who or forts? Actually, the boy snail is the obsession level Doctor Who fan so we are talking about forts. 

And I have to say, I almost want to put on my resume how epic I am at building forts. 

Last night, I came home to find freshly baked cookies from the boy snail for Valentine's Day. While it was such a wonderful and sweet surprise, I had intended on doing the exact same thing for him when I got home. 

So instead...I turned our entire bedroom into a massive fort. 

I have found the secret is clothesline and clothing pins from Walmart. Splurg. Go ahead. It's like 4 bucks and it makes things so much easier. 

I dare you, make a fort in the next week. See if it doesn't make your day. And send me a picture, I'd love to see!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wedding Wonderment: Girls getting ready

I've been wanting to share our wedding on here for awhile. Even though the pictures are up on facebook and it's been almost 5 months (wow) I love commentary to pictures. Plus, I was in love with our wedding, and I want to share the people that made it possible. 

So installment 1 - Girls Getting Ready
When we first started planning, one thing that was important to me was getting ready at my parent's house. They have lived there for 35 years and it holds too many memories for it not to be part of the special day. Especially since my childhood bedroom would be the backdrop for our photos.

The night before all my bridesmaids came over for an overnight. It felt like a giant girl slumber party and it gave a chance for the boy snail's sisters to get to know the other bridesmaids. It was a giggle fest of ridiculousness. 
We woke up the morning of the wedding, dad made mimosas and mom made a huge breakfast. Our incredible photographers Wendy and Adam from Abundant Life Photography arrived about 10 and we had a relaxing few hours doing hair, nails, makeup and a few dance parties. 
I was so fortunate that one of my bridesmaids, Emily Winders, works at a fantastic salon called Hair in Westport. She insisted on doing both my hair and makeup and I couldn't have been happier. So elegant, whimsical, and natural. 
When it was finally time to put on my dress, the backdrop of my parent's gigantic living room with high arching ceilings was perfect to capture the huge feeling of putting on something so important. 

For my something old/something borrowed/something blue my aunt lent me my grandma's pearls and garter, which has now been worn by my grandmother, my aunt, my cousin, and myself. 

It was such a fanciful morning and felt like the perfect way to leave my single life behind. It was nostalgic without being sappy and sad, and relaxing without being too devoid of excitement. 

Next up: Guys getting ready/the arrival and the venue

Vendors Featured: 
Emily Winders - Hair Salon in Westport

P.S. - You might have noticed I changed the general feel of the blog? What do you think? Keeper or kicker?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whimsy, my new favorite word

I've been thinking about magic and wonder lately. 

"I asked him what he meant by whimsy...He said it's that nagging idea that life could be magical." - Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)

I find that when I type out my thoughts with the intention of other people seeing them rather than journaling or just talking to a friend on the phone, I'm forced to think about what's been magical and wonderful in the past week or month or year. It forces me to look for the good. Cause why write about something that doesn't matter. 

And there is a lot of magic in my life right now. You can't be best friends with a 3 year old and not see a little magic in the world. 

Like the magic of a kiss on a scraped knee, of chocolate and fruit by the foot, being a football player or a race car driver, crunching leaves under your feet and counting rocks. 

Seriously, counting is a big deal guys. 

I guess all I'm saying is, this is a pretty whimsical life. I just need to start looking and keep looking, even when I fight with people or get my car towed or burn my grilled cheese. 

If we didn't fight we wouldn't make up, if we didn't get our car towed, we wouldn't have an adventure to the middle of nowhere to find it, if I hadn't burned my grilled cheese...well I would have had a better lunch, but you get the idea. 

Whimsy: Chinese take out and a movie with your hunk; singing birthday cards; going back to school; new music by your favorite musicians; wedding pictures up in your apartment

Whimsical Wednesdays? Ha, like I need a new posting-to-not-do-each-week-and-feel-guilty-about. But maybe...if the whimsy strikes me.