Category Archives: Wedding

The Lead-Up To Our Wedding

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6 MONTHS (and 2 days) ago, Andrew and I had the best weekend of our lives…We knew that 1 day of wedding celebration wasn’t going to be enough, so we planned 4 days of activities – which all ended up being as much fun as the actual wedding itself! Since Andrew’s family drove in from Ohio and a majority of our friends flew in from California, we wanted to show them a good time…especially since I’m always boasting that Milwaukee is the greatest city ever :)

We kicked off Thursday night before the wedding with a Wisconsin/Ohio State tailgate at my parents’ house with our wedding party and families. I am a Badger and Andrew is a very proud Buckeye, so my mom and dad made us this football to represent the joining of teams:Wedding Football

We aimed to give everyone a taste of Wisconsin with grilled brats, cheese curds, Spotted Cow beer and Sprecher root beer floats with Kopp’s custard. It was such an exciting night to welcome all of our best friends to town and kick-off the wedding celebration!Wedding Tailgate

I absolutely loved sitting around the campfire after dinner with our wedding party, talking late into the night. My mom started a “game” where she passed a candle around the circle and when the candle came to you, the floor was yours to say anything you wanted. It turned into a bit of a roast session, with people telling some hysterical stories about Andrew and I…At this point, I keep thinking “I can’t believe our wedding weekend has arrived!”

Wedding TailgateFriday morning, after getting our nails done, the girls headed off to a gorgeous bridal luncheon with my best girlfriends and all of the “moms” I grew up with. It was so beautiful! The lunch was such a special time for me to get to thank all of the women who have been so important to me over the years with stories about them and gifts wrapped in gold sparkles!

Then, we were off to join the boys and everyone else who was already in town for the wedding at Sprecher Brewery, to sample their great beers and amazing homemade sodas. They gave us a private tour, which ended in the sampling room.Sprecher Brewery Tour

And before we knew it, we were in the church for the rehearsal! This moment on the alter certainly made it all feel very real.Wedding Rehearsal

After we all learned where to stand for the ceremony, we headed downtown for our rehearsal dinner at Trocadero in their private garden room. It was so beautiful and open in the 70 degree weather we had that weekend!Rehearsal DinnerDuring dinner, Andrew and I got up to share a funny story about each person in our wedding party and give them a silly gift to go with the story. Andrew had us all cracking up, talking about the night he played my brother in flip cup for my hand in marriage. He gave Mike a reusable Solo cup to remember that game.Rehearsal Dinner

Afterwards, we all went upstairs to the Red Star bar to join the rest of our wedding guests who were in town. It was an unbelievable sensation to have the entire bar full of people that I love! I kept bouncing from group to group overwhelmed by who to talk to next!IMG_6044

When our 11pm curfew arrived, Andrew and I kissed goodnight and the bar erupted in cheers. It was such a cool and exciting moment. I was instantly full of tears from all of the emotions! I had just had the best night of my entire life. And I knew that somehow Saturday was going to  be even better! Our last picture together before meeting at the alter…IMG_442634540

**Thank you Bill Krugler, our close family friend and reader in our ceremony, for taking all of the great pictures in this post. I’m grateful that you captured all of these moments!

To see more of our wedding details, you can find more posts I’ve written here!

Wedding Invitation Ornament

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I am crazy about these ornaments! I started making them this year for my just-married friends and they’ve been a big hit! I think it’s such a special way to re-purpose a beautiful wedding invitation so that it gets brought out for decoration every year around the holidays.Wedding Invitation Ornament

These ornaments are actually pretty easy to do. Start by cutting the invitation into thins strips, trying to capture the wording as best you can. The thinner strips will curl better, so sometimes larger names on an invitation can be hard. This is where you can get creative by cutting strips out of any paper from the wedding such as the ceremony program, a shower invite, save the date card, envelope lining, or whatever else would look pretty!Wedding Invitation Ornament

Then, wrap each of the strips very tightly around a pen or pencil and hold for a few seconds. Once it slides off the pen, the paper should maintain its curl. Depending on the cardstock, some invitations will hold the curl better than others.Wedding Invitation Ornament

Slide all of the curls into the top of the ornament (I ordered from amazon), making sure to first include the strips with the most important wording like the couple’s names, location, date, etc. When the ball is full, put the top back on and tie a ribbon around it. To make it a little easier to keep the ribbon in place, you can use a drop of glue and let it dry before you tie the knot.You may want to wait until after the wedding to make the ornament so that you can match the ribbon to the colors of their day.Wedding Invitation OrnamentAnd it’s as simple as that!Wedding Invitation Ornament

Have you saved anyone’s wedding invites from this year? Or possibly your own?? I think this makes a great Christmas or anniversary gift! I can’t wait to do it with our own wedding invite and make separate ornaments with the invites from the beautiful showers our friends threw for us!Wedding Invitation Ornament

Our Hawaiian Honeymoon

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A few people have asked “How’s married life so far?” Well, we spent 2 of the 3 weeks in Hawaii, so I can easily tell you it’s the greatest thing ever!! We left for our honeymoon adventure Sunday afternoon, the day after the wedding, to keep the party going. We spent the first night in downtown Chicago at The Drake and then before we knew it, we were on a flight to Hawaii Monday morning. After a full day of travel, we were wearing leis and kukui nuts!Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

Our first week was spent in Maui, staying at The Grand Wailea. It was a beautiful start! Especially when we got to the room and found champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us – thanks mom and dad! We made it just in time for our first of many sunsets.Wailea, Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

My favorite day on Maui was spent driving the “Road to Hana”. It is a twisty, windy narrow highway, passing over 46 one way brides and about 620 turns following the coast around the island. The drive itself would take about 4 hours without stops – but we spent 11 hours doing it. There are so many fun places to stop off along the way to do short hikes, swim under waterfalls, or visit beaches, that we ran out of time to do everything we wanted to.Road to Hana, Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.comWe used this great iPhone app called “Gypsy Guide – Road to Hana” that uses GPS to locate where we were and narrate the trip with facts and recommendations on where to stop. We felt like we were on a treasure hunt because most destinations are unmarked so it’s exciting when you find the next stop! We saw a lot of these eucalyptus trees that look like they belong in a Doctor Seuss book:Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

We loved seeing all of the lava formations along the coast:Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

This is one of the little pools we stopped off to swim in. To my horror, Andrew jumped off the rocks to the right of the bridge here.Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

This is the black sand beach where we stopped for a swim:Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

And a little while later, hiked this narrow path to get to a red sand beach!Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.comMaui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

We had the best dinner of our lives, hands down, at Mama’s Fish House. Andrew said it perfectly when we walked out – “Never have we spent more on a dinner, but my only regret is that I didn’t have room to order and eat more!” When we got to our table looking out over the ocean, our friends Elaine and Antonio had a bottle of wine waiting for us. It was so special!Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

After a week on Maui, we hopped on a quick plane ride over to Kauai. Wow, this island is stunning! Within an hour of landing, I knew this island would be my favorite island! It’s just so lush and tropical and picturesque. We stayed on the north side of the island the first 4 days in a VRBO, with this view from our balcony. It was absolutely dreamy sitting here for eating breakfast in the morning or sipping champagne in the evening.Kauai / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

Our favorite beach on the north side of the island was Hanalei Bay, which is surrounded by Jurassic Park looking mountains. We did some great boogie boarding – my favorite!Hanalei Bay / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

Kauai is famous for the Na Pali Coast – it was unbelievably gorgeous! We first saw it hiking along the Kalalau Trail:Kalalau Trail, Maui / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

To really take in the coastline through, you need to go out on a boat (or helicopter!!) ride to see it all. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were out on the boat, but it was still gorgeous in a mystical kind of way.Na Pali Coast, Kauai / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

If it had been sunny, this is what we would have seen:Na Pali Coast, Kauai / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

We spent our last 3 nights on the south “sunny” side of the island at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, relaxing luxuriously and soaking up the last few days of the honeymoon. Discovering the multiple pools and beach front at the Hyatt, we canceled our remaining excursions to just unwind.Kauai / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

Have you heard of post-wedding depression? Turns out, it’s a real thing! I’ve been so sad all week that the best two and a half weeks of our lives are over! I have almost started crying several times, wishing we were either back dancing to the band at our wedding reception or lounging alligator style in this salt water lagoon…Kauai / www.sarasfavoritethings.com

Our wedding was dreamy and our honeymoon was pure heaven. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! It was amazing to spend 2 full weeks swimming, snorkeling, hiking, relaxing, and having fun with MY HUSBAND! Still getting used to calling him that :)

*A special thanks to Ginny Wagner for helping us plan our stay on Kauai and to Kelsey Stapp, Matt Weinberg, and Kiki Lyons for the Maui tips!

 

Wedding update – 1 month away!!

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It’s hard to believe that as of today, our wedding is officially 1 month away! In 31 days, we will be a Mr. and Mrs. I don’t know if I’m prepared for that – I still feel too young to be a Mrs!! I also don’t want all the wedding celebration and champagne toasts to end :) It’s been an exciting 9 months to get to this point.

We have had so much fun getting everyone’s RSVP cards back! I didn’t realize how creative people would be – I’m fully prepared to step up my game with decorating the future RSVP cards I send in. My friend Jack’s mom even put a high school picture of Jack and I taped to the back! It was adorable. We asked people on the response card to answer “I promise to dance if you play:” and I think my favorite response so far is “Nice try!” I guess they won’t be dancing, no matter what song we play!Wedding RSVP card

Since most of my bridesmaids live in LA, I picked Santa Barbara for my bachelorette party. We had an absolute blast! My sister found this amazing house on VRBO for all 9 of us to stay in for the weekend. It was a dream to hang out in this treehouse bungalow with some of my best friends in the world. The backyard was all terraces, leading from an outdoor kitchen, to ping pong table, to bocce ball court, to fire pit…it was so cool!Santa Barbara

It was so special for me to have my mom there, as well as two of her best friends, who have known me since I was born. My bridesmaids and I loved having them with us! They actually surprised us all with the most creative lingerie gift!Santa Barbara

We could’ve easily spent the whole weekend hanging out at this house…but there were vineyards to visit! My bridesmaid Kristen made us the coolest tank tops. All the girls’ tanks said “That’s What She Said!” and my tank said “Yes!” How cute are these??Bachelorette Tank Tops

My bridesmaid Ashley made us a “Bachelorette Scavenger Hunt” to check off while we were touring the vineyards. It was hysterical! My favorite was “Get a stranger to get down on one knee and propose to Sara” – great work on this one, Abi! This guy had us all dying because out of nowhere he came up behind me and said “Sara, [long pause] this has been a long time coming…”Bachelorette Scaverger Hunt

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend spent with all of these fun ladies laughing and tasting lots of wine :)
Bachelorette Party at the Winery

Last weekend, I was home in Milwaukee for a bridal shower that was absolutely magical! Everything was touched with sparkly gold, from the flecks of gold sprinkled in our champagne to the golden beach balls floating in the pool behind me, my sister and my mom:Bridal Shower

The host, Susan, who was part of the bachelorette party, had secretly ordered wine from all of the vineyards we visited to do a blind taste test at the shower! And labeled them gold…Wedding Shower - Wine Tasting

The food was over the top delicious – and dairy/gluten free for me! And the table was beautiful!Wedding Shower - Dinner

We were all laughing hysterically at this shower game, which asked the ladies to submit a question to me about Andrew. Then, they could share a “marital bliss” tip. My sister quizzed me in front of everyone after dinner and then shared the tip. I’m still cracking up over this advice: “60 second kiss at the door after work every day”. Now that’s a LONG kiss!!Wedding Shower Game

My favorite part of all of this wedding planning and celebrating so far has been all of the time I’ve gotten to spend with those that I love. I really mean it! I can’t believe that in 5 weekends, all of the people that Andrew and I love will be in one place! I get teary just thinking about it! It makes us want to jump with excitement!Jumping Wedding Picture

To see more of our wedding details, you can find more posts I’ve written here!

Wedding Update – 2 Months Away!

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Andrew and I got engaged December 6th, so taking the advice of some already married friends, we kicked back and enjoyed the holidays completely, no wedding planning what so ever. Then February rolled around, and we realized with angst – places are booking up! We feverishly got to work on all of the big items, researching all of our options. Thank god for my mom, who drove all over Milwaukee for us to check places out, while we sat in Baltimore waiting for picture updates!Bling Party - Engagement Party

As much as possible, I have wanted to incorporate sparkly gold into the day because it screams celebration! I found these fun personalized hangers on Etsy to ask my best friends to by my bridesmaids, along with a bottle of champagne of course! It was a really sweet moment, asking them to be a part of our day.Bridesmaids Hangers

Searching for someone to capture the pictures and videos of our wedding has easily taken up the most amount of planning time. We are spending all of this time planning our wedding and I want to be able to remember as much of it as possible and relive the day again! So it’s a big decision. And a BIG expense. No one had warned us. I’m warning you, you could get all the bells and whistles of a photography package. Or you could buy a small car. That’s why there is so much research to do! I’m absolutely thrilled because we found an amazing photographer within our “new budget”: Carl at Front Room Photography. While searching through his photos, I came across this one and I was sold – this is all of the fun and excitement we want in our wedding day:Carl Wedding Pic

I have probably watched over 60 different wedding videos to try to understand which videographer fits us. Most nights when Andrew was working 3rd shift while we lived in Baltimore, I would sit down by myself to research videographers, absolutely balling as I watched complete strangers’ exchange vows. I’m not kidding. I have no idea who these couples are, yet I couldn’t stop the tears! It’s pretty crazy. I know I’m not completely alone here, talking to other brides-to-be…We picked Simply Love and couldn’t be happier.

Since you already know I’m into this whole blogging thing, I was definitely excited to create our wedding website. I researched all of the different website options and built a few different websites to try them out before settling with theknot.com. Future brides: it was definitely the easiest to navigate! I loved getting to update the site with information about Andrew and I and also to share some information about “the best city ever”, as I like to claim, since a lot of our party will be traveling from Ohio or California.Wedding Website

We did something a little unconventional with our save the dates and decided to send them online using Paperless Post. This turned out to be an awesome choice! It was so easy to put the invite together, using a picture I took of Baltimore, and almost free to send out. The best part about it was getting responses back immediately from people we invited – it was so fun to hear back from everyone via email sharing their excitement! You can do a quick email upload of all of the email addresses and names and you are good to go. Another benefit was that we could include a link for people to go right to our wedding website with all of the details.Save the Date - Paperless Post

We are finally entering the arena of decisions that Andrew can get excited about – like cake tastings!photo 3 (1)

But now even the frosting-lover himself, has admitted to being cupcaked-out. We ultimately settled on the salted caramel cupcake below from Delicately Delicious.photo 1 (3)

Next week, the wedding invitations are going out – it’s getting more and more official each day!photo 3 (2)

And now I’m in to Santa Barbara with my sister, mom, and best friends to celebrate my last few days as a bachelorette!! We’ll be wine tasting and trying not to worry about the trouble Andrew and his groomsmen could be getting into for his bachelor party in New Orleans this weekend…Hopefully they just enjoy some of the street music :)photo (27)

To see more of our wedding details, you can find more posts I’ve written here!