Up in the Gym Working on my Fitness

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I hate the gym. I hate working out. I really like nachos. And cheeseburgers. And oh, french fries. I love french fries. Pretty much, I can relate to Jennifer Lawrence on every food related comment she has ever made. As a result, I’ve got a little junk in the truck and while I’ve never loved my body, I’ve dealt with it. Because I love ice cream and chocolate.

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Snicks is also a food lover. He is the sole reason for most of my weight gains in our five year relationship. Unlike me. he loves the gym. Like loves the gym. Maybe more then me. His life revolves around the gym. He’s trying to become a police officer, so he’s constantly pushing his body to become faster and stronger. (Seriously he runs a 6:15 mile. How does a human do that?) So he goes to the gym and works off all of the food we eat together and I stay home and watch repeats of Bar Rescue. Well, not anymore!

I’ve been struggling with my weight for most of my life. I was a college basketball player and I played softball my freshman year. I’ve been an athlete for most of my life. I love playing sports and for most of my life, that is how I got my activity in. I gained a lot of weight in my sophomore year but lost a good amount of weight in my junior year. Over the years, I’ve gained a few pounds back and now that I’m getting married, I really want to start to take my fitness seriously.

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I’ve made a few lifestyle changes in the past few months. I take boot camp twice a week at my local gym along with kick boxing. I really do enjoy the small class sizes and my instructors make me accountable. Times when I wouldn’t take things as seriously, I find that I push myself to do more and do them correctly. On the days that I don’t have a class, I try to get a run in outside or do a workout on my Beach Babes DVD. Recently I signed up for the Bikini Series for Tone it up. While I don’t follow everything for the Bikini Series since I do my classes almost everyday, I do steal some of their workouts. I follow the girls on instagram and they’re pretty inspirational. I’m also participating in the 100 miles till summer. I’m not doing as well as I hoped but it’s a goal and keeps me motivated to push out that last mile.

I’m also much more smart about what I’m eating. During the week especially, I pack my meals and try to keep everything healthy and green. On the weekends, I tend to cheat a bit as long as I worked hard that week. I still have my nachos and pizza, but make healthier versions instead. Also, I gave up alcohol for the month of May, GASP. I know. I’m a wino but lately, my drinking habits have been setting me back in seeing the results I want. I’ve lost some weight and I’m feeling a bit more toned then I have before.

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All in all, I don’t want to lose a million pounds before my wedding day. I think that’s unrealistic. I find brides who set an unrealistic weight loss goal for themselves, just make themselves miserable in the process. I want to enjoy all of my wedding events and if I miss a work out or two, so be it. At the end of the day, I will be happy however I look and I will feel beautiful no matter what.

 

Are you trying to lose weight before your wedding? Any tips for those who are in the process?

 

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Asking all my favorite girls to be in my bridal party was one of the easier things I had to do. Let’s be honest, a girl has her bridal party picked out from day one. At least I did. I’m one of the first girls in my group of friends to get married and all of my friends are super excited to hear every detail. Which is nice because I am always so willing to show everyone every single one of my ideas and expect a chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs” after them. Okay, I’m a little excited for my wedding and to have my besties just as excited is the best feeling in the world. We actually picked out my bridesmaid dresses before I even decided on a dress. I already had an idea of what I wanted for my girls, plum bridesmaid dresses, short. Any style will do. Same designer. Easy right?

On one of my dress excursions I came upon the designer that I wanted. Perfect plum color, short dresses. I even demanded that my mother try on a few to send to my girls. Okay let’s be honest, my mother wanted in on the action too.

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While I do love the idea of identical dresses, I have eight girls in my bridal party. Two are 6’0 tall, two are 5’0. We’ve got well endowed girls and not so well endowed girls. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable in their dresses and I knew it was unrealistic to select a dress and have everyone agree on it. I told the girls that I wanted to choose between two and three styles that complimented them from the same designer and that we should try to get a symmetrical look going. The last thing I wanted was six girls with one dress and two girls with the other.

When we got to the place, chaos ensued. A few of my girls struggled to find dresses in their sizes (it was the boobs), my obnoxious bridesmaid was yelling and behaving in typical fashion. Dresses were being thrown everywhere and nick’s sisters who are on the shyer side, just stood there in shock. A few girls tried on dresses they liked and it appeared that we were getting somewhere. Until one of my bridesmaids walked out of the room in a dress we all hadn’t expected. Girl after girl tried on the dress and I suddenly felt like I was the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Wedding Issue. It had a one strap to support my larger chested girls, it had a sweetheart neckline to appease my strapless girls. It had a waistband to hide the places you wanted to hide and long enough for my tall girls. Everyone decided it was there number one dress except one girl and I politely told her that sorry not sorry. She was not that special. (She loved the dress and looks amazing in anything so don’t think it was a hard sell). And our dresses were chosen.

Bridesmaid Ally did not want to remove the dress so she eagerly volunteered to be the model for the dresses.

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We talked to the seamstress and she explained to us that it would be easy to remove the flowers so imagine this dress sans flowers and in the plum color showed above. All in all, I absolutely love the dress and had an easier time picking out bridesmaid dresses for my girls. The dresses were originally $215 and the owner took off 20 dollars for the bulk purchase. The dresses came to about $195 dollars plus alterations are included. I highly recommend finding a place that includes their alterations with the purchase of a dress, it makes life so much easier!!

Did you have an easy time selecting bridesmaid dresses? How did you decide on long or short? Matching or mixed?

The Child Delimma

Something that I have been struggling with since getting engaged is the age old question that most brides are faced with. Do you invite the kiddies or ask that they stay at home? Snicks and I decided right off the bat that we would not be inviting any children over the age of sixteen to our wedding (besides our Junior Bridesmaid who is seven). We don’t have any close nieces or nephews but a lot of our cousins have children. On my side, I’m pretty close with some of my cousins’s kids but Nick and I barely know the baby on his side BUT you can’t invite one without inviting them all so we quickly decided to ex nay the kids.

We had an issue during my uncle’s wedding a few years ago where my cousin was very upset that his child was not invited. My aunt and cousin were not attending the wedding until the very last minute when they decided to come. My cousin actually approached my uncle at his wedding and told him that my uncle owed him 500 dollars for needing to hire a babysitter. Now that my wedding is approaching, I have a feeling something like this might happen again.

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I’ve already heard a few comments about their children coming from both sides of our family. At Nick’s cousin’s baby shower, she held up a very adorable, pink dress and wondered out loud when the baby was going to wear it. Then a thought came to mind, “Oh this would be perfect for Snick’s and Amie’s wedding.” Cue the cringe. At my new baby cousin’s baptism, my newest Aunt came up to me with the bundle of joy and started dancing around. It was very sweet until she decided to tell the baby that she couldn’t wait to dance with him and Mine and Snick’s wedding. Now I’m going to have to let the poor kid down. Bummer.

My parents, Snicks and I have been discussing about what to do about this child-conundrum. I don’t want to start a family feud over children but the truth is, my venue is quite large and surrounded by ponds and other bodies of water. I don’t want to be responsible for anything that might happen. Also, inviting all of the children would give us 10-15 more mouths to feed. While children’s prices are cheaper, it’s still more money to add to our ever expanding budget.

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So I scoured the Weddingbee message boards to get some ideas on how to approach this. I did not want to put “Adults Only” on my wedding invite. My mother also hates the whole “___ number of seats have been reserved in your honor”. So that put the kibosh on that.  But after reading a few posts, I got the idea to add another insert into the invitation. Putting together a few examples I came up with this:

“Although we would love to celebrate with all of
our family and friends, it just isn’t possible due to
the nature of our venue. For this reason, we have
been limited to an adult only reception. Please feel
free to bring your little ones to the ceremony. We
thank you in advance for your understanding.”

The question is, do I put this in every invite or just the invitations of those you have children? I’m thinking to be safe, I might put it in a few family members who are close to the mothers and fathers as well. To make sure the rules are followed. I’m sure myself, my FMIL and my mother will be receiving phone calls complaining about the no child rule but I’m determined to stick to it. If anyone should disregard me wishes and bring their kids, I’m not going to let it ruin my wedding day.

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I had decided to include photos of me with really cute babies to prove to the world that I do love kids. Just not at my wedding.

Did you stick to the no child rule? Did it work? How did you let scheming parents know that their kids were a no go?

The Engagement Photos.

Snicks and I decided on the location of our engagement photos pretty early on. We both attended Moravian College (Go Hounds!), where we met and fell in love. Cue the romantic music. Snicks played football and I played basketball, so we were very involved with the student life aspect in our college as well. Our college is one of the oldest colleges in the country and some of the buildings and architecture are absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of those things where you take for granted how beautiful your campus is until you go to other campuses and you’re like, this is it?

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 Moravian College

The question was, who was going to take our engagement photos? Unlike most people, photos aren’t really a high priority of mine.  While I absolutely love all of the photography coming out nowadays, I really just need a few photos to hang in my house afterwards. It was the same way with our engagement photos. I just wanted a few cute ones and enough for our Save the Dates. My father has been into photography for awhile so Snicks and I decided to save some money and ask my dad to do our engagement photos.

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Before we even got engaged, I pinned about twenty pictures of Save the Dates with the jersey style. Snicks and I are big football fans. Okay, Snicksis a big football fan and I like to wear the jerseys and feel like part of the action. So within a few months of our engagement, we bought two jerseys for about thirty dollars.

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Masterpiece Weddings

And where else to take these photos, then at the football field where Snicks played for Moravian College? Bethlehem as a whole is just a gorgeous place and I knew we could get some gorgeous engagement photos and the photos for our Save the Dates as well.

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Where did you take your engagement photos? Did you find a creative way to tell your guests to Save the Date?

You’re My Sweetheart.

I’ve noticed at the few weddings that I’ve attended that the sweetheart table is becoming very popular at receptions. I’ve been going back and forth with having a head table or a sweetheart table at our own reception. For those not in the wedding know how, a sweetheart table is just a small table where the bride and groom sit. On the other hand, a head table is a longer, banquet style table where all of the bridal party will sit at during the wedding. Snicks and I decided to go against what is becoming a norm and to go with the head table. It really fits us as a couple. There are definitely positive and negatives to both, it really just depends on the couple.

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The great thing about the sweetheart table is that it would be a good opportunity to have more “us” time. I know weddings are hectic and it would be great to just sit down and enjoy the moment, alone. Snicks and I have already planned to take a few minutes away for ourselves and “us” time at our wedding isn’t a giant priority. As I told my Aunt when she asked us what we were thinking, “I have the rest of my life to eat dinner alone with my husband.”

To be honest, every wedding I attended, the sweetheart table looked a bit awkward and it was always empty. Snick and I aren’t people who thrive off of being the center of attention. It’ll be enough that we have to sway for three minutes in front of three hundred people like a bunch of eighth graders. I don’t need everyone to watch me chew with my mouth open. It’s a terrible habit, I know but I stuff my face. While we hate being center of attention, we also hate being left out of the action. If Snick’s best man makes a funny comment or if my bridesmaid does something ridiculous, I want to be there to witness it, darnit!

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One of the biggest reasons why we were considering the sweetheart is so our bridal party can sit with their dates. From my understanding, I think this is why most people decide to go with the sweetheart. That way you do not have to stick your bridal party’s dates with people they’ve never met before. The truth is, the majority of our bridal party is single and will not be bringing dates anyway. Snck’s brother has a girlfriend and will have no problem sitting with his family. One of Snick’s groomsmen has a girlfriend but she attended school with us and is very good friends with a lot of Snick’s college friends. My cousin also has a boyfriend but he’s actually one of Snick’s friends from childhood, so we can stick him at that table. I feel like Snick’s and I’s opinions on such things are a bit different then most couples getting married. Maybe because we’re a bit younger and our friends are still such a giant part of our lives or maybe we’ll regret not choosing the sweetheart table.

At the end of the day, we just decided that the head table is what we really want. To be surrounded by our best friends in the entire world, celebrating the rest of our lives while getting our party on. It may be a little crowded with our giant bridal party but at the end of the day, it was an easy decision for us.

 

Asking Our Bridal Party

One thing you will learn about Snicks and I, is we’re a go big or go home sort of couple. We both said from the beginning, if we’re going to get married, we’re going to do this right. We decided that this wasn’t just a celebration for just us, this was a celebration for all of the amazing people in our lives. So when we came to picking our bridal party, we wanted to pick the friends and family that meant the most of us. For this I decided to include my four best friends from college, my cousin, my best friend from high school and nick’s sisters. Also, I decided to include a junior bridesmaid, who is the granddaughter of a family friend. My MOH, is my best friend from college. We don’t talk everyday and we don’t see each other much but when we do, we just get each other on a whole ‘nother level. Snicks decided on having his brother and his childhood best friend as his best men. He was torn between the two of them and I promptly told him, this is our wedding, we can do what we want.  Which just so happens to be my motto for most of my wedding decisions. He then decided on three more childhood friends, three college friends and my brother. All in total that makes nine groomsmen, eight bridesmaids and one little junior bridesmaid.

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High School Best Friend

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MOH for the win

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Snick’s sisters (They’re twins if you hadn’t noticed)

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Junior Bridesmaid FTW!

The next step on our bridal party journey was to actually ask our bridal party! Snicks was actually planning on asking me to marry him the weekend we were going away for my birthday. Every summer, some of his friends and some of my friends head up to my vacation home in upstate NY. We always have a great time and it would have been a perfect time to get engaged and to celebrate with friends and family. Snicks, being the impatient man that he is, couldn’t wait that long after buying the ring and he asked me in May instead. So we both decided the trip would be a perfect time to ask our girls and guys to be in our bridal party. We weren’t sure how to go about it, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money because our bridal party is so big but I knew I wanted to give them something a little special. That’s where the t-shirts came in. I thought they would be a perfect way to ask my girls and they could also serve double duty to wear as we get wedding on my wedding day. Now that my girls were decided, it was time to deal with how Snicks was going to ask his guys. He decided to steal my t-shirt idea with a couple of twists. Now, if you decide to follow this blog, you’ll soon learn that Snicks is very fond of the gym and not wearing any sleeves. Coincidentally, all of his groomsman are the same way (and the majority of my bridesmaids. We’re all a bunch of meat heads actually). So we purchased groomsman t-shirts and then Snicks proceeded to cut them, much to his mother’s dismay.

So after a night of drinking, playing flip cup and partaking in all sorts of debauchery out on the deck, I informed my girls to close their eyes and hold out their hands.

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Not all of Snick’s groomsman could make it, so Snicks also had a barbecue where he asked the rest of his groomsmen. If you noticed, Snicks forgot to order himself a GROOM t-shirt so the two guys he asked on our trip went and got one made for him to wear when he asked everyone else. Which I thought was super sweet.

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Also our siblings didn’t come to either the BBQ or the vacay, so we took them to separate dinners and asked them. All in all, it was a success. Everyone enjoyed themselves and they all accepted. Luckily, both the bridesmaids and groomsman are pretty friendly with each other, so it will make for a fun wedding. Hopefully not too much trouble!

I put the Do It in DIY

Going into my wedding, I decided that I really wanted to have some thoughtful touches throughout the wedding to make people “oh that’s sweet”. Now, I’m not getting my hopes up and I do realize that 80% of the wedding won’t care or notice any of these classic touches but I am still determined to make them! I’ve added a few DIY projects to my list, the first being my centerpieces and table numbers. My inspiration for this came from, where else, Pintrest. Seriously, how did people plan weddings before it?

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I have a few tweaks to the centerpieces, so it’s not exactly the picture showed but I do love the wood slices and the twine wrapped bottle. Luckily, Snick’s dad’s best friend actually cuts down trees, so he was able to cut up about thirty slices for us. This happened a few months ago and they have just been sitting in Snick’s bedroom, waiting to be sanded. I decided pretty quicklt that I did not want to use the wood piece as a table number. Instead went back to Pintrest (And Weddingbee.com) for inspiration.

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I love the idea of using burlap as the fabric behind the numbers. The hardest part of this was finding the numbers. Most of these DIYs for this are a few years old and the numbers have been discontinued in quite a few places. So I turned to the internet and found Craft Cuts. Here you can choose the font and the size of your wooden numbers. I ended up ordering the Baltic Birch Wooden Numbers. I used the font Whimsical and had my numbers made at three inches and and 1/8 inch thick. I ordered 48 numbers at $1.35 each plus 8.95 shipping and handling. Luckily, I had a twenty percent discount and got the wooden numbers for $60.79. Not too shabby if you ask me.

When it came down to frames, Snicks and I headed over to the dollar store. We decided to go cheap since we’d be painting them anyway. We (I) struggled with choosing 4×6 frames or 5×8 frames for the table numbers. Like always, we decided bigger was better and went with the 5×8 frames. I’m glad we did, the numbers do not look squished together which would have happened if we went with 4×6. So we picked up some black, plain frames and headed to the cash register. The only thing that stunk was that they didn’t have thirty of all the same style, so we had to go with a few different ones. That makes it eclectic, right?

Making them was pretty simple, just a bit tedious to make thirty frames. I did this during Christmas time so I poured myself a glass of wine, put on the Hallmark movie channel and had myself a nice little time.

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The hardest part was painting the frame, I had to go over them once or twice since the frames were black. I thought about spray painting them but I wanted to have some of the black coming through, giving it a bit more of a vintage view. I also painted all of the numbers twice as well. After a few frames were painted and dried, I took the back of the frame and mod podged the burlap to the back of the frame. I hot glued the numbers to the burlap and BAM, I was done. It took a little longer then I expected but with the help of wine, I got them all done in a night. All thirty of them.

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The Price:
Wooden Numbers: $60.79
Acrylic Paint: $8:00
Frames: $31.20
Burlap: $5.00

GRAND TOTAL: 104.99
So it cost around 3.50 to make each table number. Which I am happy with since I budgeted around 5.00 for each table number.

What did you do for your table numbers? Did you use numbers or something more creative?