Weddings – Appetizers

| Weddings

Appetizers seem to be a popular theme on my Pinterest feed this week so I decided to do my blog on Wedding Appetizers.  I picked five fun looking appetizers and two my friends and I started cooking, taking pictures along the way.  Disclaimer:  none of us are chefs and we aren’t professionals and shooting food…that would be my friend Taylor of Taylor Takes a Taste.  It turned out to be a great Girl’s Night! As a matter of fact, if you are getting married soon and trying to decide what type of food you want to have for your wedding, what better idea for a Girl’s Night then cooking some of the recipes your are contemplating and letting your friends help you pick.

For this week’s blog, we picked 5 recipes:  Ham Cups, Cheese Bacon Bombs, Mini Deep Dish Pizza, Taco Cupcakes and Fried Pickles.

wedding appetizers
I think the general consensus between the three of us was that the Taco Cupcakes were our favorites.  I found the recipe on the blog – The Girl Who Ate Everything.  The recipe calls tomatoes on top with sour cream but we used salsa instead.


We learned the hard way with the Cheese Bacon Bombs that the dough expands, so we need to divide the biscuits up.  But aside from that, it’s bacon and everyone loves bacon.  A friend of mine told me after looking at the pictures that we needed to add chocolate.  We found this recipe on the site Oh Bite It.

Bacon Cheese Bombs


The Mini Deep Dish Pizzas came from the website Dashing Dish.  These were fun and very good but I don’t know that they are the best thing for a wedding reception or party.  They can be a little messy.

Mini Deep Dish PizzasWe found our Breakfast Ham Cups on Menu Musings of a Modern Mom.  This would be something perfect for a morning brunch the day of the wedding or the morning after. If we were going to make these again, we need to do a better job with the ham and putting it in the muffin tins.

Ham CupsThe final appetizer that we made was Oven Baked Fried Pickles.  We found this recipe on Food.  These were really good and since they were broiled in the oven, we didn’t feel as bad eating them.  We served them ranch dressing.

My original thought for this was to style a table for the shoot and do a cute menu design to go with it.  I ran out of time and energy but I promise next time we do this, I will do a better job with the pictures and styling.  Until then, try out the recipes above and be sure to let me know what you think.

Next week’s Vendor Spotlight will be WinMock at Kinderton, a wedding venue in Bermuda Run – right outside of Winston-Salem, NC.  Until next time – stay warm and don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!



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A Bride’s Story – Vendors

| A Bride's Story, Weddings

Hey guys!  It’s that time again and Amber’s blog today and I have to say that as I was reading it, I was going through my website in my mind saying…does my site do that, do I have that, etc. As some of you may notice from reading Amber’s blog, my site is currently a work in progress and things are changing daily.  I would love to know what you guys think.  As Amber’s blog says, my goal is to make my site user friendly for everyone, especially that new bride to be.


Week 16

Hello, friends! I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by and yet the wedding seems so far away still! I have been trying to figure out what on Earth I still had to write about since the planning part has come to a standstill, but after doing some research online yesterday I thought I might blog for the vendors! I know that vendors (whether already working with Laurie or wanting to work with her) take a peek at this every now and then and there are some things that I think might be helpful for them. On the other hand…vendors may read this and thank their lucky stars that I opted for a Savannah wedding and they don’t have to deal with me! I hope it’s the former. J

While looking online for vendors, which every bride does regardless of in town or destination weddings, we look for key things. First and foremost, we want to meet you!! Most vendors have an “About Me” section on their site, but I have realized that a lot of them tell you about themselves and never say their name! I never thought about it until yesterday when I was searching for someone’s name and it was nowhere on the site. I also find it very fun when they pose silly questions (what’s your favorite movie, if you could be a shoe what kind would it be, etc.) and tell you something about themselves that is off the wall (I read one where a photographer said her friends referred to her as the Momarazzi). Everyone wants to feel a connection and that is hard to convey online, but being open about your quirky ways, how much you love your dog, that you have traveled the globe, or how you used to line your teddy bears up and make them say cheese…these are things that go a long way to make that connection. I don’t say this in a gimmicky way, be honest, and tell us something that makes us go, “OMG! I love the red M&M’s better too!” Most vendors try to do that, but to those who don’t…maybe it’s time to update the site. As a bride, I want a vendor to be courteous and professional, of course, but I am a loud and often ridiculous force of nature and want to work with people that will let their proverbial hair down and be silly sometimes!

Another thing that I have noticed and I don’t know how anyone lets it happen…make sure your website is easy to read! We all love the cute colors and backgrounds, but if you have a dark brown background, you cannot use black text. It makes it almost impossible to read and trying to highlight the text so I can find your email address is kind of exhausting. Have a navigable website for your future (and current) customers. The contact section should be simple: Address (at least mailing), Phone number (if you want), but most importantly an email address! Those online forms are super helpful, but sometimes a bride has 1 question that she would like to ask you before wasting any of your time to work up a quote! For example, some people want to make sure that a vendor is gay friendly or willing to travel, there is no reason to waste your time with all of the information that is requested on those forms if your answer is in the negative. Most sites use info@…, but a growing trend that I have seen and think is adorable is hello@… It gives it a personal touch! There is nothing wrong with the former, if you have that, I am not at all implying that you should change it or it’s outdated!! I am merely saying that if you don’t have an email address and are relying on online forms, it’s a fun alternative!

Finally, dear vendors, I would like to speak for all brides when I say this last bit. We know that you are the ones that make our weddings beautiful. You put in the blood, sweat, and tears to make sure that every centerpiece looks exactly the way we want it, even though we changed our mind 17 times…just yesterday. Even when deep down you may want to smack us over the head with that beautiful vase that we insisted had to be in the center of table 5, not table 7, because Nana is sitting at table 7 and Aunt Judy gave us that vase and Nana hasn’t spoken to Aunt Judy in 25 years because of the fruitcake incident, which we can’t talk about. You give us the memories that hang on our walls for years to come. You make the delicious cake that the family brings up after every wedding. You are the ones that keep us calm and grounded, when we threaten to call off the wedding or cry because how could 1 piece of chocolate put those five pounds back on? We know that without you and your beautiful visions, endless patience, and sometimes pure ingenuity…we could not have the best day of our lives go off without a hitch…at least as far as we know, because no one tells the bride when the caterer is late and the flowers are half dead and the DJ is wearing cut off shorts when he gets thereyou shield us from the chaos until it’s all over and you can tell us while we have a champagne buzz and are high on love and can laugh about all those things that went wrong and just say, “Thank You!” Thank you, vendors, for all you have done, are doing, and will continue to do…and we’re sorry. About Nana. And the indecision. And the meltdown. Ok, the meltdownS, we’re sorry for all of them!! (Mostly Nana though, she’s such a diva).

Brides—make sure you thank your vendors. Not just monetarily, but verbally, technologically…however you can. Let the world know that you have amazing vendors and your wedding would not have been as amazing without them!

Until next time, my friends!


If you saw the food pictures on instagram yesterday, be sure to check back tomorrow as we discuss wedding appetizers.
Until next time – stay warm and don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!

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A Bride’s Story – The Budget

| A Bride's Story, Weddings

Hey guys!  It’s been a busy week here at  I’m working on my advertising budget for the year and which magazines and websites I want to work with.  We mailed out all of Amber and Dan’s Save The Dates this past week and I’m getting ready to work on some new designs for our midseason collection.  Today’s blog by Amber is something that all couples need to think about but most don’t want to deal with….the dreaded budget.  Believe me, I know all about it these days.


Week 15

Hello, friends!! Here we are, just days away from the 9 month mark and all of the big stuff has been accomplished. In today’s blog I am going to talk to you about some of the dreaded stuff…budget and checklists.

When I first started the planning I realized that there were a million different checklists out there and each one had different timelines. The wedding industry has now come to a point when not having a year to plan seems like sacrilege. I have friends that have planned lovely weddings in as little as two months, so don’t think you don’t have enough time to get things done if you want to get married sooner rather than later! Just know that you may have to make some concessions with date/time/venue/etc. with a shorter time frame. Dan and I had originally planned on getting married in October, but when the venue we chose wasn’t available, we shifted it back. We knew that the venue was important to us and made the necessary concessions, that being said…remember that we got engaged on November 4th, 2014 and our wedding is November 21st, 2015. It’s kind of funny that in the calls that I made the week after the engagement we learned that early to mid-October was impossible for this and many venues!! That being said, he and I have no regrets with pushing the date back because we found the best possible venue with the best staff around! They have helped us in so many ways already and I have no doubts that our wedding is going to be absolutely perfect!

I mention all the different timelines to point that after some digging, I found that Martha Stewart’s wedding checklist was the easiest to manipulate and painted very broad strokes of when things needed to be done. Some will say that X must be accomplished at 11 months out and Y must be accomplished at 10 months out, etc.; but Stewart’s checklist states that things should be done six or more months ahead…four to six months…two to four months, and only zeroing in when it reaches one-two weeks or day before. I found her checklist here. It’s under the checklists and gives far more than a to-do list, but many more useful tools. Find whatever is comfortable for you and please, do your own research before making a choice for any “helpful” tools. Every bride and every wedding is different, but remember that these are just suggestions and if you don’t get it all done by the times listed, don’t panic! A panicked bride turns into a bridezilla and nobody wants that!!

As for the budget, whether your family, families, or you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding, you need to set a budget as soon as you can! I would recommend a window budget and by that I mean if you’d like to spend no more than $5K, say $3-5K and be aware that as things come up, you may go over budget. If you give yourself a window budget ($3-5K) it will allow for any worst case scenarios (i.e.: the DJ you really want is available and costs $1500, but you only budgeted $800). Besides the worst case scenario side of it, you will feel so much better when you wind up at $5K and know that you’re not in for a horrific fight with parents or your new hubby! What I have chosen to do, and I know you will be shocked by this, is keep an Excel spreadsheet with all the vendors and cost of deposits so that we know how much money we have already spent leading up to the biggest expenses. Remember that the reception alone is usually the largest expense (most say it’s at least half the budget) and you won’t have an exact amount until after the big day. Keeping up with it as I go has made it far easier to keep track of it in real time. I input the deposit amount and I have a running tally of that line so we know how much we have already spent. Trust me…it adds up VERY fast.  A $300 deposit doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you do that for several vendors and add in the venue deposit (generally 25% of the minimum), it’s a domino effect! Most importantly, talk to your fiancé (or parents if they’re helping) and be honest about what matters the most to you. If photos of your big day are what mean the most to you, spend your money there! If he is all about those expensive gifts for his groomsmen, spend it there! Remember that this wedding is for you and your fiancé and you should both have the things that mean the most to you make the difference. That being said, if there are things that neither one of you really care about, don’t put your money into that area because you “have” to. This is your wedding and you don’t “have” to do anything, except marry the love of your life.

Until next time, friends!


Until next time – stay warm and don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Susan Crutchfield, Wedding Photography

| Photographers, Vendor Spotlight

Are you planning a wedding in the Metro Atlanta Area or better yet, a destination wedding and you haven’t decided on a wedding photographer yet…look no further.  Let me introduce you to Georgia’s own – Susan Crutchfield.  After meeting her, I think you will be calling her up to book your wonderful day.

If you have been following our blog series – A Bride’s Story, you may recognize Susan’s name.  She will be photographing our own bride – Amber’s wedding in November and you will get a look then at some of her great photos.  But Susan is such a talented photographer, that I didn’t want you have to have to wait that long to meet her, so read on to find out more.

Susan, I love your logo.  What is the backstory?

Susan Crutchfield Photography LogoThank you! I worked closely with Scott Fuller of The Studio Temporary  to come up with the perfect logo. The logo is representative of an old film camera that I have in my office. If you are in front of the camera the three elements that stand out are two circles and a square and my logo is the same. A lot of photographers have cameras in their logo and I wanted to be different and not have an actual camera. Scott did an amazing job in listening to my story and creating the perfect logo.


I read on your website that from the instant you picked up your dad’s 35 mm film camera a whole new world opened up for you.  What made you decide to turn your love for photography into a business?

I have been taking pictures ever since I can remember. My dream growing up was to be a photographer. I still remember the impatience of having to wait two weeks for my prints to come back. When I went off to college they did not offer a photography program that didn’t include a lot of drawing classes which I was just terrible at. I ended up getting my degree in Sport Management and worked in sports for years. When I was laid off my from sports job in 2008 I decided to pick the camera back up. I had a wonderful teacher and mentor in Josh Lamkin of Josh Lamkin Photography and with my family’s support and encouragement in 2010, I decided to open my own business. I wanted to share my passion of capturing these beautiful moments and happy families with other people.

 How many weddings do you shoot a year?

I shoot a very limited amount of weddings per year. I never want to be the photographer shooting 50 weddings a year. I give each of my brides and grooms a special, customized experience and I want to be more then just their wedding photographer. I am available to help them plan their wedding. I usually put the entire timeline of their day together. I also help them with other aspects of the day by coordinating with other wedding vendors. A lot of my brides have never been involved in planning a wedding so I let them know they can lean on me for support and questions.

Susan, I love that idea.  With that in mind, what types of packages do you offer?  Do you offer and engagement package and a wedding date shoot?

At the moment I offer one package. I find a lot of package options can get confusing and most packages are based on time. I am there to tell the story of the couple’s day and I can’t tell it properly if I am not there beginning to end so I offer full day coverage. I am usually there from when the bride is getting ready to when they depart for the night. My package does include an engagement shoot. I think the engagement shoot is very important. This is a good “trial run.” It is a great way of getting the bride and groom relaxed in front of the camera as well as getting comfortable with me. It’s just a fun time to hang out and get some really sweet photos of a time they will always look back on and smile. I do not offer a bridal shoot as I have never had much interest in having one from any of my clients but it is definitely something I could add on if someone was interested.

What is your process?  Do you meet the brides beforehand?

I definitely meet with the brides beforehand. I usually try to meet in person before they even book me. I like to show them the albums and let them see and touch them so they know exactly what they are getting. My package comes with an 8×11 album and a 5×7 parent album so I want them to see exactly what they are going to get. I usually encourage them to meet with several other photographers as well. It is very important to pick a photographer you are comfortable with and that you get along with. After all this is the person who will be by your side that day more then anyone else. After they book me, I make sure to stay in contact with the couple leading up to the wedding to help in any way I can. I really enjoy getting to know all the wonderful couples I have photographed. And it is really exciting when I get to photograph their babies when they have them.

Susan Crutchfield Photography

How do you send your files to your brides?

After I carefully cull and edit the photographs I send the brides an online album with their proofs. They can send and share this with their friends and family. It is a private album so only the people with the link can view it. Once they have approved the proofs I send them a USB drive with their files. They get two sets of files one for printing and one sized for website use.

Do you work with a second shooter?

I do offer an option to add a second shooter. Some couples like having a second there to stay with the groom the whole time and just get some extra shots.

What is your favorite part of the business?

My favorite part of my business is the wonderful people I have met. I am a part of some really special times in people’s lives whether it is a wedding or a newborn baby. They trust me with these incredible memories and I don’t take that lightly. I love getting to know people not just the couple but all their wonderful friends and family. And I love weddings! I always have and so I really love to be a part of a wedding.

Susan Crutchfield Photography

What is your favorite type of venue to shoot?

The great outdoors! I love shooting outside on a beautiful day. Knock on wood I have been lucky and never had rain during a ceremony. I shot a wedding last year under a 100 year old oak tree in an open field and it was just amazing.


What trends do you see with your current brides?

In my area I have seen a lot of casual weddings with country flair. The barn wedding was definitely at the top of the list.


If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?

I love telling stories with my camera. I love capturing the emotion, happiness, and love of a wedding day. You are going to remember it for years to come not only because it was such a special day but because I am going to make sure to document all of those wonderful moments that make up the wedding day.

Want to know more about Susan and Susan Crutchfield Photography, be sure to follow her on social media:


Don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!






Weddings – Savannah Style

| Savannah, Weddings

It’s only fitting that my blog today is about Savannah Weddings, since Amber (A Bride’s Story) and I just got back from there.  We met with several of her wedding vendors and took a look at several different venues (for research) while we were in town.

Black tie, casual, rustic, nautical, beach, heels or barefoot…Savannah has the perfect venue for you to get married.  With it’s romantic architecture, statue filled squares, historic museums and horse-drawn carriages, Savannah is a perfect place for your dream wedding.

One of the first places we looked at on Tuesday was Forsyth Park.  With it’s flowing fountains and Spanish moss covered oaks, it is the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding.  Booking can be a little tricky though.  It can only be booked exactly one year ahead of the date.

forsythe park

Booking the Forsyth Park is an achievement in itself, it can be booked exactly one year ahead of the date and there is a line of wedding planners outside the booking office at 6am trying to secure the date for the next year.Along that same line, there are over twenty squares in Savannah that can be rented out for a wedding.  With each square having it’s own charm, I’m sure you can find the perfect one for you.

Want to say “I Do” with a little history instead?  Try one of the many museums in Savannah. The Coastal Heritage Society manages the Savannah History Museum & Battlefield Memorial Park, the Georgia State Railroad Museum and the Savannah Children’s Museum, Old Fort Jackson and others.


If you are looking for something fun on the water, why not try out a Savannah Riverboat Cruise Wedding.  Your wedding can take place on one of the decks and then go inside for a dinner. The riverboat also has private decks for parties of 75 or more.

Looking for that rustic look, check out the Savannah Station. It’s 2,000 square foot bar can hold up to 200 people in a cocktail setting and 75 for a seated dinner.  It has thirteen foot ceilings, original brick floors, antique sideboards, an ornate front/back bar and pier mirrors. If you are looking for a bigger venue, the ballroom is 6,000 square feet and can entertain up to 450 people.

hilton savannah

And then there are the many hotels and inns. We stayed at the Hilton Savannah Desoto. Home to several different ballrooms, the view from the fifteenth floor ballroom is spectacular. The rooms are nice and the suites are gorgeous.  If you want to check out the hotel for a future wedding, be sure to ask for Dee Young.  She is working with Amber and is awesome!

So if you are thinking about getting married in Savannah, Georgia, I hope this information has helped you.  Be sure to keep following the vendor spotlight blog for more about these great venues as well as some other great wedding vendors in Savannah.

Check back Tuesday as we meet Susan Crutchfield  – a wedding photographer from the metro Atlanta area.

Stay warm!

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A Bride’s Story – Part 9 – Savannah Bound

| A Bride's Story

Hey guys!  Well, Amber and I just got back from Savannah and we had a great trip.  Today, you will hear all the fun wedding details about our trip, but be sure to come back tomorrow and learn about some of the different venues in Savannah to get married.


Week 14

Hello everyone! Laurie and I returned from Savannah today and we had such an amazing and productive trip! We had a great meeting with the catering manager from the hotel and I honestly have to say that if you are even remotely considering doing any event in Savannah that you have to go with the Hilton DeSoto. Dee Young is an absolute joy to work with and the entire staff is so friendly and helpful that you instantly feel at home the moment you walk in the door! We ironed out some important details and cannot wait to go back and do the food tasting with Dan in a few months! We saw the suite that Dan and I will be staying in…and let me just say that there is plenty of room for the girls and I to get ready the morning of the wedding!!

Site of my first dance as a "we"

The Reception…

We also met with Natasha Gaskill from A Squad Bakery and I am pleased to announce that I have found my baker! She pointed out that when looking for vendors for your wedding, you are searching for someone that you have a connection with and from the moment that Natasha sat down with us and started talking, I felt like we had known each other so much longer than a few moments! Her cakes are absolutely amazing and once Dan tried them when I got home, he completely agreed!

cake tasting

Our Cake tasting looked similar to this one.

We also met with Audrey King, a friend that Laurie made while in Salt Lake City a few weeks back for the ALT Summit. Audrey is a wedding planner and also does flowers, she let us pick her brain for some information and gave me some wonderful ideas on things that I hadn’t even thought of!! Hopefully she will be doing what little flowers I do have and I know that whatever she does will be beautiful!

After meeting with everyone, Laurie and I enjoyed a very nice visit to Six Pence Pub and had a wonderful chat with the owners, who also were able to weigh in on some things that they think captured Savannah to incorporate into the wedding in some variety! All in all, it was such an enlightening trip and I am so grateful to have met so many talented people in my life that they have led me to even more talented people! I think that I have locked up everything and now we have reached the maintenance part of the planning process!

I apologize for a shorter blog than usual and rushing through all of it, but as soon as Laurie and I got home I had to rush to work and am very tired from our whirlwind trip!! I hope you will all forgive me. As a final thought, Laurie will be sending out our Save the Dates this week and I did pick up my wedding dress a few days before we left, it is getting more real with each passing day and I am elated to share the information with all of you, my faithful readers. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me and I will try and keep you entertained and fill you in on everything else as we approach our big day!

Until next time, friends!

Be sure to check back tomorrow to learn more about weddings in Savannah.

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Spotlight On: Old South Vintage Rentals, Wedding Rentals

| Accessories, Carolinas, Vendor Spotlight

Brides, please meet Samantha Mason, owner of Old South Vintage Rentals. I came across Old South Vintage Rentals through pictures of her beautiful rentals that were used at a wedding.  As a lover of vintage furniture, her pieces intrigued me instantly.  She has an incredible eye for finding the perfect furniture and has found her niche in the growing trend of rustic and vintage weddings.  I know that once you know a little more about Samantha and her business, you will fall in love with her pieces just like I did, so read on.

Old South Vintage Rentals is a great name.  What is the backstory?

I thought Old South Vintage Rentals was the perfect name combining everything we are.  WE love everything old, we’re southern and we specialize in vintage rentals.  It was genius, really!

What made you decide to start your business?

I decided to start Old South Vintage Rentals when I couldn’t find a vintage rentals company in North Carolina.  I KNEW there was a need for it and I wanted to fill that void.

Where do you find your items for your rentals?  Do you restore the pieces that you purchase or do you buy them already restored?

We find our rental pieces EVERYWHERE.  We travel around a lot to find the perfect pieces for our collection.  Depending on what we find, we have the option of purchasing them restored or restoring the ones that need a little work.

What is your Process? Do you deliver the rentals? Do you set them up?

Our rental process first starts when our clients wants to reserve some items.  All of our bookings are done online as we do not allow clients to visit our warehouse.  We then require a signed rental agreement and a 50% retainer to reserve their date.  We then ask that we have the remaining balance seven days prior to their event date.  On the event date, we deliver all rentals and place them wherever they need to go.

What is your favorite part of your business?

My favorite part of owning Old South Vintage Rentals is seeing the pieces I have carefully selected for our curated collection bring a clients vision to reality.  It’s so fun and exciting for me to see the pieces in action.

What is your favorite item that you rent?

Any of our carts and wagons.  I have a strange obsession with them.

What is your most popular item?

Our most popular item is probably our wine barrels.  Those suckers are popular!

What trends do you see with the current brides?

Our brides are SO NOT trendy, which is why I love them so much!  Because they are all so different, we have a great mix of brides trying to achieve different looks.  It’s wonderful to be able to offer such an extensive inventory that is able to appeal to any bride.

If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?

They can come to me for anything!  Advice, questions, concerns…and no matter what the issue, they will always get in touch with ME.  My response time amazes people, but I work with my clients on a personal level and I want to be as helpful as quickly as possible.  It’s all a part of the boutique experience.

Want to know more about Old South Vintage Rentals, be sure to follow them on social media:
Instagram: @oldsouthvintagerentals

Don’t forget to share you love on Facebook!

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A Bride’s Story – Part 8 – Changing Your Name

| A Bride's Story

Hey guys!  Before we get to this week’s edition of – A Bride’s Story – Changing your Name, I wanted to do a little housekeeping. Starting tomorrow, I will be posting a new blog on Thursdays – Vendor Spotlight.  These blogs will be bi-weekly and will feature vendors in the wedding industry from one of several markets:  Charlotte, NC, Asheville, NC, Wilmington, NC, Greenville, NC, Charleston, SC, Myrtle Beach, SC, Hilton Head, SC, Savannah, GA, Atlanta, GA, Charlottesville, VA, Knoxville, TN, Chattanooga, TN, Birmingham, AL and St. Augustine, FL.  We will be interviewing wedding planners, venues, photographers, florists and cake designers as well as guest columns by a few other companies. Our goal is to help you with all your wedding planning needs from the time you pick your venue until you move into your first home.  As you can see in Amber’s blog this week – there are a lot of things that go into getting married and our goal is to help you along the way.


Week 13

Hello, friends! We are closing about nine and a half months out now and Laurie has ordered our Save the Dates, slated to be mailed out in a few weeks! I got an email that my wedding dress is ready to be picked up, I will be doing that tomorrow afternoon and that is about all the wedding planning news I have now.

I wanted to talk about something that most brides need to know in this blog. Changing your name. I did some research and printed out all the forms that I will need to send out after the wedding. I wanted to write about it because there are several things to do! First and foremost, you will need to start with the Social Security Office. You can download the form off their website and bring it to your local office, which can be found online. You will need a copy of your marriage license, but from everything I can find you only need to order 2-3 copies when you apply. DMV and SSA will only look at certified copies, make a copy, and give it back. For your passport, it’s easier to just mail it in, so you will definitely need an extra copy for that! I would suggest one more copy in case you opt to mail in your forms to the SSA. Be aware of their hours as they are not typically 9-5!

The next step would be changing your name (and address if necessary) with DMV. Those forms can be found on your state’s website, but can also be found state by state on this site. This is not an official site sponsored by the government or any specific state, but all forms can be found for each state and it’s much easier to navigate than some state’s DMV sites. For example, in South Carolina I need to fill out two forms. One as a name change and one requesting a new license. Be sure to check with your individual state to guarantee that you won’t have to make any additional trips!

If you are going out of the country for your honeymoon and are leaving within 8 weeks of your wedding, it is likely easier to change your passport information after the trip. They say it will only take 4-6 weeks, but we all know you should leave a little extra time! You can expedite the process for an additional $60, but why spend more money if you don’t have to? If, like me, you have an expired passport and are traveling shortly after your wedding, you can renew your passport with Form DS-82 –  for $110 and as long as you change your name within 1 year using Form DS-5504 there is no additional charge. The only stipulation to this is that your passport must be undamaged, issued within 15 years, and you’re at least 18 years old.

Once your social security card and driver’s license are changed you can then go about changing your information at the bank, with your credit cards, and any other bills you have. It is recommended to go into the bank with a copy of your marriage license, but most everything else should be able to be done online.

I know this was a very boring blog, but I hope that some of you find it helpful! There is so much information out there, but it took me awhile to narrow down the right order to get things done! As I said last week, Laurie and I will be going to Savannah next week, so there should be some fun stuff to share in the next blog! I’ll try to keep the blogs a little less boring from here on out. J

Until next time, my friends! Amber

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I introduce you to Samantha Mason of Old South Vintage Rentals.  She will be our first vendor spotlight and I can’t wait for you to meet her.

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Wedding Wednesdays – A Bride’s Story – Part 7

| A Bride's Story, Wedding Wednesdays

I always love to hear the story of how couples met.  In this week’s edition of A Bride’s Story – Amber talks about her first date with Dan.  Although, I knew this story prior to reading this blog, it’s still fun to hear the story again.  If you have a fun story of how you met your husband, fiance or boyfriend, please feel free to share them in the comments below.


Week 12

Well, my friends, it’s been a slow week in the wedding planning process although we are really getting to the point that I am not going to have as much to share since I am almost done with everything! Laurie and I will be heading down to Savannah the week after next to do a little reconnaissance on florists and bakeries, but I will share all of that information once we are done!        I wasn’t sure that I had anything to share this week, but Laurie had the wonderful suggestion to share a story with you all. Dan and I are pretty private when it comes to the personal details of our relationship, but I think the story of our first date is a good one and worth sharing!

For those of you that have been with me since the beginning you will remember that I told you how we met (working at Six Pence in Fort Mill) and how we bonded over baseball and sarcasm. We had been talking for a few weeks about going to Atlanta to see a Braves vs. Mets game and thanks to my wonderful friend, Jennifer, we were able to go for the cost of gas and snacks! Unbeknownst to me, Dan had already decided that if the trip to Atlanta went well he would ask me out on an official date (because at this point, I still thought we were just buddies and what better way to know if you want to date someone than spending 8 hours in the car with them). The week before that was Mother’s Day weekend and we were working an exceptionally slow day at the bar. After he left, he and I were texting back and forth for a few hours, much to our coworker’s amusement. How I was the only one that had no idea he liked me still baffles me to this day. They told me that I should ask him to meet us for drinks after we closed and I did. Long story short, someone got drunk and I had to drive her home in her car and Dan followed in his to bring me back to my car. We had a good time laughing and joking and spent a few hours on the phone that night getting to know each other better. We decided to have dinner the next night, he would cook for me. I like to eat and as most of you know, he is an amazing chef…so it wasn’t a difficult decision.

I was still living at my parent’s house at the time and due to religious reason, there wasn’t any pork in the house…and I’m big on the pig, so Dan made what we have since referred to as “porkapalooza.” He made me pork chops, mashed potatoes with Swiss and ham, and lentils with bacon bits. Why it took to the actual first kiss for me to fall in love is beyond me! We talked, laughed, played Scene It (he won 2 out of 3, which I’m still bitter about), watched some Law & Order SVU, and had a few drinks. It was such a low key first date, with no pressure because we agreed it was a non-date date. Needless to say, it went unbelievably well and we were both smitten by the end. We went to the game the weekend after and had an amazing time and those 8 hours in the car flew by. To this day, we still travel very well together. We spend most of our time cracking up over ridiculous things and the conversation always ranges from the mundane to thought provoking. I have never met someone who can make me think the way that he can and does.

So, here we are nearly 5 years later and we still spend more time laughing than anything else. We have certainly had our trials and tribulations, but at the end of the day I know that even when we want to murder each other, I would take our worst day a million times over than a day without him. I feel like I get sappier each week, for that I apologize, but I can’t help myself! I keep pinching myself because I can’t believe that I got so lucky. Most people say that their spouse is their best friend, as he/she should be, but how many people actually mean that? I think meaning it is more the exception than the rule. I am one of the lucky ones, I get to say that my husband is my best friend and mean it.

Until next time! Amber

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Wedding Wednesdays – A Bride Story Part 6

| A Bride's Story, Wedding Wednesdays

Hi guys!  It’s hard to believe that January is almost over.  Where did it go?  I wanted to say Thank You to Amber for finishing her blog early this week so I can set it up before I get on a plane for Salt Lake City and for allowing me to show you guys the invitation to her Engagement Party.  As you will soon find out, this past week has been a great week for Amber and I am so happy for my friends…


Week 11

Oh my, friends, I have so much to share! We are officially at the 10 month mark for the wedding and to say that I am beside myself with anticipation after this weekend would be an understatement! I will start with the news we received just after I wrote the last blog and then we will get to the weekend!

My very best friend and bridesmaid, Lacey, offered to do my hair and makeup for the wedding, which as most of you know is a massive monetary savings! Besides that, Lacey and I have been friends for 10 years and she has worked with my hair on too many occasions to count, so she knows it just as well as I do and knows exactly what I want and what it will do for us! I was worried that it would be too much, doing my hair/makeup on top of other bridesmaid duties, but she assured me that she wants to do this and can handle the pressure! I know that I have said this a million times, but I am really beyond blessed to have the amazing and talented friends that I have! J

That same night, Dan went out for a few drinks with our good friend, Mike, and he agreed (emphatically) to DJ our wedding! He was the DJ that we wanted from the start, so this news is fantastic! He, again, is not only a good friend, but knows us and we know what to expect with his personality. No fear of a mistaken chicken dance fiasco or the party having any lull at all! We are only down to finding a florist (if we don’t opt for wholesale flowers and some DIY work), a pastry chef to make our cake, and renting chairs for the ceremony! Things are zipping right along and the lack of stress I am feeling is such a blessing. We have all heard the horror stories, but I think (at least for me) the key is to get as much done as early as possible and then you spend the rest of your time with maintenance!

Now, on to the glorious story of dress shopping! My MOH, Krista, flew down from NY for the weekend to be a part of the dress shopping experience and the engagement party. After picking her up from the airport we stopped for dinner and had a few drinks and then came home and had a few more and chatted until the wee hours of the night, something I highly recommend you make time for with your MOH and BMs!! We arrived at David’s Bridal at 11am and met my mom and 2 of my bridesmaids, Lynne and Rachel, and the woman that was helping us was not only hysterical, but VERY good at her job. I went in with some style numbers for my dress and the girls (this goes a LONG way with the consultants, ladies) and we were off and running. The second dress I tried on made me feel like a princess, with some minor changes I felt that we had found the one, but didn’t want to rush into any decisions. I tried on another 6 or 7 and while there were some absolutely stunning dresses, I kept going back to that second one. We tried it on again and there were lots of tears and some hysterical bell ringing! In case you don’t know this, when you choose your dress from David’s Bridal, they have you ring a bell to alert all the other brides that the dress has been picked. You can ring the bell as loud and as long as you want to and let’s just say that I won the bell ringing award that day! The girls found their dresses as well and not only do they all look stunning, they are all comfortable, which was important to me! If they’re going to be wearing the dress for 12+ hours, I want them to be comfy too! Another benefit of purchasing from David’s Bridal is that your BMs get a savings off their dresses as well! I can’t share pictures for fear of them getting back to my wonderful fiancé, but I felt beautiful and I felt like a princess and THAT is all you can ask for in a dress!

That night we had our engagement party and I cannot even begin to express how much fun it was and how thankful I am to have such an amazing family and set of friends! Lynne and her hubby, Steve, opened their home to us for the evening and while it was only scheduled from 6-9…we didn’t leave until after midnight! We had so much fun celebrating, laughing, telling stories, and just enjoying the company of our nearest and dearest. Hopefully we also got some great pictures for our Save the Dates, that deadline is quickly approaching!

I have given Laurie permission to post any of our stuff for you all to see, I feel as though each and every reader is on this journey with me and trust me when I say; I feel your excitement and anticipation as we go! I wasn’t sure if I could do this blog from the start, not being a writer…at all, but this has been such an important outlet for my thoughts! Brides, whether you choose to blog or just keep a journal of some sort, write it all down! I have a feeling I am going to want these silly brain spasms someday and am glad that Laurie gave me the outlet to do it.

Dan and I have said over and over how lucky we are to have the people in our life that we do and we cannot wait to begin our life as man and wife. I have days where it doesn’t seem real, days where it feels like it’s been forever, and days when I just want it to be here already! The planning has been a dream, for that I am grateful, but the most important part of this whole process is in 10 months, I get to marry my best friend. He is the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful guy a girl could ask for and I know that he will be such an amazing husband. Now, I just have to make sure that I can hold up my end and be a great wife to him! Maybe in a few years when I’m yelling at him for his socks being on the floor for the umpteenth time, I will come back and read some of these entries. Remind myself that through all the annoying habits (his and mine) that I would never change a thing. We are imperfectly perfect for one another; that is how we fell in love and that is how we will remain in love.

Until next time, friends!


Engagement Party Invitation by

So I mentioned above that I’m headed to Salt Lake City.  I’m going to Alt Summit to learn about blogging and networking.  I can’t wait to come back and tell you guys all about it.  I know that I’m going to come back with lots of new ideas for my website and blog.
Until next week, stay warm and work on your goals!

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