Inspiration board no. 102: Peacock, shale, teal, and emerald

26 September 2013

Friends! So many exciting things happening these days. Have I mentioned that my sister-in-law Natalie is getting married? She and Joe were engaged over the Fourth of July, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! These two are perfect for each other; they complement one other in the most wonderful ways. However, their differences have made for an interesting planning process so far, as we try to balance what’s most important to each of them.

A July wedding in a historic ballroom on the Connecticut coast have been agreed upon, and we’re working on save the dates, a photographer, and a wedding gown as we speak! In terms of design, we’ve gotten far enough to mock up some initial inspiration boards after collecting images with Marget on a joint Pinterest board. Hints of lavender (my in-laws are growing some for the occasion!) and gold are a shoo-in, but as I look at the images, we seem to be going in two different directions for the main colors: emerald and deep teal…


Green and gold bouquet, emerald Lela Rose gown, bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings, stair garland photo by Thuss + Farrell via Snippet & Ink, striped envelope photo by Jeff Loves Jessica, gold cake, emerald place setting photo by Ali Harper via Snippet & Ink, lavender centerpiece via Style Me Pretty, French blue flats from BHLDN

…or peacock and shale.


Peacock and shale bridesmaid photo by When He Found Her, lavender centerpiece via Style Me Pretty, Connecticut couple, stair garland photo by Thuss + Farrell via Snippet & Ink, green and gold bouquet, hellebore centerpiece photo by Ciara Richardson, Percy gown from J. Crew, gold cake, garden rose bouquet photo by Rylee Hitchner

A subtle difference, to be sure, but one which we should probably reconcile at some point. Your thoughts or opinions are welcome!

Can’t wait to see how things develop!!

Fall to do list

23 September 2013

I’ve made fall to do lists for the past three years, and 2013 is no exception! My general goal in life is to enjoy each season as it’s upon us, and these lists help me do just that. John and I kicked things off yesterday (the first official day of fall!) with a visit to Millstone Creek Orchard to pick apples, so we’re off to a good start with this year’s list!


— Pick apples
— Make apple cider donuts
— Go to the State Fair
— Cheer at a high school football game under the lights
— Decorate our front steps with pumpkins and mums
— Order Christmas cards
— Try Monuts Donuts (yes, two of my “to dos” involve donuts)
— Invite friends over for a soup night
— Deck our mantel with something fall-y
— Make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
— Hike somewhere with beautiful leaves
— Hand out candy to our first-ever trick or treaters!!

What are you hoping to enjoy before December 1st? To me, that’s when winter begins :)

Sperry Tent Layout

19 September 2013

Hello, friends! Thank you for your wonderful comments on my last post! I find it so interesting to hear the changes others have gone through post-marriage, so thank you for sharing.

One of the most frequently-asked questions I’ve gotten in the last few months is about the layout of the Sperry tent from our reception. Random, I know (which I why I never posted about it on the front end), but it seems as though there is a dearth of information on the interwebs about tent layouts, so I am happy to oblige!

In addition to the great beauty of their tents, I think one of the best things about the Sperry experience is their online layout tool. I found it by going to the page for my local office, then clicking on “Products” and “design your own event.” No download needed — hooray! You can choose the size of your tent and fill it with any furnishings you have on your rental order. This tool is super comprehensive, and was unbelievably helpful in figuring out, for example, exactly how many 8′ tables we could fit in a corner instead of leaving it at, eh, that looks like it might fit. The tent poles are marked and everything. Here’s the final layout we came up with:

Final Tent Layout

Because I’m a little nutty, I made another version that showed which linens went there, to assist my set-up peeps. That looked like this:

Final Reception Tent Arrangement with Linens

The Sperry tent designer lets you save your layouts in your account for future fiddling, and also lets you export them for sharing and printing. Genius.

People also seem to be curious about what size tent we rented. It was a 32×70′. It ended up being perfect for our number of guests (about 115) — but only because we had a beautiful day, and people and tables could spill out the edges of the tent. If it had been raining or less pleasant and we had had to have the flaps down, I think it might have been uncomfortably tight. If our budget had been flexible, I would have gladly opted for the next size up.

Sperry aerial mockup

On a final note, one other thing that Sperry did that I loved: after they walked our reception venue with my Mom, they sent over an aerial view of the space with our tent size and shape superimposed. I’m not sure how they do this (Google Maps??), but I thought it was helpful, and it also felt pretty darn luxurious — like they had really done the legwork on prepping for our event.

A few more photos from our reception:





Any more tent questions? Ask away!

Observations from one year of marriage

17 September 2013

John and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Sunday (hooray!). One of my September goals was to celebrate in style, and I’d say we succeeded — at least, we celebrated in our style :) We actually hemmed and hawed longer than I would have liked over our plans, but ultimately decided on something fairly simple — a day at Wrightsville Beach, and dinner at Piedmont in Durham.


We also exchanged notes, our nod to the traditional first anniversary gift of paper. (John blew mine out of the water — he somehow found leftover guest book cards from our reception, and filled them out. Made me tear up!) We really wanted to purchase an official wedding album for the occasion, but Tanja’s are $2,500-$3,000, and that’s just not in our budget right now. We decided that instead of comprising on something that’s not heirloom-quality, we’re going to wait it out. Maybe a fabric-bound volume for our cotton anniversary? :)


To switch topics a bit, I started thinking about what I’d learned, or what had changed, in our first year of marriage after reading Madi’s seven things she learned in seven months of marriage. I posed the question to John, too, on one of our nightly neighborhood walks. We came up with two observations, which I thought I’d share with you.


Number one:

John and I have been together for 8.5 years, so we were a part of each other’s families long before we got married. We grew up in the same town and we spent lots of time at each other’s houses in high school and college. We traveled together, we hung out with each other’s siblings, we not only met the extended families but knew them well. Before our wedding, both of us considered ourselves a part of the other’s family, no question. Yet… one of the only changes we identified post-marriage was that we felt a greater degree of ownership in the other’s family.

A family of birth will always be different than a family you marry into, but we both agreed that we just felt slightly, almost imperceptibly, more a part of the other’s family after our wedding. Just a small example: John said the hours spent cutting and hauling brush at my family’s cottage this summer felt different — because it felt more like his cottage, a place that he felt more responsibility for because it would be a part of the rest of his life.

We treasure each other’s families, and are so happy to have gained parents and siblings-in-love in addition to a spouse on September 15th!


Number two:

The second change we noticed post-wedding was also subtle. Like I said, we dated for a looong time before we got married, and to be honest, we knew almost that whole time that we would marry each other one day. I would say we largely functioned as a married couple, both practically and emotionally, even in college. So it came as a bit of a surprise when we both realized that after we got married, we felt (slightly, almost imperceptibly) more permanent.

I think the best way to describe it is that we now feel slightly more responsible for each other’s happiness. I know that sounds kind of wacky — like, people should be responsible for their own happiness, and you can’t change someone — but I think this is different. We are more likely now to put the other before ourself. I think we both try to surprise and delight each other more often. We want the other to be happy, because we truly are one, and if the other is having a bad day, or feeling sad, then we both hurt (as cheesy as that sounds). I didn’t expect this, because we already felt like such a solid unit before marriage. But God is so good to have brought us together, and I think we are learning every day what it means to take care of each other… and probably will continue to all the days of our life.


I am so grateful for the ways we’ve grown together over the last eight or so years, and for all the things we’ve learned and will continue to learn by each other’s side. Friends, I would love to know: If you’re married, did you feel like you learned a lot or experienced a ton of changes in your first year of marriage? Or not? How long were you dating before you got married? (I think it makes a big difference — you?)

P.S. I’ve received a few emails over the last twelve months with questions about our wedding, and so I’m planning to answer a couple of the more common ones this week!

P.P.S. Just a few of our favorite wedding photos by the inimitable Tanja Lippert… I love her.