Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am an Ichthyophobic. Well, if we’re being completely honest here, I am also clourophobic, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my wedding and honeymoon (unless in some crazy, cruel practical joke someone invites a circus clown to my rehearsal dinner in which case that person would be promptly un-invited). What is Ichthyphobia, you ask? Presuming you haven’t already googled it (I would have), it is an irrational fear of fish. Yes, you read that right, I am incredibly, often irrationally, afraid of fish. I will not go into water where there might be fish, the thought of snorkeling makes me uncomfortable, and the last time I “tried” I had a panic attack. I will not stick my hand into an aquarium (frankly, why anyone would do this is beyond me). Just about the only thing I will do with/near fish, is eat them. I think that stems from a fact that a dead fish can’t bite me (and yes, I do know that fish don’t have teeth).

You may be asking yourself, “Wait, aren’t you going to Maui for your honeymoon?” Why, yes, we are. And yes, I know, a tropical beach-centric honeymoon location that avidly promotes snorkeling as a recreational activity doesn’t really sound like a great fit. But, as I mentioned previously, since the wedding is so heavily influenced by what I want, I wanted to make sure the honeymoon was about what FI wants. So far he has only tried to request bargain with beg me about going snorkeling a few times…and even though the thought makes me more than a little queasy, depending on my blood alcohol content, I told him I may consider it (under my very specific, controlled requirements). UHHHH. Just writing that makes me nauseous, even though I know he would never let anything happen to me (and that includes being touched by a fish, even though he thinks it’s the most ridiculous concern out there).

Is there something that you’ve agreed to considered doing to please your FI? Does just thinking it about it make you nauseous? (like the thought of touching a fish makes me?)


BYOB, Part 3

Now, of all the “tastings”, this one was by far my FAVORITE. It was also the most spread out (yes, even more so than the beer!). Champagne has recently become one of the drinks I actually enjoy indulging in! I’m not MUCH of a drinker (with all the alcohol we’ve purchased in the past month, you may not believe me, though!) and when I do have a couple, I like it to be something that I actually ENJOY. Champagne was one of those drinks in the gray area: we’re only doing beer and wine, and we’re using mason jars as glasses, so with the exception of water glasses, our guests can use the same glass all night. With that concept in mind, I just always figured that our guests could toast with whatever drink they happened to have in their hand, right? WRONG. Mr. B said that it’s not a wedding without champagne. I re-explained our mason jar concept, and that it would completely defeat the purpose if we also got champagne glasses, especially when most people don’t drink champagne just to drink it! He agreed, only his new idea was even more silly. “Well, then we will only get champagne for the head table.” This is why women plan weddings, I couldn’t help thinking, but I had to politely inform him that would not do, because unfortunately, that was rude, and it had to be available for everyone or not at all. I secretly hoped he’d say ok, “not at all, then”, but he didn’t. So our search began.  When I picked up our wine at BevMo, I picked up some champagne that was also on the soon-to-be-ending 5 cent wine sale.

Similarly to the beer, we went a full two days talking about tasting them before any progression was made in ACTUALLY tasting the champagne. I decided to take a bottle to our bi-annual boat trip in honor of my sister so that we could toast to her. Everyone on the boat doubled as wedding guests, so I figured it would be a good audience for tasting. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, except for Bucky, whose general opinion was apparently different from his “wedding opinion”. He didn’t think it was sweet enough…So I went on a two-day search for something sweeter, possibly a moscato?

Since I had a SPECIFIC moscato in mind, I stopped by Costco in time for Sunday dinner so we could taste it. I love EVERYTHING Stella Rosa, and I’m a sucker for a pretty bottle. (and, if we’re being honest, I’d been looking for an excuse to pick this one up)

OK, I couldn’t wait long enough to take a photo before opening it

Mr. B liked the Moscato, but he said it was almost too sweet. I really like the moscato, but agreed, it was REALLY sweet, and although it was bubbly, it wasn’t AS bubbly as good ole’ champagne. So we ended up deciding on one of the 5 cent sale champagnes, and just in time too! I ordered online the night of the 15th, and didn’t pick up until after the sale was over on the 17th! Man, am I thankful for online shopping!

Was picking out all your alcohol an adventure like it was for us? (Does your living room make you look as alcoholic as ours makes us look?)

All Photos personal

BYOB, Part 2

While I did have to shop around for the wine and champagne (more on that in the 3rd BYOB installment) I am very fortunate to have a “hook-up” for the beer. Thankfully, FSIL S’s family owns one of the most popular breweries in town, and is going to help us with getting the kegs of beer! Now all that was left to decide is which beer we would choose.

FSIL S sent me a list of what beer would be available in kegs for our wedding date, and I decided to stop by the liquor store to pick up some bombers of the various beers. Of course, what didn’t occur to me (a non-beer drinker) is that the liquor store wouldn’t carry all of the brews. They only had the one brew that Mr. B had already stated he thought would be a good choice, Red Trolley Ale. Beer tasting attempt failure #1. Luckily, I stopped by my mom’s neighborhood Albertson’s that Sunday before our weekly dinner, and lo and behold, Albertson’s has a build-your-own craft beer 6-pack station. I was very happy to see they even had 5 of the 6 choices I was looking for. I quickly filled my carrier and sent Mr. B a pic so he could be excited to taste all the beer!

My Custom 6-pack: Karl Amber Lager, Woodie Gold, Endless Summer Light, Tower 10 IPA, and Red Trolley Ale

As excited as I was about my 6-pack, Mr. B was just not into drinking beer that night. So we decided we’d save them for later that week. My idea for tasting the beer: have small servings one night later in the week to get a good idea of which one we liked better when they were fresh in our memory. Mr. B’s idea for beer tasting: cracking one open every night with dinner; beer tasting attempt failure #2. When we only had a few of the beers left we went over to GM R and BM K’s house for dinner, beer in tow. The guys tried a few, but since they were the stronger of the beers, they couldn’t really get the right taste (we are NOT beer tasting experts); beer tasting attempt failure #3 (we are not forming a good pattern here).

FINALLY, FBIL K and FSIL S invited us to go beer tasting at the brewery with them, an invitation we gladly accepted, best leave the beer tasting instructions to the professionals, and seriously, we should have done this weeks ago! Our waitress ordered us a couple of flights of beer and set them on our table in the order we should drink them. Apparently, if you don’t drink them lightest to darkest, the flavors will get lost and the whole tasting will be moot.

Our two flights of beer, plus our sample of the Brewer’s Choice (which was probably my favorite, and of course not available in Kegs for our wedding)

Mr. B and I tried all the beers (except the last two, which we knew we wouldn’t get for the wedding). We tried to keep in mind, it wasn’t ONLY about which beers were our favorites, but also which ones would have mass appeal. In the end, we decided that our original first choice, Red Trolley Ale was still a good choice, and coincidentally is the beer the brewery pairs with BBQ, and since we’re serving BBQ, it’s probably a good way to go. For our second choice, we decided on the Endless Summer Light, not only did we both really like it, but Light beers in general have the most mass appeal, and would be a good contrast to the Red Trolley. All in all, our beer tasting adventure was fun, and the food at the brewery was DE-LICIOUS.

FBIL K & FSIL S enjoying beer tasting with us (S likes the Amber Lager)

Mr. B & I before tasting all the yummy beer

How did you decide what beer to serve at your wedding? Did you go with your all-time favorite, or choose from a big selection?

All Photos Personal

DIY Pillows

Seeing as I am planning a Hay Bale lounge area outside the dance hall, I want it to be a comfy area people actually want to sit and enjoy themselves. Well what is a lounge area without PILLOWS?? Using inspiration from images like this, I set out to create some fantastic pillows for our special day!

Image via The Modern Homemaker

Image via Charmed Events Planning

I was in love with these awesome pillows, and honestly, they seemed REALLY easy to make! And boy, was I right!

I started by cutting the burlap to the size specified by the various pillow forms my Mom and I acquired. Then I made the stencils; I printed my desired words out of Microsoft Word and taped them on to contact paper, and used my box cutter to cut the letters out, making a sticky stencil: I then removed the backing and placed the contact paper onto the center of the burlap.

Then, using black craft paint, I painted over the stencil.

After painting, I hung the burlap up to dry, stencil still attached.

After it was dry, I peeled off the contact paper and could finally see the exact design. I was a little nervous, especially after using the contact paper stencils on the GM’s glasses. But it came out perfect! OK, so when I said this was  DIY project, I meant it was a HALF DIY project in the sense, that all I did was cut and paint the burlap. I then took my finished pieces to my Mom, who converted them in to wonderful pillows for our Hay Bale lounge!

The Finished project:

I think they came out as perfect as they possibly could have!

Have you finished any DIY projects recently? Any half DIY projects? Did they come out the way you planned? Or way better like my pillows?

All Photos Personal unless otherwise noted

A Sweet Surprise

As I mentioned previously, we were moving away from traditional favors, and moving more in the direction of a dessert bar! Well once we had decided on a dessert bar, we needed to decide what it would include. Obviously, our first choice was a S’Mores Bar. But sadly, because of our mountaintop location that was an immediate “no”. I think that candy bars are really fun, and you can be really creative, BUT we’re just not big candy people. Besides, my friend M had one at her wedding last month, and I rarely saw anyone go near it besides the younger guests. And we are having cake, so even though to family and friends I’m the cupcake Queen, I thought cupcakes would be overkill (PLUS I would NEVER PAY anyone to make them, meaning I’d be doing it myself and THAT many cupcakes would be a LOT of work!).

One day while cruising Pinterest, I came across something that I knew immediately would be perfect: A COOKIE BAR! Not only are chocolate chip cookies one of Mr. B’s most favorite treats, but with inspiration like this, who could disagree?


Images via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Jonda Spurbeck / Event Design by Love and Lavender


Image via Style Me Pretty / Image via Mirelle Carmichael Photography

So after talking it over with Mr. B, we had officially decided that a cookie bar was the way to go! The beauty of choosing cookies is that cookies FREEZE. So I am able to make them all myself without the stress of making them the day of (like I would have had to do with cupcakes). Now it was just a matter of what cookies I would make and how many. Oh and how I would present them, of course.

Chocolate chip cookies were a given (as they’re Mr. B’s favorite). Ginger snaps are another one of my favorites, so they’re in. Oatmeal Raisin is always a crowd pleaser. I plan on doing iced sugar cookies as well, but they are also the most labor intensive since you can’t freeze them iced, and it’d have to be done in the couple days before…We’re going to do one more type of cookie, either double chocolate, or everything but the kitchen sink cookies…the jury is still out, but I still have, er, a FEW weeks left before I have to start baking and freezing them.

For presentation, I found AWESOME, GIANT cookie jars for $9.97 at Walmart! I also bought some silver tongs, and am planning on putting the iced sugar cookies on some glass cake plates! Top that off with my awesome DIY Bunting and it makes one fantastic dessert bar!

Are you planning on having a cookie bar or other dessert bar at your wedding? Are you being as adventurous as I am and baking the items yourself? Or playing it safe and purchasing them?

We’re getting Maui-ed!

So we finally know for sure which island we will be going to for our Honeymoon!! We’re going to our first choice Island: Maui! Mr. B and I are both so excited to be taking the type of Honeymoon we only dreamed about, I even told him I might go snorkeling on Molokini with him. MAYBE. There are so many fun things to do on Maui we can barely decide! So, naturally, one of the first things I did was order us a guidebook. And not just ANY guidebook, the Maui Revealed guidebook! We got the Kauai version for last year’s trip and we LOVED it. I can not speak more highly of a guidebook. It had awesome “secret” places and I couldn’t wait to order this baby off of Amazon once it was for sure this would be our island destination!

Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook

Image via Amazon

I haven’t had a chance to read it in detail yet, but the one we got for Kauai was well-used, and so helpful while we were there. I HIGHLY recommend this series if you’re traveling to Hawaii, they’re not the type of guidebooks you buy and then never use. Now we just need to take find the time to read it and plan our adventures!

Have you decided on a Hawaiian Honeymoon? Do you have any suggestions on where to go in Maui?

DIY Bunting

After seeing many wedding inspiration photos with bunting, I knew that it would be an awesome, simple and fun way to designate areas at the wedding. I used inspiration from photos like

JUST MARRIED burlap wedding bunting

Image via Mirtillo Shop on etsy

It was perfect for our wedding, and even better than that, it was a perfect DIY project! I bought enough burlap to make multiple signs, knowing that I would want different areas of the reception tied together. I planned on making 5 different ones: cookie bar, photobooth, thank you, Mr. & Mrs. and Cards. So far I have 3 done, and luckily they’re the longest of that bunch!

Originally I planned on cutting out each triangle by hand; let me tell you, this is a horrible idea. It’s doable, and if it’s your only option, then I say go for it, but I’m very thankful I didn’t have to. Luckily for me, my Mom is more crafty than I am, and I took the burlap to her house for our Sunday dinner, thinking she could help me cut out all the triangles. She took one look at my templates, pulled out her rotary cutter for quilting, and 20 minutes later they were all done.

Mom using her rotary cutter

The first piece, next to my template(and the scissors I had planned to use to cut everything!)! TIP: Print out a triangle in the shape you want and use that as a pattern!

Burlap is MESSY. See our pile of scraps and our finished pile of burlap triangles.

My next step was to stencil on the letters. I used basic black craft paint and a basic 2.5″ stencil set.

Next I took them back to my mom, who sewed the top flap down so I would have somewhere to pull the twine through.

The first 3 sets of bunting laid out on the bed.

Mr. B and I practicing our Wedding Day photo pose!

Overall, making our wedding day bunting was an easy task! It would have been a lot more time-consuming if my lovely mom hadn’t helped, but it still would’ve been relatively easy to create, and I definitely would make more if I had the extra time!

Are you making bunting for your reception? Are you doing everything by hand? Or did you get a little help?

All Photos Personal unless otherwise noted