A Note from the Ruffled WIFE!

Hello friends! It’s been SO LONG…but if you’ve had your own wedding in the past, I’m quite sure you understand how busy it gets the closer you get to the big day!

I wanted to update you with lots of the details I couldn’t share BEFORE the wedding! Of course, the first of them being THE DRESS!!

Those are the pictures from the Justin Alexander website, but I chose to go without the fancy beaded sash for my outdoor wedding in a field! Soooo, here I am in the dress (and the link to some of the bridal portraits if you want to see them!).

Photo Credit for my bridals – Elizabeth Scott Photography (Mooresville, NC)

Bridesmaid Gifts

I know I also mentioned awhile back that I would be giving some really cute gifts to my bridesmaids, but I couldn’t put them on here yet. My bridesmaid and old roommate Tiffany is a multi-talented long-time friend of mine, and she handmade clutches for each of my bridesmaids, and we made them all different colors:

I also put some goodies in there for the girls, including lip gloss, tissues, gum & the crystal and pearl earrings to wear for the wedding! I think everyone looked so cute with them at the wedding:

Signage

I had SO much fun with the outdoor signage for the wedding:

Hotel Gifts

Our hotel gifts were really fun too…we put two 24 ox. mason jars together with a handle. One had lemonade mix & a mini bottle of sweet tea vodka, and one was full of Chex mix! Each one had a welcome note and directions from that specific hotel to the wedding location. The Holiday Inn lady told our guests that it was the cutest gift she’s seen in the 3 years she’s worked there!

Guest Favors / Names Cards / Drinkware!

If you’re marrying “Mason,” you absolutely MUST use mason jars, right??

We bought bulk mason jars from a wholesaler, monogrammed them with vinyl monograms (“M” for Murchison) and then tied raffia around the top (bows for girls, knots for guys of course!). We then secured an old price tag with metal edging and I had handwritten each person’s name on them. I hung a clothesline outside the tent at the welcome table with the seating charts showing people where to find their seats! Then guests used them all night and then took them home as a souvenir!

♥ ♥ ♥

I will definitely be giving you more details and pictures in the coming weeks…we have not seen out professional pictures yet (these are all from friends and family!) so I am excited to share those when they’re finished!

Our wedding was PERFECT…everything we thought it would be and more. And so far, with a big three weeks under my belt, marriage is great. We are enjoying not running around like chickens with our heads cut off, and we are really happy to be with each other all the time! I’ll leave you with another couple pictures…I can’t let you leave without a single picture of the hubs!!!

Oh yes, and PLEASE check out the post from our photographers, who brought out their new photobooth idea!  HILARIOUSSSSS!!!

HAPPY THURSDAY from the Ruffled Wifey 🙂

Everybody Dance Now

how do i begin to express my love for a good ‘ol fashioned dance party??  mason and i love music, we love people and more than anything, we love lots of people dancing to good music! 

finding a DJ was an important search…we wanted to find someone with great personality who will do a great job with our wedding, get the party started and offer ALL of the music that is near and dear to us (you know, like Usher’s “Yeah,” anything by Outkast and every Michael Jackson or Prince song ever made).

and as every good post deserves, some photos….

the best of the WORST DJ’s:

the lovely adam sandler in the wedding singer.  the second guy is the terrible DJ in loveactually, in case you weren’t sure.  he’s the one that plays “puppy love” for all the lovers out there.  ha!  oh wait, i have to throw this one in too:

ew…just ew!

and NOW for the best example of an awesome DJ….

 oh snap, it’s TONY.

(from The Ellen Degeneres Show, if you’re not familiar!)

ahhhh, but i digress.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

my friend amy referred us to Troy Adams, of T-Time Entertainment, and he is wonderful!!  we (especially mason because of flag football bonding moments) instantly got along great with Troy and really liked him a lot, so we are looking forward to working with him and having him be a part of the wedding!  he sent over his song list the week after we met, and WHOA – talk about songs!!  he has them all!  the list he sent to me has 4,144 songs on it and he said it ‘had not been updated in awhile’ and that if there was anything we didn’t see on here that we wanted he would just download it and add it to his list!

if you are in the charlotte, nc area looking for a great DJ, i already highly recommend Troy!  and i will follow up after the wedding with a reflection on the greatness of the Murchison Wedding Dance Party.  🙂

maybe we’ll take a video of this dance…there will be a big white dress coming through as soon as Cupid comes over the speakers.  just sayin’.

A Few of my Favorite (Wedding) Things

this post is dedicated to all the engaged and especially newly engaged ladies out there looking for where to start with ideas for everything wedding (and dedicated to my sweet, sweet friend kerianne who just got engaged herself)!  i wanted to share a few (well, it may turn into more than a few) of the websites that i have clung to since january for inspiration, ideas and advice.

  • wedding blogs – i have combed the internet for my favorite wedding blogs and here are my favorites: Project Wedding (great DIY ideas and lots of inspiration), Classic Bride (beautiful photographs of real weddings and great links to vendors and style ideas), MyWedding.com (gives you the tools to makes your invite list, a free wedding website which we are using for our guests, and you can have people RSVP there too!), 100 Layer Cake (really great ideas all around), Love and Lavender (you will want to copy everything here!) and Green Wedding Shoes (you can look at posts categorized by your type of wedding, from outdoor to barn to church, etc. and the photos are just gorgeous!).
  • wedding photography sites – i look at a lot of wedding photography sites.  a lot.  i loooove looking at LA photogs who photograph crazy expensive, over the top weddings because like i always say, i think you can pretty much figure out how to do anything that you really love for much cheaper (if not free!) with creativity and some time and effort.  here is my favorite “fancy photog” – Jasmine Star – her personality really comes through on her blog, but her photos are absolutely stunning but very true-to-life.  her subjects are always oh-my-gosh breathtaking and the venues are unbelievable!  click on “most recent posts” to see her blog, and check out that dress on this link today with the huge rosettes all over the skirt…i LOVEloveLOVE that dress!  now, as far as local charlotte, nc area wedding photography, there are so many great ones!  here are some of the very best:  of course, our photographers Elizabeth Scott Photography (love!), The Schultze’s (another husband/wife team…so creative and fun!), Seth Snider (a friend of mine with a great eye for beauty, and such a NICE guy!!), Visio Photography (every photo on here is absolutely beautiful) and Kristin Vining (she totally rocks the charlotte wedding scene, that is for sure…she’s ll over the place!).  i do have to tell you, these people get booked up FAST so start contacting them early!!  it’s so much fun to meet photographers, they are just amazing and fun and super creative!
  • ShopStyle.com –   i am using this to find dresses for all the wedding occasions (showers, rehearsal, bachelorette, etc.), looks for shoes online and really to look for anything!  you can search for certain colors, styles and keywords for clothing, bags and shoes and it pulls from websites all over the internet to find what you’re looking for!  for example, if you type in “purple ruffle shoes,” here’s what you get!

since i pretty much just overloaded you with fun and exciting links, i will leave it at that for now!  i hope these things inspire you as you start (or finish) planning your wedding! 

i have bridal shower #2 this weekend in charlotte and i am so very excited!!  my MOH katie is coming into town and i am excited!!  in honor of this, i give you another photo of katie and me:

i hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Good Bride, Bad Blog

I know, I know….shame on me for not blogging pretty much at all lately.  I don’t even know how to explain myself, I am ashamed.  But let’s move on!

After way too much time, I would like to present to you……our Save the Date postcard!

Yes, friends, that is the spot we will be getting married in at my parent’s home!  And I cannot wait to share my invitations with you after I send them in a couple weeks because (hello!) they have the same theme carried in them!  A lady at my mom’s church who is just getting into full-time photography took this picture for us and her husband put together the postcard and had it printed through the company that prints their programs at church!  It was an awesome, less expensive option and they turned out GREAT!

It has been so much fun coming up with creative ways to do the things that I see in magazines or on blogs.  You really can have most anything you want at your wedding if you are a) patient enough to shop around, b) resourceful with the people you know and the things they are good at doing and c) if you have a glass of wine at night sometimes when you get done with everything to keep from getting too overwhelmed.  🙂

Let’s see…what else can I share with you to make up for all this lost time??

Well, I have really great bridesmaid gift ideas too but I can’t share those because my lovely bridesmaids do look at this sometimes!  I will share those after the wedding, along with everything else that’s top secret!

Here are some other creative things we have been working on…

My dad made wooden boxes for our centerpieces, and mom is staining them!  That will still give the centerpieces a rustic feel but the flowers will make it look pretty and soft.  Speaking of flowers, I have to share this particular blog I found with a beautiful, yet inexpensive way to use baby’s breath as a main “flower” in your wedding!  This is going to be perfect for our outdoor wedding, but even indoors, there are gorgeous ways to use this inexpensive yet full and pretty flower option!

Since it’s hard to predict how hot or cool it may be at the end of September in North Carolina at 4:30 PM outside (but it’s safer to go with hot!), we are printing programs that double as fans – they will be similar to the picture above but not exactly…they will actually be three “tiered” and tied at the bottom so that people can fan them out and use them!

I also wanted to share a couple pictures from my first shower in Raleigh a few weeks ago with all my college friends!

The shower was at Coquette in Raleigh and the decor was great!  My friend Melinda made the ruffly paper flowers and had picked up about 15 vintage vases and put them down the whole table, and even let me take them home at the end of the day to use at the wedding!!  They also got cupcakes from a cupcake shop in Raleigh that were SO cute with wedding dresses and “M’s” on them.  We had a great time and people were so generous with their gifts.  Showers are just incredible…people are so giving and you just feel very overwhelmed with happiness of having all the people around you who you love!  In fact, we realized we needded to register for more after that shower because we got so much, and I still have 3 to go plus the wedding!! 

I hope you enjoyed this small update, and I hope I will have more time to keep this updated before the wedding!!  Only 77 days to go…it’s crazy how quickly this engagement period has passed us by but it’s also really exciting to get to the fun showers and parties, and house hunting and dress fittings and pictures!!  I hope you’re having a great weekend….we are house hunting all weekend so back to it!

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 11:59 am  Comments (1)  

Well, hello again Frugal Friday!

Today’s Frugal Friday concept is very simple:  use your resources.

I am a very lucky girl to know the talented and amazingly generous people I do, but sometimes finding your untapped resources just takes you opening your mouth and talking about your wedding plans, and what you’re having a hard time figuring out – you would be surprised at how many people will pipe up with suggestions and connections.

The Idea

I am one of the #1 fans of lists, so here is a list of examples of resources I am tapping into…to get your brain going:

  1. Let them eat cake.  I have to be honest, I don’t really like cake all that much.  It was not a high priority for me to have cake at our wedding, since when it’s sitting in front of me, I don’t even touch it.  I don’t generally like lots of sweets, especially icing (besides whipped chocolate icing from the can…but I can still only eat about 1 teaspoon before I’m sick to my stomach).  I was the kid who asked for pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake, and my kid friends probably didn’t appreciate that too much!  But back to the point – I had all kinds of ideas about the “dessert” portion of the wedding…homemade ice cream was my #1 (orange crush flavor), assorted pies, mini finger desserts or something of that nature.  Point is, I didn’t want to spend much money on it since it’s not important to me.  BUT, last summer my mom spent some time working with friend who just happens to be the owner of a cake shop, and when Vicki heard that I was engaged, she told mom she owed her a wedding cake for her help.  When mom told me this, I said “WE’RE HAVING CAKE!”  Cha-ching!!  Free cake = we’re definitely having a cake, case closed.  Mom will also be working with her the summer to “pay off” the second half of the cake since we are having so many guests (Thanks Mom!), but this is a perfect example of using your resources/bartering (which is always always a wonderful idea if you have something to offer in return)!  More to come on the cake…
  2. Dish it out.  I attended a women’s ministry dinner in college with my mom where each table had a “table host” who brought their own place settings from home and set the table, creating a very eclectic, homey feel.  I wanted to copy that idea since we are renting a tent and tables and chairs for the reception, and can really do whatever we want in terms of place settings and centerpieces.  The more we talked about it, the more we liked the idea but I do have to say…it will take some planning and logistics!  I will be asking close to 13 people to host 1 or 2 tables at the wedding (meaning, providing 10 place settings per table with dinner plate and salad plate or bowl…we aren’t going to ask them to bring anything else).  We will complete the table with centerpieces, flatware from the caterers and napkins will be on the buffet.  Caterers will also be providing stemware and the glasses on the table are the mason jars I have been mentioning.  I am crossing my fingers about this one, but I think that it will turn out really well and give the whole night really great personality.  I try to keep in mind what my mom and others have been saying when I get stressed, “people are so happy to help you with anything they can at your wedding – they are happy for you and if they have what you need, they will bend over backwards to make things happen.”
  3. Music to my ears.  In thinking about ceremony music/musicians, I have always been such a huge fan of live music as opposed to playing a track, especially in an outside venue.  I have heard MANY a good singer in my lifetime, and many of those beautiful voices come from my own close friends.  One of my bridesmaids, Melinda, has one of the most soulful, soothing, incredible voices I’ve ever heard.  She sang at my church during and after college when I lived close to Raleigh, so hearing her sing reminds me of being in that place that I loved so much.  I decided that it would really make the ceremony that much more beautiful to me if Melinda could sing a song or two and luckily, her fiance Mike is a musician as well!  They have (basically) agreed to sing and play (Mike plays guitar and piano), and I hope that they will also sing together on at least one song.  I think that by itself could make me cry just thinking about it!  I feel very blessed to have friends who can offer not only their incredible friendship, but make the wedding so much more personal and memorable with their talent.
  4. DIY (the “Y” being Yourself..and Others)  Speaking of talent, let me tell you about my roommate (and bridesmaid) Tiffany.  She is a costumer…yes, as in, film and theater and all that coolness.  I pretty much run everything by her as far as “Do you think ‘we” or ‘you’ could do this, or should I buy it??”  I’m not going to tell you all the things she might be making for the wedding since some of the may be gifts but I will definitely show you the end result afterwards…she is amazingly talented!

I think that’s enough for today…when I start typing, I can’t stop sometimes and my lunch break is close to gone!  But of course, here is a collage to finish it off!  Cool wedding cake collage, comin’ atcha.

Happy Weekend to you!  We are headed to Atlanta this weekend to see Mason’s friend Ben (groomsman) and his wife Brook!  I am looking forward to a nice little weekend trip 🙂

Blogging Slacker, at your service!

I have totally been a blog slacker, as my mom informed via text message last night!  I also didn’t follow through on my promise for a super great “Frugal Friday” last week, so here it is!

THE DIY PHOTO BOOTH!

I LOVE pictures.  I even do some photography on the side, and so pictures were the most important thing to me about our wedding (besides the marriage license!).  We really wanted to hire someone to bring in a photobooth for our guests but it was really an unnecessary expense, so we came up with a twist!  We are basically doing a “photo op” for our guests, and our photographers will be able to get some great, hilarious pictures with this too!  They even helped us during out engagement session this weekend for a picture we needed for the idea!

Here’s the idea:

We are really excited about this idea & now I just need to inform my dad that he will be making this for us!  YEAHHH!!  Thank God for dads who can make everything you see online 🙂

Happy Tuesday!  I am home sick today so I actually had time to blog…but I am feeling better so that’s good!!  Hope your Tuesday has been better than mine!

Status Update: Mason Jars Ordered!

Sometime in the next 3 days, 192 mason jars will be arriving at my parents’ doorstep!

What are these for, might you ask?  We will be putting mason jars at each place setting to serve as drinking glassware at our tented outdoor reception, and we will be tying raffia around the top of each glass with each guests name attached to it.  This will serve not only as their glass to drink out of, but as their place card to show them where to sit and the favor they will take with them when they leave!

I will put a sign on the way into the tent that has each table number with guests names listed underneath, so all they will have to do is find their mason jar when they get to their table!  Pitchers of tea and water will be on the tables already, so they can simply fill up their jar with what they want! 

And to make things cooler, my mom thought about how neat it would be if we could monogram an “M” on all the mason jars (yes, Mason and Michelle Murchison – Triple M) so we made sure that we ordered jars that have at least one flat, plain glass side.  We will be monogramming with monogram stickers (they look like they are debossed into the glass), and since we happen to know someone who works in a gift store that prints these stickers, they offered to do 200 stickers plus application for only $30!  We are so lucky to know people who do really cool things 🙂

I looked online for a wholesale jar company and found this gem: http://www.fillmorecontainer.com

Altogether, our mason jars plus shipping will cost about $92, plus the $30 for monogramming and we are at $122 for all glassware, place cards and favors!  That’s $1.63 per person if we end up with 175 (if we can get it down to that)!

I am SO excited about this piece of the wedding…it fits in perfectly with our atmosphere and most importantly, with my fiancee!

mason and MASON!

Frugal Fridays: DIY Weddings!

Happy Frugal Friday to you!

This week, I want to talk a little bit about DIY wedding projects.  I have found some AWESOME DIY ideas on these sites:

Project Wedding – this link takes you directly to the DIY section, but this entire site is incredible!

Green Wedding Shoes – this is just the cutest little site I ever did see!!

The Wedding Chicks – beautiful, inspiring weddings with great photos to visualize

and for a little DIY inspiration to get your wheels turning, Etsy Wedding  – it’s never a bad idea to search on etsy for whatever you’re working on with your wedding – it’s amazing what people can do, and what YOU can copy.  😉

The Idea:  This weekend, I will be starting on the first of many DIY projects I plan to do before September 25.  My dad is the KING of DIY (not normally wedding DIY, but usually more in the automotive or home realm).  His famous quote is “Oh, I can do that myself!” with my mom just shaking her head in the background.  He is usually right, but sometimes the undertaking is much more than expected!  He wanted to try to make us a dance floor for the tent, but I think mom talked him out of that one!

This week, dad has been working on cutting out wooden signage for our outdoor fall wedding.  Here’s one of the photos I gave him as inspiration:

Dad is cutting out the poles and the signs themselves, and I will be painting words like “wedding,” “ceremony” and the all important “watering hole” sign that will point to the tent for the bar.  Also, my mom came up with a great idea – having a sign pointing out of the site that says “honeymoon 1604 miles.”  I have also asked him to create a much taller pole that we can put lots of signs on point in all directions, and we will add that as a main piece of decor in the reception tent and include important places in our lives with the mileage from our wedding site.  We are going to include places like Campbell University (my alma mater), University of Georgia (Mason’s quote “Best Football Team in America”), “Where Mason Grew Up” and then of course, “Where Michelle Grew Up, 0 miles” along with some others.  I think this will add some personality and give guests something to look at and talk about!

The Savings:  Since I want these signs to look completely unfinished and rustic, there is no finishing required for these signs.  Luckily, my dad gets scrap wood for free at work, so for us, there is no cost there.  I am planning to use white craft paint (usually $1-$1.40ish at the craft store) to handpaint these signs, which I already have.  So this DIY project is FREE but makes a big statement and really communicates the feel of our wedding.  In my “wooden wedding sign” research online, I found quite a few websites that are selling these same signs for anywhere between $42 all the way to $650 for the posts with multiple signs like my dad is making for us!  I’M IN THE WRONG BUSINESS!  This is a huge savings for us.  Of course, I was never planning to spend that much money on anything like this anyway, but if you ever though about buying outdoor signs please know that it is much cheaper to do this yourself! 

Extra Tip:  The main reason I enjoy DIY projects is probably because one of my weaknesses is wanting to be in control (let’s face it!) and know exactly what I’m going to end up with instead of leaving it someone else.  But finally, a positive reason to do things myself!!  🙂  I also think that if you pour some blood, sweat and tears into your wedding, it will really be that much more enjoyable.  I am so excited to see all our ideas and hard work come together and I appreciate my family and friends giving their ideas and time to making it happen! 

Very soon, I will have these vintage-inspired signs ready for our wedding for free!  Thanks Dad!

(I love the one that points to happiness!)  Pictures of our signs soon to come!

Bmaid Dress Update:  Round 4 shopping tomorrow and then I’m going to have to choose!  I am just not satisfied asking people to pay a fairly high price ($100 or above) for a cheap-looking, bright satin bridesmaid-looking dress!  Especially for our soft, outdoor wedding.  We are still on the search but I think we’re so close!  Updates to come this week.

Happy Weekend!

Frugal Fridays: Avoid the Built-In Caterer

The MAJOR cost involved in a wedding is definitely the reception, and normally the largest percentage of cost involved with a reception is the caterer.  While there are many ways to cut catering costs (serving only hor d’oeuvres or going with a buffet as opposed to a plated dinner), the biggest way you can save is to go with a venue that doesn’t require you to use their “preferred caterer.”   

Since we are having our wedding and reception on my parent’s land, there is no required caterer, but many outdoor or unconventional venues will allow you to bring in your own caterer, or choose how you want to provide food.

The Facts:  Preferred caterers can price gouge unbelievably because once you sign a contract with your venue, you are automatically using that catering company.  Once you are locked into their services, you don’t have much negotiating power because you don’t have the opportunity to leverage other caterer’s pricing and make them win your business.

The Idea:  Go with a venue that doesn’t require a specific preferred caterer (this can also save you money in many areas because some venues require that you use ALL their preferred vendors including catering, sound, dj services, wedding director, etc.).  Examples of unconventional venues that may not require certin caterers are local parks, local farms and plantation homes used for weddings, rooftop spaces on top of corporate buildings, church fellowship halls and pretty much anywhere you are allowed to pitch a tent and throw your own reception!  The possbilities are endless!

The Savings:  By choosing your own caterer, you can price shop and compare caterers in your area, or even look into local culinary schools.  Most culinary schools require their students to do a certain number of work hours and many of them cater weddings and events as practice.  Their price is reflective of the fact that they are still in school (big time savings!) but the quality is outstanding!  We shopped around for caterers and actually settled on the caterer that I use at work because their prices are unbeatable!  Just as an example, a friend whose wedding requires a specific caterer will be spending $26 per person on an average buffet style meal – salad, main dish, side, tea and water.  With my caterer, I will be spending $8.95 per person on a buffet style meal with salad, main dish, 2 sides, rolls, tea and water.  This is a cost savings (between myself and my friend) of $17.05 per person and for me that means $2,983.75 because we are expecting approximately 175 people.  Certainly well worth choosing to do our wedding outdoors (based on our budget). 

Extra Tip:  Do be sure that your caterer has both the experience and staff to cover your event, and ask them if they will be booking any other events that day (to ensure that they definitely have the means of covering your wedding).  My catering company does multiple weddings every weekend during wedding season, and they have a large staff of people so we are certain that they will do a great job.  You definitely do not want to be worrying about food or beverage on your wedding day so leave it to experiences professionals.

In other news, I am going bridesmaid dress shopping tomorrow for round 3, so I will let you know how that goes on Monday!

Happy Weekend & First Day of Spring (tomorrow)!

Frugal Fridays: Cut Cocktail Hour

Each Friday, I will give you a cost-cutting tip that we are using to save money on our wedding. 

This week’s tip is Cutting Cocktail Hour (gasp!).

A recent trend in the photography world is the “first look.”  Many photographers are encouraging the bride and groom to see each other in an intimate setting before the wedding ceremony.  It takes the pressure off walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time in front of everyone, and also allows time before the ceremony to get pictures out of the way so that guests don’t have to waste time in between the ceremony and reception waiting for you to get done with formal and wedding party photos.

The Idea: We are not opting for the “first look.”  We are going traditional and seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony.  However, we don’t want our guests to spend 45 minutes mingling while waiting for what they really want – food.  Since our ceremony is outside in a field, we are going to direct guests into the tent for the reception after the ceremony and have them start eating while we are taking pictures.  That way, by the time we get in the tent, everyone will be seated at their table and ready to watch the first dances and then we will cut the cake and give them dessert!

BONUS:  Mason and I are going to have a little “first married dinner” by ourselves before we go into the reception.  We definitely don’t want to miss out on the good food we are catering at our reception, but we both know that once we get in there, we won’t have any time to eat!  After our pictures, we are going to have a quick bite and then meet the wedding party back outside the tent to be announced into the ceremony.  How much fun is that?!?

Savings: By skipping cocktail hour, we are saving money on hor d’oeuvres, which ends up in big savings.  We are serving beer and wine at our reception anyway, so the bar(s) will be open when guests enter the tent and they will be able to enjoy that with their dinner.  Most importantly, we are saving people’s time.  We are excited that by the time we get into the reception, we can talk to our guests during dessert and then get the party started on full bellies!

I think this deserves a picture!  But since I don’t have any pictures of our wedding ideas yet, here is a fun photo of Mason and me at Halloween…can you guess what we were?  (We don’t go together, just FYI!)

I told Mason to enjoy the control while he could.  Haha! 🙂

Happy Friday to you!