So, I love wine. I blame the French. I did a summer in Lyon after my first year of law school to study the law of the European Union, and while I remember very little about the actual course, I got quite an education…in wine. For those of you that don’t know, Lyon is in the Beaujolais region of France, a huge wine region. Wine was literally cheaper than water and tasted amazing!
Miss Waterfall sampling wine at a vineyard in Pays Lyon, Beaujolais region, circa 2006 / Personal photo
Cut to now, and Mr. Waterfall and I share a mutual love of wine. We definitely enjoy a nice glass of red (or white, or rosé) with dinner most nights.
We settled on DIY submerged centerpieces a while ago, and trying to find cheap vases in the width and style that we were looking for proved beyond difficult. Then, I came across Mrs. Pain au Chocolat’s posts about cutting wine bottles and a light went off in my head. Brilliant! It would be cheap because we were already drinking plenty of wine, AND we would be recycling!
Anyway…we happily started collecting bottles and I finally got around to buying a glass cutter. This is not the exact one, but close enough.
The guestbook is one of those bits of wedding decor that actually has an honest-to-goodness purpose—it even gets its own table, putting it right up there with the cake in level of importance.
Darice Guest Book Set / Image via Amazon
And, yet, after the wedding the guestbook generally gets shoved into a box or onto a shelf, seldom to be looked at again.
Hardly seems fair, right?
Which is why I always thought, even when I wasn’t considering another marriage as a possibility, that having guests sign a photo mat that could then be hung in the home with a picture from the day made much more sense in the grand scheme of things.
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Our photographer, Crystal, and her second shooter, Anna, showed up around 9:30 AM to begin taking detail and getting ready shots of all of us. I’m going to be a big tease and hold out on most of the detail shots but I will show this one of my dress with the sunlight streaming through it. GORGEOUS.
I was really happy with how my hair and makeup turned out. Laura does amazing work and I looked just how I had envisioned myself as a bride! As for the extensions? I would buy them again in a heartbeat. Laura didn’t clip them in as tightly as she had for the trial and I wore them for over 12 hours without a problem. Most people had no idea I was wearing extensions until I told them! (And sidebar: I wore them again at Sister Big Eye’s wedding this past weekend—photos to come later this summer!)
Hello, friends. Let’s talk hair, shall we?
I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair—wash, air dry, straighten if I have time. Even if my hair is nice and straight, I often pull it back in a ponytail anyway. Part of this is because I’m typically engrossed in other things and don’t give much thought to my hair, and the other part is because I have pretty sensitive skin and so having my hair touch my shoulders, back, or face can drive me crazy.
Grainy photo from a Google+ hangout when Sparky was out of town. I had to take a picture because that was probably my best hair day EVER.
Finally my mom arrived and I put on my dress. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a “cute picture of your mom zipping up your dress” moment. It was more like “oh please let this dress zip…” which it did, and it fit perfectly. Once I got it over my rib cage.
*** Once again, all photos by Niki Marie Photography ***
My mom was able to help me adjust my dress, though, which I’m thankful for. She also helped me put on my grandmother’s antique necklace. Both of my cousins’ wives wore it in their weddings, which makes me the third grandchild to get married in three years and feature this amazing piece of jewelry.
We had planned on spending our second day in Orlando visiting Magic Kingdom and exploring the new Fantasyland, which neither of us had seen. A couple of weeks before our trip, we learned that Disney was hosting the Monstrous Summer All Nighter, which meant Magic Kingdom would be open for 24 hours the day we had planned on visiting. Talk about great news!
We arrived at the park a little after 7:30am to begin our fun filled day at the Happiest Place on Earth!
We headed straight to the enchanted forest part of the new Fantasyland. We had breakfast at Gaston’s Tavern, where we had a chance to taste the scrumptious Le Fou Brew and a special edition Sully cupcake before checking out the new attractions in the area.
Remember how we scored our sparkly for cheap? Well, the internet came to the rescue again.
I follow a UK group on Facebook called 10 ways to have more money as a student, without working. It’s brilliant—every day pictures are posted with deals, codes, and other awesome finds. I’ve got a few things because of that site. Free food with vouchers, 1p chocolates, and even a one terabyte external hard drive!
A couple of months ago they made me aware of an offer that was on at a supermarket. Twenty-five percent off when you buy two cases of French wine. And one (gorgeous) wine I had my eye on was already over 50% off. Add to that a voucher for £12 off a £60 spend, and my brother’s 10% discount and well…£12 bottle of wine for just under £4.
Our venue was going to charge us £10 a bottle of wine, or £6 corkage—so at £4 a bottle it’s pretty much the same price to bring in our own. But I’d much rather have a bottle of Chablis than a bog-standard Chardonnay, so we’ve done good.
Maison Fort du Roi Chablis by Tesco Wines
And if we were buying white, we may as well buy some red, too. Amazingly, this offer extended to all cases of wine the week after, so we had our pick of the reds! I hit up the Tesco Wines website and the first thing I did was look for discounts. What was the point in buying a £5 bottle of wine if I could get a £5 bottle of wine that used to be £10 or more?
I wasn’t to be caught by the cheeky discounts, though. You know the ones—where they stick up a £5 bottle of wine for £10 for like, a week, just so they can say it’s half price when it goes back down? You’re not fooling me this time! Only the good stuff for this party!
Hive! We did it! The Pandas are now married and it was a beautiful, beautiful day. It was a gorgeous June afternoon and it went by with a blink of an eye.
Was it perfect? Well, no…but it was pretty darn close. I am still glowing from all of the love and excitement. It was an amazing experience and I just love seeing all of the guest pictures rolling in.
I know I’ve been evading discussion about my dress, so I feel like I should make a note of it here. I guess from the very beginning, I had a gut feeling that I would end up wearing this—it’s Wtoo Olivia! After looking at these pictures, I can’t believe I ever doubted my choice! It was absolutely perfect!