Tag Archive | bridal party

A Highland Fairy Tale: “We Don’t Even Have to Try”

“It’s always a good time!”  And boy was it ever, but we’ll get to that later.

Our reception started off with the old grand march or announced entrance of the entire bridal party followed by Mr. Sword and myself.

The bridal party entered to the very contemporary and perhaps overplayed song “Good Time” by Owl City featuring Carly Rae Jepsen.  I bet I don’t even need to share a link to the song because it’s one of those that can consume your brain in seconds, but just in case, I will anyway.  You’re welcome.

Aaron, our DJ from Midwest Sound, instructed each couple to choose a quick dance move for their entrance mere seconds before we were all to enter.  Huddled in the hallway everyone came up with something awesome, that is except for the bride and groom.  Our entrance was super lame but that’s OK because people were still into us.  Guess that’s the perk of being the guest of honors!

First up, Wee Sis escorted by The Glue.

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Next up, Jo escorted by J.  We only got the butt shot of them… niiiiice.

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After that came L Dawg escorted by P.

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Finally, our dynamic duo of Best Man S escorted by Sister/MOH Big Eyes.

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Mr. Sword and I danced into “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness.  A bit unconventional yes, but super fun.

For some reason I wanted it to be a celebratory like dance with air pumping and high-fiving (not pictured) but it didn’t turn out the way I imagined in my head.  Crystal also told us to look at the camera after we entered, which is the explanation behind my awkward pose in the third pic and Mr. Sword’s lack of posing.  He dislikes being the center of attention.

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See what I mean?

After entering we went straight to the cake and cut that thing up!  A shout-out goes to Best Man S for this song idea intended for the bridal party entrance which we used for cake cutting instead (or so I think, I don’t actually remember hearing it because everything was happening very fast).  “Life With You” by The Proclaimers.  The Proclaimers are a Scottish band; they had to make an appearance at our wedding for obvious reasons.  Such a good song.

There are no pictures of us feeding each other but it definitely happened.  And there was no cake smashing, chalk that up with bouquet and garter tosses next to Traditions I Don’t Want To See at My Wedding.

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The next post will clear up why there is a huge screen in most of the entrance photos, all for a great reason I promise and it’s not what you’re thinking…

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you and your bridal party do a grand entrance?  What song will you choose for your entrance?  Did anyone else choose a cake cutting song that had nothing to do with sweetness or sugar (not that I don’t love all things sugar related)?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!
Ceremony readings!
Vows and handfasting!
Receiving line!

Reception
Cocktail hour!
The pretty details!

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The Monumental Task That is Gifting Everyone

It’s time to discuss gifts in this photo heavy post!  I tried to be concise but I also wanted to squeeze it into one post so bear with me and hopefully you’ll get some ideas for gifts for your family or bridal party!

First, three tips:  1) Shop early.  You know you’ll need gifts so no need to wait until the last month.   2) Make a list of everyone you want to thank early so you don’t forget anyone.  3) A theme can help guide your gifting.

Here are the gifts we bought for those involved with the Sword Wedding starting with the ladies!

Bridesmaids and Honor Attendants: Dressing for the wedding.

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The first decision I made was to gift them their jewelry for the wedding (including the infamous tartan necklace which is not pictured in the photo above and a pair of earrings), and from there I added a black scarf/wrap to keep them warm during outdoor photos.  I also added a lip plumper lipstick from Victoria’s Secret, plus notebooks for the maids and mugs for the honor attendants.

My favorite piece that we gave the ladies was their custom-made reusable tote bags found on Etsy (which you’ll soon notice is a theme with me.)

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I absolutely loved them and would definitely recommend them except I didn’t care for the bows they came with, they seemed too pink and too lacy for our wedding.

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Luckily I already had something else in mind.

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Corresponding princess key chains for each girl!

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Ahh, much better.  I also wanted to get a little something extra for my Sister/MOH Big Eyes to thank her for all her help with our wedding so I went back to Etsy and found this bracelet that had a quote engraved on it from the movie Beauty and the Beast, which is fitting because MOH’s princess identity is Belle.  It says, “I want much more than this provincial life.”  Lovely.

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Groomsmen: Cheers, I’ll drink to that!

This group was easy.  A personalized flask seemed to be the perfect gift for our favorite alcohol-loving men.  I make them sound like a bunch of drunks, but that’s not entirely true.  They just enjoy their libations.  We went to Things Remembered for these and were thrilled with the results.  It’s too blurred to tell but we added each guy’s name and the wedding date, as well “Best Man” for our Best Man.

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We also had to throw in a reference to the Chicago Bears as Mr. Sword is a HUGE fan.  I know it seems weird that a Scotsman cares about American football as much as Mr. Sword does but he actually grew up watching NFL in Glasgow with his Dad.  So we went with the drinking theme and got them each a Bears key chain bottle opener.

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Parents: New family member, more love.

I was on the hunt for something different you guys!  I wanted to give the parents something besides a frame.  But when I went to Mom Sword and asked her what she wanted she said point blank, “A frame.”  GAH!  So it was back to Things Remembered with their awesome engraving skills to pick up two gorgeous frames that we will eventually be filled with wedding pictures.  No I.O.U’s included, for some reason they bother me!

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The names have been edited out but the champagne colored frame is for Mr. Sword’s parents and has his name first, and the silver one is for my parents and it has my name first.  Aren’t we clever?  And of course we included the wedding date!

To supplement the frames we found these beautiful necklaces from Etsy which say “thank you for raising the woman/man of my dreams.”  My heart melted when I first saw them and I just knew they’d be perfect for our moms!  Even if they hardly wear them, they’ll be a sweet reminder of the wedding day and carry such beautiful sentiment.

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Finally, the Dads had to get a little something extra so we went back to Da Bears theme and found these t-shirts!  Dad Sword is a Vikings fan through and through but he’s already worn his Bears shirt once because he likes his son-in-law that much!

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Flower Girl: One of a kind.

Having only one flower girl made it so I could go a bit crazy on Littlest C and not worry about having to buy duplicates, so that’s what I did!  We bought her a book that has multiple pages for adding photos from the wedding and for journal-ling memories and specific details as well as pockets to store the actual petals that she dropped during the ceremony.  (Are you crying yet?)  I also gifted Littlest C her wedding day jewelry like I did for the rest of the bridal party, and the best gift of all, (thank you Etsy, yes, AGAIN), has to be the personalized handkerchief i ordered for her with this inscription on it: Today you are young but the years will quickly pass by And soon you’ll be a bride in the blink of an eye.  So here is something for that time when you will say I need something old for my wedding day.  Cue my sobbing!

Flower Girl book can be found here on Amazon.  Totally worth it!

Flower Girl book can be found here on Amazon. Totally worth it!

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Ushers: Electronic Thank yous.

All four ushers (three cousins and nanny kid Big C) received a gift card, a movie, and of course their piece of tartan, the bow tie.  For my girl cousin usher, she received her bow tie in the form of a hair clip.  Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of their beautiful ties!

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This is getting really long so I’m going to stop with the pictures but I want to mention we also chose to thank our two readers for reading, my cousin for walking our remembrance flowers down the aisle, Boss Lady for making all of the beautiful tartan pieces, and FBIL for playing guitar during cocktail hour.  These gifts ranged from jewelry to gift cards but we definitely put thought into each and every one of them!

And don’t forget to write a personalized thank you note to go with each gift because sometimes that means more than the gift itself.  Mr. Sword and I sort of split up the thank you cards because I wanted us both to take part in this process.  Even though Mr. Sword complains about writing he’s actually pretty good at it!  🙂

(all photos personal and many of these gifts can be found clicking on the provided links)

Have you finished up buying your gifts for everyone?  Any amazing gift ideas that you want to add to the list?

Rain On My Wedding Day

Hello hive!  I’m back as a married woman and I’m dying to share a sneak peek of our wedding day!  My post that went up yesterday was written late Friday night by a very happy Miss Sword with a very nervous tummy.  I hinted that we had a good chance of having rain on our wedding day and I’m here to report that the weather was absolutely terrible!  Cold and rainy all day.

But that didn’t stop us from taking two hours worth of photos outside (as planned), I’m crazy I know!  By the end of it I couldn’t feel my toes, Mr. Sword had a bright red nose, and my hair/makeup/bouquet were all quite wet even though we did are our best to stay underneath a bridge and a parking garage.

All that aside, I cannot describe our wedding as anything other than perfection.  It was amazing.  Everything worked out beautifully and we received compliments all night about how much everyone loved it.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

These things I know for sure:

Lots of planning and prep = a smooth wedding day.

If the Bride and Groom have to travel in bad weather and take photos in bad weather, but ALL of their out-of-town family and friends are able to make it to the wedding easily, it’s more than worth it.

Falling out of love with your dress happens, but when your Big Day arrives, you might love it so much you won’t want to take it off.

Ceilidh dancing is pretty much the best thing EVER.  Although Strip the Willow almost killed me….  🙂

Mr. Sword and I have amazing family and friends in our lives.

Marrying your love is the most brilliant way to spend a Saturday.

And now some behind the scenes photos from our day… enjoy!

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(all photos personal and taken by the awesome honor attendant CBF)

Love,

Mrs. Sword

Last Minute Plans

How are you spending the day before your wedding?  Are you having a rehearsal followed by a rehearsal dinner like us?  Are you going to a salon with your bridal party to get pampered?  A couple’s massage with your betrothed?  Or are you doing something adventurous and random like rock climbing or go-kart racing?

For our big day before the Big Day Mom Sword will be hosting a luncheon for all of the women in our very small families and the bridal party ladies at her house.  It’s called “Lunch with Princess Miss Sword” and it will be a time for me to relax and chat with 17 of my favorite people in the whole world.  This is the only event that my FMIL and FSIL will be able to attend since they live in Scotland and weren’t able to attend the bridal showers or other planning events for obvious reasons.  Mom Sword wanted them to feel special and included and I know this is going to make for one awesome memory.  How often will I get all of these women in the same room again?  Plus, it’s a great way to kick off the wedding weekend festivities!!

Immediately after the lunch the bridal party and I will head out to get our nails done at Livvy Nails and Spa.

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I’ve said before I’m a bit of a nail salon snob and I’ve gotten spoiled living in Chicago.  I have about three salons I alternate between and I’m really weary of trying new places.  I decided to use Facebook to ask my Minnesota friends for recommendations of fabulous nail salons and went to check them out when I was in town.

I’m so happy with our choice and so far the owner of Livvy Nails and Spa has been very helpful, and they even have this adorable pink butterfly chair for Littlest C to use.  How adorable!  I can’t wait!

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The big question is what color should I do my nails!?!? I’m definitely doing a gel manicure for my hands (they are addicting) but I can’t decide between bridal white and eggplant purple… any thoughts?  Also I only use Essie nail polish.  I mentioned I’m a snob, right?

For my toes I’m thinking either the eggplant again or lavender?

playdate (perfect name for a nanny!)

playdate (perfect name for a nanny!)

It ended up being a very busy two days during my quick planning trip to Minnesota but somehow I managed to fit in a fitting, and meetings with my florist, bakery, venue, and hair/makeup artist. Everywhere I went I had to drop off a little piece of our tartan so it could be incorporated into the wedding in some way.  We still have a few scraps of it left but I think we’ve used it every single place we could imagine!  I can’t wait to see it all come together.  SO.CLOSE.NOW.

(all photos personal)

Are you doing anything special the day before your wedding?  What color should I paint my nails?  Is anyone else a nail salon snob?

Tartan Washer Necklace DIYT (Don’t Invest Your Time)

It’s time for a “How To” on the necklaces MOH Big Eyes and I made for the women in the bridal party.  I say this with the utmost sincerity, please do not try this at home.  In fact, don’t ever attempt to make jewelry out of wool.  It’s just a bad idea.  Wool is not a good medium for creating pretty, dainty things.  But DO make the necklace, just use different fabric.

THAT SAID, we did the best with what we had.  And I think our necklaces turned out absolutely gorgeous, thanks to Sister Big Eyes and her ingenuity.

There were a lot of ideas thrown around over the past few months regarding bracelets and necklaces and the tartan fabric.  The question was how could we gift the bridal party a piece of our family tartan?  (The men will get to keep their bouts even though they’ll never have another reason to wear them.  They’ll probably just hold on to them for sentiment’s sake, HA!)  Ladies of the Sword bridal party feel free to read on about all the frustration love that went into your jewelry!  🙂

Let’s start with the inspiration for this necklace.

image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

If you click on the link to Pinterest you’ll find lots of ideas and versions of this beautiful necklace.  Most fabrics will move a lot easier than wool.  Two things to note about working with tartan fabric, 1) It is very stiff and doesn’t bend well, 2) It frays badly immediately after being cut.

Great, now that you’re excited, here is the step-by-step version of how we made our very own washer necklaces with our tartan fabric.

STEP ONE:  BUY YOUR SUPPLIES.  You’ll need enough washers for each necklace and Sister Big Eyes says odd numbers look best, so we figured about 7 per necklace plus quite a few extras.  We also decided we wanted to paint the washers, so picked up ivory and forest green spray paint.

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Then we visited JoAnn’s to buy ribbon to add to the necklaces so they can be tied around the neck, and interfacing to put on the back of the fabric to prevent it from fraying as much.

STEP TWO: SPRAY THE WASHERS.  Optimal conditions would be in Bismarck, ND when the temperature is below zero so your hands want to fall off and directly before it starts snowing so your first batch is completely ruined.  OH WAIT, those were our conditions but maybe you live some place warmer than the tundra.  In that case, just spray them on a piece of cardboard or a paper bag.

We tried using both the ivory and the green washers with the tartan but in the end we felt the darker green color looked better than the lighter ivory color.

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STEP THREE: LAY OUT INTERFACING ON TARTAN FABRIC, CUT TO FIT.  Sister Big Eyes looks like she knows what she’s doing in this picture but truthfully none of us had ever used interfacing before.  What is interfacing you ask?  To quote Wikipedia, it’s “a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid.” (Thank you Boss Lady for the giving me the idea.)

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STEP FOUR: GET SILLY IRON INTERFACING ONTO FABRIC.  While Sister Big Eyes was working hard, cousin and BM Jo and I were having our own fun.

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Tartan headband anyone?  5 dollars please.

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Even Fibonacci wanted to help out!  Hehe.  BM Jo sent him downstairs wearing this:

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STEP FIVE A:  LAMENT ABOUT HOW MUCH EASIER THIS PROJECT WOULD BE IF YOU USED RIBBON INSTEAD.  Celebrate Christmas with your family and take a break from the necklaces until you’re back in Minnesota.

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STEP FIVE B (aka the real STEP FIVE): CUT THE TARTAN INTO STRIPS. I don’t know exactly how long we made ours because it took some trial and error and it depends on how low you want your necklace to hang.  No matter what fabric you use don’t forget to factor in extra fabric for looping it through each washer.

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STEP SIX: ADD ANTI-FRAYING GOOP TO EDGES.  While the interfacing did help, the tartan still began to fray and separate immediately after it was cut so we decided to do both.  This was my job.  That and taking photos of every step of the process!

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STEP SEVEN: SEW RIBBON ON TO EACH END OF YOUR STRIPS.  Sister Big Eyes did this part as well (shocking I know) and she did a great job.  The length of ribbon doesn’t matter too much because if you have too much you can just make a bigger bow at the back of your neck.

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It’s best if the ribbon is the same width of your cut strips of fabric.

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STEP EIGHT: LOOP TARTAN THROUGH EACH WASHER.  Honestly, I have no idea how to explain this because I didn’t do it (worst tutorial writer ever!), but I think you thread it through the first washer, then the second washer and then back again through the first washer so they lay close to each other.

I know I mentioned earlier that we were going for seven washers per necklace but in the end it was more important to make the washers centered in the middle which meant some of them have one extra or one less washer.

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STEP NINE:  WEAR IT.  For some reason we don’t have anyone wearing the finished product necklace.  In the below picture MOH Big Eyes is wearing her bridesmaid dress and a necklace that has the original (unpainted) washers, and after that is BM Jo wearing a prototype necklace that does not have ribbon or interfacing.

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Overall I’m really pleased with how they turned out!  And I can’t wait to see all the bridesmaids and honor attendants wearing them with their dresses!  I’m so happy that each girl will get to take home a piece of the Sword family tartan as well.  Based on the photo above I’m thinking the girls will be able to wear them again with regular clothing.  Win win!

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I also want to take this opportunity to thank the world’s best Maid of Honor, my little sister.  Without her I don’t know where I’d be, and I’m so grateful for all of the work she has done to make our Highland Fairy Tale a dream come true.

And I truly hope I can help her waste her time on an equally stressful craft for her wedding in the near future.  Much love Sis.

(all photos personal)

Do you like the tartan necklaces?  Would you ever make a necklace with washers?  What wedding craft did you spend way too much time working on?

My Wedding Crush

I found my wedding crush!!  You know what I’m talking about right?  That wedding that seems to match something of your theme/style/decor and gets you inspired for your own Big Day?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to view the entire gallery of this wedding but the photos I discovered are truly awesome and affirming.  And hopefully our wedding will look  pretty similar to this except for 50 degrees colder.

Here’s what I found:

MEN IN KILTS THAT DON’T MATCH

It’s no secret I’ve been slightly concerned (but mostly just curious) about how our photos will look with each of the groomsmen and Mr. Sword sporting different tartan patterns.  Furthermore, they’ll all be wearing different jackets with all the groomsmen in the more formal Prince Charlie style and Mr. Sword showcasing the more semi-formal Argyll jacket.  After seeing this photo, I’m happy to report I’m digging the mismatched guys look and I’m SO excited to see how our bridal party pulls it off as well!

Note the different sporrans and how beautiful they all look together!

SHE HAS FOUR BRIDESMAIDS AND THEY ARE IN DARK COLORED DRESSES

My four bridesmaids will be in long dark eggplant dresses and my honor attendants will be wearing short black dresses.  I love the look of these dark dresses next to the bride’s light gown.

THE BRIDE WRAPPED HER BOUQUET WITH TARTAN FABRIC

I just love how it looks and I can’t wait to get photos of all the sneaky places that our family tartan will pop up at the Sword wedding.

SHE HAS INDIVIDUAL SHOTS WITH EACH OF HER GIRLS

I plan to get personal shots with each of my awesome ladies as well.

Finally, THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS AWESOME

Hilariously brilliant isn’t it?  We are so re-creating this shot.  Do you think these men are True Scotsman?  😉

Finding this wedding crush reaffirms how beautiful and unique each wedding is and makes me so happy that I stuck to my dark, kilt-focused theme even though I was initially attracted to all things blush.

Have you found your wedding crush yet?

Hen Do(s) and Don’ts

That’s right hive!  I had my very kick-ass day of fun bachelorette party this past weekend (and to be honest I’m still trying to recover)!

OH MY WORD MOH Big Eyes blew me away with an amazing day that was equal parts girly, sexy, naughty, and fun!  Not even lying, I’m pretty sure I heard the words, “this is the best bachelorette party ever and by the looks of it everyone had a total blast.

Sister Big Eyes is a teacher and came prepared with a lesson plan of sorts, and because of her easy to use Google RSVP document, everyone was able to respond “yes” or “no” to each event and stop in when they could throughout the day.  There were various activities to take part in around the city until the evening when we ended the day at my apartment with games, gifts, and treats before going out dancing.

Note her princess folder for this princess-inspired affair. So organized!

Instead of doing a lengthy recap of the day, I’m going to break it down by giving you some Hen DO’s and Hen Don’ts!! (Hen Do is the UK term for bachelorette party in case I haven’t made that clear yet.)

HEN DO

DO buy cute princess headbands from an Etsy shop to represent each lady of your amazing bridal party (which for me includes bridesmaids, honor attendants, a flower girl, girl cousin usher, and girl cousin who is carrying our remembrance flowers).  We forgot to get a photo of all 10 of them, but hopefully you can tell which princesses are represented in this picture below.  I was so impressed with MOH Big Eye’s creativity and I got even more excited when she said she plans for us to wear them again at the rehearsal dinner and other pre-wedding related activities.  I’m seriously in love with them and think they’re a subtle yet touching way to highlight the bridal party.

BM L Dawg (Snow White), Miss Sword (Cinderella), MOH Big Eyes (Belle)

HEN DON’T

DON’T start your day with anything but pampering!  I think I’ve mentioned before how I live for manicures and pedicures, but loathe getting my hair cut?  Well, MOH Big Eyes knows this and that’s why we started the day getting our nails done.  I have to give a shout out to Juko for living up to their awesome reviews and treating us all like rock stars.

Miss Sword’s mani

HEN DO

DO enjoy a lovely brunch and ignore rude waiters who fail to listen to you and provide less than adequate service even though it’s your party day.

HEN DON’T

DON’T forget to stop and take LOTS OF PICTURES!

HEN DO

DO pretend to like the makeup that the artist puts on you at Nordstrom because she really likes it, and she really wants you to like it too.  Also ask your friend to not be offended when she tells said friend that she needs to be the Kelly to your Beyoncé because it’s your bachelorette night.  Wow.

HEN DON’T

DON’T fight with your little sister, no matter how annoying she may be.

Look at those BIG EYES!

Just kidding!  We had a perfect day together.

I highly recommend doing a pre-planned day of events for your party if you A) have a lot of friends from different groups/cities/walks of life that you want to invite, and B) if you know you have a core group that will be able to be there for everything (which I did, thank you MN girls, H Bomb, and C Fri who was there in spirit due to flight complications!).

Next up, party games, penis paraphernalia, and dancing the night away!

Did you do a day-long bachelorette extravaganza?  Anyone else celebrate in Chi-town?  What do you think of the headbands?