Tag Archive | friends

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Steal a Midnight Kiss

One of my favorite moments of our whole wedding weekend took place around midnight the night before our wedding.  The rehearsal dinner was finished and BM L Dawg and H were trying to sleep in the adjoining room while I was trying to type my last post as a Miss in the living area.  Don’t you just love hotel suites?

I had previously said goodnight to Mr. Sword in the lobby as we split up, him to the bar to have one last drink, and me to the girls’ getting ready room where I was staying for the night.

But as I sat there typing away at my laptop, trying to shove all of my emotions into concise but eloquent thoughts, I decided I wanted to see him one last time.  I mean, he was so close, I could hear laughing coming from the hotel bar, voices of people who were here for our wedding.  In that moment, I wanted one more goodnight kiss.  One more embrace.

So I texted him, “Where are u?”

And he replied, “At the bar with my dad!”

“Nice ok!  If you leave soon come knock on my door to say hi! 🙂  I’m blogging.” (Clearly, it’s all about the hive.)

“Will do! Just having one!”

(The Swords are avid users of the exclamation point!)

About ten minutes later (or some other amount of time, I have no idea but ten minutes sounds nice) I heard a faint knock at the door and there he was, the man I was going to marry in mere hours!  I got butterflies in my stomach as I crept out into the hall.

I only have a foggy memory of what we said to each other, but I probably asked him how the bar was and if he’d be OK sleeping by himself. (Guys don’t buddy sleep, ya know?)  I probably said something like, “We’re getting married tomorrow!”  And then he probably said something like, “It’s after midnight, I shouldn’t see you, it’s technically our wedding day.”  To which I probably responded with a “Bah, who cares?”

While I don’t remember words, I do remember feelings, (as does my Mister).  We remember feeling happy, giddy, safe, loved, and calm.  I remember feeling this was the beginning of something amazing.

I had always pictured my last night as a single lady gossiping with my friends or crying tears of joy with my sister, but my friends were tired and wanted to hit the hay right away, and my sister has really long hair and wanted to shower in her own room so she opted to sleep with her fiancé to make things easier in the morning.  I guess I was meant to be alone with my thoughts and I think it’s sweet that my last conversation before I went to bed was with my future husband.

After our quick chat, we kissed once or twice more and said goodnight for real and I finished my post, stowed my laptop, and fell asleep surprisingly quick for someone who can rarely shut their brain off fully when they are extra excited.

Tomorrow I was going to be the bride.  I was going to marry an amazing man and celebrate with my favorite people on the planet.  There’s nothing quite like going to bed and knowing you’re going to wake up to your very own wedding day.  As I fell asleep I knew tomorrow would be golden.

Photo by Friend AB

Photo by Friend AB

Did you have one picture in your head for the night before your wedding only to have something different happen?  Anyone else steal a goodnight or goodbye kiss from their partner at an unexpected moment?

Sword Wedding footer FINAL

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!

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Stag Do(s) and Don’ts

Last week, I said I’d recap Mr. Sword’s bachelor/stag party but it’s going to be a bit difficult because HE FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES.  Clearly, he’s not meant to be a blogger like myself.

Mr. Sword had quite the weekend though!  I guess they drank at their rented home away from home, drank at the local bars, went on a whiskey tour, sang karaoke, and the cops only showed up once.  Success!!  😉

I did manage to steal one photo from Facebook, and luckily, it’s a tame one.  This was taken at a Whiskey distillery in Keith, Scotland.  The story goes that not everyone was feeling well enough to go on the tour the next morning.  Hehe.

Mr. Sword and friends/ photo by Best Man Doc

And keeping with my theme, here are some Stag Do(s) and Don’ts!

STAG DO

DO rent a chalet (house) in the middle of nowhere to ensure one rockin’ good time.

In lieu of a photo I have this quote from one of our groomsmen: “Turns out a stag in the middle of nowhere with little planned is absolute carnage. Ruined.”

STAG DON’T

DON’T be afraid to invite over everyone in the bar to your rented chalet to party until the wee hours of the morning.  Mr. Sword said that everyone in Keith is insanely nice and were really fun.  I say, inviting strangers over to my house (rented or not) is the last thing I’d ever do!  Clearly, I’m not very friendly though.

STAG DO

DO take lots of shots and play lots of snooker.  (Snooker = pool table.)  Mr. Sword said he didn’t get sick even though he drank in excess and stayed up all night.  It’s gotta be that Scottish blood.  I felt sick hearing about the amount of liquor he ingested.

Again, here’s a quote from a different groomsmen, “The town of Keith has broken me. I am a shadow of a man. A shadow.”

STAG DON’T

DON’T forget to thank your awesome Best Man for throwing one hell of a Stag party!  (For the record, Mr. Sword didn’t forget and got him a personalized cigar holder.)  Best Man Doc has a PhD (hence his nickname), and has been an awesome friend to Mr. Sword for many years.  In fact, all of Mr. Sword’s buddies back home are really great guys and I’m excited to party with them in Minnesota in a few short months!  Is it March yet??

When I told my future father-in-law that I’m excited both Mr. Sword and I have such great memories from our parties, he replied with, “Yes, but I think Mr. Sword’s memories are a bit fuzzier than yours.”  HAHA.  So true.

Miss Sword Wedding Tip: I recommend scheduling your stag/hen parties for the same weekend if you can, it’s nice to be busy with your friends while they’re busy with theirs, plus then you get to share that special weekend with your partner even if you’re not physically with them!

Do you know what happened at your partner’s bachelor/bachelorette party?  Did anyone else’s guy go away for a long weekend?  Who wants to party in Keith now?

I’m So Honored

Miss Sword’s “Learn from my mistake” Wedding Tip: Do not use the term “personal attendants” when referring to other awesome friends that you want to include in your bridal party.  People will think “personal attendant” is a synonym for “do whatever I say bitch” and you will be grossly misunderstood.

Instead call them “Honor Attendants” and all will be well with the world.

(Mom Sword even had a personal attendant in her wedding back in ’79, but I guess times have changed!)

For a refresher, my bridal party consists of MOH Big Eyes (my beloved and also engaged Sister), my BFF L Dawg (who’s so tight with my family that she’s even traveled with all us), Cousin Jo (whom I’ve watched grow up and turn into an amazing young woman), and Mr. Sword’s Wee Sis (aka my future-sister-in-law and therefore stuck with me for life-hehe).  My bridal party is filled with those I call family.  And it’s four people on purpose.  I didn’t want a huge bridal party.

That said, I have some amazing friends and if I could recognize everyone I would, but it’s just not possible!

In the end, I felt strongly that two particular girlfriends (besties for life) needed to be a part of bridal party but not necessarily walk down the aisle, and that’s how I found myself with honor attendants.

Meet honor attendant H Bomb.

Meet honor attendant C Fri.

I met both of these ladies in college and in completely different places, H Bomb in church and C Fri on a bus my first week on campus, and ironically they both live in NYC now.  Lucky for me, both of these girls are smartie farties and insanely reliable.  So not only do they have to look good in pictures, but they will have a wee bit of responsibility as well.

I came up with fun words like “Regulator” and “Liaison” for them but really I’d just be happy if they handle my cell phone for the day, check in with the boys once in a while, and maybe help us keep the family corralled for some pre-ceremony portraits.

Raise your hand if you think I should get them these?

image via Amazon

Umm, YES PLEASE.  If anything, I have to buy them just for the cute photo opps!

The question then becomes what do the honor attendants wear?

To jog your memory or if you’re just tuning into the Sword saga, the bridesmaids will be in long, chiffon dresses.

Style is called Olivia, image via the Wedding Shoppe, Inc

Only they’ll be wearing the above dresses in the gorgeous purple color known as eggplant.  Remember how I had to wait until the kilt arrived to make the final color decision?  So picture the above length mixed with the below color (similar style is on the left).  Unfortunately the website doesn’t off a “switch color” option for each dress.

Style is called Sydney, image via the Wedding Shoppe, Inc

My initial idea is to ask H Bomb and C Fri to wear chocolate brown because I love neutral tones and it’s conveniently one of our other wedding colors.  I’m also thinking they should wear cocktail length dresses, but I’m curious to how that will look next to the long dresses?  Thoughts?

Here is my inspiration for the honor attendants dresses thus far:

image via Alfred Angelo

image via The Dessy Group

As of now I’ve told the girls to buy/order whatever dress they feel comfortable in and would be willing to wear again, but inspiration is hitting me as I write this… what if they wore the same Kennedy Blue style dress as the bridesmaids but in the short version and brown color?  Sometimes having a bit of direction can make it easier to shop.

(photos personal unless otherwise noted)

Basically I need your help Hive!  AGAIN.  What are your suggestions?  Does it matter that the dresses will be different lengths for the bridal party photos?  While there’s tons of inspiration photos showing MISMATCHED bridesmaid dresses, there seems to be barely any inspiration of MIXED STYLE bridal parties.  I think having bridesmaids and honor attendants in different dresses will make for some beautiful and unique shots!

What do you think of chocolate brown (often called espresso in the wedding world) and eggplant together?  Are you having honor attendants or something similar?  Did you make the mistake of calling someone your bitch, I mean personal attendant, like I did?!?!

Secret Life of Bees: Sword Edition

I love this series!  It’s so fun to learn more about each Bee’s life outside of wedding planning.  🙂

As I started thinking about this series I began to curse myself for being such an open book.  Don’t I over-share already?  Won’t everyone know this or that by now?  Of course that’s a silly way to think, because there’s always more to share!

And then I stumbled on the real reason I don’t have many secrets: I’M LAME.  I don’t have a tattoo, a strange addiction, or a unique talent, or a weird family situation, but luckily I’m a trooper and I was able to scrounge up three embarrassing tidbits to share with the Hive.  You’re welcome.

1. I have “chronic bitch attitude” when I walk down the street alone.  It’s a bit like chronic bitch face, and please reference the ever-hilarious Mrs. Unicycle for her take on chronic bitch face.  Have I said chronic bitch enough times yet?  Geez.

The thing is when I’m walking with Mr. Sword, my nanny kiddos, or a couple of girlfriends, I’m one happy gal.  I’m friendly and I smile; life.is.good.  But for some reason when I walk alone I encompass this rude big city ‘tude and I’m kind of unpleasant.

To make matters worse, I walk around Chicago daily.  I mean, I do a lot of walking.  And because I walk by a ton of people, I end up getting hit on a decent amount.  It’s bizarre but true, I still get hollered at despite looking like I’m walking around with a stick up my ass.  Instead of feeling complimented (like I am when I’m not alone) I usually make the “Eww” face and continue on my way with a shudder.  HOW DARE THEY HIT ON ME!?!?!

If people try to ask me for directions (a bad idea in the first since I barely know where I’m going half the time) I am really hesitant and unsure.  Who are you?  Why are you talking to me?

I’m also really bad at making small talk in general but I’m especially bad at it on long elevator rides.  I would never intentionally talk about something as boring as the weather, so if I bring it up you know I’m desperate.

Social skills FAIL.

2. I have a small obsession with the Amish Culture.  When I say small, I really mean, huge.  First off, I’ve read about ten books by New York Times Bestseller, Beverly Lewis, author of Amish novels inspired by her experience growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Lewis writes these dramatic and spiritual books about her mother’s Plain heritage and I literally can’t put them down!  She writes about their struggles in such a personal way, and to be honest, I find a forbidden Amish love story to be way more intriguing than any vampire, zombie, or werewolf version of the same.

I haven’t read any of her books in a while (been planning a wedding yo), but recently my favorite TV channel, TLC, premiered a new show, Breaking Amish,  and it’s rocked my world every Sunday for the past few weeks.

image via TLC

Now I know there are some rumors floating around about the show, and I understand that reality TV is often times scripted, but watching their stories unfold and hearing about their life growing up in the Amish community is really interesting to me.

I’ve always been fascinated with history and learning about other cultures.  And for the record, just because I’m intrigued by different lifestyles doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with them.  I do think we can all be respectful of each other’s differences, and educate ourselves to be less ignorant.  When you know more about where someone comes from, it’s harder to judge them.

3. My friends and I always have the most INAPPROPRIATE nicknames for each other.  Like, it’s bad, super embarrassing, and I can’t believe I’m sharing this with the world.

High School: DGLB’s (Damn Good Looking Babes)  While DGLB didn’t stick around after leaving high school, a few of our individual nicknames DID stick.  See, we made these names for each other and it’s still fun to use them to this day.  In the picture below, the friend on the left is Crabby and the friend on the right is Fatty.  (My name is long forgotten although I’m pretty sure it was equally as disturbing.)  And yes, we know Fatty isn’t fat.  That’s why it’s funny.  (Please don’t send me hate mail.  We were all stupid when we were younger.)

These two girls were my best friends from middle school to high school and we’re still friends now.  We’ve been though so much together, and I love them to the death.  This is the three of us in LA and that’s me in the middle with a spray tan.

Crabby, Miss Sword, Fatty

College: STD’s

Clearly this name gets us a lot of attention and not the good kind.  But it doesn’t mean what you think it means.  It was actually a group of girlfriends that I met through my campus ministry.  See, Christians can have fun too!  STD is merely an acronym for “Stomach Touching Damsels,” because we all used to touch tummies like Karen and Jack on the hit show, Will and Grace.  Does anyone remember that episode??

While we never touch tummies anymore (thankfully), we still use the STD name quite often when referring to the group.  So much so that when I was emailing H Bomb about my Save the Dates for the wedding she thought I was referring to our group of friends.  Oops.

In a large group of girlfriends (I doubt men do this!), it’s always easier to have a group name instead of saying everyone’s individual name each time you are referring to the same group of people.

And it doesn’t seem weird to us anymore, I swear!  The STD’s were such an important part of my early 20’s (that sounds weird), and the friendships I made in college helped shape the woman I am today. AWW.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of STD’s and it’s proving too difficult to find a semi-recent, good quality (not embarrassing) photo.  So instead I leave with you with me and H Bomb.  She’s one of my besties and you’ll see her face around Weddingbee in the future as she’s also one of my honor attendants in the wedding!

Post-College: Sister Wives

I (we) named us after the TLC show Sister Wives because we used to get together to watch every episode as sort of a weekly Sunday night treat.  I know what you’re thinking, polygamy!?!  Again, I can explain!

The concept of women helping each other care for each other’s families and be supportive fans of each other’s lives is the concept that I enjoy from that show. Thus, Sister Wives is a pretty decent name for a group of friends that care about and support each other.  And NO, none of us share men.  That would be weird.  It’s just a funny name!  (Note: Please see my paragraph on respecting the Amish before saying anything bad about the Fundamentalist Mormons.)

It’s hard to get all of us in one photo, but here are most of S Wives in two photos!  These girls and I have navigated this city together for many holidays, birthdays, girls nights, engagements, and four weddings by the time March rolls around! It’s been a blast.

At church

Out in Chicago

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

So, there ya have it.  A  few of my secrets.  Does anyone else walk with an attitude, have a love of the Amish, or weird nicknames with their friends?  Do share!

On being a wedding guest

This past weekend I was at the wedding of a college friend of mine from U of I. They got married at a vineyard in Virginia and even though the weather was being a bit temperamental, the wedding was lovely and a real definition of love.  For those of you going with an autumn, rustic or winery themed wedding, take note!

the outdoor ceremony option

Mr. Sword in the reception space

the adorable sweetheart table

During our visit to the DC area and before my friend’s wedding, Mr. Sword and I were lucky enough to visit and stay with one of my high school girlfriends.  We met up with her for dinner and got to explore the city she calls home (for the time being anyway, her hubby is military).  Even though I was flying to Virginia for a wedding, it felt silly not to stop in and say hi to my friend when I was so close!  Not only did we get to catch up but she also did my hair and makeup before we left for the wedding, what an awesome friend.

Getting pretty

And we weren’t the only people making the most of our flights to the east coast, I would say at least 5 other friends (or more) were visiting other friends or in some cases, family, while they were in town for the wedding, which got me thinking.

Weddings have become such different beasts over the years.  Now more than ever, couples strive to make their celebrations as personal as possible, and there seems to be no limit on ideas.  If you can dream it, you can make it happen!  Locations are virtually endless with the ease of travel these days and with the added perk of seeing other people you know, destination-type weddings make great excuses for mini-vacations.  🙂

Once upon a time (back in the day) people used to go to college in their home state, buy houses near their parents, and marry in the town where they were born. Now this still happens of course, but not quite as often.  People are also getting married later in life after living away from home for years, after having established many different friend groups, after they’ve held “real” jobs and maybe even after they’ve been abroad.  Because of all this, people end up having friends splattered all across the country and lots of out-of-town guests by the time they get hitched.

I know for a fact that many people are going to use our wedding a way to either explore the US or visit family and friends and I’m more than OK with that!

Wee sis and her fiancé B will be hitting up New York before our wedding, and another groomsmen has plans to see Vancouver before making his way to Minnesota. I’ve heard plans of a few Chicago guests who are visiting Minnesota folks either before or after our big event, and my in-laws plan to take a mini-trip to Duluth for a few days following the wedding before flying back to Scotland.  We have about 75% of our guests* coming from outside of Minnesota so I will be humbly and eternally grateful to those who make the trip and I encourage all of our traveling guests to make the most of their visit up North!  🙂

I love attending my friend’s weddings, no matter where they are located.  It’s always worth the trip. 🙂

Happy Swords!

(all photos personal and used with permission)

How many weddings would you say you’ve gone to that are out-of-state or out-of-country in the last few years?  Do you think weddings have changed much over the last few decades?

*For those of you who like numbers (I don’t, this is all courtesy of Mr. Sword), this is our guest break down pre-invitations going out:

image courtesy of Mr. Sword

My Black and White Invite

I just got invited to my very own bridal shower and it’s even cooler than I ever imagined!  I’m so excited because like I mentioned in another post I’m having my Minnesota bridal shower pretty far out from the wedding, in October.  This shower is being thrown by two of my aunties and my best friend and BM L Dawg.  Before I go any further, I have to say, I’m so thankful for all of their hard work, and I’m so incredibly blessed by their generosity!

BM L Dawg sent out the invitations, (from Target if you’re interested… oh how I love Target!) after she printed the important information right on them.  I think she did a fantastic job!  How cute are they?

Even the envelopes came decorated!

So you all know how much I love a good theme, right?  Well, the theme for my shower is a black and white theme where all the guests are asked to wear black, and as the bride, I’m asked to wear white!  (Cue shopping trip music.)  Even though I know what to wear, I don’t know anything else about it, and I’m very content to wait patiently and be surprised.

My last planning trip in state was back in July so I’m also excited to go home again and finalize some more wedding details.  This will be my first wedding planning trip to Minnesota without Mr. Sword, and while I know I will miss him, I’m excited for some quality time with all the wonderful women in my life.  Plus, showers were made for girly-girls like me who enjoy being the center of attention (as opposed to shying away from it).  Dresses, treats, laughing, presents, games, family, and friends, what’s not to love?  🙂

Finally, I have to highlight my favorite thing about my black and white shower invite.   I think I’ve mentioned before my obsession with quotes, but I am not the only one!  BM L Dawg is also an avid collector of quotations and I think it’s so fitting that she found such a lovely one to include on the top of the invitation.

 

(all photos personal)

Does your bridal shower have a theme?  Anyone else having one 5 or 6 months in advance like me??

Following up!

Since I’d made a list of goals and “wish list” goals before leaving for our big planning trip, I’d thought it’d be fun to go through them and see how much I got accomplished.  I have to say that while the trip was overall really good and productive, it was also a bit stressful and a little too fast-paced at times.  If at all possible, I DO NOT recommend cramming in as much stuff as we did, unless of course you have to!!  I’ve also added a list of things that were accomplished that I didn’t even plan for!!  🙂

Mean, lean, list-checking-off machines!

Lean, mean, list-checking-off machines!

Goals for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • choose our photographer- CHECK!
  • choose our videographer- CHECK!
  • complete cake testing- CHECK!
  • solidify signature drink- CHECK!
  • take our Pastor out to dinner and discuss the ceremony- CHECK!
  • select and buy a wedding dress- CHECK!
  • hire a bagpiper- CHECK!
  • eat at one or two of the restaurants we are considering for our OOTG rehearsal dinner-CHECK!
I have to toot my own horn for just a second here because I’m super impressed with Mr. Scottish and myself for somehow accomplishing all the major things we set out to do while in Minnesota.  I will be doing individual updates on everything (complete with photos) so I won’t go into details now, but it’s worth noting that I’m also thrilled that no one canceled on us the entire week.  Let me repeat that, aside from one or two rescheduled appointments, EVERY SINGLE VENDOR was where they said they would be when they said they would be there.  And most people commented on how ahead of the game we were with our appointments.  WIN WIN.
Let’s see how we did with our “wish list” goals!

“Wish List” for Minnesota Trip #2:

  • hire a Ceilidh band- CHECK!
  • choose a gown for my bridesmaids- CHECK!
  • brainstorm venue options with Sister/MOH Big Eyes for her wedding- CHECK!  (well we saw Sister Big Eyes’ venue, but it had already been chosen)
  • get The Glue fitted for his kilt rental- CHECK!
  • clean and consolidate the one closet of my stuff still left at my parent’s house- nope
  • work on centerpieces- CHECK!
  • plan my next wedding planning trip to MN- CHECK!
  • visit with friends and family- CHECK! 
  • hit up Sam’s Club- nope, but my Mom went, does that count?
  • order our STD’s (photos pending)- CHECK!

It feels so good to see that most of these items can be checked off the list as well!  I had no idea how much we actually accomplished until I did this (it all felt sort of muddled in my brain after five days of non-stop moving).  Now let’s see what else we got done that I would consider an “extra.”
  • buy Dad a new suit from Kohl’s
  • show Auntie B and BM L Dawg our venue for the first time
  • buy supplies to make cutesy girl-type cards for ???? (can’t reveal that info at this time)
  • take Mom around Bed, Bath, and Beyond to show her what we’ve registered for
  • try on summer dresses for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • help my Mom buy her dress for Sister/MOH Big Eyes’ wedding
  • buy my bridal corset bra
  • find a headpiece for bridal outfit (a gift from Auntie B, more details on that to come)
(all photos personal)

WOW.  I can’t wait to get started on all the updates!  Does anyone else use wedding check lists?  Are you ahead of the game or are you using a more relaxed timeline?