Tag Archive | tartan

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Admire the Details

Yay, we’ve arrived at the details post!  Which means less talking, more photo sharing.   I’ve saved all the major detail shots from the whole day for this post, enjoy!

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Sorry for the blurs!

Sorry for the blurs!

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You didn’t think there was any way I would miss out on having our royal wedding RSVP (aka the best DECLINE in the history of declines) included in the details photo shoot, right?  Mr. Sword is still part of the United Kingdom whether his Scottish self likes it or not.  🙂

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personal photo I took the morning after the wedding

personal photo I took the morning after the wedding

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Truth time: That isn’t my wedding band anymore, I traded it in for a new one!

Before we get to the big entrances I wanted to share these reception detail shots as well.

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I’m really happy with how the room turned out and I love the purple uplighting we added.  If you’ll remember, I had two separate centerpieces, beer bottles and hurricanes, but unfortunately I only have good shots of the beer bottle tables.  To be honest, I dislike the carpet and the chairs in some of the pics but I don’t regret skipping on chair covers.  So not a priority!  Having a band AND a DJ was such a better use of our money.

For all you fellow hotel/ballroom brides out there who wish you had chosen a more unique wedding space, remember, the energy and love of your wedding will overshadow even the most bland venue.

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Did you see our Walker’s shortbread favors?  Everyone loved eating them as a wee snack later in the evening.

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Our storybook guestbook was a hit and our guests cracked us up with their awesome comments.

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One of my favorite Destroy-it-Yourself’s:

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The room was filled with love quotes and engagement photos.

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I was so pleased with our AMAZING castle themed escort table complete with tartan flag, a prince and princess, and of course the personalized SWORD escort cards.  My mom and her friends did an amazing job on this!  The detail is insane.  (Note: this started as a plain, wooden dollhouse from Michael’s, and I hope to save it for a future daughter of ours to play with someday!)

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Finally, our cake was simple and geometric and totally fit our theme and it was so cool to see my wirthday gift cake topper in use!

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We used a large piece of our family tartan to cover a square foam that we rented from the bakery as a cake stand and we put up our parent’s wedding photos on either side of the cake.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Next up, we dance in to the reception!

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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!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Try Not To Freeze During Couple Portraits

The next few posts will be very picture heavy (aka I will shut up already)!  🙂

After our first look Mr. Sword and I spent the next 45 minutes taking couple portraits outside while attempting to avoid getting soaked.  In between shots my lovely Sister was rubbing my arms to keep the blood flowing and we were all blowing warm air into our hands.  In some of the pictures you can actually see the precipitation!  The weather was serious.

Despite having to stay under the bridge (or an umbrella) most of the time, I think Crystal was able to capture a lot of great moments.  She said a cloudy day gives the best lighting and I have to agree.  Enjoy!

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This next one is a favorite of mine cause I’m posing like a bad ass.

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I LOVE all the smiling photos (Mr. Sword’s accent smile is the first thing I noticed about him the night we met) but of course we had to try out our dramatic model poses as well.

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Note: I had my engagement ring on my right hand all through pictures so I wouldn’t forget to switch it before the ceremony.  I have no opinions on the matter either way, just thought it was worth sharing since I did notice it!

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These next shots are very special to us.  Boss Lady had made me a heart of tartan with both of our last names sewn on it, and then Family Friend L (my seamstress) sewed the heart into the bottom layer of my dress.  It was mostly our little sentimental secret but I had to get a few pics of it!

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We also squeezed in a few bridal portraits (a MAJOR regret I have is not getting any bridal portraits at the hotel in my full ensemble before entering the elements, but oh well, live and learn!):

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I am obsessed with how awesome my bouquet looks in these next few photos:

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You can see a wee bee in the next one if you look closely!  It’s such a fun tradition and a great way to feel connected to Weddingbee and this amazing community.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did anyone else brave the elements to get outdoor pics?  I scheduled in a lot of time to take couple portraits which I highly recommend!  Up next, we add SWORDS!  🙂

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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!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Dress in Kilts

Meanwhile, on the fourth floor in a different but similar looking hotel room… the men were getting ready too!

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I asked Mr. Sword for a title to his dude post and he came up with, “It’s pub time.”  A very confusing suggestion because they were getting ready in a hotel room, NOT in a bar and perhaps, “It’s wedding time” would have been more appropriate.

On the other hand, it works because if I couldn’t find Mr Sword during the wedding week, it was a safe bet that he was sitting and drinking at the hotel pub with his friends and family.  He is a Scotsman after all.  😉 Unfortunately, “It’s pub time” doesn’t fit with my “We” themed recap titles hence why I didn’t use it.  But feel free to think about pubs and beer for the duration of this post.

LOOK, boxers shot!

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Apparently you put your kilt on first and then slide your underwear off from underneath.  Getting into a kilt is relatively long process with all of the different layers and accoutrements.  I know most brides talk about how easy their grooms have it in getting ready, and while our guys didn’t have to do hair and makeup, they did have to put together an outfit.  🙂

Love this shot of Mr. Sword and his Best Man

Love this shot of Mr. Sword and his Best Man

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Can I just add that once upon a time in 2009 when Mr. Sword and I first started dating he told me he wanted to get a kilt to wear to formal events, and my initial thought was, “Ullhhh, not cute.”  I couldn’t picture it! I was being narrow-minded and ignorant.  Bad Mrs. Sword!

Fast forward to now and I think kilts are soooo sexy.  Ohmygosh, my husband in his kilt!?!  Makes me melt.  Thankfully my eyes were opened, and now I cannot picture my groom any other way on our wedding day.

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I asked our second shooter to be sure and get lots of photos of the details of the kilt ensembles because I think it is such a unique and personal outfit to wear.  If you’re looking for an explanation post on each piece, I wrote about that HERE. Below is a closeup of Mr. Sword’s carefully place sgian-dubh in his kilt hose, or as I would say, small knife that hides in sock.

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This next picture is a closeup of Groomsmen P’s sporran, or as I would say, man purse.  🙂

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Cute pic of GM J helping fix Mr. Sword’s bow tie:

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Funny aside: We had Subway sandwiches delivered to both getting ready rooms by our family friend J (thank you J) and apparently Mr. Sword, ever the gentleman, didn’t want to take the first sandwich EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HIS WEDDING DAY, so the sandwiches just kind of sat there.  If you can’t eat first on your wedding day, when can you eat first?  Sigh.  He’s a polite guy, what can I say?

Please note full tray of sandwiches in the bottom right-hand corner.

Please note full tray of sandwiches in the bottom right-hand corner.

After he finished getting ready Mr. Sword opened his day of gifts from me (sadly this is the only photo I have from that moment). I got him three items:

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A pair of black socks because when anyone asks him what he needs (or wants) as a gift that’s his stock answer and it just proves he doesn’t need much to be happy.  If he has black socks, he’s set.

A Xbox video game because we all have our vices and I support his like he supports mine.  🙂

A pair of sword cuff links because he will always be my Mr. Sword, and he supports my blogging (and all my dreams) more than I could ever ask of him.

Mr. Sword said the guys kept asking him if he was nervous yet, and he kept saying, “nope.”  He’s not one to get nervous until right before and he’s definitely a live in the moment type of guy, which is one of my favorite things about him!  🙂

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Anyone else have a really calm groom on their wedding day?  Did he or will he wear a unique outfit, or more specifically a kilt?!?!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!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We All Prepare For a Wedding

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.

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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!)

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Meanwhile in the room next door, Mom Sword was putting the finish touches on her MOB ensemble.  She looked so beautiful in her dark royal blue dress!

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Two things about Mom Sword’s look:

1) She purposely bought jewelry she could wear to a formal evening winter wedding (mine) and a fancy bright Sunday picnic wedding (Sister’s) so she could wear something the same for both of her daughter’s weddings.  Such a sweet sentiment.

2) You’ll notice in the photo below she is wearing a cheapo plastic children’s style watch.  Mom Sword was under strict orders to make sure it was removed by ceremony go time.  She LOVES her watches, but it’s a running joke in the family that they never go with anything and look a bit out-of-place on a grown woman.  Luckily she was happy to oblige.  🙂

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Dad Sword cleaned up nicely as well, especially for a guy who never wears suits and hates ties!

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The tartan ties that Boss Lady made for both Dads turned out so well!

I vividly remember Dad Sword stopping by the girls getting ready room to say hi.  I think the look on his face says it all.  🙂

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I guess he needed some help with his tartan boutonnieres made by Sister/MOH Big Eyes.  FWIW, we used safety pins and they worked like a charm!  The bouts were very lightweight.

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you get any surprise photos of your parents getting ready?  Were you happy with how your hair and makeup turned out?

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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!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Begin With a Teaser Video!

Hello hive!  Happy June!  It feels like I’ve been gone forever but it’s only been a little over a month since my last honeymoon post.  I had to wait a bit longer for my professional photos (which was really difficult) but I’m happy to report they were worth the wait because they are insanely amazing!  And they make me miss my wedding day ten-fold.

Luckily I get to relive it in epic detail with all of you and I’m totally pumped about that.  So let’s get these recaps started, shall we?

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with my story as others, here are a few highlights of my time as a blogger of Weddingbee:

engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

I joined the hive declaring it was my dream come true (and it was).  My other half Mr. Sword, (who proposed to me at the top of the John Hancock building) is from Scotland but didn’t have a family tartan to wear at our wedding, so we decided to design and create our own.  Even though it turned out better than we could ever imagine, it only came about after some disagreeing between myself and Mr. Sword and many opinions from the hive.

I love Mr. Sword's eyes in this photo- he's so good in front of the camera!/engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

I love Mr. Sword’s eyes in this photo- he’s so good in front of the camera!/engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

Despite my determination to make my wedding planning year all about me and my boobs, exciting things happened to other people and both my little sister AND Mr. Sword’s wee sis got engaged as well!

In the beginning, I encouraged us all to laugh at ourselves and figure out what type of bride we were most like, I openly showed my support for gay marriage, I begged you all for help in finding a suitable wedding reading, and I made up some new WR lingo.  Speaking of which, how can I get “shrendoring” into Urban Dictionary??  🙂

engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

engagement photo by Jennifer Jackson

As my planning year came to a close I acted like a drama queen when my dress didn’t fit the first time, but it all worked out in the end thanks to a five-pound weight loss and a new bra.  In my last week as a single lady I admitted my true feelings about plaid/tartan and wrote about how amazing it was to be getting married to the man of my dreams!

And now for a beautiful overview and teaser of our special day:

And with that, it’s time to begin the Sword Recaps!!  Whoo-hoo!  I can’t promise I’ll be brief but I can promise I’ll be open and honest, I’ll be entertaining and at some points embarrassing, and I won’t skip a single major moment!

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Custom-Made Shoes In Review

Remember how I bought a pair of custom designed shoes from a shop on Etsy three and a half months before my wedding?  Well, I did.  I had a great experience with the owner of the shop and I paid 200 dollars for my gorgeous crystal-covered, tartan highlighted heels.

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I know many members of the hive were interested in my shoe journey and I wanted to update you all on how my shoes are doing post-wedding.  I wish I could say my shoes look as amazing as they did when I first received them, but unfortunately, the rainy weather gave them a beating on our wedding day.  The painted eggplant soles took the brunt of it.

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However, the fabric had a rough time as well and was left stained from the rain (even though I did spray them with a weather sealer beforehand).  Perhaps I should have used something heavier and/or sprayed them multiple times?

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I’m also missing quite a few crystals from the base of the shoe.

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This little problem actually began weeks before the wedding day.  I was hell-bent on making my heels as comfortable as possible so I attempted to wear and walk around in them for quite a few consecutive days in a row for fifteen minutes at a time.  I walked up and down our hallway A LOT and then the week of the wedding I noticed that about 7 or 8 crystals had fallen off my shoes.  I’m not sure how normal this is, but I didn’t have to time to get too upset.  Instead, I went to JoAnn’s and bought some crystals and a little device that helped me glue them to the shoe.

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I started to get nervous about losing more crystals so I decided to sit while wearing my shoes to stretch them out without damaging them further.  Every time I put them on they fit more easily and comfortably!

This looks like a bizarre beer ad.

This looks like a bizarre beer ad.

My technique definitely worked too!  I wore my wedding heels from 11:30 AM until it was 7:30 PM and time to switch shoes for the dancing portion of the evening.  Luckily this classy moment was captured.

Could I look anymore like a spoiled princess?!?!

Could I look anymore like a spoiled princess?!?!

I have the BEST friends in the world!  They helped me into my gold strappy heels while I stuffed my face with our wedding cake.  Amazing.

I can think of two big questions in regards to custom-designed wedding shoes:

1) Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  My shoes are divine and I had a fabulous day in them (despite the miserable weather).  I can’t wait to see them in my professional photos and I’m still happy I splurged to make my shoe dream come true when I could’t find what I was looking for in the stores.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get them all fixed up so I can wear them again one day!

2) Would you recommend it to someone else?  Probably not, because you might want shoes you can wear over and over again or you might think 200 dollars is outrageous to spend on one pair.  This route is not for everyone, but if you really want your shoes to be different or unique and you need the help of a professional then I’d definitely say go for it!

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Would you order custom-designed shoes for your wedding day?  Anyone else’s wedding heels get mangled in bad weather?

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?

My Dirty Little Wedding Secret

Here it is, mere days before my wedding and I’m finally coming clean.  I’ve tried so hard to delight you all for months, I’ve shown you almost every single aspect of our wedding from the mundane to the exciting, and now I have one last thing to say:

I hate plaid.  Plaid is too harsh with its crisscrossing lines and it’s abominable mixing of colors that never seem to go together.  I don’t buy plaid shirts, and I don’t wear plaid scarfs.  I’ve never seen the appeal.

Wait!  What is plaid again?  Let’s consult the all-powerful Google, shall we?  Below is a screenshot from my laptop.

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Oh that’s right!  Plaid is cloth with a tartan pattern.  So that means, THERE IS PLAID ALL OVER MY WEDDING.

And to be honest, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! I should say, I used to hate plaid, because it looks completely different to me now.

In three days I get to marry my favorite person.  Years ago I dreamed of this day as a pastel-colored wedding with soft hues and a light and airy feel with a string quartet playing as I walked down the aisle.

When Saturday arrives I will be greeted by the dark, rich colors of our wedding and will get to see our beautiful family tartan covering everyone I love; I will hear the harsh but strong and dependable sounds of the bagpipe during my bridal march, and I will feel more intense love than I could ever imagine.  Dreams do come true.  But sometimes they don’t look the way you pictured them, which makes them even more like fairy tales.

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How do YOU feel about plaid?  (aka  The most important question I’ve ever asked.  Don’t mess it up!)  Bye for now, I promise to check in one more time before I walk down the aisle!  Happy weekend everyone, I’m getting married!  EEEEK!

My “Somethings,” My Own

We all know the phrase, Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.  (OK, maybe not everyone is familiar with the last part (myself included) until Mrs. Archer sent me her sixpence to use on my wedding day.  Yay!)

My guess is we’ve all probably wondered what we’d use for each of our “somethings” on our wedding day at some point during the planning process.  That said, I’m a big advocate for making your wedding your own and making it unique and personal to yourself and your partner.  So who cares if you have all your somethings picked out way in advance or if you scrap them all together?  Since there was a piece of me that wanted to complete my “somethings” I decided to go ahead with them but in my own special way.

Something old: Grandma Sword’s handkerchief passed down to her from the Grandmother who raised her.  Her Grandmother received the hankie as a gift when she was working at a hospital in the 1930/1940’s.  The handkerchief is decorated with beautiful Japanese embroidery, and my favorite part is that you can’t tell which side is the front and which side is the back.  Does anyone know what that technique is called?

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Something new: Our family tartan!  While the standard answers of dress, shoes, and jewelry are also fitting, there’s nothing quite as new as our newly minted tartan!  It doesn’t exist anywhere else.  Mr. Sword and I designed it together and had it wove in Scotland and then shipped to the US.  Boss Lady has made me a beautiful tartan shawl to wear on the wedding day and I couldn’t be more thrilled to match Mr. Sword’s kilt!

The best part is all I’ll have to do is look around our bridal party or our reception room and I’ll see bits and pieces of our tartan everywhere reminding me of this journey Mr. Sword and I are starting together.  The tartan is symbolic of two cultures joining into one, and it reminds me of all of all the special people in my life who have had a hand in sewing it, crafting it, cutting it, wearing it, and caring it around for the past year as we prepare for the wedding.

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Something borrowed: My new last name.  I don’t believe I’ve spoken about this before but I’m insanely excited to take Mr. Sword’s last name.  It’s such a personal thing that I almost don’t want to talk about it.  Truth is, I currently have the BEST last name ever.  It makes no sense, and it has never been pronounced correctly on any first day of school since the beginning of time, but it’s pretty awesome.  Plus, it’s been my identity for 29 years and it’s provided me with the best Gmail address ever.  No numbers or middle name for this girl!

While I do love it, I’m happy to lose my last name as sort of a rite of passage.  It’s a leap of faith and of trust.  It’s an act of respect to those women in my family who have taken their husbands names before me.  It’s about putting the whole before the individual.  And it’s about creating a new baby family with Mr. Sword.

I’m always going to think of myself as my former last name in some ways, but I will be so proud to sport Mr. Sword’s name is just a few short weeks.  And then I’ll FINALLY be able to hang out on Twitter.  Cause I signed up with newlastname.  Duh.

Something blue: My mothers.  Both Mom Sword and my Future Mother-in-Law are wearing dresses in the color blue, and since my ideal shade of blue is purple, I decided the two most important ladies in the room would cover that “something” quite nicely.  You’ll have to wait for photos of their dresses until after the wedding!

OH AND ONE MORE THING!  It’s the Swords one year engagiversary!!

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Yep, exactly one year ago today the very shy Mr. Sword proposed to me at the top of the John Hancock building in front of many strangers and his future in-laws.  (Clearly, he was smitten.)  If you want to read about it, check this out.  I sorta kinda knew it was coming…  still, it was one of the best days of my life!

(all photos personal)

How are you covering the tradition of the “somethings?’  Does anyone else have a fun twist, I’d love to hear about it!

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.)

Sister cutting interfacing edited

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?