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.


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



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


The room was filled with love quotes and engagement photos.



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!)




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!

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!

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

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!

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:


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:


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!

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!

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.


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?


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


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!

(all photos personal)

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?