Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nuts and Bolts- Wedding Post Number 6

I'm trying to wrap up all my many thoughts and feelings about 'the wedding', but there's just so much to say, and some of it is hard to put into words. I know I want to write about the reception, and I most definitely want to write about all the many people whose presence made the weekend extra, extra special, but I think that will be two separate posts.

Possibly three.
Maybe I'll go for an even ten. Stay tuned.

For now I'm going to talk about some of the reception details, the nuts and bolts so to speak, as opposed to all the thoughts and feelings. I know some people don't care about details, but I think you know I'm not one of them, so here we go...


Our reception was held in The Certus Loft, which is part of The Peace Center in downtown Greenville.  We absolutely could not have asked for a more perfect venue. The Loft sits along the banks of the Reedy River, conveniently just across the street from the hotel where our many out of town guests were staying.


The Loft is spacious with plenty of natural lighting, gorgeous wood floors, exposed brick, and vintage architectural detailing. In other words, exactly what we were hoping to find when we first began the hunt for a venue.


Essentially it's a blank canvas...you book the space, but hire your own catering, music, and decor. You are required to use their bar services, but they offer several packages of varying price, and they worked with us to determine the best fit for our event.


Daughter1 had a very clear vision of how she wanted her reception to look and feel. We wanted a venue that would allow for personalizing the space, menu, and set up to make that vision a reality.

I'd describe our theme as 'rustic elegance', and the bride and I were completely simpatico in regards to style, color, and design. She chose a muted natural palette...shades of green, lots of gold and ivory, some wood tones, and just a hint of blush sprinkled throughout.


We wanted a soft elegant feel to the space, so opted for a combination of long and round tables, candles in pretty mercury glass, Edison lighting strung across the dining room beams, and lots and lots of greenery mixed with flowers in shades of white.


The Loft features two long rooms that are basically in the shape of a backwards L. We set the long arm of the L for dinner, and the 'leg' of the L was what I'll call the party room.


We had passed hors d'oeurves and cocktails in the party room the first hour, the band and dance floor at an angle on one side of the far end, a four-sided bar set in a diamond shape in the room's center, and lounge furniture and wedding cake at the end closest to the entry, furthest from the band. I don't have great pictures of the party room, so will likely post more once we get the photographer's work.

Our floral designer was so very talented. We used Modfete, and I cannot say enough good things about Katelyn. I'd describe her style as vintage with a modern twist, which matched the bride's style to a tee. In fact my daughter had seen a piece created by Modfete on a website, which is how we found her.

The bride wanted to incorporate something similar in our space, so besides all the wedding flowers and decor, the table settings and other beautiful miscellany design, Katelyn created three hanging pieces, one for over the head table, and two for the party room to hang over the lounge furniture.

photo credit: Modfete

We rented the lounge furniture from A Darling Day  who was so nice to deal with, pleasant and accommodating on the phone, promptly returned emails, delivery and pick up in a timely fashion, and they made payment easy. Hubs kept scratching his head saying, 'We're renting furniture???', but he was a trooper, and more or less managed to go with the flow.


Daughters getting married are a lot for dads to come to grips with.

Our favorite restaurant in Greenville is Larkins on the River, so one of the first, easiest, and best decisions we made was to have them do the catering. Their event coordinator Jessica was so great to work with, and their food was positively scrumptious. The chef worked with my daughter to customize some of the appetizers, and our guests could not say enough about how wonderful everything tasted.

Appetizers included chicken and waffles with a cranberry syrup, shrimp and grit cakes with a red pepper coulis, grilled pimento cheese with tomato soup shooters, deviled eggs, and crudities with dip. The chicken and waffles disappeared as fast as they could serve them. Seriously good!


We had a sit down plated dinner which included a salad as the first course, followed by a filet of beef and crab cake duo with mashed potatoes and vegetable. I was a little anxious about how they would manage to serve filet to 180 people (would it all be hot and cooked to everyone's liking???), but no worries, Larkins service and timing were perfection. I thoroughly enjoyed the sit down dinner, enough time to have a real conversation with the guests at our table, and a little breather mid-evening.


We served wedding cake prepared by Buttercream Bakehouse for dessert, and it was scrumptious. There were two strawberry layers with a vanilla bean filling, and two chocolate and vanilla layers, with a peanut butter filling that was uh-mayzing!  A swiss vanilla icing in what's dubbed a smooth spackle design topped it off. There were fresh flowers too, with the sweetest, tiniest, little bride and groom tucked amongst the blooms.


That very bride and groom sat atop the bride's great-great-grandparent's wedding cake many moons ago. The gorgeous wooden cake stand was also very special, made by the groom's mama who has a real talent for creating with wood. It was the perfect display piece for their gorgeous cake.


I love how gently my son-in-law treats my daughter. I really dislike when a groom smashes the cake in his new bride's face. This sweet tender gesture is so much better.

Aren't they the absolute cutest?

And now cue awkward place to stop, but I'm stopping here anyway. I'm going to save the first dance, father-daughter dance, and all about that
baseband for my next post. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chillin' in the Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. We're still digging out here, thankful the forecasters were overly enthusiastic in their prediction of 2-3 feet. We still have plenty of snow so they weren't completely wrong, but in this instance wrong feels right. 

Okay, here we go...answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to say hi to the blogger who linked before you, because this is one place where traffic is fun!  Here are my answers-


1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?

I had a doctor's appointment last week that had me a little agitated. Pretty sure I told myself to chill out as I sat waiting. My husband doesn't appreciate me telling him to chill out. I don't know why-ha! 

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt?

A much easier question...my daughter's wedding. 

3. "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

The weather has caused some inconvenience around here the past few days.  Hubs and I had an appointment scheduled for Monday afternoon about an hour from home that had to be rescheduled. My Women's Bible Study was cancelled today. We're housebound, and I guess in a way, a snow day feels like an adventure...a very mini adventure.  

When an inconvenience cannot be avoided (like bad weather), then might as well embrace it. I think this is something I get better at with age. When I'm delayed, plans are cancelled or changed, or I'm forced to wait unexpectedly, etc I try to see that 'extra' time or new plan as a gift instead of a nuisance. 

4. A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

A cupcake. I haven't had a Frosty in years, and other than a diet coke once in a blue moon, I'm not a soda drinker. 

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

I think of a symphony as all the many parts working together to make something beautiful. A circus on the other hand, is more like several acts happening all at once, each one clamoring for my attention. 

I'm a little more circus than symphony at the moment. 

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

White Dress by Ben Rector. I love this song, and I'm hoping our videographers incorporate it into my daughter's wedding film. She loves it too, so was a title she mentioned when they asked her to submit songs.  They asked for six, so I'm sure they won't use all of them, but I do hope this one is in there. 


7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find hardest to leave behind?

The natural beauty, most especially autumn in my own backyard. 


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Is anyone planning to participate in the April A-Z Blog Challenge this year? If you're not familiar with the challenge, here's the 411-you blog every day (except Sundays) during the month of April. Conveniently that works out to 26 posts, and since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, you blog from A-Z. April 1st the letter A, April 2nd the letter B, and so on. 



You can have a theme or just write randomly unrelated posts, whatever you like. Personally I like and need a theme, although I haven't a clue yet what mine will be for this year's challenge. In years past I've written about our European travels, motherhood, a mishmash bag of photographs, my trip to Asia, and last year 'married with children'. You'll find all of these on my sidebar by clicking on the month of April. 

I enjoy the discipline of writing every day, and also getting creative with my chosen topic. Plus, I feel like my writing gets a little sluggish this time of year, and the challenge gives it a much needed kick in the pants. If you're new to the challenge I will tell you that it helps me tremendously to get a head start on the posts. I like to work about three or four days ahead of each letter, and set them to auto post. That way, when life get's busy (and it always does!) I don't stress out about missing a letter or falling behind. 

Yes, missing a letter would stress me out.  

Sign ups are open now, so if you want to participate click here to join the party. Let me know if you're playing along, so I can follow you through the alphabet. 





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 206

We're having a bit of a snow event here on the East Coast. ahem. It's possible the weather may have influenced this week's Hodgepodge questions. Answer on your own blog, then skate back here tomorrow to share answers with all your friends and neighbors.  See you there!  


1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt?

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?

8. Insert your own random thought here.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Best Day Ever-Wedding Post 5

So it's been awhile since we last spoke. To recap-this little darlin'...


...grew up and got married. Some stuff happened in between, but for now let's focus on the best day ever, which happened three whole entire weeks ago.

The Wedding Day.
I feel that needs to be capitalized, don't you?

I wrote a little bit about the day in Wedding Post 1, which you'll find by clicking here. That post was kind of all about me, so I thought I'd try to put the focus back where it belongs here today.

Or it might still be a little bit about me.

Also, I'm still operating from iPhone pics and friend's cameras, so until we get our professional shots back these will have to suffice. I'm going to save the reception for another post (yes, really!) and will concentrate on the ceremony here.

The bride texted me this picture first thing in the morning on her big day.
She was a little bit excited.


Me too. Sisters are special every day, but never more so than on your wedding day.


Something else every bride needs-


Simply because seeing it in writing makes it all just a teensy bit more real.

Let's discuss the weather, because if you're a regular reader here, you know weather is in my blog wheelhouse. It rained pretty much the entire weekend, some of the time nothing more than a soft mist, and other times real honest to goodness rain.

If it were possible to schedule your wedding weather ahead of time most brides would say no thank you to the rain. While it created a couple of minor hiccups, I'm here to say I think the morning fog and off and on rain added to the romance of the day. It helped that temperatures were in the mid-40's so nobody froze, and our wedding and reception were indoors regardless of the weather.  Looking back, if I were given the choice, I wouldn't even pass on the rain.

The only thing it interrupted were outdoor photos, but our photographer had a plan B that worked beautifully.The hotel was situated directly across the street from The Peace Center, so the bride and her girls dashed in there for some before the ceremony shots.


The lobby in the Peace Center is quite modern and all glass, so while we were tucked safely inside, the outside was also fully present. Did I mention I'm anxious to see photos?

Here's a shot of the bridesmaids taken just prior to leaving the hotel suite-


I absolutely loved the bridesmaid gowns. The dresses were from J Crew, and while each girl wore the same basic dress (floor length silk chiffon in dusty shale), they all chose a neckline that best suited their body type and figure. I love this trend in wedding design! There were four necklines to choose from, and without trying we had a perfect mix.

The bride looks beautiful and serene doesn't she? Keep in mind she'd just scooped her mother off the floor not ten minutes earlier. Pretty sure my little mishap helped her find her inner reserves. You're welcome sweet girl.

The hubs! Or the F.O.B. as we called him all weekend long. He hadn't seen the wedding dress at all, so Daughter1 worked with the photographer to capture his 'first look'. The groom's first look was when the bride stepped into the sanctuary, but we all knew Dad needed a minute too.

It was important for him to see his girl before he walked her down the aisle, so our photographer set him up just outside the hotel. All the bridesmaids and I lined up along the windows inside to watch and it was something, y'all. We had two videographers with us starting early in the day, so they also captured this super sweet scene for the wedding film, which we'll get in a few months. Even the photographer's assistant was teary eyed.

Little girls who grow up under the guidance, encouragement, and protection of their father's love are the luckiest little girls in the world.

The wedding party and the groom boarded a trolley for their ride to the church and our little family of four climbed into a waiting limo soon after. Daughter1 wanted all four of us in the car together, and I loved that.

The groom and his men were ushered into one side of the church, and the bride and her girls to the other.  We waited in one of the church nurseries, as evidenced by the miniature chair I'm sitting on.


I think my breathing had almost returned to normal here, but the bride might be making sure.

The groom's mama came into the room, and immediately became teary eyed. I mean look at the bride-how could you not?  The grandmas were there too, and they got hugs and beautiful wrist corsages to mark them as most important people. The bridesmaids then gathered around the bride, and prayed the most lovely prayer over her and her groom and their future life together, and then we all checked our mascara for the walk to the sanctuary.

The groom's mom and I were to light candles before we sat down, and thankfully she went first, because just as she and I predicted the night before, the lighter wouldn't light. Conveniently my brother in law had a lighter in his pocket, which he casually tossed to the groomsmen who escorted the groom's mama. The groomsman caught it one handed without flinching, and everybody clapped. I feel there's always a bit of tension prior to a wedding ceremony getting started, and this gave the whole room an excuse to exhale and relax.

And there she was. The bride. On the arm of her father. Beaming. Looking confident and serene and supremely happy.

I want to always and forever remember the groom's face as he saw my daughter coming down the aisle to join her life with his.

Dear Girls Everywhere....choose wisely. When you choose the right groom, the joy that fills the church on your wedding day will be palpably felt by everyone present. Your own heart will be too full to contain all the happiness you feel inside, so much so that it will spill out and over and all around. It will touch all your friends and family and perfect strangers too. It will be the biggest thing guests take away from your special day, and it will fill your mama's heart with peace. 

The ceremony was so lovely. Music was provided by a local cello and guitar duet known as Wirewood, and they were absolutely wonderful. A friend of Daughter1 read scripture in a sure and confident voice, and the congregation joined in to recite The Lord's Prayer and in singing a hymn-Be Thou My Vision. The officiant shared wise words regarding marriage and in the end, surrounded by so many who love them so very much, the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife.

Best day ever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Starry Starry Hodgepodge

Welcome to your weekly mid-week happy, also known as The Wednesday Hodgepodge. Newcomers are always welcome to play along. Answer the questions on your own blog (or Facebook page), then add your link at the end of my post (Hodgepodge answers only please!!).


1. American Idol is back for it's 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?

I stopped watching AI on a weekly basis a few years ago. I might pop in every once in a while, but for the most part I no longer watch. As to the second part of this question, aiyiyi! I would never voluntarily audition, because singing is not my gift. Not even close. 

And I know this, unlike many who go ahead and audition anyway. If I were made to audition I'd sing something simple and familiar like Amazing Grace. 

2. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

So when did you last have to 'eat a frog?' Or two? How'd that work out?

I know myself, so anytime I have an unpleasant task glaring at me from the top of my to-do list I know to tick that off straightaway. Otherwise it will probably be procrastinated into tomorrow. Or infinity and beyond. 

Most recently would be some tax 'stuff' that required my attention. Anything tax related feels like eating ten frogs. Ten big frogs, however I took care of submitting all the necessary paperwork, and everything worked out in our favor. It paid to eat the big frog early. 

3. If you were going on safari, what's the number one animal you'd want to see?

That's a tough one. I love the idea of seeing something powerful and majestic like a lion or cheetah, but I think my number one would be a giraffe. Especially a baby giraffe, because there are few things cuter than a baby giraffe. 


Lion cubs are awfully adorable too. 


Here's hubs up close and personal with one about four years ago, on a trip to South Africa. 


I was only a teensy bit jealous.


4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the 'holiday', okay?

I like them okay. Granola bars can be deceptively high in calories and fat, so I normally save them for snacks while hiking. I like chewy and crunchy both, but my favorite is probably the Nature Maid Oats and Honey-crunchy.  I prefer regular granola to a granola bar, and sprinkle some on my yogurt many mornings. I make my own, and it's delish. 

5. If only__________________________________.

The housekeeping fairy would turn up here...

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

A closet makeover. My closet is not bad, plenty of room and shelving, but still I'd love to have a custom re-do. 

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?

Without a doubt, it's the sky. We seem to have more watercolored skies this time of year, sunrise and sunset both. Also, it feels like the moon has been pretty incredible here lately, and maybe that's true every winter, but for some reason I've noticed it more this year.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of incredible...have you seen this? The largest picture ever taken was released by NASA earlier this month. Captured by the Hubble Telescope, all 1.5 billion pixels. If you haven't seen this it's worth 3 minutes of your time. Be sure and watch all the way to the end. 


"When I consider your  heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor." 
Psalm 8:3-5


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 205

Here are this week's questions to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the rest of the Internets. Happy Tuesday!


1. American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out? 

3. If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?

4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?

5. If only__________________________________________.

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Best Day Ever Eve-Wedding Post 4

Continuing a slow meander through my daughter's wedding weekend.  I'll probably finish sometime.

Not today though.

I haven't even gotten to the actual wedding or reception yet but the thing is, I really want to have photos, and our photographer uses actual film so we wait. Patiently for the most part because he's amazing.

But also not so patiently because we're impatient when it comes to pictures. Let's talk about the rehearsal.

Daughter1 and her brand new husband! were married in a church that sits on the edge of Greenville. Daughter2 is a member of said church, and they were kind and helpful in allowing her sister to marry in their beautiful building. As I mentioned above, we don't have our photos back yet, but I did snap this one back in August. The bride and I met her wedding planner and also the floral designer there to see what we wanted in the way of set up and decor.


The church building itself was pretty on the outside, and beautiful on the inside with it's soaring wood ceiling-


...heavy wooden doors-


...and a great big wooden table in the foyer, just the right spot for propping their wedding verse on a chalkboard made and written on by the bride herself. We love us some chalkboards here, and you should know it wasn't smudgy at the church. I think that happened later, when we loaded it into our car at the end of the night and a soft rain was falling.


The walls and altar area in the sanctuary were essentially a blank canvas, and we were free to rearrange the staging anyway we liked. The woman who showed us around the church happened to mention a wedding that had taken place the week before our visit. She said the bride's father had built a pallet wall that fit across the entire front of the sanctuary, and they'd given it to the church for any future brides to use, so we leapt on that! It was absolutely gorgeous, and made the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.

Plus our floral designer worked her magic and added a vine that looked as if it grew there, along with candles in glass jars. She was amazing, but of course you'll have to wait until I have the pictures to prove it. In the meantime here's an off-centered photo I snapped at the rehearsal, which gives you some idea of what I'm struggling to describe.


Aren't they just the cutest?
You can positively feel the love when you're around them.

Hubs got a little emotional at the rehearsal, but was a star when it came to the actual handing over on the day. It helps tremendously when you already adore, and have absolutely no reservations about, your future son-in-law.

Following the rehearsal we headed back downtown for a really fun dinner.  The groom's family hosted and it was such a great evening. They graciously included our whole-entire-great big family, the very large wedding party (16 plus dates or spouses), plus the officiant, his wife and their three sweet daughters, so not small. They rented the Upcountry History Museum as the venue, and had a real Southern feast catered as the meal. It was delicious, and the first time a few of the guests had tasted shrimp and grits, pretty much hubs favorite meal.


We had the museum to ourselves and could browse as much or as little as we liked. The Upcountry Museum tells the stories and history of the Upcountry (the northwest corner of SC, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains), and you actually eat amongst the museum displays.


It was the perfect space for mingling and introducing friends and family on both sides to one another...everybody loved it. The venue lent itself so well to the talking and moving around you want to do at a rehearsal dinner.


In a restaurant you're typically confined to your table, but this was roomy, relaxed, and a friendly, sociable kind of space. A perfect way to kick off the wedding weekend celebrations.


After dinner the maid of honor, aka Daughter2, made a super sweet, highly emotional speech, chunks of which she forgot to say because she was feeling every bit of sister love her heart could hold, and it might have spilled out in the way of tears.


One of the groomsmen had to follow that, and he managed to make us all laugh.


At the end of the event the bride and groom went up the grand staircase in the foyer and they kissed, and we cheered. It was a happy night, the beginning of a whole weekend of happy.


A whole lifetime of happy.