Lavender & Lotus Blog

Snippets of summer so far

Holy moly – what a month!  I feel wonderfully blessed (and slightly delirious) after such a crazy start to summer.  Here are a few snippets so far:

It all began with the installation of a restaurant remodel I have been working on.

Followed by a brief camping excursion to celebrate my 2nd anniversary with my beloved.

But there is little rest for the weary!  Catching up from any time off can be a considerable task - especially when you work two jobs!!!

Throw in the highs and lows of a bachelorette party, the loss of a friend, a birthday, Father’s Day, and my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary…

And to top it all off, my little sister was the most beautiful bride only days ago <3

That’s a wrap for now – stay tuned for more to come :)

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Wedding gratitude

As a small business owner, it was important for me to support other small businesses as vendors for my wedding.  And I have to say, they ROCKED IT. With a humble and grateful heart, I’d like to thank those who helped make our wedding day happen.

Photography:  Christine Tilley Photography.  Meeting Christine was a homerun and a half.  Not only is she sweet, fun, and easy to be around, but unbelievably talented as well.  This lady has an amazing career ahead of her – you better book her now!

Venue:  Forster’s Wedding & Events.  Aside from the spectacular location, Forster’s offers a package deal to simplify everything for anxious brides.  Tent, tables, chairs, linens, catering, bathrooms – it’s all included.  Of all the wonderful characteristics unique to Forster’s, it is the expertise of their wedding planner Jill Morrow that I found so invaluable.

Florist:  Sorella Floral Design.  I loved working with and getting to know the Ashton sisters.  These ladies create beautiful, unique, and clever floral designs. I feel very fortunate to have had such gorgeous arrangements in my price range.

Wedding Cake:  Cindy Mitchell, The Flour Shop.  What can I say – our carrot cake was DELICIOUS!!!

Bartender:  Brian Stevens, owner of Tandy’s Bar.  Personable and professional. Brian was also nice enough to bring some extras just in case we ran out. Thanks again Brian!

Invitations:  friend, Tiffany Williams.  A self-proclaimed whiz with typography, Tiffany is no joke.  She did an amazing job with the invites, and was super patient with me through all my fine-tuning.

Hair/Makeup:  Salon Lavena.  Big thanks to Sybil for a beautiful cut and color before the big day.  Even BIGGER thanks to Bianca for her patience, talent, humor, and kindness.  My hair looked a-mazing and the makeup was, in a word, flawless.

Wedding Dress:  via Modern Bride.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to Odessa for helping me find the perfect dress!  She and the staff at Modern Bride always made me feel welcome, and seemed to share in my excitement for the big day. The alterations were impeccable too.

Groom’s Suit:  via George’s Apparel.  We found a very handsome suit at a very reasonable price at George’s. The staff were always eager to help and the alterations came out beautifully.

Rings:  via Capitol Craftsman & Romance Jewelers.  When it comes to customer service, Capitol Craftsman might take the cake.  It took me MONTHS to find the right wedding band, but the staff never once showed the slightest sign of frustration with me.  They are simply wonderful to work with.

What a magical day it was…  I can’t thank you all enough!  <3 Aimee

Wedding advice

One thing about planning a wedding – people are constantly offering you advice. It’s one of those things you just have to take in stride.  I think people honestly mean well and want to share in your happiness, if only for a moment.  That being said, here are my top 10 tips for wedding planning :)

10.  Giving:  For someone who likes to do and give to others, it wasn’t easy to pull the reigns in on favors and other extras for guests.  But a budget is a budget, and you have to draw the line somewhere. Looking back, our wedding was a day to receive and I think that is what friends and family wanted most.

9.  Venue:  We loved-loved-loved our venue.  It was a little difficult, however, to plan and visualize the tent without having seen it in person.  If possible, arrange with your venue to see the site set up in advance.  I wish I had taken advantage of this opportunity when it was made available to me.

8.   Time:  We chose to hold a midday ceremony for several reasons.  First, we thought the mountainous road would be more driver-friendly in the daytime.  An earlier meal is also lighter with less alcohol (dollar saver!)  In theory, an earlier ceremony would also allow nearby guests to save on boarding for the night.  But there were a few things we (ok, I) didn’t think of.  For example, saying your I Do’s in midday sun = major squinting.  Not the best for pictures.  There is also considerably less set-up time for decorating.

7.  Work it:  Weddings can be absurdly expensive, if you ask me.  One way to save money is to work with what you’ve got.  For example, I loved the idea of using wooden boxes with the centerpieces.  You know -  the soft gray, rustic ones that look like they have aged romantically.   But at an easy $10 each, that adds up quickly. Eventually I recognized the bountiful collection of antique boxes I have access to via my mom. Sure, they weren’t the color I was originally fixated on, but they brought more character than anything else could. Plus, (and I emphasize this point) they were free.  We also were able to save money with the florist by using our own jars, glasses, and vases.

6.  Images:  Pictures speak a thousand words.  I can’t emphasize enough how tremendously helpful Pinterest was in organizing thoughts, finds, and general likes for all things wedding. (Here is my Nuptials album again).  More importantly, these pictures will be extremely valuable as you try to communicate color/style/mood/preferences with your florist, cake vendor, hair/makeup stylist, and bridal party.

5.  Allow extra time:  Overall, nearly everything took longer than I anticipated. From designing the invitations, creating DIY projects, finding the right wedding band, to decorating the reception tent the night before…

4.  Delegate:  Delegating can be tricky – especially when you are a particular person like myself.  I think I did ok at the time. In hindsight, I would have asked friends/family what they wanted to do to help. They may have different strengths or talents than I had realized.

3.  Prioritize:  Scratch that.  Let’s call this tip Let Go:  There will be ideas you can’t afford to include. There will be projects you don’t have time for. There will be details that didn’t turn out as you had imagined.  But ask yourself what is really important?  It is the love that you are promising to this man (or this woman…) for the rest of your life.  Let go of the rest.

2.  Be good to yourself:  If ever there was a time to be extra kind to yourself, it’s before your wedding.  (And probably while you’re pregnant I suppose…)  I was fortunate enough to have regular massages during the course of my engagement.  This was remarkably helpful for sore muscles as I upped my game at the gym, but even more so in the final months when I had endless headaches due to stress.  Be sure to get lots of sleep too.

1.  Speak up:   Normally, I am not one to make a fuss.  I consider myself to be flexible, understanding, go-with-the-flow kind of person.  But sometimes you need to speak up and wedding planning was a perfect opportunity for me to practice.  Let’s look at my dress alterations for example.  I figured – this person is a professional, they are going to tailor it to fit me best.  Although they did a fantastic job, the alterations were on the conservative side and I had to ask them to take it in more. This may all sound silly, but it was a step out of my comfort zone.

That’s it!  I hope these tips were fun and helpful.

Our “Summer of George”

Obscure Seinfeld reference anyone?  Season 8, Episode 22, also known as “The Summer of George:”  a time of great adventure as George enjoys his 3 month severance pay from the Yankees.

Ray and I consider this to be OUR Summer of George.  First a wedding…

Then a house!

As you can imagine, I am beyond excited to be in a place all our own.  For the first time in my life I have complete liberty to change the space around me! That’s pretty monumental for an interior designer.

Overall the house is adorable and nothing like I’ve ever seen.  Although it looks colonial from the front, it is more contemporary with multiple levels inside.  There are so many things we love about it – but probably the fact that it’s our very own.

I’m taking my time to settle in and design each room carefully. This pace works well for Ray too, as he gets a bit anxious when I brainstorm.   For the most part, the house is pretty turnkey – we’ll paint and add some new furniture – nothing too elaborate this year.

Stay tuned as I slowly fall deeper in love with my new home.  Additional pictures to follow! :)

Wedding DIY, 3

Sweetheart chairs:  Here is an image of inspiration I originally found on MarthaStewartweddings.com. Simple. Elegant. Natural.

I found our chairs on the side of the road…  No, I’m not kidding.  They had such a pretty silhouette, I knew they would fix up great. My advice:

1.  Don’t waste your time with sandpaper - go straight to the power tools.

2.  Buy more spray paint than you think you will need (3 trips to Michael’s later…) and,

3.  Don’t wear flip-flops while spray painting.

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