LJO to LJK: Six Months To Go!

Yesterday marked six months till Dave and I get married, and in 11 days, we’ll celebrate a year or being engaged! There were many factors that went into our decision to have a long engagement (17 1/2 months total), but the biggest one was that we were still long distance when we got engaged and wanted to give ourselves plenty of time for Dave to get a job here and get settled in. While I love all lengths of engagements and can say with 100% certainty that you can plan a wedding in any timeframe, we are so grateful, in our situation, that we gave ourselves this time cushion to enjoy being engaged (and short distance!) without having to think about our wedding every minute, or even every day. With just six months to go now, we are definitely picking up speed, and I feel more than ready and excited for it!! One of the most helpful things to me throughout wedding planning has been reading the monthly wedding planning updates in my friend Emily‘s archives. Traditional lists haven’t seemed to fit my timeline or priorities, so it was helpful to read through the process of someone similar to me. I’ve been keeping track of the wedding activities we’ve done each month since we got engaged, and it feels great to look back on and be affirmed in how much we have gotten done. I’m going to start sharing monthly updates at the beginning of every month leading up to May 2, but first, this post is a big ol’ recap of our first 11 months of engagement!

Fearrington Sun RoomGraham Terhune

November (18 months to go)

  • We got engaged!!
  • We chose a photographer
  • We narrowed down venue options
  • We chose a tentative date
  • We set a budget
  • We made a preliminary guest list with our families
  • I started collecting dress inspiration
  • We started narrowing down wedding inspiration

December (17 months to go)

  • We looked at and selected our beautiful venues
  • We chose a date
  • We booked our photographer
  • We celebrated with our Texas family and friends at an engagement party!
  • We asked our bridal party
  • I started looking at bridesmaid dresses

January (16 months to go)

  • We booked our venues
  • We met with the venue florist
  • We started interviewing personal florists
  • We chose and booked our videographer
  • We started researching stationers

February (15 months to go)

  • We set a date for our engagement session
  • We interviewed a DJ
  • I started working on our wedding website
  • We signed up for pre-Cana/engagement retreat

March (14 months to go)

  • We booked a DJ
  • We booked a personal florist
  • We bought our tickets for our engagement session and started brainstorming outfits
  • I booked a hair and makeup artist for our engagement session
  • We tried on wedding rings for the first time
  • We started working on our save the date and invitation wording

April (13 months to go)

  • We continued to collect and refine our paper inspiration
  • I researched hair and makeup artists for the wedding
  • I started brainstorming details with Emily
  • Dave bought his wedding shoes!

May (12 months to go!)

  • We finalized our save the date wording
  • We interviewed calligraphers and selected one
  • We interviewed stationers for the invitation suite and selected one
  • We picked out our engagement picture outfits
  • I made bridal salon appointments!
  • I finalized dress inspiration
  • We started learning Natural Family Planning

June (11 months to go)

  • We took our engagement pictures!
  • I went dress shopping!
  • I bought a wedding dress!!!
  • I bought a veil!!!
  • I chose and tried on the bridesmaid dresses with my maids of honor/sisters, Dana and Kristen
  • We finalized the guest list with our families
  • My mom booked two hotel blocks

July (10 months to go)

  • We created the bulk of our registries
  • We (almost) finished our wedding website
  • We researched vintage cars
  • We finalized a plan for our honeymoon!!
  • We received our engagement pictures!!
  • We finalized our guest list
  • We collected addresses
  • We ordered our save the dates!

August (9 months to go)

  • We finished our wedding website
  • We sent our save the dates!
  • Most bridesmaids ordered and received their dresses
  • Dave tried on a suit
  • Dave researched groomsmen attire options

September (8 months to go)

  • Dave’s parents booked our rehearsal dinner venue
  • We bought flights for our honeymoon!
  • Dave bought a few tie options
  • Dave bought groomsman gifts, thanks to a great sale
  • We made a site visit with my mom when she visited NC and came up with some more details
  • I researched more hair and makeup options
  • I looked for wedding shoes
  • My mom, Dave’s mom, and I researched their dress options
  • We hunted for candlesticks at an antiques market
  • We found a flower girl outfit
  • We met with our priest to discuss our Pre-Marital Inventory

October (7 months to go)

  • I refined our overall inspiration and tweaked our inspiration board
  • I bought my wedding shoes!
  • We started planning a few DIY details
  • Dave bought his suit!
  • We bought our wedding rings!
  • We sent in our invitation wording

On our list for November:

  • Book a hair and makeup artist
  • Amp up my pre-wedding workout routine
  • Order some small details once we receive our custom monogram this week!
  • Book hotels for our honeymoon
  • Go on our church’s Engaged Retreat
  • Celebrate our engagement anniversary!
  • Make a detailed master list of the details we’ll need to collect/make in the next six months–I’ve been putting this off because it feels so intimidating, but it’s time!

Cozy Halloween

When I was in high school, my parents started a tradition of making chili in the crockpot and a mess of cornbread muffins on Halloween night, and inviting other neighborhood parents to swing by and help themselves. It’s been years since I was home for Halloween, but coming home after trick or treating to the smell of homemade chili and the sound of laughter in the living room is one of my very favorite October 31 memories. In an effort to carry on this tradition, Dave and I will be whipping up some chili and cornbread tonight and cuddling up to watch a not-really-scary-movie. Here’s a little inspiration for a cozy Halloween!

Cozy halloweenClockwise from top left: Martha Stewart Living, Sugar and Charm, West Elm, Allyson Kramer, Madhouse, Unknown, Julie Cate via RuffledA Country Farmhouse

What are your plans for this weekend? Have a good one!

My Bachelorette Pad

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of moving to a new place, in my opinion, is choosing an area to live in. When I was getting ready to move to North Carolina over a year and a half ago, I was totally overwhelmed by the options (especially when my top living preference, smack dab in the middle of a big city, was not really an option), and ended up in a suburb of Chapel Hill within walking distance to work. What a blessing it was in my first year of adjusting to a new state/job/life after college to not have to worry about commuting or driving in very un-Texas-like winter weather! I admit, I got pretty restless living out in the country, but I loved my apartment and had so much fun making it feel like home for the 15 months I lived in it. I had a sneaking suspicion that this apartment might be the last one I lived in on my own, so I decided to go all-out girly and make it my “bachelorette pad.” :)

Everything in my apartment either came with me in my Honda Accord when I moved or was purchased over the last year. Since that meant a handful of big purchases (namely a couch and a mattress), and I didn’t want to make too many big furniture decisions for a temporary apartment, I kept other furniture to the bare minimum. That also meant I went 15 months with an overturned box as a bedside table…whoops :) My favorite things in my bedroom were my striped curtain (this West Elm fabric shower curtain that I cut in half) and the Rifle Paper Co. wrapping paper I put up above my bed–the next best thing to a floral headboard, perhaps?

Simple bedroom - Something Pretty

White bed - Something Pretty

The main attraction of the dining room/office, between the kitchen and living room, was my mini gallery wall–from left to right, the prints are from Oh My Deer Handmades, the Southern Wedding Shop, Emily Ley, the Lara Casey Shop, and the Southern Weddings Shop. Since I was not prepared to invest anything in dining furniture, but I needed a place to eat, I bought a cheap card table, a sparkly tablecloth, and the cutest turquoise folding chairs, all from Target. It cost about $50 and was the perfect solution for what I needed. Keeping flowers on that table as often as I could didn’t hurt either!

Gallery wall - Something Pretty

Budget dining table - Something Pretty
Finally, the pièce de résistance of my bachelorette pad: the peachy pink accent wall in the living room! Honestly, I got tired of it pretty quickly (especially around Christmas, when it clashed with my decorations!), but it was fun while it lasted, and I’m glad I had at least one pink living room in my life :) I followed this tutorial from Mint Love Social Club to make that gold confetti canvas back in college. The coffee table was another Target score that I scooped up because it reminded me of my favorite Ballard Designs style–except this one was $40!

Coral living room - Something Pretty
My apartment never felt “finished” before I moved to my current place, but I was happy that I took my time and (for the most part) resisted the urge to fill space with things I didn’t absolutely love or need. It’s so much fun to now choose things with Dave that we both love for our soon-to-be newlywed home!

Playing Catch Up

Now that things have calmed down a little bit at work and I’m back from Bridal Market, let’s get caught up! I wish I could get together for coffee with each of you to chat, but maybe this is the next best thing. The past year has been one of the busiest and most exciting years of my life, and before diving into the fun new posts I have planned for Something Pretty, I thought a little recap was in order. Here’s what I was up to in the year I took off of blogging!

Lisa timeline

Now, I’m planning our wedding (6 1/2 months to go!), decorating my new apartment (which Dave will move into after our wedding), getting ready for my second magazine launch at work, trying to cut five minutes off of my 5k time by the end of the year, cooking up healthy recipes, and doing my best to make the most of fall! I’d love to know, what are you up to these days? Let’s catch up!

Photos: August 2013: Landon Jacob, September 2013: Amy Arrington Photography, November 2013: Callie Davis, June 2014: Ryan Ray

Packing for Bridal Market

Over the past few months as I contemplated getting back into blogging, I had a lot of fun going through some of my archives, especially from around when I started blogging in 2010. Some of my all-time favorite posts are a series of packing lists I made for four different honeymoon destinations, and even though my “graphic designing” was atrocious (I used Paint, y’all…it was bad), I still think the concept is so fun. Traveling is a huge passion of mine, and with 11 years overseas and a semester abroad under my belt, I consider myself somewhat of a packing expert. This weekend, I’m crossing off a big bucket list and career goal by traveling with my dear friend and coworker, Emily, to Bridal Market (bridal’s version of Fashion Week). I cannot WAIT, and now that I’ve finally nailed down my packing list, I thought I’d share a few items I’ll be bringing with me.

Packing for Bridal Market
Clockwise from top left: Loft lace blouse, Kate Spade statement necklace, J. Crew scalloped dress, Longchamp tote, Sole Society smoking slippers, Ray ban wayfarers, Kate Spade earrings

1. A chic, but slightly romantic, blouse (this is bridal fashion we’re talking about, after all!) that can be dressed up or down.

2. I’ve had this outfit saved on Pinterest for ages, and figured Bridal Market would be the perfect place to recreate the look with all black attire and a statement necklace.

3. My go-to scalloped little black dress, to be worn with a top knot and bright red lips.

4. My trusty navy Longchamp tote for carrying around the essentials: my wallet, my change of shoes, an umbrella, my cell phone, and lipstick.

5. Cute smoking slippers in a dark color for running around the city between shows.

6. I borrowed Dave’s black Ray Bans after my old sunglasses broke…about three months ago. I love the classic shape that I’m convinced looks good on anyone!

7. I wear these Kate Spade earrings at least four times a week–they add just the right amount of sparkle to my mostly-neutral wardrobe staples.

If you’re headed to Market, let me know–Emily and I would love to see a few familiar faces! :)