January 23, 2014

sandcastle + minted

Rustic customized bride and groom seating

As we started thinking through the details of our wedding, it occurred to us that we’ve attended nearly 25 weddings over the years that we’ve been together.  Whereas we used to open up our mailbox to find stacks of wedding invitations, we’re now more likely to discover that a birth announcement has found its way to us in the mail. Regardless of the milestone, I’ve come to associate happy news with colorful cards, which is why I was thrilled when Minted invited me to explore their gorgeous website and design a few of my own.

As I quickly learned when browsing through images such as these on Minted and its adorable sister blog Julep, the opportunities to get inspired and be creative are truly endless. Even though we haven’t cemented a date for our wedding, I’m already thinking about ways to personalize our event and set the tone for a memorable celebration. In the meantime, I’m also scheming with friends to plan the ultimate bachelorette party, a festive occasion that will, of course, be commemorated with fun and girly invitations.

And because love is in the air, I’m also drawn to their Valentine’sDay card collection. Last year, I made my own cards, but this February, I’m ready to take things up a notch and I think that these may be the perfect way to send kisses to my friends and family all over the country in anticipation of seeing them on our big day.

Beautiful calligraphy detailing and a muted color palette
Hand-painted candles in sherbet hues
Escort cards with autumn touches
Celestial mood lighting
Gold glitter-covered vases with single stems

This post sponsored by Minted and all images provided courtesy of Minted's blog Julep. All opinions and enthusiasm for planning a unique wedding are my own!

January 22, 2014

Fight or Flight

After hitting up Madison and then concluding our visit with my family, the engagement celebration train headed north to the cabin, where we experienced cold on a hurts-to-breathe-outside level. I was more than happy to sit by the fire and tear through a few books (including this and this) while Mike ventured out to capture the over-stuffed wildlife and ice-encased trees.

Yes, that's a tiny little (real!) lighted Christmas tree in a field. Isn't it the cutest?
See. I wasn't kidding when I said it was cold outside. And this wasn't even the low.

January 21, 2014

To Madison

One of the best views of the capital that I've ever experienced, despite the cold

Though the proposal was a blur, and we couldn’t sleep at all throughout that night (adrenaline and nerves can do that to you), we managed to summon the energy for a day trip to Madison the next morning. I love the city and have been there many times, though I can’t recall another visit in the throes of winter. It was definitely an experience enhanced by the warmth of the Olbrich BotanicalGardens.

A forest of sparkly Evergleam trees at the Wisconsin Historical Museum
Mouth-watering root beers and cheese curds, served curbside
Pretty pink things at Olbrich Gardens, aka the warmest place in the state of Wisconsin
A gorgeous welcome back to the hotel in Oconomowoc after a long day of sight-seeing

January 20, 2014

Champagne in the Snow

When I predicted that my holiday season was going to be a bit different than usual, I really had no idea just how different it would be. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day passed by pretty uneventfully, as we readied ourselves for a week of vacation in Wisconsin. The day after Christmas, I started packing up the dinner that we made to share with family in Oconomowoc after our gift giving concluded. Mike went missing in the midst of it all, and when I called him, he said he was running an errand. I thought nothing of it, and loaded the last of the gifts into the car so that we could get on the road when he returned.

Later on, as night fell across the snow-covered fields in Oconomowoc, soon after we started in on the gifts, and as I took the lasagna out of the oven and readied the tiramisu cake, Mike announced that he had one last surprise to unveil outside. My family started trading confused looks as we bundled up to leave the barn and go outside into the snow.

Once we were out under the sky, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I don’t remember much after that, as I was in such a state of surprise and shock that I started sobbing (ugly crying, really, and there are unfortunate pictures to prove it) hysterically. Of course, after nearly nine years together, I don’t think I even needed to say yes for him to know my answer to his question.

As it turned out, my dad was the only one in the immediate family who knew it was coming. The only other person to know was a relative who owns a jewelry store down in Cincinnati. In keeping with family tradition, Mike got the ring there, after making the 5+ hour drive down and back in one day while I was at work. As for that mysterious errand that he ran earlier in the day…

It was to pick up a bottle of champagne, which he hid in the snow until it was time to celebrate our engagement.

We’re thinking about setting the date for this fall. So, now you know where I’ve been for the last few weeks!