Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rand-Bryan House

The joys of wedding planning...  you think I'm kidding but it really can be fun!  Yes, budgets and disjointed opinions can make things seem to stumble a bit but if you focus on what the event is for, your love and start of your family, it can help keep things in check/on the brighter side and all that.

Today's post is hopefully going to help with that.  It is a continuation of the previous two posts, Mims and The Barn, in highlighting local vendors/venues in hopes that it might give you some insight into what your needs are and if they fit the bill!

The Rand-Bryan House is located pretty centrally for an estate.  In Garner it allows a pretty quick commute from Raleigh or the surrounding area.  This wedding venue is great for a smaller wedding looking for a natural feel.  It has more of a standard take on rentals so if you are looking to have convenience and don't want a full weekend this might be a good fit.

The complete renovation of the interior allows for the historic feel with modern convenience.  There is a kitchen in place that could allow for finishing touches but depending on the extent of need it may not fill all that you might need, having only one stove.

The land outside the main building is the selling point at this venue.  Its wide open fields allow for beautiful views and a great place to capture your first moments.

Great for Smaller wedding looking for convenient location near Raleigh proper but with a more "spacious" feel then downtown options.

But as I always I don't suggest you only take my word on it jump on over and see if it fits your needs.

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reception Games

You don't go through all the busy, stress, crazy of planning a wedding just cause you want to get married but instead that you want an experience.  You want that moment.  That feeling.  That party.  You want everyone to enjoy.  You want to have a blast and you want to have it all!

One of the things that I have found that make a huge difference to the "Feeling" of a wedding/reception is the guests attitude.  Which makes sense but how to get that "feeling" ??  There are many different great ways to make sure your guests have a blast as well as yourself!

My favorite way is games!  Perfect fillers during a cocktail hour or the lull between dinner and toasts, and great for guests who are reluctant to dance.

There are loads of different options.  Lists upon lists but here are my favorites:

  • I spy
    • Think of a list of things people can spot at a reception.  Have it written up to fit your theme and have it on each wedding table
  • Guest book (have them do it at reception, like mad lip etc)
    • Take a look at a previous post about interesting takes on Guest books: many of these options happen at the reception and great filler for the cocktail hour!!
  • Scavenger Hunt
    • Write up a list of possible things guest can go and find around a reception and take a picture of them with it and then share the pictures on your wedding webstie or Facebook page!
  • Cute questions
    • Have a few questions at each table for the table to answer individually or discuss as a group.  Sample question: "What are great date ideas?" 
  •  Messages for anniversaries
    • Bottles, boxes, any number of things can hold these notes and add a bit of flair to your wedding theme.  Leave out notes on tables, or have a station during cocktail hour, where your guests can leave you notes, words of encouragement, funny statements, or inside jokes/you name it.  They write the note sign it and pick the anniversary year (the bottles/boxes/etc would be labeled) for you to read them!
  • Board games
    • If you are short of budget this can add a bit of flair to a centerpiece!  It could be Jenga, it could be bingo, it could be word searches, it could be mad libs... your options are seemingly endless!
  • Yard games
    • Having a wedding with a reception location that has some outdoor space: this is a great option!  Giant Jenga, Corn hole, Washer toss... so many options to have people mingle or keep to their own groups.
  • Giant word Search
    • A great way to get your guests to interact with each other!  Have a big board out for people to walk up and work on together.  It can be personalized word choices (many free websites can help you create a board) or you can just get one that fits your theme... 
  • He said she said
    • List of statements where your guest have to choose if "he said it" or "she said it" Example: Who was the first to say I love you?
  • Shoe game
    • The bride and groom sit in chairs backs to each other.  Each has the bride shoe in one hand and the groom shoe in the other.  Then a series of questions is asked, like "who is the better driver?" and they have to hold up the shoe to answer.  You get the picture.  The questions are written before hand so there doesn't have to be any surprises.
  • Karaoke
    • Self explanatory.  Much like a photo booth station you can have a karaoke station. 

Unrelated to games but also a really neat way to get a relaxed and hang out feel for your reception is putting up different areas in your reception.  Have your dance floor but also think about having a lounge area for reception.  The variance allows for each personality to enjoy their time!

What are your favorite things to have at wedding as a guest?  What do your wedding day pinterest pages look like?

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Egg-ing on the Season

The lights twinkle in the window in my silly new homemade decoration.  The chill from outside steals through the glass leaving a slight fog of condensation from the contrasting warm indoors.  My feet up, sipping a water that I wish was Egg Nog but knowing that my waistline could do with less frivolity of the seasons treats, I can't help but bask in the season.

Some years I struggle with getting into the Christmas spirit.  I know a deep breath was needed for that shocking news.  But seriously I love Christmas but even despite that love I do struggle some years.  I think I let the hustle and bustle of all the never ending list of to dos that are always lingering in adult life distract me from what is a perfect time of year to bask in all your/my blessings.

Why is adult life so filled with busy and boring? I miss the ideals of childhood filled with a fervor for fun, yet when I get a moment to play with my daughter I can't help but catch myself thinking of all the things I need to get done, lists of groceries, reminders to call or write some business associates, you name it.  How terrible is that?

Even with my knowledge of joy and envy of the splendor and innocence of childhood, all I seem to do is focus on work.  I think that is why adults can't pretend or they get themselves overwhelmed is we can't seem to disconnect.  There is always things to be done, no matter how much we do there is more that drops down on our laps.  If we keep our nose to the grindstone all we have is a ground nose.

I'm tired of my ground nose.  I would rather it be ruby from long walks with my family in the cold as we take in the beautifully festive lights or wet from what I hope will be the result of a snowball fight!  This year I made a determination that when I stop to play with my daughter that I will not allow my mind to wander, when I catch myself making my lists that I have to stop.  There are days and times when lists need to be checked off and productivity is key but there are moments to enjoy the silly antics of being  childlike with your child or if you don't have a child then childlike in your appreciation of the season.

When you pass a homeless person, hold back your questions of why or how and instead say a silent prayer, offer them a granola bar or toothbrush.  When you see a person with their hands full, open the door.  When you see a person at their whits end offer them your place in line.  Buy a stranger a coffee.  Share the joy, love and blessings you have been given!  And if you feel like you haven't any blessings then I hope that you receive some blessings from others this season or look me up that I might try and bless you!

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mad Dash-ingly Awesome!

It is never a shock that when Brooke and Priscilla get involved that it will be not only a brilliant idea but it will be delivered in a wonderfully smashing way.  So it was no shock to me that when the brought up their new business venture I couldn't help but fall in love instantly and want to share it with all of you!

Many of you wonderful couples out there getting married don't have the budget of the national average wedding: which is now $30,000.  So their plan was how to help all of you have beautiful and amazing weddings with a much more limited budget.  So they came up with Mad Dash.

It is brilliant.  It allows you to have ... well let's just let Priscilla's words give you a short gist of the idea: " You can have the intimate wedding of your dreams at a beautiful venue (Leslie-Alford-Mims House), with all the bells and whistles and for a fraction of the cost." 

To say that I wish this was around when I was planning my own tight budget wedding is a colossal understatement.  Talk about taking away the stress!  You get to have a wedding that is beautiful without the overwhelming price tag!

They have streamlined the process of planning your wedding to a make it as least stressful as possible.  They have a breakdown of all their packages what they include and a price tag clearly available on their website...  Their goal is LITERALLY to allow you to be stress free, have a beautiful wedding and amazing memories!  

Brooke and Priscilla are my spirit animals... Have you ever met people that are just brilliant, beautiful and amazingly nice too.  Well, jump over and call them up cause you can now!

Did I say I was over the moon with this idea?  Cause if I didn't my eager writing might be blowing my cover ;)

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fa La LA LA Goals...

The whirling leaves dance to the ground in a splatter of color.  Cinnamon and nutmeg do a dance in my mouth eating yet another baked good I probably shouldn't but with a shrug I think "it's the holidays".

I still have childlike wonder when it comes to the holidays.  I force my husband to walk through the Christmas sections at the store more then once each holiday season.  No, I don't plan to get anything but it is such fun to see all the festive decorations!  We will drive around a few neighborhoods to see their lights while we sip our lattes.

My only issue with the holidays are they seem to go by with such speed.  I want to capture a moment and trap it in a snow globe.  I want to have that frozen in time feeling as I take in each moment of the holiday.  Even if you are a humbug usually take this season to enjoy your one and only Holiday season this 2015!

Things to admit from last month:

  • Get active minimum 3 times a week for 30 min
  • Take a personal day to relax and revamp
  • Make sure to take time with family
  • Be careful of pies...


  • Post on Instagram 4 times
  • Post weekly on Twitter
  • Post Bi-weekly on Facebook
  • Officially book Bridal Show
  • Go to a Wedding professionals meet up

December Goals

Maintain steady weekly activity
Take time to enjoy the holidays
Get all gifts before the week of Christmas!

Get all products ready for bridal show
Follow up with Wedding Planner about giveaway
Follow up about the Stylized shoot
Keep up consistency on social media

Live. Love. Loud.