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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

Friday Finds 3.25.11

March 25th, 2011

This Friday, I have to share another awesome Etsy shop. Kelly, from Announce Your Day, is absolutely wonderful. I found my wedding invitations in her shop and knew they were the perfect ones to replace the ones I thought I had ordered. You see, I ordered invites from another seller on Etsy, asked her to hold off on printing until I could get final wording, and then she disappeared. Literally, disappeared off the face of the web. Etsy shop gone. EBay shop gone. Email gone. PayPal gone. So as devastated as I was, I let it go (Hey, I have more important things to worry about right?). Then I came across Announce Your Day. I even liked these invites better than the ones I had ordered previously, so maybe there was some higher power telling me the first invites weren’t THE ones. When I contacted her and told her my story, she seemed genuinely sorry for what had happened. Kelly was extremely helpful and got an electronic proof over to me very quickly. I purchased my invitations on February 11 and received them just one month later. This was INCLUDING proof time and adjusting wording! I love my invitations. So much, in fact, I plan on having her create matching programs for the ceremony. Here’s a sneak peak :)

If you haven’t heard of Announce Your Day already, let me be the first to say that you will not be disappointed. You can convo with her to create a custom design for whatever type of event you are hosting. Weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, bridal showers, anything. I hope you are as happy with your invitations as I am!


Furry Family

March 23rd, 2011

Lately, I have seen a lot of people incorporating their pets into their wedding. More and more people are living together before marriage and raising a fur baby (or two). I LOVE this idea and have tossed around the idea myself. I think animals make every house a home. I mean, what home is complete without a little dog fur rolling across the hardwood floors? As I thought about whether or not to include our sweet, little (Read: spastic and slobbery) Mia in our wedding, I came up with a few things I think should be considered before making this decision.

First you need to decide how much/little your want your pet to be involved. If you want your pet to play a role in the wedding such as ring bearer or flower girl, then you need to check that the ceremony location allows this before buying a mini-tuxedo. Some locations will not allow pets and you don’t want to get your hopes up if this is not allowed.

You also need to think about PET-tiquette and decide if your pet is well-behaved enough to handle his/her duties. While it would be a great story years down the road if Fluffy ate your rings and your best man had to follow her around until she digested them, it is not going to make you very happy on your big day. You also do not want your pet to be jumping all over people who are dressed up and you have to consider that there might be people who are allergic to pets. After all, the humans are your family too. Even though you might rather have your pet in attendance than some people, your pet won’t hold a grudge.

I know Mia’s presence will not be an option for my ceremony, not because I would be afraid she’d jump on all the guests or run off with our wedding bands (which she would), but because of location. An option is to get photos taken with Mia post-ceremony and pre-reception. There were a number of things I thought about when deciding on a photo shoot with my pooch. First, see the above reasons. She is a spaz. She is slobbery. I am wearing a gown and Joe is in a BLACK tux. She’s fawn-colored. Not a good mix. I know the first thing that would happen is that she would jump on me, rip my dress, then run over to Joey and rub her face all over him and get slobber all over his pants. If this were at the end of the night, maybe I wouldn’t care as much. But considering we have to get through a few more hours, I’d like to continue looking my best.

One last thing to consider is who will take care of your pet while you are getting dressed, taking photos and celebrating with your family. Unless your wedding is taking place in your own backyard, the accommodations of your pet may not be ideal. Someone needs to take care of your pet since it most likely won’t be you.

While your pet is sure to be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and you love them like you would your own human child, you need to make considerations when deciding if they should be a part of your big day. We’ve decided this isn’t an option for us as much as we’d love it. I mean, look at this face! Who wouldn’t want her there?!

How have you incorporated your pet(s) into your wedding?


Friday Finds 3.18.11

March 18th, 2011

So this find is courtesy of my recent marriage class and meeting at my church for a Q&A session. I know we were completely lost on where to start when looking for ceremony readings. It was suggested that we look at Together for Life by Joseph Champlin. This is a short little 96-page book that gives readings and even a little guide to help you plan out your wedding ceremony. I just got mine in the mail last week, so I have it on hand for my brides… and for myself of course!


Thank you, Jesus!

March 14th, 2011

As I mentioned in my late Friday Finds post, Joey and I had a jam-packed weekend which included our marriage class. Since our schedules are so packed, we decided that the best thing for us would be to pick one that was only one or two days and squeeze it in. We found a perfect one that was Friday evening and all day Saturday at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township. I was nervous as heck going into this class. I had heard so many horror stories about them. The topics include faith, finances, parenthood, natural family planning, and sex. Yep, you heard it right. Sex. I was not extremely excited about the prospect of talking about sex with a priest. I mean, how awkward can it get?!

I was surprised when we got there on Friday night. There were about 25 engaged couples. It couldn’t be too invasive with that large of a group there. In reality, the weekend was really nice. We had beer and wine on Friday night, an awesome breakfast and lunch provided on Saturday and it wasn’t intrusive at all. We discussed generalized questions within each topic with our small table of people and the married couple serving as the leader of the discussion.

Just because I am converting to Catholicism, doesn’t mean I push it or any religion on anyone. I do however, think that Joey and I benefited a lot from this weekend. Let me tell you why. Joey and I were forced to talk about certain topics such as communication, adjustment to marriage/living together, finances, parenthood, faith and sex. As we went through the questions asked during the small group discussions, I realized the importance of each topic.

Finances can be the main source of stress and divorce in the first years of marriage. Sit down and discuss how you can combine your financial techniques to make both of you happy. Parenthood is another topic that is extremely important to discuss prior to marriage. Despite what you would think, there are way too many people out there who have not discussed whether or not they want children. I am well aware of Joey’s plans to sell any little girls we have so we can be sure to have only boys. Just kidding :)

I don’t think I really need to go into more depth on the sex topic and luckily they sent us to a private spot to discuss this one on one rather than having to do it as part of a group. But the key was to make sure you have similar ideas on sex. Discuss it when you are not about to hop into bed. You’ll both have clearer minds.

Many couples are now considered inter-faith. Does it mean that you shouldn’t be together? Definitely not. It just means that you need to discuss how each other feels about their faith (or lack thereof) and be supportive of each other no matter what the differences. If one of you is Jewish and the other is Christian, find a way to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas together. And if you don’t know much about the other’s religion, take time to learn about it. You’ll have a better understanding of where the other stands.

When I look back at the discussions during this two-day experience, I can see the one topic that was recurring through any discussion. Communication. That really is the key to any successful marriage. If you can’t communicate with each other, you will never be able to truly resolve your problems.

The whole point of this post was not to tell you that you should or need to take part in a marriage class. It was to simply tell you that these are important topics and whether you do it in a class or sitting on your couch at home, you should discuss them. Let’s get that divorce rate down!


Friday Finds 3.11.11

March 11th, 2011

Many of you know that I love DIY weddings. So of course I subscribe to the idea of the day from Martha Stewart Weddings. Sometimes I see them and say, “Eh” and delete them automatically. But this one was different. The subject was “A New ‘Something Blue.'” I am always looking for new and creative ideas for the something blue. I immediately fell in love with this idea.

Rather than having blue shoes (one of my favorite ideas!) or a blue garter, you can have your new initials and wedding date embroidered on the inside of your gown to add even more personalization. The part that really made me swoon was the thought of wearing your mother’s or grandmother’s gown with her initials right beside yours.


Friday Finds 3.4.11 (Late!)

March 8th, 2011

Holy crap. I can’t believe I missed it! I know exactly why though. I had an extremely crazy end of last week and an even crazier weekend. Ok, excuses over. Here’s my most recent find for you. In my searches for good attendant gifts, I have found that finding a good gift for the groomsman can be tricky. Brides can get their bridesmaids jewelry, clutches, etc. Easy! But what in the world do you get the groomsman? I thought about just telling Joey he was on his own, but then I felt bad. I found this neat site that has a ton of good ideas. It’s called Groom Stand. They have a ton of different ideas for personalizing a great gift to your groomsman. And they are surprisingly reasonably priced! Oh and just a note, you don’t have to get all of the guys the same gift. You can change it up and get each one something that is suiting to their personality. Just as long as you keep all the gifts in the same price range, no one will feel shafted. Now get to shopping boys!


Think Spring…

March 7th, 2011

I really hope that silly groundhog was right this year. I am going stir crazy being cooped up inside because of the weather! Let’s hope we’ve had the last of our bad weather and the temps gradually increase day by day. If I think spring, maybe it will come faster? So I decided to create an inspiration board to help get me in the mood for spring. I decided pink and green would do the trick. For those of you just joining my blog posts, I love creating inspiration boards. I gather photos from the web that I think would make a beautiful wedding and put them all together. It is also one of the things I do for potential brides after we have our first consultation. I really want your wedding to be the best day of your life and in order to do that, I have to capture the exact vision. Then I can tweak it to get it perfect. This one was just for fun, inspired by the deceiving bright sunshine coming through the window. Enjoy!!

Credits (clockwise):
1. Invitations – Etsy, Just Us Three by Bridechilla
2. Table Décor – Manolo for the Bride, Images courtesy of Rebecca Thuss for Martha Stewart Weddings.
3. Pinwheels – Etsy, Aubabi78
4. Single Flower Vase – Ferenc Ecseki Photography
5. Boutonniere – I Do Inspiration
6. Men’s apparel – The Dessy Group, Pocket Squares in Duponi
7. Cake – Wedding Cakes Pictures
8. Parasols – The Knot, Photo By: Anne Ruthmann Photography, Boston, MA
9. Earrings – Etsy, Fine Heart
10. Shoes – Martinez Valero,
11. Garter – Etsy, Shabee Stitches
12. Signature Drinks – Belle Vivir
13. Bouquet – Wedding Flowers
14. Flower girl dress – The Dessy Group
15. Bridesmaid dress – Alfred Sung


Now THIS is how brides should be treated!

March 1st, 2011

Well, I officially have the greatest, most thoughtful bridesmaids ever. They all know how much stress I have been under lately. Now I am not trying to make all you other bridesmaids out there look bad, but when I walked into work today and found these, I was reminded of just how great they truly are.

And what better way to give a shout out to them than to post it on here :) Thanks Jenn, Steph, Jan, Jen, Nikki and Gina <3

Now, I want to hear if your bridesmaids can top that. Tell me your stories!!