Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wedding Bales: Getting Pretty

I am not a morning person whatsoever, so let's just get that out of the way. However, that being said, I was incredibly impressed that the morning of the wedding, I beat my alarm! Waking up I knew it was going to be a great day. I spent the morning checking emails and packing up my things as I wouldn't be coming back to that room. After a quick shower I met MOH Fluff in the lobby for coffee. 

Yours truly and Fluff - cheesing it up for the camera

Three years ago when she got married, we went for coffee right away in the morning together and we thought it would only be appropriate to do it for my wedding, so it was the first thing on our agenda. 

Had to get my "Bride" coffee

It really was a great chance to get to spend a little alone time with her as well and just chit chat about how pumped up I was, and to share in the excitement of the day together. If you can schedule something like that into your day, I would really recommend it. We got back to the hotel just in time to meet up with stepdaughter K and load Fluff's SUV with all the things we would need. The venue was within walking distance, but we had so much to haul that we would have needed quite a few trips, so we drove. Before we left the parking lot we met best man N outside, who pulled me aside to give me a quick pep talk and to remind me, "you are the bride, don't worry about anything today. It's your day." It's small moments like that when I think back to our wedding day that make me smile and eternally grateful for our wonderful bridal party and friends. 

Our photographer, Kyle, with Kyle Zemple Photography, was not scheduled to arrive for a few hours yet so the beginning of the morning was full of personal photos of us goofing around. We had two stylists from In-Style Salon come to The Florian Gardens and when we arrived they were just setting up. The Florian Gardens doesn't open until 10 am however we were able to arrange a 9 am opening for our group. You don't get what you don't ask for so if you need some additional time, ask for it. 

I knew that my look was going to obviously take the longest to accomplish so I parked it in a chair and started hamming it up for the camera. 

I had arranged for champagne and orange juice for the morning so we spent the morning listening to music and sipping champs, just being girls.

There were nails being done:


Some final stitching for a very personal gift to my stepchildren.

And a lot of pictures of people's feet? Yes, when I started going through some of our pictures on our Wedit cameras I realized there were a lot of feet photos, I guess someone wanted to showcase shoes?!

And for those wondering yes I did wear different shoes during the morning. I started with a pair of black sandals, then switched to my Kate Spade slippers, then moved into a pair of blingy sandals. 

All photos above personal

I was basically done with my hair when Kyle from Kyle Zempel Photography showed up and starting taking photos. It was at about this time that it started to sink in with me what was about to happen. I was excited and giddy and couldn't wait to see everyone all done up.

All photos below courtesy of Kyle Zempel Photography

I am such a sucker for black and whites and am so glad that Kyle was able to capture most of my morning with black and white photos. I think they are so special and something that I specifically asked for. Make sure your photographer is aware of any special requests you may have. 

I knew that because of our first look coming up that I would need to get ready as quickly as possible. I was done before everyone was finished and it was awesome getting to see everyone's transformation. It still took a few hours to finish my final look and I was so happy to be able to get up and walk around.

Up next, the boys - they have it so easy!!

Missed a recap? Catch up here:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wedding Bales: Friends in Low Places

Last I left you fabulous people I was just about to reveal my special gift to Mr. Farmer. I thought really hard what to gift my groom. You see, Mr. Farmer is incredibly romantic and when it comes to gifts - he blows me out of the water. He is constantly doing things to let me know that he is thinking of me or to show me how much he loves me. Because he is so awesome in the gift giving department, I knew that I would need to come up with something extra special for his wedding gift.

Let's face the facts, Mrs. Barn is NOT a great writer (I think we can all agree on that), but I have kept a journal off and on for the past several years. It's what helped me through some very dark years before I met Mr. Farmer and I just sort of kept going with it. When Mr. Farmer proposed I started adding more and more to my journal, and I think you can see where I am going with this. I decided to gift Mr. Farmer my journal, starting from the day we met. I made sure to bring it with me to our rehearsal because I wanted to get it documented and I also wanted to be there when he opened it.

 Mr. Farmer is not an emotional person but seeing him start to cry was all that I needed to lose it as well.

I kept my journal in a Microsoft Word document (real creative I know) and I transferred it over to to print it. It was incredibly reasonable and it was the perfect gift. He later told me that he while in his hotel room, the night before our wedding, he read the whole thing cover to cover. He told me that he laughed, cried and had a lot of "oh that's what you meant" moments. It's exactly what I had in mind when I created it. I left all the entries as they were written, only going through and adding a pictures with captions. I loved it and he loved it even more knowing how much time and effort I put into putting it together.

After I presented Mr. Farmer with his gift we spent the remainder of our rehearsal dinner mingling with our guests and taking pictures. I'll spare you all those photos and only post a few of my favorites.

Yours truly with Matron of Honor Fluff and Maid of Honor K

Mr. Farmer with Junior Best Man R and Best Man N (like I said not a smile kind of guy, although he just proposed to bridesmaid K this past weekend and we got to be there yay)

 A ridiculous photo of the Farmer family

 And the whole fam looking sharp

As an added surprise to our parents Mr. Farmer and I rented them a special vintage limo. We didn't want them to have to drive and we wanted to give them a chance to speak to one another, as this would be the first time they had really had any interaction, other than the rehearsal hours prior. After the rehearsal dinner they took the children back to the hotel while we went out with our bridal party for a quick stop downtown. 

Fun story time. It wouldn't be a Barn blog post without a fun story that has nothing to do with anything. You see those big "buses/RVs" in the background? Well they were all over the parking lot and knowing that quite a few concerts were going on in the area I wanted to know who they belonged to. I marched right up the the guys sitting outside grilling and said, "Hey I'm getting married tomorrow, what's with all this?" After I assured them I was not some crazy groupie and had no intentions of following them, they confided they were the band and sound crew for Steven Tyler, as in, from Aerosmith! They happened to be on their way through, and stopped for the evening, before heading to their next concert spot. No I didn't spot Steven but it was way cool nonetheless, and they wished up luck on our nuptials and toasted us as we left to join the rest of our friends.

Ok back to the details. We headed downtown Eau Claire for a quick stop at The Pickle for a celebratory shot and drink with our bridal party. Mr. Farmer and I wanted a chance to hang out with our entire bridal party before we parted ways in a few hours. Since it was the summer and college wasn't in session downtown was empty and we had the entire place to ourselves and it really was perfect.

(a very blurry shoddy photo)

We only had the bus for an hour after we left our rehearsal dinner so we didn't stick around for very long. We all loaded back onto the bus for the short ride back to our hotel. GM R was playing DJ for the evening and turned on the song, "Friends in Low Places" right as we pulled into the hotel parking lot. Despite being at the hotel, our entire bridal party continued to sit in the bus belting out the lyrics to "Friends in Low Places". It was quite honestly one of the best memories of the day. All our friends sitting on a bus singing, what could be better?

You can see BM N really getting into it. He was the person who started our sing along. Our bus driver even joined in about halfway through (I am sure he was confused why nobody was getting off the bus). I know there is a video floating around somewhere, however I have no idea where it is.

After our American Idol moment, everyone piled off the bus and headed to the hotel bar. Even though it was light out, I knew that I would need a good night sleep in order to be a functional human being, so I retired to my room for the last time as Miss. Barn. I kissed my groom goodnight and I spent the evening alone writing my final post and getting a few things ready for the following morning. I knew ahead of time that I would be too excited to get any good sleep so I discussed a plan of action with my doctor and took some medication to help relax me to sleep. It was one of the best decisions that I made. Getting a good night sleep is pretty important and I am so thankful that I was able to get a full eight hours. I fell asleep thinking about walking down the aisle and that was a pretty perfect way to end our rehearsal day if you ask me.

Did anyone else have any funny bridal party moments? What did you do after your rehearsal dinner? Were you able to sleep well the night before??

**all photos personal

Missed a recap? Catch up here:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wedding Bales: Rehearsing It All

The Friday morning before the big day was a pretty crazy busy one, you know all the prepping and stuff. Stepdaughter K and I woke up fairly early and, after a family breakfast, we headed off to the nail salon. We wanted a chance to spend some time together before all our friends and family arrived, and this was a perfect chance to do so. While K and I were getting our nails done, Mr. Farmer and stepson R were doing a bit of last minute shopping. Something we completely forgot to tell the kids about was the dress code The Florian Gardens has. 

You see The Florian Gardens has a pretty strict time frame for when you can host your rehearsal, especially on a Friday, which has become a pretty popular day to get married. We could wear whatever we wanted except jeans. Thankfully, because we were aware of this beforehand (read those contracts folks) we were able to let all of our bridal party know so they could dress accordingly. However, we neglected to let the kids know so we both ended up doing some last minute shopping before the rehearsal, to make sure the children were outfitted appropriately. Hey, you can't win them all. 

Anyways, after Mr. Farmer and R got R's outfit all situated they were the welcoming committee for our arriving bridal party members. K and I were running a tad bit late, kind of a theme for me it seems, so we had very little time to get ready for the rehearsal when we got back. With a little help from K I was able to throw myself together and be presentable enough.

Mr. Farmer and I needed to be at The Florian Gardens early enough to go over some final details and unload the decorations that we brought, so we wouldn't have to worry about it on the day. It was also the first time that we were able to see our venue, in person, set up for a wedding. I don't have any photos of that. We did not want to disrupt the staff while they were trying to get everything set for the wedding taking place after our rehearsal. We stayed outside the majority of the time and I was perfectly fine with that, especially when it looked like this:

So with everyone all ready to go and everyone accounted for we were able to get the show on the road.

Our wonderful, amazing, I can't say enough good things about her, wedding coordinator, Collette, gave us a run down of how everything was supposed to work. That lovely bouquet you see me carrying is from all the bows and ribbons on the gifts at my bridal shower. Apparently, for every one you break that's how many children you are supposed to have. I was pretty skilled and I didn't break any, but I am also kind of superstitious. I guess it's considered good luck to carry it with you on your rehearsal, so carry it with I did. A huge thanks to Fluff for putting it together for me.

Mr. Farmer: Ok you ready?

Miss. Barn: What is R wearing, did you really pick that out by yourself?

I might have been slightly distracted......

We worked our rehearsal backwards just for time sake. After everyone was in their appropriate place, we started at "Mr. Farmer you may kiss your bride", you can see we had different ideas.....

"Pleasure doing business with you"

R was a little shocked that we did not kiss each other and K looks incredibly confused. She later confided in me that she was really concerned our kiss wasn't going to be good enough. Collette is trying to hold it together and everyone else you can't see, is busting a gut and clapping. Anything for a good laugh!

We practiced our recessional next:

Flowergirl K and ring-bearer J refused to hold hands on the first go around. Clearly, J looks less than impressed....

MOH Fluff and Best Man N in what might be some of the only photographic evidence that he does in fact smile.

Sister in law T and Brother Barn looking ever the odd couple with their gigantic height difference, followed by the rest of our wonderful bridal party.

Mama and Papa Barn

Mr. and Mrs. Farmer

Once everyone has recessed, we went back through and did our processional. It was a quick rehearsal and I am sure most everyone was glad because at this point, everyone was getting excited to go check out the Go-Kart track and get checked into the hotel. A quick run through was exactly what I needed. 

I will say this, I would go into your rehearsal having an idea of how you want it to go, especially if you have special places for different people. Since we had R and K, we wanted them to exit right before and right after us and it made the traditional lineup a tad complex with our flower girl and ring bearer. It could have also been because we had such a large bridal party, I haven't decided yet.

It was at about this point that I started to have a mini melt down. So many people were asking me so many questions and I couldn't quite answer them fast enough before another one was shot my way. Most often it was the same question being asked by different people. Mr. Farmer knowing how stressed out I was becoming pulled me aside and gave me a little pep talk. We had a few hours between our rehearsal and our rehearsal dinner so in order to relax and regroup, I left with Mama Barn to accompany her to her hair appointment, and Mr. Farmer stuck around the hotel to entertain our guests. 

Wedding planning is overwhelming. Spending that additional alone time with my mom was exactly what I needed in order to get my head and my thoughts back in order. It helped that our hair stylist was the and was a total dream to work with. It was the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with my mama and to get away from the craziness of "being the bride". I came back completely relaxed and ready to tackle the rehearsal dinner with a much calmer demeanor. 

Did anyone else struggle with fielding a lot of questions? Did you separate your rehearsal and your rehearsal dinner by a few hours? Please tell me I am not the only one who got a little stressed out during the rehearsal.

*all photos personal

Missed a recap? Catch up here:

Wedding Bales: Let's Get The Party Started

Wedding Bales: Special Cargo