Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three Times a Charm: Bridesmaid Dress Update

The girls originally picked two J.Crew dresses to wear. But they have since decided to wear three different dresses (mainly due an awesome sale J. Crew was having) and because their new picks are super cute! So, without further ado, the bridesmaid dresses....
This dress was actually one of the original two. It is the Delores (Style 98979) and will be worn by two of the bridesmaids. "A dramatic and unexpected crisscross of fabric at the neckline makes this midweight silk taffeta dress completely alluring and appropriate for any occasion. Sleeveless silhouette. Fitted bodice, A-line skirt. V-neck at front and back." -J. Crew
This dress is the Strapless Sangle (Style 11409) and will be worn by three of the bridesmaids. "In midweight silk taffeta, this full, feminine strapless dress has a fitted bodice cinched with a knot at the center and an A-line skirt with box pleats for extra body. On-seam pockets." - J. Crew

The third dress will be worn by the other two bridesmaids and is the Halter version of the Sangle dress (Style 11420). "A fresh look at the halter, in midweight silk taffeta. This full, feminine dress has a fitted bodice cinched with a knot and an A-line skirt with box pleats for extra body. Sleeveless silhouette. Straps originate at knot detail on straight neckline. On-seam pockets." -J. Crew

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Ceremony Site

After a lot of looking around, mainly by Mr. Riley and his Mom, we decided that we would get married at my church in Fredericksburg, VA. We both liked the idea of following tradition but I also love my pastor and the history behind the church's sanctuary.

" [The] current sanctuary, the second one to be used by Presbyterians in the city, is an example of Jeffersonian Reformed Revival Architecture, and it is Fredericksburg's oldest house of worship. During the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862, the church was heavily shelled, and in 1864, the interior was sacked and the roof partially destroyed. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, cared for wounded Union soldeirs in the church." -From The Fredericksburg PC Website

If you look closely at the picture below you can see one of the cannon balls from the Battle of Fredericksburg referenced above. (It's the black spot on the second column above the light fixture).

Although the church does not have a traditional steeple the bell tower is a prominent figure in city skyline.
The wrought iron gate entrance mirrors the entrance to our reception site, The Jepson Executive Alumni Center.

Below is a picture of the sanctuary. It was recently redone with new carpet installed, new paint, and all the wood trim and embellishments restored.

Another, better picture of the sanctuary. The pews are traditional box pews. During the battle of Fredericksburg the church was utilized as a field hospital. The original box pews were removed to construct coffins for deceased soldiers. The pews now used are replicas.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Reception Hall

Although no one is Alumni we decided to host our reception at the University of Mary Washington's Jepson Executive Alumni Center in downtown Fredericksburg, VA.

These large bronze gates flank the brick courtyard enterance to the Jepson and always stand ajar. The Jepson was only dedicated in 2004 but these gates were created in Paris in 1904, stood at a mansion in New York City until 1954, were then donated to the University and kept in storage, and were finally rescued and restored to frame the entrance of the Jepson Center.

A panoramic view of the courtyard. The building to the left houses the Rector's Gallery and the Rappahannock Grand Ballroom. The center building, well, I'm really not sure what is in the center building, I believe offices and the Board Room. The right building is the Kalnen Inn which contains three bedroom suites, a sitting room, a parlor, and a salon.

This is the Friendship Fountain that is right outside the Kalnen Inn it also looks out onto one of the largest and most popular sledding hills in Fredericksburg. :)

This is the actual ballroom. Although it is hard to tell from the picture this room is HUGE!

Although this room is only serving as a second bar and entry area it is my absolute FAVORITE! How much do you LOVE LOVE LOVE those light fixtures? Well I do. I can't wait to see this room decorated for the wedding!
Another shot of the Mayo Courtyard that is the center of the Jepson Executive Alumni Center.

Invitation Update

Mr. Riley and I got to talking a while ago and decided the menus at every plate was going to be overkill. The meal is plated with a duel entree served so there are no options for guests to choose but we still wanted everyone to see what they were eating. We decided to return our original invitations from Target just because they didn't match the rest of the stationary suite and use what we originally intended to use as menus as our new invitation option. We also saved a little money, which is always good! :)

DIY Card Box

I started off with a plain heavy cardboard round hat box. I then spray painted the entire top of the box and the inside of the bottom of the box with flat black paint. This took approximately two to three light coats and because I had fast drying spray paint took about 2 hours to completely set up.
I order one yard of fabric that matched the fabric of our custom table runners, table squares, and ring bearers pillows (Michael Miller; Dandy Damask in Black). I then dug out my handy dandy hot glue gun, a little stitch witchery, a ruler, and a marking pencil (all things I keep around due to my random crafting urges).
I just measured the height and circumference of the bottom piece of the hat box and cut a piece of fabric to accomodate. I left myself about 2 inches of extra fabric on all sides but you could definitely get away with just an inch. Then I used my stitch witchery to create a hem on all sides, leaving a nice creased finished edge all the way around (sorry for the blurry picture).
I then started at one end and hot glued a thin bead between the fabric and the hat box. I noticed my fabric was exactly the right size (about 3/16" too tall) so I was careful to keep the fabric even across the bottom edge, so the box would still sit evenly. Finally I made a pretty bow out of some white satin ribbon with my Bowdabra (I told you I was a craft junky) and hot glued that centered on the top of the hat box. Viola! Super easy lemon peasy... took approximately 30 min after spray painting.
I still have not decided if I am going to cut a hole somewhere in the box for guests to slip their cards into or just set the top off to the side... What do you think?