Vintage Cars and Drag Racing Themed Baby Shower and Party

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Hey there race fans! I’m so excited to be sharing photos from my best friend’s baby shower earlier this month! Especially after sharing her maternity photos last week!

Because of their love of vintage and cars, their baby boy, Hudson’s, nursery will be vintage car themed. But because Amie grew up as a drag racer in the NHRA, we felt compelled to gear the shower toward Amie’s *racy* past. It was such a fun shower to plan and to maximize the theme down to the smallest detail!

The Invitation Suite

I struggled and fretted over this invitation… there’s a lot of pressure when you’re a graphic designer AND hosting the shower. Or is that just in my head? Anyway, it took me awhile to come up with the design of the paper goods. How do we combine vintage cars and racing in one theme without being cheesy? Somewhere along the path, I thought of representing each: the dad and his love of vintage cars, Amie’s dragster, and then a “baby car” for Hudson! We then paired the invite with a “ticket” that had the RSVP and other information, racing red envelopes, matching wraparound address labels and some black and gray striped washi tape. Oh and hot rod postage stamps! I think that’s my favorite detail!

Instagrammed photo via @samallencreates

Instagrammed photo via @samallencreates

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The Day of the Shower

And now for the day of… when it rainned all the night before and all morning! But I hope you enjoy some photos from the day where the threat of rain didn’t keep us from celebrating with a race to the finish line!

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Each table was set up with its own racetrack with the centerpiece being one of Amie and her family’s trophies and medals. Along with a mixture of soup cans that were reincarnated as oil cans.

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One of my favorite parts was the red velvet cake (Amie’s fave!) that was designed around the invitation and baked by my friends at Twinfully Sweet. How darling is that?!

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The race track centerpiece functioned as a board game with all the shower games moving the guests’ cars forward in their lanes. And then at the end, each table’s winner competed in a relay race for the final prize!

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The favors were created based on a tutorial published by Disney for their Radiator Springs cones. We did have to modify the tutorial to make the cones big enough for our sweet treats… a few of the snacks Amie had been craving during the pregnancy! Unfortunately, we didn’t realize we need to modify until after all the paper was cut! ha!

car themed shower party favors and plasticware

It really was so fun to play up the racing theme, and thanks to Pinterest, we found so many  cute ways to do that!

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But my favorite decoration was the balloon arch that we created the morning of, after seeing this tutorial on The House that Lars Built. It came out perfectly, just as I imagined and I was so excited for it to be a cute photo background while Amie opened her many presents for baby Hudson!

car themed shower party balloon arch

My beautifully glowing Amie, hope you enjoyed your shower just as much as I had planning the details!

So many gushing thanks to everyone that helped pull this day together. It was one big team effort… in other, on theme, words, Amie’s pit crew pulled out all the stops to make this day a big win!

Matt and Amie’s Pregnancy Announcement Photos and Card Design

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Last week, my best friend finally let the cat baby out of the bag! She’s expecting her first little babe this December!

Before she even found out that she was pregnant, she had told me that she had wanted to take these feet photos with their little pup (okay she’s not that little now, remember these Christmas photos??)

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So of course I am so excited to meet my new little niece, or nephew. I’m already dreaming of the cuddles, photo shoots, Disneyland trips, and mini milestones all along the way.

And of course, dreaming of the baby shower!! It feels like just yesterday that I was immersed in all things pink and cherry blossoms!

Now, don’t you worry, I’m sure I’ll be posting all along the way… but until then, enjoy a few photos from our announcement photos and the announcement itself that we printed on heavy linen cardstock. And of course, I had to add a little hand lettering to keep in theme with their wedding. 🙂

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Custom Lettering and Design for Amie’s Shabby Chic Vintage DIY Wedding

Harvard Photography

Just a month after the wedding, I posted an in depth recap of that glorious day, when my best friend married the man of her dreams under the trees, amongst the hills of Temecula Valley.

While this post shares my best friend’s wedding on a whole, I wanted to share a few photos of the behind the scenes of parts I got to work on!

To make it to that gorgeous day though, a lot of craft nights (and mornings, and days, and weekends) had to happen. Because she loves me, or my writing I should say, I got to hand letter on just about everything! From the invitations to the cake topper… my little hands were busy!

Of course, as a matron of honor, I had many other duties from planning the bridal shower (link), the bachelorette party, and of course on the day of, I had to give a speech. But all in all, my main duty was just helping the bride along the way. Facebook Chat was our go to means of communication. Almost daily, messages were exchanged with links and “so what do you think about this and that’s?”

I just wanted to take a moment to go over some of the crafts and projects we worked on together. It’s a big thanks to Amie Belle and her encouraging me on these projects that pushed me in my passion for hand lettering which launched my Etsy shop to where it is today.

So in a way, this is a giant portfolio update for me—a way to say “hey, I can write that for you!”—and also a way to share ways you can DIY your own wedding day!

If you have any questions, give me a shout out in the comments and I will get it answered!

The Invitations: Save the Dates, Rehearsal and the Wedding

Let’s start with the invitations! I posted about the Save the Dates last March! And here is the very first rubber stamps that launched over 100 more! Kinda crazy to look back on that actually. Who knew?!

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After the Save the Dates, Amie and I worked on her wedding invitations. But of course, before the wedding, comes the rehearsal! I just adore how these came out… all Amie asked for was a “type” look. Which is a favorite of mine so I was happy to oblige! These are actually for sale in my Etsy shop too!

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For the wedding invitations, Amie wanted something “simple.” So we kept the invite itself pretty simple and then hand punched (using this Martha Stewart paper punch) the bottom of each card. Then glued those cream pages (from Staples) to a piece of Kraft paper (from Michaels). We also designed maps and a RSVP postcard (postcards printed at UPrinting.com). All the pieces were then tied together with lace and twine and we added 3 Kraft hang tags (Recollections tag punch from Michaels) that read “You’re Invited” along with a verse from the book of 1 John. The invite was then mailed out in a charcoal grey envelope addressed with a large sticker label and the return address was rubber stamped.

wedding invitation assembly

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wedding invitation with lace and kraft tags

For the day of, we did quite a variety of projects. Not really sure where to start…

Let’s start with the directional and other fun wood signs!

Hand Painted Wood Signs

The benefit of hand lettering everything, starting with the STDs, was that everything matched seamlessly and we didn’t have to depend on stencils or trying to figure out how to get certain fonts painted on to wood. We did however create stencils for the serif font seen below… but those were easy since the lines are mostly all straight. We just printed out the words at size, cut the inside of the letter out and voila! Home made stencils!

This first photo is Matt and I working on the LOVE sign and cutting out stencils along with a bunch of the completed wooden signs at my house.

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Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

For the cake topper, from Morgann Hill Designs, we just used a purple Sharpie paint pen. Easy peasy.

Harvard Photography

For this LOVE sign we followed the tutorial on Shanty to Chic—except we created stencils of our serif font to match the rest of the wedding materials. Side note, tonight we are making more of these but with more custom designs! I can not wait to have one of my own!

Harvard Photography love wooden sign

Harvard Photography ring box

Hand Lettered Escort Name Tags

We also hand lettered the escort tags… to save time we ordered these tags on eBay and then used these Micron pens in sepia along with some rubber stamps for the table number.

name card calligraphy

Harvard Photography

The large chalkboard was from Kirklands, and I hand lettered the sayings using this pen from Hobby Lobby. So easy, and much less messy than real chalk. I did however, prime the board with a real stick of chalk. That helped a lot—and gave it a more worn look. In the image above, you can tell that the board was primed, the image below was written straight on the board without any real chalk lather. The ink sticks more to the board in the unprimed which will make changing it much harder. So it really just depends on how you want to use them in the future.

Harvard Photography

Amie also picked up a few frames from Hobby Lobby and then created chalkboards out of them using some chalkboard spray paint.

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Harvard Photography

wedding DIY assembly

The wedding favors were red neck wine glasses (candlestick glued to a mason jar) for the ladies, and plain mason jars for the men. Attached to each jar was a hand tag using that same Recollections punch from the invitations—and inside each jar was a personalized bookmark, with the name of the guest on top to help with the seating arrangement. These tags and bookmarks were just printed (same ream of paper from the invitations too!) and cut at home. The bookmarks were also punched at the bottom to match the invitations along with an eyelet (see above photo) to hold the twine tassel in place.

Harvard Photography rings and bookmark favor

These last paper products to show you were also just printed at home using normal stock paper that was the same cream color as the wedding cardstock.

The wedding programs: the lightweight printer paper made it easy to roll up and then tie off with some more twine.

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Harvard Photography

DIY wedding programs

These fun Mad Libs we created using a bunch of sayings we found online.

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Slideshow

And the last thing I helped Amie with was completing the slideshow for the wedding… it was created using iMovie and could not have been more easy! I had never used it before and was really relieved that it truly was as easy to use as my husband kept promising it would be! 🙂 One big tip: before placing music, make sure you have all your images and transitions set up because once you have to change those, then you have to go back in and tweak and every single song.

Harvard Photography

If I can give any advice to any of you soon to be MOH’s and bridesmaids, it would be to just be an ear and a helping hand to the bride. While that seems so obvious, it’s easier said than done.

Another piece of advice: if you think a project will take one evening to complete, double or triple that! 🙂

Many of the elements above are now for sale in my Etsy shop:

Address rubber stamp. You’re invited! rubber stamp. Invitation card. Rehearsal invite. Custom Lettering. Escort tags.

Save the Date rubber stamps as seen above are coming soon—see my other Save the Date rubber stamps in the meantime.

A Gift from the Bridesmaids and Maid/Matron of Honor, A Scrapbook of Letters for the Bride

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Another great gift idea for the bride to be is a scrapbook of letters from all her girlfriends, bridesmaids, and close family members.

See yesterday’s post on another gift for brides, a scrapbook of all the wedding events!

My friend Amie actually pinned this relatively early in the wedding planning process so I kept it in mind for later. About a month before the wedding I sent messages to about 20 people, from her close girlfriends to her family, including her brother and nephew. And then I saved the best for last with a letter from the groom.

A few days before the wedding I snapped a few photos of the pages that I had completed for some of the letters—hope you like them!

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If you’d like to make your friend a letter scrapbook as well, here’s a sample of the note I sent to everyone requesting for their participation:

I’m planning on making a scrapbook to give [the bride] at the rehearsal dinner filled with letters from the women closest in [bride]’s life! You can just give me a letter or you can actually make one page [size] for the bride. Your page can include anything you want – a picture, collage, poem, memories, song lyrics – anything that reminds you of your relationship with our girl! Let me know if you’d like to participate! Thanks!

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I really loved this album that I found at Michael’s. It’s slightly bigger than the Bridal Beauty scrapbook, sized at 8 1/2″ by 8 1/2.” Plus it came with stickers to decorate the front so we chose the phrase “Dear Amie.”

My favorite part of putting this book together was reading everyone’s letters and seeing just how much this bride-to-be was loved! Tears were shed by many of us throughout the process—making it a truly special gift for such a special time in her life.

Unique Gift Idea for the Bride: Bridal Beauty Scrapbook of all the Wedding Events, Bridal Showers and Parties

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Creating a scrapbook of all the bridal events for the year is a great keepsake and gift for a bride!

A couple years ago, I started up a scrapbook whirlwind by making 2 books for my girlfriends that were getting married in 2012. I started way too late into the year though and didn’t have nearly the arsenal of scrapbook tools that I do now! So for Amie’s book, from this past year’s wedding celebrations, ended up being triple layered in stickers and all sorts of embellishments! Plus I started it right away and did one page/event at a time—which allowed for my creative juices to really flow through each page.

So I just wanted to share a few of my favorite pages from these books and at the end of the post there are some tips if you find yourself making one for yourself or for a friend!

For another gift idea, see my post on a scrapbook of letters for the bride!

First up, Lauren’s scrapbook:

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This was my first ever scrapped page… I remember being so excited working on it with my mama at her kitchen table.

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I’m pretty sure we blew Instagram up on the day of their wedding! So we definitely needed to have a #wagonerwedding page—which also included a wood engraved sunflower from their wedding favors.

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My absolute favorite page in Lauren’s book was their wedding day page. I just love the pictures she chose—by All Aboard Studios.

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And here’s a few of my favorite pages from Brittany’s book:

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Their engagement party was Anchorman themed so we chose some of our favorite Anchorman quotes for the page.

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My mom and I had fun making the pages for our Fairy Weekend… that was such a great weekend! We included the fairy house, fabric from the sparkly purple tablecloth and a mini paper scroll to remember our moments reading our bride our favorite memories with her.

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I love the details on the shower page too… since we had a panty line and lavender sachets, the book had to have them too! More photos here.

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And just like Lauren’s, my favorite page in Britt’s book is of the wedding. It was such a beautiful day. They had moss covered table numbers so I found some green glittery numbers for the wedding date and also included a key from their favors! So much fun remembering the day through the details.

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And now a TON of photos from Amie’s… I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorites…

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Starting with page 1, I loved that I had found a bench sticker to remember where Matt had waited for his soon to be fiance!

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And we included lace from the mason jar decorations at the engagement party!

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Engagement photos below are from Harvard Photography.

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Bridal shower photos below are from J. Rose Photography.

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With the shower being as detailed as it was, I tried to incorporate as much as I could… from the cupcake topper to the paper flowers on the favor boxes.

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Photos below are by me! See more from our engagement session here.

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The bachelorette party was also filled with details! We saved a business card from our crazy scavenger hunt in Pacific Beach along with some kisses from “Pin the Kiss on the Groom” game. And of course a giant ring sticker to remember our light up rings when we went out dancing—just wish I could find a pink ring for the book!

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Hashtag: #pankratzwedding! I loved having an Instagram themed page in Lauren’s book so we had to have one here too! And I love my new banner punch I got in my stocking at Christmas! I was really excited to use it in the book!

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And then the wedding… Amie had a very hard time narrowing down photos and since I knew my scrapbooking adventure was coming to a close, we decided just to include the whole wedding! See more photos of the glorious day here.

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This is one of my favorite pages! It was such a sweet moment!

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There were just a few name card tags leftover from the wedding… it made a great touch for the reception page.

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And with one odd page left, we ended the book with a page remembering their honeymoon in Zion.

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And now a few tips on making your own Bridal Beauty Scrapbook!

  • It helped that I took the majority of the photos with my camera so I had access to all the high quality images right away.
  • During the event remember to grab an item or 2 to use in the books: business cards, tissue paper, etc.
  • Remember the details that aren’t photographed and use as details in the book. For example, during the bride’s family portraits, a butterfly landed amid the girls’ bouquets so I made sure to get some butterfly stickers. Also, the bouquets were made with purple hydrangeas so I made sure to get those stickers for the wedding pages too.
  • Have the bride pick out the photos. I loved asking the brides to pick their photos because they chose totally different pictures than I would have—it makes the book that much more special because its their favorite memories of the events.
  • To save money, try to get sticker packs that will last through several different events so you aren’t buying a set of embellishments for just one single page. I have a pretty solid aesthetic across all the pages so it was easy to mix and match sets of stickers and paper.
  • Another money saving tip… I waited until the big paper pads went on sale at Michael’s so I got Buy 1, Get 1 Free! And to make them last, I bought one in warm tones and one in cool colors that would look good together to get a good variety but also keep a cohesive look.

A few more notes about the books… all of them are 8×8, a perfect size for a coffee table book. Brittany’s was bought at Michael’s while Lauren’s and Amie’s were bought at Hobby Lobby. All photos were printed at Sam’s Club.

Are you a scrapbooker? I just love it! Please share your tips below!

P.S. Dear Mom, I can’t say I’m sorry enough that I made fun of you for years for all the money and time spent on scrapbooking as I am growing closer and closer to having quite the paper crafting hoard myself. Please accept my apology. xoxo

Another Year of Babies, Brides, and BBQ (November & December)

Good morning 2014! And with the close of 2013, here is my last Babies, Brides, and BBQ post! It’s been a fun 2 years documenting all my new little loves that have been born, following the love of brides to be’s, and of course the craziness that is this BBQ world we have found ourselves deep within. Hope you’re enjoying this first day of this brand new year!

Babies!

My little baby section is just growing and growing and growing!!

Jameson

In celebration of this little guy turning 2 yesterday, we went out for some frozen yogurt just like we did 2 years ago the night before Courtney went into labor. This little guy has the sweetest voice, and is so incredibly smart from knowing his letters to his shapes, even including the crescent moon. 🙂 Thank you Mama Coco and Little Jmo for a night out of blueberry topped fro-yo and the showing off all your new 2 year old tricks!

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Owen

Well this darling boy now says “Andy” and “Sam” among many more words in his ever widening vocabulary. And he still has us wrapped around his slightly less chubby fingers as well… and surprisngly Andy is even more wrapped than I am! They are just the cutest little pals! Andy and I have been cracking up over Owen’s new “cheeeeese” face! So I just thought I’d share it with you all here! It’s too funny how distorted kids faces get when they say “cheese!”

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Grayson

Oh this little boy… I do not get to see this little little guy often enough but I happily watch him daily through his mama’s eyes, whether its through Instagram or her blog. Thankfully I got to spend a few precious moments with him in these last couple months at Girls Night and seeing the Mission Inn lights.

P.S. You can tell more in the right side photo that I am definitely forcing him to pose for a picture with his Auntie Sammi… but I don’t even care. 🙂

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Parker

I can not even tell you how happy I am that this family bought Disneyland passes in November. It only took one night of constantly bugging Shane to convince them that it was definitely the right decision! 🙂 I see quite a few more visits in the near future too. This is one tired Parker after their very full day at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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Chara

Next week I’m posting more of the adorable Rice family, but for today let me introduce to you all, Miss Chara. She’s an adorable little munchkin who was fighting a cold that day with her sweet smiles. I can’t wait to share more photos next week, it was such a perfect day for Christmas photos.

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Amelia

Disneyland is “one of my favorite things” without a doubt, but going with sweet little babes and kiddos multiples that joy by infinity. Since Amelia’s mama is my Disneyland buddy, I was just that much more excited to finally go with her… here’s a photo from our first ride together: It’s A Small World. I was just a *little* excited. 🙂

But of course since Miss Mia was a little entranced by the wonders of It’s A Small World, you must check out her 6 month photos I posted last week. She is just all smiles and giggles.

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Molly

Little Miss Molly is just one of the happiest little babes I’ve ever met… but of course my photos today are of sleeping Molly. I must apologize on her behalf, because her smile just lights up her whole face… and I must encourage you to check out her beyond adorable 3 months photos her Auntie Jess took a few weeks ago. Go look, you know you want to. 🙂

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Brides

Amie

Well this Bride had her wedding last month… After almost a full year of planning, crafting, and celebrating the day came and went! If you want to see more gorgeous photos of this beautiful bride and the amazingness that was that day, click here for the full wedding post.

Harvard Photography

BBQ

I have been such a slacker when it comes to all these recent BBQ competitions… in fact, I only made it to this past weekend’s competition and only for awards, and only on the first day. Bad BBQ wife right here… 🙁

But even without me there, the boys have been doing amazing!

Last month they were invited to compete at the World Food Championship where they were placed among the top 10 in BBQ which allowed them to go forward in the semi finals. So keep and eye and ear out for the A&E special on the WFC, which will have one entire episode devoted to the BBQ portion of the event. Andy wrote more about his time there, here.

Aaaaand, they took part in a commercial for a major American corporation that we are hoping will air during the Super Bowl… I’m not totally sure on all the legalities of that so I will post more when I can. 🙂

And one last note, in case you are reading this solely because you found this post because of the BBQ section, and you want to learn more about the art of barbequing, you can email pro@greenmountaingrills.com and my hubby will come to your aid, offering as much help as you may need!

With all their success this past year, I am really excited to see what’s to come in this new year!

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Follow past and upcoming Babies, Brides and BBQ here!

The Pankratz Wedding: A Purple DIY Shabby Chic Fall Wedding

After a year of planning, my best friend’s wedding has come and gone. And while that may sound bittersweet, in place of wedding planning, they now are building their married lives together. It truly is the best end to the year, and a whole new beginning to something even sweeter.

All that to say, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to blog here before! And to share these photos from Harvard Photography, with a couple of my own photos thrown in there too.

This was definitely a DIY, do it yourself, craft-centric wedding… and don’t you worry, plenty of links will follow.

As the Matron of Honor, I got the chance to be there all along the way… with dress shopping, crafting, and shower planning. But even better, I got to design the save the dates, invitations, and so much more of the day of paperie and decor. From the chalkboards to the escort cards, I got to hand letter them all. It really was a joy to get to be so involved and that is another big reason why I am so excited to share all these photos with you!

Enough blabbing from me, here are a few words from our lovely bride…

It is so hard to believe that the wedding has come and gone! Over the past year, countless nights were spent crafting and planning to create the perfect decorations, stationery and timeline for what turned out be the wedding of my dreams. We were so blessed by everyone who made our special day a reality — Matt and I had a perfect day shared with the ones we love the most!!  Anyhow, enough of the mushy stuff, lets get to the good stuff…pictures!

As most of you know, my Matron of Honor, Sam is a very talented graphic designer, and as of late she has been exploring the world of photography! Before the wedding photographer arrived, she graciously took these amazing getting ready photo’s of me and my bridal party!

My normal hair dresser, the lovely Tessa Ellis from Runaway Bridal, was our AMAZING hair stylist for the day of the wedding. She works side by side with the equally talented make-up artist, Amy Grieser to give both me and my girls the exact look I envisioned.

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Our lovely invitations were designed by the one and only, Sam Allen! Not only are they beautiful, but each piece holds a special memory of the late nights we spent creating them. Special thanks to my bridesmaids for helping us put them together! (photo supplied by Sam Allen)

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The dress..let’s just say I am still SO in love with it! I absolutely love pearls and lace, so when I saw this dress at David’s Bridal I just knew it was the one for me.

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I bought two very different garters from different shops on Etsy. The first, a beautiful shabby chic lace garter with pearls and stones from Petal n Pearl Boutique. The second garter was a little surprise for my husband to be. Matt is the biggest Indianapolis Colt’s fan and a while back I came across a cute little shop that sold NFL team garters and I knew it would be a sweet little surprise.

Harvard Photography

Our niece was quite the character all day — she wanted to be in the middle of everything! The previous picture captures that just about perfectly.

Harvard Photography

After shopping for veils at various bridal shops, I decided that making my own was the way to go — and if you’re wondering, it was pretty easy! One evening I enlisted one of my wonderful bridesmaids, Vanessa and Loretta (Matt’s second Mom) to help me. We were able to find the appliques and trim at a local fabric store as well as the basic plain veil. And get this, all we used was hot glue! No sewing was required! I am so happy with the way it turned out — simple yet elegant.

Harvard Photography

My Papa passed away almost seven years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him just a little bit more. He was so special to me and I couldn’t imagine my wedding day without him. When I found this locket I knew it would be perfect for his sweet picture to walk with me down the aisle.

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Sam here, I can’t help but interject every now and then… I was so thankful the photographers allowed me to grab my camera for a few shots too! So while the main photographer was taking this angle…

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I was able to take these of the bride… Isn’t she gorgeous!!?

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Kim Ryan from Tulips, Trophies and Treasures is amazing! She truly took my vision and made it a reality. From my first meeting with her, all I knew was that I wanted hydrangeas in my bouquet and books in the centerpieces.  From the few sample photo’s I shared with her, she included those and so much more!

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My Grandma and Mom are two of the strongest people I know. These hands have made me who I am and I am so grateful for their strong presence in my life.

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While us girls were having a wonderful start to the day, the guys were doing their thing…

How cute are these boys?! I love the friendship that my husband and his Best Man share.

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Matt loves his Van’s! They are seriously the only shoes he will wear. So it only seemed fitting that they were the shoe of choice for his big day.

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And then it was time for the First Look…

Your Favorite Moment of the Day

Amie: For me, the best part of the day was walking up to Matt and seeing him for the first time. There are no words to describe just how excited I was to see this man! I love him with my whole heart and more (if that’s even possible)! I was so overcome with emotion and I couldn’t wait to feel the warmth of his embrace (For those of you who don’t know, this guy gives the best hugs EVER). We had waited so long for this moment and it was finally here!

Matt: Standing in front of our family and friends saying I Do to the love of my life.

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From the beginning of our relationship, Matt and I have always pinky promised over the big and even the silly small. This may be one of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. 

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Now that we got the bulk of our emotions out during the first look, it was time for the ceremony!

One of the most important things to Matt and I when shopping for a wedding venue was the privacy of the location. It was very important that the venue was secluded and intimate — especially the ceremony site.  We envisioned our wedding to be a special moment shared with the ones we love most with no outside distractions. Secluded Garden Estate definitely fulfilled that desire completely.

From early on in our planning stages, I knew we wanted to decorate with a lot of wooden signs throughout the venue, from telling guests where to park, where the reception was, to the sign my nephew held as the “ring bearer”  and with only a few days to go, the best Matron of Honor was at my service once again to hand paint each and every one!

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Our typewriter held a welcome letter to our guests… it was given to us by Matt’s mom, originally it belonged to her father in law’s family back in the day!

I LOVE old books and this unique sign in book designed by Morgann Hill Designs definitely fit out theme well! You can check out her shop on Etsy here!

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My Grandpa’s chair was reserved in his honor by his favorite hat.

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I love the emotion captured in my mom’s face in this picture as my brother walks her down the aisle to start the ceremony…she is beautiful!

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Music Choices

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning was selecting the music for our ceremony and key reception events! Finally Matt and I agreed on the most important songs, and let our DJ decide on the rest.

 For our bridal party processional we went with “It’s a Good Morning Beautiful Day” by Keith Urban. For the first three months of our relationship, Matt re-wrote the lyrics to this song and texted them to me every morning!

For my processional I choose “You Had Me From Hello” by Kenny Chesney and our recessional was “Overwhelmed” by Tim McMorris.

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Here is a little wedding day story that holds a special place in my heart: I was overcome with emotion as our bridal party lined up for the wedding ceremony. I seriously could not stop crying happy tears (which is not like me — I’m normally not that big of a cryer). As I stood with my dad, watching our bridal party proceed down to our ceremony site I balled, the ugly cry. I was just so excited to marry the man of my dreams. Anyhow, moments before we were to walk down the stairs (and I was still balling) my dad told me to look down and he said, “You know, your Grandpa is up there laughing at you right now.” After a few seconds I got it together and my dad told me that the two of them were ready to walk me down the aisle. I miss papa so much but I was so blessed to have him as I made the walk to marry the love of my life. I definitely took a mental picture at that moment and I will cherish that moment the rest of my life.

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Our ceremony was the most perfect part of the day. I loved every moment of it and not to mention it was just beautiful!

Another aspect that Amie loved about Secluded Garden Estate from Day 1 was not only that the ceremony site was located on the foundation of an old green house, but that the original window panes are displayed, hanging from the wooden framing. Plus Kim, the florist, added her special touches by wrapping the posts in burlap and adding a chandelier.

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After the ceremony, the bride and groom were able to steal away for some more photos at the ceremony site… along with some fun formals with family and friends.

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Then Amie and Matt made their way over to the reception site for their grand entrance as Mr. and Mrs… as husband and wife.

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Matt is definitely an outdoorsy type person. As our relationship has grown, I have become a lot more open to the whole wilderness thing and I’ve truly come to enjoy the outdoors a whole lot more.  Our reception site felt like it was in the middle of wilderness and we just loved that! 

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One of the things I truly loved about our wedding was the handmade look everything had. From the tea stained escort cards, made by Primitive Blessings, to the hand written chalk boards and signs.

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Matt and I are big history nerds — especially when it comes to United States History! Although all these books are not US history related, they are all pretty old and we thought that it would be a fun way to tie our love of history into our wedding day. And then our florist engraved the table numbers.

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Our signature cocktail was a mix of lemonade, vodka and iced tea… perfect for a BBQ dinner.

Each guest got to take home a mason jar, ladies got the redneck wine glasses, complete with a bookmark and wedding tattoo.

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Our cake from Cakes to Celebrate was absolutely delicious! Each layer was a different flavor ranging from red velvet to dark chocolate cake filled with coconut pecan filling. I seriously can not wait for our first anniversary to dive in to this cake again!

Our cake topper was also designed by Morgann Hill and they can be found in her Etsy shop.

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This was by far one of my favorite craft projects made for the wedding! It definitely was a joint effort made by my Husband, Sam and I.  You can find the DIY link here.

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Sam’s husband, Andy runs a BBQ competition team and he so graciously cooked for us and all of our guests! If you ever have the chance, check out Rooftop BBQ at one of their competitions! You won’t be sorry….

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Matt’s favorite band is AC/DC and he was adamant that we make our grand entrance to “Thunderstruck.” Because I got to choose most of the other music I went along with it and boy am I glad I did! It was the perfect song!

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Since Matt and I love games, while we were taking our formal pictures, we had the guests fill out a Mad Lib card…

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Although you can’t tell from these pictures, Matt has quite a few tattoos! And so just for fun we decided to make temporary tattoos with our wedding date and a pair of love birds for all our guests! (photo provided by Dave Anderson, Sam’s dad)

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Matt’s Best Man, Jim, gave the one of the sweetest, emotion filled speeches I’ve ever heard…not what we were expecting from such a funny guy!

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Matt and I surprised each member of our bridal by using their baby picture as their place card. We also did a little tribute to them at the end of our slideshow with these pictures!

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Music Choices for the Reception Dances

Matt and I danced to Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban for our first dance. Mr. Urban seriously writes some of the best love songs.

I had my dad select the song for our first dance and he decided to go with Wildflowers by Tom Petty (One of my dad and my favorite bands)!

Matt’s right arm tattoo sleeve is based off of the song Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is seriously such a sweet song about what a mom taught his son…it was perfect!

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Matt’s niece and my nephew are seriously the perfect pair! These two were such party animals all night and they seriously danced the night away!

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Advice to Future Brides

My biggest advice is really to be organized and to do a first look! I am so happy will all the pictures we got and that wouldn’t have been possible with the short amount of time in between the ceremony and reception.

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Vendor Links

Location: Secluded Garden Estate

Photographer: Harvard Photography

Videographer: Boffo Video

Florist: Tulips, Trophies, and Treasures

Stationery Designer and Letterer: Matron of Honor, Sam Allen Creates

Caterer: Rooftop Barbeque

Cake: Cakes to Celebrate

Cake topper: Morgann Hill Designs (bragging bags)

DJ: Good Time Entertainment (Mike)

Makeup and Hair: Runway Bridal

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: purchased at Mary Me Bridal by the Dessy group

Veil: handmade by bride and family

Garters: PetalnPearlBoutique

Dress hanger: Creations by Tilly

Guest book: Morgann Hill Designs (bragging bags)

And one final note…. Thank you Matt and Amie for allowing me to have such a special part in your big day. I am so honored and will never forget these moments that we have been blessed with to share. I love you both so much and couldn’t be happier for you as you start your happily ever after…

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Photo A Day, November—Week 1

And the big day came and went… I can’t believe it’s already been a whole week! My week has been pretty busy, work is picking up with lightning speed with no break in sight! Which is good! I love these weeks where there is a balance of friends and work… How’s your week been?

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1/fruit, 2/I did this today, 3/P is for…, 4/table, 5/I collect…, 6/music, 7/yes!

Join me and follow Fat Mum Slim’s blog for the Photo A Day prompts, join us for the month of November!

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A Pankratz Wedding: Matt and Amie’s Engagement Pictures in Orange Circle

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Amie’s first set of engagement photos with her wedding photographer had come out so good that I was extremely nervous in the weeks leading up to our shoot.

But I still had hoped to capture Amie and Matt as they are in the day to day, because even if you only spend a moment with them you can truly see the love they have for each other.

I had to take a break from editing these photos last month as I was inspired to write my Matron of Honor speech… I just had to talk about Amie’s “crinkle nose smile,” as its a smile I have loved for many years now but I have never seen her smile more than when she is with Matt. They truly are the sweetest couple.

Anyway, back to our photo shoot… not long after Amie met Matt, she bought a beach cruiser and biking down to the beach became a weekly activity for them and their friends so for years (literally) we have talked about taking their photos on bikes…

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I was pretty honored that Amie got this next photo printed HUGE (22×28 inches!!) to display at their wedding, definitely the biggest I’ve ever seen one of my photos printed.

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After we put the bikes away, we moved on deeper into Orange Circle—toward the fountain that Matt proposed in front of way back in December. But of course we had to take a pitstop at these stairs as the teal and red color scheme matches their kitchen to perfection!

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Standing in the exact spot where he proposed… so sweet…

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And now these two are Mr. and Mrs… oh man I can not wait to share [more] wedding photos! It was breathtakingly beautiful, from the bride to the decor, everything was just magical!