Kaitlin & Aubrey | Braehead Manor Wedding

So remember Hurricane Florence? And how it came to Virginia like a crazy, and made weddings all over the state and east coast just awful with it’s wrath?! Well, you wouldn’t even be able to tell with these incredible photos.

With all of the bad forecasts and weather leading up to Kaitlin and Aubrey’s wedding, they surprisingly had a beautiful in its own way day and the photos are just spectacular. In my {humble} opinion, the grey sky actually just accents the moody, bold colors of their wedding. Those deep greens, reds and navy’s match that cool grey sky, probably almost better than a bright blue sunny sky would have.

Kaitlin and Aubrey are so awesome. I just love them together. They are so much fun, such goofballs and they always make me laugh. I had so much fun working with Kaitlin on these invitations, especially when it meant doing a watercolor of my favorite venue. The wedding is at my favorite spot, Braehead Manor, and Kelsey Rae Photography totally killed it!

Enjoy!

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Photography | Kelsey Rae Photography

Dress | Ava Laurenne Bride

Stationery | Twila & Co.

Makeup | Kaley Pleban

Hair | Alia Sirch

Catering | Pifer Bros BBQ 

Flowers | Kelsey Manuel 

Venue | Braehead Manor

Band | Cabin Creek

Wedding Rings | Aubrey’s - Ulmans, Kaitlin - Elaine B Jewelry

Dessert | Sugar Shack Donuts 

Halloween Styled Shoots

My obsession with scary movies and haunted things came when I was little. Starting with reading Goosebumps books and watching the VHS’s with my brother growing up, to spending summers picking out old school horror films at the video store to watch with my siblings, to now watching pretty much anything scary I can get my hands on…when Joey’s not around hahaha.

So last year, when I was asked to be a part of a styled shoot that was very out of the ordinary and also involved one of my favorite things, I obviously couldn’t say no. However, the photos came out a little too late to post last year so I’ve had to wait a whole year to share them with you! And I’m SO STOKED.

This styled shoot came to life by Christina Moore and they are masterminds. I honestly had no idea that the photos were gonna be so elegantly haunting, if that’s even a thing. I just love how different these are, how representative they are of each cult classic, and how beautiful they turned out.

A huge thanks to the team for bringing me into this shoot and to everyone involved and encouraging me to do something different. From the Poltergeist label invitation on a VHS to the deckled and ripped edges for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I love seeing it all come together.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre

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Poltergeist

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Exorcist

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VENDORS

Photographer |  Bakerture Photography and Video 

Planning, Design, and Concept | Christina Moore of Bella Giornata Events & Design

Paper Goods | Twila & Co.

Florals |  Blushing Blooms Event Florist

Furniture |  The Silver Stagg Revival House 

Antique Props |  Medusa’s Attic

Bridal Gown |  Ava Laurenne Bride

Laura & Richard | Fredericksburg Wedding

Ya'll, this love story is one for the books, let me tell you. 

Let's start back at the beginning. I've known the Erwin family since I could barely walk. Our families grew up living in the same neighborhood, and when we started school, we all went to the local catholic school of Montfort Academy. Which is where the Moran family went too. We all grew up going to Montfort, until it closed down and Holy Cross Academy opened in its place. 

It was a well known fact that Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Erwin were BFFs. They were awesome and so much fun to have around as room moms, neighbors and role models. So many of my childhood memories involved these families. 

Unfortunately, Holy Cross Academy only goes until eight grade, so for high school we went our separate ways. And as most do at that age and forward, we made new friends; we had life experiences; we moved in different directions with our lives. But timing is certainly everything, and God has a funny way of revealing his plans.

With Facebook and living in Fredericksburg, I've been able to keep up with everyone. So when I first saw some photos of Richard and Laura emerge last year after all of these years later, I couldn't help but giggle a little bit with Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Erwin in mind. I mean, isn't it all of our dreams that we have kids around the same time as our friends, our kids grow up with our best friend's kids, and then they fall in love and get married?! Not to mention, reconnecting with a childhood friend years later only to find a spark?!

I kept watching photo after photo pop up on social media, and kept smiling and hoping that this was really something...and sure enough, it was. And here we are a year later and they're married! 

When Laura emailed me about doing her wedding invitations, I was ecstatic! And when we got to sit down and meet to chat about her vision, I was just so excited to be a small part of their beautiful and special day. She was interested in watercolor florals with a lot of soft pinks, so I was able to practice some of my floral skills and was so happy with how they turned out. The suite turned out so elegant and clean; and for florals, definitely on the simple side, which I love.

The gorgeous photos below are by Carley Rehberg Photography and they capture the day so well! I just love the contrast of that light pink and grey against the beautiful evergreen. And those ring shots!

So, Laura, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day! I am beyond happy for you and Richard and wish ya'll the absolute best! 

VENDORS

Photographer  |  Carley Rehberg Photography

Ceremony Venue  |  Saint Mary's Catholic Church

Reception Venue  |  Stevenson Ridge

Invitations & Watercolor Map  |  Twila & Co.

Dress  |  Ava Laurenne Bride

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My Fredericksburg Bachelorette Party

I bet you're totally surprised that I had my Bachelorette party in Fredericksburg, right?!

Honestly, I just couldn't think of a better place to have it. I LOVE Fredericksburg and I wanted the chance to show it off a little to all of my out of town friends. And between the amazing food, things to do and history, it definitely did not disappoint!

Thank Yous

Before I get into what we did, I just wanted to take a second to thank you. First, I want to thank my amazing sister and best friend Jeri for all of the planning and organizing she helped with, as well as two of my bridesmaids, Courtney & Whitney for their help as well. Without their help, this weekend would not have been so smooth and fun. I had a vision and they all made it happen! 

Second, I want to thank everyone who came out this weekend to celebrate with me. I continue to walk away from these wedding-related events just realizing how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. I had friends from High School, College, my Sorority, work, Fredericksburg, and even friends I knew in Elementary School that came. I am still riding the high of this weekend and how many people came to celebrate and have fun! It was everything I could have wanted and more and I only wish it hadn't gone by so quickly! So thank you to every person who was there this weekend; you made my weekend so incredibly special!

And last, but most certainly not least, thank you to the small businesses that made this weekend so incredible (I'll be talking about them later in the post!). Every business we used this weekend was a local biz that is special to Fredericksburg and it made me so happy to be able to give back a little bit to my community by having my Bachelorette here. And they did an incredible job taking care of us and made me look really good in front of my friends! hahaha

What We Did

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For the entire weekend, we rented out Braehead Manor, which is about 10 minutes from downtown. Mary, the innkeeper and one of my good friends, did the most incredible job all weekend. She had everything set up for us, was the best host and everyone felt right at home! I had a large group of over 15, so it was really nice to be able to all stay in one place together. It makes it much more fun! 

Friday we had a spa day at Skin Touch Therapy + Spa, which was incredibly relaxing. They did an amazing job scheduling 10 girls manis, pedis and massages flawlessly and everyone left feeling relaxed and ready for the weekend. They did such a good job that we finished right on time and were able to swing by everyone's favorite shop, Monkee's

 Kybecca Wine Bar

Kybecca Wine Bar

That evening, we scheduled a two course dinner with wine pairings at Kybecca Wine Bar.  Because we had 15+ ladies, we were able to reserve their wine cellar downstairs, which gave us some privacy. The food was delicious, the wine was perfect and we had a really enjoyable dinner that wasn't rushed or busy so we could enjoy each others company. And after dinner, we just had a pajama party at the manor with champagne and popsicles in wine glasses that I decorated.

 Ready for the wine tour!

Ready for the wine tour!

Saturday was a Wine Trolley Tour with the Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg! We didn't actually get to ride in a trolley, but we had a really nice bus that took us from place to place. Because of the large group, we only did three wineries. We started at Wilderness Run Vineyards, then stopped at Harvest Market to pick up some snacks, then to Lake Anna Winery and then a final stop at Mattaponi Winery.  It was the perfect afternoon and I had so much fun surrounded by some of my favorite people!

 Bride's Babes

Bride's Babes

And of course, we had matching T-shirts with the Fredericksburg Skyline. What else did you expect? I had 'Bride's Babes' on all of my friends shirts in the mint green; my shirt said 'Bride to Be;' my sister and maid of honor's said 'Babe of Honor;' my moms said 'She got it from her mama;' and Mrs. Pleban's said 'the O.G. Mrs. Pleban.' They were so much fun and I definitely have to make a point to get better photos taken of them because they are so stinkin' cute. 

By the time we got back to the Manor, the pizza was delivered for dinner and everyone ate and had free time to nap, relax or (as requested by some of my friends) visit the Popcorn Bag. It was just the recovery we needed before a night out on the town. 

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If you've ever seen The Wedding Date with Debra Messing & Dermot Mulroney, you'll understand my bar crawl theme...which was golf and you have to order a different drink at each bar. It was so cute in the movie, and even more fun in real life because we got to wear skorts, tennis shoes, and sports bras, making it cute and comfy to  be out on the dance floor all night. We started at Sky Bar, which is the new rooftop bar above Castiglia's, then moved to Jay's Sports Bar, then to the Bourbon Room for some dancing and finished up at Capital Ale House for some french fries before heading home...although a few girls went back to the Bourbon Room for a little more dancing. 

My biggest planning tip

Planning ahead and including all pricing for EVERYTHING. When I sent out the cost for the weekend to my friends, I included the hotel/manor (which included breakfast both days), the dinner at Kybecca (a preset menu & wine pairing including gluten free and vegetarian options), the trolley tour with t-shirts, pizza for dinner on Saturday and snacks and wine at the manor all weekend, as well as spa treatments pending what people wanted. I paid everything the week before the bachelorette, so when showed up for all of the activities everything was completely paid for including tax and tip. No splitting checks, no adding tip or tax, nothing. The only additional fee was if you wanted to purchase wine on the tour or drinks out on Saturday night. It literally took so much stress out of the entire weekend and I highly recommend it. Plus, people are budgets and money can be tight! If you can plan ahead how much you'll be spending, it makes it so much easier to account for. 

BEST WEEKEND EVER

This past weekend was seriously everything I could have ever wanted in a bachelorette. I had the BEST time ever, and am mostly just sad it's over. I already wanna do it all over again! Thank you so so much to everyone involved and for making my weekend so incredibly special!

THE SET-UP

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friday night

 Most of the Gang for Friday Night Dinner

Most of the Gang for Friday Night Dinner

 Me & Brittany

Me & Brittany

 Me & Jael

Me & Jael

 The CNU Crew

The CNU Crew

 Whitney, a Bridesmaid, myself, Jeri, my maid of honor, and Courtney, A Bridesmaid

Whitney, a Bridesmaid, myself, Jeri, my maid of honor, and Courtney, A Bridesmaid

 Kaley, Joe's Sister and a Bridesmaid

Kaley, Joe's Sister and a Bridesmaid

 Phi Mus

Phi Mus

 My High School Besties

My High School Besties

 Of course we had to add an order of oysters because they are the BEST!

Of course we had to add an order of oysters because they are the BEST!

 Everyone after Dinner at Kybecca

Everyone after Dinner at Kybecca

 Popsicles & Champagne

Popsicles & Champagne

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Wine Trolley Tour

 Because who doesn't hang out in a beautiful porcelain tub with balloons?!

Because who doesn't hang out in a beautiful porcelain tub with balloons?!

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 Wilderness Run Winery

Wilderness Run Winery

 My Future Sister-In-Law, me and My sister/Maid of Honor!

My Future Sister-In-Law, me and My sister/Maid of Honor!

 Celebrating two engagements in our family!

Celebrating two engagements in our family!

 Hanging with Pierre at Lake Anna Winery

Hanging with Pierre at Lake Anna Winery

 My Mom & Mrs. Pleban

My Mom & Mrs. Pleban

Golf Themed Bar Crawl

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 My Work Wife and My Work Bestie

My Work Wife and My Work Bestie

 High School Friends!

High School Friends!

Dog Food Allergies & the Clean Label Project

Mr. Grohl is on today's blog! I continually see a lot of people whose pups are having a hard time with their food and allergies. And we've been through a lot food wise with this little guy. When we first got him, he had allergies and itched all the time, and unfortunately, it didn't stop there due to what I was feeding him. So today's blog I'm talking about what we did to figure out what he was allergic to, and how we battled further stomach problems.

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