Monday, December 19, 2011

Wedding Planning: This & That

Before, I post any wedding weekend pictures, I wanted to share a little more of our planning and inspiration. I've blogged about the suits and dresses from J. Crew that we had to have, but here is how it all started to come together (and it includes a sketch of my dress)!

A few more details:

Nate and I hired Ellie from Hello Tenfold to custom design our invites. This is the image from her website; we actually went with a blush colored liner in the same pattern as the above. Our goal was to keep the invitation a combination of rustic, romantic and slightly modern. With a destination wedding, we had so much extra information to capture and Ellie did a great job of fitting EVERYTHING onto the RSVP.

The hardest part about planning a destination wedding, is not the wedding itself ... it's planning all of the events leading up to the big day. With guests flying in from all over we found ourselves planning a Welcome Event in addition to the Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding.

However, the biggest undertaking was a bunch of Wine Tours Nate & I put together for our guests to experience Napa Valley. In addition to setting all of the appointments and coordinating transportation, Nate and I created the above website where guests could chose and sign-up for the tour of their choice. We had 5 different tours on a Saturday during Harvest and were able to lock down the best wineries for our guests ... hence my disappearance from the blogosphere!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers, Hostess Gifts & Pretty Things Under $50

Last year, I had so much fun making holiday gift guides, I decided they should make a come back at An Urban Cottage. I've spent the past week scouring the internet, to find beautiful things for the gift guide. Here are some of the things I'm loving these days ... bring on the fur, texture, color, unique objects, feather and other things that make a girl smile.

1. Fabulous feather earrings from Anthropologie ($38) 2. A West Elm throw offered in tons of fun colors ($19) 3. Pretty Maps by Aaron Staup Cope on 20x200 ($20+)  4. Festive champagne coupe found at Anthropologie ($18) 5. Amazing and unique horn vase from Jayson Home & Garden ($48);G 6. Rifle Paper Co's whimsical and frame worthy calendar ($20) 7. A faux fur neckwarmer found at Anne Taylor Loft ($25) 8. West Elm's frosted foil pillow ($29) 9. My favorite coaster set from Rifle Paper Co. ($18) 10. Yummy recipe cards also from Rifle Paper Co ($12). 11. Lucky wishbone keychain from Jayson Home & Garden ($22) 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wedding Planning Flashback

Remember last Spring, when I sprung on everyone that we'd be moving our wedding from Chicago to Napa? Well surprise, Nate and I had never been to Napa before! Our spontaneous selves kept nothing but ...
  • The dress
  • The bridal party
  • The photographer, Tim Tab
Other than that, everything else changed and we decided a trip to Napa was in order. Prior to our trip, we booked the Calistoga Ranch for our reception and the Westin Verasa for our Wedding Block and Rehearsal Dinner ... sites unseen. We packed our bags California bound, and hoped our decisions paid off ...
First stop was Dim Sum in San Francisco prior to the drive up to Napa ...
 Quick meeting with a San Francisco baker, then right off to Cakebread Cellars 

A night of gultiny started at the Hog Island Oyster Bar, then barbeque at Bounty Hunter and ended at Pizza Azzuro.

Woke up to this cute breakfast basket and then headed to check out the Westin Verasa...

Off to more important things ... wine tastings at Frog's Leap and Signorello.

A fabulous dinner at Bottega ... that Michael Chiarello can make some amazing pasta!

 More wine at Duckhorn {where we joined the club!} and champagne at Mumm ...

 Last, but certainly not least, a menu tasting at the Calistoga Ranch that got me SO excited for our wedding night!

 And that rounds out our weekend of eating and drinking in Wine Country. I came home with some tight pants and the realization that we 100% made the right decision to move our wedding out to West!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cheers to a Great Weekend!

Sorry for the mini-break in posting last week. You see, Thursday was my birthday and I continued the celebration throughout the weekend. Thursday night, Nate and I grabbed some apps and cocktails prior to him packing his bags for a flight to Miami. While Nate was gone at residency interviews, I caught up on some girl time!

On Friday, my sister Regan and I grabbed some sushi and cocktails at Kamehachi. Yum, they had the most amazing drink made from Cava, Gin, Honey and Cucumber. So amazing ... I see some mixology happening in my near future.

After a sleep over, Regan helped me to move some furniture around, bringing the below Expedit bookshelf from my bedroom to the living room.

{arranged it with China, treasures from Thailand, books and our espresso machine}

And finally, Saturday night I ventured to The Pump Room with some of my best girls. The drinks were delicious. The decor even better. And the company was the best.

If you go there, head straight to the Library, plop down on an amazing, over sized fur chair and order the Pump Room Pisco. You won't be disappointed. What makes the Pump Room even better is that the old bar was known as my mother's "old stomping ground". Like mother, Like daughter!
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