Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding Day Lashes!

I haven't really talked about putting my look together for the BIG DAY besides my dress (of course), my shoes (so excited about) and my accessories (can't WAIT to wear them!). Well, we all know besides getting together exactly what you're going to wear on the day you walk down the isle to be married, it can be just as important to put together YOUR look.  What am I talking about you ask? Hair, make-up, your color, nails, eyebrows, and everything in between.  I could go on and on about what I do on a weekly basis to feel my best inside and out, but for today I'm just going to share with you something I came across a few weeks ago to help complete MY Wedding Day Look:


I know I have a mixed crowd of viewers: some are very familiar with this concept, and others have never heard of such a thing.  So, here's a rundown on what I'm talking about:

Make a little more sense? I hope so.  Like I said in the video, I have been a wearing false eyelashes since I was in middle school for dance performances, but have been wearing them on my own for fun ever since high school.  They can make a HUGE difference in photos, and really make your eyes stand out like they are 10 times the size they really are.  To you this might not matter much, but I have noticed a world of difference in photos where I have the perfect set of eyelashes to compliment my look.

SOLD YET?! If so, the next step would be finding YOUR perfect set of false eyelashes.

Everyone's eye shape is different and what may fit my eye perfectly may not fit another as perfectly.  It takes a lot of trial and error to see what exactly looks the best for what occasion, and my best piece of advice on how to find your perfect pair of lashes is to BUY and TRY!  You can find false eyelashes at almost any conveince store including your local CVS or Walgreens, or even at the bigger supermarkets like Target or Wal Mart.  Sometimes grocery stores have them in their beauty isle, but your best bet after convience stores is to go to a Beauty Supply store, such as ULTA, or Sally's Beauty Supply.  They have the widest variety and are known to have specials on certain brands and styles of lashes.  When I'm in the mood to switch things up, I always check out a Sally's to see what's on sale and what I should try out next.  And of course, all of the higher end of make-up brands sell their own false eyelashes as well.  If you want to go all out, my first reccommendation is always and will always be MAC.  I swear by ANY of their products - especially eye make up.  But, if you're like me, you just can't justify spending $15-$20 on a pair of lashes when they are available elsewhere for a fraction of the price.

You may also be interested in purchasing your set of lashes as part of a starter kit, like the one pictured below.  I would recommend purchasing the DUO glue separately that I was talking about in the video, but if you're just getting used to the idea of wearing falsies, something like this should work to start with:

Once you've found the pair you want to try, it's time to try those puppies out.  Here are some instructional videos I found on how to apply your own false eyelashes - and my biggest piece of advice here is to be patient.  It doesn't always come as an easy thing to do for everyone, so just keep at it and eventually it will become as easy as putting on mascara.

A few HOW TO videos to check out:

Here is a little bit of a different technique, including using a brush to help you actually push down the lash:

Seems pretty doable right?

I also mentioned in my video the new trend of Eyelash Extentions!  You know by now that I have not personally tried these out myself, but I know plenty who have and LOVE it.  The only issue I have with this is the amount of maintence it requires to upkeep.  In order to keep the lash extensions looking their best it requires fills, just like acrylic nails every 2-3 weeks.  But hey, if you have the time and the money to do so, by all means this would be the easiest way to go!

Here is the website where the girls I know go to get their lashes done:

And if you don't live in Orlando, simply google eyelash extensions followed by your city name, and there should be plenty of locations you can choose from to get a set of your own.  Who knows, maybe one day I will have both the time and money for the higher end of fake lashes...but for now, I'm sticking with what I know...the cheapies but goodies!

I hope this has proved somewhat informative to anyone who has thought about trying out false eyelashes before.  And if it wasn't?! I got to show you the exact pair I will be wearing on our BIG DAY!'s a win win for me! ;)

As always, let me know if you have any questions, and I'll be checking in with more tips and updates soon.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I can't believe it's already been almost 2 whole months since we found and now (officially) have adopted the newest member into the Hess family - our puppy...


OMG - isn't he the CUTEST! I just want to squish his face!!! ;)
 Like always, it's easiest to explain the lengthy tales through video, so here I am trying to explain most of it:

From our vet visit, we found out the following information:

  • Roadie is part rhodesian ridgeback, but obviously part something else - possibly a lab, boxer, or pit bull mix. He is about 45 pounds, so could get prettttty big!
  • He is just about a year old - perfect age for us!
  • He NEEDS a good home because we sadly found out he has some critical conditions that need to be treated immediately!
  • He is actually really good at vet visits! :)
Things that make me fall in love with him more every day:
  • He plays nicely with the cats, and doesn't have to be separated from them - YAY!
  • No matter how long we are gone from the house he is always SO excited to see us!
  • He's a great snuggler and wants to be loved on every chance he gets!
  • Mr. Hess LOVES him and they are very cute together.
And the list could go on and on, but I'll stop there.  I LOVE HIM!!! Did I say that yet?  So there's PUPDATE #2 for you.  I'll keep you all posted along the way about how his treatments for heartworm are going - it can be a pretty scary process.  But for now, I'll leave you will a collection of Roadie pics from the last month or so - ENJOY! :)

YUP - collar complete with nametag means hes OURS! :)

Mr. Hess is giving that "Really?" look to me as we get the total for his stuff!

Making his nametag!

Somebody doesn't like to be wet - but he's pretty tolerant of showers!

Our first vet visit - poor thing!
Roadie's positive heartworm test and vet bill for treatment - OUCH!
BUT....he's worth it, don't you think?!?!?

Here's some more photos of us on our walks - he also loves to run with me and we go alllll the way (about 2 miles total) around our block - he's a beast! 

Taking a break by the lake on our run...ahhhh!
And I'll leave you with one of my favorites!!!!!!

L.O.V.E. him!

Hope you enjoyed the PUPDATE!!!! I'm sure we'll have more to come on our crazy journey to all becoming part of the "Hess" family in less than 5 months! :)

146 days to go...

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011



Today is our 5 MONTH MARK, and boy does the time keep flying by! I know I am going to say this each month, but REALLY....the time seems to go by faster and faster!  Since today hits another reality check in my brain that we really are getting married, I wanted to share a few updates by video.  I normally do a Monthly Focus video at the beginning of the month, but in lieu of doing 2 similar videos pretty close to one another (booooring), I combined the March focus video AND the 5 month update into one video update!  You can thank me later for not wasting your time.... ;)

I'm sure you've gotten the basic ideas of what's been going on in the last month and what we're hoping to get done in the crazy month ahead!  The challenge for Mr. Hess and I will definitely be staying productive even though we will be traveling a lot of the month!  YOU HERE THAT MR. HESS?! No excuses! :) But regardless of what we DO or DON'T get done, I'm getting to the point of truly enjoying this entire process! We've gotten a lot of the headaches out of the way and I'm SOOOOO excited to do some of the TO-DOs for next month, especially register for our wedding gifts and pick out our wedding's almost like getting the best double birthday present(s) ever!

And as far as the wedding dress hanger goes, I posted an entire blog post about that - and I'm SO happy it's finally here!!!! :) I got it from (my favorite handmade accessory website), and to read alllll about it, here's the link to that post:

As I mentioned in the video, I hired a company called Weddings in the City to help the day of our wedding day run as smooth as possible.  WITC is well known in Orlando and know exactly how to help you organize how you're going to get everything done for your big day!  My friend Britt had Ashlie Shea as her wedding coordinator, and after I met her and went through Britt's wedding day with her I knew I didn't need to look any further...this coordinator really knows what she's doing!

Here is the time line information I was talking about in the video:

The company is centered around "the city" and the packages go off of characters from the TV Show Sex and the City - which is one of my favorites!  Mr. Hess and I decided to go with the day of coordination package, or the Miranda, so we could be as involved as possible in everything to do with planning (DUH!, lol).  I knew hiring a coordinator for the day of was an absolute MUST, just to have a piece of mind that everything WILL be done and will run perfectly...and if something is missing or doesn't turn out exactly as planned, I'm confident she will do her absolute best to fix it and I probably won't even know about it! :)

For more information about WITC, check out their website:

By now you know I am trying to be as organized as possible.  Well, what can I say? I'm a planner, and now I've turned into a planner and a blogger.  After the feedback I've gotten so far from sharing all of our experiences with you, you will no doubt see plenty of posts to come, as well as different blogs from me throughout the alllllll important milestones of our lives! I already have one HUGE topic to go off on after the wedding is over, and no it's not babies...yet.

Hope you enjoyed the updates, CAN'T BELIEVE we're now under the 6 month mark!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding Notebook Makeover!

Okay, so every bride has the essentials to get her through her wedding planning - bridal magazines, bridesmaids, parents, bridal shows, days at the spa, and of course her groom right?  Well, I am very fortunate to have all of those things help me through this process, but there is one thing I can think of that has been the MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep me sane so far, and that is my...


Or, my WEDDING BIBLE as I like to call her.  I debuted it before during the November Wedding Update Video, but when we started meeting with our invitations lady, caterers, and DJs I realized she just wasn't up to par!  Originally, I had simply put all of my vendor information into one place, organized it with dividers, and that helped...but I didn't realize how much I didn't have in there that I absolutely needed!  I really wanted to start carrying around a notebook that reflected our wedding filled with pictures, print outs and ideas to help show our potential and current vendors what the heck we're talking about!  First, I wanted to just go out a find something that looks a little more like me and that would keep me more organized...but I quickly realized that a new wedding notebook would be an unnecessary expense, and I could easily make a great and personalized notebook myself! So, I took it upon myself to jazz it up a little and use my wedding notebook to her full potential...

Here is the cover I actually designed myself with the photo we used for our Save the Date magnets!!  Now that I've done this, I kind of wish we used THIS for our Save the Dates - but oh well.  I still loved those too! :)

Creating your own Wedding Planner & Organizer may seem a little tricky, but it's a lot easier than I thought it would be and it turned out better than I'd imagined! All you need to do to create your own wedding organizer is have the following materials:

  • 3 Ring 1 1/2' Notebook - I got it in white, but you can get it in a different color if you wish!
  • Divider Tabs - I got a 10 tab organizer complete with a table of contents in the front
  • Ribbon to accent and decorate with - I used 3 different kinds
  • Scotch tape - I used regular and double sided
  • Scissors
  • Pen and Sharpie ...THAT'S IT! 
To start with, I knew the cover of my new and improved Wedding Notebook HAD to reflect the entire theme of our wedding!  I wanted it to show our contemporary style, so I chose to start out a cover design with our Save the Date photo.  It was also important for me to have our monogrammed HBSH logo easily accessible, so I decided to add that on the cover picture so that I always had it in front of me.  Next, I wanted to spice it up a little so I added a pink border to the picture, printed it out and put it in the front cover slot.  Not completely pleased with this, I noticed there was enough room to add some of the clear and black ribbon on each side as well as on top of and below the photo.  Good thing - because this was a great opportunity to show off our wedding colors, and I guess the cat's out of the bag now on that one huh?!  All I'm going to say is that our cover completely says it all! ;)

When I sat back and looked at it...I thought it was cute, but that it was STILL missing something.  So, I got the lime green ribbon out and decided to add a big green bow to the left side! PERFECT!!!!

So the cover was complete!!! And, I LOVED it!  Next, I wanted to make the side of the notebook reflect what the front looks like by adding a strip of the black and white ribbon down where you would put a vertical label.  I used the white and black ribbon, as opposed to the clear and black ribbon for this because it was a little sturdier and easier to slide down. 

OMG...this is so FUN and easy!  Now, it was time to start the harder part: organizing this baby.  I already knew tabs were the way to go with this, but it hit me to use the perfect amount of 10 tabs after I sat down and wrote out exactly what I wanted to go in each section.  I had looked at Wedding Planners online and had finally picked out what categories would work best for me.  So, I created a Table of Contents, and labeled the sections as follows:

  1. COORDINATION: checklist, budget, calendars
  8. TRASNPORTAION and RENTALS: accomodations
  9. BRIDAL PARTY and PARTIES: registries
I think that pretty much covers all of the bases, don't you?!

To explain further, let's start with COORDINATION.  I'm obviously not going to go into every tab with you, but I wanted to mention a few things about this one.  First, this tab is the key to keeping my entire notebook and planning process on track.  I printed out a calendar for each month remaining so I can write in appointments and deadlines, a budget spreadsheet, and a TO-DO checklist for each block of time left.  you can find printable versions of all of these things just by googling it, but here are a few options to help get you started:

OR, you can make your own spreadsheet in excel to make it as accurate to your personal needs as possible!  Follow this video, this lady from makes it so easy

You can go on any wedding planning website like or and sign up for an account if you want to handle all of your budget analysis and to-do lists on the computer. Example:  Otherwise, there are plenty of printable timelines for you to go off of to get ready for your big day.
Example: and there SO many more out there! Simply google "wedding checklist timeline" and you're bound to find something that suits you.

Also under the COORDINATION tab, is where I keep all of my wedding coordinator's information.  Not only her contact info, but also her preferred vendor list, wedding checklist, and anything she has sent me so far.  I feel like this tab keeps the entire Notebook organized!

OK - moving on to what I really created this new notebook for: PICTURES!!!!! Now, I can't share TOO much with you because obviously that would give too much away.  What I can show you though, are some pages I printed out and put together to keep in my notebook.  First, I wanted to have a screen shot of our website printed out so I can show our vendors what that looks like, as well as in this page in particular, the feel of our reception site:

This way, even from this page they can tell a little bit about what we're going for.  Next, of course I have TONS of pictures printed off and stuffed throughout this thing of ideas for floral, decor, invitations, and everything else.  I can't really show you all of that, but I can show you one of the floral pages.  Originally, Mr. Hess and I were planning on using more white mixed in our floral, so I pulled and printed all of these pictures up.  We have changed our minds since then, and you'll see what we're talking about when the day finally gets here! For now, this will do:

Also, you can use the pockets in the front and the back of the notebook to display magazine pictures, or other ideas you want to keep with you in your notebook.  And of course, I have to include a page from the BAKERY section...this is an easy way to keep the business cards you would actually use straight.  Here, I made a "dessert" or "bakery" page filled with all of the companies we are contacting:

One thing I found A HUGE help to myself that I can't believe I didn't to all along is printing out e-mails.  I am always putting e-mails together and sending them to myself, my groom, my mom and sometimes members of my bridal party for ideas, meeting times, notes, and questions.  When I put something together that has a lot of useful information - like catering company information - I print it off and stick it in that section of the notebook!


I'm sure you get the idea.  I mentioned before in the February Focus Video - I am a bit of an Organization Freak!  Can I spell it out any more than this? lol...sheesh!  I have always had a thing for using different fonts, colors, highlighters, tabs, and pictures to organize EVERYTHING.  Anyone who has ever sat next to me in any class from middle school on, knows this about me and are probably laughing to themselves about this one.  But you know what?! I AM IN LOVE with my new Wedding Notebook, and I'm very proud of her! :)

So, as you can probably tell from the catch up on blogging I've been doing...I've actually had some time the last couple of days to put some hours into planning.  Good thing because the rest of the week and weekend is NUTSO!  I hope you enjoyed the posts this week, I'm not sure when more will come out, but I have much more to share along the way so stay tuned.

155 days and counting...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Booking our DJ!


That's right...after about 5 minutes of me rambling on, I'm sure you've figured it out but just in case you missed it (lol) - Mr. Hess and I have officially BOOKED OUR WEDDING DJ!!!!!!

Signed, sealed, and delivered - THANK YOU!!!!!!

Like I mentioned on the video, lighting was a HUGE part of our decision, but we are so thrilled that Soundwave Entertainment fit all of our criteria when looking for a DJ/Lighting company to hire for our BIG DAY!!!! As promised, here is all of the info I talked about in the video:

Soundwave Entertainment: DJ/Lighting
website: reviews: 

And check out those lighting pictures and video:

Well, I think you get the point!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!
This makes me happy enough to spend the rest of my night off planning some more, lol! ;)

Now if July 22, could just get here already...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Honeymoon Album!

First of all, today is a very important day because it's

I know I've mentioned it before on this blog, but this year Mr. Hess and I decided to take a step away from getting each other gifts for the big holidays for two reasons: 1) We want to SAVE as much money possible for our big day! and 2) We will be getting enough gifts for each other during this entire process of planning our wedding!

So, here came VALENTINES DAY!  I have always like this day, but this year it felt a little different because I worked 2 jobs, and also won't get to see Mr. Hess the entire day until about 10:30pm...BOO!  But, I made the best of it, got him a sweet card, sweetheart heart chocolate cake and flowers that are in the colors of our wedding! :) Nothing crazy...but enough to know I care, right?

This picture was taken I actually got to wrap it up for Mr. Hess!
Well, even though we decided not to get "gifts" for each other, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a picture album I have been eyeing at Hallmark ever since we got engaged!  It is an instant scrapbook and can turn all of your pictures into a hand made looking scrapbook in no time!  I have always enjoyed the idea of scrapbooking but can never seem to find the time, money, or energy to really put something cute together so when I saw THIS it clearly my name all over it...


I talk alllll about it in the video below, but realized afterward that I didn't emphasize enough about how much I truly love the stickers that come with it! SO FREAKING CUTE!!!!!! The pages have little shapes on every few pages made especially for a sticker with text in a certain shape, and you just pick the sticker that seems to fit you and your picture the best.  Like I explain in the video - I found a very similar instant scrapbook album for my friend Britt, who got married last year - and I knew after I put that one together this was an absolute MUST HAVE purchase for our special trip!  You can find any of these instant albums in the Memory Keeping section of any Hallmark store, or even from - but you're going to pay more if you order it online.  Check it out:

Here is a picture of the "before the I DO" wedding album the bridesmaids and I got Britt to document everything from her Engagement Party to her BIG DAY!

I was SO excited with how this album turned out, and I know the other bridesmaids would agree!  Here we are, with our finished album..ready to give to the Bride!

Britt opening her "before the I DO" album from us!
So you can see my excitement to put this baby together!!!!! First, we have to have a wedding, and then the honeymoon...but still! I'm SO excited to see how the next one turns out! :)

Oh and like I mentioned on my video, my friend Lauren is AMAZING capturing candid shots and is a very talented photographer.  We hired her for Britt's bridal shower, but also my friend Ash just booked her for 2 more Bridal Showers coming up...and a little birdie told me she might make an appearance at mine too! ;) Check out her work, and please feel free to contact her if you're interested in doing a session or booking her for a private party of yours!

Hope you like your V-DAY present Mr. Hess...I sure do!!!!


Until next time,

Official Save the Date Photo!

Now that it has officially been a week since our SAVE THE DATES went out and I have gotten confirmation from majority of the guests that they have received them, I thought it would be a great time to share with all of you our official Save the Date photo!

When we scheduled an Engagement Session with our photographer, we knew right away we wanted to do something special ahead of time for our Save the Date photo for 2 reasons!  First, we wanted to do something creative and out of the ordinary (imagine that), that would let our guests know that is how our entire wedding would be.  We are putting a lot of personal touches on a lot of things, and this was just another way for us to do that.  Second, I knew that with our photographer and the changing of outfits and scenery throughout the shoot that it would be very difficult to go through all of those pictures to find THE ONE to use for our magnets!  If we planned something in advance and knew we would use that particular photo, that would save a lot of time and effort going through allllllll of them and trying to compromise later, right? I thought so...

So, that's what we did!  We thought of a unique way to display our date and rolled with it.  Actually, the stickers were completely Mr. Hess's idea and they really turned out even better than I expected!!! We had a few different ideas, but this by far was the most creative and unique.  So, you can imagine my excitement when Mr. Hess showed me the lime green swirly stickers he bought from Michaels to put on our shoes!  The day of the shoot, we strategicly placed our message letter by letter on our shoes and was hoping that would do the trick.  It took a little while to figure out what foot would go where, at what angle.  This picture alone took the longest out of the entire day, but we knew it would be worth it - and I hope you agree!

Photo Credit: Elegant Imagery

Now, when it came to the actual Save the Date Magnet - we worked a little on this photo to make it say and look exactly how we wanted it.  We trimmed some of the top off and added our names, for example: Miss Presh & Mr. Hess at the top left corner.  Then we simply added the wedding location: Orlando, FL on the bottom left and our wedding website on the bottom right.  That's it!  We wanted the picture to speak for itself and put as little information as we could get away with on the actual magnet.  If anyone who got this magnet was interested enough in our wedding to find out more, they would see the website at the bottom and hopefully visit it to find out everything else they need to know about our wedding!


Just wanted to make sure everyone who should have gotten one of these in the mail did first.  And, I have gotten a lot of great feedback on them! YAY!  The only thing that bothered me about them was that they were smaller than I expected.  This type of photo looks better blown up, and the magnet only came out to be about 3.5" x 3.5".  My advice on what I would have done differently? Actually print out the proof when they send it to you for revisions!  We made small changes to it when we got the first proof, but were unable to print it out at that time.  Instead, we listed our changes and said SEND!  We were SO anxious to get them in our hands, but I learned from this and can pass on some useful information for the future brides who are reading this blog...take the minute it takes to actually print it out!  If we had done that, the magnets would probably be a little bigger, but I digress.

Thanks for sharing such an exciting time with me! Sending out our Save the Dates really made our wedding seem like it's HAPPENING!!!! Now, people have a date - in writing - with a website full of information for what our big day will be like!  There's no turning back now Mr. Hess! ;)

158 days until OUR DATE! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Catering Update!

YAY! Here comes the YUMMY part of planning (well, besides cake tasting!)...CATERING!!!

You know by now, that this is my MAIN FOCUS in February.  We have 5 catering companies lined up to meet with, and so far Mr. Hess and I have met with 2.  Honestly at first, I thought bringing in everything ourselves to the venue would get kind of stressful.  I'm slowly learning to take some deep breaths, take one step at a time, and in doing so I'm really enjoy this entire process of putting every single piece of our dream wedding puzzle together!  Meeting with caterers has allowed Mr. Hess, myself and my mom to all come together and talk about our ideas and concerns.  I had no idea we were actually all 3 on the same page about a lot of things! :)  So, to start off our update here's a breakdown of each company we've met with so far:

Catering Company #1: Millenia Catering.  Located within 10 minutes from our venue, this company has a more of a modern look and we really LOVED the owner, Chef Lo.  This company is definitely one of the smaller catering companies, but has had plenty of experience catering a variety of events, including at our venue, HEAVEN.  Even though Chef Lo owns a smaller company, he focuses on one event a day and overseas everything that ends up at the event himself.  What we liked right away is that he sensed that we were creative people who wanted something different and out of the ordinary for our guests.  We want our reception to be fun, and for people to remember some things about our food selections and set-up.  He was very sincere about tables, chairs and linens - and it looks like it would be more cost effective for us to outsource those.  He actually suggested meeting with other caterers to find out if he's exactly what we were looking for, so we appreciated his honesty.  Basically, we were very impressed by how much he could do for us and it seems like the pricing is right.  I guess the official proposal will tell.

My mom and I going over different options with Chef Lo.

Mr. Hess and my mom going over linen choices.

OMG - those colors! ;)

Catering Company #2: Arthur's Catering.  Located a little further, about 30 minutes from venue, this company is very impressive and can handle several parties or weddings in one day.  We met with the Event Designer, Lori and we loved all of her ideas.  One thing in particular I loved about her was that we didn't just talk about food.  OF COURSE food is the MAIN topic in a catering meeting...but she made it just as important to talk about the look of and theme of our wedding.  She was very familiar with our venue and even showed us examples of a floor plan she made for tables and chairs to map everything out.  Back to food, for us - she suggested an alternative to a sit down dinner, and something different from just food stations - which we LOVED! Who would have thought there were more options?!  We looked at TONS of pictures and I have to say that their menu is a bit overwhelming.  Before we went to meet today, I started printing out the menu she sent me, but then I realized it was 22 pages long! The possibilities of dishes seem endless, which could be a great thing, or just add more stress at what to choose.  But all in all, I was very impressed as well with Arthurs, and I know already that choosing a catering company will be a very hard decision for us.  Fortunately, the whole budget thing will come into play and help narrow this down.  I have to admit I went into the meeting thinking, "Holy crap, we will never be able to afford THIS much to be going on in order to have what we want," but when Lori showed us a completely rough estimate, it actually seemed doable!  Again, the official proposal will help us out a lot to see what we can work with.

Mr. Hess is looking over the photos, sipping coffee. How fancy!

LOVED some of their unique displays for appetizers!

Loving those chargers...

Impressive set up for catering tables and chairs huh?
After meeting with caterer #2 today, here are some of Mr. Hess and I's thoughts on where we are:

So, this whole catering thing isn't as scary or confusing as I thought...I'm so glad we have a few meetings under our belts and that we can now meet with the remaining 3 companies to see who fits us best for the best price.  Hopefully we can start narrowing what we like down to one or two by the end of the 5 meetings, and go from there.  Can't wait to go back to these companies for meeting #2 - that will include some tastings!

159 days left...

Until next time,

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Drumroll please......


Funny story about this, I have literally been working on this since before we got engaged.  Call me crazy (we all know the story about my wedding dress)...but I knew Mr. Hess was going to propose sooner than later.  Being the planner I am, (and clearly you can tell by this site alone that I AM), I like to get the ball rolling on things when I think something might take a lot of personal touches, or extra time on.  So, I jumped online and started researching wedding websites.  I looked at site after site, and finally I found EXACTLY what I was looking for.

I know you can customize pretty much any kind of webpage these days, but I was looking for a website that I could customize every little detail to fit the style of what Mr. Hess and I are going for!  And, believe you me - did THAT take some time.  But, alas, she is done and up and running!

I told you before in my February Video Update, I can give you a preview or sneak peak of what the site looks like, but I will not share the actual website with you, for the sake of privacy.  I can, however provide you with plenty of screen shots to give you visuals of what I'm talking about!

To start, I need to share the fabulous wedding website I found after searching and searching for the perfect style for us:

It's seriously the best wedding website I've seen out there yet.  Not only is it our official website page, but it offers organizational tools like a budget calculator, check lists, guest address lists, RSVP organizer, and more!  I have to admit that this baby was NOT free, but honestly - it was a purchase well worth it.  There are SO many different layouts, styles, customizations, page options, colors, fonts, pictures, and the list goes ON and ON! I can't tell you how many hours Mr. Hess and I put into this site to make it perfect for us.  As soon as we found a theme for the site, we would think about it for a few days and change it again.  We ended up with what you see below as our final decisions for layout. The theme, colors, and style is a mix and match of EVERYTHING - a change of every color possible, a customized photo everywhere possible, additions of pages, music downloads, link uploads, and again, the list goes ON and ON!

I have to say, I never thought of myself as the website connoisseur, but after the experience of putting this blog and wedding website together, I am pretty proud of myself for figuring it all out! :)

So without further a due, I introduce to you the HBSH Wedding Website!!!!!

Intro Page - the gray flower background moves across the back!

Homepage! Couldn't fit the entire page with text, but you get the idea!

Like I said, we customized EVERYTHING...even the 4 picture blocks on the right...since there were 4 blocks we could change, out of nowhere one day it hit me to spell out the letters L-O-V-E.  Notice that the "O" is the picture of Mr. Hess and I's hands forming a heart!

Pretty fun huh? I know I spent wayyyy to much time on this, but I really enjoyed every part of putting it together!  Like most wedding websites, we got an opportunity to share lots of personal information our guests might not necessarily know about us including Our Story and details of how we met:

I don't even know if I've shared THAT story on here, but I'm sure a post about that will come one of these days!  Right now, there's too much wedding info to share!  The purpose of wedding websites is to share more than just personal information.  It's a place for guests (especially out of towners) to get all of the information they would need to travel to your wedding destination!  Here, we have listed not only information about the ceremony and reception sites, but also directions, accommodation ideas and local activities in Orlando! 

Something that was an absolute MUST to share on our site was this blog page with everyone - shoutout to, whoop whoop!

One of my FAVORITE parts about this site, is the MUSIC!  I got to hand pick and download mp3s to upload on our website playlist.  This alone took a day or two for me to figure out, but I absolutely LOVE it.  The music plays right away when you open the site, and rotates through 5 of our favorite songs.  If you want to pause, go back or jump to the next song you have full control on the bottom of the page! 

And, sidenote - for THIS blog page I took off the autoplay for the songs.  The main reason is, I got feedback from visitors saying they had trouble pausing the songs to hear the video posts.  The songs are still there and if you'd like to hear the playlist as you read, simply click on the mixpod Ipod "play" button on the top right of the blogpage!!! Voila!

 Now back to the website...
I could honestly show you a picture of every single page of this thing, but I'm going to stop boring you and save the last picture for something FUN! A puzzle for our guests to figure out while they enjoy the site!  I've never seen a "Fun and Games" page on a wedding website before, so of course I had to utilize this one!

It's on the easy setting, but you can change the level and type of puzzle!

I'm sure you can tell by now, how freaking excited I am about our site.  FINALLY, after 6 months of working on it our wedding website project is DONE!!!  In a way, I feel like a proud momma sharing my baby with the world - because that's how much time and effort I've put into it!  No, but on a serious note - now I can actually spend my nights doing some REAL planning now that it's out of the way! 

So that's our HBSH Wedding Website! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! If you have any questions about, ask!
161 days and counting...

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Hint #3

So, I've had this picture saved on my computer for about a MONTH now...debating whether or not it was too much to give away to you all.  Well, finally I decided it's not.  If you have had any kind of temptation to go to our venue website, you will quickly see what this events center is all about: LIGHTS!

We will not be using these actual LED lights, but you get the idea: 

More posts to come, so keep a look out! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Save the Dates - CHECK!!!

OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!! What I'm about to write, I have been dreaming about writing for the last few months, and I am SO HAPPY to announce that our...
Save the Dates are IN THE MAIL!!!!!!

Those babies have been on our monthly 'TO-DO" list for quite some time now and it feels so good to actually get that one CHECKED OFF!!!!!! :) :) :)

Well, the first step to getting these done was to get our Engagement Photos taken, and that alone was so hard to schedule and get in the books with our photographer.  We ended up getting those done just a month ago - so I'm proud to say within a month we have taken our photos, picked out our "Save the Date Photo", then ordered, put together, and mailed out our Save the Dates! Pretty impressive if you ask me!  Now, I'm not going to show an entire picture of how they turned out until I know that everyone who is supposed to get one in their mailbox has seen it that might take a little while.  But, I was SO EXCITED to get these done, I just couldn't wait to share with you all the big news!

Mr. Hess has been out of town for work a lot since the New Year, so I have been taking those nights he is away to my advantage by hopping on my computer and knocking some wedding stuff out.  This weekend's project was Save the Dates and our wedding website and believe me, neither of these fall into the "quick and easy task" category.  Knowing this, I took a deep breath and set up shop in front of our TiVo, my loooong lost friend. I got to catch up on some of my favorite shows while I put them together and let's just say I got through 2 Grey's Anatomy episodes, this week's SNL, and 2 Jersey Shore episodes (YUP, it really is like a train wreck but who can resist?) before I could officially say I was done - that's A LOOOONG TIME!!! But, I was determined and pushed through the neck aches and finger cramps so I could gladly brush my hands off and drop these puppies off in our mailbox to go out first thing Monday morning!

Here is a Sneak Preview of our Save the Dates:

For the sake of privacy to our guests, I decided to cut out our logo and set it on the envelope to cover where the recipient's address is! That should explain why they look like they do in this picture.  Obviously, in real life we got the addresses printed on the envelopes, (which by the way was worth EVERY extra penny!) Having them sent over to us already pre-addressed has been one of my best desicions yet.  Now, we already have our guest list and addresses ready and uploaded for our invitations, BONUS!

Special thanks going out to my support team who stuck by my side while I put the man hours in to get these things done!  Aspen was ALL over these, I was afraid she was going to crinkle them...but obviously lost that battle for her to get off of them:

And then there's the puppy.  He really just wants to be where we are at all times, and is SO precious.  Thanks for the help buddy!

OH - and invitation update!  This coming Wednesday, Mr. Hess and I are BOTH going to meet with our invitations lady I met with last week to show her pictures of what we want and go over design ideas. SO EXCITED to get that ball rolling...because that's an entire other bear to conquer!

Can't wait to show you the real photo of patient friends! :)

166 days to go!!!!


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