Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Flower Inspiration

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today is my BIRTHDAY! Also, today is International Women's Day, which is pretty darn cool too.

I'm just sitting down with a dirty martini after a wonderful day of pampering and errands, waiting for my sweet fiancé to get home so we can go to dinner. While I patiently wait for him, I've decided I should quickly write another WW since I've been doing a lot of wedding related activities these past few days.

This week, I began the process of creating inspiration boards / story boards for my wedding. So far, I've put together a page of images that I love for the flowers, ceremony, reception, cake, hair & makeup, and what the wedding party will wear. I'm sure I'll be making many more along the way, but these are just the basics! I'm hoping that having a visual diagram for every element will help keep my mind and thoughts organized during the detailed planning stages, and it will also be nice to give them out as a reference to vendors once we're making those final decisions.

I've realized during all this prep that I have a REALLY hard time explaining my wedding "colors." (That's a big question I've been asked recently, "what are your colors?"). I've come to terms with the fact that what's in my head requires a lot of colors and I can't really narrow it all down to a few shades or one quick solid answer. One of the easiest ways to show you my wedding "color story" is to show my floral inspiration photos! One thing I know I want is lots and lots of greenery. I also know that I want a gathered, whimsical, romantic bouquet with hints of blue, pink, and white flowers, but also lots of extra accent colors, with ribbons hanging from it! I've listed out some of the flowers I like, but I'm excited to talk to the florists to see what they have in mind. Have I confused you yet? Well I'll just show you...

(BTW, the image in the center of the top row is probably my absolute favorite! What do you think?)



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Updates and To-Do List



Happy Wedding Wednesday, and apparently Happy National Wedding Planning day (thanks for letting me know, Zelle)!

This weekend, Eric and I drove down to Raleigh to see my family and to look at apartments (more about that another time!!). Since I'm currently living in DC, my mom has been the absolute best MOB by going to most of the wedding related appointments without me (bless her). Luckily we had some spare time on Friday and decided to stop by my venue to just walk around and talk out some ideas. I am still just as in love with The Sutherland as I was when I first saw it!

I decided that for this WW (Wedding Wednesday) I'm going to list out everything we've done so far, since I haven't mentioned anything except the venue, and what's on my immediate to-do list! Luckily my older sister got married in Raleigh last fall, so we have a pretty decisive list of amazing and wonderful vendors that we want to work with!

What I've done so far:

Found a Venue
The Sutherland in Wake Forest / Raleigh, NC.

Picked a Date
Eric and I decided on May 5th, 2018, and I'm actually super excited to share my wedding day and anniversary date with Cinco de Mayo! We're really hoping for warm, beautiful weather during our outdoor ceremony, but I'm already working on a rain plan JUST IN CASE!



Booked our Photographer
Choosing a photographer was one of the easier decisions we've made! Jillian Knight is actually a good friend of my sister's and took the most beautiful pictures for Brittany and Brandon's wedding, as well as for most of the events and festivities leading up to their big day. I have to say that I am in love with her work. She has a way of finding the most beautiful light in any location (I love a nice lens flair) and I can't wait to work with her!

Cake By Cinda's Creative Cakes and picture by Jillian Knight


Picked our Wedding Cake Baker (designer...? artist...? what do you call it?)
Again, we're using the same cake designer as my sister (surprise, surprise). Cinda's Creative Cakes created such a beautiful cake for Brittany and Brandon. Not to mention she has about a THOUSAND flavors and fillings to choose from. We haven't really delved into the cake process yet, so I'll fill you in more once we start making those decisions!

Booked our band 
You guessed it, we decided to go with the same band (sort of) as my sister. The band we're using is Irresistible Groove, which was formerly named Groovetown. The band has made a few adjustments since my sister's wedding, but I'm still very excited to work with them! They have a song list that's a mile long with every sort of genre and style included and they'll even learn a few new songs just for our wedding! Now we need to think about a first dance song...

Said Yes to the Dress!!
I won't go into too much detail (hi Eric!), but I'll be sure to write a post about my experience dress shopping on another WW!


What is next up on my list:

Ask my Bridesmaids and Maids of Honor
I know who I want to be in my wedding party and I know how I want to ask, I just need to do it!! I'm really excited for this...

Figure out how to create my invitations
Being a graphic designer and artist, I've always known that I wanted to design my own invitations. I'm in the process of looking into different stationery companies and printers that will help me to create and execute my vision. I also need to figure out what I want our Save the Dates to look like!

Decide on the florist
My mom and I are going to set up a few meetings with different florists in the next month or so. I have a vision of what I'd like for the flowers, but we need to decide which florist understands my style and (most importantly) is on budget!

Choose a caterer
We've narrowed our list down to 2 caterers and we really need to figure out which one will work better for us. Once we finally pick one, we'll set up a tasting to decide on our menu!



Phew! It's almost therapeutic to get all of this out of my head! That's it for wedding talk.

Until next time, loves...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Our Venue, The Sutherland Estates

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I've decided to start sharing details about our wedding every week. I think it will be so nice to look back and relive the planning process once the big day has come and gone. Today, I'm sharing a little bit about our venue!

Eric and I got engaged about a month before my older sister's wedding (yes, my poor parents are experiencing back to back weddings!). Because of that, we knew we wanted to have a good amount of time separating Brittany and Brandon's wedding and ours. Brittany had been dating the same sweet guy for a whopping 10 years, so she needed her moment to shine and enjoy it and not have to hear about my wedding!

About a month after Britt's wedding, in November of last year, we decided to start looking at venues. The Sutherland was the first venue that Eric and I looked at and the moment we got out of the car we knew it was special. We had decided we wanted an 'all-in-one' venue, meaning the ceremony and reception were at the same place. Eric is from Boston and he has friends and family traveling in from all over the country, so simplifying things for our guests and having one venue worked best for us.

Of course, we went and looked at other venues in the area soon after, but couldn't get this place out of our heads and decided to commit to it pretty quickly. We chose May 5th, 2018 as our date, so hopefully the late spring weather will be nice and warm! I also love the fact that it's Cinco de Mayo. Maybe we'll have a margarita as our signature cocktail or a late night taco bar once the dancing is underway?! We definitely won't be having a Mexican theme, but I'd say a few sweet little elements would be kind of special.

The Sutherland has a fairytale, plantation, garden, romantic, rustic feel, all rolled into one (can you tell I love it?)! The big white house has been around since the early 1800's and is the most perfect Southern estate. They have different sections on their property for all the different events. I'll explain as I go!

Image from Classy Transportation

The Sutherland


The upstairs of the main house is where the bridal party gets ready. It's full of windows that let in an abundance of natural light along with vintage furniture and plenty of mirrors to glam.

The Sutherland

Nancy Ray Photography


One of my favorite parts is the little cottage where the groom and groomsmen get ready. I'm obsessed with those cowhide chairs and I love the addition of the chandelier!

The Sutherland



Our guests will enter in on the side of the house. Through that wrought Iron door is where our ceremony will be (start praying for no rain!!!).

The Sutherland

Dara Blakeley Photography

The ceremony garden is actually turf and not grass, so no mud or dirt, which is a major plus in my book! I love how there's a little built in stone stage where Eric and I will stand. It's literally perfect exactly how it is, so I don't think we'll be adding very much decor to this area!

The Sutherland


Cocktail hour will be in the space beside the house, which is equipped with a built in stone bar and a gorgeous gazebo. We haven't figured out how we'll use the gazebo yet, it's been used to hold the wedding cake, but I'm thinking about having a memory table where we'll feature pictures of loved ones who aren't with us anymore. What do you think? Suggestions?

The Sutherland





The reception will be in this fully closed-in pavilion, that has glass doors that can be opened up on a nice night. It is right off the cocktail area space and is big and open inside. I'll show more pictures of the inside another time, since I'll be having to make some decisions about lighting and decor later down the road!

Looking at these pictures, I'm starting to get so excited for our big day! I can't believe we still have about 14 months until we actually get married, but I know time will fly by so quickly. I need to do my research on anti-rain dances though, because rain and this venue don't mix too well. We need to start planning our rain plan. Say a prayer, friends!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Our Engagement Story

As promised, I'm about to share me and Eric's engagement story!! Thankfully, I already have the whole shebang written out since our proposal was featured on How He Asked a few months ago. But just to forewarn you, this is a long one! So, if you're up for the challenge, settle in and read away...



how we met

Eric and I met in the fall of 2013, very unglamorously, in a crowded bar in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. He had been living there for 2 years while working in the banking industry, and I had just completed flight attendant training and had recently been based in the area. After having only lived in DC for 1 week, I was already starting to miss my North Carolina home and had convinced myself that DC was simply not the place for me. Everything changed on September 28th, 2013 (yes, of course I remember the exact date of when we met)!

While out with a few friends, Eric approached me (although he likes to tell people I approached him), as I was getting ready to leave, and we instantly hit it off and exchanged numbers. After a few fantastic dates within the following weeks, we became completely inseparable! Needless to say, after dating for a little while, I decided that DC would become my new home and and that Eric would be a permanent part of my new life! Fast forward 3+ years and we are still just as inseparable as we were the first day we met!

how he asked

I've always told Eric that he would have a hard time surprising me when he proposed because of how well I know his little quirks and the way he acts when he gets nervous. But oh was I wrong! Earlier in the week, Eric told me that his mom was flying in from Boston on Saturday morning and that we would be going to a nice dinner with some of his extended family that lived nearby. When she arrived that morning, we went out for a great lunch and spent the afternoon shopping and wandering around DC before going back to our apartment to prepare for dinner. 

As we were getting ready, Eric's mom informed us that there was a slight change of plans and that we were going to meet his family by the Lincoln Memorial before dinner. Truthfully, this made me a little frazzled since I had less time to get ready and because we would be going to a very crowded and touristy area in the late summer heat before dinner (a makeup and hair nightmare)! While I was getting ready, I remember Eric was being extra sweet as I was frantically rushing around our apartment, trying to coordinate an outfit and be ready on time.

Once we made it to the memorial, Eric's mom said she needed to go and call the family to see where they were. She headed off in a different direction as Eric and I walked closer to the Reflecting Pool. As a back story, The National Mall is where Eric and I run together during the week, but because its usually packed with tourists during the day, it's rare that we are out there for more than just exercise.



Since we were both dressed up that evening, Eric wanted to take a few 'selfies' in front of the reflecting pool (which was a shock to me that he would even suggest such a thing), while we waited on an update from Eric's mom who had suspiciously gone missing. I remember Eric frantically whispering under his breath, "Wow, there are a lot of people!" to which I replied, "Yes! Of course there are. It's the National Mall on a Saturday!". As we casually stood together while holding hands, I noticed Eric had tears in his eyes. He turned to me, while reaching into his pocket and said "Are you ready for this?".

Immediately I figured out what was going on! In the back of my mind I was thinking, 'this can't REALLY be happening right now, can it?!' and after a moment of hugging and wiping each others tears away, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.




What may have only taken a few seconds felt like an eternity, as if time had stopped for us. While we were both in our own little world together sharing our special moment, we hadn't noticed the crowd of eager on-lookers that had formed in a semi-circle around us!

As Eric stood up, the crowd proceeded to cheer once they acknowledged I had officially said 'YES'! The moment was overwhelming but also exciting and I remember I was shaking because I was still in complete shock. After we pulled ourselves together and took a few deep breaths, Eric introduced me to the stealthy photographer who had been hiding in the crowd the whole time, and then told me he had planned a brief photo session to document the moment!






After we finished taking our pictures, and once the dust had settled from the proposal, I was ready to call my parents and sisters, eager to share the exciting news, but he said we were running late for our celebratory dinner reservation and that I could call once we got to the restaurant. We quickly jumped into a cab, and I realized we were headed to Georgetown, which was when I started piecing together the rest of his mischievous plan: we were headed straight back to the restaurant where we first met, almost 3 years ago to the day!

As we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted by an overwhelming chorus of applause and 'congratulations!' by our families and closest friends. Little did I know that Eric had spent the previous 3 weeks calling relatives and friends (from both near and far), to be a part of the special event. The most impressive part was that he, along with everyone else, was able to keep his plan a secret! Our entrance was quickly followed by a champagne toast and an incredible dinner spent with our best friends and family! We later spent the rest of the night dancing and celebrating in each other's arms, which made the night that much more magical. It was the perfect proposal followed by the perfect evening, and it is certainly a day I will never forget! I am so lucky to have Eric in my life and I can't wait to be his wife!



To whoever made it this far... I'm impressed! :)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016 RECAP

Am I the only one who thinks that 2017 sounds like a strange year? Maybe that's because I don't get excited over odd numbers, which I know is weird, but so are a lot of things that go on in my head. As I have many times through the years, this year I have vowed to myself that I will get into this whole blogging thing and really start documenting my life. I have no expectations of the content, I really just want this to be a place where I can dump To begin my 2017 blog, I'm going to do a quick recap of a few of my favorite things that happened in my life in 2016.

1. My older sister married her high school sweetheart and had the most AMAZING wedding I have ever been to. Although, I am biased...



2. I got ENGAGED to my best friend, Eric.



3. I had so many adorable custom dog portrait orders on my Etsy shop! Here are some of my favorites from this Christmas. If you're interested in ordering a custom pet portrait, just head on over to my Etsy shop! I'd love to paint your fur baby







So that is a short but sweet recap of my 2016 favorites! In my next post, I'll go into detail about Eric's proposal and of course I'll share more pictures. I'm also planning on writing a post about my sister's wedding, so look out for those! I hope everyone had a happy new year! I'm excited for what 2017 has in store.

Friday, May 27, 2016

FIVE ON FRIDAY

I'm so excited to get back into Five on Friday, thanks to darci, april, christina + natasha!

1. Katie and Scott's Wedding
I'm a couple weeks late sharing this, but my dear friends Katie and Scott got married a few weekends ago and it was magical! I'm still dreaming about the lovely view they had while they said their vows--they were standing out on a third-story porch that overlooked downtown DC! If anyone is around the DC area, then you'll know we had a span of 20 days where it rained constantly, but there was 1 in the middle of those 20 that the rain stopped and the sun came out in full force. Thankfully, that day was Katie and Scott's wedding!! Katie and Scott both went to college with me and Katie was in my sorority. Eric met them when they moved to DC, and we have the best time exploring the city and trying new restaurants together these past couple of years! Also, I have to mention, I CAUGHT THE BOUQUET... cough cough... Eric...




2. Brittany and Brandon's Engagement Party...
As I said in my last post, my older sister is getting married to her high school sweetheart in October!! Brittany and Brandon got engaged around the holiday season last year and we waited to throw their engagement party once the weather got warmer. Her fiance's mom was gracious enough to host the party last weekend and I have to say, she completely outdid herself! The wedding was Thai themed, since Britt and Brandon are planning on going to Thailand for their Honeymoon. I'm going to do a full post about the party, so I'll just leave you with a few of my favorite pictures!








3. Paintings for friends...
I am still baffled by the amount of support I've received from friends and family with my art. Painting was something that I did as a hobby in my spare time and to think that I'm now having people commission lil-ole-me to create custom pieces, is blowing my mind. I can't thank everyone enough for reaching out and trusting me with such special projects! My most recent pieces were for dear friends of mine, Cassie and Maddie Gardner. They asked me to paint their 2 family dogs as a Mother's Day gift for their Mom! I had already painted 2 other dogs for the Gardner family as Christmas gifts, and I'm thankful they keep coming back for more! I'm also very lucky that they have so many precious animals in their lives!



4. Penguin on a plane...
I can officially say that I've had the COOLEST passengers on a flight, ever. A few weeks ago, Busch Gardens was transferring 2 penguins and an alligator from Boston to Tampa and I was lucky enough to be working that flight! As soon as I heard about our extra special passengers, I became the biggest fan-girl and tried to get a sneak peak before they boarded. Unfortunately, the animals were covered up in their carriers and were being heavily guarded by their caretakers. Each of them had their own row of seats where their crate sat, strapped in with a seat belt extender next to their human companion. Luckily, one of the nice Busch Gardens staff members was nice enough to stay after our flight deplaned and took out his Penguin for a little photo sesh!



5. Ocean Isle Beach and what I'm reading...
Tomorrow morning Eric and I are packing up and flying down to Ocean Isle Beach for the next 4 days, and can I tell you, I couldn't be more ready. As I'm sitting here next to Eric, who is napping after a long work week, all I can think about is plopping my tush in the sand, with a BIG cocktail, and an awesome book. Right now I'm reading a serious called Throne of Glass. I've always been apprehensive about sharing my latest reads on social media or on my blog because I think I have unique taste. I tend to read Fantasy and Urban Fantasy (not so much the young adult variety though), and Romance (think Fifty Shades, not really The Notebook). Of course I've dabbled in all genres, reading the obligatory Nicholas Sparks novel, Gone Girl, Hunger Games, just to name a few. But, somehow I always tend to go back to these 2 genres. 'Why?' you ask? Well, firstly, I have dubbed myself a Fantasy-Sci-Fi-Steamy-Romance freak and I am realistic enough to know that my taste in literature is not everyone's (or most people's) cup of tea. Secondly, as a flight attendant, I tend to read 1-2 books a week on my Kindle while I'm traveling and I've found that I like quick and easy reads, with many books in a series, that are full of action, adventure and romance. Some of my favorite series' from both genres are: Crossfire (If you liked Fifty Shades, read this. It is SO MUCH BETTER!), The Hollows, Kate Daniels and Chicagoland Vampires. But, if you're one of those gals, or gents, who likes more realistic, easily relatable books, I'm sad to say these may not be for you.

...wow, this was only supposed to be about the beach? Oops...

If anyone does find my book-blabbering interesting, I'd be happy to go into more detail about my favorite reads in another post!

 The Last time we were at OIB, it was cold and rainy!!










This will be my view in 18 hours!!

Have a fabulous Memorial Weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

THE HUNT FOR A BRIDESMAID DRESS

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my incredible older sister, Brittany, is getting married, and I am SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! She's been dating my soon-to-be brother-in-law for over 9 YEARS, so it wasn't a huge shock, but we're thrilled none-the-less! Brittany and Brandon met in High School and stayed together through college, her nursing school, and his graduate school, which is incredible if you ask me. And to tell you the truth, as I'm sitting here thinking about how long Britt and Brandon have been together, it makes me feel like the measly 2.5+ years Eric and I have been dating is no time at all!

They've set the date for late October and are in the middle of the super fun, but incredibly stressful planning process. Obviously, I'm not the one who's engaged, but somehow I do feel a sense of relief that Brittany is getting married first and our whole family can learn about this entire world together! There are so many vendors to choose from, so many little details to plan out, and even though we've had over a year to plan, there still seems to be so little time to get it all done!

The most exciting part of it all, in my opinion, is that I am Co-Maid of Honor! The 3 of us Odom girls have been so close our entire lives, we never even thought about choosing just 1 sister to have the honor. And believe me, I am very grateful for our little sister, Barrett, who thankfully gets to share this responsibility with me!

This is the first time I've ever been a member of a Bridal party, let alone a Maid of Honor, so I'm taking it all in and trying to learn as I go. Amidst planning the bachelorette party and a bridal shower, I am scouring different department stores and websites to find the perfect bridesmaid dress! Brittany has chosen for us all to wear long black dresses, which is fabulous because who doesn't look good in black? Boy am I thankful to have a sister who has excellent taste and won't force me to wear some sort of gown that rivals the one from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She's even decided to let all the Bridesmaids choose their own individual dresses, as long as it meets her list of requirements! Her specifications are: no cutouts, floor-length, all black, with only accents of gold, silver or nude, bling is welcome (just not too glitzy), and a respectable neckline. Somehow, with these basic guidelines and only myself to please, I have learned that either there aren't a ton of long formal black dresses within my price-range, or I'm just being ridiculously picky... probably the latter. 

Do I want lace? Satin? Strapless? Sleeves? Sparkle? Who knows? I sure don't!

Who would have thought this would be so difficult for me? I've been on the hunt for the perfect dress, and have even bought a few different options, only to return them after changing my mind. I just want to find something elegant and chic, but I also won't stand out too much, this is Brittany's day after all!

I'll leave you with a few of my favorites. Which one do you like best?


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

P.S. Bella Hadid, because I know you're bound to read this (a girl can dream), I will certainly take
your dreamy Givenchy Met Gala dress. Please and thanks. I'm sure my sister wouldn't mind me wearing this standing next to her at the alter... Right? :D