Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Practicing Pretty-fying

I had my hair and makeup trial this weekend!  It went really well, and I love what we worked out.

For my hair, I knew I wanted to wear it down and curly.  Not super curly, nothing too structured.  Plus, my hair feather clip would come into play.  I took some inspiration photos with me to show my stylist.  My stylist is Rachel, at Steele Salon.  Rachel and I were very good friends in high school, and up until about a year ago, I still came back to Hershey to see Rachel when I needed a haircut.  I wouldn't trust anyone else to do my hair on the most important day of my life!  So, based on the photos I took her and what we talked about, here's what she came up with:


side with feather
You'll see the front-on shot in a second.  For my makeup look, I wanted to keep it pretty natural.  I don't wear a lot of obvious makeup on a day-to-day basis, and I don't want to totally overdo it on our wedding day so that Matt doesn't even recognize me!  My MUA, Sara (also at Steele Salon), asked me about what I wear usually, and also about our wedding colors.  Based on what I told her, she used a very subtle powder foundation, a bit of bronzer, and easy on the blush.  For my eyes, she did a neutral smokey eye, and used some dark green to play up my eyes and also to tie in with our wedding colors.  And for my lips, she used a slightly pinkish gloss.  Again, I was really happy with the way everything turned out!

from the side
After my hair trial, I went for an hour-long dance lesson with my dad, and then out to a windy dinner at an outdoor restaurant.  My hair stood up and my makeup lasted all night!  Rachel is going to curl my hair a little bit more on our wedding day, since my appointment is at 9am - she says this way even if the curls fall a bit throughout the day, it'll still look good.  That's just one more reason I love Rachel - she's such a little smartie!

*all personal photos

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tell Us a Story (pic heavy!)

I want our wedding pictures to tell the story of our day.  Not to show us standing around, formally posed, looking awkward and like we're dying to get moving already!  Or totally awkward poses, like "Ok, wedding party, watch the bride and groom kiss and act like you're really thrilled about it!"  Ugh.  But I wasn't sure how to convey this to our photographer without being like, "Um, hey...don't make our wedding pictures suck."  So, I started searching for inspiration.  Man, there's lots of inspiration out there!  Ready?

I love these of the wedding party:

We're having a trolley!
I feel like this bride is thinking, "Ahhh...I love my girls!"
Hershey has a really similar crosswalk...
I love this picture of the guys walking into the ceremony
That gorgeous bride in the middle is my friend Lauren (sniped from her facebook page)
Also from Lauren's wedding
This bride is my friend Davina (sniped from her facebook)
Davina's hubby and GM - this picture makes me think of the movie Reservoir Dogs
From our photographer!
There's just something I love about this
Yay!  Love fest!
But wait, there's more!  How great are these of the couple?

I love how the focus is ever-so-slightly more on the flowers
Lauren and her hubby again.  I love this one
Woo-hoo!  We're married!
And these detail shots?!  

I die!

I die again!
Another gorgeous shot from our photographer
I like this askew photo (from our photographer again)
I want our photographer to take a picture like this of our program!
And one like this of my grandmother's ring on my bouquet
There are a few in that big old list from our photographer, Everlasting Images in Hershey.  We fell in love with their photos the first time we saw them.  They send their images off to a publisher in Italy for this fancy finish, and the books have a metallic look to them.  It's impossible to capture on the internet, but just trust me that they are absolutely amazing.  When we met with them to book them, they told us that one of their shooters loves to photograph at the Antique Auto Museum, and was actually planning her own wedding there.  So we're really excited that she's going to be one of our photographers for the day.

*All images, unless otherwise noted, are from the fabulous Style Me Pretty.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Registry Thoughts

Apparently, there are people out there who don't like registries.  They think they are greedy.  They think that "expecting" guests to buy you gifts is bratty. 

I think that's just silly.  Look, your guests want to buy you something.  It may as well be something you've chosen to coordinate with your home decor or that you'll actually use, rather than some weird lamp from Italy that only Ralphie's dad would be proud to display.
And, as long as you're giving your guests the option to buy you things ranging in price from $5 to $500, I hardly think that that's being greedy. 

When it came time to deciding about where we would register, the answer was pretty obvious to me: Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I had worked there all through grad school (as a Registry Consultant) and know they have a great program, plus I covet about 90% of the items in that store.  However, Matt and I have been living on our own for 7 years (give or take).  We have almost everything we need - dishes, pots, pans, kitche appliances, sheets, towels, etc.  And almost everything we have is old.  Some of it is as old as I am.  Seriously.  A lot of it is stuff that Matt inherited from his grandparents, or that I got from my step-dad when he and my mom got married.  Almost all of it is hand-me-downs from somewhere.  And it looked it.  And acted like it.  So it was time to upgrade.  And that's what we did - we went to BBBY (as my former colleagues and I liked to call it) and we upgraded.  Nicer, non-stick pots and pans, plastic utensils that won't scratch our non-stick pots, dishes that get the drift.  

Since I had been a registry consultant, the consultant we met with left us to our own devices.  We were handed a shopping list (which I totally didn't need) and the scanning gun.  I expected Matt to be like most boys and totally get into the whole gun thing, but he didn't!  He used it for a bit and then handed it off to me.  Which was fine - I always loved when couples wanted me to come with them and scan things for them, and I loved it even more when I got to scan my own stuff.  (Duh!)  We spent about 2 hours there our first time, and had a blast.  We've since added or deleted things online, too (another major bonus).  Which also means that I have been stalking.  Woops!

But The Powers That Be in the wedding world tell you to have at least 2 registries.  Give your guests some variety.  Well, we already registered for everything we needed at BBBY, so other "brick-and-mortar" stores seemed silly.  I considered an registry, but...meh.  I couldn't get excited about it.  Then I remembered that when my sister got married, they had a honeymoon registry.  Ding ding ding!!!  It seems, however, that honeymoon registries are met with even more disdain than a traditional registry.  But here's the way Matt and I looked at it.  We're not askign people to buy us our honeymoon - that was booked and paid for already.  What we're registering for are upgrades and excursions.  We'll probably be content to just lay around the beach/pool at the resort, but that can get kind of old, even for a burned-out social worker.  So by registering for excursions, we're giving people the opportunity to make our honeymoon even more special.  I bought my sister and her hubby a golf game for their honeymoon, and they loved it!  Our thank you card included a picture of them on the golf course - it was great!  I loved knowing that they had fun and made a great memory with something that I bought for them.  So that's what I have to say to all the honeymoon registry naysayers out there!

I did some research and found that had the best options - the most variety of layouts, ability to customize or choose a predetermined registry, no fees for having the registry, and the lowest transaction fees.  Honeyfund also provides options to our guests.  They can decide how to pay (PayPal, check, or bank deposit) and they can decide how we're notified.  All in all, we thought it seemed like the best option.  We sat down and perused the excursions that Sandals Halcyon has to offer.  We also looked at the excursions that the other 2 Sandals resorts on St. Lucia offer, because of their whole "Stay at 1, Play at 3" deal.  We chose a good number of options, and started putting together our registry on Honeyfund.  Another great thing about Honeyfund is that you can break large gifts down into smaller increments.  For example, for 2 people, the Soufriere Adventure Cruise is $240.  I doubt that most of our guests would be willing to spend that much on a honeymoon tour for us, so we broke it down into 4 $60 gifts.  We did that with several of our tours (ps - Sandals excursions are kinda pricey!).  

So that's it! Our two registries!  So far we have gotten a few gifts from our Honeyfund and of course we got several gifts from our BBBY registry at the shower.  We're really pleased with the customer service at both and hope that our guests like the options we've given them. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Complete!

My look, that is.  Finally!  I finally decided on the shoes.  Remember?  I was all torn and indecisive?  I made an executive decision, ordered the shoes, and loved them.  So?  Here are the ones I chose.  

(personal photo)
I love them, and when I showed them to my sister/MOH, she loved them, and Mom loves them.  I ordered them from Sonja's Brides.  I'm not sure it's something I'd do again.  The shoes were $65, which is a good price.  But then shipping was $15!  For one pair of shoes!  It seemed a little extreme to me, but I couldn't find them anywhere else on the web, so I sucked it up and paid it.  When I got them, I tried them on immediately (right after a mile walk home in 99-degree heat) and they were slightly too tight.  I thought I'd exchange them for a bigger size.  But to exchange them, I would've had to pay to ship them back, pay a $15 restocking fee, and pay to have the new pair shipped to me.  So that would've put these shoes well over $100, which really seemed extreme.  So I tried them on again when my sister came up for my bachelorette party, and they felt much better.  I decided to keep them as is.  I know, I know - my feet will swell on my wedding day, I'll be standing for the whole ceremony, blah, blah, blah.  I plan to only wear these shoes for the ceremony and for pictures - max, 2 hours.  They'll be fine.  I'm gonna work on breaking them in between now and the wedding, so I should be ok.  So, yay, shoes - DONE.

If you remember, the bracelet that I ordered from Etsy seller sparklyshoes.  Apparently, after making mine (which was a special request that she make a bracelet instead of the necklace she originally had) she now sells the bracelets, too!  So I guess it worked out for both of us!

And, of course, my hair feather, from Etsy seller PowderBlueBijoux.  I love, love, love this hair clip. 

AND, I found a clutch that I want to use, too!  Another Etsy purchase, this time from seller syl2830.  I kept it exactly as is - navy blue with a brown letter.  

And, as you know, I got my opal ring back, and we got our wedding bands!  So that's it!  My look is complete!  I'm debating about showing you the dress....stay tuned to see if it pops up in a future post!  Before the wedding, that is...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vendor Crush

Shhh...don't tell Matt!  But I totally have a crush on our DJ.  Not, like, a crush-crush (like what I had on Matt in high school).  But seriously?  I heart him.  A lot.

We met with Mike from Mixed Up Productions yesterday.  It was only the second time I'd ever spoken to him, and the first time we actually met (we did our "interview" over the phone).  As soon as we met, I felt like we'd all been friends for years.  He immediately made us feel at ease and like he wanted to help us make our wedding exactly what we want and fun! 

Mixed Up Productions has a great interactive website where you can provide your must-play list, set your wedding/reception schedule, and tell them what your special songs need to be.  You can choose whether or not to do the bouquet/garter toss, anniversary dance, wedding party dance....anything.  You specify everything to make it your night!  It's a great tool, and since we had used that already, Mike had a lot of our info already.  He helped Matt to narrow down options for the mother-son dance, since he and his mom still haven't decided on a song.  When we told him that our first dance is "Chasing Cars," he loved it.  When we asked him if there was a way to cut the song down, he said, "Absolutely!  After we're done her, I'll take you into the studio and we can do it this morning!"  What?!  We went through the sequence of events and figured out timing for everything.  We talked about our current must-play list and our do-not play list.  He helped us figure out if some of our must-plays should play during dinner or the reception.  All in all, he was great.

Once we finished figuring all of that out, he took us into the studio so he could cut back Chasing Cars.  While he made a digital copy of the song, he took us on a tour of the radio station (we met him at his office, which is in the local Clear Channel Broadcasting studios - for Central PA readers, that's The River 97.3, Kiss 99.3, Bob 94.9, and a couple talk stations).  So not only did we get a great meeting with our DJ but we also got a tour of the radio station!  Bonus!  Anyway, after a brief tour, we went back into the studio, where he played around with our song, and ended up with a great cut that is just over 3 minutes rather than its usual almost-5 minutes.  I think I saw Matt's nerves lifting in front of me.  Yippee!! 

On top of all this, he gave us a great suggestion to make dinner time a bit more interesting.  You know the annoying "clink your glass and make the bride and groom kiss" thing?  I hate that stupid thing.  If I could, I would have plastic silverware and plastic cups, just so our guests couldn't do this.  I can't stand it.  Mike suggested that we can turn it into a game.  Every time people click their glasses, he'll call out another couple and make them kiss first, and then we have to copy whatever they do.  We'll supply a list of couples that we think would participate and have fun with it.  Mike said it's fun, funny, sometimes creepy, and people generally love it.  He said it can have 1 of 2 effects - either people get into it and have fun with it, or people stop clinking glasses because they don't want to be next!  Ha!  I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and Matt and I already came up with a great list of couples to give him.  

So...yeah...I'm crushing a little on Mike.  Oh well.  How else are you supposed to feel about someone who makes it so clear that he's going to do everything he can to make your day even better?! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Idle Bridal Thoughts


Everytime I say the word "money" with any sort of exclamation, it makes me think of this video, which always makes me laugh till I cry. 

So. Funny.  The one girl's "dance" methods are hilarious. 

Anyway, back to some more serious-ness.  Deciding what to do with your money once you're married is a big decision for most couples, and I think for many people it can be a rather uncomfortable conversation to have.  Not so for me and Matt, but I understand how it could be.  Money has never been something I've liked talking about, but we eased our way into these discussions so it has gone relatively smoothly.

What works for some people doesn't work for others.  I know many people who have joint checking accounts with their husbands, and many others who keep everything separate.  I am a firm believer that a woman should have her own money.  Not for the purpose of keeping secrets or hiding things from him, but rather for the purpose that if anything should ever happen, I'll have access to money if/when I need it.  Matt agrees with this.  He is supportive of me keeping my own money to do with whatever I choose.  But we also both agreed that saving is important.  For our future, for our future kids, for vacations, for emergencies...

We've also been living together for several years now and have our bills and mortgage payments down to a pretty good science.  We split the mortgage 50/50, and the same with the bills.  I write him a check for my 1/2 of the mortgage in the middle of the month, and my 1/2 of the bills at the end of the month.  It sounds convoluted and like there is a lot of money changing hands, but it's what works for us.  And this way I can keep track of my money and decide how much I can afford for other bills of my own (credit card and student loans) and how much I can sock into savings.  We are [basically] planning to keep this same system. 

But we are joining our savings accounts.  Actually, he is closing his and transferring his money to my savings, and I'll add him as a joint holder.  My savings account gets significantly better interest rates than his does, so that's why we chose mine.  Each of us will contribute whatever we can towards our savings per month, with a minimum contribution that we've agreed on.  We both typically end up putting in more every month, but we agreed that holding ourselves to a minimum amount was important.  Once kids come into the picture, we will open an additional savings account for future college tuition.  My parents did this for me and my sister, and we were both able to finish college debt-free (my afore-mentioned student loans are from grad school), so it is very important to me to do this for our children. 

We will continue to reevaluate this system to make sure it continues to be the right thing for us.  But for now, this is what works for us individually and as a couple.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

They're Here!

Anybody else picture this in their heads every time someone says "they're here!"

No?  Just me?  Hmmm...  Well, anyway.

I picked up our wedding bands today!  That's right, a little over 2 weeks after we ordered them, they're in and ready to go!  See?  I told you Steven Singer rocks! 

I tried on my wedding band right in the store and it fits like a glove.  I'll be honest, I was a little nervous.  I have super-teeny fingers (um, size 3.75).  Fitting rings for me can be...challenging.  But Steven Singer has nailed it with both my engagement ring and my wedding band. 

Remember that they also resized my opal?  Did I mention that they did it for really cheap?  They were going to charge me full price, since I hadn't purchased the ring there, but then our salesperson wrote down that I had purchased it there, so it was less than 1/2 the price.  Well, that fits perfectly, too!  I'm so happy to be wearing my opal again - I have missed it for the last few months. 

Say you: What's the deal with this opal?
Say me: It's very special to me, for many reasons.  And they are....

When I was 16, I was invited to be a student ambassador with People to People, an international ambassador program (started by Jimmy Carter).  My group of 30 students and 4 chaperones spent 3 weeks in Australia - starting in Canberra, up to Sydney, along the Gold Coast, into the Outback, and back out to Cairns.  I had two things I had to do while there: pet a kangaroo and buy an opal.  While in Sydney, we were treated to a tour of the Costello jewelry store, which specializes in opal mining and jewelry.  We got a P2P discount while shopping there, and so I jumped all over it.  I found a beautiful ring that I bought on the spot and wore it proudly ever since.  It was a daily reminder of my amazing opportunity to travel through Australia, and I absolutely loved it.  It was a part of me.

Because of how soft opals are, I was instructed that I should try to not get the ring wet.  I should take it off when I wash my hands.  So I used to put it in my mouth while I washed my hands, especially when in public and without pockets.  However, when I started working at a hospital, I thought putting it in my mouth may not be the best idea.  So I usually put it in my pocket or set it on the sink.  One weekend I was heading back to Hershey for a weekend with my best girls, and I got within about 20 minutes of my parents' house (an hour from my house) and realized my ring wasn't on my finger.  My heart dropped to my toes, and I called my co-worker to see if she could check the bathroom sink at work.  It wasn't there.  It was gone.  I immediately reported it to security at the hospital, but I knew I'd never see it again.  I called Matt, crying.  I was heartbroken. 

4 months later, on our Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find a stuffed kitten in my stocking (I keep bugging Matt that I want a cat, but he's crazy allergic).  It had a ribbon tied around it's neck, and I noticed something shiny hanging from it [Yeah, don't think for a second that I didn't think this was a diamond, cuz I totally did, but I was not disappointed because...].  It was a brand new opal ring that Matt had gotten me to replace the one that was stolen!  Isn't he the cutest?!  Not only did he replace my ring, but he found one that looked really similar to my old ring!  I was so excited, and wore that one proudly until we got engaged and Matt wanted my only left-hand ring to be my engagement/wedding rings, and my opal didn't fit my right hand.  

So now I am complete, with my opal and my aquamarine on my right hand, and my engagement ring (and soon to be wedding band) on my left hand!  Yay!!!

*all personal photos

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Remember my grand plan for my emergency kits? And for the OOTs? Well, I started thinking, "Umm...hey, dummy...those are great ideas, but where are you going to find the travel packets of pills and other such minis? They don't exactly sell them in bulk at Target!" Ooops! I was right. While they sell lots of minis (mini lint brushes, mini mouthwash, mini shampoos, etc), they don't sell those travel packets of pills. What's worse is they don't sell packets of Gulden's Spicy Mustard, which we need for the pretzels in the OOTs. Rut-roh! What's a girl to do?

Enter You guys, this site is awesome. You can order a miniature version of just about anything you can dream of. Seriously. AND you can order any amount. While looking for the Gulden's mustard, everything was minimum orders of 500 packets. I don't need 500 packets. I don't even need 200. I need maybe 150. In my searching and searching and Googling and Googling, I thought for sure I was doomed to have 350 packets of Gulden's Spicy Mustard laying around my house for the next 800 years. And then I discovered Minimus. It'll let me order 150 packets of mustard. For $0.10 each! SCORE!!!

They have just about any medication you could possibly imagine.  And toiletry items (it would be a fantastic resource for those of you doing bathroom baskets).  And household items (need a mini bottle of Tide, perhaps?).  Need some baby items?  They even have a honeymoon kit that includes not only the items from their men's and women's carry-on kits, but also items from their "kama sutra" kit (think massage lotion, body dust, etc).  Hilarious!

I'm definitely gonna spend some dough at this place to get our OOTs and emergency kits fully stocked!  Awesomesauce!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

DIY - Five Down!

The programs are finished!  Woo-hoo!  I can cross that one off my big long to-do list!  So, here's a quick little lesson on how I did them.

I downloaded the template from Aylee Bits.  At first I downloaded the bigger one, but after playing around with it, I could not get it to print right.  So I went back and downloaded the smaller one, and that one worked better.  I still had to play around with it a bit, but eventually got it to work.  I honestly couldn't tell you exactly what I did.  I just played until it worked.  Anyway, once I got it to the point where it all printed right, I started playing around with the ceremony wording.  I finally got it situated so that I liked the way it was laid out - cover, then the ceremony on 2 blades, then the VIPs on the next 2 blades, and the last blade has our thank you and the Apache Wedding blessing, which I have always loved.  

I ordered the paper from  I highly recommend this website for all your wedding paper needs.  They are easy to work with, and have a huge selection.  You can order samples before you make your actual purchase, too, so you know you're getting exactly what you want.  And shipping is super quick!  Aylee Bits calls for 100# cardstock, but it didn't run through my printer well.  Plus, I liked the look of the 80# one better.  So it worked out.  I ended up getting the 80# Linen cardstock in Natural Cream.  

I printed (and printed....and printed....) about 10 fans at a time so as not to totally overwhelm myself.  Matt didn't really help too much with these, but I didn't really want him to - I had a whole system set up for myself and just felt I could handle it best myself.  So here are all the supplies I used:

Self-healing cutting mat, exacto knife, eyelet setter, rotary trimmer, and eyelets (I used the 3/16" size).  First step - cut the straight edges with the rotary trimmer:

Next step, use the Exacto knife and the cutting mat (it doesn't have to be a self-healing one, but they're pretty cool!) to cut the rounded top and bottom edges:

And finally, use the eyelet setter to punch the hole and then set the eyelet.  Finished product?

Sorry for the white-out, but...well, you know.  Anyway, I really like the way they turned out.  Since I started making them, I've seen some pictures of fans with opposing colored blades, and I kind of wish I had done that.  But Matt likes them the way they are, so that's good enough for me.

*all personal photos

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Idle Bridal Thoughts...

Wills and Living Wills

Ok, not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but with weddings comes marriage, and with marriage comes serious stuff - finances, wills, sharing sinks, etc. So I'm going to delve into the whole wills thing for a minute. I know, depressing, right? But somebody's gotta do it, and it may as well be me.

So. Wills. Yes, we're only 31 and 33. Yes, we have more debt than we do assets (thank you, student loans!). But we both have life insurance policies, we own a house together, and we have a fair amount of money in savings. The powers that be will need to know what to do with that if/when something should ever happen to one of us. No, it's not a pleasant conversation to have. But it's a necessary one. One of my bridesmaids lost her husband (at the age of 35) to a massive heart attack just a few years into their marriage. Their son was 6 months old. He had no will. Nothing to direct who was supposed to get what. That was 4 years ago. There are still accounts that she can't access because he didn't declare that she should have the right to do so. 4 years later. I do not want this to happen to us. So, yeah, we need to sit down and figure this whole thing out.

The other part of this conversation is the living wills. What should your SO do if you're ever in the hospital and unable to speak for yourself? What are you wishes as far as medical treatment is concerned? As a hospital social worker, I assure you, this is extremely important. The last thing that anyone wants is to be fighting with the doctors (or worse, other family members) about what should and should not be done. Figure out what you want, state it clearly, get it in writing, and make sure everyone knows where to find it. In the state of Pennsylvania, it is not absolutely necessary to have this written up by a lawyer, nor is it necessary to have it notarized. It just makes it "more official" if these things are done. But as long as it's in writing and signed by you, it's good enough. State laws vary on this, though, so be sure to check into your own.

Decisions that have to be made include things like whether you want chest compressions, artificial feeding/hydration, dialysis, mechanical's a lot, and it's some really rough decisions to make. But if you sit down with your SO and talk it out, I promise you that it'll make any future hospital visits that much easier for him/her. If you assign your SO as your power of attorney, please make sure that they are aware of your wishes. I've had too many situations where the power of attorney was either not aware or didn't follow the patient's wishes, and once the patient was competent again, they were none too pleased to find out they received treatment they didn't want. There are a lot of great resources out there about advance directives. When speaking to patients and families about advance directives, we often us the Five Wishes booklet; it's a great guide written in non-doctor, non-lawyer speak.  It's legal in all states, and tells you if you live in a state where it needs to be notarized.

As I said, I know it's a morbid subject, but it's one that must be discussed in order to make hard decisions easier to make. Nothing is sadder than watching someone struggle with making a decision about treatment for a sick loved one when it could have already been made for them. It eases the burden for your SO and family. So please, take some time to talk this through with your SO, even if it feels totally out of place as a young, engaged or newly married couple. Yes, it is that important.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Flower love, that is.  Before getting engaged, I didn't give much thought to flowers.  I can honestly say that at all the weddings we've been to over the years, I don't really remember anything about the flowers at most of them.  Except for my sister's.  Otherwise, I couldn't possibly tell you what flowers anyone has used in their weddings.  And yes, we have a garden at our house that has lots of flowers in it.  All of those flowers were donated by my parents from the oh-so-prolific garden.  I didn't actually choose any of them; it just happens to be whatever they could spare.  It's beautiful, but...I didn't choose it.  So when it came time to choosing flowers for the wedding, I was clueless.  I knew I wanted green and ivory/white and peacock feathers (some, not overkill).  Otherwise, uhh...yeah.  As Matt would say, "I was as confused as a baby raccoon."

So like any good little planning bride would do, I took to the internet.  Google, Weddingbee, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Martha...all kinds of searching.  I finally noticed a trend in my searches: peacock feathers, ranunculas, non-floral, spider mums, asymmetrical.  I liked bouquets that looked a little messy.  So here are some of the first ones that I saved as inspiration:

See?  A little messy, with things kind of jutting out here and there.  I love how funky and fun they are.  I love that bottom one with all the spider mums for my bridesmaids.  But I still hadn't found quite what I was looking for.  I kept digging.  This one has mint in it!

I saw these and thought, " thistle is really cool!"

Then I saw this, and felt like we were getting closer.  Green, pops of that turquoise blue, with peacock feathers...

(unfortunately, I can no longer locate the source for this)

And then.  I found this.  And it's perfect.  I'm in love.  

(this source link is no longer working, but it was from

I printed several of these pictures out and brought them to our second meeting with our caterer/coordinator/florist/decorator/all-around-awesomesauce-guy, David at JDK.  He is going to almost perfectly replicate that last bouquet for me (freesia, roses (there's a type of rose that looks just like a ranunculus but it's way cheaper), blue thistle, spider mums, amaranthus, delphinium, and hypericum berries.  For the bridesmaids, he's going to use roses, spider mums, button mums, and hypericum berries.  And for my sister/MOH, she'll have a bouquet like the bridesmaids', but hers will include peacock feathers. 

I cannot wait to see these bouquets come to life.  I think they're going to look fantastic, and the green and white will look great against the girls' navy blue dresses.