Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Wednesday ~ more random wedding pictures

I'm patiently (trying super duper hard not to go bug my photographer) waiting for my wedding pictures.  Our contract states 4 - 8 weeks.  So patience people!  And the video will probably be not until the end of November.  In this world of instant gratification, this is hard!  So to help the anxiety here are some more random wedding day pictures.

during the ceremony

our cake with our parents wedding day pictures.

dancing!  with signature drink in hand!  my friend Tina always adds fun captions to pictures!

michelle, me, and emily

first dance

Cheyenne our flower girl

April, Tina, me, Annabelle, and Sara

Charlie, Justine, me, Kortny, and Steven

more fun dancing!

another pic of my rockin' shoes!

the back of one of the journal's with the signature drink (blue mojito)

the reception!, this is the only picture of the space "untouched" taken by my day of coordinator Katie.
Katie also took this video she posted on her blog.  Go all the way down to the bottom, my video is the last one.  We did a flash mob of sorts to "I'm Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO.

our rings

my friend and bridesmaid Tina had the idea to make this sign!  She enlisted her brother in law to create it, he met with Kari in ABQ to get it, and Kari drove it up to Denver!  It was a huge surprise, and hung in the lobby of the hotel for almost two days!!!
I forgot to mention our first dance!  We  danced to "You and Me" by Dave Matthew's Band.  When Chris and I first thought about our first dance I told him I wanted a song that told a story.  That would talk about our future and our life.  He did the research and came up with the song all by himself, and I love it.  We took 5 dance lessons at Ward Carter Dance and learned the foxtrot!  I'm not too sure if anyone really noticed, but it was fun.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jamaica ~ Day 4 & 5/recap

Jamaica Day 4 ~ Thursday October 18
We got up semi-early on Thursday to eat breakfast and be in the lobby by 11am for our excursion to Dunn's River Falls.  I read about this hike once our Honeymoon was booked, and it was recommended as a MUST DO activity.  I was immediately nervous.  Who knows if my fat-kid mentality will ever go away, but mention just about any physical activity and I get nervous.  My thoughts immediately start to race with anxiety and questions of "can I DO this?"  I shared my hesitation with Chris and he promised to do the whole thing with me.  I looked at pictures and reviews trying to find people bigger than me who had accomplished this climb. We chatted with a couple who did the excursion a few days prior and they said they are glad that they did it, but probably wouldn't do it again, as there were some parts where you literally have to climb up the rocks.  Going on a hike, maybe not really a big deal, climbing UP a that's a big deal.
 On the entire bus ride to the fall's I was nervous.  I was looking for a way out.  They said their would be lockers to put our items in.  The lockers were never covered with us, and before I knew it we were walking down getting into the water and I still had my sunglasses and dress on.  We handed our camera (not waterproof BTW) to our tour guide and we all connected hands and made our way up the waterfall.  Thankfully and luckily I was first, and was holding hands with our tour guide (KC was his name) right in front of us with Chris right behind me.  We would climb some then stop at a leveled-off area and take some pictures.  In the picture above we had just done the first trek and were getting used to the water.  Everyone was mentioning how cold the water was, and to be honest I didn't even realize, just because I think was still mentally preparing what it was that I was doing!

No problem!

 The total climb was about 950 feet.  Looking back, I'm (of course) so excited that I did it!  Along with our tour guide who held our camera (along with about 3 others) the whole time taking pictures etc...we also had a guide follow us along and shoot a DVD.  We purchased that, and it was so much fun!  Along with the picture above there were points where we went down a little water slide, feel back as a couple into some open water, and posed with Chris dipping me, kissing me, and then dropping me in the water! 
looking down from the top

we finished!
 I wished we could have gotten some pictures of the actual falls so I stole these pictures from google images.  I would highly suggest doing a search of "Dunn's River Falls" to see all of the awesome pictures!
this is basically how we climbed up(hand in hand) - photo credit

there are easily about 3 or 4 different groups all going up at the same time - photo credit

the beautiful cascading falls - photo credit
 Our tour guide was truly a rock star and made the trip so much fun.  He definitely helped calm my nervous and the fact that he does the climb with bare feet (we did it with water shoes), holding cameras in his spare hand seems nothing short than a miracle to me!  This part of the trip was Chris' favorite activity of the trip, and he says he would definitely do it again!
Once we got back to the resort we had some lunch and hung out in the room a bit.  We then headed outside to lay out by the beach just to find out it was raining!  Up until this moment our weather had been absolutely perfect!  I knew it was the rainy season (and hurricane season, we missed Hurricane Sandy by a week!), I think we just got lucky with no rain prior to our last day.  Once the rain let up a little we went and played in the sand (see pic below) and enjoyed our beautiful view.

the catamaran boat ride

 Our last night we ate at Eight Rivers.  The super fancy restaurant on the resort.  I didn't read the details prior to our trip, but this restaurant requires pants for the men.  No shorts, no jeans.  Thankfully we got a pair from the hotel so that we could eat there!  I got dressed up in my wedding reception dress, wedding day jewelry and shoes!  I was super excited to wear some of wedding day essentials again!
Jamaica Day 5 ~ October 19th
Our last morning was super early.  We had to be in the hotel lobby by 7:15am.  We walked along the beach one last time and reluctantly went back to reality.

good bye Jamaica!
We arrived at the Montego Bay airport by 9:30am, and our flight didn't leave until 12noon.  We had a short flight to Miami, where we had to get our luggage and go through US customs.  It was insane.  I had completely forgotten how crazy international travel can be.  The flight from Miami to Denver was definitely long but we sat next to a super fun dude who lives in Denver and because of our newly married status we got a couple of free drinks!
That Saturday Chris and I unpacked organized a little, did some laundry, then did some returns of wedding gifts.  Sunday we spent truly relaxing, staying in our PJ's, cuddling on the couch, catching up on TV, and only leaving the house to get some Taco Bell to eat.  As much fun as our honeymoon was last Sunday was just as nice.

Jamaica was fantastic!  I have some pointers and tips to keep in mind in case we ever go again, or if you are now ready to plan your trip!
We obviously booked our trip way in advance.  And who knows if booking way in advance makes the price any significantly cheaper, but considering what we paid this trip wasn't really that expensive, Chris booked it through  We only spent about $300 in souvenir's and gratuity.  The resort covers everything.  We did tip for our massage (because it was free for us) and the non-resort workers (shuttle drivers/Dunn's River Falls tour guide).  I had never been on a vacation like this and thought we would get envelopes the last night of our stay with everyone requesting a tip (like what you get on a cruise) but we didn't.  Once we got home I pulled up the FAQ's page on the Couples website, and it specifically says you don't have to tip.  That's a huge advantage compared to a cruise vacation.  The main pro to a cruise vacation is you get to see more than one place.  The pro's for this type of resort vacation are no gratuity, you don't get charged additional for alcohol, and you don't have to pay for the excursions.  The resort does have a representative on site offering other types of excursions not included (like zip lining, horseback riding) but all of the off site activities we did were included and at no extra cost.  They are very similar in regards to, like the theme nights, and always activities going on.  So truly you should never be bored, if you do want something to do other than lounging back and relaxing.
If you are staying at a resort you do NOT need any Jamaican currency.  This was a mistake.  Everyplace we went took American money.  Unless you are doing some hardcore research and truly going off the beaten path, there is no need to switch out your money.
Bring cheap sunglasses.  I brought with me my nice sunglasses, and I was nervous I would lose them (especially during Dunn's River Falls).
When in doubt where you swimsuit.
Pack a nice formal outfit for a fancy dinner.
Do NOT pack workout clothes, because even though you think you're gonna workout, you won't. 
Bring a beach bag to carry water bottles/magazines/towels with you to the beach.  This would have definitely come in handy for all of our various trips to the water.  We did purchase one when we went shopping on Tuesday so we would have something for Dunn's River Falls. One of the handles unfortunately broke as we w were packing it to bring to the airport so it's now in the trash.
Buy a waterproof camera.  My cousin Kari gave me this tip (unfortunately if was after we had already gotten back) that if she's going anywhere with water on vacation, she buys a waterproof camera.  I would have loved this for our snorkeling trip and Dunn's River Falls. 
We were in Jamaica for 5 nights.  I think our timing was just about perfect.  Although I do think 6 would have been better.
Come back a couple of days early.  Having the weekend at home before going back to work was perfect.  Truly a little vacation from our vacation.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jamaica ~ Day 2 & Day 3

Jamaica Day 2 ~ Tuesday October 16
Tuesday morning was spent being relaxed.  Chris and I went to the spa and enjoyed a 30 minute couple's massage.  It was heavenly.  I'm not too sure how we got it, but I'm thinking it was compliments of the hotel, and we greatly enjoyed it.
We had lunch sent to our room, and we just relaxed before heading to the lobby in the afternoon to leave our resort for some shopping.

outside near the lobby

a gecko
 We headed out in a shuttle to three different places.  The first place was a rather large gift shop where we purchased majority of our items.  The second place was sorta like an outdoor mall/marketplace.  Lots of different souvenir shops, jewelry shops etc...  Two levels, with all shops pretty much having the same selection.  We walked around, but we were there for an hour and half, and Chris and I are pretty no-nonsense shoppers.  We like to get what we want and continue on.  We aren't much of "window shoppers" if you will.  So there we definitely times that we were bored.  The last place was like a horrible flea market.  All of these people let up in little shacks, with absolutely nothing you want to purchase.  It was uncomfortable because people haggle you, pester you to stop by and look at their items, when it is truly all the same.  You feel bad, because you know this is how these people create their lively hood.  But we didn't want to buy something just for the sake of buying it. 
after dinner at Bayside
 That night we went to dinner at the Bayside Restaurant.  These one is right on the water. So pretty and romantic.  And it's so nice that it doesn't get cold!  I brought a couple of cardigan's for when the sun went down, thinking it would be chilly.  But it's not.  So perfect.  The restaurant serves Asian cuisine, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.  Talk about being spoiled.  You get a 4 course meal at every restaurant, all you want to drink, you don't have to pay for anything, and don't even have to leave gratuity!  Plus you get good service!

Jamaica Day 3 ~ Wednesday October 17
Our 3rd day was spent relaxing by the pool.  We signed up to go snorkeling at 11am, and had a little lesson at 10am.  We went out on the boat, and enjoyed the crystal clear waters once more.  This time I was prepared with my swimsuit on!  Who knows how much time we actually spent out in the water, but this was by far my most favorite part of the trip.  I felt like I was on my very own episode of "The Bachelor" except I knew I would get the guy and end up happily ever after.  We held hands, swimming around, looking at all of the sea life, fish, and coral, and even though we couldn't really talk to each other and the water was super duper salty, it was so romantic.  We had about 6 or 7 other couples swimming around as well, but the ocean is so large we felt like we were all alone.  You feel so secluded swimming around this great big ocean you feel so small.  I don't really know how to describe it, but I loved it.  Most of all, just holding Chris' hand swimming around.  It was my idea of perfect. 
hanging out by the pool
 Once we got back to the resort from our snorkeling excursion we spent the rest of the time lounging around and in the pool with the swim up bar.  It was great socializing with various couples and at the same time spending time by ourselves.
hanging out in the pool

the bar
 Once we had enough sun, we went back up to our room to get ready for a private beach dinner.
outside on the balcony in my "BRIDE" robe.
 Talk about romantic!  We were escorted to the beach with a candlelit runway to our table for our very own private beach dinner.  I wished we could have done this at sunset, but the reservation was for 7:15pm, and it was already dark. So all we had was the candlelight. 
We were served surf 'n turf!  I was super excited for the lobster tail.  The resort has a lobster tail night every Friday, but we left on Friday.  So I was so happy we got to try it.  And it was so good!
surf 'n turf dinner

our very own private beach dinner, compliments of my parents!

the main pool at night

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Honeymoon ~ Jamaica: Arrival and Day 1

Last Friday we got back from our fabulous week long Honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  It was a fabulous trip!  And if this is the reward for stressing, and planning a wedding for 11 months, it was well worth it!  If anyone is looking into a fabulous getaway, I would highly recommend Jamaica. 
Chris planned and booked this trip back in January, and with everything else going on, I sorta just forgot about the honeymoon.  Combine that with a last minute trip to Maryland, and this vacation was well deserved!
We arrived in Montego Bay, Sunday October 14th in the afternoon.  Jamaica itself is not a very big island, only about 150 miles across and 50 miles wide.  Montego Bay is on the Northwestern side, and Ocho Rios on the Northeastern side.  We had a layover in Dallas, which was perfect and split up the travel times nicely.  Upon boarding the flight in Dallas the flight attendant gave us US Customs Card, but they never reviewed it with us, and what needs to be filled out and what doesn't.  It's been 16 years since I've flown out of the country, so I wasn't too sure what to do.  So we just filled out what we knew.  Upon arrival in Montego Bay we had to stop with 3 different customs people.  And they weren't the nicest people.  It was a little frustrating when you've been flying for a few hours and all you want to do is get to where you are going and you can't get any good help.  We eventually figured it out, got our luggage and arrived at the Couples arrival check-in to get onto the next shuttle to our resort.  It was so nice to have a smiling face and a welcome to Jamaica.  They had a little lobby area set up for us to sit, and even Red Stripe available to drink.  I'm not a beer drinker, but Chris enjoyed it.  We then joined two other couples on the shuttle bus to Ocho Rios.  One was a couple who has been married for 19 years, the other was a couple on their honeymoon who had gotten married the night before!  It was so much fun chatting with her about her wedding and their love story...they met at the end of June via! (talk about a quick courtship!)
About an hour and forty minutes later we arrived at Couples Tower Isle Resort!   

the flight into Montego Bay
Once we stepped out of the shuttle we were immediately handed nice warm damp towels to freshen up with along with an offer for a drink.  We sat down to check-in, our drinks arrived, and everyone was so nice!  It's amazing how a different culture can be so laid back and relaxed.  How "ya mon!" and "no problem" are truly part of the everyday vocabulary.  That is pretty much how they respond to everything.   
love towels in our room
 From check-in we had a fabulous bell man walk us to our room and tell us a little bit about the layout of the resort.  While we were crossing the main pool it was raining a little bit which was to be expected as it is the rainy season in Jamaica (and the end of hurricane season). 
the view from our room
 I've never been on a vacation to an all inclusive resort, but one of the unique (in my opinion) things about Tower Isle is the little island you see in that picture up above.  This is there all inclusive nude island.  Chris and I didn't make a visit, but it was quite popular as a little boat traveled back and forth all day taking people.
the front of the resort
walking around the resort for the first time.  Notice my "Mrs. Sweat" tank top!
 Once we got settled in the room (I seriously ran (more like skipped) back and forth because I was so excited!) we got a bite to eat at the Pool side grill then we took ourselves on a little tour of the whole resort.  We found the swim up pool bar pool, the spa, hammocks to lay in, and the gift shop.  After our self-guided tour we stopped at the reservations desk in the lobby to make our dinner reservation for the week.  She immediately perked up when we gave her our last name and asked when we would be out of the room for dinner.  We had just eaten but said 7pm.
From there we did some more touring and headed back to the room to unpack.
We then went to the main buffet area for dinner.  To be honest, I wasn't really expecting much in regards to the food, but I was pleasantly surprised!  The food options and taste definitely exceeded my expectations.  Everything we had was very good.
romantic turn down service
 Once we arrived back in our room, we had beautiful music playing, candles lit, and a very romantic turn down service.  Along with a note from my parents stating we are also getting a private dinner on the beach! and a bottle of champagne.

Our first full day in Jamaica: Monday October 15th
standing on the balcony
 Our first full day in Jamaica started with breakfast in bed.  Well not really, but we did get breakfast served in our room, and we enjoyed eating out on our balcony.  After breakfast we went on a catamaran boat ride.  It was super hot, but the views of the ocean and our resort were beautiful.  We enjoyed Rum Punch while out at sea.  I had never been on a catamaran boat ride before, so I didn't really know what to expect.  I should have known when everyone else who was on the boat with us was in a bathing suit.  The boat traveled to this gorgeous little cove, with amazing crystal clear water, where everyone was able to jump off and take a swim in the ocean!  Not me.  I was greatly disappointed.  Who doesn't want to jump off a boat and swim in some beautiful water?!  I love to swim and was sad not to experience this, but we did make up for it later in our trip.
cruising around the nude island

endless beautiful blue water

the only one's on the boat :( and not wearing swimsuits!
 Once we got back from the catamaran we immediately changed into our swimsuits to enjoy the water! 
my HH! (hot husband) (in the background is a restaurant)

enjoying the water!
That night the resort had a Beach Party on the ...beach!  They served some amazing food buffet style and we got to sit with and meet some different couples.  They showed some amazing Jamaican dancers and a crazy flexible limbo dancer!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wedding Wednesday ~ ALL the details

UPDATED ~ items italicized.
Just some random wedding pictures for you to view.

my rockin shoes!  love 'em!

the first time I was able to try on MY dress!
There is A LOT that goes into a wedding.  I was engaged for almost 11 months and planned everything out and feel like my timing and planning worked out pretty good.  A lot of credit is due to everyone who participated behind the scenes.  I truly hope I don't forget anyone or anything!
Officiate - Pastor Ken Brown: We've gotten so many compliments on our ceremony, and our pastor is definitely due credit.  He is truly such a joy, and since we've been attending church we truly enjoy his spirit.  He added some amazing personal touches throughout our ceremony that made it even more special!
Church - Broomfield United Methodist Church: I grew up Catholic, and always knew that if I were to get married, I would want to get married in a church.  When I voiced this to Chris after we got engaged he mentioned finding a church for us to belong to, so that we could be at "home" once the wedding day arrived.  I was so relived that he was on board, and we were so blessed to find such a wonderful church family within the first church that we visited!
Reception - Chateaux at Fox Meadows: I had been eyeing this place easily for the last 7 years.  Immediately it was my dream wedding.  I'm so blessed that it was part of the day and my reality wedding!  We originally met with Jayme back in December who gave us the tour, and once we signed the contract for our day I definitely consulted her a hand full of times.  We also met there back in July when my mom was in town, and again 2 weeks prior to the wedding.  Other than that, they were definitely hands off.  Now who knows what all they did come the day of the wedding, but I imaged they would be more part of my planning.  A big disappointment was the cocktail hour.  Cocktail hour was suppose to be outside in there beautiful backyard gazebo area.  Well with the temperature in the 30's the back-up plan was to have cocktail hour down stairs in the basement.  Granted it isn't as nice, but that's where it was suppose to be.  When we arrived to the reception I was shocked and surprised to see all of the guests hanging out in our reception space.  I worked very hard and had a vision of being able to see the space untouched.  Have my very own "First Look" of the space.  Now we'll have no pictures of that space and what it looked like.  I later found out that the basement was under construction which was why cocktail hour was in the main reception space.  Obviously nothing could have been done about it then or now, but it's just hugely disappointing.
Ceremony Music - Harpist Monica Smith: I found Monica back in January and she was one of the very first vendors we booked.  I hadn't really thought about ceremony music but while browsing she was listed as a featured vendor.  One of my mom's favorite musical instruments is the harp, and knowing what our church looked like, I thought it would be a beautiful touch.  I never even officially met Monica, but the music was beautiful!
Florist - Statice Floral: Lori.  Our package at the Chateaux came with a choice of florist, a DJ, caterer, cake, and photography.  Every one's recommendation was Statice Floral.  So that's who we went with.  We met with Lori back in January, and I met with her again about two weeks before the wedding.  I knew I wanted my flowers to be bright and colorful.  I wanted a bouquet to truly pop up against my white wedding dress.  My favorite flower is the bird of paradise, and I wanted that incorporated but I didn't want it to be seen as tropical.  I wanted elegant.  And Lori pulled all of it off beautifully.  I loved my bouquet.  When our bouquets arrived at the hotel while we were getting ready, that my first moment of "OH MY GAWD I'm getting MARRIED!"
Dress - Amanda's Bridal: Da Vinci style # 50010.  As you know dress shopping was hectic for me.  And in my opinion the picture of this dress on the website doesn't do it justice.  It also has the silver stitching, which I opted for the ivory.  My dress was perfect for me.  I love how tiny it made my waist, the rouching was super flattering, it had some bling but not a lot, it also had some detailing but not a lot.  To me it had all elements incorporated into my day. 
Reception dress - Nordstrom Wedding Suite(dress no longer available): This was one of the surprise moments of the evening.  Only a few people knew of the change of dresses.  I always thought a wardrobe change would be fun, and thankfully my gown was about $700 under my original budget so I splurged on a reception dress for about $150.  As much as I love my wedding gown, this dress was so much more comfortable and much better to dance in!  Plus I've already worn it again, on my honeymoon!
Shoes - Dillards: Knowing that blue was going to be a such a big highlight color in my wedding, I knew I wanted some rockin' blue shoes to wear with my dress.  I ran across these while shoe shopping with my mom back in July.  I kept walking by them thinking they wouldn't work.  I probably walked by them at least 6 times before I finally decided "I should just try them on."  And I'm so glad that I did.  They were perfect, but not at all what I had pictured in my mind.  I originally thought I wanted a T-strap or Ankle strap, definitely not a peep-toe.  But they worked, and I think that were perfect.  AND comfortable.  Now I just need to find an outfit so that I can wear them again.
Reception Shoes - Macy's: My mom purchased a pair of glitter silver TOMS shoes to wear at the reception.  She also bought me a pair, but they just didn't work.  I knew I wanted some sort of ballet flat, but I also wanted open-toed shoes (I wanted to show off my silver toes) but when I ran into these ballet flats I found at Macy's again they were perfect.  I'm not a big bow person, and the detailing on the front was just ideal!
Bridesmaid Dress - Amanda's Bridal: Alfred Angelo style #no longer available.  I really love this dress.  I think it flattered my girls perfectly, and with the side rouching and corset back even matched my dress a little, to look like it all went together.  I never really had a moment to just look at my bridesmaids, so I'm really anxious to see the pictures of all of us together.  The blue is beautiful, and I love the material and the fact that it was good for a cold Colorado day.
Hotel - Westminster Westin: This was a beautiful hotel.  I worked with Ashley and she was a lifesaver.  She was in charge of our hotel block, and looking back now I can't remember what it is that I called her about, but whenever I called her she was always there!  Our guests really enjoyed it and the fact that it's so close to so many things.
Hair/Makeup - Beauty on Location by Liz: Liz was a rockstar.  She showed up at 8:30am, and worked all the way to 2:30pm, getting all of us ready.  All the girls loved there hair and makeup, including myself!  She's truly dependable, and her rates aren't outrageous.
DJ - A Music Plus: This was the DJ provided through the Chateaux.  Music is a big deal to me.  I wanted our reception to be a party.  I wanted to dance the night away.  And the DJ provided just that!  It was so much fun.  Our DJ even went above and beyond my supplying the thingy that cuts off the end of the cigars for the cigars.  Thanks Fabio!
Caterer - Greenspoint Catering: Melissa.  The Chateaux gave us a handful of people to chose from in regards to food.  My dad immediately voiced wanting a sit down dinner.  Chris and I met with three different caterers.  The first one basically bullied us into having a buffet, which wasn't going to happen.  The second was more expensive and not as good as Greenspoint.  So thankfully picking out our food was easy.  Melissa was always available and super nice to work with.  And the food was great! 
Cake - Nancy's Best Cakes: Let me be honest.  Nancy is a bit out there, but wow does she know how to make a good cake!  Our cake was definitely clean and classic, but the flavors were all over the place!  She did a fabulous job.
Alcohol/Cigar's - DaveCo Liquors: A big advantage to the Chateaux is you bring in your own alcohol, and the caterer provides a bartender.  We had a couple of different beers, two white wines, and two red wines, along with our Blue Mojito as our signature drink.  We purchased about $1200 worth of alcohol at DaveCo, but were able to return about $600 of unopened liquor the day after the wedding.  With about 100 drinking adults from 5pm - 11pm and only $600 in drinks, is a pretty good deal.  Definitely a huge money saver.
The cigar's were another surprise, specifically for Chris.  He and his family occasionally like a cigar and I thought it would be something nice for them to enjoy.  The cigars were a huge hit!
Limo - Denver Limo: We also used this company for the bachelorette party.  I about had a heart attack when the limo took the long way (the freeway) to the church, but other than that the limo arrangement was pretty good.  For the wedding we had 2 limo's.  And both worked our perfectly. 
Custom Napkins/Matches - shop: The blue "Chris and April" napkins were the very first thing I purchased back in December once we had our wedding date selected.  Then I got the matches after I bought the cigars.  I love the little personalized touches.
Invites - Wedding Paper Diva's: I don't really like our invites.  I think I jumped the gun on these, and got them on a whim.  If I could re-do these I would.  Oh well.
Ornament Favor - blog: I think my friend April found this link.  I immediately liked the idea.  They weren't too difficult to make, and so happy we decided on these right before Christmas so we could stock up during the after Christmas sales. 
Journals/Table Numbers - Journals and table number: I originally got this idea from my friend Sarah, who left a super long comment on one of my blogs then sent her comment to me via email.  A lot of the feedback I had gotten was that nobody looks at the guest book after the fact. And these will give us a tradition for many anniversaries in our future.  The books themselves were a huge pain to make, but well worth it.  Hopefully people wrote in them and signed them, and noticed the pictures on the back.
Photobooth - Photobooth'N: In my mind a photobooth at a wedding is a relatively new idea.  Who knows how long this as been the "IN" thing, but I knew it would be a lot of fun.  I just wasn't too sure if I would be able to get my mom on board.  Thankfully I didn't have to try very hard.  When she visited in January and we went to a couple of bridal shows, she immediately loved it and wanted to get one for my wedding.  Shortly after I priced a few out and went with the cheapest one, and it was a HUGE hit.  There was a line for it pretty much the whole time.  The thing I loved about the photobooth is that it created instant gratification.  We got the guestbook that night, and it was so much fun to look at with Chris the next day and see all of the crazy/fun pictures!
Welcome Bag - I really liked the way these turned out.  So I just want to highlight them.  I got canvas type grocery recycle bags from Amazon, filled each one with a 5280 Magazine a local Denver magazine, a bag of trailmix from Mountain Man Nut & Fruit Company, a bottle of water, and a welcome letter.  I really wanted to highlight Colorado as the welcome bags were only made for people traveling in from out of town.  Hopefully everyone got there's when they checked into the hotel.
Videographer - Shuttlerbliss Cinema: I went back and forth for a long time about getting a videographer or not.  Thankfully Andrea and I negotiated on this one.  I can't wait to see the finished product!
Photography - Molly McGannon Photography: Molly was a joy to work with.  She definitely helped calm me down as we were getting ready to go take pictures.  I'm trying to be super patient, but I hope to see some pictures soon!
Program - my cousin/matron of honor: Kari.  I really loved our wedding programs.  Simple and elegant.  Thanks so much Kari for putting them together.
Glow Necklaces - Amazon.  I wanted to do something fun and simple to create a fun party atmosphere.  I got this idea when I saw people wearing glow necklaces at the park we went to on the 4th of July.  They were a total hit, and another fun surprise for our guests!  I brought them out when I came out after my wardrobe change.
Men's Attire - Men's Warehouse: All of this and I forgot my HH (hot husband, his new nickname BTW)!  The groom, his groomsmen, the ring bearer, ushers, and our dad's all got fitted through Men's Warehouse.
Etsy was a huge part of my wedding.  I liked the idea of supporting local stuff made here in the United States.  All but two vendors were from out of the country and awesome to work with!
Rehearsal Dinner Invites/Escort Cards - InkaDink Designs.  Talk about quick turnaround and super cheap!  I loved LOVED both my rehearsal dinner invites, and escort cards...I wish I would have used this shop for my wedding invites.
Tank Tops - SomethingGlitzy.  I got myself a top that reads "Mrs. Sweat" and one for each of my bridesmaids and one for my flower girl.  Super cute and fun!
Towels - MonogramMarketOnline.  I got towels for the kiddos as thank you gifts: Max, Jake, Cheyenne, and Aidan.  This was a partially negative experience.  She forgot about my order, and had to request her to still make them and ship them.  Thankfully we got them in time.
Stamp - Love to Create Stamps.  I made a custom stamp for our rehearsal dinner invites.  Super creative, and a great idea for anyone who has recently moved!
Handkerchiefs - Pams Embroidery.  I got a custom embroidered handkerchief for each of my parents that was given to them at the rehearsal dinner.
Wedding day Jewelry - Crystal Avenues.  I love my wedding day jewelry.  Super BLING!  I made the mistake of not trying everything on with my dress until my wedding day, and the necklace was super long, so I wish I would have measured that.  Thankfully we just taped it down my back.  I also wanted a piece of my Grandpa Egan and my Irish background associated, so one of the crystals on the bracelet was green.
Cufflinks - Alexa Lane.  I got a pair of cufflinks for my dad.  One reads "Father of the Bride" the other "I Loved Her First."
Garter belt - Avysm.  This set came with two, one to give away and one to keep.  I surprised Chris with a Denver Bronco garter belt!
Headband - Lucibella1.  I love this headband.  A super nice touch to make me feel like a bride.
Veil - Ultimate Bridal Veils.  Because of all of my wedding day jewelry and the bling on my dress, I knew I wanted a simple veil.  I do wish it was a little bit longer, but considering it's the one thing you wear the least, I was very happy with it.
Sand Ceremony Vases/Flower Vases - Engraving by T.  Chris' and I official love quote is "Real Love Stories Never Have Endings" this is engraved on our vase that we poured our sand into during our ceremony.  I also got myself a vase for my bouquet that reads April/Bride/October 5,2012.  I also got one made for each of my bridesmaids.  This was a surprise for them that they got once we arrived at the Chateaux.
Bridal Party Jewelry - Bijoux By Meg.  I loved worked with this shop owner.  So nice. 
Hangers - Two Broads Design.  I got all of us (me, my mom, and bridesmaids) a hanger back in March, that I gave out at my bridal shower.  I love these because it's something you'll always be able to use.
PHEW I do think that covers everybody!!!
Flower Girl Dress - Tutu Bug by Bri.  I loved Cheyenne's flower girl dress.  Not only did accent our coral color perfectly, but it was just so much FUN!  Plus we got a great price on it!