Category Archives: Elizabeth Anne Designs Features

Our Wedding: The Reception Decor

images from personal collection

To see more of our photos from our reception click here!

This week is all about our reception decor!

The best part about getting married around the holidays is the instantaneous decor. Everything is just so beautiful with the beautiful twinkly lights, fresh pine and glowing bulbs.

Since we were busy moving and preparing all the details for our wedding in Ireland, my mom really took charge in putting everything together for us.  She did such a wonderful job!

I was against favors of any kind so instead, we printed off our engagement photos for guests to take.  This went over really well and everyone loved the idea.

The place cards were just so cool.  They were made out of different types of scrapbooking paper [completely inexpensive yet a big impact!]  We were able to coordinate designs with menu options so the servers would know which entree to serve.

I loved the collection of our old family photos. This was a great conversation piece and meant a lot to us.  We included both of our families. It’s sweet to think that one day we’ll be part of that collection.

Our centerpieces consisted of gold chargers, pillar candles and gold and cream Christmas bulbs and fresh pine.  They were so easy to put together.  I am a huge advocate of candles at weddings.  The best part however was the fresh pine that my dad hand cut the morning of our wedding.

Lastly, my beloved cake! I’m a cake girl, that’s for sure.  More importantly, I’m a “Hermitage Bakery” girl.  Hermitage Bakery is a local bakery with the absolute best cake.  I was a little sad at first when I thought I wouldn’t be able to have Hermitage Bakery cake at my wedding but when we decided to have a reception in Pennsylvania, they were first on our list to call. We used the cake topper that both my mom and grandmother used at their wedding.

When you step back and look at everything, you see that it’s just “stuff.”  But when you really look at it, you see the family connections (my dad picking the pine, my grandmother offering her cake topper, my mom making the place cards…) Those are the moments that “stuff” turns into special somethings.  It gives it meaning.

Next week, more about cake and our family!

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Filed under Cake, Celebrations, DIY, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Life, Real Wedding, Winter

Our Wedding- Getting Ready, The Ceremony and (Pre)Reception

Are you ready for some fun!

The day of our wedding was surprisingly calm.  I didn’t have a care in the world and just felt happiness.

{I admit, the night before I warned everyone that no one is to be stressed or freaking out on the big day or else they would be escorted back home!}

Here are a few shots of us getting ready! I put on my father-of-the-bride soundtrack and got to work!

Our civil ceremony was scheduled for 10:00AM. We arrived at 9:45am and the lobby was already filled with our family.  At this point, everything was starting to hit me.  I was excited yet a little nervous.

I remember thinking to myself, “I need to feel like a bride. Do I feel like a bride? What does a bride feel like?” Then I realized that I was being silly and to just be in the moment.

The actual ceremony lasted under five minutes! I was so happy to have my cousin Hannah there to be my stand in “Maid of Honor/Ring Bearer/Jr.Bridesmaid.” She even matched!

We had  a little time between the ceremony and lunch so we headed back to my house.

As you know, Ger’s family was unable to attend this ceremony so we were lucky enough to talk to all of them on skype.  They had a toast in our honor while we admired the beautiful flowers that they sent to us. I’m so happy that they were included on our special day.

After talking to Ger’s family, we opened up a few games of Wii Sports and did some bowling! How many people can say that!? It was nice to have that down time to feel a bit more normal.

all images from personal collection

Our morning was just beautiful, low key and perfect.  Everything I wanted!

It didn’t hurt to have champagne at 10:30 in the morning, either!

Come back next week for more details about our reception!


Filed under Celebrations, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Features, Inspiration, Life, Planning, Real Wedding, Winter

“Just Married” in Pennslyvania!

Here’s a sneak peek from when we eloped in Pennsylvania over the holidays!

Yes, I know we didn’t technically elope but it sounds so exciting!

We had such a fabulous time.  It was especially special that my family were able to share in our special day.

More of our winter wedding in the coming weeks!

via Personal Collection


Filed under Cake, Celebrations, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Life, Photography, Real Wedding, Wedding Cake, Winter

Do You Need Rings To Make It Legal?

I’m back! We are settling beautifully into our new home.  I am loving suburban life.  I feel much more at home and settled.

Now that moving and unpacking is behind us, it’s now time to think about our first wedding celebration.  It is only (3) weeks away!

First up is the wedding rings.  Originally I was against the exchanging of rings portion of the ceremony because I didn’t want to take away from the official wedding.  Boy did Etsy change my mind! They have the best alternative rings.  What a great way to have a memento of the big day.

Here are my favorites!

This first one was incredibly sweet.  I had been eying this for quite a while.  I love the unique look of this band.  It is simple yet very sweet.

via White Fly on Etsy

I typically am not a “birdie” fan but find this ring really cool.  I don’t know if this one says wedding in any way, but it’s still great.

via Ottobone on Etsy

This ring may be my favorite.  It is incredibly thin yet has that rustic look that I love.  It’s so delicate that I think I could get away with wearing it next to my engagement ring and real wedding band.

via Ottobone on Etsy

The next two rings are very similar to the above ring yet just a little larger.  It makes more a statement but I would probably have to wear it on the other hand.

via Shi Jewelry on Etsy

via Punk Bunny Designs on Etsy

Lastly is this beautiful ring necklace.  Maybe I should forgo the whole traditional band since it’s not a traditional wedding and wear the ring as a necklace.

via My Cellar Door on Etsy

I had no idea I would be spending so much time thinking about this!

For those having a civil ceremony previous to the traditional wedding, are you exchanging rings? If you are, are you worried that it will take away from the “real” ceremony?

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Filed under Accessories, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Etsy, Great Finds, Planning, Ring

Wrap Around My Shoulders

Since our civil wedding is coming up in about a month, I really need to get on the ball and make sure I have all of my ducks in a row! I’m sure it is going to be quite cold and thinking of getting a cute little wrap to go over my dress.  Just like this one!

via Weddingbee

I really like the look of these; a little more appropriate for my dress.

via Modern Romance

Via Cee Dada Koo

via 2 Swans’ Nest

via Reflectionsbyds

Has anyone else found any cute wraps or cardigans for wedding dresses? I’d love to look at more!

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Filed under Accessories, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Etsy, Great Finds, Planning, Winter

Let’s Talk about Location

No, I’m not talking about for our wedding, I’m talking about after the wedding.

Here’s a snapshot of our background:


Pennsylvania -> San Francisco, CA -> Boston, MA-> ???


England -> Ireland -> Pennsylvania -> San Francisco, CA -> Boston, MA -> ???

As you can see, we’ve been around!  We both met in college in Pennsylvania and moved to San Francisco and Boston together.  It was important to us to live in new and different cities that offered cultural enriching experiences.  This not only helped us grow but also helped us gain independence.

Although we wouldn’t change our experiences, we miss our family and looking to settle down.  Seems simple enough, right? Not so fast.  How in the world are we going to decide where we are going to settle when each of us are from a different country? Perhaps we never can?

Here are the options that are the table right now.

Option #1

Pittsburgh, PA


via Flickr {source}

Only about 1 1/2 hours from my hometown, it would be very close to my family.  The cost of living is much lower than what we are used to and we are closer to most of our friends.  However, this would be farther from Ger’s family and more of a challenge for him to fly home.

Option #2

Dublin, Ireland


via Discover Ireland {source}

In Dublin, Ger would be close to his family and finally back home after 7 years.  We could travel easily through Europe which would open up a lot of great experiences.  To state the obvious, I would be that much farther from my family and would have to adapt to an entire different lifestyle.

Option #3

Boston, Massachusetts


via Flickr {source}

As you know, this is where we currently live.  Boston is a great middle ground.  It has a lot of history and soul.  We love that is it so close to a lot of great cities.  The downsides still reside with its high cost of living and lack of both of our families.

We have no idea what we are going to do.  We both want to eventually move back “home” but don’t know how to do that.

Do we live in each of our own hometowns for a few years and never feel completely settled because we are constantly moving or do we decide on one place and feel settled but have one of use miss out on having our family close.  Going into a marriage it’s definitely something we want to sort out and make sure we are on the same page.  It is definitely one challenge of being a “internationally-mixed” couple!

For those of you that are in the same situation, how are you deciding where you are going to live after you get married?

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Filed under advice, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Life

I’m Back (on track)

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am back after my week away from Peaches by Plums.  I’m refreshed and ready to share with you all of the great things I’ve been saving for you.

By now you realize how indecisive I can be.  I’m afraid to make a solid decision because most likely I will change my mind.  This happened with my wedding dress and now my save the dates.

Remember my original save the date?

Picture 1

I made this months ago and loved it (until I tried to print it.)  When I went to print it, it never came out right.  The resolution of the photo wasn’t high enough, the sizing didn’t work, the colors were off.  After weeks of trying everything possible to make this save the date work, I gave up.  It wasn’t working and I was wasting A LOT of time.

So then…

I create a new save the date! The new one has a completely different look and feel and it ended up changing my whole color scheme.

Save The Date 2

I love the colors and the rustic feel that this STD creates.  With this new concept, our color palette would be more like this:

The Bride's Cafe-1

via The Bride’s Cafe {source}

Again, the problem with this STD is that the photos have a low resolution and the size wasn’t quite right.  I’m not 100% sure I love it.

Does it stop there? Of course it doesn’t.

I had had enough.  I was just going to give up and buy one from an invitation store online and be done with it.  I had looked at many different styles and picked out a few that caught my eye.

Picture 2

(but would love it more in white- see below)

Picture 13

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 3

(again, I prefer this style in white- see below)

Picture 12

via Wedding Paper Divas {source}

I love the first one, and I think it fits most with my last color inspiration.  I could also work on using my DYI save the date and turn it into an invitation, menu card, or program of some sort.

I also loved the last one as did Ger.  It was his favorite and really pushed for us to use it but I don’t know how it will fit into the feel of the room.  Me and Ger are big fans of the Wes Anderson movies (Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore, etc.) and this reminded him of those movies.

After a very very long “discussion” I gave up and realized that I didn’t care any more if things matched or what it the save the date even looked like.  I didn’t want to look at another save the date ever again. I knew our guests won’t notice or care if everything coordinates or not so I decided the park bench one was good enough for me.

….that was until another idea popped in my head.

If Ger wants the park bench save the date because it reminds him of the Wes Anderson movies, why not just have a Wes Anderson styled wedding?

I used The Life Aquatic artwork and re-worked it as our save the date.


via The Rushmore Academy {source}

Picture 16

If only I could find someone who could sketch a portrait of me and Ger, I think this would be perfect!


via The Rushmore Academy {source}

I could even use the other movies from The criterion collection as our invitation, menu card, etc.

What do you think? Which Save the Date Style do you think looks best?

Have I gone off the deep end? Yes, I have.  We officially have not settled on one design and who knows if we’ll stick with our Wes Anderson theme.

The meltdown that I had last week had a bit to do with these never ending save the date ideas and how I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what was going on.

I now have no idea of what direction our wedding is going in but quite frankly, I don’t care. I just want to relax and have fun with it and if that is not happening, then it’s no use to doing it.

Has anyone experienced the same thing when working on a project for your wedding?


Filed under Color Palette, Design, DIY, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Inspiration, Life, Photography, Save The Dates

The Letters Make the Difference

I love the idea of using letters as wedding decor and as props!

During my visit to Pennsylvania, I learned that craft stores can be dangerous.  There are way too many cool ideas that I’ve seen that I would love to recreate for my wedding.

I love the idea of using letters to create sayings, personalize a wedding and even be used as props for awesome photos!

Remember Briana’s Dessert Table with “Oh Happy Day” in block letters? I LOVED this!! I think it really makes this table stand out in a simple yet elegant way.


via Elizabeth Anne Designs {source}


via Weddingbee {source}


via Ashley O’Dell Photography {source}

Here is my mom and brother modeling amazingly large letters! If I can fit them in our suitcase, I am definitely buying these!  I think if we painted these in bright colors  it would go brilliantly against the Irish Countryside.


Along the same lines of Briana, I am also going to have phrases in smaller letters around the room.


These letters will be on dowel rods and in varying heights to create dimension.

When planning a wedding, sometimes you need to delegate! Through grade school, my dad has been great at helping me with projects like these.  That’s why I knew this would be right up his alley!

Thanks, Dad!


Filed under Decor, DIY, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Great Finds, Inspiration, Planning

The Importance of a List

I was home in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago and got to spend some much needed time with my mom mapping out the wedding planning.

I am less then a year away and needed to start putting together a solid list of what needs to get done by August 7th. We spent a good 2 hours talking about everything that we could possibility think of that needs to get done.

Now that I am back in Boston, every time one of us thinks of something else we simply call each other up and add it to the list.  For those of you who are planning a wedding in another city, state or country than your mother, I find that this is a great way to involve each other during this special time.

Here is a shot of our Wedding List.  It is currently about 5 pages long and keeps growing.  It will feel great when I get to the time where I can start crossing things off. (Yes, I am that person who makes lists of things that I’ve already done just so I can cross it off!)

Picture 8

Picture 9

This list is also a big reminder that time is going to fly and things need to start happening. Ger and I got engaged back in December and have had a long engagement.  Honestly, now that time is shortening, it’s hard for me to get started on all the projects!

For all of those brides out there, did your “list” have a dual meaning to you?

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Filed under Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Life, Planning

It’s Official, I’m a Two Dress Bride…

….and I love every minute of it!

****Ger Stop Reading****

I know what you are thinking, “I thought Abby decided that she was going to wear her original dress?”  Well, that was true until I changed my mind (AGAIN.)

Remember when I went to try on dresses at Vera Wang the first time? There was one dress in particular that I absolutely loved however it was too small and way way way over my budget.  Then after my meltdown I went to try on this dress just one more time but it was already gone.

Stephanie, one of my Brides (turned great friend) that just got married (Yay!!) suggested that I check out Vows.  Vows has a wonderful on-line gallery that you can check out what they have in stock.  The best part is is that they carry all of the high end designers at a discount of 50-75% off!! What I loved most about Vows is that if you go in on Saturdays you don’t need an appointment and you can go around searching through all of the dresses without being followed by bridal consultants. I love the stress free environment!

Anyway, back on track.  I tried on a few dresses but nothing that made me say wow.  The last dress I tried on was my Vera!! I had finally found her!!

P.S. Check out that veil! It has a 60’s vibe that I totally adore. (Yes, I could not resist and bought it too!)





photo 3

photo 2


Here I am with Stephanie and Jenna!! Remember them from The Wedding Inspirations Event!?

Can you tell that I am completely obsessed with my wedding dress? It is so comfortable, so chic and so me.

Lesson learned: It’s best to get a dress that you feel fabulous in and that makes you shine.

So, what do you guys think! Did I make the right choice?


Filed under Accessories, Elizabeth Anne Designs Features, Great Finds, Planning, Wedding Dresses