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Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Wedding

On August 15, 2015, Trent and I became husband and wife. It still feels really weird to say those words! I still feel like we are in kind of a whirlwind. Although we've both been back to working full time for about a week already since returning from the honeymoon, and our lives are sort of getting back to normal, we still need to catch up on some sleep and feel like we have a million things to do yet.

It is true that the final month's preparations for the wedding are stressful, but often times people don't tell you that the To-do list continues after the wedding as well. Thank-you's, name changes, bank account and tax changes, even just laundry and unpacking from the honeymoon. We still have piles of wedding decor laying around that I need to figure out what to do with (more selling, probably!), and gifts are still piled up in the living room. I've been sorting through tons of pictures and am getting prints made of wedding and honeymoon photos. And my brain is going a mile a minute with things I need to get done soon, like request copies of the marriage license and get my dress preserved! So, back to normal? Not really!

Amidst all the stress and chaos though, the bottom line is that after 7 years, we are finally married. And the wedding ended up being a huge success, though a LOT of work went into it!

Today I'm sharing some photos that friends and relatives took of our Big Day, though I technically don't have any professional photos yet from the wedding and probably won't have those for another month or so. We did get a "sneak peak" on social media of a couple of the photos, which turned out AMAZING. But since I don't have those in my possession yet, I am going to wait to share them here. I will link to the photos soon, however, once more are revealed - and I cannot wait to see the rest!

So, without further ado, here are a few photos from our wedding day, and some details to go along with them!

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the same location, Quarters 1 in Rock Island, Illinois. It's located on a military base, and the building is one of the most historic buildings in the area. It's a mansion that used to house all of the Generals on the island until 2006. The upkeep got too extensive, so it became a place that was used more for events and tours. They actually say that the building is haunted, and do ghost tours regularly here. The place is huge, and a lot of the guests had a good time wandering around inside.

We fell in love with the location, partly because: 1. It was right on the water,  2. It felt secluded, and 3. The mansion is so stunning and elegant inside. We also felt like we had plenty of leeway to do whatever we wanted with the space.

Both the ceremony and reception were outside on the lawn. We were a little nervous having it outside because of the unpredictable Illinois weather. Luckily though, the whole weekend was sunny and gorgeous. It was a little on the hot side, but it was tolerable.

The reception was under a tent, which we rented, and we built a backdrop for the ceremony, along with a "doorway" from repurposed old doors.

I love these shots that my mom's friend Diane got of the ceremony. She has a fancy camera, and took so many great photos! It was really cool to see our vision of the doors and walking through them come to life. 

I walked down to an instrumental acoustic version of "Crash into Me" by Dave Matthews Band. Here is the exact song if you want to listen. We both love Dave Matthews, and we couldn't stop listening to this version while we were picking out songs for the ceremony. I had it stuck in my head for probably 2 or 3 weeks before the wedding!

Above is a behind-the-scenes shot of our photos being taken before the ceremony. We were running a bit behind, and it was hard to gather everyone up as we took family portraits, but luckily the ceremony still started right on schedule!

It was one of the best feelings walking down the aisle as husband and wife, finally! Not to mention such a huge relief knowing that the "hard part" was over, and we could now just focus on having a good time with friends and family.

The guests blew bubbles as we walked to our car...

And this was our getaway car in between the ceremony and reception hour. I loved it! It was just $200 to rent, and worth every penny. So classy. I wish we had time to take more photos in front of it, but again we were a little pressed for time.

While the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour inside the mansion, we (and some of the wedding party) snuck off and took a little boat ride on the Mississippi. Unfortunately, that's what brought us a little behind schedule again, but we were able to get back in time so the guests could finally eat. A big thank you to Trent's coworker Mike for being our captain! It was such a nice, relaxing ride after all of the stress of the day.

We also owe a huge thank you to this lovely couple, my sister Haley and brother-in-law Dan, for all of their help before, during and after the wedding. We couldn't have done it all without them! Seems like only yesterday these two tied the knot.

The reception was a blast, and I'm so glad we were able to get things moving nice and quickly after we returned from the boat ride. Our DJ was amazing, and the music was perfect the whole night.

I was nervous to see how all of my centerpieces and decor would come together (and spent the majority of the day before the wedding putting it all together myself!). Fortunately, I got a lot of compliments on how beautiful everything was, and I loved how all of my colorful flowers looked. The florist also did an awesome job helping me get all of the flowers that I needed to complete the centerpieces (plus, my bouquet was awesome, I absolutely loved it!)

I heard from so many people that they had a great time, and they loved the location so that made me feel really good, and glad we chose this place. Even though it was a lot of work to do so much of it ourselves, the beauty of the river and the sunset made it totally worth it. (And there was even fireworks that night on the other side of the river, which made it that much cooler.)

In the end, I had a little comfort in knowing that the guests couldn't see all of the stress and problems that went on before the wedding; they only saw the awesome outcome and beauty of the setting, and hopefully had a great time. It was a crazy weekend indeed, but ended up being a perfect day. 

And a final thanks goes out to my parents for all of their help in making our day so amazing! We couldn't have done it without you, and best of all, we are now completely done with weddings in our family. Now, you can focus on retirement. :)

I know I couldn't include so many other memorable details on here, but I will be sure to share the professional photos once they are done (which I cannot wait for!). And stay tuned for all of the highlights of our honeymoon in Jamaica. It was absolutely amazing!

Once we get through all of the chaos that comes with being newly married, I am sure we will continue to make many wonderful memories as time goes on. During the 7 years that we've been together, we've traveled, gone to countless concerts, and have seen so many amazing things together. We've created a home and a life that we're still working at and trying to figure out along the way. Even though the house gets messy and we get a little behind with all the busy things life throws at us (ahem, right now), I know we'll take some time to enjoy it, and can look back at the time when we were just newlyweds. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Presenting..Mr. and Mrs. Keever!

Hello all! I'm back from a little hiatus, a.k.a. getting married and enjoying an amazing honeymoon in Jamaica! I will be posting all about it very soon (nearly every detail, I promise) - both of the ceremony and our relaxing and fun getaway.

In the meantime, I'll just leave you with a few pictures, and then I will be resuming my very busy back-to-normal-but-not-quite schedule (yes, I am back to work already this week). Will post again soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Final Countdown

It is the final countdown! We are less than a week away now until the wedding. The to-do list is getting a tad shorter as we get things accomplished.

We spent all day yesterday working on things for the wedding. Trent spent the afternoon outside getting the ceremony backdrop and doors built. We are pretty close to being finished, just need to clean them and paint them! Here are a few progress pics:

The ceremony backdrop is all built. Now we just need to clean and paint it! I love the rustic look it already has, but the fact that it's 3 different colors isn't really going to work. So I'm going to find a white or off-white color and try to paint it while keeping a distressed look. We'll see how it goes!

Then we have the entry doors for the ceremony. Trent built a frame for them, and it is huge. The hardest part about building these is that they are super large and awkward to move. And they're all really heavy.

This is where we're currently at with the door frame. We're leaving the doors off for now I think, since it will be easier to move this way. But we will still get the hinges and everything ready to install at the location. 

This one is a little hard to see, since it was getting dark, but here are both of the doors as they'll be at the ceremony. We'll all walk through this doorway before going down the aisle.

We're painting these doors and the frame this week, too. Good thing almost everything else is checked off the list, because it will probably take a couple of days to get everything painted!

Trent also got the two vintage chandeliers all wired and working perfectly! We got these a year ago at a local flea market for a really good deal. One of the first things that we actually bought for the wedding. The plan is to hang them from the trees at the ceremony and reception site. I hope it works out. I can't wait to see them lit up at night.

Something else exciting - I got my ring back on Friday, after it was soldered onto my wedding band, and even got it resized slightly so it's a little more snug - all for free! It looks so pretty and sparkly. I LOVE it! Almost twice the diamonds. :)

I also DIY'ed a quick "Just Married" sign to hang on the back of the car. I found some writing I liked from a sign on Pinterest, and just looked at that and freehanded all of the letters with chalk on a black poster board. Luckily, it turned out pretty cute!

After I took this picture, I also poked some holes at each corner to hang it with some twine. I think I may make another, smaller sign for the boat that we're taking a short ride in, too. Maybe a wooden sign? If I have time this week, that is. :)

And another thing I have to finish up this week - Programs. I got them all printed and have started gluing lace to the top of each. But I ran out of lace! So, off to pick up some more today to finish those up. My original idea was a bow tied with ribbon, but when I saw this lace trim at Hobby Lobby, I decided to go with the lace instead. I loved the look of it so much more. It is so "vintage elegance," don't you think?

Mr. Turtle loves it too, see? Hoping to get all loose ends tied up this week before the Big day. Wish me luck! (And pray for good weather!).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bathroom Floor Fix-Up

Exactly 1 WEEK from today we will be tying the knot!! Ahh! Let's just say we are finishing up lots of wedding stuff this weekend and are obsessively checking the weather for next Saturday every 10 minutes.

In the meantime, while we work on more wedding DIY projects, I'm sharing a little home improvement project that we completed a few weeks back. It's been a while since I've actually posted a reno project, but we've also been so consumed with wedding stuff the past year, that it's hard to find the time these days for home improvement!

This was a weekend project that we kind of did on a whim. A week or so before our bachelor and bachelorette parties, we started getting the house clean, and ready for a couple of people to stay over. The bathroom was in serious need of some love, and the floor was ugly. There was this parquet-esque stick-on tile, but the floor boards underneath were rotting, leaving cracks in the floor.

We knew we wanted to fix this, and Trent knew he could do it for cheap and get it done in one weekend. We started by cutting out the parts of the floor that were in need of repair and had rotted through (probably due to sink or toilet leaks in the past).

There were a couple older layers of linoleum tile under that, and then the rotting floor boards. Trent cut the rotten parts of the boards out, then patched the floor in those sections.

A thin layer of plywood over top, and we finally had a level surface with no cracks or rotten boards.

We picked up a box of stick-on tile, but this time in a more realistic looking wood-like finish. We really liked the color and realistic look of this one, and we figured since we didn't have the time to gut the room quite yet, we would lay this down as a temporary fix. Stick on tile is super cheap, and it costs by the piece. We have a really small bathroom, so one box (45 pieces) was plenty. They were just 98 cents each. We had several pieces leftover, but are keeping them for the future if we want to cover a closet floor or something like that.

Trent did an awesome job with the faux wood tile, and it just took him a day to do. He just cleaned the floor, then stuck the new tile right on top.

Here's what the floor looked like after it was all finished! Don't mind the little smudges that are still on the floor - this was literally right after he finished the tile, so we hadn't cleaned it all up yet.

So much more modern and refreshing. Trent also installed some baseboard trim around the bottom of the walls, and got some door trim up. We hung a new shower rod and did a few other minor updates before the bachelor/bachelorette party weekend.

I didn't get a picture of the whole room, so I guess my feet on the floor will have to do! Either way, one more little home reno project down. And we all know one more completed project means one step closer to having a home that is completely comfortable and updated!

Now, off to work on some DIY "Just Married" signs. One week away, and one week closer to laying on the beach in Jamaica!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

10 Days Away...

I have to apologize for the lack of posts over here, but we've been a tad busy lately. The wedding is now 10 DAYS AWAY. What?! I can't believe it's almost here. And I can't wait until it's over! Ha. I feel like I am going to want to be involved in every last minute detail which may make me go insane.

Meanwhile though, we've been putting the finishing touches on everything involved with the wedding, making sure all of the final details are set. I'm supposed to be getting my second round of programs today - the first didn't turn out like I hoped, so I was able to correct them and get them reprinted at no cost (thanks, Vistaprint!). Once they arrive, I'm gluing lace to every program for a little vintage touch. I think it will turn out pretty cool. So, can't wait to get those finished.

All of the music has officially been sent to the DJ, and my ring is currently being resized and soldered to my wedding band. We also picked up our marriage license on Friday. It's getting real!

Saturday was our Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. I didn't originally expect to be thrown a Bachelorette party, so I didn't even really know we were going out until about the Fourth of July. And people were staying at our house, so that meant that amid all of the last minute wedding chaos, we also had to get the house all clean and ready for guests. So it's been a busy few weeks!

Trent went golfing with the guys on Saturday, then they all went out that night. I went out to eat with Haley and some friends, then we went to a couple of bars in the East Village. We all met up at the end of the night, and the limo bus drove some of us back home.

The girls and I had a really good time, taking the "Loop" all over the cities, and even playing a couple of pretty intense giant Jenga games at the bar!

My sister Haley came down from the Chicago area and stayed at our place, so it was cool that she got to hang out with us..and experience the craziness on the bus on the way home! Can't beat a little excitement for the night..

It was nice to all be able to meet up at the end and ride home in the guys' limo bus. Neither Trent or I got too crazy that night, and we were able to spend the next day (Sunday) relaxing by the pool and grilling out. It was the nicest weekend of the summer I think! Now, if we could just duplicate that weather for the wedding that would be fantastic!

Monday after I took my engagement and wedding band in, we went down by the river and looked for a spot to dock the boat after the ceremony. We are planning on taking a quick boat ride and getting some pictures in between the ceremony and reception.

Trent is doing a dry run today I believe, since there is a guy he works with who said we could use his pontoon boat. We'll put "Just Married" in the back - it should be cute. We found a spot we think will work that's right across from our wedding location. The birds seemed to like it.

Then we went down to the actual location we're getting married at again, to plan out some final details. Since it's outside, we want to be sure we have a good spot picked out for both the ceremony and the tented reception area. We found the perfect trees to hang our antique chandeliers on.

And we ended up deciding on the perfect spots for our ceremony and reception. We've been back and forth the whole time with the actual spot on the lawn where we're having the wedding. Then we saw a ceremony area that was already set up, and we thought that location was perfect. 

It was right by the water, and it was partly shaded. We also wouldn't have near that many chairs. I think there was about 200 there. We'll have half of that.

We were there at about the time that the ceremony would be getting over. Once we saw the wedding that was already set up, it was so much easier to paint the picture in our minds about where we wanted everything. Before it was like a blank slate with nothing but grass. So this helped tremendously!

To the right of that area was where we decided on having the tent for the reception. We measured where the tent would be, and found a nice level area right by the river.

Having that decided definitely helped to ease our minds a little bit. The day before is when we will start setting up and bringing all of the decor to the location. That's when the magic will really start to happen, and everything will hopefully all come together as we pictured it.

Last night Trent continued work on the ceremony backdrop, that we had put on hold for a week while we got the house clean and had our Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. Now it's back to work on these doors! Trent was able to get the middle door to stand up with supports in the back. Here's the front (before it's been touched up with paint):

The other two doors will be hinged onto the sides of this one. Here is the back, which has all of the wooden side supports that Trent put on, and the bottom supports that will help stand it up. They also fold in with hinges that are attached to the door, and will be staked down at the ceremony location.

We're planning on getting these all done this week and's one of the few projects we have left for the wedding! 

My flowers are still doing really well, too. We haven't had near as much rain as we did earlier in the summer, but I watered them some more, so hoping they are extremely abundant in a couple of weeks! I'm actually looking forward to putting together all of my centerpiece arrangements the day before the wedding. It will be good creative therapy!

Only 10 more days and we will be husband and wife...and almost Jamaica bound!! :)

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