Friday, February 26, 2010

Aruba, Jamaica, ooooh I wanna take ya...

During the wedding planning process, I always find it interesting to compare my previous expectations to what pans out in reality. For instance, when I went dress shopping, I was expecting to be overwhelmed with emotions when I found "the one." As you know, it didn't happen...but that is just one of the realities of the planning process I've had to deal with!

I experienced another one while planning the honeymoon. Ahhhh the honeymoon. I always thought that this would be one of the most exciting trips to plan, and I was imagining sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. However, the reality was more like Mr. Buttons and I kind of put it on the back burner. At the "6 months to the wedding" mark, I really started to pull myself together and get serious about booking something. I was so busy with planning the wedding that planning a honeymoon on top of it was just a lot to process!

In an ideal world, Mr. Buttons would probably have liked to surprise me by picking where we went. However, because he knows me so well, he was aware that I wouldn't like to be surprised, and would want at least SOME input on the decision.

So...what were our criteria for the trip?

  • Sunshine/tropical - we really love the beach...
  • Relatively close to Florida - I am not a very good traveler, and long plane rides would really do me any thoughts of Hawaii, Australia, etc. were nixed right away
  • Affordability - Mr. Buttons and I do like to get bang for our buck, so we wanted to find some place that was reasonably priced but still was spectacular
  • Seclusion - Mr. Buttons preferred that we find a honeymoon location that featured separate cottages, villas, etc. so that we wouldn't feel like we were in a hotel. This was his biggest request.

So, Mr. Buttons and I scoured Trip Advisor, asked recommendations from friends and travel agents, and created a list about a mile long of potential locations to travel to. I won't go over the long list of contenders because it would take me a few hours...but essentially it came down to a decision between an all-inclusive resort and an "a la carte" one. Although the allure of the all-inclusives was strong (who wouldn't want free drinks all day long, as well as all you can eat food?), we ended up selecting the latter.

Want to see where we're going???

All images from Rockhouse Hotel website

The Rockhouse Hotel is a boutique hotel in Negril, Jamaica. You may recognize it...Mrs. Ant was married there! And...coincidentally, when we announced to our families that we selected this hotel, we discovered that Mr. Buttons' brother and his wife honeymooned there a few years back! The ratings on Trip Advisor were glowing, and I was completely sucked in as soon we we visited the website.

It features only 34 rooms (8 premium villas, 12 villas, and 14 standard rooms), which Mr. Buttons was a big fan of. Hopefully that means peace, quiet, and seclusion for the two of us!

The premium villas have been constructed recently; we will be staying in one! You can literally jump off of any cliff into the water cool is that???

The regular villas sit back a little farther on the cliffs in comparison to the premiums.

There are a few restaurants to eat at on-site; The Rockhouse Restaurant and Pushcart Grill & Rum Bar have received great reviews...I'm excited to taste some Jamaican cuisine...

A really nice draw for me was their spa; they use a line of spa products made from only natural ingredients indigenous to the Caribbean.

Another thing I love about the hotel? They give back to the local community by donating to schools. Also, they are constantly improving their environmental practices and minimizing their use of natural resources, air emissions, and hazardous materials.

Mr. Buttons and I were thrilled to book our trip to the Rockhouse...and I can't wait to report back on our experience after the wedding!

What criteria factored in to your honeymoon search? What location did you end up selecting (or hope to select)?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A little registry surprise...

So, a funny thing happened during our registry process. Oh no, wait...make that multiple oddities...

One of the first stores that Justin and I registered at was Target. I love is one of my favorite places to shop, and we knew that our guests would be able to find a local store easily if they wanted to go in person. Sooo, Justin and I walked the aisles, scanning a few items here and there. When we finished, we handed our scanner back to the customer service rep and were on our merry way.

Two days later, MOH sends me a message that reads, "is there something you aren't telling us?"

Me: "Um, no??? What in the heck are you talking about?"

MOH: "Check your registry."

I furrowed my brow and quickly navigated to the Target website to investigate.

And there, ladies and gentlemen, staring back at me from my registry...was this:


Yep...some way, some how, the Bumbo Baby Sitter (in pink) had made its way on to our registry. I gasped audibly at the thought of one of my FIL's seeing it there, and promptly picked up the phone to call Target's customer service. Disappointingly, the only thing they told me was, "well we are sorry, but you can just go online and delete it from your registry." Gee thanks I didn't already know that? Needless to say, I was not pleased with them, but I proceeded to delete the Bumbo from the list and move on with my life.

Oh didn't think I was done yet, did you???

Flash forward to last week. My mom and I went to Target again to register for some more items (yeah, I only had 4 things on the list...whoops). We came, we conquered, we left the store. The next day, Justin came over, and I wanted to show him what I'd registered us for. I pulled up the Target page and scrolled through. And I guess I should have been expecting this...but...I was surprised yet again to see:


A set of baby blankets for newborns! Just what every newlywed needs!

What...the....crap! Are the Target Gods trying to tell us something??? Why, oh why, was this happening AGAIN!?!? DELETE!!!

Well, after some investigation on my part, I was able to figure out what had happened to cause the mix up. Apparently, sometimes the UPC's on the Target shelves are wrong! The first time, when I scanned a wine rack, I got a Bumbo; the second time, when I scanned a memory foam mattress topper, I got baby blankets. Both items that I had WANTED on my registry didn't I have to assume that is what happened. Not cool Target, not cool.

Lesson learned here: when you register for items in a brick and mortar store, make sure you check the list online to ensure that the correct items made it on there! Thankfully, I was able to catch these snafus before anyone went to purchase from our registry...but I can't imagine the conversation that I might have had with the future in-laws if that hadn't been the case...eeeeek!

Did you have any unwanted items appear on your registries?

Friday, February 19, 2010

100 days...


Holy moly...lets take a deep breath here...

My lovely little wedding countdown has just informed me that we have 100, yes one hundred, days left until the wedding!

Wow...this means that as of tomorrow, we are officially in the double digits of our countdown to the big day. OMG! When we originally started our planning, it seemed like that ticker was at an impossibly high number, but now it seems like we are getting down to the home stretch!

100 days is still a decent amount of time to accomplish some things...and today really made me realize that I need to kick it into high gear!

My mom and I made an extensive to-do list during our 13 hour car ride from Virginia to Florida last weekend (oh yeah! That's right...surprise! I now live in Florida again - goodbye snowy north, I will not miss you!). I was hoping that it would only take a short amount of time to brainstorm, but I realized after about 4 hours of wedding chatter that the list is relatively lengthy, and I need to buckle down!

What do I need to do, you ask?

  • Secure a baker. Oh yeah, I'm wayyyyyy behind schedule on that one, but I blame the fact that I've been in Virginia, and there really is no way for me to taste cake from that distance! I'm good at making excuses...
  • Meet with the florist to fine tune our flower plans
  • Get my dress fitted
  • Schedule hair and makeup trials (I'm kind of freaking out about this one...)
  • Help my mom (and grandma) shop for dresses
  • Send the invitations (thankfully, they are about 90% finished at this point; I can't wait to share them with you!)/create layout for reception/make seating chart
  • Complete the 1,452,236 DIY projects that I have semi-started, but failed to bring to fruition (pinwheels, escort cards and box, guestbook tree, programs, menus, OOT bags...are you still reading? I could go on...)

Now, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it was enough to get me off my butt and start getting things done! I'm hoping to report back some positive activity now that a fire has officially been lit under my behind!

Did you fear/are you fearful of reaching the 100 day mark on your wedding countdown? What big tasks do you still have left to complete before your wedding?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tampa Bay area bride meetup!

If you don't follow my blog regularly on Weddingbee, I wanted to let any Tampa Bay area brides out there know that we are having a meetup tomorrow night if you would like to join!

Location: Bahama Breeze situated on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. After consulting the weather, I see there is only a high of 63 for tomorrow, so we are going to stay inside! If you don't see us right away, ask for the Weddingbee table.

Time: 7:00pm

PLEASE respond here, or on this board thread to tell me if we can expect you there, and I'll make sure there is a seat saved! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow - see you there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smelling Sweet

Like many others, I am obsessed with scents! Whenever someone doesn't know what to purchase for me as a gift, one of the default suggestions I give is for a new perfume/body spray/etc. I know I probably sound insane, but I most certainly change up the scent that I wear depending on the time of day, the outfit I'm wearing, or the mood I'm in! I have gathered quite the collection over the years...including:

Victoria's Secret PINK: This was one of the first perfumes I ever bought back in high school. Awwww. I love how fun and playful it is. It has been one of my go-to's for a sunny and happy day.


Lacoste Inspiration: This particular scent reminds me of baby powder. It is extremely light. I tend to wear this on the weekends when I am running around doing errands.


Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker: Definitely one of my all time favorites! It is so feminine and floral. When I bought it, this scent quickly became my go-to perfume, and I ended up wearing it almost every day until I only have a few drops left in the bottle! It is currently on my "refill list" of perfumes I hope to be gifted if someone asks for a suggestion....haha!


Valentino Rock n' Rose Couture: Ohhhh this one is just so incredibly sexy! It is my "night time" scent for an evening out. And...the bottle is just gorgeous, no?


L.A.M.B.: Gwen Stefani's fragrance was my replacement for Lovely when I started running is a fantastic "everyday" isn't quite as floral as Lovely, but I absolutely can't get enough of it!


Ok, so clearly I have an arsenal of fragrances (and this isn't the complete list, sadly...), but which one do you end up wearing on a wedding day???? What a conundrum! I was talking to Justin about it a month or so ago, and mentioned that it would be really awesome to select a new scent to wear on the day of the wedding...and it would be really special if he picked it out as well (or at least helped me)!

Well, as it usually is with Justin...ask and you shall receive! No...seriously...I really do have to be careful what I ask for in front of him, because HE LISTENS (***GASP!!!!***). I was oogling a bikini around my birthday last year...BAM! It arrived at my doorstep in a box. The pearl earrings I wanted? PRESTO - Valentine's gift last year! The DSLR that I was coveting for Christmas? WHAM! My jaw dropped when I tore open the box on Christmas Day.

Valentine's Day this year....


I die. Justin for the win! I tell him he has to stop spoiling me, but at the same time I can't help but glow because of all that he does for me. He listened when I was making comments one day about perfumes I was interested in, and then took a trip to the mall after work, smelled a few of my top picks, and selected Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. is a perfect bridal scent in my opinion! It is feminine, floral, and the bottle is gorgeous! I absolutely adore it, and knowing that he picked it out for me makes it that much more special! I currently have it hidden away in a drawer so I am not tempted to use it before the smells so...darn...pretty!

Do you have your wedding day fragrance selected? Are you using one that you already have, or buying a new one to celebrate the occasion?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cakeee! Nom nom nom…

We had our first cake tasting…nom nom nom!

Justin absolutely loves Publix cake (for those of you who don't have a Publix, it is a grocery store chain). And, with good reason, because it is delicious! We definitely want to consider it as an option. Thankfully, Publix offers complimentary cake tastings, so we were all over it!

When I called the bakery to place the order, however, the woman who I spoke with was clearly not used to the ordering process…or was in a hurry and didn’t feel like taking five minutes to talk to me. When I said I wanted to try some cake and filling flavors, she quickly asked me, “ok, so which ones?”

“So, could you tell me how exactly you set up the tasting samples please?”

“You just tell me what cake flavors and fillings you want to try.”

"Do I need to tell you combinations or anything?"


Hm, seems simple enough. I named every cake flavor on the list (chocolate, marble, vanilla, and red velvet), and then the fillings that I would like to sample (cannoli crème, vanilla crème, lemon, and chocolate pudding). I also asked her if they could do a sample with the almond flavored cake that I absolutely love. I have asked for it in the past for my birthday cakes (from the same exact store), so I know that they make it. However, the bakery lady assured me that they don't have that flavor. I was a bit peeved, but decided to just leave it be for the I could always do another tasting. So, the order was done! The woman at the bakery told me to come and pick the samples up the next day.

When I went to pick up the cake samples, I was a little confused when I looked into the box. I figured (foolishly) that they would give me slices of the cake, and the fillings on the side so that we could test them out in different combinations....or something like that. Wrong! There was a long, thin strip of each cake flavor. Each strip contained ALL of the filling flavors with buttercream frosting on top (except for the red velvet cake, which had only cream cheese frosting). Right off the bat, I wasn’t thrilled. I had asked to try lemon filling, and it was featured throughout the samples. Ummm chocolate cake with lemon filling? Ewwww. And, I also noticed that the filling that I was most looking forward to tasting, the cannoli cream...which I specifically requested that I was most interested in, wasn’t included anywhere. Single tear.

See the lemon creme in between the chocolate cake and marble cake? Yikes...

Despite the confusion, we soldiered on and sliced up the samples. Our verdict? I’ll admit, I was kind of disappointed. The red velvet cake was the hands-down favorite (it is fabulous). Other than that though, we could take it or leave it with the rest of the flavors. The chocolate pudding and vanilla crème filling were fine, but pretty bland. In the end Justin and I agreed that we would prefer buttercream frosting in lieu of a filling.

So, what did we take away from this? Publix could be a good option for the cake. We would definitely need to taste some more flavor combinations beforehand though! Budget-wise, Publix would be a very checkbook friendly option as well, so that is another plus! We decided to keep Publix in the running, but to keep an eye out for other options that arise in the meantime.

Did you have a hard time deciding on a bakery for your cake? How many tastings did you have before solidifying your choice?

Florrie Mitton giveaway winner!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope that all of you had a wonderful Valentine's day weekend! I was busy moving from Virginia to Florida; as you can imagine, I'm insanely busy right now! But, I wanted to take the time to announce the winner of the beautiful Florrie Mitton couture garter!

Drumroll's random number generator gave me.....

Congratulations to landlocked bride, who said she loved the dotted tulle garter!

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered! Hopefully I will have another wonderful giveaway for you soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A sexy little giveaway...

Well well well; look what I have here...and just in time for Valentine's Day!

For months...and months...I have been drooling profusely over the garters in Florrie Mitton's Etsy shop.

She is based in the UK, and all of her garters are handmade. The designer's inspiration for the range came from her own wedding in Italy (how romantic!). She borrowed a vintage garter from her friend because she couldn't find anything that she liked/suited her vision. Her background is in fashion design, and she worked in the industry as an underwear and lingerie designer. This was clearly a perfect starting point for developing the Florrie Mitton label!

Florrie Mitton garters were launched in May of 2009 on Etsy, and as of October 2009, she is creating garters full time! How amazing is that? And, I'm officially envious....

Ok, so I am sure you want to know how to get your hands on one of these beauties! I am giving away your choice of 3 different garters: the Aphrodite beaded garter, the Goddess beaded garter (both are brand spanking new designs!), or the innocence spot tulle garter. Drool. And what is even better? She will ship anywhere (so if you are outside of the US, please feel free to enter!!!!!)!

To enter:
  • Visit Florrie Mitton's Etsy shop and tell me which of the garters (Aphrodite, Goddess, spot tulle) that you would like to have if you win! (1 entry)
  • Become a follower of my blog (and let me know in a comment), or tell me that you are already a follower if you are! (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter @QueButtons and tweet the following, and leave me a comment when you do: I just entered a #giveaway for a Florrie Mitton garter on @QueButtons blog! (1 entry)
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog (including a link to this page) and comment with the link to your post. (2 entries)

This giveaway will be up through Valentine's Day (Sunday, February 14), ending at 11:59PM Eastern time. I will then select a winner at random and announce it next week!

Good luck everyone - and Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dressing the dudes: Accessorizing

So...we have the suit selected...but what ever shall we accompany it with?

I decided to begin with ties, and quickly realized that there are so freaking many to choose from! And then there is the question: do you buy the same tie for all of the groomsmen, or do we switch it up a little bit for each?


After some thought, I decided that I liked the idea of mixing and matching. As one of my idols, Stacy London, would say, “it doesn’t have to MATCH, it has to GO.” I decided to search for different ties, but in similar colors.

First stop? Where else...TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I'm predictable, what can I say? And boy, was I lucky! I stumbled upon a plethora of green and blue ties at both stores...for $9.99 a piece. I was able to snag a bunch in different patterns. I think they all go together really well, and I love that they aren't "matchy matchy" like they would have been if I had purchased the same tie for all of the dudes! So...what do you think?

How did you pick your ties out (for those of you who chose suits)?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dressing the Dudes: THE suit you've already heard about our suit shopping debacles...I bet you'd like to see how it all turned out!

When Justin and I were in Florida for Thanksgiving, we inevitably wanted to check for any amazing Black Friday sales. Normally, I do not get up at the crack of dawn to shop, but if there is something particularly good on sale I can be convinced to do so. When the Black Friday ads came out, Justin noticed the Kohl's insert, which I had passed over (foolishly). Annnnd guess what? They were having a sale on their suits until noon! My ears immediately perked up.

So...Justin and I arrived at Kohl's at 8am the day after Thanksgiving to scout out the suiting! I must say, I was VERY pleasantly surprised. The suit separates that were on sale were by Apt. 9, and they had a very nice textured charcoal suit that fit him very well!

Don't judge me, lurking in the mirror...I didn't shower...

One of Justin's groomsmen showed up to Kohls while we were shopping as well, and he and his wife liked it as well! Yay! And, do you know what we liked even more? The price!

Original price for coat and pants: $300
Sale price (with an additional 15% off coupon): $122

We went ahead and purchased the suits for all of the groomsmen so we wouldn't have complications. We had to order some of the pieces over the phone at customer service because they didn't have them in stock...but they didn't charge us shipping - yay! And, because it was a sale, we received $10 in Kohl's cash for every $50 we we racked up $120 in store credit to use at a later date! Don't you just love a good deal?

So, the suit search was finally over! Now...what ever shall they wear underneath that suit?

Did you rent or purchase suits/tuxedos for your wedding? Did you find any good wedding items on sale for Black Friday or after Christmas?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sticker giveaway winner!

Happy Friday everyone! After a record 88 entries to my sticker giveaway...

I am excited to announce that Kate from Diaries of a Manhattan Actress is the winner! She recently opened an adorable Etsy shop and makes oh so beautiful hair accessories! If you haven't visited her yet...what are you waiting for? Check it out!

Congrats Kate!

Dressing the dudes: Shopping around

One thing I’ve been continually putting off is the issue of dressing up the guys. You’d think this would be a rather simple decision…and I suppose it could be. Just throw them in some tuxedos, right?

Mmmm not so much! I think a tuxedo is very nice, but it really doesn’t go with the overall look for the wedding. We want everything to be semi-formal. So…it looks like we’re going to have to opt for some suiting!

I think that having the groomsmen purchase a suit has many advantages! If we time their purchase correctly and get a good sale, it could cost approximately the same price as a tuxedo rental (yeah, those babies are not cheap!!!). Although, unlike the tuxedo, the guys will get to keep them, and potentially wear them again. Both of Mr. Buttons' brothers wear suits (or at least nice trousers, shirt, and tie) for work, so we are confident that at least two of them will put a suit to good use after the wedding is said and done.

So, we hit the ‘net (and the street) and started to search high and low for some reasonably priced options!

One thing we knew for sure from the start: Justin needs a tailored/slimmer fit suit. He has broad shoulders and a small waist, so sometimes regular suit coats can look boxy on him.

Thankfully, Jos. A. Banks just came out with a new suit style: the Traveler Tailored Fit suit. We like that it is wrinkle resistant, stain resistant, and it is wool (nice quality!). It comes in a plethora of colors/textures as well. The consultants at the store informed us that Jos. A. Banks typically holds “buy 1 suit, get 2 free” sales pretty often. Amazing! Although it would take some coordination between the guys, if we purchased the suits together, we could score them at around $233 a piece!

Ah...but it can't be THAT easy, can it? One of the groomsmen was a little concerned with Justin and I decided that we would keep searching a bit.

First stop: Express. Justin already owns one of their tailored fit suits, and I think he looks pretty darn nice in it! So, he tried it on again...this time in charcoal grey:

Ahhh gotta love the 5 oclock shadow...

Sadly, we were thwarted from this particular suit because although it fits Justin really well, his twin is in-between sizes. Moving on....

I wanted to give a rental suit a fair we headed in to try one of those out. They were nice enough to order in what they called a "fitted" suit for Justin to try on in his size. It was black (not my beloved charcoal gray)...but I wanted to give it a shot:

It looks...ok from the front...but then he turned around...

Ahhhh! That does NOT look fitted...Justin looks like a hunchback with a saggy butt! P.S. he is going to murder me if he sees these pictures posted...

So...after a few days of shopping around, we were still at a loss! Who would have thought that finding a suit would be so difficult? This was proving to be harder than finding my wedding dress!!!!

Do you prefer a suit or a tuxedo for a wedding? What did/what are your guys wearing? Did you have a difficult time locating something perfect?