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Another day, another real outfit

That’s right, folks.  This marks day 3 in a row where I wore normal clothes.  I just don’t know what’s gotten into me lately!

On a more sad note, I probably shouldn’t be wearing regular clothes considering I have 1 more week left of summer vacation.  😦 This means I only have 1 more week where I can wear my sweaty gym clothes all day and not shower.  Yes, I do get that gross.

Where did the time go?!

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Please excuse the disgusting phone case… I have tried cleaning it several times to no avail!

Dress: Forever 21
Silver bangle bracelets: Express
Silver cross necklace: Charming Charlies
Diamond stud earrings (not pictured): Claires

Yesterday was my second visit to the vineyard we went to on Monday, Raffaldini.  This time was extra special though because George decided to come with me.  He loved the breathtaking views of the mountains in the distance, as well as the lush green grass and vines with baby grapes but I’m not convinced that he’s 100% sold on the location.  I would like to consider a few other locations, but I’m having a hard time finding a beautiful place for a reasonable price.

We definitely have some decisions to make in the upcoming months, but luckily we have narrowed it down to a date!  If we go with Raffaldini, it looks like we will be getting married on Oct 17, 2o15.  Exciting!!

To anyone else out there that lives in the Charlotte area- do you know of any locations that might be a great venue for a wedding?  George and I are dead set on getting married outside, so we would consider anywhere that looks elegant without breaking the bank.

Any and all help would be amazing!!

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It’s all starting to get real

Before we get into my story for today, I want to share my daily dose of fashion with you.  This is the second day in a row that I wore normal clothes… don’t get too used to it yet though!  I still have 2 more weeks off!

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I apologize for the slight blurriness of the picture, but I was in a rush to get out of the door!

Navy shorts: Forever 21
White tank and lace shirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Hotcakes (the BEST Jack Roger imitation sandals!!)
Rose gold bracelets: Charming Charlies
Necklace: Mall boutique (I can’t remember the name of the store, sorry!)

Ok, quickly moving along to the more important stuff!   My wedding planning!

Today I headed out with my mom and George’s mom to tour another potential wedding venue.  This place was another vineyard, but rather than being an hour away from home it was only about 30 minutes!  I am definitely ok with having our wedding somewhere outside of Charlotte, but it makes the preparations easier if we can keep it closer to home.

My mom found out about this winery, Vesuvius Vineyards, through the school she works for.  Each year her school does a fundraiser night complete with dinner and a silent auction and her coworkers (and some of mine) have raved about the vineyard for the past couple of years. Needless to say, I was excited to check it out!

When we got there, we were greeted by a massive civil-war era house.  It was not what we were expecting based on the fact that we were in the middle of no where, but it was beautiful and nicely secluded.

Vesuvius vineyards

Vesuvius vineyards

We quickly noticed the covered deck off to the side and walked over there to check it out.

Say hi to George's mom!

Say hi to George’s mom!

I was immediately impressed with the sprawling, green yard and the bubbling creek (yes, you could actually hear it bubbling) as well as the large space that was already decorated with the string lights and fabric that I love.  I even quickly found a spot off of the side of the deck that I thought would be perfect for a ceremony.

Creekside aisleway

Creekside aisleway

Wouldn’t that just be the perfect spot?  I have always dreamed of an intimate wedding that actually feels intimate, and this space looks perfect for the ceremony.

We spoke with the owners and walked around the property and liked the overall look of the place.  We definitely have a list of pros and cons for both locations, so now the hard work actually begins… decision making!!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m terrible at making decisions.  Two of the hardest decisions we have to make between both places are:

1. being able to serve  liquor vs. beer and wine only (one of the venues doesn’t allow liquor at all) and 2. trying to find a caterer/rental company that we can easily access (and don’t have to pay ridiculous transportation fees for)  if we choose the vineyard from yesterday.  It’s always harder to try to make decisions long distance!

Other things for us to take into consideration are the distance from home, cost (today’s venue is about $1500 more than yesterday’s), being able to bring dogs to the vineyard because you know we won’t be able to leave Rue out of this, having a space for both the bride and groom to get ready on location the day of the wedding, and just the overall feel and look of the location.

So, now you guys have seen both places.  My question to you is:  Which location would you choose?! 

Decisions have always been hard for me, especially when it comes to such an important day like our wedding.  I want everything to be perfect but a wedding in general is quite an expense these days… I’m almost considering a destination wedding just to make these decisions easier!!

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Raffaldini Vineyards

After a whirlwind week, I’m finally back home and ready to blog!  It was great to be in Florida for the big engagement, but it was even better to get home and share the exciting news with my friends and family (while drooling over the ring of course)!!

I’m going to recap what I remember of the proposal as promised, followed by a surprise, so keep on reading!

The second night of our vacation, George and I had plans to head out for a sunset beach walk followed by dinner at our favorite restaurant in Destin, McGuire’s.  They’ve actually been featured on Food Network for their variety of burgers, most notably the “garbage burger.”  McGuire’s garbage burger is described on eater.com as:

“3/4 lb grilled black angus hamburger with liverwurst, corned beef, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms, jalapenos, black olives, banana peppers, pineapple rings, wasabi, guacamole, pepperonis, chili, sour cream, marinara, barbecue sauce, peanut butter, tomato, red onion, five types of cheese, bacon, remoulade sauce, ice cream, hot fudge, and a maraschino cherry on top with an Irish flag on it.”

George was talking about getting that burger all day and, as gross as it sounds, I was secretly hoping he would get it just so that I could see it in person!  Typically the wait at McGuire’s is anywhere from 1-2 hours for a party of 2, so we decided to stop by there first and put our name in, do our walk on the beach, then come back for dinner.  I went in the restaurant to put our name down while George waited in the car, but luck was on our side and they had a table available upstairs on the outdoor porch right away.  I was excited because waiting for dinner when you’re HUNGRY is never fun!

We changed our plans around and actually sat and enjoyed a nice dinner as the sun was setting over the harbor.  I opted for the pork chops and George got a burger, but not the garbage burger. 😦 My meal was HUGE and came with 2 full pork chops, a baked potato, a Caesar salad, applesauce and a cheese stuffed tomato half.

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View from the upstairs deck in McGuire’s

After a great dinner, we  decided that we still wanted to go to the beach to walk off some of that food since we were so stuffed.  It was completely dark at this point and we missed the sun setting on the beach, so we tried to find a place with some light since the moon wasn’t even out.  We ended up at our favorite beach bar and got pretty excited once we realized they were setting off some fireworks out back.  After the fireworks show was over, we walked along the shoreline and started talking about our relationship and how much fun we have together and how excited we were for this trip.  As we were walking back to the car, George was acting frantic and handed me his phone after saying that he dropped his keys in the sand.

After I shined the flashlight at the ground so he could look, he turned around and dropped to one knee with a conch shell in his hand that we actually found in Destin a few years earlier.  Apparently he didn’t say he dropped his keys, he said he found a seashell in the sand!  He told me he would be honored to have me as his wife and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said yes, but I was so shocked that I was shaking.  I just couldn’t believe that the moment I’ve been waiting years for was finally happening!  I needed a minute to calm down before we went to meet up with some friends, so we walked to a more private area next to the water where we talked about some exciting plans for our future as well as reminisced on some times from our past.  We also talked about his nerves over the proposal (the ring kept falling out of the shell in his pocket while we were eating dinner and he explained that was why he went to the bathroom 5 different times over the hour!!) and the ring.  It turns out he designed it himself and had special hearts put in underneath the halo, one to show that I have his heart always and one to symbolize our family…. me, George and baby Rue of course!  I thought it was so sweet and romantic and hearing that made it so much more special knowing that he put that much time and thought into designing the ring himself.

I feel so lucky to have found a man that really wants to be with me and shows it every day with his generosity and care that he puts into every action and detail when it comes to me.  This was a great night and I will remember it forever!

And now for the surprise….

I finally have a regular fashion post to share!  Today was the first day this summer where I put on normal clothes for the day instead of bummin’ it in my gym clothes.  My mom, George’s mom and I all went to go look at a vineyard about an hour from our house as a possible venue for our wedding and reception.  Ahhhh!!  I still can’t believe it’s real!

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Dress: H&M
Bracelet: David Yurman
Earrings (below): Target

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Also, here’s a quick peak at the vineyard we went to today. It’s named Raffaldini Vineyards and it’s an Italian winery rather than your typical NC muscadine winery… that’s our biggest stipulation to winery weddings.  George and I both enjoy wine but cannot do the sweet stuff.  George was unable to come with us today, so I brought him home a bottle of Pinot Grigio and I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll love it as much as I do!

View when you pull in to the drive

View when you pull in to the drive

Pond in front of the villa overlooking the Appalachian Mountains

Pond in front of the villa overlooking the Appalachian Mountains

View from the garden overlooking the piazza where we'd have the reception

View from the garden overlooking the piazza where we’d have the reception

I’m pretty sure I’m sold on the location, but my mom and I have plans to look at one more place tomorrow just in case we can’t get the date we want at Raffaldini.  I will keep you posted with pictures of the other location tomorrow!

For now, I’d love to hear your opinions on wedding venues.  If you’ve gotten married, where you do you choose to do it and why?  If you’re not married yet, where would you want to get married?

I think George and I both agree we want an outdoor wedding because we both love a great breeze, sunshine, and George wants to set up multiple cornhole games in the lawn (that was a major “must have” for him on our wedding wants list, haha).