The Wedding Night

Reminiscing over my wedding….I think every girl needs a picture of herself in her wedding dress with her leg kicked up behind her…black and white makes it even better 🙂

*Matthew Szoke Photography*


Pass the Wine! Our Napa Valley Honeymoon

Honeymoon-Part 1

After our amazing and beautiful DIY wedding at the end of September, we flew away from the east coast over to the lovely west coast.  My first time going past the state of Oklahoma, my husbands second time to the west coast.  We decided that we had wanted to take a trip to a place we could keep busy and explore..more importantly, drink some wine.  We decided on Napa Valley and San Francisco.  We flew into San Fran, got into our convertible mustang rental car and drove up the coast to Napa Valley.

Napa is known for it’s lovely weather and delicious wine.  For some odd reason, the 3 days that we were in Napa, it was 100 degrees and not the typical mid 70 degrees its supposed to be.  Oh well, we enjoyed it with our top down in the “stang.”

We checked into our hotel, Hotel Avia, drove to the closest Winery and did our first tasting at Domaine Carneros.  They make Premium Sparkling Wine, but really its Champagne (which is my absolute favorite thing in the entire world) but they aren’t allowed to call it champagne because you can only make that in France…weird concept to me.  Such a beautiful view from this place, as you can see in the pics above.  I would recommend to just go do some tastings on their amazingly large porch area and enjoy the views if you really aren’t truly passionate about champagne.  But if you are passionate about it, the tasting inside was educational and worthwhile.

After the champagne, we headed back to the hotel to take a nap before dinner and we didn’t wake up for 13 hours…must have been tired from the wedding and champagne…hmm.  So the next day, we had a reservation for a tour at Truchard Winery.  By far, our favorite winery in Napa.  It’s a small place that is quickly growing.  The store their wines in caves that they built underneath of the vines.  Delicious wine and wonderful people!  Nothing like eating a grape fresh off the wine.

Later that day we went to a couple other places, Gundlach Bundshu and some random dutch mans trailer, and the last stop was Del Dotto Vineyard.  A $50 tasting, per person.  Completely worth it for the amount of pours that they give you and the meats and cheeses you get at the end.  Probably just to sober you up so you can drive home…ha.

I have to say that driving around in California (especially through Napa and Sonoma Valley) in a convertible is just so freeing and fabulous.  It certainly turned the relaxation mode on!

Finally, Wednesday, we departed Napa, drove through Sonoma and headed back down the coast and headed for the Golden Gate Bridge Park..

….to be continued 🙂

My DIY Wedding Details

To continue the casual elegance of the wedding…I kept it a very classic black and white theme.  White flowers.  Ivory Wedding Dress.  Black Bridesmaids Dresses.  Brown Boots.  Charming I would say.  It all came together with all of the little details.  Here is a taste of it all coming together.

I have to say I was not the traditional bride, at all.  I did not wear something new, old, borrowed or blue….My mom stitched blue thread into my wedding dress with the date and our initials.  My dress was new….I did not have anything borrowed or old and you know what, I was OK with that.  I am not a superstitious person, unlike a few brides I have dealt with over the years.  I don’t get the point of worrying about stuff like that.  My concern was just how happy I was going to be marrying the man of my dreams.  And that’s all that should matter girls!

I wanted my bridesmaids to be happy too….I love Black-it’s so classic and chic and a perfect color for anyone to wear again and again.  And with the wedding being on the farm, I said, “Wear your brown riding boots and bring flip flops for later, I’ll be wearing boots too!”  Happy feet = Happy Bridesmaids

Flowers=you spend TOO much money…sorry, I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t spend that grand on flowers for one day of happiness.  So thank you Wegmans in Malvern, PA for allowing me to order boxes of flowers and we (my mom, few bridesmaids, and my boss) arranged all of the 20 flower arrangements and made 6 bouquets in 2 hours and I only spent $216.  It’s worth it, trust me.  To finish off the bouquets, just got your local Michael’s and pick up wired twine and wrap up those stems and tuck the ends in…done!

Make it simple ladies and keep it casual and elegant.

My Casual and Elegant DIY Wedding

Welcome to the R & R Wedding-the most beautiful, casual and elegant wedding I could have asked for!  This was a DIY wedding-which meant so much more to me then having it done for me.  We were so lucky to have had the both the Ceremony and Reception on a Private Farm where I grew up.

Our Ceremony began at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon. As guests arrived, we had our bar open so that they could grab a drink for their walk up the hill to the ceremony (hint: alcohol makes guests happy and makes the ceremony less painful for them).  We did a self uniting marriage license, meaning we didn’t need anyone to marry us, just ourselves and 2 witnesses to sign the license.  Neither of us are very religious so we felt this was appropriate for us.  We wrote our own vow’s, had Russell’s Uncle Rick officiate the ceremony and explain what we were doing (and yes, it’s legal in PA), my 2nd Cousin Suzy spoke as well.  And with a simple kiss, we concluded the ceremony.  Our guests sat on hay bails instead of chairs and enjoyed the gorgeous view of the fields and pond (photos to follow in upcoming posts).  After the ceremony, we had everyone gather at the bottom of the hill and we had our Photographer Matthew Szoke take a picture of the entire group (all 117 of us).

We then continued on to the cocktail hour.  Here, we had Pitruco Pizza Truck as our food-from Philadelphia, PA- and they kept serving personal pizzas and everyone could grab a slice whenever.  We also had our guitar player, Vance, playing during that hour.  Our friend Andy even joined him and sang us a Pete Yorn song 🙂

Moving onto the Reception-we had five 24 foot tables set up.  I rented white chairs and white table clothes, through on some burlap table runners I made and covered the tables in white non-scented votive candles and white flowers accented with greenery everywhere.  I wanted to create a simple rustic elegance.  I love dressing up, but hate being in stuffy settings.  I wanted to create an environment where everyone felt at home and it just sparkled all around us from all of the candles and felt so warm and loving.  That’s certainly the feel that we got-as everyone told us.  I think that’s a new theme for a wedding: Casual Elegance.

For some personal touches, I added a table full of wedding photos for our parents wedding days and our grandparents.  To look back at all of the different outfits and dresses, who looked like who and the beautiful black and white and photos-they are all just treasures.  We had our candy buffet set up on the same table as the party favor.

Now-this is just an overview of the wedding.  I have way more to tell, teach and show.   In some future posts-I am going to go into more detail about how I made certain things and where I found good deals.  It’s totally possible to make a DIY wedding easy and simple.  Don’t get frustrated.  If you have the vision-go for it-it is possible.  It’s your one day to enjoy-don’t over do it-but enjoy it.

Stay tuned….let me know if you have any questions-I’m happy to help!



My first post- Welcome Reba!

Phew!  Here I am. Finally.  I have been wanting to capture and write about my life, my stories, my many adventures and about my family and friends for months now.  At first I had had this whole idea of writing about Fashion (which I am not an expert at-just love it), but I think I am going to explore and write about what inspires me.  Seems to me that everyday is passing by quicker and quicker and I need to document all of these memories.  This blog is more for me than anyone else, but whoever enjoys reading this, thank you!

I’m a DIY kind of person.  I love to create, make and capture.  I am a home-body, I will never move away.  I just got married 4 weeks ago yesterday to my handsome husband Russell.  We live in a house where we could possibly be housesitting for up to 3 years.  My best friend is pregnant and due in 7 weeks, my maid of honor is also pregnant and due around Easter.  I couldn’t be a luckier gal to have my two best girls being prego and creating 2 new lives!  What an experience.  Me on the other hand….I will not be having a baby for a couple of years….no time for that yet!

You may see posts of Fashion I adore (thanks to Pinterest), my wedding, baby showers, family dinners, me learning photography on the digital camera my husband got me as wedding present, my pets, maybe some of me exploring fashion on my own and in a couple of years when we buy a house of our own, you can watch my home makeovers (I was an Interior Design major in college) and that is my true passion-hence loving to be creative.

Now-I am easing into this, I am not a writer or a blogger, so bare with me.  I hope my writing gets better with time 🙂