Monday, October 31, 2011

my wedding story: ch.2 - the attire

Most girls know the exact color scheme they want for their wedding. I however, had no clue. I would decide on a color and then change my mind the next week. I decided the bridesmaid dresses would have to make my decision for me.

I decided to go shopping with (almost) all of my bridesmaids at a local mall and see what everyone would gravitate to. I told them color wasn't an issue, just no pink or purple, and the rest was up to them. I would just give the final 'o.k.' I wanted the dress to be something everyone liked, and would wear again - but most of all, was affordable. We went to all the department stores and just about any store that sold dresses. We found a couple that were possible contenders, but none that anyone really fell in love with. When we were just about done with shopping, we spotted "30% OFF DRESS SALE" on the windows of Express. So we figured why not, and went inside. Almost immediately, my sister (and MOH) spotted a turquoise number that I personally would never choose for myself - just because I know what style/fit I like on my body - and it wasn't one of them. But when I realized that all my girls have cute little bodies (I'm lanky and flat chested), I got excited and said let's try it! It looked awesome on each and every one of them. Turquoise is my favorite color. Boom. Easy as that. After tracking down a few sizes at other stores in the area, everyone had a dress - for 30% off. I believe they were $48 with tax. For a bridesmaid dress? I felt like it was a win. 

After turquoise was a set color for our wedding the planning and details got fun. 

Then it was on to my dress. I love this story...
We got engaged Christmas 2009. In April 2010 I saved this very picture to my computer: 

It was love at first sight. I knew that style was my favorite. At the time I had no idea what  "W____ers" meant behind that girl. It was the only wedding dress picture I filed in my wedding folder and forgot about it. 

That summer I went wedding dress shopping with mom, sister and a couple bridesmaids. I tried on two dresses in the beginning that I loved. The rest of them were pretty, but we all agreed that they didn't beat the first two. Out of those first two dresses I started selling myself on the first dress because the price tag was a little easier to swallow than the second. Both still being fairly reasonable compared to everything else in the boutique. To be honest the dresses were almost identical. The main difference was the fabric, the second dress was made with very unique material for a wedding gown. We left that day and I had fallen in love with two dresses but subconsciously talked myself into the first because of $.
phone pic of me in dress #1

Christmas break of 2010 I got a random phone call from my grandmother on my way home from work late at night. If you know me, you know that my grandmother and I have a special bond. She's an incredibly generous woman that has spoiled my sister and I from day one. And at 24 years old I'll admit that she still spoils us. But not a day has gone by that we're not so very thankful and appreciative of everything she's ever done for us. I'm sure you see where this is going... She called to say that she had walked by a boutique in Birmingham and decided that she really wanted to buy my wedding gown for me. She wanted to make sure that I didn't stress over the price and make sure that I wore exactly what I wanted on my special day. I balled the whole way home.

So 3 generations of Ankeny's set back out to dress shop. We tried another boutique in Northville just to see what else was out there. They were all gorgeous but it was hard to open my mind to any new dresses because all I could think of were the two back at B. Ella Bridal. We went back there to show grammy the two I had fallen in love with. I repeated exactly what I did the first time. I tried on dress #1 and my grandma seemed to like it. I tried on dress #2 and she said "oh niki, I think that's the one." I was  ecstatic. I think the whole time my heart was drawn to dress #2, but me being my frugal self wouldn't let it. Needless to say, I have an amazing grandmother and I'm so lucky to have been able to get my dream dress.  

So that first image up there... that was dress #1. I had no idea when I was trying it on. After all of this, I was going through images I had saved to my computer and came across that image. I couldn't believe out of the thousands of dresses I had looked at online I ended up falling in love with that very dress.. and its sister dress. I guess when your heart knows, it knows.

Introducing the dress:
Mojave by Watters

My dress was incredibly comfortable. The fabric was almost like a cotton, with a floral burnout texture. AND the best part about it... POCKETS!

And last but not least, the fellas:
Eric and I both agreed that tuxedos were most likely out of the question. You can't find anything other than black or white in rentals. So we started looking at options for the guys to buy suits instead. We agreed on hunting for something in the khaki family. We figured it would look best. A trip to Jos. A. Banks left us both in love with their Seersucker (my favorite) suits. Also conveniently part of the summer collection being very light weight for an August wedding. So we decided on the tan stripe version:
Left: Image from their site. Right: I had to photoshop the ties to see if they'd look okay...

Suit: $99 (talked way down - practiced my negotiating skillz) much better than renting!
Tie: $15 from Express (given as gifts) I used lots of coupons. 
They all looked super handsome. In my opinion. And another bargain if I might say so myself. 

Wedding photos coming soon! You'll get to see all of this in action
Now I have to go ice my wrists from this blogging marathon.

Monday, October 24, 2011

life with piper.

I'm pretty much super attached with this little face. She's growing like a weed... gaining almost a pound a week! I wish I could make it stop. She can be the sweetest thing, so snuggly and loveable. Then. She can be the holy terror that pees on my couch, steals dryer sheets or socks, and snarls while stalking me from under the couch before she springs out to attack. Nevertheless, we're making good progress and I love her to death!

Here are a few pictures of us playing in the yard...

 i could kiss that nose all day long.

A few weeks ago my sister and I took piper to downtown Brighton to watch the homecoming parade. We're doing lots and lots of socializing. She LOVES people and isn't afraid of anything
... which is good and bad. 

The next day piper and I met my good friend jenna at Kensington Metropark for a little picnic and enjoy the indian summer we were having. It was absolutely gorgeous. We pulled 100 leaves out of piper's mouth, watched the sailboats, and even a seaplane!

Our not-so-picturesque, yet tasty, picnic. Again, I pulled a full chunk of cheese out of Piper's mouth... it never ends. We're working really hard on "leave it"

 taking in all the smells

It was the first time I'd ever been to Kensington. I highly recommend it, I'm definitely buying another year pass for 2012.

must be nice...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

my wedding story: ch.1 - the venue

{I've decided to share my wedding planning experience in chapters. There are so many things I'd like to post, but I'll have to do it in smaller doses. Some may be mundane and others more exciting, either way... I hope you enjoy!}

Choosing where to celebrate our marriage was way more difficult than I had ever imagined. So many things to consider -- locatoin (somewhat practical/central for guests), type (golf course, church, park, country club, etc.), and of course considering what compliments our personalities.

I searched, and searched, and researched. we finally decided on Indian Springs Metro Park

 in White Lake, MI. Location was ideal, very close to my parents home, the majority of our friends, and still easily reachable for the rest of our guests. The type of venue they have at Indian Springs was perfect. The park grounds are kept completely natural, and our ceremony site had a beautiful backdrop of a humongous oak tree. Their event room is inside their Environmental Discovery Center which is an awesome, sustainable building.

 ceremony site:

event room:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

new name & new look

introducing, ledbury drive!

For a long while I was contemplating a new name for all my creative outlets to fall under. I wanted a name that I could use for an etsy shop (that I had been wanting to open for years), my blog, etc. I wanted everything to be a cohesive expression of me. Feels good to have a fresh look for a fresh start!

If you care to know where the new name came from... here's why:

Ledbury drive is a quiet residential street that my grandparent's home resides on. They've lived there since the late 50's, and while my grandfather passed away several years ago -- to me -- he still lives there in spirit. I imagine most people have special feelings towards their grandparent's home. I am one of those people. Every time I'm there I am overwhelmed with memories made there, including learning so many talents from my grandmother. When I think about the living I make, the hobbies I have, the degree I obtained -- all of those passions stemmed from my grandparents home (with my parents encouragement as well, of course). My grandmother taught me how to paint and care for brushes, cut wood, sew by hand and on a sewing machine (which she bought me), play the piano, garden, stamp and emboss, knit, and she even gave me my first beads and jewelry making materials. All of my creative passions were born there. Until I was five years old my grandparents watched me every day while my parents worked. From ages eight to ten, we lived there while building our second home, and while attending college I lived there (m-f) for four years. I've lived a good part of my life in that house, and it's impossible to express in words how much it means to me.

So, while I was thinking of a name that would feel right to give all of my creative outlets, ledbury drive seemed like a good place for them to live.

This was my rough draft of my 'logo'. The orange is a tribute to my grandpa. Everything we do in memorial of him is orange. Thinking of you grandpa!

thanks for reading. xo

Saturday, October 1, 2011

our new addition.

(photo from petfinder)

3.5 weeks ago I was torturing myself on petfinder (as usual) and came across this cute little nugget. It was love at first site.

3 weeks ago, after much debate and contemplation, I decided to fill out the FIDO adoption application. We heard back almost right away and decided to go meet her.

2 weeks ago we met her. As soon as we saw the foster mother walking in holding this little sandy brown peanut, we knew she was coming home with us.
Meet Piper

Piper was a rescue from a flooded shelter down south, she and her litter mates had pneumonia and parasites. It breaks my heart to think of how sick they all were, I wish I could have brought the whole bunch home with us. She's healthy and clear of all illness now! We aren't sure, but the best guess is that she is a Daschund+Chihuahua mix.
I'm so in love.