Love Unhatched: Ceremony Time

Scene: Around the corner of the hotel sits the pool and bar area, the only thing standing between my dad and I and the dune that it overlooks. Out on that dune is my family, my best friends and the man I love with a big smile on his face. The sun wasn’t out, but that made for the perfect weather with the breeze coming off the ocean.


I, for the first time, saw all our hard work come together. From our aisle runner, to the programs and fans we made, everything came together so perfectly. The ocean was nice and calm and the people in the pool stopped to watch as I walked past. All I could focus on was Mr. Sea Monkey and his big smile when he saw me walking towards him.


In the opening, Charles thanked our friends and family for being there and then he talked about them being part of our circle of love. Today, that circle was going to be overlapped with a new circle that was our bond and the love between us. It was an amazing way to incorporate the ones we loved.


We surprised both of our mothers with the Rose Ceremony. Mr. SM handed a rose and handwritten letter to my mom and I did the same with his. This was something we kept our lips sealed about, so it was a complete surprise to them both. I know it is something that meant a lot to them.



While we were repeating our vows, Charles threw in, “Mr. SM, you are one lucky man!” He made me repeat it and then asked if he had gotten it right. I loved that so much and it helped me breathe a bit before repeating those words that would seal the deal. Our guests got a pretty big kick out of it too.


All jokes aside, we exchanged our vows and rings. We went with the traditional vows and not handwritten, personal ones. That was followed by the sand ceremony and let me tell you, that was harder than it looks! Sunny Isles Beach has some sand to remember our wedding day by. We both had shaky hands and the sand poured out faster than anticipated, but  we still were left with a beautiful frame and some happy memories.


Of course, the last thing we got to do was seal the deal with a kiss. Well, two kisses. He had him kiss me again and dip me which Mr. SM was more than happy to do.


Walking back up the aisle with my new HUSBAND was the best part of the whole thing. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole played in the background and I couldn’t think of a more perfect song.  Some people may find it silly, but the beach ball toss tied everything together (and yes, Mr. SM’s dad got him in the face. Haha). It was a lot easier to clean up than flower petals and some of the little kids that were in the pool enjoyed collecting them too.


After the ceremony wrapped up, we took a few photos with our guests and then they headed to the West Wing for our reception. Mr. SM and I went down to the beach to take some more pictures. Just as we were taking our last picture, it began to rain.




(All pictures credited to Fort Lauderdale Beach Weddings)

In case you missed previous recaps (or forgot):

  1. Love Unhatched: Nashville, TN
  2. Love Unhatched: Savannah, GA
  3. Love Unhatched: We’ve Arrived
  4. Love Unhatched: Be Our Guest
  5. Love Unhatched: Cake Dilemma
  6. Love Unhatched: Guests Begin Arriving
  7. Love Unhatched: Last Minute Details
  8. Love Unhatched: Pre-Wedding Set Up
  9. Love Unhatched: Let The Madness Begin




It’s A Trap!: Sea Monkey Lobster Trap Card Box

A card box was one of the details that got overlooked. I was so busy planning our wedding, that I forgot about needing one. There will be a huge chunk of time during mocktail hour that Mr. Sea Monkey and I will be away from the dinner area. I knew of a couple of guests who were bringing cards with money, so I needed something to keep it all safe.

I actually found this lobster trap card box that a weddingbee user made for their sister’s engagement party and immediately fell in love with it. It was so unique and fit our beach theme perfectly.

Image via

Photo by weddingbee user cam316

I knew I had to make one of my own. I had some trouble finding a lobster trap, but finally found one from Be & Me Woodworking on amazon. It is made to be a card holder and was only a little over $60 with tax and S&H.

I found this lobster trap on Amazon.

Personal Photo

I really wanted to go for the distressed look and make it look old and used. I used some acrylic paint from Michaels and painted it to match my wedding colors. I painted both the inside and the outside. I had to use a small brush to get the hard-to-reach areas, but I used a sponge brush on the rest.

I did about 3 coats of paint on both the inside and outside.

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After it was dry, I took a bristle brush, dipped it in paint and then dabbed it on a napkin. Then I used short, choppy strokes to give it the distressed look. Your paintbrush should not have much paint on it at all, for this part.

Make sure to use short, choppy strokes.

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I tried to focus on the areas that would be used the most (edges, hinges, door latch). I used the small brush and the distressing technique to make the metal look rusted.

Those hinges were once shun hand new.

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Then I decorated it with a few fish nets and seashells that I got at Michaels. I laid the remaining nets and shells around it along with the “cards” letters and it is finished.


Even Casper got in on the net action. Personal Photo


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This turned out to be my favorite DIY, thus far. I’m glad I decided to go with a card box, after all.

What is your favorite DIY?

Organizing the Blood, Sweat and Coffee From My Planning

A wedding binder is something that anyone planning a wedding needs. From receipts, to contracts, to seating charts, your binder holds it all. If you are planning a wedding, you probably have realized how fast those papers pile up.

Keeping them a binder will save you a lot of trouble later, because everything is in one place. You don’t have a drawer full of papers to sift through, nor do you have to feel badly about keeping every piece of paper. It’s definitely a good idea to keep all your papers and receipts, because there has been more than one time where I have needed to return something or I didn’t receive everything I ordered. I would pull up the contract or receipt and scan them into the computer or take a picture of them and send it to whoever I needed.

Whenever you are entering into any legal contract, you should save, not only the signed contract, but also keep your emails and conversations. If you need to dig them up, you know exactly where to look. When I started having problems with my venue, it helped to know exactly where the contract was, so that we could prove our side. Sectioned tabs help with this, because then the binder is organized by categories to make looking for things even easier. Mine is organized into the following sections: ceremony, dinner, cake, centerpieces, invitations, guests, favors and honeymoon.

Organized into sections.

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I even have all the samples I made and ordered in it, so I can look back and see the direction I was going. When I was picking paper, it was nice to have all the samples in one spot, so Mr. SM and I could look back at which papers we needed for which part of the invite. Once we picked the colors we wanted to use, we labeled those samples what they were going to be used for. You’d be shocked at how many times we forgot which paper was going to be used for which piece.

Sample card stock page.

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We kept every coffee-stained* piece of paper that had our thought process written on it. Things like, honeymoon ideas, picking photos for our engagement package, and information and pricing on various venues we looked at.


All you need is a regular binder you can purchase anywhere and a hole punch. I decided to spruce mine up and decorate it. I used Mod Podge and decoupaged the covers using important cards and scrap papers I had. I also used some beach scrapbook stickers and some letter stickers as well. I used some of the scrap paper leftover from our invitations to make the tabs. I love my binder and I think everyone should have one just to keep their sanity. You can decorate it or leave it plain, just make sure you organize it.


Front Cover/Personal Photo


Spine/Personal Photo

*Cute side story: I HATED coffee and Mr. SM has always drank it. When I first started staying over at his apartment, I never mentioned this small detail and he would bring me a cup every morning. I thought it was a sweet gesture, so I would plug my nose and let the stuff slide down my throat. I would chug it, because it grossed me out. The more he did it though, the less I would gag on it. I now drink 2-3 cups a day, voluntarily. My coffee addiction can be traced back to those cups of coffee that would inevitably be waiting for me when I woke up every morning.

Do you have a wedding binder? Does it help you stay organized?