Wedding Welcome Bags with North Fork Potato Chips

Hi friends! The summer and wedding season are quickly approaching, and I could not be more excited. Today, I am thrilled to share a local company that I incorporated into my own wedding day. This is a great way not only to support local businesses, but it is also a fun way to add some unique touches to your wedding.

As you may know, I got married a little over a year ago. Sometimes I still have to remind myself that my wedding day has come and gone. I am the type of person that enjoys anticipating a big event like a holiday or vacation. Although I hit a few bumps in the road during wedding planning {or as my husband says, “the fews weeks I lost my mind,”} I really did enjoy everything about our wedding season. That being said, I know wedding planning can be overwhelming, so I thought this would be a great time to share some planning ideas with you all.

In this post I am giving you a better look inside my wedding welcome bags. These bags were placed in the hotel rooms for our guests the night of our wedding. There are so many reasons I love living on Long Island, so I really wanted to incorporate something special into these bags. A few months prior to my wedding I was in Southhampton with my parents looking at wedding bands. We stopped for lunch where I opted for a side of chips — North Fork Potato Chips. This was the first time I had heard of these chips, but instantly fell in love with them because they had such a good crunch! Then it hit me; these chips were the perfect addition to my wedding welcome bags. I knew these would be a lot more special than a regular old bag of Lay’s.

With all of the crazy details that go into a wedding, we opted to keep our welcome bags pretty simple. Sticking with our theme, I purchased craft paper gift bags, white tissue paper and a tag from Etsy which we simply tied with twine. Along with the North Fork Chips, we added a couple bottles of water, a few gluten-free [salty & sweet] snacks and Advil packets. For more details on my wedding planning, click here.

If you check their website, you’ll learn that North Fork Potato Chips is a family owned and run business on the North Fork of Long Island. Starting their business in the 1970s, the Sidor family has grown their company to offer seven flavors of chips, and all except BBQ are gluten-free. I opted for a mix of the original and sweet potato flavor in my wedding welcome bags. If you’re not incorporating wedding welcome bags into your day, North Fork Potato Chips would make a great favor, to-go gift {often left at the door as your guests leave} or after party snack.

When I placed my order for North Fork Chips, I remember speaking with Cheryl Sidor. At the point I spoke with her, I was losing wedding planning steam — so much so that I actually called their office about 10x in a row thinking my call wasn’t going through. Turns out, it was actually call waiting, and I was repeatedly “beeping into” Cheryl’s conference call. Hello bridal brain fog! Not only was Cheryl very sweet, but she made the process so simple. To ensure optimal freshness, she also made sure that the chips shipped at the right time.

As a kid, my parents often took me out to the North Fork, and I generally referred to it as the land of “farm, farm, vineyard, farm.” These day my day-job requires me to be in the city which makes me appreciate the farm lands and beaches of Long Island so much more. My husband and I love spending time on the ‘NoFo’ for the wine, craft beer and pure relaxation. Some of our favorite places include the Bating Hallow Farm Vineyard, Briermere Farms and the Shinn Estate Vineyard. We’re happy to add North Fork Chips to that round-up.

LI brides, be sure to check out North Fork Potato Chips to add a special element of LI to your wedding day. Also, ask for information on the bridal specials and let Cheryl know I sent you her way.

Thank you to Cheryl for sending me chips to recreate my bags for this post!

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and today’s post was not compensated.

My Bridal Shower + Registry Tips

I am so excited to share my bridal shower on the blog! Last weekend my mom threw me the most special shower. Many months ago when she was in her early planning stages I decided I definitely wanted my shower to be a surprise. We agreed that coming up with a fake story or event to get me to the shower (without also blowing the surprise) would be tough. One of my bridesmaids shared a great idea to avoid this scenario. The mother of the bride tells the bride the morning of her shower that it’s ‘shower day,’ with cute signs, flowers, decorations, etc. I don’t live at home anymore {weird!} so my mom decided she would still figure out how to surprise me the morning of.

The morning of my bridal shower day was a bit rainy, so I slept later than usual because my room was so dark. My fiance of course was in on the surprise, so at 7am {moments after I opened my eyes} he let my mom and MOH into the house and they BARGED into my room. Decked out in rain coats with flowers and cameras they pulled off the surprise! My mom also made me a hair appointment for that morning, so I didn’t feel as rushed getting ready.

My mom didn’t miss a single detail. My shower was Pinterest perfect. We both LOVE the Gilmore Girls, so she incorporated so many details from the show. She made chocolates covered in Gilmore Girl’s sayings, decorated the tables with Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts, the center pieces were filled with coffee beans and she even found Gilmore Girls bobble heads! I love how much my mom personalized my shower because it made my day extra special. She and my bridesmaids put together so many pictures, including a “Meet the Maids” scrapbook. I love to cook, so my mom also sent out recipe cards with my invitations and collected them in a wooden recipe box. I can’t wait to continue collecting recipes from friends and family. My mom included a few special gifts such a toasting flutes, cake forks, a piece of my grandma’s shirt {something blue} to sew into my wedding dress and my christening bonnet from my great aunt {something old}.

Registry Tips

I think registering is all about finding the balance between necessities and splurge items. Your bridal shower is a time for you to get some great house hold items that you may not be able to or think of buying for yourself.

In the end, I think I over-registered because some women in my life kept telling me that I didn’t have enough. I was really hesitant to add odds and ends like wooden spoons, spatulas, whisks, ice cream bowls and decorations because I knew these were things I could easily buy for myself. I didn’t get many of these extra items, but some of the extras I added at the end were purchased over some of my sought after items. I think my biggest tip would be to register for what you really want, so you get those items. You don’t want your registry to be too small, but if it’s filled with your must-haves, you have a better chance of getting them all. I ended up getting a lot of gift cards which will allow me to buy any extra items as I need them. (Update 11/19/17 – Looking back now I think all of the gifts I got worked out great. I didn’t end up returning much at all. It just took me a few months to work through all of the boxes. The slow cooker I registered for was terrible, so I am on the hunt for a new one. I got a lot of giftcards which I have been using to buy anything else I want. My biggest recommend is to register for what you want and need, but be practical! If you like to cook get great cookware! If you hate cooking, maybe that’s not the category to splurge in. At the end of the summer my co-workers had a bridal shower for me and got me the white Le Creuset Dutch oven I registered for and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!)

We registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pottery Barn. BBB is a great choice because you can always use a 20% off coupon which helps make items more affordable (especially the small appliances). PB can be a little tricky because store locations are limited and their online specials change daily. My invitations also said “Home Depot giftcards as also appreciated.” We really appreciate all the HD gift cards we got because we’re still renovating our house.

My Top 10 Registry Items

Kitchen Aid Mixer

Cuisinart Blender

Cuisinart Food Processor

Cuisinart Hand Blender

Nespresso 

Large Service of Flatwear

Shark Steam Mop

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Pots & Pans

PotteryBarn Duvet and Quilt

Dinnerwear Set

The Kitchen Aid stand mixer was a splurge item that I knew I definitely wanted. Although I am not huge into baking (yet), I have always felt that it is a staple kitchen appliance (unless you of course do no cooking or baking of any kind). Similarly, a good blender, food processor and hand blender are great staples too. The blender I linked above is awesome. I found that a lot of the appliances on the market today are bulky, but this blender isn’t too big. It is also super powerful. I love using a food processor to chop up veggies. A food processor can be a huge time saver for dinner prep. My hubby-to-be has also learned how to use it which makes it easier for him to get dinner started when I am running late. Hand blender or immersion blenders are awesome for pureeing soups! I cannot wait to use it this fall and winter.

The day we went to register an espresso machine wasn’t on our original list. The more we thought about it the more it seemed like something we would get use out of. After all, Mike and a lot of the men in my family drink espresso. I am so happy we decided to register for a Nespresso machine because we’ve used it everyday since we got it. We really love the milk frother it came with too.

Our number one most needed item was flatwear. When we moved into our house we were using hand-me-downs from my great aunts! I went with a simple design that would be timeless, but it was important to me that we got a large service. The set we chose came with serving spoons and steak knives.

I love the Shark steam mop we got. Our house has wood floors throughout, so I am always hesitant using a steam mop, but this one has three different settings. Honestly, nothing cleans the floors as well as a steam mop, especially this one because it has a huge pad.

Another item I knew we would definitely register for was a good pot and pans set. We went with a really nice brushed stainless set from Cuisinart. I opted for stainless because I think stainless wears better. Teflon eventually chips and wears down. I really like that the entire set is stove and oven safe. I can’t wait to put all of these to good use!

Our master bedroom isn’t finished yet, but I know I wanted to have all new bedding ready to go. I love simple quilts, so I opted for blue one from PB. I actually have the same one on our bed now in white which will eventually become out guest room bedding. I also registered for a white duvet cover and insert to give us more options for colder months and style.

I knew I 100% did not want china or crystal. I just don’t think they’re practical anymore and they’re very expensive which would take away from other gifts I had my eye on. Instead, I registered for  good everyday dinnerware. It took me a long time to find a set that I liked, but once I found this set at PB I started my second registry. I registered for both bone and grey, so I could mix and match the colors {our entire house is white, beige, grey and light blue – makes decorating very easy}. The dinner plates for this set are HUGE. They’re so big that they don’t actually fit in our upper cabinets, so we have them in a bottom drawer. They’re also a little big for the dishwasher. I didn’t take the size into consideration at all when I picked them out, but I think they will be perfect for the holidays 🙂

 

xo Miss Alyss

Engagement Party: Invites & Decor

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my blog. This post is part of my wedding planning series. If you have not read my previous posts on my engagement ring and how I asked my bridesmaids to be part of my wedding day check them out here and here. I have been engaged for over a year now and can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by. It has truly been a special year! As my wedding gets closer I am getting more excited too. In this post I am sharing the details of our engagement party. We had so much fun celebrating with our closest friends and family!

Our parents threw us an engagement party at a great restaurant called Corks & Taps in Bayshore, NY.  It has a rustic meets industrial vibe which went perfect with the decor theme I had my heart set on. {More to come on how my wedding vision changed over the last year – stay tuned!} We lucked out with the most perfect fall day and were able to keep the giant front doors open for the entire party. The venue could not have been more perfect. The food was great, the staff was helpful and of course there were a ton of craft beer options on tap! I have to follow a gluten-free diet, so it is very important that the venue prepares everything gluten free. I am happy to say I had no problems with the food. All of our guests had great things to say about the venue.

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

I ordered our invitations on Etsy which were perfectly coordinated with the beer and wine theme. The seller was very responsive via Etsy messages and turned around my order within 1-2 days. The invite was an instant download which I had printed and cut at Staples. I think the quality of the invites were great. Instant downloads are a way to incorporate affordable invites into your event.  There are so many invitation options on Etsy that you can definitely find one for any style or occasion.

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

As I mentioned in my previous post I gave all of my bridesmaids custom wine glasses which they all brought to the party. My fiance and I also used our matching wine and beer glass set. All of the glasses made for some cute pictures!

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

I have dreamed about getting married in the fall for as long as I can remember. That dream always included pumpkins. I painted a large pumpkin white with a gold stem and big “S” initial for my future last name.  It was super easy to make. I purchased the paint at a craft store and used a stencil to paint the “S.”

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

My mom purchased all different sized glass vases from the craft store which we filled with corn kernels and yummy scented fall candles. All of the women at the party loved them! These were all snatched up as we left that day. Since the party my mom has re-purposed these vases for all different holidays.

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

One of my most favorite decorations of the day were the painted mason jars my mom made. She used white chalkboard paint and gave them a rustic look by rubbing them down with sandpaper. A bunch of our guests also took these home because they loved them so much. My uncle is a wonderful florist and he filled the mason jars with the prettiest flowers. He is also the florist for my wedding day!

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

My MOH gave me a Polaroid camera for my birthday, so I decided to use it at our engagement party to have our guests make a photo/guest book. The film cartridges are a little pricey, so I thought it would be a better idea to use the Polaroid camera at our engagement party versus our wedding (to use less film). I bought a square craft book at Michael’s Crafts that had blank pages. To attach the photos to the book I bought double sided scrap-booking tape that comes in a roller (similar to this one). I suggest using tape that comes in a dispenser over the little squares you have to peel off the tape roll because you don’t want little papers all over. At our party I left the Polaroid camera, the book, tape and some pretty milky gel pens on a table. I love how it turned out and every so often I take out the book to read through all of the notes our guests left us.

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

I ordered custom signs from Designs by Kari on Etsy with our wedding hashtag, a message for the Polaroid table and a few other sayings. I opened a custom order request because the seller did not have all of the signs I wanted at the time. She was very responsive via Etsy messages and was able to create everything I wanted. I was so happy because I was having a hard time finding signs that I liked in the same colors and fonts. This order was also an instant download which I had printed at Staples. I found picture frames at Marshalls which also go nicely with my home decor so they were all easily re-purposed.

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

I found metal initials and an “&” sign at Michael’s Crafts which I left out on the bar with other decor. I also bought a few dark wood milk crates from Joanne’s Crafts which we used for our favors and pretty fall mums! Throughout the restaurant I also had some framed pictures of Mike and I. Some of my bridesmaids had given me gifts shortly after getting engaged and they doubled as great party decor! My MOH gave me an “engaged” banner with we used in pictures and I purchased a “love is sweet” banner that we hung over the fire place at the restaurant.

{Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All opinions/recommendations are my own.}

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Photo by Annie Harris Photography

Possibly my most favorite part of my engagement party decor were the favors! My mom is the best baker ever and she baked our favorite cookies. She uses Bob’s Redmill gluten free oatmeal to make her Monster Cookies gluten free too! I ordered paper bags and thank you stickers from Etsy. The bags of cookies looked so pretty in the wood milk crates, so they doubled as another decoration. We wrapped each cookie in plastic wrap and sealed the bags with the stickers.

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