Hitchswitch!

 
Ever since Zan and I got engaged I have been looking forward to changing my name. I love love love my old name, but I also love love love my new name, too.

Anna Winchell <– that’s the new me! Which is exactly the same as the old me. Thank goodness. :)

I knew this summer would be the perfect time for me to change it legally. Being on summer vacation means I have more free time to run extra erands. Also working it all out in the summer means I can start the school year fresh with my new name. I like how my new class doesn’t know me yet, so Mrs. Winchell won’t be hard for them to remember to say. (Although it’s still a bit strange for me to hear!)

Turns out, as it is with these things, changing your name is a pain in the butt. Legally, at least.

A friend told me that The Knot has a great guide to follow when it’s time to change your name, but even that felt a bit tedious to me. So many websites to go to to find information! So many places to stop into! The thought of it literally made my head spin.

Then I found Hitchswitch

Praise up!

For a (not too crazy, totally worth it) price they offer 2 different options to fit your budget:

Print at Home package (you fill out the forms online, print them at home, sign your name and send them in yourself) and a Full Service package (they mail you an awesome folder filled with all the forms you need (already filled out!) WITH pre-addressed pre-stamped envelopes, which was really the icing on the cake for me.

Both are worth it because you don’t have to trail around town or scour the Internet for the correct forms. Which is seriously the worst. (You do need to go to the DMV in person though (tragic) because they don’t let you do that through the mail.)

Overall it was so easy breezy. So very stress free.

My favorite part is how organized it all was. When the package came there were checklists and sticky notes with arrows where I needed to sign. Everything was placed in the order in which I should complete the forms and send in (Social Security first!). I just loved the simplicity of it all. 

Especially after the craze and prep of the best day ever? I was the busiest bee for months!

Oh yes! I’ll take allllll the simple I can get.

photobooth favorites!

photobooth!

The photobooth was one of my favorite parts of our wedding. Everyone had such a blast and after much debating beforehand, I am certain looking back that it was money well spent! I’m not exactly sure where my mom found the adorable paper cut-out props from, but I did a little research and found out that you can purchase them online here. I also happily discovered they were designed by The First Snow — the same etsy shop where I bought my bridesmaid thank you cards that I seriously love so much. A favorite illustrator for sure!

Below are my very favorites.
So many good ones it was hard to choose!

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What a hoot! Cracks me up every single time. :)

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If you were at our wedding and want to view them all,
click here! {you can download them individually, too!}

our wedding day.

Anna&Zan

Oh my. How do I even begin to describe this day? I suppose the more I sit here and think about it the more I know that no amount of words will ever do it justice. But the photos just might and for that I am beyond thankful and so excited to share them with you. Our wedding day was magic. It was more than I could have dreamed and better than I ever imagined. We were engaged on the coldest and brightest of New Year Eves and although we will always now have a special place for winter in our hearts, summer is where our souls are meant to be. So on a gorgeous day in June we were married. We planned our celebration in just over 6 months and both agree we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We have been together for what seems like forever. So many summers and falls and winters and springs. And are thrilled to keep loving each other until forever and a day.

I grew up spending my summers on Skaneateles Lake, a gorgeous little spot tucked right into the Finger Lakes in New York. When we started to look around for venues the Mandana Barn in Skaneateles literally dropped right into our laps — or maybe I should say we dropped right into theirs. I knew I wanted a simple wedding. One filled with green grass and flowers and family and friends. I worked hard to bring the vision I had in my mind for this day to life. And with the help of everyone around us it was more than I could have hoped for and then even better still.

The morning of the wedding Zan and I met up for breakfast on the water. We went to the bakery in town, got donuts and coffee and sat quietly with our feet over the edge of the lake. We weren’t nervous or anxious, only completely and wonderfully at peace. I am so glad we got that time together the morning of our day– before the hustle and bustle, before the thrill of it all.

My cousin Paige gave us some of the best advice before our wedding day. “Stay together the entire length of the day,” she said. Someone had given the advice to her and I will forever pass it on to others. It seems kind of obvious, but there are certainly times where we could have become separated during all the excitement. So many different friends to talk to! Such a big family! But once we came together for our first look we never left each other’s side.

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Although much of the wedding was planned by yours truly, there was certainly a team that helped the magic come alive. Our vendors include… Venue: Mandana Barn / Catering & Planning: James Hares, Mandana Inn / My dress: Ceremony Boston / Bridesmaid dresses and my blue suede shoes: J.crew / Zan’s suit and Groomsmen attire: J.crew / Groomsmen Ties: The Tie Bar / Band: Silver Arrow Band / Officiant: Emily VanLaeys / Flowers for tables, arbor, and ceremony: Fifty Flowers {with help from a massive team of my family and friends} / Bouquets, flower crowns, and garland: Laxton’s Florist / Hair and Make-up: Melissa Evans, Arabella Salon / Boat Rental: The Sherwood Inn / Wedding Arbor & Best Day Ever sign post: made by Zan, decorated and hand-lettered by my Aunt Heidi / Invitations and paper: designed by me, hand-lettered and illustrated by my Aunt Heidi ♥

And last but absolutely not least— an amazing photographer was my number one requirement {besides the groom, of course!}, and if there’s a word stronger than incredible then that would most certainly describe ours. Chad and Rebecca Hansen from First Mate Photography were a dream. They captured our day exactly how my memories keep it — beyond perfect. These photos are everything to me. A celebration of love, indeed…

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I gave my bridesmaids each a monogramed necklace from Barberry and Lace
and these adorable cards are from the Etsy shop First Snow Fall.

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Cheers!

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Our wedding music…

Wedding Prelude // Annie’s Song, John Denver

Moon River, Andy Williams

Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

Bridesmaid Processional // A Thousand Years, The Piano Guys

Bridal Processional // Pachabel’s Canon in D

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Recessional // Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours, Stevie Wonder ♥

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{Wedding favor succulents from The Succulent Source.}

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Our cake topper is from Lovely Grain Studio and guest book {not pictured!} is from Starboard Press.

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First Dance // Today, Joshua Radin

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Father-Daughter Dance // Charlie, Milk Carton Kids

Mother-Son Dance // Cracklin’ Rosie, Neil Diamond

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The most beautiful, joyful day.

Best. Day. Ever.

♥♥♥

peace and quiet.

breatherboston

My ease back into daily life has been, well, fairly easy and breezy which is really, really nice. It is summer vacation for me, after all. Between a bit of tutoring, some summer workshops at school, and finding a place for each of our new gifts, I am finally getting the break I needed after that June crazy. Good crazy, but crazy all the same. This was planned just so, of course. We had two options for wedding dates with our venue– one in the middle of June, and the other at the very end of August. With the August date I would have had a lot more time to plan without the end of the year school stress but the June date would give me more time to reflect and enjoy the memories of it all. And that made the choice incredibly easy.

Right before our wedding Breather contacted me to see if I’d like to try out one of their spaces for a few hours. Breather is a company that rents out gorgeous rooms around the city. You can use the rooms for just about anything your heart desires and can use them for as little or as long as you’d like. I was too busy to even think about giving it a try before the wedding, but was certainly intrigued. I also knew how many photos I would have after our trip. Photos to be sorted and edited and blogged — the perfect reason to test out a Breather space. And perfect timing too because this week has been HOT! With no AC at home it was really nice to get away to someplace cool for a few hours.

There are 5 locations in Boston and I reserved the room at 715 Boylston Street {right across from Lord and Taylor} and my sister and I made an afternoon of it. We picked up some Flour for lunch, brought our laptops along, and mostly just enjoyed the light and bright — we loved it all!

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This space in particular is HUGE. I spent some time while we were there brainstorming all the different things you could use it for. Dinner with friends. Craft night. Yoga party. A holiday shindig. I mean, your house is fine for all of these things, but sometimes change is good, you know? I could absolutely see myself reserving a space while visiting NYC {42 locations!!!}, as I often find myself needing a recharge during day trips. Will obviously also need to go back to San Francisco for this gem, and Montreal! DIVINE! Coffee shops are nice, but these rooms are nicer. And perfectly pretty, too!

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If you’re interested in trying out Breather for yourself, go ahead and use the code

“DEARFRIEND”

for one free hour at any breather location.
Fingers crossed it’s in your city! I know YOU WILL LOVE IT!