My Bachelorette Party

 

Three weeks before the big day, I piled in the car with my sister, Madison, and my friend, Jackie and headed towards Wintergreen Resort, tucked away in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains for my bachelorette party. I didn’t know the plans of the weekend until I arrived, but I was so excited to spend the weekend with some of my closest friends. I was the perfect escape in the midst of wedding craziness!

Since I knew all of my wedding party would have to take off work to come to town for the wedding, it was important to me to not have them have to do the same a few before. A lot of my friends were in other weddings this year, I knew how hard that can be, especially when working. With that being said, the Friday night of the weekend was rather low-key, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My (at this point) soon to be father-in-law so graciously let us stay with him on Friday to break up the drive. We arrived in Richmond around 8pm, which allowed us some time to head downtown and take a trip to one of my favorite bars, 3 Monkeys. Unbeknownst to my friends, I had been seriously homesick from RIchmond the past few weeks, so being able to walk around and see so many familiar sites was more therapeutic than anything else. Needless to say, a few drinks in RVA made me even more excited for the festivities that were to come.

On Saturday, we had an early wake-up call in order to make the most out of the day. After breakfast at my favorite brunch location in Richmond, (friends, if you are ever in Richmond and you need a place to brunch this is it!) and some coffee for the road, we headed towards Charlottesville. As we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was so distracted by the breath-taking views, I didn’t even realized that we had arrived! I was then met by three of my other bridesmaids, Olivia, Amber and Logan, and the cutest decorations in the house we were staying at. I especially loved the napkins, but that’s just me loving any paper product. Shortly after a quick toast, we piled in the cars and headed down the mountain to the plethora of wineries that are in Nelson County.


Our first stop was at Flying Fox Vineyard. It was tucked off of the main road, and was a small little tasting room, but I highly suggest stopping at this winery, if you are ever in the area! They have eight staple wines, but they are all very different from one another, which makes a tasting even more interesting. While we might have blown through the tasting a little fast (oops), I thoroughly enjoyed using this time to catch up with some of my best friends!

Our second stop was at Veritas Vineyard & Winery, and y’all, this place is breathtakingly beautiful. Click on the link to see what I mean — I wish I had thought to bring my Nikon with me!
We decided to grab a bite to eat on The Terrace, since it was a little after lunch time, and to forgo the tasting. Instead, we each got a glass and found a table on the porch to allow us to eat, sip, and chat. I tried to freeze that moment in time — wine, some of my closest friends, and beautiful scenery– it was the perfect snapshot! I had a glass of the rose, which was delicious, but I will definitely have to make a trip back to try the others!

We tried to make it to Pippin Hill Vineyards, but they were closed for a private event. Since most wineries close at 5pm, we only had time for one more. Our final winery of the day was at Cardinal Point Winery. We participated in a tasting and Olivia and I enjoyed a glass of wine outside, while the band was finishing up for the afternoon. The highlight of this winery (in addition to the wine) was that there was a dog in the tasting room!
I had so much fun wine tasting, but I was super excited to go to Devil’s Backbone for dinner. Jody and I had visited this brewery a few years ago but I couldn’t wait to go back. The weather was on the warm side, so we were thankful when a table opened up inside. After a delicious dinner, we headed back outside to finish our drinks and play a few rounds of cornhole before we made our way back up the mountain. Saturday night included games back at the house where we were staying. After one too many cupcakes and laughing our way to a six-pack, we headed off to dreamland before we all headed home the next day.

Before heading out on Sunday, my gals prepared me the cutest breakfast, and then we sat out on the deck and sipped on our coffee. We talked about what I was looking forward to about our wedding, and I shared some details that I hadn’t told the girls yet. It was at this point that it started to sink it that we were getting so close to our wedding. The conclusion of this weekend was the last big celebration before wedding weekend, and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to kickoff the biggest month of my life.

July Goals

Now that we are back from our honeymoon and are beginning to settle into newlywed life, I’m excited to see how Jody and I decide to tackle all of this newly discovered free time that we have! We’ve began to brainstorm what we’d like to accomplish this summer, and now that I have more free mental space than I did in the past 12 month combined, I hope we are in for a very productive month. Here’s a peek at what I checked off my goals last month, and what I’m hoping to work on this month!

June Goals

  • Continue with marriage devotionals We hope to continue this throughout our marriage!
  • Finish planning my wedding!
  • Make myself find time to exercise, even if it is just going on a walk or ab work on my floor
  • Finish moving our belongings into our newlywed apartment and have it set up so Jody can move in It was livable… now to get it decorated!
  • Celebrate my 24th birthday!
  • Welcome our guests to town and get married!!!

July Goals

  • Get back into a workout routine, choosing to be active at least twice a week
  • Officially change my name
  • Research places to get my wedding dress cleaned (Shore friends, I am open to suggestions for this!)
  • Begin tackling my porch project
  • Go on a day trip to somewhere new
  • Celebrate one month of marriage!

We’re Married!!

Hi Friends! After a whirlwind last ten days, I am happy to be back as a married gal! Jody and I are SO grateful for all of the love, support and best wishes that we have received over the past two weeks. June 24th was truly the best day of our lives as we’ve repeated “how did that happen so fast” and “we are so lucky” close to a million times.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
I love this shot captured by our friend, Ben during our reception. 

Our wedding day was incredible, and every. single. thing. was perfect. Our vendors were amazing and we had the greatest time celebrating with all of our guests throughout the weekend. While we will have to wait to share our wedding for a bit longer, I have a few other fun wedding related posts (including our honeymoon!) to share as well. I have also been brainstorming some other post ideas, now that the wedding is over, so let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear more about!

Thank y’all so much for the love and support. Happy to be back as Morgan Cox! xo

MEP to MEC: Ten Days to Go!

When I was at the store earlier this week, a few fellow shoppers asked who was getting married, based on the items in my cart. After I said that I was, they asked when the big day is and I tried my best to keep my cool when I said “Next weekend”,  because in actuality, I was somewhere in between “Oh. My. God.” and “Fiiiinnnnallly”! But later that night, I was carrying boxes into our new apartment with Jody, which is now furnished (yay!), I remembered that in just a few short days, my best friend for the past four years will become my husband and we will embark on a lifetime of adventures. As much as I have loved planning our wedding, it has been easy to lose focus on the days the will come after our magical day, especially in these last few days. My hope that the next nine days are full of laughter, joy and excitement for our beginning of forever.

18893208_1310754525645027_8151854125597994261_n

Completed In the Past Two and Half Weeks:

  • Finalized all music
  • Got our marriage license
  • Celebrated at my Bachelorette Party
  • Crafted wedding day details
  • Finalized menu with caterer
  • Find table runners
  • Purchased wedding gifts for bridal party, parents, and each other
  • Completed our final pre-marital counseling session
  • Attended second dress fitting
  • Ordered day-of accessories
  • Collected family pictures
  • Sent Rehearsal Dinner invitations

On the List for the Next Ten Days:

  • Make wedding favors
  • Write Thank You’s for wedding gifts we’ve already received
  • Finish all decor signage
  • Wrap gifts
  • Finalize and practice vows
  • Confirm our weekend timeline and send it to all relevant parties
  • Finalize and pack all attire and details
  • Assemble our seating chart
  • Write letters to each other
  • Print ceremony programs
  • Pack for honeymoon!
  • Go to our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!!
  • Get married!!!

June Goals

I am contributing part of the reason that I completely forgot about my monthly goals post for June to the fact that I still believe it is April and partially to the fact that my life has been crazy these past few weeks. Without going into too much detail, I am finding so many blessings in disguise, which I am so thankful for.

But, June! It has always been one of my favorite months (it is my birthday month after all!) but this year, I’m excited for even more celebrations. I wish I could form a super eloquent sentence about how fast this year has flown by, and how I actually am unsure how to wrap my head around the fact that it is finally (or suddenly, both words accurately describe how I feel) the month that I marry my best friend. So many feelings, so little time, but nothing tops the excitement that I feel for Jody and I to begin our lives together. This month is pretty much all about the wedding, but I hope that my goals for 2017 are still represented for this month.

May Goals

  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’
  • Sell the clothes that I have set aside to get rid of. If I don’t sell it all by the end of the month, then donate it.
  • Take the time to prepare for marriage by completing our devotional book and pre-marital counseling sessions We finished our pre-marital counseling sessions and we will continue to complete the devotions through the beginning of our marriage!
  • Joyfully attend to details that need to be planned and completed for the wedding
  • Support friends/family with their big life events happening this month! Congratulations Katie & Vasili, Amber & Kendall, Austin & Leeanne on your marriage and to Madison on your college graduation!

June Goals

  • Continue with marriage devotionals
  • Finish planning my wedding!
  • Make myself find time to exercise, even if it is just going on a walk or ab work on my floor
  • Finish moving our belongings into our newlywed apartment and have it set up so Jody can move in
  • Celebrate my 24th birthday!
  • Welcome our guests to town and get married!!!

MEP to MEC: One Month to Go

My heart is pounding as I type the title of today’s post –One Month to Go. My emotions have been so intense today, from nervousness about how many things that still have to be completed to straight giddiness to where I cannot sit still. I get all teary eyed whenever I imagine the moment when I put my dress on, when I see Jody for the first time, when we share our first dance or our last before we leave the reception for the rest of our lives.  I imagine these emotions will only continue to intensify over the next 31 sweetest days. I pray that the last month of our engagement is productive, joyful, and intentional as we prepare our hearts for marriage.

7767d3cd44e2c2528c58296533b1065e.jpgCompleted in May

  • Pick the rehearsal dinner menu
  • Order linens
  • Talk through ceremony with our officiant
  • Finalize order with florist
  • Finalize bar details
  • Order Cake topper
  • Make a playlist for cocktail hour
  • Exercise like crazy for dress fittings
  • Order rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Picked hair and makeup style and had my trial run
  • Picked ceremony readings
  • Picked (most!) of our reception music

On the List to Complete in the Next Two Weeks

  • Finalize ceremony music
  • Celebrate at my Bachlorette party
  • Begin crafting wedding day details
  • Finalize menu with caterer
  • Find table runners
  • Order the few table rentals
  • Purchase wedding gifts for bridal party, parents, and each other
  • Complete our final pre-marital counseling session
  • Compete more Tone It Up workouts
  • Attend second dress fitting
  • Order day-of accessories
  • Send Rehearsal Dinner invitations

 

May Goals

Happy May, friends! April was such a busy month, full of love, family, friends and a whole lot of craziness! We kicked the month off by visiting with our loved one who were in town for my bridal shower, which was such a fun day. It made me even more exciting to celebrate with everyone in June. The following weekend Jody headed to Virginia to visit with friends, while I met some of mine in D.C. for a surprise bachelorette party for one of my friends who is getting married this month. Easter was soon thereafter, which included a tennis match, buying the supplies to make wedding invitations and celebrating the Resurrection with family. Trips to watch my sister’s last two collegiate tennis matches finished off the month, while simultaneously assembling invitation and search for shoes to wear with my wedding dress. It has been a whirlwind but I’m loving every second of it!

April Goals

  • Stay consistent with my eating and workout plan
  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’ I don’t know why I cannot find time to pick up this book and finish it. Hoping it’s due to the fact that I’m fully engulfed in wedding details!
  • Go through clothes and get rid of things that don’t fit or I don’t wear anymore
  • Continue to observe the Lenten season by prayer journaling 3 times a week and following this Lenten devotional series.
  • Continue devotions with Jody in our preparing for marriage devotional
  • Take time to enjoy simple moments in the midst of this busy season

May Goals

  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’
  • Sell the clothes that I have set aside to get rid of. If I don’t sell it all by the end of the month, then donate it.
  • Take the time to prepare for marriage by completing our devotional book and pre-marital counseling sessions
  • Joyfully attend to details that need to be planned and completed for the wedding
  • Support friends/family with their big life events happening this month!

It is going to be an incredibly busy month, so my biggest goal is to stay productive, celebrate those dear to me in their exciting seasons, and keep my word of the year, grace, at the forefront of my mind. And maybe buy some fresh flowers, because April Showers bring May Flowers, right?!

MEP to MEC: Two Months to Go

IMG_5845.JPG

Two Months. 61 days. That is all we have left until we are finally Mr. and Mrs! Admittedly, it was hard to feel excited all of the time, especially when the big day seemed so far away. However, having our wedding invitations spread out all over the dining room table and piles of boxes in the front room with “Wedding” stuff on the right and “House” stuff on the left is starting to make this whole process even more real. Not to mention Jody picked up our wedding bands this past weekend as well! Y’all, we are getting married!!

While it is easy to become distracted by the billions of things that still haven’t been checked off of the to-do list, I am trying my best to savour every moment we have left of our engagement. Decisions are being made every day, which has made my brain run on wedding mode constantly. It has been so much fun to plan one of the biggest days of my life, but my favorite memories along the way have been when Jody gets excited when we hear a song that we are planning to play at the reception, or when I picture my groom at the end of the aisle — imagining these sweet moments take my breath away every time! But in two months, we won’t be imagining these moment any longer. 🙂

Completed in April

  • Officially book hair and makeup
  • Scheduled hair and makeup trial
  • Began gather bridal style inspiration
  • Printed invitations
  • Mailed our invitations (!!!!)
  • Celebrate with family and friends at my Bridal Shower 
  • Pick out our ceremony readings We have a list of options but just need to pick our favorite 
  • Scheduled my first dress fitting
  • Began searching for day of shoes and jewelry
  • Decide on table centerpieces for the reception

Need to Complete in May

  • Finalize ceremony music
  • Pick the rehearsal dinner menu
  • Buy reception decor pieces
  • Purchase gifts for our wedding party, parents, and each other
  • Begin crafting wedding day details
  • Order linens
  • Talk through ceremony with our officiant
  • Finalize order with florist
  • Finalize bar and catering details
  • Order Cake topper
  • Make a playlist for cocktail hour
  • Complete packet for our DJ
  • Exercise like crazy for dress fittings
  • Order rehearsal dinner invitations

 

My Pre-Wedding Workout Inspiration

Over the past two years, I’ve started to keep track of my monthly goals that I’ve learned to set for myself. I’ve been setting New Years Resolutions for years, but before I started writing them down, it became easy to forget what my goals for the year even were. My weekly planning includes a goal setting section at the beginning of each month, which has been a fabulous place to keep me focused on what I’d like to accomplish each month. If you have been following with my monthly goals, you have learned a little bit more about what I’m currently working towards, one of which being the process of developing a healthy lifestyle.

I want to preface this by saying I am in no way an expert when it comes to eating healthy and workout out religiously. However, I started to make some changes in my diet and workout routine in the past year, and I love how much better I feel! Without getting too personal, I am still working towards my overall goal of learning to balance a healthy lifestyle so I thought I would share a couple of things I’ve learned with y’all.

  1. Develop a Routine: I am all about a routine, but sometimes I need to switch it up. When I first attempted to start working out (relatively) consistently, I had to find a way to get myself excited about getting a workout it. I tried a couple of barre classes in Richmond, which I loved, but the closest studio to me now is 45 minutes away, which is just too far to go after work. I started biking, and once I started to notice how much better I felt when I got a workout in, it become easier to motivate myself to go to the gym. I even schedule workouts in my planner, which holds me accountable to go on the days that I would rather go home.
  2. Only Eat When Hungry: It has taken me a long time to wrap my head around this one, especially as one who schedules so much of their life. But I’ve also noticed how much better I feel when I don’t force myself to eat if I’m not hungry. My go to is just a quick smoothie after a workout — just hits the spot!
  3. Find Your Motivation: Luckily, right now, my motivation comes easy since we are getting close to our wedding date! However, when the date still seemed like a year away, it was sometimes hard to find the motivation I needed to push myself through a workout. I began to use my time while doing cardio to watch wedding videos (it becomes an even harder workout when you’re trying not to bawl on the elliptical!) and videos of our resort in Jamaica. I also have a playlist of songs that we plan to use at some point during our wedding day, so I usually listen to those when I am making my way through the weights. Not only does it keep me motivated through the workout, but energizes me with all that is to come.

That’s it! These small changes have helped me feel so much better, I’ve had a lot more success working towards my goals.What tips or tricks have you tried? I’d love to hear more ideas of how to balance a healthy lifestyle, especially when I don’t have a wedding to motivate me anymore!

 

MEP to MEC: My Bridal Shower

I have not been able to stop thinking about my beautiful bridal shower that was thrown for me last weekend! It was so surreal to have so many family and friends all together in my little hometown to kick off the first wedding event. Especially after all of the other wedding events I’ve participated in this year, my shower was the first time I actually felt like the bride.

My mom, sister and wonderful bridesmaids all worked together to throw such a fun celebration full of all of my favorite things. We started the party with brunch themed menu, complete with a variety of Quiche, fruit and a biscuit bar! I had mentioned back when I had first started planning our wedding that I wanted to incorporate a biscuit bar into the day, but we later decided it wouldn’t have worked with our menu, so I was excited to see it at the shower! We played a few different games, my favorite being “How Old Was the Bride?”, which had ten different pictures of me displayed and everyone had to guess my age when each picture was taken! Come to find out, Jody actually had a role in picking those pictures out.

Each guest brought a recipe with them for my to add to my collection, which was such a fun and thoughtful idea! I loved reading through some of my family and friends’ favorite recipes and am looking forward to making them! There was also a cute display where the guests could write down date night ideas for Jody and I, so we can keep dating each other, even after the wedding!

I had such a wonderful afternoon surrounded by so many of my favorite people. I loved every minute of my shower, and the day made me even more excited to celebrate with everyone again on June 24th!

IMG_8388.JPGDSC_0623DSC_0573DSC_0554DSC_0557DSC_0550DSC_0559DSC_0546DSC_0605DSC_0788DSC_0695unnamed (1)