The Gents’ Attire

Going into deciding what our lovely groomsmen would wear was such a daunting task! I take pride in my knowledge of wedding details and gowns, but when it comes to men’s wear, I had no idea where to begin! Luckily, Jody wanted to have a say in the decision making process so I relied on his advice and opinions for this part of the planning!

Way back when we first started discussing colors and attire, Jody and I knew we wanted grey suits for our groomsmen (consisting of his brother, two friends from college, a friend from childhood and one from post-college life). We knew we wanted it to be a light color, considering we are getting married at the end of June (hello, humidity!), but were slightly worried about the grey clashing with our blush, gold and champagne color palette. After a little skimming through the internet (how did people plan weddings before Pinterest?!), we gathered some ideas that were the southern gentleman look we were trying to achieve.

When it came to ordering the men’s attire, I wasn’t sure where to start. We had discussed finding custom suits for our gents, with the option of having them available to keep, but knowing all of them were traveling out of state to be there with us, we decided to find a budget friendly option. We decided to go look at Men’s Warehouse to see if they had any options that we liked, since we had such an easy experience with them in the past. After a few hours of choosing between ties and bow ties, brown or black shoes and the right shades for the vests, we had our gents looking as handsome as ever! We can’t wait to see them all together, but I really can’t wait to see my soon-to-be hubby at the end of the aisle. 🙂

MEP to MEC: Five Months to Go!

The first thing my dad said to me yesterday morning was “Five months from today, I walk you down the aisle”. I cannot believe that we are closer to the wedding than to the date that we got engaged. The past seven months have flown by so quickly, and I’m doing my best to savor the rest of our engagement. As bittersweet as it seems, I keep reminding myself that this isn’t an end; it is the beginning of a beautiful lifetime together.

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Image above taken on our vacation last summer to Erie, PA. Warm thoughts of summers on the beach are getting me through this cold and rainy month! 🙂

Completed in January:

  • Mailed our Save the Dates
  • Met with three florists
  • Completed two cake tastings
  • Designed suits for the gents
  • Jody got sized and ordered his suit
  • Decided on our Honeymoon location
  • Made a list of the big ‘to do’s’ that we still have to complete
  • Decided how to honor Peru in our wedding
  • Scheduled our first marriage counseling session
  • Finished our wedding website (Friends, do not let this take you five months to complete like it did for me. So not that important!)
  • Printed my cake inspiration board and floral design inspiration board

Need to Complete in February:

  • Book our cake baker
  • Book our Honeymoon
  • Book our florist
  • Decide on hair and makeup vendor
  • Pick the specialty cocktail
  • Decide on songs for ceremony
  • Book our wedding night hotel
  • Start a workout program to tone up
  • Complete a couples’ devotional with Jody
  • Order invitations

 

How We Asked Our Bridal Party

Towards the beginning of our engagement, Jody and I frequently discussed our bridal party. For the most part, we knew who we were going to ask, but wanted to do it in a fun little way! I always loved the idea of a brunch and asking everyone at the same time, but knowing that our siblings and friends live all over the east coast, we knew that wasn’t realistic. So our plan was to hand deliver what we could and then mail the others– all within the same week!

After scrolling through Pinterest, I found some amazing ideas! I knew I wanted to include something that the girls will be able to use on the day of the wedding, and some sweet treats. I originally intended to find cute baskets to hold their gifts, but ended up finding gift bags that completely matched the wedding, down to the soft pink peonies that were beautifully painted on the sides. I also included a heartfelt note describing why it would be so special to me if they would say yes! Take a look:

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Ah! Every time I look at these, my eyes turn into heart emojis! I just love how cute these hangers turned out, with their names, role in the wedding, and the wedding date. It makes me all emotional to see the picture of me and my best gals — for my sister’s, I used the picture from my aunt’s wedding when we were her flower girls! I can’t wait to see how they look with the gowns hanging on them. And these cookies! Not only do they taste good, but gosh, Amy is just so talented at what she does. I asked her to make these right after I got engaged, and she took my vision and they turned out better than I could have ever imagined (If you are in need of super cute cookies, check her out here). Of course, I couldn’t resist a little pink bubbly. I was able to ask all of my girls within a week and a half and it was so exciting to officially know who would be standing by my side. I’m so grateful they said yes!

I couldn’t post this without a shout out to my future hubby. He came up with such a great idea to ask his friends, too. Sweet, simple, to the point and perfect for a group of gents. Admittedly, I was a little jealous when I saw how they turned out!

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While organizing all of the sweet treats was fun and exciting, I was more thrilled about them saying yes to being a part of our big day, and I know Jody felt the same as well. We love y’all and can’t wait to celebrate!

 

 

 

Save the Date!

One of the first conversations Jody and I had when starting the process of planning our wedding was to make a list of what we definitely wanted and then things that we felt like we could go without. At the top of the “we need this!” list were save the date cards. In the year prior to our engagement, we were always so tickled to receive Save the Dates and wedding invitations! I am also a huge fan of snail mail so it seemed like the perfect happy little mail to send to our loved ones.

Admittedly, creating our save the dates were such a stressful event for me. I absolutely fell in love with a beautiful design on Minted, however, I felt it was more important to use more of our paper products budget on invitations, not save the dates. After much deliberation (fingers crossed this was the only decision that causes so much angst!), I finally found one that included the script I wanted, as well as the focus on our picture. Now that all of our guests should have received our save the dates, here they are!

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In the middle of creating a number of options, I decided there wasn’t any rule that said that we could only have one! I loved the shot featuring my ring, but I also wanted to include one that captured our love for each other. I also love the back of them, which includes one of my favorite engagement pictures, as well as a hint of our wedding colors! It has been so fun receiving pictures of our friends and families with our cards — only 159 more days until they are all in the same room!

Saying ‘Yes’ to the Brides{maid} Dress!

One of the next big decisions I made after we chose our venue, was finding my wedding dress! While I won’t be sharing my experiences or what I’ll look like on my wedding day (only a few people know what I’m wearing!), I am excited to share the details of shopping for a different dress — my bridesmaids’ dresses!

I am so lucky to have five beautiful girls standing by my side. Unsurprisingly, my sister is my Maid of Honor, and then one friend from high school youth group, a college friend,  and two friends I met when I moved to Richmond, complete my half of the bridal party. As grateful as I am to have them, I knew trying to find a time for all of us to be together would be hard, if not impossible. I crossed my fingers and prayed we would find a weekend for all of us to go together, especially since none of them really knew each other.

Before I even found my dress, I already had an idea of what I wanted my girls to be wearing. One of the first questions my gals asked me after I officially asked them to be a part of our wedding was “What are we wearing?”. While the shoe choice has changed over the years (ahem, cowboy boots), the look of the dress has remained relatively the same. I knew I wanted something, long, soft and romantic looking, while keep in mind that half of my girls are in other weddings this year. Here is a look at the style I was going for:

As you can see, I just loved how soft these gowns all looked! They pretty much all are strapless, which actually made me a little nervous, because I wasn’t sure how all of my bridesmaids were going to feel about that. I wasn’t against the idea of mix-matched dresses at all; we were doing it for my friend’s upcoming wedding and they look so great together! However, I didn’t trust myself to be able to pair all of the different styles together as well as she did, but I wanted to keep an open mind because I also really wanted my girls to love what they were wearing too!

After some thought, I decided to take the girls to the bridal boutique where I found my dress. It was a little bit of a drive, but the ladies there were fabulous to work with and they had a wonderful selection. As a bonus, I was even able to pull my dress and let them see it in person! We even found a date for all of us to go together, which was so surreal to see these wonderful women that have a huge impact on my life in the same room together. Unfortunately, my mom was unable to be there, as she unexpectedly had to fly to Florida to be with her dad, so I was a little disappointed she wasn’t going to be there to help us pick them out. Thank God for technology though – we were able to FaceTime during the appointment and having her opinion made the decision so much easier!!

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I showed our consultant ideas of what I was looking for and then let my ‘maids dig through the racks and pull all of the dresses they wanted to try on. Some had straps, some didn’t, some were chiffon, some weren’t. After we pulled about 13 different dresses, the girls each grabbed on to try on. We all hemmed and hawed over the dresses, ruling some out and making a mental bookmark of the ones we liked. We continued this process until I found a dress that stopped me in my tracks. Everyone was in mutual agreement, and after all five girls tried it on, we held it next to my dress and celebrated checking one more item off the list!

2017 Goals

image1Happy New Year, friends! There is something about counting down to the new year that fills me with hope, inspiration, and excitement for the unknown of the upcoming year. At the beginning of 2016, I decided to write down my year-long goals, with the plan to refer back to them at the beginning of each month, as I decide what I want to focus on as my monthly goal, which I kept recorded in my planner. Here’s a recap of what I wanted to accomplish and focus on in 2016:

  • Be HappyWhile this is a very broad goal, having this at the top of my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions worked to keep this the overall focus of my year. In retrospect, this goal was hard to measure whether it was successful, but I definitely think it helped shaped the rest of my goals. 
  • Find Good In Every Situation. This goal was put to the test in the last month of 2016. It was a hard few weeks for our family, and keeping this in mind definitely helped keep everyone’s spirits high, when it would have been easier to focus on the bad. 
  • Be Healthy. I loved this goal! Without having a number of pounds to lose, or a number of times to go to the gym, the lack of pressure to meet the numeric goals help me work towards my ultimate goal of being healthy. I lost weight and I live a healthier lifestyle, especially with the help of new recipes I discovered!
  • Take Risks. My biggest risk of this past year was accepting a job in a field I had no knowledge or experience in! While it was scary to take the first step in this new career, I have come to enjoy it more than I ever thought I would. 
  • Be A Great Friend and Better Girlfriend. This was a great year for friends! I had some many wonderful memories:  from Friday Wine Nights, to Raleigh Adventure Day, to celebrating every joy of this year with a cake date! We witnessed some of our best friends say “I do”, while I had the joy of being promoted to fiancee! I will always cherish these moments from 2016. 
  • Invest In My Hobbies. At the beginning of 2016, Jody committed to invest himself more in his hobbies, which inspired me to invest more in some of mine that I let fall by the wayside in the years prior. I picked my top three to focus on: Photography, travel and scrapbooking. Jody and I started our small photography business, we traveled to more places than we expected, and I finally finished my scrapbook of my study abroad trip to Europe! 

With a minor pange of sadness that 2016 is over, I am so overjoyed with all of the wonderful things to come in 2017! Having a little idea of some of the best memories we will walk away from 2017 with, my goals are to make the most of this exciting year!

2017 New Year’s Goals

  • Grow in faith
  • Gracefully navigate the transition into living together and married life and have a wonderful beginning of marriage with Jody
  • Travel to places near and far
  • Continue to grow my healthy lifestyle
  • Be generous in showing my hospitality to others
  • Cultivate long-distance friendships and find a network of friends in Maryland
  • Redefine and reinvest in my passions and hobbies

January 2017 Goals

  • Find a way to exercise at least twice a week
  • Complete more entries in my Write the Word Journal
  • Read ‘Jesus Calling’ every day
  • Find a couple’s devotional for Jody and I to start
  • Book our honeymoon
  • Mail save the dates

While these year-long goals are abstract, my hope is that each set of monthly goals will fall into one of the goals listed above. Continue to check back each month for updates of how I am living through these goals and hopefully how my year-long goals are woven into my goals each month!