The Details

We attended a wedding late last summer that had the cutest placecards at their reception. They named each table after a location or event that the bride or groom knew that table of guests from. Our placecard said “Andy’s Bar”, which was a local bar in the town we all went to college in. It was such a simple detail that allowed all of us to reminisce on fun college memories together.

My favorite weddings are the ones with personal details that are meaningful to the couple and when I think of meaningful wedding details, that wedding from last summer is the first to come to mind. While I still plan to keep most details of the look and feel of our wedding a surprise for our family and friends, I thought I’d share a couple of sweet details that we are planning to incorporate into our day!

  1. Jody says that he first noticed me by the ribbon I’d always wear in my hair at tennis matches during college. We often think back to those ribbons and attribute us getting to know each other by that introductory ribbon. On our wedding day, ribbons will be incorporated throughout the day — with flowers, on pew decor and on the tables at the reception– as a sweet reminder of when we met.984a6df98de27b08724e5ac96571ad9a
  2. We love the outdoors, especially on warm summer nights. We love having bonfires, or sipping on something sweet on the back porch. Although we decided on indoor venues for our ceremony and reception (my track record with rain on big event in my life is not promising), we love the fact that our venue has an outdoor option! Just like we spend many summer evenings, our guests are going to enjoy sipping on their drink of choice, and munching on some hors d’oeuvres during our cocktail hour on the patio of our reception venue. They may even enjoy competing in some fun yard games throughout the evening as well 😉
  3. Photography has been one of our favorite hobbies to do together! Between exploring Richmond, taking pictures as we go, and starting a small photography business together, pictures have consistently been there throughout our relationship. We plan to reflect this by including pictures and picture frames through decor and our guestbook. It will so surreal to be surrounded by pictures of where the past four years has brought us!

There will be many more details at our wedding, but you will have to wait until after June 24th to hear about them!

Choosing Our Unity Ceremony

Tonight, Jody and I sat down to start brainstorming some pieces of our wedding ceremony! We want to create a meaningful ceremony that includes readings, scriptures and symbols important to us as a couple that will describe the love we share and will cherish the promises we will make to each other on that day. One of those symbols is the Unity Ceremony, which is a wedding ritual visually symbolizes the act of coming together as one. This ritual is important to us to include as the verse we chose to keep on our hearts over the course of our engagement speaks of uniting as a couple.

“Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
   If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

With that being said, we haven’t been able to choose one to add to our ceremony! We want the symbolism to be strong, Godly, and unique. Here are some of the favorites that we’ve found:

imagesLove Letter Ceremony: This ceremony includes both bride and groom penning love letters to one another to secure in a box with a bottle of wine. Jody usually always includes a short letter to me in each card I receive from him, and I have been leaving him little notes since before we started dating. I love how this ritual involves a love letter that can serve as a time capsule to open over a bottle of witree_ceremony_wedding_3ne on a later anniversary. How romantic!

Tree Planting Ceremony: I love this one! One of my friends did it at her wedding last fall and I thought it was such a cute idea. I love the idea of taking soil from the bride and the groom’s childhood home and combine it as one to represent their newly formed family tree.

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Unity Cross Ceremony: My mom showed me this one a couple of months back. The outer cross represents the man, the inter cross the bride and the three pins that secure them together represent the Holy Trinity. The two crosses fit together to become one, as do the bride and groom in their covenant before the Church.

Hand-washing-Hand Washing Ceremony: I originally saw this as a foot washing ceremony, which I thought was beautiful if the ceremony was to take place outdoors. This humble ritual washes away any previous wrongdoings of their new spouse and purifies them to begin their new life together. What a wonderful way to start a marriage– by serving each other.

There are so many more that we could choose from and I am anxious to see what we decide on! Give us some ideas– what did you and your spouse do to commemorate unity? Have you been to a wedding where they did one you particularly liked? Let us know in the comments below! 🙂

 

 

Our Honeymoon: What to Pack

I don’t know about y’all but I live for summertime. When we decided to start from scratch to pick a honeymoon location, I knew I wanted to be somewhere warm — I’d rather be in sandals and a light top or dress over boots and pants any day. So you can imagine with the teasing spring-like days that we have had recently, combined with the potential threat of snow coming this weekend, I am trying my best to think warm thoughts.

In the spirit of making Spring happen before it probably will make its official appearance, I decided to get a little head start on gathering outfit ideas that I’ll need to pack in a few short months!Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 12.01.37 PM

I already am a firm believer in “if it isn’t moving, monogram it”, and the excitement of getting a new monogram only add fuel to the monogramming fire. I have a pair of monogram Jack Rogers on my list, as well as a necklace to wear as well. Add that with the super adorable “wifey” shirt, and that will make the perfect outfit for a short flight to Jamaica. It may be evident that we will be honeymooners, but that’s the point of the honeymoon, right?

I also plan to stock up on a few more cute bathing suits. Over the past year, I’ve been recycling through my old ones from early college in exchange for a few more age-appropriate suits. I just love the cute scalloped one-piece, which would be perfect for a night swim in the pool.

One of the excursions we hope to do while in Jamaica is to hike Dunn’s River Falls. While they aren’t the cutest shoes in the world, I definitely will be investing in a pair of water shoes for any water adventure we embark on. I’d rather wear ugly shoes than cut my feet on rocks any day!

With warm days and cool nights, I plan to pack some easy-to-wear outfits, that will be light enough for the hot days, but also easy to pair with a jacket for the cool evenings on the beach. I hope to find a cute maxi dress to wear to the more formal dinners as well!

Ahh, I can almost feel the warm sand in between my toes. But considering it is currently 33 degrees outside, I think I’ll go curl up on the couch and dream of paradise instead.

Did you go on a tropical honeymoon or trip recently? Let me know what you packed in the comments below!

March 2017 Goals

Going into February, I was intimated knowing there was fewer days to get everything done that I wanted to complete, especially with a goal list this long, and a wedding to-do list even longer. However, I feel like I truly accomplished a lot of my goals and am anxious to see what else I can complete in March! Plus, there’s something about unusually warm days that motivates me even more to tackle some of the more tedious tasks (ahem, taxes). Jody and I were able to get a schedule going again now that his classes in full swing, which allowed for us dedicate uninterrupted time to spend together. Coming up, we are looking forward to several nights away this month; a girls weekend to attend a Beth Moore conference, and a trip to Virginia to celebrate our friends’ wedding! I’m hoping we will be able to slip over to Washington D.C. one day to get a peak at the Cherry Blossoms too.

February 2017 Goals

  • Book our honeymoon!
  • Read ‘Jesus Calling’ every day
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a no-wedding-talk date night We celebrated by a few rounds of bowling, dinner at Olive Garden, and renting a movie to watch at home. 
  • Try 3 new healthy recipes (I’m counting this because I tried two new recipes, but ended up making one of them twice!) 
  • Send someone happy mail
  • Start devotional (picking it up today!)
  • Pick out invitations
  • File 2016 Taxes 
  • Book cake baker
  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’ Almost! I have a few more chapters to go!

March 2017 Goals

  • 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
  • Celebrate Jody’s 26th Birthday
  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’
  • Take a wedding trip to Virginia to celebrate the marriage of Olivia and Matt; yay!
  • Order wedding invitations
  • Complete at least two barre workouts, in addition to regular gym time

Our Honeymoon! Where We’re Going

Friends, I am relieved to finally share where we are headed for our honeymoon! After much discussion and research, and comparing a dozen different locations, we are excited to announce that we are going to Whitehouse, Jamaica! Can you already feel the warm Caribbean breeze? 🙂

Initially, we had planned to go to Italy, as that is a country we are both dying to explore. However, after reviewing the itinerary and date availability, we decided we would rather save that trip for one of our anniversaries, so that we don’t run the risk of being too exhausted from the wedding to fully immerse ourselves in Italian culture. We also considered a cruise, but after some thought, we decided to go with an all-inclusive resort, where relaxation and romance was at the center of our attention.

There are so many islands in the Caribbean, so narrowing it down to which country to visit was actually a bit challenging. We wanted an island that offered more than just the resort itself; where we could have a taste of the culture but still have the ability to spend the day in the blue waters. Flight times actually ended up playing a roll in our decision making — it took an entire day to get to a lot of the islands we were considering, with most of the flight times leaving only 5-6 hours after our reception ends. Because leaving the day after the wedding is important to us, the distance and flight options helped rule out several options. So, the morning after we say “I do”, we will be heading to the airport to take a direct flight to Montego Bay. Once we land, we have a 1.5 hour transfer to our resort, and if all goes according to schedule, we should have our newlywed bums in the sand exactly 24 hours after becoming husband and wife.

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We are excited to see what Jamaica has to offer. Many of our friends have highly recommended Jamaica as a honeymoon destination, and we are eager to learn more about this country as neither of us have been. We are looking forward to tasting local jerk chicken, snorkeling along the shore, and hoping to climb Dunn Falls and explore a little bit off of the resort.But mostly, we are looking forward to celebrating our first few days as husband and wife!

 

MEP to MEC: Four Months to Go!

I honestly was nervous starting this post because I feel like I haven’t gotten as much done as I had hoped. However, after listing all of the things we did complete, I realized we did a lot more this month than I remembered! There are still a million decisions to make, but for the most part, every big decision is complete.

I know I say this every month, but I cannot believe we are now only 4 months away from our wedding! It stills feels like we have another year to go before we reach our big day, but I know it will be here before we both know it. This has been such a fun part of planning — between choosing our wedding cake (YUM), trying on our wedding bands, dreaming up flower arrangements, and trying on MY dress that I’ll marry the love of my life in — makes all of the stressful moments and decisions fall out of focus.

 

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Y’all, look at all of this cake! There wasn’t a flavor that wasn’t good!

Completed in February:

  • Had our last cake tasting
  • Booked our cake baker
  • Booked our florist
  • Started a workout program to tone up
  • Started our couples’ devotional with Jody
  • Ordered sample invitations
  • Picked up the bridesmaid dresses
  • Picked up my wedding dress (!!!)
  • Bought our wedding bands
  • Toured a potential rehearsal dinner venue
  • My mom found her Mother of the Bride dress/Project
  • Booked our Honeymoon
  • Ordered our passports (Jody’s already came!)
  • Created our rehearsal dinner guest list
  • Bought my rehersal dinner dress
  • Decided on beer for our bar menu
  • Created a rough sketch of the reception layout
  • Bought supplies for one of the bigger DIY projects

On Our List for March:

  • Order invitations
  • Book our rehearsal dinner venue
  • Book Hair and Make-Up artist
  • Pick my bridal shower dress
  • Find and purchase bridal accessories
  • Complete the big DIY project
  • Book our Wedding night hotel
  • Decide on wedding favors
  • Chose the linens we want to use and order them
  • Begin writing our ceremony

Creating Our Registry

For the most part, Jody and I had figured out what we wanted the general feel of our future home to be (If you missed that post, you can see it here). Soon there after, we began to create our registry! We actually did right before the holidays, because we knew we were adding some items that we hoped to use at our wedding, but it has been a forever work in progress since. We were so anxious to register and create a list of items we wanted to have that would help make our house a home! Jody and I have dreamed about this home we are about to create for a while now, and it is so exciting to be so close to making that dream a reality.

Picking the places to register was the easiest decision by far. We both love Crate & Barrel; we use to walk through our local store in Richmond pretending we were shopping for a new house, pointing out items that were our favorites. We also wanted a store that had a wide variety of items that would be useful in a home, in addition to the standard bedroom and kitchen supplies, so we chose Bed, Bath and Beyond. We actually didn’t even consider any online registries, mostly because we wanted the experience of walking through the store and scanning items, and I love to pick things up and hold them, which you really can’t do online. However, we are planning to create a Honeymoon registry, which will have some excursions and extra goodies that we have the option of participating in on our honeymoon, that we may not buy for ourselves. More on this to come soon 🙂

As I had mentioned before, Jody and I decided to make a date night out of registering. Our plan was to head to Crate & Barrel first, refuel at dinner, and then continue on to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I admittedly had an unrealistic expectation that when we headed home that night, our registry would be completely done and I would be able to check it off of our list. Y’all, it is not possible. There are so many items to look at, sit on, and play with at each store and a couple hours on a Saturday night is not enough time. Plus, who knew there were 17 different types of bath towels in 30 different colors. These are not easy decisions for the indecisive.

However, after several trips to each store, we filled our registry with items that will be useful in our home, as well as some fun gadgets that we can’t wait to get our hands on! I thought it would be fun to share some favorites and how we plan to use them.

  1. Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer: I have been eyeing my mom’s for years now, and absolutely would love this in our kitchen. I really enjoy baking, and we hope to host family and friends often, so this mixer would make the process of prepare the sweets a little faster.
  2. Belgium Waffle Iron: This is one of those items that is definitely a splurge. I honestly didn’t realize how much it cost when we registered for it, but now we are convinced we need it (it has a removable plate so you can have a mini griddle!).
  3. Natural Throw Blanket: I don’t know about you, but I think throw blankets are one of those things that makes a home more cozy! We’d like to have a blanket latter in our living room and this one I chose from Crate & Barrel seems like a perfect addition, plus it looks so soft.
  4. Boxed Bar Set: From the time we first started talking marriage, we knew we wanted to be the couple to host our family and friends. Jody thoroughly enjoys making cocktails and drinking fine liquors, so it only seemed appropriate to have a bar set to complete our bar cart! This set is great because it comes with just about everything we would need for a variety of drinks.
  5. Stearns & Foster Down Pillows: One of the first pieces of advice I read regarding registering for a wedding is to splurge on bedding. While we haven’t pick out a bedspread we love yet, we definitely fell in love with how comfortable these pillows were! We decided to each register for a nice, memory foam pillow for our bed, in addition to regular pillows for the guest room. I literally think of these pillows every night when I lay down on my cheap Walmart pillows 🙂

As we approach the big day, we get more anxious to finally have our own place together and looking at these registry favorites gets me excited all over again. If you had a favorite item you registered for or received, let me know in the comments below!

Newlywed Home Inspiration

One thing Jody and I have extensively talked about is our newlywed home! We’ve never lived together, except for staying at our parents’ house for the past year, and even then we had our own separate rooms. We made the decision before we got engaged last year (and revisited the topic when we moved) to wait to live together until after we got married. While we both still agree that was the best choice for us, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard, especially when most of our friends did live together! Needless to say, we have spent a lot of time dreaming about our future home to get through some of the tough days.

Thanks to our obsession (well, mine. Jody just tolerates it :)) with Fixer-Upper, we both love the rustic with a bit of classic style. However, picking colors and some of the decorating items has been a bit of a challenge. I like a light filled house, while Jody opts for all things in dark wood. We’ve been trying to work to find some items that will please both of our tastes, while making the house look complete and matching. Here’s a little of our inspiration to guide our registry pickings!

February Goals

How is it possible that it is February already?! January flew by, and I imagine February, and all of the months approaching the wedding, will be the same. February is one of my favorite months, mostly because of all of the pink and hearts everywhere. I’m excited to see what this month holds, even though I know it is about to get really busy around here!

January 2017 Goals

  • Find a way to exercise at least twice a week While this started off rough (yay for being sick for a week), I would say that I’ve been good at being active this month!
  • Complete more entries in my Write the Word Journal I hope to complete more in February but I made a good start
  • Read ‘Jesus Calling’ every day (I didn’t read it once. Fail.)
  • Find a couple’s devotional for Jody and I to start
  • Book our honeymoon
  • Mail save the dates

February 2017 Goals

  • Book our honeymoon!
  • Read ‘Jesus Calling’ every day
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a no-wedding-talk date night
  • Try 3 new healthy recipes
  • Send someone happy mail
  • Start devotional (picking it up today!)
  • Pick out invitations
  • File 2016 Taxes
  • Book cake baker
  • Finish reading ‘Grace Not Perfection’

These goals barely touch on the amount of wedding tasks to accomplish. My biggest hope for this month is to live and love intentionally and cherish these moments preparing for the best day of our lives!

 

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. 🙂