Countdown to Wedding: 3 days!

Y’all… it’s almost here. I can hardly sleep from all the excitement. It’s like Christmas, but better. I get to marry my best friend, my favorite guy, and the love of my life in 3 teeny-tiny days. EEEEP!

This past week has been a whirlwind. I am officially off work now and signed off too (occasionally “off work” still means checking email). Last weekend, I made a quick trip to the mountains of Blacksburg, VA for a birthday party for one of my favorite little girls – who happens to belong to one of my favorite bridesmaids and favorite best friends.
photoI also spent one evening exploring a gorgeous undiscovered park in Blacksburg with my mom and a photographer for bridal portraits. Shhh! These were a last minute decision. My groom will surely be surprised.
photo-4My favorite part of being home was spending quality time with the best Paw Paw a girl could have. Sharing little moments with him means so much. We enjoyed a homemade eclair that I brought safely in a cooler with me all the way from Charlotte. We took a walk to look at his fields and the mountains all the way in Blacksburg. We talked about life, the wedding, and my new job. And before I left we spent some time sitting on the front porch. My heart still breaks to think about not having him here with us on this earth but my heart was full of happiness for getting to spend some uninterrupted time with him and steal a bunch of hugs while I was at it.
photo-2After Hollins’ birthday party, I had to scoot back to Charlotte to celebrate the graduation of one of our dear friends from grad school! We have both worked closely with Courtney in the past and are proud of her success. She definitely has the “favorite coworker” award from me!
photo-1And after a wonderful brunch with our awesome friend Jeff who is providing the DJ service for our wedding, we spent the evening watching The Lion King! Such an awesome production – and so fun to reminisce on our childhoods. This was our last major event as an engaged couple and our next big event is THE big one!
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This girl cannot wait!
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Showered with Love

This past weekend, my cousins (pictured below) threw me an amazingly beautiful bridal shower. I was completely blown away by not only the food and decor, but also by how much love I felt! This is going to be a picture heavy post – so get ready!
blogcousinsblogcousins2The whole day was utterly perfect. I could not have asked for a more gorgeous day, or for better time spent with family. The decorations and food were incredible.
blogcandyblognapkinblogdrinksblogdecorationblogcupcakeblogfoodblogbbqblogdecorblogrecipeblogrecipeboxWe got so many amazing gifts, I don’t think we could possibly pick a favorite! We got the china we registered for, beautiful wine glasses, cast-iron skillets, a dozen and a half kitchen utensils, and…. A KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER!  I think my jaw hit the floor when I opened that gift. We cleared spaced immediately on our kitchen counter and put this baby up there. blogmixerGames were involved too! And I got a pretty pink & green ikat print apron out of it (along with all of the utensils). I have enough aprons to last me a lifetime now!

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We are so completely overwhelmed with the big, generous hearts of our families throughout our engagement. We knew we were lucky, but everyone has gone above and beyond with us in this time and we are so, so grateful.

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And to top off the weekend, I got to see the world’s best Paw Paw on Father’s Day weekend and get some more of those hugs that I treasure so much. We also got to spend time with my soon to be Father-in-Law in Pittsboro for Father’s Day. A busy, wonderful weekend, full of so much family and so much LOVE.
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Charlotte Wedding Insider

Charlotte brides, you don’t want to miss what’s happening tonight! A panel of top professionals will be answering all of YOUR questions about your big day. It’s the kind of thing you just HAVE to go to… where else can you get free advice on photographers and videographers? (Do you need them?) or what about the food? (Can you skimp anywhere?). What about renting your decor instead of buying it all (good or bad idea?). Come out tonight to find out – and have drinks and appetizers on Carolina Bride. No need to RSVP, just show up and bring a pal (or all of your bridesmaids!) if you’d like. It’s sure to be a good time!
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Tuesday, April 9th at 6:30 PM at Charlotte City Club. Sponsored by Carolina Bride and 96.1 Ace & TJ.
More details at www.charlotteweddinginsider.com.

Update on our fabulous St. Augustine getaway, dealing with vendors and a honeymoon surprise to come later this week! Stay tuned and have a marvelous Tuesday!

Bride Wars

Many of you may remember me mentioning that a very good friend, a best friend, got engaged two weeks after I did. We were both going to be experiencing this exciting time in our lives, at the same time. Let me go back… we’ve been best friends since we were 15. We spent summers together, we celebrated birthdays and graduations together, we visited each other in college, we shared everything for the past 11.5 years. And here we are, growing up and getting married and we won’t be sharing that.

A few weeks ago, I changed up my wedding party. This was not a rash decision, but a well thought out one (and that’s becoming more clear as the days go on). It was weighing heavy on my heart for a while before the decision was made – but with two weddings being planned, it felt like only one of them was being focused on. I should have prefaced this post with “THIS IS HOW IT FELT TO ME,” because of course, every story has 2 sides. I understand that living within 5 miles of each other makes it much easier to get together and talk weddings but part of me, the little girl in me, the bride-to-be in me, wanted to stand up and scream, “I’M GETTING MARRIED, TOO!” But I didn’t do that… I didn’t do that when our other 2  “best” friends were asked to be Maid and Matron of Honor in the other wedding, or when she browsed for wedding dresses on the day that MY bridesmaids were looking at dresses to wear in my wedding, or when she announced she was using the same colors as me, or even when a slightly edited version of an email I sent to my bridesmaids was sent from her to her bridesmaids just 2 hours after mine. Nope, I kept quiet. I did mention it once, and was told, “It’s the time in our lives where everyone is getting married, we just have to deal with that.”

I don’t want to deal with that. I want to (and deserve to) to be the center of attention, the star in the spotlight, and at the least, the focus of MY bridal party. But I wasn’t (with the exception of two fabulous friends!)… and I was starting to feel like not even a friend after taking the highroad and offering to host a bridal party for the other bride and being told “We’ll be hitting up all the bridesmaids to help.” And just like that, I was lumped into a group of people that were not life-long friends, but just bridesmaids. I did not list out everything that had hurt my feelings over the past months and I was not mean in my request. I was honest and open, and hoping that my best friends would understand. I actually hoped (that maybe just ONE of them) would have apologized and asked how they could fix the situation, but no… they all immediately opted out.

I am not bitter and I still 100% believe I made the right decision in asking them to step down. They have all made it clear that they do not wish to be a part of my wedding planning, my wedding day, or even my life. Some of their family members have made similar decisions, which hurts, and sucks all at the same time. I do not regret my decision. I have taken the highroad. My attempts to contact them have gone unanswered. I’ve been unfriended on Facebook by some. Yet, I still have plenty of people in my life who are caring, understanding and WANT to be involved in my planning, my happiness and my big day. And yes, it’s MY day – so this is the one time in my life where I can be selfish and soak up all of that attention. I just had to surround myself with people that could enjoy it with me – and I can’t express how thankful I am for each and every one of them.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” -Martin Luther King Jr.