Lucky in Love

Sometimes I have to stop and pinch myself and wonder how we got so lucky! I know I keep saying it, but we really are blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people in this time and to be showered with so much love!

I’d really like to thank our friends and family for being so incredibly wonderful and constantly volunteering to help or sending us sweet ideas. We are definitely lucky!

Happy Friday!

Making the Cut

We’ve been working on our invite list since… oh, ’round about October and I do believe that it is in its final form now. That was TOUGH. Do we invite all the great co-workers? Do we invite the college friend that was a really good friend but we haven’t talked to in years? Do we invite the sorority/fraternity members? Do we invite those people who believe that they are “best friends” with us but we consider them acquaintances? So hard.

Modern Manners Guy had a great post about who to invite to your wedding – and who you didn’t have to!

  • You don’t have to invite who your friends or parents want you to invite – it’s YOUR wedding
  • You don’t have to invite all of your co-workers (or any of them!)
  • You don’t have to give everyone the option to bring a date – maybe they’ll meet someone!

I’d like to add to his list that it’s okay to tell people their children aren’t invited. Yes, they are cute, and we like them, but we don’t want children in the mix on the dance floor or screaming during the ceremony. Please leave the munchkins at home.

I have found it incredibly rude that people ASK if they are invited to the wedding. Who does that? I feel like if you have to ask, you probably aren’t invited and if you are invited, you wouldn’t feel the need to ask. If I haven’t seen you in 7 years and have only talked to you via Facebook every 10-12 months since then, yeah…. about that.

Our plan was to have 125 people at our wedding for a quaint, outdoors affair. After a first try, our list was at 168. We tried to modify, but for everyone we removed, we added someone else. And what about the great grad school friends we’ve made? So many tough decisions with this wedding stuff (eloping is NOT off the table! Just kidding, Mom). After my biggest decision, some people helped remove themselves from my list (15 to be exact).

So as of last night, we were at 153, including our pastor and photographer. Obviously, we know not all of those will show… it will be vacation time or a baby will arrive, and we’re okay with that. But our list finally reflects the people that we want to share our big day with and we’re so excited to finally get our save-the-dates out in the mail!

We’re still in the running for winning a Sandals Honeymoon package! You can vote for us once a day here – all votes are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!

How fitting!

My left hand is bare as my ring is off being sized to fit my tiny ring finger. Feel a bit naked without it… and I may have tried to point to it yesterday when telling someone about it, only to realize it wasn’t there. Whoops. I did get sized, before my groom purchased my big sparkler, but I even knew then that size 5 was a tad big on my finger because my other rings were loose. I definitely recommend being sized and knowing how it should fit before purchasing.

We took a trip to Diamonds Direct back in the summer (your fingers are more likely to be swollen in the summer) and checked out the styles I thought I liked… and used it as an opportunity to get sized. I had spent (countless) hours on websites creating the perfect ring. I had a stunning $20,000 sparkler created on the Tiffany website. Enough to break the bank, but quite possibly totally worth all that gorgeousness being on your hand to stare at day after day. A friend at work emailed me about the Tacori website one day and said you could “virtually” try on rings. Um, awesome? Another website to create your own ring on is Blue Nile which has all the offerings of other jewelers online, but a lower price tag.

I knew I wanted a round cut but beyond that… I was clueless. I thought I might want a halo? They all looked so pretty online, but until I actually tried them on, I had no clue what I really wanted. Some swallowed my hand, almost touching my knuckle. Others, looked too “old” or smaller than I had hoped for. I ended up picking 3 styles that I really loved and leaving my future husband with those in mind.

Some people said it took the surprise away by going to look at rings, but it didn’t. I was still completely shocked when he asked, and blown away by the diamond he put on my hand. It was necessary in my mind, because we had totally different ideas about what would be “cool” and since I have to wear this every day… I wanted him to know my personal style. He ended up creating my ring all on his own, and it is absolutely perfect.

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A Party for the Engaged!

This weekend, my sweet brother and his wife threw us an engagement party at their home in Charlotte. We were both completely overwhelmed with how many people showed up to celebrate with us and the amount of love surrounding us that night. We feel very fortunate and blessed to have these people in our lives. And we are so grateful to Brent & Kerah for opening their home to our family and friends for such an exciting evening!

Kerah, Brent, Groom + Bride
Kerah, Brent, Groom + Bride

My MOH was there to celebrate with us (and did a wonderful job with her MOH duties!)… and got us the most ADORABLE monogrammed gift! Also, our parents finally got to meet! We somehow had managed to not have that happen over the past 3.5+ years, but Saturday evening they got to chat and catch up on the past few years! Here I am with my mom and the groom’s mother and then with my MOH.
engage5MOH!

Kerah’s sister and my Maw Maw made delicious desserts for everyone to enjoy and spirits flowed. I am smitten with the idea of “mini-desserts” and hope to include those at our wedding. I’m so glad they did this for us – it lets everyone try a bit of everything without being grossly full afterwards. The weather was perfect so we sat out by the firepit in JANUARY! Everything looked so adorable – it’s exactly what I would have planned if I had been involved. The most perfect engagement party ever!
engage2engage3

We loved spending time and celebrating with everyone. It’s so nice to feel so loved at this very exciting time in our lives. We are even more excited for our wedding to hurry up and get here now – it’s going to be THE.BEST.DAY.EVER!
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Bragging Bride

Y’all, I just have to brag on my sweet groom for a minute. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we overlook some of the qualities that made us fall in love in the first place. I was reminded this week, that one of my husband-to-be’s greatest qualities is his generosity. Throughout the year we volunteer with different groups, make conscious decisions to run races that support causes close to our heart (Get Your Rear in Gear!) and make donations as well. But for the past two years, he has chosen to sponsor a teenager from a home for special needs children and to buy them exactly what they want for Christmas. It’s that exactness that makes my heart swell with love for him.

Last year, the teenager wanted new jeans and an NFL jersey. The catch: he needed a size 52 in the jeans and an XXXX-L jersey to match. Well, my beau didn’t just go pick out any ol’ jeans for this kid. He searched high and low until he found stylish size 52 jeans and found the perfect jersey for him as well. It just really made my heart smile that he would do that for a complete stranger and put so much effort into making sure it was exactly what he wanted.

This year, the kid wanted a sweat suit and Timberland boots. He bought him a nice Nike sweat suit (totally in right now for teens!). After we looked for the boots, we started thinking that they might have put down the wrong size for the kid (size 3 for a teenager???). So, the bf had a dilemma. On Wednesday, he asked me to take the present to work for him and there was only one box. I asked what he decided to do about the boots and he told me he got the kid a gift card. For $100 so he could make sure he got the boots he wanted.  Heart. Smile.

I just love him. He is such a caring, generous, sweet man and I am so lucky that I am going to get to spend the rest of my life with him.

This post got me thinking of simple acts of kindness I can do over the holiday season… how do you make the holidays bright for others?

Tough Decisions

I would like to order a bunch of different save-the-dates because I am terrible at picking JUST ONE. We were trying to finalize our invite list this morning and simultaneously looking at save-the-dates. I plan on sending these out after the holidays (don’t want any to get lost with all those holiday cards!).

A few weeks ago, we ordered samples of wedding invitations from Wedding Paper Divas to see if we picked any of the same ones. I thought that would be a cute way to decide on the invitation, however, I have more of a classical style and my groom is artsy-fartsy. We did find one that has a burlap design with a blue design… I mean, hello! It doesn’t get more perfect than that… luckily, we have a little while to decide on the invitations, response cards, menus?, and whatever else we have to order… but the save-the-dates are a little more immediate.

http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com

I have always loved magnet save-the-dates… something to keep it right there in people’s faces versus being put in a “junk drawer” and forgotten. I also HAVE to have a photo on the save-the-date … after all, we have just taken a million more adorable photos together, so we have to put them to good use.

Just two more weeks of classes for the both of us and then we have a few weeks to relax and wedding plan our little hearts out before Christmas, New Years and the start of our Spring semesters. Lots of decisions to be made… soon… but probably not today.

Wedding favorites

As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of Pinterest and it’s easy DIY ideas… but since we’ve been to 13 or so weddings since we got together, I’ve also picked up ideas here and there. One of our FAVORITE weddings was this past August at Rockwood Manor in my hometown. I decided early on that I wanted a Carolina wedding versus a Virginia wedding… so that’s what we’re having. But Rockwood Manor is the perfect place for an adorable country/southern wedding. My friends Michelle & Ian had THE MOST GORGEOUS wedding there with all of the cutest, personal touches.

And what wedding is complete without a photo booth?

Just a few short weeks after that beautiful shendig, we had another to attend in my favorite spot on earth, Swansboro, NC. Now, although they are both Southern Belles, their weddings were totally different but still totally perfect.

Loving the Bride/Groom signs but I’m picturing burlap bows instead. Every southern gal owns a pair of Jack Rogers… and a TRUE southern gal will have those suckers monogrammed with her new initials before the big day. I’m thinking white ones instead of colored but would love input on that. My bridesmaids will probably be in silver/pewter Jacks depending on the  shade of dress we choose.

And the sweetest detail of Marlana’s wedding was actually at the rehearsal dinner and something done by the groom. We were all swooning over this sweetness…

I definitely want some DIY crafts to be displayed at our wedding…. chalkboards, bows, fun photo booth props, and of course, something very special to do with pictures of us because I am a picture addict (never caught without at least one camera).

Any sweet, personal touches you’ve seen at weddings lately that you think should be incorporated? Of course there are tons of these on Pinterest… I’m sure my head will get full of ideas over the next 9 months!