Custom Arbor Set Up

Readers, friends…. future brides.  I am here to tell you to never underestimate the love and creativity of your very own family.

We’ve invested a lot into our wedding so far- from the dress, the flowers, the catering (look out world cuz we are going to have the best food you’ve ever tasted this side of the Rockies!).

From our spreadsheets to our budget tracking tools, we’ve been pretty thorough on toeing the budget line, however this month things just seemed to get overwhelming.  I was still hoping for a couple of custom built items, and of course I wanted a wedding cake, even if I was going to be the only one to divulge in it.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed about it all, and at a family gathering last weekend not one but two of my amazing, creative and industrious relatives volunteered their talents for the big day!

The first is my amazing Aunt May, who can cook and bake like Martha Stewart. I’m not even joking (she’s an amazing quilter and seamstress as well).  She has volunteered to make ALL of the pies and the cake!  I can’t believe it and we are so grateful.  We know her creations will be even better than if we hired a baker!

One of my second huge dreams has been to have a custom arbor built as an arch for to say our vows under.  One of my grandfather’s oak trees blew down in the huge windstorm last February, and it has been my dream to take some of the wood and have a custom arbor created.  I can’t think of anything that would be more romantic or meaningful.

I was chatting on about this at our dinner, when my cousin popped in to drop off some supplies he had borrowed from my Dad.  He overheard me talking and said he would LOVE to be build an arbor from the old Oak tree!  This is the same tree whose branches we spent hours playing beneath as children.  I can’t believe his generosity of time and talent.  (You can check out his amazing resurfacing and repair business here!).

The amazing thing about my family is that I didn’t even ask for these things. My own family asked how wedding planning is going, and then they volunteer to just fill in the gaps by taking on these huge projects.

We are enormously blessed, and this wedding is coming together as a celebration of not only love, but the creativity, talent, and joy that Jerry and I share with so many!

My Good Intentions

Okay, so my best intention was to keep this blog updated and growing!  A resource of sorts for brides, and a journal for myself.  Well, we can all see how well I did with that!  Autumn just flew right by without me keeping track of all the amazing progress we’ve made on the wedding.  To my readers (all five of you, if you include Grams, I’m sure), I have to apologize.  But let’s just put one thing out there- wedding planning gets cray!  On top of keeping up with work, cultivating our relationship, keeping up with youth group and church, and implementing this amazing (read: amazingly intense) workout plan I’ve been doing, I’ve also had to find time to plan this wedding.

The good news is that things are shaping up more beautifully than I could have even imagined!  I am so excited to share that I hired my old schoolmate Kim of Swoon Floral Design to create our bouquets and centerpieces.  Her work is just out of this world beautiful.

We decided to focus on a rich color palette featuring an hombre of late autumn colors.  I’m envisioning golden shades of a sunset on the cusp of fall mixed with plum hues that hint of winter to come.  So browns, reds, plums, and a bit of orange and yellow are in!  Besides the food and photography, the floral is taking up a big portion of our budget, which I’m totally okay with.  In fact, if I end up with no other decor besides what Kim creates I might just be happy!

I have all kind of plans to blog this month.  I’m hoping to share our budget breakdown with some tips on allocating wedding funds, tips for creating a guest list, and why we decided to create a honey fund in lieu of traditional gifts.

Stay tuned and cheers to love!


Favorite Wedding Dresses

Our wedding dress adventure over the weekend was amazing, and I found the perfect dress!  It took an entire day (we were gone for 12 hours and ended the night with margaritas at Applebees- we had fun!).  There were so many amazing dresses I tried on, but in the end the girls and I compiled a list of wedding dress “must haves”.  These are different for everyone, but I thought I’d share my wedding dress must haves in case they are helpful/inspiring for other brides to be:

  1.  Your wedding dress must fit your personality.  What does that mean?  Well, its different for everyone, but if your dress personality from day to day is free flowing and bohemian, you probably won’t love a tight fitted mermaid style dress!  I’m not formal but I am fancy, so I love cute flirty dresses with a little bit of sophisticated.  So I personally was looking for a dress that was beautiful, fun and easy to wear.
  2. Your wedding dress must fit properly!  I tried on a myriad of dresses yesterday, and some were just not meant to be.  Even the most amazing tailor can’t custom fit a dress that just doesn’t go with your body type.  Ask your dress sales associate to help make suggestions for dresses that fit your body type!
  3. Your dress must be within budget.  The dress is probably one of the easiest things to blow your budget on because it is one of the first purchases you’ll make as a fiance, and it is one of the most fun.  Keep your budget in mind and be willing to try on similar styles by different designers in order to find the best fit and style for your buck.
  4. Your wedding dress must be event appropriate.  If you are getting in a barn, a formal sheath style might not be the best fit.  While there are no “rules”- you’ll want your dress to compliment your occasion in some way. Our wedding is outdoors with an antique indoor rustic reception, and I wanted my dress to reflect the adventuresome spirit of the day- so lets just say it is not tight fitting, and there’s plenty of room for frolick!
  5. And finally, your wedding dress must be a dress you LOVE. Don’t buy the dress mom loves, don’t listen to grandma or try to compromise.  This is your one chance to wear the wedding gown of your dreams, and while input from family is very valuable, be sure to stay true to your own dreams!

Continue reading “Favorite Wedding Dresses”

Random Thoughts for Today

So I’ve been doing just a little bit of wedding web research.  Okay, so maybe a lot.  Maybe I’ve already been accused of being distracted by wedding planning.  Or, in other words, obsessed.  I have a tendency to get carried away with projects, and that can be a good thing… but it can apparently be a little overkill.  According to some fiances.  So we’ve been taking a little break the last few days, and I’ve been trying not to focus so much on planning.  Jerry *just* left for a hunting trip with his Dad (annual men’s pilgrimage), so guess what that means!  For the next five days I can plan my little heart out.

I did some scouring on the net today. I’m primarily concerned about a couple of vendors, and now that we have our date in place my first priority is to get our photographer and coordinator lined out.  I’ve been really enjoying reading some of the tips and tricks I found on Jamie Rae Photo’s website: .  She shares so much useful information that I hadn’t even crossed my mind so far (such as having a getting ready area with ample LIGHT– such a good point and something I would never have thought of on my own).

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Cake Debacle

Tonight J and I were eating dinner like we try to do any evening he is free (to be honest, cop life is not the best life for date nights).  We cuddled up on the couch with some cookie dough ice cream.  Still haven’t started that diet.  But that’s when I realized-my future Mr. Wonderful HATES cake.  Like, would not eat it he was on the brink of starvation and one bite would save him from sudden death.
Problem is, I can’t quite imagine my wedding day without cake.  Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a sweet tooth and adore everything about the idea of a beautiful, big wedding cake.

And Jerry wants pie.


Okay, okay. I admit that I have been to a few pie weddings and left with my sweet tooth satiated.  Its a little informal feeling, compared to a cake, but it could work, I suppose.

I am also loving the idea of a naked cake with greens and flowers, and mini pies surrounding it.

I mentioned that to Jerry and he said the naked part sounded good.

Go figure.

I sat down to figure out how many mini pies we would need for approximately 150 people, assuming that each person might eat 1.5-2 mini pies (my fam and friends love food, what can I say).

I got a little overwhelmed and somehow ended up on youtube… and what can I say, how sweet is this?

At any rate, I definitely need to add wedding cake to my wish list! 😉

Wedding Color Palettes I Can Love

Let’s talk wedding colors here for a hot second.  I have to admit that I am so over that bright 90’s teal that still somehow makes an appearance at today’s weddings, and hot pink just ain’t my thing.  I was scouring pinterest today in search of amazing color palettes.  Let me first say that I am a girl who loves color, however I tend to navigate towards more neutral and earthy tones.  My home decor could best be described as inspired by nature and enhanced with color.  I painted one wall of my bedroom an eggplant shade and am just over the moon about it.  In my mind, a white canvas splashed with amazing, natural colors is the ultimate.

Since we are most likely getting married in the spring, I did a search for spring wedding colors.  I keep navigating between very muted and blush tones and more vibrant colors.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:


Ahh, spring romance.  I love the greens, grays, and blush pink.  So simple, so chic.


OMG I saw this one and just about died.  I love how natural and organic it feels, and I also love how there is very little pink involved, and yet it still feel so feminine.  I never envisioned blue for my wedding day, but I think I’ve been swayed.


Okay I think we are seeing a trend here… I am loving the blue!  But with this color palette, we’ve also got green, coral and gold.  And oh my does it work so well.  I’m just in love with how these colors go together.  So bold, yet still romantic and whimsical.


This green!  I think its safe to say I will be doing something non traditional for my wedding palette.  I love a slight pink hue accents it, but the main focus is definitely an ombre of green.  To die for.

Color, color, color!  You can see I will have some choices to make!  In the end I want the feel of our wedding to be natural and organic, but to also be slightly formal (so rustic is out).  Right now I’m loving the “In the Rain” palette, especially since we are having a spring wedding.  Flowers are the number one important detail to me, and from there we can easily accent with simple linens, calligraphy, and a few simple party favors.  I don’t want to go to over the top with decor, elegance is key!

The Perfect List

The past few nights I have laid in bed just dreaming of this wedding thing. I literally cannot believe that this magical miracle is unfolding in my life.  Yes, people meet and fall in love all the time… but to meet someone so absolutely perfect, welp THAT doesn’t happen all the time.   Before I share with you the amazing progress I made on wedding planning today (ha-ha), let me take a moment to explain (aka gush) about how it is that Jerry is so perfect for me.

Last fall I sat in a women’s Bible study, surrounded by women who are well versed in this marriage thing, knee deep in diaper duty, and spend most of their time in carpools and grocery aisles.  They are all my dear friends, and they are all living the wifey dream.  To be honest, I was a bit depressed from time to time being the last single lady.  All these gals gave me the best advice, and encouraged me to live up this time that I had been given to be single and “conquer the world”. I think this meant they were a tad bit jealous that I could take a shower uninterrupted (I hear privacy diminishes quite dramatically in mommy land).  Still, it could be hard being surrounded by amazing friends who had amazing families and being the ONLY one who was still single.

One of these friends, Sarah, took me aside after our study and said she wanted to share something with me.  I’ll always remember what she did next- she opened her notebook, took a tattered sheet of paper out, and showed it to me.

It was a list, about twenty items long.  Sarah told me that one day she felt compelled to sit down and write out a list of all the things she was hoping to find in her future husband.  So she did!  She included everything from physical appearance to hobbies shared and faith values.   The amazing thing was, so many of the items were so in line with her husband Scott.  A few weren’t, but most actually were.

Sarah encouraged me to make my own “list”, not to be too overly specific on shallow things like must not have facial hair (that’s a big one for me, haha).  But to really define the values I wanted for myself in a man.

Then she encouraged me to pray over this list.

It was not six months later that I met Jerry.  And the crazy thing is,  he is EVERY SINGLE THING on my list (and more!).  I just can’t believe it…. with my crazy high ideals, my love for romance, and my long, long wait. That God provided someone so perfect for me just blows my mind.

I know your totally curious about my list now!  And while I don’t want to share it all publicly, I will say that Jerry has a crazy love of country music, an obsession for running that goes hand in hand with mine, a heart for family, a desire to serve his community (I mean he does this SO well!), a faith that can move mountains, and an adventurous spirit.  ALL of these things were on my list (and more).

Anyway, crazy story, but the point is to never, ever give up on love.

Now, what did I accomplish today?  Well we haven’t decided if we’ll get married this summer or next… but the one thing we did determine today is our first dance song (its a secret!).

I promise I’ll make more progress tomorrow. 😉

Welcome to my Wedding Planning Blog

Hello!  Thank you so much for visiting my wedding planning blog.  I am SO excited to share this journey with anyone who is so kind to read it.  Who knows… maybe I’ll end up doing a wild career change and becoming a wedding planner through this process.  A girl can dream! 😉  I’d thought I would first share with you all of the funny things that ran through my head the day after we got engaged, and also show you that ONE thing I purchased immediately.  I couldn’t help myself.  And no, its not the dress!

My first wild thoughts as a newly engaged girl:

-Let’s get married in Maui.  No really, I’d love to incorporate SO many fun things for friends and family to do with us before the first day. Snorkeling, boat rides, and luaus… oh boy.  I’m going to be losing 30 pounds for the big day, anyway, right? Might as make good use of it while I’m bikini ready.

-Oh damn. I have to lose 30 pounds before the first day.

-I should go to Starbucks and grab some coffee and a muffin

-NO muffins. I think I’ll go low carb- that worked last time I was a bridesmaid

-At Starbucks eating a muffin.  I’ll start the diet tomorrow, because you know… today is kind of stressful with all this planning I have to start!

-I’m going to keep this wedding very simple.  Focus on the relationships and memories, and, of course the food.

-OMG and the flowers.  Look at this bouquet.  We’ll definitely include a budget for flowers.

-I need to pinpoint the color palette ASAP.  I wonder if Jerry likes rose-gold.

-Okay, I have three ideas for locations and I’m already exhausted.

-It just hit me.  We’ll have the wedding at Grandpa Kelly’s farm.  Like duh.  This will be perfect and amazing.

Okay girls out there planning there wedding, did you have this same meandering thought process?  I’m a rabbit, on a rabbit trail, that has had way too much double shot espresso.

And, drum roll please… The first purchase I made for my wedding day were these Valentino shoes.  I know, I know… slightly indulgent, a tad over the top.  But I love them, and just couldn’t help myself.  I actually bought them last night- 3 hours after Jerry proposed!  Eeek!  I have seen them all over wedding blogs, and the great thing about shoes is that… even if our wedding is simple, these ladies will add a pop of fun!