On a more sour note, when all of the paper I ordered to print my invitations on came in, it was not the same thickness as the original paper in the store. Turns out the manufacturer changed the way they made it or something. This now thinner paper would not work for the way I was planning to make my invites, unless I was to adhere two pieces together with spray adhesive (which meant lots more time and money). I spent about 45 minutes in the store speaking first with two associates and finally a manager about my dilemma. I will admit I had my first wedding breakdown right there at the front of the store while talking with the manager (and all the customers curiously staring at me, probably wondering why in the world some girl would be crying in a crafts store!). To make a long story short, the manager offered to re-order the paper and if it came in thin again and I had to adhere them together, she would give the paper to me for free! (Cue the tears again..) The manager was super sweet and helpful, and definitely did not have to give me $200 worth of paper.
So now I'm waiting on the paper to come in to be able to finish up the inviations and get them sent out by the end of September. I actually think the two pieces adhered together will turn out better than the one piece, since the single piece did not have the textured finish on both sides. I suppose more work is going to equal a better product!
I just love sunsets. Especially sunsets over water. I find myself wanting to take pictures of a sunset or stormy skies almost daily. To be totally honest, I do take them with my phone whenever the urge strikes and normally text them all to J. I'm thankful that he doesn't seem to mind, because I have to share my joy with someone! :) The photo above was taken in Fort Walton Beach.
(Linking up to Saving Money Living Life and Just a Girl)
The wedding planning is coming along nicely and we haven't encountered any bumps in the road as of yet. So far, items I have completed and checked off my list are booking the preacher, the DJ, the photographer, the florist, decided on flowers, ordered the cake, secured the tent and chair rentals, booked the honeymoon, sent out save the dates, decided on bridesmaid dresses and I found my dress! We have been accumulating jars and various items for the reception decorations, and I have been working on our invitation design.
The one major item we still have to decide on is the food. This is going to be our largest expense (since it was one item not included in what we won) and it has been stressing me out the most! With every catering company I call for pricing estimates, they're all a minimum of $10 per person. Considering we will have between 200 and 300 guests, that's at least $2,000 and at most $3,000! Oh my..
(cake design we have chosen)
Maybe we should just eat cake! :)
It was an early Monday morning and I was up and ready for work, so I decided to be sweet and cook us some breakfast. The following weekend would actually be the first weekend since we met that we would not be able to see one another. As I'm cooking, Justin and I are talking and while I'm in a chipper mood, he seems to be acting a little strange, like there's something he wants to say but doesn't know how. I figured he was just worried about my feelings since he knew I wanted to be engaged soon and he hadn't asked yet, so I tried to steer clear of all wedding talk.
Once breakfast was ready and we were about to sit down to eat, Justin asked me where my multi-vitamins were. (As a side note, he's always encouraging me to eat healthy and makes sure I take a multi-vitamin everyday!) I told him where they were, he went and got one for me and as he sat down I opened my hand for the pill, but to my complete suprise, instead of a pill falling into my hand it was the ring!! I was speechless. Justin proceeded to get down on one knee and tell me how much he loved me, that he wanted to spend his life with me, that he couldn't wait another two weeks and would I marry him. And as you all know I said yes!
I took this photograph in an old house I came across back home. Most of the rooms were empty except for a few abandoned pieces of furniture, like this chair. I was inspired by the way the light filtered in through the window creating this contrast between light and dark, as well as, really defining the texture of the walls, the lines of the chair and the debris littered floor.
I read the other two couple's stories and I was torn because I felt we all deserved to win. Whatever the outcome, I knew someone would be blessed and was just thankful for the opportunity. During the two weeks of voting, I was overwhelmed by all the love, support and encouragement we received from our friends and family, even people I had never met. It made me realize how blessed we were to have these people in our lives, and even if we didn't win, the knowledge of how much we were loved by our family and friends was a blessing in itself.
I tried not to be anxious during this time but trust that if it was the Lord's will for us to win the wedding then we would. I kept thinking about Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.", as well as, Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I still struggled with being anxious, but I prayed ALOT and gained a peace about it and knew deep down that God would provide us a way to get married, whether it was through winning this contest or not.
It was around seven in the morning on that fateful Monday when I got a text from a friend congratulating us on winning the contest. My heart stopped. I think I may have stopped breathing as well. As quick as I could, I got on the computer to check out the website and sure enough! We won! I couldn't believe it! I called or sent a text to everyone.. Justin, my mom, grandma, future mother-in-law... This was the best gift anyone could hope for and the greatest blessing. The Lord is so good and I'm still thanking him every day that we won.
I'm sure you're wondering what all this dream wedding giveaway included. We won the following:
- Ceremony/Reception location at Lakes Chapel & Clubhouse
- Photography package from Wes Sewell Photography
- $5,000 Ring Package from Steel's Jewelry
- $750 Gift Certificate to Valdosta Greenhouses
- $500 Gift Certificate to Red Velvet Bakery
- $500 Gift Certificate to Special Occasions Rental
- Four bridesmaid dresses and $250 towards wedding gown from Lezlie's Bridal
- Five tux and shoe rentals from Ivey's
- $200 Gift Certificate to Simply Silver for bridesmaid gifts
- Five tanning packages from Endless Summer Tanning Salon
- Honeymoon trip to St. Augustine, Florida for 5 days and 4 nights
So basically the only items left that we have to pay for are my wedding gown, invitations, reception entertainment and reception food. Winning this wedding has been surreal. We always hope and wish for great things to happen to us, but never really expect them to. This experience has helped cement for me the truth that God is our gracious provider and will always make sure we have everything we need if only we put our faith and trust in Him.
A few elements of our wedding we are planning to do ourselves, such as the invitations, centerpieces and decorations. We want an elegant feel but with rustic, country charm.
We are so lucky to have friends and family who are more than willing to help us create and execute our ideas for the big day, and who have been instrumental in the planning process. My future mother-in-law is an amazing woman and has been a huge help in keeping me sane! Just when I feel like I'm about to stress out about something, she mentions a way of helping me or that one of her friends wants to be of service to us and help with the wedding.
Did I mention we entered a contest through our local radio station and won our wedding for free?? More on that later..
Meet Addie. My
She is very intelligent and understands alot of commands, but she is also very hardheaded and stubborn. Sometimes when I call her she will just stand there and stare at me, or take off and run laps around the yard. She passed the beginner training class at PetSmart last year, and I have to say, that was defintely money well spent! Dogs such as Addie, who are sporting breeds, have tons of energy and need alot of exercise and training, otherwise they can become unmanageable.
She knows when you're taking her picture. When the camera is pointed her way she will hold real still... Also, you hardly ever see her without a toy in her mouth! Which I suppose is better than my shoes...