Celebrating 1 Year of Marriage

Today is our one year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it’s already been one year, but it’s been one heckuva year with M. We celebrated a few days early, last week, because M worked 14 hours on our anniversary (Keeneland is in session). We couldn’t afford to do much to celebrate, so we spent the majority of the day in Cincinnati visiting the Zoo and then enjoying dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a great afternoon and fun to get away from everything we’ve been stressing about. I’ll share a couple of photos from there later.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we finally got our photos from our wedding photographers, Zimmerman Photography, so I thought I’d share a couple with you. If you want to relive the wedding, check out my Wedding page for the recaps. It was rainy and gross all day today, so I’m glad we had much prettier (even though it was chilly) weather last year!

Love the autumn colors in this photo--we have a big print of this hanging in our house now.

Love the autumn colors in this photo–we have a big print of this hanging in our house now.

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My handsome groom.

My handsome groom.

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Easiest decision ever: Having our two dogs for the ring bearers.

Easiest decision ever: Having our two dogs for the ring bearers.

I swear I told my bridesmaids they didn't have to have matching dresses or shoes...they just agreed on everything!

I swear I told my bridesmaids they didn’t have to have matching dresses or shoes…they just agreed on everything!

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We were joking that for my dad to be able to kiss my forehead, I'd have to squat down.

We were joking that for my dad to be able to kiss my forehead, I’d have to squat down.

LOVE this photo of me and my daddy about to walk down the aisle.

LOVE this photo of me and my daddy about to walk down the aisle.

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M was a gentleman about the cake...I was not a lady and smashed it (accidentally) in his eye.

M was a gentleman about the cake…I was not a lady and smashed it (accidentally) in his eye.

We had cornhole, a small bonfire, s'mores station, and a hot chocolate/hot cider bar to keep everyone warm. Plus a friend crafted special beers for our wedding.

We had cornhole, a small bonfire, s’mores station, and a hot chocolate/hot cider bar to keep everyone warm. Plus a friend crafted special beers for our wedding.

My friend's mom, who's like a 2nd momma, drove from Boston to make my cake and cupcakes! We had different flavors from red velvet to spice cake, to chocolate with bourbon icing. Yum!

My friend’s mom, who’s like a 2nd momma, drove from Boston to make my cake and cupcakes! We had different flavors from red velvet to spice cake, to chocolate with bourbon icing. Yum!

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The Honeymoon, Part 1 (Getting There)

Due to M losing his job a few months ago, our original plan of going to an all-inclusive resort in Florida had to be cancelled. The poor guy then spent hours on the computer looking for a Plan B that we hoped involved the ocean, but he wasn’t very lucky on his own. So we settled for a few days in a cabin in Gatlinburg. That is until a co-worker sent me a link to a place in South Carolina that I promptly forwarded to M and then promptly forgot about it.

So flash forward to our wedding, and there were quite a few people who knew where we were going…except for me. See, M told me he changed plans and we were no longer going to Gatlinburg, but he wouldn’t tell me where exactly we were going–just to pack a good selection of clothes for 70-degree weather. Sunday, after cleaning up the farm where we had our wedding/reception and sending our families on their way home, we hurridly drove back to our house and unloaded the car and truck of wedding supplies, unwrapped gifts, and then packed for our trip. (Mom and dad were gracious enough to take the pups with them for the week and our friends down the road were watching the cats for us.)

We set on down the interstate, with me constantly prodding M for information about where we were going. We ended up driving about 4.5 hours and stopped in Asheville, N.C., for dinner and for the night. Monday morning we set down the road for the rest of the trip.

As we got off the interstate somewhere in South Carolina, I started really pestering M for answers–it was rainy and gross and there wasn’t much else to do. I even started following us on the GPS on my phone…until he took it away from me for “cheating.” When I started to see signs for Myrtle Beach, I said, “We’re going to Myrtle Beach.” M: “No, we’re not.” Me: “Yes, we are, I see the signs, where else would we be going?” M: “Not Myrtle Beach.”

So flash forward a few more hours and we finally pull into this little town and in front of this hotel. I have to admit, at first I was a little skeptical about the hotel and the area. But as I waited for M to check us in, I told myself to not judge and to just wait and see.

We loaded up all our stuff and went up to our room on the second floor. M went in ahead of me…the room was very nice. We had a king suite with a little kitchenette with a full-sized refrigerator and washer/dryer, couch, king bed, and then the best part of it all… M walked up to the curtains and opened them up, announcing “Hey babe, take a look…” as he opened up the curtains. My jaw dropped. In front of me was the most gorgeous view I could have asked for (well, I had an even more gorgeous view when it wasn’t raining…)–the ocean was right outside our balcony! We had a nice private balcony that looked right out on the Atlantic Ocean.

It might have been a dreary day, but this was still a beautiful first view of the ocean from our room!

After unpacking, I made M go to the beach with me. Even though it was gray and chilly out, I wanted to go out to the ocean–I wanted to take it all in immediately. See, this was my first time ever seeing the ocean and ever being on a beach. My family didn’t really do vacations  when I was growing up–our “vacations” were horse shows and rodeos. I didn’t mind, I loved it, in fact I miss it.

I made M roll up his jeans and do a “toes in the water” photo with me as soon as we got to the beach the first day.

I know M was quite proud of himself for making this such a surprise and trying to make it the trip of a lifetime for me.

Corny? Yes, but I’m sure every couple does it when they get to the beach!

In my next post I’ll share some of the fun activities we did while in South Carolina!

Let’s Celebrate! (The Wedding Reception)

(In case you missed the wedding wrap-ups, here they are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Our main goal for our wedding and reception was that we wanted it to reflect us–we didn’t want the usual cookie-cutter events. That’s why I wrote the entire ceremony, we asked my brother-in-law to be the officiant (so he went online to get ordained), the dogs were our ring bearers, and almost everything was DIY. I didn’t want the usual arch for the “altar,” so I came up with the idea of the picket fence. I chose the music for the ceremony.

So for our reception, we wanted everyone to be able to enjoy themselves. We borrowed a couple of   games from my sister and a co-worker and set up a   area that was well-lit. I also borrowed a big coffee maker so we could have a hot chocolate and hot apple cider bar, which was placed next to our fire pit, which we brought for a s’mores bar. Yes, that’s right…we had a s’mores and hot chocolate/hot apple cider bar.

M chose a local BBQ joint to cater the dinner, which was delicious (yes, I actually did have a little bit of food). We had smoked turkey, pulled pork, beef brisket, macaroni & cheese, baked beans, salad, corn bread, and a bunch of veggies, etc. One of the groomsmen is a home beer brewer (he’s won quite a few contests), so their wedding gift to us was a craft beer bar–watermelon beer, cream beer, and a hibiscus wit. Plus we had some of our favorite beer (Yuengling) and non-alcoholic options.

My cake was made by one of my very good friends from college’s mom. Adrienne (who was one of my bridesmaids) and her mom have been very close to me since college. “Momma D” has always treated me like another daughter. She drove all the way from Massachusetts to bake our cake and cupcakes. We did it simple–red velvet cake with cream cheese filling (the fondant was white and I made a burlap with ribbon ribbon to be pinned around the bottom and my mom made a small bouquet to mimic my bouquet for the topper). The cupcakes were vanilla with buttercream icing, spice cake with cream cheese icing, and chocolate with bourbon buttercream icing. Momma D also made little flags to put on the cupcakes that said different things like “Mr. & Mrs.”, “Joy”, “I do”, and “M&M”.

My yummy cake and cupcakes made by Momma D. I decorated the cupcake stands and made the burlap ribbon for the cake to match the stands.

And for those wondering, when we cut the cake, I  let M feed me the cake first….he was a gentleman. Of course, I had to have some fun, and I fed the cake to him like a lady…then proceeded to smash it in his face (and into his eye…oops).

Our DJ was absolutely awesome–he was so helpful with me planning the wedding, reassuring me that everything will come together, etc. He worked with us in so many ways–I definitely recommend Mike Graves, if you’re in the Lexington area. The music was awesome and it was a lot of fun to see my cousins and their children dancing it up all night.

Not only did I get to dance with my husband and my dad, but also my pups. This was LaMesa taking a turn with mom.

All in all it was a great night–I wish I had had the time to talk more with friends. There were some that I hadn’t seen in years, or that I only get to see every so often. I didn’t even really get to drink much of our beer or enjoy our cupcakes, but I’m OK with that. I danced a lot with my new husband, laughed at friends’ antics on the dance floor, and just tried to take everything in. I danced with friends, danced with my dogs (who got to run around the place after dinner was packed up), and of course danced with my daddy.

I said earlier that my first dance with M was “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton. It was romantic (or at least as romantic as M and I can get) and it was nice to be able to catch up and chat a little about things and take it all in that we were indeed married now.

I danced with my dad to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, and it’s a time I won’t forget. I tried my hardest not to cry, and I think my dad was, too. After a while, he started asking me a series of questions about things to take both of our minds’ off the matter, which made me laugh. I had to dodge his cowboy hat if I wanted to put my head on his shoulder because he’s that much shorter than me now.

I absolutely loved seeing my parents dance during the Generation Dance and then enjoy their time together. When I saw this pic from my sister, I had tears in my eyes–I love them so much.

I didn’t want the night to end, but, alas, it did. We had great friends stay behind and help us pack up some stuff and clean up the major stuff before we headed to the hotel for the night. The next day we would finish packing up things and tearing everything down in preparation for the rental company to come back and get the tables, chairs, and tent.

All in all, while it was stressful putting together our own wedding, and the months leading up to the wedding was one full of frustration, tears, and concern, it was a very special day and one I hope to remember my entire lifetime. I just wish we could have afforded a videographer to help us remember, but I can’t wait to get all of the photos from the photographers.

I’m Married!!! Part 3

In case you missed it… Part 1 & Part 2

We arrived at the farm while the guys were finishing up their photos, so I had to hang out in my truck for a while until they were sure M couldn’t see me. Then it was our turn to strike a pose in front of the camera, and I was surprised at how much fun we had, even without doing the cheesy photos (I am not a fan of the whole bridal party jumping up–sorry). I was nervous leading as we headed back to my truck to wait for guests to arrive. My bridesmaids hung out around the truck, making sure I was calm and staying warm.

Then it was time.

I heard my music begin for the mothers to walk down the aisle–my brother-in-law (who was also our officiant) was walking my mom down while M walked his mom down to meet his groomsmen. I had a lot of fun (but also was pretty stressed) choosing all the music for the ceremony. You see, this was truly a “do-it-yourself” wedding because I wrote the entire ceremony (minus M’s vows, but including the prayer his grandfather said) and chose all the music for our non-traditional wedding. For the mothers’ walk I chose the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. Then I had my bridesmaids walk down to another string version of Train’s “Marry Me“, and our recessional was the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Viva La Vida“.

The song I walked down the aisle with my father was Brad Paisley’s “Then.” Matt has always said that was “our song”, but when it came time to choose songs for the ceremony and our first dance, we had to choose between that and “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton. M and I have gone through a lot this year, particularly the past few months (hence my absence for a while), and I felt that Blake Shelton’s song hit me hard for the first dance, while “Then” was perfect for a walk down the aisle.

Walking down the aisle with my dad was so surreal–I never even dreamed about my wedding growing up.

My heart was in my throat as I walked towards my dad, who was waiting for me a good ways away–I totally missed Adrienne’s trip (and almost fall) while she was walking. When the first chords of our song started to play, I immediately started tearing up–this was really, truly happening! I told dad to take our time walking down the aisle–I wanted to soak in the moment (not to mention I wanted a good part of this wonderful song to be played). True to my dad’s form, he started trying to make me laugh as I was fighting back the tears (so that’s where I get it from), and I know he was trying to fight back his tears as well. It helped to have our dogs waiting at the back row–they always make me smile. I’d look up at M and see him wiping away tears, which immediately made me have to wipe away mine. He’d take a deep breath, and so would I. The moment was surreal.

The girls were standing at attention watching and waiting for mom to walk down the aisle. Soon it would be their turn.

The rest of the ceremony was everything I expected it to be–Jerry did a great job as our officiant and it meant a lot to have M’s grandfather do the prayer. M had me say my vows first, which was hard because I was shaking from the cold (and maybe the nerves) so much. My vows were serious, for the most part, and his were light-hearted to make us laugh–as should have been expected. And when Jerry asked, “May I have the rings, please?” The “dog wrangler” released Dally and LaMesa, and they ran down the aisle “carrying the rings” (the real rings were in the best man’s pocket). The only negative part of the ceremony was actually a highlight in most people’s eye–Dally put her “stamp of approval” by going behind the officiant and pooping, drawing everyone’s attention as she started kicking up the leaves. Everyone had a good chuckle about it.

Listening to M’s personally-written vows…

Then the big moment of our kiss, which we had joked about what we were going to do the days leading up to the wedding, but let me tell you…it was one awesome kiss and I didn’t feel the least bit concerned about having an audience! 😉 My brother-in-law had us turn around and he pronounced us Mr. and Mrs.! Yay! We walked down the aisle with huge grins and the two pups followed along, streaking behind us.

I admit it, I asked M if the hand he offered me for his ring was the correct hand–I totally blanked on “left” and “right”! LOL

After everyone was excused, we took more photos with family and the bridal party, then we got to walk around the farm on our own for some photos. (I’ll post some sneak peek photos from the photographer on a later post.) I just couldn’t wait until we were ready to join everyone for the big party…err, I mean reception…

(Special thanks to my friends Jodi and Camille for these photos)

I’m Married!!! Part 2

Part 1

Saturday morning (Oct. 6) I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm and instantly looked at my weather app and the radar–clear skies and cool temperatures!! I was so relieved! Sure it was going to be a chilly evening, but I was OK with that!

I packed up my last-minute items (including my dress) and the pups (oh you knew they were going to be in the wedding, come on now!) into my truck (and you knew I’d be driving my truck to my wedding) and drove the 30 minutes up to Georgetown to the hotel my family was staying. I dropped Dally and LaMesa at my parents’ room and picked up my mom, sister, and bridesmaids for breakfast. After a longer-than-planned, but very filling, breakfast, we swung by Starbucks for some warm drinks and headed to the farm to start setting up. The plan was for the girls to get some things started–set the first few chairs up for the ceremony so the guys know how we want them, set up the tables and do the decorations how I wanted them, and finalize any other things we didn’t do the previous night. Then the boys would show up while we were getting our hair and make-up done and finish everything up.

My groom sent me this photo to make sure the ceremony site was set up the way I wanted it (that’s one of his groomsmen in the middle). Perfect!

The setup was a breeze with all my helpful ladies–my bridesmaids did not disappoint when it came to support! Even my friend from college’s mom chipped in before she had her own big project to complete. See, Adrienne’s mom, whom I call “Momma D”, drove all the way from Massachusetts to Kentucky to bake my wedding cake and cupcakes! (How awesome is that!?)

Anyway, we completed our parts on the farm, then headed back to the hotel to start getting ready and, hopefully, relax. I had a friend from volleyball who is a hair stylist come do my and my sister’s hair, while Adrienne had a friend do hers. Mollie and I had a couple of sessions with my hair, trying to find out exactly what type of curl would hold, etc. I found my hair inspiration from Pinterest and a few hair pins with crystals on the end–no veil (unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the back of my hair right now, but definitely will as I get more wedding photos).

Bridesmaid Adrienne doubled as the make-up artist for me!

We were pretty relaxed while getting ready. I think part of it had to do with Merinda picking up a couple of bottles of Moscato wine! 😉

I did my best to just take in the whole day and the laughter with my friends. On top of my bridesmaids being in the room, my friend from work came to take photos of us getting ready, and another friend from college (whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time) drove in from a horse show to get ready with us. I don’t think it really hit me that I was getting married that day until I went into the bathroom after putting on my dress, cowboy boots, necklace that my mom made me, and had my makeup done. I looked in the mirror and literally my first thought was: “Holy sh*t, I’m getting married today.” I seriously said that out loud.

Putting the final piece to the puzzle: My sister (MOH) helped me with my necklace. My mom made the necklace for my wedding day with an antique broach purchased from a friend’s shop and multiple colors/sizes of pearls. I love it!

After Merinda had walked the pups (who were also all dressed up for the occasion), we all piled into our different cars (my sister and I rode in my truck with Adrienne) and headed to the farm for the big night!

 

I’m Married!!! Part 1

Life has calmed down immensely for me, which means I can get back to blogging hopefully more regularly than I have been lately. Part of that craziness that has been my life lately has been planning my wedding. Well, October 6 came and M and I are now husband and wife!!

The week leading up to the wedding was uber stressful for me. The forecast was calling for 60% chance of rain and cold temperatures. Our wedding and reception was outside, but we had a tent for the reception, but I was still concerned about the logistics of parking, myself getting rained on, etc. But as the days continued, the chances for rain got smaller and smaller. When I woke up Saturday morning of my wedding, the first thing I did was check the radar–not a single rain cell in sight! Of course it was still chilly (lower 60s), but people could dress warmly, so I wasn’t too concerned about that.

M did his best to liven the mood when we were stressed a couple days before the wedding.

Friday was the big day of setup. M and I were very lucky to have a great core group of friends and family who showed up to help with the tent and table setup. The boys and my dad hung the lights and we tentatively set up the tables to see how we wanted everything laid out. Then we headed back to the host hotel to scarf down some “country cookin'” of Cracker Barrel at our rehearsal dinner. (The comfort food of chicken and dumplins, mac and cheese, biscuits, etc., was perfect to help soothe my nerves.)

Then it was time to say goodbye to my fiance for the last time–he was staying at the hotel and I was driving back, with the pups, to sleep at our house. I went home to finish up some last minute things: a memorial for M’s best friend who was killed in action in Afganistan, putting the homemade “Peanut Butter Puppers” I baked for our favors (we are dog people and knew most of our guests have dogs), gathering my overnight bag, etc. It was hard to wind down to go to sleep at a decent hour, so I moved to the bedroom with the last of the thank you cards to write in bed in hopes I’d fall asleep.

I just knew I wanted to be able to take in everything about my wedding day–I had so many tell me their wedding day went by so quickly and to enjoy it…

The initial setup of the ceremony site (this was actually on Saturday morning, but just a tease of the setup).

Making A Comeback

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I’m not sure if any of you missed me, but I sure missed blogging! Life has been crazy this summer–dog agility trials, volleyball, new job, wedding planning, etc. I’ll try to sum up the summer as well as I can…

Running
I’ve been keeping up with my running, however it hasn’t been the most consistent training–but hey, at least I’m running! I’m trying to get in runs 2-3 times a week right now. I haven’t had any races that I’m training for, so I guess the inconsistency is alright. I did run in the Extreme Rampage a couple of weeks ago. It was a little over four miles of running through mud, creeks, jumping over horse cross country jumps, climbing wooden walls and cargo nets, etc. It was a lot of fun and I’ve decided I really do enjoy the obstacle/mud races! While I haven’t been running for time, I’ve had a lot of fun running with my older co-worker, Tom. While he’s in the 65+ year-old category, he celebrates every moment of the runs, which is inspiring to me.

Unfortunately I don’t be able to run in my favorite race, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this year (which was also my first 5K 3 years ago) because it’s the morning of my wedding day. I was really thinking about trying to squeeze it in, but I’m afraid that’s one more thing I will stress about, and I’ve been told I shouldn’t be stressing on my wedding day. So maybe I’ll wake up early and get in an easy 3 mile jog around my neighborhood for good measures that morning.

Wedding Planning
As I’m writing this, the countdown is now down to only two weeks–14 days!!! I can’t believe it’s coming so fast! And yet, everyone reminds me we’ve been engaged for almost two years now. Some times I feel like things are coming along smoothly, but then there are times that I am stressing because I forgot something (i.e., guest book!) or I’m unsure of something. We’ve met with our DJ one last time, I’ve already had my final dress fitting and brought my dress home, had a hair trial (but would like to fit in one more), we’ve gotten M’s wedding band, and already applied for our marriage license. I’ll update more on things in a later post this week…

New Job
I changed positions at my company earlier this spring. Since then, it’s been a lot of learning about new processes, testing processes, and just trying to keep up with everything happening at work. We’re about to launch something big middle of this month, but until that has been launched and we’re comfortable with it, I’m sure things will be pretty crazy and stressful in the office. While I never blogged while I was at work, I haven’t had the time to think about what my upcoming post could be about. Hopefully I’ll be able to be more creative in the next month or so…

Dog Agility
I’m trying to get back to blogging more, which also means updating my dog agility training blog. So, you can check that out for updates. But, I’d like to brag that Dally and I qualified for the AKC National Agility Championships once again–this time we’ll be heading to Tulsa, Okla., in March and I’m already stoked about it!

So there’s your quick wrap-up. I can’t guarantee how well I’ll do updating things as I get closer to my wedding day, but I’ll try my best to keep things moving along. I’ll definitely plan to share some pics if I have any and details about that day and our “temporary honeymoon” (that’s an update all on its own).

Wedding Countdown: Less Than 3 Months

We’re really starting to get down to the wire with the wedding planning. We’re talking 2.5 months to go … CA-RAZY!!!

Since my last wedding planning update, I finally finished up the concept and design of the wedding invitations. My friend Camille, a graphic designer, designed the invites for me and I found a printer who gave me a great deal on printing, folding, and perforating the RSVP card at the bottom of the invite. (My invites are all one piece–folded up from the bottom, with the RSVP card able to be torn off and mailed back to me–easy, huh??)

(Sorry for the blurry photo) A quick glance at the invites’ main side…

Then I borrowed a scrapbooking corner cutter from Camille to cut the top corners, just to give the invites a little extra character. Then I used a stamp and wax to seal the invitations (and, yes, they were able to be mailed with a 65 cent stamp). The wax was a nice touch, I think, because of the rustic look we’re going for, plus M and I are both Maker’s Mark Ambassadors, so we’re fans of the red wax. 😉

Invitations sealed with a “kiss” of red wax…

It was like pulling teeth to get M to help with the invitations by printing labels, but when he finally did, it helped expedite things. (I don’t have the neatest handwriting, nor do I know anyone with neat, let along fancy, handwriting to handwrite addresses, so I bought clear address labels and let our personal printer do the work.) I got the first part of invitations out in the mail that following Monday. (We’re still waiting on some addresses, and then I need to purchase more stamps–those are expensive!)

That same weekend I decided to have a little fun and do some boot shopping for my wedding dress! I always knew I was going to get married wearing cowboy boots, and I wanted to purchase a new pair that I knew I would wear at other times (I have a few older pairs, but they’re not as comfortable any more, so it was time for a new set). I knew I wanted square-toes, and I wanted a fancy top, but I also had a strict budget to stick to, so no fancy leather (no ostrich print, no aligator, just boring cowhide).

We settled on a fun pair that incorporates all the colors–dark brown saddle, jewel-blue top (my “something blue”), and even the stitching has my wedding colors of brick red and burnt orange = WIN!

Could these be the perfect boots? Quite possibly!

I had my friend, who helped fit me for the boots, set them aside so I can come back later to purchase them. I’ll get them in time to wear them around the house to break in and have them for my first dressing fitting.

So now time to finish mailing out invitations and start working on finalizing ceremony and reception decorations, and finalize cake/cupcake stuff with my friend’s mom who’s baking them for me!

Wedding Planning Update: Less Than 4 Months!

With there being less than four months to go until the Big Day, I realize there hasn’t been much of an update about how things are going:

My sister’s MOH dress (don’t mind her silly face, she wasn’t aware I was taking her photo…oops!), only this will be in an apple red.

I finally was able to go with my sister (Matron of Honor) to look at bridesmaid dresses. She was concerned that she wouldn’t look good in the dresses that my other two bridesmaids picked out, but I wanted her to give it a try anyway. We chose a few long dresses, as well, for her to try on for a look more in her comfort and style. I have to say, it was a lot of fun trying on dresses with her because it was almost a mini-celebration of her weight loss journey herself. See, she and her husband started on a health journey January 2011 to eat better and get more active. After a year, Jerry had lost at least 100 pounds and Erin had lost at least 40 or so. They celebrated the first year of their journey by completing a 5K together—I was so proud of them and wished I could have come home that weekend!

Anyway, I digress…so now with her weight loss of 45+ pounds, I think she was enjoying discovering her new body. We ended up trying on a dress that is very similar to the bridesmaids’, but longer.

Heritage Horse Farm–location of our wedding

In May my parents came into town and we took them up to my friend’s farm where we’re having the wedding and introduced them to Chad. We walked around the property and discussed where we could set up the reception tent, have everyone park, and where to hold the ceremony. I constantly worry that this will be more of a pain for Chad and his wife, since they are also running a boarding barn on their property. I worry that having a tent constructed on Friday, a big shindig on Saturday, and then the tent deconstruction on Sunday might disrupt too much and spook the horses.

We also took Matt’s mom there to see the place and get her approval. She seemed to really like the place, which was reassuring.

I’m meeting with a friend who is also a graphic artist to design our invitations this week. I had met with a printer my dad has used for 30+ years back home, but I didn’t feel like I would be able to show our individual personality with their offerings. I was excited to see Camille’s design she did for her daughter’s wedding because it was simple and no fuss—exactly how I want our wedding to be. I’m looking at some places that can print exactly what I want and how I want around Lexington. I’m lucky to work in the publishing industry and have a few tips of places to try.

Once I get the invitations ordered, my next goal will be to tackle a list of what I need to do myself—spray paint the centerpieces, order burlap, and start figuring out the table runners, etc. I’m also looking at where to order a photo guestbook–we don’t want the usual boring book that won’t ever been seen again. Dad, meanwhile, has the list of what stuff we need from the rental company and will be calling them to reserve the tent, chairs, and tables.

I hope I’m on the right track…

Wedding Planning Update: We Will Have Music!

After a relaxing Sunday (still recovering from my 12 mile run on Saturday), M and I met with a potential DJ for our wedding at a nearby Starbucks. I went into the meeting unsure of what to expect. I knew the guy had a lot of experience (he’s a radio DJ and has more than 25 years of experience DJing weddings), but I was worried about his price.

We’re working with a very limited budget and relying on a lot of help when it comes to DIY projects and such to make-up for what we can’t afford to hire out. But I know a DJ is one place where we didn’t want to have to worry about skimping on because we know that a DJ can make or break a wedding reception. And since I don’t have anyone acting as a wedding coordinator or bridal consultant, I would rather have someone who knows how things are supposed to run to alleviate my stress the day-of (let’s face it…I’ll still be stressed until the whole darn thing is over).

The meeting went very well–he seemed really at ease with us and M really liked him. The guy was funny and said he was very flexible with genres of music, etc. He could even help us out during the reception with music, which was another big concern of mine. Plus, he was willing to bring down his price to work with us–SOLD! We shook hands and are expecting the contract in the mail soon.

We had a goal of hiring a DJ by the end of April and we made that deadline by one week–good for us! So that’s one more thing to cross off of our to-do list, which helps me relax a little more going into this crazy week I have. (More on that later.)

Now it’s time to focus on the “little things”: wedding invites, settling on the bridesmaid dresses (got to get my sister to a David’s Bridal to try on the girls’ choice!), choosing the men’s outfits (M believes he should be able to wear jeans and a shirt….nope! Sorry buddy!), and the music homework Mike gave us (decide what songs we’d like played for certain things, list favorite genres and perhaps specific songs we want played during the reception, etc.). This kind-of stuff can hopefully be squeezed in a little bit at a time here and there, as my (jam-packed) schedule allows it. And M’s been kicked into high gear to plan our honeymoon, so I hopefully won’t have to worry about that for very much longer.

So…I think we’re doing alright…right?