Bridal Blogger – Engagement Photos! – Tuesday Feature (Rescheduled to Thursday)

Hello all! We were very sorry to hear that our tuesday blogger Emily has been under the weather this past week. We decided to reschedule to thursday this week so that she could get some well deserved rest and time to recouperate. Are we ever thankful we did! This is a wonderful post with some of the best photo’s of Emily & Matts Engagement and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you!

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I always knew the day I’d meet my future husband would be a complete surprise.  I’d be walking down some city street and the wind would blow an important paper out of my hands and there he’d be, picking it up with ease and bringing it back to me with a smile on his face.  Or I’d be standing in line ordering a coffee and he’d be right behind me; then he’d offer to pay if only I’d sit down and drink it with him.  I met my future husband in college.  That wasn’t a surprise; somehow I knew I’d meet him there.  Nevertheless, when I finally met him, it came as more of a surprise than I would have thought.

Matt Richardson.  I knew his name. I’d seen him around campus probably every single day.  We went to a small school; Cincinnati Christian University.  With only about 80 students in our graduating class, it wasn’t hard to know everyone by name.  But even with the small size of the school, Matt and I had never said as much as a “hello” to one another, until one night when he sat down at a table with me and a couple mutual friends.   It was odd at first, finally being introduced to this guy that I’d seen a million times.  I felt myself blush; he was really cute and, let’s be honest, pretty popular.  We kept making eye contact.  Then he’d smile and I’d look down at my papers and try to distract myself by talking to my friend.  Within a few minutes, though, I noticed the two mutual friends we were sitting with were texting each other under the table.  They kept giggling and saying things like “I could totally see that!” and “it’d be so cute!”  It wasn’t hard to catch on that they were probably talking about a potential couple. Matt and me.

We finally got them to go public with the news and found out my assumption was spot on.  They thought Matt and I would be a cute couple.  Of course.
I distinctly remember looking up at Matt, knowing we were thinking the same thing.  Hmm.  What would it be like to date you?  
I felt like I was on a dating show.
We both laughed that awkward “what do we do in this really weird situation” kind of laugh.  But I think we both knew our friends might actually be right.  Maybe we’d be cute together.

Well, he ended up asking for my number the next night.  We went out on our first date a week later, and we just passed our two year anniversary this last weekend.

Funny how life works like that.  We also got our engagement pictures done a few weeks ago.  That’s kinda where I became inspired to write about how we met, because when I look at the first picture we ever took together, compared to our engagement pictures, I can’t help but laugh at how much we’ve changed together.  I mean, check it out:

I laughed for a good five minutes at the difference..we look like total babies in our first picture.

We had our engagement pictures taken by d.i.a. images and I couldn’t be more excited about them.  They completely capture the joy we’ve found in the last two years of being together, and our excitement about getting married in four months.  Something to alwaysalways splurge on for your wedding is a photographer.  We’re already so thankful we did.  These engagement pictures (and I’m sure our wedding pictures in the future as well) will be all over our home as a keepsake; something you can’t have with the caterer or the wedding rentals.  I’m sure you’re dying to see more pictures of us, so I’ll let you ooh and ahh over a few more.  🙂

Bridal Blogger – The Countdown Begins – Tuesday Feature (rescheduled for Friday)

We appologize for not getting this out on tuesday. Our lives were crazy and our blogging team and wedding team was having a nutso day. No excuses however, we have to keep rolling and throwing out Emily’s awesome posts, because her words deserve to be heard. Here is a short one from her, today, but still just as important! ❤ xoxo

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It’s been a crazy week for me, so I haven’t a ton of wedding planning.  That in itself stresses me out a little bit since we’re down to like 4 months until the wedding.  Yikes.

(not that I’m counting or anything)

I did get to sit down with Matt’s mom the other night to talk about the plans we’ve made so far and to work on ideas for the rehearsal dinner.  I have to say, even though Matt’s family and my family are completely different, I couldn’t be happier with my future in-laws.  I hear so many stories of strained mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships and it just makes me so thankful that Matt’s mom and I get along.  Whenever I go to their house I feel like I’m in my own home; I don’t have to feel uncomfortable with kicking my shoes off and taking a nap on their couch—and that’s saying something ‘cause let’s be honest, I’m an introvert and it takes me a really long time to get to that level of comfort with other people.

As for the rehearsal dinner, she’s been putting it together so well.  It’s so nice knowing that someone else is handling something that takes that much planning.   She’s been talking with the caterer and organizing the menu–something I would absolutely be dreading at this point.  I can only imagine what a dream it would be to have a wedding planner to organize everything else….  I guess it’s the price I pay for being a control freak and wanting to do everything DIY.
So for those of you who hired Ainsley to plan your wedding, you’re all geniuses.

Matt and I also bought our wedding bands this afternoon!  It was completely unplanned; our original intention was just to get my engagement ring cleaned and to renew the warranty, but they had a sale and we needed to buy the bands soon anyway.  So after a little bargaining with the jeweler, we walked out with a pretty good deal and two wedding bands on their way to get sized just for us.  That’s a good feeling.  Plus the band Matt got for me is completely stunning.  I am so incredibly blessed.

I apologize that I don’t have much more to write about this week, but if there’s anything you want me to write about in the future, just let me or Ainsley know and I’ll be sure to cover it!  Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Bridal Blogger – From The Heart – Tuesday Feature

It brings be great joy to constantly get to know Emily and her Fiance through her writing. It makes me dream of being there to share with her in their special day. It also brings me great joy to see everything that she is doing as a DIY Everything Bride. I have great pride in seeing her go through the paces of planning a wedding without someone like me (the planner) by her side. She reminds me of all of my friends who have been or are getting married; sharing in the wonderful world of weddings. It saddens me to read the ignorance of “friends” no matter their intentions and not realizing that you should be happy for a friend who is getting married and help as much as possible. If not, be as encouraging as possible. To find out what I am talking about, please please read Emily’s post, and do your very best to comment:

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I’m going to be a little more serious for this post.  Planning a wedding is mostly about the laughs and the fun moments, but it can’t be ignored that there are some pretty mellow moments as well.  Anyway, I guess this post will be less about my plans, and more about some of the feelings I’ve been experiencing this week.  Is that okay?  I hope so.

I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about my wedding day.  I’ll admit, I was one of those girls that frequently thought about my future husband and the life I would live as a “Mrs”.   I grew up drawing pictures of what I thought he might look like.  I wrote in my journals about my dreams for my wedding day and which friends I thought might be standing beside me as I say ‘I do.’  I played dress up wedding in a little white gown my mom made just for me and I would end many of my dreamy days by watching Father of the Bride as often as I could.  I could probably tell you every detail of what I thought my wedding would look like.  But as often as I worked my imagination on these things, it could never, ever prepare me for the real thing.

Six months ago, I said yes to a man who stole my heart so fast I didn’t even have a chance to watch him take it. I knew he was the one after our first date.  Ask my mom; I called her up after our date ended at three in the morning and told her I had just met the man I would marry.
He is everything I have waited for.  I really, truly mean that.   Call it cliche, or ‘cheesy,’ but I believe that all those days spent dreaming about him were worth it.  He is so, so good to me and has gone beyond any of my dreams for what kind of man I had imagined him to be.  Not to make you think he is flawless; he is a man like any other and knows exactly how to push my buttons.  But I know he tries his best to be a man I can respect whole-heartedly–and I do.

(I’m gonna take a second to show you one of the reasons I love him so much.  He’s like, really ridiculously handsome.)

The fact that I am now engaged to this amazing guy still brings butterflies to my stomach.  Six months in and I still wake up in the morning, take a peek at the ring on my left hand and grin as big as I can.  But my thoughts the last couple days have been less about my excitement and more about my frustration—not about the fact that I’m getting married, but about the fact that sometimes these days, it is really hard to share that excitement with other people.

I believe in marriage.  I believe that God created it to last, not just for a few years, but for allyears.  This belief seems to go against the grain of what is the popular thought these days, since divorce is a common option to marital problems.  As I finally plan my own wedding after years and years of pretend, I am forced to think about these things.
I have so many things left to do before the wedding day.  So many projects and shopping trips and meetings.  It puts me in a bit of a ‘wedding fog,’ as I like to call it.  However, even though my wedding is on my mind about 70% of the day, it doesn’t mean I talk about it the whole time.  I was catching up with a friend recently and she asked if we could hang out soon.  Of course! I told her, and I said something about going to a store we were both interested in.  There were a few things I could grab for the wedding there as well, so it was a double win.  Hang out with a friend and take a little stress off the wedding planning.  She said we could go, but on one condition: that it would be the only wedding related thing we would do together, or talk about.

I’m gonna be honest, my feelings were really hurt about this.  It’s not like I was planning on talking about my wedding the whole time, but I felt like I would be in the wrong to even bring it up.  But I also understand that a lot of times for single people it can be difficult to hear about weddings; I’ve been there, and I know it is hard sometimes.

So this is where my thinking kicked in.  I’ve been in situations like this one more than once, where I bring up my wedding and people just don’t want to hear about it.  It makes it really hard to feel happy that I’m getting married.  I am so excited to marry this man, and I want to tell everyone how excited I am, but how can I do that when I feel bad about sharing this excitement?  Have any of you brides had anything like this before?  I know I am probably rambling a bit too much, but honestly out of all the wedding things on my mind this week, even through realizing that I have SO much left to do, my disappointment at feeling restricted in my joy has been on my mind the most.  Engagement should be such a happy time (and trust me, for the most part it really is) and I’m ready to lose the stressful aspects; physically and emotionally.  If anyone else has had similar feelings or simply feels overwhelmed with the emotions involved in planning a wedding, leave a comment!  What better way to bring some joy into the wedding planning than to share it with another bride-to-be?

But here is my thought.

All this wedding planning, all this money and time spent, means nothing to me if I don’t believe it’s going to last.  So when people get annoyed with me when I talk about my wedding plans, or when they tell me they don’t even want to be involved in the planning, it makes me..well, sad.  I don’t talk about all the plans I’m making so I can brag about the fact that I’m getting married or boast about whatever creative decorations I plan on using.  I talk about all the plans I’m making because these plans are the beginning of a lifetime with my best friend.  Since I believe marriage is a forever thing, then all of these plans mean more than a wedding day to me.  The wedding day is just the beginning, isn’t it?  I mean, we make all of these plans because of the marriage that is about to be woven together, not because we just decided we wanted to have a party in a white dress (at least I hope…).

I guess what I’m trying to say is, to those of you who have felt discouraged during your engagement when you feel like it’s hard to share the excitement with others, don’t worry.   It’s not about that.  Think about when you were little, and you dreamed about your wedding day.  Well, it’s finally your turn to be a bride, regardless of how excited people are for that.  It’s your turn to marry the man you’ve been waiting for.  So tell him that.  This wedding is about being with him after all, isn’t it?  He’s the one you should share the excitement with the most, out of everybody else.

Bridal Blogger – The First Meltdown – Tuesday Feature

We totally giggled reading this, and even Todd (my hockey loving, football playing partner) thought that this was funny, but also scary. Really!? IT COSTS THAT MUCH FOR LINENS!? I have never heard of that in my LIFE! Anyways, I will let you read all about it…

Wow.  What a week it’s been.  I officially had my first taste of bridal stress, complete with a minor panic attack, a very crazy emotional roller coaster, and quite a bit of exhaustion.  The cause of my woes?  Tablecloths.

Yea, I know.  Pathetic.

A few days ago, I realized I hadn’t checked “find linen rentals” off my to-do list, so my mom and I took a trip down town to this fun little rental place to check out pricing on tablecloths.

We should have known it was going to be a bad day when we walked up to the building and couldn’t even find the front door for a good five minutes. (This was probably our fault.)  When we finally found the door and got over our embarrassment at the amount of time we wasted, we walked inside to find a totally non-inviting warehouse full of tables and chairs and a couple old guys standing around.  Was this the right place?  According to one of the old men, yes, yes it was, and if you just follow the colorful footprints on the floor you’ll find yourself at the wedding rentals.  So on we went, one pink, blue, green, red, yellow step at a time.

We went in through the office door and stepped into a completely different scene.  Gone were the cold cement floors and stacks of storage.  This room was a wonderland of colors and linens and decorated tables.  Inspiration hit me at a hundred miles an hour (or kilometers if you’re Canadian, I guess!) and I was ready to choose my very own tablecloths.  A very sweet woman came in and asked if she could help.  Of course she could! I needed to see everything.

We chatted about the basics for a bit; where would my wedding be located, how many guests, what are my colors and all that fun stuff.  Then we got into the conversation of tablecloths and whether or not I had anything in mind.  So I told her about my vision.  Rustic elegance, I said.  I want simple, beautiful elegance.  Something unique, not overdone.  I want to look back at my wedding 50 years from now and think “my goodness, wasn’t that lovely?” instead of wincing at my choice of decorations.  So please, give me neutrals because neutrals will last forever.
She smiled at my choice.
Gray and ivory.

Off she went to another room to gather a few crisp, freshly pressed gray and ivory tablecloths to place on a “dress-up” table.  She laid out my colors and I immediately knew I had made the right choice.  This was it.  These were the exact tablecloths that would be at my wedding.  *Sigh.* If only life were really that sweet and easy.

After I felt my heart connect with these precious tablecloths, we went over to her desk to start figuring out the numbers.  The excitement was building up.  Oh, how much we were about to save by renting instead of buying!

Two-hundred and sixty-eight guests?  Let’s see, that’s somewhere around 25 tables, give or take a few.  So your total for all the tablecloths, plus the charcoal gray runners, will be . . .

Here it was.  The beautiful number that would make my little frugal heart leap for joy!

About $992.96

……

What.

Lady, you are one fantastic joker.  I mean, truly, it really sounded like you just told me it will cost me almost one thousand dollars for my tablecloths.

Oh.  You’re serious?  Right.

On she went, telling me about all the services they could offer, something about delivering or options to pick up.  I really have no idea what she told me after that number, because I was having a mini heart attack.  All I did was smile and nod like “oh, totally! I spend $1,000 every single day! This is absolutely in my budget!”  

 

 

..Not.

One quick glance at my mom told me she was thinking the exact same thing.  Fortunately the plastered-on smiles we were both reppin’ didn’t seem to phase the sweet sales lady.  We took her business card, thanked her over and over, let her know we’d keep in touch, and out we walked, leaving those fake smiles on until we were far, far away from hearing distance.

Needless to say, the rest of my day was spent online, looking for discount linens and recyle-wedding tablecloths.  Cheap.  I am a DIY budget bride; I refuse to spend $1000 on anything. (Except the photographer, my single exception.)  I spent half the day in one wreck of an emotional state.  Tablecloth worries turned into bridesmaid dress worries turned into ‘did I pick the right wedding dress’ worries turned into my wedding is falling apart.

But alas, super-mom came in and saved the day.  Let me just say, my mother is brilliant.   She can take anything, and I mean anything, that’s falling apart and put it back together  even better than it was in the first place.  (She probably learned this skill from dealing with her daughter’s unreasonable emotions for 21 years…)  My super-mom found tablecloths for my wedding.  The very same colors, and basically the same materials, for just $300.  And we’re buying them, which means we can re-sell them someday and make some of the money back.  Like I said, she’s brilliant.

So even though my first experience of bridal trauma was, well, traumatic, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  I’m sure all of you brides have had your fair share of this:

The bright side?  I will never have to experience tablecloth debt, thank you very much.

Blogging Brides – “So many DIYs to do, so little time!” – Tuesday Feature

We love how Emily is so honest about her wedding plans. There is no fear of the unexpected, and a true passion for DIY! (Those flowers!!! :-O)  Take a look at how Emily is coming along with all the plans for her wedding!

(we also blogged yesterday a sneak peek for a real wedding: Derek and Kristie! Check it out: https://ainsleysaffairs.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/sneak-peek-derek-kristie-vainio-thanksgiving-2013/)

 

Here we are at my second week of Bridal Blogging, and I am as busy as I could be! To those of you planning a wedding: have you hit that moment where you realize how much work is left to be done in just a small amount of time?  Well, today marks exactly 5 months until my Big Day, and I’m already starting to feel that anxiousness about all the plans I have left.  There’s nothing more disappointing than marking one thing off your checklist only to realize it doesn’t seem like it really made that much of a difference in the first place. I marked off two major plans this week—making bouquets and registering for gifts—and still feel like I’m behind.  In reality, I’m really not behind, and getting these things done really did help cut down my to-do list.  And, as a bonus, both projects were an (almost) absolute blast!

I went to a hobby store at the beginning of the week because they were having a 50% off sale on their flowers.  Okay, let’s be real, I’m buying fake flowers for my wedding because 1.) silk flowers are just SO much cheaper and 2.) I really don’t care to have my reception smell like a garden.  So if you aren’t super picky about flowers and you want to save money, go silk, especially if you want to keep your bouquet as a keepsake!  Anyway, I bought seven bouquets-worth of flowers for $100 (which is equal to $ 97.4540 Canadian dollars, you know, just in case you were curious.) plus a little extra for decorative ribbon, then went on my way back home to start my little project.

Yea, the word “little” probably isn’t completely accurate.  I will never, ever underestimate the strength of a florist.  Seriously people, I had to use heavy duty garden scissors to cut the stems on these babies.  By the time I’d finished half of the bouquets, my hands were bruising from the amount of pressure it took to chop the thick wires inside those fake stem nightmares.  It was some serious work compared to spray painting vases or putting together a save the date.  But they turned out so lovely, with ivory hydrangeas and mums, and a few splashes of coral in the bridesmaids bouquets.  (I guess you’d like to know, the colors of my wedding are light coral, charcoal gray, and ivory!) I am completely satisfied, and aside from the bruising it was rewarding to know that I created them all by myself!

My next adventure was Registry Day.  The day where Matt and I got to scan a bunch of stuff for other people to buy for us.  You best believe we scanned everything our little hearts desired, from kitchen supplies, to home decorations, to movies and board games.  I have to say, I was proud of him; he was more frugal with the scanner than I was, and kept me from scanning things we probably wouldn’t ever use. (Although I did sneak away once to scan this adorable rolling kitchen shelf.  He said I won’t need it.  I agree to disagree.)   We proceeded to spend five hours walking around our two favorite stores, and by the time we finished we were about ready to collapse right there in the parking lot.  A word of advice about registering?  Wear tennis shoes, or at least something with support.  Otherwise your foot muscles will burn for the next 24 hours.  True story.

It was just so much fun for us to do this together, though.  We turned Registry Day into one long, creative date, instead of making it a duty or a hassle.  We ate breakfast together at Panera Bagel, sipped coffee, and relaxed until we felt prepared for the crazy day.  We laughed about the ridiculous amount of junk we could register for, like foot massagers, donut hole makers, and toilet doilies (like who really needs that stuff?).  I won’t say we didn’t have a few mini-arguments.  You probably will too; not everyone thinks the same way about what items should be on their registry list.  For example, camouflage hunting boots should not be on the registry.  My fiance believes otherwise.   But when it came to the big decisions, it was more exciting than anything else to think that we were getting a glimpse of the things we might own together as a newlywed couple.

When we finally finished registering, we settled in at our favorite book store and talked about how excited we are to spend our lives together.  I know it sounds mushy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.  As long and stressful as some of this planning can be, I always remember that it’s really not about what flowers I choose or what gifts we’ll receive; it’s about being with my best friend for the rest of my life.

Definitely worth the bruised hands and sore feet, I’d say.

Blogging Bride Tuesdays! – Introducing Emily Shawgo of Fort Wayne, Indiana!

Here in Vancouver, B.C., it is soooo exciting for us to be including someone like Emily and her fiancé Matt in our blog! Coming to us all the way from Fort Wayne, Indiana is so incredibly cool for us, because we get to see and read all the things that make Fort Wayne wonderful for weddings, in contrast to B.C. (We think B.C. is gorgeous, but you should google Fort Wayne: It is SO ADORABLE. gushing!!!! – bugging Todd to go on VayCay to Indiana ASAP ahahaha!) So, without further ado, here is Emily:

Wedding dress, flowers, caterer, reception hall . . . how on earth does anyone choose anything for their wedding with so many things to cover?  Seriously, overwhelming is an understatement when planning a wedding.  I’m sure every bride understands exactly what I’m talking about.

Hi! I’m Emily, and I’m getting married in five..(ahh! five??) months.

My super amazing, irresistibly handsome fiance, Matthew (no sarcasm here, I truly think these things about him and I’m not afraid to brag), and I got engaged back in April during our final semester of college and we’ve been in a frenzy of wedding plans ever since.  Being the extreme planner that I am, I literally had my bridesmaids, churches, colors, theme, photographer, caterer, honeymoon, AND wedding dress picked out within one month of the engagement.  About 90% of everyone that I knew told me I was going too fast and planning too much; that I needed to slow down because I “still had so much time until the wedding.”  Six months later, I still disagree with them.

To all you brides, soon-to-be brides, hope-to-be-soon-to-be-brides out there, I have one thing to tell you.  One thing that I hope you get from my Bridal Tuesday posts, if you don’t get anything else at all.  And that thing is: there is no such thing as planning your wedding too fast.

If I hadn’t started planning as soon as I did, I guarantee that right now, I’d be even more of a mess than I already am trying to plan the most important day of my life.

There is, however, such a thing as planning your wedding too slow.  Obviously.  So I’d like to share some of my experiences with you, maybe to inspire you or give you some input, or even just to encourage you to keep going, because as tired as all the wedding planning will make you, it will be worth it.  I mean, c’mon, all this planning will end in a celebration and union with (hopefully) your favorite person on earth!

So, what crazy, fun, romantic, horrific wedding plans have I experienced thus far?  Well, it feels like just about everything, but I hear it’s just the beginning.  Actually, to be honest, things have gone a lot more smoothly than I thought possible.  Before I had even met Matt, I found the most lovely church to get married in while working with my parents three summers ago.  They own a cleaning business, and I needed money, so I went along with them to clean a few buildings; one of those buildings being St. John’s Lutheran Church.

It’s exactly what I imagined for my wedding.  Stained glass windows, a ‘middle’ aisle, and even a bell that rings every time someone gets married.  How much sweeter could it get?  So, as I cleaned the church every week, I would imagine it was my very own wedding day.  I would walk down the aisle with my feather duster in hand, hum a pretty tune and imagine my future husband standing before me.  Then my parents would walk in and laugh, (as they should have, I mean when I think about it, this is seriously embarrassing.) and tell me my day would come soon enough.  They were right.

After Matt and I got engaged (which, by the way, he did an incredible job of making it the most beautiful proposal. Maybe if you’re lucky I’ll tell the story sometime.) we scheduled the church and made it our first official wedding plan.  Everything just about fell into place after that.  Thank goodness for Pinterest, or I would have had so much trouble organizing and planning my ideas.

One of the main reasons I am so thankful we planned so much ahead of time is the fact that Matt and I have spent a majority of our engagement long distance.  Okay, more like semi-long distance.  I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana and Matt’s from Indianapolis, so we’re about two hours apart.  It’s really not that bad of a drive, and we see each other almost every weekend, but when it comes to wedding planning it can get a little difficult to keep him involved in everything.  So we spent every moment we could during our last semester in school planning everything that needed to be done together.  I have to say, I’m truly blessed to have a guy that really doesn’t mind being part of the wedding plans.  Sometimes a bride just needs help and support from her fiance and many, if not most, guys cringe at the thought of picking out a theme or outfits for the wedding party.  Matt was even more eager than I was to plan what his guys would be wearing.  Although, this might be because he’s even more of an extreme planner than I am, and that’s saying something.  I’m thankful all the same.  He really is the most incredible guy.  (No offense.  I’m sure all your fiance’s are incredible, too.)

Okay, so if I’ve planned just about everything, what else could I possibly need to do over the next five months?  You all know exactly what else I could possibly do:  everything else!  And that’s where the rest of this Bridal Tuesday blog will come in.  Every Tuesday until the day of my wedding, I will be filling you in on everything else.  The emotional roller coasters, the upcoming bridezilla moments (cause I’ve never had one of those before..ahem…) the excitement about my future marriage, and the intricate details about invitations, table decorations, registering for gifts (CAN’T WAIT.) and the fact that I’ll be putting a dusting feather in my wedding bouquet to remind me of all those cleaning days I spent dreaming about my Big Day.

Welcome to my wedding planning world. 🙂

Emily