4.24.2016

Our First Look!

It has been awhile (like, almost a year 'awhile'), but moving away from home means having no internet... until recently! So, I am back to finish up our wedding blogs. In no particular order. Just as I feel led to. 

And I feel led to share our "first look" today.

I went back & forth with this idea. I wanted to do a first look because I thought it would calm our nerves before the ceremony, and I knew it would save time in the long run as far as pictures and the reception were concerned. On the other hand, I wasn't so sure about it because I wanted our very first look to be authentic and genuine as I walked down the aisle with my Daddy. 
However, the pro's outweighed the con's when it came to the first look, and despite what everyone says about it - it is worth it! 
For us, it was just as special as it would have been during the ceremony, minus all of the people and the music.


My dressed had been fluffed. 
My hair had been fixed.
My veil had been put on. 
My perfume had been misted. 
My hands were shaking. 
My feet were bare. 
But my {almost} husband was waiting for me -
no time to spare.


In some ways, it seemed like the longest walk of my life, 
but it was gone in a flash.



It was the last time that David would have to wonder what I would look like in my wedding dress. The last time he had to keep an old image of me in his mind until he saw me in person again. It was the first time he would open his eyes and vision his wife there - instead of his girlfriend or his fiancé. It was the first time for me to really have a second to think, "This is happening. I am almost his. Forever." 
The next time we would walk down this sidewalk, it would be side by side - neither of our backs to each other. Hand in hand, not one falling beside us. It would be as one - unified - forever, no longer separated because God joined us together. 




.."It's always been a mystery to me, how two hearts can come 
together and love can last forever..


..but now that I have found you I believe that a miracle 
has come when God sends His perfect one..


..now, gone are all my questions about why, and I've never
been more sure of anything in my life..


..He must have heard every prayer I've been praying..


..because He made all my dreams come true..


..when God made you, oh I thank God He made you; when God made you,
He must have been thinking about me."


Our first look was one of complete amazement to me. I can remember looking at David through blurry eyes as I fought back tears. Those tears came from the joy that I felt in knowing that He was (is) mine. 
He will always be my first look. 
On June 27, 2015, every morning when I wake up, and every day after work. 
And my last look as I fall asleep each night and leave for work in the mornings. 


It's kind of nice looking through these almost a year later because I am able to say that He still greets me with that look on his face every single time that he sees me. 
He makes me feel desired, loved, and cherished. 


This first look was the beginning of a new look on our lives together as a married couple. We have faced many firsts since that first look, and it has been a great adventure - as long as we can face the firsts together, the ride will be well worth it for me. 


*all photo credit to: twice the focus


10.07.2015

Flowers


So the time came to start picking out flowers for the wedding, and all I knew about mine was: succulents and dusty miller. The rest of the flowers (bouts, bouquets, family flowers, and sitting arrangements) were just not coming to me as clearly as I expected. So, we just ordered a ton, and I put my florist in charge of what to do. It worked out great, I think, because I tried to be flexible in the design department of that.


You'll later see the full sanctuary set up, bug basically we had all different types of lanterns filled with moss and candles, and then there was filler leaves places all around them. Some of the lanterns sat on slices of wood and stumps that we cut from our family land in shuqualak. (And some of the stumps were from someone's yard who lives on Main Street, ha!) We used eucalyptus here, too. Using the fresh cuts provided a "softer" look than just having the stumps there with nothing around it, so I loved how this turned out! 


We did have one delimma. When the flowers arrived, and we had gotten all of them out with their ends snipped and placed in fresh water, I noticed that we didn't have much color. Now, granted, I didn't want too much color, but there was none aside from the greens we had from filler. And white. (Annnnd from the pink garden roses) So, one of our faithful helpers Mrs. Jolynn and her daughter (our now close neighbor) went and got what they could find at Kroger. Thankfully, they had some pink peonies. 


Once we added that color, I really did let the florist and everyone who helped him take over creative control, and if you came to this blog to read my advice, here it is: DO THAT! 
If you've ordered flowers that you love, chances are you're going to love them any way that they're arranged. Now, let me be clear, you have to have a florist who you trust, and who you've met with and feel like they understand your vision. 
And I did! Thankfully! 


My bouquet was full of white hydrangeas, baby green hydrangeas, white ranunculus, pink garden roses, dusty miller, and filler. It was tied together by a hankerchief that my late grandmother received from her pen-pal overseas. A long time ago! And it was all pinned together with a broach of my late great-grandmothers who would have certainly been tickled to know that a piece of her walked down the aisle with me - and yes, it seems a tad gaudy and bulky, but the jewelry she wore always was like that - in true MeMaw fashion. 

Beside the arrangement is a bottle of perfume that I bought specifically for our wedding day. I read somewhere a long time ago that it's a neat idea to buy a fragrance that your fiancé has never smelled before, and use it on your wedding day as well as special days moving forward. Date nights, anniversaries, etc. So I've tried to do that! I wore it the entire time we were on our honeymoon & have used it for dates we have had since. 


I originally wanted a ton of succulents in my bouquet but we quickly realized that to remain simple and keep from having a huge arrangement that weighed 50 pounds, I would need to just have one, and it was sort of the subtle "pop" that it needed. I loved it. 


These. 

Now these were probably my favorite of all! I cannot get over them! On Thursday (yes, 2 days before the wedding) I saw an Instagram post from a girl, and she just said wouldn't it be cool to do something like this. So, my sweet daddy who has literally MADE THINGS COME TO LIFE for us, got out in our sheds and cut a ton for me to choose from and we spray painted them. These were perfect, and they provided that pop of gold that the wedding party needed. They were also unique - something I hadn't seen before, so I loved that, too. 


These are a few snaps from the shelves that my bridesmaids decorated in the reception hallway. I gave them creative control over it, and it ended up being one of my favorite little places of wedding decorations. 




The food table was always a clear picture for me. I didn't want any huge arrangement. I am different in that I had rather it be about the "little details" instead of the big "wow factor". So, I collaborated two ideas that I had seen on Pinterest and added large sea glass vases to line the table & filled them with simple single stems of different flowers. I will always remember that these cases were the first decor we bought for the wedding (and maybe we bought a couple before we ever got engaged!) 


And I can't ignore the succulents. These babies were in every nook and cranny that was there. Succulents and I are a funny story, to me anyway. David's grandmother was showing me the flowers in her garden one day, and I saw some of her succulents. I had never seen any before, and apparently I talked about loving them so much that the next time we went to see her, she had planted me two planters (read: one "planter" was an old aluminum tea kettle) full of baby succulents and they have grown. And grown. And grown!! And I tribute my love for the entire succulent family to her because she introduced me to them, so that was one way that we were able to incorporate her into our special day. 


David's bout was (pretty fragile, come to find out) a single ranunculus with filler leaves at the top. I loved the simplicity of it. The ranunculus has so many layers but remains so small and delicate, and I think that's what I love about them. 

Ps -- they dry beautifully! 


More foyer flowers. The "twigs" at the top are a willow, and we also used eucalyptus in these arrangements as well. 




The flowers were already planted in these cement planters, but they went right along with everything else. 


Mom spent a LONG TIME on these beautiful succulent wreaths. They are artificial, and they are HEAVY. Thankfully we were able to wire them, but I am so glad that she stuck through the hot glue gun burns that she sustained while making these. They are a treasure! 



The sanctuary was a simple thing that I visioned (I think it was only simple for me - not anyone else, but they'll never tell me.) I wanted an arbor. I wanted earthy tones. I wanted trees. I basically wanted to bring the outside in. I wanted to get married outside, but it was JUNE. I didn't wanna be a sweaty bride. So, we cut these trees from our back yard, cemented them into some galvanized tubs, and dad cut the baby pines from our land in shuqualak to make the arbor. He assembled the arbor on sight at the church! The swag was made of live mixed greens, and it was beautiful in person. The flowers were mostly attitudinal because I didn't want to worry about them browning overnight. 


For the pew markets, we went with a eucalyptus green and a single hydrangea, and I love the look it created. Simple & effortless. 








So that basically sums up the wedding flowers! I could not have done it without Greg, Mrs. Linda, Leah, Mrs. Jolynn, Kaitlin, Mrs. Kay, and my mom. They took care of everything and made sure I was taken care of too. They went above and beyond, and they really colored our day beautifully with the flower arrangements that they made. 
Thank ya'll so much! 

10.02.2015

Wedding Party Attire






The bridesmaid's dress color is something that I couldn't quite nail into stone. I wanted something soft, summery, flow-y, and comfortable for them. My vision has always been one shouldered, but the color I was unsure of until I saw it at the store. Neutral was always the vision, but this color ended up being a dream.

I thought the color and style really complimented the girls well, and they all seemed to really like it! I've been a bridesmaid before, so I knew I wanted them to have something that was comfortable since they would be wearing it for a good while, and I knew that I wanted them to FEEL good in it. The color was complimentary of each of their skin tones as well. 

For the guys, I really had David in mind. I wanted him to be comfortable, to feel like himself, and to be polished yet relaxed. I feel like we really achieved that with the blue jean & blazer look. So many people would ask, "wait, blue jeans?" but I think it worked! David was comfortable, and all of the guys looked really nice. 

I wanted David to stand out a little, beyond having a different tie, so he wore a vest under his jacket. The ties were a PERFECT match to the dresses, and their bouts were simple. David's held a ranunculus (aka - my favorite flower), and the boys just held a coffee bean stem and filler. 

All together, the wedding party looked exactly how I imagined it. It was simple, soft, and different. It was easy, elegant, and true to the season.

Wyatt, our sweet little ring bearer, wore jeans, a white button up, a bow tie, and suspenders. He also wore his boots! He looked so grown, and he ACTED so grown! I am so proud of him, but he could've acted crazy and still been the cutest kid in the church. I'm so glad that Jacky and Ryan allowed him to be a part of our day. It was so neat to have him there with us. The guys made him feel like he was grown, too, from what I understand :) He's gonna make someone a fine fella one day.


For my dress, I chose a cap-sleeve ball gown style dress with an illusion boatneck. The bodice of the dress was adorned with beaded lace appliqués and we added a beaded sash with it as well. Instead of letting the sash be tied in the back (I didn't want it to interfere with the veil), I had it altered into the dress. I felt like a princess. I owe most of that to Autumn doing my hair and makeup, but the dress itself was comfortable, and that was a big factor for me, too. There will be more photos of the details of the dress in the "getting ready" post, but I didn't want to flood this post with photos of myself.


Doesn't David look comfortable? This was taken as they were doing some portraits of me, but this truly reflects the way that I see David dressed up. I've never seen him in a tux, and I couldn't imagine our wedding day depicting people we really aren't. I loved my dress, and I wanted him to love his look for the day. He could really go from wedding to riding a tractor in about three seconds flat with this look, don't you think? I think he, along with the rest of his buds, looked "sharp".
sidenote...
I have the most handsome husband in the world. 


Still trying to make myself believe that this is real life. 
my life. 
blessed is an understatement. 


ps -  TK wore a bowtie! That's all he needed to look like "The Best Dog".



photo credit: twice the focus 





9.08.2015

Meet My Bridesmaids!




I thought it would be fun to post a little about the people who were involved in our bridal party, so I will start the wedding posts off with meeting my bridesmaids! I knew that i wanted to ask them in a special way, so I tried to personalize each to fit what they mean to me (I also got a brilliant idea from Lauren when she asked me to be her bridesmaid, so shout out to her for being my brain half of the time!)   



So, I created these small boxes with a few little things in them, and I tried to incorporate colors that we would use at the wedding: a sage green, gold, and neutrals. I added a little note in each one to them personally, and I also added a typed note with each of their names and a paragraphy about why I chose them to stand beside me in just a few short months. So, to introduce them, I will add the paragraph, followed by a little more... 
 

Lauren {matron of honor} 

I am so grateful that The Lord crossed our paths years ago at Ole Miss. From walking (what felt like) sixteen miles around  campus there to walking all over MUW ‘s campus and enduring  the most stressful two years of our lives together, you have  become one of my closest friends. You have helped me through some of the greatest “grown up” dilemma’s I’ve been  through thus far, and you always know exactly what to say. You’ve made me feel like part of your family, and even though it’s only been a few years, I feel like we have been friends forever.


Lauren and I met years ago at a retreat for our junior colleges, and to say "The Lord knew what He was doing" would be a major understatement. Almost two years passed, and we met again at MUW for SLP school together. God really knew what I needed, and Lauren is defintely one of the main reasons that I finished the program - she always pushed me to do well, and she was a wonderful study buddy, but leaving academics behind, Lauren and I became kindred spirits, or maybe we always were? She helped me through some tough times, and we bonded together on so many levels - from clothing styles to long distance relationships. I've always heard that you meet your lifelong friends in college, and I have to say that I can testify to that, for sure. 



Gabrielle

Where do I start? Let’s just say the first day I walked into David’s trailer at Livingston to meet you that I was a nervous wreck! It may sound crazy, but I just wanted things to go well. And here we are! We have had some crazy times together over the last two years, but you’ll never know how much I love our Saturday morning talks when you come lay across my bed, our photo shoot memories where YOU get to boss ME around with the camera, our spontaneous trips to town “just because we want to eat Mexico and get ice cream,” and fixing your hair and picking out outfits for all of your events! I can’t wait to say you’re my “sister in law”! Even though a lot of people already say it :)


Gabrielle and I, of course, didn't meet until David introduced us at his house in Livingston one Friday after we had driven over on our way to his mom's house for the weekend, and when I walked in and she stood there with jeans and her boots on, I figured that we would get along just fine. Gabe and I are alike in so many ways - we love to hunt, fish, and aggravate the mess out of our brothers (yes, she and Matt definitely fit the bill for siblings). But she is different than me in many ways, too. She has a confidence that I admire. She isn't the least bit shy, and she doesn't care (at all) what people think of her. Many people probably thought that she was in my wedding only because she is David's sister, but thats not it. I asked her to stand by my side because she's stood by it from the beginning. I was the first girl that David brought to meet his family, and she never turned away from me - none of his family did - and it wasn't long before we spent most of our weekends together, and most Saturday mornings consisted of her laying in the bed with me laughing and being crazy like we had been friends since we were able to talk. She stood beside me because she's treated me like I was her sister from day one, and I'm grateful that she finally is. 


Hollie 

Wow! When people say they’ve been through “thick and thin,” they don’t know a thing about us, do they? You have truly been my “from the womb to the tomb” girl! We have grown up together. We have spent many, many nights together that have shaped my life in such a positive way. Some of my favorite memories have been with you. No matter where life takes us, we always, always, always find our way back to each other. Thank you for sticking by my side. Thank you for riding to every single high school softball game with me and for spending every single Wednesday night of our last semester in college at my house! You’re my first best friend – my always best friend! God has blessed us by allowing our relationship to withstand  “rain or shine,” and I am so glad He has!


Well, Hollie has honestly been there through the BEST and WORST throughout my life. She has seen me in sickness, health, death, and triumph. We have graduated together three times (if you count kindergarten), and we both have been through what I believe would be the REAL test of time and friendship. We always say, "from womb to tomb" which is weird -- but it fits. She, aside from my blood relatives, was my first friend. We only knew each other for a long time. We began preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school together. She probably knows more about me than I know about myself. Together we have faced family, friends, school, and the world as we have known it together - and no amount of "season" in life has separated us - even when it's tried really, really hard to do so. 


Laura

My soul sister! My constant companion in Dirt Cheap, TJ Maxx, and by the pool. You understand me even when I don’t feel like I can be understood. Thank you for that! You and I share so much alikeness in style, beliefs, and the overall aspect of life. You have been a mentor to me – even if we are the same age! Thank YOU! I’m so glad that you decided to come to Central and grow up with the rest of us! Thank you for always believing my crazy ideas are good ones and for tagging along with me even when you’re skeptical! Cousins are the best friends, right?


Last, but certainly not least, is Laura. I remember when she started school at Central and I thought, "finally - all of my people in one place!" & high school wouldn't have been the same without her. Laura has an old soul like me, so we thrift, shop, bargain, and create together so well. She is a great listener, and she too has seen the best and worst of my cray-cray personality, but she has loved me the same. Not only has she been a true friend towards me, but she is also a member of my family. Laura is a quiet spirit with a heart who loves The Lord, and she has been such an influence on my life. She has guided me through tough situations with the purest heart, and everyone needs a friend like her. 


I think I had the most wonderful bunch that a girl could ask for. They have supported my every decison, and there was not a moment during our wedding day that I felt like someone was missing - and if any of these girls hadn't been there, I'm not so sure that I would be able to say that.