Back to Basics from a Once-Upon-A-Time Runner

It happens to many runners: you start running, you push your body faster, you go farther, you dream about PRs and distance goals, you watch your intake meticulously, and suddenly you see possibilities you never had the courage to dream before. Then BOOM! Something stops you in your tracks. Perhaps you get hurt. Or you get busy. Or you burn out. And as quickly as you gained mileage, fitness, and confidence, it all disappears.

This was the case for me two years ago. In Spring of 2013 I began running. I was at the heaviest weight I’d ever been and knew I needed to do something to fight the Freshmen Twenty (plus an additional two years of college eating). I had never run prior and knew nothing of the sport, but I jumped head-first anyways. Joining a local running group, I trained for my first 5k. Following an extremely successful first race, I moved forward and trained for my first half marathon and completed this race only five months after I began pounding the ground in my running shoes. Not only did I lose more than fifty pounds during my first year in the sport, but I also gained a confidence I’d never felt and milestones I never believed I could achieve. When asked my hobbies, running was always my first response and I identified myself as a runner first and foremost.

Two years ago I completed the RunDisney Glass Slipper Challenge — a 10k and half marathon back-to-back in Orlando. However, upon my return home I hung up my shiny new medals along with my running shoes. It is about time for me to wipe the dust from the shoes though and hit restart on my running regimen.

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Knowing Where To Draw the Line on Your Wedding Budget

Okay, time for some tough love. My average wedding while I was a wedding coordinator was $17,000, and I simply received that amount for the venue, tables and chairs, linens, the dinner catering, and the bar tab. For those couples who wished to add music, photography, desserts, decorations, and any other basic wedding niceties, you could be looking at a minimum of another $10,000 added to your budget. The Knot actually stated that the typical modern wedding averages $35,000. My jaw dropped reading that article, actually. For G and I, this *clap* was *clap* not *clap* an *clap* option.

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Vendor News: Videography Decided

We have been going back and forth on the topic of videography since we solidified our budget five months ago, and some great questions are been risen: should we hire someone, should we buy a video camera, who would we have film everything, would a cellphone work just as well, won’t photographs be just as good, where could we place a camera rather than have someone hold one, who do we know that can edit, what fits our budget, where could we elope, etc. And we have finally decided on an answer! (Plus we’re proud to say discussion on elopement has dropped from 10 times daily to nearly three…)

We are going with the online videography option called WedIt. With WedIt, we will have five iPod Touches delivered to us the week of our wedding in which we can disperse among our guests, set up in special locations, or pretty much do what we would like with them in order to film/snapshot the important parts of our ceremony and reception. Then, once the wedding is over, we can either download all the pieces on our own in order to edit them or send them back to the company and have a edited video made for us. Though we aren’t sure exactly how we will edit the camera footage, we do feel this is a great option for us while trying to safe-keep memories without spending an arm and a leg on a professional videographer.

Thinking ahead, I plan to have two of the cameras stationed on tripods to capture the ceremony and one camera at the reception’s photo booth in order to capture all that fun. The other two I am going to ask a few artsy friends to safeguard and capture some important moments throughout the night. All in all, we are excited for this Pinterest find and for another budget-beater!

#Inspiration: Rustic Cake Toppers

Our days are quickly passing and the final orders are being made to make sure we have everything we need for the Big Day. Which means another #Inspiration board post is due! Since my last one on bouquets and boutonnieres, we are happy to say that our flower order did arrive. Though the shipment came about four weeks after the date stated (I was sweating, friends), all the silk flowers did arrive and they were perfect! I could not be happier with the stems purchased from LightInTheBox.com, and even happier with the price point being a third of the costs I would have spent at Michael’s or another craft store.

Those flowers are currently at a friend’s house being arranged into some beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and a cake topper. However, I am not 100% sure I only want the floral on our cake or if I should also add a rustic-themed embellishment above the petals. Hmm.

Well, while I continue to sway back and forth in my consideration, take a gander on some rustic cake toppers I’ve discovered on Pinterest and Etsy which might just take the cake… (See what I did there?)

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I Bought My Dress Online & I Adore It

Traditionally, wedding dress shopping is done in a wedding dress boutique. The bride-to-be, her mother, and perhaps even a few bridesmaids join in for a day out on the town scouring shoppes for the perfect dress. Even before they’re engaged, most brides have their ideal gowns chosen and are on the hunt for either that exact designer dress or something very similar.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), I am not traditional in this sense. I never wanted to go to David’s Bridal or a local boutique to shop for my dream dress. Instead, I took to the World Wide Web and found exactly what I was seeking, and for a fraction of the price.

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How We Saved Costs on Invitations & RSVPs

As I finish off my last bottle of Syrah and wait for G to finish leading his youth group, I am in a slightly better mood than when I arrived home this afternoon. I came home after a typical work day to find a sweet little gift on my front step. The gift, lovingly given by Mr. Postman, was a carton full of G’s and my wedding invitations — the invitations we had hand-crafted and dropped into the mail only two days prior. To accentuate the package, a handwritten sign was taped to the carton as well which read, “$0.21 needed on each due to enclosure.” It made me grimace…

And face-palm myself.

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A Mixed Tape on Ceremony Music

G and I are attempting to narrow down our list of song options for the ceremony. (I think this has been his favorite part of planning to date.) We need around 13 songs for the entire church event and it seems almost impossible to minimize the list to only a dozen or so titles. We are considering mostly modern instrumental music, though there are a few traditional pieces we’ve decide upon for the rentals and other matured guests.

I’ll be sharing our little finds throughout the next few months on the growing list below, but please feel free to give some advice and/or suggestions for other songs we should use.

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Women’s Day Retreat of IF:Gathering

It has been almost two months since I left the event industry and began a new career. And I have to say, I’m quite in love with my new arrangement. Not only have I found necessary time for myself and my loved ones, but I have found abundant free time for writing, reading, and experiencing life which means many scheduled posts in the upcoming months. God is good!

When I still have those urges for event planning, though, I am also in very good hands. On March 3rd I was lucky enough to assist in orchestrating an amazing women’s retreat called If:Gathering at my church for 300 ladies passionate for God, strengthening their faith, and performing discipleship. IF’s mission is to equip women with gospel-centered resources, events, and community so they may learn more about who God is and disciple other women. (You can find out more about the organization here.) Talk about an amazingly inspirational day, and some seriously deep thoughts coming from asking “What IF…”

IF began with a heavy discussion on the darkness of Life: doubt. (Literally this was the topic covered minutes into the first speaker’s speech, guys, so talk about a solid foundation for the day’s agenda.) Questions such as “How would you describe the season you’re living?” and “What makes you weak?” were asked. Imagery of sparking fires within ourselves to grow and flourish were mentioned. Each woman’s purpose in Life was explored. And a stirring occurred within me which made me reevaluate a few of the only negative things still hanging around in my life. It was quite the day, friends!

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Special Event Insurance: Yay or Nay?

With only three months to go until the Big Day, I am frequently checking, double-checking, reassessing, and evaluating our wedding check-list. Today’s topic is one that G and I initially considered when deciding on a venue, and are circling back to now that time has ripened: special event insurance.

Now special event insurance was a relatively unknown subject for the two of us. In my winery experience, I simply submitted a request to TTB for the date of my special event and our licensing took care of the rest. Outside in my own private event, though, things don’t seem to be so simple. We weren’t sure what kind of event insurance was needed, what was covered, how to get it, and if we truly needed it. So G took to the phone and I took to Google to clarify. For any other couple out there planning their own wedding, here is what we found:
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