How We Met: Her Story

I first came across the name “G” in my email’s inbox. As contact person for our church’s 20-something’s Bible study group, House, G had requested information on learning more about the group. I sent my little happy blurb about our friends and where he could join us for Bible study, and wouldn’t you know the next week in walks this blue-eyed, Clark Kent look-alike.

Over the next few months there were countless studies, dinners, and gatherings that allowed for me to watch and listen to G and witness his character. It was obvious how strong and confident he is in his actions and the type of influence he has on those around him. He is the type of person who demands respect, yet has a kind and reserved spirit. He is a good man.

So, it was easy to fall for him.

But I wasn’t sure of his feelings for me. Was I just a good friend to venture to car shows with and laugh with at parties or was I a bit more? I decided to try my cards and find out.

G’s parents were out of town one weekend and I was lucky enough to be allowed my parents’ Corvette to drive for a friend’s wedding. Knowing how much G would coo over the car, I offered to pick him up and take him to church in style Sunday morning. We cruised around town, him going over all the mechanics of the car, until I dropped him back off at his house. Then, before he exited the Vette (and forgot his lunch leftovers in the passenger seat), he asked me if he could take me on a date “just one on one” sometime. I smiled and nodded. We didn’t define any actual day or time, but I did find out his feelings for me.

I zipped away laughing to myself.

And the funnier part? The date turned out to be that evening! Neither of us had plans and the weather was absolutely perfect, so we went for a hike at Grand Mere State Park. It was G’s idea; after witnessing months of me wearing professional clothes to our Bible studies and always seeming to be so put together, G wanted to be sure I wasn’t too “prissy” for his ol’ country boy ways and could handle getting sweaty in the great outdoors. He says it was a great surprise when I got out on the dunes, t-shirt and ponytail, and never complained about the heat or miles we hiked. We spent hours talking and laughing, and I fell even harder that evening.

And the rest is history…

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#Inspiration: Naked Cakes & Cupcake Staging

G’s aunt has graciously offered to bake our wedding cake and cupcake treats for the wedding so scratch finding a local bakery off the list! (Thankfully! I honestly was not looking forward to going around taste-testing numerous cakes or other treats with the holiday season coming up. Ohmigoodness…) And I have heard amazing things about Aunt P’s baking skills so I feel completely at ease knowing another item is off the to-do list.

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DIY: Bridesmaid Proposal Gifts

Popping the question to your bridal party can be a fun and sweet ordeal. Not only are you asking your best girlfriends to play a part in your Big Day, but you’re also requesting they take on responsibilities (emotional, physical, financial, etc.) which may not be the norm for their everyday lives. So why not ask them in a unique way that is exciting and cute to thank them for their friendship and upcoming awesomeness in bridesmaid duties?

When I considered how I wanted to ask my girls, I looked to my wedding theme: whimsical, rustic, and fun. Then I thought of some of the details of the wedding which I could emphasize with the girls’ proposal gift: floral, color, overall feel of the day. I wanted to bestow that G’s and my wedding would, first and foremost, be a laid back celebration of love. I did not want to overdo the gift by overspending or overindulging on elegance.

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Asking Our Bridal Party: Man of Honor

I am an only child. I think I’ve said that somewhere over the past three years on this blog, but I’ll refresh your memory. And though I absolutely loved growing up a sole child, sometimes I get a prick of pain in my heart when I see people around me with awesome sibling relationships.

I think this is one reason why I attempt to give my all to my friendships. For me, if I reach the point in a friendship where I view you as family, then that’s that — I will fight to the death for you. However, to have someone return that treatment is something completely different. To have someone who looks out for you, advises you, laughs with you, and protects you as if you’re part of their own clan… that’s when you consider that person a sibling as well.

And that is what my friend Josh is to me. He is my brother.

So when G and I became engaged, we decided to do something very nontraditional to honor this guy who has been my brother for over a decade — we asked him to be not only a groomsman in our wedding but also my Man of Honor.

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Choosing Your Maid of Honor

Choosing one friend above another is a difficult decision to make and bringing family and future family into the mix does not help matters. Add in the possibility that you’ve been a bridesmaid or maid of honor in one of your best friends’ weddings and the whole concept of choosing a maid of honor can be a stress-inducing mess!

I was fortunate enough to have alternative options when I came into wedding planning (I’ll explain in my next post), but some brides-to-be do not have such luxuries. So, as I’ve had this conversation with friends in the past, here is a bit of advice for when it comes time to decide on your maid of honor and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed:

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Repost: Here’s What My Parents 1974 Wedding Would Cost in 2017

With our list of all-things-wedding-related (vendors, rentals, objects, songs, guests, etc.) ever increasing, I just had to share this blog post with you as it hits STRAIGHT. ON. THE. HEART. of what I have been saying lately: weddings are ridiculously expensive! And it is simply due to the word “wedding” that vendors and other event-aimed businesses are able to increase prices. Ugh! DOUBLE UGH!! Now, with this handy little monster of a post at my disposal, whenever someone feels the need to say, “We didn’t pay that when we got married!” I’ll be able to cheerfully hand this wonderful explanation as to why the world hates on true love and makes the wedding planning situation so much more difficult than necessary. (Please excuse the language.)


Reposted from Buzzfeed, originally posted on October 22, 2017 and written by Meg Keene.

I got engaged in San Francisco, exactly 35 years after my parents’ 1974 wedding. Their San Francisco wedding cost about $2,000, which in today’s money is roughly $10K. So naturally, when we started planning, my mom thought that if I made the same good practical, frugal choices that she and my father had made, I should be able to pull off something similar for $10K. I just needed to be smart about it.

In fact, when most people get engaged, I think we generally assume it should be possible to get married for $10k BECAUSE THAT IS A FUCK TON OF MONEY. And yeah, if you cut some corners, in many parts of the country you actually can pull off a pretty nice wedding for $10K. (Hell, I’ve built a whole business around helping people do just that.)

But by today’s standards, my parents’ wedding was BEYOND. They got married in San Francisco’s reigning massive church, Grace Cathedral, three days after Christmas. They had a whopping 300 people in attendance, and a cocktail reception at the swanky Marine’s Memorial Club. Their cake alone was so big that when we tried to re-create their wedding, we couldn’t even find a baker that still made cakes that large.

And yet their budget was only $10,000 in 2017 dollars.

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Asking Our Bridal Party: The Bridesmaids

Today marks the official last day of rounding up my best girls and asking them to be my bridesmaids. (This may have been the most difficult part of wedding planning to date, folks! Adult life is BUSY!) However, though I knew who I wanted to be my bridesmaids and had a general idea of how I wished they would appear on the Big Day, I really didn’t know too much in terms of what is required of a bridesmaid. And to be the best bride-to-be and friend for my girls, I felt it was my responsibility to do a little bit of research prior to popping my own proposal their way…

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Vendor News: Reception is Booked!

Exciting update for #SlackTieEvent — our reception venue is officially “booked”! For any bride-to-be in the midst of wedding planning, you know what a stress finding the venue can be. However, G and I truly lucked out.

We had had our hearts set on property owned by my parents’ neighbors. We have been to the property — 40 absolutely beautiful acres of woods, creeks, and pastures — to ride ATVs and chill at bonfires in the past and fell in love with the area. However, after talking with the neighbors, we decided against the property for a number of very reasonable reasons: no electricity, no running water, need for event liability insurance due to having alcohol, and limited parking. For a wedding of over 200 guests, all of these were things we had considered, but once walking the property with the intention of scouting possible reception locations these issues truly became visible.

Thus we were on the hunt again. We knew we wanted something in the outdoors for a rustic feel. Knowing the wedding industry in our area, I already had an idea of the cost of barn venues around us; they started at $4800 simply for the venue. This was not an option to us due to our budget. So we started thinking…

… and it didn’t take long to think of my godparents and their beautiful farm. Located off a small country road, this farm sports a large red barn with electric, a field for parking, and plenty of space for a tent to be set. We also spoke to our insurance agent and discovered one-day event insurance is quite affordable at about $120 — something which G and I both feel is necessary with having beer and wine available at our reception.

Upon speaking with my godparents, they were more than happy to host the wedding at their farm! G and I ventured out there today, and though we were unable to actually walk the property due to the monsoon happening in Southwest Michigan currently, we did talk to my godparents and go over all the fine details of what would be needed for the wedding day.

Badabing, badaboom — reception venue booked!

#Inspiration: Floral Centerpieces

I met with our florist today (Flora Lia of Baroda, Michigan) and spoke to her on the general idea of what we would like in terms of centerpieces and decor pieces at the wedding. I will admit it, I know nothing about flowers. I am no green thumb — I have killed every plant that has ever had the misfortune of making its way into my home. This is not something I am proud of, but something of which I simply do not have the time to research and remedy at this stage in my life. Perhaps one day I’ll take up gardening just for the sake of learning the proper procedures of watering house plants — I’m pretty sure watering them at all is necessary, which is one of my biggest mistakes.

While talking with Lia, I realized there was a lot more I needed to decide than “lots of greenery with some pops of pink peonies.” She was spouting out floral names left and right, and I probably was looking at her as if I had never heard English before. I have a lot of studying to do before the wedding, but the images below are an overview of our most basic ideas when it comes to our floral centerpieces.

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