5 Things I Would Do Differently While Wedding Planning

For those of you who have been following Uncorking Peonies since September 2017, you know I had big dreams when it came to my wedding. Having coordinated and planned over 100 weddings and events, it was finally my time to plan my own Big Day.

My color palette was dusty rose and navy with silver accents. I’ve always loved the more rustic and laid back parties, and my wedding was no exception. I opted to have my bridesmaids choose their own dresses to fit their personal styles and budgets. I created my own decorations with hodge-podge findings and borrowing from family members and friends. I utilized my resources to design the look and feel of the perfect wedding. And the perfect wedding it was.

I loved our wedding day down to the very last detail. But would I do anything differently? Yes. Now that I am past the sparkle and glamour that made our wedding so spectacular, here are five “bigger picture” details I would consider changing should I ever happen upon a time machine:

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Advice To Myself At 18-Years-Old

Last Friday G and I were leaving the county clerk’s office to apply for our marriage license when we ran into one of my high school teachers. Even though I graduated eight years ago (O.M.G. has it truly been that long ago?!) we recognized one another right away. Partly due to me working for him at summer camp for several years, but also because I come from a high school boasting an average of 30 graduating students each year. In other words, there aren’t that many students to forget.

After a bit of catching up, I asked him how his school year had gone and how many more days until summer break. I don’t keep up with my old high school so I was surprised to hear the senior class would be graduating the next day. The whole encounter had me vaguely reminiscing on the past and all the changes which have happened since I stood on the stage myself in my cap and gown.

Then today my Facebook’s daily memory was of my graduation. Looking through my FB photo album of that day in 2010 had so many memories flowing.  I could recall the feelings on that day: the fears of the future, the thrill of college looming, the excitement of my first summer as an “adult.” It was like looking into the life of a stranger. There have been many lessons learned since that day. So many experiences have brought me to where I am today and molded me into this 26-year-old Ashley.

The memories continued as I was lazily scrolling one of my nightly go-to apps and came across a great question posted by RobbeVermont. The user asked,  “What is something you wished you knew when you were 18 years old?” And as I read through the vast majority of the 10,800+ comments I realized so many of the life advice being provided were 110% on the money. Pulling all three discoveries together — the run-in with my teacher, the flashback of my graduation, and this Reddit question — I started listing a few key topics I wished I’d known upon leaving high school and considered what difference hearing that advice as an 18-year-old would have made. Perhaps none, but then again, maybe some…

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4 Wise Tips on Preparing for Marriage After the Wedding

I know I’ve said it before, but here I am saying it again: the wedding is only the beginning of what should be the rest of your blissful married life. As husband and wife, you’ll be embarking on years of new adventures after the one day of festivities. Your wedding day is only a grain of sand in the grand beach of your entire life. It is best to prepare for life following the Big Day and not only the day itself.

I am a big believer that if you adequately prepare for something — that is, to prepare mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, all of the above — then your chances of success increase substantially. Though I know there will never be enough wisdom and information I can gain to fully prepare for marriage, I do feel I’ve gained a few gems of advice in which to set a firm foundation as a newlywed.

These four gems include advice on communication, clarification, adjustment, and agreement between both the husband and wife in order to have a happy marriage. They touch on possible challenges once you’re married and encourage you to invest in your partner following your vows. They are all examples of how G and I plan to enter our marriage, and I would love to share them with you!

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Still Finding Difficulty in Goodbye

On February 11th I was a part of the Pink Tie Ball for the third year in a row. The Pink Tie Ball is a fundraising event that supports Susan G. Komen of Michigan. The event was the thought-child of Denise, my friend and mentor mentioned in a few posts early 2016. Out of a selfish act, Denise was no longer in our lives to lead the event to its usual success, but the committee decided to join forces, add a few new members, and provide the community with an awesome evening to honor the memory that was Denise Bohn.

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Then Her Heart Hardened

I have some very important information for all you out there in cyberspace: break ups suck. It has been over a week now since Army blindsided me and I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt more drained. I’ve arrived, however, to the point where I am sick and tired of all things lovey-dovey. I find myself glaring at couples I pass, I laugh maliciously at sweet little notes found on Pinterest, and if another rom-com movie trailer is played on my TV, I swear I’m going to go live in a cave somewhere. I am just sick of love. And I’m sick of caring.

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Giving Due Credit to Love and Present

It seems to me that people make a big deal about firsts: first kiss, first date, first love. Don’t get me wrong, a First is great, but it also generally leads to another first: heartbreak. I was relatively naive with my first love; I had no real understanding that all love stories tend to end, and many of them do not end in “death do us part.”

So my first heartbreak caught me completely off guard. I was innocent and pure and, as stated, naive so my heart was (figuratively) ripped out at the hand of someone I had genuinely trusted. Insecurities took hold of my life, but in the grand scheme of all that is good, something better came along. That is why I consider my first love simply that, my First Love, but definitely not my greatest or my last

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At Least Out Loud

I’m just going to come out and say it, with the risk of having my feminist card revoked: I think it is naive for a woman to utter the “three big words” before a man does. I can attest for a woman asking a man out, making the first move, or even proposing, but when it comes to “I love you.” Ladies, no.

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Drag Out My Demons

Appropriate for the holiday this weekend, I have been thinking about how my current relationship is a bit scary to me. If I have come to know anything when it comes to love, it is that the best relationships are not all sunshine and daisies. They are a source for personal growth and self-reflection. If you want to find yourself in a true and healthy relationship, you must find the kind of love that is not afraid to confront the skeletons in your closet with a positive and caring demeanor.

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20 Things Not To Do After a Break Up

If there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that breakups suck. The hardest part is, no matter what side of the break up you’re on, the effects will eventually hit you and it won’t be pretty. It’s up to you how you choose to handle your sad feelings, and there are many options from which to choose. In hindsight, I may not have chosen the best options every day after my break ups, but now I’m all the wiser and able to provide some insight (along with the helpful suggestions from conversations with my friends) on 20 things you definitely should not do while navigating a break up.

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