Engagement Shots: The Woods

It is the end of the road for our beautiful photographs by Dear Olive Photography, but I could not be more thrilled to share this last location with you all, friends! As the snow falls outside my bay window, it is hard to believe these pictures were taken only a month ago. With the fantastic Fall colors and lack of parkas and sock hats, I think it’s pretty funny how I was complaining about the cold during the shoot. The day might have been overcast, but at least temperatures were above the frigid 25 degrees of today.

I’m going to take this last post as my own sort of escape from the cold and blistery weather outside and hope they will hold me until spring arrives…

Continue reading “Engagement Shots: The Woods”

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Engagement Shots: The Road

Round Two is here, friends! As promised, I’m continuing with the second post of three for our stunning engagement photographs taken by Dear Olive Photography, and I have to admit, I’m pretty astonished in my own ability to keep these little gems off social media thus far. G and I have already printed all our pictures over the past week, plus ordered a few specialty items such as a photo book for our coffee table. The Christmas season is the perfect time to receive your professional pictures back — all the online stores (Walgreens, Shutterfly, etc.) are having amazing sales! So I am attempting to keep myself reigned in on the buying front and simply enjoy all these images digitally.

This post should help! Continue reading “Engagement Shots: The Road”

Engagement Shots: The Lake

We have our engagement photographs back and we are ABSOLUTELY AMAZED at Staci’s talent (of Dear Olive Photography) and cannot wait for our wedding to be documented by her come June 2018! I am going to /attempt/ to restrain myself over the next three weeks and stretch all her amazing shots out into three beautiful posts because there are just so many pictures I just have to designate this much time to making inspiration boards for each setting she had G and I pose for her.

This is going to be extremely tough for me, friends, and I already can tell you the blog will be the last place you’ll be finding these pictures posted unfortunately. Now that G and I have meticulously gone through the files, I’ll be uploading the pictures to Facebook and sharing them on Instagram over the next few days for my friends and family to see. Continue reading “Engagement Shots: The Lake”

How We Met: His Story

My story with Ashley started when I moved back into the local area. I began attending FCOG (our church) and knew I needed a deeper level of involvement in the church than just attending Sunday service. I found out about a 20-30’s Bible study group called “House” so I gave my contact information looking for more details not knowing what to expect.

When I received the invite to the group, I remember initially thinking how kind the person behind the words in the email must be. As I read further and reached the end of the email, I saw the name of the woman writing, Ashley, and saw her accompanying profile picture. I thought to myself that I had just seen the most beautiful woman in my life. I didn’t want to get too excited as my main intention in joining this group wasn’t about dating, but challenging and maturing my faith. Plus my heart had been broken several times before and I told myself pictures could be deceiving.

So I remember back to a Wednesday night of December 2016 and being very nervous about the prospect of meeting completely new people. What would they be like? What would they think of me? As I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, I gripped the door handle, twisted, and entered into the home of House. To my relief, I was greeted by very warm and welcoming fellow believers in Christ.

As I made my way to the gathering spot and looked across the room, there wrapped in a blanket was Ashley. At that moment I realized I was completely unprepared for this encounter and the way I already felt toward her. As our eyes met, she said, “Hi” and smiled. With a dry mouth and clammy hands, I returned a shy hello and sat on the couch adjacent her. As I sat there, I remember thinking how beautiful her blue eyes were and that she was even more adorable in person. Throughout the night it was hard not to seem like a creeper as I couldn’t help myself from stealing glances in her direction.

Over the next few months we came to know each other better while interacting through the House group. And I came to realize that she wasn’t only extremely beautiful, but that I admired how smart and strong she was in her faith and relationship with the Lord as well.

As some things in our lives shifted for the better, we were better able to pursue one another. I wasn’t sure exactly where she stood with our relationship however, until she asked if I wanted to join her at the Lane Auto Show. I was genuinely wondering if I had died and gone to heaven! My only response was to nearly yell, “Yes!” due to my extreme excitement.

If this wasn’t enough, Ashley also offered to come and pick me up for church that same weekend in her parents’ 2014 Chevy Corvette. By then, it all started making sense, and she had figured out the way to my heart: through four wheels and engines.

When she dropped me back home after church that Sunday, I asked if she would be willing to go out on a date together, just the two of us to get to know each other. I had never been so nervous to ask a question in my life! To my relief, she actually said she would love to go on an actual date.

I felt like I could do back flips, and that my heart had just been jump-started.

A couple of hours later I was in the middle of mowing the grass when I received a phone call. It was Ashley asking if I was busy that evening to take me up on that date. I suggested we go hiking at Grand Mere. Without missing a beat, she said that sounded perfect, and next I knew we were at the dunes, hiking up and down the steep sand hills. Being a part of God’s great creation never ceases to put me at ease and center my soul.

Being with Ashley has made me realize that she is the most beautiful creation in my life. I knew that she was so special to me that day, and we continued to grow closer on a new level and establish our core values, goals, and beliefs together. I knew she was my perfect match, made for me, and my heart was drawn to her and hers to mine.

Considering my life and where I wanted to go, I knew I wanted Ashley by my side. I was not going to let this blessing from God slip through my hands. So, making a commitment to be her man forever and always, I got down on one knee on the North Pier on September 19, and asked Ashley to be my wife. She said yes and accepted my offer, without any doubt.

I will forever be grateful to God and thank Him daily for bringing us together. This is no longer my story, but the beginning of OUR story…

I will forever and always love you, Ash.

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…

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…

Continue reading “Asking Our Bridal Party: The Bridesmaids”

How to Choose a Meaningful Wedding Theme

Wedding planning has been in full swing since the proposal on September 19th. Being an event planner and ex-wedding coordinator, I have found the process to be somewhat of a breeze. However, I know that I’m very fortunate with my connections in the wedding world, and want to do my part in making any of bride-to-be’s journey to the aisle as easy as possible also!

That being said, where do you even start after your beloved has popped the question?! That was probably the most difficult question for me to answer following that amazing day on the pier. I all of a sudden had all these wedding ideas floating around in my head, all of these checklists to complete, all of these inspiration boards to browse through on Pinterest… it was all a bit overwhelming.

So, I began from the beginning: creating a meaningful wedding theme.

Continue reading “How to Choose a Meaningful Wedding Theme”

“That’s What She Said.”

I knew something was awry when G was adamant we go for a walk on the North Pier at 7:00pm Tuesday night. The walk didn’t cause suspicion, but the change in scenery and necessity of time frame made me suspect this Tuesday night might not be like any of our other typical one-night-of-the-week lazy nights. His suggestion of us going to a fancier restaurant for dinner that night (when we had plans to go grocery shopping anyways) made my eyes slant a little deeper too — what did he have planned? Being a Tuesday evening, though, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of all these oddities.

After watching an episode and a half of our latest Netflix binge “The Following” (Yes! He made us pause in the middle of an episode — that guy!), we prepared to head over to the opposite side of the river for our walk. As I put on my shoes, G disappeared outside for a minute — another odd behavior. I ended up meeting him at the door to leave and noticed he was putting his phone away. He took me by the hand, opened my car door, and we left for the Northside.

When we pulled into the beach’s parking lot, I really began to question what this walk was going to entail because there was a professional photographer setting up his tripod on the sidewalk leading to the pier. G, checking his phone quickly, never even glanced at the camera. Instead he steered me to the pier and its lighthouse.

If you have never been to Michigan, then I definitely recommend you make a trip sometime during the summer to come and enjoy our numerous beaches and lighthouses scattered along Lake Michigan. Sunbathe during the day and witness the breathtaking sunsets at night. They truly are incredible! G and I walk down to the beach very often to watch the sun set; I live only a quick minute’s walk away (thus the unusual request to drive to a different beach for this night’s walk.)

Tonight’s sunset was one of the best of Summer 2017. With only a handful of dates remaining of summer, the days of our pier walks were numbered before the cruel winter months would make the piers icy boardwalks, unsafe for anyone to attempt to trek. Tonight, though, was a perfect 70-something degrees, cloudless, and still on the water.

G and I strolled along the river towards the pier hand-in-hand. We talked about the ducks diving in the water, the light waves crashing on the sand, the fishermen along the sidelines, and the lighthouse looming ahead of us. We stopped several times to marvel at the sunset, to look back at the coast, to talk about God’s glory, to just enjoy one another’s company — our typical type of walk.

Our walk took us to the end of the pier. We meandered slowly, taking pictures like tourists to document the evening. My mind kept flashing to the photographer on shore and I attempted not to keep looking over my shoulder to see where he had ended up setting his camera. Was he here for us? Did G plan for him? On a Tuesday night? It seemed odd but…

Then we began heading back to shore, walking on the same side of the pier as we had come. The side towards the river, away from the beach where the cameraman could possibly be catching any snap shots of us. I started to doubt my suspicions and physically felt my heart beat slow a few beats. This was just a typical walk after all.

With his arm around my waist, G was still steering me to shore. As we passed beneath the main lighthouse, however, he halted and stepped sideways to face me. He pulled me into an embrace and I could feel him fumbling for something in his pocket. My heart soared; this was not a typical walk after all!

I was smiling as G pulled away with the box in his hand, and asked, “Babe, do you remember what we’ve been talking about?” Then he dropped to one knee. I was nodding and smiling like a fool as he continued simply, “Well, I think it’s about time we made it official. Will you marry me?”

I said, “YES!” and we kissed as people on the other pier clapped and cheered. There were also the unmistakable sounds of camera lenses shuttering. G pointed towards the lighthouse where not only my parents stood waving, but also his parents did as well! He had orchestrated his proposal to be witnessed by our closest loved ones!

G and I had been discussing marriage for some time leading to the proposal. We knew God had brought us together and that we were made for one another. There was something about our relationship that simply clicked like nothing else before. It is kind of amazing how quickly you can know you have found the One with whom you’re supposed to live out your life…

G’s persistence to take a walk at 7:00pm was due to our parents meeting and hiding out on the pier that Tuesday night. As family is incredibly important to both of us, G wanted our closest family members to be a part of the evening. I’m an only child, so my parents loved being involved, and G’s parents look at both of us as their kids. It was a beautiful decision on G’s part and one I (and they) will treasure.

On a side note, the actual photographer was not part of G’s plans at all, and he was actually pretty upset when he saw the man in the parking lot. He figured I would begin to wonder what was happening having seen him.

After the proposal, G, our parents, and myself walked the remainder of the pier to our cars and went to dinner together to celebrate. Following dinner, we began calling our closest friends and family members to tell them the exciting news. It has been a whirlwind since that night with wedding planning and enjoying being engaged, but I could not ask for a better partner in life and future husband. I could not have imagined a more perfect setting for the two of us, and the inclusion of our families meant the world to me.

I love you, always and forever, G.

Cheers to a bright future ahead and many fun and exciting projects to come!

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I Want A Day of No Regrets…

Okay, so I actually began this post in February when there was an explosion of Pins after Valentine’s Day, and it was nearly impossible to escape any excitement felt for impending nuptials of family and friends both already in the midst of wedding-planning or those newly engaged. With all the new color palettes, possible venues, and endless decisions to make your “Big Day” unique, it remains constant that it is important to experience your wedding to the fullest and have no regrets.

Continue reading “I Want A Day of No Regrets…”