Wedding Series – The Honeymoon & Beyond

 

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We checked in and headed straight to the beach ūüôā

 

We looked at Groupon and popular travel sites when planning our honeymoon but we got a better deal with my teaching association (score!). When and where you travel for your honeymoon is definitely going to make a difference in the final cost. We traveled to Mexico in July so that could have been pretty pricey but it pays to shop around!

We made sure to get our passports about 3 months before we planned to travel. My passport had my maiden name since I knew I wouldn’t have my license changed by the time we traveled.

**It doesn’t hurt to mention you’re on your honeymoon when traveling. You never know what kind of perks you can score, like free champagne on the flight ūüôā **

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We stayed at a Viva Wyndham Resort. There were onsite restaurants as well as a buffet area, a little club and hang out area, gift shop, pools and direct access to the beach, plus other common amenities like a gym and business center.

The food wasn’t that impressive but I am one of the world’s pickiest eaters. The unlimited drinks definitely made up for the food lol. Plus I packed a few snacks and grabbed some whenever we hit the gift shop. And in all reality we weren’t there for the food. Our agenda mainly included lounging on the beach, parasailing and splashing around in the ocean.

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We ventured off the resort a few times to shop and go to a few other restaurants (and find a Starbucks!) There were a few stores and shops within walking distance. Whenever we wanted to travel a little farther we took a taxi cab. Not too expensive.

Overall our honeymoon was amazing! We stayed about 6 days.

Honeymoon Planning Tips
If you are going out of the country make sure you apply for your passport early
– Consider buying a “dummy” ring for the honeymoon. I knew I would be heartbroken if something happened to my ring so I bought one off Amazon that resembled my ring and left the real one safe at home.
– Have a currency converter on your phone if you are going out of the country.
-If you’re heading somewhere with a beach you should definitely hang on the beach at night or catch a nice sunrise. (We did both lol)
– Soak it in!! It won’t last forever

When we got back from the honeymoon our marriage certificate was waiting! It came so quick because our wedding planner made sure to mail off the marriage license ASAP. I quickly changed my name on my license and S.S. card when we were settled back in at home. There are definitely some things I haven’t changed over yet because..life happens. But I’ll get to it eventually. Men are so lucky they don’t have to deal with name changes!

Now we are approaching month 8 of being happily married! Time flies when you’re madly in love ( and working, and adulting!)  It has been such a beautiful adventure so far, looking forward to even more fun.

Thanks for reading our wedding series. Questions? Want a list of our vendors? Let us know ūüôā

Wedding Series – The Big Day!

There are many wedding events leading up to the big day. Of course you have your choice of what all you want to participate in.

We had..
– An Engagement party
– Bridal Shower
– He had a Bachelor party
– Rehearsal Dinner

So after our rehearsal dinner hubby and I went our separate ways. I stole my mom away from my dad and she hung out with me for the night. We got all emotional and she painted my toes. I finished up my vows and started on my letter to Tracy. Then we went to sleep ( after a lot of tossing and turning!).

Hubby’s bachelor party was the night before the wedding. He had a fun time with the guys then woke up to grab food and make it to the venue.

The next morning I woke up to get my hair done. Then I met my ladies at the venue so we could hang in the bridal suite. We relaxed until make up time. I was so excited I couldn’t eat since the rehearsal dinner but other than that I was good lol. My mom got us Subway for lunch but once again, couldn’t eat.

My wedding planner had everything running like a well oiled machine so I didn’t have to do a thing. We hung out in the bridal suite playing music, scrolling through our phones and taking pics until it was time to start getting dressed. Then we took photos in and outside. Hubs arrived sometime between us taking photos but the guys were in a separate area.

Tracy and I did first touch photos and exchanged sweet letter but did not see each other before the wedding.

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After his photos and mine we headed back to our areas and waited until it was time to start. Then one by one my ladies left me until it was just me and my maid of honor. We had a sentimental moment and then she was off too! Next thing you know, my dad was waiting for me :). We had to carry an umbrella because it started to sprinkle but they say rain is good luck right?

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Then down the aisle we went. It was all a blur. I saw Dad. I saw my Honey. Everything else was just a blur of love and flowers lol.  The ceremony was short and sweet! Then guest headed to a cocktail hour while we took family photos in the ceremony space. We had pizza and Chicago mix popcorn as well as a few drinks available during the cocktail hour.

Then our bridal party entered to the “All That” theme song and hubby and I came into the Lego Movie song “Everything is Awesome”. We had our first dance to “Stay With You” by John Legend. Dad and I danced to “What a Wonderful World” and Hubs and his mom danced to “Mama” by Boys 2 Men.

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Then food time :). Our caterers were amazing and after we filled out a survey they provided us with the best menu ever! Standout items include Caesar salad skewers, Burger sliders, Macaroni and Cheese Egg Rolls, and Honey and Porter Glazed Chicken Lollipops. We also had a signature drink for bride and groom.

We did cut the cake but we skipped the garter and bouquet toss. We planned on doing them but we ended up having too much fun to want to stop for those events. Plus to me, having him go under my dress in front of a crowd is just a little odd.

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We had a photo booth which was a blast and we got copies of all the photos as well as the guests right on the spot! Our DJ was awesome and we had a donut tower.

We had a sparkler send off before loading up in the limo and rolling out.

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We took the limo around the city, (then to our apartment because my handsome new husband forgot to pack an overnight bag), then back to the hotel. We arrived to cheers at the hotel which was pretty nice. They also had wine and chocolate in the room. We ordered some food to the room and crashed! The next morning we had a great family brunch in the hotel.

Then my parents helped us bring home our gifts and wedding accessories. We relaxed for 2.5 seconds then started packing for the honeymoon!

That will be part 4…coming soon!

Wedding Series – Planning

So after we soaked up all the fun and love of being engaged we (mainly¬†I)¬†started planning. He provided input but I was definitely the one more into all things wedding related. Hubs answered my incessant questions pretty well and didn’t complain about me watching every wedding themed show on TLC, Oxygen, etc.

Marriage Counseling

While planning for the event is amazing, make sure you plan for the marriage as well! Marriage counseling was important to us so we attended classes through our church and a great organization called First Things First.

Wedding Planners

I wasn’t originally thinking of hiring a wedding planner but when my mom and future mom-in-law both suggested it¬†I listened up and started my research. After all I was finishing up grad school. And even though it can be lots of fun, wedding planning can also be a great deal of work. I looked up a couple different people and scheduled meet ups at Starbucks. I think it’s important to meet in person. You will be trusting them with a very important day.

Types of wedding planners (from my experience)
– Full wedding planner: handles practically everything; budget, securing vendors, scheduling meetings, day of planning
РPartial planner: manages vendors after you secure them, budget & handles day of planning
– Day of planner: handles only Wedding day coordination

We went with partial planning to save a little money. I will say from my experience it was ABSOLUTELY worth it to hire a planner.

I purchased a wedding planner binder off Amazon. I used it somewhat to help organize my thoughts and it did have helpful information but there were some sections I didn’t utilize. The Bride to be Book is more of memory book to keep photos and thoughts in. The 5 Love Languages is a good read for anyone but definitely someone in a relationship.

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Vendors & Wedding Shows

When it came to finding vendors (caterers, florists, etc.)¬†my wedding planner provided a list of suggestions and I did some research on wedding sites like The Knot¬†and Wedding Wire. Reviews can be crucial and give you some insight about what you could be dealing with. Message boards can be a big help too! Once again it’s important to meet up with these vendors when possible before making decisions about who to go with.

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Picking Linens

Go to all the wedding shows you can! They are the best place for freebies, ideas and meeting vendors. We met our Photo booth guy at a wedding show.

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Stationary & Websites (or Apps)

Many sites will send you free samples of wedding invitations, save the dates, etc! Check out sites like Magnet Street , Minted and Wedding Paper Divas . I got all the freebies I could before making a choice on who to go with. We bought magnet Save the Dates and sent them out 4-5 months out. We sent invites about 2-3 months out.

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We made a wedding website and app with AppyCouple. It is a paid site but there are free websites available as well. The app helped me organize guests and was super easy to use. To me it was definitely worth the pay and I found a discount code!

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*Speaking of apps there are tons of wedding apps to use while planning and coordinating. My favorites were…
– The Knot Wedding Planner

-Wedding Wire

Attire

 

My cousin caught the best photos!

 

I found my dress the weekend of our engagement party at the¬†White Room¬†¬†in Lebanon, TN. I went through about 8 dresses before deciding. My mom, aunt, cousin, future mom-in-law &¬†future aunt were there. ūüôā¬† I ordered shoes from Zappos.

My bridesmaids lived in 4 different states so I let¬†them pick dresses from Weddington Way¬†. I picked about 8 dresses¬†in my color choice¬†(after getting a swatch in the mail) and the ladies picked from those. I wasn’t picky about shoes. I ordered jewelry for them and myself from Charming Charlie¬†for a pretty reasonable price.

I ordered my flower girl dress from Etsy. Etsy was the go to on lots of other wedding stuff like her flower girl basket, the broom we jumped, and more.

Hubs had the guys send measurements to a local tux shop. He picked out navy suits and coral accessories and the shop ordered them for us.

Next up…the Big Day ūüôā

 

Wedding Series – Engaged!

Hubs and I are approaching our 7th month of wedded bliss! Since we were so recently married and it’s the month of Love I though it would be the perfect time to share a little of our personal story. I have broken it down into 4 parts and plan to post one a week…plan to lol

Proposal & Engagement
Wedding Planning
The Big Day
Honeymoon & Beyond

I gave some background in an earlier post but we were together for 4 years when we got engaged. We lived together about 3 of those 4 years. I’m not gonna lie, I was getting antsy about us getting married because we knew that’s what we wanted to do but I had to realize that it wasn’t up to me and my timeline. Plus I knew he had talked to my Dad about it so I tried (keyword “tried”) to calm it down.

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I was in grad school and had horrible 4 hour¬†Saturday classes back to back. Luckily one Saturday the afternoon class was cancelled. Tracy had been asking me all week what I wanted to do that weekend but all I could think about was school so I kept putting it off. He made plans for us but wouldn’t tell me what they were. He picked me up from my morning class and took us to get massages ūüôā

I didn’t think anything of it, we had gotten a couple’s massage before, but he was acting a little¬†goofy as we filled out forms beforehand. We got great relaxing massages and then they left us alone to get dressed. I was looking for my jewelry in my purse and was getting frustrated that I couldn’t find another ring he had bought me (probably to shut me up some lol). I was even more upset he wasn’t helping! Frazzled and still digging through my purse I said “I can’t find my ring!”. He answered, “That’s not your ring, this is.” I turned around and he was down on one knee!

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When we left the room everyone was cheering. He had told them he was proposing when he made the appointment. I was so excited!! We went to dinner and called all our family and a few friends. We purposely waited until the next day to post anything to social media because we wanted to enjoy it privately. It was our celebration after all.

We also took time to enjoy being engaged (about a month) before we started any real wedding planning. Of course I bought all the magazines but that was just for fun ūüôā

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We had an engagement party in November.

We also took engagement pictures. Totally optional of course but I’m always down¬†for a reason to throw a party or take photos!¬†We were engaged for 10 months total.

Next up…

Wedding Planning

 

How’s married life?

The second most common question we’ve received since the Big Day has definitely been…

“How’s married life?”

The first most common has been “Where are the babies?” phrased in various formats but we’ll tackle that subject a little later on.

So how is married life you ask?
Hate to break it to you but it’s pretty much the same, and¬†honestly that’s really awesome. We decided to live together before we were married and I really think that helped our relationship and made the transition into married life kind of seamless.
Now lets be clear,¬†living together for about 4 years before getting married was not at all seamless, but it did work out for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I¬†think we really kind of grew together.

So what has changed?
We get to wear these awesome¬†rings daily. Took some getting used to, especially if you don’t wear rings, but totally worth it.
– We get to call each other husband and wife ALL the time. Seriously any opportunity is seized ūüôā
– We are legally bound and share a last name, woohoo!

* I was tempted to add “We know we are down for each other for better or worse until 3005” BUT we’ve been knowing that, ever¬†since we decided to become serious.
**Plus marriage does not guarantee that someone will be committed. That all has to do with who you picked to spend forever with.

What’s the same?
-We have pizza Fridays at least 2x a month
– We still pay bills
– I still fuss when he plays video games
– He still puts “man-ears” on sometimes when I’m talking incessantly about Pintrest
-We still wear our Adventure Time robes around the house on weekends
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So in summary, married life is practically the same. And we are perfectly okay with that.