Date

Soon after announcing your engagement, and you get past the congratulations, the first thing people ask is: “when’s your date?”

Two weeks after Will and I got engaged, we went to a bridal expo in Norfolk. In my mind, this seemed like a great opportunity to get ideas on vendors, locations, and a chance to talk face to face with people. Every single vendor asked “when is your date?”

I felt kind of lame saying “we don’t have one yet.” And then I’d get the face like I was a poor bride-to-be with no planning skills whatsoever. And as I tried to set up an appointment, there’d be some confusion because we didn’t have a date. Apparently, TBD is not acceptable in the wedding world.

The thing about it is, Will and I are essentially trying to book the same date with two different venues: the church and the reception. Which mind you, is pretty hard. Especially when you’re getting married at a church three hours from where you live and your point of contact is not there every Sunday when you are there. So yeah, it’s been tough.

But Will and I are looking for Fall of this year. I’m sick of the wide eyes I get in response, because planning a wedding in less than a year is some far-off dream. I’m not trying to be competitive in us getting married in record time. I have always wanted a Fall wedding: crisp weather, falling leaves, cider, pumpkins, the whole thing. It’s also one of Will’s favorite seasons, so what could be better? Waiting until Fall 2018 just seems like…forever.

At this point, we’re looking deeply into September-which is great because that’s the month my parents got married. We have appointments coming up this month to discuss the venue and secure a date (crossing fingers it’s determined before April!)

Once we have our date set-then I feel like the fun can begin. Everything can really move forward from there and I can start to do some real planning.

But mind you, it’s never a race. It should never be rushed, and I won’t settle on some random date just so I can start planning. Prayers please as we try and get this date!!

(Funny story: I’ve tried emailing a couple times with the title “STD” for Save the Date, which I think scared some people off…I was a little slow to pick up on that.)

Money, Money, Money

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The other day I decided to browse the wedding section of Barnes and Noble. I saw titles saying “DIY Weddings,” “Weddings Under $10,000,” “Weddings on Budget.”

I’ve heard weddings are expensive. Oddly, I’ve never gone to a wedding and thought “wow, this must have cost a pretty penny.” I’ve been to weddings in Washington, D.C., performing arts centers, country clubs, bed and breakfasts. But as a bride-to-be, I’ve come to realize weddings are just a euphemism for “debt.”

Sorry, is this a debbie downer? Is it really possible to have the wedding of your dreams and maintain a budget? I’m in that overwhelming what-am-I-going-to-do phase where I feel like no matter what, I’m going to be so broke after this wedding.

I know people say “it’s not about the money.” I agree, it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be ignored. I want to be smart about this, save as much as I can, budget like crazy. Cue in woman with a fanny pack full of group-ons.

Norfolk is blessed with some beautiful venues-Chrysler Museum, Hermitage, waterfront, Work I Release. But all I see is money. And because of that, I don’t want those places. I want a venue that I can see Will and I truly happy, hanging out with family and friends. A place where we aren’t squirming because we know once we walk out we owe so. much.money. Basically, a venue where the paycheck isn’t even on our minds.

And I think that’s important as Will and I go venue shopping. I have faith that God will lead us to where we are going to celebrate the sacrament of marriage. I know he’ll take care of us. That has served as such a comfort, because He won’t throw you something you can’t handle. I know money will play a part in this planning, but DO NOT MAKE IT EVERYTHING.

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. THIS TOO IS MEANINGLESS.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

Engagement

It’s finally happened-I’ve joined the club.

Indeed, I was one of those girls that grew up romanticizing my adulthood, complete with a diamond ring and a handsome fiancee. I had my second made Pinterest board dedicated to my future wedding (later I deleted it, then I brought it back). For fun, I’d look at wedding dresses online. I never went so far as to buy a wedding magazine, but I’d glance at them every now and then.

Then, in May of 2015, I met Will. It happened like it was supposed to-by surprise. Other boyfriends were probably weirded out by how forceful I was to do and try everything-meet parents, go on vacation, discuss our future after one month of dating, etc. I pushed too hard for a relationship, and I ended up feeling like I did all the work. But just when I had decided to let things be, my closet friend and co-worker invited me out for drinks with her kickball team out in Norfolk. And to my surprise, I said yes.

Sitting between my friend and Will, I felt it only natural to talk to him. And once we started chatting, we ended up talking the whole night. We played two games of pool, we went to the Wine Festival the next day and held hands. It just all felt exciting and natural. Nothing forced.

Flashforward, we’re in Italy. On New Year’s day, we went to this old abbey up in the mountains called Monte Cassino. It’s a beautiful church with mountain views, a vineyard down below, and historical art work. I knew Will was going to propose on this trip (remember, my type-A personality has me prepped for almost anything). After asking for both my parent’s blessing, Will pulled me to a balcony and got down on one knee.

Now, we’re in the planning mode. First things first-telling family and close friends. Being in Italy and not able to do a whole lot of international calling, we did have to message people. Otherwise, we told them once we were back in the States. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. That could wait, we wanted to keep this a bit of a secret for as long as we could.

Being a planner, I had my bridesmaids in mind. I went straight to work in making their Bridesmaid baskets, filled with a candle, nail polish, wine, and a wine glass. I bought a couple magazines (I did feel some joy and pride being able to buy them with a ring on my finger) and devoured them. I had a wedding planning binder that I bought with an Amazon gift card.

So you could say I’m working at full blast. Yes, there’s a lot to do, but I need to slow it down. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Will and I are taking this planning thing slow, because I know I can rush into it and end up stressed and anxious and why-can’t-things-go-my-way. The thing about being engaged, and getting married, is that you try and do all this planning, but there are just some things that you got to let go.

I’ve decided to not plan this wedding on my own. God will be with us on this journey and I fully intend Him to be involved at all times. I remember seeing this image in RCIA and I never forgot it, because it nicely sums up exactly what’s going on.

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So when I get stressed and I feel overwhelmed-this will be my gentle reminder.