My sweet maid of honor heard about the Kate Spade Surprise Sale (surprise.katespade.com) at 2 a.m., but thoughtfully decided to wait to tell me this morning. This was wise, because I would not have slept.
Kate Spade has the cutest stuff, of course, and so the bridal section is no different. Plus, I’ve been eyeing this book clutch for MONTHS (YEARS?) and it was 60% off. Oh happy day. 🙂
I’m learning that planning a wedding (or really, anything) as an indecisive person is… difficult.
Choosing the date was by far the biggest hurdle. And the venue (which is perfect). And the dress (because I loved too many and wanted to ask for four weddings). Now, it’s on to more fun choices like which flowers? or which type of cake?
It’s so fun looking at all the options til you have to actually COMMIT to one (because marriage is not like that at all… ha… ha).
This is when I start to feel thankful I still have 14 months to plan, so my indecisive heart can flutter every time I see a little detail I like.
So, I’m enjoying the last couple months where I can still be indecisive. 🙂
I admit, I was really nervous about wedding dress shopping. I was actually kind of dreading it. I had no idea what I wanted, and I was worried everything would look terribly unflattering.
But, IT WAS SO FUN!
It’s hard to write this without giving anything away, so I’ll give a quick overview of the places we visited. 🙂
1. Melange After picking up my sweet Aunt Kate at the airport Friday, we headed to Melange on W Anderson. It’s near a coffee shop I love, with a little boardwalk and pond behind it, so I’ve walked by the shop many times and thought about when I would get to go in. However, I knew it was way out of the price range, so it made a great place to start to just get ideas!
2. Second Summer Bride LOVED. THIS. PLACE. We started here Saturday morning with my future mother-in-law joining us, and the selection was shockingly great! It’s a consignment shop, so I didn’t expect much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely found a few front runners here. 🙂
3. Blush Just look at the picture of it! Enough said. The most perfect place. I can’t even form real sentences about it. It’s a little yellow house with rooms and rooms of dresses to look at. Best use of a house ever. Also found some winners here. <3
4. Unbridaled I wish we had come here earlier in the day Saturday, because I could tell this place had potential! We came on a sample sale day, so the already limited selection was super limited by the end of the day. But, that was OK because we already had some stellar options!
Do not worry about wedding dresses looking terribly unflattering. They’re wedding dresses. They all look beautiful! You just get to pick the most beautiful!
I thought places wouldn’t take me too seriously shopping 15 months in advance but all the sales girls were more like THANK GOD you’re starting early. One place informed me if I ordered that day, I still wouldn’t get the dress til December (leaving 5 months for alterations).
Wedding dress shopping is the best thing ever and you should go every weekend, if you can. 😉
I may have mentioned I’m a little obsessed with Southern Weddings. 🙂
Thanks to that, I also know that the editor, Lara Casey, has her own inspirational side business as a motivational speaker/author/shop owner on making things happen. Just check it out here, it’s worth it: http://laracasey.com
Plus, she’s a mom to an adorable little girl. And runs the magazine. No big deal. Just basically Superwoman.
So when I read this article on her in the Huffington Post, I was surprised/enlightened/ENCOURAGED.
Check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lara-casey/divorce-didnt-stop-me-fro_b_6654938.html
Being in my twenties and struggling with how to get my career rolling, nothing is better than reading an article like that. Knowing the people I look up to have been confused and disheartened makes me much more optimistic. 🙂
P.S. My fiancé got me this book for Valentine’s, and I kind of love it. A daily dose of CALM DOWN is just what I need.
Our first *engaged* Valentine’s was going to be a fancy date somewhere, but we ended up having more fun doing something new!
We exchanged gifts first thing in the morning.
John gave me the cutest card ever, flowers, a polka dot skirt I’d been eyeing, and this book that I really needed.
And in return, I gave him chocolates with a miniature bear and an Arctic Lego set!
We then met three of our favorite people at Rahr & Sons to sample beers and collect V-Day glasses.
There were approximately 1.3 million people there (OK, maybe less) because it was such a gorgeous day out, but we managed to get a couple beers before the session ended! Everyone else tried to actual Valentine’s beer, the Lovebug, but I stuck with the Rahr Blonde. So good.
<3 <3 <3
But the real highlight of the day was the evening, when we meandered to the center of the city to grab Starbucks and watch the fountains. There’s always music playing in the background, and luckily they were playing some BACKSTREET BOYS over the speakers (haha) for Valentine’s. People were dancing. It was super cute.
I’ve been obsessed with Southern Weddings magazine for much longer than I should’ve been.
I picked it up one day at Barnes and Noble years ago, and I read the whole thing in one sitting. I started following their daily blog (http://southernweddings.com) and looking forward to their yearly edition!
So when I got engaged (OK, a couple weeks before I got engaged…) I ordered the Southern Weddings planner. And I’m obsessed with that, too.
I especially love the checklist at the beginning – it has literally everything you need to do. It’s so rewarding to check things off as I accomplish them.
I’m also newly obsessed with the Southern Weddings shop (http://www.southernweddingshop.com) and have to stop myself from buying everything in it. (*hint* birthday present *hint*) I did just buy the Valentine’s cards, though, and mailed them out this morning. 🙂
Anyway, getting to the point…
I decided to submit my blog to Southern Weddings to see if they would feature me as a Southern Bride Blogger, and they said yes! 🙂 Woo hoo!
Find the other bloggers (and me!) here: http://southernweddings.com/southern-bride-bloggers/
I’ve read from many a fellow Southern Bride bloggers that it’s crucial to keep building your relationship through engagement. As much as you might want to, it’s not super healthy to just talk about flowers and table runners all the time.
We tried to sprinkle in cute active dates throughout the month. Luckily, it wasn’t too tricky since we were blessed with beautiful weather this January!
Our first official date as *engaged people* was at the Fort Worth Nature Center.
I never had high hopes for the Nature Center, but once we arrived I learned they have quite a few trails and a BUFFALO GRAZING FIELD. Sadly, the buffalo were hibernating, but I’ll definitely be back in the summer to see them!
Buffalo or not, the winding trails made for a fun, scenic hike.
We chose a trail that took us to “the boardwalk” over a golden marsh. Often this part of the park is closed because alligators make their way to the marsh from Louisiana (this was news to me!!), but it was an alligator-free day so we were given the all clear. 🙂
Overall, it was a great hike and I can’t wait to go back!
A couple other fun things we did this month:
1. We tried a juice cleanse! That could be a whole post unto itself, but the short of it: it was a fun challenge! John suffered through the veggie juice and I loved it, but it evened out when I had to choke down apple juice and he had no problem with it.
The biggest impact from juicing was that now I crave vegetables! I wake up in the morning and want to eat cucumbers and broccoli! I’m ok with it. 🙂
2.Apartment decorating is in full swing! I moved in in December, and we had a lot of not-so-fun tasks to complete early on (going through paperwork, sorting out my boxes, etc.). Now, we’re on to making the apartment feel homey.
Today we’ll finish hanging up pictures (above is one from the map room!) and then we’ll be just about finished!
3. Our street hosted a Puppy Play Day! Really!
OK so we did not take home a puppy, but we had fun seeing the little cuties playing in the sunshine. I’m a cat person myself, but this was a good step in the direction of “maybe we could get a puppy someday”, which made John happy.
As January wraps up, we’re still keeping pretty busy! Tonight we’re off to a game night with friends, and tomorrow we’ll be hosting a little Super Bowl gathering. 🙂 Go Pats!
The first few weeks of being engaged were not the cloud 9 experience I had anticipated.
-> My actual engagement ring was stuck in an Iowa post office. Instead of that thrilled feeling I’ve read so much about, where the girl can’t stop looking at her ring, I was more thinking “So I’m engaged… I guess?” and not feeling super official about it. And when people wanted to see the ring, having to awkwardly explain that, well, there wasn’t one…yet. Also panicking about WHY MY RING WAS IN THE MAIL. REGULAR MAIL. WITH NO USPS UPDATES. It was concerning.
-> One day after engagement, we stayed in bed all day – with a stomach bug. Happy new year!
-> A couple days later we reached out to our family about potential wedding dates in the fall. So excited! We were about to plan a beautiful autumn wedding! Fall is my most favorite season! But…every date in the fall was a no-go. (Actually, as we would come to find out, literally every weekend of the year has a conflict.)
-> The following week, I went to look at wedding venues – during a rare ice storm in Austin. Meanwhile, John recovered from a painful eye procedure and literally could not see. I had a lot of weird conversations with vendors that pretty much went:
Vendor: “Is your fiancé here?”
Me: “No, he can’t see the venues today.”
Vendor: “Oh, well you could send him pictures!”
Me: “No, he actually can’t see.”
Also one vendor might have thought my little brother was my fiancé. #awkward
It goes without saying that we made little progress.
It really didn’t hit me until mid-January, sitting in a coffee shop drinking chocolate orange coffee (don’t knock it til you try it) that I caught a glimpse of my ring’s sparkle and thought, “AHHH I’M ENGAGED!”
I stopped thinking about all of the minor setbacks we had had so far in the planning process and starting thinking about all the fun events coming up!
-> I had more crafting to do before I could ask my bridesmaids (post to come :))!
-> After years of watching Say Yes to the Dress, I would get to look at wedding dresses! And my aunt had already agreed to fly to Texas to help!
-> Since we decided to be flexible with the date, we were (likely) going to get our favorite venue – the place I could really see us getting married and having the best day ever.
-> And most importantly, I get to marry this guy. 🙂
In May 2013, I decided to check out a local Meet-Up at the Water Gardens in our city. I was running a little late, so by the time I got there, people had split up to explore the gardens (kind of a misleading, as much of it is stone). John was off taking pictures when he captured this one below and noticed a new girl had joined the group.
Minutes after this photo, he introduced himself and we sat next to each other at dinner with the group. 🙂
We got to know each other better the following week when we went rock climbing with the Meet-Up, and he helped me climb my first rock wall (it was so high and terrifying!).
it’s been a lot of cute dates, an obnoxious amount of traveling, and lots and lots of fun together.
Though we finally ended up at our home in Fort Worth for New Year’s Eve this year.
Earlier in 2014, John told me he wanted to be engaged this year. So when it didn’t happen over Thanksgiving or Christmas, I had a feeling New Year’s Eve would be it. 🙂
We had been planning a New Year’s Eve party for our friends for weeks. A couple days before New Year’s, John mentioned we would be going out to dinner with two of our good friends before the party. First of all, the dinner was at a very early 5 p.m., so I knew something was up.
We went to my favorite sushi place. : ) And then proceeded to see this really neat Christmas light show that happens every hour on the hour on our street, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Since we don’t really get snow or any kind of winter weather in Texas, it’s one of the few things that actually makes it feel like the holiday season here. I kind of thought it might happen then…but not yet.
After the light show, we went back to our apartment and we were all sitting by the Christmas tree, which I had considered taking down the previous day (but luckily did not, thanks to the advice of my friend Melanie). John asked me to help him with the ornaments, and when I got up he got down on one knee.
He said some very sweet things, and then stood up to pull a giant display ring from the tree – which I found out was because the real ring was in the mail! (It turns out this was also the ring his dad proposed to his mom with, because he was also having difficulty getting the ring in time.) I said yes anyway, though. 🙂
Here are some photos of the moment captured by our friend Matt: