When David and I started courting, almost two years ago, we wrote out a list of 45 simple, fun dates that we wanted to do together. We almost have the entire list checked off.
While a few on the list do cost, most of the activities are free/cheap!
Drive In Movie
Ice Cream/Fro- Yo
Netflix + Ice Cream
Truck Bed Star Gazing
Cook + Dance Together in the Kitchen
Dinner + a Movie
Make a Couples Bucket List
Make Pizza From Scratch
Make a Dessert From Scratch
Rent a Movie New to Us both
Work Out Together
Watch Funny YouTube Videos
Try A New Restaurant
Have a Bonfire
Binge Watch a Favorite TV Show
Go Apple/Pumpkin Picking
The Penny Date
Take a Walk
Go On a Spontaneous Drive
Start A Tradition
Prank Call A Friend
Read the Same Book
Play 20 Questions
Watch A Horror Movie
Go to A Haunted House
Go to a Concert
Go on a Long Hike
I love having this list on hand (anyone else a list geek??) for whenever we have an evening free and need help deciding what kind of date we want to go on, and now I hope it can give you some ideas as well!
Hiring a videographer for our wedding wasn’t something that was immediately a high priority on our vendor list. But guys, I am SO HAPPY that we decided to add this extremely special aspect to our forever memories.
We received + watched our video on Tuesday and let me just say that being able to relive all of the special details and memories from our magical day is something that we will be able to cherish forever. Hearing each other say our vows and promises to each other ((without experiencing the stage fright jitters that came from standing in front of all our friends and family)) is something that I could never put a price on.
Speaking of price…
Like I mentioned earlier, hiring someone to capture our day on video was more of an after thought for us. More of an “if we have enough money in the budget” idea.
I began looking for videographers in our area that wouldn’t break the bank and was surprised to find the perfect match. If you or anyone around the Cincinnati /Dayton area are looking for a wedding videographer but aren’t willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars, I HIGHLY recommend ours.
Bob Drummond was a extremely professional and a dream to work with. Leading up to our big day he communicated excellently with us in order to discover exactly what our vision was and he was extremely flexible and accommodating to my last minute requests. The day of the wedding he was so fun to work with! The entire day he was “barely there” in the sense of keeping out of the way of the hustle and bustle, but he was able to capture every single moment of all the highlights of the wedding as well as those precious in between moments that could have slipped between the cracks of our memories had Bob not captured them so perfectly.
Without further ado, here is our long awaited video. I hope you find it as delightful as we did and aren’t too grossed out by ALL the PDA ((because dang, there is A LOT of kissing!))
It’s so crazy unbelievable that two months have passed since we have become man and wife. WOWZO!
I know that we haven’t had a lot of time to learn a ton about married life, but we cherish the few things we have learned!
We look forward to learning more about each other and our marriage the rest of our first year together – and the rest of the years of our life together!
1. Being A Proverbs 31 Woman is Not Easy
At one of my bridal showers a dear older lady pulled me aside and gave me a little bit of marital wisdom. She told me that in Proverbs 31, it says that the woman’s husband “is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” (Proverbs 31:23). This means that the woman Solomon is describing to his son is an older woman. He isn’t describing a young wife. The woman he is referring to is experienced and has a lot of time as a wife under her belt.
She probably didn’t enter into marriage as a young woman already the perfect housewife.
She probably struggled with waking up “while it is yet night” (I mean, was coffee even around back then?).
She probably didn’t get the hang of “considering a field” to buy it for a while
+ it probably took her a couple tries to remember to not let the candle go out at night.
While it encouraged me in the moment, I didn’t fully take this wisdom to heart until after David and I were married and the laundry piled (super) high, the dishes didn’t get washed by the end of the day and I was feeling really discouraged. This was hard for me to face, but I am happy to say that I’m learning that it’s a process! Stay tuned to see if I ever reach my goal of being a real, genuine Proverbs 31 Woman.
2. Patience is Key
Marriage is the union of two VERY individual people. While David and I have some similar characteristics (we are both super chill and laid back + we both like ice cream with peanut butter), we are still different in SO many ways.
Our thought process is different.
We plan things differently.
We process things differently.
+ our weird, annoying habits are different.
It takes a lot of patience to step back while you figure each other out in a whole new light. It’s been a journey learning and processing the different ways that we both react to different situations. Being patient is a choice we have to make every single morning when we wake up, and sometimes we fail. But we have made it a point to never let the day end without giving an effort to be on the same page. We learn more every day ways to win the fight together, and we are loving the process of becoming an unbreakable team.
When we first got engaged in November we knew we wanted a short engagement, and six months seemed like the perfect time. We waited until after the holidays to start the hardcore planning, and that left us with about four months before the wedding to get a boatload of things done.
If you couldn’t tell by the sentence above, I am a huge procrastinator! So from the very beginning I made it my goal to keep up to date with my checklist. Wedding Wire was my choice weapon and it truly kept my head screwed on straight. I loved that I was able to download the app to my phone and keep tabs on when I needed to get things done, as well as keep track of all my vendors and the wedding budget all in one place!
Speaking of the budget…
This was probably the least fun part of planning our wedding, but my sweet parents offered to pay for most of it and what a blessing that was for David and I.
In order to save all the moo-la we could, we DIY’d everything we could possibly DIY!
My Sister in Law was our photographer and did our engagement and wedding photos for free. (Here’s her website if you like the job she did for us! Lydia Ruth Photography. She travels worldwide and is pretty dang amazing at what she does)
We chose Hill Top Equestrian Center as our venue. We were able to get if for super cheap because I have been volunteering there for almost eleven years, so it was a huge blessing and the perfect place for our wedding
We bought a ton of food in bulk and two of my sweet aunts did our catering for us. And Oh. My. Goodness. They did an AMAZING job. We had so many compliments on the food. Our menu was: Stuffed chicken, roasted red potatoes, buttered dinner rolls and salad. They also made the most beautiful appetizer table, it looked like it jumped off the page of a magazine!
We originally wanted to buy flowers in bulk and then the morning of the wedding arrange our bouquets and other flower arrangements but the closer we got to the wedding the better hiring a professional looked. In order to stay in the same lane as DIY, we chose The Flowerman as our florist. We were able to go to their location the Thursday before the wedding and with the supervision of one of their experienced florists we were able to design and arrange all the bouquets and arch flowers ourselves
We were expecting about 200 guests, and ordering a cake that could feed that many people just wasn’t in the budget. So after searching and searching the internet for a reasonably priced baker in our area we found Amy Cakes! We chose a small cake that would serve about 25-30 people and then bought gobs of different desserts in bulk – such as cheesecake, brownies, cookies etc.
Our cake was chocolate with peanut butter filling (So dang delicious). We purchased the faux flowers and “Love Birds” topper at Micheal’s
We had a large bridal party, and it was a huge goal of mine to keep things simple as much as possible. After tons of searching, we came across the perfect dress on Amazon, of all places!
However, when we we ordered two of the dresses, when they arrived the material and color were slightly different from each other. We sent them back, contacted the shop about it and they said that while they couldn’t guarantee that the dresses would match perfectly (because they received different shipments of the dresses and each shipment contained a slightly different version of the dress) they would do their best.
When we received the next order of dresses we had the same problem. So we looked elsewhere. E-bay here we come! We were able to find the same dresses for much cheaper and ordered them straight away. And guess what… we had the same problem as before.
At this point, we decided to suppress my inner perfectionist and just go with it. It turned out that no one was able to even notice the difference in the dress and they all looked beautiful!
My Wedding Dress
I said yes to the dress the first time we went dress shopping at Something New Borrowed and Blue, but I didn’t fall in love with the dress I took home. I fell in love with the dress I designed in my head! I loved the satin skirt and the blush color of the dress, but I hated the plasticity lace and sequin overlay. So we bought the dress with intentions of having my seamstress create a new overlay and sleeves with a timeless lace.
I might write another post with more details about the dress, altering of the dress and all the details – jewelry, shoes, hairpiece, veil etc.
Groom + Groomsmen Attire
Along the same lines of the bridesmaid dresses, we made it our goal to keep the cost down when it came to picking out the men’s clothes. So we opted for the same thing we did for the bridesmaids and we went to Amazon, where we were able to find their entire ensamble!
I absolutely love the look we went with. A little bit of classy, a touch of rustic and the leather suspenders added just the perfect amount of vintage.
The burgundy ties proved to be the hardest part assembling of their outfits. Since we were ordering them online, it was difficult to find the perfect matching color. But after ordering a few different ties and sending most of them back, we found the perfect one! Its texture was just shy of rustic and the color matched so well with the bridesmaid’s dresses.
The brown, straight legged pants looked great and really tied everything together!
David’s attire was basically made up of everything that the groomsmen wore, minus the leather suspenders. Instead of the suspenders, we chose a tweed vest in order to have the him stand out from the groomsmen.
This was one of our biggest DIY projects. When trying to figure out what kind of decorations I wanted to for the reception and tables, like any bride I went to Pinterest. That’s where I found the perfect inspiration.
When I came across a picture of wine bottles decorated individually and clustered together, I knew that was what I wanted. However, finding empty wine bottles for cheap wasn’t easy. My main source for finding them ended up being Facebook Marketplace! I ended up finding a lady who had over 200 bottles for sale and so I was pretty much able to get all the bottles I needed in one go.
Finding the bottles wasn’t the hardest part though. Scrubbing all the labels off the bottles took hours and hours and lots of sore hands. Thankfully, we only had to take the labels off of about 2/3rds of them since we were wrapping the other 1/3rd in jute.
So there you have it! I think that for having about four months to plan a wedding we did pretty good.
Make sure you push that follow button in the upper right corner in order to follow my Wedding Series & feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about anything!
For our honeymoon we rented a cabin in the mountains of Gatlinburg Tennessee. BEST decision in my opinion. We were able to just relax, kick back and do as we pleased when we pleased. We had no schedule to follow and pretty much just planned our days as we went.
We arrived late Sunday evening, after our GPS took us, like, twenty miles in the opposite direction of our cabin.
Since it was so late, we popped a pizza in the oven and turned on the TV. There weren’t very many channels available to us, but if i remember correctly we ended up watching Supernatural and while Supernatural was on commercial we flipped to Friends.
Monday afternoon we went into Gatlinburg for lunch. We went to Texas Roadhouse and it did not disappoint!
Get ready to see a bunch of kissing pictures! Like seriously, our two main poses were:
1. Standing super close with my hand on his chest and his arm around me
Monday evening we went and watched the Dolly Parton Stampede. It was so much fun! So much fun in fact that I forgot to take pictures… But here is us before we left. Our cabin had a super cute balcony which made a perfect backdrop for pictures. On Tuesday we spend the day out – At the Aquarium, and then walking around exploring candy shops and eating ice cream
This was the view from our balcony. It rained most of the time we were there and so the clouds hung low and we couldn’t get a clear look of the mountains, but when it cleared up we were rewarded with a beautiful view.
On Wednesday we went to Krispy Cream for breakfast and then to the Titanic museum (which, sadly, did not permit photography).
On our way back to the cabin, we drove down a SUPER windy road and discovered a cute little church with a bridge, so we decided to stop and take a picture or two.
David’s family has visited Gatlinburg many times, and they always stop to take a picture at the famous Smokey Mountain sign, so of course we had to take one as well!
Overall we had an amazing time on our honeymoon and can’t wait to keep this newlywed love going through the years to come, because who says the honeymoon phase has to end?
I’ve never felt anticipation quite like i did in the months and weeks leading up to our wedding day. There were times when I would just squeeze David’s hand in joy and exclaim, “I can’t believe I get to marry you!!”
The morning of the wedding… I actually don’t remember much of it. I just remember going to the venue to try to put together the last bit of decorations, but once I got there I honestly was just wondering around like a little lost girl. I am so thankful for all the helping hands that actually helped me get things done because I literally had lost my mind. I wasn’t stressed at all, I just so excited had what I called “Bride Brain” and couldn’t answer any questions about the wedding details without consulting my huge wedding binder.
Since I wasn’t really being much help, I went ahead and left for my aunt’s house, which was where all the girls were going to get ready for the wedding. I started on my younger sister’s makeup and from that point on everything went super fast.
my sweet aunt had completely redecorated her front room to accommodate me and my bridesmaids. She repainted her walls to lighten the room and purchased mirrors to make doing makeup easier, as well as made a yummy luncheon for us to enjoy.
For the entire six months of our engagement, we planned an outdoor ceremony. I imagined the forest behind us while we stood under the arch David made. I imagined the wind billowing through my veil and birds chirping. My heart broke a little bit when I had to make the call to move the ceremony inside. The packed sand arena of the equestrian facility was already decorated for the reception, and so the groomsmen had to quickly set up all the chairs and the entire sound system in a little under an hour. Bravo to them!
Meanwhile, the guys were getting ready in the South Observation Room of the venue, Hilltop Equestrian Center.
Originally, we planned on having our Father + Daughter first look and David and mines prayer outside, but it was pourrrring outside, so sadly we settled for doing it inside. It ended up being beautiful nonetheless.
Since we had planned on our ceremony taking place outside, we didn’t rehearse for an indoor emergency plan. But everything went off without a hitch. Everyone did a wonderful job being flexible and playing things by ear. Our reception was so much fun. However it is true when they say you won’t remember much of it. We spent the evening eating, chatting with friends and eating cake.
Our send off was super memorable, complete with sparklers and firecrackers taped to our get-away truck! The groomsmen did a great job with it, and they were pretty proud of themselves.