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!
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!
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.
Our families had know each other for about eight years and we spent a lot of time together as good friends, and what they say is true – the very best relationships begin with a strong foundation of friendship. We hit it off from the beginning but never got very close to each other until a few years ago. I grew to think of him as a really great guy and I respected him a lot. He later confessed that he thought I was a really great girl and would make someone a wonderful wife one day.
Little did we know that in December of 2016 that the Lord would open David’s eyes and heart to see and think of me as more than a friend. In the meantime I was completely oblivious to this and continued to seek the Lord in my singleness.
In February of the next year, after listening closely for direction from God, David approached me with the possibility of pursuing a deeper relationship together. We immediately felt the Lord’s hand and guidance in this and after seeking the Lord’s will in prayer, we decided that this was definitely in the Lord’s plan four our lives.
NOVEMBER 11TH 2017
I was told it was just a little get together with some food and games to celebrate my mom’s birthday – which was the previous week. Little did I know what David had planned. We sat in the living room conversing with my family and his, and he asked me if I’d like to join him outside for some fresh (really cold) air. We moved to sit on the porch, gently swinging back and forth on the wooden porch swing. We sat there for a while, just being comfortable with his right arm around my shoulders and his left hand in both of mine. We talked about the sweet moments in our relationship and the funny ones. We talked about all our favorite memories and expressed our awe at how fast the months had seemed to rush by. During a peaceful lull in our conversation David got up from the swing and said, “I’d like to add one more memory” as he slipped to one knee, popped open a white ring box containing the most beautiful white gold and diamond ring (SO SPARKLY!) and asked me to be his wife. ” Are you serious?! YES!” I answered. And so began our countdown to when we become Mr. & Mrs. Robertson