Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I said "YES" to the dress!

On December 28th, with my best friend Jordan, my cousin Kelly, my sister, and my mama by my side..
 I said 'yes' to my dream dress!
 
 
Andrew's family owns a bridal salon in town, so naturally DarLynn's is where I went to find my dress. In all honestly, I probably would have ended up at DarLynn's anyways as it is where I found all my beautiful prom dresses even before I knew Andrew. Three of his aunts were there that day to help me find my dress and they really helped put my mind at ease while I was searching for the one. I was never one of those girls that tried on dresses for fun- I wanted the moment to be special- so to say I was a big bundle of nerves is the understatement of the century!

Drew's aunt Pam asked me to pull whatever dresses I liked and we would start from there. Without giving too much away, my mom always had a certain idea of how she wanting me to look on my wedding day and I always had a totally different idea- well, I found myself pulling dress after dress that fit her ideal dress to a tee! Who was I and what in the world was I doing?
 
Long story short- the dress I thought I wanted wasn't the dress at all.. and the dress that had everything 'I didn't want' was the one I picked- and it was the very first one I tried on! I literally picked my wedding dress -the most important dress I will ever wear- in under an hour!
But it's true, when you know- you know!
AND I'M OBSESSED. I literally cannot wait to put it back on.
CAN. NOT. WAIT.
 
 I also picked my bridesmaids dresses- thanks to Jordan & my sis for trying those on expectantly (Kelly would have but she was 8 months pregnant!). We decided on a beautiful flowing Bill Levkoff dress with one shoulder strap and a GORGEOUS back. It is elegant and yet casual for wedding by the water. I looove it!

 
I have 8 girls standing my by side and my sweet nieces are being junior bridesmaids (they have slightly different dresses but in the same colors). The girls will be wearing 3 different shades of blue. Some of the girls will be wearing the dress in Capri, some in Teal, and some in Glacier. I can't wait to see how pretty they look standing side by side!
 
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Day!

Three days. 72 hours. 4,320 minutes. 259,200 seconds.
of togetherness
AND WE SURVIVED!
 
This marriage thing might actually work after all.
 





 





I feel a little like Boots today- GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE!

Thankfully, Drew is back at work today (after shoveling his truck out of the snow) and I may have talked him into taking me to dinner tonight as I am working from home again today. The civic couldn't have made it in this snow bless her little heart.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Our Venue!

The day after Thanksgiving my mom, sister, and I traveled to Wilmington, NC to not only finish up our Black Friday shopping, but to look at potential wedding venues. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to go look at the one venue I had my heart set on. To be honest- saying venue(s) is a lie. We went there solely to look at one particular venue. We were all very excited but also beyond nervous. If this venue didn't work and wasn't actually 'the one' I was going to be disappointed. After all, my wedding had been planned around this place since before a proposal was even offered.
 
Well guess what, it wasn't the place. It didn't work. As soon as we walked in my mom looked at me just waiting for some sort of reaction. We all knew the very moment we entered that it just wasn't the one. It was too small, it had too many stairs (my papa has a cane and I very much want him involved in every part of the day) and honestly, it just wasn't my taste. I was blinded by how beautiful it was (and it was beautiful) it just wasn't my type of beautiful.

Picking a date and signing the contract! I had to call Andrew to see which date he liked best and he made the executive decision based off when hunting season is. HA!

 
 
Thankfully, God works in crazy mysterious ways and he just about BLEW us out of the water this day. The owner of the venue we were looking out sensed our disappointment (as much as I tried to hide it!) and said she had something she wanted us to take a peak at. WHAT? You mean hope isn't lost quite yet? I was thrilled.. and SO very hopeful. She led us directly across the street to what appeared to be an old abandoned building. In Wilmington this is not out of the ordinary as it is a very historical town- I for one think that just adds to the beauty.
 
The day we saw it! We had to use some imagination.


At Courtyards & Cobblestones- when I *knew* I made the perfect decision!
 
 




I took one look and fell in love. Of course, it wasn't finished- but I already knew. It was their brand new location and hadn't even been open to the public yet. In fact, it's grand opening was this week. It was open for a bridal event we attended in January as a debut and they decorated it beautifully to show brides it's potential. I was thrilled I had booked it months previously because I'm certain it got booked for the year that day- it looked amazing.
 
Bakery 105- in downtown Wilmington- an old bakery warehouse from the 1930's is about to house the wedding of my dreams :) eeepppp! I couldn't be more excited!
 
Hey it's us! At Courtyards & Cobblestones. Tasting more cake, naturally.


 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How I Asked My Girls

Let's be honest here- I have been stalking pinterest for years planning on how I [one day] wanted to ask my favorite girls to be a part of my big day. After Andrew popped the question none of those ideas seemed to work for me. They were either too expensive- I have 8 girls for goodness sakes!- or they just didn't seem to fit each of mine and the girls relationship. So, I put on my creativity cap and began planning something different. 

I knew I wanted to get them a little something so they would be excited- I mean who doesn't like gifts? But I didn't know how to incorporate it into a bridesmaid proposal. Then *lightbulb* I got a ring with my proposal; why shouldn't they?! But what kind of ring? I then started reading through ways to ask the girls. I loved a lot of them but when I saw something mentioning 'the knot' I knew what I wanted- a knot ring! I wanted it dainty enough that it would fit all the girls styles and I wanted it to use different metals because  half my friends love gold and some haven't quite welcomed the trend. Off to Etsy I went- and that is where I found a ring tied with two different metals in a knot. Perfect!


I found some really cute cards that said "Every Day Do Something That Makes Your Heart Sing" and decided to use those to ask the girls. I then printed out something I could paste inside the card while leaving plenty of room to tie the ring to the inside with fishing line.


They were all pretty much the same inside but still varied a tiny bit.
They all have the girls names with 'I'm tying the knot!' under it.
My sisters then said 'Help a sista out! Be my matron of honor? I promise not to make you wear yellow.'
Drews sisters said 'Help a [future] sista out! Be my bridesmaid?'
and my best friends said 'I can't say I do without you.. be my bridesmaid?'

They were a hit! & clearly the girls loved them [they all said yes!] which made my heart happy happy happy!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

We're Engaged!

Andrew asked me to marry him and from what I hear the next year is going to be a blur so I wanted to write down every little bit I could so I could relive the moment whenever I would like and also remember every little detail!
 
UA Charity Auction 2013
 
After a charity auction on Saturday night, Andrew and I were driving home and decided we were going to wake up early the next morning and go to church then have lunch at his grannys. I was a little bummed because my family was going to the Panthers game but we apparently couldn't find tickets. Still, church and granny's cooking sounded good to me.
 
Obligatory 'We're Engaged!' text pic
 
We were exhausted by the time we got home so we went straight to bed. During the night, daylight savings time took place and we gained an hour of sleep- one of my most favorite nights of the year! Oddly enough, Andrew ended up waking up at the crack of dawn that morning. This was very unusual considering I am normally up way before him. I blamed it on daylight savings and his sleep pattern being messed up and continued sleeping.
 
Celebrating with my two favorite ladies
 
Around 8am he told me to wake-up because he had a surprise for me. He then told me he had bought us Panthers tickets days ago but wanted to surprise me, my mom, and my sister. I wasn't allowed to call them though because "they still didn't know we were coming". I was thrilled, hopped right out of bed and got in the shower. Moments after, I was getting ready and Andrew brought me a mimosa. I was more worried about how he hid champagne in the fridge without me knowing to expect anything! Typical.
 
 
After I was ready, and we were both dressed head to toe in Panthers gear, drinking our mimosas, Andrew handed me a card. Still, I was clueless. We get each other sweet cards all the time so I didn't think too much about it, except that it was really sweet. He filled the card with the sweetest heartfelt message.. ending it with "..starting today".
 
 
Seriously, I still didn't catch on. I think I had been thinking it was going to happen so many times that I just stopped getting my hopes up. That was, until, I put the card down and Andrew was on one knee behind it asking me to marry him with the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen.
 
 
Of course I said, yes! yes! yes! and then squealed even louder when he said my whole family was in on it and they were on the way. The one thing I always wanted in a proposal was that my sister and mom were close by afterwards and Andrew made sure he made that happen for me. They picked us up along with my step dad and my sister fiancé, and we all went and tailgated for the game. Then sat in the best seats and watched the Panthers take home another win. It. Was. Perfect.
 
Celebrating at home with my girls
 
After the game, some of our best friends met us at our place to congratulate us and go out to dinner and celebratory drinks. I really couldn't have ask for a better day. We are so fortunate to have such amazing family and friends in our lives and I can't wait to share this next year planning our future together!
 




 

Monday, May 20, 2013

As long as I'm living, my mama you'll be!

Mothers Day this year was spent at my Nana & Papa's house, just like it is every year. We were blessed with some beautiful weather that paired well with the delicious hot dogs, hamburgers, and pulled pork grilled by my Uncle Todd. Most of my family was there but there were many that were missed.

Mothers Day is probably one of my favorite holidays because I love getting to spoil my mama. Long story short, my mother is one of the most amazing people I know and she's shown that time and time again while raising my sister and I. Us three girls have been through some ups and some downs, much like any other family, but we have always been there for each other, and my mom has always stuck by us- no matter what. My mom raised us well, at least I'd like to think so, against all other odds thrown at her. She was a single mom, working long hours, yet still maintained our household, made sure we always had the newest style on our backs, and took the time to chaperon numerous spring break trips when all other parents would have never fathomed it. All because she cared, that much. I cannot even put into words how proud I am of her for being such an amazing woman for my sister and I to look up to all throughout our lives. I questioned her rules, her decisions, and her actions, many, many, times while growing up but now I aspire to one day have that much patience, faith, and love for my kids. She's my rock, my best friend, and best of all- my mama. 

Some pictures from my grandparents: 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

as we go on, come whatever..

Last weekend Andrew's sister, Ashley, and her fiance, Nolan, graduated from Campbell University. They are getting married this summer then Ashley is off to law school and Nolan is working on his doctorate. I couldn't be happier for these two and I know they both have some extremely proud parents. It was a fun packed weekend and I am so grateful I was able to  be a part of such a special moment in their lives and capture it with pictures!