FINAL Wedding Wednesday

I know what you are thinking (because I am thinkin’ it, too), and yes, this is the very last Wedding Wednesday post. I have dragged it out over months and months. This is because it is really hard to find the right words to describe one of the best times of your life…my life (at least, thus far).

Here we are. Nearly a year removed from the big event. A year removed from abundant feasting, fancy, and a few of our favorite things. But, also a year removed from a few hiccups that seemed to ruin our big day.

Know that you WILL run into (seemingly) big snafus. There will be last-minute decorating. There will be a mix up with the tuxedos, bus pickups, hotel blocks. In my case? The video equipment was forgotten, and a wedding planner cried…a lot. I had to sit alone in a dark room to stop myself from crying while stuffing my face with a Jimmy John’s sandwich…to stop the hanger.

During the reception, though, I received some of the most wonderful advice from a family friend:

Spend the entirety of your life working to make your spouse happy.

And then it hit me: I am married. I HAVE A HUSBAND.

With that realization, everything else went away. The goal of the wedding celebration was accomplished. I was starting this life anew with the man I loved. And nothing else mattered. Nothing else DOES matter. A year later, none of those slight snafus matter. They have no bearing on today.

All that matters today – and from now on – is that I am happy. And I work every day to make Timmykins happy. And we are in this big adventure together.
happily

Happy Wednesday, Happy People

❤ The RoaminTwin

Wedding Wednesday #8: Centerpieces!

Continuing on the DIY Bandwagon, this week’s Wedding Wednesday (yes, it’s being posted on a Thursday…but still going up!) is all about our wedding centerpieces.

Bride + Groom preferences:

1. Nothing large – I personally would like to see the people sitting across from me
2. Nothing too traditional – fresh flowers are beautiful but they die (waste of $). Candles are fine (I like those).
3. Personalized – something that people can look at and think of the two of us as a couple.

So, incorporating our wedding colors, I decided to seek out items we already owned that helped personify us. What we didn’t have, I purchased cheap items and made. Those gold bottles? Wine + Guinness bottles that we drank out of and recycled for the cause. The gold frames? I bought 25 of them at the dollar store.

I knew we would have around 30 tables, so I made sure to collect enough items so we could mix + match to make nice centerpieces. My sister and I staged them on the floor of my house a few days before, but once we stepped into the venue to decorate, my bridesmaids went to town setting things out and creating their own concoctions. One less stress for me! Below, you will find pictures + descriptions of some of our table decorations 🙂

ET1
This centerpiece included my grandmother’s 35mm camera from the 50s!

 ET2 
 
This is the sweetheart table that we sat at during dinner. Sparkling Champagne Fabric for table runner: Amazon. Big “Z”: JoAnns. Toasting Glasses: Etsy (Vintage 1950s). Champagne Bucket: A gift my husband’s parents received at their wedding.

ET3 
A closer look at the Sweetheart Table: Mice from our lovely friends from their wedding.

ET4
Another Sweetheart Table detail: Reserved signs I made for tables meant for wedding party and close family (NO seating chart here!!)

ET5
We set 2 longs tables together for: gifts, guest book, and memorial table (pictures of that below). It served as a single focal point, as we didn’t want people to miss out on the memorial table. Guestbook: a picture book I created and ordered through Walgreens.

ET6
A closer look at the card box I concocted. The box was a cardboard box made to look like a suitcase with old school maps printed on it. When I saw it I fell in love. We love to travel, and planned on using most monetary gifts from the wedding for our honeymoon. Cardboard letters, champagne paint, box: JoAnns.

ET7
A portion of our memorial table. We asked our families to bring their favorite photographs of loved ones who had passed. This way, we still got to see their smiling faces on our big day!

ET8
Our dear friend, Anthony, who lost his life too soon. This photograph that his wife brought from their wedding day had us all in tears!

ET9
My tea cup, gold glitter, an engagement photograph, and a spray-painted Guinness bottle came together nicely with the additional of some extra veil material!

ET10
My favorite – and most pertinent to the day – Dr. Seuss quote. This is one of those $1 frames I mentioned before!

 

ET11
Spray painted wine and Guinness bottles, Timmykin’s Guinness glass (a Christmas gift from me), and candles we already owned. Christmas bulb: WalMart (yes, I bought them at Christmastime – thinking ahead!)

ET12
Another one of Timmykin’s Guinness glasses atop a thrift store candle holder. Framed song lyrics.

ET13
A gift from my little brother atop extra fabric from a dress my mom made me.

ET14
This Big Ben tea pot is what one of my best friends asked me to be her Matron of Honor with. Charger: Michaels. Christmas Bulb: WalMart (did I mention, I bought these for my Christmas tree this past year, and plan on using them onward??)

ET15
An elephant tea pot from my sister. Charger + Christmas bulbs mentioned above.

ET16
Lyrics from a “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” song. One of the most quoted movies in our household.

ET17
I spray painted the Z with the same paint I used for the Guinness bottle behind it (good thing Timmykins drank a few Guinnesses in the week before the wedding!). Fun fact: the white tea cups were leftover favors from my Bridal Shower (great idea, Meredith!)

ET18
We adore the beach. So, in addition to the charger, candle, engagement photo, and Guinness bottle (all mentioned previously), we added seashells to some of the center pieces that we have collected over the years.

ET19
Self-Explanatory 🙂

ET20
More Christmas bulbs: our favorite holiday

ET21
Simple. And one of my favorite “couple-y” songs (right next to Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old with You”!)

ET22
I made a Mary Poppins hat for my costume this past year. One of my bridesmaids paired it with my FAVORITE engagement photo, and placed them on extra fabric from ANOTHER dress my mom made me

ET23
I thought this image would be the perfect ending to this visual entry.

If you have any additional questions about our center pieces, how we made them, if you want portions of what we have for your own wedding, let me know!

Happy Planning!

❤ The RoaminTwin

Wedding Wednesday #3: Theme Time!

You’re Engaged! And you have at least thought about the People & Party! So, this week we continue Wedding Wednesdays with #3: Theme Time!

What the heck am I talking about?

The main point of every wedding is defined (you know, marriage), but I had a theme in mind for nearly the entire engagement to tie everything together into a cohesive, comprehensible idea.

The theme for mine and Timmykin’s wedding: These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things.

Not only is the a title of a song in – my favorite – The Sound of Music, but it also represents in the most fantastical way the personalization of our big day. Which was a big deal to me.

If you have NO IDEA what kind of theme you are looking for, you could either start with colors OR you can ask yourself the following:

What 3 words would you use to describe your wedding?

This question wasn’t asked of us until about a month prior to our wedding by our DJ. And I thought it was brilliant, so I wanted to present it to you earlier in your planning process! My response to this particular question was: classic, whimsical, and personalized. Our original theme completely aligns with these!

In following posts, you will find how we threaded this theme – and these descriptive words – throughout our big day.

There are so many theme options: from video games, to a favorite song or movie, to even a career! But if I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to personalize as much of the day as possible to the two of you. Not only will it show people who you are as a couple, but it will bring the two of you together in the planning process in an entirely new way. I am not saying go completely nontraditional, but challenge yourselves not to just follow the trends and include things just for the grand traditional wedding’s sake.

And, if you need any help, let me know!

❤ The RoaminTwin

PS – Excuse my potential hiatus for the next couple of weeks as I focus on my husband and adventure on our HONEYMOON! I am hoping that our trip will bring with it some interesting content to share, all in due time! When I come back, expect a post or two on Personalization & DIY for YOUR WEDDING!
ImageImageA sneak peak of some personalization in our table decorations!

 

Wedding Wednesday #2: People & Party!

Happy Wednesday, Happy People!

Last Wednesday, I introduced you to my BRAND NEW blog series: Wedding Wednesday! 

It will always get the “!” at the end, because weddings are a big deal and so much fun as a guest OR guest-of-honor!

This week, we continue with Wedding Wednesday #2: People & Party! This is a fun one that – as you will see when we delve into this post – you can start to work on before you are engaged (heck, even before you are in a relationship!). Sound a little crazy? Well, face it, some of us have been dreaming about this day our entire lives. We might as well get as many details in order as possible beforehand!

When I was a senior in high school, we had a marriage class for the portion of the year. In this class, we also had to plan a wedding. We were paired up, drew a budget out of a hat, and had to do research on numbers, vendors, etc. to plan this wedding together within our budget. My partner and I received a budget of $25,000 (generous, in my mind – and well over what we spent for our wedding). One of our first items-of-business was to each create a guest list for our own ideal weddings. Because we were two completely different people with no mutual friends or loved ones, we really had to prioritize and cut our lists down to meet budget.

Well, I kept my original list. It had 300 people on it, that if I were to have gotten married in 2008, I would have liked to invite. Over the years, I cut people and added others, but I always kept that file on my computer. And it REALLY helped when planning my actual wedding came along! Knowing that Timmykins was who I was going to marry BEFORE he proposed also helped, because I was able to start adding his family and non-mutual as well as newly-mutual friends to the list before the nuttiness of the planning process began. It was really nice to have a general idea (no-so-nice that our original number was close to 400, YIKES!).

I had mentally been doing the same thing when it came to the wedding party years ago. Subtracting people as I realized they were negative influences in my life, adding as I realized who genuinely cared. It’s definitely something that’s nice to have figured out beforehand.

So, that is just the beginning! Below, you will find my top tips for perfectly planning the people part of your party!

Always have your wedding party in mind. Write it down if you have to! Realize it doesn’t have to be too large, and one partner’s side of the altar does NOT have to match the other’s. We went with 7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 2 ushers (one of my best guy friends, and another friend of his), 1 flower girl, and 1 ring bearer. Your numbers could differ drastically!

Who else will be a part of the ceremony? This is a HUGE event in your life, and you want to choose people wisely. I didn’t just want any ole priest performing the ceremony, especially one that didn’t know us as a couple. I wanted someone who would be able to speak true to our relationship. Good thing for us, Timmykin’s father is a Deacon, and his mother is the wedding coordinator at a nearby church. CHECK! We also needed 3 readers. We could have asked anyone, but I was honored to ask my mom to be a bigger part of the ceremony by reading, as well as my second mom to read another, and one of Timmykin’s sisters to read the third (he has 5 sisters). All of this really helped us wrap our heads around a general church wedding and personalize it as much as we could.

Who do you want there? We wanted 400 people there, but it just wasn’t feasible for us (always kept a budget in mind, and did what we could to include as many guests as possible). It was important for us to have our families and closest friends there to witness and celebrate our love for one another. We both have large families. We also have many people who have shaped our lives. We went back and forth for 8 months following the proposal on who we HAD to cut (it was painful!), and ended up inviting WAY more than originally anticipated, but really really wanted those people to be with us. In the end, around 100 RSVPd NO, and things were back in our ideal numbers, but we still wish everyone could have been in attendance!

Note: If there is someone on your guest list that you do NOT feel this way about, someone that gets on your nerves, or is negative, or you just don’t feel that they have been a big part of your life, don’t invite them. It’s your day. –And I know people will tell you over and over again that it is your day, and still try and force ideas on you, but ALWAYS remember that IT’S. YOUR. DAY. Make it one of the most happy and carefree days of your existence 🙂

Goodness, this post feels like another rant, but I just feel so strongly about starting your guest list and ceremony participant list EARLY so as to make the process much easier on you. Waiting until the last minute causes unnecessary stress, as well as – potentially – regrettable decisions. Regretting inviting the wrong person, or not inviting someone who is really important to you. Same with the wedding party: including someone who is just not a positive influence in your life, someone out of obligation, etc. Plus, early planning means you can ENJOY THE ENGAGEMENT that much more!

Because, truly, it is about you, your future, and your happiness.

Stay tuned for next week’s Wedding Wednesday: Theme! – or something with a better name 🙂

And, as always, have a Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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Our Wedding Party: some of our favorite people, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

And It Is Perfect.

Aside

Standing in front of the 40 or so people at mine and Timmykin’s rehearsal dinner, I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to thank each person individually for all they have done for myself and for TImmykins as individuals and as a couple. I wanted to thank each of them for all that they had done for our big day. I wanted to let them each know how much I loved them. But I didn’t have anything prepared.

Honestly, I thought the words would come naturally, especially with this small group.

And at first, they didn’t. But then I thought of something that I could express to them all without being too wordy, or forgetful, or taking up the remainder of their evening. So I told them:

I have lived in Sacramento. I have lived in San Diego. I have lived in Kansas City. Through it all, I have always thought and said one thing: If I could be surrounded by the people I love, it doesn’t matter where I live. And here I am, with all of you. And it is perfect.

Of course, there was more said – after choking up and crying a bit – but that is the most important thing I could tell any of them. Regardless of their participation in the preparation and wedding itself, they are the people I love. Basically, who I would be OK being stranded on a deserted island with (I know it wouldn’t be without conflict, but I would choose them anyway 🙂 ).

Not everyone could join us this weekend, but I am oh-s-grateful for those who could. I just realize that it was as close to perfection as it could be.

Regardless of what I write regarding the wedding and all of its glory in the next days and weeks, if I could give anyone one piece of advice: appreciate all of the love and support around you on that day. It is the only time that all of those supporters will be in one room…supporting you.

It’s what I thought as I stood at the beginning stretch of the aisle walking into the church. All that stood between Timmykins and I besides this empty aisle were the people we know and love. The people who understand us, who love us, and who came to witness us at our happiest. Not only was it my day to shine in the most beautiful dress I will ever own, it was my day to thank those people that we love and to revel in their love towards us. Even those who couldn’t make it, I could feel them there in spirit.

Isn’t that just a beautiful thought? And one that has brought me to tears multiple times.

 

I would like to publicly acknowledge my family for all that they did in preparation (and in raising me, of course!):

My sister, my MOH. She stepped in and helped with so much! From bachelorette parties, to shopping, to putting together a lovely gift from the bridesmaids. She made our slideshow video, and put together a tear-inducing “Sorry-we-couldn’t-be-there” video from some of my favorites. She took care of me through the emotional ups and downs, and even split the duty with me of doing my hair and makeup! Of course there is so much more that she did, but I couldn’t begin to list it all here. Basically, she is the best person I could have wanted to be my sister or MOH.

My wonderful mother. She took the reigns on cookie and cake making (thousands of cookies, all of the wedding cakes!), she read our general intentions for us (another tear-jerker during the ceremony), she took me dress shopping and made seemingly thousands of trips to craft stores far and wide to find some of the perfect things for me. She fussed about making it the perfect day for me, and did so much, and I just love her for it!

My dad. First of all, he didn’t scare Timmykins off when asking for my hand in marriage. But he also did so many things, including last-minute runs to pick up 1,000 donut holes for the reception, chocolate covered tuxedo strawberries that I have wanted on my wedding day since I was a little girl, having a backup video camera (which was needed and GREATLY appreciated), and giving the most splendid father-of-the-bride toast I have ever heard – dropping a little knowledge along the way. Did I mention he was the best dance partner for our father/daughter dance? He always has been, and always will be 🙂

I guess I could thank my brother, too. 🙂 He makes me smile every day, and he gave me the strongest hug after the ceremony that I will always remember. That kid is growing up into an awesome, caring, and motivated young person!

I only hope that I can share the love and support that my family has given me, and will continue to give me, throughout the years.

Just revel in it, Happy People. Revel in it 🙂

❤ The RoaminTwin
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My beautiful family 🙂 PS-GOTTA love photobooths!

Teeny Tiny Love Note

My bridal party is a reflection of me.

Yes, I am making this all about me (not).

What I am trying to say is that through the years, friends have come and gone, but these ladies (and gent) have stayed by my side. Though I love them all for individual reasons, my number one reason for loving them as a collective is that they have not been a source of negativity and pain in my life.

They are my buddies, my support, and my source of laughter. None of them dampen my spirits with gossip or judgments, and we can all pick back up from where we were before, like there was never any distance or time spent apart.

I hope you all have those people in your life. Think: who would be in my wedding party? Right the very second? If you immediately think of few people that would NOT go on that list, why? Are they sources of negativity? Do they just pull you down with them? Why are they still in your life?

I can honestly say I have never had to ask myself these questions of those I will have standing up on the altar with me (including Timmykins, his groomsmen and ushers). I love them all. I can’t wait for us all to congregate (some in the next few hours, others in the coming days). And I can NOT wait for the joy of this day.

Still holding true to enjoying my last days as a “single” lady. And bringing those good vibes into the marriage with me.

Also, I need to give the BIGGEST shout out to my mom, dad, and sister! They have been so helpful with everything concerning this day, and have kept me so relaxed! I know I don’t show it or say it every day, but I love you all so much! You are some of the most wonderful, giving, and kind people I know! I hope you will let me make it all up to you!

Sorry if I get a little sentimental, or a little absent in the coming days. The most important people in my life are coming together, and there may be an explosion of awesomeness. But there will definitely be a focus on people this week.

🙂

Stay Happy, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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I leave glitter everywhere physically, these people in my life leave it metaphorically. On my heart. Mushy gushy, no? 🙂

 

Not QUITE Bridezilla

I haven’t been QUITE bridezilla.

But I hit a wall last week, letting myself get uber impatient and upset over spilled milk.

And, let me preface this by letting you know that Timmykins has been an awesome help and major support with this whole wedding planning process. He is just not as into it as I am. Which, in sweeping generalizations, is kind of the norm between husband and wife. At least from what I have encountered. It’s just funny to me how his focus has turned completely towards the future in the last few weeks, looking past the wedding, not right at it. Meaning the little tasks I have given him seem to be slipping through the cracks. But they are not. Just seem to be because I don’t have complete control over them.

OK, back to my story. I was at dinner with Timmykins and two of his groomsmen. They were asking me question after question that I thought I had already communicated the answers to them about (whether through text, email, or Timmykins). As I continued answering the barrage of questions – without my planner or anything else in front of me, so I was very taken off guard – my patience became non-existent and my answers became short. They knew I was upset.

I blamed it on my being hangry. Which wasn’t completely false. It was 9:45pm and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.

But after I ate, my irritation and shortness continued. It didn’t come unwarranted, but it was unnecessary.

The next morning I received the following text from my second mom:

Hello Ms. S! This time next week you will be getting married!! Wow! Mind blowing – doesn’t seem possible! Enjoy your last week of being single and getting ready for your big day! [emoji, emoji, emoji, emoji]

Now, I have heard “Enjoy the process”, “Revel in the engagement”, yadda yadda yadda so many times. And I have as much as possible. We have had fun picking things out and planning to an extent, but we also are just ready to have this big party to thank all of our loved ones and be married already.

But that text was like a switch in my brain. People have questions? Fine. Just be ready to answer them. I sent an email to the entire wedding party with a full timeline and extra details. I gave Timmykins the job of making the program (though, if we don’t have one, does it REALLY matter?), I invited my sister – and MOH – over to go over center pieces with me, and I decided that whatever small details haven’t been completed (making lemon cookie dough, cakes, favors, and the list goes on and on) just may not get done. And I am OK with that.

I have been enjoying this last week with a couple of dinners out with friends, celebrating/photographing a dear friend’s wedding, finalizing some of the BIG stuff, attending a concert, and relaxing when I can find the time.

Because regardless of what details do and don’t come to fruition, we will be married and surrounded by those nearest and dearest to us at the end of the day.

And that is all that matters.

❤ The RoaminTwin
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 My dress in its body bag 🙂

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A wonderful pre-wedding gift from my second oldest friend!

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A sneak peak into our center pieces!

The Most Daunting “F” Word: FINANCES

Exactly one week ago, I told you about 2014 being MY Year of the “F” Word. A day later, I dove into “F” Word #1, and the meaning of it’s placement in my life in 2014. Next, I explained why I included The BIGGEST “F” Word of them ALL: FAMILY (because they are kind of a big deal). What next?

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my first post on the subject, my “F” Words are not listed in terms of relevance to me, and neither will they be explained in any particular order.

#3: Finances. Not something I ever thought I would have a hard time with. Ever.

I have been listening to the Dave Ramsey show in the car with my mom for years. I saved up as much money as I could prior to college so that I would have some spending money. I lived at my parents’ house following college for nearly 3 years to save enough money to move out while also being ahead. I should have thought more about the “saving money” part while there, because I didn’t come out with as much in savings as I anticipated.

Especially with a wedding coming up.

So, as you may have read in a number of my posts, I recently moved out of my parents’ home. And I have this wedding on the horizon. Timmykins and I are paying for it (for the most part) on our own. My parents have generously offered to help out, but I want to take care of it as much as possible. With his bonus being a little less than anticipated, and my not putting myself on a spending fast (as of yet), we aren’t quite where we want to be for the wedding…2 1/2 months out.

AND at this point, I won’t have that cushy nest egg when we are finished paying for this big ole shebang that I have right now, as my savings account became my wedding account.

Should I have stayed living with my family until the wedding? Probably. But I really wanted to live on my own for the first time in my life (if even just for a few fleeting months), I am getting a pretty good deal where I am staying because it is a good friend renting it to me, and now, Timmykins and I have a guaranteed place to live for after the wedding (at least until my friend moves home and wants his digs back, which is up in the air for now 🙂 ). Should I have gone on a spending fast way before now? Yes. But: CHRISTMAS.

I had a bit of a meltdown at marriage prep weekend this past weekend – not the place to have a meltdown – and hyperventilated going over how little I will be able to contribute to the wedding in my coming paychecks. So, I made a plan to put a specific amount of money directly into the wedding savings account every time I get paid, and to only pull money from that account for the wedding. When Timmykins and I mapped it out, we are going to be able to save just about the amount we need come wedding time. PHEW!

But then, what about AFTER the wedding?

This is my 2014 financial plan: Build & Maintain. Only, after March 21st, I must focus on two of us.

After the wedding, I will continue on a little spending fast (no impulse buying, eating healthy and not buying a bunch of snacks or fast food, keeping the bills down as much as possible) in order to:

A. Build the emergency nest egg back up 
B. Continue to pay off my student loans. I am officially announcing that I will have these paid off by December 2014 (I THINK I can, I KNOW I can).
C. Save up enough money to take a family trip abroad this summer (if my parents see fit) as well as honeymoon in the fall. Comfortably.
D. Keep Timmykins on track to save more than he spends
E. If we see fit, combine our checking accounts into one. Ahhh, married life 🙂

So, now that I have laid that out in front of me for the first time (thank you, readers, for the motivation!), I can more carefully plan, and DO! This “F” Word could constantly have me going “OH F***!!”, but with a little budgeting based on what I KNOW lies ahead, as well as all of the unknowns, I can keep my head on straight.

And so can you!

What are YOUR 2014 Financial Plans?

❤ The RoaminTwin

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Compatibility

Good Morning/Afternoon/Night, Happy People!

Today I am happy about so many things, but most of all, I am happy about a test.

Yes, my fiance and I took an assessment a couple of weeks ago through the church we belong to that is supposed to gauge compatibility of the couple. For the most part, I don’t mind if people think we should be together or not. We know we should. 

I have also never second-guessed our relationship, nor my saying yes to his proposal. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best friend that I want to join me, and work through things with me, for the rest of our lives.

This assessment is more to see where you stand in your relationship, and in what areas you can improve, essentially. But, I think they secretly judge you.

And I have kind of been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for these results.

Turns out we are 100% compatible in more than one of the 5 areas tested! WOWWEEEE! And the assessor just kept commenting on how very high we scored. I am pretty impressed with us, but not surprised. At all.

I know we will go through ups and downs. We must learn to change and accept change in and with one another. We aren’t too idealistic about marriage or kids or employment. We are just us, and we are continually going to work on US.

But it’s nice that we have proof on paper 🙂

What validation makes you happy in YOUR life? A test, a raise, a hug?

❤ The RoaminTwin