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 #10: 2 Tasks You Can’t Trust ANYONE With.

Real quick, before I get started with Wedding Wednesday #10, I just want to toot our own horn: our wedding was featured on Wedding Wire! Of course, they don’t go into TOO much detail on their website. But that’s A-OK, you are getting all the need-to-knows RIGHT HERE!

Now back to your regular (fabulous) programming…

There are 2 INTEGRAL Tasks regarding your wedding-besides the getting married part-that you cannot trust with anyone but yourself (and maybe your spouse). Are you ready for what those are?

1. Ceremony Programs
2. Thank You Notes

At this point you know I am a personalization fiend, but these two items are uber personal. The program maps out what’s gonna happen and who is involved. The back of ours also included directions to the venue, tips for the evening (HEY! We will have March Madness on the bar TVs! Mimosas for all!), and – my very favorite – a Thank You to all in attendance.

What the heck, RoaminTwin?? Those are sent out after you open gifts!

Well, yes. And no. I am a pretty grateful person (and you should be for maximum happiness in your everyday life!), and I made sure to thank everyone involved every step of the way. I didn’t prepare much of a spoken thank you for the rehearsal dinner. But I did it anyway. And was a blubbering/nervous wreck the entire time.

We put a Thank You in our programs. I would share that with you here, but it was tailored for the crowd at the wedding. I did include that this celebration was as much for them as it was for us. Heck, besides the ceremony, every part of the wedding day is a big Thank You Note! Because each and every person in that room has been with us as individuals and as a couple, and have helped us grow into who we are today.

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We carved out time to give a little Thank You Toast (or two or three – I kept grabbing the mic from Timmykins) before dinner. I was VERY thankful for my practice run from the night before. Because we will never have the same group of people in the same room at the same time ever again. Think about it. The room was bursting with L.O.V.E!!

Last but not least, we sent out Thank You Notes for the gifts we received. They were all purchased and made with the biggest amount of love, so I made sure to not only design the postcards (below), but also write notes that were filled with gratitude and sentiment. Because these aren’t just random people who decided to buy you gifts. These are your closest friends and family. They have been there for you through thick and thin. Good and bad. I mean, that’s why you invited them to your wedding, right??

TY

Right? If not, why did you invite them, silly?

❤ 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 🙂

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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

 

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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!)

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

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

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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??)

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

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

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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!)

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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.

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Self-Explanatory 🙂

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More Christmas bulbs: our favorite holiday

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

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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

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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 #7: CEREMONY!

Good Evening!

It has been so difficult to sit down and put my full self into these posts as of late, that it has been weeks since the last Wedding Wednesday! I am highly disappointed in myself and only hope that you can continue to be patient with me as I transition back into blogging on a regular basis. I love it and hope that I can lend my thoughts and full self over to this blog more often.

ANYWHO! Today’s Wedding Wednesday is all about the ceremony! 

I know some people get married outside, some at an event venue, others at a courthouse, and then there are those – like me – who are married in a church.

1Our Wedding Day

We won’t get too far into logistics, but because Timmykins and I chose to be married in a church, there were rules we had to abide by. At first, the rules turned me off to this choice of setting. But I found ways in which to personalize it as best as possible, and it worked out splendidly. Timmykin’s father presided over the ceremony so he could personalize the homily to us as a couple, and he was emotionally invested in the wedding, so it was a very wonderful time.

On top of that, we were able to choose the readings, readers, liturgist, and music before and after the ceremony. Because we are not partial to church music, we chose not to have music during the ceremony. Doing this allowed us to make a few non-traditional selections:

The Skyrim theme song (this is a video game, and was strategically placed by my husband for when my brother first walked in. I am told the reaction was priceless
Favorite Things (Sound of Music) – what the wedding party walked down the aisle to
Climb Ev’ry Mountain (“) – what I as the bride walked down the aisle to
Skyfall (Skyfall – 007) – our exit music as a married couple “Let the sky fall…we will stand tall and face it all together”

If that isn’t a fun playlist for you, then choose your own! Seriously, it was so much fun to choose the music and so powerful to hear it played. Now I have those songs to connect with my high emotions from the day.

But my absolute favorite thing to personalize over the enter day – coming before decorations, food, music, everything – were the prayers of intention. There are guidelines to go by in the church, but I was ready to tailor them to exactly what we thought needed the most attention:

  1. For the Church and all of those seeking their vocations within it, especially Deacon Tony. That they find the fulfillment and joy in their work that they long for. 
  2. For all people. That we realize despite our race, sexuality, age, creed, and other unique traits, we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and that may bring us together and lead us to a greater peace. 
  3. For E & T. As they embark on this new and exciting journey together, that their love for one another may bring happiness to them, and every life they touch. 
  4. For those that are sick, and those that are unable to join us today, especially Baba & Granny. That they may all feel the warmth of the love radiating from this gathering.
  5. For all of those who have died, especially John S., Roy Z., Ruby Z., Bob E., Ron P., Karl S., Roger S., and Anthony B. May they enjoy perfect happiness and total fulfillment in eternal life. 
  6. For all of us, here today, especially E & T. That we may all carry on the legacy and best attributes of those who have gone before us. Those attributes including, but not limited to: courage, loyalty, compassion, and forgiveness. And that with these tools in hand, we may all live our most rewarding lives.

I had my mom read the intentions, and because they were very personal to her as well, she choked up. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

2Not a dry eye

I highlight the majority of this last intention, because living out the legacies of my family and friends who have passed has become a major focal point in my life, and this intention truly came from the deepest part of me that I could access. We chose to make our big day not just about our union, but about the people who have supported us along the way, both living and deceased. So, basically it was just a big THANK YOU party!

4A token to remember…

3RELIEF! We are MARRIED!

Now, what are you doing to personalize YOUR ceremony? Do you tend to go by-the-book, or would you consider mixing in a few non-traditional details?

My advice? Do what makes you happy. There will be compromise between you and your betrothed, as well as family and friends, but ultimately it IS your day. 

❤ The RoaminTwin

 

Wedding Wednesday #5: 4 Qs EVERY Bride Must Ask Herself To Find THE Gown!

Oh my goodness, it has been just short of a year since I originally posted on the fact that I Found The Gown! Isn’t it crazy how fast time flies?

Well, in the original post, I wrote about the process and the joy that finding THE dress of my dreams brought me, but I didn’t include a picture for fear of the off-chance that my now-husband would view that particular post. Today’s post will reveal the 4 questions every bride must ask herself to find the perfect dress. Yes, it’s THAT easy! First, a little lead-in…

At some point during our courtship, I asked dear Timmykins what type of dress he could see me walking down the aisle in. I am sure that some of your significant others would respond with a simple: Uh, I see a dress, and it’s white! Well, lucky me married someone with 5 older sisters, and he knows a little bit about fashion (both the good and the ugly). He told me he could see me in something classic and elegant. He couldn’t picture me in something strapless, and he liked the look of lace. Of course, he added, you will look beautiful in anything.

Aw, shucks!

Some of you may not take your fiance’s thoughts on a dress into consideration for a multitude of reasons, but the best part is, everything that he said aligned with what I had in mind. I wanted something unique that could also have been worn decades ago, with lace, cap sleeves, and lots of dreamy, airy tulle. I also preferred off-white, because who wants a dress that compromises the appearance of their teeth? 

I kept all of these ideas in mind as I embarked on my great dress adventure, but also remembered the advice I had read and heard a multitude of times that you should try a little of everything on because you could be surprised with what you like.

For instance: I tried on a figure-hugging, strapless dress; something I wouldn’t have picked off the rack in a million years! But, boy did it make me look and feel GOOD! However, I asked myself the 4 questions every bride should ask themselves below, and it was a no-go.

Here are THE questions that every bride should ask herself to find the perfect gown:

1. Do I feel beautiful?
2. Do I feel comfortable?
3. Is it in my price range?
4. Did I walk out of the dressing room smiling, grooving, and twirling?

Now, picture your fiance’s face as he sees you for the first time. I bet you are picturing the biggest grin, and maybe tears!

Doesn’t matter if it fits your original vision, or what you would expect from yourself. If you answered YES to all of the above, then congratulations, you have a winner! THIS is what you will be wearing on one of the happiest days of your life…aren’t you ecstatic??

BONUS TIP: Might I suggest also letting the bridesmaid(s) choose their own dresses? Pick a color, maybe a couple of guidelines, and let them answer those 4 questions on their own! 

❤ 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!

 

Wedding Wednesday #1: You’re Engaged!

Welcome to my few week (I can’t determine the amount of weeks this will take, because I am adding and subtracting as I go!) blog series: Wedding Wednesday! Here, you will find tips, tricks, and advice from the newly – and most importantly, HAPPY – me, RoaminTwin! Oh, and if you are a future Kansas City bride or groom, you will also be getting vendor suggestions! YIPPEE! Now, off to the races, here’s Wedding Wednesday #1: You’re Engaged!

Congratulations!

If you are anything like me, you were chompin’ at the bit, impatient to be proposed to. For the 6 months prior, I had been repeating the words, “You can propose now” to Timmykins once per day. And yet, when it happened, it came as a total shock! Every time that I repeated those words, his response was “Soon”. I had grown to DREAD the word.

Evidently, he planned on proposing right after I told him that on the day he did propose, but the timing wasn’t quite right, and he replied with his expected “Soon”. When he did get down on one knee, I thought he was messing around with me until his pocket-fumbling led to a ring. A beautiful, sparkling, pear-shaped ring (which dazzled even more in the San Diego sun)!

Since we were on vacation, we spent the remaining week telling people in person, as well as calling loved ones not located on the West Coast, and just enjoying being together. I was excited then, and I continue to be excited every day as I look down at my pretty ring and think of the great adventure I am on!

You may not have this luxury of it happening while on vacation, but regardless of what happens, here is what you should do next:

1. Make sure that your loved ones know about your engagement prior to the news making its way onto social media. Call or meet with parents, siblings, extended family, and friends first. No one wants to find out that their best friend or granddaughter got engaged via FACEBOOK! This took a little patience on our end, trying for days to hide my ring in any pictures on our California adventure while attempting to reach so many extended family members. But it IS doable! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

2. Create a joint wedding email address. Yes, it may sound silly to some (and like you are losing your individuality to others), but it is extremely important. Chances are, one of you will stay more on top of wedding planning, but you will want the other involved as well. This email address can be used for group emails to the wedding party and other guests, vendor inquiries, contest entries, and can serve as a means of RSVP for showers, parties, and your actual wedding (but more on that later)! Make it something easy to remember by both partners, as well as something easily remembered by those who will be emailing it. Initials work great, as do numbers that represent year met, year and/or date of wedding. It streamlines everything wedding. TIP: ONLY use this email for wedding and honeymoon-related things while the planning is being done! It will keep confusion from arising, and you won’t lose important emails in a huge jumble!

3. Attend all bridal shows, and sign up for all bridal contests and emails. This is another instance where a joint wedding email address comes in handy, because if you don’t want to unsubscribe to all of the wedding “junk” after the wedding, just save what’s important and delete the account! But, back to the point: there are so many events for all types of vendors, and there are ALWAYS chances to win things, as well as get discounts and free swag! Yes, it could take a couple of hours out of your Saturday, but it is well worth it. Make sure to sign up for your local division of “The Knot”, and Google other wedding events. Map them out. Find designs and spaces and food you never even thought of! And always remember to…

4. Enjoy being engaged. This is something I was told early on and really took to heart. It was a nice reminder as we decided to go to bridal and wedding events – together – and found the planning process FUN and nearly stress-free. It was even a little mantra that, when reminded of it a week before the wedding, grounded me from freaking out in the last minute. It doesn’t matter how long your engagement is, this is the only one you’ve got. Just ENJOY it. Revel in it. Take it in.

And have a Happy Wedding Wednesday, Happy People!

Come back next week for Wedding Wednesday #2: People & Party!

❤ The RoaminTwin

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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!

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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