Another Year Has Come to an End

It’s been another great year for me over at Girl with a Diamond Ring. This is truly a passion project for me and it’s such a fun hobby to take my mind off of ‘real life’!

I have now been married 3.5 years and am so thankful that I have my best friend by my side to endure the ups and downs of life. He always makes me laugh, with his silly dance moves and sarcastic sense of humor. He takes care of me and asks me “How can I support you?” when I’m struggling. I have had great marriage mentors, too. I have been incredibly inspired by my parents who celebrated 33 years this summer before my dad lost a quick and tragic battle to kidney cancer.

If I have learned anything through this recent season that my family has endured, it would be to hold your loved ones close and pick your battles (especially in marriage). At the end of the day, much of the stress and ‘small’ day to day things that we freak out over are not worth it. Stay present, give thanks, and let your spouse know that your life is better with them by your side.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my other social channels for GWADR, check out my regrams on Instagram from some of my favorite wedding photographers and real bride moments, and hop on over to Pinterest for my wedding theme boards and style inspiration. To catch up on my blogs, just scroll down this page!

Happy New Year: don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Seasonal Wedding Details

Christmas and New Years weddings are the best, but since they often overlap with an already well-known holiday, it can be easy to become too cookie cutter. Think outside of the box and make this season your own.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas to implement for weddings taking place in December and January:

  • Have a hot chocolate bar. It’s unique, budget-friendly, and super easy. Don’t forget flavor additions like candy canes, marshmallows or even cinnamon! You can also take advantage of seasonal whipped cream flavors like pumpkin or peppermint (just don’t put the cans out, please! Place them in another container that feels more wedding-appropriate.)
  • Consider adding a s’mores bar if the venue you’re at can help you figure out the logistics.
  • Have some cozy blankets or pairs of gloves available for guests. Consider matching them to your wedding colors.
  • Speaking of colors, don’t get caught up in what you ‘think’ you should do. A red and green or blue and silver wedding theme has been done a million times. If you have other colors in mind, go for it. They won’t feel out of place if you keep the seasons in mind.
  • If you are fans of Christmas, Christmas trees and poinsettias can make for beautiful decorations. Wrapped Christmas boxes that look like gifts can be cute for your table centerpieces, too. Just be careful not to overdo it because it’s a wedding and not another Christmas party.
  • Don’t forget that you can use candles as part of your decor! They can be super romantic and easily set up the environment. Throw in some that are scented like pine or cinnamon.
  • On the sweetheart table, wrap super thick and luxe blankets around the bride and grooms chairs. Then you can use those in your future home.
  • Get creative with a signature drink with seasonal colors, alcohol flavors and drink names.
  • Tie in the season with your favors. Think, hot chocolate pouches, peppermint coffee or mini-liquor bottles and ornaments can be great ideas for your guests can enjoy after the big day (without breaking your bank!) If you want to invest a little more, you can give away blankets or snow globes that help represent you as a couple.
  • Light up the dance floor with glow sticks and confetti. If it’s around New Years, bring in a disco ball or fun hats and sunglasses.
  • For your grand exit, bring in a snow machine…if there isn’t real snow coming down!

At the end of the day, remember that this is your wedding and it’s important that you don’t get too caught up in the seasonality of details. Incorporate the ideas that feel true to who you are as a couple and don’t force it! For more seasonal wedding ideas, visit my Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/girlwithadiamondring.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Creative Wedding Gift Ideas

The holidays are quickly approaching and that will bring with it some beautiful winter weddings. It will be likely that you’re invited to multiple weddings or wedding showers in a short amount of time, which might make it difficult on your wallet since this can already be a financially-strapped season.

Here are a few recommendations for wedding gifts that don’t break the bank. And remember that you don’t have to be cheap about it, you can still do something classy or meaningful!

  • Take them out before the wedding to somewhere like a local wine bar or specialty dessert place. If you just make sure that it’s far enough in advance before their planning gets too hectic, some couples really appreciate having some down time and a night out together leading up to the big day!
  • Go in on a registry item (like a bedding set, for example) with another wedding guest and make it a shared gift so you can split the price.
  • Buy the “smaller” registry items that many others won’t. (Do watch out because these can add up quickly, but if you focus on one room like a bathroom then it likely won’t break the bank.)
  • Offer quality time to the couple and share a home cooked meal after they return from their honeymoon. This could be helpful for them if they’re still up to their elbows in moving boxes and they can reminisce on the fun memories. Make this night feel special for the ‘bride and groom’ and make them your guests of honor.
  • Give them a gift card to a place like the movie theater in their home town for them to go on a date night.
  • Purchase something meaningful that ties into their shared interests as a couple. It could be something like a cute picnic basket for the couple that likes to go to the park or nice matching water bottles (those that keep water cool for, like, ever) for the couple that enjoys hiking. Just add a sweet note with the gift so it’s clear that you put thought into it.
  • If you want to buy them something meaningful but don’t have the cash right then, let them know that you’ll go in on wedding prints for them (like a canvas shipped from Shutterfly) once their wedding photos have been edited. Just make sure they don’t forget, so reach back out if you see their photos hit social media and offer to make the purchase!

As long as you go into this with the right intentions, that will be made clear. No matter what? True friendship and support for the newlyweds post-wedding day is priceless.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Because You Loved Me, Dad

In honor of my Dad, who we lost on September 10, for loving me and shaping me into who I am today.

He and I picked out my wedding dress together. He then walked me down the aisle, married my husband and I, and then we danced…all night long. This is the song that we danced to on my wedding day. We had such a fun time. He twirled me around and made me feel loved and beautiful. I will always think of him when I hear this song and I am grateful for this beautiful memory.

“For all those times you stood by me

For all the truth that you made me see

For all the joy you brought to my life

For all the wrong that you made right

For every dream you made come true

For all the love I found in you

I’ll be forever thankful baby

You’re the one who held me up

Never let me fall

You’re the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly

You touched my hand I could touch the sky

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me

You said no star was out of reach

You stood by me and I stood tall

I had your love I had it all

I’m grateful for each day you gave me

Maybe I don’t know that much

But I know this much is true

I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were always there for me

The tender wind that carried me

A light in the dark shining your love into my life

You’ve been my inspiration

Through the lies you were the truth

My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me”

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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‘Til Death Do Us Part

It’s been a while since I have blogged because my family is going through a hard time right now and I’ve had to reprioritize my free time. My dad is dying from cancer and will be leaving this earth to step in to eternity soon. It’s been incredibly difficult but my family is holding hands firmly every step of the way as we move through this hard season. Our bonds are strong and our faith in Christ is even stronger, so I know we’re going to be OK.

As we have been dealing with this, I have thought often about the true meaning of life, family, and marriage.

My parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary this summer and we knew it would be their last together here on earth. When we say “’til death do us part”, do we truly mean it? I know my parents did when they said “I do.” They meant the words of their vows with every depth of their beings and have clung to one another through every life season.

Can you say the same? Don’t let the stresses of wedding planning overshadow that special promise that you will make to one another. And when the confetti is thrown away and flowers have shriveled, will you vow to make that promise to love and care for one another over and over again?

Marriage is a gift. If you are blessed with a special someone in your life, hold them tight. Don’t forget to share your gratitude with them. And relish in each moment of your relationship, even when it’s not the most glamorous of seasons. Being married gives you the ability to have a life partner. There will be times of sickness and health, and like in my parents case this very moment, you might be given the opportunity to be with the one you love until the very end of life.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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