An Open Letter to My Single Self

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Dear me,

I know that your hearts desire is to be a wife. This is something you have hoped for and prayed for over the years. Not to be a wife, just to be a wife. But to have a life partner and companion to walk through every day adventures with you.

You’ve been single for a few years and I know that has felt lonely at times. While you had some special relationships in high school, the last one really broke your heart. You’re going to date one more guy before you find the one. He will make you more open for marriage and help you grow up.

And when you’re ready, you’ll meet your “future” when and where you least expect it. It will actually be out in public, and you’ll meet him in a way that you never had met a past mate. This will make it special and really stand out.

You’re going to fall in love quickly and date for a few years. He’ll propose later than you want him to, but it’s going to be when he’s ready. That’s most important. Give him time, because you will end up together and have a long and happy life. Marriage is going to be work but it will be the biggest blessing and a clear answer to your prayers.

In the meantime, single self, be patient. Remember that there are a few things that need to happen during this time of waiting.

  1. Get your priorities straight. Learn to love God, love yourself, and then you’ll be able to love someone else.
  2. A concept someone recently shared with me that I LOVED is to “practice” being married, even when you’re single. This might sound weird, but it’s something that’s important. Is there something you would want to do differently when you’re married? Like not being so quick to anger or needing to improve at listening? Or…making your bed daily or getting your laundry done (because soon it will be x2). It’s crucial to get into these habits now so you have less of an adjustment when you are living with someone else.
  3. Enjoy all of the alone time you have today. You’ll still have it when you get married, but it will be different.
  4. Start to look at your budget. All of the money that you’re spending on pedicures and shopping might begin to change once you have a shared bank account with someone else. Get used to saving your money now, so you have more of a foundation to bring to your marriage. When you come together, you’ll both bring some bad spending habits to your relationship, so do what you can to get ahead of this.
  5. Lastly and most importantly, don’t underestimate this: timing is key. While you might be ready TODAY to meet the one, and ready to marry him TOMORROW, he might not be ready. He is still going through life experiences right now that will prepare him to be the husband that you will need. Allow him to have this time before he comes into your life.

Marriage is a forever thing and if it is meant to be then trust that it will be. So while you dream of one day having a ring on that finger, you will get it in a few years and never ever ever have to take it off. So enjoy this time and stop freaking out over who, when, and where. You’ll end up being the happiest you’ve ever been, so get excited!

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience. – Unknown

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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5 Things I Would’ve Changed About My Wedding

Last week I shared about all of the decisions that one has to make when planning a wedding and the things that you might find yourself second guessing. Of course I found myself in the same boat. Now, a few years later, I can look back and say everything turned out exactly the way it was supposed to. Was it perfect? Nope! Would I have changed anything? Not really…but if I really think about it…there are, of course, a few things I would’ve done differently if given the opportunity. The great thing is that these are SO simple and things that honestly seem silly, but were important to me.

  1. I would not have made so many custom alternations to my dress. The alterations price knocked my socks off. What I didn’t realize was that the alterations team at the bridal gown store is in a business, too. They sold me on quite a few additional alterations that I really didn’t need. Like:
    • Sewing my (expensive) bra into my dress so it wouldn’t move, but it wouldn’t have anyways because the dress was so tight. And then I didn’t get to ever use that bra again.
    • Sewing the bustle on since I wasn’t interested in ever leaving the train out; but the bustle was made with little buttons so it wouldn’t have come undone!
    • Sewing my belt accessory onto my dress. It would have been just fine without it!
  2. I wouldn’t have bought Spanx for my wedding dress. I literally bought a really expensive pair of undergarments right before dress shopping, thinking I would also wear them on my big day. (I also thought it might make me feel “prettier” while trying things on…lame…) What I didn’t realize was MOST wedding dresses (unless super slinky) have many material layers and are built with so much structure that it honestly doesn’t matter. Even the flowiest dresses I tried on had more structure than I’d realized.
  3. I would have added more bobby pins to my veil. It ended up being a windy day outside (and actually rained during the ceremony!) When I watch my wedding video bacj, I see how crazy my veil was flying. You could also tell that I was slightly titling my head back to try and keep it in place. I got my hair professionally done and wore a small bird cage veil but should have added a lot more bobby pins. I thought I had plenty and that the hairspray would hold it, but it just wasn’t enough. An alternate to adding more pins ahead of time would have been to just have my sister/MOH carry them with her, just in case. In pictures, we solved this by having a loved one put their hand behind my back and gently holding it down…you can’t even tell!
  4. I would have clarified my vision for the cake before the big day. What’s funny is that my husband literally has ONE complaint from our big day… “The cake was too small.” It was. We only had a one-tier cake to cut into. Keep in mind that it was a destination wedding with 50 people, but it felt small. What you can’t see in the pictures is that we actually served delicious and beautiful cupcakes to our guests. I told my wedding planned early on in the process that I had a vision of a top tier cake, with cupcakes building multiple tiers underneath. I didn’t repeat it a second time in the process and I should have.
  5. I would have made sure the wedding planner spoke more to the DJ. I sent a recommended playlist ahead of time to the DJ and wedding planner (that was way too long.) On the list, I had a few key things, including notes like “No country music.” What was one of the party dance songs the DJ selected? Cotton-eyed-joe! How much more country can you get?! It was a fun dancing song, but with limited dancing time, I am sorry that they played some songs that really didn’t represent us as a couple. I should have reiterated a few key things about the music to the wedding planner so she could keep the DJ on track.

Things could always be improved but it’s important not to overthink every single detail and to just go with the flow! Hoping these tips can help you beforehand, though!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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The Second Guessing Bride

One of the most complex things about wedding planning are the amount of decisions that need to be made, both big and small. From the favors to the reception food, there are a ton of decisions that need to be made. And whether you have a long or a short engagement period, it’s always going to feel like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. Once your to-do list is checked off, you’ll likely think of more things to add to it!

With all of the decision-making, will likely come second guessing. Here are a few of my tips on key areas:

  • Wedding Dress This one catches a lot of brides by surprise. You’re in the store and you say “yes to the dress” and walk out on cloud 9. And then you start to question…is it the right style? Too formal? Right color? Too trendy? Will it be comfortable enough? Will it complement the venue? Don’t be caught off guard…this is NORMAL. I literally questioned my dress leading all of the way up to the big day. Some days I was positive that I had the most perfect dream dress, and then other times I found myself daydreaming about my “second choice.” The one thing that helped me was I actually didn’t “say yes” on the day I went dress shopping. I walked out with two top selections and was leaning towards one. When I woke up the next morning, I reviewed all of the photos that I took and thought long and hard, and ended up choosing the first dress that popped into my mind. My husband LOVED the dress and I wouldn’t have changed my mind, even if I had the opportunity.
    More reading: “What To Do If You Second Guess Your Wedding Dress” from Brides.
  • Wedding Registry This can be a really fun activity to focus on but the reality is that you will likely go back to your list and add/take away after you’ve already created it. Be smart with your choices and make sure you find the right compromise with your partner when selecting items that represent the both of you. Do select the”boring”/traditional things that you will need (and use every day), but don’t be afraid to add stand-out pieces like a piece of art that will mean a lot to you in your future home. And lastly, remember that you will likely receive quite a few gift cards (both to where you registered as well as other big-box stores.) The best thing about that is that you’ll have some left-over money to spend on things that you hadn’t already thought of before.
    More reading: “Wedding Bells: 10 Wedding Registry Tips From a Real Newlywed” from  guest blogger at Lauren Conrad.
  • Wedding Theme When you first select your theme, make sure it’s broad enough to have enough room to play around with. I recommend selecting both a theme, as well as a color scheme or decor…examples could be “Heaven on Earth, elegant glamour” or “Nautical Travel, blue and white” or “Classy Country, chic barnyard.” If you put it in too small of a box, it can be hard to add additional details when things come up. Allow the theme to evolve over time, too, since you’ll likely add to your decor along the way. No matter what, if you select a theme that represents you and your partner at time point in time, there’s no reason to feel like you wish you had a “do-over.”
    More reading: “How To Select Your Wedding Theme“, my blog from last week.
  • Party Guest List Face it, there are a lot of people in both of your lives, but the guest list can’t be limitless. Start with the most important people and then add to it. Have a discussion with the parents on both sides to find out what their top 1 and top 2 tier requests are, and then see if you can fit them in. It is important to ‘throw them a bone’ and invite Mom’s best friend or Dad’s pastor friend, because this is a family affair. Most importantly, ask yourself these three questions to help narrow it down, “Have ________ played an important role in mine/his life?” “Is this someone who will continue to be in our lives, after the wedding day?” “Will I regret if I don’t share this day with ___________ or have them in pictures?”
    More reading: “Tips for Making Your Wedding Guest List” from The Knot.

What’s most important? Trust your gut. And know that there are so many decisions that will need to be made, so it’s not going to benefit you to redo (and redo again) plans that are already put in place. It doesn’t matter HOW PERFECT your big day ends up being, you will likely still have things that you wish you did or didn’t do. And you know what? That’s normal. But, you then have a life as a wife to focus on so just keep moving forward!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How to Select Your Wedding Theme

One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is how a couple decides upon their wedding theme. Some can range from so generic and right out of a wedding magazine to really eccentric and off-the-wall. The tips that I have for you are the following:

  1. First consider your location. Is there something about your wedding venue that makes it easier to either apply a theme or discard a theme? For example, I had always envisioned a peacock themed wedding. I love the colors and think it could be a really vibrant and pretty experience. However, when we would be getting married at the beach, this made absolutely no sense!
  2. If you do get married somewhere like the beach, for example, don’t feel forced to do something so straightforward as a beach theme. We ended up doing more of a nautical-travel theme and tied in some really personal elements. There’s no reason why you can’t slant a certain idea to make it more meaningful and true to who both of you are.
  3. Is there something unique that both you and your fiancé do, are passionate about, or equally love? This could be a variety of things. Baseball? New York City? Travel? Donuts? Coffee? Reading? Of course you need to widen some of these ideas to work as an actual theme but it could give you a great starting point.
  4. Think about your relationship and the story of how you came to be you and he. Some of the best weddings are ones were guest walk away feeling like they know the couple even better than when they walked in. If there is something about your love story that makes it really truly unique, think about how to tie this into the theme. Maybe each of you have different cultural backgrounds and family traditions or met in a unique place. This can be a great place to start.
  5. Don’t forget the weddings that you’ve gone to or have seen on TV/online. Would have been some of your favorite themes? What would you have changed about them to make them more personal? Or is there a theme that you really hated? You’ve got to start somewhere! Use this as fuel for your brainstorming.

Hope this helps! Happy planning. 

With love, 

Girl with a diamond ring

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I’m back!

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Hi friends!

I’m back from my break this summer and happy to be here. I attended a few beautiful weddings during my time off, watched all of the Hallmark June wedding movies, and watched way too many Say Yes to the Dress reruns! I also read some great wedding magazines and a few event planning books. Oh, and my blog got a makeover! So yeah, it’s been a FUN summer! I’ll be documenting everything I have learned over the next few months. And if there’s something you’re interested in hearing about, please leave me a comment with your topic of choice!

There is something so special about the memories made during weddings and I’m really passionate about this space. Everything I do reminds me of my special day 2 1/2 years ago and I couldn’t be more happily married today. Join me every Saturday to hear more on this blog! In the meantime, check out the regrams I shared on my Instagram channel for these last few months @girlwithadiamondring.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Summer Vacation, Blog Vacation

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Hi there

I’m taking a blog vacation for the summer. I have so enjoyed writing about weddings for the last few months and I’m looking forward to being back in a few months. I’ll be taking the summer to prioritize my health and take a step back from all of the chaos around me. And there may or may not be a stack of wedding magazines waiting for me to read during my upcoming free time. I’ll continue my Instagram channel (@girlwithadiamondring) so catch me online there!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Meeting Expectations

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I have a confession to make.

I have been binging like CRAZY on the show “Say Yes to the Dress” recently. Since a new season is back, they are also airing past episodes. I have literally been watching at least 5 episodes every weekend. Some, I missed so they are new to me, and others…I am watching again! Even if I remember the bride and WHAT DRESS SHE CHOSE! It has honestly made me very happy, though.

As I’ve been watching these, I keep thinking about how so many brides expect that they are going to cry when they find the dress of their dreams. Or if not them, at least someone in their group, like mom or dad. They would literally be beaming (in what we all know is ‘the one’) and then their face would fall and they’d say “I thought I would cry if it was the one for me.”

It got me thinking about all of the preconceived notions we have in our head when planning a wedding. Like, we’re going to cry when we find the dress, or when we walk down the aisle. Or we have to wear high heels, or we have to serve dinner to all of our guests. Not because we want to, but because that’s what we have been conditioned to do.

When planning your wedding, you will likely have expectations placed upon you by society, loved ones, or even yourself, and it’s important that you pay close attention. Don’t expect that you’re going to act or feel a certain way. Because if you don’t respond in that way, you might question things more than you need to.

Know that weddings will bring out so many emotions at different times. Some might surprise you and some might not. But don’t make it harder on yourself that it needs to be. Be true to who you are and throw those expectations out the window!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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The Two Best Pieces of Marriage Advice I Received

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Throughout my wedding planning and leading up to the big day, I got a TON of advice. Some of it was very good, and some of it was…not so good.

But the two pieces of advice that I cherish the most are tips that I was given in toasts on the weekend of my wedding. The bold text is the piece of advice, and the italic explanations are my interpretations and how I have carried this feedback in my heart.

Find ways every day to out-love one another. Sometimes it can get hard when it doesn’t feel like your spouse is ‘meeting you in the middle’ and you’ll find yourself saying things like “Yeah, I would do that but HE didn’t do XYZ…” If you both try and focus on always one-upping the other in the love department, you will both greatly benefit from it. So wake up every day and ask yourself how you can choose to out-love your spouse that day, and this thought alone could transform your entire marriage. If you start this habit early, it will set you up for success for a long future. (A close family friend shared this at our rehearsal dinner and it brought me to tears.)

Always remember, you’re on the same team. When the world goes away, it’s just the two of you. Remember that you’re in each others corners and want the best for each other, even if it doesn’t feel that way all of the time. If you keep a team mentality, you’ll always find ways to back each other up and support one another in the ways you will need it most. (My sister said this in her MOH speech. She and her husband are an awesome team and I often find myself reminding myself of this piece of advice…especially in the middle of any tiffs that my hubby and I have!)

Feel free to steal these for your next toast, the bride and groom will appreciate it!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Creating Your Wedding Registry

cropped-7-18-2017-5-30-31-pm3.jpgOne of the pre-wedding activities that is quite popular is creating your gift registry. This allows you to select things ahead of time that you know you and your groom will use in your future home, so your guests know exactly what to get you.

Here in the states, I most often hear the following stores as good places to register: Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Macys, Crate and Barrel. They are well-known chains so anyone can get you a gift or gift card online or in-store, and they have a ton of inventory so most things won’t go out of stock (unless you set it up too far in advance prior to the big day.)

Before you set up your registry, talk to your partner about the things that you would like to have in your home. What type of style? What color scheme? What are the must-haves, and the nice to haves? Aligning on this BEFORE you’re in the middle of a department store is highly recommended! But know that you will not both agree on everything and will need to find a middle point to meet on some items….this is where that word “compromise” comes in!

Remember that your home needs to reflect you BOTH so make sure you select items that represent you both as individuals and a couple. You will want to make sure you get the basics like bed sheets and plates, but don’t forget about the things that will make your house feel like a home. Some of my favorite registry items that we received were pieces of wall art and some unique bed side tables that matched our color scheme.

Also remember that whether you ask for them or not, you will likely get a lot of gift cards (and some from places other than where you register which isn’t always a bad thing.) I recommend saving them up until you have a batch big enough to make a big run to the store. My husband and I saved all of our gift cards until after the wedding and then we used those cards to purchase the rest of our registry lists (and more!)

There will be some people who will not buy from your registry, and that’s ok. You WILL get multiple picture frames (that may or may not be your style). And you’ll probably get a few kitchen gadgets that you have no idea how to use. Some of these can be super special additions to your home, since you never thought to purchase them.

Creating a registry can be a lot of fun and these days store apps make them super easy to manage. Many stores will also let you know if an item runs out of inventory or has been removed from their stock. So keep an eye on this and then write your thank you cards to the people that give you gifts! (More on that next week…)

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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