5 Reasons to Have a Spring Wedding

Spring officially begins on March 20th—-that’s right around the corner! As the snow begins to melt and the sun starts to shine, that means that spring weddings are here.

1 According to “BrideBox”, January, March, April and November are the cheapest months to throw a wedding celebration. Try a weekday or Sunday if you really want to save your money, too.

2 The weather is likely going to be perfect. Not too cold, and not too hot; a great time of year for an outdoor soiree. Do check the weather though and have a backup plan for spring showers.

3 Most people aren’t going to be traveling at this time (other than the peak spring break weeks) which means guests should be not have as many conflicts. Winter and summer can be spotty with availability, so this is right in the middle.

4 You can leverage unique themes like a brunch themed wedding, garden tea party, or spring pastels and it will feel right on trend.

5 Go overboard with flowers, and it won’t even be noticeable (in a negative way.) Whether it be a floral invitation, a bridal flower crown, or floral print bridesmaid dresses, flowers can be such a special addition to elevate the magic of your big day.

If you’re a bride-to-be planning a spring wedding, I’d love to hear why you chose this time of year! Here are some additional resources for you:

How to Have a Spring Wedding by The Knot

11 Expert Tips for Planning a Spring Wedding by Martha Stewart Weddings

100 Ideas for Spring Weddings by Bridal Guide

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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A Newlywed Tradition

My husband and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. Recognizing another year is really special because it allows us to see how far we have come, both as individuals and a couple.

When we were first married, a friend of mine recommended that my hubby and I start a tradition: to watch our wedding video every anniversary.

While I initially brought up the idea to my husband, he wasn’t a huge fan of the idea, but over time I think he’s come to enjoy the sentiment behind the memories. The full length video is about 30 minutes and it shares the entire ceremony and highlights from the reception like the first dance.

It’s been fun to watch the video again and be reminded of things like the way my wedding dress flowed behind me as I walked and the cute jokes from the MOH speech. Now that we’ve seen it a few times, we’ve even recognized some of the talking parts!

The best part of the video is to listen to our vows again. It’s so nice to be reminded of the words that we based the foundation of our marriage upon and it helps us get recentered and focused on what matters once a year. We chose vows that weren’t completed traditional but that had special meaning to us, and they become more true in our lives every day that passes:

“I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love.  I promise to encourage you and inspire you, and to love your truly through good times and bad.  I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together.”

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Wedding Tips from a Newlywed: Q&A with Bride, Amanda

Amanda Fox (previously Margedant) is a newlywed. Her wedding photos are still being framed, thank you cards are being addressed, and the couple just hosted the first party in their new home! As with all brides, she has some really special memories, along with a few things that she might have done differently, so I wanted to sit down with her to learn more.


What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for the newly engaged woman?

Everyone will ask you, “when is the big day?” It’s ok to not have a date yet. You can simply reply, my husband-to-be and I are still deciding when it’s right for us.

How did you create your wedding planning timeline?

Many of the vendors that I hired had a typical timeline document and I was able to get a copy from 2 of our vendors and merge/edit to our liking. The event coordinator at the venue was the best person to run the timeline as she knew the venue’s in’s and out’s.

Was there something that surprised you about the wedding planning process?

I was surprised how easy but time-consuming the entire process was.

For the most part I was calm throughout the entire process. On the day of, my bridesmaid helped keep my nerves down by keeping me distracted and occupied.


What role did your now-Husband Jay play in the planning process?

Jay was super planner fiancé, each night we would try to get 2-3 things done in the last 3 months of our engagement. Some nights we would divide and conquer and other nights we would work together on projects. A few of the details I found he didn’t think were necessary, these I took care of behind the scenes (ribbon color, fonts on the invites, etc.). This worked well as he was very engaged in things like the music and food.

What was the most stressful part for you?

Bridesmaid dress shopping….trying to get five girls to agree on one dress was by far the biggest challenge of the wedding planning process.


How did your wedding vision end up coming together?

I chose a venue that had gardens, waterfalls and a victorian house. By having the gardens and waterfall on site, I was able to stress less by not having to arrange decorations. This option fit my timeline best!

The location was one of the biggest parts of our wedding (or any event) running smoothly. While Jay and I were off taking photos or talking to people we knew that the staff was taking care of our guests. It’s good to look at a venue from a functional view as well, does it have accessible bathrooms, capacity, food on site, beverages on site, staffed appropriately, suite for bridesmaids/groomsmen, parking, etc.


Is there anything you would have done differently in the planning process?

It’s super easy to go over your budget, I wish I would have made sub categories for my budget. Here is how much I have for cake, here is how much I have for a DJ.

What is your best memory from your wedding day?

My best memory from our wedding day was when the DJ gave my husband Jay the mic and he thanked all of our family and friends for coming. I remember standing next to him in front of everyone, thinking, “Wow, I just married that man” and feeling all of the moments of happiness that led up to this day hit me at all at once.


What’s the best part of being a newlywed?!

Getting a shorter last name, doubling the size of my family, traveling together and having Jay as my ‘forever date’ !


Wedding Vendor Love

Venue and Catering: Grand Tradition Estate

Photography: Jason Berry Photography

Hair: Beni Brambila

Wedding dress: Mia Bella Couture

Shoes: Designer Shoes Warehouse (DSW)

Photobooth: Pixter Photobooth

*Amanda, I am so happy for you. Thanks for taking this time to share your thoughts with my readers! I know that you and Jay will have a long and happy life together.*

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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From the Archives: Planning for Your Honeymoon

Since my husband and I did a destination wedding, we stayed behind after the wedding in the same resort and spent a few extra days for our honeymoon. Not only was this totally economical for us, but it allowed us to spend a full week in the place where we got married.

Since we dated for 5 years before this, and I had always dreamed of getting married, I had this perfect vision in my head of what our honeymoon might have been like. While it was absolutely magical, there are a few things I didn’t think about beforehand that might have helped me better prepare.

  • If you do take your honeymoon immediately after your wedding, you will both likely be exhausted! Allow one another to relax as much as you need to and make sure you’re on the same page about the activities you want to do together. We were really excited about doing some adventure sports (like 4-wheeling through the jungle) but we honestly were so tired that put all of our remaining spending money on spa credits at the resort!
  • You will still want to do some things on your own. One morning, my husband went to get a massage and I enjoyed a mimosa with breakfast in bed. I wouldn’t have anticipated that we would have done activities like this separately, but just think about all of the planning and emotion that leads up to a wedding. You will both need a little bit of time to decompress and mentally prepare for the next season of life. After all, you will go from being the center of attention at a ginormous event, to doing dishes!
  • The wedding will be behind you, but you’ll both probably spend a lot of time reminiscing on all of the little details. Like “didn’t you love that toast?” or “did you see XYZ’s dance moves?” Make sure to probe each other with questions, like what your most special part of the day was or what happened that might have surprised you. These will be really special conversations to help bridge you through the rest of your vacation before you jump back into real life.
  • You might have a little tiff or argument! There was probably so much pent-up stress and a lot of emotions that come up because of the wedding. Don’t overthink this and just move through it. Try not to hold onto anything too long because you don’t want to ruin a special time.
  • Make sure you buy something that will remind you of this special place! My husband and I spent a lot more on touristy items than we planned on (and I was a tad bitter about it). But in hindsight, I am SO glad that we did because now I have things like a key chain, coffee mug and flip flops that will always remind me of my honeymoon. It was totally worth it.

Just remember that this will be a moment in your history that you won’t be able to get back and you and your spouse will likely have a special bond with the place where you honeymoon. ENJOY!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Staying Close During Added Relationship Pressures

My husband and I had one of our biggest fights (ever) on Valentines Day on the year that we were engaged. It came as a surprise to me and was tied up into a ball of multiple complexities. We barely ever fight outside of tiffs here and there so this was a rare moment, especially on (what’s supposed to be) the most romantic time of the year.

While I wish the fight didn’t happen, it allowed us to move into the next stage of our commitment and reminded us of how important it is to treat each other with the utmost care. The argument wasn’t over any of the wedding details in particular, it was magnified because of the amount of pressure around us at the time. There were likely also some unspoken fears and nerves that were brewing under the surface about the upcoming changes.

The time of your engagement will likely come with a lot of stress and quick decisions to be made. You’ll both be working through your own individual emotions and stresses and they can come out in different ways at unique times. Stay close to one another and be open about how you’re feeling. Most importantly, start to take steps towards viewing life as a “we” instead of a “me.” By beginning to transition to this new mindset prior to your wedding day, it will set you both up for success in the long run.

Oh and the good news? All Valentines since have been wonderful! No fights here!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Answers to Real Bride Questions: Wedding Registry

Real bride and GWADR blog reader, Kayla, asked:

Do you have any tips for creating a wedding registry for couples that already live together?

Great question, and congrats on your upcoming nuptials! We live in a new world where couples are able to challenge traditions to create their own, and this is becoming a more popular subject. So while many couples use a wedding registry to create their new home environment together typically from scratch, what happens if they already have a home together?

I did some research and have curated some of my favorite tips:

1. Upgrade what you already own and sign up for a traditional wedding registry like Macy’s, Wayfair or Crate & Barrel. Have your guests invest in new bedding or kitchen gadgets that you’ve never been able to afford. This gives your loved ones a chance to invest in your new life together and there’s no downside to getting a new comfy pillow or shiny blender! (And don’t forget a new vacuum or pet bed!)

2. Sign up for a specialty gift registry like Bottlenotes or Beer of the Month (if you like a glass of something special at dinner) or Seven Hopes United (if you want eco friendly gifts.)

3. Have guests chip in towards your honeymoon experiences through Honeyfund, The Honeymoon, and Wanderable. This is a time that you’ll really want to enjoy and it’d be nice to not feel like you’re having to penny pinch (especially after an expensive wedding!) You might also ask the hotel where you’re staying at ahead of time if guests are able to chip in for your on-site activities.

4. Foodies? Ask a few people to chip in with gift cards for monthly food services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or Sun Basket. This will allow you to have a few meals a week at home so you can have some quiet time together and get some good cooking practice in.

5. You can request gift cards to things like the local movie theater or your favorite restaurants through Card Avenue; they even have cards for Lowe’s and Whole Foods! There’s NOTHING wrong with this route but do give your guests some options. Some people won’t want to buy you a gift card so having a physical list is still nice to have.

6. Use a cross-company registry so you can curate items from multiple places. This will allow you to be more eclectic without making it confusing for your guests. Sites include Zola, Simpleregistry and CheckedTwice.

7. If you have something really specific in mind, it’s ok to ask a few people close to you for that one gift or two that would make you really happy. For example, you could ask for someone to buy you an annual Movie Pass (unlimited date nights!) or a gift card/Groupon voucher towards a local wine tour or spa service. You could also select a large gift for people to split like a home theater system, concert tickets or an expensive luggage set. These might be one offs that won’t make sense to share as a broader request of your guests, but could be really special for your life as newlyweds.

8. Don’t forget the more sensible options like Amazon or Walmart. These will allow you to select items from all across the board that can help you in your new life together, from grocery shopping trips to new tech toys like matching FitBits for both of you to wear!

Now register away and enjoy your upgraded home life with your new spouse. And thanks for your question, Kayla!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Marriage Insights in a New Year

I enjoyed a relaxing time off over the holidays and had a great time filling my free time with Pinterest wedding searches, sappy Hallmark movies and Say Yes to the Dress episode marathons!

With all of the romance in the air, I have been thinking a lot about the importance of wedding prep and what that means for a long and happy marriage. Why I love wedding planning so much is because it’s so much more than planning that one day; you are planning the rest of your life! This quote stands out to me:

“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make–not just on your wedding day, but over and over again–and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.” – Barbara de Angelis

Now that I’ve been married (almost) three years, I am reminded of a few key things and I hope they can encourage you, too.

Marriage is a gift. Marriage is long lasting. And you are entering into a partnership for the rest of your life with your love and your best friend. That’s the best part and all that really matters!

If you’re newly engaged, make sure you (try to) enjoy the planning process as you lead up to your big day. It will get chaotic and stressful but it will be a day that will kick off the next season of your relationship. Don’t lose sight of your “forever” by getting ok wrapped up in the details and remember that you’re both on the same team.

Most importantly… be kind to one another, show your appreciation for your partner in big and small ways, and never stop dating.

I am looking forward to kicking off 2018 and will see you back here every Saturday with new wedding blog posts!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Top Performing Blogs from 2017

7-18-2017 5-30-31 PM

It’s been my first official full year with my very own wedding blog! (WOW-ZA!) I have SO enjoyed diving deeper into my passion through this weekly blog post, my Instagram channel, and my Pinterest page. I am still a happy “newlywed” (almost 3 years in) and I love all-things-weddings more than ever.

In case you missed them, here are the most popular posts from my year:

  1. 10 Things I Loved About the Miya Wedding
  2. 10 Things I Loved About the Puff Wedding
  3. The Second Guessing Bride
  4. The Two Best Pieces of Marriage Advice
  5. Wedding Theme Spotlight: Time for Brunch

I’m looking forward to sharing more sparkle and wedding planning tips with you in 2018! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for automatic updates via email. See you next year!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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How to Fix 5 Wedding Invitation Mistakes

7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMWhen I first started planning my wedding, I realized fairly quickly how easy it would be too make mistakes throughout the process because most of tasks were being completed for the first time. “You don’t know what you don’t know” is extremely accurate.

Invitations were such a fun part of the planning process but I learned a few really important things that I hope can help you based on personal mistakes that I made.

  • Don’t feel like your theme has to be 100% set in stone before you send them out. As long as you have a general color scheme or foundational idea of the style, you can decide on your invites. While these should support your overall vision, it doesn’t need to be exact. Some people wait too long feeling like every detail needs to be ironed out and they get invitations out later than they should. It’s not worth lower headcount on your big day just so it’s perfect.
  • Order more than you think you’ll need. You WILL have last minute additions to your list that you’ll need to either mail or personally hand out. Ordering a whole new smaller second batch will be much more expensive than just ordering 10-20 extra with your first purchase.
  • Remember that invitations are piece of paper that will eventually get thrown away. Sorry, I know that doesn’t sound very romantic! While invites are what might make it feel “real” to you and your spouse, don’t go overboard. Details like lace or ribbon can be nice, but can also add to the final cost of the wedding. Keep this in mind when you’re selecting the style and weighing your options. Speaking of weight…unique sizes or thicker card stock can add to shipping costs. While a few cents or even a dollar doesn’t sound that bad, if you’re having a big wedding then this will really add up.
  • Do your research to compare vendor prices, both online and in local businesses. I personally got my wedding invitations from Wedding Paper Divas (who have now partnered with Shutterfly) and I’m so glad that I did. The invites came in a beautiful box (that I still have) and the team was professional every step of the way. But after my wedding, I started to realize how many options are available. Get recommendations from married friends. Search on the internet and social media hashtags. And take advantage of coupons and seasonal sales !
  • Your invitations don’t HAVE to be “wedding invitations.” There are tons of invitation types available and usually more specific themes will increase in price. Look around at regular event and party invites that can be personalized for a wedding invitation, instead of solely looking at things in “wedding” categories. Most of these items have a premium, just because the retailers can.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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10 Things I Loved About Your Wedding

Over the years I have attended a lot of weddings, and each stand out in their own unique ways. One that knocked me off my feet earlier this year was the wedding between Isabella Ella and Ivan Miya, now the Miyas!


  1. The Theme Both Isabella and Ivan have strong Christian faith and have made it a very personal foundation for their future marriage. This was very clear through their theme. The bride told me, “We really wanted our guests to feel a touch of heaven. It was planned to be an experience that gave them pieces of what heaven might feel like.”

Both the ceremony and reception were held on the grounds of a beautiful home that was rented out for the evening. There was lush greenery and flowers almost everywhere you looked which made it feel magical.

  1. The Music Once all guests were seated at the ceremony, you could tell it was a formal and special event. When the music started, it was beautiful. The Godparents and parents walked down to an instrumental version of “When I Fall in Love.” And then the groom walked down the aisle…and the Super Mario Brothers theme song began to play! Not only did this add to the youthfulness and festive spirit, but it also taught you something about the groom (who is a 3D character artist) and his love for video games.

And then the bride walked down to “Best of My Love” which was a proclamation to her groom. This also let you know about her joyful personality and desire for their future together. The best part? They were both played with saxophone instrumental track so it still felt very uniform.

  1. The Flower Girls Angels Isabella’s nieces came down the aisle wearing wings (made by the Mother of the Bride)! I had never seen this and it really took their heavenly detail to perfection over the top.

  1. The Bride’s Entrance She stood at the top of a grand staircase and literally threw the bottom of her two-piece flowy dress in the air. It was a stunning moment and everyone was in awe. She took her time and gracefully walked down the stairs towards her father.

  1. The Vows They had their own vows written on scrolls. The bride started hers with “Hear ye, hear ye!” which led to a really cute moment of laughter between them and their guests. The vows were heartfelt and spoke of how they believe that God has ordained their love story and brought them together after years of praying for the right mate.

  1. The Seating Chart and Table Names There were beautiful large antique mirrors adorned with gorgeous flowers that displayed the seating assignments. Each of the tables were named after words found in the Bible that they wanted to plant into their marriage as well as speak into the lives of their guests. Words included things like “gratitude”, “faith”, and “patience.” Once you got to the table, each of the names were written on gold terrariums displayed in the center of each table. The terrariums represented gems that will be found in heaven, and added to the sweet sentiment of the reception.

  1. The Sweetheart Table There was a grand sofa settee where the bride and groom sat for the reception. It had flowers around it and felt luxurious.

  1. The Photo Booth Photo booths are ALWAYS fun and let’s just say…they even had a prop of a green Hulk hand! The backdrop of the photo booth was a stunning gold glitter drape that made it feel really elevated, and the bride and groom even got in there to take their own shots! (A MUST!) Once the photos were posted, guests were encouraged to post their photos and snapshots from their wedding experience with the hashtag “#CincoDeMiya.” (The wedding was ON Cinco De Mayo…get it?!)

  1. The Guestbook The Dr. Seuss book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” was laid out to be signed by each of the guests. According to the couple, it’s a statement of their upcoming life adventures and is a book that their future kids can read one day. It was a colorful and youthful pop.
  1. The Favors There were two! Each seat at the reception had a bottle opener with a sign that said “Keys to the Kingdom.” Useful AND tied in to their faith-based theme! And then, as guests were leaving, they were each able to take home a small box with a Tiramisu macaroon called “Tira-miss-you.”

These were just my top 10 details of a very special day that showcased the love between two very special people. Truly a slice of heaven! Thanks for sharing your special day with me, Isabella and Ivan.

Before we go, here is some more vendor love:

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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