From the Archives: 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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Helpful Wedding Planning Resources

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When I was planning my wedding, I found a ton of great  resources that helped alleviate some of the wedding planning woes. Here are a few that I’d like to highlight to help you on your journey:

  1. Grab a girlfriend and attend a bridal expo. Depending on where you live, bridal shows might be few and far between, so this is something that I’d recommend researching soon after your engagement. Most only cost a few dollars for an entrance fee, and you’ll likely find valuable connections and wedding tips. Not to mention, you’ll get swag and it will really help you get in the mood! Here’s a website to start, but a simple google search will find all of the options near you.
  2. Visit Etsy— it is literally a gold mine for unique wedding decor touches. Etsy is an online marketplace where small businesses and local artisans can sell products. I had actually never used it before my wedding and I am so glad that I found it when I did. You can order anything from a custom sign, in the exact color that you need, to a fun garter. If you download the app on your phone, don’t say I didn’t warn you! (You can spend HOURS just looking up search terms like “shabby chic wedding!”)
  3. Speaking of apps…I LOVE this list from Mashable with the “7 apps you need to de-stress your wedding planning“!
  4. Find local wedding vendors via The Knot A collection of businesses from venues to DJs that can put you in touch with some trustworthy recommendations in the area of your choice. Take some time to really research your vendors so you find the right fit. (Or…just do a destination wedding!)
  5. And don’t forget about the people right in your sphere of influence! Talk to your married family and friends (especially local newlyweds) and keep an eye out for wedding vendors or bridal stores near you that you might not have visited before. There is no downside to going in to say hello!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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My Top Social Media Wedding Tips

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Within the last decade, the usage of social media for wedding planning and sharing memories from your wedding day, have increased exponentially. Here are my top tips on how to use social media throughout wedding season.

BEFORE: Consider a wedding hashtag and encourage your guests to use it by printing it on your wedding invitation and putting it on display in key places of your wedding. It can be something silly, romantic, or straight forward, just make sure it isn’t popular already because your feed will be mixed with photos of other weddings! Can’t think of one? Hashtag generators are super helpful! My favorites are from Wedding Wire and Shutterfly. A bonus: come up with one early enough and start to use it during your pre-wedding activities like the Bridal Shower, then ALL of your wedding content will be in one place!

DURING: Have a member of your bridal party take one photo of you and your spouse right after the ceremony and have them post it to your social media pages (from your account.) This ensures that most people will see the first wedding photo come from you, instead of the 50 images that will tag you posted by your guests (including some that are likely unflattering!)

AFTER: Sign out of your social media accounts during your honeymoon! Your phone will be blowing up with notifications from your social channels for days following your wedding with comments. By signing out, you can truly enjoy your time with your new spouse. The kind notes from loved ones will be waiting for you once you get back home, and they’ll allow you an opportunity to look back on your big day all over again. (Even better? Turn off your phone completely during the honeymoon!)

In this new day, choose to use social media how you best see fit, but don’t let it get in the way of being present in the moment throughout your wedding festivities.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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How To Have Realistic Expectations for The Big Day

cropped-7-18-2017-5-30-31-pm1.jpgAs I look back on my own wedding day, I think about all of the expectations I had for the big day as I went through the planning process. Think about it. You date your beloved for (what is often) years, to then get engaged. And then you spend months on wedding planning. All planning for ONE day. You will sit and day dream about the details. You will have borderline- panic attacks over the growing to do list. And you will second guess yourself while making (what feels like) a million decisions.

All of this leads to high expectations for your day, and hopes of “perfection.” While we know that perfection is impossible, it’s ok to have high expectations. However, make sure to add some flexibility in your mind so you can more easily go with the flow when things don’t go your way. Here are a few thoughts on expectations for the big day.

  • During the planning process, take some time to talk to other newlyweds. Ask them about their wedding expectations, what they might have changed, and what they wouldn’t have done differently. Their insights will likely be extremely valuable!
  • The day will go by incredibly fast. It’s not going to be worth having expectations that won’t ever be met because you’re going to miss out on some of the best parts of your big day by being too wrapped up in the details.
  • Your guests might not appreciate or recognize your effort put into every single detail, but they will remember the holistic wedding experience and cherish those memories. Some of the smallest details are more for you and not for them.
  • Things will go wrong, but they will likely add to some of the memories that you and your spouse make together.
  • No matter what, it is likely not going to end up being the “dream wedding” that you have had in your mind. It will be different, probably not as grand as what you’ve been dreaming of, but more magnificent and heart-felt in ways you couldn’t imagine ahead of time.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Spring Wedding Ideas from Pinterest

I have a little (or a big) Pinterest-addiction. My GWADR Pinterest account consists of over 10k pins! To build on my blog last week with 5 Reasons to Have a Spring Wedding, I thought it’d be nice to feature one of my Spring-related wedding boards, Wedding Theme: Spring Pastels. Here are a few of the highlights, visit my Pinterest for more.

Spring Wedding SignSpring Wedding Table DecorWedding CenterpieceSpring Wedding Ideas

Spring Wedding Bridesmaid StyleSpring Wedding Ceremony Decor

Unique Ceremony Exit Toss

Spring Wedding Dessert Ideas

Unique Wedding Favor

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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