Monday, July 27, 2009

Color, Color everywhere?

I'm starting to feel like I'm seeing our wedding colors everywhere! This weekend I went to a bridal jewelry high tea event for a magazine and was a little early (as I normally am, I always feel so bad if I'm late making someone wait on me) so I decided to kill some time at Marshall's.

I had no intention of buying anything, just to walk around for 10 or 15 mins and then head to the tea. Well I found myself in the home goods section and low and behold there were two baskets there, 1 green and 1 blue, that just happened to be our colors! I sent a picture message to Mr. E and my mom to get their opinions on them. Of course when I'm trying to hurry, I don't get any cell service in that building! So here I am walking around with these two baskets trying to find service to send the picture message… by the time I finally found service at the front of the building, I realized that I only had 8 mins to get to the tea! I figured I would just buy them, and decide if we could use them once I got home. If not I could always return them, so I bought them and hauled butt to the tea.

Mom and Mr. E both agreed that we could use the baskets in the wedding (and in our home after the wedding) so I'm going to keep them. One will be for programs and the other will hold the bubbles for our send off. I don't think there are any other needed baskets for the wedding, so I'll be steering clear of that aisle from here on out haha!

Do you make any purchases for the wedding based on the sole fact that it matches your colors?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Name Game

Recently I’ve seen the topic of name changing on a handful of wedding sites. I believe that it is a personal choice for a woman to either keep her name, take her husbands, or come up with a combination of the two names.

I personally don’t think that my last name is the sole factor of my identity. I know that I am who I am because of the way I was raised, and the lessons I have learned about myself over the past 27 years. I can’t thank my family and friends enough for helping to make me the person that I am today. I love my name, and the family history that comes with it, but I can’t wait to take Mr. E’s last name! I’m excited to start a family history with him and share that last name with our kids (down the road).

The Elephant gang in 2009 on formal night of our cruise

If I didn’t have a brother to “carry on” on the family name, I might have legally changed my middle name to my maiden name or give it to our future son as a middle name. My new last name will be less than half the letters of my current name which will make that signature even faster, haha. Unfortunately our kids won’t be able enjoy the beginning of the alphabet like I did, but the middle isn’t that bad right? My mom went from practically the very end of the alphabet to almost the beginning, and I’m sure she loved it when my brother & I were called at the beginning of graduations (allowing for an opportunity to sneak out early LOL).

Even with the hassle of changing my name on all legal documents as well as bank accounts and cards, I still look forward to the day when I become Mrs. Elephant new last name!

Will you be keeping your last name, changing to your husband's or combining the two?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Etsy & Embossing

So I’ve been reading a couple blogs and wedding sites during the planning process and have learned so many different things that we’re going to try and incorporate into our wedding. I read about embossing a couple of times on the Bee and thought it wouldn’t be that hard to do myself.

Our wedding invites have a mini (and I do mean mini compared to other invites that I have seen online) flourish which I was just going to print out along with the rest of the wording. After reading about embossing and Etsy (a site where you can buy and sell handmade crafts.) I thought “why not add a little flair to that flourish?” So I put out an order for a custom made stamp based on the flourish we were using on the invite. I received 4 bids and took one of the middle prices after reading his positive reviews.

After a couple emails back and forth on the actual font name of the flourish, my Etsy seller created a stamp and sent it in the mail. I made the order Saturday night and received the stamp in the mail yesterday afternoon. I was so excited I even called myself a craft nerd on facebook. I could finally use the embossing powder, stamp ink and embossing heat tool that I purchased this past weekend (all with coupons of course!). I practiced on some paper and then moved to print outs of our invites. Not all of them turned out perfect, but I have already decided that if they aren’t perfect on the invites, we’re still sending them out, because 1) I highly doubt any of our guest will notice since they don’t know what it’s supposed to look like anyways and 2) I think it adds even more character to the invites! Below are the items that I used during the practice run, and picture steps of the process:

Pigment stamp ink - White
Embossing powder – Green
Custom flourish stamp
Paper (will be linen paper when it comes time to do our real invites)
Cardstock- bent (used to collect the excess powder)
Small paint brush (optional)
Embossing Heat tool

After printing out the invitation wording, I stamped it with white ink (kinda hard to see here) on top of the extra cardstock

Once stamped, I sprinkled the embossing powder all over it (make sure to get all of the stamp area)

Lift up the paper and let the excess powder fall onto cardstock

I brushed off the little bit of powder that remained around the flourish. I found that bending the cardstock made it easier to put back into the jar.

Turn on the heat tool and wave it around making sure not to stay in one spot because that could burn the paper

After a couple seconds you will see that the powder is becoming thin and then hardens (embossed)

And there you have it, the finished product! I think the blurriness adds to the embossing in this picture.

To make the most out of the heat gun, we'll be embossing the same flourish on our save the dates and some other paper products for the reception.

Have you made any purchases from Etsy?  If you have, isn't it awesome?

Paper, paper and more paper…

In my opinion, one of the most popular wedding DIY projects is creating your own paper products, more specifically the wedding invites. We searched a couple (numerous) online sites for invitation ideas, but then priced out how much it would be to order the amount of invites. $700 for 150 invites? Really? I think that’s a crazy amount to pay for paper that most people will probably throw away anyways. $4.67 per invite and that’s not even including the postage which will add up really fast. So I went to the DIY board on the knot, read invitation posts, and picked up the recommended sites for paper supplies. I went to and searched through the various different types of cardstock invites. While the pocketfolds were very cute, we won’t really have enough extra information cards to make it worth it. I fell in love with the petal invites and showed them to Chris, who liked them as well. I ordered some samples, which arrived in a couple of days, and got to work on the mock up. After trial and error, mixing and matching what we thought looked best we came up with a final draft. The final draft consists of a mixture of products and cardstock that I found at Michael’s. That cardstock from Michael’s became a personal mission for me, Chris & mom! Michael’s only seems to carry a certain amount of inventory, and once I figured out that I wanted to use this particular shade of green 12 x 12 cardstock, I cleaned out said inventory at no less than 3 of our local stores. In fact one store (the one closest to us) I cleaned out, told them they needed to restock, and then cleaned them out again! I am happy to say that I did end up buying enough of the paper for our invites and can’t wait to put them together!

I’ll share the assembly process in a later post, but for now here’s a little teaser of the invite.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friends Forever

Anyone else a huge fan of Saved by the Bell? Remember that “Rockumentary” episode where they started a band that shot to stardom only to break up over the fame going to Zack’s head? Of course we have to have a happy ending, when the group gets back together and “sings” (yes I totally realize that was not their singing, or playing of musical instruments either) that Friends Forever song. Well we're lucky enough to have some amazing friends and can’t tell you how excited we are to have them stand up for us on the big day!

Chris and I didn’t want a huge wedding party (huge parties can get pretty expensive!), just our closest friends and family who mean the world to us standing up for us at the altar. Here’s a little breakdown of our wedding party:

Maid of honor –Kristen
Kristen and I first met during the summer before sophomore year of high school when we were paired together during the Adam's Course (a summer workout program for students). Kristen and I have been through a lot during our years of friendship including high school, prom, all things college at Texas A&M, studying abroad in Mexico and so much more. I love this girl to death and am so happy that she will be standing next to me when I say my vows to Chris.

Bridesmaid – Corinne
Corinne and I are what you call lifelong friends. Our parents met in Lamaze class when they were expecting our older brothers who were born 2 weeks apart. I have shared so many memories with Corinne from ballet and tap class to family vacations at the beach in North Carolina. Even after my family moved to Texas, our two families continued to vacation together, travel for each other's graduations from high school and college, and have always remained close. I love Corinne like a sister and always will.

Bridesmaid – Colby
Colby and I met when she transferred from California to Texas A&M and became the third member of 1257 Canyon Creek. We have wonderful memories of the last two years of college such as ring dance and trips to the lake house. As we grow older we enjoy weekend trips back and forth between Houston and Dallas as well as roomie reunions in San Diego. Colby is married to Chris who is one of Chris' groomsmen.

Bridesmaid – Lora
Lora and I met in college at Texas A&M through a co-ed business fraternity called Phi Beta Lambda. We had fun doing all types of activities from pledge retreats, to business trips to community service. Our friendship has grown since college after Lora moved to Dallas, allowing us to hang out more often. Lora is married to Brandon, who is another one of Chris' groomsmen.

Best Man – Daniel
Daniel is Chris' older brother and they have been through a lot together. Daniel and his girlfriend Stephanie have an incredibly cute daughter Danielle who will be 3 by the time our wedding comes around. Hopefully she’ll be able to handle the flower girl duties of looking cute and not crying.

Groomsman – Dennis
Dennis is my older brother and has been there for me since the beginning. Dennis is the "bestest" big brother and is always there talk and laugh about our life experiences. Dennis was the first one in my family to meet Chris and has welcomed him on our family vacations.

Groomsman – Chris
Chris and I met in college when he roomed with my friend Matt that I went to middle school and high school with. Chris is married to Colby, and they are wonderful friends of ours. Chris and I always enjoy spending weekends with them in Houston, attempting to wake board hehe.

Groomsman – Brandon
Brandon and I pledged PBL together at Texas A&M, and have been friends ever since. Brandon is married to my bridesmaid Lora, and they live in the Dallas area, hosting fun parties that Chris and I always look forward to. Chris and Brandon enjoy hanging out & playing video games.

We absolutely LOVE our wedding party, and are so thankful to have them in our lives!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sales and Coupons, does it get any better??

Some of the best parts about shopping for DIY supplies are the coupons and sales! This past weekend while running errands I made no less than 4 stops to Michael’s. 4 stops to one store! Joann’s had paper on sale, and after changing up the design of the save the date we needed more paper. So I picked up paper which was originally 59 cents per page, but on sale 6 for 96 cents. I saved nearly $20 on 46 pieces of paper. Sad part is that I’ll still need more paper, guess that means I’ll be waiting for another sale! I normally pass by the “sidewalk sale” baskets in the front of Michael’s but this time I found baskets for 40% off, and there was only one blue basket. It was like it was call to me! I knew it would be perfect for the flip flop basket we planned to have at the reception. After some cardstock and ribbon, here’s the final product. Of course once Old Navy has their $1 sale next year and we stock up, the basket will be filled with flip flops instead of my dog Gypsy.

Some other items I picked up included a heat gun of embossing, (can’t wait to try that out) stamp ink, embossing powder, adhesive, (need to stock up when it comes to putting together the save the dates and invites!) ribbon and frames to make our card box. I was super excited about the frames because not only were they on sale for 40% off, but I had a bonus coupon for an extra 25% off. Yay coupons and sales!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

L-O, L-O, L-O, L-O-V-E

One of my guilty pleasure musical artists would be Ashlee Simpson, I must admit there is something about her songs that get stuck in my head, including L.O.V.E. which would pop up in my head while working on this next DIY project.

While browsing the aisles of Michael’s with Mr. E in tow, (oh how I love to shop for things when I have coupons!) I got a few ideas for some décor for the wedding/reception. One idea was to make a sign with our married name to display on the guest book table, and another sign spelling out LOVE for the candy/chocolate buffet table.

We proceeded to the wooden letters section and found the letters to spell out his last name and an unfinished wooden plaque to glue them to (thankfully he has a short last name, because we wouldn’t have been able to fit my last name on that plaque), along with paint and a couple Swarovski crystals for a little bling. They didn’t have the letters to spell LOVE, so we picked those up from another Michael’s (I think I’ve been to all 4 locations that are within 20 miles of our apartment.) along with another piece of unfinished wood and some wooden rods to stick the letters up. For internet privacy reasons I won’t post pictures of the sign with Mr. E’s last name, but trust me, it’s cute!

For the LOVE sign I painted the letters in alternating colors (blue and green). It took a little while because I would paint the tops & let them dry, then paint the sides and let them dry, and then finally the backs. Once the letters were finished I started on the wooden base. Mr. E suggested painting it alternating colors as well, so that’s what I did. I also painted the mini rods that would connect the letters to the wooden base. Once that was all said and done, Mr. E got to work on drilling holes. He first drilled holes in the bottom of the letters so the rods would fit in them. After the letters, he measured out and drilled holes into the base.

Once the holes were drilled, all we had to do was assemble the sign. Here’s the finished sign! It’s a little hard to see the crystals in the corners of the letters, but they’re there. This will be a great way to incorporate our colors and add a little decor onto the candy/chocolate bar.

Did your FI help with any DIY projects?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The World Of DIY

When we first started the wedding planning process, I didn’t even know what DIY stood for – which is Do It Yourself. After lurking on the Knot boards for a while I found the DIY boards, and learned how many ways you could save money by making stuff yourself. The added benefit, other than the savings, is that these little projects make the wedding more personal.

So I did a little research and decided our first DIY projects would be the monogram and save the date magnets. I’ve always loved putting up friends save the date magnets or cards on our fridge, and got excited thinking that people would be putting ours up on their respective fridges! I should probably mention that Mr. E comes from a very creative family. Mr. E’s mom was so wonderful to take my old college shirts and make them into this keepsake masterpiece below. I absolutely love it and what better way to keep my memories from college since I no longer wear t-shirts on a regular basis (yay corporate America)

Not only is Mr. E a lot more creative than me, he’s also a wiz at the computer (has one computer degree and is currently working on another one). So I was more than happy to put these two projects in his hands. We decided from the beginning that our wedding colors would be blue and green since those are our favorite colors, so Mr. E went to work on the monogram. After a couple examples, and input from our families we finally decided on this one:
For some of our future projects we’re going to add a border around the monogram so it’s easier to cut out (you’ll see what I mean later). I was so excited to have this first piece of our wedding complete!

Next up was the save the date magnet. While reading other Knotties (girls on the knot website/boards) I learned of this amazing little machine called the Xyron 500. This machine will take whatever you put through it (up to a 5 inch size) and make it into a magnet, sticker or laminate it. Daddy Elephant was generous enough to pay for the machine, so we headed to Michael’s and used a 40% off coupon to purchase it (gotta love coupons!). Mr. E designed the magnet layout in Illustrator to tie in the travel theme we’ll have at the reception. Again this was another trial and error process to come up with the design and wording that we wanted, but we loved the finished product. For the example we printed off on normal copy paper, but we’ll use a type of cardstock when we do the real thing. Once printed off, we simply run it through the Xyron machine with the magnet cartridge and out pops a laminated magnet!

We’ll be designing a card with hotel information and our wedding website that these magnets will be sent in. More on that once we finalize a design. All in all I’m very happy with our first DIY projects, and can’t wait to tackle some more during this planning process.

Did you incorprate any DIY projects into your planning?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Colors & Theme

When it came to picking wedding colors, I knew that I would stray away from colors such as pink or purple simply because Mr. E is not a fan of them. We talked about it shortly after we were engaged and decided that the best way to make the wedding about us would be to use our favorite colors: blue & green.

My ring on sample fabrics of the shades of blue and green that we aim to use for the wedding
Our bathroom is in the beachy blue and green colors which led us to our "theme". My family has always loved to travel and that was one of the things that Mr. E found interesting when we first started talking on Since we've been together we've been on wonderful trips to San Antonio, Las Vegas, Philly, New Orleans, Disney, a Caribbean cruise and more. We decided that if we were going to have a theme to tie in the reception and some of the paper products that travel would be perfect. Here is a picture of a cake that sparked my travel theme interest.

We'll be incorporating the theme and colors into our paper products, the bridesmaids dresses, the groomsmen's ties & (hopefully) socks, flowers, & table names. I'm really excited to get to work with these colors & theme, as is our planner who said that she has never done a wedding in our colors before!

What colors did you chose for your wedding?  Did your FI give his opinions on colors?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Work & Family

So I'm up in Columbus for work this week and I'm actually having a good time. Unlike the 3 other times I've been here for work (Feb, Sept & Dec) the weather is nice... 80 degrees is sooooo much better then the 103 it is in Dallas today. One of the added perks of traveling for work (other then AA miles and eating for free) is that I get to see my cousin Jason and his wife Olympia.

The first time (that I can remember) being in Columbus was for their wedding in 2004. Their church wedding was wonderful as was the family style reception and dancing that followed. Mom likes the family style eating so much that we're looking at holding the rehearsal dinner at Bucca Di Beppo. It's great being able to have dinner with them when I'm up here for work, and even better to relive old and new family memories (no more lemonade, Dennis??). While there isn't any wedding planning or DIY projects while I'm up here, I did get to update Jason & Olympia (who will be an usher & in the house party for our wedding) on some recent wedding details. It's great being able to talk with someone who has gone through a longer engagement in order to save for their wedding and just reaffirms our decision to have the wedding in 2011 and start out wedding debt free.

Monday, July 13, 2009

DOC or more??

I’m a big fan of most wedding shows currently on TV, with my favorite being “Whose wedding is it anyways?” which is told from the perspective of the wedding planner. After getting engaged I first thought about how cool it would be to be on a show like that! Since that isn’t very likely I did think about the possibility of fitting a Day of Coordinator, or DOC, into the budget. Mom and Chris both thought that would be a fantastic idea since it would help alleviate the stress on the big day.

Thanks to the internet and a couple connecting factors we found Kathie Seeley of Grand Events. Kathie was actually a planner mentioned on the blog of a wedding photographer that mom and I follow; her attention to detail came out in the beautiful pictures taken by Stacy Reeves. Mom and I set up a free consultation with Kathie to discuss our vision for the wedding and learn more about the services she offers. I think the best way to describe Kathie would be to use the phrase my mom said in our post meeting drive home: “she’s worth her weight in gold”. Kathie really understood where mom and I were coming from. She understood our budget and also gave us a couple tricks of the trade that could save us some money. We loved Kathie so much we knew that we could use her creative ideas & insight more than just the weekend of, so we booked her as our wedding planner. Even though the wedding isn’t for another 650+ days, we’ve already started working on ideas for the big day.

Added Bonus: Kathie is actually a recommend vendor of our venue! It’s great to know that Kathie has worked weddings at our venue and has a good working relationship with the staff there. Even though she has done several weddings at the Tribute, she has never done a wedding with our colors. I think this fact coupled with our personalities will help ensure that our wedding won’t be similar to others she has coordinated there. I know that Kathie is going to be a great asset during our journey and I can’t wait to get down to the real planning for the big day!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hundreds of brides in one place

This weekend was the Dallas Bridal Show, and it's been on my calendar since we first got engaged. I always wondered what type of awesomeness can be found at a bridal show, and sadly I left not all that impressed.

Don't get me wrong there are lots of vendors at the bridal show for those that are in the beginning stages of planning, but with online research, recommendations from DFW Knotties (the girls on the DFW Knot message board) and preferred vendors from our venue and planner we already had a good idea on what vendors we want to use.

We arrived about an hour after the doors opened, and stood in the short line to pay for our tickets. Thankfully we already got the tip to print out our own labels at home, so we bypassed that line and started our tour around Dallas Market Center. I'm not the biggest fan of the cake, in fact you can even watch the video from my 4th birthday when everyone else is eating my birthday cake and I'm eating a bowl of ice cream. So the free cake samples were ok, but started tasting all the same after a while. I'm glad mom and Chris are a little more into the cake tasting so they'll be more excited then me when it comes to making those appointments. We saw several photographers, but I've already decided on that so we passed those by. We did get my ring cleaned and pick up cards, brochures, bags and other random goodies from florists, cake bakers, registry places, Sandals locations, and dress boutiques. I'm excited to start trying on dresses, but feel that it's a little too early for that. We did set up an appointment with Alfred Angelo just to get an $75 off coupon, but may or may not go to that. If we do, there's no way we would actually buy a dress... but at least I could start to get a better idea of what type of dresses will look good on me.

So all in all it was nice to experience the bridal show, but I'm pretty sure I'll stick to the word of mouth recommendations.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On the hunt for the perfect venue

After setting the date and getting a general idea of what we wanted in our day, we began the Internet search. I feel for the brides of yesteryear who had to comparison shop without the wonderful web! Mama Elephant (my partner in crime when it comes to the wedding planning) and I decided to begin with the venue. The venue is the biggest cost with the reception food and alcohol and for me would be a one stop shop. Even though Mama E originally wanted me to get married in the church that my family has been members of since we moved to Texas, she saw the benefits of holding the ceremony and reception in the same facility.

After looking and emailing several venues for pricing information, we narrowed the list down to 4 sites to actually visit. We were eager to set up appointments to walk through the venues, but remembered that we had our big family reunion trip coming up so all visits would actually have to wait a couple of weeks. After an amazing trip to Disneyworld and a relaxing 7 day Caribbean cruise, we were ready to hit the pavement.

Yay DisneyWorld

Getting ready for Muster Drill

First up was the Westin Stonebriar, the only hotel on our list. Mama Elephant and I met with the event coordinator and walked through the area while seeing where the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception would be held. There were pros and cons that we mentally noted, such as the nice terrace area for cocktails but the lack of windows in the ballroom, and agreed to come back with Mr. E when it was set up for a wedding to get a better idea of the space. When we returned with Mr. E we were able to visualize it with wedding décor, and knew that it was not the place for us.

The Westin (Source)

Next up was the Las Colinas Country Club, which was my favorite on paper! I loved the separate room for the ceremony and the elevated entrance for the reception ballroom. Setting up a meeting with the coordinator was easier said then done. After the quick response for pricing information it took 3 emails over a 3 week period and a call to get a response on setting up a date. While that wasn’t fun, it also wasn’t a deal breaker. The club was older than I expected, but I thought that could just add character to our wedding. Mama Elephant and I did our usual pros and cons list on the ride home and I was really feeling this place! With 2 places left to visit, I thought I had already found my dream venue… boy was I wrong.

Las Colinas Country Club (Source)

Our next stop was to the Hackberry Creek Country Club, and while the place was nice and the coordinator was as sweet as can be, I just wasn’t excited about it (maybe that had something to do with my fondness for Las Colinas).

Hackberry Creek (Source)

The fourth and final stop on our venue search was The Tribute Golf Club. Mama E and I headed out on a drizzly Saturday, down a long and winding road (ok maybe not that winding but it was a long road), to meet with the event coordinator, Erin. We had scheduled the meeting the day of a wedding to see the beginning set up process. We got a tour of the guest rooms that would be reserved for the wedding party to get ready, the bar, the ballroom and a quick from a distance view of the outside gazebo. I loved all of it! Unfortunately due to the weather the evening’s outdoor wedding was being moved inside to take place in front of the gorgeous black fireplace, which will be a great plan B if the weathermen aren't on our side for our wedding day.

I couldn’t help but smile when we walked out of this place, The Place. I knew it was the one! I could picture our wedding day there and knew by the numbers that it was in our budget. If I could have put down the deposit that day I probably would have, but clear thinking Mama E knew that we needed to sleep on it, weigh out the pros and cons of each place and of course have Mr. E see it before we made any final decision.

Fast forward a couple weeks and the whole gang (and I do mean whole gang: Mama Elephant, Dad Elephant, Elephant Bro, Mr. E, me, Mr. E’s parents and my cousins Geri and Zo) went to see the Tribute. Erin was great to take some time between 2 weddings on the same day (it was the middle of wedding season) to show us all around with the exception of the ballroom which was currently in use. Everyone agreed that the venue was perfect for our day, so we signed on the dotted line and turned in our deposit.

That’s one big check off the wedding list and I can’t wait to say my vows to Mr. E at this venue!

The Tribute (Source)
How many venue visits did you conduct before finding the one?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

“Let’s start at the very beginning…”

…a very good place to start.” I love that song! For those of you that don’t know, it’s a line from Do, Re, Mi from my all time favorite movie The Sound of Music. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to musicals; just ask Chris who was talked into seeing a midnight showing of High School Musical 3 when it came out in the theaters.

So where to start when it comes to wedding planning? For me it was a tricky question to answer. I am not one of those girls who has had their whole wedding planned out since they were 6, but I will admit that after I knew I would be spending the rest of my life with Chris (before he proposed) I did start to collect some ideas. While I have been to weddings (4 so far this year alone), I have never been involved in the planning of one. I’ve never been a bridesmaid and don’t have a sister or close relative or friend who I've been ask to help plan her wedding. So my first stop was to the local Barnes and Nobel to pick up some bridal magazines. I’ve secretly always wanted to buy one, but felt that the cashier would think I was odd with no ring on my finger. With my beautiful ring on (Chris got exactly what I wanted, actually more then what I wanted) I picked up a couple, ok maybe closer to 5, bridal magazines and flipped through the ads and pictures, and read any article that looked interesting to me. While a large percentage of the magazines are ads for dresses (mostly not the type I’m looking for or can afford), there were some very good articles that I found in Martha Stewart and The Knot – Texas issues. I gained some good insight on what a wedding can actually cost, my brother and father were shocked to learn that the average wedding is around $27,000 these days.

Setting a date is one of the first major things to decide on for a wedding. The date could determine the feel or theme of the wedding. Chris and I originally wanted to set the date for April 24, 2010 since it was the closet Saturday to our dating anniversary (April 26), but after reality set in we knew that it wouldn’t be feasible for the ideas that we were thinking. In order to save for the wedding and not start our marriage out in debt (after the clear thinking of Chris, I love him for helping me see the other side of things!) we decided to move the wedding date to April 23, 2011. We set up a budget in excel and calculated what we would need to save each month with the help of my amazing, loving parents who are putting in the other half. I’m a numbers person, my bachelors is in finance, and being able to see an actual dollar amount really allowed me to see that it is possible.

At first I was nervous to tell friends and family that we were now planning on a 2011 wedding. What would they think of a 25 month long engagement? But our friends and family were all very supportive! They told us that they would be there whatever day we choose and that we were very smart for taking the time to save rather then charge it up and be in debt after the honeymoon. We are so lucky to have such understanding and loving people in our lives!

So with a date set and numerous ideas from my stacks of bridal magazines, we were ready to start planning the day that Chris and I become “we”.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Allow me to introduce myself


My name is Lauren and I am currently in the process of planning a wedding to the love of my life, Chris. I love talking about the wedding plans, but am not always sure that others are so excited to hear about them so I thought the best way to get it out would be to start a blog.

Now for a little background:

I was born and raised in a suburb outside of Philly (no not west Philadelphia like the fresh prince). My family (mom, dad and brother Dennis) moved to Texas in the mid 90s where I attended school and moved onto college. I loved my 4 years at Texas A&M and gained some amazing friends as well as a better understanding of who I am.

Fast forward a couple of years post graduation, and I find myself working in the DFW area enjoying my independence but missing out on that someone special. Tired of the bar scene, I decided to sign up with (those Dr. Phil commercials really stuck) and see if their 6 month promise could live up to the hype. Lucky for me, it did when I found Chris. After a couple months of emailing back and forth we set up a time and place to meet, don't worry it was a very public place. Our first date was dinner at Chili's followed by a movie, and I knew there was something special there. Our 2nd date didn't exactly go according to plan (Chris overslept and was 3 hours late) but we still had a fun night and I enjoy joking about it to this day.

Chris and I were dating for nearly two years when he asked the big question! It was the best night of my life (so far)! I love him with all that I am and I can't wait for the day that he calls me his wife.