I told myself that I wouldn't be a blogger who takes a break from blogging while planning a wedding, but goodness, there are too few hours in a day! And definitely not enough mental energy!
Yesterday marked the halfway point in our engagement! Wedding plans are moving along, I've had one shower already, sewn most of the bridesmaid dresses, started on my dress, mailed the invitations, booked venues, and finished registries. It's all been a lot of fun and I'm enjoying getting stuff done.
I've read articles from courting and married women, but in all of the wedding excitement I think a lot of deeper questions during this engagement season get pushed aside for talk of bows and flowers. As soon as I set a wedding date, friends from all walks of life encouraged me to enjoy this sweet season as much as possible. I've been trying to take their advice to heart daily among the stressful decisions and emotional roller coasters. :)
What's it like being engaged? In my 52 days of experience...
- It is completely natural. We both expected it to be more life-shattering, awkward, or unusual. It's not at all weird-feeling.
- It is extremely emotional. Happy, sad, tired, excited, frustrated, confused, disappointed, unsure, bubbling over, joyful, content... all of these feeling at once is not uncommon.
- It is really hard to work on wedding stuff when we're together. We just want to hang out, talk, and do everyday things.
- Seeing each other just on weekends is plain awful. I'm thankful it's that often, and that I had a chance to spend a week down there in June, but having your main squeeze four hours away? Not fun.
- Not only should you tell each other everything, but for there to be no tension, you have to tell each other everything: fears, doubts, concerns, joys, pains, how much you are about to burst from loving the other, disappointments, expectations, dreams, silly notions, e v e r y t h i n g.
- The ring only gets more gorgeous as the days go by.
- There's a difference between knowing everything about a person's day and connecting with your fiance'. When things feel "off" you need to drop what you're doing (however important) and t a l k i t o u t.
- There are evidences of God's providence around every turn. The more our love grows the more glory we want to give the Lord for bringing us together. His ways are perfect.
- Spending time with other couples is SO MUCH FUN. It's an awesome season of life that we are making the most of. :)
- There is a ton of hoopla around weddings. Showers, wedding party parties, moving, counseling, thank-you cards, gifts, spending time with family and meeting extended family, planning, apartment shopping... it's overwhelming pretty much all of the time. But good.
- These days of "lasts" at home with my family are hard. I can't imagine any other path for my life than marrying Calvin, but realizing it is the end of an era at home is extremely bittersweet.
My ring is yellow gold, my absolute favorite! It matches my favorite gold Jessica Simpson pumps I got at Goodwill. :P
I had so much fun making these cards! I have 6 bridesmaids-- 2 sisters, a sister-to-be, and 3 best friends. All but my sisters live in Georgia so that's made excuses for trips there easy. ;)
Registry. I'm still very passionate about ethical, USA-made, eco-friendly, organic, etc so I spent a long time researching and choosing items that meet those qualifications. I get so excited when I know where something came from and that it's a responsible product, that it was totally worth it to me to put a lot of thought into our lists. I plan to share my choices after the wedding in case anyone else is looking for the best renewable-resource cutting boards or USA-made spatulas. :)
Also, it's been super interesting to try to figure out how to combine mine and Calvin's styles into an "our" style. He doesn't know what he wants until he sees it, which has been a challenge for me to pull things out of the air for him to maybe give an opinion on. I love him so much! He makes it so much fun to be creative and then he takes joy in products that he knows I carefully chose. There's a lot of "so do you like this or this" texts. :) The dishes shown above are made-in-the-USA Corelle that I was afraid would be too girly, but he absolutely loves them. He especially loves that they stack so efficiently. :P
Wedding dress. Keeping with my fair-trade or second-hand convictions, I knew I didn't want to buy a wedding dress off the rack... even if I could find one I liked. Some girls dream about their perfect dress and know exactly what they want. Unfortunately, I was not one of those girls and had NO idea what I wanted. So my mom, sisters, grandmother, and I went out for a day in Nashville to second-hand bridal boutiques and David's Bridal for ideas. I didn't find any perfect dresses, but I had a good feeling by the end of the day of what I did not want.
Until last week when I walked into Jo-Ann's and saw THE lace, I wasn't sure I wanted to make my dress. I figured I'd keep checking consignment stores until I found something good enough. But, when I saw that fabric I knew exactly what I wanted and decided to make my dress. I'm using a pattern I've used several times before and so far it's going so well! I'm taking pictures of the process so I'll definitely share those after the wedding!
We ride around in the car a lot together and sometimes I have a neckache from leaning over the console so much. #engagementprobs
Sometimes we take outfit photos that just completely fail.
My littlest siblings weren't quite sure what to make of Calvin for the longest time. We want them to realize that this is exciting and a good thing, so Calvin suggested we take them to the Adventure Science Center for the day. We had an awesome time and now they love him. :)
Four-wheeler rides thorough the mud are 1000x more fun together.
During the week I spent in Georgia, I was able to take a few hours and shop for/ cook 30ish freezer meals for Calvin just because I wanted to. Plus it helps off-set the cost of Zaxby's twice a day. ;)
My forward-thinking man already has a car for me, so we spent some time in the sweltering heat cleaning and vacuuming them. I was just fine temperature-wise in this long maxi dress I bought on ThredUP!
One evening after an afternoon at the pool, we cooked spaghetti and ate it on his sister's balcony. There have been so many "picture perfect" moments in our engagement that I never want to forget.
June 11th we were in our good friends' wedding together! I helped arrange the gorgeous flowers into bouquets two days prior. I absolutely loved the variety Cami picked!
Thanks to Sabrina Fields for this picture!
The excitement of last week was beginning the bridesmaid dresses!
The advice to "enjoy this season" to me includes not only sweet time with my man, but also enjoying the process of preparing for a wedding! I LOVE sewing unusual (but easy) dresses and wanted to take the opportunity to do just that. Thankfully several of my bridesmaids sew, so I'm not doing all six by myself. :) But I absolutely LOVE how they came out and how good they look on all the girls! Just a few more need zippers and hems, otherwise they're done!
We're using Simplicity 1606, view B, with an altered neckline.
Calvin's church is awesome for several reasons, but one very hospitable thing they do is throw all incoming brides a shower! This past Saturday was that event and it was a great time! My sisters and mom came down for it, as well as Calvin's out-of-town sisters and nieces. :)
What's it like being engaged? Awesome.
I have started "our story" at least 8 times already and each time I realize it's going to be harder to put into words than I thought. :P
I hope y'all have an amazing week! Blessings!