Wedding planning is in full swing – lots of fun and lots of decision-making happening over here!

We had {engagement} photos taken over Christmas break by the wonderful JenniMarie. Here is a sneak peek:

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Our bridal party is set, and we are SO thrilled to have our bestest friends in this process with us! {More on that awesome crew later!}

We decided on a venue! The best part? It is right here in Siloam Springs. The second best part? We got a really good deal. {More on that later.}

We are working on the guest list {who doesn’t love collecting addresses from everyone on the planet?} and finalizing all of that fun stuff.

We are working with an art professor at JBU on our invitations. I won’t share too much about that now, but they are going to be so a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

We registered for wedding gifts!! That was SO fun. We really enjoyed picking out all of the things we need to set up our home together.

I am making confetti and paper flowers in my free time – working ahead to get an idea of how much we will need and such. I have also been playing around with centerpiece ideas to see what we like, and I’ve come up with some great ideas.

I ordered a tablecloth swatch booklet so I can see the actual colors of the tablecloth options before we order. A family friend can get things like that at wholesale prices – SCORE!!

I started making our photobook guest book on Snapfish. They always have GREAT deals. Seriously. I saw a living social deal where you could get a $25 book for $10. And I think the photobooks are 50% off right now. All that to say: You should never have to pay full price for something like this! Just google “snapfish photobook deal” and the snapfish website will show up and you can see all of their deals. They usually have a discount or free shipping or something – check it out! 

And we start pre-marital counseling this week! We’re both looking forward to that. Because after all of the wedding hoopla is done, we will be married. And marriage deserves much more planning for than the wedding. 

As soon as Jacob and I got engaged, I started gathering tips and pieces of advice from friends who had either just gotten married, or were about to get married. My friend, Jessica, had some great advice! 

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{Jessica, David, and their rockin’ bridal party!!}

1) Have a Bridal Assistant for the day of the wedding. A friend or family member that isn’t part of your bridal party. This is the person that follows you to pictures, helps you get ready, holds your cell phone, extra lip gloss, water, and snacks. She fixes your dress and hair makes sure you don’t have anything in your teeth. My mentor Calee was my Bridal Assistant. It was SO HELPFUL. She took care of everything that day—make sure David knew where to meet me, made sure everyone was arriving places on time. It was great.


2) Don’t plan on eating during your wedding. I hadn’t eaten all day and thought I’d just eat dinner at the reception. Nope. People talk to you the whole time. David and I ended up ordering room service from our hotel that night.


3) Make sure to do some sort of receiving line where you get to talk to everyone. We didn’t do this (because I thought it was dumb), but at the end of the night, I probably only said hi to or talked to only 20% of my guests and felt so badly about it.


4) Take a couple days to unwind after your wedding before going on your honeymoon. David and I got married on Sunday and didn’t leave on our honeymoon until Tuesday. Monday we spent setting up our apartment, opening gifts, packing for the honeymoon, and just unwinding from the craziness of the previous week. It saved us from potential arguments/frustrations that could have happened on our honeymoon. Then when we left for the honeymoon, we were packed, well rested, and ready to have fun!


5) We had a bunch of out of town guests at our wedding (which I know you both will have too!). The day before our wedding we invited all our close friends, bridal party, family, and out of town guests to a BBQ field day at a park. We played games, ate lunch, hung out, and actually got to spend time with the people who flew into town. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have been able to talk to the out-of-towners and I would have felt horrible that they came out and didn’t get acknowledged.

Well that’s all I got. Remember—at the end of that day, the goal is to get married! Everything else is a detail.

{We’ve been engaged for 8 weeks – the wedding is in 24 weeks!}

I’ve pinned a TON of wedding-related stuff, but some of it just isn’t practical. Over the past few weeks I’ve pulled together some of the things I could actually use at the wedding, and then I started creating! 

Some of my inspirations:

OrigamiflowersForcardsPartyfavorBottles

{Check out my wedding pinboard on Pinterest!}

 

What I’ve been creating:

{paper flowers}

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{cleaning lots and lots and lots of jars! these will be used for centerpieces}

Jars

{LOVEly decor – not sure where it will be used just yet}

Loveframe

{card notebook – keeping cards, notes, and other little things since our engagement}

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Check back later for more updates on what we’ve been doing to prep for our big day!

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I just got an email from my dad about a wedding-related dream he had last night:

I had another fun wedding dream last night…we were flying (just your mother and I…not sure where Ben and Abbie were – maybe driving themselves?) to Arkansas for the wedding and mom had made a lot of food for the reception that she was bringing ON THE PLANE. She had made like two carts full of food. Most memorable was the white crock pot full of baked beans that we were trying to bring onto the plane. 

Yes. White crock pot. White lid. NO holder on the lid. Full of baked beans.

Okay, I won’t be eating mexican food for dinner before bed again anytime soon. And I promise we won’t be making food for the reception and bringing it with us next May.

 

Haha – I was cracking up reading this!

Over Thanksgiving break I’m going to give some updates on what we’ve done so far, what I’m working on as of lately, and what is still to come. Check back soon!

{I got the photo at the top here.}

Things are definitely starting to move along! Between dress shopping, guest list writing, budget planning, and starting to make centerpieces we are getting things rolling pretty quick. Check out what we’ve been up to these past few weeks:

Drying flowers

In the first week we were engaged, my “second mom”, Amy sent me flowers, and so did my family! The bouquets were beautiful – one brightened up my office and the other my kitchen table. I enjoyed them all week long, but wanted to preserve them so I decided to dry the flowers. Almost all of the flowers were still in great condition, so I was kind of sad to take them off display already, but I didn’t want to wait too long to start the drying process (who wants to dry dead flowers?!). I’m actually hoping I can use some of these in my bouquet for the wedding! The process was super simple:

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Dress shopping

Jacob’s younger sister, Joanna, was in town two weekends ago, so we went dress shopping! I found a few I really liked at David’s Bridal. Jo and I had a great time cracking jokes and having fun – all of the other brides shopping there were just so serious! Come on people, have a little fun!
 
Then last weekend I went to Tulsa and went shopping with my partner in crime, Reagan. I got it narrowed down to 2 dresses at David’s, then we went to look at one other place. I kept trying to find something to try on there, but just couldn’t find anything! I’ve since narrowed it down to ONE DRESS. And… *drumroll please*… I ordered my dress this past week! {By the way, it apparently takes like 5 years to actually get your wedding dress. Okay, not THAT long, but like up to 20-something weeks.}
 
Here are some of the dresses I didn’t choose:

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A few other things…

-A friend offered to address our invitations! I got a card from her about a week ago – she has a calligraphy company and addresses invites for all kinds of events. We aren’t sure what our plans for our invitations are yet, but we’re very thankful for this offer! Thanks, Jen!

-Talked to a premarital counselor and began making plans to meet next semester.

-Sent guest list to parents and asked who they want to invite.

-Found a picture that really shows what I want my bridesmaids to wear! Yay! {Thanks, Pinterest!!}

-Sent my parents our potential budget. My parents asked us to put together a budget of what we think we will need, so we went through all of the big things involved and figured out about how much we would like for each thing. We did a “high budget” and a “low budget” just to show some options.

-I FINALLY decided what I’m going to do to ask my bridesmaids to be my bridesmaids! More on that later, though 🙂

 

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for some DIYs {wedding-related and other!} as well as more updates as we continue on this process to wedding and our marriage!

Yes, it is true. I had a wedding dream last night. Here’s what happened:

It was a few days before the wedding, and for some reason Jacob and I decided to just get married that day. There were hardly any people there, but we didn’t mind – we figured we would just celebrate with family and friends when they got into town.

The few people in attendance sat down in a few chairs that we scrounged up, the officiant went to the front, Jacob went to the front, and my dad and I stood behind all the chairs.

The officiant lighting a cigarette, and I was getting upset because he was delaying the wedding. Plus, I am allergic.

I finally yelled, “PUT THE CIGARETTE DOWN AND DO OUR WEDDING!” He threw his cigarette on the ground and started the wedding.

The whole wedding lasted about, oh, 4.2 minutes.

When it was done, Jacob went to get something to eat and I went to change. It was then that I realized that I didn’t have a ring on, and I didn’t even remember hearing the words, “You may now kiss the bride.” 

I got worried that the wedding wasn’t real enough, so I went in search of Jacob to figure out what had happened.

Before I could find him, his cousins, Emily and Melissa, showed up and I told them how we already had the wedding. They were upset that we hadn’t waited for them. I tried to explain how unreal it all seemed, and that I just needed to find Jacob.

I finally found him and together we tried to figure out if the wedding was real or not.

And then I woke up.

This past week was full of encouragement, celebration, congratulations, and other kind words from friends, family, and everyone in between! It has honestly been a little overwhelming, but we are glad that so many people share in our excitement.

I’m hoping to document most of the wedding planning process – for fun and to share my ideas with others. Remember: This is what we did, not what you have to do! Plus some of this is just noted so I remember what we did when 🙂

Week 1 of being engaged:

Started making the guest list. Jacob and I listed out everyone we want to invite, and then asked each of our moms to make a list of people they would like to invite. We’re hoping to keep the invite list to about 150, so we will see where we are once we have everyone’s lists.

Decided on size of wedding and location. Jacob and I both graduate from college in AR in May, so that is why we decided to get married here (in AR). Because Jacob is from NC and I’m from MI, we know that some people won’t be able to make it. We really considered having a really small wedding here in Arkansas and then receptions back in MI and in NC, but the more we thought about it the more that seemed like the stressful option! So we ditched that and are back to one wedding in AR.

Snagged 50 free prints from Snapfish.com. I’ve been a member of Snapfish for a long time, but I usually have a big order here and there, with lots of time in between the orders. To entice customers to start ordering again, they often send out email coupons for 50 free prints. I got this in my inbox about a week ago and kept putting it off. But I didn’t want to miss out on this great deal, so I snagged it before the coupon expired! I just had to pay $3.75 for shipping, so that was awesome. I already had some ideas of how I wanted to use pictures at our wedding, and I had already started collecting a ton of pictures of Jacob and I. Originally the pictures were scattered all over the place, so I made a new folder on my computer and gathered up a bunch of the pictures and titled them the date they were taken so they would stay in order 🙂
(If you don’t have a Snapfish.com account, you get 20 free prints when you sign up – still a good deal!) (Another side note: I got a “101 free prints” email the day after I ordered the 50 free prints…crazy! No idea how that happened, but I’m excited!)

Started thinking about colors. I was near Lowe’s the other day, so I stopped in and grabbed some paint chips of potential color ideas. Because Jacob’s last name is Pinkerton, and we both like the color pink, we want to use that somehow. I’ve been having trouble picturing it, though, so grabbing some paint chips was helpful. We’re thinking pink and grey, so we just have to decide on more specific shades (maybe a fuschia-type pink?).

Contacted premarital counselor. We have one person specifically in mind that we would love to have for premarital counseling, so Jacob contacted him to see his availability over the next few months. Jacob will hopefully meet with him in the next week or so to see if he is free to counsel us. If he isn’t, we have another person in mind that someone suggested to us, so we will go there next. Premarital counseling is really important to us, so we got started on that right away!

Double-checked ring size. My ring seemed to fit perfect, but it does slide around a little. We visited the jeweler again and they said that it does need be a little smaller. I’m not ready to give my ring up for a few days yet, so we’ll drop it off in a week or so. By the way, Jacob got the ring from Underwood’s Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville, AR – we are already thankful we got it from a private, locally-owned place – they are awesome! By the way, Underwood’s is apparently “the best single jewelry store in the United States”! Seriously. Check out their website.

Started seeking advice. I knew that I couldn’t ask for TOO many people’s advice right away (that would be overwhelming) but I wanted to ask a few girls who just got married if they had any advice. That was helpful because I got a few brilliant ideas right away and answered some big questions that I had!

Requested samples. I really want people to throw some kind of confetti in the air when we leave, but we plan on getting married outside and I didn’t want to leave confetti all over the grass. I found this great site – ecoparti.com – that has ecofetti, AKA biodegradable confetti! I just sent for some samples and can’t wait to see what it is like.

And one of the most important things:
I started reading “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”. I’m not even joking. (Guys, you can stop reading here unless you want TMI!) Someone recommended it to me and it is awesome. I think every woman (with a cycle) should read this. The book is so empowering because through it you learn how to understand your body and what is going on through all parts of your cycle. I’m only like 15 pages in and I’m so excited to keep reading. Also, maybe this is TMI, Jacob and I want to do natural birth control. (I don’t like the idea of filling my body with chemicals and other things to try to control something that can be done naturally.) And this book is already diminishing my fears of the “What if?!?”s because it is teaching me what I need to track and pay attention to in order to not get pregnant (it also presents the other side of things if you are trying to get pregnant). Anyways, I’m excited to keep reading!