We started praying about starting a family back in the fall of 2010. We got an overwhelming peace about it in November of 2010, so we started trying to conceive. We found out we are expecting on January 17th, 2011. The due date is September 24th, 2011. We are thrilled! I'm full of excitement and nervousness of what is to come. This is the beginning of a new chapter of my life, and I couldn't be happier!
This is how I told my husband. He didn't believe me at first, but he was thrilled when it finally sank in!
UPDATE (2/28/11): It's not just one babe...it's fraternal twins! We couldn't be more thrilled or blessed. These were our first ultrasound pics, taken on February 28th, 2011 (9 1/2 Weeks):
9 1/2 Weeks:
12 1/2 Weeks:
UPDATE (4/25/11): We found out today that we are having two BOYS! I'm starting to save up my energy! ;D These were taken at 18 Weeks:
Baby "A" - Gavin Noah
He's my calm cucumber
Baby "B" - Brayden Thomas
He's my wiggle worm. They couldn't even get a good picture of him because he couldn't stay still.
30 Weeks, 1 Day:
31 Weeks (July 28th, 2011):
After running some morning errands, I returned home and checked my email / Facebook and ate some lunch. I was in shock when my water suddenly broke. A little concerned (due to me being only 31 weeks along), I quickly called the doctor and explained what had happened. The nurse told me to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. I called my husband, and he came home from work (in 10 minutes, I might add!) and helped load up our luggage (that I had already packed for the hospital). We were off within 15 minutes of my water breaking. The local hospital that we had planned on delivering at was only 10 minutes away. We were making phone calls to family along the way, but not asking anyone to make the trip to the hospital until we knew the plan of action. We reported straight to labor and delivery and were shown a room and situated. They gave us medical attention immediately upon our arrival. It took them 3 hours (at least) to verify that my membranes had indeed ruptured. I was not even aware that I had started having minor contractions. They called for medical transport to take me to the city hospital - University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital. While waiting for the EMS transport, they ordered a sonogram to verify which sac had ruptured (due the babes being in two separate sacs). Both babies looked great, and they were able to find the sac that had ruptured. At that time, they estimated the babies to be at 3 lbs, 13 oz. The nurses and doctors at the local hospital were telling me that (more than likely) these babies would have to be delivered that night. I was scared at that point that my babes would be delivered within 24 hours, yet they were so tiny. The EMS transport arrived, and I was off to UAB hospital - a normal 2 hour trip that only took 1 hour that night! My husband was driving to meet us down there. We arrived, and found our way to labor and delivery, where they already had a room prepared for me. The nurses and doctors that met us were amazing! They checked my progress, which showed I had only dialated to 2 cm. They also kept me on the contraction monitor and the ultrasound to keep check on the babies heart rates. Surprisingly, I had been having stronger contractions every 1-2 minutes (which I never felt). However, my back had been killing me. I assumed this was due to the ambulance ride on a very uncomfortable gurny. They gave me IV Magnesium and Demerol to stop contractions. The magnesium made me terribly sick. They also started antibiotics to prevent infection from the ruptured membranes and steroids to develop the lungs of the babies in case I delivered. The doctor came in to discuss our options. She was optimistic that the IV meds would stop my labor. She wanted us to try and make it to 34 weeks (I was currently at 31 weeks) before we delivered. However, there was a 50% chance that I would go into full labor before then, which could not be stopped. It was a huge relief to hear that I did not have to deliver these babies at 31 weeks. The magnesium and demerol did it's job. By the next morning (12 hours later), I was no longer having contractions. They moved me upstairs to the high-risk obstetrics (HRO) unit, where I would stay until, hopefully, 34 weeks. The babies heart rates were checked every 2 hours, as well as my vital signs (to check for any sign of infection from the ruptured membranes). Every 24 hours, they did an hour-long strip to check for any contractions and monitor the patterns of the babies heart rates.
The plan: I was to stay on hospital bedrest until I delivered. We were going to try and make it to 34 weeks to deliver. Baby 1 (Brayden) was head down, and baby 2 (Gavin) was breech. The doctors surprisingly wanted me to attempt a vaginal delivery, even with Gavin being breech. I was totally against it and insisted on a c-section. They honored my request. The c-section was then scheduled for 34 weeks exactly (August 13, 2011).
31 1/2 Weeks (at UAB Hospital):
I started having high blood pressure readings, as well as a high pulse. They said I was "slightly" pre-elcemptic. They wanted to continue to monitor it and only act if anything changed.
32 Weeks, 6 Days (at UAB Hospital):
33 1/2 Weeks:
I began having really strong contractions 3 days before my c-section. They moved me back down to labor and delivery, where they were able to give me demerol to help with pain from the contractions and monitor how far along I was in labor. They were able to stop my labor for a few hours, but it would start again. I was having really strong and painful back labor with contractions, and nothing would help. I wanted them to go ahead and do the c-section that night, but they insisted on waiting until 34 weeks (3 days away!). I continued to have back labor with each contraction until the c-section 3 days later (August 13, 2011).
33 Weeks, 5 Days (at UAB Hospital):
My c-section was scheduled for 10:00 AM the morning of August 13, 2011. I was so glad to finally have the day come after so many days of bad back labor with contractions. The morning of the c-section, I started to feel a little nervous about the whole thing. They started prepping me at 5 AM that morning. They started my IV in the room, then wheeled me down to the OR. Hubby walked with us, and the nurses had him wait and prep / dress in the lobby of the OR wing. They took me back to the OR and had me sit on the table for the spinal. The spinal was not bad at all. All I felt was the numbing injection, which didn't even feel like a bee sting. The spinal started working (which just makes you feel warm and tingly from the feet up) and they quickly had me lay on the table and strapped my arms and body to the table. They had to re-stick my IV because the other IV port had clogged. They tested my skin / feeling, and adjusted the spinal as they needed to. They hung the drapes and prepped my oversized belly. As the spinal worked it's way up, I started feeling tightness in my chest from my asthma, so they gave me asthma meds to help. They gave me oxygen and began the surgery. My husband was brought in and led to his chair beside me. I was happy to see him. He held my hand as I said "I think they've already cut on me." He laughed and said "yup!" I felt lots of tugging and pulling. I told my husband "I think they're close!" Within a minute or so, Brayden let out a dramatic cry, and I burst into tears. My husband was grinning from ear to ear as he wiped away my tears. I saw one of the NICU nurses take a squirmy babe to the other room (where they worked on the babes). A minute later, they pulled out Gavin and raved over how handsome he was. I was ecstatic! They brought Brayden to us first, and hubby got to hold him for a minute. Gavin was brought to us next. My husband went with the NICU teams and the boys to the NICU unit. He brought pics of the boys to waiting family and friends. They stitched me up in about 25 minutes, transferred me to a gurny, and I was off to recovery. My husband and visitors were allowed to come visit me in recovery. I was thrilled to hear their birth weights. Brayden was 5 lbs exactly, and Gavin was 4 lbs 4 oz. Overall, they were doing well. After 2 hours in recovery, they took me up to the mother-baby unit. I had a morphine pump to help with the pain, and they helped me get situated in the new room. I had to wait until that evening to actually see / hold my babies. It was an amazing feeling!
Over the next day, I spiked a fever of 103.1. They discovered that I had an infection from both the premature rupture of membranes and the surgery. For about four days, I had terrible tremors from the fever. They put me on five different IV antibiotics that were given every 2 to 4 hours. By the 5th day of my stay (after delivery), the infection cleared up. I ended up staying 6 days after delivery, and I was released to come home (after a total of 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital). It was extremely difficult to go home knowing that I would be an hour and a half away and my babies couldn't come with me.
I visited the hospital every day. I had my mother helping me with the babies while we were at the hospital (my husband was working). They were able to move my babies from the NICU to the CCN (Continuing Care Nursery). They were still being
tube fed in combination with short bottle feedings. They were also in isolettes to maintain their body temperature and deliver the oxygen they still needed.
Born at 34 Weeks - Dad holding Brayden
BRAYDEN on his birthday (5 lbs):
GAVIN on his birthday (4 lbs 4 oz):
BRAYDEN: 2 Weeks Old
GAVIN: 2 Weeks Old
Our 1st Family Photo (2 Weeks Old):
After 2 weeks of traveling 1 1/2 hours one way daily, the traveling had taken it's toll on me. I got a referral to the Ronald McDonald house that was just across the street from the hospital. We were able to get in 3 days after my referral. It was a huge blessing! I was now able to spend more time with my babies.
September 4th, 2011:
The babies have both been moved from isolettes into open cribs and are maintaining their own body temperature and no longer need oxygen. For the mostpart, feeding tubes are no longer needed. They are taking 45 cc's by bottle every 3 hours. Brayden has a slight infection of the stomach, which means he may need an IV to deliver antibiotics. We are also taking extra precautions due to an exposure of infection within the unit. We have to "glove and gown" to go into their room or hold them. They think the risk is very slim for them to contract the illness they were exposed to.
BRAYDEN - 3 Weeks Old
Current Weight: 4 lbs 15 oz
GAVIN - 3 Weeks Old
Current Weight: 5 lbs 4 oz
The boys were discharged from the hospital on September 12, 2011 at 7:30 PM (late, I know! ;D). We still have to keep close tabs on the boys, so we visit the pediatrician every-other day. It was a long first night of feedings, and it was the most amazing feeling I've ever had!
Here is some of our decor for the wedding:
We got our cakes from the Walmart bakery, and they were AMAZING!
Here we are getting ready the morning of the wedding:
Here is our first look. It was absolutely amazing! It gave us some time to spend together and take in every emotion.
Here are pics of both of us pre-ceremony.
Bridal Party (pre-ceremony pics):
Pics of the family:
We had to work around an event going on at the church for our rehearsal, so we decided to have our dinner first, then go to the church for the rehearsal afterwards. The dinner was at Effina's Tuscan Grill in Jacksonville, AL (about 5 minutes from the church), and we all met at 6:00 PM. The rehearsal started at 8:00 PM at the church. We then set up the decor for the church following the rehearsal. We had very simple decor, so this wasn't an issue.
We left for the honeymoon immediately following the reception. We had a 10 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. We drove 7 hours the night of the wedding, then stopped at a hotel for the night. We then drove 4 more hours the next day to the port from where our cruise was leaving.
We booked a Carnival cruise that left from the Miami port. It was a 7 night cruise (8 days), and we stopped at the Grand Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). It was an amazing honeymoon. I didn't imagine our honeymoon being as amazing as it was.
At the time we were engaged, I was 22 and my fiance was 24. We started dating on January 27, 2008 and were engaged on December 12, 2008. My fiance proposed by a beautiful waterfall...it was perfect! We actually started planning our wedding about a week before we were engaged. We knew that we needed to go ahead and book the venue, photographer, and minister and set the date if we were going to get married in 6 months. The wedding was on June 20th, 2009, and it was an understatement to say that I could not wait to marry the man of dreams!
We got our engagement pictures taken at Portrait Innovations in Marietta, Georgia (my home town). Here are some of our favorites:
I originally hinted at a princess solitaire for my engagement ring. He asked if I minded other styles (as he would show me rings). When he proposed, I was stunned by how gorgeous my ring was! And what's even better is that he picked it on his own (I love telling people that). We have both already bought each other's wedding bands as well. My ring is from Reeds Jewelers and cost $299 on sale, including a lifetime warranty (originally $599). Rence's ring is from Kay's Jewelers and cost $248 on sale, including a lifetime warranty (originally $699).
I started looking for a gown as soon as we were engaged, since we had right at six months to plan the wedding. I found a gorgeous gown from David's Bridal for $399 (T8615). I took the sample that I had tried on, because it fit so
perfectly. I was afraid that ordering a new dress would mean that it would be too tight, as the samples stretch as brides try them on. This also meant that I didn't have to wait for my dress to come in. Lucklily, I didn't need
I bought my veil on ebay from venus_veils for $24 (free shipping).
My jewelery is from JC Penny. The neckalace cost $15 (originally $30), the earrings were $10 (originally $20), and the bracelet was $10 (originally $20). My tiara was from a local shop and cost $20.
The shoes were from a local bridal shop. I wanted to be comfortable for the big day, especially because I would be up on feet for the majority of the day. I tried these shoes on, and they felt great! I also loved the way they looked. The brand
is Touch Ups, and I paid $54 for them. I got slippers from Dollar General for $5 for the reception...I'm so glad I did.
My Mother-in-law choose a gorgeous dress from a local bridal shop in a "moca" color:
It's been so much fun to plan our wedding. We are using silk flowers for our bouquets, which turned out beautifully! We bought all of our flowers from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale. All of our flowers (including bouts) cost $80. Below are pictures of the bouquets.
Mother of the Bride Bouquets:
Groom and Groomsmen Boutonneires:
We made these centerpieces using vases, marbles, a yellow silk flower, a floating candle, and ribbon. The second picture is of DIY bouquets that we are going to lay on the longer tables. The vases were from Walmart and were $2 each. The floating candles came from Michael's and were $3.99 for a pack of 20 candles.
We decided to add blue taper candles to each side of the centerpiece. Each taper was $1 from Walmart. The taper candle holders came from Dollar Tree for $1 each. My mom added the blue ribbon around each candle holder.
The actual cake will be like the first picture, but the "topper" will be made using blue hydrangeas and placed like the second picture. Here is the inspiration:
Below is the actual cake, which came from the Walmart Bakery. It was the prettiest cake I've seen, and it tasted amazing! I made the topper out of silk flowers, and wrapped the base of the topper in ceram wrap so that it was "food safe."
First Hair Trial:
My bridesmaids will be wearing a dress from David's Bridal in the color "horizon." The dresses cost $125. All of the bridesmaids look beautiful in their dresses! They are wearing their choice of silver shoes.
The groomsmen got their tuxedos at Men's Warehouse. This was our best option since all of the groomsmen were spread out across the country. The groomsmen and best man wore a 2-button tuxedo jacket with a white button-down shirt and a "horizon
blue" vest and tie. Their tuxedos cost $145 each and the groom got his rental free. The groom wore a white vest instead of the "horizon blue." They looked great!
We bought our invites in bulk from Ebay from Price Bully for $50 (including shipping) for 180 invites. The set of invites included the traditional invitation, RSVP card and envelope, and the mailing envelope. I wanted an outer and inner envelope instead of just one, so I bought an "outer envelope" from Walmart (labeled as a greeting card envelope). It worked out great!
The invite reads:
"Today I will marry my best friend,
the one I laugh with, live for, and love.
Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents
Mr. and Mrs. Groom's Parents
invite you to share in the joy
of the marriage uniting their children
on Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and nine
at two o'clock in the afternoon
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville
230 7th Street Northeast
Far bottom left:
"Please Join us to Celebrate in a
Small Reception to Follow at 3:00
Baptist Campus Ministries
801 Pelham Road North
The RSVP card reads:
"The favor of your reply is requested before
the 20th of May
To reserve your seats and
view additional information, please go to:
- Advil / Tylenol / Motrin
- Tampons / Maxis
- Baby Wipes
- Blotting Sheets (for the face)
- Nail Clippers
- Clear Nail Polish
- Bobby Pins
- Lint Roller
- Static Guard
- Extra Panty Hose
- Extra Veil
- Safety Pins
- Needle and Thread
- Scotch Tape
- Hemming Tape
- Double Sided Tape
- Super Glue
- Hot Glue Gun
- Extra Earring Backs
- Breath Mints / Gum
- White Chalk
- Baby Powder
We purchased our ceremony programs from Michael's for $9.99 per 100. They are trifold, "two hearts become one" programs. It was extremely easy to print these off. The template for the print off can be found on the Michael's website under this product description.
Beth Anne & Rence
June 20th, 2009
Quote / Verse
Terry C., Pianist
Seating of the Parents and Grandparents
"Canon in D" by Pachelbel
Processional of Bridal Party
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach
Processional of Bride
"Trumpet Tune" by Purcell
Presentation of the Bride
Derek H., Minister
Opening Prayer and Scripture
Exchange of Vows
Lighting of the Unity Candle
"I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman
Emily M., Soloist
Blessing and Exchange of Rings
Presentation of Couple
"Hornpipe from Water Music" by Handel
Sherri L., Maid of Honor
Danielle A., Bridesmaid
Emily M., Bridesmaid
Tara P., Bridesmaid
Ethan M., Best Man
Michael L., Groomsman
Kevin S., Groomsman
Randy V., Groomsman
Terry C., Pianist
Emily M., Vocalist
Parents of the Bride
Pete and Cathy L.
Grandparents of the Bride
Ron and Joy L.
Parents of the Groom
Larry and Ruth C.
Seating of the Parents:
Seating of the Bride's grandmother
Seating of the Groom's parents (Mother lights 1 unity taper candle)
Seating of the Bride's mother (Mother lights 1 unity taper candle)
Procession of Bridal Party:
Minister and Groom (stage right)
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (together)
Maid of Honor and Best Man
Procession of Bride:
Bride and Father (Mother stands as a cue)
Giving Away of the Bride
Minister: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Father: “Her mother and I do.”
(Bride and Groom proceed to center stage)
Scripture Reading (Read by Minister):
Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NIV) – Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
Proverbs 3:3 (NIV) – Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Congregation is Seated
Minister: Rence, will you have Beth Anne to be your wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honor, comfort, and keep her in sickness and in health, in prosperity and adversity, forsaking all others, keeping yourself only for her as long as you both shall live?
Minister: Beth Anne, will you have Rence to be your wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honor, comfort, and keep him in sickness and in health, in prosperity and adversity, forsaking all others, keeping yourself only for him as long as you both shall live?
Pledge for a Christ-Centered Home:
Minister: Rence and Beth Anne, you stand before us as the children of God, redeemed through Jesus Christ. Is it your purpose to establish a home that is truly Christ-centered, where the Word of God is read and obeyed; a home that is welded together by prayer in which the Holy Spirit is your constant guide?
Bride and Groom: It is.
Minister: Rence, repeat after me.
I love you, Beth Anne, as I love no other. All that I am I share with you. I take you to be my wife through health and sickness, through plenty and want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever, according to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness.
Minister: Beth Anne, repeat after me.
I love you, Rence, as I love no other. All that I am I share with you. I take you to be my husband through health and sickness, through plenty and want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever, according to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness.
Exchanging of the rings:
Minister: "The wedding ring is a symbol of eternity. It is an outward sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two hearts in endless love.
And now as a token of your love and of your deep desire to be forever united in heart
and soul, Rence, you may place a ring on the finger of your bride."
Groom: "Beth Anne, I give you this ring
as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you."
Minister: "By the same token, Beth Anne,
you may place a ring on the finger of your groom."
Bride: "Rence, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you."
Lighting of the Unity Candle (I Will Be Here – vocalist, pianist)
- Rings and Marriage License
- Bride's Wedding Attire
- Bride's Emergency Kit
- Groom's Tux and Accessories
- Unity Candle and Holder
- Cake Knife and Server
- Toasting Flutes
- Wedding Programs
- Guest Book Table Attendant
- Gift Table Attendant
- Pay Officiant and Musician
- Flowers (Bouquets, Boutenneires, Corsage Pins)
- Lighting of Candles Prior to Ceremony
- Transportation of Gifts
- Picking Up Cake
- Picking Up and Setting Out Food for Buffet
- Lighting of Candles Prior to Reception
- Music (ceremony)
- Music (reception)
- Sound and Lighting
7:30 - Hair and Makeup
9:00 - Leave for Church
10:00 - Arrive at Church (finish dressing)
10:45 - First Look, Bride and Groom Begin Taking Pictures
11:45 - Bridesmaids and Parents Meet in Sanctuary for Pictures
1:30 - Ushers, Attendants Meet in Lobby
1:50 - Line up to Walk Down the Aisle!
2:00 - Ceremony Begins
2:45 - Guests Arrive at Reception
3:00 - Slideshow
- Announcement of Bride and Groom
3:15 - Bride and Groom Toast
- Cake Cutting
4:15 - Bouquet and Garter Toss
4:30 - Leave for Honeymoon!
We had the ceremony at our home church at the time, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Alabama. We wanted to get married here, because this is where we attended church throughout the time that we were dating and engaged. It also worked out
well because the church was free because we were members. It's a beautiful church!
The reception will be at the Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) building on our college campus, which is where we met. There is a fully furnished lobby at the entrance, and a large room surrounded by full length windows. The large room is where the reception will take place. The windows make for an awesome view of the campus (the building is up on a hill). The venue was free because we are both members of the BCM. They also provided the chairs and tables. We then provided the table cloths and decor. I'm a very practical and simple bride, so we used plastic table cloths with a tulle overlay. We wrapped vines around the two polls in the center of the room. I bought 10 of them from the Dollar Tree for $1 a piece. It turned out beautifully!
For the reception, we had a finger food buffet. We served the following:
- Vegetable Tray with Ranch Dip
- Turkey Tortilla Pinwheels
- Crackers with Spinach Dip
- Strawberry-Chocolate Trifle
- Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
- Mixed Fruit
- Mixed Nuts
- Bride's Cake
- Groom's Cake
I was on a diet before we were even engaged, so it worked out perfect that I had lost some weight before we even set a date! I 148 lbs. at the start of my diet. My goal was to reach 130 lbs., and I was successful! My first step of action was to lower my portion sizes for my 3 meals. I also didn't eat breakfast before I started my diet, so I decided that I needed to start eating something in the mornings. I always had a small serving of Special K cereal. I also only drank water except for 1 meal a day. After a few months after this, I still wasn't loosing weight because of some medicines that I'm on. I got really discouraged because I was trying so hard. I did some research on some diet pills, but I wanted to make sure they were safe for me. I talked to my pharmacist about Slim Quick. He highly recommended it. He discouraged all the others. And after a few weeks, I was loosing weight at a healthy rate. I was so happy. After I had lost 10 lbs. on the Slim Quick, I slowly went off of it. I continually lost the weight until I reached my goal (20 lbs. later). So...to recap what worked for me, here is what worked:
- Lower portion sizes (to about a handful of food per meal)
- Drink a lot of water (I even flavored my water with propel drink mix - no sugar or calories)
- Special K cereal to jumpstart my diet (for 2 our of 3 meals per day)
- Slim Quick (I would talk to a pharmacist about this and any meds you are taking before starting Slim Quick)
Bride's Cake: from Walmart Bakery, $138 for 3 tiers, served 138 (including top tier)
Groom's Cake: from Walmart Bakery, $30 for full sheet cake, served 98
Food: Shrimp with cocktail sauce, assorted fruit, strawberry-chocolate trifle, turkey-tortilla pinwheels, mixed nuts, vegetable tray with ranch dip, crackers with spinach dip, $200
Other Reception Costs:
Cake Cutting Set: from Walmart, on clearance for $5.35
Floating Candles: from Michael's, $8.66 for 26
Gems: from Dollar Tree, $16.47 for 16 lbs.
Vases: from Walmart, $35.46 for 18 vases
Toasting Glasses: from Dollar Tree, $2.14 for 2 glasses
Vines (wrapped around polls): from Dollar Tree, $16.98 for 16 vines
Plastic Table Skirts: from ebay, $40 for 15 table skirts
Taper Candle Holders: from Dollar Tree, $8.56 for 8 candle holders
Bubbles: from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off bridal sale, $13 for 144 bubbles (came in packs of 24)
Card Box: from Dollar Tree, $1
Corsage Pins: from Walmart, $5
Unity Candle Table Cloth: from Walmart, $7.63
Unity Pillar and Taper Candle Holders: from weddingaccessories.net, $22.85
Unity Pillar and Taper Candles: from Walmart, $20.24
Guest Book for Bridal Showers: from Walmart, $6
Guest Book for Ceremony: from Walmart, $8
Guest Book Pen: from Walmart, $5
Wedding Programs: from Michael's, trifold programs, $42.36
Church Cleaning Fee: $65
Officiant Donation: $100
Shoes: from a local bridal shop, $55.64
Slippers: from Dollar General, $5
Strapless Corset: from Sears, $27
Dress, Slip, and Garment Bag: from David's Bridal, $480.28
Jewelry (neckalace, bracelet, earrings): from Sears, $54.39
Tiara: from a local shop, $20
Waltz Veil: from ebay user venus_veils, $24
Flowers and Decor:
Flowers (for bride's, bridesmaids', mothers' bouquets, groom's and groomsmens' bouts, centerpieces): from Hobby Lobby, $121
Door Wreaths: from Walmart on clearance, $15.12 for 4 wreaths
Wreath Hangers: from Walmart, $8 for 4 hangers
Artificial Flower Arrangement with Vase: Walmart, $14.96
Ribbon: from Hobby Lobby, $3.97 for 100 yards
Tulle Ribbon: from Hobby Lobby, $6 for 300 yards
Tulle Fabric (White): from ebay, $15.61
Tulle Fabric (Blue): from online fabric supply store, $40 for 2 bolts
Photography and Videography:
Photography: Rod Williams Photography, $1,095 for 8 hours of coverage
Videography: My cousin videotaped the wedding for us, $0
Invitation Set: from ebay user Price Bully, $51.83 for 160 invites
Postage Stamps: $116 for 200 stamps
Thank You Cards: from Hobby Lobby, $12.99 for 200 cards
Groom's Ring: from Kay's Jewelers, $267.12 on sale for a comfort fit, 1/10th diamond carat band (lifetime warranty included)
Bride's Ring: from Reeds Jewelers, $299 on sale, 3/10th diamond carat band (lifetime warranty included)
Wedding Favors (minitiure Hershey candy bars): from Walmart, $20 for 260 candy bars
Favor Boxes: from Dollar Tree, $14 for 200
Mothers' Gifts (Personalized Hankerchiefs): from Hobby Lobby, $12 for 2 hankerchiefs
Fathers' Gifts (Personalized Hankerchiefs): from ebay, $16 for 2 hankerchiefs
Bridesmaids' Gifts (Jewelry Set): from Sears on clearance, $53 for 4 jewelry sets
Groom's Gift (Personalized Watch Display Box): $42.97
Wedding Planner Book/Organizer: from Target, $16.99
Grand Total: $3,822.57
Something Old and Borrowed: My mom's garter
Something New: My veil/dress
Something Blue: My bouquet (even though I'm not wearing it, it was close enough for me! :D)
I got married on June 20, 2009 to the most amazing man! I just recently realized that I had never done a recap on the wedding day, so here we go...
I started getting ready at 6:30 AM. I had to be at my hair appointment by 7:30. My hair turned out AMAZING! I absolutely loved it...it was even better than my trial (which was still great). I had to do my makeup while sitting under the hair dryer. We finished my hair at 9:00. It was really hot, so I had my MOH go turn my car on and cool it down so I didn't melt. I then had to drive an hour to the ceremony location. I got there early, so I went to see the cake and get pics. The cake was perfect!
At 10:00, I did touch ups on my hair and make up, then began getting in my dress. I started getting REALLY excited by this point...it was all happening! At 10:45, the photographer got me from the bridal suite to head to the sanctuary for our first look. I was so glad we did the first look...it was so special and intimate (we got a few minutes to spend together before the photog. started shooting pics again). By doing the first look, we also got a lot more time to spend making sure we got pics we liked.
We took pics inside and outside. I thought I was going to melt! Even though it was hot, the outside pics looked amazing (better than the inside pics). I loved our photographer. He was great in working with us. We took pics until about 1:10. The ladies all went back to the bridal suite and I stripped down to cool off. ;)
While we had a little "off time" before the ceremony, I sent my MOH to give hubby his groom's gift, and he did the same. I was also visiting with my grandmother in the bridal suite before the hustle and bustle of things. We lined up to walk to the back of the sanctuary at 1:55. We started right at 2:00.
I can't describe how amazing the ceremony was. I know every newlywed says that...it's hundred times better than what you could imagine it. I thought I would be ok and not cry too much....WRONG! Lol...I started to boo-hoo as soon as my dad gave me away. Hubby did the same...it was so sweet! I'm glad we didn't hold back our emotions...it made it that much more special.
The reception flew by, just as the rest of the day had. We had a blast and were out the door heading to our honeymoon before we knew it.
What went wrong:
- Someone stepped on my train and left their footprints behind. :/ My BM's said they couldn't even tell
- The fishing line that held up my bustle broke (my bridesmaids didn't double loop it), so we just safety pinned it...you could hardly tell
- The friends I had deligated to help with the food at the reception didn't do their job (we had a finger-food buffet). Luckily, my church family jumped in to save the day!
Overall, the day was amazing! I saw the "mishaps" as very small compared to what they could have been. The important thing is that I married the man of my dreams!
I decided to preserve my dress. I just couldn't imagine selling it. It didn't cost too much to box the dress, and I was so pleased with the results. It was obviously so much cleaner. We used the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. This company was used by the cleaners we sent the dress to.
I included pics and souvenirs of our wedding and honeymoon in our scrapbook.
I created a shadow box with items from the wedding. I purchased an 8 1/2 x 11 shadow box for $10 (originally $20) from Hobby Lobby. I used scrapbook paper as the background. I included the wedding invitation, wedding program, garter, my hankie, hubby's bout, and two pro pics. I assembled everything using a hot glue gun.
I loved the result of my silk bridal bouquet that I had fixed for my wedding. One reason I really wanted to use silk "real touch" flowers is because I could keep my bouquet for years after the big day. I wanted to make sure my bouquet would be protected from dust, food, drink, dirty hands, etc., so I went to Hobby Lobby in search of something large enough to cover/protect my bouquet and look nice. I was pleasantly surprised to find a football display case (in the framing section) that looked like it would be just the right size. I gathered my bouquet, garter, and headband as well as spare fabric, ribbon, pearl buttons, etc. In order to create more aesthetic interest, I used a small basket (turned upside down) to support the flowers on the bouquet. I then draped the basket and base of the display case with fabric and pinned the edges of the fabric under so it wouldn't move. I used a solid fabric on the underside and gathered tulle on the top for different textures. I then pinned on some lace in one corner and added a strand of small pearls using sewing pins. At this point, I scattered larger pearls buttons across the base and pinned them in place. The last step is to add the garter, headband, bouquet, and any additional item.
Total Cost: $25 (50% off $50)
Additional Costs: Fabric, ribbon, any addititional decorative items
A friend of mine is getting married soon and used this worksheet to make sure every detail was in place. I thought this might be helpful for some of you.
Who is operating the sound for the ceremony?_______________________________
Have you paid this person an honorarium / fee?______________________________
Does this person have all pertinent information as to wedding date, rehearsal date and times, and sound requirements?_________________________________________________________
Is he/she invited to the rehearsal dinner?
Who is the Master of Ceremonies for your reception?___________________________
Does he/she know the sequence of reception events?__________________________
Does he/she know the name of attendants to be announced upon presentation and their order of presentation?__________________________________________________________
Who is DJing your wedding?_______________________________________________
Have you given the DJ a CD of preferred music at least a week in advance and of suitable recording quality?_______________________________________________________________
Did you remember to write a thank you note?_________________________________
MUSICIANS: Ceremony & Rehearsal
Seating of the Grandmothers Music:_________________________________________
Seating of the Mothers Music:______________________________________________
Mothers Lighting Unity Candle:_____________________________________________
Groom and Groomsmen Enter:_____________________________________________
Seating of the Bridal Party Music:___________________________________________
How many worship special songs in the ceremony?_____________________________
What are they?_________________________________________________________
Do you have the sheet music for special music?________________________________
Who have you asked to sing at the wedding?_________________________________
Who are the musicians?__________________________________________________
Do these persons have all pertinent information as to wedding date, rehearsal date and times?________________________________________________________________
Are they well informed as to where their music fits into the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________
Is he/she invited to the rehearsal dinner?_____________________________________
Have you written thank you notes to your musicians/singers?_______________________________________________________
Have you paid the honorarium?_____________________________________________
Have you given him/her any special vows or changes in the ceremony you wish to incorporate?_____________________________________________________________
Who is designated to give him the honorarium?_____________________________________________________________
Have you sent him and his wife an invitation to the rehearsal dinner?_________________________________________________________________
Have you written a letter of appreciation for performing the task of officiating your wedding?_______________________________________________________________
Does your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses pass the Modesty check list for the venue?________________________________________________________________
When you brought your dress to her for alterations, did you bring them to her at least a month in advance?______________________________________________________________
If your bridesmaids dresses require alterations, have you brought them to her at least a month in advance?______________________________________________________________
Have your bridesmaids paid the seamstress for alterations and modifications such as sewn in bras?_________________________________________________________________
Does she know she may be needed to buistle up the dress after the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________
Have you written your seamstress a thank you note?_________________________________________________________________
If you want hair and mak-up for all your bridesmaids and yourself, have you communicated this to your make-up artist/hairstylist?_________________________________________________
Does she knkow the exact time she needs to finish before photos?________________________________________________________________
You will need to comomunicate with your bridesmaids to clear up who is paying to have the bridesmaids' hair put up. If YOU want their hair up, then you should arrange to pay for it. If THEY want their hair up and you don't care one way or another, the bridesmaids should each pay for their own hair styling.
Have all your bridesmaids paid the hairstylist / make-up artist for her services?_______________________________________________________________
Have you sent her a thank you note?_________________________________________
Is this florist expecting to use the church kitchen to arrange flower?_________________________________________________________________
If so, have you informed the caterer of this?____________________________________
Who is responsible for removing floral arrangements?____________________________
Where are they to be put?_________________________________________________
Have you informed the florist of any building / decorating restrictions the ceremony and reception venues may have?______________________________________________________________
Is your florist expecting to use the church refrigerators to store flowers? Does the caterer know this?___________________________________________________________________
Who is responsible for making sure which flowers go to particular people in the wedding party?__________________________________________________________________
If your florist is not from church, does she know when and how she can access the building?________________________________________________________________
Special flowers for non-wedding party?________________________________________
Does the caterer have proof of liability insurance?_______________________________
Do you plan on providing a dinner to the wedding party between photos and the ceremony?_____________________________________________________________
If yes, what?___________________________________________________________
Has the reception caterer been informed of this?_______________________________
Does your caterer know what to do with leftovers?_____________________________
Have you given caterer a final guest count?___________________________________
Are you planning on using the building/kitchen for a rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________________________________
Who is catering the rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________
Who is responsible for cleaning up after the rehearsal dinner?_______________________________________________________________
If using a non-church caterer, have you you informed them of church building policies and the need for proof of liability insurance?________________________________________________
Called to confirm delivery one week prior to wedding?______________________________________________________________
Have a contract?________________________________________________________
Given a copy of the contract to your wedding coordinator?________________________
Have you informed the videographer of any restrictions the church/facility may have on videography?___________________________________________________________
Called one week prior to wedding to verify information?__________________________
Arranged for videographer to meet with photographer to coordinate services?______________________________________________________________
Have a contract?________________________________________________________
Given a copy of the contract to your wedding coordinator?_______________________
Have you informed the photographer of any restrictions the church may have on photography?__________________________________________________________
Scheduled bridal portraits?________________________________________________
Given the photographer your photo list yet?___________________________________
Called one week prior to the wedding to verify information?_______________________
Arranged for photographer to meet videographer so they can coordinate their services?_______________________________________________________________
Who have you asked to do a reading?________________________________________
What readings are those?__________________________________________________
Do the readers have the text printed out?_____________________________________
Do they knkow their position in the ceremony schedule?__________________________
Have you invited them to the rehearsal dinner?_________________________________
Have you written them a thank you note?_____________________________________
Have you made arrangements for accommodations for out of town attendants?________
Have you purchased your attendants gifts?____________________________________
Wrapped attendants gifts?_________________________________________________
How are the bridesmaids / groomsmen being transported to the reception if reception is in a separate location from the church?___________________________________________________
Have you sent invitations to your bridesmaids fo the bridesmaid luncheon?______________________________________________________________
Have you shared names / addresses / email / phone numbers of all attendants with each other?_________________________________________________________________
Have you clearly communicated your attendants what their financial responsibilities are and what you are financially responsible for?__________________________________________________
*Dress and shoes purchase
Does he have the bride's ring?______________________________________________
Does he have the officiant's fee?____________________________________________
Has he been alerted that he is giving the toast at the reception?___________________
MAID OF HONOR
Knows she is to assist the bride at the altar with bouquet, trian, and veil?___________________________________________________________________
Does she have the groom's ring?_____________________________________________
Who is providing the communion elements?_____________________________________
Who is preparing them for communion at the front of the church?____________________
Who does the communion chalice/plate belong to and do they know to take it home afterwards?______________________________________________________________
Who is taking iyour cake top home for freezer storage?____________________________
Do they know to bring a Tupperware container?_________________________________
If you have candelabras / unity candles for the ceremony, who is lighting them?__________________________________________________________________
Who is responsible for gathering up the following after the wedding:
*Do they have a key to your home?______________________________________
*Where are they to be put?____________________________________________
*Groom's Tux (Return to Rental Store):____________________________________
Pet care while on honeymoon?_______________________________________________
Compile guest list?________________________________________________________
Selected your invitations?___________________________________________________
Once arrived, check the spelling and information?_________________________________
Create a map and guest information?__________________________________________
Double check postage requirement for fully stuffed invitations?______________________
Mailed invitations at least 6 weeks prior to wedding?______________________________
Chosen a program design?__________________________________________________
Double check your spelling and information?_____________________________________
Create the program at least one week prio to wedding?____________________________
Delegated someone to take possession of programs to bring to ceremony?_______________________________________________________________
Who is distributing programs?________________________________________________
PAPER: Menu Cards
Confirm menu with caterer?__________________________________________________
Design menu cards?________________________________________________________
Who is placing cards at each seat?_____________________________________________
PAPER: Seating Cards
Design seating cards?_______________________________________________________
Arrange seating chart/assign seating?__________________________________________
Who is responsible for setting the seating chart?__________________________________
What type of favor are you having?_____________________________________________
Have you bought or made the favors at least two weeks before the wedding?__________________________________________________________________
Who is responsible for bringing the favors to the reception?___________________________
Are they being placed at each table setting or handed out?___________________________
Have you confirmed with the facility that you are allowed to throw rice/confetti/rose petals/bubbles/sparklers?_________________________________________________________________
What are you guests tossing at you as you leave?__________________________________
Do you need to rearrange the auditorium chairs for the reception?______________________
How many chairs are you planning on moving?_____________________________________
Do you have a "map" of how the room should look for the reception?____________________
Has this map been xeroxed and given to the head chair master?________________________
Who is responsible for coordinating the chair arranging?______________________________
Who are the persons willing to commit to moving the chair during the interim between the ceremony and reception?__________________________________________________________________
Who is responsible for putting the chairs back in place after the reception?__________________________________________________________________
Who are the persons willing to commit to putting the auditorium chairs back in place?_____________________________________________________________________
Have you arranged for building a clean-up crew for after the wedding? Who is this?_______________________________________________________________________
Have they been informed as to the date and times of the wedding?___________________________________________________________________
Have you paid their cleaning fee?_________________________________________________
Are you planning on throwing birdseed, rice, confetti, etc.?_____________________________
Who is responsible for tidyying up the outside of the building?__________________________
Have you written the clean-up people thank you notes?_______________________________