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Billy and I first met at Outback Steakhouse in 2007 (my sophomore year of college). In the beginning we didn't talk at all. But that's partly because the store was brand new. It also happened to be my first real job so I was super shy. Slowly, I started getting more comfortable and making friends. I was starting to come out of my shell and actually notice the people around me...including Billy. I would smile at him and we would just say hello and the usual topics you discuss with co-workers...weather, school, etc. In June 2007 my grandfather passed away and I was gone for almost a month. Billy says that's when he first started to think about "the beautiful hostess that had an amazing smile." When I came back, we started talking a little more, but nothing more than friendly conversation. We really started to hang out in the beginning of November and before we knew it, we were officially in a relationship.
Billy proposed to me on August 20, 2010. He made a beautiful scrapbook that is all about us and our relationship and on the very last page it says, "Will you marry me?" When he gave it to me he took me to "our spot" where we have gone on previous anniversaries. It's a gazebo on the water. When we got there he had a sheet on the bench and an iPod playing some of our favorite songs with the gift bag that contained the scrapbook. The whole day had been perfect. He took me to my favorite lunch spot, then I had a hair appointment (I always feel beautiful after I leave from having my hair done), and then we went to a yummy frozen yogurt place. I didn't want the afternoon to end because we were both scheduled to work that night, but as we were on our way home from getting frozen yogurt, he told me that he had our shifts picked up and we were going on a date night. It was so much more than just a date night! We will remember that day forever!
Little did I know that this had been in the planning for months. In June, my father had a Change of Command (military ceremony) and all of my family had come into town for it. This is when he asked my parents permission and told select family. He had also been behind my hair appointment and pre-scheduled it specifically. My hair stylist and good friend Elizabeth, also happened to be the "secret photographer" as he was proposing. He did an amazing job and we will have the memory forever. But wait...there's one more thing. Not only did he plan such an amazing and perfect proposal, he also planned a surprise engagement party for me right afterwards. We walked into his mom's house to tell her the news and as the door opens, my first sight is all of my family and our closest friends. It was amazing.
THE RING: The ring that Billy proposed with has a very special meaning to me. I have always been close to my grandparents on my mothers side and when my grandfather passed, it was (and still is) very difficult. We both have very large families that we are close to. The ring is the original engagement ring that my Pepere (grandftather) gave to my Memere (grandmother). Originally when he asked my family's permission he said that he needed to save for a ring, but wanted to ask them because he knew I was the woman that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and when he told my Memere at the Change of Command she offered the ring to him. I have also always wanted to have the diamond from the first ring my father gave my mother reset (it fell out and has been in her jewelry box since I can remember, but my father bought her an "upgrade" :) So they never had it reset). This is the diamond that is in my ring. She offered it to him to put in my grandmothers original setting. It's the most beautiful thing in the world.
We decided on June 8, 2012 for our date. We will both be done with school by then and although we are anxious to plan and see the day, for now we are just enjoying our life and our engagement. (It also gives us some time to save some money). I also hear that the time will pass faster than we think and that it's never too early to plan :)
**UPDATE** Our wedding date has changed to November 18, 2011 now :) We are so excited!!! So now that we are 6 months out...it's WEDDING MODE!!! The reason for the change is that FI has decided to enlist in the military and we want to be married before he does it. It's so exciting and we are going to have some hard times ahead of us but we know that we have such a strong community around us that will support us through everything.
My best friend Jessica has graciously accepted the position of my MOH :) (Maid for now...until she gets married this July and then she'll be a Matron...YAY). She's the person who suggested this wonderful, supportive website to me! We met each other our freshman year of high school and have been friends for almost 8 years now.
My bridesmaids are:
Amanda: Amanda is my cousin and one of my best friends! Every time we're around each other it's nothing but laughter and fun! We can always just pick up right where we left off. We are always told that we look just like each other :)
Christina: I met Christina at Outback Steakhouse while at college. We were also roommates! She's always there for me and gives me great advice when I need it! She is a lot of fun and makes me smile :)
Madeline: FI's younger sister who I consider my own!
Our flower girl will be FI's youngest sister (will be tuning 5 the month after our wedding). She is so adorable and love's her "Brother Billy" to death!
Freddy: Billy and Freddy met their junior year in high school and have known each other for 8 years now!
~Groomsmen~ (in no particular order)
Kevin: Billy's brother (far right)
Corey: Bride's brother (far right)
Jake: College roommate (Bridesmaid Christina's FI)
So, earlier this week, my mother and I decided to try our first DIY project! We attempted to make our first tissue paper pomander. :) Just thought I would share because even though it's not perfect, we thought it looked pretty good and more importantly we had FUN doing it!
We booked our venue today! We are getting married on June 8, 2012 November 18, 2011 at Lake Mary Events Center! It's gorgeous and we love it!! I was so thrilled to go in and sign the contract! It made my birthday that much sweeter!! Nothing can break this smile today :D The website for our venue is www.lakemaryeventscenter.com but I will post pictures soon!
This is the front of the venue:
This is the Rotunda where we will have our ceremony:
The Grand Ballroom where we will have the reception (we won't have this many people, but it was a good view of the entire room):
The view from the back lawn:
I'm soooo excited! Our photographer, Kevin Floyd, has known me since I was around seven years old. He's actually a good friend of my mom's (they used to be country western dance partners). FI and I decided to make a trip to my parents house this week because it was my spring break and we just wanted to get away from Orlando for few days. Well, since we were here, we decided to go meet Kevin because Billy has never met him. He offered to do our wedding photos free of charge (along with engagement pictures and he even wants to do some bridal portraits for me!) He sat down and talked with us about everything and I'm so impressed! He is a certified PPA Professional Photographer, he has won 4 Merrit Awards for his photography and is the Vice President of the Jacksonville Professional Photographers Association! He has worked along side many great photographers, including the head wedding photographer from Disney! His website is: KevinFloydPhotograhy.com :)
****UPDATE**** So I'm a little bummed out. We took our engagement pictures the last week in April and have YET to get them back. A few other things have happened that have stressed me out about our decision for him as our photographer, but my mom said she is going to talk to him. So we may be looking for another. I hope we don't have to, but this isn't worth the stress.
We chose green, gray/silver, and black for our colors. These aren't the exact swatches (I was having issues saving them from the sight they were on) but they're the closest I could find. We're so excited :) I love the green we have chosen!
We have been playing around with centerpieces a lot! I think we have finally decided on the basic set up of what we want...keep in mind this is a very "rough draft" set up, but you get the general idea. The tall cylinder in the center will be either 20" or 22"...it won't be on a square vase--we just needed something to show the height of what it would really look like. The small green votives will go between the smaller vases. And all of the cylinder vases will have floating candles.
(This is a mock set up...we did the best we could with what we had lol)
**Sorry for the horrible lighting :(**
So we originally were going to do table numbers, but as we talked about it, we decided to LETTERS instead :) Each table will have a black block letter on it that represents something important throughout our relationship! ex: C which stands for Connecticut.
I have pics of the letters and an example of a picture that will go on a table with the letter:
*These are just some of the other letters:
I finally found a dress that I love for my girls!!! It's simple but elegant. I originally wanted above the knees, but after seeing a tea-length dress, that's what I wanted. It's After Six style 6553. We are going to do black and then I will make the girls green sashes from a fabric that matches our green exactly :) At first I thought I wanted tafetta to match my dress, but this is a matte satin. I didn't want satin originally because normally it's so shiny, but this is PERFECT :) Excuse the floral print....that's all they had at the store. I would like to thank my wonderful MOH, JandDW2011, for being my super model :)
**UPDATE** I found the shoes for my girls!!! I'm so excited and absolutely love them (as in I will be getting a pair for myself)! Here they are...
They are by RocketDog and I found them for only $29 :)
Groom and Groomsmen~
They will all be wearing this tux from Calvin Klein:
Groom will wear all white underneath his jacket:
Groomsmen will have a black shirt with this vest and tie:
**If I have used your photo, please let me know so I can give you proper credit!!**
I want something low, and simple but elegant.
I am going to use calla lilies and want to keep it simple. I wan to do white and green for the girls and then all white for myself. I haven't decided if I'm going to use hydrangea's too or just calla's. My bouquet will be all white (maybe a little green). I would love the MOH's bouquet to be different but haven't quite figured it out yet. Here are some inspiration pictures:
---> This is my favorite for my bouquet!!!
Phew!!! Picking out invites has been a hard choice for us. Partly because I kept looking after I found one I thought I liked (and it ended up being a good thing). I ordered samples from Blush Paperie and I am so glad that I did!!! I ended up receiving one in the sample pack that wasn't listed on her site and she can still make it. We LOVE it!! Here it is (keep in mind it's just a sample, not customized for us at all):
**UPDATE** We have decided to use this as INSPIRATION and Lyfe_girl will be designing them. We will be printing/assembling ourselves! So excited to work with Lindsie and see our design come to life.
...and the RSVP card:
Inspiration Design by Michele at Blush Paperie
***UPDATE***We have our final designs and they are beautiful!!! Special thanks to lyfe_girl for all the hard work!
----->For some reason thie green for this one is coming out more lime but it matches the others in the final PDF's!
***UPDATE*** FI and I went to my parents house for the long weekend and while we were there we got all the invites assembled and finished :) YAY!! I love them so much and am so proud of them. Here are some pictures of the process: ENJOY
We still need to have our flutes engraved...but you can still see the platinum band :) My MOH and one of my bridesmaids got me our serving set!!! Both sets are from Lenox and we love them! Just wanted to share!
So the way we designed our favor it serves as the place card for each family/couple/guest as well!!! I feel so crafty!! Our favor is a dice game that we like...it's called Greedy. So it's six small green dice wrapped in a green fabric that is inside a shot glass that we designed (because we collect shot glasses as well from places we go). It could also serve as a votive instead. We spray painted a popsicle stick and tapped it to the inside back of the glass and affixed the printed punch-out that has our monogram and the family/couple/guests name with what table they are at (printed on silver cardstock).
Sounds complicated but it was really quite easy and we love it!
Forgive the frayed edges on the fabric. We will have them finished or use a little bag instead.
I would like to introduce you to our furry little children :)
Tallee is a lab/retriever mix. I got her in Tallahassee on my way back from my grandmothers house. I stopped at a rest area and there she was just walking around in the grass. I went to say hi and she wouldn't stop following me. A trucker had gotten her as a surprise for his daughter, but when he told the mother, she said to get rid of the dog or don't bother coming home. He told me that if I could guarantee she would be in a good home he would give her to me along with everything he had bought for her. She's my little angel and is so happy to have a sister now and she loves her daddy :) We also happen to share the same birthday!
Tink is a german shepard/siberian husky mix. Her daddy got her in South Florida from a breeder. She is such a little princess and loves the attention. She will snuggle, but only on her own time :) Her and Tallee are inseperable. They are sisters for life. She is turning five years old this December!
Here they are together:
Aren't they adorable?!
I wish they could be a part of our special day, but the venue won't allow it :( I know they will be with us in spirit though the day of!
Our cake topper from Etsy seller mudcards:
We met at Outback :)
We got this in the mail a few days ago and it made me smile:
This is what I'm thinking for our altar. It's not perfect because I was trying to recreate it in Hobby Lobby, but it's got large callas, hydrangeas, and twigs coming out of it. It will be real flowers they day of but its a rough draft: