On March 10, 2012, I officially went from a Miss to a Mrs. by marrying my best friend, and it could not have been more beautiful. Even though it was raining, nothing could have stopped it from being the best day of our lives.
Through our sixteen month engagement, we discovered that a beautiful wedding can be done with a very limited budget. Even though we're bombarded with bridal shows and magazines, SYTTD and the "average" amount spent on a wedding, DH and I realized that we don't necessarily need all of that, and we still received many compliments over the beauty and love shown through our big day.
It's my hope that my bio may bring some slight inspiration to brides going through the planning stages just as many inspired me.
If you use any of the pictures in my bio, please give credit to the appropriate source, myself, or jackiesue photography.
Hey everyone! I'm Christina, I'm 31 years old, and an English teacher at a high school. An amazing man asked me to marry him November 20, 2010, I said yes, and we became man and wife on March 10, 2012.
Let me introduce you to my family:
Meet Wes, my DH:
He's currently working as a lab tech at a local plant, but he is pursuing his alternative teaching certification in Early Childhood-6th.
Meet our furbabies!
Jack (He's a bit of a grouch, but he has his sweet moments)
and Roxy, our AW (no, seriously, she is. She thinks all attention should go to her).
If you told me back in 2002 that I would marry--much less date--Wes, I would have laughed. We met at a mutual friend's New Year's Eve get-together. We talked, and I thought he was a nice guy...a bit of a dork, but nice. Over the next few years, we continued to hang out with friends and see each other randomly. Being a single woman, I sometimes had the thought, "You know, he'd be a nice guy to date", but I never thought anything of it. Fast forward to New Year's Eve, 2005, another get-together. Wes was flirting a bit with me, but I thought nothing of it. We even shared a dance. I left that night with no expectations whatsoever. A few months later, we were at the birthday party of a friend's brother when he asked me, "So, do you want to catch dinner and a movie sometime?" I said yes without even thinking, then worried about it the entire night, wondering why the heck I said that when I wasn't interested in dating him. Before he left, he asked me for my number, and since I'd already said yes, I felt a little trapped, so I gave it to him. Wes hadn't quite shut his friend's front door when I heard him exclaim, "Yes!" We started talking, and it eventually progressed to dating, then a courtship. We knew that we wanted to get married some day.
Fast forward to November 20, 2010. Wes asked if I wanted to go to a town about 45 minutes away to a Yankee Candle store. There is one particular Christmas scent that I love, he knows it, and it's not unusual for him to want to get out of the area for no reason. After a nice lunch, we went to this open air "market street." He took a backpack out of his truck, and I jokingly asked him if he was going to study. He took my hand, and like any man on a mission (you ladies know what I'm talking about!) he leads me down the street, past the Yankee Candle store, and to a beautiful park. We sit down, and he says he wants to read something to me; he takes out his Bible and turns to 1 Corinthians 13 (the "love" chapter). By this time, I have an idea of what he's about to do, but then he surprises me and turns to a section in John where Christ washes His apostles' feet. When he's finished reading, he tells me that Christ did this to show His love toward and His desire to serve the apostles, and he wished to show his love toward and his desire to serve me. He got down on one knee, and took out a bottle of water and a towel. He took off each shoe, poured water over each foot, and wiped them down with the towel. He then looked me in the eye and said, "Christina, I love you very much, and it is my desire to share my life with you and to serve you. Would you please be my wife?" Of course, I said yes, and after 476 days of planning, I became his wife.
All pictures done by jackiesue photography.
DH and his grandparents
DH with his dad and his sister
DH with his sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew
Me with my mom and stepdad
Me with my grandparents
Me with my sister
Me with my family
Me with my attendants
Me with his attendants
Us with our pastor
These non-pros were taken by Susan, one of my BMs, and Mary, a friend of mine.
Getting my hair done at the salon; my original hairdresser was unable to be there that day due to a family issue, but she set me up with a wonderful woman who once did hair for fashion shows in Russia.
This is Alesha, my matron of honor and sister-in-love. She was such an amazing source of help and support.
This was one of our pastor's daughters when she first saw me. The reaction of her, her younger sister, and many others was truly classic. It's true what they say about the hope and beauty that a bride symbolizes, and I don't think you truly realize it when you are the bride.
My grandmother has been like a mom to me for many years (people have even referred to her as my mom at times). She is such a blessing in my life.
The decor was done by a woman at our church who has a "party barn" with various decorations. She not only did the decorations for the ceremony and reception, but she served as our DOC.
FH was so nervous! Many found it cute/funny the way he would hold his breath and then exhale.
The groom's cake was made by Wes' grandmother; Wes is a huge Houston Texans fan, so this was perfect. The cake was chocolate Italian cream with a milk chocolate frosting.
Our wedding cake was made by my friend, CJ, and her mother, Leann, as their wedding gift to us. They spent so much time and effort on it, and it turned out beautiful AND delicious. The cake was lemon with a vanilla buttercream frosting.
We couldn't have alcohol at the church, which was fine by us, so we made a wonderful punch that was super easy! It was a 2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda, 1 cup of pureed peaches (we thawed some that were frozen, pureed them, and mixed them with the last ingredient), and 1 12 oz can of really good peach nectar (trust me, it makes all the difference!). Freeze the peaches and nectar in a ziploc bag, then the night before put them on ice. When ready to serve, put the contents in the bag in the bottom of the punch bowl and pour the soda over them and mix.
My sister and I being sweet...
My sister and I being silly...
My bouquet was created by me, and I'm quite proud of it!
You can see some of the bridesmaid's bouquets in this pic, made by me as well.
Our friend, KK, is one awesome guy. He's unconventional, but a complete sweetheart. He certainly made a statement with his steampunk top hat that included peacock feathers.
It looks like Travis, Wes' best man, is giving him some instructions or something while my niece, Brittani, and brother-in-love, Derek, look on.
We had bubbles for our exit, but they were so popular that our guests started using them in the church!
That's my grandfather in the picture, who gave me away.
And part of the grand exit--a fun time for all, and a great pic opportunity for some old friends:
Our wedding was our financial responsibility as neither of our families could afford to foot the bill. I'm a teacher and my DH is a production tech for a plant; needless to say, our funds were limited, too. So our goal was to do a wedding and honeymoon for $2,500. With us having many family and friends in the area, we knew we'd have to get creative. Fortunately, so many of our friends and family were willing to step up and help. After receiving $1,000 from my grandparents as a birthday gift to go toward the wedding, we had a budget of $3,500 to work with.
The Guests: We invited 165, 110 said they would show up, but I'd say not even 90 showed up (some of our guests went to church with a man who died earlier in the week, and his funeral was the same day as our wedding, so many were missing).
Venue: We got married in our church and used it for the rehearsal, RD, ceremony, and reception. As members, we got use of the facilities for free! We decided to have a mix and mingle reception (since it was an early afternoon wedding), so we just had chairs set around the room for people to sit in if they so chose. Cost = $0
Decorations: My SIL told me about a woman in our church who had a "party barn" on her property and did decorating for many different events. We talked to the woman, and she gave us a price for the decorations (which included two arbors, greenery, linens, a cardbox, flutes, cake servers, candleabras, candles, and tulle), her setting up and tearing down, and serving as a DOC. Cost = $225
Officiant: Our pastor told us that he would only charge us a dinner to officiate our wedding. We still gave him a love offering. Cost = $100
Bridal Ensemble: I wanted to spend no more than $250 on my dress, which is quite a task considering I'm a plus-sized woman. After seeing a dress that a student of mine wore to prom and discovering she got it on dhgate, I searched and found fionavogue and the perfect dress for me for $151.20 (that included the shipping). I also turned to etsy for my jewelry and ebay for my undergarments; I purchased my earrings ($16), headband ($40), and necklace ($45) from sellers on etsy, while I bought a new slip ($10) and new undies ($8) from eBay. Cost = $270.20
Groom's Ensemble: DH chose to rent a tux from Men's Wearhouse, which included shirt, vest, tie, tux, cuff links, and shoes. He already had black socks, so he really had a pretty good deal! Cost = $152.88
Bridesmaids: My three attendants purchased their own dresses (I allowed them to choose the dress and color), paid to have their hair done, and did their own make-up. I purchased a jewelry set ($15 for earrings and necklace) for each woman and shoes for each off of Amazon. Cost = $147.90
Groomsmen: The groomsmen paid for their own tux rental, but as their gift, DH paid the deposit and then bought them car care kits. Cost = $97.50
Beauty: I get my hair done at a JC Penney salon in town, and my stylist does wonderful hair. She was supposed to do mine for the wedding, but she couldn't, so she set me up with a woman who does amazing up-dos, and she did a fantastic job on mine. I also did my own nails and makeup (with a few purchases to get the colors I needed), and for my hen party the night before the wedding, some of my friends and I got together to hang out and do our own pedicures. Cost = $87.00
Flowers: The only flowers I needed to worry about were the bouquets and the bouts; I purchased the supplies I needed for the bouquets from Afloral.com and Hobby Lobby and did them myself. I found the bouts for the guys on etsy for very cheap and bought pin backs, glued them on the roses, and they were set. Cost = $117.11
Cakes: DH's grandmother did his groom's cake for free, and some friends of ours did our wedding cake as their gift to us; we just paid for our wedding topper which we got off of Amazon. Cost = $26.35
Food and Servingware: Since we did an afternoon reception, the only other food we got were mints and nuts and the materials for punch (very simple punch--a 2 liter bottle of Sprite, a cup of pureed frozen peaches, and a can of peach nectar) and coffee. We purchased our cups (styrofoam and plastic), plates, and forks from Amazon, 125 plastic takeout boxes (for cake) from plasticcontainercity.com, and 200 beverage napkins (perfect size for a cake-and-punch reception) from efavormart. Cost = $182.27
Photography: Yeah, we could have spent more in this area; a full day's worth with two photographers was only $800, but we still weren't sure about this, and we were counting on our guests to take pictures and share them with us (lots of guests took pictures, but not many have shared with us yet). So for $250, we got the woman who did our e-pics (she did them for $100), and the original plan was to take pictures before the wedding and family shots after the wedding. However, she told me that she was going to take pictures during the ceremony because she couldn't help it. The one downside to us using her is that this is a side business (she's a teacher at my school, has two kids, and has had many other events since then--promo pics and headshots for a theatre production, her cousin's wedding which her kids were a part of, senior pictures, and prom pictures), so we had to wait awhile for pro pics. Our pics (181 of them) were done by mid-May. Cost = $350
Parents Gifts: DH's dad is the only one who showed up, and he paid for his dad's plane ticket back home as his gift, while I purchased handkerchiefs for my mom and grandmother. Cost = $119
Favors: Instead of individual favors for our guests, we gave to a charity; however, they did get to keep as many bottles of bubbles they wanted for our exit. Cost = $85
Music: We didn't do much music--we had one song for the processional, one song for the recessional, and our entrance song into the reception. Since we already had copies of the songs, we just burned them to a CD and used that. Cost = $0
Reception Details: We borrowed cake servers and toasting flutes from our DOC/decorator, so the only things we needed were our guestbook (from etsy) and pens. Cost = $41.50
Wedding bands: We both chose James Avery wedding bands; since they were sterling silver, they were much less expensive. My band doesn't exactly match my e-ring, but that's still fine by me! Cost = $160.52
Stationery: My SIL made our invitations as her wedding gift to us; we got free postcards from Vistaprint for our RSVPs (only had to pay for shipping), I designed our programs on Microsoft Word and had them printed at Office Depot, and I found nice, generic thank you cards at Walmart that matched our colors for cheap. Cost = $37.52
So the grand total for all of that: $2199.75
Not bad if I do say so myself.
- If you have talented friends who want to help you out, LET THEM! We received so many gifts from others that we were quite thankful for those who gave us practical gifts toward our wedding.
- Love that super-expensive dress? Find it cheaper! Yes, my dress is a knock-off, and I took a chance on it, but I'm quite thankful that I did. You can find used dresses, you can rent dresses, or you can go to trunk sales. Just set your budget and STAY IN IT! Also, don't continue to look at dresses after you've found her. You'll just get dress envy and may end up spending more than you want.
- Youtube tutorials are your friends, whether it's makeup, hair, or DIY stuff.
- Bounce ideas off of your PW friends--they're supportive, and they're not sick of hearing about you planning your wedding.
- Find inexpensive alternatives to venues, food, etc. If you don't want to spend a bunch of money on food, do not set your reception at meal times. By having an afternoon wedding, our cakes and punch were perfect "snacks" for our guests.
If I had to sum up our theme, it would be Jane Austen romance
mixed with some modern chic
Our main color is called Capri (according to David's Bridal)--it's a beautiful light blue.
Of course, it figures that this is one of the colors that's not as popular as others...
My secondary colors are wisteria and champagne.
The flowers will be hydrangeas. My bouquet will be made up of mostly of blue hydrangeas with blue anemones, blue roses, and white stephanotis. The wedding cake will also have blue hydrangeas cascading down it.
I plan to do the ribbon on the bouquet the same as in the inspiration pics, but I'm going to use a blue ribbon that matches the capri color.
And my bridesmaids will carry bouquets of cream hydrangeas
UPDATE: As of 01/07/2012, the bouquets are finished! The BMs bouquets are made of cream hydrangeas and are wrapped with a base color that matches each lady's dress and an overwrap of a lace ribbon. My bouquet has the flowers listed above with added bling; the base of the bouquet is wrapped in capri with a lace ribbon overwrap. On it is my something old--a ten commandments bracelet my mom received in the 4th grade.
And after seeing mahogonieyes post these in the forum, I went with these adorable paper roses from scrappy9 on etsy for the guys' bouts! All I did was purchase pin backs and glued them on to the back of the roses and voila! Simple, clean bouts with a whimsical twist.
THE ENGAGEMENT RING
My DH picked out my ring all by himself--he only asked me what metal I liked and what cut of diamond. I told him, and I admit, I was a little concerned with what he would pick. But apparently he'd been looking at rings for awhile, and when he saw this one, he knew it was the one for me, and he was right!
This one was taken right after he proposed (it needed to be sized, but dang it, I was going to wear it!)
And after it was sized...
With the shape of my ring being so unusual, I've had a difficult time finding a wrap, guard, or tracer to go with it that's not an arm and a leg. We finally went with sterling silver bands from James Avery.
This is my band with my e-ring.
This is DH's band.
This is our inscription; it is the same on both rings.
And as "keeper of the rings", this is me goofing off...
I think many women dream of what they will look like on their wedding day, and I certainly am no exception. I didn't start giving a care about dresses until my early 20s, and my vision became more serious after DH and I started talking about marriage and getting engaged.
I knew I wanted something simple, flowing, and Jane Austen-esque. I fell in love with Sincerity Bridal +'s 4515, and I took a risk and ordered from fionavogue on dhgate. I was able to get it in ivory, and the quality is pretty good for a knock-off.
And here I am in it! Forgive the weird expression.
I wanted a hairstyle that would reflect a sort of simple, romantic style and involved a headband of some sort. I found this, and fortunately my stylist has done it before for a beach wedding:
I purchased this headband from Sarasboutique on etsy.
Here is the entire look:
My shoes are cute, but still comfy, and it doesn't matter too much how they look since no one will be able to see them.
They're the perfect color, they're cute, AND they're comfortable!
And the final piece of my ensemble: my garter. It's so cute!
Ahh, my dear ladies! I had three lovely women who are serving as my BMs. Since I was making them purchase their dresses, I decided to give them complete control over which dress they chose. The only thing I asked was that it be a pastel color. They decided to go with my wedding colors.
Matron of Honor--Alesha
Alesha is my FSIL and an amazing woman. She chose David's Bridal's F14169 in Capri.
I met Susan in Sunday School at church; we've become great friends and I've become her cat's favorite sitter. She chose David's Bridal F12899 in Wisteria
I met Tina in the same Sunday School class as Susan. We've become fairly close over the years, and she's a great sounding board for ideas.
She chose David's Bridal's F13954 in Champagne.
As a part of their gifts, I had the woman who made my necklace make them matching necklaces and earrings.
I am also gifting them their shoes; they will be wearing LifeStrides Lacey (I got them for $34.30 each from Amazon).
Let me tell you, our guys are definitely going to be looking sharp! We went with one rental shop at first, but because DH's guys are all over the place, we decided to go with Men's Wearhouse for the ease of everyone.
DH went with the Wilke Rodriguez Fly Front Black Banded Collar Tux for his guys:
The men coordinated with the women, so the GMs each had their own color. However, all the guys wore black shirts.
His vest and tie are the Geometrics design in Ivory
Travis and Wes have been friends for ages it seems; Wes was Travis' best man in his wedding.
Travis will be wearing the Geometrics vest and tie in Blue Frost.
Derek is Wes' BIL, and the two have been very close. Derek has truly been a big brother to him.
Derek will be wearing the Geometrics vest and tie in Wisteria.
Tom and Wes met through church, and Tom has served as a mentor and friend to him for many years.
Tom will wear the Geometrics vest and tie in Champagne.
Save the Dates
At first we were not going to do these, but then I received some extra money for my birthday. We made these through Zazzle.com, and the template is actually for Christmas cards, but it worked well for us. We ordered 75 and with the use of coupon codes got them for less than $60.
My SIL made our invitations as part of our wedding gift. We are so pleased with their beauty. We did have to make our own RSVP cards due to some miscommunication (I thought the invitations came with them, but they didn't). However, I was able to get 100 postcards on Vistaprint for free--I just had to pay the shipping!
The wording reads as follows:
They have experienced love from our Lord
Through their church, their family, their friends,
And now each other.
Christina ----- -----
Wesley ----- -----
joyfully request your presence
to witness before God and man
as they exchange marriage vows
on Saturday, the tenth of March
Two thousand and twelve
at two o'clock in the afternoon.
Grace Bible Church
----- ----- ----- -----
Reception to follow
I kept track of my to-do list; if you like it, please feel free to borrow it.
Choose a color scheme / theme (12/20/2010)
Determine a date (02/01/2011)
Search for a ceremony venue and reception venue (12/20/2010)
Decide on a budget (12/20/2010)
Start the guest list (12/20/2010)
Create your wedding website (12/20/2010)
Search for a ceremony musician (12/24/2010)
Start shopping for gown (05/20/2011)
Choose the members of your wedding party (05/01/2011)
Search for a wedding stationer (05/20/2011)
Design and create favors (05/20/2011)
Purchase gifts for bridal party (05/20/2011)
Determine your ceremony music selections (09/10/2011)
Book your photographer for e-pics and wedding (05/30, 08/16/2011)
Book your invitations vendor (05/30/2011)
Select dress and place order (05/30/2011)
Search for wedding cake maker (06/03/2011)
Search for hairstylist (06/03/2011)
Search for officiant (06/07/2011)
Order wedding cake (06/10/2011)
Set up wedding registries and add to website (06/17/2011)
Book the ceremony and reception venue (08/21/2011)
Finalize guest list (07/10/2011)
Start shopping for bridesmaids dresses (07/09/2011)
Book officiant (07/17/2011)
Select bridesmaids dresses; have attendants place orders (07/16/2011)
Plan rehearsal dinner (09/09)
Let OOT guests know about hotels in area (01/15/2012)
Select and confirm rentals (09/13/2011, 02/16/2012)
Finalize rehearsal dinner venue (01/18/2012)
Check and update registries (CONSTANTLY!)
Plan and book honeymoon (12/04/2011)
Choose groom's attire (08/12/2011)
Purchase accessories for gown--headpiece, jewelry, lingerie, garter, shoes (09/30/2011, 12/, 09/17/2011, 12/20/2011, 09/15/2011)
Schedule ceremony rehearsal and notify attendants (01/18/2012)
Finalize text for invitations and order (09/05, 01/06/2012)
Book hair appointment (01/07)
Choose groomsmen attire; send info to rent (08/12/2011)
Discuss and confirm plans for bach parties and showers (02/24/2012, 12/20/2011)
Address invitations (01/25/2012)
Schedule fitting appointments
- First fitting--(10/29/2011)
- Second fitting--(01/19/2012)
- Third fitting--(01/22/2012)
Purchase wedding bands (11/19/2011)
Send out invitations (01/27/2012)
Create bouquets and bouts (01/07/2012, 02/06/2012)
Purchase guest book box and pens (01/26/2012)
Send thank you notes for gifts (???)
Finalize order of service with officiant (01/15/2012)
Design and print programs and favor sign (02/27/2012)
Design and create bride and groom signs for dressing rooms (03/03/2012)
Research marriage license requirements (08/20/2011)
Alert wedding party of rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (01/18/2012)
Get ceremony and reception music copies to venue for review (01/18/2012)
Pick up wedding rings (12/02/2011)
Create a wedding day schedule; give to all attendants and vendors (03/06/2012)
Obtain marriage license (02/14/2012)
Contact guests who haven't RSVPed
Make sure vendors will have access to site
Confirm head count and delivery time with wedding cake vendor (03/06/2012)
Determine wedding day assignments for attendants and confirm with them (03/05/2012)
Pick up tuxes (03/07/2012)
Shop and pack for honeymoon (03/08/2012)
Confirm photographer and "must-take" photo list (02/26/2012)
Confirm wedding day beauty appointments (03/09/2012)
Confirm all honeymoon travel plans; give itinerary and phone number to someone in case of emergency. (03/05/2012)
Pull together wedding day attire and emergency kit (3/9/2012)
Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and wedding party (3/9/2012)
Give FH his gift (3/10/2012)
GET HITCHED! (3/10/2012)
We had such a blast with Jackie of jackiesue photography; it was a fun evening and something that helped cement the fact that we were engaged and getting married. We ended up with 40 pictures, with some B&W variations. I've included the color photos here.
We had Jackie help us recreate the proposal. Here are some pictures from that shoot.
Ahh, the honeymoon, usually the first trip taken by the new husband and wife. For us, we have had the craziest time planning it, but it has nothing to do with us not being able to make a decision. Here's the story of what happened.
Honeymoon Plan #1:
My MOH and FSIL, Alesha, offered us their cabin in Arkansas for the week after our wedding. This was the plan:
We will leave after church Sunday morning and head toward our destination. We will make a pit-stop in Tyler, Texas, and stay at the Woldert-Spence Manor B&B Sunday night.
We're heading to a small town in Arkansas for about a week where my FSIL and her family own a cabin. Here it is in the wintertime:
FSIL is going to have some brochures of places we can visit while we're there.
Honeymoon Plan #2:
When FH changed jobs, we found out that he didn't get vacation and they wouldn't give him extra time off, so we decided to plan a mini-moon in Houston.
The Omni Houston in Houston, TX ( http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/Houston.aspx)
It's a gorgeous hotel near the Galleria in Houston. It has great reviews, and my mom and her husband have stayed there several times and have had rave reviews of it. It's a bit pricier, but we like the look of it, and when we went to tour the hotel, the staff was AMAZING!
Honeymoon Plan #3:
FH ended up getting another job after losing his first one; this one involves shift work, but the schedule gives him seven days off in a row at some point, and his boss is willing to work his schedule to where he can get those seven days for our wedding and honeymoon. So Arkansas was back on--until we found out that Alesha was needing to sell or rent the cabin, and there wasn't a guarantee that it would be available when we needed it. I was okay with it, but FH was bummed because he fell in love with Arkansas and has wanted to take me there ever since his first visit. So I said okay, we'll find a cheaper hotel or B & B and we'll limit our visit to three nights. So after looking on the Hot Springs, Arkansas, website and rummaging through each option that was under $100 a night, we found the Alpine Inn. On the outside, it looks like Norman Bates is the owner, but on the inside, the rooms are so cute. And out of all of the reviews we read, there was literally only one negative review on TripAdvisor, and it had to do with a potential customer who verbally attacked the owner. Everything else on TripAdvisor, Google, and Yahoo was fantastic--rooms were comfy, the Scottish owners were fantastic and friendly...you name it! And you can't beat the price--$67.80 per night for a room with a queen bed, TV, free wifi, minifridge, full-size coffee maker with the fixings, and microwave, and $79.10 for a similar room with a king bed. We couldn't pass it up.
This is the room we're staying in!
Clipper House Inn in Kemah, Texas (http://www.clipperhouseinn.com/)
This inn is made up of cottages of various sizes, and there is a winery on the premises. The cottage we're looking at here is the Mont Blanc ($129 per night before taxes).
(picture courtesy of http://www.bedandbreakfast.com)
Sara's Bed and Breakfast Inn in Houston, Texas (http://www.saras.com/)
This is a small inn in central Houston. The room we're looking at is the Fredericksburg room; FH really likes the look of this place, but the price ($129 per night with a queen bed) isn't as enticing as some of the other options.
The InterContinental Houston Near the Galleria (http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/overview/houston)
This particular hotel received some good reviews, and it's $104 per night before taxes. Not very high on the list for me, but it's an option. (photos provided by http://www.expedia.com)
Hilton University of Houston in Houston, Texas (http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/HOUUHHF-Hilton-University-of-Houston-Texas/index.do)
Once again, another fairly inexpensive option that has received really good reviews; at $109.00 per night with parking before taxes, it's not bad.
Hotel Indigo at the Galleria in Houston, Texas (http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/in/1/en/hotel/HOUHS/welcome?start=1)
I love the boutique hotel feel of this; to me, it makes me feel more like I'll be on a honeymoon rather than a trip for work and my FH is tagging along. The rate is at $109.00 before taxes. All pics provided by http://www.expedia.com
Aloft Houston in Houston, Texas (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3127)
Okay, so I can say this freely on here without worrying about FH reading it...but this is the hotel I have fallen in love, lust, infatuation, whatever with! And the price is right--$89 per night before taxes (estimated $104.00 with taxes per night). It looks like a gorgeous hotel and has received some good reviews. Pics courtesy of http://www.expedia.com
I decided to save a bit of money and time and DIM (do-it-myself) make-up on my wedding day. After receiving many suggestions to check out tutorials on Youtube, I found the perfect romantic look in Michelle Phan's Romantic Valentine Look and made my own adjustments.
First, the inspiration:
So, here's the ingredients for the look:
1. L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Magic Perfector Base--After my skin care routine, I apply this all over my face for a smooth surface.
2. A mix of Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place foundation in Intensity 2.0 and Revlon Colorstay Combination/Oily Skin foundation in Buff
UPDATE: I found a ColorStay foundation that fits my skin perfectly--I'll be using 200 Nude instead. I apply it by first dabbing a bit on with a sponge and then blending it with a foundation brush.
3. Revlon ColorStay Aqua Finishing Powder in Translucent Light Medium--I swirl this on with my Mary Kay Mineral Foundation brush, and then lightly run a facial pad over it to take care of excess powder.
4. Stila Pretty Pink Palette (using the wheat color and dark brown color on the eyes and the cheek color)--I apply the wheat color to my browbone, center of my eyelid, and my cupid's bow on my lips to highlight while I apply the dark brown color to the outer and inner corners of my eyelids, slightly into my crease, and on my lower lashline. I use the cheek color on my cheeks (of course) to give a slight flush.
5. Clinique's Color Surge eyeshadow in Strawberry Fudge (I'm using the pink for the eyes)--I apply the pink color into the creases of my eyes.
6. Sonia Kashuk Eye Definer in Mahogany--I draw a pretty thick line on the lid at the base of my lashes as well as my waterline on the bottom of my eyes.
7. I tried false lashes but no matter what I did, I couldn't get the hang of it, so I had to get the impact of the falsies with mascara, and this combo works: Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion Waterproof in Brown-Black and Maybelline Falsies Black Drama. I first apply the Lash Blast to create a thick, full base of lashes, and then I apply the Black Drama. You have to take care with the Black Drama because it can clump at times.
8. Clinique's Quickliner in Soft Rose and Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Adore U
UPDATE: I was never truly pleased with the first combination. The color is gorgeous, but it seemed like my lips sort of got lost on my face. So with my fourth trial, I tried Maybelline's Superstay 24 lip color in Infinite Petal and I got what I wanted--a subtle pink that brought out my lips without overshadowing my eye make up. There's no need to prep your lips or line them because the formula works best on cean, dry lips.
And here are my trials
Trial #1: Here it is, but the make up was applied too lightly.
Make up Trial #2: This was eyes-only; I swear, I can't wait to start on BC so maybe I can get clear skin! This was when I discovered the mascara trick.
Make up Trial #3: Full-face, and I think it turned out okay.
Trial #4: This is where I tried out the new lip color and foundation, and it worked perfectly!
Here is my final trial before the big day, and it turned out to be the best yet.
I don't have a pic yet of the church, but there's not much to look at on the outside--it's in sort of a shopping center looking building next to a Fastenal shop. However, the inside is understated and simple--a nice backdrop for a simple wedding.
At the front of the sanctuary is a plain wooden cross with a back light behind it. We want to use an arch wrapped in greenery to frame the cross without obstructing the view; our decorator said that we may want to go with the black arch so that it will pop against the beige walls. Here are both of our options:
On both sides of the arch, we're using large candles and wrapping the base with greenery and tulle.
Music often times sets the tone for any occasion, and that's no exception with us! This is what we're using for our day!
Prelude--Various songs from the motion picture soundtracks of Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Becoming Jane.
Oki, so we all know the old superstition/tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Well, here are my items that fulfill that tradition.
On Christmas day of 2011, my mom gave me the following bracelet with a short note. When she was in elementary school, schools were required to test for TB and administer shots if needed; they would use a fourth or fifth grade student to go to each classroom to let the class know that the nurse was ready to see them. In 1972, when my mom was a fourth grader, she was selected to do this for half a day. As a thank you gift, the nurse gave her this ten commandments bracelet. She's saved it for 39 years, waiting for the day to give it to one of her daughters on her wedding day. I am going to wrap it around my bouquet.
My entire wedding ensemble--dress, jewelry, lingerie, headband--are new, so that explains it.
I put my name in for a sixpence brooch that was advertised in the Something Borrowed forum on PW, but it has been MIA for several weddings. I finally thought to ask my grandmother, who's been like a mom to me, if I could borrow a penny from her. So I will wear this borrowed penny in my left shoe instead of the sixpence.
Since my other computer got the blue screen of death a week ago, I've had to revert to my very old, very slow laptop until I can get a new one. Upon booting it up, I noticed that I had the order of ceremony still on my desktop! So I decided to share this with you; our ceremony was very simple and fairly traditional, but who knows? Maybe it will provide inspiration to someone somehow.
Wedding Ceremony--Wes and Christina
March 10, 2012
Processional--”At the Beginning” by Donna Lewis and Richard Marx
1. Pastor Bryan, Wes, and groomsmen will enter from main entrance
2. Bridesmaids walk down the aisle from back entrance
3. Christina and her Grandfather walk down the aisle from back entrance
Giving of the bride (by her grandfather)
Welcome and Opening Prayer (congregation may be seated)
Wes, will you take Christina to be your wife? To love and honor her. To cherish her even more than your own life. To care for her and protect her. To promote her and provide for her. To serve her and lead her into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, as long as you both shall live?
(If so, please answer "I will.")
Christina, will you take Wes to be your husband? To love and honor him. To cherish him even more than your own life. To care for him. To promote him and pray for him. To serve him and submit to him as he leads you into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, as long as you both shall live?
(If so, please answer "I will.")
1 John 4:11-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us.
Message from God’s Word
Exchange of Vows
I, Wes,take you, Christina, to be my wedded wife, To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
I, Christina, take you, Wes, to my wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance.
Exchange of Rings
With this ring/ I marry my (bride/husband) and my friend./ When you see this ring/ may it remind you/ of my love/ my commitment/ and my faithfulness to you.
Wes and Christina, please hold each other's hands, so that you may see the gift they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you take the journey God has planned for you.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children and instruct them in Christ's teachings.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you pray for strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Prayer of Dedication
Declaration of Marriage
Wes and Christina, by the powers invested in me by the State of Texas and by the authority of God’s Holy Word, I now pronounce you man and wife; Wes, you may now kiss God’s gift to you, your bride!
(Turn and face the guests)
Pastor: And now it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Wes Gray
"God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes
Part of the wedding day cannot be possible without vendors; they help bring to life what is in our imagination. So here is a list of those businesses that I am relying on to help bring our day from the drawing board to reality.
Dress--fionavogue on dhgate.com
Save the Dates--Zazzle
Bridesmaids' Dresses--David's Bridal
Bridesmaids' Shoes and Cake Topper--Amazon.com
Guestbook--rfrantzdesign on etsy
Following in the footsteps of many PW ladies, I decided to show you my inspirations and how they came to life.
I woke up one morning to an email stating I had a new badge, and it was one that I never expected so soon after getting married. Going to the boards, I found this post stickied:
You have no idea how honored I feel to receive this. My wedding was very modest by many people's standards, and to get Bio of the Week was simply amazing. Thank you to a wonderful community!
As the time to Christmas quickly approaches
You've been given the chance to judge
Whether I've been naughty and deserve coal and switches
Or I've been nice and deserve gifts and hugs!
Happy Valentine's Day, PW!
With all sincerity, I have to say that I love every single one of you; you are amazing, kind, and fun, and I am so blessed to have come across this community. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
UPDATE: Christmas has come and gone, but I must say, I enjoyed the PW holiday extravaganza. Who knew that getting and giving virtual gifts would have been this much fun?!
This is my section devoted to the 2011 Holiday Extravaganza!
Here is my stocking, but don't mind the kitty. She's very sweet and she will only bite if you try to leave coal in my stocking--she knows I've been a good girl this year!