So like many people we pictured our honeymoon to be somewhere amazing and like nothing we had ever done. We quickley concluded, however, that we didn't have the fund to pay for such a trip at the moment. That is when my FI decided that we should take a minimoon and save up the next several years for the big trip. This was ok with me- all I cared about was that I got to run away with my man and be alone with him after all the hustle and bustle of the wedding. I also had realized rather quickely that I didn't want to pay for some huge vacation and not leave the hotel room.....
For our mini-moon we found a little cottage within a few hours drive of his hometown (where the wedding will be) and where we currently are living. It is on 20 acres of private land with a little pond and trails all around it. It was all redone recently and looks fantastic!
Photos by asecretcottage.com
Our big trip will occur in a few years around our anniversary. It really depends when the school I am teaching at gets done for the summer. We figured that this could be our big trip before we starting trying for a baby. And the destination is.....
THE BRITISH ISLES!!!!
We want to take 2 weeks to travel around Ireland (pictured above), Scotland, and England. FI has always wanted to go here and part of my heritage is Irish. I have been obsessed with visiting there since I was a child. I cannot wait to walk the moores with my then DH and be swept away by the landscapes that inspired the works of our favorite authors. I really want to make it a point to visit Jane Austen's home town and I know that FI would love to see Oxford and the town that JR Tolkien grew up in (the place that inspired the shire). The whole trip we plan to stay in little B&B's which will make it even more fun and adventerous than just a hotel. I also would love to see the faerie pools of Scotland. I am in love with the pictures and cannot wait to see the breath-taking beauty. As a historian the whole concept of seeing the castles and all the artifacts gets me going pretty good. FI knows he may have to just sigh and let me go on my speels about what happened at a place. I am not sure if I will be able to contain myself!
Faerie Pools in Scotland
Jane Austen's home in Hampshire
Since we had a small budget we had problems finding an official photographer in our area that would do our pics for the whole day on less than 1000 bucks. We are also getting married in a really small town so there were not that many options. So then my mom had a brilliant idea. My cousin, who just graduated with a degree in graphic design also minored with photography. She has never taken any wedding pics but I love the work that she has done on other things. We gave her a call. At first she had wanted to do this for free but since she still was unemployed I wanted to give her something. In the end she decided to accept 500 bucks for the day. She is like a sister to me and had lived with me for four summers in a row after high school. I am excited to help her get a start to her career!
This is the list I have created based upon different lists compiled and my own unique tastes.
- Dress hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair
- Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup
o All the Pearls on (closeup)
- Meg and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup
- Mom helping bride with one last detail
o Zipping the dress
o Over the shoulder in the mirror shot
- Full-length shot of Meg in gown in mirror
- Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, and bouquet
- Detailed pictures of bouquets of all the girls
- Dad seeing Meg for the first time
- Meg with siblings
o One funny
o One serious
o One with brothers –one on each arm
- Meg hugging MOH
- Meg with girls
- Meg with all the women important to her past (Girls, Mom, Grandma, Aunt Margie, Aunt Carol)
- Meg Ready to Go
- Nathan getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)
- Nathan with Collin
o A funny
o A serious
- Nathan with Best man
- Nathan with all the guys
- Nathan with all the men important to past (Boys, Dad, and Grandpa)
- Boys putting on boutonnieres
- Meg and Nathan chatting parents and siblings
- Dad whispering last-minute advice to Nathan
- Nathan ready to go
- Random and candid shots you see as you go
Before the Ceremony (These will be done at three places: Nathan’s house, inside the church, outside the church in the mediation gardens) Talk to dad about a ladder for some upper shots or use the porch)
- Nathan face seeing Meg for the first time
- Meg and Nathan together
- Meg with parents
- one with Nathan
- Mom and dad kissing her on the cheeks
- Meg with her entire immediate family
- Nathan with his parents
- one with Meg too
- Nathan with his entire immediate family
- Meg and Nathan with all parents
- Meg and Nathan with immediate family members from both sides
- Meg with Groom's mom
- Nathan with Bride's dad
- Meg and Nathan with Grandparents
o Aunt Margie
- Meg with Jr. Bridesmaid
- Meg and Nathan with Jr. Bridesmaid
- Meg and Nathan with groomsmen
- Nathan with Groomsmen
- Meg with Groomsmen
- Meg and Nathan with Bridesmaids
- Nathan with bridesmaids
- Meg with Bridesmaids
- Meg and Nathan with whole wedding party
- Close up of the wedding bands- on the bible perhaps?? Or on a tree branch??
- Exterior and interior of the church
o Shot of kissing and the stained glass
- Staged candle ceremony
- Guests streaming into the site
- Cool artsy photos with all the candles involved :)
- Ushers escorting guests to their seats
- Ushers escorting moms to their seats
- Close-up of Nathan's adorably nervous face waiting for it to start
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle
- Wedding party waiting at the altar
- Meg and Dad walking down the aisle
- Close-up of Meg just before she makes her entrance
- Meg and Nathan at the altar
- Altar from the back during ceremony
- Faces of Meg and Nathan as they exchange vows
- Close-up of Meg’s and Nathan’s hands as they exchange rings
- THE KISS
- Megan and Nathan proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides
- Meg and Nathan outside ceremony site
- Congrats shots: Meg and Nathan candidly as the receiving line is occurring
The Reception (We want her to have fun too so we have picked a handful of photos and starred them. These are the ones that we want to be sure and have but the rest we figure our other relatives will be getting good shots with. We have a lot of hobby photographers in the audience.)
- Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings,
- Dessert table/ food spread
- Cake Table** (Nathan’s Aunt made that!!)
- Meg and Nathan at head table
- Guests' tables
- Close-up of friends and family making toasts
o BEST MAN
- Meg and Nathan’s parents whispering to each other during dinner
- Meg and Nathan’s first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)**
- Parents dancing
- Meg and Dad dancing**
- Nathan and Mom dancing**
- Grandparents dancing
- Guests going nuts on the dance floor (again, slow shutter speed could be effective)
- Meg and Nathan cutting the cake**
- Meg and Nathan feeding each other cake
- Bouquet toss (perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)**
- Garter Toss **
- Winners of Garter Toss and Bouquet Toss**
This is our Timeline that I have. I know I had problems figuring out timing because I am not very good at determining how much time we need for different things. Hope this works out and maybe will help others.
1pm Girls start getting ready
-Meg and Kylee at the stylist
2pm FMIL gets hair done
2:30- Meg returns to hotel to do make up
3pm Boys are at the Levande House starting to get ready
-Girls finish at the hotel
-Phelps boys go and pick up sandwiches from Subway
4pm EVERYONE READY AND AT LEVANDE HOUSE
- boys ‘getting ready pics
- Meg and Nate first look pic
- Grab quick bite
5:30 pm Leave for the church
-Quick finish pics
-inside first (unity candles, windows, etc)
-Everyone done eating by 6:30
6:20 pm All the bridal party is downstairs
- Cards and magazines will help pass the time
6:55 pm Everyone ready and at their post
7:00 pm Wedding Commences!
Approx. 7:40 Wedding ends
- Not all the bridal party needs to stick around for receiving line. Just be sure to
make your way to the legion within 20 minutes. We are doing a grand entrance!
- Andy and Collin need to head straight over to the legion to start the music
Approx. 8:15 Formal Entrance
Approx. 8:25 Speeches
- Cake Cutting
Approx. 8:45 First Dance
-Daddy Daughter Dance
- Mother Son Dance
- Bouquet Toss
- Garter Toss
9:50 pmLast call for food!
11:45 pmTwo more songs
-clean up begins
THE ORDER OF THE CEREMONY
PROCESSION------------------------------------------------> “Your Love is a Song”
Michelle and Zach
Carly and Aric
Teagan and Collin
Moriah and Adam
New Testament Reading------------------------------------> Philippians 2:1-5
Read by a friend
Old Testament Reading-------------------------------------> Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Read by FMIL
Question of Intent
Consent of Vows
Unity Candle---------------------------------------------------->”Nearer My God to Thee”
Prayer My daddy!
Introduction of the Couple
Recessional----------------------------------------------------->”Check Yes Juliet”
Since we are getting married on a Friday at 7pm our priest suggested that we do a candle light service. Being a big old romantic I immediately fell in love with the idea. We decided that with the set up of the church we also wanted to make sure that everyone in our audience felt close to us. The church is a giant T shaped building. Therefore we are going to ask that our guests sit in the body of the church. Candles and candlabras with the help of low lighting will assist in creating the desired mood. I am also a big proponent in showing off our amazing and beautiful wedding party. So we are creating a V-shape when we are in front of everyone with my FI and I in the middle- facing out to our audience. The officiant actually suggested this!
We are strong in our faith. That is why we really wanted a ceremony that revealed that our faith in God is center. This is why we are having what is called a braiding ceremony. It is based off of a verse in Ecclesiastes that states two things; 2 are better than one, and that a 'cord of three strands is not easily broken'. This symbolizes that with God we cannot be torn apart. I am really excited about this because it is a physical reminder that we hang in our home. I have seen it once before and believe it to be an awesome testament to others. Here are some pictures of other people doing it.
Our colors will be different because A) These didn't match our color scheme and B) I refused to pay the full price for a premade one. One strand will be Navy to symbolize FI's wisdom and strength. The sage green symbolizes the harmony, and growth that I bring to our family. Finally, the white symbolizes God's perfect purity and forgiveness.
RECEPTION SET UP
CENTERPIECES- Inspired by our love of vintage (blue mason jars), books, and coffee
(In place of the tin can we are going to have the mason jars)
We are having a smaller two tiered cake and a bunch of cupcakes. The cake will be chocolate with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. The cupcakes will be: funfetti and buttercream, carrot cake and cream cheese frosting, and chocolate with fudge filling and whipped cream frosting. We also will have some pies and brownies and such to choose from. We are only doing desserts and appetizers but we wanted to ensure that everyone had a good selection. We are using the baby's breath wreath from the second picture and putting it around the last picture of the cake.
THE INVITES and PROGRAMS
Being from the Northwoods of WI it was only fitting that we brought a little of that into the picture. Our first adventures were hiking and exploring the woods adjacent to our campus so it was quite fitting :)
So we were contacted by a friend of mine to see if we wanted e-pics done for 50 bucks- with half of that going to the relief fund for Japan. As a philanthropist I could not see any way that this was bad! She had done my other friends' pics and they were fantastic! It was a beautiful fall day and these are a few of what we came up with:
It has been a while but I have been one busy bee! I have uploaded all my pictures (besides my dress- FI is sitting next to me right now). I figured I found a lot of my own ideas here and so if I could return the favor I would! So let's start with...
I did all my own silk arrangements over Christmas Break. These were all flowers that I purchased from MICHAELS which has been my DIY lifeboat. For the centerpieces (which are not uploaded) I have purchased cream roses, peonies, and hydrangeas.
My bridesmaids will be carrying small hydrangea bouquets
My Maid of Honor will be carrying a mixed bouquet of roses and hydrangea.
My bouquet is solid white roses. I have been thinking that it needs a bit more bling- perhaps pearls or rhinestone pins- What are your thoughts?
This was a premade bouquet that I purchased strait from MICHAELS- it is small but amazing for my toss bouquet. One of the best 7 dollar purchases so far. The best has been 18 blue mason jars from Goodwill for 4 bucks.
These I made myself from PAPER Roses. I actually bought the flowers themselves from MICHAELS- 12 for $6 and then the fake flowers from a local shop. I learned how to do it off youtube and my FI loves them. They won't wilt!
ACCESSORIES AND GIFTS
My DIY Garters. I bought the cheap ugly ones, ripped off the cheapy bows and pearls and replaced them with fancy buttons.. all together $10 for both!
I wear pearls on a daily basis. There was no way I was not going a little overboard with them for the wedding. I made these out of the glass pearls from MICHAELS as well. The hair piece was from CLAIRES.
This was a clutch that my grandmother bought nearly 50 years ago for her sister to use for her wedding. My great aunt is now giving it to me. It even has a letter in it to my aunt with big sister advice on getting married and being a good wife. So amazing to have her words for this day.. even if she is not hear to tell me herself.
Part of the bridesmaids gifts are their jewelry- pearl earrings, and a pearl necklace I made myself. Their additional gifts are their favorite products from Bath and Body Works.
The groomsmen gifts- flask for the drinkers, watch for my 16 year old brother, and knife for the non drinkers.
THE UNITY CANDLE
We wanted something a little out of the ordinary so we created our own unity candle. These were all purchased from Target. The actual unity candle came with the charm and has a subtle scent of sandalwood.
GUEST BOOK, WISH JAR, and CAKE CUTTING SET
This is actually just a leather-bound notebook which cream colored pages that look aged. I learned to dabble a pinch in calligraphy which assisted me with the inscription on the inside cover as well as the headings.
This was an idea that I actually got off of Project Wedding. I bought the bowl at goodwill, used a frame we had, and cut up cardstock. Tables will have these peices of paper and pens scattered and the directions for the bowl. The guests then write us words of wisdom, wishes, or advice that we will read during our honeymoon.
This knife was used over 50 years ago by my Grandparents at their wedding. My Great Aunt gave it to me to use for my own nuptials. I plan on getting a picture similar to the one taken of them to have a side by side comparison of. This opalescent hilt is still very pretty for being 50+ years old!
So in my first post I spoke about my allergies and distaste for diamonds. Well ladies I had presented N with a big task for finding my ring and he must really love me because he definitely accomplished it! After the months of talk I finally have my official engagement ring and am now a FIANCE!!!
So I figured something was up when I saw his smirks all day. I just did not know what. Today is our 7 month so I just figured he was remembering how scared and awkward it was at the beginning. It turns out he was just waiting for the perfect moment. This whole time I had been thinking he would be waiting until we went camping next weekend with his family. I guess he figured I would think that so it could really be a surprise when it happened.
After lunch today I laid on the couch trying to work on my homework and job applications. He just kept staring at me with this big grin that should have informed me he was up to something. The next thing I knew he was lounging next to me. I closed my eyes and thought about a siesta. I felt him slip off the ring that I normally wear, which he has done a lot the past few weeks. I really didn't think much about it. I joked as my eyes were closed that I could be his Sleeping Beauty, his Belle, or Jasmine (Aladdin is his favorite so I knew the would like that one). He leaned in, kissed me, and said 'I would rather have you be my wife,'. I smiled and giggled since that has been the talk a lot these days. The next thing I knew he was sitting me up, getting on one knee, and saying "M____ E___ P____ will you do me the extraordinary honor of marrying me?"
I believe that his roommate upstairs must have thought someone was being murdered I screamed so loud! I jumped off the couch and onto N and couldn't stop repeating 'yes'. He has made me the happiest girl in the world! I am proud to say that this girl is off the market and NDL is a very taken man!
So here is a picture of my ring. I love that if one looks closely there are tiny imperfections in my polished pearl. Most people want a flawless ring. I am more than content with this. The pearl had to go through a lot of pressure and years of wear to make it as pretty as it is. In fact I could probably accurately state that it had to go through hell. I can relate to this stone. In the end what makes it beautiful are the imperfections and scars that the pain left. Plus it's entirely unique- just like me!
So I have officially discovered my new inspiration for getting into shape… as if getting married wasn’t enough lol. I know I may be a little late in noticing but Miss Christina Hendricks of MadMen is one Hollywood beauty that I applaud. She proudly flaunts her curvy and buxom character. I wish I was as embracing of what God has given me as she is. I may never be a size 8 again but I would be ok with it knowing that I was in shape.
What started off my search for a better inspiration candidate was my FI suggesting I buy a bikini this year. I had to pause to pick my jaw up off the floor because I have not worn a bikini since I was 12. Tankini-yes but a tummy revealing bikini was something I believed to long be in the past.
This summer may prove to be the best opportunity to get up off my lazy rear and take control again of my weight before it becomes a major issue. I will be taking summer courses which will eat up some of my time, but as it is there are no job prospects. This leaves copious amounts of time open for me to take that first step.
I am not just doing this for a dress on my wedding day (though it won’t hurt J). I am not doing this to merely look like another woman. I am doing this for me… for my health… for my confidence. I want to look as sassy as I feel.
This will be a test of my patience, perseverance, and endurance. No more giving up when it gets hard. No more dwelling on the numbers on the scale to tell me my beauty. I will simply create and stick to workout routines. I will wait for the results to happen. Weighing myself may not be the best idea so perhaps I will stick to measurements. I want to push through this.
The only thing that I believe to be in my way is myself… and the excuses I make. Well self…. This is my declaration of war.
There will be physical and mental pain but you will overcome it. Diligence and careful watch are required but the results will be worth it. You owe it to yourself to have a healthy and confident future. You owe it to your FI because he deserves a long life with you. A life full of adventures: ones that would be difficult to pursue with health and weight problems. You owe this to your future kids who would want a mom who can run around the yard to play with them. You owe this to your friends who deserve to have a friendship that truly lasts a lifetime.
You are a sassy bright girl who has spent her life taking care of others. It is now time to take care of yourself in order that you may better care for others in the future. This a commitment that if broken leads to pain for others as well as yourself.
You will battle but you will overcome. The results my friend far outweigh the efforts put into it.
In high school a certain girl once told her mother that she would NEVER marry a man who was from her home state Wisconsin. Her mother warned her not to make God laugh but young M insisted anyway. She moved out East and believed that her prediction was right. God, however, did laugh and M was brought back to Wisconsin for school.
Meanwhile, a young N, who lived in the exact middle of Wisconsin, was dreaming about becoming an engineer and looking forward to the adventures that college promised. Quietly, in his own way, he was also dreaming of the girl he would one day marry. During his second semester of Freshman year he met M through his roommate. The two became friends and shared many adventures with one another.
Looking back now neither M or N know how it took them so long to figure out that they were meant for each other. All M knows is that she loved seeing him in the student center and talking coffee and adventures. His sense of sarcasm was refreshing in the group that she normally hung out with. N knows that he loved having her come to his softball games. She was his good luck charm some how.
During a sadder time, M knew that one of the few things that made her feel better was watching movies and playing xBox with N. Then one night it clicked. N was the one she looked forward to seeing every day. Thursday mornings were her favorite because she was able to spend several hours with him. Just seeing his smile walk through the door gave her butterflies. Was this not the sign she had been waiting for?
N later admitted that Thursdays were his favorite as well and M's presence in the student center was the only reason he would go there. One night in December he courageously made his move. M, who was falling asleep during the movie, allowed him to put his arms around her and she cuddled up. Things changed overnight. Within a few a days it was decided to take the next step and date. They had been friends for 2 years. Why not try going further.
After meeting each others families M could not imagine bringing anyone else home. She could not picture kissing anyone else and when she imagined her future there was not one daydream that did not include him. N one day told her that M was the only person he had ever been able to picture himself with. She had been his first kiss and the only first kiss he ever wanted to have.
After several months they began to discuss graduation dates. M, who was going to be a teacher, still had 2 years left because of transferring in. This disheartened her as she knew N would want to be able to care for her before they got married. N, only had a 1 and a half left, which seemed promising as the last semester M could go anywhere to student teach.
One night as the couple began discussing their futures again N began smirk. M knew something was going on and asked point blank what he was thinking. "After our year leases are up how would you feel about getting one 6 month lease?" Being strong in her values, M reminded N that something was needed before the couple could live together. "I know," N said smiling," that is why I was thinking you should ask your sister what day she is graduating and find out when your friend B is getting married. I intend on keeping you because I cannot picture being an adult without you. I want to come home to you and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you," He added later that he did not have the ring yet as he knew M was allergic to certain metals. The would be going to find out M's ring size the next day.
Though a date has been set and some ideas are falling into place M is waiting patiently for N's presentation of the ring. N has already stated that it won't be a diamond as he knows M's fear of getting a blood diamond. Instead M is fairly certain that it will be a pearl; her birthstone, favorite precious stone, and ironically enough the meaning of her name. N knows exactly how is proposing but for now the couple is happily engaged to be engaged.