Mar 10, 2012

  • Last updated on February 13, 2013 at 11:48 pm
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Valentine s Inbox 2013 photo 1

Valentine s Inbox 2013 photo 2

Thank you so much for stopping by my V-Day inbox!  I promise to visit yours as well.  Have a beautiful Valentine's Day!Valentine s Inbox 2013 photo 3



  • Last updated on February 10, 2013 at 11:45 am
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From this moment on photo 1

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.")

Scripture Reading

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.

Hand Ceremony

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

 From this moment on photo 2

  • Last updated on January 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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BOTW seriously photo 1

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:

BOTW seriously photo 2

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!

BOTW seriously photo 3

  • Last updated on December 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm
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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!

2012 PW Holiday Stocking Exchange photo 1

  • Last updated on June 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm
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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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 1The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 2The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 3The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 4Officiant:  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

 The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 5The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 6

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 7

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

The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 8

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

The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 9

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

The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 10The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 11 

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 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

 The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 12The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 13

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

 The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 14The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 15

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, and 200 beverage napkins (perfect size for a cake-and-punch reception) from efavormart.  Cost = $182.27

 The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 16The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 17

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 18

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 19The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 20

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 21The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 22

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 23The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 24The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 25

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


The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 26The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 27The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 28The Power of Friendors 3K Wedding photo 29

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. 
With our honeymoon being less than $500, we were able to go well under our budget.  Hopefully these tips will help you figure out how to stay in a reasonable budget because it can be done!

  • Last updated on May 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm
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All pictures by jackiesue photography.

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