Sep 02, 2012

  • Last updated on August 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm
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A couple quick backstories before getting into the details of the proposal. FI had bought me a necklace from a local jeweler back in our hometown one year for Valentine's Day. I gave it to him to take back up there to get fixed because a piece was coming loose. Also, FI and I had talked about getting married a lot and he had even "proposed" a bunch of times using the twist tie off the bread bag, a friend's cocktail ring, anything really except the real thing! lol. and every time I told him, you know I want to but we aren't actually engaged until you have a real ring that I can wear on my finger forever. Ok so now the story......

We hadn't seen each other for a week, him up north with his family and me downstate with mine. We both drove home in a blizzard and it was terrible. I was trying to talk him out of driving in it and just to come back the following day. He kept insisting on coming home that night anyway and kept assuring me he'd be safe. I got home just shortly before him and all I was focused on was settling back into being home. Unloading the cars, unpacking, etc. He came in, plugged in the Christmas lights and lit a fire - I thought nothing of this because it was our usual routine.

Will you marry me photo 1

So FI was telling me that the jeweler needed a couple weeks to get the necklace fixed. I was pretty sad because it was my favorite necklace and I wore it all the time. FI anticipated this reaction and said "but I got you something else." Of course I perked up (not thinking it was a ring). He then came over to me, grabbed my hand and led me over by the tree. While he's doing this I'm thinking "oooo maybe a bracelet or some cute earrings. Did he hide it under the tree already?" Completely not even thinking of a proposal even though we had talked about it a ton. He honestly couldn't have picked a better time to surprise me with a proposal. So he already had my hand in his and he asked me to close my eyes (I was getting excited but he asks me to close my eyes for surprises a lot, so still I wasn't catching on). When he told me to open my eyes he was down on one knee with the ring box open, still holding my hand so I had no idea his position changed. Will you marry me photo 2

"Ashley, will you marry me?" Me:"Are you serious? (I was in shock because I thought he was joking again at first)" FI: "Yes Ashley, (a quick glance at the ring in hand) will you marry me?" Me:"YES!!!"

I don't remember when he put the ring on my finger, if it was right away or after we hugged and kissed.Will you marry me photo 3

I remember him standing in front of me and I kept hugging him tight then pushing him back enough to look at him and looking at him with a puzzled, shocked and amazind look my face, kissing him and then hugging him again.

Will you marry me photo 4

I just didn't even know what to do. I was so happy to finally be really engaged! I of course cried a little too. Then, lol, I made him re-enact the proposal so I could take pictures!! HAHA. I have no idea why I requested this and he thought I was crazy but happily obliged. After about an hour of cuddling, hugging, kissing and taking pictures we started making all of the phone calls. We were simultaneously calling people, swapping our phones back and forth, it was comical. And I learned everything about the events leading up to the proposal. He had asked my dad for my hand in marriage months earlier and my dad was anxiously waiting for him to do it. FI didn't want to charge my ring though, so he was saving for a specific ring. Then he wasn't able to pay for it by the time he wanted it. His birthday is Dec 2 and he wanted to propose for his birthday - he said "What better birthday gift than you agreeing to marry me?" AWWWWWW. So anyway, when he couldn't get that ring in time he decided he didn't want to wait much longer and picked out a different ring. He did this the day he went up north so his entire family saw my ring and knew he was going to propose. And I guess he was trying to figure out when and how he was going to do it that whole time. He told me afterward that when he got home and saw me he decided he didn't want to wait and he wanted to just propose that night. It was spontaneous and perfect. Just us. Nothing orchestrated or elaborate. But still very romantic with the Christmas lights, crackling fire, and the fact that we hadn't seen each other in a week. Plus I was surprised!! So, this entire time I had not even paid attention to the ring!! It wasn't until my aunt asked me about the ring when I called to tell her we were engaged. "I was like, oh my gosh I don't even know! I haven't even looked at it!" So then I looked at it for the first time while describing it to her and I was very happy. 

Will you marry me photo 5Will you marry me photo 6Will you marry me photo 7

  • Last updated on August 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm
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The amazing festivities continued. We got ready to go out to dinner and then to the bars. One of my friends did my eye make-up because I'm always afraid to do bold make-up. I still felt odd wearing so much eye make-up but everyone assured me it looked good. They also had a sparkly veil, garters and a sash for me to wear that night. It was really girly and fun.

 Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 1 

All dressed up and ready to go!

The bridal party wore garters too... Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 2

We went to dinner at a pizza place - Dominick's

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They had delicious sangria!

Then the dare shenanigan's began....

Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 6

Get a guy to put on red lipstick and kiss your cheek. Thanks Devin!

Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 7

Go into the men's bathroom for at least 30 seconds

Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 8 

there was pee in the urinal still!

Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 9

Get a picture pretending to be arrested. lol this was an add on to the dare list. My girls spontaneously decided to have me do this when they saw the cop.

Bachelorette Extravaganza photo 10

Stand on a chair and scream "I'm getting married!"

The other dares were:

  • Collect from a random guy: belt, condom (the first guy we found with one had a gold magnum!! it was too funny), phone #, boxers, sock
  • Get a guy to buy you your favorite drink or shot (I just asked for a shot because I don't drink enough to have a favorite)
  • Approach a couple dancing and get in the middle (I actually approached a couple at the bar and I asked permission first, I didn't want any drama)
  • Get a photo with the bouncer (did this one twice, at the first and last bar)
  • Dance like no one is watching by yourself for 45 seconds. (This one was easy once I had some drinks)
  • Take a picture with: the tallest guy in a bar, the shortest guy in a bar, man with a mustache, bartender
  • Pick the cutest guy in bar and ask him to sing to you (I wasn't finding cute guys so I just had a random guy on the sidewalk between bars sing "Like a Virgin" to me and it was hilarious. MOH has video)
  • Find a married man and ask him for marriage advice (this one made me sad because the advice I received was to prevent him from cheating give him a BJ every morning and have an open marriage. Big let down)
  • Have a guy speak to you in a foreign language (a guy from Tokyo said "I love you" in Japanese and of course I said "Arigato")
  • Ask random guy if you can practice walking down the aisle (our server at Ashley's Bar walked with me lol)
  • Put lipstick on your teeth and ask a random guy if you look ok (this was so funny!)
  • Find a blad man and ask to rub his head for good luck (I felt mean with this but he was a good sport. It was an older gentleman we passed outside between bars)
  • Get or give a random massage (gave a quick shoulder rub to a nerdy guy named Brian)
  • Get a picture with another bachelorette (she was a total b****. Her BMs saw me on the opposite end of the bar and shouted out to her that there was another bride and she looked at me, made a nasty face and said "yea I know" all snotty. My girls made me feel better by saying "it's because you're prettier and we have a hotter group than she does." lol. I know it was catty and petty but I loved my girls for it)
  • Get a dance from "Magic Mike" (we found a super nice and fun guy named Mike who was willing to help out with several of our dares)

I had the best time since my 21st birthday! I am so touched that my girls put so much thought and effort, time and money into planning this for me. They were telling me that they were stalking my Pinterest boards for inspiration - the moscato punch, smores bar, hangover kits, dare list, sash, spa party,etc - and they made a secret facebook group to communicate. My sister even said to me before any of it started "You are very lucky. Your friends really know you and they planned a great party that is very "you." And it was. It was girly, with my closest friends and I got spoiled big time. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then went home and everyone was planning to sleep some more. I got to come home and crawl in bed and cuddle with FI all day until he had to get ready for work. I'm also excited because the girls that didn't know each other previously now do and are even more excited for the wedding because they will know more people and be able to party it up a little more. 3 weeks!!!!

  • Last updated on August 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm
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So after we settled in, got some yummy drinks (pink moscato and raspberry punch), we put our bathing suits on and went down to enjoy the pool and hot tub. We didn't take any pics down there. But when we came back to the room I was surprised with an Arbonne lady there to pamper us!Bachelorette Spa Party photo 1Bachelorette Spa Party photo 2Bachelorette Spa Party photo 3

We did a purifying mask, soaked our feet, used warm towels on our faces, scrubbed our feet with a sugar scrub, then put toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, etc on our faces. At the end she pulled out make-up for us to play around and get pretty for going out. 

***Gift Opening***

I was not expecting gifts at all, especially after everything everyone did for me. But they spoiled me some more. I guess they were all told to bring gifts "for the honeymoon" so I got airport friendly sized cosmetics, lotions, etc. and then of course lingerie, nighties and edible goodies. It was really fun. Bachelorette Spa Party photo 4

My girls also bought so much Arbonne product that I got $125 of free product and a gift basket full of goodies! I of course purchased some more things on top of that as well. Champagne + pampering + shopping = damage to the wallet. Oh well I'll have fantastic skin on my honeymoon! lol

  • Last updated on August 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm
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I had sooooo much fun at my bachelorette party!!! First I got this message on facebook a few days prior: 

For your bachelorette party extravaganza, you will need to be at your house at 11am sharp on Saturday. We are not telling you where you are going or what we are doing other than it is going to be epic.

You will need:
• A comfy outfit
• A dress up outfit
• A bathing suit
• PJs
• Your ID
• Toothbrush… other toiletries 
• Your game face


Your bridesmaids and MOH 

So August 11th arrives. FI was telling me he was really nervous because we both know nothing and my friends can be crazy at times. I did tell him he shouldn't worry though because I requested a classy bachelorette party. I woke up 2 hours before my alarm went off because I was so excited. I even had little nervous excited butterflies in my stomach :) My sister, friend Heather and bridesmaid Sara came to my house to pick me up and carpool. They also filled FI in on the details to put his mind at ease.My Fling Before the Ring photo 1

and of course I have to throw in a pic of FI and I

My Fling Before the Ring photo 2

So we stopped at Starbucks and my girlies treated me to breakfast and a delicious coffee. YUM! Then we drove and drove, me with no idea. They all kept saying "when we get where we're going." We chatted the whole way. We arrived at a hotel and I walked into a super cute decorated room. All hot pink and black zebra. I had to ask..."so where are we?" Ann Arbor! Yay! I've never been able to party there and I am a U of M fan! Happy bride! 

My Fling Before the Ring photo 3My Fling Before the Ring photo 4 These said "Forget anything? Here's a few "extras" to help along the way while we show Ashley a very crazy day. Have fun, drink up and let's get ready to Party!"

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My Fling Before the Ring photo 9

  • Last updated on August 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm
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  • 1 Comment

The Blessing Tree: Front row of guests are invited to come up and affix a 'blessing' to the tree. Actually, it need not be a 'blessing,' it could be poetry, a personal note, a religious passage, a quotation etc.

Having affixed their 'blessings' to the tree, the guests embrace the bride and groom. The couple then proceeds to give each one a rose.

[During the reception, every guest has a card with its attached loop string at their place setting. Throughout the evening, the guests will compose their own notes to the couple and attach them to the tree. By the evenings' end their will be dozens of these notes on the branches of the tree, all of which will go into the wedding photo album alongside the photos of those who wrote them.]

 Closing words: Now as we bring this very special time to a close, I would like to share with Ashley and Jesse a blessing of my own:

“May you have many joys, and be the light of each other’s days. May all that you are, always be in love; and may all that is love, always be in you. May you always see and encourage the best in each other. May the challenges that life brings your way make your marriage grow stronger. May you always be each other’s best friend and greatest love.

You have chosen to live your lives together as husband and wife. All of us have listened today as you have made your vows to each other; now, by the power vested in me by the State of Michigan, I pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss your bride!

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me distinct pleasure to present you:

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Steven Cde Baca

The bride and groom will be coming to dismiss their friends and family. Please remain in your seats until they have a chance to come to you.

(Recessional and then Jesse and Ashley will return to the front and dismiss all the guests)

  • Last updated on August 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm
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Reading: Kevin – And now Jesse’s aunt will read a poem entitled “On Your Wedding Day.”

Today is a day you will always remember

The greatest in anyone’s life

You’ll start off the day just two people in love

And end it as Husband and Wife


It’s a brand new beginning the start of a journey

With moments to cherish and treasure

And although there’ll be times when you both disagree

These will surely be outweighed by pleasure


You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past

When the secrets of marriage were spoken

But you know that the answers lie hidden inside

Where the bond of true love lies unbroken


So live happy forever as lovers and friends

It’s the dawn of a new life for you

As you stand there together with love in your eyes

From the moment you whisper “I do”


And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real

May success find its way to your hearts

Tomorrow can bring you to the greatest of joys

But today is the day it all starts

(Aunt hugs Jesse and Ashley prior to returning to seat). 

Rings: (call for the rings) I bless these rings, in God’s name with all of the love and encouragement of your friends and family gathered here today. They are a symbol of your undying love for one another. It is fitting that you each wear a ring, as an outward sign to the world of the commitment you are making to each other, here today. These rings are the symbols of the vows here taken; circles of wholeness, perfect in form. The circular shape of the rings is to remind you that your love for each other, your faith in each other and your friendship with each other has no end. Ashley and Jesse, these rings mark the beginning of a long journey together. A journey filled with wonders, surprises, laughter, tears, celebration, and joy. All of these blessings are here today and will be with you forever.

Jesse, please place Ashley’s ring on her finger and repeat after me:

Ashley, I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my wife this day and forevermore.

Ashley, please place Jesse’s ring on his finger and repeat after me:

Jesse, I give you this rind to wear with love and joy.  As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my husband this day and forevermore.

Hand ceremony: As an expression that your hearts are joined together in love please hold hands so you may feel the gift that you are to one another.

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 y build your future.

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 temporarily comes your way.

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.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that will life your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.

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.

You will use these hands to build a marriage where all your dreams come true.