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I have been blogging for Wedding and Party Network for 7 months now and it is finally time for me to start blogging about my real life occurrences. I am engaged! I have rewritten this article 7 times and I am finally just going to lay it out there. First off, this blog is going to be a little about us. You can’t really fall completely in love with someone’s proposal until you know a little about them, right? Well, here is a little more about us in our cute little selfie bios!

Jordan
Age: 23
Birthday: April 30
School: University of Tennessee Dental School
Hobbies: Running, Xbox, eating Mexican food, studying (dental school), playing with his little cousin Clayton, lake adventures and pretending to be a professional soccer player.

Shelbi
Age: 20
Birthday: March 1
School: Arkansas State University
Hobbies: Watching black and white movies, Netflix or Law and Order with my roommates, shopping, blogging, being outside to do ANYTHING during the summer, loving on any and all animals and planning my life on Pinterest.

How did we meet?

I’ll keep the story short. We met at Arkansas State University my freshman year and his senior year. We rode together on our way to a small bonfire somewhere out, well in the middle of nowhere. Hopping into a vehicle filled with my friends, my beaming smile quickly turned awkward when I realized I had to sit by a guy much older, and much cuter than I predicted. Never have I been awkward, but I admit I probably confused the poor guy.

When we got to the bonfire, our group split up in two ways and Jordan and I veered away from each other until the end of the night. Again, I hopped back into the truck to find Jordan in the same seat now greeting me with a bright smile. I couldn’t help but laugh! Jordan must have thought I hated him. As we rode home, we exchanged some smiles, awkward dance moves and a laugh or two.

The next night I got a message from Jordan asking if he could save me a “seat” in his friend’s truck on the way to the bonfire again. I took him up on the offer and left at the very end of a Miranda Lambert concert and sprinted all the way over to the KA house (Insert time to laugh at the thought of me sprinting in tight jeans, cowboy boots and a brown blazer) just in time to grab a seat by my new friend.

The ride there, bonfire and the ride home, we were glued to each other. Mainly laughing and getting to know one another, but when our ride dropped us off we weren’t tired yet. We quickly hopped into Jordan’s truck and drove all the way to his hometown and family farm for a grand tour. Returning home Continue reading "When You Know, You Know – My Unforgettable Proposal" »

Jan
19
2012
by Kelly Curtis

Proposals are a big part of any wedding story. It's how it all begins. That's the first question you're asked when someone finds out you're getting married. Therefore, it should fit you and your fiancée. We all love to hear the many ways of how people get engaged and this engagement story is no exception.

Meet Tyler and Liz. An amazing couple that is to be married in less than 150 days. Here's the beginning of their wedding story.

Liz & Tyler
Liz & Tyler

Black & Gold Meeting

Tyler and I did not meet until after college, even though we both attended Mizzou. We were both at a favorite late night establishment, none other than the Black & Gold. I had a great pick-up line at the time because a week before that I broke my wrist. So I was talking to a few friends and Tyler walked over and asked what had happened. I told him the story and ended with, "would you like to sign my cast". He did, we talked, but I didn't see him for about a week.

On another evening out I stopped in the Black & Gold before heading to a graduation party/bonfire. Tyler was there and I asked if he would like to go. We spent the rest of the night talking and laughing, having a really great time. Around midnight we came back to town and went our separate ways. It was close to 1 am and my phone beeped with a text that said, "had a great night, would like to see you again." I saw him the next Wednesday and we have not been apart since.

The Proposal – Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We had been on vacation for the week at my family's house in Michigan. It is a place I try to visit every year and have gone there since I was young.

Liz's Beautiful Engagement Ring
Liz's Beautiful Engagement Ring
This was our first real vacation together and I was so excited for it. On the day we were leaving to come home, we stopped at my favorite beach one last time to see Lake Michigan. There was no one on the beach (except 200 seagulls) and it was so nice to hear the small waves breaking against the sand.

I stood there for a bit being sad that we were leaving and heading home. I said, "Okay, we better get going," and his reply, "well I guess there is just one more thing to do." He takes my hand and says, "You know how much I love you, and how much I will always love you." I answer, "yes." As I am wondering where this is going, Tyler gets down on one knee (on the beach) and says, " Will you marry me?" The only words out of my mouth are, " are you serious?" and then " yes, yes I will marry you!"

After the hugs, kiss, and me staring at my ring for 5 minutes, we decided to go back to the house and tell everyone before beginning our 10 hour drive back to Missouri. A moment I will NEVER forget.

A beautiful proposal where Liz has many memories and a new one with her engagement. The location and everything sounds so perfect. Liz and Tyler have set the date for June 16, 2012 and we can't wait to see how their wedding unfolds!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

Mar
26
2011
by Christina Weber

The final days are upon us and I think back now to how it seems that just a week ago we were counting down the triple digits. Now we are just mere days away from our big moment!! In some ways, I am just ready to just do it. After all the planning and preparation, I am ready for the reward. In other ways, I am a bit sad that it the big event is almost over. Of course, knowing that it is the first day of the rest of our lives together makes things exciting.

Finalizing The Details

There have really been very few little details that have to be finalized in this last week. I worked so hard to make sure that everything was completed well ahead of time to make sure as little stress as possible this week. Now, I am a bit at a loss for things to do.

I should tell you that it is not just our wedding that we have going now. When we started our initial planning process, we were considering have a double wedding with my little sister.

She and her husband had to rush a bit with their wedding plans because he is in the Air Force and was getting ready to deploy. So, I had thought it would be a great opportunity to have a renewal for her with all of her friends and family from home.

Instead, she surprised us by letting us know that she was pregnant with their first child! A little girl who will be born at the end of June. Since all of our family will be in town for our big event, we decided to extend the fun and have her baby shower the day after the wedding!

So now, I have what seems like double in-laws, friends and family who will be coming in to attend the events and double the parties to plan!! It really has been a lot of fun though and I will tell you about both as I go along.

The Day Before The Wedding

I figure the best way to do this is to walk you through our wedding schedule. On Friday morning, I will be taking my sister, my daughter and my stepdaughter to get manicures and pedicures and of course, lunch! Afterwards, we will meet at the Community Center to decorate for the reception and then later that evening we will gather everyone up to go to the Church for a quick rehearsal.

Our florist, Ken Cope, of the Corsage Shop, will already have the Church decorated with the candles that I have rented from him that he has decorated with our feathers. Yet another perk of not having live flowers…you can set them up ahead of time!

Mom was gracious enough, or perhaps crazy enough, to offer her house for our rehearsal dinner. She is preparing lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, bread, salad and some desserts as a quick and easy meal. With it being at her house I figured we would all be able to spend more time sitting around talking and hanging out after the meal then we would if we were at a restaurant. Plus, it will be a great deal cheaper.

Morning Preparations For The Big Day

On Saturday, Craig and I will be cooking a big breakfast for his family at our house. Later for lunch, we will be ordering some pizzas as we celebrate his sister Carri's birthday. Yes, we are marrying on her birthday! I figure that this could really work in my favor, as I can remind him of her birthday each year and she in turn can remind him of our anniversary.

After that, we are off to get ready! My bridesmaid Jennifer has always been great with hair and makeup. So, she will be lining us all up to make us beautiful. The Church has a great women lounge and restroom facility that will give us plenty of room for getting ready. So, all of our hair, makeup and dressing can be done right there which will save us from having to worry about weather, wind and wrinkles.

We ordered all of our groomsmen monogrammed money clips and I ordered cute pizza cutters and skeleton key bottle openers for my bridesmaids. With the exception of our daughters. For them, we ordered beautiful bracelets from Things Remembered.

Finally Here!

The wedding is at 6 o'clock in the evening and guest will be greeted ahead of time by prerecorded music from Corrine Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. Programs will be handed out at the door that list the order of the ceremony, the names of our wedding party, an invitation to the reception, a thank you from me and Craig and a quote from George Eliot.

When the big moment arrives, the lights will dim slightly and Jason Von Lurry, a friend and amazing electric violinist from Memphis, Tennessee, will begin playing "Variations of A Lullaby". An unusual piece for a wedding yes, but beautiful none the less and just what I had hoped for to set the mood.

As he plays, our "flower girl" Kiley, Craig's beautiful 6-year-old niece, will enter in her blue gown. She'll be wearing her venetian mask and carrying a shattered glass teardrop that glows blue like a lantern. As she walks down the aisle, the pew candles will light.

We are doing this by using remote control candles. Behind her will be our children. Brittany and Micah will go to the front and light the real candelabras there and then down the sides of the Church to light the candles in each of the stained glass windows before returning to the back of the church.

After completed, Jason will begin Craig's song choice of the evening, "Iris" by the GooGoo Dolls. I really loved the song and was happy that he had chosen something he liked. However, I was concerned that it would not flow with the rest of the live music that we would be playing during the ceremony.

So, Jason stepped in and removed the lyrics and is instead using the instrumental version and he is playing the vocal part on his violin. It is beautiful! During that time, Craig will enter from the front of the Church with the Minister and his groomsmen will escort in our mom's and grandmothers and then my bridesmaids will enter carrying their venetian mask.

Now, cue the moment I have waited a life time for! I used to teach children's theatre here in Caruthersville and was privileged to meet some very talented kids along the way. One is the daughter of my close friend and bridesmaid Amanda. Her dad is a talented musician and singer himself and he will be playing the piano as Alaina sings Rascal Flatt's "God Bless the Broken Road" and I enter on the arm of my Dad.

I was concerned at the length of the song and did not want any awkward moments of waiting. So, I have decided to let her begin singing and then have the doors opened on the chorus for my entry. As I get to the end of the aisle, I have small peacock feather bouquets to present to each of our moms and grandmothers. I believe that this should cover the length of the song, putting me back in place just in time to be given away. :)

The ceremony will be like almost all weddings. Instead of a unity candle, we will be doing the blending of sand ceremony. We will each have a small bottle of sand (that is me, Craig and our children) that is in the color that we each selected. As the Minister reads about the blending of our family, Jason will softly play, "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera, a favorite of mine. We will each pour our sand into one single container. As we leave the ceremony, we will exit to Nickelback's "Never Gonna Be Alone".

A Night Of Dining, Dancing & Cake

After the ceremony, we will snap a few pictures and then move to the local Community Center. Walking up to the ceremony, the path will be lit with blue Moroccan style lanterns. These were my first wedding purchase!! Our entrance song is different, we are using "Por Ti Volare", which is a beautiful opera song, BUT we are using the version from the movie, Stepbrothers as it is a favorite of our kids and something that they will recognize and enjoy.

The hall will be done in low lighting and lots of blue accent lighting. Each table will have the Eiffel tower vase in various heights with the peacock feather and glittered sprig arrangement with a blue up light placed in them. On our table, we are going to use a long and low arrangement with our monogram in it, blue up lighting and of course, a couple of peacocks!

Over our dance floor, we will have small round glass globes of blue hanging at different levels. My good friend Cameron, will be our DJ. He always does a great job and was kind enough to do this for us. The cake table will hold our wedding cupcake tree and instead of a groom's cake, we will be doing a kid's cake. This is a surprise for the kids. A three layer cake, with each layer decorated with a miniature version of them and the things that they love. I am really excited about it!

For food, we are doing simple finger foods. Chicken salad on croissant, ham and swiss on rolls, a dip, some pinwheels and things like that. We are also doing a white chocolate fountain with a fruit tray, pretzels and Micah and Brittany's favorite…Cookie Dough Balls! On another table, we are doing a cheese fountain, lol, another tribute to the kid's love of Will Ferrell movies. There will be chips and veggies sitting around it.

It is Craig sister Carri's birthday, so we plan to play a special song for her. We also have a couple of songs that are special to the kids that will be played. Micah is a fan of Corrine Bailey Rae and so we will be playing, "our song" for she and I to dance to, "Put your records on". Craig and Brittany have always considered "Sweet Child O Mine" their song, but he wanted something to slow dance to. So, Alaina (the one who is singing me down the aisle) has put together a slower rendition of the song that she will be singing for them.

After the toasts are given, I will be doing the Thank You to everyone as Craig hates public speaking. After, I have a special surprise that no one else knows about. Originally, I wanted to have Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You" played. I had asked my brother-in-law, Aaron to consider playing something special for my sister on his guitar.

I found out that he knows how to play that song. So, he will be singing and playing it for her and all of us. We are not doing the traditional garter toss and bouquet toss, I have always hated the way it singles the lonely crowd out. So for the rest of the evening, there will be cupcakes, dancing, fun and a great start to a new life.

The Day After

Well, there it all is, the chance of rain is up to 60% and I am a little nervous about it. But otherwise, I am so ready to go! The following day will be filled with taking everything down at the reception site and putting everything up at the shower site. Then afterwards, we are off to Sandal's in Montego Bay Jamaica! Hopefully everything will go as planned, but I will report back to you later and let you know if any little snags occurred and how I could have avoided them :) When I next speak with you I will be Mrs. Craig Williams!!!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

Peacock feather photo provided by deepapraveen via flickr.

Mar
22
2011
by Kelly Curtis

With all the wedding planning going on and my wedding being less than 2 months away, it was time for my bridal shower. A nice break from all the stressful wedding planning. Plus, it was an amazing shower, thanks to the two best maid of honors ever! Abby and Anna did a great job and I was so excited for the shower, even surprised me with a gift that I'd been wanting for a while now. So, I thought I'd share all the great details of the shower with everyone!

All The Pretty Details

The shower was hosted at a local bank board room, which was a great space to use since they had a kitchen and it held everyone comfortably. They chose to go with my colors, pink and black with hints of cream.Pink table cloth with a beautiful floral centerpiece that featured my flowers accented the food table.

We also had a variety of delicious party food, like sausage pinwheels, chicken rollups, fruits, veggies, cheeseball, dip and spinach dip. To finish it off, we had strawberry and coconut cake. They were both extremely good!

I'm not much on bridal shower games, and neither were they, so we opted out on having games at the shower. Instead, they did advice cards, had guests sign a picture frame and sent out a recipe card with the invitation.

Guests brought back their recipe card filled out with their favorite recipes and they put them in a cute recipe book for me. Which was a great idea since I love to try new recipes and am always searching for some to try.

The advice cards were great to read after. Some people wrote, "Never go to bed mad at each other" while others said, "Keep your own bank account". I loved seeing what people had to say. Another great detail that I loved was a bouquet holder for my bows. Perfect, since I plan on doing bow bouquets for our wedding rehearsal!

To say thank you for coming, they set up a little candy bar with all of mine and Bart's favorite candy. Tootsie rolls, Mr. Goodbars, M&M's and chocolate covered raisins were set out for guests to fill up a favor box to take home with them. Don't worry, we have a ton of candy leftover!  All the little details were great and I appreciate all the hard work they put into it!

Showering With Gifts

Of course, I got some great gifts as well! Me and Bart went and registered together at 3 out of 4 places together. However, he says he doesn't remember registering for some of the stuff. I mean, I might have scanned a cupcake maker while he wasn't looking, but he definitely knew about the rest!

We got everything from a toaster, blender, serving dishes, towels and even to a "Happy Everything" platter. Abby and Anna got me an item I have wanted for a while, a cricut! Which is great for me since I love doing crafts and will have time to put together a wedding scrapbook maybe! Everything was exactly what we wanted!

So, my wedding shower was a nice break from all the stress of wedding planning. It was a nice break to just relax and breathe, since the wedding is so close now! I truly appreciate everything that Abby and Anna did with this shower. They did a great job!!!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

Today we had the pleasure of celebrating a wedding shower for Samantha, who works in Flower Shop Network's order transfer department. We had lots of great food, a delicious cake and she was showered with great gifts that she'll be able to use in her home! There was yummy cheeseball, fruit and vegetable platters, chips and dip and some yummy salads paired with a raspberry and ginger ale punch! Everything was great and she was "showered" with lots of amazing gifts she loved!  So, check out the pictures from her wedding shower!

The shower was a great success with great bridal shower decorations, yummy food and a sweet cake! We wish Samantha all the best!!!

Mar
12
2011
by Christina Weber

I wanted to do something a little different for my engagement pictures and for our wedding invitations as well, but I also did not want to spend a whole lot of money doing it. One of my favorite places in the world is the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. If you have not been you need to go, as it is a child and adult playground like no other you have experienced. Secret passageways and tunnels open into beautiful caverns, ten story slides and so much more. I knew this was the perfect place to take pictures because there were so many options.

We went with one of my closest friends and bridesmaid Leslie. We spent part of the day posing, laughing, changing clothes and posing some more and got some really great shots. From there, I went to my friend Amanda.

Another bridesmaid, who along with her sister-in-law, edited our pictures. Amanda then turned the pictures into a collage for our wedding invitations that made my eyes well with tears the first time I saw them. They were perfect and we sent them off through an online print shop for printing.

I had them in my hands by the end of the week and was so excited. I had used card stock and made smaller cards to insert with our invitations. On them was a watermark of a peacock, accented with a small rhinestone that Craig meticulously placed on each card and across the top it read, "Wishes for the Bride and Groom" and explained that you could write your message to the new couple and bring it to the ceremony with you.

I have never understood the concept of a guestbook and instead wanted to do something more personal that we could keep and enjoy. I started to have cards for people to fill out at the church but I thought that if they had a little more time to think about what it was they were going to write, then they would be more likely to take part in it.

On our invitations I also included a wedding email address that I had set up so that people could RSVP, ask questions or send in their well wishes(2011WilliamsWedding@gmail.com). We took these things and placed them in their envelopes, sealed them with our monogrammed postage stamps that we had printed complete with peacock feather (thanks zazzle.com!) and sent them off as we anxiously awaited replies.

I work as a columnist at the Democrat Argus, our local newspaper, so the next step was to write our wedding announcement. I kept it very simple, including our children in it as well. I know that is it typical for people to use an up close picture of the two of them but again, I wanted to do something a little different.

This is a small town and most anyone who would care to read it knows what we look like. So instead, I went with a picture of us sitting in a window sill at the City Museum, silhouetted by the outside light. It was also used in the collage on our invitations. It turned out great and I have received several compliments.

No Flowers Here!

Did I mention that I am not a big traditionalist? Well, one thing that I do not care for and find a little wasteful is flowers. I don't like the fake version and it seems such a shame to waste the real ones that are so expensive and die so quickly. So, I am going with peacock feathers. That is right, not a flower will be found at our wedding!!

I have rented the aisle candles, window centerpieces and front candelabras from a local florist and he will be decorating them with peacock feathers, a little bit of greenery and blue velvet ribbon. Remember the wish cards I mentioned earlier that I included in my invitations? Well at the entrance of the church will be a bird-cage on a stand, sitting on top of it are two ornate peacocks with ribbons trailing down. This is where guest can drop off their cards.

The boutonniere for the guys will be a single peacock eye with an ornate pin to hold them in place. My bridesmaids will be carrying beautiful venetian mask on sticks instead of bouquets and I will have one similar to theirs, that in creams instead of the darker blues and golds. Even my "flower girl" will be wearing a mask. And no, she will not have flowers, instead she will be carrying a shattered glass blue tear drop that will be lit up. I will explain more about her role later on.

Our Reception Decor

For the reception, I discovered that I could rent the tall class Eiffel tower vases for $15 each or I could buy them for $7 each at Save-on-crafts.com. Wanna guess what I did? LOL, I bought the vases for each guest table and my talented mom and two of her sisters, my Aunts, made these great arrangements to place in them with peacock feathers, sword feathers, twisted glittered sticks and lots of sparkle. We are placing a blue floralyte in each one so that the arrangement will glow.

For the head table, we are doing a long, low piece that will stretch across the front of the table filled with greenery, a couple of peacocks and lots of sparkle along with some blue under lighting. This way no one will have to look around anything tall on the table. I am very happy with them and since they are not fresh flowers that will wilt, we were able to do them early on, allowing for less stress as the big day quickly nears. I also purchased these really pretty round glass globes that will be filled with iridescent shred over a small blue light and hung at various heights over the dance floor. The first items that I purchased for our wedding were these beautiful blue Moroccan lanterns that I got on amazon.com for a mere 87 cents a piece! They will be hung from low crooks to light the walkway into the hall.

My Dress

This may come to a shock to many but I still had not found a dress and was starting to worry a bit. For most brides, this is their first buy and something that they had dreamed about for a lifetime. I knew what I wanted as far as color, but that was it. I had tried on many wedding dresses at hundreds of stores to no avail. My bridesmaids were outfitted, my flower girl and even several of my guest were telling me what they were going to wear but I had no idea.

I had decided that the reason I had not found anything yet was because I had not been shopping with my mom. So, she and I planned a day to go dress hunting. We went to Bay, Arkansas where I had been told about this great dress shop in the middle of town called Jessica's Bridal & Formal. We went and wandered the aisles with some very wonderful and helpful women. I tried on a few but nothing really caught my eye.

Finally, they pulled out this dress that at first glance I cringed at because it was ivory. Totally not what I had wanted but I agreed to try it on for mom. It was sleek and simple, comfortable, with a short train and had the most beautiful blue and crystal stones on it that would match the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. Still, I was hesitant because I had been so sure that my dress would be champagne. I had even bought shoes in that color already! We decided to go to one more dress shop, but Mom looked at the woman and with a smile said, "We will be back". Twenty minutes later we had returned and I finally had my dress! Proving that sometimes what you think you want, may not be what you want and that you should be open to try on other things. Had I not, we might be picking out sneakers to match my wedding jeans!

Let them eat cake!

I had gone to a bakery in the nearby town of Dyersburg, Tennessee on a recommendation from a friend. Craig and I both went to the meeting and had a great time sampling cakes and choosing colors and designs. I was really impressed with the woman as she made suggestions and drew out our cake in the fullest detail. She told me that she would call the next day and give me a price and that in a couple of weeks I could bring her color swatches from the wedding and our cake monograms (the wedding was almost two months away at this point). Time went by, no call, I dropped off our things but she was not there.

Two weeks before the wedding, I was finally able to reach her. Only to have her act as though she had no clue what design, colors or anything about my wedding cake. I was not sure if she had lost our information or what. I go through it all again, she promises to call with a price…again. The next day I call her back because I still had not received a call from her. She tells me that someone will have to pick up the cake because she has since promised to do another wedding and that she won't have time to deliver ours and that it is going to cost us $500.00. That is $5.00 a slice and NOT going to happen. I cancel, go and pick up my toppers and start making arrangements for something else.

Because we want our kids to have a prominent place in the wedding we had decided to have a kid cake instead of a traditional grooms cake. A friend of ours here in town is a very talented cake artist who is just starting out so we asked her to do this cake for us. It is a three separated tiered cake. Each layer is the favorite flavor of one of each kid and will be decorated with things that they like and a little figure of them. Brittan's will have him in hunting gear, with guns and race cars and all the things he likes. Brittany's will have her in her cheerleading uniform and Micah's will be covered in art supplies. I can not wait to see how it turns out.

Since we had this cake we decided not to go with a wedding cake, but to instead do a cupcake tree. Randall Crawford, a local restaurant owner and all around great guy that I grew up with, offered his services. We decided to go with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cupcakes that will be placed on this beautiful stand and decorated with ribbon and feathers to match our theme.

Dressing the guys

This could have been the easiest part of our journey yet!! I knew that we wanted to use our local men's shop for the tuxedo rental. So, we went in and in a matter of mere moments had found the perfect tuxedos and then moved on to looking for vest. Guys are so lucky, one book is all they need to chose their outfit from! GRRR!

I realize that at most weddings the groom wears the light-colored vest in white or cream, but as I have said we do not believe in having to keep with tradition and instead want to do what we like. With blue being Craig's favorite color and me having blue accents in my dress, we chose the blue vest and tie for him and the silver vest and ties for the groomsmen and my dad. From there, we contacted  the groomsmen and had them go by their nearest men's shops (because they all live a couple of hours away) and had them just call in their measurements to our shop and Walaaa!

The wedding day is drawing near and there is still so much to share! Coming up next…Our final wedding day plans!

Well, here we are, with 2 months to go before our wedding. I'm calm, for the most part. So, since everything is planned, I thought I'd tell everyone on all the little details of our wedding. We, and when I see we I mean me, have everything planned. Also, I like to DIY a lot of things with our wedding being one of them. Wedding invitations are mailed out so I'm ready for RSVPs to start pouring in(hopefully) and finish the last details of our wedding. Here is what "I" have chosen for our wedding and WE are both excited and can't wait for it to get here!

Wedding Colors: I always knew I wanted pink, it's my favorite color. So, pink ended up being the main color with accents of cream, black and a bit of gray. Pink and cream will be our main colors. They are featured in wedding invitations, programs, centerpieces, bouquets and pocket squares.

Black comes in with the bridesmaids. I had zero luck finding any bridesmaid dresses that I loved and we're not ridiculously expensive, so I decided to have the girls pick their own dress. Since black is the easiest color to match, I went with that. There is a little gray in our wedding invitations and our bird seed packages, which I love it paired with everything, so I may try to incorporate it elsewhere.

Wedding Location: Of course, one of my earlier posts explains how we settled on Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, AR. I'm still so excited I picked it and can't wait to see it in the springtime with all the beautiful flowers. Now, I'm just hoping for a bright and sunny day with no rain.

Dancing & Drinks: While down in Hot Springs, we checked out a few locations for our wedding reception. In the end, we chose The Porterhouse for our reception. It features 3 rooms that will offer a place for eating, dancing and playing pool. I love how the room looks and think it will portray our wedding. Hopefully, our guests will love the room and the food that will be provided.

The Flowers: Once I started the wedding planning, and I saw pictures of peonies and hydrangeas, I knew I wanted those for my wedding flowers. I love them. A single peony will serve as the bridesmaid bouquets, peonies and hydrangeas will create my wedding bouquet. They will adorn every table as centerpieces at the reception.

I threw in a few branches and lace to create beautiful finishing touches for the wedding. Although, I did throw some carnations in there to represent my sorority flower and use them for the flower girl's kissing ball and corsages. I can't wait to see everything together!

Let Them Eat Cake: There will be a wedding cake, groom's cake and mini cupcakes! We figure our guests will be up moving around a lot so mini cupcakes are great to pop in your mouth and go. We actually have chosen 6 different flavors to fit every taste bud that are sooo yummy!

Of course, there had to be a wedding cake for cutting purposes and it's a simple 2-tiered cake with a feather cake topper. I forgot to mention that I love feathers and have incorporated them into a centerpiece, corsages, cake and my reception dress. Bart isn't a big fan like me.

The thing I'm really excited about, because I thought it'd be a nice surprise for Bart, is his groom's cake. A fun 3D sport's cake featuring a St. Louis Cardinals hat on a baseball field. Hopefully he'll love it! I love sweets and can't wait to eat all the delicious flavors that we'll have at the reception.

Thank You For Coming: For our wedding favors, we have chosen personalized koozies, setting up a candy buffet and having a photobooth. So excited about everything! That might have been my biggest problem during the planning process, I needed to have restraint. I love photobooths, our fun props and the fact that one of the pictures will go in our guest book and another picture will be something the guest can take home with them. The koozies have our names and the candy is more for looks, but I'm sure people will enjoy it too.

Of course, this isn't all of our details. There's the wedding dress, bridal party gifts, photography and all the little details that I've included in our wedding that I love. We can't wait for it to all come together and for the day to get here!

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Mar
05
2011
by Christina Weber

Wedding planning was well under way after the proposal. We knew that we did not want to wait for a long time because we had waited long enough to find one another as it was. We set the date for March 26th, 2011 and started working to get everything together. (Yes, that quick!) There were three basic rules that we were going by.

One, we wanted a wedding that was ours. Traditions and customs were not important to us. What was important was our kids, and that was our number two. We wanted to make sure that they were very much included in the big day, just as they would be for the rest of our lives. And finally, we did not want our wedding to be cheap but we did not want to start out our lives together in debt for one day of fun. So, a DIY wedding it was!

Where We Will Exchange Our Vows

First things first, I have never been an outdoorsy kinda girl (I have this vision of a swarm of bees going straight up my dress like a bad remake of The Bird's), so we booked the church. I have always loved the Eastwood Memorial United Methodist Church here in Caruthersville, Missouri. It is beautiful, old and the perfect size for our family and friends.

Stained glass windows pointing toward the heavens, an arch of pipes sweeping across the front that connect to the pipe organ, which is the largest in this part of the United States, and beautifully carved wood throughout. This was a place that made you speak in hushed tones and it was exactly where I wanted to exchange our vows.

Next up were the decorations for the wedding, the church is so beautiful that it does not need anything to enhance it. But I have always loved the beauty of candlelight so decided to go that route. As I said in an earlier post, I like things that are different and I also love the theatre. The beauty of it's dramatics were something I wanted to include. So, an evening candlelit wedding at 6 o'clock it was! I had a lot of ideas for little bits of "flair" to throw in along the way, but I will wait to share those with you as we get closer to time :)

All The Little Details

From there, we booked the local community center where we would host our reception. With the backbone of the event taken care of, the rest was just a matter of filling in the blanks. I love party and event planning so to me this was very exciting and fun. My biggest challenge was to slow down and separate things. I am very organized, I love list and checking things off, so on top of my many handwritten and typed list, I also downloaded a couple of wedding planning apps to help along the way. Sometimes, I have to make myself slow down and decide what I really like from what I just think is cute. Often I get over excited and began to collect a hodgepodge of things instead of sticking with my theme.

Next up, was my bridesmaid selection. My maid of honor was simple to choose, my sister Ashley would fill that place. Without doubt or question the next two spots were filled by my daughter, Micah and Craig's daughter, Brittany. Then my three nearest and dearest friends who had been such an asset to me through the years that it was only fair they share in their time of celebration with me. So Leslie, Amanda and Jennifer were called on to stand with me.

Craig in the mean time wanted to host a competition to decide his line up. He was thinking of something in between Survivor and Fear Factor with a rose ceremony at the end but fortunately he just went with his best friend Shane as his best man, his son, Brittan, his brother, Casey, his cousin Trey and his good friends, Jason and Nic. Putting us at six and six, which was a little larger than we had originally planned but getting them all in was important to us.

Finding The Dress

I had begun looking for my wedding dress first online, then in a few bridal shops. The only thing that I knew for sure was that I wanted it  comfortable and I wanted it  a champagne color. Not so much because of it being a second wedding, as I said customs do not mean a lot to me, I simply liked the color. I got together with the girls and we went bridesmaid dress shopping. Craig and I both loved the color blue and chose it for the main color scheme of the wedding.

Our bridesmaids are very different in their sizes and my sister will be well into her first pregnancy by the time the big day comes. We wanted everyone to feel good about their dresses, to look good and comfortable.

I felt that the best way to do this was to let them choose their own style of dress, just simply keep them all long (which to me seems more formal) and in the same color of blue. Fortunately for us, David's Bridal does just this and made it very easy for the girls to go to the one nearest them to try on and order their dress. In the end, I was very happy with their choices, they all picked very similar dresses and looked beautiful.

My dress however was still no where in sight and I was beginning to get a little frustrated. I did however find a great pair of shoes while shopping with them at David's Bridal. They were on sale for $20.00 and were not only comfortable but were the exact champagne color that I loved so much. So as of that moment, I was getting married in a pair of really cute heels…not good!

Stay tuned for the rest of my wedding details, planning and stories that you'll enjoy!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

Feb
26
2011
by Christina Weber

As a single girl who had been divorced for a couple of years, I had developed the belief that there were no good guys left out there in the world. That the stuff that made movies was nothing more than the romantic fantasizing of a wishful writer and that I would never find that "one" who would make everything bright and bubbly. After a series of rough spots, I was at a very low point in my life and was beyond even wanting to date much less looking for someone to spend a lifetime with.

Until…Cue one Craig Williams, a rice grader from DeWitt, Arkansas, a place that I had never even heard of. In his line of work he traveled a lot, going from one grain elevator to another, grading the rice barges that were being loaded. He would usually be there for one week a month, sometimes more.

During that time, we got to be pretty good friends. We found that we had a lot of the same interest, the same sarcastic humor and always had a lot of fun talking. But there was never any discussion about dating and when he was away I would never hear anything more than an occasional text asking about river stages, barges or maybe a movie that he had watched at my suggestion.

After one visit, I could tell something was on his mind, but didn't want to pry. A day later, I received a text asking for advice on how to ask a girl out, after a brief discussion he finally said, "Have you not figured this out yet?" Two days later, he drove three hours to meet me for our first date. It was through the week and I had to make it an early night because of my daughter but it was the most I had laughed in a long time.

When I met my Mom that evening to pick up my daughter Micah I said, "Now this one has potential!" Shortly after, we went on our second date, my family reunion!! I told him repeatedly that we could wait and do something another time, but he insisted that it was fine. By the end of the day, I knew that this guy was a keeper. He had been great to Micah and to my family. He had pitched in and helped out and never once did I feel the need to mediate or keep him involved. After that, we started seeing more and more of one another.

Sometimes he'd drive for hours to meet, only to have to turn around and immediately drive back for work. We continued to get closer and I was constantly amazed by all the little things that seemed to fit together so perfectly. The similarities that I had never realized and by how much fun we had trying new things together. I had finally found someone that I could spend hours sitting and talking with, never realizing how quickly time had passed. But still, I was hesitant and insisted that I would never "settle" again. Although somewhere, deep down inside, I knew that this was the guy not only for me, but for my daughter as well. I watched as he melted her heart and mine and we settled into the glow of contentment together.

In the next months, I met some of his family and friends and instantly felt that I had known them for years. The only concern that I had was in meeting his children. I loved listening to Craig talk about them. He always beamed such love and pride when he spoke about his daughter Brittany and son Brittan.

On September 25th, 2010 we joined our families for the first time and all of my worries were forgotten. These two great kids that I had grown to love before I had ever met them were nothing short of the wonderful that I imagined them to be. Beautiful, smart, talented, kind and so accepting.

After the first weekend, Micah, who was 11 at the time, began imitating everything that Brittany, then 16, did from hairstyles and dress to gestures and slang. And Brittan was the perfect compliment to her tomboy side, ready to hunt and race. Little by little, I began to realize that the crazy, fun kind of love from the movies I once cringed at, was very possible.

On October 20th, 2010 in the same spot that Craig and I had spent so many hours lost in conversation, where he had first told me he loved me, he asked me to be with him forever. I said yes, and to my surprise he pulled out a ring that he had been carrying with him for two weeks.

After a lot of laughs, hugs, kisses and tears, he asked if the ring was ok. I laughed and jumped up telling him to wait there. I came back with a ring that I had bought for a Halloween costume a couple years before. The evening I wore it I had told everyone, "I will never marry again unless I am presented with the real version of THIS ring." The ring Craig had bought was almost identical, another sign that things were just as they were supposed to be.

Stay tuned for the rest of my wedding details, planning and stories that you'll enjoy!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

Feb
20
2011
by Hannah Taylor

99 are the official number of days until the Taylor-Johnston wedding. For so long, I have counted with three digits, but the long-awaited break through of getting into 2 digits is finally here. While I must admit that I am extremely excited, I suddenly feel an immense pressure because I realize all that is left to do and plan. This is the point where the thought of eloping enters the mind, but it is way too late for that now. So, on with the planning we go.

Hannah and John

First Meet Hannah (Me)

I’m a "DIY (or at least try to), change my mind a million times, brightly colored, not so organized (though I’d like to claim to be), procrastinating and most importantly unique” kind of bride.

Meet John, The Groom

He is a builder in the Navy and has allowed me to plan every part of our wedding. This is in part due to him being deployed to Asia for the past 9 months of our planning process. Every now and then I will ask him “What do you think about this” or “how do you like that” and every response I get is quoted as “It’s whatever you want babe”. He is the most laid back person I have ever met and could care less about planning anything as long as I pick what I like-so I must not complain.

How We Met.

We met in the spring of 2007 in Gulfport, MS while we were both attending “A-School” for our jobs in the Navy. John “claims” he had his eyes on me then, yet the only memory I have of him is when he tackled me on the beach during a volleyball game and made my knee bleed. Tear, I know. However it was not until May of the next year that we met up again.

I had gone to Gulfport for a friend's baby shower and ran into him there. After a few weeks of trying the long distance thing (I go to school in Memphis and he was stationed in Gulfport), we both knew we could and would make it work. He “popped the question” in October of 2009, so here we are after many weekends of driving the 5 ½ hours back and forth between Gulfport and Memphis planning our wedding.

Now that you have all of our not so important back ground information, it is on to the planning process. These are just the basics for now.

Location, Location, Location

When making my decision for my wedding venue, I knew I wanted it outside. However, since I wanted to have my wedding in Paragould, this has narrowed my options to very few. Luckily, my parent’s friends, David and Patti Snodgrass, have graciously allowed me to have it at their new house in Bronze Leaf Estates. After looking at many reception locations, we decided on Sage Meadows. Despite the small size, I was in love with the large patio and interior décor. I am determined to make everything fit. Like I said early, I am great at procrastinating. Therefore, we are still unsure about where we will hold our rehearsal dinner. So any suggestions/ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Wedding Colors

Oh colors, why must there be so many to choose from? Anyone who knows me can easily say that I am anything but plain. White and black were just out of the question when I was deciding on my colors. I originally wanted to have a “rainbow” wedding, where each of my bridesmaids wore the same dress just each in a different color.

However, after looking at thousands of bridesmaid’s dresses, I realized that it was impossible. I could not find a dress that I liked that came in all the colors that I wanted. So, the colors I decided upon were bright blue/turquoise, key lime, and a grape purple. Just a little bright don’t you think?

I have six bridesmaids; two girls will wear blue bridesmaid dresses, two girls will wear key lime and the other two will wear purple. When it comes to my colors, I want each one used equally. I am weird about all things being “symmetrical or parallel”. Everything in my wedding will incorporate these colors including, invitations, flowers, tuxedos, decorations, etc. My main thought behind my wedding is that I want everything to be colorful and FUN. I think these colors will help do both.

The Wedding Vendors

Choosing all of my vendors came as a fairly easy task to me. For my wedding cake and food, I chose Lea Ann Tyler. She has been a friend of the family for many years and runs a small catering business out of her home.  If you want to find food that is “melt in your mouth” delicious, she's the one.

Her husband, Scott, does an impeccable job of decorating the cakes, as well. If you do not have a caterer yet, I strongly suggest you check her out and her prices are very reasonable. I believe her business has really flourished here lately, and I would recommend her to anyone.

For my wedding flowers, I chose Miss Rosie’s House of Flowers out of Lepanto, AR. Miss Rosie is exceptionally helpful, especially for me, the kind of person who has absolutely no idea when it comes to flowers.

All I knew is that I did not want roses, the rest I could honestly care less about as long as the flowers are pretty and are created with my colors. She has prepared flowers for others in my family and they were beautiful. So, I have no doubt in her.

And for my wedding planner, I chose none other than the one and only (in my opinion) Mrs. Alice Miles. She was my 5th grade teacher way back when and has done many weddings in the past. She knows all the etiquette rules, registry tips and everything else in between. I truly believe she is going to be my lifesaver throughout this process.

Stay tuned for the rest of my wedding details, planning and stories that you'll enjoy!

This wedding story was brought to your by Wedding and Party Network. Want to share your wedding story? Contact social@weddingandpartynetwork.com.

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