Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

I wish I had found a clever way to ask my bridesmaids to be in my wedding party, but I was too impatient and excited, and I called each of them as soon as I decided on it. The only exception was my maid-of-honor— I sent her a bouquet of white roses while she was at work, and the card read, “Will you be my maid-of-honor?”

Imagine my delight when I received this adorable package in the mail from my recently engaged girlfriend, Megan.

Talk about a way to “pop the question!” Megan is so creative and crafty, and she sent these cute little bottles of bubbly to her bridesmaids with a handmade card that read, “Will you be my…” on the outside, and a heartfelt note on the inside. It got me thinking back to when Megs and I were younger, and how long I’ve known her. We met back in the 5th or 6th grade, when my family moved to the town where I would finish elementary, middle, & high school. It was kind of an instant bond. We both shared so many similar interests, like craft projects and baking… and many of the same values, like friendship and honesty.

So let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?

There was once a time when Meg and I thought we were going to be fashion designers. We even made these horrible matching shiny satin polyester shirts that had purple fronts and black backs… we spent hours on the sewing matching perfecting them. When they were done, we named our fashion company “megandani,” pronounced mee-ghan-dahn-ee, for you simple folk. Obviously.

Oh, and then I scrapbooked it, as I did many of the older memories below.

Meg was always so thoughtful. One year, she & another close friend baked me this birthday cake before school, and surprised me at home!

Yes, I know I was so skinny then. Let’s call it a goal and move on.

Megs and I are great travel companions. Even in high school, we went cross country to visit her family in California together during our spring break. We spent more of our time there taking photos and shopping for Birkenstocks.

Even with all the wonderful childhood memories we shared, we were pretty excited to graduate high school and move onto college, though.

Especially me! Oh dear.

We may have also been in a pageant of sorts… the sort of which neither of us won, but still had tons of fun participating in together. Didyaknow? It was totally televised and I never in my life watched it.

But you know, then college happened and we grew up. Which brings us to the last 5 years or so. We’ve watched our friends get married, and Megs was even a bridesmaid in my wedding last year.

I’m so excited to be part of Megan’s special day next May. I adore weddings, I adore this girl, and I can’t wait to share it all here! I really wish I had been blogging more during my other BFF’s weddings last year. I think I will have to go back down memory lane to take a few trips with Nikki and Felice, and share their wedding details as well! 

For now though… gotta love the cute way Meg asked!

One Year Later

Last week, Joshua and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. One year. Wow! So much has happened in the past year since we said our vows on Lake George.

We were in not one— but two more weddings. Felice & Christian and Nikki & Anthony.

We traveled— a lot. New York, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.

We moved— again. We went from a 3rd story apartment building to base housing here in Virginia.

We cut up all our credit cards— then got two new ones.

We got older— his 25th birthday last July and my 27th this past May.

He got promoted to Sergeant— and transitioned into a new position as infantry instructor to officers.

I started working for with a new company as a graphic designer— then switched positions to become a social media strategist.

He continued taking online courses toward his Bachelors— and changed his major to Homeland Security when he transferred to a new online school.

I designed six wedding invitation suites— two for close friends, four for new clients.

We gave our first puppy, Gypsy, to a family friend— and Ladybug turned one year old.

We got news that we might be moving— again.

We went to Kings Dominion— a bunch of times.

We ran through our new neighborhood late at night when everyone’s Christmas lights were up— for a whole month.

We discovered a mutual love— for Pirate’s Booty, Spartacus, creating new nicknames for Lady, nature walks, charcoal grills, and wedding cake.

We celebrated 9 holidays— together. No deployments, no training evolutions, no classes. 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Memorial Day.

We welcomed 4 baby girls of close friends & family into the world— Sage, Ari, Mia, and Zoe.

We went to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball— and saw Justin Timberlake there.

Firsts: I got my first tattoo— he got his first archery bow.

We ate a lot of Moes— on Mondays.

We figured out the best way to share our schedules & sync our calendars— after much trial and error.

He shaved his head— and I dyed mine platinum.

We got our first Christmas tree— and forgot to water it.

We downloaded Foursquare— and continue fighting to be the first to “check in.”

We upgraded to a queen size bed— with a pillow top, and it’s heavenly.

We drank too much Starbucks— and not enough margaritas.

Joshua: Cheers to another year, and dozens more after that. You’re my best friend & my better half, and I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it. I love you, baby!

*Wedding photography by the extremely talented Mitch Wojnarowicz.

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress, Part I

All right, you lovelies. It’s time to tell you the story of my wedding dress.
Once upon a time, I was watching the news and saw a story about free wedding gowns for military brides. I immediately jumped on the website, saw that there weren’t any locations giving away gowns near me, and then saw that I could apply online and win a gown if I were one of the first 100 applicants. 
Imagine my surprise when I got the email back, saying I was one of the first 100 and I would be receiving a wedding gown! 
All I had to do was send in my measurements, photos of the style dresses I liked, and proof that Joshua was active duty and had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I also had to pay shipping once the dress was selected.
And this part, you’ll never believe. Do you know what day I got the call that my dress was chosen, and would be shipping out to me? The day Joshua deployed to Afghanistan. Isn’t that nuts? Amidst all the goodbyes, tears, and fearing that he’d never come home… hearing that a dress had been selected for me made my day!
As a romantic, I’d obviously been dreaming about my wedding dress from the day I was old enough to realize what a wedding was. So selecting styles of gowns that I was interested in was the best part of the process. I knew I wanted it strapless, layered, possibly with different tiers, not too poofy, simple but with a little glitz… anyway, these are the photos I sent to the contest, giving them ideas of the gowns I was interested in.
The two in the center are the ones I was most obsessed with. The center left image is a Kleinfeld Exclusive by Pnina Tornai (Style 31574544). The center right image is by Pronovias (Style Olga). This style is discontinued but similar Pronovias styles can be found here. The rest are all images from The Knot that are either discontinued or no longer have working links.
Are you ready to see the dress I won?

I loved what they chose. It wasn’t what I had pictured, but it was beautiful… and about 2 sizes too big. I’m not sure if something was off when I sent in my measurements, or if they just selected what they had, but… it was literally falling off me.
Not only that, but a few months later after debating whether or not to have it altered or keep looking, I realized… I was missing out on the fun of trying on wedding gowns. I really wanted that, it was something I had planned on for such a long time. Dress shopping with my mom
So I decided to at least look at other dresses. If not to find something new and that fit better, then at least for the experience. And so, that’s what I did… consequently, finding a new dress and one that was meant for me… the perfect gown!
To be continued in next week’s Wedding Wednesday post… The Dress, Part II!
P.S. I’m actually selling the above dress online at the moment, if anyone is interested. Brand new, never altered or worn. Email me for details. :-)

P.P.S. Military Brides— check out the Brides Across America website. Win yourself a dress!

Our Wedding Invitations

I’m finally back with a very belated Wedding Wednesday post! (Happy Thursday, everyone.) Today I want to share our wedding invitations with you! Joshua and I chose to incorporate our wedding colors, navy and gold, as well as a nautical theme into our invitations… after all, our wedding was on a boat!

We knew we wanted a pocketfold to hold our enclosures and invite, and this shimmery sapphire pocketfold was exactly what we had in mind! It definitely gave it the elegant feel we were going for.

As it turned out, we needed just one extra punch of color— an “accent color,” as it were— so we chose to add a turquoise compass in the design of each piece. Then, we were lucky enough to find gorgeous Japanese patterned paper with the navy, gold, and the turquoise!

For the enclosures, we wanted something a bit more personal and fun than the traditionally worded “Directions,” “RSVP”, etc. So we came up with the following:

Anchors Away | itinerary & info for guests
Orientation | directions
Boarding Pass | RSVP card
So much fun to play around and come up with some unique plays on words!
Last but not least, we ordered custom stamps for our RSVP envelopes. People generally put these on the outer envelopes, but since a.) they were expensive, b.) they would get covered in post office stamps and marks, and c.) most people just toss the outer envelope once they receive the invitation, we put them on our RSVP envelopes. It was also great to get them all back in the mail! That way we got to enjoy them even more, and instead of them getting messed up in the mail our guests were sure to see them as well.
Below are all the elements of our save-the-date and invitation design. I posted a how-to post on how I made our save-the-dates awhile back, so feel free to check that out too if you’re feeling crafty!

Planning Ahead

I am getting so excited to get all our our wedding photos back from the photographer. I’ve been waiting to design/send thank you cards, because I want to use his photos. He said we’d get them back in about a month, so… that would be July 18th. Cross your fingers!

I made a collage of photos for my planner last night that got me more excited about getting the photos back and making our thank you cards. I think I want to do something similar to this, collage like… I received a thank you card like this once and I absolutely loved it, it was my favorite thank you I’ve received to date. So I’m planning to do something similar for ours.

Those of you who know me or who have been reading my blog for awhile know that I’m a little bit obsessed with keeping a day planner. Honestly, I just have a horrible memory, and keeping a planner helps me keep it all straight— home life, work assignments, goals, appointments, birthdays, etc.

I get a new planner every 1-2 years, depending on how used/beat up it gets. I just got this one a month or so ago at Target. I think it looks like a little clutch, which is why I love it! And I don’t have much yellow in my life, so… yellow it was!

So yes. Those of you who attended our wedding, and/or sent one of the lovely wedding gifts we received… you may be receiving a thank you note similar to the above collage. That is, after I revise/edit it a hundred times, ask Husband his opinion a dozen times, and then finally print and mail them. ;-)

P.S. I love saying Husband!