Archive of ‘wedding’ category

bridesmaid budget guide

I visited my sister this past weekend and one topic of conversation that came up a few times was the cost associated with being a bridesmaid. We both have lots of friends getting married this summer and have each had the joy of being a bridesmaid in at least one wedding this season. It is no news that weddings are a pricey endeavor, but usually these discussions focus on the cost for the bride or the bride and groom. There are so many great resources out there for wedding budgets for brides, but as my sister and I discovered, not nearly as many for bridesmaids or members of the bridal party. Being a bridesmaid is an honor and a treat, but the costs can add up and surprise you if you aren’t prepared.

Bridesmaid Budget Guide | www.passthecookies.com

Based on our experiences, I put together a general bridesmaid’s budget guide. My hope is that this will help future bridesmaids and allow them to be able to focus on the exciting marriage of their dear friend or family member, rather than the shock of each individual wedding-related cost. (more…)

happy third anniversary

Third Anniversary

Three years ago, on a sunny Father’s Day, Will and I got married. We were high school sweethearts getting married right out of college so, needless to say, we have gone through a lot of change since that day. We moved into our first apartment together in Chapel Hill, Will started medical school, I started a new job, I switched jobs, our tiny 500 square foot apartment almost flooded, we moved to a new (larger) apartment outside of the floodplain (praise!), we traveled overseas and domestically, Will moved from the classroom to the clinic and hospital and we experience terrible med school schedules and difficult rotations. We have gone through life changes of our own, but have also witnessed life changes in our families and our friends’ lives. We have experienced the death of relatives, and the marriage of family members and close friends. We have learned more about what we like and don’t like, and what we are passionate about in our lives.

Third Anniversary

Hope and Will Wedding-1

Third Anniversary

Going through all of these changes together, as a team, has been the best part of it all. While changes and difficult situations can strain marriages, I also think there is such potential for those to strengthen marriages as well. There are so many times in the past three years when we have needed to lean on each other, support each other, or celebrate with each other, and our marriage is stronger because of how we have been able to help each other and act as a team in those situations. Marriage requires effort and selflessness, but the wonderful thing is that you are on the receiving and giving ends of that. You get to receive the love and support and you get to give that love and support when your spouse needs it.

Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary

Third Anniversary

We are in the midst of wedding season in our lives, with friends getting married every few weeks. It is wonderful to see far-away family or college friends at all of these weddings, but it is also refreshing be reminded in each ceremony of the commitment we made to each other on that day three years ago, of God’s love for us, which is deeper than our own, and of our love for each other. So, as we celebrate this third anniversary, we remember all of those things and look forward to many more years together. Happy anniversary, Will! :)

Third Anniversary

All photos by the talented Graham Terhune, now part of Anagram Photo!

happy 2nd anniversary!

Two years ago today we exchanged vows and said, “I do” to a life together forever, for better or worse. I would do it again 1000 times!

2nd wedding anniversary

2nd wedding anniversaryThe past two years have flown by and it definitely doesn’t seem like it has been two years since our wedding day, but at the same time we have created so many memories since that day. One of my favorite parts of our ceremony was something I had never seen before – the blessing of the hands. At some point in our wedding planning process, my mom mentioned that a nice component of a wedding she had recently attended, performed by our pastor, was this portion called the “Blessing of the Hands.” She encouraged us to look at it and potentially include it in our ceremony. Now that I look back at the blessing after two years of marriage, I get teary eyed realizing that we have already witnessed so many of the items on this list.

Blessing of the Hands

via

In times of joy, sorrow, struggle and triumph, we reach out our hands in love. In times of sickness and health, we aid each other in love. In crazy busy times and in relaxing moments, we relish any time we can be together, side by side with our best friend. It takes love, commitment, dedication and work, but it is all worth it. So today, two years after receiving this blessing, I once again reach out my hands to the wonderful husband beside me, and remember what these hands have done and will do today, tomorrow, and forever.

Happy anniversary, Will!

2nd wedding anniversary

wedding wednesday: registry tips

I get asked more often than I ever thought I would about registering. I loved creating our wedding registry with Will (who doesn’t like to point the scanning gun at everything around the store?) and always love the topic. We learned a lot during our registry process and after our wedding and I love to share our wedding registry tips as often as I can to help others going through the process. I’m so excited about this post – it takes me back to those early days of engagement and the whirlwind of wedding planning, which were both so exciting and happy.  These registry tips can be applied to most types of registries and is helpful for guests as well as the future married couple, so don’t worry if you’re not a bride-to-be yet!

kitchen 9 anthro blog

Register for gifts of all price ranges
When Will and I first started registering for wedding gifts, we were trigger shy because we felt so guilty about putting items on our list that were expensive. We felt awkward because we felt like we were asking family and friends to pay a lot for items that would fill our home. One of the associates at the department store gave us a list of all of the items we should include on our registry, and as college seniors with no home goods of our own, we had a lot of work to do. She reminded us that there are lots of people who love us and want to get nice gifts to celebrate. We realized that not everything had to be on our budget, and we didn’t have to get everything on our registry, we just needed to provide options. We wanted to include items our college friends could buy, but also didn’t want our generous families and family friends to have to put together a collage of items to feel like their gift was within their price range. I would suggest including small items under $25 (kitchen gadgets, small towels and pillows are great for this), under $50, under $100, under $200 and some items above these price points. (more…)

wedding planning: what to do first

Will and I currently have a fridge full of save the dates and wedding invitations and have lots of friends who have recently gotten engaged.

Woodhouse wedding planning

Getting married a month after college graduation, we were one of the first couples out of our friends to tie the knot. Because we have already gone through the wedding planning process, a lot of our friends come to us with questions and we always love to help and share the things that worked well for us. Since I have gotten so many questions about it lately, I thought a little series on wedding planning might be a good way to share our wedding planning process and hopefully answer questions and help brides and couples along the way.

Woodhouse wedding planning

Woodhouse wedding planning

When Will and I look back on our wedding, we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. We loved the details of our special day and are glad all the preparation and thought that went into it paid off. I don’t claim to be a wedding planner, but there are a lot of things I learned and can share from experience that might help a bride-to-be. First, I will guide any bride-to-be to a planner.  I used the Southern Living Wedding Planner, which was really helpful, but since my wedding Southern Weddings has come out with a planner that has also gotten good reviews.  Aside from getting a tangible planner, we found these 5 things most important to complete before moving on to anything else in our wedding planning. The order is important here.

1. Budget
2. Guest List
3. Dreams and Inspiration
4. Venue
5. Priority Vendors (photographer)

This list is in order for a reason. Your budget may affect the size of your guest list; the number of people you invite may determine which venues you can use; and the date you reserve the venue will determine what date you give the rest of your vendors to check their availability. Dreams and inspiration come into play before the all-important venue selection because you don’t want to sign a contract for a venue that may not fit your dream wedding. This is where you should think about your style, setting, size and spending.

Weddings are expensive. It took us a while to get over the “sticker shock” of how much everything costs, and how much there is to pay for. While your budget and the size of your guest list may have the largest impact on your venue options, you should also think about how the venue fits into your ideas for the rest of your wedding. This is not where your little detailed ideas come in yet, just big picture. If you are having the ceremony and reception in different locations, this is also where you will want to think about your ideal reception and the ease of traveling from the ceremony to the reception site. If you have always dreamed of a reception under a big tent on a large field, a ceremony at a venue in a city might not be your best option. This isn’t to say you can’t do both, but think about your overall vision before booking your venue.

Woodhouse wedding planning

After scrambling to do all of that, I found it really helpful to list out the for the rest of my wedding planning process to list out the items that were important to us to include, and creating a coherent feel for the wedding. Will and I came up with our top priorities and 10 buzzwords that included details, emotions and the overall vision we wanted to have for our wedding day. Priorities will change from couple to couple, but we knew that we wanted a great photographer. We will keep our wedding photos forever, and we wanted to be able to have beautiful pictures to look back on for the rest of our lives. For some people, priorities may be having a great band, serving delicious food, or making sure your wedding is very cultural. Once you have set your priorities, list your 10 buzzwords that will guide the look and feel of your wedding. By using these priorities and buzzwords to guide your wedding planning, your smaller details will come together coherently.

Woodhouse wedding planning

Woodhouse wedding planning

Weddings take a lot of time to plan, are easiest with good organization and often must be an “all-hands-on-deck” process when you get closer to the date. While your fiancé may not care at all about the types of flowers used in the ceremony and the font used in the program, there are plenty of things they can do and ways they can help. The same goes for lots of members of your family who want to help. In order to coordinate all these tasks, it is important to write down all of the tasks that need to get done and delegate. I’m planning on sharing more tips on organization, registries, how to make sure all of the planning and execution goes well, staying on budget and more in later posts. I’m excited about this new topic – I hope it is fun and helpful!

You can see more of our wedding on Graham Terhune’s blog and in The Knot North Carolina

Woodhouse wedding planningAll photos by the talented couple at Graham Terhune Photography