One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, this happened…

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This year has flown by faster than I ever could have imagined when I stepped back and looked at my ring for the first time.

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110 Days from today, I will marry my best friend.

Engagement Photos

(Courtesy of the fabulous Sarah Murray Photography)

I used to think that it was a cliché when people said that. And for some people it might just be a thing they say. For me though, saying that Roland is my best friend is just putting a label to what we are. When something exciting happens, he is the first person I want to tell. When I am sad, he is the first person I reach for. When I think about my future, I know that it is us together.

When I think of my parents, who yesterday celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, I know that what has held them together through life is that they not only love each other, but they actually still LIKE each other. They love to spend time together. They travel together. They support each other’s dreams. They are best friends.

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In 35 years, I want to still look at Roland like my parents look at each other.

I know that the next 110 days will fly by even faster than this past year has. I am so excited to discover what life holds for our future together!

Attending Weddings While Planning Your Own

My plans to write daily posts did not take into account our plans to spend the weekend driving from Maryland to Gettysburg on Friday, Gettysburg to Pittsburgh for a wedding Saturday, and Pittsburgh back to Maryland on Sunday. Then by Monday, I was out of the habit. So, here is Tuesday’s make up post!

I love weddings. I am always excited to share in the joy of other people’s love. Normally I spend a wedding taking photos of the gorgeous bride walking down the aisle, enjoying cocktail hour, and dancing the night away with the other guests. Since I have begun planning my own wedding, attending weddings is a whole new experience. Instead of sitting back as a passive observer, I have begun making mental lists (and some actual lists…) of the the must steal moments, the great ideas, and the massive misfires of the night.wedding 4

It’s strange to realize you are evaluating the best day of someone’s life on the fact that the floating candles in their centerpieces burned out halfway through the reception and the traffic from the highway was so loud that you couldn’t hear their vows.

So, my take aways from the two weddings I have attended recently.

Must Steals

BURN A SCENTED CANDLE IN THE LADIES ROOM

It completed changed the atmosphere and the bathroom spelled lovely! For this gorgeous October wedding, this Bath & Body Works seasonal candle was perfect. candle

CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO BOOTH

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In looking back through the pictures, I can’t find a full shot of the photo booth, but it looked amazing! It was a huge hit with all of the guests and a really fun alternative to renting.

REST AREA FOR GUESTS DURING THE RECEPTION

Loved this idea!

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– KIDS MEALS

Lastly, I loved that the children attending the wedding were fed chicken fingers and fries. (Secretly, or not so secretly, I would have preferred their meals to mine:) )

Things you never think of… until you don’t like the way it went down. 

– CHECK YOUR CANDLES AHEAD OF TIME

 Or your guests may spend the evening doing this… IMG_2253[1]

Well… maybe YOUR guests won’t, but since these two souls will be attending MY wedding, I hope to prevent a repeat of this incident. It inspired me to test the length of time that tea lights burn. It turns out that they will not last through the evening. On the lookout for longer burning candles now.

– SPEAK INTO THE MICROPHONE

There was traffic on the highway nearby and wind blowing that partially drowned out the voices, however, the officiant could be heard over all of this.  None of the guests could hear ANYTHING said by the bride and groom. If you’re going to use a gorgeous setting near a noisy highway, speak clearly into the microphone.

PLACEMENT OF THE SEATING CHART

This was Roland’s biggest takeaway from the wedding. The guests all entered on one side of the room, then had to look for the seating chart which was in the opposite corner. Soon a line had formed from one end of the ballroom to the other with guests waiting for their place cards and signing the guest book.

– LIMIT BOUQUET AND GARTER TOSS TO OVER 18

Though it was completely adorable when an 8 year old caught the bouquet, it caused all of the single men to dodge out of the way when the garter was tossed. When the DJ finally convinced someone to pick up the garter, he took the classy and appropriate approach of having the gentleman put the garter on the child’s arm. However, it made for a few awkward moments as the guys treated the garter like a hot potato and the DJ wrangled people back in line.

I still love weddings! With all of their perfect moments and occasional debacles. My motto for every imperfect wedding I’ve ever attended is that no matter what else went wrong, the couple still ended the day married. I can only hope I have the same attitude for my own wedding!

Looking Forward to a Slow Summer

We survived the month of May! After being away from home for 13 days out of the month on three separate trips driving to Southern Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut we were very excited to do nothing our first weekend at home. After the rush of spring, we have been looking forward to a calm summer. We spent Saturday getting things done at our respective houses. On Sunday we went to church in the morning then played tennis at the park down the street from my house, then headed to Berlin to meet our friend Adrianne for dinner at The Atlantic Hotel.

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If you don’t know about the area, Berlin was voted America’s Coolest Small Town 2013. The Atlantic Hotel was used in the filming of Runaway Bride as were a number of other locations in Berlin. It’s a beautiful historic hotel. After dinner as we were leaving, the woman working the front desk (whose name I later learned is Kathy) offered to give us a tour of the hotel as they are promoting Berlin’s new ghost tours. I was excited to see the hotel as I had never been past the restaurant before. Kathy took Roland and I upstairs as Adrianne stepped outside to take a phone call. We looked into some of the rooms then walked out onto the balcony off the front of the hotel.

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It was a beautiful view of the town. I turned to go back inside, but Roland stopped me. He put down the bag of leftovers we were carrying around, got down on one knee, pulled a ring box out of his sock, and asked me to marry him!

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I said yes! Obviously! 🙂

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He pointed out our fabulous friend Adrianne taking pictures from the street.

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And then he remembered that he was actually supposed to give me the ring, not just show it to me, so he got back down on his knee.

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I now have a stunning engagement ring and a fiance that I could not be any more in love with!

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We started our summer off with a bang! I can’t wait to start planning our wedding and our future together.