Wedding: the Bridal Party

I’m pretty sure that Jim and I began discussing our bridal party the night we got engaged. 😉 Not surprisingly, we had called almost everyone that night to tell them the good news, and naturally we got on the topic of who we’d like to have standing beside us on the big day.

The Bridesmaids & Brides Attendants

My sister will be filling the role of Maid of Honor. Little explanation needed there. 😉

The bridesmaids, in no particular order:

Jim’s sister, Suzzie (in the middle!);

my cousin and BFF, Kayla;

my soulmate and BFF, Whitney (she’s marrying Jim’s best friend 3 weeks before us!);

and my girlfriend and BFF, Jess!

Along with the girls, standing at the alter with me will be my male-BFFs, Jesse and Zane. These guys have been my besties since elementary school, and I can’t imagine not having them by my side on my wedding day.

I can’t wrap up the bridesmaid rundown without mentioning my honorary bridesmaid, my college roomie and BFF Kristen. Unfortunately she was asked to be in the wedding party of her friend who happens to be marrying on the same date, before we were even engaged. I’m counting her as a BM anyway, and I’ll be one of her bridesmaids next September. 🙂

The Groomsmen

Jim’s obvious choice for best man is his brother, Johnny.

The groomsmen, again no particular order:

my brother, Jacob;

Jim’s childhood best friends Dan & Derek (twins, obviously. Derek, on the right is engaged to Whitney);

friend from home, Dylan;

college BFF, Matt;

and college roomie, Amar.

Our wedding party may be a bit larger than I would have guessed, but we couldn’t be more excited to have the support of our siblings and friends on our wedding day!

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Wedding: the Venue

There was never a question as to where our wedding would be held. We’d decided that long before we were engaged.

The ceremony will be held in our church. This is something that is very important to both Jim and myself. Our families belong to the same congregation, and we both have a good relationship with our pastor who has seen our relationship unfold. I can’t wait to walk down the aisle to be united in a Christian marriage, witnessed by our families and friends.

Our reception will be held in a similarly meaningful location: the farm which will become our home.

We are currently in the process of fixing up and moving into the farmhouse where Jim’s grandparents and great-grandparents lived before us. Situated in the middle of farmland, we couldn’t think of a more beautiful location for our wedding reception.

Although rustic barn weddings have become the new wedding trend, we’ve decided not to go that route. My dream wedding is simple but elegant and classic.

We’re renting a big white tent which will sit in the grassy area between the barn and the house, which you can see in the picture above. Inside the tent will be seating for dinner, and depending on the weather, room for dancing.

(pinterest inspiration)

Cocktail hour will be held in the yard in front of the house, with the bar atop an old springhouse. I’m hoping the weather will cooperate and we can have dancing there as well.

When people hear that we’re having the wedding at home, the first response is something along the lines of “What a great idea! You’ll save so much money that way!” Let me be the first to say that this isn’t the case. While I wouldn’t trade our venue for anything, having the reception at home means that we have to bring EVERYTHING in. Tent, tables, chairs, linens, flatware, china, catering, alcohol, lighting, and even restrooms. For some reason the house plumbing can’t handle 200 people for the evening?! 😉

We were aware of the costs coming into wedding planning because Jim’s sister had her reception at home a few years ago, and we decided to decrease costs in other areas of the budget to allow for our dream wedding at home.

A major factor on the pro/con home wedding list? The ability to plan ahead and have full control of the look & feel of the venue. From planting flowers that I like to painting the shutters, everything (except the weather!) is pretty much under our control.

We also had the unique opportunity to see our venue a year ahead to the date. Here’s top hoping that June 22 will be as beautiful in 2013 as it was in 2012!

Wedding: The Proposal

Obviously I started the blog to keep track of my pre-wedding shape-up, so I thought I’d start a wedding page to keep track of the planning process! Let’s start things off at the beginning: the proposal.

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First a little background. Jim and I go way back. Like all the way to first grade way back! Yep, we even had the same teacher. 😉 So we’ve technically known each other since. Fast forward to middle school, Jim’s family moves in down the street and he quickly becomes one of my best friends. I inevitably had a crush on him the whole time but could never quite get up the nerve to say anythings. (isn’t that how it always goes?)

In high school we played tennis together and I began dating another guy on the team, going on to date him through senior year and into my first year of college. Jim had a few girlfriends here and there, but we stayed great friends.
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Which takes us to the end of sophomore year. I broke up with my boyfriend of a few years, Jim was single and needed a date to his sister’s wedding, and the rest is history. 🙂
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Five and a half years later, we decided to take a vacation to Jim’s family’s vacation home in Naples, Florida. Originally it was planned as a group trip but schedules didn’t quite match up with our friends for one reason or another and it ended up being a trip for the two of us. Ok with me, I had my heart set on getting to Harry Potter World in Orlando and had a feeling we may not convince our friends to join. 😉

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Butterbeer!

Our second day in Naples was perfect. We started off with a long run/walk on the beach and spent the day relaxing on the sand and by the pool. I had ingredients on-hand for a dinner I’d been dying to try- seafood risotto courtesy of EatLiveRun. (try it, trust me!)

Since we had no plans to go out, I showered and threw on some old clothes to cook in and was shocked when Jim offered to help. (not that he’s not helpful, but the kitchen is typically my domain) The risotto was ready just in time for a sunset dinner and drinks on the balcony.

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Although I was pleasantly stuffed from the risotto, I didn’t want the perfect day to end and suggested a walk to Ben & Jerry’s. Little did I know I played right into the plan. 😉

We decided to watch the sun completely set and walked along the shore as the sun slowly sank. After capturing about 100 sunset shots on my camera, I turned back up the beach ready for that ice cream. Instead, Jim grabbed me in a hug (odd), said lots of sweet things (even more odd, but I want that ice cream!), and then got down on one knee (cue freak out!).
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Obviously I said yes, and forgetting all about the ice cream we hurried back to the condo to call everyone. Turns out my parents weren’t surprised because Jim had asked my dad!  He even had a bottle of my favorite champagne chilled in the fridge and ready to go. 🙂
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I’m not one to wish away a vacation, but I spent the remaining 5 days itching to get home so the wedding planning could begin….
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