If you’ve been following my blog for a while… you know that I’ve been looking forward to this time in my life for YEARS. It’s almost like it’s been what I’ve wanted MOST out of life since we started dating in 2009! If I’m being honest, that’s partially the truth. I’ve loved having time to date… time to do our own thing… time to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii with my best friend and go just for the fun of it without running it by Justin first… time to stay up until all hours of the night getting work done because I was just in my bedroom alone and didn’t have the pressure of putting the laptop away at the end of the day! We’ve had almost SEVEN years of this so it is just plain surreal that 11 days from now, I will be walking down the aisle to my future with Justin. There are no words that can accurately capture and convey my excitement and joy. It’s impossible to tell you how happy I am.
This wedding planning experience has been SO LONG. Everyone told me it would go by quickly, and I knew they meant well but an 18 month engagement can only go by so fast!! It seems like we’ve been planning this wedding FOREVER. It’s been so long that some of my preferences have changed and things we had planned last year have been switched up a bit or started over entirely! I am convinced that anything over a year is way too long to plan a wedding! Haha!! But I know it’s going to be so fun once the day gets here just to sit back and enjoy the time with our family and friends. I was just telling my wedding photographer that it could rain, snow, sleet, hail, or tornado at Big Spring and I probably wouldn’t be phased in the LEAST bit because our wedding day we’ve been waiting for for what seems like a thousand years is almost here!!!
So in honor of almost being done with being “the bride,” I’m going to share 5 candid “final month of wedding planning” thoughts/facts that you might not have known… and might give you a little context in preparation for seeing our wedding photos in a couple weeks!! ;)
1) Justin and I started dating in December of 2009 and since then that month has always been really big for us. There’s Christmas, Justin’s birthday, our dating anniversary… and then we got engaged in December of 2014 as well! So when we chose our wedding date, we knew we didn’t want it ANYWHERE near Christmas!! Haha! Justin didn’t even want to do an October day! I think it’s cute that he wanted something new that could be entirely just for us. I always said I would never get married in the spring… yet here we are ;) May has always been a hard month for me because it’s the month I lost my mom. Throw Mother’s Day into the mix and it’s always just been a tough season every time this month rolls around. So it’s that much more beautiful that something so wonderful is now going to be a part of the month of May for me. It’s the best and I’m so glad we are getting married on May 29th!! I’m also SO excited to have our anniversary fall on a 3-day weekend every so often. It’s going to be amazing!!!
2) Speaking of saying things I would never do but am doing anyway… there are SO many things about our wedding that are things I swore I would never have for my own wedding day. I swore I would never get married in the spring, it would NEVER be an outdoor ceremony, and it surely wouldn’t be on a farm in Virginia. Haha. My dress, the colors, etc. It’s all SO different than I pictured it being… but it’s beyond perfect. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing because God’s plan has been so clearly for us to get married at Big Spring Farm on the 29th and I’m convinced He hand-picked each vendor to be there with us. It’s one thing to believe God is going to provide for you, and it’s another thing entirely to actually SEE that provision play out. It’s been wonderful and so beautiful… and I actually love that my wedding isn’t what I pinned on Pinterest 3 years ago!! Hahaha!!
3) Justin and I aren’t moving in together until after the wedding and although this is something we always knew we would do, I never actually thought about the logistics until about a month ago… haha. Justin has been sleeping on his mattress on our bedroom floor at our new one-bedroom apartment since the first week of April!!! And he has never complained! This weekend I’ll lose my bed because we are moving all my furniture up there so that it will be there after the wedding. So now I’ll be the one sleeping on a mattress leading up to the wedding weekend! Also, full disclosure, I haven’t started packing a single item because I’ve been busy scrambling to get my weddings and shoots delivered before the wedding week arrives and I just finished last night! But I have an engagement session today and tomorrow so I’m not sure when I will get to packing…. #RealLife. I honestly don’t mind one bit the chaos of planning a wedding AND moving at the same time because such a huge part of the excitement about our wedding for me has been the looking forward to moving in together. I can’t wait!!!!!!
4) My wedding dress has been altered 5 times now because I have experienced this insane, unexpected weight loss since last Fall. I bought my dress last summer (I was REALLY excited haha) and since then I have dropped 5 dress sizes. Oops. My dress fit me PERFECTLY when I bought it… and they told me I couldn’t gain any weight because it would be really hard to let the dress out and make it any bigger. Then I gained 10 pounds (lol) and I was actually my heaviest at our engagement session in September. (Still LOVE those photos and Katelyn did an amazing job making me look and feel beautiful!) I am not entirely sure what sparked the weight loss but I think it might have been the combination of a chaotic wedding season and planning the wedding and hardly seeing Justin with our opposite schedules while he was finishing school and working two jobs. I dropped 12 pounds in a month and I think people were actually concerned that I was anorexic. It’s laughable now but I honestly probably wasn’t eating half of what I normally did!!! I was so emotionally drained last October but once November arrived and my schedule opened up a bit, I realized how much weight I had lost and decided I kinda wanted to keep it off!! I was 165 pounds in September and I’m now down to 145. I’ve also done 2 months of P90x and although I won’t finish it before the wedding, I am officially in the best shape of my life and I feel incredible! Shooting wedding days like this is an entirely new world!! Haha. Anyway, my point is… don’t, under any circumstance, buy your wedding dress a year in advance ;)
5) I honestly believe that having so many “firsts” and new things to look forward to has played a big role in keeping my perspective throughout wedding planning. I can imagine I might be a little more engrossed in the details and decorations if it was less about starting a brand new chapter of our lives and more about having a wedding. The fact that our wedding day and getting married for us means first time living together, sleeping together, first time taking a trip alone together, first time paying bills together, etc. means that no matter what happens at the wedding, at the end of the day I get to do all these things I’ve been waiting SEVEN YEARS for for the first time. We could have gotten married at the landfill and I would have been ecstatic to finally start this new adventure together. It’s almost been difficult to care about details if I’m being honest because they just aren’t the biggest thing on my mind!!! And now you must officially think I’m crazy.
Our season of engagement has been its own little unique adventure and as much as I’ve loved daydreaming about being married for the past 7 years, I am beyond ready for that to become our reality in just 11 days!!! Just thinking about being on the beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean and it being just the two of us and able to do WHATEVER we want………. seriously the best thing ever. The moment we leave our reception at the end of the night will be the best moment of my life thus far!!! It’s what I’ve been dreaming of for so long and even though I know marriage is going to bring its own challenges, I know it’s going to be mixed in with so much sweetness and joy and that’s what I’m looking forward to. In the midst of being human, grace and unconditional love. It’s the most beautiful reflection of Jesus’ love for us and I know it’s going to be SO worth the wait.