Taking steps to reduce my social media footprint

This past year has really shown me that it is necessary for there to be a separation between my life, our lives, and our (okay, my) social media footprint. The older I get, the more private I get. Sure, I’ll share pictures of our adventures and our pets – most likely after they happen.

Our engagement taught me this lesson the hard way. In our excitement and sheer joy, D lovingly pestered me to share our happy moment online ASAP because his friends and family were waiting for the announcement. After sharing the news and attempting to call numerous family members I posted a picture we liked online, only to realize we hadn’t told a few more people that we love dearly before putting it on social media. Oops. Etiquette fail. It’s a hard truth of this generation that we are all about sharing the highs and sometimes the lows, without thinking twice before hitting, “post.” We (unfairly, just I) received some harsh backlash. The mistake was ours, that is true and we’ll not shy away from that. At the same time, I recognize how much social media can be a blessing and a curse.

These happy moments shared are all about the two people who are experiencing them and sharing with the people who love and support them. This is the world we live in today and bashing others for choosing how and what to share is just ridiculous to me. So I get it, I hear ya, but come on. Let people live their lives and celebrate the way they want to. Lesson learned and ultimately I want this life to be lived for me and us, not anyone else.

When it comes to media, everyone has a different stance and I don’t think anyone is wrong. We’re all just using it in the ways we are most comfortable. Facebook is more about the funny pictures, articles, and supporting other people’s happy life events. So you’ll mainly find me on The Gram and that’s about it! Now, I wait until the evenings, or sometimes even days, weeks, or months to share our days because once those moments are released online they’re not ours anymore. And that just doesn’t always jive with me.

Just a little mind musing,
H

Taking steps to reduce my social media footprint

Time flies when you’re having fun

When D and I first met, I wasn’t quite in a place to date even though I wanted to be, and we joke that I was trying to friendzone him. There’s a chance that I was, but it didn’t work. We met in late March, maybe very early April. At that time I needed some space emotionally to figure out what I wanted and was urgently checking myself into not rushing things while I plunged into finals. But D was patient and kind with me – always. He saw the best of me and was consistent no matter what. He came to my college graduation and we hadn’t even been on an official date yet.

Things were a whirlwind with him and for some reason unbeknownst to even me, I kept trying to push him away. As if wiggling every single skeleton in my closet at him would finally make him walk out the door with his head shaking. No hard feelings. The stronger the feelings grew, due to his sheer perseverance, the more I fought them, and I’m not talking about a few weeks – it was at least two full months before I decided to inch forward with him.

It was late June when I went on a camping trip with him and his friends several months after meeting each other; I was feeling relaxed, happy, and comfortable. I remember sitting with him by the fire and finally saying I was maybe, kind of, ready to be his girlfriend to which he replied, he was maybe, kind of, ready for that too.

Not that this has been an easy ride since that moment, but it is ours and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are not perfect people, but we complement and challenge each other in ways I couldn’t have expected. This man, this wonderful man, turned my world upside down and helped put me back together again. Spending my life with him is a privilege.

We are just 3 months away from #tennantstietheknot 🙂

Someone pinch me, but not too hard,
H

 

Time flies when you’re having fun

I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious

I’ve been thinking about the things that solidified my relationship with D. When I started to realize I could spend my life with this cool person. When we first started dating, we had a great honeymoon period: so much to laugh about, adventures to go on, and things to learn about each other. It was fun and romantic, and a whirlwind – until reality set in and we realized we were real people, with things like communication and trust to work on, and insecurities to lay to rest, and compromising to learn.

When we actively committed to doing those things though our relationship went through a few phases from:

fun and flighty
kind of raw and overpowering
balanced and healthy, and then, back to fun.

Growing up together these past 3.5 years hasn’t always been easy, but we have learned so much about who we are and what we are looking for; from ourselves, each other, and life in general, and I hope we don’t ever stop. Here are just a few things that I saw in our relationship that made me realize we had hit that good place that might resonate with you as well:

  • You are strong individual people, who work at being a powerful and balanced couple.
  • There is no room for toxicity, manipulation, or mistrust
  • Your partner’s steady hand works authentically beside your own.
  • Becoming a “we,” does not take away from either, “me.”
  • You can make your partner a priority without compromising yourself.
  • You expect and in return give, a love built on respect, values, and support.
  • Your partner revolutionizes your world; from surprisingly little ways to life-altering impactful ones.
  • Memories of togetherness, forgiveness when needed, and commitment to your future strengthen you and your relationship.
  • Friendship is key, laughter is often and communication is swift and evolving.
  • Forgiveness comes more easily than you’d expect.
  • You win or lose, together as a team.
  • The small things and the difficult times empower you as a couple.
  • Through it all, you want to be the one beside them day in, and day out.

At the end of the day, a relationship is what you make of it. Everyone knows they are not always easy, and they shouldn’t be – people mature and grow with challenges and no two relationships are the same, regardless of how similar. I full heartedly believe that we often need to learn lessons the hard way and that was certainly the case in our love story. I don’t regret one chapter of it.

I’ll leave you with a note by Jane Wells, Marriage Advice from 1886 that has always stood out to me:

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. 
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. 
Believe the best rather than the worst.
People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friend.

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I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious

Swirly, twirly, wedding dress inspiration

The week D and I got engaged, I purchased A Practical Wedding to get started on the planning process and devoured it. He and I agreed on two venues, the rehearsal dinner location, the menu, and were confirming our wedding parties. Not only that, he took it upon himself to research what his duties were as the groom and immediately looked into honeymoon options. We were in glorious shape and side note, color me impressed!

Seriously, D had his vision on what he and his groomsmen would wear before he even proposed. We were out celebrating with our friends on engagement night when he shared their attire ideas. How can I compete with that?! The only thing that is important to me? That he and the guys are comfortable and feel awesome on that day.

 

What I’ve been wrestling with personally is my dress. Mainly because I feel like I’m supposed to care about “the dress” when I really don’t – I’m a bad bride! Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to shop around and imagine walking down the aisle with my dad, and D seeing me for the first time, but choosing the dress itself? It’s overwhelming.

So I started searching. For something classic, comfortable, and flattering on a petite frame.  I also implemented a budget to check myself; this is an outdoor wedding, after all, a long train, big skirt, or intricate beading just isn’t practical – no matter how stunning. I went back to basics and knew I would make a hard and fast decision but I didn’t think I would choose a traditional white dress. Maybe emerald green, perhaps gold and sequined! Just not white, something more modern and offbeat. Here is one of my favorite ideas (disclaimer, my dress looks nothing like this!) because *swoon*

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And here we are! I’ve done my research, read about a hundred reviews, and purchased my wedding gown! That’s right ladies and gents, I took a leap of faith and purchased my gown from an online boutique and didn’t step foot in a dress shop. Best part? The dress fits like a glove and only needs minimal hemming. I’m having to keep it at my mom’s house because D can’t handle surprises, he’ll tear our home apart looking for it which we just cannot have. I am beyond excited and I’m starting to get what all the wedding dress sparkle is all about. Just like that, we’re one step closer to our wedding coming together. And I don’t feel like such a bad bride anymore and I might have even chosen something other than emerald 🙂

xoxo,
H

Swirly, twirly, wedding dress inspiration

Wedding kerfluffles

We are about 10 months away still from our upcoming nuptials! Wait, let me check that.

Alright, more specifically we are sitting at 10 months and 12 days. That’s 316 days to prepare for a shiny start of our lives together. That’s a lot of time, and I know it will go by in a blink of an eye but I have to ask, what is it about weddings that make people do the wacky? Comes with the territory I guess 😉 I WAS warned by many wise brides before me!

“Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Repeat 10x a day and as needed.

Let the OCD girl cringe at the thought here but openly share: we are still in planning mode and it is essential to me to have these enjoyable and important conversations with the Father and Mother of the Groom before anything is shared publicly. This time is for our parents just as much as it is for us. We are uniting into a larger, crazier, amazing family after all.

Speaking of that big family, we both have twisty family trees which mean more fun and vibrant characters, but it also means our guest list can easily shoot to over 200 people when the ceremony and reception venue can comfortably accommodate 50 – do you see our dilemma? We can’t be the only couple to face this – anyone care to share some insight?

Due to the nature and space of the venue, in addition to our budget and vision of our ceremony, our guest list will be kept small. This is not meant to be hurtful in any way,  it is simply our reality and an attempt to maintain the chaos that can come with weddings. We have had to make many difficult decisions surrounding our wedding in order to enjoy the celebrations without any negativity and we are still confirming the details. I thought that might be important to share before items start getting dropped in the mail. We knew upfront that getting married in Alaska meant that many of our friends and family from afar would not be able to join us for the big weekend – but, they’ll be with us in spirit and that’s a beautiful thing in itself.

Disclaimer: I know there are some that are worried about what our day is going to look and feel like, and I just have to say that we are obsessed with our vision and the plans that are still in motion. We’ve spent the past 2 years talking about this. Our parents, family, and wedding party are rock-stars at helping pull our ideas together and I just love how it’s coming along. We cannot wait to see how it is manifested at our wedding because no matter what happens, it’s going to FEEL incredible. This is all about one thing: our union as husband and wife.

If anyone has any questions, comments, or opinions – please direct them to either of our parents. That’s just a bridal boundary I’m having to put out there. More information will be forthcoming when we get closer to the date!

Anyways, just wanted to give a quick update about where we’re at. Thanks for all the love and well-wishes!

xoxo,

Wedding kerfluffles

Less 16 Candles: Planning a woodsy wedding

The one thing that D and I have been sure about has been our wedding party. We had been engaged about two months before we couldn’t wait any longer and asked everyone to join in our joy. Why? Because we know who is important to us, we know who is there supporting us, and we love these people. Dearly.

My entire life up to this point I didn’t think I would ever have more than a handful of girls by my side (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a small wedding party, or none at all for that matter) but a lot has changed over the last 2-3 years for me and in a surprising way. Not only was choosing who would stand with me easier than I expected, but it was fun. Though D and I both cringe at the thought of having a large wedding, we are completely down with having a large wedding party, with 7 people each we’re going to have a great time. The more the merrier! These people make us laugh, are there when we’re down, and we always have a good time together even when we’re tackling life’s challenges. There’s just no question.

So, I’ve asked my sister to be my maid of honor, my future sister-in-law and a bunch of my nearest and dearest to do me the honor of being my bridesmaids and we’re going to have an absolute blast. Knowing how OCD I am I’m pleasantly surprised they’ve said yes!

Happy bride-to-be here 🙂

xoxo,
H

Less 16 Candles: Planning a woodsy wedding

DIY wedding planning & organization

I did something. So very fantastic. At least to me.

My little OCD brain is just giddy over organizing a wedding planning binder. I mean duh, it’s for our wedding so it’s automatically fun. Add color coordination and checklists and you’ve got yourself a blissfully happy girl. This did require some strategizing since we’re going to handmake the ish out of this party.

First and foremost, the binder. Ta-da!! Target, you’re a gem. I also grabbed some colorful pens, dividers, and paper. Other ideas: a pouch to hold all your goodies, reinforcement stickers for moments of excited binder flipping and a business card sleeve for vendors. I then printed out a basic wedding budget from Botanical Paper Works. There are SO many online printables out there it’s unreal.

I then sectioned everything that I wanted to keep organized. For me, I knew I wasn’t going to keep every detail in a hard copy binder because I have an online system, so what I included were just the main ideas we were certain of for each item. Also, if I’ve learned anything thus far from A Practical Wedding it’s that the only thing to chant to yourself is “keep what’s important to you, nix the rest.” That said, check out their free wedding planning tools! Life changing.

So here’s a running list of ideas to include in your own binder – just to get the mind wheels spinning. As a disclaimer: it was super overwhelming for me to even glance at a list of wedding “to-dos” and “must haves.” Since our wedding is DIY I felt bashful and a little guilty for crossing off details or even entire sections. So you might find that you don’t need everything on this list, or that you need larger sections – that’s totally awesome. Just do you.

  • Budget Breakdown: spreadsheets + payment responsibilities
  • Drafted Guest List
    • Collect names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Track invites, RSVPs, and announcement lists
  • Hotel accommodations/transportation?
  • Wedding Party Contact List
    • Collect names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Track appointments and duties
  • Vendor Contact List
    • Keep contracts, receipts, and contact information
  • Master Calendar and paper for brainstorming, sparks of inspiration, or doodling
  • Wedding Inspo (colors, theme, feel)
  • Officiant
    • Script
    • If a friend, ordain them online
    • Are there any fees?
  • Wedding Rehearsal
    • Decide on target time of day and length of rehearsal
    • Location
    • Fees?
    • Food and beverages?
    • Who needs to be there?
  • Wedding Day Timeline
    • Schedule and responsibilities
    • Hair and makeup appointments – vendor/costs
  • Photography
  • Wedding Ceremony Ideas
    • Decide on target time of day and length of ceremony
    • Location
    • Transition between ceremony and reception
    • The arrival of guests – cocktail hour? Pictures before or after?
    • Processional music and lineup
    • Bridal walk music
    • Opening words by officiant
    • Wedding readings, poems, prayers, ceremonial interjections)
    • Vows – Exchange of rings
    • Closing words by officiant
    • The announcement of marriage and the smooch!
    • Recessional music and lineup
  • Signing of the marriage license
  • Wedding Reception timeline
    • Decide on target time of day and length of reception
    • Location
    • Pictures before, during, or after?
    • Receiving line?
  • Food and drinks
  • First dance and other fun dances
    • Dancing, speeches, toasts
  • Dessert, bridal bouquet toss, garter toss – anything traditional or new to include?
  • Decor Items
    • Signs, knickknacks, pictures, books, mementos…
  • Flowers
    • Arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces..
    • Florist contract and costs or DIY pricing and ideas
    • Anyone in charge of overseeing floral set up?
  • Lighting – vendor, pricing, ideas or DIY
  • Photographer/Videographer – vendor, pricing, ideas and shot list
  • Music/DJ – vendor, pricing, ideas
  • Catering or DIY Menu – vendor, pricing, ideas, DIY?
    • Sit down or buffet?
    • Breakfast, brunch, lunch, appetizers, dessert, or dinner?
    • Cake and Desserts – vendor, pricing, ideas, DIY?
  • Activities – vendor, pricing, ideas
  • Bridal Party Ideas – outfits, hair, makeup, and duties
  • Groomsmen Ideas – outfits, shoes, boutonniere ideas and duties
  • Wedding favors – vendor, pricing, ideas, DIY?
  • Wedding website ideas, Save the Dates, and Invitation ideas/pricing
  • Honeymoon ideas – brainstorm, dates, location, passports
  • Registry – various stores or consolidated onto Simple Registry, My Registry, or Zola?
  • Showers and Parties – ideas, checklists, guest list, invites…
  • Checklists for items to bring, prepare, or projects to have complete
  • Gifts to parents, wedding party, each other, and thank yous!It’s so doable step-by-step. It’s so organized. I can’t even. The binder just sits sparkling on our bookshelf until I feel the need to peruse our ideas. I think it will make a nice keepsake when all is said and done!
    I’ll share that I’m also an online organizational monster. So I’ve compiled our inspiration, goals, and spreadsheets into a Google doc to share with our family and wedding party. Check out a blank copy here!Happy planning –
    H
DIY wedding planning & organization