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Monday, March 24, 2014

Considering Ceremony Music

Maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself, but for me, the music played at our ceremony was huge. Choosing the songs was one of the first things Wes and I planned for our wedding day, and one of the few things we planned together in the same state. :)

I love the songs that were sung and played. We wanted songs that shared the truth about the Lord and reflected His character. I listened to them over and over again during our engagement, meditated on the words, and even played them as background music as my students worked on assignments in class. You'd think I would get tired of them, but instead, I feel like the true, biblically saturated lyrics prepared my heart for our wedding day, and kept my mind on the Lord and the picture of Himself and His church that he wants marriage to be. Since that day, the words still ring in my mind, encourage me, and keep reminding me of our God and His plan for our lives together--to bring glory to His awesome name!

Maybe I am overly sensitive, and I know that a wedding ceremony is not a church service.  However, I strongly believe that music does have a huge impact on us and that every activity is an opportunity for worship. So, consider this when deciding on music for your wedding ceremony. It turned out to be a huge blessing to us! Because of the blessing they have been to us, I just wanted to share them with you.


Bow the Knee by Ron Hamilton
Come Thou Fount by Robert Robinson, adapted by Chris Rice
Ancient Words by Michael W. Smith
Enough by Chris Tomlin

 Surrender All by Sovereign Grace

Behold our God by Sovereign Grace

It was Love by Sovereign Grace

The Gospel Song  By Sovereign Grace and Drew Jones

Not that you need to chose our exact songs, but just to give ideas and encourage you. :) A huge part of what made our ceremony so special was our musicians who are dear friends and who's hearts of worship are so evident in their music!

*Dave Mincy of Mincy Media
*Tim Beatty
*Michael Gentile
*Keith Rogers
*Ashlyn Knight of Ashlyn's Passions

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Taste of St. Patrick's Day: Gluten Free Fudgy Mint Chocolate Cookies

Did you celebrate St. Patty's Day last week? We aren't huge into the day--the extent of our observation of the holiday was painting my nails green {not so sure how I felt about that}, drinking milk from a green striped straw, and fudgy mint chocolate cookies. 

Anything chocolate is a party to me, so it was a pretty great celebration if I do say so myself. :) These cookies require only a few ingredients, and, they are gluten free!

Gluten Free Fudgy Mint Chocolate Cookies

3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp mint extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips {I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips which made this recipe soy and dairy free as well!!} 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Stir in mint and egg whites.
  • Stir just until the batter is moistened.
  • Add in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheets. Leave about 2 1/2 in between each cookie for them to spread {these really spread}.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until tops are lightly cracked and glossy.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. They are amazingly fudgy and chewy while fresh. Store them in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Beyond that, they become crumbly.
These were gone so fast, I think we need a reason to celebrate again soon ;)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting Ready

We've already talked about finding your dream wedding gown. That's only half the story, there are so many other little details to incorporate into your look as a bride. My advice would be to look at each of these aspects plenty of time in advance, and decide which are most important to you to spend your time and money on. Also, make at least a mental plan for each ahead of time so you aren't scrambling to figure everything out at the last minute. 

Here were my thoughts, what I went with, and some resources for each. Have fun with it, this is your day to go as extravagant as you'd like. 

  •  There are many opinions out there about wedding hair. Some say this is your one day to look like a princess, do an up-do. Many like the idea of getting pampered and having their hair done in a fancy salon. Either way, you have a vision you've dreamed up for your bridal do, go with that. 
  • I wanted my hair to be fancier than normal, but didn't want to go too far out of the box and end up not feeling like myself on my wedding day. 
  • My hair style was important to me, but not as important as getting married in the morning, so a salon was out of the question at 6 am. 
  • I browsed through lots of pictures, chose a look for me, and decided to do it myself. I knew I was going for simple and had friends that were great at it to jump in to help.
  • I highly recommend a wand curling iron for elegant wedding do's. I used a 25 mm barrel. This one from Jose Eber does wonders. 
  • Cheryl, who you've met at TheCrumbster, made my hair flower. There are so many gorgeous options out there--fresh flowers, sparkly, lacy, vintage. Choose a style that matches your dress, theme, and personality.
  • There are many places to browse for inspiration. One site I love is: BHLDN. In the end, making your own could be the best way to get exactly what you've envisioned. Here is a great tutorial: Ruffle Chiffon Flower.
  • Hair could be a great big fuss, but when it comes to that day, you are going to look gorgeous. You're a bride.  Even if the humidity uncurls your hair. :)


Make up: 
  • Since our wedding was in the middle of humid July, having long lasting make up was at the top of my list. 
  • I decided to invest in some good quality products to use not only for the wedding day, events like the rehearsal, Utah reception, and friend's weddings throughout the summer. My sister, aunts, and cousin were so sweet to take me to a consultation to match my colors and make my make up a shower gift. :) Such a fun and lovely gift idea!
  • My Products:
Lancombe: foundation, powder, mascara, and lip gloss
Sephora: blush, eyeliner.


  • My garter was one of my favorite details to wear. We didn't do a garter toss, but it was fun to have something so elegant to wear handmade by my mom. Garters are just a special addition to that once in a lifetime princess feeling of being a bride. 
  • It is easy to make a simple one from stretch lace and chiffon flowers.
  •  Or, for aN intricate look, here, here, and here are a few on Etsy for under $30.  
  • When shopping for jewelry, keep in mind the style of your gown. My dress was lacy rather than sparkly, so I decided to go with pearls. I had been anticpating wearing my pearl necklace from my grandparents on my wedding day for years. 
  • I loved wearing pieces that I received as gifts. It gave so much meaning to each part of my look. My earrings and bracelet were gifts from family. Earrings, Bracelet.
  • Wedding jewelry doesn't have to be expensive. There are some beautiful costume jewelry pieces out there nowadays.

Getting Ready Together:
  • My bridesmaids finished getting ready with me in a large room in my parents house. I don't know how much they loved getting up before dawn with me ;), but it meant so much to have them there. It really helped me stay calm and have fun!
  • It was helpful to all help each other with hair and make up too!

No matter the accessories and beauty routines you decide to go with, its going to be perfect. You will be like a princess for this special day, but don't forget, it is just one day. The most exciting part is that you will be his wife everyday after that. :)

This week Cheryl shared some great thoughts to consider when choosing a photographer and videographer in DIY Wedding #8 and #9!

Monday, March 17, 2014

How To: Burlap Ruffled Wreath

I am loving the taste of spring we have gotten over the last few weeks! I think my favorite part has been the extra hours of daylight. We put away our winter decor, it was time for something springy. Silk flowers can get expensive, so I decided to try something a little different.

You will need:
1 wire hanger
1 burlap table runner (about 7 feet long)
light brown thread
push pins
sewing machine
hot glue gun
2/3" nest
3 small foam eggs
spanish moss

1. Unwind your hanger and straighten it out. Then form a circle. I used pliers to help bend the wire how I wanted it. 

 2. Form the 2 ends of the hanger into hooks and link them together. At a later step, you will use your pliers to squeeze them tight.

 3. Cut 2 4 in wide strips from your burlap runner. Place one to the side.

 4. Lay your strip out straight. Create a fold over about 1 in and fasten it down with push pins. I folded over the side that was un hemmed so the side that is not sewn will not fray.

 5. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the folded edge of the burlap, creating a sleeve to poke the wire through.

6. Unhook your wire ends. With your newly sewn edge facing down, slide your wire through the entire length of the burlap. Gather the strip as you go so it fits and covers your entire wire circle. This will create a ruffle. 

 7. Once your your wire is completely strung through the burlap, re link your wire hooks and squeeze them tightly shut with your pliers.

 8. Turn your wreath over to the back with the sewn side of the burlap. Using your hot glue gun place a dab of glue in line with the stitch. Take your 2nd strip of burlap and press it down onto the glue. Following the pattern of your first ruffle, attach this 2nd strip all the way around your wreath with glue every couple inches. Allow 1-1 1/2 inches of this second ruffle to protrude over the top of the first ruffle.

 9. Turn your wreath back over, and you have a double ruffle.

 10. Glue your nest to the bottom right side of the wreath.

 11. Now for your eggs. I bought a small spray of eggs and snipped 3 off, but you may be able to find small foam eggs sold individually as well. Glue your eggs into the nest as desired.

 12. Separate a small bunch of Spanish moss and position it around the nest as desired. Glue it down.

There you have it! A very simply, yet springy wreath!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Groom

Sorry, I missed you last Monday! It was one of those weeks, you know that kind where you have such high hopes of being productive in the evenings, but things just come up?! 

Here I am now, with the most important wedding topic there is, the groom. How will you dress the man you're going to marry, the reason you're having this day in the first place! Deciding on what he will wear is important, he will be the center of attention and photos with you all day. However, choosing the groom's attire doesn't seem as daunting or complicated of a task as choosing your dress. 

Start out by talking to your man, find out what matters to him. Believe it or not, he may have a vision for how he looks on the big day to...though he probably has dreamed of it since age five. ;) Your guy may want to really dress up for the occasion, maybe he always wanted to wear a bow tie, or he's all about comfort, its possible he doesn't care at all. I know you have the style of the wedding planned out and have envisioned how he will coordinate--and I'm sure he'll be glad to. But,definitely allow him to still reflect his own style.

For Wes, it was comfortable, simple, and practical. Our wedding day was a special occasion, and he wanted to look sharp, but being around many friends and excitement, it was not a day to feel hot and stiff. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you're shopping:
*Buy or rent--Like I've mentioned before, renting is expensive. Does he need a new suit? Maybe its the perfect time/excuse to get one for future use. 
*Shop for groom attire after your dress is picked out. If your dress is ivory you'll want him in an ivory over a white shirt. 
*Department stores may be a cheaper route than a store specializing in men's formal ware, however expect the color choices to be limited. 
*Many men's formal ware stores have promotions if you buy more than one suit. Who else will need a maybe? Don't forget rewards programs from your bridal boutique. For example, David's Bridal partners with Men's Warehouse. 
*You don't have to purchase everything from one place. We found his shirt and tie a lot cheaper on line.
*Keep in mind that suits/tux could get hot. Your groom will have to stand and be around lots of people all day.Will you be outside for a long period of time?

The Details:
Suit- Men's Warehouse
Dress shirt- Kohl's
Shoes- Famous Footwear
One more thing I wanted to mention...

Around this time, things could be getting pretty chaotic.Wes and I chose his suit during the only week we saw each other during our engagement.  A week with a long to-do list. It is so easy to get stressed and caught up in all the details that need to be ironed out. But, don't forget, you are marrying this man! This craziness will come to an end and you will walk down the aisle and spend the rest of your days doing life with him. Don't get discouraged, you will be his even if some details get away from you. Don't forget to enjoy this time of anticipation of your lives together. That busy week was also when we decided where we wanted to live, the first time he brought me to the first church we would be a part of together, we picked out our wedding bands, and he showed me new places in Utah that are now home to me. Remember in all the busyness, to get excited. There's no one else like him. ;)

To catch you up with Cheryl's wedding series, check out her thoughts on Groom's attire here, and the topic of save the dates and invitations here!