“…they won’t even care.”

“After the wedding, no one will even care.”

Believe it or not, this is the nicest and most welcomed consolation I have been given so far  when it comes to wedding planning and the drama that ensues.

Let me tell you, wedding planning isn’t a cake walk. It’s not just about choosing between ivory and eggshell or picking chicken over steak. (As if steak was ever an option. Fun-ny.

Wedding planning is about learning to say no to those closest to you, being emotionally mature enough to recognize that you can’t make everyone happy, and having enough confidence in your vision to reject the unrelenting notions to add this or choose that. 

My family and friends have been such a great support system. I would love to take this moment to say THANK YOU SO MUCH  for being there, for caring (at just the right level), and for making me feel in control of this wedding. I definitely plan on showing you all just how   much I appreciate it.

Many of them know me well enough to know how to be there and not be there at the same time. They know not to push certain things, but to provide ideas and pinterest pins when necessary. Almost all of them have provided such great ideas and advice. 

As for the others who have provided me nothing but drama, insecurities and pressure, I have come to look in expectation to what so many have told me: “Don’t worry, in just a couple of months the wedding will be over and no one will even care.” 

For all of you who have told me that….Thank you. 

Of course I want a beautiful wedding, but I am a simple girl. I am not going to spend thousands of dollars on flowers and food, and do not intend on having debt from a celebration that literally only lasted a few hours. 

My wedding won’t be the event of the season, and that’s okay because it will be the event of my lifetime. 

It relieves me to be reminded that for everyone else this is just a wedding. They’ll go home and say “that was nice” or “the food was too spicy”, and that’s it. They may think of it every once in a while over the years, but that’s it.

What colors I pick, who my florist is, the flavor of the cake, the music we dance to, everything will be in the past. A memory.  That’s not just good, it’s FABULOUS. 

A wedding is a beautiful occasion, a sacred one. Yes, there’s cake, but it’s no cake-walk. 

You guys have any interesting wedding drama stories, or advice on how to deal with it? Share in the comments section.

Counting Down #weddingupdate4

{Sigh}

Hot Honeymoon

Just when I was feeling like I had it semi-together.. our honeymoon plans went up in flames. Literally. 

Me and my fiancé were planning to spend a beautiful week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. If you’ve been there, you know how gorgeous and natural it is, full of wildlife and culture. Well, it was.

Recently, a wildfire devastated the town. 


Aside from a few people dying in the fire, there were a hundred or so businesses and homes that were significantly damaged or reduced to ashes. (If you want any further information about how extensive this fire was and how you can help, click here.) Thankfully, recently two people were charged for purposefully starting this fire.

Unfortunately, our cabin (which we worked so hard to find and seemed like such a perfect fit for us) is ashes. Gone. So not only do we not have a place to honeymoon now, but we only have two months to find a new destination that’s cost-effective and beautiful. Most people book their vacations many months in advance (like we did the first time), so hopefully it won’t be difficult finding something.

We’ll figure it out, I know it. I am just super irritated that there’s a question mark floating in the air right now. Taunting me. 

Plus there were sooo many things I wanted to see in Gatlinburg. Aside from the beautiful Smoky Mountains and wildlife, I wanted to visit the Titanic Museum, eat at the Pancake Pantry, and go to one of the local wineries. It is all literally in my planner. Now with a cross striking through it. 

All our plans. Poof! Gone.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Get over it”.  I’m trying, I’m trying. 

Wedding Website

Our site is  finally up! 

I am so excited for you guys to see it! It has our story, registry information, photos of our wedding party, and more engagement shots. Justin and I (well…mainly him) worked really hard on getting it together, and we are overjoyed to share it with the world.

Decoration/Food/ect.

As regards to the rest of our wedding plans, things are going pretty smoothly. I’m busy trying to get plans and decorations together, and my soon-to-be hubby is busy making money so I can spend it. Just kidding. Well, maybe only a little bit. 

I have a list of the things to purchase still (which sucks), but I am excited to get it all over with. It’s actually a little painful seeing so much money leave my account so fast, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m getting  things done. Don’t have to think about it as much. 

Invitations

Oh, I am in love with how they came out. They are perfect. They should be going out soon, in the next couple of weeks. Since we are having a small reception, we are including a reception card with the invitations for those invited to the after-party. 

We have many people we love, but not very much seating, which sucks because we would hate to offend anyone. 

I have been trying to let out-of-town people know ahead of time all of the information they  may possibly need concerning the wedding since it’s going to be a busy weekend. Not only is it Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but I  literally getting married blocks away from where the All-Star game will take place. Brilliant. 

So, yeah. Wedding planning is going as expected. 

Only 2 months to go! Hopefully, my final update will be short and positive. And hopefully stress hasn’t caused me to do something to make the state penitentiary my new home.. 

Engagement Photos #weddingupdate3

With 3 and a half months until the big day, we finally got our engagement photos done. Boy am I happy, because these photos dictated what we would do for our website and possibly invitations. 

We let our photographer, Jasmin, of June 28 Photography, know we wanted a fall shoot and I sent her some screenshots of some poses we liked. She hit it out of the ball park. (If you live in the Atlanta area, definitely check her out!)

We had some hiccups along the way, (somehow I managed to burn my eye with some “deep clean” contact solution containing hydrogen peroxide and we had numerous surprise animal cameos) but I am so happy with how they came out. Here are a couple I posted on social networking:


And here are some insiders for my loyal followers: 



We did our shoots in Cumming, Georgia (the photos where we are both wearing blue) and in Byron, Georgia (the ones where we look super fall-y). And I must say GEORGIA IS GORGEOUS IN FALL. I am so glad we had the opportunity to take our pictures when and where we did. I am ecstatic that they came out the way they did. I feel like they came out even better than I expected. 

Is it weird that I envision our future together when I look at these photos?

I’m not talking about seeing us wrinkled and grey-haired  rocking on our front porch, though that will be nice in it’s time. I’m talking about Us next year, Us in 5 years, Us with pets and children. Us. Cooking together, laughing together, dancing together. It definitely makes me feel some type of way. 

I am so ready for February 18, and I am so ready to be Mrs.Crum.

Getting things done.

So aside from the engagement photos, we also had our website to design and our invitations to order. Among many many many other things. 

We started the site, and so far it looks good! I’ll link it in a post when it’s all done. We’ll have more pictures, registry information, and you’ll be able to meet our bridal party (if it all works out as we want). We also ordered and received our invitations. We used a similar design as one from zazzle.com, but edited it to our liking. They look awesome! So excited to send them out. 

I have so much left to do in regards to wedding planning, (and it is definitely not as fun as I thought it would be as a child,) but I’ll try my best to keep you guys in the loop as best as I can! 


Time is Ticking #weddingupdate2

Last Tuesday marked 150 days until “I Do”, or until the Crum Conversion [as my fiancé and I have coined our upcoming nuptials]. Are we ready to get married? Yes. But are we ready to get married? Ummm… debatable. But we are getting there! 

Cake

Justin came last weekend to visit and as you have probably guessed by my introduction, we finally did a cake tasting at a bakery called Gambino’s, which is popular in the New Orleans area. This bakery is known for delicious, beautiful event cakes and has been deemed the “King of King Cakes” since the 1940s. We had an amazing experience and ending up choosing a Gambino’s cake for our wedding! 


{They gave us this candle to thank us for choosing them, and it smells WONDERFUL.}

Registry

We also got some registry shopping done last weekend. We are registered at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, and have put most of the items we need on the list. I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but I feel super uneasy shopping for gifts for myself. Like, yeah, I understand that people need to know what we need, but it makes me second-guess everything. It this too expensive? Will people laugh at the thought of gifting us this? Do people even love me this much? Basically, we have put the basic things we need on the registries. We have omitted $50 pillows and $20 towels and kept to the necessities, out of fear of being that couple who expects everything. 

Decoration

I have become a little obsessed with Michael’s in the last few weeks, I have to admit. This store has become a go-to store for helping me find wedding stuff for my friend who is getting married this Friday, and at the same time, I have found some great deals for myself also. I am a Michaels Rewards user (it was free!) and find the coupons and notifications they send so helpful.

Online, I found a great deal for charger plates for the wedding (which were originally a little more than $2.00 per plate). With coupons and sales I was able to get them half off, an additional 10% off and get free shipping. So instead of paying $250, I paid $111! For 108 charger plates. Tell me that it’s not a good deal.

To Do

We have sooo many things to do, including making decisions on catering, photography, music, and thanking our bridal party. Also, we have to set up our wedding site sometime this month. Oh yeah, and don’t let me forget how we have to finish paying off everything. I mean, if they really need to take all of our money..

Slowly but surely, things are falling into place in my brain. This wedding certainly won’t be the event of the century for everyone involved, but it will definitely be the event of my lifetime. I’m so excited to get everything together! 

This week, though, is about my friend, Z , and her beach wedding. I am sooo happy to be beside her this week on one of the biggest days of her life. And I am equally as happy to be beaching in Florida for (possibly) the last time this year. Finally get a vacation, and I am beyond ecstatic! I’ll enjoy the beach wedding and talk to you guys soon. 

Always a Bridesmaid, Almost a Bride

Disclaimer: I’m going to suppress my pressing inner desire to fill this post with 27 Dresses references, but t’is more difficult than it appears.

I can’t say I have been a bridesmaid anywhere near as many times as the fictional character Jane but I can definitely say I have been in many weddings. 

The whole idea of finding the perfect guy and having your closest friends there with you as you make one of the most important vows of your life has always filled me with wonder. As a bridesmaid, it seemed to be such a beautiful thing, witnessing someone you’ve known (for what seems like) forever stepping into a new life. (Geez Rhanda, do you have to make this sound like they are dying?)

Being able to witness my friends get married and support them on their day of celebration is always an emotional adventure. It truly is something special to go from giggling with a friend about a crush to seeing the first official “couple” post on Instagram (#millenials). Then next thing you know you are gushing about the new bling gracing their left hand. And now here they are donned in the most beautiful white gown with an overwhelmingly radiant glow emanating from their skin and all you can do is look back on what brought your friendship to this place.

I love my closest girls like family. These members of my framily (yes, you read that right!) have taught me numerous life lessons and helped me understand so many aspects of myself, whether it was by sharing their experiences or simply by being present with me through my own. Interestingly, they each have different lives, some more private than others, some more care-free than others. But that’s just what attracts me to them. Our differences. So standing next to them on their wedding days has been an honor.

Friendship is precious.

I’ve traveled across numerous state lines to “bridesmaid” (officially making it a verb, whether you like it or not) and have spent as little as two days and as much as 9 days out of town for the sake of being next to one of my girls as they said “I do.” 

Was it too much to hop on my first plane, fly to a huge international airport alone, sleep in a cramped bed with two other girls, stand in a wedding, cry perfusely during the ceremony, clean up after the wedding, and then sleep for three hours before hopping on an early morning flight back home? Nope, not at all. 

How about riding a Mega Bus for 12 hours to spend over a week in another state in order to attend both a shower and the wedding, and knowing that not only did I not have a car to come back to (due to recent transmission problems), but I also may not have had a job… Was that too much? I do not regret a thing. 

These were just sacrifices for the sisterhood. 

So as I prepare for my own wedding, I look back at those beautiful (yet trying) experiences as practice runs for me. Yes, I know that it sounds a little selfish to say that, considering I wasn’t the bride, only the maid. But I gained such valuable tools! I learned napkin folding, shower planning, bouquet-making, dress fluffing, and most of all tongue-holding. Ok… That came out wrong. I meant I learned how to hold my tongue… (Awkward.) Out of all of the beautiful ladies I have supported, all were mature enough not to go Bridezilla on everyone. Good examples to me, especially now as I come to a realization that WWIII may just break out in my house. (Government, if you are reading this, that was a mild exaggeration… Please don’t send any SWAT units to my front yard.)

Now, as I await the day when I walk down the aisle with some of my closest friends looking on, I feel appreciative that I was able to share some of their special moments with them. I do not expect them to spend a week in New Orleans with me (during the height of Mardi Gras season) and I don’t expect them to bestow upon me any special attention or gifts. No, that’s just not me. All I truly want is their support and love. And maybe a little alcohol. Daquiri anyone??

Decision Weekend #weddingupdate

I promised I would keep you guys in the wedding loop, so here I am! 

No spoilers, I promise!

This past weekend was one for the books! I got a ton accomplished and got to spend an amazing weekend with my family and future family! 

Mission: Finding The (Other) One

Friday, my two future sister-in-laws, a close friend, and my cousin started our hunt for my Perfect  Dress. After my car, Kiana (the Kia) got some TLC in the form of a “Team Bride” bumper magnet, I got the same treatment from my Maid of Honor with a “Bride” pin.  


We headed to our first appointment at a boutique in Metairie, Louisiana. It was a nice one, with a great selection, although I felt like my bridal consultant had no idea what she was doing. She was likeable and friendly, so that helped distract from her inability to figure out what I wanted. But even after I told her what I thought I liked and knew I hated, she was still struggling. After a few fails on her part, I offered my assistance in helping her find some contenders. So there I was, waddling around the shop in an oversized dress pinned to me, looking through racks of dresses to try on.

All in all, I feel like that appointment mainly taught me which styles of dresses I favor, and which ones I detest. I didn’t find The One, but I left with a better outlook and a clearer vision.

We went to three bridal boutiques total before I fell in love with a dress. And I have to say, I have never seen a dress as beautiful as this one. Mine. It was at a boutique in Metairie called Bustles and Bows, and upon walking in, I really didn’t think I would find what I was looking for. Mainly since their selection was very different from what I had just discivered that I wanted. Turns out, I ended up selecting a dress closer to my original vision of my wedding dress, before I started shopping. 


After I accomplished the primary mission of finding my dress, my fiancé and I tackeled our wedding registry. With only 5 and a half months left until “I Do”, we figured it was time. We have so much to do, so it was fun having some time with my future hubby to envision our future house and to goof around and be us. We weren’t able to finish, of course, but we definitely put a dent into our registry. Later, we were able to get things settled at Kay’s Jewelers. Ordered a resize of my ring so it doesn’t fall off when I wash my hands, looked at a band to go with it, and figured out what kind of style my honey likes. I won’t have an engagement ring for two weeks, which sucks, but I’ll be glad when my beautiful ring finally fits me. 

All in all, I had a great weekend with My Love and some of my closest friends. I had a blast, and as always when the weekend ends, I miss it. I miss being in my fiancé’s arms and laughing at dumb things and being us. I miss him. But that’s the reality of long distance. 5 weeks of separation turns into only a weekend of togetherness. Below is a collage of my weekend. 


I’ll talk to you soon! XOXO

 

A Little Engaged at the Moment…

Today marks ONE MONTH of engagement to the man of my dreams, the One I will always love. In 6 and a half months, I will be marrying him and making an emotional move to Georgia to start life as a Crum. It truly amazes me know that in just a little while I’ll be walking down an aisle, dressed in a beautiful white gown, on my way to my future. I am so excited, happy, and a little nervous.

This may come as a surprise to you, but I dislike attention. (Does it come as a surprise to you?…No really, I want to know.) To clarify, I do like interaction

Seeking attention in my opinion is the girl who posts pictures on social media in hopes of getting compliments, having others talk about her, and having all eyes on her, whatever she is doing, or whatever she is trying to showcase. Seeking interaction is when a person appreciates reading what others have to say, enjoys building friendships and connections, and sincerely shows a willingness to communicate with others. A great example of that is when people create blog posts on here. 

Now, I am not saying I don’t have a social media account, or just hate it when people have the audacity to click “like” or double-tap my photos, but I am saying that I truly like interacting with others. I love people, and having the privilege to learn about others and meet them is the best thing ever. (Thats one reason why I am a nurse.)

The point

I hear ya… Just get to the point already, Rhanda!!

I love being engaged and I truly enjoy having my Special Someone in my life, but (being a person who dislikes attention) it can be overwhelming having people pop up out of nowhere to ask me questions, insert their input, and look at my ring. 

Ghost followers have arisen, work-mates who mean-mug me on the daily are acting like my BFFs, and people who previously didn’t know my name are asking me 1,001 questions about flowers and cake. 

Yeah yeah yeah, they are happy for me. They are curious. They love a good story. Yada yada yada. 

Its just a little off-putting to realize that all of the sudden it’s all eyes on me. People want answers, people want pictures, and (surprise surprise) people want invitations. I literally do not know you!  How in the world can you ask me that with so much confidence, or even insinuate it?

Is it a little over the top for me to write about how frustrated I am that people are being SUPER nice to me? Yeah, a little. But I just feel like people can very easily make my engagement a social hypocrasy. The people who loved me before I had a (stunning) ring are still loving me, but why are those who didn’t care for me all of the sudden so happy for me? I don’t get it.

 I know you weren’t at all expecting to read a rant about engagementhood from me. I promise, I am not usually this negative. You were probably expecting to hear the literary equivalent to rainbows, butterflies, and lollipops. Well, let me calm your nerves. Yes, I am beyond happy, as you could probably attain from the first paragraph. Head over heels happy.


Rant aside, I am very thankful for the love and congratulations from those of you here on my blog and in real life. I definitely feel the love. And I love you guys so much. I often feel like I have been MIA on here, though it may not be readily apparent to you guys. I want to assure you that I definitely have ideas and topics I want to share with you all, just need to find time amidst wedding planning. And speaking of wedding planning, I will be updating you with that also.. 

I’ll see ya when I see ya next!
XOXO