Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Wore...for my February wedding!

Allow me to indulge in some girlishness for a moment. 
Selecting what to wear on your wedding day is the most delightful process ever! 
 While I have been planning my wedding for years, Nolan and I began the planning process with very similar tastes and a shared vision. We wanted it to have a Rustic, Bohemian, Elvish (from the Lord of the Rings)-inspired feel to it! It was such a wonderful process to include all these details to our day. While I could carry on about every aspect of our wedding, I want to narrow the focus on what I put together for my bridal look, mostly to give a Shout-Out to the wonderful shops/people that helped complete my look!

In March 2012, just weeks after Nolan and I began courting, I stumbled (yes, I stumbled - no, I wasn't seriously wedding dress shopping) across one of the most beautiful bridal gown designs on a wedding blog I had been following for some time. The dress was the Allison Bridal Gown. I remember that I almost internally exploded when I saw this dress online. It took everything in me to hold it in and be patient in spilling the news to my sister (who is always the first to hear of such grand news!). I have always dreamed of an empire-waist wedding gown, but, in regards to the details, I had no other image in my head to go by until I saw this one. Custom designed by Rebecca Cheek, this gown is made of pure silk and, as the description from her page puts it, "an ideal choice for a girl who is an undeniable romantic at heart..." Everything in me said, YES! The only thing that made me a little scared was the price-range. However, in my usual manner, I quickly calculated how much I had in savings and how much it would take to make up the rest. Easy. No one was going to tell me No on this one. I quickly contacted the shop-owner/designer, Rebecca, for more details and, by August, I placed the order (yes, about a month before I was engaged - awesome, right?). As she and I discussed the details of the gown (what colors I wanted for the ribbons running down the back and around the waist), I felt like I was corresponding with a friend. She's the sweetest lady ever!! I definitely would recommend Schone Bridal to any brides-to-be who would love a romantic, vintage feel to their gown. While waiting for my gown to be made, I was a little nervous about how much I just spent on a wedding dress; however, the day it finally arrived made it worth it all! I am so thankful I was able to wear such a breath-taking gown and I know I will find an occasion to wear it again. In fact, that's what I love about this dress. It's more than just a wedding dress. It's an heirloom. It's a gown to wear to a regency ball. It's a dress to wear to the opera or symphony. And, it's simply something beautiful to wear for an epic photo-shoot! Yes, I will be sure to get a lot of mileage out of this one.

 The flower wreath I chose for my gown came from an adorable Etsy shop by the name of Gardens of Whimsy. Originally, I had wanted to make my own bridal head wreath, but when I realize how cheap the flower and materials were from Hobby Lobby and Michaels, I decided to spend the extra money and order one made by a professional. It was worth it! This ivory flower head wreath was absolutely stunning. It matched perfectly with my gown and it really tied in that bohemian-influenced look I was trying to capture!

 About 8 years ago, my sister, cousin, and I declared that we would all wear Arwen's Evenstar on each of our wedding days. In the story, the Evenstar is a symbol of Arwen's love to Aragorn, as well her devotion to living a mortal life with him (since she is an Elf). As devoted fans of the Lord of the Rings, we promised to see this through! In fact, my cousin wore her necklace at her own spring wedding last May. As for me, I had yet to purchase my own Evenstar necklace and, due to quickly running out of money (haha), decided that it would be best to borrow my sister's Evenstar necklace for my day. Nevertheless, my cousin and sister had other plans! They went as far to buy me my own Evenstar and blessed me with it on my bridal shower! I couldn't believe it! Having received it as a gift from my two sisters means the world to me! I will forever treasure my Evenstar.

  While it wasn't captured in detail in many of the photos, I wore earrings from The Jubilee Market, a nonprofit organization to help victims of sex-trafficking. Every item on their website is hand-made by the beautiful women they reach out to help from around the world. The earrings I wore had a very ethnic feel to them with a slight hint of lavender and silver.

I am not a big "shoe" girl. Just give me something simple, cute, and functional. So, I found my sandals at Payless Shoes for $20 and was very happy. They matched with my rustic theme and they were easy to walk in throughout the wedding day. I purchased some ivory flowers from Hobby Lobby and my mother sewed them to the top center of the sandals to really make them pop! And, they did! They were hidden underneath my dress most of the day anyway, so I didn't want to go out and buy something ridiculous expensive that would barely be seen. They were probably only seen during our foot-washing ceremony, the dances, and several times that I would walk around and the wind blew through my dress.

The sweater I wore during the post-ceremony time was from a seller in China through Ebay. I cannot remember the name of the place, unfortunately. I did a search online for ivory sweaters and found this one, which was most affordable.  It served its purpose well - the weekend of our wedding was pretty cold! Well, cold for us Arizonans. ;) It was around 60 degrees, but thankfully it was sunny!

 The pendant around my bouquet was a gift Nolan bought for me in April '12, which was before he moved out here to AZ. He found it at a shop in Santa Fe, NM and gave it to me the week after we became engaged in August '12. On the back of the pendant he wrote Proverbs 31:10. I knew I wanted to display this significant gift on our wedding. :) It matched well with the engagement/wedding ring that Nolan personally designed for me (more about the ring here).

All the lavender at our wedding and for the bouquets were purchased through Mount Madonna Lavender. A wonderfully affordable alternative to fresh flowers. While I adore fresh flowers, I really desired a more rustic feel from the dried lavender (which was equally, if not moreso, fragrant!), tied together with ivory lace from Hobby Lobby. The meaning behind Lavender is love and devotion. It's also associated with purity. For Nolan and myself, this holds true. I love that Lavender represents Devotion because that is what we desire our relationship to reflect - Pure Devotion to Christ and to each other. 

All the photography was done by the amazing Casey Graham at I Do Photography! What a pleasure to work with someone with so much joy and radiance for what she does! 

And, thus ends my girlish squeal. ^_^

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Essential Oils Goodness!

 To all those who love alternative paths for medicine and healing, I would love to invite you all to learn about the pure, therapuetic grade quality of Young Living's Essential Oils and EO-infused products and supplements! If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in becoming a member and learning how to save money through this endeavor, please check out my blog/Facebook page or email me at: 
 I want to share all the joys and benefits I have experienced with these oils - whether applying them topically, taking internally (because Young Living's EOs quality is pure and safe enough to do so), or diffusing them at home. In one of the start-up kits, you even receive a $40-coupon towards any one of their beautiful diffusers.
 My journey with these oils continues to expand as I learn more every day about them. I love the vast opportunity they give you to grow in knowledge and which oils work best for what. I even use them in homemade cleaning products! I love the versatility of them and how they are gentle and safe enough for kids and pets because of their pure quality! Please, consider learning about them today. Thank you! :)

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

And almost a year later...

 I am now a Mrs.! After a wonderful year of courtship, I married the love of my life this past February amongst an intimate setting of family, friends, tall trees, and peach blossoms. In chronicling our love story, and now beginning our new life together, I am in awe of the Lord's faithfulness and grace surrounding us.
 I am not quite sure what I am to do with my Blog or blogging in general. I still have a desire to keep it and continue sharing posts, but I find that it is not as high of a priority in my new married life. But, while I'm transitioning and figuring out this new life, I'll keep it in the meantime. I am definitely feeling freshly inspired in this new season! :-)