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customized baby gifts Our Proposal, The Ring, and How I Asked MY Big Question personalized wedding gifts

Views:101 Updated: 2020-02-27

I had almost my entire wedding party in my mind months before my fiance got down on one knee and popped the big question …; Granted, we were non-traditional in the sense that we went shopping for my engagement ring together in January 2013. And I anxiously waited for him to finally pop the question. We had spent some time looking at rings and came across a ring on Kay's website that wasn't in stores and was at a very reasonable price. I had told my fiance a hundred times that he could put a single band with no stones on my hand and I would be happy –; I didn't need a big elaborate ring. My first marriage I had a 3.6 carat ring …; It was huge and it compensated for everything that was missing in that marriage. To me, the ring was just a symbol of a promise. I wanted something simple. Something that, when I looked at it, knew that it was a representation of “;us”;. ?And unconventional (though apparently becoming more and more popular), we found a gorgeous blue diamond ring for under $2,000. (I am not getting a wedding band at this time due to budget constraints –; we plan to add a wedding band to my ring down the road for an anniversary).

My Engagement Ring –; Blue Diamond from Kay Jewelers Source: Me –; www.sweetorchidphotography.com

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Our proposal and engagement was much anticipated by both of our families. So one Monday when I got home from work to see a chalkboard from my studio at the back door telling me that our Himalayan cat was upstairs wearing a “;special outfit”;, I was a little skeptical. As I walked up the stairs and came across a second chalkboard reiterating that Jackson (the Himalayan) was looking really “;spiffy”;, I promptly declared, “;You didn't shave the cat, did you?”; (If you have a Himalayan, you know that this is an annual if not every 6 month requirement for some Himalayans.)

I walked into our bedroom to see my fiancecustomized baby gifts, John, holding Jackson in his arms. Jackson, who was wearing a custom tie (which I found out my fiance scored off from Etsy), had my engagement ring tied to it. He popped the question, then as we cried and laughed, realized that he'd tied the ring on rather tight and needed cut off to put it on my finger …; five minutes later (and one irritated Himalayan released and out of the tie) he got down on one knee, put the ring on my finger and asked me to be his wife. It was the happiest moment of my life to date.

My fiance, John, and our Himalayan, Jackson Photo Credit: Me –; www.sweetorchidphotography.com

After the celebrating, it was my turn. It was my turn to ask the big question to the ladies who would be there for me from now until our “;I do's”; and beyond.

Another dilemma of being a second-time bride –; choosing your bridal party: Round Two. It's hard. Really, REALLY hard. We change, we grow and people who were part of that marriage before, well, I lost custody of those friends in the divorce. My life is different now and my life with John is a new life –; so I had to wipe the old slate clean and recognize that I wasn't reinventing a wedding I already had. I was starting fresh.

My Matron of Honor was a no-brainer for me. My cousin, Rachel, is more like me than any other person on this planet. She understands how I think, she gets my emotional ups and downs, she does an intervention even before a crisis arises and she knows what I like and how I like it. She's assertive, organized and creative. For my bridesmaids, my sister, my sister-in-law, and three of my very good friends from the post-college years. Women who have all been active in my life for the past year and who have been a big part of me and my life with my fiance. (A seventh “;honorary”; bridesmaid, my BEST FRIEND who lives over 2,000 miles away in North Carolina is unable to make the wedding …; this is not a problem because Skype exists for a reason and my brother, one of my ushers, is in charge of my iPhone for the day and keeping Michele, my best friend, an active part of our wedding).

The next decision I had to make: Who will give me away? My brother gave both my sister and I away before. For fear of “;upsetting”; family and causing drama with our step-dad giving us away with our biological father sitting among the guests. Here's what has happened since round one for me : I stopped caring about what other people think. My step-dad IS my dad. He always has been. And at 30 years old, it's time to stop being “;nice”; and stop sugar coating things. My wedding. My money. My decision. My step-dad …; my DAD, will be giving me away.

I wanted something unique to ask my Matron of Honour the big question. Especially since she had no idea it was coming. After doing some research and browsing Pintrest, I found an idea that was perfect. However, printing was starting to stress me out and I realized that a handwritten note was just as good, and more personal. I fashioned the flowers from a DIY tutorial off from pinterest and viola –; my card to my Matron of Honour asking her the big question.

Popping the Big Question –; Will You Be My Matron of Honor? Photo Credit: Me –; www.sweetorchidphotography.com

Next up, was a much more emotional question. I knew that my step-dad was not expecting this. In the same fashion, a handwritten note was made up and I gave it to him …; I watched as he read it. And I watched as his eyes teared up a little. I watched him do what he does, pushing those tears back, as he gave me a big hug, told me he loved me, and excused himself from the room. I knew, in that moment, that it meant just as much to him as it did to me. To stand up on my big day and have him, as my dad and the man who raised me, give me away.

Letter to my stepdad asking him to give me away Photo Credit: Me www.sweetorchidphotography.com

The total cost to make these cards –; less than $5. I went to a local card shop that custom makes invitations and has racks upon racks of single blank pieces to purchase for $0.75 each with envelopes. I also picked up a yard of yellow and a yard of purple fabric to make the flowers for the Matron of Honor card. I wanted to have extra so that I could use the color to carry with me as I shopped for wedding decor down the road since the colors I found in their store were the EXACT shades that I wanted for our wedding (light pale yellow with a vibrant deep purple accent). They were hand delivered and quite possibly one of the most personal ways to set the wedding in motion.

Once the wedding party was chosen and all the bridesmaid's, groomsmen, ring bearer and flower girls were chosen, the rest of the wedding all was set into motion. If you notice that the date on the above cards was for 10/11/14 …; that WAS the date we had initially decided on. And after a week to think about waiting 18 months to marry this man, and all the stress of 18 months of planning, we decided that we wanted to do this now, and get our “;happily ever after”; started!

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It’s done! Well, almost. As done as it’s going to get for a while. With our first child, Adalyn, I had the nursery complete long before her arrival. Aniston’s shortly after her birth, and well, poor Isla – she’s 6 months. We were delightfully surprised to learn that we were parents of 3 girls on the day of her birth. I’ve always loved the color mint and knowing that we were not going to have a boy {3 seems to be our lucky number}, I wanted to incorporate it, but balance it with a pretty coral. The day we came home from the hospital, I ventured out to pick up the Rifle Paper Co stationary banner, and the coral and mint nursery started coming to fruition.Until a month or so before Isla was born, we weren’t really sure what her accommodations would be. It was ultimately decided that Chris’ office would be moved to the basement and Isla’s room would be the smallest of 4. Chris wasn’t overexcited about spending a lot of money decorating yet another nursery. Honestly, I couldn’t blame him. As a mother of 3, I realize how little time they spend in their nursery in their infancy. I have learned to be a lot more practical. We rarely used the changing table in Adalyn’s nursery and stopped using it around 6 months {other than for storage}. We almost never used it when it was transferred to Aniston’s nursery. I found this piece on Craigslist and painted it a soft white to match the crib and added antiqued brass knobs. It could hold a changing pad, but instead, it hosts a couple of books, a small brass lamp, a photograph of Isla and myself and a few berries.I had Robyn Love Steele do Isla’s name in calligraphy for a one-of-a-kind piece of art that personalizes the space.I created a couple additional pieces to balance it with Rifle Paper Co cards {visit here for the easy tutorial}I adore this photograph that Rachel, of RPM Photography, took of Isla and I just a week after her birth. I just can’t believe she was so tiny. It is unbelievably precious to me.This rocking chair was another great Craigslist find, that found itself in the nurseries of 3 little girls. I’ve spent so many hours snuggling the girls in this chair. When you can’t find it, make it, or at least have someone else! I searched endlessly for a coral ruffle pillow and had a seller on Etsy create one for me. I was determined!I framed a favorite card set using the same method and spray painted basic frames. It’s so soft and sweet, don’t you think?Again, being more realistic by baby #3, I didn’t purchase a bedding set. Blankets & quilts can’t be used until they are 1, and honestly, they are difficult to care for properly. Of course you’re also not supposed to use a bumper, but we did for short periods with Adalyn & Isla. Either way, I know now it’s not worth the “investment.” I found this Anais & Aden sheet on clearance for $6 by chance and it happened to be just perfect!I had a cable knit blanket from Restoration Hardware embroidered – it can be used in a number of ways whereas a standard quilt is more limited. It was inexpensive, but still adds a decorative element. The rocking chair was previously black. Painted white, it’s a place Adalyn loves to sit & read stories to “Isla Baby.”Can I tell you how happy I am that brass is back? When we first moved into our home 2 years ago, it was not only nearly impossible to find, but when I did, it was exorbitant. I paired it with ruffled curtains for an extra feminine touch.The nursery tour wouldn’t be complete without a couple photos of those sweet cheeks, right?Isn’t she precious? Click here if you’d like to take our home tour.

You may already be aware of this, but I wanted to share because I’m beyond excited & if it saves just one table from paint, it’s worth it! Last week, I had my grandmother’s dining room set moved into our home.?When?she passed away my mother quickly sold her set & moved it into my childhood home. At the time I was just 8 years old & didn’t understand why she sold a newer dining room set & replaced it with an older one. It’s something I truly appreciate about my mom. She valued things far beyond their monetary value. I get it now – there’s something about the history of a piece, the memories shared at the table, the birthdays celebrated around it, & the?treasures it holds.