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Sunday, November 6, 2011

wedding: uncorked

i've mentioned before that tyler has been so interactive with the wedding planning. he also is interactive in everyday life, which i LOVE! one of my favorite projects was a joint effort between the two of us, and it turned into a lovely decoration for our home! the months preceding the wedding, we collected wine corks from family, friends, special occasions (i would literally stalk bartenders), and i even resorted to ordering corks on ebay! in the end, i had collected wine corks from our friends' weddings, my parents' anniversary, and other special events between us, our family, and our friends.

it was all for a "cork board" on which we displayed our engagement pictures at our reception. we opted for a video to play at our reception instead of doing a slideshow, but i still wanted to display our engagement pics, so this seemed like a great idea.

tyler glued all the corks onto a piece of plywood. then made a custom frame for it. we borrowed an easel at the reception venue to display it. we printed 4x6 prints of our engagement pics, and i used some of my scrapbooking materials to crop them down to the sizes i wanted. then we took clear push pins and pinned the pictures to the board. we put the board in the bar area at our reception to tie in the "wine" theme of the board. here was the final product:


we're still in the process of "moving in", but this board has earned a lovely place in the wall of our dining room to accent our wine bar. (it will be hung on the wall very soon.) at the wedding, it was a great conversation starter, and now it serves as a great memory from our favorite day!

fin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

worth a billion

if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth about a billion... especially this one.

check out this video of our wedding day. it has been on repeat in our home since we first saw it. it's like we're there all over again, and we love it!! thank you, sergio plecas, for such a wonderful job!

video

and along with the video, here are some video stills from the video that i just adore...


getting in the dress...




 the actual bench where tyler proposed to me...


first dance to "i cross my heart" by george strait.


cutting the cakes!



if we look ridiculously happy, it's because we are. and watching details from this day make us smile over and over again. so many memories that we will cherish forever, and i'm so thankful to have it all on film! i wasn't sure if a videographer would be worth the money, but i was so wrong. because, like i said... if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a billion... but this one is absolutely priceless.

fin.

Monday, October 10, 2011

happily ever after

so... WE'RE MARRIED!!! it's been absolutely wonderful, and i have so many details i can now share that have been held top secret for so long. this blog is about one of those surprises that i just adored from our wedding.

for our wedding reception, we decided to show a video instead of a slideshow. it came about because our videographer, Sergio Plecas, suggested it, and i am so happy he did! it really helped shape our favors (which were movie inspired) and several of our highlight dance songs were from movies. on a day when i wanted to feel like a movie star, we actually did because we had a movie-quality video to share with our family and friends! however, many friends couldn't make it and some that were there didn't get a good view of our video, so here it is again for your viewing pleasure. it's also on youtube.

enjoy!!
video


fin.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

today

today is my wedding day.

today my life will forever be changed.

today the words "I", "me", "mine", "my" will be replaced with "us", "we", and "ours".

today will be the day i've dreamed about since i was a little girl.

today everything we have planned for so long will finally come to pass.

today we get to share the most important moment of our life with the people we love most in the world.

today a dream will come true.

today i get a new name.

today i get a new life.

today my responsibilities and obligations increase to a greater capacity than they've ever been before.

today my best friend becomes my husband.

today God's perfect plan will unfold.

today will be perfect. even if everything we've planned goes awry, even if it rains all day, even if the flowers wilt, even if the dress gets a hole in it, even if nothing goes as scheduled or planned, i will end the day married to my favorite person on this planet. so it will be perfect.

today i will become my beloved's wife. i've never been so happy, excited, or READY for anything in my entire life.

here we go...

fin.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

expectations.

tyler and i have had very little quality time together the closer it gets to the wedding. i've enlisted him to help me some with DIY projects, i'm working full-time, and he's working part-time and in school. i'm aware that our limited free time will also present its challenges when we are finally married (in TWO DAYS), but we'll make it work.

the other night, we were having dinner together, and we started talking about our expectations of marriage. some were funny, and some were silly. others were as disturbing as they were hilarious. and i am going to share one of them with you, because it made me laugh so hard. but first... a segway...

the definition of "assault" has baffled me since i entered the legal world, especially in tennessee law when battery (i.e., physical injury) and assault (i.e., fear of physical injury) are looped together under the term "assault". why i lay that groundwork is because the following conversation could legally be considered "assault" under tennessee law. but for that to stick, i would have to be in fear of actually receiving physical harm. but i didn't. instead, i laughed.

everyone should know that tyler and i have the kind of relationship where we are both really sarcastic, and we are both really possessive of each other. not in a bad way. just in a "you are mine and nobody else's" kind of way - which i think is a very healthy way to enter into a marriage.

and now - the funny part...

we were talking about cheating and divorce. and how both of those will NEVER happen in our relationship. here is how the conversation went. i think i've got the quotes right, but even if they aren't exact, it was pretty close...

me: "there's only one way out of this marriage."
tyler: "yep. death."
me: "exactly. and if you ever cheat on me, that way out becomes a lot more clearly defined... and a lot more violent."
tyler: "yep."
me: "i'm not kidding."
tyler: "me neither."
me: "like... if you cheat on me, i will stab you. repeatedly."
tyler: "well, if you cheat on me, i will shoot you. then whatever is left of you will be mounted and i will put you on my wall. then, you will forever be my trophy wife."

I CRACKED UP! i think it's funny, because some people would hear that conversation and see two violent, possessive, crazy people. i look at it and see love. warped, i know. now, would i ACTUALLY stab tyler? and would tyler ACTUALLY shoot me? luckily, we're making vows to each other that include forsaking all others. so we never have to know. :)

fin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

coming together

it's all coming together. i've never been busier in my whole life, but it's all about to be worth it.

that's all for now. lol

THREE DAYS!

fin.

Friday, September 23, 2011

our photographer is the best. seriously.

don't take my word for it.

http://lorilinephotography.com/blog/paige-and-tyler-engaged-chattanooga-tn/

see the rest of our amazing pictures done by lori line at: http://www.pictage.com/client/event.do?event=1121575

she's amazing, and i highly recommend.

here are some of my absolute faves:






















i obviously have a lot of favorites. and i'm highly self-critical, and i have VERY high expectations. a photographer that can make me this happy is worth every. single. penny.

and yes, tyler and i like to kiss. a lot. but you can't blame me. if your boyfriend/fiance/husband was this hot, you would want to kiss him all the time too!(no, i'm not insulting your boyfriend/fiance/husband. but i'm just really attracted to mine.)

if you have a special event, call lori line. seriously.

8 days. aka 1 week and 1 day. excited doesn't even begin to describe how i feel!!

fin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

importance

with ten days to go (yes, omg, TEN, i can't believe it either), i am struck by the IMPORTANCE of what's going on and the importance of every event leading up to the wedding. i've been trying to soak in every moment - from choosing our reception menu to my final fitting. every decision is a huge part of piecing together our big day. but in the hustle and bustle, i'm trying really hard to remember what is important.

the stress of the day quickly approaching has been pretty hard to handle at times. i wanted to be about 20 pounds less than i am now for my wedding day. but i shift back to what is important. to tyler, i will be the most perfect bride he's ever seen - because i will be his. i know this, because he's told me. and i believe him. he's not going to see the 20 pounds i wanted to lose but didn't. he's going to see his bride. that's what is important.

there are so many last minute projects that have piled up. it's been killing me, and i've been barking out orders like a drill sargeant. my finest moments have not been the past few days, but it happens. i've had to let some things go. example: i really wanted to make prediction cards for our wedding for our guests to predict where we would be on milestone anniversaries. there's just not enough time, and it's not going to happen. it was a great idea, and it would have been really cute. but again, i shift back to what is important. regardless of the predictions people make, we will be together. we will have a beautiful wedding day, and we will end as mr. and mrs. evatt. that's what is important.

life is busy. sometimes it's hard to keep up. and with the huge "to-do list" that awaits me each day, it's hard to carve out alone time with tyler. but we do. because it's important. it's important to remember what this is all about and why we are getting married in the first place. we're best friends. we love each other. and we're about to say goodbye to our old lives and start a new one - together - in the presence of God, our families, and our friends. there is nothing, i repeat, NOTHING, more important.

i say all that to say this. keeping my perspective straight on all this has been challenging at times, but i'm trying to do it. a wedding is one day. a marriage is a lifetime. i'm so blessed to have the wonderful man that i do. every day, he does something that makes me so proud to be his almost wife. i still can't believe that of all the women in the world, he picked me. everything feels like it's moving so fast, but i'm making a vow to slow down, breathe, calm down (as much as possible), take it in, and enjoy this moment. because it's important.

fin.

Monday, September 5, 2011

cardboard boxes and memories

we finally have a home! the last few days have been pretty hectic, but i'm finally getting settled into mine and tyler's apartment. i'm moving in first, and he will join me in living here after the wedding. but, of course, i still consider this "our home". one of the things i love most about tyler is that he makes life so much fun - everything is an adventure.

just like tonight...

we finally got some things from the grocery store last night, and i have been looking forward to finally being able to cook! so tonight we were at the apartment and i made us a yummy dinner. when it came time to actually eat, we realized something we already knew but something that hadn't fully sank in yet... we have no furniture. at least not yet. (it will all be delivered wednesday, and i can't wait!)

we have food. we have dishes. but no solid surface on which to eat. that's when my fiance, the genius, comes up with an ideal solution - a cardboard box table! so our tablescape became very simplistic but quite functional! see for yourself...

sitting across from tyler with nothing but a cardboard box table between us, it dawned on me... this is one of those moments i will cherish forever. when life gets overly complicated and we bogged down with "stuff" and start running out of space and outgrow our one bedroom apartment, i will remember this... the night we sat in an enormous, empty room, ate off of our cardboard box table, and dreamed out loud about our future together. so much remains uncertain about what we have coming up together, but i know that we're going to make it. and we're always going to be okay because we'll always have each other. and if we lose everything else... we'll have ingenuity and love... and a cardboard box somewhere nearby... :)

26 days!!!

fin.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

i heard this song the other day going down the road, and i thought... i have no idea what the verses of this song say but this chorus is resonating with me. everything is definitely changing! (that, and i just kind of dig this song so enjoy it.)

life has kicked up a notch, and it has been super busy. tyler is getting ready to start classes, i got a job (YAY!), we found an apartment, we have had a wedding shower and have started a large collection of home things and are planning our move-in! and we are at just over a month until the wedding. so hard to believe that this is actually happening!! it's a surreal and wonderful moment. sometimes, it can get a bit overwhelming to know that your entire life is about to change, but i'm embracing it and trying to take in every second of happiness that we have going on right now. we're in a good place, and we're so happy. this is a pic of us after our first wedding shower. it finally started setting in that we are REALLY getting married...



the RSVP date has come and gone and we now have a better idea of who will be sharing in our day (despite the fact that we're still missing a LOT of RSVPs). it makes it all seem more "real".

we completed our engagement video with the wonderful sergio and amanda plecas. it's a special project that we're excited to share with our guests at our reception. sergio and amanda were amazing during filming, and i know that they are going to put together something great for us! they will also be with us on our wedding day to film our wedding. they do such great work, and i'm so happy that i found them!! this is a pic from our session with sergio hard at work making magic happen... just wait and see... it's gonna be AWESOME!



we also finished our engagement pictures with my friend and amazing photographer, lori line! lori is one of my sorority sisters, and i've discussed her before in the blog. she had some great ideas for our engagement session, and tyler and i are chomping at the bit to see those images. they should be up soon, and as soon as they are, there will be a blog post about it!! and, as you can see from this pic, lori is a mess... lol



honeymoon is paid for.

passports are in.

first dress fitting was conquered, and fancy fits perfectly! and even the dress store made a note of her name. i LOVE monica's. check it out:



so, i guess now, that we are officially exactly 6 weeks out from the wedding, it would be a good time to get on my DIY projects that i've been putting off. yeah... i've planned myself silly but haven't actually DONE things yet. so, the next 6 weeks are going to be insanely busy, but it will all be worth it. and i am so excited!

in other related news, i've started calling tyler "hubs" so that i can get used to it when we're finally actually married.

THIS. is. REALLY. happening.

42 days! o. m. g.

fin.

Monday, August 1, 2011

the golden ticket

i cannot begin to say how much i LOVE our wedding invitations. tess at lovebirds stationary did a fantastic job working with me, despite my million edits and my overall pickiness over everything from design to wording to envelopes. she created something absolutely gorgeous that i will treasure forever. i debated for a long time on whether to do DIY invitations or to just order them, because i was shocked at the price of professionally made invitations, but tess eased my fears and i quickly learned that DIY, for me, would inevitably lead to disaster and a meltdown. through tess, i also learned that you don't have to pay a ridiculous amount for something nice and memorable. after all, the invitation sets the tone for the wedding, so it should be something beautiful, but money can be spent in other places that is much more important. tess incorporated that into her business motto, which is, "Stationery for brides who'd rather splurge on the perfect dress or amazing photographer!" i was so lucky to find tess and her amazing designs (which are all fully customizable).

so... i must say that the online image is nowhere near as pretty as these little dandies are in person (and the color varies a bit as well), but i'll share them with my blog readers. i must say - this is a print screen image made in paint of a pdf file, so the quality is so-so. but you'll get a general idea.

without further ado...

our wedding invitation!


pretty, huh? thank you, tess!! i will recommend you to everyone i know!

61 days, or, in the alternative, only two months until the wedding!!! (and rsvp's are requested by august 15, so get them in PLEASE!) and don't assume i know whether you're coming... just oblige me.

fin!

Friday, July 15, 2011

passing the bar

planning a wedding while simultaneously studying for the bar exam AND trying to pray everyday and really get ready for the spiritual side of marriage can wear a girl out! i've had several breakdowns along the way, one of which occurred last night, and i was reminded AGAIN of just how wonderful my fiance is. with tears streaming down my face, droning on and on about my white girl woes (i.e., things that don't really matter in the scheme of things but at the moment cause me to freak the heck out), and wailing about how i just KNOW i'm going to fail the bar exam, tyler takes my hand, looks in my eyes and says to me, "baby, if you fail, it's ok. i won't be disappointed in you and neither will anyone else. i don't know what you're going through and neither does anybody else unless they've actually done this. you've gone through three years of law school, and you are so smart. you don't have to prove it to me or anyone else. but if you do fail, it's ok." then he kissed me on the forehead, and said (in a whisper) "but you're not gonna fail."

he renewed my determination to keep going and give it my best. that's why i know he's perfect for me. he gets me like nobody else does, and he knows just the right thing to say. 78 days until he's officially my husband, and, as he said last night, until he is my "covenant partner". he amazes me everyday. i am so blessed.

on a side note, invitations are being mailed out today! more on that later... it's an exciting time!

fin.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

getaway

my reception getaway dress has arrived...

and might i say - it makes me, oh, so happy!

my wedding dress is completely different than anything i would have pictured myself wearing on my wedding day, but it's perfect. my getaway dress, however, in a full-length version, is what i would have actually pictured myself wearing on my wedding day. so, now, i get the best of both worlds! out of the two, i love my wedding dress more (duh), but my "getaway dress" is also pretty darn fabulous. the best part is that i'll wear it again on the honeymoon for mine and tyler's romantic private dinner on the beach. I CAN'T WAIT!

so, sorry there will be no previews. just know that it's perfect. :) :) :)

84 days!!

fin.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

marriage was designed to be a good thing.

most of this blog is pretty light-hearted, but there is something that is REALLY grinding my gears that i must get off my chest...

let me start off with an example from today. my mom, little sister/maid of honor, and i were out shopping for some wedding decor, and the guy at the store asked what we were shopping for and we told him what we were looking for and also told him that it was for my wedding. and, as many times before, he congratulated me but then quickly turned the congratulations into a condolence, saying "bless you, honey. no really..." and then many people (including that guy) tell me how awful marriage is...

REALLY, PEOPLE?!

i'm obviously excited to be getting married. it's not the time to tell me horror stories about your marriage. maybe i'm naive, or maybe those people just lack tact. but i really think it's the latter.

i understand marriage requires work and sacrifice. i also understand that not every moment is perfect, but all in all - i am very much in love with my fiance. i am also very independent. i'm not marrying him out of necessity or obligation. i'm marrying him because i WANT to. i have striven my entire life to be able to provide completely for myself, so that i wouldn't ever have to be "stuck" in a situation (i.e., a marriage) that i didn't want to be in. maybe not everyone else has had that same experience. maybe other people have had bad experiences with marriage. (obviously, an institution that fails as often as it succeeds leads one to think that many don't have good experiences.) but for those that have had bad experiences, don't rain on my parade. it's tacky and just plain rude. especially when you know neither of us or the way we value each other and love each other. so, zip it.

marriage was designed by God. it's a good thing. God Himself actually called it a good thing. just because people don't hold it in high esteem or respect the fact that it's a covenant relationship that should never be broken doesn't make it an inherently bad thing.

90 days till my COVENANT RELATIONSHIP (not torture) starts, and i'm really excited!! so, back off, random stranger. and keep your negativity to yourself. thanks in advance!

(now i'm wondering if i should print this off and hand it to people when they make such rude comments to me...)

fin.

Friday, June 24, 2011

double digits!

we have reached 99 DAYS in our wedding countdown! i remember when the countdown was in the 400s. i can't believe the double digits are finally here. let's take a moment to take this in....

breathe in...

breathe out...

HAPPY DANCE!

no, really... if i had my wedding dress in my possession, i would have done this.

but since i don't have my wedding dress in my actual possession, tyler and i may or may not have done this today. don't judge us. you haven't seen our mad skills... yet. that's what the reception is for. ;-)

NINETY-NINE SETS OF TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AND THEN WE'LL BE MARRIED! YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

getting ready... with style...

so, i am the queen of livingsocial and groupon. and when i see deals on anything that could possibly be wedding related, i pounce. i saw a deal for cafepress, and my mind started racing with all the cool, personalized things i could get my bridesmaids. but then i started looking at prices and thought, "man! this ain't no vistaprint!"(where things are inherently cheaper). my $50 groupon just wasn't going to get me what i wanted for my girls... so i got selfish and started looking for myself.

behold, my getting ready ensemble. (to be paired with black yoga pants, because i'm gonna be in a corset and maybe spanx for the remainder of the day so i should probably start out with comfort in mind)...


aaaaaaaaaand...

i know they have things like this at victoria's secret, but i feel confident in my sexiness without having to label it on myself. aaaaaaaaand i can use the jacket to wear on the airplane (which will most likely be chilly) on our way to the bahamas (which will most definitely be warm and exotic and everything perfect)!

so, now that i have my outfit on its way, what are we waiting for?! 100 days seems like an ETERNITY right now.

fin.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

the end of the nightmares.

my dress fits. all is well in my world (as of right now). still not 100% confident about how i look in it. i still have some toning to do and some weight to lose, but even if that doesn't pan out quite how i'd like it to, the nightmares can stop, because IT FITS.

relief is finally setting in a little at a time.

105 days to go. :-D

fin.

Friday, June 17, 2011

i'm giving in, and they're going out.

i've battled whether or not to send out save the dates for quite some time now. well, i had my mind made up that it was a waste of money and completely unnecessary... but then i designed some and fell in love, so it just had to be done. now that they have FINALLY gone out (there's no turning back now!), so i will share it with you - my loyal blog readers!

i've also been saving this blog post until i finally got word that people were getting their save the dates, because i didn't want the surprise to be gone when they got them in their mailbox! so i've been on pins and needles waiting to get this blog post up, because i am legitimately beyond excited.

about the blasted little things...

i wanted a design that included pictures and nodded to some of the surprises in store for our wedding without giving away anything substantial, and i think i did just that. it was difficult, though, because we haven't done our engagement pictures yet, so we had to choose an amateur picture of us that was a good shot of both of us. and by "we had to choose", i mean i had to choose and tyler approved. even though we used a self-made pic of us, i don't think it took away from the design.

the only downside is, with official wedding almost invites going out, i had to trim back the guest list, which is more impossible than words can possibly convey. it hurt my feelings probably more than some of the people's feelings that i cut, and i hope there are no hard feelings, but there's only so much budget to go around! so if you didn't get one, please don't hound me about it. i might actually cry. and it might actually be lost in the mail. for real.

anyways.

keeping budget in mind, i was really happy to find save the dates for next to nothing. i designed these on vistaprint and only had to pay a tiny additional fee to get some extras plus shipping! and since they are postcards, the postage charges to actually send them out were minimal. and we made hand delivery to as many nearby friends and family as we could. also, since i just graduated and had several thank you notes to mail out, i tucked some save the dates into many of the thank you cards i sent. it may be borderline tacky, but THAT, my friends, is how you work on a budget.

so...

now presenting...

OUR save the date!

and i LOVE them!

fin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

centerpiece fail

so, i tried my hand at making a centerpiece.

and i failed.

it's awful when you have these grand plans in mind, but they never quite come to fruition how you hope. (sigh) at least i have a few other designs that i can work on to keep me busy and not make me feel like a complete failure.

in good news, however, save the dates have gone out, guest book and pen have been bought, invitations are being ordered today, linens are in the works, reception menu has been somewhat decided, and limo service has been booked! i've been a busy girl this week!

whoever thought i could take a bar review course and plan a wedding simultaneously? apparently, i can. and i'm rocking it. (at least in my mind i am...)

fin.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

holy inflated guestlist, batman!

wedding woe. my guest list is HUGE. i am just looking for some reassurance from past brides. how many did you invite and how many actually showed up? i mean... i LOVE my friends and family but i'm probably going to be excited about getting some "sorry, we can't make it"s, because our venue for the reception simply won't hold the amount on our guest list. i mean, we have our people that we know won't make it, but we send them an invite anyways as a courtesy. but even with those people not counted, i'm starting to get a little worried.

fin.

Monday, April 25, 2011

break stuff

so... tyler and i were talking about different aspects of our ceremony, and i realized... i want a jewish wedding. the only problem is that is that we are definitely not jewish. (nothing against jewish people. Jesus was a jew, after all.) they get to have a chuppah, yell "mazel tov", break glasses, the hora dance, and do the "lift the bride and groom up in chairs" dance. i mean, what's not to love?

so, tyler and i continued to talk about it, and we gave up on the chuppah and the chair dance, but we realized... we still really wanted to break stuff and yell! and as much as we want those things, we aren't ready to give up Jesus to make them happen. so maybe we'll just start a new tradition by breaking some stuff and yelling "hallelujah" at our reception instead. with us, ANYTHING can happen. stay tuned.

fin.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

saving up for a moon made of honey

i've been waiting a LONG TIME for this post so i could talk about our plans for our HONEYMOON!!!

when the wedding planning first started, i told tyler to make all the honeymoon plans and to not tell me a thing until the morning we left for the honeymoon. the only problems with this plan were: 1) tyler loves me so much and he was terrified that i wouldn't like what he chose and he wanted my approval, 2) i can't stand waiting on a surprise - especially over a year, and 3) i'm obsessed... but we already knew that.

so, the things we knew we wanted were all inclusive, a short flight to get there, somewhere out of the country (so we can get our first passport stamps at the same time!), somewhere tropical, and somewhere neither of us have been before. so... tyler had mentioned that he wanted to go to st. lucia, and i said i wanted to go to turks and caicos. so imagine my surprise when he broke down and told me what he had been planning - a trip to ANTIGUA! woohoo! that sounds awesome! EXCEPT... we started looking at the flights... they weren't exactly convenient for us and if we had gone there, we would have spent the first and last days of our honeymoon in a plane. no bueno. sooooo we went back to the drawing boards.

i spent HOURS (and no, i am not exaggerating when i say hours) pouring over travel sites looking at all sorts of tropical destinations. i finally decided that i had done enough research, and we contacted stephen trail at travel by trail to do some research for us! we told him we were interested in antigua, st. lucia, jamaica (even though tyler really didn't want to do jamaica), and possibly costa rica. well, me being the way i am (i.e. obsessive), i couldn't give up my own honeymoon search, so i kept looking. after all, i needed something to do during study breaks besides blogging. so i stumbled across a little gem in the caribbean. i wasn't sure at first, because i was worried it may be too common or too touristy but the more research i did, the more it kept dawning on me that i had found the perfect honeymoon location. i showed it to tyler, and it was instant for him as well. so, we made our reservation and are ready to go to...

NASSAU, BAHAMAS!

we're going to be staying at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau! we are so excited to begin our married life in such a beautiful location with everything included! it has everything we wanted, and i think i've looked at all the 2000+ pictures on tripadvisor as well as read 100s of reviews. i was kind of weary of doing a sandals vacation, because they tend to get bad ratings pretty often, but this resort is rated #1 in nassau on tripadvisor and i think it's darned near perfect. i hope i feel that way when we leave there in october, and i have a pretty good feeling i will!

i can't wait to enjoy a couples massage at the spa and a private dinner on the beach! and i've heard the photographers at sandals take amazing photos, so i will be sure to share them as soon as we get back. and i will, of course, document the food... which was a big deal to me when it came to choosing a honeymoon location. i've lost a good amount of weight so far preparing for the wedding, but i will always be a fat girl on the inside. but for now, i will daydream of the following images...

chocolate buffet? YES PLEASE!
 i'm slightly obsessed with this chocolate buffet!

i'm going to be RIGHT THERE!

is this real life???

the view from one of the "not high end" restaurants... yeah...

 big loungers with unlit fire pits suitable for day time cuddling.

fire pits ablaze scattered throughout the resort for night time cuddling :)

and, just as a side note, the only "professional" picture from the ones above is the very last one. the rest were taken from people staying at the resort. which means that there was no editing there and that is REALLY how blue the water is and how white the sand is and how lush the gardens are and how amazing it is going to be to share an outdoor sofa lounger and a tiki hut for a day with my HUSBAND!

if i were to say "I'M SO EXCITED" over and over again from right now until the day we leave, it STILL wouldn't show how excited i actually am! and after this year, the vacation will be much needed.

ok... i'm done "bragging" now. but i hope it doesn't come off as bragging. i'm just REALLY that excited!!! and i'm so glad to finally share it with my loyal blog readers!

164 days till we board a plane to paradise!!!

fin.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

we. bleed. orange.

just wanted to let my family and friends know, in case you were curious... i, like many of you, am a die hard TENNESSEE VOLS fan! tyler is also a vols fan. i mean... come on... i wouldn't marry someone who also wasn't a vols fan. (i don't think my mom would ever approve.) so when we started making plans, we made sure to schedule our wedding on an off weekend. why? because we're true fans. that's why. BUT dooley is riding the boys hard this year and has scheduled them to play buffalo university the day of our wedding. who is buffalo university? some little college in new york. but, honestly, who cares? we're gonna spank them. but, just so you're aware, if the time of the game is during the reception, the dj will keep us posted on the score. i haven't informed the dj of this, but it's my day and he said that since it's my day, what i say goes. so, there you have it. and if you aren't a vols fan, first of all, may God bless your soul, and second, you have full permission to skip the reception, because at some point, we WILL play "rocky top". it may be a touch redneck or perhaps cliche, but that's just how we roll. and if you don't like it - tough.

just thought i would give you all fair warning/reassurance a few months in advance.

also (shameless registry plug) - we graciously accept any vols themed gifts. in fact, we're registered for lots of vols stuff at both belk and bed bath and beyond, so feel free if so inclined. not that we're begging for gifts or anything, but we wouldn't mind getting a few... and we've registered for several of them... just saying...

fin.

Monday, April 18, 2011

what's in a name?

so, i just found out that my wedding dress designer makes a style named "tyler". and the style is quite pretty. i thought i missed the boat entirely while i was eyeing the gorgeous creation, and then i looked at a picture of me in my dress... and i fell in love with it all over again. (after all... one tyler is probably enough.)

i can't wait to wear my dress!!! and i've lost 11 pounds, so i can try it on! but i won't do any actual fittings until at least 15 more pounds are gone. i have visited fancy a few times now, but i have yet to put her on. i'm terrified of that moment when i get in the dress, and it doesn't zip. my brain knows that won't happen, but my heart couldn't possibly take it if my brain is wrong. so, i'm waiting it out a bit longer.

anyways... i still wish that the style name of my dress was "tyler"... that would be wicked cool.

fin.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

tell me, what's your flavor?

alright. let's make this interactive. i'm flipping out about cake flavors. yes, cake flavors. don't judge me.

anyways. i'm going to list some options... some i'm actually considering and some i'm not. (i can't give it away!!) tell me which one sounds best, which sounds worst, and any other opinions you wanna throw at me. all icing will be buttercream.

red velvet.
chocolate fudge.
vanilla sponge.
vanilla and chocolate marble sponge.
lemon.
lemon with raspberry gel filling.
lemon poppy seed.
strawberry.
orange.
key lime.
caramel.
caramel pecan.
fruitcake.
almond with lemon cream filling.
almond with strawberry cream filling.
almond with strawberry gel filling.
almond with raspberry cream filling.
almond with raspberry gel filling.
spice.

i'm open to suggestions if you have another one to add, BUT if any of you mentions carrot cake, i might actually never speak to you again. because that is GA-ROSS!

fin.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

a stumper.

as anyone who reads this blog, my facebook, or talks to me on a regular basis knows... i love my fiance. in the midst of about a million DIY projects i have going on for the big day, i asked tyler to do one for me. i figured he wouldn't even get around it until september, or maybe august if i was lucky. well, he started on it today! a full 5 1/2 months before the wedding! he understands my paranoia and is hard at work to keep me somewhat sane.

i have yet to share any real wedding details on this blog, because i'm trying to keep things as secretive as possible. but i am so proud of him that i am showing the beginnings of his project. also, i think that it might "stump" some people. :)

and from this.... magic will be made :)

171 days!

fin.

Friday, March 25, 2011

settling down.

so... i've gotten to the point where the major things that i needed to take care of for the wedding are taken care of - with a little over 6 months to go! even most of the "details" are taken care of. things are finally "settling down" before i "settle down". this sounds like a GREAT thing! but the problem with having a long engagement and deciding things very early on is that you have time to re-think things. i've talked about that before, but now that i'm playing the waiting game, it gets really bad sometimes! i've learned to trust myself more and to stress less. for those who know me well, you realize what a big step that is for me. if stressing was an olympic sport, i'd bring home the gold - every time. but i've had to put things in perspective... i'm marrying the man of my dreams, and we're starting a family together. the day will be gorgeous, the ceremony will be meaningful, the reception will be a blast, but most of all, we will leave as husband and wife and we will have officially "settled down". and i can't wait!

190 days! yes, we're in the 100s! time is flying! and the quicker it can fly, the better!

fin.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

smile! click! flash!

i'm going to take a moment to brag on my photographer, Mrs. Lori Line!

lori and i were sorority sisters. she was always fun! lori is, what i would like to describe, a bright spot of sunshine in a dark world. she is always quick to be silly and make you laugh, especially when you need it most. but, additionally, lori is brilliant, receiving honors status and several awards and honors during her time at utc. her wedding, in october 2008, was one of the most fabulous events i've ever attended! little did i know then that lori would be starting her own photography business. as soon as lori came on the scene, i was obsessed!!! i have followed her blog from the start of her career. i often joke that, aside from her mother and husband, i am her number one fan. before tyler and i were even engaged, i knew two things: 1) we would get married in patten chapel, and 2) lori would be our photographer.

we are planning our engagement session, bridal session, and wedding day with lori, and i couldn't be happier with our photographer choice! she's an amazing talent, and i cannot wait to see the images and memories she captures of our wedding day. i am 100% confident that she won't disappoint!

our engagement session has been scheduled, and i am so excited!!! i will leak all the details when our shoot is over, and as soon as our engagement pics are done, there most definitely will be a post to display them! until then... please check out her blog. it's total eye candy!

fin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

the wedding tango

dancing is going to be a HUGE part of our reception. problem... tyler really doesn't dance. we went to a concert and i saw him sway back and forth a couple times, but that was about it. i, however, am shameless. therefore, i will dance whenever and wherever and not care how stupid i look! tyler assures me that he will dance at our reception... and not just to slow music... but i have my doubts.

things i have done to remedy my man's reluctance:
1) ensured we will have a bar. the bar is a cash bar for our guests, but, for us, it will be open. trust that!
2) we hired an AWESOME DJ that will keep the party going all night.
3) we will be taking dance lessons. more than anything, to build up some confidence, spending some quality time together, and get some new dance moves down. also, we got some free lessons at a bridal show i went to. booyah!

but will that be enough?

ladies, how do you encourage your man to dance? any innovative ideas?

fin.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

showdown at the blue orchid bistro

so, as a treat for my birthday AND for valentine's day, my fiance and i went to this darling little restaurant in dunlap, tennessee called the "blue orchid bistro" for a special dinner date together. the outside of the building was just as charming as the delicious food they served!



dunlap is a little bit of a drive out of chattanooga, so it was nice to get away from "the world" and all of our normal, everyday drama, including wedding planning, to just enjoy a nice, quiet evening together.

we sat down to begin our dinner, and we were enjoying the ambiance of the quaint little restaurant as we began talking to our waitress. the wait staff was incredibly friendly, and they were a joy to talk to! so, when they asked if we were celebrating valentine's day, i opened up that we were, as well as my birthday, and we were also enjoying our last valentine's day before we get married this october. our waitress says, "what day?" and i said, "october 1"... then... she said it... "oh my gosh! i'm getting married on october 1 too!"

it was almost an "exorcist" moment. tyler's face was a mix of acute alertness and sheer terror at what i would do next.

our waitress's name was christy, so i knew she wasn't LD, but still... here was another 10.1.11 bride in my midst! and she was serving me my food! i remained calm, and then she said, "i'm getting married in destin on the beach!"

EXHALE!

tyler's face quickly changed to relief, and my guard went down. we were able to enjoy our dinner date, and i didn't have to break out brass knuckles on our waitress. all in all, date night was a success.

i wonder sometimes if tyler will ever view me as too much to handle... but i think he enjoys the challenge... and i think that, if it came down to it, he would back me up if it came down to a match between me and the other 10.1.11 bride. and that's precisely why i love him. that and he is a FANTASTIC date, no matter where we go or what we do. in fact, one of my favorite parts of the evening was when we skipped dinner at the restaurant and, instead, opted for dessert at sonic drive-in. he makes everything special... from a special dinner out to dessert at a drive-in. and i cannot wait to enjoy everyday of my life with him.

fin.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

GOTCHA!

i previously explained my issues with the "other" 10.1.11 bride...

well... she and i are going to have SERIOUS problems now...

i went to the bridal show last weekend. it definitely wasn't the best bridal show i have ever been to, but there are three more coming up, so i'm sure i will get my fill before it is all said and done. that being said, however, i went to the last bridal show with very few goals in mind. most of my planning is done, but i have a few loose ends to tie up. one of which is my day-of transportation. i've been trying to figure out how we will get from the ceremony to the reception and then to where we are staying for our first night married. (bow chicka wow wow... yeah, i went there.) anyways. i'm not too keen on doing a stretch limo, especially a stretch hummer, which is all i've found so far, so imagine my delight when i found a double decker bus at the bridal show! so different, so new, so fun! and it would easily fit our entire bridal party and immediate family.

but then... those dreaded words came out of the vendor's mouth...

"october 1? oh, i'm sorry... we were JUST booked for october 1!"

little did they know... i am quite astute. i happened to notice a stack of papers on the table. the papers just happened to be the contract booking the double decker bus of dreams. and what did i see on top of that stack of contracts? that's right... i have the other 10.1.11 bride's NAME! HA!

now, i'm not completely horrid. i won't publish her name. but i WILL publish her initials. LD, you're going down. i could have easily had your phone number, but i don't do well with numbers. lucky you.

i've given this double decker bus thing some more thought. getting a double decker bus up lookout mountain would not be a pleasant experience. none of my bridal party should fear for their life on my wedding day. therefore, we will pursue other options. BUT, the point is, LD... i've got your name. don't cross me. i'm looking for you.

fin.

Monday, January 31, 2011

freedom of choice

i adore each and every one of my bridesmaids. i started out with a list of 16 people that i would like to include in my bridal party. that list got narrowed down to 7. why 7? i made tyler choose his groomsmen. and then i tailored my list to be the same amount. i couldn't bear to cut anyone out, so, theoretically, i made tyler do it for me! but, i must say, i am so happy with my 7. my bridesmaids are some of my favorite people in the entire world, and each of them have had such a huge impact on my life. they all have also been extremely supportive of mine and tyler's relationship. i could go on and list what i love most about each of them, but that's what a wedding website is for. :)

anyways... one thing that bugs me about weddings is when people have an army of bridesmaids. now... every bride has their right to do things however they wish. but i think my bridesmaids are all so beautiful. i don't need to tell them how to fix their hair or do their makeup. they're all skilled at that as it is! the only thing i picked so far was their dresses. i toyed with the idea of letting them choose their own dresses, but i'm working with a tricky color scheme, so instead of having to give "final approval" to the girls' choices, i just made one blanket decision, but i made sure to ask their opinions. i even had them vote! haha! i also picked out some makeup, because i have a dear friend who offered to do my makeup and my girls' makeup, but i'm giving my bridesmaids the option of doing their own or having someone else do their makeup. i want them to still have individuality. guidelines are fine (ex: wear black shoes), but i refuse to dictate everything they wear down to their underwear. mine will choose their own jewelry, shoes, hair, etc. i've been in weddings before where i was dressed from head to toe, including hair and makeup, without my opinion being known or my voice being heard. it was completely unnatural and frustrating. i didn't feel comfortable, and it made for a difficult day. i don't want any of my bridesmaids to remember my wedding as a frustrating event. i want them to be happy and enjoy themselves! after all, i chose them, because i adore them - just the way they are.

fin.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

tacky weddings

one of the hardest things i've had to do, that i never considered before, is trusting myself and my decisions. i've tried to describe my vision to some people and have gotten nothing but blank stares in return. i finally found some pictures that help relay my vision, and people finally get it. but i've had to stand strong with what i want. after all, a wedding is a reflection of the couple's, but mainly the bride's, individual style. never before have i had an opportunity to plan such an event or to display my individual style to all my family and friends, so it's easy to second guess myself. i want to leave an impression - but a good one. i want everyone to leave thinking that they just went to a beautiful wedding and reception that was fun and highly personalized by the bride. the word "tacky" should not even be part of the equation.

so, in my endless quest of planning an elegant affair, i have perused nearly every wedding blog on the web. however, when i found a site dedicated to tacky weddings, it was a refreshing change. after seeing these wacky weddings, i know that mine will be beautiful. it's like watching a car wreck... you just can't look away. hope you enjoy it as much as i have!

fin.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

playing with numbers.

as i've said again and again, i'm in LOVE with our venues. however, one mistake that i've made during wedding planning is that you shouldn't do ANYTHING until you have your guest list firmly in place.

we reserved patten chapel super early, because we knew that was exactly what we wanted and it was big enough to fit any size guest list. however, seating for a reception is a bit trickier. while our reception venue, the fairyland club, CAN hold the amount of people on our guest list, it may be standing room only if our guest list stays the size it is. it's so hard to make cuts when you want to share your day with so many people, but it is a necessary evil.

so, if i could give any advice to someone getting ready to plan, it would be to figure out your guest list first before you do anything else! while the idea of having a simple affair with family and close friends only is lovely, the size of families and defining who is a "close" friend can be more difficult than expected. additionally, the quickest way to cut your wedding costs down is to cut down your guest list. fewer guests means fewer food, fewer linens, fewer decorations, fewer favors, etc. however, the economic reality vs. the emotional toll can be rough. i've had a hard time thinking of hurting people's feelings by not getting an invite. but it would be harder on me to take out a loan to pay for 50 extra guests! this is where the budget crunch gets hard, but i, personally, would rather have my dream wedding with fewer guests than a bare bones event with more guests... because i really don't want my husband's third grade bff's "plus one" for the evening showing up in all my wedding pictures... can you imagine looking through your wedding album and seeing some floozy with big hair, too much makeup, and a too short dress in half your pictures? and then, to think, you paid for her dinner... get real!

luckily, tyler and i are good at compromising and we have already worked through a lot of guest list difficulties. we're still going to have a large wedding, mainly because we both have big families, but it's still going to be elegant, intimate, and fun... with no strangers. because, after all, STRANGE is the root word of stranger.

fin.

Monday, January 10, 2011

stuff

i started out wedding planning with the mindset that i wouldn't fall in love with "stuff". there were certain things that i wouldn't spend a lot of money or effort on, because i didn't think they meant that much to me.

but then, i fell in love... with "stuff"...

first was my venues. i'm totally in love with both of them - patten chapel for the wedding and fairyland club for the reception. amazing, amazing, amazing. the architectural design of both and how they compliment each other is just perfect. not to mention the view at fairyland club. i can't wait to fill both of our venues with our loved ones to celebrate with us! they are both so warm and inviting and gorgeous! i could go on and on about them, so i'll just stop there...

second was my dress. i didn't want to blow my budget on a dress, because i was only going to wear it one day. but then, i fell in love. i named my dress - FANCY. (don't judge me.) if i love it, i name it. i name my favorite handbags, i name my cars, and i named my dog. i would have named tyler, but he has a good name already so it's not necessary, but he has plenty of nicknames :) ANYWAYS (i'm side tracking bad today...) i actually didn't blow my budget on a dress. thanks to a trunk show, we got a great deal on my dress AND my veil. and when i say "we" got a great deal, i mean me and my mommy. (THANKS, MOM!) also, stephanie at monica's was wonderful! she is actually the one responsible for picking out my dress. but, back to the point, that was strike two on my plan of not falling in love with things...

third was our invitations. tess of lovebirds stationary has been absolutely wonderful! she has matched the color of our invitations exactly to the color of my bridesmaids' dresses! her prices can't be beat, and her designs are wonderful. i originally said that invitations were only paper that would be thrown away, but then... i fell in love again! (strike three!) luckily, i didn't have to blow my budget on my invitations either, because tess gave me great options to include all the information that i needed at an unbeatable price. (trust me... i shopped around.)

i've fallen in love with many other things as well. flowers by ruth's florist and gifts. design and planning with mcford event planning. rings by wright jewelers. i could go on and on... working with such amazing vendors has made my job as a bride so much easier!

where i have really gotten in trouble, however, is with our wedding registries. (strike four!) it's not my fault! bed bath and beyond, belk, and williams-sonoma just have tons of good stuff! and every time i find a new gadget, i get all kinds of giddy.


so. i've said ALL that to say this... the stuff is nice. it makes me go "ooh" and "aah", but when it comes down to it... it's all about us starting a life together and being happy in plenty and in want. that's a lesson that, for me, has been reinforced this week. and while there are some things we need and while it's ok to dream... it really helps to take a step back and realize that as long as we have each other, it will all be ok... in fact, it will be GREAT! i can't wait to be mrs. evatt! 264 days!

fin.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

new year. new beginnings.

2011 has officially begun, and the start of a new year has me thinking of all the things that this year will bring! they say that whatever you are doing at midnight on new year's is what you will be doing the rest of the year. in my case, that means that i will be cuddled up with tyler on the couch wearing pajamas and enjoying a sweet kiss. if that's what my year will be full of, SIGN ME UP!

this year has so much to offer - graduating. finally moving back to my home city. new home. new job. marriage. tropical honeymoon. settling into married life with my new husband. our first holidays together. and then another new year's! there are a lot of firsts this year and a lot of exciting things happening; there are also so many unknowns. sometimes, it makes me feel uneasy, but it mainly makes me feel excited. tyler and i were having a conversation about all the unknowns the other day, and he told me "you never have to do anything alone ever again." it's so good knowing that no matter what comes my way, i'll never face anything on my own. 2011 truly feels like a new beginning... as if my life has finally picked up wings and has found its official start. i know this year is going to fly by, but it is my new year's resolution to soak up every moment so that i can take in all the specialness of every second.

i hope i am not too presumptive, but i think that 2011 is going to be the best year ever!

fin.