California Dreamin’

Sooooo… can we go on a honeymoon every month? It’s been almost six months and sometimes we have major honeymoon withdrawals. Kyle and I went to Southern California on our honeymoon and ventured to three different locations-Disneyland, Laguna Beach, and Rancho Santa Fe. We had the BEST time. We had so much fun adventuring, trying new things, laughing, just spending time together, and not having to worry about a thing.

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For our first leg of the trip, we went to Disneyland! For those who know me, you know that I am pretty much obsessed with Walt Disney World. When Kyle and I decided we were going to California for our honeymoon, I had to make sure we could visit Disneyland since we had never been before. I had to see the place where it all began!

We stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is a more Craftsman style version of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World (one of my favorite Disney resorts). The staff was friendly and efficient, as Disney is known for. When I asked for celebration pins at check-in, the hotel clerk exclaimed, “I was just about to get those!” She went in the back and came back with so many pins for us and a signed Mickey and Minnie picture. I was pretty excited. When it’s your first trip to Disneyland and your honeymoon, you have to get pins and wear them everywhere. We had so many cast members tell us congratulations which made our time at Disneyland even more special. 

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Disney’s Grand Californian lobby

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When we got into our room, it was decorated with flower petals, Cinderella carriage confetti, and filled with gifts like spa products, chocolates, and Mr. and Mrs. robes. My parents called every place we stayed at and had them put something in our room. My parents are the sweetest.

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The biggest difference between Walt Disney World and Disneyland is the size. I was so astounded that you could actually walk to the parks. WHAT?!

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We watched World of Color twice because we couldn’t see much the first time. It was everything I hoped it would be.

The next day we explored Disneyland, which is so tiny compared to Magic Kingdom starting with the train station and the castle! Also, some of the rides were outside. Once again I was so astonished.

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I matched Minnie that day. She admired my ring, pointed at Mickey’s house, and I told her I would talk to Mickey for her. We became besties after that.

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Mickey pretzels for life. I’m allergic to wheat, but MICKEY PRETZELS.

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Also, Disneyland is cool because they have Mickey beignets. I spilled powdered sugar all over me about 40 seconds later.

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PRAAAAAAAISE that Disneyland has Dole Whips too. We love our Dole floats. (insert praise hands emoji)

Ever since I heard about Club 33, I added it to my mental bucket list. A “secret” Disney club?! Um, of course I needed to go. One of my family friends works for a company who has a membership and so graciously gave us access to tickets. The price of the meal includes a five-course dinner (or six-course if you want the cheese plate) and free park hoppers for the day. The restaurant was gorgeous, the food was outstanding, and the wait staff was exceptional. Dining at Club 33 was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. It was such a perfect getaway from the heat and crowds at the parks.

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The entrance to Club 33. You have to press a button and state your name. If you’re on the list, they open the door. Also, not many people know it’s there. It blends right in with New Orleans Square.

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This was my sneaky picture before I knew we were allowed to take pictures. If I had known, I would have taken pictures of our first two courses. We had an insanely amazing frisée salad with the juiciest strawberries, candied pistachios, creamy California avocados, and a buttermilk dressing. Ugh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. It was the best salad I had ever eaten.

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Our third courses. I still crave those cheesy grits and spicy shrimp nage.

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My all-time favorite dessert is molten chocolate cake, and they had it on the menu. It was meant to be.

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If you get the chance to dine at Club 33, make sure to go out on the balconies. It’s so fun to people watch and take in some fresh air. No one notices you are up there!

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One of our nice waiters took this for us. Also, there is a dress code. Also, felt weird walking through Disneyland all dressed up. But, it was so fun!

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This restroom (or powder room?) was the prettiest and most detailed restroom (powder room) I have ever seen.

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After dinner, we rushed back to our hotel (because it was only a 5-minute walk. Weird) to change and waited for the fireworks. Disneyland Forever captured my heart. It was incredible.

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Being in Disneyland for the first time during the Diamond Celebration was pretty incredible. I loved how Sleeping Beauty’s castle sparkled.

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We sprinted to Splash Mountain and caught the last log of the night. Kyle’s face makes me laugh every time.

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We rode the swinging gondolas on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. It was equally fun and terrifying.
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Disneyland, you were magical.

After the fun and busyness of Disneyland, we knew we would want something more relaxing. During the second leg of our trip, we stayed at Montage Laguna Beach. The Craftsman-style resort is tucked away from the Pacific Coast Highway and is set on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was Kyle’s first time to the Pacific Ocean and my second time. I heart the Pacific Ocean.

Montage Laguna Beach was incredible. We had a stunning ocean view from our bright, coastal room.

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The resort gave us chocolate covered strawberries. Those are my weakness.

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Hello, view. This is the view from the lobby. Stunning.

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The resort sits on a bluff with this gorgeous ocean view. We sat on a bench and watched the waves and surfers.

We ate at one of the resort’s restaurants, Studio, one night. The food was wonderful. For my appetizer, I chose the parmesan risotto, and it was everything a risotto should be, creamy and rich. We also made friends with one of our waiters who was probably around our age. I think he was pretty excited to see someone his age there. I ordered a dessert called a guanaja chocolate sphere. It was sea salt caramel ice cream covered in hard chocolate, and the waiter poured more chocolate over it and it all melted away and revealed the ice cream. I wish I would have filmed it because it was so neat.

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They treated us to dessert on top of what we already ordered. Double dessert? Ok!

If you walk down to the ocean, there are little tide pools you can somewhat climb around. We saw purple sea urchins inside the pools and a seal sunbathing on the rocks.

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We had breakfast on our balcony one morning because we thought eating breakfast with that view would be wonderful until birds wanted our food. We moved inside.

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Take. Me. Back.

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The Mosaic Bar & Grille on property is known for their fish tacos, so we had to give ’em a try. They were great. Also I love you California guacamole.
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Of course, we had to watch the sunset one night.

 

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We explored Downtown Laguna Beach a bit to try some restaurants and shop. We were not too impressed with the shopping, it was mostly art galleries, but we were impressed with this walk-up seafood restaurant, Slapfish.

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I had the fish and chips. They’re not quite up to par with my favorite fish and chips from Epcot, but they were quite good. The batter was nice and light, and the chips were perfectly cooked.

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Kyle ordered the lobster roll with chowder fries. I had a few bites and it. was. delicious. I’ll take some of that sweet, buttery lobster right now, please and thank you.

We wanted to go whale watching while we were in Laguna, so we took a cab to Dana Point and crossed our fingers to spot some whales.

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We spotted a humpback whale. See its tail?

And a blue whale spouted for us. They’re the biggest creature on the earth. Wow. Neither whale breached for us, but it was amazing to see part of them so close!

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This little guy came to say hi at the end of our whale watching trip. Or maybe he just wanted fish. Sorry, buddy.

The last few days of our honeymoon were spent at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe. We loved this Mediterranean resort located about 30 minutes outside San Diego. Our room was huge and gorgeous. We had our own outdoor jacuzzi, an automatic toilet, fireplace, and a steam shower. I did not want to leave. Every morning, we had fresh squeezed orange juice waiting for us outside our door. It forever ruined orange juice for me; I can’t drink it without wishing I was drinking orange juice from the Rancho. It was the orangiest (yep, making that an adjective), sweetest, smoothest orange juice I have ever had. I need it again.

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Our room!

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It was gorgeous.

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More strawberries!

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Can I have one of these, please?

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The best orange juice I’ve ever had.

We ate at one of the resort’s restaurants, Veladora. While I didn’t take any pictures of the food, it was incredible. We had this fruit board for dessert that included a variety of fresh berries, atop a tart lemon curd, with raspberry sorbet. I regret not getting a picture of it because it was beautiful. IMG_5961

Rancho Valencia had Porsches for guests to drive for four hours per day, so Kyle and I took advantage of that and tested all three models they had. The first day we took the 911, a convertible sports car, to Point Loma. I had been there when my family vacationed in San Diego when I was younger, and I wanted to go back and show Kyle.

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While in California, we had to see what the In-N-Out Burger hype was all about. I still think it’s hype (Five Guys is way better). However, for how cheap it was, I can see why it’s popular. I’d eat it again, but I don’t crave it.

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For our last hour of having the 911, we drove through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. It was gorgeous, and I wish we would have had more time to go hiking.

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The next day, we took the Porsche Cayenne out for a spin, which was our favorite out of the three Porsches.

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We went to Downtown San Diego to shop in Seaport Village and find a place to eat.

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We were craving Italian, so we got on Trip Advisor, which led us to Little Italy. Who knew San Diego had a little Italy?

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We decided upon Bencotto and chose to eat outside so we wouldn’t have to wait. They offered gluten free pasta and handmade pasta. I got gluten free pasta with their tasty red sauce, which was fantastic, but I was jealous of Kyle’s handmade wheat-containing pasta with tons-of-dairy cream sauce.

Our last full day of our honeymoon (tears), we borrowed the hotel bikes and rode outside of the resort property. We rode past Jenny Craig’s house, and up a steep hill past ginormous houses, and lush, green lawns (California is in a drought, but these houses still used all the water they wanted.)

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Later that afternoon, we drove the Porsche Panamera (our least favorite of the three Porsches, but it’s a Porsche so you really can’t complain.) We ventured to La Jolla Cove because I really wanted to see sea lions and they. were. everywhere. We could’ve watched them swim and bark for hours.

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We then drove to Coronado and walked around, got some ice cream for Kyle and sorbet for me, and checked out Hotel del Coronado. I had been to Coronado and Hotel del with my family, so it was cool to see it again.

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I made Kyle pose with this cow outside of the ice cream shop.

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This flower stand was so cute!

 

Sadly, we had to leave California and the bliss of our honeymoon. But, we got to come home and start figuring out our daily lives together. While I miss our honeymoon, I love living my everyday life with my husband. It’s so fun being married to my best friend. I can’t wait for the many more travel adventures we will have together!

 

Three Things We’ve Learned in Three Months of Marriage

Today we have been married for three whole months. I know everyone says time flies when you are married. But seriously, three months has gone so fast.

I know we have a lifetime of lessons to learn from one another and with each other, but I’ve already learned a few things during these three months. I also asked my husband to share three things he has learned to make things more interesting.

Three Things I Have Learned in Three Months of Marriage:

1. Saying you are sorry is worth it.

Arguments will happen. Sometimes I drive my husband crazy; sometimes he annoys me. We are not perfect, and we both fail each other daily. It’s crucial to humble yourself, admit when you are wrong, sincerely apologize, and work to be better. Even though it sucks to admit when I am wrong, it is always worth it.

2. Full-size beds are small.

We were spoiled with king beds during our honeymoon. We got back, I took one look at our full size bed and said “Nope.” A new bed will be our first major purchase. I’m a light sleeper, so I wake up multiple times during the night because of our tiny bed. But, I would take lack of sleep over not being able to share a bed with my husband every time.

3. It’s incredibly fun living with my best friend.

I love living with my husband and seeing him every day. The mundane things in life like grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and shopping for toothpaste is much more enjoyable with him. We get to laugh, sing loudly, cook, watch The Office, dream of the future, and go on dates whenever. It’s the best.

Andddddd for Kyle’s list. I told him he needed to explain his three lessons, and I quote, “I think mine are pretty self-explanatory.” So these are his exact words. Sometimes he’s a man of few words, but I know he means every one of them.

Three Things Kyle Has Learned in Three Months of Marriage:

  1. The Best Part of My Day is Coming Home and Seeing You

Self-explanatory.

2. Goofiness is Infectious

Write something about tickle fights, weird accents, singing, listening to Disney music in the mornings. Something like that.

3. Have a Good Attitude When Doing Something the Other Person Enjoys (Even if You Don’t Enjoy It)

Yep.

Awwwwwww. 

I am so happy that I get to have many more months learning silly and hard lessons with that man.

Here’s to three months!

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Organizing Tips for a Newlywed

Organizing Tips for a

Guys. I love organizing. Just about as much as I love new school/office supplies (see previous post). Today I asked my husband, “Guess what I’m going to blog about today?” He replied, “Disney.” Good guess. My love for organizing pales in comparison to my love for Disney.

Organizing is another one of my weird quirks. I get a lot of quizzical stares when I mention that I like organizing things. However, I’m nowhere near OCD. I let things go unorganized for a while, and then it drives me nuts. So, my organization is like a spring cleaning once a month. I think my love for school/office supplies is mutual with my love for organizing. I love cute little totes, folders, jars, and baskets.

When we got married and moved into our large, but small apartment, we made many trips to the store picking up things we forgot we needed. Moving into a college dorm is much different than moving into an apartment. You need a lot and all of that needs somewhere to go. (I still wish we had just one more closet, or two.) It didn’t cross my mind that we would need places to store our wedding gifts, new legal documents, and things we would accumulate on our many shopping runs. So for the brides-to-be; newlyweds; or even those looking how to organize your apartment, dorm room, or home, I’m going to show you some of my ways of organizing our first apartment.

I registered for these adorable little baskets at Target. They came in sets of three, and we received two of them. They're not only functional, but actually look presentable in our home. I use one of them to store cozy blankets in our coffee table. Side note: We do have a Disney trivia book on our coffee table. See? I LOVE Disney.

I registered for these adorable little baskets at Target. They came in sets of three, and we received two sets. They’re not only functional but look presentable in our home. I use one of them to store cozy blankets in our coffee table.
Side note: That is a Disney trivia book on our coffee table. See? I LOVE Disney.

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The other five baskets are stored in our tv stand. It’s much cuter than having stacks of DVDs peeking through the glass.

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I use them to store movies, games, stationary, and CDs. (Yes, I still buy CDs. Heyyyy Taylor Swift’s 1989.)

These next two organizational tools made my husband and my friend Megan laugh when she visited, but I find them quite helpful.

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I bought a filing case with hanging file folders that we keep in our closet because we don’t have anywhere else to store it.

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It’s SO handy for storing any important papers like warranty information, legal documents, receipts, etc. And it’s much smaller than a filing cabinet.

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I bought this cute coupon book at Target for $5. (I love Target, but who doesn’t?) It’s small enough to carry in my purse, but big enough to keep lots of coupons.

Apartment kitchens are small. Finding places to fit food storage containers, a crockpot, and a food processor was a puzzle.

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I got this plastic drawer tote to hold plastic bags, foil, wax paper, etc. under our sink.

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It doesn’t take up drawer space, and you have room to store things on top of it.

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Food storage containers are a must. My mom had these jars that she wasn’t using, so I snatched them. Also, I need to buy more sugar.

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I HATE taking up precious counter space, but we just do not have enough drawers. I found a simple, ceramic utensil holder at our local supermarket of all places.

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I have to meal plan before I go to the grocery store. I got this magnetic white board for our fridge because I didn’t want to keep buying paper. P.S. We have tacos almost every week here. Tacos are another fave of mine.

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An apartment means no junk drawer in the kitchen. I had this wire desk organizer in my college dorm room, and it was perfect for our countertop. We keep pens, scissors, take out menus, and keys in here. The planner also adds to the organization corner.

Two people equals double the laundry.

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We purchased this triple sorter with wedding gift cards. It holds a lot of dirty laundry and keeps the floor clean (actually I have a bad habit of throwing my clothes on the floor.)

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I got this hamper at Walmart of all places. I realized we needed something to throw our bath and kitchen towels in. I wouldn’t recommend throwing sopping wet towels in it, but it holds damp towels and keeps them separate from our clothes. Plus, it has handles for throwing its contents into the washer.

This last keeper-of-things was a wedding gift from my friend, Becca. I registered for this recipe box at Target, but it was out of stock. Sweet Becca found it on another website and bought it for us. She stocked it with blank recipe cards and a few of her favorite recipes. Seriously, she’s the sweetest.

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Um hello, great wedding gift idea!

See I’m not too crazy organized, right? What organizing tips do you have? I would love to get some new ideas!

I’m going to go organize now. But seriously, our cabinets are a mess.

The Most Perfect Day.

June 27, 2014, my best friend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. From then until May 24, 2015, I had been thinking, planning, and dreaming about the day where I would finally say “I do” to the love of my life.

Every little girl dreams of their wedding day. For a little less than a year, I had been picturing what that day would look like while deciding colors, cake flavors, saying yes to the dress, meeting with the florist and venue, and countless other tiny and big details. Thankfully, my mom has the organization of a wedding planner and the attention to detail of a designer, and spent hours and hours figuring out details like matching paint colors and ties and flowers (she carried around a Pantone swatch everywhere she went), and she pulled everything together so flawlessly. She deemed my wedding theme, “vintage romance” and more than succeeded.

Our wedding day was like a fairytale and a dream. It was more perfect and beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I was obsessed with my wedding dress and could not stop staring at my bouquet. I’m pretty sure I did not stop smiling that entire day. I mean, I was marrying my best friend and getting to spend the rest of my life with him! How could I stop smiling?!

Kyle and I decided to do a first look and have a moment to see each other and spend time together before the ceremony and freak out about how WE WERE GETTING MARRIED. I would highly recommend first looks. Seeing my man’s face when he saw me in my wedding dress was my favorite part of the day. I think the pictures can explain it better than I can, but it was such a sweet, emotional moment.

Our day was so joyful, and beautiful, and just simply perfect. It was better than I could have ever dreamed of. We were surrounded with so many family and friends that we love dearly, and were able to praise the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness and bring glory to Him through the start of our marriage.

Here’s a little look at our day.

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The venue was breathtaking. White-washed brick walls, old wooden floors, painted beams, and lights strung around the beams in the reception room. It had such a vintage charm, which was perfect for our wedding.

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These two frames were from Home Goods and my mom painted them with ivory chalk paint. I found a calligraphy font that I used for the table numbers and invitations, and we printed the seating chart on blush paper.

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Our florist was the BEST. The ceremony table belonged to the venue, and it was gorgeous.

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This room though. WOW. We kept the decorations simple to highlight the gorgeous flowers and venue.

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Vintage and hobnail votives. And those flowers though.

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These frames were actually from Kohl’s. The font is the calligraphy font on the seating chart. The color is the Pantone color my mom carried around. One of my bridesmaids is a graphic designer and created these table numbers and my invitations, and we had them printed locally.

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My Mom and I found the picture frames at an antique shop. She ordered the wooden letters online and painted them with chalk paint. The card box is a terrarium painted with chalk paint. Now we have pretty decor for our house!

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I wanted a small cutting cake, and wanted to keep the icing simple to make the peonies pop because they are my favorite flower. Mom found the platters and ivory cake stands at Home Goods. Our cake baker was incredible, I cannot wait to eat the top layer in a year because I crave her cake constantly.

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The venue has an amazing bridal room. I mean, that mirror!

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Our rings are from a local jeweler. My parents both got their rings there when they got married. I still stare at my rings, and I still love seeing that ring on my husband’s finger.

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No words can describe this moment.

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Thank goodness for tissues. We had so many tears of joy.

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Oh my heart.

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Having these dear friends with me made the day even more fun.

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See why I couldn’t stop staring at the flowers?!

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Gotta model on your wedding day, ya know?

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I love how this picture turned out.

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The venue had so much natural light, which made it perfect for pictures.

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The venue also has a beautiful lobby for pictures… and guests!

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I bought Lucky Brand lace flats for my day. They were so comfortable. And I can wear them again! Oh and I love this picture.

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I felt like Cinderella that day. And I had my Prince Charming.

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The guys clearly weren’t as giggly as we were.

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We had a few minutes for communion during our ceremony. It was perfect to just take some time to breathe.

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I cried all day.

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My face says, “WE ARE MARRIED!”

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I loved the lights on the beams in the room.

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My Cinderella moment.

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GAH I want to wear that dress all of the time.

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We used forks instead of shoving cake in each other’s faces. I was a fan of not having cake in my face, or possibly on my dress.

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I had an exploding toss bouquet. The flowers were tied with a ribbon, and I untied it right before I tossed it. They had no idea it was coming…

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…And more than one girl gets a flower!

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I love the way our bubble send-off turned out in pictures.

Venue: Bread and Chocolate at the Old Bag Factory-Goshen, Indiana

Photography: Josef Samuel Photography-South Bend, Indiana

Florist: Country Florist and Gifts-South Bend, Indiana

Cake: Sweet-Em’s Cake Shoppe-Goshen, Indiana

Hair: Marie Illes-Mishawaka, Indiana

Makeup: Bride and Marie Illes

Bride’s Gown and Veil: Simply Yours Bridal and Formalwear-Granger, Indiana

Bride’s Belt: Enzoani

Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN

Groom’s Attire: Macy’s

Rings: Images Jewelers-Elkhart, Indiana

Wedding Planner(s): My amazing mother, with the loving support of my wonderful father