Bridal Blogger Stephanie: What I Learned—and Signing Off

Bridal Blogger Stephanie: What I Learned—and Signing Off

All photos in this post by Susan Stripling.

I’m sad to say goodbye. This marks the end of a year and a half of writing, nearly 50 posts—a mini novel!

In all honesty, I’m sad because it means our wedding and the nearly 540 days that went into planning it have officially come to an end. I’m not so sad about the planning part—I’m pretty thrilled about the conclusion of that! But I wish I could relive my wedding day over and over again. I find myself nearly every morning and night looking at photos and video to try to keep the best day of my life fresh in my mind, to not to lose a single detail. I try to put myself back in the moment and remember the way I felt when Pat read his vows to me, the energy of the room and how majestic it looked when we came dancing into the reception, how stunned I was by the exquisiteness of the flowers, the draping, and the light, how my sister’s and brother-in-laws’ speeches incited both hysterical laughter and tears, how mobbed the dance floor was at the after party and the crazy dance moves that comprised it, and how I went to bed so blissfully happy that I couldn’t repress tears of an all-consuming joy from streaming down my cheeks as I tried to fall asleep.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Our Amazing Honeymoon in Costa Rica! (With Photos!)

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Our Amazing Honeymoon in Costa Rica! (With Photos!)

Stephanie and Pat, enjoying dinner on the beach one night in Costa Rica.

White water rafting, ziplining, horseback riding, hiking through the rainforest, learning to surf—we had a magnificent, adventure-filled honeymoon that taught us we’re not quite the lay-on-the-beach-type couple we thought we might be.

We arrived at our hotel the Monday evening after our wedding. It had been a long day of travel. The flight is only six hours, but we had a layover in Houston, so we didn’t arrive until 10:00pm Costa Rican time. And while our eyes were drooping in exhaustion, we perked up as soon as we got a closer look at the glorious canopy suite we would be staying in for the next nine nights. Thanks to Pat’s incredibly gracious parents, they agreed to help us splurge on the honeymoon hotel room of my dreams—a suite with a plunge pool! We went in it every single morning and night. The view was majestic—set atop the undulating hillside, we overlooked the beach, the bay, and we could even see the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in the distance. We briefly hopped in the pool that night, but it was not long before we succumbed to sleep.
Read more »

Bridal Blogger Stephanie: Our Wedding Day (With Photos!)

Bridal Blogger Stephanie: Our Wedding Day (With Photos!)

Stephanie on her wedding day.

You know when you look forward to something so much, for so long that it inevitably doesn’t live up to your lofty expectations? It’s a fear that crept into my mind in the final stretch before July 20th. But I’m supremely happy to say that my wedding —an event I’ve been planning for the last year and a half and dreaming of for the last decade —was more than I could have ever hoped for. And I wish that line didn’t sound so cliché. I wish you could see the all-consuming smile as I write it and the happy tears streaming down my cheeks; when I really take the time to reflect on the day, I become unrelentingly emotional because I loved our wedding day with all my being and want to do it all over again.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: I’m Getting Married Tomorrow!

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: I’m Getting Married Tomorrow!

Pat proposing to Stephanie in the White House Rose Garden! Photo by Evan Vucci.

One more day! The culmination of a year and a half of planning is here. I can’t believe it. My wedding weekend has officially begun! When I say I can’t believe it, I mean it’s truly hard to wrap my head around it. It feels surreal.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself in that I’m struggling to relax and enjoy. Here I sit at the computer typing away at 2 in the morning. There’s not been a day all week that I haven’t gone to bed before 3:00am. It’s inconceivable how many last-minute tasks there are. On the way to the rehearsal dinner tonight, I was scribbling notes to my flower girls. I had hoped to write long, well-deserved thank-yous to both them and my bridesmaids, but simply ran out of time. I will be sure to do it after the wedding.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Writing My Vows

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Writing My Vows

Purestock

So I’ve left one of the difficult tasks for last: my wedding vows. With just over one week to go to the wedding, what the heck was I thinking waiting until the very end to craft the most important words of the day?

As I said in my blog two weeks ago, you would think I’ve been lazily procrastinating. That would be the obvious conclusion based on the last-minute hysteria currently in progress to complete a slew of final to-dos. But I feel like I’ve been unremittingly attending to every single facet of the wedding since the day we got engaged nearly a year and a half ago, and there simply hasn’t been enough time to get everything done—which I acknowledge sounds absurd. But that’s the feeling that’s overwhelming me right now.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Atlantic City Bachelorette Party!

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Atlantic City Bachelorette Party!

Stephanie and her girls at her bachelorette party in AC last weekend.

The tiara, the sash, the scavenger hunt, Atlantic City—I would have never imagined myself in the scene, but I embraced it all last Saturday at my bachelorette party, and had a blast.

We arrived at the Trump last Saturday afternoon. We dumped all of our stuff in our very sufficient, rather spacious hotel room with a great view (the best rate we could find in all of Atlantic City) and then made our way to the beach bar. We were able to get in some solid people-watching (a very entertaining Jersey Shore-esque experience), sun, and snacks, before heading back up to our rooms to prepare for the evening ahead.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: All About the Details

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: All About the Details

A hint at some of the details from Pat and Stephanie's wedding.

Twenty one days and counting! It’s a mad dash to the finish line. You’d think we’ve been procrastinating—that we lazily and indifferently left scores of details for the end. But we’ve been steadily and beyond meticulously going over every element of the wedding for nearly a year and a half now. How do we have this much left to do?

Granted, the big things are taken care of. Dress, band, venue, food, bridesmaids, groomsmen—we’re good to go in those departments. What’s left: Should the flower girls where bracelets? Is the guest book ordered? Will the bridal party be standing or sitting during the ceremony? In what order will they process into the church? What is our signature drink? When should our photographer arrive? What kind of unity candle do we want? How do we want the menu card formatted?
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Second Dress Fitting (Oh, and Buying a House!)

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Second Dress Fitting (Oh, and Buying a House!)

Stephanie and her friend Emily on her first dress-shopping trip—now it's ready for her Big Day!

On my way to La Bella Moda for my second dress fitting, I had the AC blasting. I’ve noticed a new reaction my body has to stress: intense, all-consuming heat. I was feeling panicked—panicked about how my dress was going to look after a not-so-great first fitting and panicked about whether we were going to get the property we had just put an offer on.

When I entered the shop, the atmosphere was discernibly different than my last visit—much more relaxed. No line of brides out the door, no palpable tension. And I feel lucky to have found my dress at a bridal salon like La Bella Moda. Every single employee knows my name. It’s more intimate than some of the larger shops. It feels almost like family.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: T-Minus 36 Days! And the List Goes On …

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: T-Minus 36 Days! And the List Goes On ...

iStockphoto

36 days and counting!

The thought of it is both utterly thrilling and completely terrifying. I desperately wish I could focus on the thrilling part. Every once in a while, I let myself drift into a daydream of how beautiful the day is going to be—except it’s not the hazy fantasy of my college years when I first realized I wanted to marry Pat. It’s so much more defined, as it’s going to become a reality in just over a month! I smile and am truly instantly consumed with happiness. But then the terrifying part—the how-on-earth-are-we-going-to-get-everything-done panic—quickly sets in.
Read more »

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Bridal Showers

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Bridal Showers

Stephanie, her sister, and friends at her bridal shower.

Wedding showers have never quite been my favorite way to spend a weekend afternoon. I’m not a huge fan of the shower games, the excitement over bakeware, the no-guys-allowed policy. So I was a bit leery when we started discussing my own shower. But my family knows me, and my showers were a total blast.

My in-laws-to-be first hosted a couples shower for us: a huge gathering of our friends and family that went until two in the morning! Held at Pat’s parents’ house, we started the evening outside mingling, sipping champagne, and munching on hors d’oeuvres. We moved inside for dinner, which, among other delicious items, featured awesome cheesesteaks. And then we danced, drank, and chatted our way into the night—well, early morning. Guests left with favors Pat’s mom had thought up: rally towels with our names and the date of the wedding on it!
Read more »

« Older Posts