Where has the time gone?

Today marks 10 years Mr.S and I have been together.  It doesn’t seem possible!  It does seem like a long time since our first date, but a whole decade ago.

It just seems amazing and unreal to me… ten years only one major fight and it was over a simple misunderstanding in the first year.   We have never taken a break or even seriously entertained the thought.  I feel so lucky to have found each other.  Everyday being able to waje up next to him, its just an amazing treat.  I never have any doubts we are perfect for each other. We have shaped and molded each other into wonderful people over the years and have grown together.  In many ways we have gained the wisdom of older couples and enjoy the small treasures in life together.

I am not sure what we are doing to celebrate, but we must do something.   This is more than twice as ling as either of us have been in a relationship and to have the love and passion just like year three is a major accomplishment and worth celebrating.

I know its been a long time since I have posted, but we had to put our wedding plans on hold due to finances.  Now with extra money coming in we have started talking and planning again.  The goal is by the end of next year to be married.  But until the I will keep you all posted.

The actual planning has begun!

Throw all the old ideas out the window.  We toyed with Thailand, Hawaii, Alaska and so many others.  Over Labor Day weekend we started talking about places we had been and would love to go back.  He mentioned he would love to go back to D.C. to the museums.  As coincidence would have it I was looking to see what the Appalachian Mountains had to offer in way of elopements and wedding venues.  So I started looking in Virginia / Maryland area. 

We have tentatively decided on having a wedding at a bed and breakfast somewhere in Virginia.  Right now we are looking at two different bed and breakfasts in the Shenandoah Valley.  Both include several amenities, but the search for the best place still continues.

We are planning for early May 2013 when the weather is still cool.  I can image either of us enjoying a day in the heat.  I would rather chance rain than sweat!

The planning begins

We have decided it was time to start planning. We still haven’t picked a destination. We have wavered from the original idea of Chiang Mia, Thailand having a traditional Lana wedding with deep Buddhist roots to having a Hawaii wedding and we still haven’t made a decision. Planning was put aside until we decided. Well now I have decided that we will never get started if we wait until we have saved back money for the trip and decided on the destination before we start planning.  So let the planning begin!

Earlier this week I decided to buy our first wedding items! I started small with the cake topper and champagne toasting flutes. I am super excited and can’t wait for them to get here. I will post photos once they arrive.

The other goal for the week is to start working on the reception guest list and menu items, possible venues and the works!

The wedding of my dreams

It seems every little girl spends years dreaming of her wedding day.  As a child we dream that big white stereotypical wedding.  Some of us retain that dream and for the rest of us it transforms into something different.  Something more suited for our personality.  I have a hard time imaging myself as an adult living out the types if wedding I pretended when my Barbies got married, lots of people, his family on one side of the church and mine on the other.  That thought actually terrifies me!  All the planning and stress to have the perfect day while ensuring all the guests get a great show.  Not only does it sound like a bunch if stress and drama, but it seems as though I wouldn’t enjoy myself.  I personally want to look back on my wedding day and actually remember it, not think that it was just a blur.

My dream wedding now is so much different from it was when I was in college. Now my ideal wedding is Mr. S and I, an Officiant, and a photographer. Someplace relatively remote with beautiful relaxing surroundings. I want the background of our wedding photographs to be breath-taking. I envision lots of greenery, trees, plants, nature.

I plan on wearing a typical wedding dress, but not big a poofy, but more sleek and fitting. I have a couple in mind that I have seen in magazines that I like. I figure he can be beach linen causal or just a regular suit if he’d like. Once we pin down a location and a date those items will fall into place.

After our wedding / honeymoon we will throw a traditional reception back home for friends and family.

Where to start?

Where do I start?  Was one of the first questions that popped into my head after we had decided to have a destination wedding.  There are several variables to take into consideration before deciding.  Let’s just take the assumption you have decided that a destination wedding is something you absolutely want and can imagine no other way of getting married.  There are still several places to start.

1. Are you having any guests?
This one is simple for Mr. S and I as we are having a secluded wedding for the two of us, the Officiant, photographer, and witnesses if needed.  But if you are having guests you will want to take their traveling costs and time into consideration before planning.

2.  Do you know what time of year or have a specific date in mind?
Depending on when you want to get married may be another factor on where to start.  If you want to get married in the summer, you might want to take local weather into consideration.  Personally I would mark someplace like Florida off my list if I wanted to get married in August.  No only is it hot, but beaches are crowded and its at the peak tourist season.  If I was planning on Florida I would think December through February.  It’s the off-season on tourism, so the prices for hotels are cheaper and the weather is still nice, but not overwhelming. Which brings me to my next point.

3.  Do you have a destination in mind?

      If you already have a destination in mind, it makes things a lot easier.  You can plan your date around travel costs and climate.  I have discovered once you get a destination in mind it makes the rest of the planning so much easier.  Lets say you decide you to get married in the Florida Keys.  Now you just have to decide are you using a resort or planning it on your own.  If you are using a resort or a pre-packaged wedding service a lot of the details are provided including the Officiant, photographer and venue.  Depending on the provider sometimes you can have all the bells and whistles to go a long with it.  If you are planning on your own it will be a little bit harder, but possibly cheaper and more personalized.

 

As to where Mr. S and I fit into this…. well we are still up in the air.

When is the big date?

It seems the first question everyone seems to ask after you tell them you got engaged is “Have you set a date” or something to that effect. 

It has been a little over a year and we are still getting that same question asked.  The answer is no we still have not set a date.  It always strikes me as crazy that everyone wants to know when you are getting married, even if they know you are not having a wedding or at least a public one.

Our situation is a little different.  We are and have been living on one income as he is going back to school to change careers from market research to the medical field.  It was a decision that was made with careful consideration knowing we would have to put a lot of plans on hold.  We decided as a couple that our future happiness was much more important than short-term happiness.  Also for financial aid purposes it actually makes better fiscal sense not to get married yet.

So it frustrates me when people knowing our situation ask if we have set the date yet.  I know they are just excited and can’t wait for us to join their cult society of being married and starting a family.  The other frustrating thing is when people tell me… just go to the courthouse and make it official.  Not that there is anything wrong with going to the courthouse, but that is not what I have envisioned for the day that we will be celebrating for the rest of our lives.

Though the lack of date maybe a thing of the past.  One morning earlier this week while I was getting ready for work he suggested that we set a date.  Just for the two of us and not disclosing it to everyone else.  That way we can officially start planning and saving.  Basically to make it real and to stop putting things on hold in our lives for a better time to present itself.

The Ring

The ring… it’s always such an important part of the engagement.  It symbolizes your never ending love and it’s the first thing anyone wants to see when they hear the news.

We made a compromise on the ring.  I kind of wanted a surprise and he wanted to make sure it was something I would love.  According to him, since he made me wait so long I should have exactly what I wanted.

I started looking and was unimpressed by the standard engagement solitaire.  I also disliked the “newer” style with a center stone and tons of diamonds all around it.  My problem was I wanted the band to be special and not just a simple thing with the stone being the primary focus.  I also am not really fond of diamonds.  To me they are too cliche` I wanted something special.  I felt (and still do) that we have something special so the ring should signify that.

I started looking into filigree rings.  The problem was a lot of them were either really tall which I thought might cause a problem or they look as if they had been casted a million times.  Again not very special.  It took me probably a year and a half from the time he told me to start looking until I finally found one I have.  I had found a couple that I liked, he wasn’t very fond of them and told me to keep looking around.  While I was looking we also started ordering different sizes and styles of lab created gemstones.  I had already stated I did not want to spend a fortune on this ring and to be honest I like the way the lab created gemstones sparkle.  They don’t have the imperfections the mined gems have and they cost a fraction of the cost and have the exact same chemical make up of the ones from the ground.

There was one I liked pictured below, but decided it was not for me.  Though I still love the design and symbolism of the tree of life.

Unique Engagement Ring

I finally found a website of custom jewelry out of Austin, Texas.  I fell in love with two rings.  One was based off of Van Goh’s Starry Nights painting, the other was titled Garden Gate (pictured below).

I gave him the option of four different rings in varing price ranges to choose from and he took multiple gemstones out of our collection and hid them so I wouldn’t know what I got.  He ended up picking my favorite, though I tried not to tell him which that was, the Garden Gate pictured above.  Though mine looks very different from the one above.  We placed a green stone in the ring and took out some of the diamonds around the band.  The ring is absolutely stunning and a year later people are still asking too look at it and I get plenty of compliments on it.