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!
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 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.
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.
May 8th we celebrated our 1 year engagement anniversary. It doesn’t seem like it has been that long, but I suppose the calender never lies.
For celebration we decided to take our first vacation together. Historically our vacations included driving 1,000 miles to visit family at the holidays. I took a couple of days off from work and we took a short little weekend trip to St. Louis. We had tons of fun. We did some of the typical tourist things though we didn’t make it to the Arch. Instead we spent the majority of our time at Forest Park where we went to the Zoo, a couple of museums and the Planetarium. We also made a trip out to the Missouri Botanical Gardens where we had an absolute blast.
The highlight of the trip was the food. We went to a restaurant that served Nepalese food. It was to die for. I have decided I am going to find some recipes online and incorporate them into our dinner recipes. We went to Fitz’s Soda shop where we both fell in love with the soft drinks (neither of us really drink soft drinks anymore). The last meal we had was at Pappy’s Smokehouse it was pretty good, but I still LOVE Jazzy’s in Tampa.
If we can have so much fun on a short three-day trip I can only image how much fun we are going to have for our destination wedding!