diy wedding shoes

A couple weeks ago my mom and I found ourselves browsing the shelves at Rack Room Shoes for those ever-stylish black "work-safe" tennis shoes we all know and love. (Ha!) Thankfully, I did find a pair but of course had to order them because if you're an almost 6-foot girl like me, you well know the struggling of finding anything in your size in-store. Regardless, we still had the option to take advantage of the BOGO they were running so Mom brilliantly suggested we take a look around for some wedding shoes.

I knew I wanted flats but it seemed everything was either too plain or dripping with obnoxious glitter and rhinestones. So...I landed on this pair of fake Toms (Bobs) in an unassuming champagne color and set my brain to craft mode. Normally $39, we snagged them for $19!
After staring at them for a week or so, I decided some lace and maybe buttons or simple jewels to add a "something blue" would be just the thing. I dug through my ribbons bin and found half a roll of leftover lace from my bridesmaids boxes project (originally $1.99 at the great Hobby Lobby). Grab a glue gun and get to work! I glued the lace along an existing seam running diagonally across the toes so if they peek out under the dress, the details will be visible. On a whim, I added small pieces to the back to cover up the brand tag. Step 1 complete:
For step 2, I debated in the aisles at Hobby Lobby between buttons and jewelry-making accents. They didn't have a huge button selection, but there was plenty to choose from in the jewelry section. I knew I wanted to tie in my "something blue" on my shoes but didn't want it to be super obvious. Bows and the like really aren't my style so in the end, I purchased two strands of turquoise and bronze jewel thing-ys for $2.99 each. More glue, and the inevitable web of hot glue strings everywhere, then ta-da: an awesome pair of one-of-a-kind wedding shoes for about $25!

I'm super happy with them (and their price tag) and can't believe they have to just sit in a box for another 161 days!


what is marriage?

I promise I'll be discussing some non-wedding/marriage topics soon, but I think today's post title is a vital question, especially for my generation. So...what is marriage, really?

The Oxford Dictionary defines marriage as: the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife; a combination or mixture of two or more elements.

You may have also heard that marriage is a commitment, a promise, a covenant, "the long game", the old "ball and chain", a "permanent mistake", and possibly, the end of life as you know it. Unfortunately, with divorce rates as high as ever and negative portrayals scattered across every form of popular media, it is easy to dwell more on the difficulties than the joys.

I've also had several people make the comment that they just "couldn't picture themselves loving one person forever." In response to that, I always think about my grandpa-- in this area, he proved quite the philosopher. 

For much of my life, I remember my grandmother being a somewhat harsh woman. Though God has brought recent opportunities for me to see a new side of her, when my grandpa was still alive, my memory consisted mostly of her nagging him and being demanding. One day, while visiting my grandpa in the nursing home, I asked him how he had loved my grandma for so long? How has they managed to stay married for 50+ years? His response was simple, like so much of who he was. He turned his bright blue eyes to me and firmly stated, "Because I choose her every day."

I have meditated on those words for years. In hoping for my future husband, in my early relationship with Strider, and now in the anticipating of our marriage. What a simple, beautiful perspective on a life spent with the woman he loved. He chose her. Every. single. day.

Just that, just a choice. Not a one-time promise of "I'll love you forever." Not a naive hope that marriage will be wonderful and magical. Not a bitter resentment of a 50-year mistake (despite the many hardships they endured). Just a simple choice to love her -- to wake up every single day and choose to love her all over again, no matter what the day would bring.

That's the love I want. To give and to receive.

Making a one-day promise to love someone forever does seem too huge and impossible for a fallible person to keep. It would be much easier to give up on the one promise that you made 10 or 20 years ago, rather than the choice you make each day. It seems easier to "fall out of love" when the love you promised was just a feeling, not a choice. 

I can't promise to feel the magic every day or look at him with googley, twitterpated eyes. 
But I can promise to choose him every day
Promise to work to love him when I don't feel like it. 
Promise to put him first even when I want to be selfish.
Promise to forgive and to fight for us.

Just a choice, every day.

courtesy of staymarriedblog.com


nuptial nonsense

This post is about wedding things I don't understand or feel are completely unnecessary. It is not intended to offend or to suggest that our planning choices are better than others. If you disagree, that's totally fine, but if not, maybe you'll join me in just asking, "Why!?"

Things I've found to be wedding nonsense:

The 3-month-salary ring rule. If you're rolling in the dough, sure, go crazy--but for all the guys out there that aren't: your girl will love anything you give her (or should). It's about the promise, not the ring. This is the beginning of your life together - don't start it off in debt. Plus, there are beautiful, totally reasonable options out there. Try Gordon's online.

Escort Cards/Place Cards/Seating Charts. So much work, stress, and extra printing costs! Trust me, I know families can get complicated, but really now...if guests aren't grown up enough to find their own seats and play nice for a couple hours, well, maybe they should just sit with the kids or stay home.

The garter toss. To each their own I guess, but to me, this is always awkward. The idea of a husband creeping under tons of layers of his new wife's dress to pull out essentially a piece of underwear that he is going to throw at his friends...uncomfortable to even think about.

Unrealistic bridal party expectations. Since getting engaged, I've heard all kinds of crazy stories about how bridal party members have been treated when participating in weddings for family and friends. Between excessive costs, unfair travel expectations, and "all about the bride" mentalities, can we cool it already? These are your best friends...they love you...please don't make them wish you harm over outlandish, self-obsessed requests. (To my incredible ladies, please throw a shoe at me if I get crazy!)

Alcohol. Whether or not your family and friends drink, bars are a wallet-black-hole for weddings. And why introduce all the drama that can come from including this as part of your special day? No one wants a drunken speech giver. Thankfully, it isn't an issue for us.

Registry complications. Registries are a beautiful thing. This way, guests know they are getting the happy couple something they actually want...and that is awesome. But why do they have to be so complicated? Between choosing what you want, reading reviews to make sure it is a quality pick, choosing where to register for it, and checking the registries periodically to make sure your picks don't become discontinued before the big day....whew! Complicated. Plus, add all the people who just get you gift cards--a kind and helpful gift, but bittersweet because it makes all that registry bother for naught.

The costs. All the costs! This is an obvious one. Go as simple as you like, but inevitably, you're still going to end up spending more than you feel like you need to. And it is pretty evident that vendors play to the emotional bride, trying to coerce you into "needing" something you don't or scaling things up and out of your budget. Admittedly, it's hard not to get wrapped up in a tornado of tulle, tapas, and transportation, but smart ladies...stick to your instincts on what is really worth it. It is just one day. Preparing for your marriage should be a much higher priority than plans for the wedding.

There are lots more, but these are the ones that have become most clear during our planning thus far. What did you nix for your "big day" that no one missed?

Also, just for fun, here's a partial sneak peek at our invites. I'm in love with them!