Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our Wedding: Before The Ceremony

All images in this post are property of Ella Grace Photography. 

I've always known I wasn't interested in a first look. I didn't want Tim to see me before the ceremony but I desperately wanted to hold his hand. We planned with Carissa to have us meet against the wall of the building that holds the carousel. Tim was in place before I got outside and I was told to walk backwards to meet Tim. 



She asked us a few questions to get us to smile but it was wonderful to hold my favorite persons hand and get to tell him that I love him. He told me he was so excited to marry me and I said I couldn't wait either.


The wind was blowing so my dress kept hitting him. It was just so nice though that he didn't know what I was wearing yet or what I looked like all ready for the wedding.



I can't say that I didn't peek though because I totally did.






It was one of the best things we could've done before the ceremony, have those few minutes to connect and know that we were about to have the best day of our lives.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Engaged? Grab These Freebies!

If you've been following along you know that I got married in October! Well I've made it my mission to gather all of the freebies you can get while you're engaged!

These are all gathered from my personal experience; some I managed to get myself and others I skipped over but still want to share with you in case you are interested.

Bridal Expo Freebies

Definitely take the time to hit up a bridal expo while you're engaged. They are usually fairly cheap to enter and you will leave with your weight in freebies. Some things that we picked up free (besides the  packets of information about each vendor were:

  • Tons of free reusable bags (super handy now that our town has a plastic bag ban!)
  • Free food- many of the catering places were giving out free samples which was great!
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Pens
  • Spatula
  • Shampoo and Conditioner Samples
  • Flashlight
  • Magnets
  • Notepads
To see our experience at a bridal expo you can click here where I share pictures of our experience that day.

Dentist

When I told my dentist that I was getting married she actually offered to polish my teeth for free the week before the wedding! I ended up not taking advantage of this because the week of the wedding was so crazy but this was something super nice and unexpected. I'm not sure if all dentists do this but it's certainly worth checking out.

Photographer

One freebie to look out for is something free with your day of photography. When we booked our photographer Ella Grace Photography we received a free one hour engagement session with our purchase of an eight hour wedding day package. Usually photographers will offer the engagement session free or offer free prints after the wedding. Definitely consider these freebies when picking a photographer!

Cake Tastings

While our cake tasting ended up costing us money I know there are many bakeries that offer free tastings. This is a great way to get a ton of free desserts! 

Catering

Speaking of food if your caterer is anything like ours after you complete your tasting at the caterer they will box up all your leftovers for you to take home! They ended up making a ton of food so I was thrilled when they packaged it up for us to save on some grocery money for that week. If you are in the Rhode Island area we used Blackstone Catering and had an amazing experience. 

Registry Freebies

There are a ton of places you can make a wedding registry and sometimes it can be hard to choose your few favorites. Consider these freebies when making your decision.

Crate and Barrel~ When you register at Crate and Barrel (even if you start your registry online) make sure you head to the store to get your freebie! They are currently giving out a set of stemless wine glasses to anyone that creates a registry with them. If I'm being honest that's probably the biggest reason I chose to register with them. However, there are a ton of other freebies if you put certain things on your registry and your friends and family purchase them for you. The only issue with these freebies is you have to qualify for them but it is nice to have the option!

Amazon~  Amazon is another place where you are eligible for bonus free gifts with certain purchases. Also, after the wedding Amazon will send you a 10% off coupon to help you complete your registry! We loved creating a registry on Amazon since it was so easy to do from home and there is such a wide array of gifts.

Bed, Bath and Beyond~ I personally didn't register here but I know many people who did. There are a ton of items you can earn as free bonus gifts. 

Target~ This one is a little trickier... I chose not to register at Target because I had friends who struggled with the registry and their items disappearing from it. However, Target does offer quite a few free bonus gifts with certain purchases and you receive a 15% off coupon when your wedding is over to help you buy anything else you might need! If you love Target this is certainly a place to check out but make sure you proceed with caution and know it might be a bit of a challenge. 

JcPenney's~ Pretty much the same as others, free gifts when you register for and receive certain items off your registry. Also a 10% off coupon after your wedding!

One registry we used is unfortunately closing this month- Kohls was a great place to register since we would receive Kohls cash back after the wedding, but unfortunately we had a ton of issues with things not coming off the registry once people had purchased them. Kohls is closing their registry program this month which means I can no longer recommend it to you but hopefully some people were able to take advantage previously!

Magazines and Catalogs

There are a TON of free magazines and catalogs you can get while engaged. If you are searching for ideas this is a great way to get some inspiration. As I'm writing this the two I have found for free are: Bridal Guide and New England Bride but definitely check in your area to see if there are others you can have sent to you!

Officiant

When you have a friend be your officiant, you just saved yourself at least $100! My friend Brittni officiated our wedding and while we did give her a little something for her services she definitely didn't ask anything of us! Having a friend officiate your wedding is a way to save money and make it more personal. I found that our wedding had personal stories that we didn't even need to tell Brittni because she already knew everything about us! 

Wedding Invitation Samples/ Save The Date Samples

If you are unsure what you want exactly for your wedding invitations getting a ton of free samples is a great way to get started! Some places that offer free samples are:


I had quite a few wedding invitation samples sent to me and it was a great way to check out different qualities.

Free Wedding Venue

Our venue wasn't free, but it was certainly quite a bit cheaper since we chose to have it on town property rather then a private facility. If you or a family or friend has land that you can host your wedding on definitely jump on it! This is a great way to save a ton of money for your wedding.

Wedding Planning Apps

Definitely check out The Knot wedding app and WeddingWire. I used both of these apps when planning for our big day, They not only include checklists of what to complete when but also have discussion boards so you can ask for opinions from other brides.

Wedding Printables

There are a ton of free wedding printables out there. I specifically searched on Pinterest to find a ton. Whether you are making your own favors and need stickers or want to create a beautiful program for your ceremony there are a ton of free printables out there to choose from.

Contests/Giveaways

These are changing constantly but there are always contests and giveaways available to enter. Just use caution when entering contests because after entering a free honeymoon contest we constantly received calls about buying a timeshare.... *insert rolling eye emoji here* So make sure wherever you are entering contests is a reputable place by doing a quick google search. 

I hope this helped you get a few freebies while enjoying your engagement! Enjoy planning your wedding and if you learn of any freebies that aren't included in this post make sure to share them with me! I am always looking for ways to save money and get some free items along the way.

Have a great day loves!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Things I'm Loving Lately

Happy Wednesday loves!

Today I want to share a few things I've been absolutely loving lately. I realized as I was making this list that it's going to seem like most of what I do is watch tv...but it's winter and there's not a whole lot of activities to do at night when it's dark out so early! Plus, it's cold. No one wants to leave the house in Rhode Island this time of year, trust me.

First up is a Christmas gift that Tim gave me this year!

This oil diffuser (which comes from Amazon) is awesome! I've wanted an oil diffuser for some time now and this one has been working great!  I love candles but sometimes I want to know I have something cleaning up the air and that's how the oil diffuser makes me feel.

I also received a bottle of essential oil that I am loving diffusing in it...


Purify was recommended by Kelly Marie on YouTube and I think the smell is great. It makes the air feel fresh and isn't super strong (unless you use a lot of it!) so it is great to use anytime. I also feel like it's purifying the air, especially this time of year when everyone is sick.


I've been working on a personal exercise goal..


I'm using the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone in order to help me achieve it! I needed some sort of goal to work towards so I'm using this app to get me motivated.  I thought this would be a great way to get in shape and get started and if I plan on doing a 5K at some point this year it will give me something to work towards which always keeps me a little more motivated.


A show I recently watched all the way through is The Handmaid's Tale. I had read the book a couple of years ago but never watched the show since the book was disturbing enough but I am SO glad I started watching it. It's very scary, especially during a time like this in the world but so important to be aware of what the world could end up being if a radical religious group ever took over. I would be in Canada SO fast.

Becoming by Michelle Obama was an absolutely AMAZING autobiography. I read it within a four hour time period this past Sunday and didn't regret a minute of my time. Michelle is the most inspiring woman and I can't believe how much I didn't know about her. She came so far in her life and is absolutely brilliant. It made me like her and Barack even more then I already did. If you are at all interested in her life story, definitely give this one a read!


A TV show that Tim and I watched together recently is Superstore which is absolutely hilarious! We watched all the seasons on Hulu and enjoyed it so much. The cast is hilarious and it is created by the same people who made The Office and Parks and Recreation so if you are a fan of either of those shows just give it a try!


I just finished watching the whole season of Marie Kondo's Netflix show called Tidying Up. I love her book and find her organizing methods very inspirational and very much enjoyed her show. I liked that she didn't do all the work for her clients but made them go through their own belongings. It inspires me to pair down my belongings and get rid of things that don't spark joy. If you like decluttering at all, check it out!

What are you loving lately?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Our Wedding: Arriving at the Venue/ My Bridesmaids

Before we start... all photos in this post were taken by the lovely Carissa at Ella Grace Photography. Please do not alter her work in any way.




We arrived at the Rotunda Ballroom in the afternoon ready to take pictures before the ceremony. Tim and I didn't want to see each other but we had a special picture planned and knew that we wanted to take pictures with our bridesmaids and groomsmen before the ceremony.


I love this picture of Megan and I walking towards the beach to take pictures!

For each bridesmaid we took a few serious pictures and Carissa instructed each bridesmaid to come up with something funny to do. The sun was shining so bright on October 20th which was great and kept us warm but the sun really killed our eyes. Carissa did an amazing job at removing shadows from the pictures and working with us to make sure we had our eyes open.

 


















I am so lucky these girls were by my side on this day!


I absolutely love this picture we based off of the Bridesmaids movie picture. Its so fun and such a great memory!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Our Wedding: Getting Ready

Nothing prepares you for the morning of your wedding and man does it drag. I was thrilled to be surrounded by my best friends and enjoyed getting my hair and makeup done but I was so ready to get to the ceremony. The morning seemed to drag on and on as I was trapped in the hotel suite not able to go see Tim. 

Despite feeling like the morning lasted forever and knowing that I couldn't wait to just get to the ceremony I am so happy to have all of these pictures of the amazing morning before I said I do. 

All the pictures in this post were taken by Carissa who owns Ella Grace Photography  and if you are in the New England area and are looking for a photographer I couldn't recommend her more. 

I'm just going to leave these here and maybe comment now and then along the way. 



My dress was purchased at Alexandras Boutique in Fall River MA. I loved it for its simplicity and comfort. Also that belt...I love that this dress was simple but had a bit of sparkle.




Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need a robe for your wedding morning. It makes it way more fun to get ready and then you have it forever! Even if you're not a robe person it's worth it just for the pictures.





I love that I get a glimpse into Tim's morning with his groomsmen and his nephews. He had a little more flexibility then I did and was able to go outside and see how gorgeous the weather was.







These sweet little flower girls were just the best. Three under three isn't the most predictable group of flower girls but I wanted these ladies to be in my wedding. How lucky am I that my best friends have the cutest little girls?









This group of girls were so supportive and really took care of me throughout the whole wedding. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends. 


Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't use fake flowers. They last forever and don't look any different during the ceremony. It's such a money saver and if you aren't a huge flower person it's not worth it to spend the money in my opinion.






I attached one of my grandmas earrings to my bouquet so she would be there in spirit. 


We had amazing hair and makeup professionals to help us get ready. Kayla who I've known since I was in first grade did my hair (and regularly cuts and colors it for me) while Laura who I met while working a few years ago did our makeup. 



My amazing mom popped in and out all morning and I am so lucky to have someone so kind and supportive. She let me run the show and was there when I needed her. I am so blessed!
















Once we were all dressed and ready we headed over to the venue to take some pictures before the ceremony.....


**All photographs in this post are property of Ella Grace Photography. Duplicating, editing, cropping or using these images in any way is prohibited. Please respect her work. Thank you **