Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wedding Prep: Repainting the Barn

We are planning an outdoor reception on Mr. Handsome's family's acreage. If it rains, we will move the party into a banquet hall in town, but we are praying that the weather cooperates.

My future in-laws are doing a lot of work on their property to prepare for the reception. (Mr. Handsome's six younger siblings have taken to hiding in the basement storage room whenever they hear their mom mention the word "wedding.") 

Last weekend, my future father-in-law and his brother, along with a couple of the kids, repainted the "barn." (They call it a barn, but it is currently just a tool shed. The chickens all passed away last winter, and Mr. Handsome's parents decided to wait until after the wedding to replace them.)

Repainting the barn

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

DIY Wedding Flowers

When it comes to flowers, I'm not too picky. That's why I was happy to hand off the task of choosing flowers for the ceremony and reception to my mom and Mr. Handsome's cousin. Both of them know way more about flowers than I ever will and can pretty much name every type out there.

We will order flowers for the corsages and bouquets and some for the tables at the reception. (Once we get our act together on that, I'll post pictures.) To save money, my mom and mother-in-law came up with the idea of using hanging pots to decorate the church and our outdoor reception venue (aka Mr. Handsome's family's backyard).

The initial plan was to order pots of white wave petunias and blue lobelia. (Don't feel bad if you have no idea what those are; I sure didn't.) That would have ended up costing $200 for 20 pots, so we were thrilled when the woman at the hardware store came up with a cheaper solution. We purchased pots, soil, and bedding plants for $90 and planted them ourselves.

Saving money is a beautiful thing. Now we just have to keep the flowers alive until the wedding. Mr. Handsome's grandma (we call her Gram) graciously offered to take on that challenge.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Wedding Gift Made with Love

On Easter Sunday, just a few weeks after Mr. Handsome proposed, we received our first wedding gift in the mail. I opened the box and found a layer of burlap and a homemade card. 

We celebrate your union, as this year we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Of all the memories, I'm reminded that the best were of the simple things from the heart.

The card was signed by distant relatives who live 2,000 miles away. I had only met them once and was touched that they had taken the time to send a gift, and so soon after the engagement. We hadn't even finalized our wedding registry yet!

I unwrapped the burlap and found a beautiful, handmade quilt. Each square had a fruit of the Spirit and a Bible verse written in perfect cursive print. I had tears in my eyes as I showed the quilt to Mr. Handsome and our parents. This gift was definitely from the heart, but there was nothing simple about it. She had spent hours making a quilt for us, and we barely knew her. I think this is going to be my favorite wedding gift, and I look forward to hanging it in our home.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bargain on Bridesmaid Dresses

When you're planning a wedding in less than four months, efficiency is the name of the game. We got engaged on a Tuesday, spent two days in Florida with our parents, and then returned home on Thursday at 11pm. The following morning we got up bright and early to shop for bridesmaid dresses. I have eight bridesmaids (Mr. Handsome's four sisters plus four of my closest friends).

After browsing the local bridal shop, we stopped at Dress Barn and found a beautiful blue dress for about $35. It is knee-length and has capped sleeves. The neckline is low, so we bought an extra dress and will use that material to sew a piece of fabric into each girl's gown.



More than five years ago, my mom (Lily) and I (Ellie) started the Duggar Family Blog, which follows the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children. A few years later, we launched the Bates Family Blog about Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 kids.

After I shared my engagement story in March, readers asked me to start my own blog. Your wish is my command! I am pleased to share this new website with you all. My fiance (Mr. Handsome) proposed on March 10th, and our wedding is this summer. For those who have not read my engagement story, here it is:

Mr. Handsome decided he wanted to propose and that he wanted to make it really special, so he found cheap airline tickets and arranged for me to fly to Florida. I work for his uncle at a Christian organization, so Mr. Handsome had my boss tell me that I was going on a work trip to write a news article about a retirement community for missionaries.

My parents, Lily and Mr. Lily, also happened to be in Florida on a business trip, so they picked me up at the airport and took me to a hotel on St. Petersburg Beach. The next morning, my parents told me that we were going to meet my dad's high school friend for a quick lunch on the beach before I had to leave for my interview at the retirement community. Mr. Handsome popped out of the bushes and said, "Hey, do you want to come over here?"

My parents joined his parents on a bench about a hundred yards away. Mr. Handsome read Proverbs 31 and said: "I've been looking for a Proverbs 31 wife all my life, and I've found one. Will you marry me?" I said yes!

After the proposal, we were blessed to spend a couple days in Florida with our parents. Our siblings were all pretty jealous about that, but they are excited for the wedding, so they quickly forgave us.