Wednesday, January 30, 2013

wedding wednesday!

Okay, even though I have been engaged a solid three months (still blowing my mind time has flown so fast!), I have yet to do an actual "Wedding Wednesday" post. Yesterday we received our first wedding gift in the mail from an out-of-town friend... 10 piece Corningware, holla! Let's home my cooking/baking skills live up!

So, as of yesterday we were 5 MONTHS away from the big day and I literally committed to 3 bridal showers.... the calendar is filling up and time is running out! Here's what I've taken care of and still have yet to do:

Set a date (June 29, 2013)
Book venue (Wyche Pavillion-- Greenville, SC)
Book photographer (Olivia Griffin)
Book videographer (Jeff Bradt... SO EXCITED for this!)
Book band/DJ (Coconut Groove Band)
Ask bridal party to be in wedding (meet them here!)
Create our wedding website (check it out here!)
Book caterer and bar (thankfully the venue handles this!)
Register (At Williams-Sonoma, Target, BB&B, and Pottery Barn)
Book florist (talking with her tomorrow!)
Buy wedding dress (Poinsett Bride... read the post!)
Book ceremony musician(s) (My grandmother is the music master and is helping!)
Take engagement pictures (waiting until better weather in March!)
Select bridesmaids dress (SO excited about my LulaKate picks... I want one too!)
Select and order groom and groomsmen attire (going to look this Saturday!)
Purchase veil (The sweet owner of Poinsett Bride gave it to me as a gift!)
Book cake baker (testing on Saturday... SO pumped.)
Buy cake knife and server (registered for a Kate Spade one!)
Order save the dates (picture or no picture... that is the question.)
Finalize guest list (the WORST part. Almost done, though!)
Send save the dates.
Book officiant (My RUF minister from school!)
Pre-marital counseling (planning on starting this month!)
Order guest book
Hotel room blocks (that's dad's job!)
MOB & MOG dress shopping (my mom is so anxious about it, haha!)
Find wedding shoes (I have a pair, but keeping my options open)
Find wedding jewelry (After this post, thinking I need a gorgeous necklace!)
Find garter (Do I really have to? This makes me uncomfortable, haha)
Book make up and hair stylist
Take bridal portraits
1st dress fitting
2nd dress fitting
Order ceremony programs
Find calligrapher
Order invitations (looking today!)
Mail invitations
Book rehearsal dinner venue (First one fell through but we have found a great one!)
Buy RD dress
Order koozies/favors
Order cocktail napkins
Bridal party gifts (slowly getting there!)
Bachelorette party (My wonderful MOHs Parkes and Natalie will make it great!)
Purchase wedding bands
Get marriage license
Buy "getaway dress" (Got mine on sale and am obsessed!)
Book honeymoon (St. Lucia!!!!)
RD invitations
Groom's cake
Music selections to band and ceremony artist (harder than it sounds to decide!)
Book wedding night hotel room
Order thank you notes
Walk down the aisle!!

Well, we've definitely accomplished a lot, but we still have a bit to go it seems! Thankfully, both sets of parents have been super helpful and supportive-- we are so blessed. I forsee many appointments and thank you notes in my future, but I know I'll miss the busyness when it's over!

Here's to 5 months left!!!


Monday, January 28, 2013

making a statement.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of jewelry. I grew up playing dress up with my Nana's clip-on earrings and we have a hilarious home video of baby Ryann having a fit over an emerald ring my mom got for Christmas. Since I won't get to see my dress until my fitting in March, I spend time dreaming about the jewels and gems I want to wear with it!

I'm definitely planning on wearing the pearl stud earrings Andrew gave me as a gift and my mom's three strand pearl bracelet as my "something borrowed". As I peruse Pinterest and other wedding blogs, I can't help but feel drawn towards the wedding statement necklace trend... 

Of course, you can't go wrong with classic strand of pearls
 (or three or five)...

but this beauty is exactly what I want my wedding to be-
 classicly chic but still unique!

Ooh, how about I "shine bright like a diamond" 
to match the sparkle on my finger?

Or do I try a pop of color to show off my "something blue"?

What do you think of the statement necklaces with a wedding dress?
 Which one would you choose?


Friday, January 25, 2013

conquering fears.

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, I'm sure you've seen the photos that I've posted below. I had an awesome experience yesterday and wanted to share with you all the wonderful feeling of accomplishment that I experienced. 

This month has been one of unique learning for me. Wofford has the awesome thing called Interim, basically a January term-- there are opportunities to travel (See my trip to Australia and New Zealand last year here and here!), complete an internship, and take unique classes on campus. After traveling for two years, I decided to stay on campus and registered for a "Yoga and Rock Climbing" course, not really even thinking about the challenges I'd face ahead. 

Yesterday our class took a trip to climb an actual rock face with the help of an instructor, much different than our time in the gym. My friend Sallie and I made our way up to Crowder's Mountain, right in the area of Gastonia, NC. We were both nervous, since climbing an actual rock is MUCH different than experimenting with the routes and holds on a man made rock wall in the gym. Bundled up in layers, prepared for the cold, we hit the road and hoped for the best. 

As I watched my classmates make their way up the rock face at various paces, my stomach began to tie up in knots. I was excited to try climbing the actual rock, but not so excited for the heights. I hate rollercoasters, tall glass elevators, elevated bridges... you name it. If it's high, I'm not a fan. However, I realized that my fear of heights paled in comparison to the immense opportunity that I had before me and the exhilaration of setting and reaching a goal. So, I decided to simply go for it. 

Harnessed in with a chalk bag at my back and instructor Rob looking up from below, I began the ascent. I decided that I would just work my way up, concentrating on my breathing and the movement to hand and foot holds required to continue upward. I didn't look down unless absolutely necessary, and I didn't think about how high up I was. I could faintly hear the cheers and encouraging words of my classmates, professors, and instructor, and I loved that. We had a code word for letting climbers know they were making progress (a.k.a were really high up!) without freaking them out... we would yell up, "You're so accomplished!" So I finally made it up to the top of the rock at the point where our belay was anchored and finally got the guts to look down and truly soak in my "accomplishment"! I don't usually brag, but I am so proud of myself. 

I conquered my fear of heights (at least temporarily)
 and made it to the top of an 80 ft rock face! 

That's me in the crack! (Cue immature comments...)
Ignore the dust orb over my bootay and concentrate on how intense I look, haha!
All smiles with Sallie after conquering the rock!
(Disregard the ringless left hand...  Too athletic for diamonds yesterday!) 
It feels awesome to have not only challenged myself physically, but mentally. I am so excited and glad that I made a point to push myself this month and wouldn't trade my experience for anything. I'm not trying to get all "YOLO" on y'all, and trust me, I'm not going skydiving anytime soon (or ever, for that matter), but there's nothing wrong with disregarding your fears, at least temporarily. At some point, it would do us all a little good to release inhibitions, challenge your body and mind, and get out of our comfort zone.

What have you accomplished lately that you're proud of?! Let's do a victory dance!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

meet my bridesmaids!

I realize it's been a while since I've updated you on my life, and I swear wedding planning isn't the only thing going on worth blogging about... I said I'd never turn my blog into solely a wedding blog but it's too fun not to include a little bit!

My last post was about how I asked my bridesmaids to be a part of my big day... and now I'll introduce them to you! Before I get started, I will preface this:

 Yes, I have 10 bridesmaids.  
Trust me, I've had some people make faces when I tell them how many girls I'm having with me up front. I finally let it stop bothering me, because I am SO blessed to have so many girls I love enough to make a part of my day. It might seem crazy to have that many best friends, but I have special girls from so many different parts of my life and I am so darn excited to spend time with all of them!

Drumroll please, for my leading ladies....

Maids of Honor:
Parkes & Natalie
Yup, I just decided to go all out when it came to getting crazy with the bridesmaids. Parkes and Natalie are my two best friends from high school and there is no way I could pick between them! We talked about doing a rotation for MOH status when each of us got married, but it just made so much more sense to include them both and make the MOH duties easier and split between two lovely ladies. I am so blessed to have them in my life and I literally have no idea what I would do without them. They have been there for me always and seen Andrew and I grow in our relationship together. Can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves for bachelorette and toasts! 

Lea Elizabeth
Lea Elizabeth is one of my roommates this year and a fellow only child. I distinctly remember the first time I met Lea-- it was at Wofford scholarship interview. Desperate for a friend, I offhandedly told her how much I loved her monogram purse (even though I really did love it... I just wanted to make conversation!) and we've been best friends ever since!

 Lauren M
Looks can be deceiving, but I really do love Lauren. We have tons of great pictures, but this is seriously the best one the exemplifies our relationship. Lauren is also a roommate of mine and we've been best friends since freshman year. I love Lauren because she's just so silly. It's not strange to see her dancing around the apartment to Gangnam style in a fleece onesie... and you think I'm joking. 

Martha and I were acquaintances freshman year, but we commiserated over our accounting course sophomore and became close friends. We are each other's "bestie for the restie", as we call it, and our RUF minister jokes that we cannot function apart from each other... which is partially true. We also enjoy crying over awesome wedding videos together... let's hope mine is tear-worthy!

Jennings is also a roommate and a Wofford best friend, along with a ZTA sister. We were introduced through mutual friends before coming to college and have been close the whole way through! Jennings has been the wonderful host of all our spring break trips to Myrtle Beach and I love her love of blueberry tart yogurt from our favorite "Yogi Mountain" (a.k.a Yogurt Mountain)!

Sallie was my sophomore year roommate and is also a ZTA sister and a part of my core group of Wofford girls. I swear my soda consumption was at an all-time high when I lived with her... she's never seen without a Coke Zero in hand! This Interim we're taking on a yoga and rock climbing class together and I've had a blast bonding over my inabilities with Sal. 

Lauren D
I have so many Laurens in my life! This is my "little sister" in ZTA who has grown to be one of my best friends! She's since transferred to UVA to become the best nurse ever, but we have stayed in touch and I don't know what I would do without her! Lauren is the best for both life talks and being silly. She is a huge wedding lover and has legitimately emailed me folders and folders of pretty inspiration!

Sarah M
Just like we have 2 Laurens in the wedding, we also have 2 Sarahs! This is Andrew's older sister, who is going to graduate this year as well... except she will have her graduate degree from USC! Her dream is to work as a counselor in Maui, like her uncle... helloooooo vacation!? I've really grown close to Sarah over the past few year and this only child is so excited to gain a sister!

Sarah B
Out of all my bridesmaids, I've known Sarah the longest- she's my closest cousin and we've grown up together. As little girls we would play together all the time and she was always the friend I brought on vacations with me! We went to rival high school and she is at USC, but we still have stayed close and always pick up where we've left off whenever we see each other! She is so much fun and I can't believe we've gone from playing "Mary Kate and Ashley" in the backyard (spy games, y'all!) to standing together in the wedding chapel!


So, that's the lineup of my beautiful, wonderful bridesmaids! They've all already ordered their dresses-- next task is finding some awesome (and inexpensive!) shoes for my sassy ladies to wear. I can't wait for all the fun with showers and the bachelorette with every one of these girls!


Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm not the only girl that said "yes!"

Nothing feels better than checking something off my wedding checklist, and I am excited to say all my bridesmaids are accounted for as of this week! Most of them knew offhand that they would be involved because they had heard my planning and wedding musings, however, I think I surprised a few!

I wanted to put forth a nice gesture and give my girls a gift they would be able to really use and a memento they could cherish. Inspired by this pin for wedding koozies, I played around with Illustrator and created an insert to put in the koozies that would ask the girls to be my bridesmaids. I tried to get all Lilly flamingo koozies, because the colors are very close to our theme (turquoise with coral accents) but unfortunately I had to go with a different print for my two Maids of Honor. 

I wrapped the notes up in the koozies to look like a can and gave them to the girls like this:

All of the girls loved it and thankfully said yes! I am so excited to have them all and we're on a roll with  dress fitting and ordering, thank goodness. I am also planning on having 5 honorary bridesmaids and wrote them each a personalized note thanking them for their friendship and asking them to be there on our big day as well.

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful young women in my life to support me and I cannot wait for all the fun that is to come!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

a southern bride's manifesto

As I've already made clear, I am completely in love with all things southern. Sweet tea, Chick-Fil-A, and that warm feeling you get when you realize it really is a small world after all. 

I mentioned in this post about my favorite wedding websites, one of them being Southern Weddings Magazine blog and site. I stumbled upon this page on their website, dedicated to what has been dubbed "The Sweet Tea Society" and I immediately fell in love. To quote the Sweet Tea Society page:

"In the Sweet Tea Society, we believe that planning a wedding means planning for more than just one day; that there is nothing on this earth more important than family; and that, while details are nice, true love always, always wins."

Take a look-see at this wonderfully sweet declaration and tell me what you think!

I'm usually one to get all frazzled when it comes to planning, but I have seen one too many bridezillas and have pledged myself never to take it that far. This manifesto maps out the beautiful details we all love and obsess over at weddings, but it reminds us what is at the core of a wedding: love, y'all!

I promise to never became caught up in wedding planning-- how my invitations match my flowers or where this person will sit or what that person will wear-- because at the end of the day, I will be MARRIED to my best friend after celebrating with the friends and family I hold dear. When it comes down to it, the details are important, and I want my guests to love the decorations and the band, but what I want them to remember the most is the contagious joy in the sanctuary as Andrew and I say our vows, the smiles as we tear up the dance floor, and the love evident in all aspects of our special day.

After reading this Southern bride's manifesto, would you consider yourself a part of the Sweet Tea Society?!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 in review!

I've already posted about my goals for 2013, but as I reflect upon the past year I am so encouraged by the many wonderful things that happened in 2012. It wasn't all sunshine and butterflies, but I am a better person for what I experienced this year. Let's take a look!

I attended the Passion 2012 conference (my second one!) with some of my closest friends! 
I said bon voyage as Andrew jetted off to his semester of study abroad in Italy
I studied abroad for the month in Australia and New Zealand with two of my closest friends... recap here and here!

I celebrated Valentine's Day by myself... womp womp. 

ZTA won Greek Week... again!
I attended and volunteered at the Joy Prom for kids with special needs! 

I spent spring break in the "dirty Myrtle" with my best friends for the last time!
I went to one of the best concerts ever... Needtobreathe and Ben Rector!
I orchestrated my last (and most successful!) ZTA Shag-a-Thon fundraiser!
I sold merchandise at the Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors concert with my Little!

I survived long distance- Andrew returned to America from Italy adventures!
Learned my Little was transferring to the nursing program at UVA
I celebrated my 21st birthday in style with my best friends!

I started an incredible marketing internship at Upward Sports!

I road-tripped to Virginia Beach with Andrew to visit my Little, Lauren!
My sweet blog and in-real-life friend Charlotte got engaged!

I went to Hilton Head and the PGA championship with my family, Parkes, and Andrew!
I served on Wofford Orientation Staff for the last time... so sad!

I started my SENIOR YEAR at Wofford... complete with gorgeous apartments!
I went through my last ZTA recruitment!
...and took a brief blog hiatus. 

Andrew "put a ring on it"!!!!!!
I was ZTA's nomination for Homecoming Queen and won 2nd runner up!

I celebrated 5 years with my sweet boy!
Visited Lauren and the architecture grad school at UVA
I did a mini blog re-design!
Wofford played USC in football and fought so hard!

I ended my reign as ZTA Vice President- so bittersweet!
Wofford won the SoCon championship in football!
I ended my last fall semester on a great note... all A's!

I'd say 2012 was a great one... cheers to 2013!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

new year, new goals.

Helloooo 2013!
 As I perused my blogroll on this lazy January 1 morning-- let's be real, it was noon before I woke up (after my rager of a night with a visit to the zoo Christmas lights and sparkling cider)-- I came upon a post by Taylor at Anchored that I loved. 

I know a lot of people are opposed to resolutions for one reason or another. I'm not opposed by any means, but I would rather think of my new year in terms of goals that are achievable and that I can check off my list. Anyone who knows me knows I make a daily list of "to-do" and work through the day crossing them off to feel accomplished and organized. I'm going to approach the new year in the same manner. Taylor created her own list of goals-- "13 in 2013"-- and I am going to follow suit! This new year brings a lot of changes for me, including but not limited to: graduation, marriage, living in a new city, getting a job-- so these goals will help keep me focused!

goals: ryann's 13 in 2013
  1. Graduate from Wofford with a 3.9 cumulative GPA. 
  2. Continue in consistency with this blog! Sometimes I have dry spells but I truly get so much joy from blogging and interaction with the blogging community. 
  3. Create a booklist (of the titles I've been wanting to read forever!) and read for the FUN of it!
  4. Commit to daily scripture reading. I got a jump start on this with the "She Reads Truth" advent devotional and I love it. I highly recommend this interactive study!
  5. Continue my work in the Wofford communications office and save (at least) half my earnings. 
  6. Become more intentional in the daily ministry of my life. 
  7. After the wedding, try at least two new recipes a week and plan out meals for us. 
  8. Run a 5K, and upon completion, work towards a 10K. 
  9. Closely related, lose 10-15 pounds by the wedding with a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained. 
  10. Land my dream job-- anything related to writing, event planning, public relations, social media marketing, and creative communications-- or all of the above!
  11. Find a church/Bible study group in the new city we move to after Andrew begins graduate school and grow in friendship and fellowship with new people. 
  12. Work on less excess-- in many senses. If I don't wear it, donate it. If I have it, use it. If I don't really need it, don't buy it. You get the idea. 
  13. Get writing published in a local magazine to add to my resume and portfolio. 
May he give you the desire of your heart 
and make all your plans succeed
-Psalm 20:4

Happy New Year, friends! What are your goals, plans, and resolutions?