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One of the most important things to consider when you pick your flowers and decor is the season in which you are getting married.  The Christmas season that we just came out of is a great example!  I know, I know…red and green are not my favorite wedding colors either, but there are some key elements in the Christmas season to use to your advantage!

Garland & Greenery:

Almost all traditional (and some non-traditional) ceremony and reception sites decorate for Christmas.  Use it to our advantage.  Think of greenery as the jeans upon which you build an outfit.  Greenery is neutral which means any color scheme can be applied to it.  Ask your reception site how they decorate for Christmas and if you can change out their ornaments and bows for your own.  You can also pick up greenery for centerpieces from tree farms and places like Home depot for free or for a small fee.  Um…I said free.  Hello!  That’s awesome.

Ornaments:

This is a big one for me.  I love decorating my house for Christmas.  One of my favorite decorations is colored glass (or plastic) Christmas balls.  You can get great deals right after Chrismtas!  This goes for bridal showers or baby shower thrown at this time of year (stay tuned for pics of my nieces baby shower that was held in December). I bought beautiful pink glass ornaments from Macys for 75% off the week after Christmas.  Jackpot!  Anyway…use colored Christmas in vases with or without flower arrangements or scatter them on top of greens on tables or put them on your pew bows/Christmas trees/garland/wreaths.  I would recommend choosing one neutral color that will be easy to find like silver, white, or gold.

Christmas Trees:

Christmas trees are a great way to bring in a big decoration for very little cost.  You can get a good sized tree from a grocery store or home improvement store for $30ish.  Add a few strands of lights, some of the ornaments, and  big bow on top and voila…you have beautiful decor.

Christmas Wreaths:

Use them on the doors of your church, reception site, home, ect.  Add a beautiful bow and some ornaments in your color scheme.  Sometimes locations will already have wreaths in place and will let you change out their bow/ornaments for your own.  Awesome and oh so cheap.

And last but not least…

Poinsettias:

I know, they can be cheesy!  If your wedding colors do not include the color red, don’t forget that poinsettias come in a pretty creamy white and a pink as well.  White would be a great backdrop for most color schemes!  You can ask your church if they would be willing to purchase white poinsettias during the year of your wedding or at least half and half.  Otherwise, you can use them for your rehearsal dinner decor, at the entrance to your reception site, or at your bridal showers as gifts to the hostesses or guests.

I heart Christmas and weddings!  I am dreaming of a champagne and eggplant Christmas wedding with gold and off white accents!

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Oh my word, I have totally been MIA lately!  I am so sorry!  Life has been crazier than I could have ever imagined.  I started my new job for which I have to leave for at the butt crack of dawn.  We had an earthquake.  We had a hurricane, which wiped out our power for 3 days.  I started class for the first time in almost 5 years.  I still have all my regular home and church responsibilities as well as my family (hubby and puppy) to hang out with.  All this put together has exhausted me and taken up a tremendous amount of my time.

Sadly, this has affected my poor blog and my wonderful readers!  Did you know that I love ya’ll?  I have set myself up for some posts over the next few weeks, so hopefully you will be seeing and hearing more from me!

I hope that you are all doing well!

 

-Whitney

This is not a post about events, but I wanted to share it anyway.

This past weekend, my husband and I made the very familiar trek to Williamsburg.  We have been there more times than I can count, but this time was a little different.  This time, we were going to say goodbye and celebrate the life of someone we both hold very dear to our hearts.

When we were in college, we had the privilege of being apart of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru).  Cru is a ministry found on college campuses big and small that focuses on community building around the Gospel specifically through small group Bible studies.  Mark and I  actually met through Cru – he was the life of every gathering and wore pink…I was hooked from the start.  I also met 2 of my favorite women on the planet at Cru (love you Kara and Em).

Our campus pastor during our time in college was Bruce West.  He was incredibly down to earth and had a huge heart for students especially through one on one discipleship.  He met with and challenged my husband every week for 4 years.  He gave Mark his first opportunities to preach, write small group lessons and lead a small group.  Mark is now a pastor, so this was an incredibly helpful set of tools to learn.  He gave me the opportunity to plan parties and socials for Cru (which is obviously right up my alley).  He met with me just about every week during my last 1.5 years of school and pushed me into leading my first Bible study (even though I was scared out of my mind).  My first small group experience was so incredible.  I met so many Godly women who I respect and love.  They gave me the chance to teach them and I learned so much more from them than they could have ever learned from me.  I would have never chosen to lead, but Bruce knew that I was ready.  Bruce taught Mark and I how to connect with people where they are in their lives and tell them about Jesus.  We are forever grateful for the Godly influence that he had on our lives and our ministry.

At the end of May, Bruce went  home to be with Jesus.  He was killed in a biking accident while serving as a Marine Corps Chaplain in Japan.   He was 41 years old and is survived by his wife (of 17 years) and 3 kids (15, 13, and 9).  I am so grateful that I was able to go to Bruce’s funeral this past weekend for a number of reasons.  I was reminded of how he lived his life (“in a manner worthy of the Gospel” – Phil 1:27).  The message and saving power of Jesus was shared more times than I can count.  Probably the thing that was most amazing was to hear Bruce’s wife Maryann talk about him and then clearly and boldly share the Gospel and the reminder that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).  Being with Christ is much better than being here, no matter how good your life is.  While it was sad to say goodbye, I know that it is just for a little while.  The funeral also gave Mark and I an opportunity to re-connect with some of the men and women that we “did life” with in college.  We all went out to eat at Chili’s after the funeral in honor of Bruce (since we went there every week as a group in college).  We shared some wonderful memories, but we mainly just laughed a lot and enjoyed each other just like we always did in college.  It was such a wonderful way to celebrate his life and all the ways that he ministered to us during our crazy college years.

I just wanted to share this with you because it was on my heart and mind.  I feel like you all should know about the good, the sad and the crazy in my life.  All of us our running a race in life, but Bruce’s just happened to be at top speed (he was an amazing runner, so I am not really surprised).  I hope that my race is as fruitful for Christ as Bruce’s was.  Thanks for letting me share.

Here is a fabulous picture from our fall retreat my sophomore year of college:

Bruce is on the right and his 3 blond kiddos are in the front (or in my friend Kara’s arms).  I am the giant one in the back hugging my friend Emily.  Mark is the crazy one in the front acting like a statue. 

When I was three years old, my mom, dad, big brother, and I moved from Florida to Pennsylvania because of the military.  When the moving trucks arrived in PA with all of our stuff, the only people to receive them were my momma and me.  Clearly, I was not as helpful at 3 as I would be now, so my mom was a little stressed.  As she was setting up one of our upstairs rooms (with her three year old following her every move), she noticed a woman looking at our house from the side-walk with her 2.5 year old little blond girl in tow.  Mom grabbed me and my coat and ran down stairs and out the front door.  After talking for a few minutes, the woman (Ms. Liz) offered to take me to play group and make me some lunch.

That day began a friendship for my mom and I that has lasted for the past 23.5 year.  Christina and I played together almost everyday for 5 years (before they moved to the Bahamas and then to Florida).  I gave her the chicken pox (it was our moms’ idea), I had my first sleepover at her house and her family introduced me to bagels (YUM).  Being a military transplant to PA, we did not have any of our own family close by, so they became our family.  One of my fondest memories of my time with Christina was our time playing dress up!  We wore all sorts of ridiculous things, but we especially loved to be brides.

Why am I telling you this story?  Well, this week my dear and oldest friend got engaged!  Now, it is not going to be dress up!  It is the real thing.  I know that she will be a beautiful bride, and I am so excited for her and Matt!  Love you Christina!

And let the photo montage begin…

Further evidence that we played dress-up a lot!

Easter…I was always a giant apparently.

My brother and my mom’s early ’90s hair are super excited to be featured in this blog post.  This is when Christina’s wild and crazy little sister came on the scene.  🙂

This is thoroughly embarrassing for both of us, but wasn’t she the cutest bumble bee you have ever seen!

Trip to the shore with all the sisters!

We gave our bridal party Virginia is for Lovers t-shirts at our Rehearsal Dinner.  We all put them on immediately, of course.  These are our fun and fabulous mommas.  Please don’t mind the fact that we have all been crying as well (happy tears).

My gorgeous bridesmaids.  Christina is top right.  ❤

Dancing the night away on my big day with the 2 women that I have been privileged to call my friends the longest!  Love you girls!  Please take note of my husband’s ridiculousness in the background…wowzers!

Have you ever noticed that a lot of wedding dress designers have 1 or 2 weird/scary dresses in their collections?  As I was looking through dresses today, I came across 2 that genuinely scared me.  Why would anyone want to look like Cruela DeVil on their wedding day?  The only thing that would make these worse is if they had black and white polka dotted bridesmaid dresses.

There is way too much fabric going on in both of these!  Can you imagine seeing a bride walk down the aisle in the first dress?

Within the same collection, I found this adorable little dress that makes me smile.  It is flirty, fun and has  a little bit of a retro vibe.

How is it possible that these 3 dresses could come from the same collection?!?

All dresses are from Priscilla of Boston‘s Vineyard Collection.

(Side note, the other dresses from the collection are fab!)

This comes via one of the college students who works for me.  So funny!  Why is the world would 2 grown women wears those horrendous hats?

Happy Friday!  Hope you have a lovely day!

Typically, I am anti these 20 question things, but when my sweet friend Megan tagged me, I thought it might be fun to play along so that you could learn a little more about me.

Rule #1: The tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any questions they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: Tag people to do this quiz.  Ok…so I don’t want to tag people.  If you want to do it, let me know, and I will add you to this post.  I know, I know…I am lame.

1. What is one word that can best be used to describe you?
Is “Giraffe” a descriptive word?  If so, that is the one I choose.  🙂  I am awkwardly tall with long legs and I love spots.  Side note…I hate answering these questions seriously.  I will try harder on question #2.

2. If you could have a dream come true, would what it be? I am going with Megan’s answer…”I don’t really have a “dream” that I have always wanted to come true. I really desire a happy family that serves and loves God together.”  Sorry to cop out, but it is so true.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Um, that is a ridiculous sum of money that I will never see! I would pay off my house and car (as well as my family’s houses, cars, and debt); go back to school full time; adopt and help others to adopt; set aside money for kiddos (and my niece) to go to school; pay for our church’s new building;  put a big patio in our backyard (so we can have neighborhood cookouts); buy my big brother a house (in VA, of course); give lots of money to church plants and missionaries; take my Bible Study girls on an international mission trip; give money to my Alma Mater (Go Tribe!); and just generally love on people in need.

4. What helps pull you out of a bad mood?
My crazy husband making me laugh (even when I don’t want to laugh).

5. What is your bedtime routine?
Potty it up (HA!), wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, kiss Mark and Freckles goodnight and attempt to fall asleep as quickly as possible.

6. What activities did you do in High School? If you could go back, would you do the same or something different?
I haven’t thought about my high school activities in years…here goes: I was involved in my church youth group; I played rec soccer, basketball, and softball and I swam in the summer; I coached middle school girls’ basketball, 2 swim teams, and special needs soccer; I was apart of our class government (planning events) and was the class treasurer (which was a nightmare for  a class of 1,000 students); I was the advising coordinator for the PA State Student Council Conference (huge nerd); I was the French Club President (Oui Oui), was a member of the National Honor Society and the Key Club, and was a huge nerd on every level of life.  Oh and I was also on the Mock Trial Team, which should be surprising to any of you who know me.  I hate standing up in front of people to talk.  What was I thinking?  I am sure that I am missing something, but I already sound ridiculously nerdy.  I will stop now.  I learned a tremendous amount about leading a “big girl” life in high school.  I over-committed myself constantly and paid the price in my levels of stress and feeling overwhelmed (even though I loved everything that I did).  Looking back, I realize that God taught me a lot  about my satisfaction coming from Him and who He created me to be and not from how popular I am or what activities I am involved in.  I wouldn’t change it.  Sorry for being so verbose.

7. What kind of books do you read?
I read my Bible daily, and when I find time, I like to read fiction books and light theology books.

8. How do you see yourself in ten years?
A devoted wife, loving momma, and committed church member.  I would also love to be working in student affairs at a public university and planning weddings/events part-time.

9. What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own?
Too hard…I don’t know!  I love dresses, skirts and cardigans.

10. What kind of skin care do you use?
Biore and Neutrogena – nothing fancy

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Press SNOOZE on my alarm clock at least once.  Waking up early is such a bummer.

12. If you could have any job, regardless of income, what would it be?
Planning orientation for new undergrads at the College of W&M!  I know that I am nerdy, but I love working with students.  My second job choice…planning royal weddings and celebrations.  🙂

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Weird question!  I don’t know.  I know what I would NOT want to be named…Gertrude!

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months or rain, which would you choose?
Who in their right mind would choose rain?  I heart sunshine.

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next six months, what would it be?
Chicken Fajita salad with lots of peppers and onions and the yummy southwest vinaigrette dressing from Moe’s Southwest Grill.

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
I love planning unique and special events!  I think so many people get stuck in a rut of what they have seen their family or friends do at past events.  I love giving people a new and different perspective!

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?
I love sweet food.  It is my nemesis.  🙂

18. What items are in your purse right now?
Good gravy…2 wallets (don’t ask), my Bible and notebook, fruit snacks, gum, hair ties, work keys, car/home keys, multiple types of Burt’s Bees lip stuff, my make-up, hand sanitizer, and a bunch of trash (courtesy of the hubs at the Wholesale club on Tuesday).

19. What is the best memory you have of you and the person that tagged you in their 20 questions?
Hmmm…Megan and I went through a unique phase of life together, so we shared lots of fun moments.  My favorite might be the day that she brought me home from a baby shower at church and we just sat and talked forever in my apt’s parking lot.  We cried and laughed and realized very much we shared in common!

20. What are your favorite TV shows?

NCIS, Chuck, Community, The Office, Parks and Rec, Say Yes to the Dress, and a lot of shows on HGTV and Bravo.  Oh and Parking Wars…I love the PPA.

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