Monday, April 16, 2018

Two Short Years





Monday - today - is my wedding anniversary.  We had plans to celebrate over the weekend, but things came up and we were without a babysitter this year...so we had a nice dinner at home together...with the baby.  LOL. 

It's hard to believe that we've ONLY been married for 2 short years...We both were married before, but it feels like we've always been together...in a good way. 

In both of our first marriages, we did not have the wedding OR MARRIAGE either of us had wanted before...When Hubby and I got engaged...he said I could have the wedding I wanted (within reason).  Thank goodness he didn't marry someone who wanted a $500,000 wedding!  I had a backyard wedding at the cabin and loved every minute of it.  It was my dream wedding.  I absolutely loved it. 

Hubby and I only invited our family and our closest of friends to the wedding...we wanted only the people that would be there - to be sincere.  If you were family, you were invited...This saved us a ton of money with the cost of food.  There are only two people that I wish I had invited for our special day.  I wish I had invited a dear friend of mine named Brandy and my Sergeant from the Investigations Division.  These are my only two regrets for my wedding day.  Knowing now how many people RSVP'd and still didn't make it...we could have invited them and not had to adjust any of the head count numbers for the food.  Hard lesson learned...

Food was largest expense for my wedding...I did pay for someone to cater and set up and serve in a buffet style.  Hubby and I love Mexican food.  It only made sense to have it at our wedding.  Pappas Catering saved the day.  We had fajitas with ALL the fixings!  It was delicious...and the price was very affordable.  We even had some leftover and thank goodness...the next day started the rains for the Tax Day Floods in Houston.  We were flooded in the very next night.  Cutting the people we worked with and friends/acquaintances for our wedding also saved major money!  We only paid for food for less than 50 people.  It was a lovely intimate backyard wedding.  It was also an affordable wedding. 

I did not want to start our marriage with any added debt from our wedding - number one priority!  I actually had/have friends who ended up divorced because they couldn't seem to pay off the debt and it snowballed into their lives and into other areas.  Money can do some amazing and evil things at the same time. 

I have had friends and acquaintances who have asked me how did I get married on such a low budget.  I didn't think it was that low, but I only spent $5,000 and that included buying his ring and my dress.  I researched what items cost first before setting my budget and I knew I would never be a bride with a $10,000 wedding budget (which was the average cost of a wedding when I married Hubby).  I could never afford that.  $10,000 spent for one day seems a bit extreme...

I found that venues have a lot of control over your wedding day.  A lot.  I went and toured many venues.  You could only use their vendors with their set prices...alcohol was a huge issue - so many rules - so many needed law enforcement/security per number of people.  However, renting a very nice tent, some tables and chairs...very affordable.  I had the flowerbeds fixed up with some fresh plants and new concrete borders and spent some money fixing up the driveway.  I found this very satisfying as I was putting money into my home and not just wasting it for a one time use.  With the venue being my backyard - I had control over what would happen for our special day. 

I made the centerpieces with my mom and sister...a few mason jars with some ribbin and pearl ribbons wrapped around with flowers.  Have you priced what centerpieces cost for a wedding?  As soon as you say "wedding" it triples!  Holy moly. 

I knew someone who just started her own cake business after taking professional decorating classes.
She's amazing.  I had tasted her cakes while working as a school resource officer for a middle school.  She always made amazing birthday cakes for the staff.  Not only were they gorgeous, but they tasted so wonderful...My wedding cake was less than $100.  As my wedding gift - she delivered it for me. 
THIS WAS HUGE!  I found that most cakes even for 50 people/slices would cost several hundreds of dollars just because I mentioned "wedding" cake.  I purchased the cake topper on Etsy for around $10.  My friend, Tina who made the cake - added flowers for me when she arrived with the cake. 

I found a wedding planner who was just starting out and my mother paid for her services as her wedding gift to me.  Her name is Tammy...with Tammy's Table...She was well worth it.  She decorated for me and brought extra decorations to "finish" the look.  She helped plan the ceremony with the timing of things.  She was such a joy!  Her portfolio is amazing and if you don't believe me, just click on her link...she doesn't even know I linked to her page.  This is an honest review....

 Another great find was a local photographer who loved to do weddings!  I found Kate's Creations through a wedding app on my phone.  I met her at a local restaurant where she showed me her portfolio.  We had a drink and talked like we were old friends!  I instantly knew she was the one for me.  She is very creative and I always recommend her as a photographer - especially if you are in the Houston area.  I still know Kate very well...She has become one of my best friends.  We met at the same restaurant when she gave me my wedding photos and we were also pregnant together.  Her son, William, is destined to be best friends with Bailey.  We even joke that they will marry one day.  Kate's photography business has exploded!  She is an expert baby photographer!  I cannot believe how many awesome and amazing ideas this woman has.  I fall in love with each of her photo sessions that she shares on her Facebook page.  She does weddings in a remarkable way!  I'm still in awe of how wonderful her photos are.  I still have the USB flash drive she gave me with all my wedding photos.  I carry it in my purse and is one of my prized possessions.  Kate speaks of giving you an experience instead of just photographs...and she delivers.  One of my favorite moments is when and how she gave me my photos on my flash drive. It was wrapped up in the cutest way - that also happened to match my wedding style/theme.  I almost cried.  I'm tearing up just thinking about it now.  I knew I wanted a great photographer to cherish these memories...and Kate worked within my budget and I'll never forget that! 

I found my dress on Ebay of all places.  I had started looking at styles online and found this one on
accident for around $300...I couldn't believe it.  I ordered it and then paid for alterations (I'm short).  I wore pearls I already owned...my headpiece came from Etsy...The candles with ribbons were a wedding gift from my partner at work (and one of my best friends)...My flowers were from a local florist and I choose flowers in season and my bill was around $300 total.  That's a steal in flowers!  The man who married us was a preacher that Hubby knew from long ago.  He married us as his wedding present. 

It's amazing to have a day all to celebrate your love to your special person...better half...and it not break the bank.  It's an amazing feeling!  It's almost as amazing as marrying your best friend. 

From the start, my life with Hubby has been completely unexpected.  If you had told me just 4.5 years ago how my life would be today, I would have laughed in your face.  My career was very successful...my personal goals had all been accomplished, except for a spouse who would truly love me.  I found that person in Hubby.  I accepted a dare from a great friend and joined Match.com.  I met Hubby on match.com.  Crazy, huh?  Cybercrimes detective....finds love on the internet.  Sounds like a horror film's movie plot. 

Even Reyna, my German Shepherd, was there!
We were flooded in the first week of our marriage...not a bad start, eh?  LOL.  The next week as the flood waters receded, we left for our honeymoon to Fredericksburg, Texas and stayed at Baron's Creekside in the old farmhouse.  We took an extended weekend for our honeymoon before returning to work.  We had so much fun in Fredericksburg.  I'm not sure how Hubby did it, because when I called to check dates they were full...Hubby just said he would find a place and it would be awesome.  It was.  He scheduled a couples massage and lots of other treats.  He really took the time to make it special.  I, of course, found a real quilt shop...a real one...off the beaten path and off the main street.  That was a nice shopping stop! 


We've changed and lost jobs, had a baby, built a second home/deer camp...all the major stressers a couple could have...all in two years.  It's been a bumpy ride, but an amazing one.  We have amazing friends....wonderful and supportive family...it's going to be a great life and an even better marriage. 

If you plan on getting married soon, or recently engaged...I encourage you to think of the most important things to you for your wedding day...spend the money on them and remain reasonable.  If you take the time, you can find some amazing deals for your wedding day. 

The other item I recommend is to remember why you are marrying this special person in your life.  Why are they so special to you? 

It's not about how much money you spend, but how you celebrate your love.

Does it show both of your personalities or have you taken over the wedding events?  You may want to go to the courthouse and get married in a small ceremony and then celebrate with a reception at your favorite place.  You may want to elope to Vegas and spend the first weekend together touring the strip.  The options are never ending...Just find the right option for both of you! 

Today, I will celebrate our marriage...not just the date of our wedding anniversary.  Today marks the date of the birth of our marriage and yes, we may have only been married a short time, it is a strong God-filled marriage.  Hubby is truly my better half (although I won't tell him that! LOL) and we balance each other well.  We have similar interests and hobbies (he doesn't sew or quilt though) and we have the same image and concepts in mind for our family. 


***

Hubby, today I will celebrate our love for each other and I will bask in the love you show me and our family.  It is truly wonderful to share our lives together and to be "one" with each other. 

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."  - Matthew 19:6  (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. At least you got yours in a suit. I couldn't. Mine wore new jeans and snap shirt. 😄But I did ware my white dress. We were 17 years old. We are now 47 and September 3rd this year. It will be 30 years. 3 girls oldest one 29,with a boy and girl. second one 28, with 2 girls. And the baby is 26 almost 27, with 2 girls and one boy.

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