An Anniversary Message

Dear Peter,

You know, I used to think it was pretty silly when people would say things like, “I love my husband more than I did on the day we got married.” I mean, sure the way you love someone changes and evolves over time, but if you really love someone more later on, then maybe you just got married too soon or something. Right?

Well, we’ve been married eight years as of today. And it may be silly (and I know it’s a bit corny), but I just have to say… I love you even more than the day I married you.

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Because I knew that you were patient and steady, but I didn’t realize how you would always be able to talk me down off the proverbial ledge.

And I knew that you had a great sense of humor, but I didn’t realize how I would need you to make me laugh when I was feeling overwhelmed by life.

Wedding High-Res 020Because I knew that family was important to you, but I didn’t realize how grateful I would feel every time you make a decision to do what’s good for us, rather than what is easy or convenient at the time.

And I knew that you would be a good father, but it’s totally different when I see the depth of your love for our kids through the ups and downs of parenting.

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Because I knew that you were smart, but I didn’t know how proud I would feel when over and over I see others seeking out your thoughtful, well-reasoned advice, and as I came to depend on it myself.

And I knew that you were hard-working, but I didn’t realize that you would be so good at making sure that there was still time for me every day.

Wedding High-Res 015Because I knew that managing money well was important to you, but I didn’t realize that every time I’d suggest giving some of it away, you would name a higher number than the one in my head.

And I knew that you trusted me, but I didn’t know that you would give me the freedom to make so many decisions without second-guessing me, or requesting an accounting of dollars spent or time used.

Wedding High-Res 019Because I knew that you wanted to follow Jesus, but I didn’t realize that serving the church together would help align our priorities to such a great extent.

And because I knew that you loved me, but I didn’t realize that you would continue to look for ways to show me how important I am still, eight years, three children, and a mortgage later.

Happy anniversary and all my love,


An Old Sole

I loved the shoes I wore on my wedding day.

They were cute, comfortable, inexpensive and best of all, they were the perfect shade of ivory to match my antique-white dress.

Since that day, I’ve happily worn them many times, despite the fact that I’ve had to give them occasional hair cuts to remove all the loose threads that were sprouting out of them.

Then today, I took a long hard look at them and decided that they were past a simple trim job.

They looked tired.  They looked done.

So despite the happy memories and in defiance of my ‘keep anything sentimental’ genetics, in the garbage they went.

Fare thee well, my wedding shoes!  You were great, perfect even, and I’m sorry to see you go!

Happy Anniversary!

Peter –

It’s hard to believe it’s already been four years since our wedding day:

Four years since I got to wear the most fabulous thing I’ve ever worn:

Four years since we nearly froze to death taking pictures:

Four years since our ‘First Dance’:

And four years since your friends nearly burned down the reception hall with fists full of sparklers:

I know getting married didn’t magically make us see eye to eye on the best way to do things:

But I’d say “I Do” all over again, without a second’s hesitation:

I love you so much!


Tips for a Thrifty Fall Wedding

We spent this past weekend in Tennessee for Peter’s cousin’s wedding.  Also our 4th wedding anniversary is tomorrow.  I’ve got weddings on the brain.

So to honor my thoughts (and also have fun going through my wedding photos) I thought I’d throw out a few ideas for saving some dough on your big day.  Not that our wedding was as inexpensive as it could have been, or that I am a master of thriftiness, but we did do a few things cheaply and here’s how:

1) Use Your Connections
Now, as a general principal, I’m not a fan of exploiting people, but when thousands of dollars hang in the balance, it’s time to call in a few favors.  By utilizing the skills/connections of friends and family, we were able to save on the chapel, desserts, cake, music and flowers, not to mention that we paid our officiant (pastor and friend) by way of a six pack of good beer.  Sometimes it’s all about who you know…

2) Do As Much As You Can Without Hiring a Professional
Mom made the cake:

My parent’s neighbor (a florist) helped with the flowers:

We also made all of our own paper items (invitations, table numbers, etc) including our programs:

3) Hire a Photographer Who Lets You Have the Rights to Your Pictures
This was our number one criteria in choosing a photographer.  You spend a little bit more initially, but you’ll save loads on albums and prints in the end.  Our photographer’s photo books started at $400, our wedding album I put together on Snapfish… $60.  (As an added bonus, when you go to write a blog post about your wedding, you won’t have to rely entirely on snapshots from your friends.)

4) Consider Items Other Than Flowers for a Perfect Centerpiece
Let’s face it.  Flowers are expensive, especially in Minnesota at the end of October.  Some great fall alternatives to flowers could be leaves, pumpkins or gourds, but if your fiance is stubborn like mine was and refuses to have gourds or anything orange on the tables at the reception, you can always try candles, dime store stemware and cranberries.  Cranberries are festive, look cool in vases and bonus… they float!

5) Shop Online
Since I was planning our wedding from Philadelphia, shopping online made a lot of sense logistically, but in the end it also saved us money on a lot of things like our little bottles of maple syrup we used as favors.

I hope this helps you plan your next big autumnal event.  Feel free to leave your own tips for a budget wedding in the comments section of this post!