Cedar & Stone Workshop Stylist- Sneak Peek!

Happy Fall everyone! I can’t get enough of this 70 something weather right now. I fear the heat returning, so I’m wearing scarfs and making yummy fall treats to celebrate. One of my girlfriends always says, “buy the pumpkins and the weather will follow!” I hope that’s true!

Another exciting thing about this fall is the Cedar and Stone workshop that I’m styling! I’m super pumped about working with the amazing team of vendors (see some listed here) we have lined up. It’s going to be a weekend of hard work and hanging with cool people, but I’m most excited about the creative side. It’s so fun to create something original and have people engage with it. We will be setting up our styled shoots at three really great Hill Country Wedding Venues- Montessino Ranch, Pecan Springs Ranch, and The Liney Moon.

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Since I mentioned it last week as a teaser, I thought I would share a little inspiration with you for one of the shoots! I can’t share all of the details, because that would ruin the fun, but here are some of the inspiration images, colors, and patterns that showed up on our mood board.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar, mood boards are super helpful in setting the tone for a shoot or event. They guide all of the vendors on the “feel” and the color story, but are never meant for copying. We want to come up with something original, but this allows us to communicate the vision. Then each vendor can come up with an original design inspired by the mood board. It’s really neat to see the initial mood board and compare it to the final product. I can’t wait to show you the results!

There are a couple of spots still available if you are interested in attending. It’s going to be super inspiring and amazing!

Inspiration thanks to: HappyWedd.Com; Elizabeth Anne Designs; One Summer Day Photo; My Sequined Life; Green Wedding Shoes; Amy Lynn Photography; United With Love; Luck & Love Photography;

Elegant Film Wedding at Hoffman Haus

I was so excited to work with Sarah Goss Photography on this wedding back in the early spring. This was our first event to work together and she did an amazing job on these photos! I absolutely adore the richness in the colors in the film, almost as much as I adored this couple. Shannon and Harris found me via referral of Hoffman Haus, but after getting to know them, we found out that they actually worked for the same company as my mom and knew her! A company all the way in north Texas. Small freakin’ world.

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They were darling and in love. Shannon had amazing taste. The antler sheds on the centerpieces were prizes of her Dads from his many years of hunting and the silver flower containers belonged to her mother’s family. Her family was boisterous and bubbly and so much fun to be around. Sweet Magnolia provided the pretty florals!

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The colors were neutral grey with just a hint of lavender. Perfect for a hill country wedding! Hoffman Haus was the ideal venue for this classic wedding. Sophie’s made this dreamy cake (it was soo tasty too!). They had these adorable bar napkins made with their faces drawn on. Ha too funny! Notice all of the pillows in the following photos… (if you don’t regularly follow me, you may not know, I have a pillow problem…I’m a pillowaholic). wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0065 wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0068 wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0067wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0066

The evening was a blast- fun people, fun vendors! Cartewheels Catering made the yummy food and provided amazing service, as usual! wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0070 wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0069 wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0071

 

Pink & Gray Wedding in Fredericksburg, Texas

“Who is that stunning blue eyed beauty?” That’s the new Mrs. George!  She is the most spunky person I know and her smile lights up a room. To add to it, she has the ability to channel all of her bubbly energy into really productive tasks to tackle the career world. Plus she is a way cool mom of three equally gorgeous kiddos. Jason, she is quite the catch! To sum it up Jason and Mary Leigh were a blast to work with and it was so special to be a part of their day. A beautiful setting in the Hill Country at Rock House Hideaway, fresh florals by The Flower Pail, tasty treats by Sophie’s bakery and wedding planning by Hill Country Bride of course! Lori Blythe Photography deserves her own sentence of appreciation, beautiful images and the best to work with- great job once again girl!

 

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Fredericksburg, Texas Wedding Styled Shoot Featured on Swooned Magazine

This style shoot was one of the most fun and crazy awesome things I have done in a while. We planned it in two weeks! Working with Lori Blythe Photography and Sara at Restored Fredericksburg, we made it happen! We were so happy to get this picked up by Swooned Magazine. And Bonus! It was an inspiration piece for Bella Mystique Events for their Big Fake Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks! Pretty cool to do something people are inspired by!

The Flower Pail did a stunning job on the arrangements and bouquets; Sister’s Vintage Party contributed the vintage pieces and glimmering gold flatware; Restored Fredericksburg let us borrow that B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L farmhouse table; Bobo Workshop did that stunning marbled paper product; Sarah & Kaleb Dale were our newlywed models; Native Fredericksburg made the custom geode jewelry; The Barn at Rock House Hideaway provided that lovely venue and sunset field; Lori Blythe Photography recorded the magic with her stunning photos!   

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4 Tips to Stay Sane While Planning a Hill Country Wedding

If you aren’t engaged already, you’ll find out really quickly that as soon as you announce your engagement the first question that everyone will ask you is, “ so, when is the wedding?”. This is the first and most frequent question you’ll get, from family, friends and even strangers. Followed by a barrage of questions you haven’t even thought of yet and lots and lots of unwanted advice. After being engaged for just one short week, you’re likely to be completely burnt out on wedding planning and wanting to throat punch anyone who asks you about your plans. Try hard not lash out at the poor innocent bystanders. Here are a couple of tips to stay sane.

I get asked about my wedding all day, every day. When you feel wedding overloaded and just can’t talk about wedding planning another second, don’t be afraid to politely ask for a different subject. Especially in regards to your close friends that you see regularly. If they bring it up or ask “how’s is planning going?” they are likely just interested in your life and excited for you. You can respond honestly by saying something like “it’s going well, but honestly I want to take a break from it, can we chat about you?” This allows you move on from wedding topics without being rude. This response would work for non-close friends also, but just make sure you tell your closest friends, you will likely see them more often!

My mom calls me every day with new ideas and plans. Surely your mother realizes you must lead a life outside of planning a Hill Country wedding. However, it can be like having a 2nd job, and maybe you should treat it like one. Set a meeting or phone call time with your mom or family member to chat about the wedding. Maybe it’s once a week and you get together over brunch or dinner. Tell your Mom to compile her ideas and so you can chat about them at the meeting each week. You can do this in a courteous way by saying something like “I would really like to consider all of your ideas fully when you present them, but I can’t do that if I am interrupting a work day or an evening at home. Can we set a weekly time to discuss them so I have the focus to really consider them?” This is boundary setting. It’s an adult thing. And it’s really good practice for more challenging situations with Mom in the future (kids, marriage, etc).

I feel really overwhelmed and tired all the time because I’m constantly thinking about all of the things that I need to get done for the wedding. Weddings can become obsessive; it’s really easy when you start reading all of the wedding blogs, and magazines and we won’t even talk about Pinterest obsessions. Like I’ve said before, weddings can be like having a 2nd job. Again, maybe you should treat it like one. Set times in your week to work on wedding planning. With your groom, family, Hill Country wedding planner and alone. Maybe it is one hour each evening for 4 days a week. How much planning you need to get done will depend on how long your engagement is and how much your planner is covering for you. However, the time that you spend doesn’t matter half as much as keeping the planning within those timeframes. Set yourself task lists for your planning time. This will keep you focused and will help you avoid the distraction of floating around from one website to another absorbing needless information. You will accomplish more, if you have set goals. It will be easier to make decisions because you have set deadlines. Last and most important, you can achieve planning a wedding without becoming and exploding ball of stress.

My fiancé doesn’t seem to care about all of the time I’m putting into planning this and just gets frustrated when I bring up planning. I can’t blame him. I know it seems really insensitive but you have to, for just one second, think about it from his perspective. My husband (after the wedding) explained it to me like this: “You asking me things about the wedding, like colors or floral arrangements, is like asking me whether I like the coaster here on the table or here.” True story. Guys don’t dream about their wedding for years on end like we do. I think maybe they dream about the honeymoon, but certainly not the dresses and floral arrangements and ceremony backdrops. Try not to vomit everything that pops into your head about the wedding onto him. I’m sure one of your friends who isn’t engaged or is maybe already married would love to live or relive their wedding vicariously through you. Use them as a sounding board. The last and most important thing that I want to share with you is that engagement can be one of the hardest times in your entire relationship thus far. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to encourage you. You are not alone. And it doesn’t mean your marriage is going to fail. It’s just hard. I would highly recommend dedicating one night (at least) per week to a date night with your fiancé. Take turns planning it (one week he plans, next week you plan) and agree to not speak a word of wedding planning to each other for the whole night. Remember what it was like when you went on dates before this stressful time? This will also be vital in helping you cope with marriage. Some early wives struggle with how to re-engage with their partners when the burden of wedding planning is no longer there. Believe me, you both could use a good date night once a week!

You will survive this time and your Hill Country wedding will be magnificent! I hope early into wedding planning you see the value of hiring an official Hill Country wedding planner. Honestly, it is the one thing you absolutely deserve to have.

Why a Texas Wedding? From the Guy’s Eyes

I am a born and raised Texan. Emily is not. We met in of our less great norther neighbor states. Emily met Texas through me, and they became great friends very quickly. Texas and Emily were as meant to be as Emily and I. We would walk the streets of downtown Fredericksburg on our visits and she would declare to me, “This feels so much like home.” And so it became our home. We got married in the Hill Country on family land, and although Emily was a wedding professional before Texas, this was when her career as a Hill Country wedding planner began.

Having lived beyond the borders of our state, I can testify to the fact that some folks have a poor perception of it. Many a friend of mine hath declared Texas an ugly state having only experienced Amarillo or Dallas. When I would describe for them the hills and beauty of this area they scarcely believed me. In fact, I brought a friend to visit once from Kentucky who said it reminded him of Africa. An interesting comparison. The point being, the Hill Country is a beautiful and unique venue for a wedding. You won’t find a place like it, except Africa apparently.

So why get married in the Texas Hill Country? Perhaps we should be asking you the question since you have likely chosen our little heaven as your venue. Was it local for you? It fit your budget? Or was there a culture or a theme that you found here? Some of these features were true for Emily and I. In fact, all of them. But there are many more reasons why a Hill Country wedding, so we’ve listed just a few.

Weather: You will hear folks all across our nation gripe about Texas being hot. And, yes, they are correct- it is stinking hot. Depending on your threshold of heat, it’s only unbearably hot three months out of the year. And if you’re going to do an outdoor wedding in those months I would recommend a naked theme. But, for the most part, in the Hill Country you can get hitched outdoors in the middle of January, or in the middle of April, or perhaps October. Fewer people are getting married indoors these days. We loved saying our vows outside under and age old oak tree that has witnessed many generations of Burgess’. Texas has a lot of “availability” if you are seeking a day to conduct a big outdoor celebration.

Style: Along with the trend of outdoor weddings, the prominence of creative styles has become quite the movement. For a while we saw brides hiding flip-flops under their dresses, then it was converse all-stars. Good ole cowboy boots took the trend for a while (we still like that one). The rise of outdoor weddings has brought up the challenge of making a wedding fun and comfortable. For example, my groomsmen wore only vests, instead of suits with jackets. They looked awesome and they didn’t want to murder me for putting them in bondage to a tuxedo. This flies in Texas. Texas has very cool style. You see cowboy hats being worn in HEB, boots in church, and suspenders keeping us from seeing more of the old men than any of us could or should handle. Texas has style, and a lot of variety. Just drive through Austin if you doubt me.

Music: This was a big one for me. We wanted people to dance at our wedding. Weddings bring people from several generations together, so you may find yourself in a predicament for music, assuming your Granny Margaret won’t likely shake her junk to Kesha. Texas music on the other hand is easy for everyone to dance to. If you’re not from Texas you might think, well not everyone likes country music. Which is true. But if you have ever experienced two-stepping in Texas, it’s not a factor of whether you like country music or not. Two-stepping is beyond fun- and bonus, it’s likely that your uncles and aunts and grannies and gramps will two step right along-side the young-uns. Texas music makes a great backdrop for lots of folks to enjoy. I did my mother/son dance to Willie Nelson. It was perfect. In Case you aren’t super familiar with the genre of Texas Country, check out Wade Bowen, Cody Canada and the Departed, and Reckless Kelley- these are some of the newer faces and we love them!

The number one reason that Emily and I chose a Texas Hill Country Wedding was because it’s HOME. Family and friends made our wedding the beautiful memory it is for us. Maybe it’s not home for all of you. If you’re not a native, one little Texas wedding might sink the roots of your soul into the Texas soil so deep you won’t ever leave. It happens quite a lot around these parts. Share with us why you love a Texas Hill Country wedding. And for those of you who have found our little heaven in Central Texas, we will hope to see you out there, dancing under the wide open Texas skies.

D.I.Y. Monogrammed Table Runners-Hill Country Wedding Planner

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lyellphotography.com

Today I am going to teach you how to stencil these lovely runners for your wedding or your home! Being from the south, I can’t really get enough of monograms, especially at weddings. What better way to debut your new last name then at your wedding reception with a monogram! These runners are perfect for your wedding tables (banquet only please, maybe sometime in the future we will chat about why you should never put a runner on a round table). You can put them on just a few tables, like the head table or family tables, on just decorative tables like cake or buffet or all of your tables if it works with the rest of your décor. It can be a great way to decorate buffet tables without being cheesy (I wouldn’t recommend doing all the tables, plus buffet, pick and choose what fits best). Plus, after the wedding you’ll have a wedding keepsake to put on your own dining table at home. If you have several extra give them away to your new family for their homes, or sell them to brides about to inherit your same letter (I recommend selling on Ruffled’s recycle your wedding page).

Supplies
1. Burlap Runners ($5-$11 each on Etsy, or make your own for less than $4.00 each)
2. Black acrylic paint (or a different color if you choose) ($0.50)
3. Spongy paint brush ($1.79)
4. Hobby Knife ($2.50 after 40% off coupon at Michael’s**see note below)
4. Stencil Kit ($4.00 after 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby**see note below)
3. Cardboard you can throw away (free)

Your total cost for one runner is going to be around $14 (or $13 if you make one). If you make multiples, say 6 runners, you would be at around $6.50 per runner (or homemade for $5.50 each). These go on Etsy for $26-$40 each. Convinced yet?diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-3

Get the Runners. The first step is to get the runners. You can buy them on Etsy or at several hobby stores. I made this one. I’ll do another blog in the coming weeks about how to make this runner yourself (sew and no-sew version). Making them yourself is handy if your picky about the color of burlap, need a specific size for tables, or are making several. For now, let’s assume you have the runners.

Pick out a stencil. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell pre-made stencils in all patterns. I sadly couldn’t find a “B” that I was super happy with. So, I bought this handy dandy kit that allows you to cut your own stencil.  You can search on google fonts or just look through your Microsoft Word fonts to see if there is one there that you like. If you are super artsy, just search on Pinterest for ideas and hand draw your letter (that is what I did). If you find a stencil at one of these two stores that you love, great! Don’t you dare buy that stencil without a coupon, girl (see note below). Congrats, move two spaces past go and you can keep the 40% you just saved with the coupon!

Cutting the stencil. diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-5If you found a stencil you liked, you can skip this section. If you are cutting the stencil yourself, keep reading. I traced the letter onto the stencil plastic. I also bought a handy little hobby knife to cut the plastic with. I had to cut two separate pieces to get the outline of my “B” and to keep the center without paint.
I considered (as you may be also) just cutting cardboard or something sturdy to make the stencil. The reason I opted out of this option was for several reasons 1) if you are tracing your letter, not hand drawing it, it is so much easier to do through the semi see through stencil plastic 2) you can keep the stencil for future use (I have done pillows with that same stencil) 3) the plastic wipes clean super easy to make clean up a cinch 4) the thin material helps you to get really close to fabric so the edges of your letter are clean and crisp.

diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-6Attaching the Stencil. Next, you place your stencil on the runner in the placement that you desire.  Make sure to put cardboard (not newspaper, it will glue to the back of the fabric when drying) under your burlap, paint will definitely leak through the fabric. I used masking tape to tape down the stencil to keep me from accidentally scooching it. It also helps to irondiy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-17 your burlap with a good steam, you don’t want the wrinkly fabric to cause you to smudge. Jonah my kitty decided she would help…

 

Painting it. Choose a permanent paint, like acrylic paint. I prefer not to use fabric paint as it seems to get a little gunky with the fibers on the burlap. I recommend using a spongy paintbrush. It helps to blot the paint instead of stroking it to keep the stencil in place. Go for the method of multiple blots with the spongy brush instead of large amounts of paint on each blot. Too much runny paint on your sponge will cause it to bleed under the stencil onto the fabric outside of your letter. I recommend doing a practice run on a spare piece of burlap to get the hang of it.

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Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil or it will smear. Same with the card board, make sure it is totally dry before removing the burlap, or it will smear on the back side.

 

 

 

 

You have your beautifully stenciled runner!diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-15 Plus extra paint and a perfectly good stencil to use on other items that need monogramming! This technique will work on other fabrics and with other paint colors as well. Feel free to change it to whatever fits your theme best.

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**DON’T YOU BUY THAT STENCIL WITHOUT A COUPON. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have a coupon. If you are planning a wedding or are into craft projects at all, just download the Michael’s app and the Hobby Lobby app on your phone. Then you will have access the coupon anytime you need to pick up something. I went to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby at least 40 times in the 9 months I was planning my wedding and never bought a darn thing without a coupon. They usually have a 40% off one item, or 20% off your purchase. It adds up, trust me. Even if you aren’t that worried about $2.50 here and there, if you go half as much as I did you will have save $50. That 10 extra gin and tonic’s, or 5 really strong margaritas on your honeymoon. See what I mean? Mmm… Margaritas….

Hoffman Haus Review- Hill Country Wedding Venue

In my last post I mentioned a venue as an example of how guys and gals think differently. Well, I know that might have been a huge teaser for y’all, so I decided I would do a review of this venue to give you all the dirty details. The venue I am speaking of is called Hoffman Haus and is in the heart of the Hill Country in Fredericksburg, Texas.

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nicholsphotographers.com

The ceremony space. The ceremony is typically held in the garden right outside the Great Hall. Under tall oak trees lit by the light of twinkle lights and two beautiful antique chandeliers, your guests will watch you appear to your ceremony through the ivy trellace. Equipped with ivory padded dark stained wood chairs this space is always romantic, but can evolve to whatever style wedding you choose.

 

 

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heatherrowlandphotography.com

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number9photography.com

The reception space. The guests can proceed to a cocktail hour in the courtyard, just a few seconds walk from the garden. This outdoor space is landscaped with an antique fountain surrounded by covered walkways for shade. Set up an outdoor bar here and have passed hors d’oevres served to your guests. After cocktail hour your guests will be invited in to the Great Hall for dinner and dancing. The Great Hall is an actual 1800’s Kentucky tobacco barn that has been renovated to reminisce Pottery Barn with a Texas charm. The gray timber walls, antique ornate mirrors and paned glass windows make for a dreamy vintage mansion feel. In the center of the room a wood stage framed with ivory linen curtains is perfect for a Texas Country band or can be made into a lounge area with their pottery barn (yes, actual Pottery Barn) furniture. Two large chandeliers with hurricane votives light the dancefloor equipped with dimmers to give you the feel you want throughout the evening. If you choose to do a buffet meal, the serving room is adjacent to the dining room and your serving pieces will be placed on the beautiful antique dining table and buffet. For those that might want to get away for a bit, they can step into the quaint library or right outside onto the patio. The patio. I’ve seen so many great photos of this patio. At night it just feels like Texas summer.

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annemariephotography.com

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hauffmanhaus.com

Why this Hill Country wedding venue is so stinking awesome?

 

Paned windows, large patios, southern charm. Need I say more? Well, I will! Onsite lodging (also basically Pottery Barn cottages) make is easy to get home at the end of the night or run to the room to change shoes. It’s yours for the weekend. Yep. When you have your wedding here, they let you setup and tear down the day before and after the wedding. Hopefully you’re just dropping your stuff off with a wedding coordinator, but you can come and see the setup the day before. Super nice people. Leslie Washburn, the owner, lives in Fredericksburg and inspired the great style of the entire property and established the one wedding per weekend idea to make sure you feel like the only Bride in town. The details. Southern black shutters, farmhouse accent tables, claw foot bath tubs, vintage trunks…. This could go on forever!

Hi There…

I’m Emily Burgess, owner of Hill Country Bride. You’ve probably already gathered that if you have made it here to my blog page. However, since this is my first blog post, I thought it proper to introduce myself. If we were sitting together over coffee I’d probably be drinking a toffee-nut misto, or perhaps a chai.  I would be sitting with my legs crossed. I notice this about myself because I hear it causes spider veins. And yet, here I sit, legs crossed. I might be wearing a blue and white striped dress with a navy blue blazer and nude wedges, which happens to be the outfit that comes to my mind when I think of my favorite outfits lately. But since we aren’t in a coffee shop together, I’m sitting on my couch with my old faithful grumpy black cat, Rowdy, in my favorite band shirt, a white Switchfoot tee, and wondering who you are. Who are you Reader?

Writing my first blog post on this site feels a little awkward. But then again, aren’t a lot firsts a little awkward? First day of work, first time driving, first kiss… Need I say more!  I have long judged those who obsess over their Facebook, or share their lives to a world they will probably never meet. But here I am, hoping that I’m not that person, and that maybe, someday, I’ll get to meet you!

For starters I would like to tell you about how I got into weddings. The first wedding I ever attended was for a complete stranger. It’s true!  I was working for a photographer at the time, Phillips Mitchell, in a little town of Lexington, Kentucky. I was interning for him. He invited me to come help at his wedding that weekend, you know, carrying around his lights and being his second hands. I was about to be a sophomore in high school, just shy of 16. We were traveling in his Red Honda CRV when he pulled out of the back seat an enormous Canon camera that resembled a nuclear weapon, and said something to the effect of, “Get comfortable with that, you’re going to be shooting with it today.” Excitement and fear rushed through me. The rest of the day was a whirlwind. I remember it well.  The wedding was in this beautiful Cathedral and the bride wore a lace fitted dress with low bun. She was so beautiful. My job with this camera was to practice shooting the details. It was such fun! I fell in love with elegant ribbons playfully decorating bottled bubbles, the classic font on the program cards, the velvet texture of the flower bouquets, and the time-standing-still expression in the Bride’s eyes.

That look. So unique. So once-in-a-lifetime. It is a look reserved for a Bride who is truly in love. Her eyes glitter and smile all by themselves. You can see through those eyes that she feels like the most beautiful and special person in the world. In that moment when the doors are opened, and she emerges to see her groom, she takes a look at him. She often smiles shyly.  And then, almost every bride I have ever seen does this next… she looks down. Maybe she is looking to make sure her feet are still touching the ground. Such a feminine reaction. To feel so beautiful and to look at the man you are in love with, and when you feel his gaze, to have a little blushing moment. I imagine this is where they get the term “blushing bride”.

And that, my new friend, is how I fell in love with weddings. Because, not only are the fonts and flowers so pretty and fun, but even more so the people. What an amazing job, to be a part of the biggest day of someone’s life! I might be the one to fluff out their dress before they walk down the aisle. That dress will become a family heirloom, a symbol of pure love that generations will remember. How can you get more special than that?

I must stop for now. But just know, I could go on for pages and pages. And trust me, many more pages are soon to come!