Sunday, October 19, 2014

One Year Later: Wedding Reflections

As you know, weddings aren't really my thing. I'm happily married now and happy to have a bunch of great photos from a couple of really fun days. Here are some notes that might be helpful to other people who are trying to put together a wedding on a super tight budget, or other notes in general about how to not be a bridezilla and have fun on your wedding day.

Tip #1: Elope

Seriously, just do it. I know, I know. I still had a wedding after I eloped. But that wasn't entirely my decision. I would have been perfectly happy with just our elopement. I loved our elopement. It was just about us and our love, not about the caving to the standards of the big wedding industry.

Marriage license - $30
Court cost - $50
Photography - $500 (gift from my mom)
Dress & shoes - $60
Shirt & tie - $40
Lunch with the photographer - $45
Dinner with my husband - $80
Total cost - $775 (but only $275 for us)

But if you don't decide to elope (or if you elope and have another thing later), here are more tips:

Tip #2: Accept all the help you can get

My father-in-law paid for a tent, outside heaters, and a few other miscellaneous things. My mother-in-law LOVES weddings, so she did a lot of the decorations, made my earrings, and chipped in on the cake. One of the groomsman's moms did our flowers as her gift to us. My aunt did the catering. My parents paid for the rest of the cake, my dress, helped my aunt with food costs, and the photographer. We pretty much only paid for the drinks, the venue, the table/chair/linen rentals, his attire, and our hotel room.

Dress - $1000 (purchased by my mom)
Invitations & postage - $50
Bride accessories - $100
Groom's attire - $100
Venue - $350
Cake - $500 (purchased by my mom)
Food & serving things - $1200 (purchased by my mom and aunt)
Beverages & cigars - $450
Table & chair rental - $200
Linen rental - $100
Tent & heater rental - $500 (Josh's dad)
Decorations - $80 (Josh's mom)
Flowers - $300 (gifted by a friend)
Limo - $250 (Josh's mom & friend)
Photographer - $500 (my mom)
Hotel - $120
Total costs - $5800 (total cost to us - $1370)

Tip #3: Don't do what you don't want to do

If you hate the garter toss tradition, toss it. If you don't want the bridesmaids in matchy matchy dresses, let them wear what they want or help them pick out what you would like them to wear. Do what you want. It's your wedding. Pinterest can make you feel completely inadequate, so steer clear if you're sensitive or use it to help plan a wedding on a budget.

Tip #4: Let your groom have/do something he wants even if you think it's stupid

Josh really wanted to get horse head masks for all the groomsmen and take pictures before the wedding. They didn't disrupt the wedding with them, so I didn't care. And the pictures are pretty funny, although creepy. He loves them and that's all that matters.

Tip #5 Remember it's mostly about you, but it's not really all about you

Sure, "the wedding is all about the bride." Except it's not really. It's about your love for your groom and his love for you. It's about uniting two families. It's about making sure everyone is fed. It's about making sure your mother-in-law doesn't get too drunk. It's about your groom getting to hang out with your brother and your dad. It's about dancing with your friends and your new family. But it's mostly about you. And your groom. Remember to eat. Remember it's your wedding. Remember to smile for pictures and to be silly and happy.

Tip #6 Remember that at the end of the night, you're married. And that's really what it's all about.

The wedding is only one day, one event. It's the end of your single life and the beginning of your new life with your groom, your new family. Everything could go wrong. Everything could be perfect. It will probably somewhere in between. But regardless, at the end of the night, you are married now.

I was browsing Pinterest for things about date nights and marriage advice. It's ridiculous how many pins there are for weddings and how few there are about the marriage that comes after the wedding. And of the few that are out there, most are kind of stupid. (Sorry, not sorry.)

One year later

I've technically been married for one year and three months even though the wedding was a year ago. I've learned a lot in the past year - about myself, about Josh, about married life, about life in general. And still feel like I've barely scratched the surface about all the things I have to learn.

It's been an adventure. Not a fairytale, romance novel, or a romantic comedy (well, sometimes a comedy), but definitely an adventure. The wedding was fun. It was fine. It was a party. But it's been over for a year now and every day since then has been just as important. A wedding isn't about tradition or flowers or tulle - it's about starting a marriage.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oh hi there

  • I haven't really written since I was half marathon training in July.
  • I didn't do the High Bridge Half Marathon because, quite honestly, I couldn't afford the trip. I suppose I could have left Norfolk at 3 a.m. to get there in time for packet pick-up, but I'm not sure if I would have been capable of driving back after running for nearly 3 hours in 90+ degree weather for 100% humidity and only 4-5 hours of sleep. So I bailed.
  • I'd still like to do that race eventually, but it's at a difficult time of year. It's usually still hot and humid out. Plus school has started back up already, so it's hard to get away for a weekend. I'll reassess for next year and I just won't register so far in advance. 
  • I started grad school! It's very challenging, but I love it so far. I genuinely care about everything I'm learning and I want to do really well so I can apply everything I learn to my current job, as well as to potential future jobs. I'm excited about all of the classes, projects, and everything I will learn between now and graduation day. 
  • The weather is getting cooler, which I kind of hate in general, but love for my running. I'm already getting better than I was over the summer. I'm training for the inaugural Harbor Lights Half Marathon, which is happening on November 22. Probably my favorite thing about this race is that the start line is so close to my apartment that I can bike to it. 
  • So I've basically given up this blog. I didn't really mean to. The longer I went without writing, the harder it was to come back to it. I sort of started a tumblr where I posted my half marathon training plan, but the only updates I've posted since then have been instagram photos. I should really get on that.
  • I like journaling/blogging/writing because it's a good place to vent and it's also nice to go back later and read certain things (like race recaps), but I just haven't been feeling it lately. We'll see what happens from here.
  • I've gained 10 pounds since the wedding last year, so I definitely need to lose weight. But I sound like a broken record because I keep saying that, then I lose a couple pounds, gain it back, maintain, gain some more, repeat. 
  • I must count calories. My current TDEE is 2060. Minus 20% to lose weight is 1648. Since I know myself well enough to know I ruin everything on the weekends, I'm going to aim for 1500 Monday-Thursday and 1840 Friday-Sunday.
  • I'm also going to do my absolute best to stick with my training plan, plus yoga on days when I'm not running. I've thought about going to the gym during lunch on the days when I don't have class, but I have yet to make that happen.
  • I should probably also note that last weekend I went to Roanoke to see my Memaw. She had to go to the hospital again. Her hospital visits have been getting more frequent lately and I'm worried about her. But she was doing better when I saw her and seemed to be in good spirits, so that was nice.
  • Last weekend was also my dad's birthday. I surprised him by inviting a small group of family and friends to meet us for dinner. It turned out to be pretty fun. 
  • This weekend was work and homework, though we did go out on a date last night, which was much needed. We got to sit down and plan out our trip to the Renn Fest that's coming up in a few weeks during our Fall Break. That will be a much needed get away.
  • That's pretty much it. I can't believe it's already almost October. We've been so busy with school and work that the time has just flown by. But life is good. Back to the books!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tuesday Tips: Running Hills Where There Are None

I'm from a really hilly/mountainous area, but have been living in a completely flat area for several years now. If I want to hill training, I have to get creative. Here are some suggestions from Runner's World on how to run hills where there are no hills:

Bridge Repeats

Treadmill Training

Parking Ramps


Climbing Real Stairs

Strength Training

More info: