Tag Archives: Honeymoon

Making Memories and Movies: Our Honeymoon

24 May

Liberty of the Seas

I had never been on a cruise before. Living in Texas, when I thought cruises, I thought leaving out of Galveston and going to Mexico, which would never have been a first choice vacation for me. And then our honeymoon happened…

It changed every notion of cruising I had ever had. We cruised from Barcelona, Spain to Rome and Florence, Italy and Monaco. Post-trip Anthony and I were discussing what we thought of cruises and I said, “I feel like we got to travel the world and go ‘home’ to the same bed every night.”

Cruise with us by watching a video slideshow of our honeymoon.

DIY Adventure Map

9 Sep

Push Pin Map

When I got engaged I had this vision of blogging about  all of the beautiful steps of the wedding planning process. When starting gusto & grace I hoped to write of my favorites spots of each place I traveled and dreamed of posts about decorating and DIY projects. And then life happened. Since he “popped the question” last month, my home has sold, I have taken a trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto, and my fiance and I have both had a car issue or two come up. This of course is on top of the day job, driving 400 miles every other weekend, and planning the big day. I’d still love to blog about this fiancee phase of my life, but to this point packing boxes and trying on wedding dresses have been priority. Writing will happen, just not as frequently as envisioned.

Amid the fun-filled chaos, Anthony and I found time to do a simple DIY project during one of our Austin weekends. We’ve wanted a fun way to map our travels, so when we came across this great four dollar map at Paper Source (while looking for invite inspiration) I knew we had to pick it up and get creative. This project took about ten minutes and cost less than ten dollars.

What you need:

  • A map like the one we used
  • Foam board
  • A ruler
  • Xacto knife
  • Sewing pins
  • Wire cutters
  • Sawtooth picture hangers
  • Super glue

First, cut the foam board to the size of the map. I suggest running an Exacto knife along the edge of ruler. Then adhere the map to the foam board. You can do this however you’d like, but we chose the simplest method: buy adhesive foam board. Turn the board over and super glue on some sawtooth picture hangers. That’s it! You’re ready to put pins in the places you’ve been! Choose the push pins of your choice. We selected sewing pins and cut them in half with wire cutters because we liked the smaller size of their head. See the photo above.

I am so excited to add pins on the right side of our map after our honeymoon. The plan is to book a cruise that ports in Spain, Italy, and France or Monaco!

Coming soon:

  • My take on Niagara Falls and Toronto
  • Wedding planning progress.

Jordan + Nicole

1 Aug

In June, a couple of my childhood friends got married. The sweetest part about their big day is that you could tell they had put as much thought and effort into planning and thinking about and preparing for the marriage as they did the wedding. They had a Friday evening ceremony followed by a dessert reception. It has been so much fun for me to learn more about the wedding by reading the bride’s mom’s blog, and from my lengthy q+a with the bride. Here are some excerpts of Nicole’s answers.

  • What was your favorite part of the planning process?
My favorite part of the planning process was knowing the end goal was to marry Jordan. Next to that, the time I was able to spend with my family and my mom planning the wedding was extremely precious. 
This is my favorite picture of Nicole and her Mom.

Nicole and Her Mom

  • What advice would you give brides-to-be?
Tell yourself,  “At the end of all of this, worst case scenario, I get married to the person I’m supposed to marry.” This keeps it all in perspective. And if you can’t tell yourself it’s worth it because you are marrying the person, stop right where you are. ALSO, dedicate many hours to preparing for marriage as you plan a wedding. Jordan and I read Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll, 1 chapter a week, highlighted stuff, and came together to talk and ask hard questions. 
Marriage Contract
  • What were the small details that you hoped people noticed?
I hoped people noticed the pictures we chose to use, I also loved that my mom’s wedding dress was present, and  that people felt like their time was respected. 
Mother's Wedding Dress
  • What was your least favorite part of the planning process?

 The small details like picking out rentals. I got to a point where I didn’t want to look at silverware and different dishes and then calculate the best deal. There were many times I wanted to say “I don’t care about that. You decide and let me know how it goes.” A bride shouldn’t feel guilty if she doesn’t absolutely love every part of planning her wedding.

  • How long in total were you able to sit down during the reception?
I think that I may have sat for 10 minutes as soon as we got there, had a couple bites of food, and then I didn’t sit down until Jordan and I left.

Mr. and Mrs. Masons

  • Did Jordan play a large role in the planning?
 Jordan is so passionate about music that he chose all the ceremony music and rearranged the pieces for the piano and viola player we had at the wedding. He did the arrangement for “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros that I walked down the aisle to.
The Groom’s cake was a book of sheet music “opened” to the music he arranged for her to walk down the aisle to.
Groom's Cake

  • As far as budget goes, where do you think you got the most “bang for your buck” or value?
My dress was only $800 which I thought was great, but I think not paying a DJ and making our own playlist was a GREAT way to save money. I never went into the planning process wanting to spend much money, but you find the deeper into planning you get, the more beautiful you want a wedding to be, the more money you have to spend. So you fight the “is this REALLY worth it” battle within yourself.
  • Was there anything you wanted your guests to learn about you as a couple from your wedding?
We wanted our guests to know that the Lord comes first in our relationship, and it is only by His grace and example that we can love each other selflessly.
  • What has become of all the wedding decor? (donated, tossed, repurposed, etc.)
Alot of the wedding decor was created with the intention of being reused. We used MUCH of the decor to decorate, and that was our goal from the beginning of wedding planning, to spend money on pieces we love so much we want to have them in our home.
Below is a picture of a sign the Father of the Bride made for the wedding. Read his wedding day letter to his daughter and weep. Or blubber.
Sign by FOB

  •  Would you mind sharing your vows in part or in whole? (Nicole did share the complete vows, I shared my favorite lines for the purpose of length.)
    Jordan’s vows: 
    I promise you I will:
    Speak calmly and never be harsh.
    Diligently take care of and provide for you.
    Not be perfect nor think I am, but I will always give the best of me to you
    Always see you as my standard of beauty
     Nicole’s vows:
    I vow to:
    Enrich you and better you through support, respect, and admiration.
    Kiss you every day.
    Be a safe place, where home is an oasis and is rejuvenating.
  • Any places you’d suggest to someone travelling to your honeymoon location?
We went to Seattle and LOVED it. We stayed in downtown in a condo we found on homeaway.com and walked everywhere. We went to Pike Place Market, which is a MUST! We ate amazing food and bought salmon from the market that we cooked at our condo in the full kitchen.
  • As a new wife, is there any “new marriage” advice you would give others?

Don’t get upset if your spouse doesn’t do things on your clock. I realize that it’s not fair for me to expect him to jump up on my watch. If something bothers you that you can fix, just fix it. 


Photographer: Nicholas Leitzinger/Venue: Eagle Mountain International Church/Dessert Bar: Milestone Culinary Arts Center/Invitations and Programs: Amy Bomar/Flowers: The Elegant Petal/Videographer: Charis Pope/Cakes: Colleen’s Cakes/Dress: By Watters from Addison Bridal Couture

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