i don’t know if this is true for everyone, but when you’ve been dating someone for a long time and you know you want to marry them, you tend to jump right to that stage:  the marriage.  i don’t know if i ever really stopped to think about the period of time that would be engagement.

on our way back to blacksburg that weekend, we stopped by a Super Bowl party that a bunch of people from church had put together.  as everyone oohed and ahhed over our big news, a lady only a few years older than ross gave me this advice:  “my engagement was so fun.  don’t overlook this period of time in your lives – really try to enjoy it – you’re planning your wedding and its should be so much fun.”  thankfully i was really able to take that advice to heart; even though ross and i lived 4 hours apart during our entire engagement and i was working a full-time job, i can honestly say it was the best time in our relationship up until that point.

and because DIY is my middle name, there were a lot of elements of the wedding that i wanted to be hands-on with.  Here are a few shots of the “wedding planning phase.”

finding the right dress took longer than i thought, but it is true that when you know it’s the one, you know it’s the one.

since my wedding was everything Fall, what better wedding favor to give away than personalized sized pouches of mulling spices.  so boxes were bought, mulling spices ever so carefully measured out and many, many ribbons were tied.  for extra fun we also had a friend make some mini caramel apples.  those were pretty popular.

because i am a girl who hates high heels, i decided to give my bridesmaids a break by making custom wedding themed flip flops for them to prance around in at the reception.

although i didn’t personally make these, they were still custom made – with leftover fabric from the bridesmaids’ dresses (yeah, we had those made from scratch too – a great/horrible idea) i had a stuffed animal made for each girl incorporating a bit of the silky cranberry fabric.  more sentimental than practical i thought it would be a fun way to remember the day.

My trusty invitation-making assembly line.  Probably the most time-consuming DIY item were my invitations.  But most definitely worth it to get exactly what I wanted (i.e. classy but rustic, not super formal and girly) for waaay less money.  I could NOT have done this without everyone sitting at this table.

the finished products: