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Hey again,

imageWhen I attempted blogging last year I was coming off of a wedding high and I was desperate to keep the excitement of planning alive. I completely ignored the need to introduce myself. I dove head first into wedding vomit and didn’t even begin scratching the surface of Well,  my real life. So here I am, a year later, still completely in love with my husband and inappropriately obsessed with weddings. Just a little more jaded from life thus far and a whole lot of tired.

In the last 7 or 8 months life has been challenging, to put it nicely. Honestly, it has straight SUCKED. By sucked I mean hardcore, made me hate life….sucked.  But, it’s also been wonderful and eye opening and it has brought me here. I’ll dive into the crap 2017 has been later but for now, I’ll try to introduce myself.

I am horrible at introductions. Really though, how do people come up with tag lines and bios? I hate how difficult being unique is when describing yourself. So here I go, I am married to the love of my life. This is always what I feel like leading with. Although I feel I have achieved quite a bit in my 24 years, being married to my best friend just feels like the most profound moment in my life so far. We moved to Las Vegas (Henderson really but whatever) from Northern Ca. in 2014. I was lucky all the way around. I was transferred with my job, was accepted into UNLV and was able to move my father in so we could begin the journey of care giving. I am my father’s care giver and it’s one of the largest parts of who I am and what I live and breathe on a daily basis. Outside of my home life, I am a full-time college student and I am SO CLOSE to FINALLY finishing my degree in Anthropology. I moved to Las Vegas to get my degree in hospitality… I know, I said Anthropology like 5 words ago but I changed my major at the end of this last semester and I am on track to graduate in 3 semesters, if i bust my ass. Keyword there is “if” but I’m going to try. I am also a proud pitbull mom, my pups are my life and they keep me grounded. Without them, I can honestly say I would not make it through my day with any sanity. I also work for a pretty awesome company, but I work a lot. I won’t talk about work much; that’s not what I am here for. My job is the most time consuming part of my life so I feel the need to mention it. I won’t ever say where I work but I work in the nutrition industry, you can call me a supplement dealer if you want. I have been a retail store manager since I was 21 so I dont have and have never had much time for myself.

My husband and I have spent the last few months downright struggling to live a healthy life and so far, we’ve done a pretty damn good job. I’ll go into the nitty gritty details as the blog progresses but my husband has Crohn’s disease and it’s a new diagnosis that we are navigating one day at a time. On top of that, I myself am a genetic mess. Wilfullywayward is my way of finding a glimmer of hope in the roller coaster of life. You’ll get to know me, my husband, our marriage and our struggles with Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s and infertility all while I hold down a demanding job, attending college full time and care for my aging father.

My life is nothing glamorous, I am a busy college student, wife, daughter, caregiver and boss who cusses a little too much and can be quite over dramatic. I’m trying to find my sweet spot in life and I hope you enjoy the ride 💜

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It’s all about those details.

Wedding planning can be stressful. HA. Who am I kidding? Its extremely stressful! If you’re anything like I was you’re consumed in the details. Every single. one. If you aren’t, you really should be. Here’s why. When the day has come and gone you will appreciate all of the sleepless nights you had while wedding decor was running through your head. During the planning process you’ll hear that your guests won’t appreciate the details and that’s IF they even notice them. Is your wedding about your guests? Nope, it’s about you. I’m sure you want your wedding to be breathtakingly beautiful. The only way you’ll achieve that in the details!

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I spent countless days, maybe even weeks scouring through Pinterst boards. I myself have a couple THOUSAND pins about weddings, it’s ridiculous i’ll admit it.  I became obsessed in the planning and design process and I am glad I did. Be prepared to read a little. This post is going to be long.  I made a lot of our decorations. I purchased a lot of items from Etsy and I spent countless hours piecing it all together until it was perfect, all while trying to save money. Have you seen the prices of wedding planners or designer? They cost more then my wedding did! I knew I had to do something differently. I really wanted to have a gorgeous wedding day and I wanted people to remember our decor. I achieved 1 of those 2 things for sure. I think our wedding was perfect, I don’t know if people will remember it but whatever. We have some AMAZING photos of the set up and I’ll cherish them forever. I will never forget the feeling of walking into the reception venue and seeing it all together. I can’t explain it. It was like a weight had been lifted all while my breath was taken away. I was so happy. After 9 months of envisioning the day it was finally here and it was so much more then I had imagined. We had a first look for our photos and before our guests arrived I snuck away to see it all together. I took a moment for myself to enjoy it before it would never be seen again (dramatic much?!). Seriously though, I thought about nothing other then our wedding for nearly a year, I spent countless hours creating; it is a feeling every bride should experience.

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One of the main reasons I originally decided  I didn’t want to have a wedding was because of the details. They were SO overwhelming. Picking a color scheme, making sure everything matched, picking a theme, favors, invitations, table linens, flowers, bridesmaid dresses and the list goes on and on and on….. and on….. I said “nope” we aren’t getting married. It wasn’t until 5 months after our engagement that I decided I REALLY had to have a wedding. I was actually inspired by two weddings I attended over the summer. My best friend from high school was married in June and had a gorgeous DIY rustic/disneyesque ceremony and reception, I was blown away. In July my best friend had a magical Northern Ca. wedding. I have no words great enough to describe the experience and beauty of the day. Sierra put her wedding for 50 together in 3 months or less and after helping her with her day I knew I could do it. From that moment I was obsessed.

I’m not going to get into what it took for me to pick a venue, that’ll be a post of its own. We ended up going with the Springs Preserve. Once decided on the venue the stress really started. I had the hardest time picking a color scheme. I loved the look of so many but I needed to be realistic. Believe it or not your color choices can increase the cost of your wedding! I couldn’t decide on color so I decided I wanted more neutral colors. In the end I went with blush and navy. I know, I know, it is such a popular color scheme but I think I made it unique to us. The first wedding purchase I made was my flowers. I was locked into a concept and I was able to move forward. From start to finish I was so beyond excited about my flowers and centerpieces it was what kept me going and what I built the wedding around. I highly recommend every bride does this. Pick a floral look you are going for and stick with it.

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Planning the decor was so much easier after I made the floral deposit. I found my florist on Etsy, say what?! Yup, Etsy. For Sierra’s wedding we had the luxury of buying gorgeous bulk flowers from beautiful Sonoma county. In Las Vegas, that isn’t really an option. It is, just not a cost effective one. And I did not want the stress of making all of the flowers for the wedding the night before. Anyways, I was looking for a cheaper Avenue for flowers and I could not bear the thought of silk flowers. To me silk flowers just screamed tacky or cheap and I just couldn’t; I was trying to avoid the typical Vegas wedding looking. One night I was texting Sierra about floral costs and ideas while looking through Etsy and I stumbled across Sola Flowers. In case you don’t know what Sola Flowers are, they are WOOD; yes wood. They are “flowers” made from the tapioca plant. They are hand dyed and gorgeous. I got so lucky. I found Curious Floral by Samantha and messaged her instantly. I was able to get a spot in her schedule. I could write an entire post about Sam and her creations for the wedding, shes seriously that good. I sent her my inspiration and she knew exactly what I wanted. She created the centerpieces for me with just out colors and some ideas of what I was looking for. Talk about blown away. Samantha made my wedding. She dealt with my ever changing ideas and constant emails and she made my dreams come true. What girl doesn’t want a breath taking bouquet on her wedding day? I get to keep my bouquet exactly as it was, forever. Sola flowers are still a new “trend” in weddings so our wedding was unique! I spent $982 for all of the floral decor for the wedding, this included shipping. I purchased 3 bouquets, 2 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, 6 centerpieces and 2 mini boutonnieres for under a thousand dollars! Enough about flowers, I could go on and on so I’ll stop here.

I spent hours on the website SaveonCrafts.com It was seriously a god send. They have the best prices and just about everything a DIY bride needs to make her vision a reality. I purchased everything from LED candles to chalkboards from the website. I saved a lot of money doing this. I suggest making all of your purchases at once as shipping is high but it’s still worth it. They offer great quality products and exceptional customer service. I got the linen table runners for under $4 a piece. The LED candles were $6.99 for a 3 pack and they were SO cute! I got a gorgeous wooden chalkboard easel for $34.99 and countless other items for cheap. If I had not found this website I would not have been able to style our wedding for the price I did. I also purchased my own Sola Flowers from the website and made our aisle decor for under $20 bucks!

I was obsessed with Pinterest for nearly a year while planning. I got so caught up in ideas that I had to uninstall the App from my phone. I had a serious problem! When I uninstalled the App I grew obsessed with Etsy, boy am I glad I did. I purchased nearly all of the unique pieces from Etsy. Our invitations were a big deal to me. I knew I could print them myself or make something for cheap but I couldn’t get past the gorgeous stationary available. I could not pay $500 dollars for wedding invitations though. I started looking into seed paper and I was going to buy a downloadable invitation and print it on plantable paper but I found the shop HudsonandSound and I didn’t have to! They offered affordable seed paper invitations and they customized them for our wedding colors. Unfortunetly, I just checked and the invitations aren’t currently available for sale in their Etsy shop! I ended up paying $118 for the wedding invitations and RSVP cards of my dreams. They were worth every penny. I had a hard time finding more websites for the shop but you can find them on Instagram @hudsonandsound. I also had “Thank You” cards made that matched our wedding invitations just not on seed paper. Since most people left them behind it would have been a more expensive way to go for nothing.

Our venue only offered black or white linens so I had to do something. Renting linens is a little ridiculous in my opinion. The price point is just too high. So, I found another way. We purchased all of our own napkins from Linentablecloth.com. I got 4 dozen napkins for $23.76. I couldn’t beat the price. I am now stuck with 46 pink and navy napkins but it added a pop of color to our reception tables for less then half the price of renting.

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I had my heart set on a cake table that was Pinterest worthy. You know the ones I am talking about, you probably have a few pined to you future wedding board. I had purchased some marquee letters from Marshalls and some faux succulents from walmart to decorate the table with. I had already made my etsy purcases for the custom cake cutter and hand stamped antique forks but I could not settle on a cake topper. I finally came across the one shortly before the wedding. I was surfing Etsy like I had done many times in the past and found the perfect felt cake topper! Yes, FELT. It went so perfectly with the whole theme of the wedding, I was sold. I splurged a little on this but it was worth it. I found  felt florist by the shop name Goldenafternoonmade and I fell in love. $41.74 for the cake topper of my dreams was a small price to pay. Allisen was a peach. I didn’t know it at the time but she was pregnant and so close to her due date when she fit me into her schedule! I once again got lucky. Our cake “table” was phenomenal. I purchased the cake cutter from the shop  PreppyPinkies for $41.99, it was engraved with our names and wedding date. I purchased the most perfect forks stamped with “Bride” and “Groom” from the shop theloosegoose for $22. The little details like this were so worth it to me. We now have some really awesome keepsakes to pass down to our children one day!

 

There were a few other items, like our guest “book”, sweetheart table decor and aisle flowers that I purchased here and there when I found good deals. My venue didn’t allow silk flowers for conservation purposes (it is a preserve after all) so the day before the wedding my maid of honor and I went to Costco and picked up a couple dozen pink roses for $15.99 or so. I didn’t want a guest book at the wedding, it just seemed so old school. I ended up getting a matted photo from Hobby Lobby for under $10.00 during a sale and it now hangs gorgeously on our wall instead of in a drawer where a book would be. I also got our sweet heart decor from Hobby Lobby during a half off sale. I got our “Mr” and “Mrs” signs two for the price of one. We also had beer pilsner’s made for us with “Mr”, “Mrs” and our wedding date on them. My amazing and thoughtful cousin had them made for us after seeing me post about them on facebook! We drank beer out of them all night long and it helped the bartender keep the good stuff coming. I would walk up to the bar and she’d have the drink of coice ready based on the glass! It was awesome and added such a fun personalized touch to our night.

The last thing I want to talk about are our favors. I told you this post was going to be long! I REALLY wanted live succulents as favors. I’m sure you have seen them in all of their glory. They’re to die for. If you had real live succulents at your wedding I envy you. Our guests were flying or driving from California so live succulents just didn’t seem realistic. I got so lucky. A family friend who I adore offered to make me paper succulents. She did an AMAZING job and even though the succulents weren’t alive, just like my flowers; they will last forever. It all went so perfectly together. My husband and I collect shot glasses so what better way to display the paper succulents then in shot glasses! I picked up a few dozen clear shot glasses for $2.99 and $3.99 a 6 pack and etched our initials and wedding date on them. Word to the wise, don’t, just don’t. This was the longest project of them all. I etched these damn shot glasses on and off for months; I nearly gave up. I honestly don’t know if anyone noticed they were even etched! But, I got my dream wedding favors for a fraction of the price!

If you are planning a wedding don’t lose sight of the little details. It can be overwhelming and there are a lot of little details to think about but it is so worth it. You’re guests may not appreciate it but when the day has come and gone you won’t have anything but memories and pictures. You want those pictures to be gorgeous. You only get married once (hopefully) so make it a big deal! Bring your relationship alive with details and if you don’t have a wedding planner in the budget, don’t fret. You can pull off a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception with a little time and effort.

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Our Not so Perfect First Dance.

In the era of viral videos we have all seen the “best first dance ever”. We’ve seen the bride and groom hit the quan, drop it like its hot and do the nay nay. We’ve seen the wedding party “surprise” the guests and join the bride and groom in the fun. We’ve witnessed the guests go crazy and we’ve seen the videos rack up millions of views and shares.

While planning our wedding I was petrified by the idea of a first dance. The mere thought of swaying back in forth in a room full of family and friends literally kept me from wanting a wedding. I’m not even joking. I had joked about doing a choreographed dance before, but my husband really wasn’t into it. I would watch first dance videos on YouTube and ask myself “where the hell did they learn this?!” About four months before the wedding I started researching dance studios. I had no idea where to start. I came up empty handed time and time again and I decided to turn to Facebook. I asked a question on a local group and within minutes I was pointed in the direction of A Perfect Wedding Dance Studio. Did you know wedding dance studios were a thing? Me either. It’s actually a pretty big business. People have been having their first dance choreographed well before they started going viral, who’d a thought.

I reached out to Kim and we scheduled our free consult. Instantly I fell in love. I loved the idea of dancing again (I danced as a child) and Kim was a pleasure to work with. She worked with our crazy schedule and was so much fun! My husband had never danced before and really wasn’t feeling it, at first. We were supposed to have 11 lessons. 11 lessons turned into a lot more, I think we all lost count. We went back and forth between music mix ideas, the dance we had spent weeks learning or something else. In the end we ended up sticking with the dance we had spent the time learning. We originally had a guest list of 50+ and the idea of a music mix was fun. It wasn’t until a month or so before the wedding when the guest list dropped in half that we decided there wasn’t much of a point to put on a show for 20 people.

My husband picked the music. Originally I wanted to go with an Ed Shereen song, you know, one of the ones that is constantly on the radio. I am so glad we went in a different direction. James picked a classic; Otis Redding’s “I’ve been loving you”. The song was so bluesy and had a nice feel. It grew on me over the course of our lessons and it’s now a personal favorite. We practiced and practiced and by the last lesson we were ready. Kim and her husband actually filmed the wedding for us, we were so excited to have her there during the big moment!

It wasn’t until we began dancing that the moment became less then perfect. It was the WRONG version of the song. Yeah….. the worst thing that could happen, happened. Let me tell you, our dance was slow with the version of the song we picked. The version the DJ played, was slow times 10. At this point we are in the middle of our big moment. All of the time, energy and money we had put into was on the line. My husband was done with it before we were in 30 seconds, you can totally tell when you watch the video. It took everything I had to keep him from quitting. Our guests knew it was the wrong song… we couldn’t stop saying it. What were we supposed to do? We couldn’t stop and ask the DJ to start over. We couldn’t just stop dancing. So, we made the best of it. We talked through it and even laughed about it. We looked like fools.

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When the torture finally ended, we laughed it off. Dinner started and our big moment was over, just like that. We gave the guests a show, though not what I had envisioned, they enjoyed it; at least I hope they did. I never told the DJ it was the wrong song and I will still recommend him to anyone that asks. I didn’t get mad or upset, I didn’t cry about it, I just went with it. At least I didn’t torture my guests with 3 minutes of high school slow dancing.

If we could go back and do it all over again, I would. I would do it all exactly as we did. I enjoyed every single second of our lessons. Even the moments of bickering and wanting to give up. I grew closer to my husband over the 4 months or so of lessons. We got out of the house and spent time together. I was able to break away from the chaos of wedding planning and have some us time. One thing I would do, is listen to the DJ’s version of the song instead of assuming it was the same.

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If you are planning a wedding, don’t skip the dance lessons. Even if you have 1 or 2, do it. You’ll thank me later. Make time for this some way or another, find room in your budget. Unless you and your fiance are some sort of magical dance guru; you need dance lessons. Just make sure your DJ plays the right song.

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James and I grew to love Kim. She was a blast. She helped me with the wedding planning, recommended vendors and kept my mind at ease throughout it all. When it was all over with and Tuesday rolled around, we were sad we weren’t headed to dance lessons. It is a time we will never forget and we couldn’t have asked for a better, less then perfect, first dance.

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A Stylish Groom: on a Budget.

In the world of Pinterest and wedding blogs I was consumed with the idea of a dapper groom. I mean, what bride-to-be hasn’t swooned over the thousands of picture perfect grooms floating around the inter-web? We were planning our wedding on a small budget but I couldn’t settle when it came to the look of my groom. The suit wasn’t something I started planning until a couple months before the big day. I knew the look I wanted but I had not idea how difficult finding it would be.

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Neither of us had ever shopped for a suit so we had no idea where to start. We took a trip into Men’s Warehouse to get a feel of what we were working with and to get my husband sized. The salesmen was good, I mean real good. He put my now husband in a suit that was perfect, or so we thought. My now husband fell in love with the suit, but with a $600 price tag, it cost more then my dress! Men’s Warehouse offers suit rentals so that was our next avenue. It died before it even became a real option. They offered one suit in blue, one; and it was bad.  At $200+ each suit to rent I knew there was a better option out there.

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James is a bigger guy. Finding him a suit that was fashionable and not in stretch material was like pulling teeth. Can I take a moment and bitch about “big and tall” clothing?! Us plus size women think we have it tough! Our struggles do not even begin to compare. Shopping for a larger man is a frustrating and sad task. There are very little stores that carry extended sizes and when they do they are either ridiculously priced or terribly unfashionable. Anyways, JCPenney’s was our savior. If you weren’t aware, like myself, JCpenney’s has an entire suit line. Including BIG AND TALL! Praise the shopper gods.

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I decided to give it a shot and buy the suit online. Now, let me break it down for you. I got James’ suit jacket, pants, shoes and belt for $215.37 with FREE shipping. Awesome, right?! I saved $308.63. Extreme couponing wedding addition. I got lucky and ordered everything while it was on-sale AND there was an online coupon. Have you looked for a nice pair of leather oxfords before? They are EXPENSIVE !

We weren’t sure how the suit was going to fit so we ordered two different styles and returned what didn’t work. James ended up looking best in the Big and Tall jacket and the Portly fit pants. JCPenney’s makes the same suit in different styles that fit slightly different, so it worked out perfectly for James’ body type.

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I splurged a little for the vest. There wasn’t a size available in the suit style so I had to figure out another option. When it comes to matching blues it’s a lot more difficult then you’d think.  Too dark or too light James goes from dapper to tacky quicker then we could say I Do. If you weren’t aware Men’s Warehouse has a clearance section online. I ordered a few different styles and colors to see what went the best with the navy jacket.He ended up liking a casual style wool vest with a slight plaid pattern. It was to die for. We got the Joseph Abboud vest for $74.99, a little on the pricey side but considering it is going for $94.99 right now on their website, it was worth it. We had the vest tailored the day BEFORE the wedding. Men’s Warehouse was able to fit him and have it altered in less then 24 hours. It was a life saver. I couldn’t fathom paying more then $15 bucks for a tie. I ended up getting James’ Jones New York tie from TJ Maxx for under $10 bucks.

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When it was all said and done, James looked better then I had envisioned; and for a fraction of the price. I brought to life those infamous Pinterest posts and got my dapper groom.

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Here’s the whole breakdown:

  • Joseph Abboud Navy Plaid Modern Fit Vest: $74.99 Orig. $94.99
  • Stafford Travel Suit Jacket- Big and Tall: $78.75 Orig $235.00
  • Stafford Travel Suit Pants-Portly Fit: $41.24 Orig $115.00
  • Stafford Travel Wrinkle-Free Oxford Dress Shirt-Big and Tall in Cloudburst: $22.49 Orig $50.00
  • Stacy Adams Garrison Men’s Wingtip Oxfords: $52.49 Orig $90.00

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on the little details. Pinterest, Instagram, wedding blogs and so on, make it seem impossible to have a stylish budget friendly wedding. It’s not. Take some time and you can have the wedding of your dreams just like I did.

 

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