We are in the final stretch of wedding planning, friends!
Things like “write vows” and “practice dancing” remain on our to-do list 🙂 We have crossed off so many other things!
One thing was finding an outfit for Mazen.
I ended up returning the suit I bought for him on Amazon because he hated the pants. Instead, we took the navy blazer + khakis route – and he likes it!
We found a blazer at Belk that fit along with a cute blue shirt, bow tie, and khaki pants.
My BFF Lauren hemmed the pants for us, which was such a lifesaver!
His little bow tie complements the groomsmen’s ties well too. I bought him a new (clean!) pair of Tommy Hilfiger brown loafers from Zappos. (Not pictured!) Thomas said his gray Sperry’s were too dirty to wear! 😉
We decided on our menu!
It is going to be served family style, and cake flavors… a vanilla layer for her and a chocolate layer for him!
Hers is vanilla bean, passionfruit curd, vanilla cake, with berries, and frosting. His is chocolate cake, vanilla custard, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache. #oppositesattract
I love the look of textured frosting, so we requested that, plus flowers for our design. I bought a wood slice, but it looks small to me, so we might have to nix it at the last minute. I can’t wait to see (and taste!) it.
Our marriage license has been procured!
Custom napkins have arrived!
I ordered a set of coordinating patterns from Dot and Army, the same company who did my sister’s wedding napkins. I love them, and I’m excited to keep using them for the years to come!
And finally, I want to share this great marriage e-book I read!
It’s called The Marriage Manifesto and has some really great advice. It’s also short, so you can read it in a matter of hours (or less). You might even be able to convince your partner to read it too. It’s written by Kelly Flanagan, PhD, who also has a website full of good advice.
This is the part of the book that I really loved:
In marriage, losing is letting go of the need to fix everything for your partner, listening to their darkest parts with a heartache rather than a solution.
It’s being even more present in the painful moments than in the good times.
It’s finding ways to be humble and open, even when everything in you says that you’re right and they are wrong.
It’s doing what is right and good for your spouse, even when big things need to be sacrificed, like a job, or a relationship, or an ego.
It is forgiveness, quickly and voluntarily.
It is eliminating anything from your life—even the things you love—if they are keeping you from attending, caring, and serving.
It is seeking peace by accepting the healthy but crazy-making things about your partner because, you remember, those were the things you fell in love with in the first place.
– A Marriage Rebellion from The Marriage Manifesto by Kelly Flanagan, PhD
Question for all of you: What was the best marriage advice you ever received?
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
So excited for you! The wedding cakes you’re looking at look gorgeous!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Can you share if you hope to one day have more children with your future husband? Love you guys!
Yes we do hope!
How wonderful! They will certainly be beautiful kids. 🙂 I love reading BERF and hope you will return to it!
Christina @ montessoriishmom.com says
Yay, this is so exciting! I love the excerpt you shared as well. Not specific advice really, but the minister who did our pre-marriage counseling suggested we read the 5 Love Languages and I really loved that perspective.
I love that book. Words of affirmation here!
Ani Kay | Momma Bear Life says
The best advice I received was to slow down and take in as much of the day as possible because it goes by so fast! And it really does! I took the advice though, and drank it all in and it remains one of the happiest days of my life.
Kindal @ fitwomensweekly.net says
My mom told me before I wedding that the best advice she could give is to let go of the petty. DOn’t let things nag at you and the little annoying things my husband does are just that… little. I don’t get mad at his bad habits of leaving glasses out or never putting dirty silverware in the sink. some fights just aren’t worth it. Looks like everything is coming together!
I know that the marriage advice I received the MOST was the standard “don’t go to bed angry”… which I totally don’t agree with! At least not literally. Sometimes, it’s best to go to bed and sort things out in the morning after some sleep.
I’m guilty of doing this, but you’re right – sometimes it’s best to leave it for later with a cleared mind.
Awww, this is so exciting! So happy for you.
My husband and I got married 6/11/16 –the 5th anniversary of the day we met. We actually were the best of friends for about 4 years–high-fiving on NYE, hugging on alternate birthdays, etc. He didn’t date — I dated once in awhile. I’d gotten married the first time around while very, very young, to an older, verbally/physically abusive man. I left him in 2010, and spent the next 5 years just taking care of myself! My BFF-turned-hubby was a huge part of that. We’d work out, go on long walks, drink lots of coffee/tea. I think we somehow always knew we’d end up together. And then things just unfolded as they were meant to. All this to say: Best advice I received was from my dad (my parents have been married 48 years) not long after we were married. He just reminded me simply: “Remember to have grace with one another.” I am not especially laid-back (ahem) and my husband is very chill. Good advice. 🙂
True love is just the greatest. Everyday is such a gift. Getting to spend it with your best friend and soul mate –gosh. No words. It’s just the best! All best wishes to you!
Thank you for sharing your sweet story! I love that. I am not particularly laid-back either ; )
I am so, so happy for you, Kath! I read the Marriage Manifesto before I got married too, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I’m still new at marriage….haven’t even hit our 6 month mark! But I go back and refer to Dr. Flanagan’s writing all the time. 🙂
I need to read more of it!
Kerry Haslam says
Love is an act of the will! Somebody times you don’t feel it and have to smile and sacrifice yourself. 13 years into marriage and i have found hat to be true over and over.
Carrie this fit chick says
YAY, I love wedding updates. Those napkins are super cute and Mazen looks so handsome!
I wasn’t actually given any advice… but my husband was told “Happy wife, happy life!” with which I thoroughly agree, of course 😀 Your cake and decorative touches sound and look gorgeous – can’t wait to see it all together!
OMG, Mazen looks adorable!
Matt and I didn’t finish reading The Five Love Languages (whoops), but it was eye-opening. Communication has always been a huge piece of relationship advice and one that Matt himself brought up early in on when we first began dating (in 2005!). Even now, I have to remind myself to communicate early rather than let something fester. I love all of the advice you listed! He and I are still new at marriage (one year already in just a matter of a month!), but I love continuing to learn and grow together.
Mary Ann says
I wish I would have read this before our wedding. One of the best bits of advice that I ever received was to never say anything about your husband behind his back that you would not say in front of him. Respect the intimacy of your relationship and keep it private. Best wishes to you! Your cake sounds delicious!
I agree with all the above. Marriage is not easy everyday, it is work, you have to want to be there and never give up. 8 years married 16 together. I love my husband more now than the day I married him.
Rachel Schlosser says
The church my husband and I got married in had a pre-marriage class that we took. The best class they had was one where the parents of the bride and groom could come to. They talked about how when things happen in the family the bride talks to her family and the groom talks to his. Also for the parents/in-laws that if the married couple comes over and say look we got a dog, or look at our new (hideous) rug to just say “That’s nice”.
Congratulations to you and Thomas!! I can’t wait to see photos. My husband and I got married 6 months after we met. People thought it would never last. We fooled them!! We just celebrated our 28th year anniversary. It doesn’t really matter the time you’ve known each other. It’s finding the right person to come along. Best wishes. Enjoy your wedding.
Aw love that! Congrats on 28 years. When you know you know!
I’ve got tears in my eyes for you. Have followed you for years. Was so disappointed your marriage to Matt did not work. But alas you have found love again. I really don’t remember any marriage advice but it was 35 years ago and I was a 19 year old kid . We’ve learned a lot along the way about one another. Mostly that more than anyone else in this big old world he’s got my back and I’ve got his??
No question mark intended…
Bridget Black says
It’s not really advice… however, something I am consistently surprised by how much it impacts my day AND brings my husband Josh and I closer are the small, thoughtful daily things like:
leaving a note on his steering wheel for him to find in the morning
squeezing him as I walk by
winking across the table
saying I love you out of the blue
texting a thoughtful prayer or wish on a big day
doing a task he despises that surprises him (I’m looking at you, iron!)
saying thank you even after something mundane like unloading the dishwasher
Congrats on your upcoming wedding!! Praying for you three!
You are fulfilling each other’s love languages!
I’ve always found these to be the best ways to show love. <3
A friend of mine recently told me the best advice she had gotten from her mother and it was kind of a light bulb moment for me. She said, “don’t use the words never or always.” As in, “you never take out the trash” or “you always wake up grumpy.” We’re now working on leaving those words out, but countless fights could have been prevented.
The best advice I’ve ever received applies to not only marriage, but all relationships and life in general: you are in charge of your own happiness.
The best advice we got was never go to bed d angry. 🙂
I’ve been married over 26 years and the best advice I can give you is to keep God at the center of your marriage!
What will you do with all those custom made napkins afterwards? Or are the custom ones just for the wedding party?
I will keep some and give some to my family 🙂
You could make a quilt or lap blanket with them. Just a thought.
The best advice we learned in our Engagement Encounter weekend through our church – the advice was to not just say “I’m sorry (and oftentimes not really mean it), but to ask your partner for forgiveness when there has been a wrong done. Just that difference has been huge for us. We’ve been married 33 years.
I love the idea of an “Engagement Encounter”
The best marriage advice I got was to continue to date each other. It’s important to still make time for each other, even as life gets in the way!
I would love to hear some advice from you about how to balance the celebration of a 2nd wedding while recognizing that it’s not the first go-round! I was divorced a few yrs ago and am considering a simple courthouse wedding for my 2nd because I’m nervous my friends/family will consider it tacky to “go all out” again, especially after they bought me such expensive gifts the first time!! Further, is there any advice you’ve picked up about embarking on a 2nd marriage in general?
Love your wedding posts — it’s fun to follow all of your workout + food choices in anticipation of the big day!! You’re looking great! Xoxo
When I got married it was my first and my husband’s third wedding. We were both adults with established households that we had already combined. He was uncomfortable with the idea of gifts, so we created a modest registry, but also listed the options of 3 charities to give to in our honor (the camp/conference center we were married at, an animal rescue organization of their choice, and one other that I can’t remember)
My favorite advice came from a seasoned coworker: “You can be right or you can be happy.” I think about that sometimes when I’m about to bring up something insignificant that should have happened or that did and shouldn’t have and so on. It’s actually much happier for everyone for me to show my husband (who is really, truly wonderful) grace and just move on.
That same coworker gave me my second favorite piece of advice: “The times when you most want to say ‘I told you so’ are the times you’ll least need to say it.” That was in a gen of a story about her prodding her husband to get the water heater in their attic fixed. Of course he put it off and eventually, their ceiling caved in! You can imagine what she was thinking…
Love both of those!
I loved reading the quotes from the Manifesto. I’m getting married soon too and these really spoke to me. All the best!
I loved the advice given us by a couple married 50+ years: “The good times are easy. But when you hit the bad times- as everyone does- you just keep your heads down and keep going. You get through it.” That resonated because it’s so deeply practical and pragmatic. 🙂 I’m not much of a romantic! Ha! But to me it also implies having faith in your teammate, and knowing you’ll come out on the other side, together. It’s worked for us!
Mazen looks like such a little man!! How cute!
Pam K. says
I love the cake flavors you picked: one layer of chocolate and vanilla. I got a similar combination for my son’s birthday and he loved it. Have you considered bringing Thomas into the blog more? Perhaps a guest post written by him? I just thought that would be fun.
He doesn’t love being in the limelight, but maybe someday.
I love reading these comments! I agree with most, although I find that sometimes a good night’s sleep after an argument can really help give perspective, even if you haven’t resolved everything and still feel angry in some ways when going to bed 🙂 Also I’m not sure I agree with not saying anything about your husband to others that you wouldn’t say to his face – it’s important to have someone trusted in your life that you can talk to about difficulties that arise with your spouse!
I’ve been married 11 years (4 kids) and didn’t receive much pre-marriage advice aside from the secular and religious counseling we did (which was great and I recommend doing that); my parents have a very dysfunctional relationship and so were not a good example. Some advice is universal, but every relationship (and the people in it) are very different. So for me personally, my marriage, and my husband, I always have to work on hard two things. One is pausing and thinking before I speak (during a disagreement anyway) so that I can adjust my tone and choose words that are effective but not hurtful. Two is “dying to myself,” that is, remembering that my ego and the feeling that I’M SO RIGHT isn’t what matters most. Obviously I am a strong-willed person who has no problem sticking up for herself, so these two tips are tailored to me!
I wish you guys so much happiness!!
Thanks for your advice!
Congratulations Kath! My sister once told me that sometimes the very thing you find attractive in a man, can in time become annoying. It’s true, so learn to let go of your expectations and make room for acceptance and love. In all its messy beautiful moments.
How exciting! I just got married last month (similar situation to yours actually-blended family and we actually got engaged right after you and Thomas did, so a short engagement). Something we included in our vows was the promise to remember that we don’t just love each other, we *like* each other…i.e. to remember why we are together in the first place instead of letting little things get in the way. Sounds simplistic, but I think it’s so easy to start taking each other for granted or focus on the negative, especially when there are kids and a house and jobs, etc. in the mix, and we want to make it a priority in our marriage to remember how much we just enjoy each other’s company.
Congrats and enjoy this last week of planning!
Love it and congratulations!
Linda @ The Fitty says
Coconut butter is NOT safe in my house. I’ll devour that in like, 2 days I kid you not!
Lisa C. says
From a longtime reader: so excited for you! 🙂
One of my favorite pieces of marriage advice was actually from Tina’s blog: “Fall in love wth someone who doesn’t make you think love is hard.” I was with my former partner for nine years, married for six and found myself divorced at the ripe old age of 29. We are still friendly (it’s hard not to be when someone has been part of 1/3 of your life), but our relationship was HARD. We had so many good times together, but we had to work to make each other happy because we didn’t enjoy many of the same activities. I have been in a new relationship now for a year that, by comparison, seems effortless. Not to say that we don’t have our quibbles, but being in love with him is so easy. Because of this, I try to remember my own relationship advice: “Is this frustration/disagreement going to matter in a year? If not, let it go.” I don’t care that he leaves his shoes on and tracks dirt on the floor. While I sweep it up, I remember that he had dinner ready for me when I got home and made the bed. Wooo, rant over. I am so happy for you, Kath. Can’t wait to read about your big day!
That’s one of my favorite things I’ve heard someone say about marriage (and it was Ina Garten who said it) – “I don’t know why people think marriage has to be so hard. We just have fun!”
i just wanted to thank you for sharing that passage. i don’t think any reading about partnership has ever rung as true for me as that just did.
Some advice that I’ve received and loved was:
– Money fights and problems are the #1 cause of divorce. Set your financial goals together and work together to achieve them. Even consider taking a financial class like Financial Peace University so that you can align your financial goals with how you want to live.
– When you marry, your relationship with your family of origin will change and it’s ok. It needs to. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with your parents. Your spouse will thank you.
– Saying sorry doesn’t mean their right and you’re wrong. It means you value the relationship over your ego.
Love that last one. And I listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcast and hear about Financial Peace all the time!
I love your style, and Cville is chalk full of GORGEOUS locations for weddings so I can’t wait to read the recap! I’m so excited for you. Not married, but I’m one of those who is forever planning 😉
Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) says
Love the marriage advice, and those napkins are beautiful.
My husband and I have the most incredible marriage, and the biggest thing is that we each put the other person first, and not ourselves. I am his number one priority in life, and he is mine. You cannot be selfish and expect to have a happy marriage. If you are selfless, and generous with your partner, and they give the same in return, you are both happy, satisfied, and feel honored and loved. Five 1/2 years together (almost three married), and we are insanely giddy driving home at the end of the day to see each other, and always, always greet each other at the door with kisses. There has never been a single time that we haven’t done this …
Marriagevis a bit like the Olymoics and your wedding day is the opening ceremony. It looks Great and is very entertaining but it’s not the Main thing. What follows is what’s important. Plenty of hard work, highs and lows and lots to celebrate.
So excited for you Kath xxx
In a marriage, only one person gets to be crazy at a time. Saw this in a movie, never forgot it. Congratulations ! One day at a time, commit to stay together, sometimes one minute at a time.
K mendelson says
The best advice I got was from my mother who said to make peace with that argument you always have. Every couple has something about each other that is crazy making. It is what you had your first argument about, it is what you will have your last argument about. The first time you have it, when you are dating, you break up. By the time you have been married 25+ yeears that same arguement takes 4 looks and is over. Good luck!
That is great advice
Well I think it’s only fair that every commenter today gets a piece of that chocolate cake sent to us. #Tempting
I can’t remember who, but someone told us on our wedding day to do something every day that helps or is a kind gesture to the other person. Every night he fills my water bottle and puts it in the fridge (I’m notoriously bad at drinking water), and every morning I make him coffee. We do other things too, but over all it’s about having an attitude of service to each other (without resentment if the other person has been too busy to reciprocate). And it’s worked wonderfully for us.
Our best and most memorable piece of advice:
“A successful marriage requires these 5 things: Appreciation, appreciation, appreciation, appreciation, appreciation”
When we appreciate one another and what each one contributes to the marriage, we grow together, help each other and learn deeper respect for one another.
I know this wasn’t the question, but I can’t resist contributing 🙂 The marriage advice that I always give (because it has been really important in our relationship) is that whenever one partner does the chore, the other doesn’t get to complain about how its done or tell them how to do it. So if my husband washes the dishes, I don’t stand over his shoulder and remind him to get all the water spots. This reduces the nagging immensely and helps us to keep in mind to be appreciative of the other person doing something to support the household, rather than complaining that they haven’t done it just the way we would have done it. Best wishes!
that is great advice!
I could not be happier for you two. It’s been a real joy watching your love unfold.
Best advice…”there is no compromise” to compromise means someone is giving up something. The resolution… to love each other we want to give each other the very best. It’s not all about what we want but what we want together. Sometimes that means finding a new solution or something that we agree on that makes everyone happy.
Example: while building our brand new home (years ago) I found the perfect granite for countertops. My eyes lit up when I saw it and couldn’t wait to share it with my husband. We went back to the granite place together to have a look. He absolutely hated it. At that point, it was no longer about what I wanted, It was more important to me for him to be equally happy. So we ended up picking something we both liked.
Wishing the very best to you and your beautiful family now and always.