September 1, 2013

The Wedding Story

Heyyyyyyy! Guess what- I'm married! :)And BOY, was it a whirlwind!

Budget Wedding 101...
Being that we were paying for this entire gig ourselves, Keith and I tried REALLY hard to save money. Here's how I cut some major $ corners and still had the wedding of my dreams.

Location: We got married a church camp on the bay. It was an outdoor chapel (basically a circle of stone steps and stone alter). Bonus was that they had a backup plan of indoor convention hall, if a hurricane came through. (You think I'm joking, but my wedding day was the height of hurricane season.)

Reception: Some very good friends of ours happen to own a magnificent restaurant about 15 min from the wedding area. They did the entire reception for me for QUITE a bargain. We had 2 types of pasta, salad, and wine.

Cake: I ordered my cake from a local grocery store, and even got a discount because one of my XC runner's mom is in charge of the bakery there. Score! We also went for a total chocolate wedding cake. Yum Yum! I put real flowers on it, which are significantly cheaper than if you get fondant flowers.

Flowers: Adrienne, Sam, and I bought the flowers the night before from the local grocery store. Don't laugh; they were gorgeous! We made the bouquets the morning of the wedding, wrapped in ivory ribbon, compliments Pinterest.

Dress: Oh, and the dress. Sigh. This was almost a really, really big fail. Almost. See, all along the plan was to borrow Sam's dress. I had tried it on, and it *nearly* fit, just needed to be let out in the hips/butt, and taken in in the waist. So, I had it altered, and altered again. By the time I picked up the dress 10 days before the wedding, I decided that I hated the way the dress looked on me. Gorgeous on her, terrible on me. Uh oh!

Thank goodness for Sam and her clear head. I was a basket case! 6 days before the wedding, we headed to the ghetto of Mobile, pulled up in front of a "formal shop" with BARS on the windows and doors. Yes, bars. We were so skeptical that we googled the place from the car to make sure we were at the right spot! We entered to see a hundred HIDEOUS Mardi Gras gowns, and no Cinderella dresses. And then my fairy godmother came from the back and whisked us to the mother load of dresses. Sam told me not to look at any of the prices, just to try on dresses. So, I did, and I did, and I did. The sizes were all over the place. I tried on everything from a 2 to an 8. It was crazy. I just got naked back there, while Sam and the fairy godmother put on dress after dress on me. Finally, they both gasped, and whisked me over to the full length mirror. In front of me what a gorgeous ivory 1940s style gown... that fit me perfectly. It was a MIRACLE! I went up to the cash register to pay, while holding my breath, she told me the price- $153.59. No, folks, that is NOT a typo.

Make-up and hair: I got my makeup done at Ulta, which is a great deal. You only have to buy $30 worth of makeup and the makeup application is free. I did my own hair, also compliments of Pinterest.

Photographer: I hired a college photography student. No worries, though, I got his recommendations checked out before hiring him. I'm really in love with the previews, and he took some very creative shots of us that I'm excited to see.

The Ceremony
So, it was humid as crap because it's south Alabama in August, but the weather held off nicely. We had our friend's hubby (who is also a minister) marry us.

Right before walking out, we saw Keith walking towards us. Judging by his face, something was clearly wrong. I told Sam and Adrienne that he was bailing. Sam told me to shut up, while she and Adrienne marched over to him to see what the deal was. (I'm pretty sure they would've literally killed him had that really been the case. Then this blog would have to include some crazy jokes about the Dixie Chicks song Early Had to Die.) What actually happened was that Keith's parents weren't there yet. Yes, really, his parents were not there. So, we waited another 5ish minutes, and they finally decided to grace us with their presence. LOL.

I'm not sure if many of you saw the deleted blog post about my dad, but there were some issues/feelings about him walking me down the isle. I'm not going to get into it all again, but he's still not 100% mentally "there." My mom and I felt like it would cause him a lot of stress and anxiety to walk me down the isle, and leave him in a state of panic. (That sounds really bizarre, but my dad has a permanent brain injury. He's fine MOST of the time, but often things trigger anxiety, panic, and confusion in him, similar to someone with Alzheimer's.) We came up with a really nice plan where he could still give me away, without having so much stress on him. He waited near the front with my mom seated by him for me to walk down the isle behind Sam and Adrienne. When I got to the front, the minister asked who was giving me, and he said he and my mom. Then he just walked me over to Keith before sitting back down. It all went smoothly! We had traditional vows and ring-giving. Bless his heart, Keith's hands were shaking so badly when we did the ring exchange. We also had some traditional scripture read, and then the kiss!

And, I guess Keith's parents' tardiness had a purpose, because after the ceremony we saw the most beautiful rainbow by the water. We were able to get some professional pics with it behind us. The three pics on this blog are 3 of the "previews" the photographer sent us. We should get the rest soon.

Our reception was a lot of fun- good food with all the people we love. And, to those that joked on FB about me wearing Brooks shoes... we both busted them out at the reception! It was so fun!

And life is good, so so very good.


  1. Ah, so beautiful. Tearing up here. Happy for you Rebecca. The! I had a dear friend die not too long ago. After her memorial, as we were driving away, all of us saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky. No doubts it was her saying hello. So, I see rainbows in a new way now. Really glad all turned out so well. Here's to the new chapter in your life girl!

  2. Congratulations!! You look beautiful and so happy!!

  3. I am soooo soooooo happy for you!! You very much deserve your prince charming and happily ever after. :) Josh and I did our wedding on a budget too. I love how you did it! And the dress is gorgeous!! Big hugs and lots of love!!!

  4. Congratulations! You look so happy and beautiful! And thanks for the tips :)

  5. Keep it small and simple, I almost wish we had eloped 15 years ago.

    sounds like you have fun and the honeymoon? hope you guys had even more fun and you got some running in!

  6. We drove to a small beach about two hours from here for our honeymoon. We're hoping to do a bigger trip down the road. Financially and with school (and XC), this was all we could do right now. We still had a GREAT time, though!

  7. I'm just a little biased, but that was one of the prettiest, most fun, and easiest (in a good way;)) weddings I've ever been a part of. Perfect.

    I'm so happy for the Bells and their new life together. Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of such a special day. Love you bunches!!

  8. Anonymous9/03/2013

    The pictures are gorgeous! As are YOU! I'm so glad you had an excellent day, and it sounds like you organized your wedding just perfectly. Hooray!

  9. I am so happy for you! And the pictures are GORGEOUS!!

  10. Congratulations!!!! You look beautiful and happy. I love your budget wedding - and in my opinion it's the only way to go. The marriage is more important than the wedding, and you pulled off a lovely one. Great job!

  11. BIG congratulations!! I've been reading your blog forever - I am so happy for you!!