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Sunday, May 27, 2012

A List- Twenty-Six Days

What a busy week it has been! I can't believe that the countdown til the wedding is currently at 26 days. That's right. Twenty. Six. Days.

Here's what's happening:

1. The store I'm cashiering at gave me crazy, crazy hours for the next two weeks. Like, on Friday, I'm working 2:00 pm til 11:00 pm, and then on Saturday, I'm working at 6:30 in the morning. Yikes. I'm feeling more and more like in order to get the wedding stuff done and also maintain my sanity and some semblance of a sleep schedule, I'm gonna have to quit earlier than I anticipated.

2. Zeke moved into an apartment. Yay! I'm very, very excited about this. Originally, he'd been living in a room that the camp provided for him. It is so generous and wonderful that the camp will provide us with living arrangements, but I was a little unsure about how we were going to survive the summer in just one room. I mean, we could do it. And we would do it without complaint and with grateful hearts. But still, a little unsure. Then, the other day, the camp told him that they had an open apartment and that he'd be living there for the summer, instead! Three small bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a bathroom! What more could we ask for? It's perfect! I'm so excited to see it!

3. Twenty-six days til the wedding. Just in case anyone forgot.

4. We went to "the city" today to get shoes for my bridesmaids (super cute, by the way), get some decorations for the wedding, and drop off my ring. That part was hard- the dropping off my ring. My engagement ring has been a part of me for so long, it was really difficult to drop it off at the jewelry place to get it soldered together with my band. And then I can't wear it until the wedding? For twenty-six days? Ugh. I miss it already. But it will be so pretty and shiny when I get it back!

5. I'm getting really excited for after the wedding. (No, not that, you sickos. Get your minds out of the gutter!) I'm looking forward to setting up our new home together, getting a job situated for myself, and just spending some time relaxing with my Hunky brand-new-Husband and not worrying about wedding anything. <Sigh> Twenty-six days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Budget Bride- DIY Flowers (Basic Fabric)

Our wedding budget is a very small one. Very small. We're trying to cut corners wherever possible, but with huge families on both Zeke's side and my side, corners aren't enough.

And so, I'm attempting DIY most of the wedding. (Read more about that in my first post...)

I say "attempting" because I am definitely no Martha Stewart. I'm like, the antithesis of Martha Stewart. Go look at her website. Seriously. Her workspace is always immaculate. My workspace looks like this:

I don't have a desk in my room, so the bed works. Coffee and movies are also required.

So let's get started- here's how I made fabric flowers! I used theses primarily for boutonnieres and corsages, but this is such a great, cheap, and easy flower to make that you could use them for anything- decorations, get rid of the wire and hot glue or sew them to headbands... so many options.


Scissors, some sort of fabric (I used white embroidery material I had laying around), a needle nose wire cutter, sewing needles (preferably one thin and one thicker grade), thread, floral tape, and floral wire.

 Step 1: Make a template

 I just used a piece of computer paper, drew a flower on it, and cut it out. I would suggest drawing a flower with five petals- it works better for staggering. You can make the template any size, really, but in this tutorial I used a small template.

Step 2: Trace template onto fabric and cut out


 (I like to fold the fabric before tracing so I can cut out more than one at a time.)

Step 3: Stagger pieces

 Using four of the pieces you cut out, make a stack, staggering the petals. 

Step 4: Sew stack together

 Using the thinner grade needle, make two stitches in an X at the center of the stack (or in my case, near the center....). Here I used a darker color thread to make the stitches more visible, but I suggest matching your thread color with your fabric color.

Step 5: Make Wire Stem

 Set threaded thin needle aside. Using the thicker grade needle, poke a hole through the stack. I like to wiggle the needle to make the hole a little bigger.

  Push the floral wire through the hole you make in your stack. (Budget Bride Tip: I used my wire cutter to cut my wire into fourths. Depending on the length of your original wire, you may want to do the same. Your floral wire should be five to seven inches in length.)

 Using your needle nose pliers, loop the end of the wire to prevent it from pulling through. 

Step 6: Form the flower

Fold your stack in half. Then, using the needle and thread, stitch 4-6 stitches along the folded edge. The stitches don't have to be pretty. They can look very non-Martha like mine above. 

Unfold the stack. Refold your flower in half, the opposite direction of your stitches. Fold the flower in half again. 
 Using your needle and thread, stitch along the open fold. You will want about 4 to 6 stitches here. Make sure to stitch close to the stem.

The finished project should look a little like the one above.

 Step 7: Make it Pretty

 Push the fabric to the top of the wire stem, making sure the wire curl pulls down between petals. Twist the fabric to pull the flower upright.

 Get your floral tape. (Budget Bride Tip: I like to cut mine in half the long ways. The narrower tape is easier to work with on small flowers, and it saves some money, too!)

 Twist the floral tape around the flower, pulling firmly. Wind tape around the wire stem as well.

 Admire your finished product! Yay flower!

I used these fabric flowers to make Corsages and Boutonnieres- but you can use them for all sorts of things- put them on wreaths, use them in cute little arrangements, put them on headbands... the sky's the limit!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Budget Bride- DIY For the Flower Girls

The very first wedding-related project I decided to tackle (mostly because working on something BIG was waaaay too intimidating for me) was this one:

DIY Project: Popping the Question to the Flower Girls!

A cute trend right now is to send a small gift to prospective flower girls, inviting them to be a part of the wedding and getting them excited for the big day.

I will have two flower girls in my wedding- six-year-old twins. They're my cousins, and they love my Hunky future Husband so much that I think they're a little jealous of me! I wanted to give them something special to ask them to be my flower girls... and this is what I came up with.

Now, keep in mind, I have a lot of fun hand-embroidering things. That being said, I know that my little hobby isn't shared by everyone, and what I love about this project is that you can really make it your own. I chose to embroider, but this is a cute idea for painting, drawing...

 Our wedding colors are orange and blue, so I tied that in to the little card. The poem is easy to customize.

 Detail shot...
The finished product. I used a little blue paper to the back, both to add some pretty contrast and also to hide the "ugly" side of my embroidery. Also, on the back, I wrote each girl's name and a short note about how much of an honor it would be to have them as my flower girls, and how much I was looking forward to their special day.

Of course, I signed it from both Zeke and from myself, because after all, he is their favorite person ever.

Things They Don't Tell You about Engagements

When I got engaged, I totally expected it to be a wonderful, dewy-eyed, chiffon-and-lace type of experience. I mean, after all, I did have the man of my dreams... and how could life be anything but glorious with this thing on my left hand?

Bam! Shiny!
And of course, there was all the excitement and attention and congratulations surrounding getting engaged. I thought it was going to be awesome.

In some ways, it is definitely awesome. (I said some ways.)

But here's what they don't tell you.

1. There are ninety million ways to procrastinate planning your wedding.

Let's be honest, ladies. Pinterest is wonderful, but it sure is a great way to avoid getting stuff done. I spent hours on the internet and looking through magazines "getting ideas for the wedding." Cha, yeah right. All I managed to do was spend the first year of my 18 month engagement wasting time with seventy five thousand different ideas for the wedding.

Seriously, if you took my Pinterest board and turned it into an actual wedding, it would be like a circus. Worse than a circus. It would be a wedding going through an identity crisis.

It was super difficult for me (and still is, even at this stage of the planning process) to narrow down my ideas and get some kind of focus. (My mom calls that "streamlining." She keeps saying it. "Streamline, dear. We've got to streamline!" I never want to hear that word again....)

Which brings us to our next point:

2. You very likely will want to drop-kick your mother at some point in the process.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I love my mom. We're pretty close, and have been all through my college years (and high school, too, if you don't count some PMS-driven rage). My mom is awesome.

But weddings, as I found out, do not always bring out the the best "selves" of mothers and daughters, as much as you may try. My mom has a great, fun-loving, spontaneous personality. Which makes her my nemesis during wedding planning, because I'm a type-A, routine and schedule and To Do list kind of personality.

She's all, "Oh, it'll get done, no worries. Let's dance!" and I'm all, "MOM! Programs were supposed to be done YESTERDAY. No dancing!"

3. Wedding planning nightmares.

If you didn't gather from our discussion of #2, I'm a bit of a high-strung person sometimes. That translates, very often, into my sleep. Instead of the blissful dreams I imagined I'd have during my engagement -Zeke in nothing but shorty-shorts, Zeke rubbing my feet, Zeke and I riding a horse into the sunset- I have had a lot of dreams that result in me waking up in a cold sweat (not at all the kind of sweat that would result from a dream about Zeke in shorty-shorts).

I've had dreams where I got all dressed and realized I was in the wrong church. Dreams where I was in the right church, but the walls were carpeted and red. Or there was one where Zeke's actually happily married parents were divorced and each remarried, we couldn't find his mother, and somehow I just knew that his stepparents were sleeping with each other. Analyze that one.

Lately, though, it hasn't been the dreams- I've just been waking up in a panic late at night and realizing that I have completely forgotten about a "key" part of the wedding.

<GASP!> I don't have my marriage license yet! Isn't there a three month waiting period???? (No, there's not.)

<GASP!> Bows for the pews! We don't have bows!!!

<GASP!> Aisle runner or no aisle runner!?

It's a little ridiculous.

4. You will fight with your beloved.

Like I said, I thought I'd be all lovey-dovey toward my Hunky future Husband during our engagement. That certainly was true for the first six months or so (we had a long engagement, remember).

But, due to my high-strung nature, the fact that I'm living back home with my folks and three teenage sisters, and because Zeke is currently living more than an hour and a half away, things have gotten tense several times. And mostly, to be honest, it's been my fault (just don't tell him I said that).

5. You will worry about things you've never worried about before.

I don't generally consider myself a very high-maintenance person. High-strung, yes, but not high-maintenance. I'm not really into the whole hair and makeup thing most of the time. But with this wedding coming up so quickly, I've suddenly turned into a Kardashian. And I'm stressing about ... my tan lines.

Ridiculous, right? No one will notice anyways! Yes, it's a strapless dress, but those tan lines from last year are not that bad.

But they seem that bad to me.


Honestly, everyone tells you how stressful wedding planning is. There are tons of tips online of how to reduce your stress. Tons. But I didn't think I actually understood how much an engagement stresses a gal out until I was doing it myself. And now that I am... geez oh man.

Heaven help us all for the next two- wait, less than two. Almost one! Oh my gosh! I have to order rocks online! Zeke hasn't finished cutting centerpieces! Did my dad get his tux fitting yet?- months.

For some advice about engagement and wedding planning, and about what I learned about making engagement less stress and more intentional, check out some of these posts... 

Intentional Engagement Series:


Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today was my final wedding shower. I say "final" because I've had three. I know, three showers. It's a lot. Most of my extended family lives in the Chicago area, so we had a shower there for all the relatives who won't be coming to the wedding. Then my church had a shower for me and another June bride. And today, Zeke's family had a shower for me.

Whew! Lots of gifts, lots of hugs, and lots of thank you notes to write.

While every shower has been a little different, with different guests and different color schemes, different food and different games, I always have one conclusion afterwards. I am so blessed. So blessed to be given so many wonderful gifts, yes, but that's not the important thing. I'm blessed with so many people who care about me and who care about Zeke. People who want to see us flourish as a couple, start a family, grow in our faiths, and want to support us in everything we do.

So many brides today, at least on the reality shows and in magazines, think that their wedding is all about them. In some ways, I think that's true. I think that a wedding should reflect your tastes and interests, and not every decision should be influenced by what everyone else thinks. Because really, there's no way to make everyone happy.

At the same time, a wedding should not be all about you. Focusing on yourself, especially during the crazy planning process, won't do anything but make you stressed and angry. Look around and see everyone who loves you. I think that's the key. All the work I'm doing, all the stress and organizing and planning, it's not just for me.  I'm doing all this so that other people, the people who love us, can celebrate in our joy with us. Can share in our happy time.

And I've been so, so blessed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Waiting Woes

Zeke went to college at a community school that he just loved. He got involved with student senate, made a lot of good friends, and most importantly, he found a place to live at a camp.

A lot of Bible Camps do this, actually. They allow people to live on their facilities in exchange for working a number of hours at the camp. It works out well for everyone. Zeke decided to do that, and had free room and board for three years of college. He gained a lot more than that, though- he found a career path.

Zeke, after growing up on a farm and learning how to fix, well, anything, decided to use his skills to maintain facilities and grounds of a Bible Camp. He first worked at a camp in Minnesota, which was a great starting place for him, but it didn't have much opportunity for him to move up to a more serious position.

That's when he started looking again. At the time, I was also living at the Minnesota Bible Camp, and also worked at a retail store on the side. And then the retail store went out of business, at about the same time Zeke had an interview with a great Bible Camp in Iowa, closer to our families, with room for him to grow.

So, after they offered him the job at the new Bible Camp, Zeke made the decision to move up there and start working before the wedding, which meant that I had to find somewhere to go. And a new job, too, until I get settled after the wedding.

I came home. Yep.

After four years of college and one year on my own, I moved back in with my parents and sisters. I'm an hour away from Zeke, which isn't terrible, but I still miss living down the hall from him or seeing him at meals every day. And as most adults who return home know, it's kind of weird to be living with my folks again.

There are some "pros," though. I don't have to pay rent or buy food, I can work on the wedding and have people to help me with it, and it is nice to actually be in the town where I'll be getting married while I'm planning. And I got a job- retail again- working as a cashier.

Still, all this waiting is kind of getting me down. Zeke has to work this weekend, so I won't see him, so that stinks.And while I'm grateful to have a job, I kind of miss my old store. The new store is much, much bigger, and the personal touch is gone. I don't know any of the girls I work with, and I miss my old co-workers joking around.

I just want to get married and get started with my new life, get into a job I love, and be able to spend time with the man I love. All this waiting. It stinks.

The Budget Bride

Introduction: An Idea is Born

Zeke and I are getting married soon, like, really soon. Which means that wedding stuff has kicked into high gear.

High gear, for my wedding, means lots and lots of projects.

You see, we have a very limited budget to work with. (Limited= less than half the amount that most brides on 'Say Yes to the Dress' spend on just their gowns.) Most of the wedding will be done ourselves. As I thought about all the work I have yet to do, I found myself wishing that some other bride somewhere had made it all much easier for me. Found good vendors, came up with helpful tips, put all her DIY projects in one place.

And then I had a thought- a thought that often gets me into trouble and creates hours of work for me. A thought that makes Pinterest a very bad idea.

I thought, "Hey! I could do that!" And so I am.

The Plan

Okay. So here's what we've got. Our budget is $5,000. My parents are paying for the wedding, and told us that the money we don't use for the wedding is money we can keep. We'd like to have about $2,000 left, but that's probably a pipe dream.

The Details

We're inviting about 300 people, and are planning on about 180 guests. We both have big extended families, but they are spread out across the US.  The wedding will take place in Zeke's home church, and the reception will be at my home church. Neither church requires any kind of fee, as our parents are members. Our wedding is on a Saturday morning- at 10:00 am. We'll be having a lunch reception.

Things We Aren't DIY-ing: 

-Attire. The wedding dress is paid for, the bridesmaid's dresses too. I bought my dress on sale at David's Bridal, and the bridesmaid's dresses were $65 each at JCPenney. I really liked the looks of them- I would recommend both places for dresses.

-The Food. Well, I should say, most of the food. We will be having the reception catered, but are going with hamburgers and toppings, two sides, and a short appetizer hour to begin. No alcohol will be served at the reception (the church won't allow it, and for a lunch reception we didn't think it was necessary). Zeke's mother will be making the cake, and relatives from our families will be providing cookies and bars for a sweets table.

-Photography. We hired a great up and coming photographer. She's never done a wedding before, so her prices were super cheap. We did look at her portfolio before hiring her, and she takes very professional pictures. She is only charging us $300 for the ENTIRE day (before the ceremony, the ceremony, formal pictures, the reception, and then more formal and informal pictures after the reception.) She was a total steal, and it feels good to help her out by allowing her to use our pictures in her portfolio.

-Some of the Decorations. We are planning on using decorations that the churches already have available as much as possible, mostly big greenery-type things. The centerpieces will probably have some items (like glassware) that the church or our parents already have, but for the most part, we are planning on doing them ourselves as well.

That leaves a lot yet to do. And I know that I'm not the only bride out there stressing about how to get everything done. I thought I'd share some of my experience with the world, get some of my ideas out there, hopefully be even a little helpful to someone else out there and give someone a chance to take a big deep breath.


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Little Wife's Happy Life

Hello there! I'm glad that you decided to stop by my blog and check out what's going on here.

First, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm the Adrie, the Little Wife!

I am exactly five feet tall, which is where the "little" comes in.

I am cheating a little bit with my name, though, because I'm not a wife. Not yet, anyways. I'm getting married in exactly forty three days to the love of my life, my Hunky Husband, or HH, otherwise known as Zeke.

He's not little in any way. He's over six-foot-five and has very broad football-player-esque shoulders. We are pretty much exact opposites size-wise, and I love it.

Okay, so at this point, you're thinking, "What's this blog gonna be about, anyways?" Well, it'll be about starting a new life together, about learning how to love like Christ, about being newly-wed, about learning how to take care of a husband and a home, pinching pennies, caring for our spiritual lives, discovering what all those kitchen appliances I got for my wedding shower are really for, and lots of changes. In general, this will be about life.  A happy life.

I hope you enjoy it!

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