A Very Anniversary Weekend

I cannot believe a year of marriage has arrived! It’s been one wild, crazy, awesome year, and I can’t wait for the years to come. So….how did we celebrate?

On Friday night we met up with some friends at The Cellar in Las Colinas. We had heard from some friends that this place was pretty good, cheap drinks, and on the Las Colinas canal so the patio was great. Well, we were very disappointed in the service, food, and overall experience. None of the waiters were friendly or helpful, and they were VERY slow. The food was decent, but it turned out the place was more of a bar than an actual restaurant. Bummer. We’ll never have to eat there again!


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On Saturday, we slept in and went for a short walk to get the day going. I then picked up a fresh top tier of our wedding cake from the bakery, Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas. Lucky for us- our bakery highly encouraged us to serve the top tier at our wedding instead of freezing it for the first anniversary. If you send professional pictures of your cake to the bakery, they’ll recreate the top tier for FREE on your first anniversary! The sad part- if we wanted to order this cake every year, it would cost us $75. Womp Womp.

On Saturday night, we met up with some friends we met on our honeymoon for dinner. Funny Story: on our honeymoon in Palm Island (very close to Venezuela aka: very far away) we met a really awesome couple, Sandy and Ray. We met them over lunch as iguanas were crawling up Sandy’s leg. Yes, disgusting. Anyway. We thought they were hilarious and started hanging out with them on the beach and at the bar in the evening after dinner. About a day later, they told us that they were actually getting married on the island and wanted us to be the witnesses. Of course, Dono and I jumped at the chance. On their wedding day, we helped each of them get ready, and stood behind them as they recited their vows. It was such a beautiful wedding…and hilarious…because we are in ALL of their wedding pictures! Well, come to find out, Sandy and Ray moved to DFW shortly after the wedding. We had been planning for MONTHS to get together, but between all of our work schedules, it was quite difficult. Last night, we finally got to meet up – a whole year later – for some pizza, wine, and reminiscing.

When we came home, and took all will and might to not break into the cake and champagne!

On Sunday we slept in again, but as soon as we were awake – it was like we were children on Christmas! We didn’t care how early it was, we wanted to dive into the cake. So we did! We snapped a few pics with our cake and champagne before digging in.



We exchanged anniversary gifts, too. We decided when we got married that we wanted to follow the traditional anniversary gift giving because we liked having to put creative thought into the gifts and following the tradition of many others. The first year’s gift is Paper. We both wrote each other heartfelt notes on the PERFECT cards for each other. I gave Donovan a race display bib holder, and he gave me a gift certificate to get a pedicure. Ok, so my gift was not really paper, but its holds paper, so its close enough for me! After our gift exchange we watched our wedding and reception video and looked at all of our wedding pictures. It was so much run to reminisce and talk about the best parts of the wedding day. We also set some goals for ourselves for the future – mainly moving into a house this year!! (I’m very excited about this goal)

Overall, it was a fantastic day together. While we did spend a lot of time doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning like we usually do on Sundays- it was great to take a break in the morning, relax, and remember why we got married in the first place.

What did y’all do on your first anniversaries?

One Year Has FLOWN By!

Y’all. I cannot believe that I have been married for 1 full year! ….well, it will be 1 year on Sunday, but this post is coming a bit early.

Two years ago, Donovan gave me the surprise of my life! He took me to Smoke for dinner for my birthday, and ended up proposing! Little did I know he had also invited our entire families to come and celebrate with us…and ended the night with a surprise birthday party for me…and surprise engagement party for all our friends who came!





It’s hard to believe that the next year of engagement went by so fast, too. As Team Carovan, we planned the wedding together. We ordered invitations, flowers, tasted cake (YUM!), picked music, outfits, and venues. Some aspects of engagement were really tough, but we made it through and are stronger for it.

Then came the wedding day. You can read more in detail about the wedding here — but I’ll just say it was a very magical day. It was everything I hoped for and dreamed for. All of our best friends and family were there to witness us exchange our vows and commitment to one another + tear up the dance floor and celebrate!



It really is crazy to me how quickly the first year of marriage has gone! Everyone says the first year is the hardest…and if that is the case, then we are smooth sailing! Donovan and I don’t really fight anyway, but we have great communication skills. We don’t play mind games with each other, and we let it all out when its necessary. Yes, there are things that bug me about him (you have a lot of dang socks!!!) and I know there are things about me that bug him (I’ll never learn how to use a knife properly) – but they are all little things that we chalk up to quirks.

I’ve learned in this first year of marriage that my husband is not only my best friend, but also my best support team. Sure, my parents and family will be there – but Dono is my one and only. We’re the only people that can really motivate each other to get up and exercise, eat healthy, and do the right thing. We challenge each other daily, make each other laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Sure, there are lot of hobbies and interests we don’t connect on, and that’s fine. It gives each of us our space when we need it.

This last year we’ve done so many things together it will be difficult to list – but I know that we are planning on many years ahead of us together. This year we are planning to run a half marathon together, and I can only imagine what lies ahead! I can’t wait to take more trips, have children, and purchase and move into our first home together. But for now….let’s just eat that glorious cake 🙂



Our Wedding Guestbook

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted some wedding-related material….so here ya go!

During the planning process of our wedding, I really struggled with the idea of a guestbook. The idea of a traditional guestbook made me shudder. It seemed like a waste of space and time to put together, because at the end of the day, it sits on a shelf and collects dust. I wanted something that would be more of a work of art – that we could display in our home. Sure – it might collect dust hanging on the wall, but at least we’d get to see it, right?

One of my cousins is very talented with her Cricut machine. She’s the “room mom” for her daughter’s 2nd grade class and makes some really cool things. When I told her about my ideas for a guestbook, she jumped right in and offered to help. Of course, I couldn’t turn her talent down! I really let her run with the idea and didn’t give much guidance.


I think the guest book came out great! She had cut out leaves from her Cricut, and we had them laid out on the entrance table at our reception for people to sign. I felt like we should have had more leaves signed than what we did – but I imagine a lot of people walked by without even seeing the guestbook…or didn’t sign it because they didn’t know what it was.

Regardless, I love this! It was created on a HUGE canvas, and we ended up hanging it at the bottom of our staircase. I really love the idea of the tree and the leaves. My relationship with Donovan is rooted and supported by all of our friends and family -so this really means a lot. Plus, I love looking at all the signatures and messages people wrote. Even Donovan liked picking out the names of his friends! This is definitely something we will cherish for years and will never collect dust sitting on a shelf!

What did you use for a guestbook at your wedding?

Wedding Related: The Party That Set The Bar High!

I just realized that I never posted about our wedding reception in all its glory! So…without further ado…

Our wedding reception took place at the beautiful Arlington Hall at Lee Park.


While we finished taking family photos at the chapel, the rest of our family and friends headed to Arlington Hall for the cocktail hour. My mom had originally asked a guy she knew to play jazz songs on the piano during the cocktail hour, but, for whatever reason, he cancelled at the last minute. In his place, he suggested Kaela Sinclair, who was INCREDIBLE! I wasn’t there for the cocktail hour (obviously) – but I heard she sounded fabulous.

Once Donovan and I arrived at the venue, we were immediately ushered into a small room on the side where they had fixed us a small plate of appetizers and some champagne. We enjoyed the few peaceful moments together – and I got to tinkle (!!) – before our grand entrance.

My brother and sister-in-law had these hot pink sunglasses they were going to wear – and we decided to steal them for our grand entrance to be funny. I mean, really, would you expect anything less from us? We danced into the reception to the Black Eyed Peas “I’ve got a Feelin'”


Then we went straight into our First Dances – Me and Donovan, then me and my dad, and then Dono and his mom.


“My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw


My dad and I had actually taken a few dance classes at Arthur Murray in Dallas to prepare for the big day. Unfortunately, we could not remember any of the steps once we got to the reception. Oh well.


Randy Travis – “Angels”

After all the dancing, we were finally able to sit down for a bit to let our feet relax. Our attendant at the venue brought us HUGE plates of food while everyone else lined up for the food stations. I can’t remember all the food that we had – but I do know we had a chicken station, a beef station, and a pork station ( i think). Food Glorious Food catered, and they did a knock-out job. Dono and I wolfed down the food so fast. Every other bite, we’d have a string of people come by and congratulate us. This wasn’t awful – but it was hard to choke down food…and we were starving!

After everyone ate dinner, The Centenary College Choir sang to us. It is a choir tradition to sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” at a wedding for an alumni – but we don’t have enough voice parts to cover the song, so the choir alumns present sang “You are my Sunshine”. It was awesome!


Then, we rushed off to the lobby for the cake cutting! My favorite part! Our cake was made by Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas. You can read my review on them here. I prayed to God that Dono would not stuff cake in my face/on my dress because I was planning to sell my dress after the wedding. More stains = higher dry cleaning costs. The attendants at the venue had given us like a 2 second review of how to cut a wedding cake in public which made for interesting photos. I think both of us were very nervous.


I love Donovan’s devious face in the pic below. I can still hear him saying “C’mon….Just a little bit….”


Once we walked back into the ballroom, the party got underway. We secretly had hired a band – Icehouse Band – to play. They were hanging out behind the curtain the entire time we were eating. Then, when we all came back into the ballroom, the curtains split open, and the band started playing. It was awesome! You should have seen everyone’s mouths drop! They had no idea!


We had SO much fun dancing the night away! I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun at a wedding before….or seen so many people dancing! We did the bouquet and garter toss. I had to laugh because Donovan said he couldn’t believe how sweaty/stinky my garter was. Hello! It was under my hot/heavy dress all day/night!

At the end of the night, I changed out of my wedding dress (so I wouldn’t have to deal with it at the hotel) and Donovan and I had one last dance together to “I won’t give up” by Jason Mraz while all our guests lined up outside for our send-off. I LOVED this part of the night. It was so romantic to have that last few minutes together alone in our venue, surrounded by the flowers, candles, and ambiance.

Then – what is better for a fairy tale wedding then a send-off in a horse drawn carriage?!


When we ran out – I heard my cousin Delia say “She really IS a princess!” – that was awesome! Our horse drawn carriage took us on about a 30 minute ride before we ended up back at the hotel for our first night of marital bliss.

Basically – our reception was the shit! We’ve been to 2 weddings since then – and while they were great weddings – we have set the bar high! Donovan and I love looking back at all of the pictures reminiscing and enjoying all of the moments. I can’t wait until our 1 year anniversary when we get more cake!!!

Happy 6 Months!

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6 Months Ago today, my wonderful Husband, Donovan, and I walked down the aisle and said “I Do.” It’s so hard to believe that half a year has flown by so fast! It seems like our wedding day was just yesterday!

So what did we do to celebrate today? Nothing! 🙂 Dono went to watch the Cowboys game with some friends, and I stayed at home to cook our clean eating meals for the week ahead. Exciting, isn’t it? Hopefully our 1 year anniversary will be a bit more eventful…especially since it is more of a milestone!

So now I leave you with a few of my favorite memories from our wedding:

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My bridesmaids and I all got ready at my apartment on the day of, and my friend Liz did all of our hair and makeup. We had so much fun listening to music, talking about random things, and just laughing. The best part was when my brother showed up and tried tweeting.

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Another fun moment of the day — when my Matron of Honor helped my get my garter on. It’s funny because at her wedding, there’s a picture of me up under her dress helping her take her pants off. Only for a best friend, right?

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I loved seeing Donovan’s sweet face walking down the aisle. We decided against a “first look” – to make the ceremony that much more special. I’m glad we did that, because I’ll remember this face forever.

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Obvs – the actual ceremony. Two of my friends from college/seminary led the ceremony, and they did a FANTASTIC job! Everything about the ceremony was so “us.”

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Our reception was so much fun and got out of control! We had a live band that played all night. The drinks were flowing and EVERYONE was having a great time. I wish we could do it all over again!

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…and we continue to live [awkwardly] happily ever after!

Happy 6 months, Donovan! A lifetime to go! 🙂

Wedding Recap – The Ceremony

I recently had someone ask me to stop posting so much about food and working out and to change it up a bit. I’ve heard the peoples’ voices and I’m shifting back to Wedding Recaps for tonight 🙂  Tonight’s focus: Our Wedding Ceremony

When it came to planning our wedding ceremony, I knew (way before I even met Donovan) that I wanted to have a traditional, Christian ceremony. Growing up in the church and having gone to seminary, I knew exactly what I wanted. Donovan and I discussed, and I’m really glad he trusted me to put the ceremony together.

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The basis of our ceremony came from The United Methodist Hymnal. Our friends, Chris and Jared, served as our ministers and did a great job of guiding us through our planning. The only thing we KNEW we wanted to cut from the ceremony was the lighting of the unity candle…or the sand thing. That part never made sense to me. Not to mention, my mom went to a wedding once where the unity candle was blown out by a high-pumping air conditioning. I’m not superstitious…but yikes!

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One of my FAVORITE aspects of our wedding ceremony was the bridal processional. It took me several weeks to pick out the perfect song. I wanted big fanfare and to make sure everyone knew the bride was entering the building! I’m honestly not into being the center of attention, but this was the one time in my life where I could actually make it happen. I ended up picking “Prince of Denmark’s Waltz” and asked the organist to “turn up” the fanfare and trumpets. It was amazing. When we practiced at the rehearsal, it made the flower girl’s jump because it was so loud!

Another favorite part of our ceremony was how much the ceremony was actually “us.” Jared and Chris did an AMAZING job with their sermon. They tag-teamed it, and the best line of the night was advice for us to remember to “Fight Naked.” Donovan and I still laugh at that and tell other newlywed couples the same liner! The music, the scripture – everything. It was all “us.” And that’s all you can ever hope your wedding will be.

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Our ceremony was everything I had ever hoped it to be…and more. It was formal, yet relaxed. Fun, yet humble. A celebration, and worship. I was so glad that all of our family and friends could be there to celebrate with us!

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What was your favorite part about your own wedding ceremony?

Guys Have It So Easy

Lemme tell you….guys have it so easy! After Dono and I got married, I knew I wanted to change my name. I’m a very traditional gal, and I always knew that I’d assume the last name of my husband after marriage. Little did I know how much work it would entail. Seriously.

About 2 months ago we received our marriage license in the mail. I went down to the Southlake Town Center (where our marriage licence records are kept) and had a few certified copies made for emergency purposes. I then gathered all my documentation together, birth certificates, etc — and MAILED them to the Social Security Office. I thought I had all my stuff together and properly documented so it would be a breeze getting my name changed.


About 8 weeks later, I received a letter in the mail with all of my documentation telling me that I did not submit the proper documentation. Apparently the Social Security Office will NOT accept a COPY of your driver’s license if you mail in your application. This does not make sense. How are you supposed to drive for 8 weeks without a driver’s license???? UGH.

I ended up having to take a morning off work to wait in line at the Social Security Office to get this changed. I got there right at 9am when they opened, and the line was already out of the door. Epic Fail. Luckily, the line to change your name moved pretty quickly, so I was in and out within an hour. Not to bad. Now I just have to wait about 2 weeks to get my new card in the mail. THEN I have go to the DMV, and I’m dreading that fun adventure.

All to say — being a girl sucks, especially because it takes FOREVER to get your name changed after a wedding. My recommendation? Make sure you have ALL original documents of EVERYTHING and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT mail in your documents. They say it is quicker, but it is not. I promise you.

Did you have any issues changing your name after the wedding?


Engagement Photos

Now that I’ve received all of our wedding/bridal/engagement photos, it’s time to post them! We selected The Story Photography to do our photography after a brief meeting with Caitlin, the lead photographer. We had met with other photographers previously, but were impressed by Caitlin’s positive personality and the other photos in her portfolio.

We ended up meeting her back in October to shoot our engagement photos at Arlington Hall – where our reception was held. I love the green grounds and the southern columns of the venue. It’s so beautiful! Not to mention, I love natural lighting! Check out some of my favorite engagement photos below.

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I love them all!

Wedding Vendor Review – The Garden Gate {Florals}

When it came down to picking flowers for the wedding, I was 100% clueless. We knew our wedding colors — that was easy — but I never grew up dreaming about the flowers I would carry walking down the aisle. I didn’t have a theme for our wedding, but I wanted it to be something classic and timeless. I really don’t like standing out in a crowd, and I dress pretty tastefully, so I knew I didn’t want anything too wild.

My mom and I met with another floral boutique — who shall remain nameless — and they were just plain terrible. The florist showed up 20 minutes late to our meeting, and could not grasp the concept I wanted. I told him that if I had to describe my perfect outfit – it would be all black with a pop of color. I didn’t want glitz, diamonds, feathers, etc. Tasteful and classic. His suggestion? Yellow Forsythia. What? That is not a classic flower.

I did some research on my own and decided that I really liked blue hydrangeas. They are very soft and romantic, and in my opinion, a flower that doesn’t “stick out.” It’s a very “Carrie” flower.

Our wedding coordinator suggested that we meet with Junior from The Garden Gate. Junior does the florals for Highland Park Methodist where my parents go to church, so I knew he would be good…and most likely pricey.

I met with Junior first by myself. His office is freaking amazing. You walk up the staircase and his big desk sits in front of a large TV screen connected to his computer, so you can see everything he is doing. I told him our wedding venues and my vision for the wedding. He immediately began pulling up photos of flowers from other weddings, including weddings at our same venues so we could see how they would look inside. I told Junior about the yellow forsythia the other florist recommended and he just laughed. Then pulled up a picture of an event that used yellow forsythia. The event? The Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser! HA!

Junior was very easy to work with and is very knowledgeable about flowers and how they will work in different spaces. He is also willing to work with any budget. I’ll be honest, he kind of laughed when I told him what we wanted to spend on flowers — but he did NOT disappoint. I’m pretty sure the amount and quality of flowers we received were MUCH more than what we actually paid. Boy, were we lucky!

Now…on to the pictures… (all photos courtesy of The Story Photography)

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My Bridal Bouquet

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One of the urns at the front of the chapel during the ceremony

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My mom and Dono’s mom both carried small nosegay’s of gardenias. We also opted for no boutonnieres for the guys to save cash.

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My sister-in-law, Kristen, with her bridesmaids bouquet — a smaller version of my bridal bouquet

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The flower girls carried even smaller versions of the bridesmaids bouquet. I loved the continuity among all parties! The flowers in their headpieces were fake flowers so they could keep them forever.

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Another shot of the bridal bouquet….and some cleavage….

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The cake! Junior also did the cascading flowers for the bridal cake. Omg so delicious. If you want details on the cake, click here.

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The reception flowers were awesome! We had an even mixture of “tall” flowers and smaller bouquets. The taller bouquets were in glass vases so they were still easy to see around if you were sitting at a table.

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A smaller arrangement on a bar top table

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Omg so dreamy. I love these flowers so much!

So…. Would I recommend The Garden Gate? YES! Over and over again!

Wedding Day Link Up!



Are you getting tired of reading about my wedding? Good. I promise I’m done soon. May be.

I meant to post this a lot earlier, but work has been incredibly crazy, so I don’t really get a lunch break anymore. In the next 4 years, we are bringing on 45,000 new clients. Not joking.

Anyways…back to my wedding…

If you want to read about how we met – click HERE. 

If you want to read about how Dono proposed – click HERE. 



My wedding was exactly everything that I wanted and had dreamed about for years. There were so many aspects of the wedding that I REALLY cared about — and then there were some things that I was kinda “meh” about – but I thought everything went swimmingly, and I had the best time of my life. That’s what your wedding is supposed to be, right!? The day after our wedding, Donovan and I woke up in our hotel room and both looked at each other and said, “That was THE best day of my life!” What a great way to start our lives together!

Now for the details…

DATE: We picked April 27th. We didn’t really have a specific date in mind – I mean, it’s not special til you are married on it, right? When deciding, I really wanted the wedding to be in December (the church is already decorated, hello!!!), but Donovan really wanted a spring time wedding. Once he proposed, we really couldn’t fathom having an almost 2 year engagement. We promised my parents we would be engaged a year. So we were. He proposed on April 14, 2012, and we got married on April 27, 2013.

LOCATION: From the very beginning, I knew I wanted Perkins Chapel at SMU for our ceremony venue. I went to grad school at SMU, so the chapel was a very important part of my life for so long. I had worshipped there for 2 years as a grad student, and for 3 years as a Project Transformation intern. The chapel is so beautiful and regal, I couldn’t imagine being married anywhere else.



Our reception was held at Arlington Hall at Lee Park. Donovan and I wanted something a little more “down home” and less formal, but my parents really pushed us to have the reception at Arlington Hall. Their argument was that we were having a really  formal ceremony – so we needed to match that with the reception. We were not agreeable at first, but we made some negotiations that worked out just fine for us. In the end, Arlington Hall turned out to be a beautiful location. I wish it had been a smidge bigger to accommodate our guests, but it is what it is. The venue was very “Old South” and just very beautiful.



BRIDAL PARTY: From the beginning, we knew we wanted a small bridal party. Both Donovan and I have LOTS of friends and acquaintances, and it was too difficult to narrow it down at first. It was the whole – “Well, if we ask him/her, then I need to ask him/her” and it just got out of control. We were trying to keep our guest list numbers down, so we decided to have 3 attendants each – our brother/sister-in-laws and our 2 best friends as our Matron of Honor and Best Man. We also asked my little cousins to be flower girls and ring bearer and Donovan’s nephew to be the 2nd ring bearer. At first we were concerned at the age of the little people, but they all did so well and were so adorable!

Not Pictured: One of the ring bearers!

Not Pictured: One of the ring bearers!

One thing I loved about the flower girls was their dresses. The oldest flower girl wore the same exact flower girl dress that I wore in my cousin’s wedding when I was her age. My mom had preserved the dress, and I was SO excited when it fit the oldest flower girl so perfectly! Immediately, we had 2 additional dresses handmade to match the first one. I LOVED how they came out, and it was so special to me. Also – the ribbons in their head pieces were ribbons that my grandmother had carried in her Bible when she walked down the aise so many years ago. We also had something special for the guys – the oldest ringbearer carried a ring pillow that was made out of fabric and lace from my mom’s wedding dress.

COLORS: Again, early on, I knew exactly what I wanted. Blue hydrangeas are my favorite flowers, so I knew I wanted the “antique-y” blue color. Not everyone looks good in that color, so I also picked Navy and a darker purple to tie all the colors in together. I think everything looked so spring time-y and pretty!

FIRST DANCE: Donovan and I really thought hard about our first song. We both love music and could not decide on a song we could agree on. Eventually, we heard “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw on the radio, and I instantly knew that was the song that summed up our relationship and would be our first dance song. My dad and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, and Donovan and his mom danced to “Angels” by Randy Travis. My dad and I had taken dance lessons at Arthur Murray (thanks to a Groupon) but neither of us could remember the moves, we just winged it!


The Party: One thing I really loved about our reception was that the band “Icehouse Band” was a COMPLETE surprise to our friends and family. One a select few knew about the band. We had originally hired a DJ who was pretty good, but my parents went above and beyond to hire one of the best bands in Dallas. And they brought the house DOWN! I don’t think I’ve ever cut loose and danced so much in my entire life!




OUR HONEYMOON:  Donovan’s dad surprised us with a trip to Palm Island in the Grenadines. We stayed at Palm Island Resort, and it was to die for. We had so much fun just laying on the beach and enjoying our time together. Not to mention, the scenery was SO beautiful! You can read more about our honeymoon HERE, HERE, and HERE.


WHAT WOULD I CHANGE: Eh, not much really. I wish there wasn’t as much pre-wedding drama, but hey- I think everyone thinks that! I wish we would’ve had a bit more time to visit with our friends and family before the band started. I wish I got to eat more cake. All trivial things really. Our wedding was the bombDOTcom, and I’ll definitely be dreaming about it for many years to come!

If you want to read more about our wedding related reviews and events, click here.