Say Yes to the Dress

Okay, here is the deal. I have been battling with this post for a while. How do I talk about this very important moment in the wedding planning process without giving too much away? I hold very firm to the superstition that the groom should not see the bride (or the dress) before she walks down the aisle. He shouldn’t even know what it looks like. In fact, no boys should see the dress. We do not speak of the dress. It is sacred.

This is difficult for me. I am a horrible liar. Bryan can read me like a book. So I avoid dress questions like the plague. But, today I will share a little bit about my experience finding the dress. Okay, here goes nothing.

1. Try on many different styles.  Some of them will look bad on you. That is okay. That means you can rule it out. HOWEVER, something that you did not expect to look good, will look awesome. Expect the unexpected. You do this once (hopefully), so just have some fun!

2. Your body shape will impact your decision. As someone who is short and petite, the sample dresses swallowed me! As a younger bride, that was exactly what I did not want. I felt like a child trying on my mother’s dress. Not. Very. Bridal. When I looked on pinterest, I imagined my face on the model’s body and I looked hot in every dress. In real life, that was not the case. I am also lacking in the chest area, which made every dress look even sillier on me. Needless to say, my dress will be receiving some alterations. And that is okay. 

3. The dress may or may not look like it does in the picture. I brought in a few pictures and when those dresses were pulled off of the rack, I was shocked. They looked like a totally different dress!

4. Pick something you like, not something you think your groom will like. Woah. Controversial. But really. Most of the wedding can be planned with your fiance, but YOU are the one who will be wearing the dress all night. You are the one who will look at the pictures, I would assume more than your groom. AND if you are marrying a decent human being, hopefully they will think you look beautiful no matter what you are wearing. Thanks to Momma Moss for this piece of advice.

5. You might not get “the feeling.” Because everything I tried on was really big, it was hard to imagine what it was going to look like when it actually fit. The veil makes it better, but it can only do so much. My family and friends were really helpful and encouraging, holding things down or back so that I could get a good picture in my head. I did tear up, but I think I will be even more excited when it looks exactly how I want. You might get “the feeling” the first time you try it on, or you might get it when everything comes together. Don’t be discouraged! 

6. Dress sizes run much larger. So I normally wear about a 4 and I ordered my dress in a 10. Yikes! You would think the bridal industry would have fixed that by now…

7. Do your hair and make-up. I always feel so much better when I am put together. So wake up an hour earlier, bust out the curling iron and do what you need to do to feel awesome when you are staring at yourself in the mirror.

Moral of the story is that you will find a beautiful dress. Things will come together, and you will look beautiful on your big day. Use dress shopping as a way to hang out with your friends and family. And you get to play dress up! What more could a girl want?!

Side note: I got my beautiful dress at De Ma Fille in Fort Worth. It is down the street from TCU, which was convenient, and they had awesome customer service. I did not feel like I was being rushed and no one acted annoyed when I wanted to switch back and forth between two dresses about three or four times. When I finally found my dress, we received a champagne toast! It was a great way to end the morning.

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Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. Only 334 days until I’m a Mrs!

Gunnar Winston Lewis

Bryan and I are parents! PUPPY parents, that is. We added little Gunnar Winston to the family last week and we are in love. It took Gunnar a few days to warm up to his new home, but he is just the sweetest. He’s one of the most chill puppies I have ever seen and he mainly just lays around all day, but he has moments of playfulness. He hasn’t quite learned how to get out from under your feet and we trip on him constantly. He is strange and wonderful.

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So sweet! We adopted him through an organization called DFW Rescue Me and they were absolutely fabulous. They foster their dogs so they can get individual attention and they have saved so many incredible animals! Kudos to all of those who volunteer with this wonderful organization.

Let me tell you… having a puppy is like having a child. Gunnar makes me nervous about everything. EVERYTHING! Over the past few weeks I have googled: best chew toys, my dog isn’t eating/pooping, how to stop barking, puppy collars, my dog is nervous, and many many other things. Side note: Gunnar is doing much better and is now eating, pooping, and is not as nervous (sorry for the TMI!). Anywho, here are some cute pictures:

the day we got him

the day we got him

his spot under the coffee table

his spot under the coffee table

he chases his tail!!!

he chases his tail!!!

he has the weirdest sleeping positions

he has the weirdest sleeping positions

and the biggest tongue!

and the biggest tongue!

and he loves cuddles :)

and he loves cuddles :)

Gunnar is a basset/lab mix and though he is a lot of work, he is such a blessing to us! God created some really cool creatures.

I’ll keep y’all updated on Gunnar :)

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Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. Only 346 days until I’m a Mrs!

One year of engagement

OH MY GOODNESS. We made it. Well, through a year (525,600 minutes) of engagement. A LOT has happened this past year. We got engaged (obviously) and then immediately jetted off to Europe!

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We made the perfect pint at the Guinness Academy!

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Met William Wallace (Bryan’s Hero).

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Locked up our love in Paris.

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And brought the 4th of July to our family in Southern France (Bethany not pictured).

And that was just the summer! In the fall we watched and cheered on Horned Frog Football, I dragged everyone to way too many bridal shows, I found my wedding gown, and we celebrated the holidays with our families. December 31st we rang in the New Year in style:

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January saw quite a few changes. Nathan and Bryan bought a condo in Dallas (which meant lots of painting and decorating in the following months) and we found a new church home in City Church International- which has been an enormous blessing!

Over Spring Break we traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (read more here). We’ve made many trips to Chuy’s, Frankie’s, and Torchy’s- can you tell we like Mexican food? We have procrastinated wedding planning, but gained the help of our wonderful planner, Stefanie Miles. We’ve made countless trips back and forth between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Most importantly, we’ve started building a strong foundation for our marriage. Wedding planning is stressful, but this has been our best year yet and I know it will only get sweeter from here!

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This was a few weeks ago at the Texas Ranger’s game.

These are just a few of my favorite moments of the past year- so much has happened this year and we are so blessed! I asked Bryan to tell me what his favorite moment of this past year was and here is what he said:

“The best moment in the past year with Rachel has actually come in just the last few weeks.

After many thoughtful discussions, a lot of prayer, and a lot of confusion, I finally had a moment of clarity a few weeks back.

Rachel and I have been getting more and more involved in our church and have really been seeking the Lord to put our relationship in his hands and back on the foundation it should have started on. Many times I have felt like I was failing in being the spiritual leader of our relationship. A few weeks ago I had a time of confession with a bible study I have started attending on my own. I asked the group for their prayers that the Lord would transform my heart and help me become the leader I know I can be in Rachel and I’s relationship. In this simple act of confession, the Lord immediately took my heart and made very clear to me some of the steps that I needed to take to put myself, and our relationship back on the right track.

Since then, Rachel and I have grown so much in our understanding of each other and our true need for reliance on the Lord to guide our relationship. We are certainly still in the early stages of this transformation, but I know that our hearts are in the right place and we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime filled with love, joy, and thankfulness for the gift we have been given in each other. I look forward to the next year, our marriage, and the rest of our lives together.”

WAIT. I am so lucky. Swoon.

This time next year we will be preparing to tie the knot and I know God will only continue to use us to glorify Him- Praise the Lord!

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. 365 days until I’m a MRS!

Inspiration

This past month we have really hit the floor running on this whole wedding planning thing! I am so excited to have chosen Stefanie Miles from Lavender Joy Weddings to help us plan this fabulous affair. Her first assignment for B and I was to come up with some wedding inspiration. This is not as easy as it sounds. I have so many ideas dancing around in my head and pinterest is definitely NOT helping! Stefanie had B and I fill out a survey (separately) so she could get a better sense of our style. We then had a wonderful 3 1/2 hour meeting, in which we looked at different pictures and I had to determine what I liked about them. I am horrible at making decisions, so this was a difficult, but fun, process.  Around the same time, Minted posted on facebook about their inspiration boards. So I hopped on over to the minted website and found an invitation in our color (bold brushstrokes) and collected some of my favorite gold, navy, and pink images to serve as inspiration. I love the feel of these images and hope to carry that happy feeling into our big day! :)

gold, navy, pink inspiration

I will keep y’all updated as we make some more progress!

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. Only 396 days until I’m a Mrs.!

Lifelong Adventures: Part 2

Ah, Jackson Hole. This past week you have been dearly missed as I rushed to class, scrambled to get things done, and the weather in Texas has yet again plummeted to what I consider an inexcusable 41 degrees (it is almost April for goodness sakes!). It was a great trip. I informed you in my previous post that it has been about a decade since I last skied, which was terrifying; however, I was not as bad as I thought I would be! That is, until my trusty life partner decided that it was time I try a blue run about halfway through the day. Though I was nervous, I trust Bryan wholeheartedly and I decided to go for it. Poor life choices. I made it about halfway down the run before disaster struck, and by “made it” I mean that I yelled at Bryan to slow down and stopped about every 5 feet to say that I couldn’t do it. During a turn, I started picking up speed. This did not make me happy! What happened next, I imagine looked like something right out of a cartoon. I lost control and dove head first down the mountain. Skies flew, snow kicked up, legs and arms flung about, and eventually I came to a stop and just laid there. I will admit and few tears slipped out, and I did tell Bryan that I broke a rib, but it was really just a little hurt pride. And that is exactly what I told the nice ski patrol man who had witnessed the whole thing. I really wish we had documentation of this incident because I am sure it was hilarious. Bryan tried to convince me that I could make it down the rest of the mountain but, because I am stubborn, I used my poles to hike the rest of the way down like a fool. But I made it in one piece and that is all that matters.

I did ski again after that incident. In fact I found my most favorite run ever. It’s called CATS. If you know me, you know that I love cats. And that Bryan is deathly allergic. So I try to find cats in other parts of my life and finding this run was God telling me that I can ski because there are cats there. Very comforting.

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And it was a green swirly! I think that means its a little bit harder… Go me! Here is Bryan rocking it on the mountain:

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That all happened day one. The next day we went to the harder ski mountain. You can understand, based on the previous days events, why I decided not to ski a second day. However, I got the gondola and the tram pass so that I could still go up to the top of the mountain. About midway through the day we went about halfway up the mountain on the gondola for lunch. It was the most incredible view I have ever seen and THE BEST MEAL OF MY LIFE. No joke. Savory meatloaf on a ciabatta bun with onion strings on top. I’ll spare you the picture I took of it. I have no idea why it was so incredible, but I would eat it for every meal for the rest of my life. Often Bryan and I judge a trip based on how good the food was- this trip was pretty exceptional. This is us outside of the restaurant. The professional picture is much better, but I like this one too!

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AWWW. Right behind us is Corbet’s Coulior, which is a terrifying cliff that people hike up to ski down. Because people are crazy. Later we took the tram up to the top of the mountain behind us. Hiking to the summit is a lot easier when you only have to go up about 15 feet after you get off the tram! By that point we were exhausted, but we posed for some pictures.

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And then I took the tram back down the mountain while Bryan skied down. He took this picture on his way down…

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CAUTION! ONLY CRAZIES BEYOND THIS POINT! Again, people are crazy.

The next day we just explored Jackson Hole. It is such a picturesque town. Outside of town there is an Elk Refuge where thousands of elk gather each winter. We went on a wagon ride around the refuge and got right up next to these elk! It was an incredible experience! Our fabulous guide is the cowboy in the back of this picture. As you can see- we ended up shedding our big coats the third day because it was in the 50s!

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The elk shed their antlers every spring and local boy scouts go around and pick them up off of the refuge. They host a huge auction in May and use the elk antlers to make giant arches around town! Beautiful.

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Bryan decided to be artsy when he was editing this one. What a guy.

Well I hope you enjoyed following us on our trek around Jackson Hole! We are meeting with our planner on Friday so be on the look out for a post about that!

Enjoy, y’all!

Rachel

P.S. 416 days until I’m a Mrs.!