Abby and Drew's Proposal Story (as told by Abby):
"Growing up I always said I would never marry! Strange comment for the youngest of 5 sisters to say, I know. Too many girls I knew wanted to get married so young and it almost seemed like they stopped living, stopped traveling, and got too "busy" to see friends or even family at times. So I decided I would stay single and travel... Well, that all changed when I met Drew, the most fun, sweetest, adventurous, spontaneous cowboy firefighter I had ever met!
We met through mutual friends and casually talked at different occasions. He became close with my family and I. We started to hang out all the time even though he lived in Arkansas and I in Texas. I started to think of him more then just a friend. But I had no idea he felt the same way about me. You would have thought I got a hint that he liked me with how much he would visit, but I didn't want to get my hopes up! Well to make a long story short, we grew closer and closer as friends and that lead up to us starting a relationship!
Despite people saying long distance relationship just don't work out, we made sure we wouldn't let distance grow between us! He would come to Texas like every other week and I would go to Arkansas whenever I could. I graduated nursing school and got a job as a RN in Arkansas. We talked about getting engaged later that year so I had no clue of what was about to happen a month after I graduated nursing school.
Drew had come into town for one of his visits. We had planned a whole weekend of spending time together and doing different activities and such! Well Sunday evening he got a phone call from his work that informed him that he was needed at work the following day. To my disbelief, Drew said he had to leave first thing the next morning! I was beyond upset! Our plans for that day were ruined and he would have to leave cause work called him. I argued with him that no job could do that! Force someone to come in one their day off?! We talked for a while and I eventually calmed down but was still very upset at the whole situation. So early the next morning Drew was off to the fire station in Arkansas and I stayed behind feeling miserable. Drew told me I should plan something with friends since I had a day off and would be without him. My co-workers from work had also planned a picnic party for me celebrating graduating from nursing school and passing my boards exam. So I texted my best friend from nursing school and told her we should do something in the early evening before we went to the picnic my co-workers had planned for me. We planned a outing with another friend from school to celebrate passing the boards (NCLEX exam) and just to have a good time. So we dressed up and went out that evening! Drew insisted I wear a beautiful evening dress he got me and I found it strange how he was set on me wearing it but I still didn't have any clue of what that evening would bring. I told him I would wear it but would change before the picnic since it was more of a dressy evening dress.
So, we went out that night, my friends and I, and ate and went to see a movie and just had a fun time. Then it was time to go to the picnic. Drew had been messaging me from "work" and even sent me a selfie of him on the fire truck so I had no reason to believe he wasn't at work. I arrive at the picnic and had a great time talking with all my co-workers. All of a sudden one of them makes an announcement and says that they prepared a slideshow for me! I thought that was beyond sweet and was kind of curious as to what was on the slideshow. Everyone gathered around me as the slideshow began to play. Immediately my eyes fill with tears as I see Drew in the slideshow! He had made the most romantic video I have ever seen! At the end of the video, he held a sign that said "I Love You Abby...turn around sweetheart" .... When I turned around there he was standing! I've never felt so weak in the knees! My heart was racing! I was beyond excited and happy and shocked! He took my hand and asked me to take a walk with him. Around the corner was a field and the biggest carved wooden letters that he made which said "Will You Marry Me?!" There were candles on the ground that shaped a heart and we stood inside the heart as he knelt down and asked me to marry him!!!! It was all like. Dream!!! The moment I replied with "Yes!!!" fireworks went off! It was like a fairly tale movie!!!! When I looked down at my hand there was the ring that I had seen once and fell in love with but didn't want to say anything because I knew how much it cost! I would find out later on that he had sold his truck to buy that ring for me! The whole experience of our engagement was more then any girl could ever dream of! He made me feel, and still makes me feel like the most special girl in this entire world! It's impossible to describe into words that night!
"I'll never forget that night! It was the biggest and most amazing surprise I've ever experienced.... I went to what I thought was a party my co-workers were throwing for me for becoming an RN and the NCLEX, but little did I know that it was all a set up and would be the best night I had ever experienced!!! He put so much work into that night! It was better than anything I've ever seen or ever could have imagined!!! I am literally blessed with the best man on this entire earth!
I Love You Andrew Patton!!!"
Photographer: Tamytha Cameron Photography//Other Location:Cedar Hill Fire Department//Other:Penn Farm Cedar Hill State Park//
Head to our Facebook page to see their engagement video!
According to Wikipedia the history of honeymoons is:The period when newlywed couples take a break to share some private and intimate moments that helps establish love in their relationship. This privacy in turn is believed to ease the comfort zone towards a physical relationship, which is one of the primary means of bonding during the initial days of marriage. The earliest term for this in English was hony moone, which was recorded as early as 1546.
Honeymoon traditions have surely evolved since 1546. Honeymoons are still that time to share intimate moments to build the foundation of a couple’s relationship yet there are a few new trending things happening in the world of honeymoons.
Here are the top 3 Trends in Honeymoons:
No cell phones, no laptops, no tablets. Couples are allowing themselves to be in the present moment with each other while spending time on their honeymoon. Enjoying each other’s company as well as be completely aware of their surroundings brings relationships to another level. By having real conversations with each other, meeting new people, reading real books while relaxing at the beach or by the pool the reality of the real world seems to fade away. You become more relaxed, you feel a freedom that you may have not felt in a long time as an individual and as a person. This freedom allows you to grow as a person and a couple by being able to allow thoughts and feelings to surfaces with that little ding constantly going off with some sort of notification to distract you.
2. The More The Merrier
Invite a few other couple friends. This is happening more often especially with older couples that may already live together, on second marriage or with couples that are doing group destination weddings. They are inviting 2-4 couple friends along for the trip. It is a celebration, why not celebrate with some close friends. Keeping in mind to still allow for alone time during the honeymoon. This is great for each couple. Spend the day playing together and dine separately at night or vice versa. This gives you the best of both worlds, a trip together as the new Mr. and Mrs. For the romance and having friends along to have fun with!
3. Professional Photo Sessions
Yes, you have taken engagement photos, bridal portraits and how many at the wedding? The honeymoon is just as important as all of those listed so it is very important to preserve these memories as well. The selfie stick will not hold a candle to having a real professional photographer do a photo session with you on the honeymoon. Most resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico have photographers on site that will be more than happy to schedule sunset sessions with you, some even complimentary (you pay for the images you purchase). Other resorts will have professional photographer referrals at their concierge desk.
Author- Shannon LeBlanc
Chief Romance Officer and Honeymoon Expert at Paradise Vacation Escapes
The sounds of the waves crashing into the shore. The clear blues skies matching the blue waters so close its hard to tell the sky from the sea. The sound of steel drum music enticing you pat your feet and nod your head to the beat. The temptations of the exotic food, the tastes of delicious rum and feeling the soft sea breeze is all a perfect mixture for a romantic Caribbean escape.
Here are 5 reasons why the Caribbean is a romantic destination
2.Turquoise blue waterRefreshing, rejuvenating and relaxing. The moment you see the clear blue waters from the window of your plane you are tempted to just jump right in. The water is inviting and fun to play and have fun in as a couple.
3.Blissful BeachesThere is something romantic about a beach. It may have been romanticized even more because of the 1953 film From Here to Eternity with the ever popular image of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr exchanging a hot sexy kissing scene with the waves crashing on them. Make sure you are cuddling under an umbrella, searching for sea shells or creating your own hot and steamy kissing session on the beach with someone special!
4.Dreamy SunsetsColors from so many palettes paint the sky at sunset time. The warm colors that create a magical atmosphere. It is like being in a fairytale. For a moment you both stare in awe at the sky and then at the each other. Things that have this type of beauty make you appreciate the beauty in each other and in your life.
5.Tranquil Nights Lovers from all over the world enjoy long walks during the night. There is something about the stars and the moon that can create the perfect setting for one of the most romantic experiences in the Caribbean. The moonlight gives a beautiful soft glow over the water and each other. The stars are countless. The sounds are tantalizing, the sounds of waves, the wind are the perfect setting for a romantic night.
Chief Romance Officer and Honeymoon Expert at Paradise Vacation Escapes, Author of Say Yes to the Honeymoon, The Expert's Guide to Planning the Perfect Honeymoon
Many couples do not realize that the honeymoon is actually a part of the wedding. The honeymoon needs to be included in the planning just like the engagement party, rehearsal dinner and all of the components of the wedding.
The entire planning process can be a bit overwhelming. Brides today have access to so many options for planning. Their brains are working overtime. Most have had an image in mind of what they want the wedding to be like since she was three years old. Today's bride is checking out every magazine, website, Pinterest, Instagram and anything wedding related in every spare moment. She has it right there at her fingertips. Grooms what are you doing? Are you smiling and nodding? Are you actively helping with the details?
Traditionally it is the groom's job to plan the honeymoon. Somewhere in time, the busy bride has taken over this task. This is time for grooms to man up, take charge and plan the honeymoon. Plan the best romantic honeymoon of her dreams.
Here are 3 reasons why you should:
1. YOU CARE
You know that wedding planning is time consuming and along with school and/or work your bride is planning a wedding or talking with a wedding consultant about the planning. Show her that you care and you want to plan the honeymoon on your own. You will assure her that you know what you are doing because you care enough to hire a travel consultant to guide you through the process. You will talk with her and find out her wants, needs and priorities. This gesture will go a long way in showing what kind of husband you will be. She may say no. This is one time where you should insist on taking on this duty. Let her know you will confide in her throughout the entire process. Show her that you can and will handle the honeymoon.
2. SHE IS STRESSED
A happy bride is a happy groom. You know she is stressed. She is trying to please everyone during this entire process. Manning up and taking this task off her to do list will ease the stress. Get involved immediately in planning this part. You initiate the questions about the honeymoon. Listen to her dreams and pay attention to the details of what she is wanting. She is going to want to talk about this and by you showing that you care and want to be involved will help relieve her stress. She will thank you. She will have more confidence in you as her future husband.
3. BROWNIE POINTS
Planning an unforgettable dream come true honeymoon will make you the best husband ever! You know what those brownie points can get you! You know you will be doing something special for her. Being in love and doing something for the one you love is one of the best feelings in the world. She will be a happy bride. She will be able to enjoy the honeymoon even more knowing you planned it. She will brag to her friends and you will be in the #besthusbandever category. This is just the beginning of how you will show your love and devotion to her and your marriage.
Remember, you do not have to do the planning on your own. Seek the advice of a trusted travel consultant that specializes in honeymoons. Let them know you are doing the planning. A professional travel consultant will ask the right questions for both you and your bride. The travel consultant will guide you and plan the honeymoon of your dreams and make you look like the knight and shining armor that your bride thinks you are.
You got her to say yes to the ring, now get her to say yes to the honeymoon.
Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc-Author
Chief Romance Officer and Honeymoon Expert at Paradise Vacation Escapes
Carrie Jenkins's bridal session at the Old Sheldon Church Ruins in South Carolina is proof that it is okay to choose a unique location!
Many brides will choose to have their bridal portraits taken before their wedding day and a lot of times they just don't know where to have them at, so they either have them at the venue in which they're getting married (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with this!) or they go to a local well know photo destination spot.
But sometimes, you just want to find a location that is as unique as you; Carrie and Diana Deaver Photography absolutely nailed it with these gorgeous bridals!
From the Photographer:
"I love our city and all the stunning parks and mountains that surround it! But sometimes I feel like there are so many beautiful locations that we never get to explore and shoot in! So when Traci mentioned that they wanted their engagement session at Table Rock State Park because it represented a location that Traci and Shane both loved and enjoyed together we couldn't wait to explore and find the perfect spots to showcase their love and the scenic mountain views of one of their favorite parks. We started shooting a short distance into one of Table Rock's picturesque hiking trails that overlooks one of the many beautiful waterfalls at Table Rock. We even managed to get the waterfall to ourselves for their photos ... talk about perfect timing!! The weather for Traci and Shane's session called for sunny skies and wind and everyone loves the sunshine but not everyone has the same happy feelings about wind! But Traci picked out a perfect long dress for the occasion and although the wind kept wanting to change directions on us it made for some incredible photos blowing her dress! After we documented around the trails we made our way to one of the lakes that overlooks Pinnacle Mountain at Table Rock for some seriously gorgeous light as the sun set behind the mountains. The combination of the overgrown fields, stunning view and soft beautiful lighting at sunset definitely makes my list of favorite locations! As the sun went down we ended our time together on one of the docks overlooking the lake and even though I was sad to see our time end after getting to know these two over our two hours together it makes me even more excited for their wedding!"
The engagement party was fun. The bridal shower was endearing. The bachelorette and bachelor party were epic! The bridal shower was endearing. The rehearsal dinner was memorable and the wedding was a dream come true. Now it is time for the Dazzling Honeymoon you have both been looking forward to!
For a no regrets and a dazzling honeymoon take note to these simple steps:
1- Leave at least 2 days after the wedding.
Even if you have a day-time wedding you will be physically and emotionally drained from the wedding and all the events that led up to the wedding. Allowing you and your new spouse a day of rest before getting on a plane will
insure you arrive at your honeymoon destination rested and recharged for Honeymoon “festivities”.
2- Have an open mind.
This is a new experience for both of you as husband and wife. Maybe you have travelled together as a couple,
however this is the first time traveling together as a married couple. This trip may also be your first time together in a new country. You want your honeymoon to memorable in a good way. Keeping an open mind about things that may happen unexpectedly will keep things humorous and avoid unhappy feelings and memories. For
example you may be expecting nice long walks on a beautiful sandy beach. Laying out on the beach and soaking up the sun. You arrive and see the beach is filled with seaweed! Ahhh… you can’t walk on the beach, the smell is yucky. So what do you do? Pout? Get mad? Blame the resort? The best thing to do is to keep an open mind. Play at the pool, walk in the gardens, have a “do it yourself couples” seaweed wrap – haha! Make the most of the situations and you will have more “fun” on your honeymoon and more memories to cherish.
3- Splurge – It is YOUR honeymoon.
Many couples sink thousands of dollars into the wedding. There are things that you think are important and a priority for the wedding and then hindsight you don’t remember those little things you spent the money on. Will it really matter if you spent more money on a live band vs a DJ? You will still have had your first dance. Will it matter that you had an ice carving at the reception? Gifts for the guests that they will aimlessly throw away after the party? Overdoing table décor when simple is sometimes just as nice. The money spent on this thing could be put into the honeymoon for you and your spouse to enjoy and cherish. Make sure when you are prioritizing the wedding that you include the honeymoon.
Working with a travel professional will help you with planning and guide you to make sure you have no regrets!
The most important thing you do to make your honeymoon dazzle and have no regrets is to GO on a honeymoon and make the most of your time together in a new place! Let the petty things that can and will happen when you travel go.
Experience new things, taste new foods, laugh and have lots of honeymoon fun!
Shannon is the owner and chief romance officer of Paradise Vacation Escapes
Lindsey's approach to her southern wedding decor was simplicity! This DIY bride planned a natural, mono-color palette and executed it all at a $7,000 budget! Here are a few of our favorite moments, but to see more, you'll need to snag a copy of Volume 6 (launches November 2017).
Photographer: Sierra Ford Photography//Other Location: Doe Lake Campground//Caterer:Eaton's Beach//Cake Designer:Kaylee Pelton//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Ralph Lauren//Officiant:Rhett Lawton//Floral Designer:Shananne Cain Florals//Dress Designer: Sherri Hill//Makeup Artist:Tiffany Radford//
It's no surprise or shocker that the donut trend is on the rise and it's not going anywhere anytime soon! Some choose to have their donuts displayed at a dessert table for guests to enjoy throughout the event, some create donut wedding cakes, others have them individually packaged as favors for guests to take home with them. Whether they're Krispy Kreme or gourmet donuts, they're sure to be a crowd pleaser! Get inspired with these 10 fun ways to have donuts at your next celebration!
Independence Day is tomorrow and you need some quick and simple ideas to pull together the perfect Fourth of July celebration with your friends and family. Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company creates the perfect decor items that everyone will be able to do, no matter their skill level!
"What comes to mind when you think of “America?” Classic cars? Fun in the sun? What if we told you that we were able to bring all of these elements together for one successful event?! Tissue and paper decor items make it simple, yet perfect. Wooden utensils, bold napkins and delicious themed cookies come together to create the perfect tablescape. What’s better on a hot Summer day than a nice refreshing soda pop and some frozen treats?! This celebration of American pastimes was not only refreshing, but tasty. Bringing a vibrant mix of patriotism to the tables, guests are sure to have a great time in the sun." TJ, Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company