planning her big day

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i married her daddy ( gregg) in 1991. it was a rainy june evening, 11 months after he proposed. i was in nursing school, he was a teacher. i had 8 bridesmaids ( beautiful besties from high school, college, and just life), 2 junior bridesmaids & a flower girl. i remember scheduling my venue ( a local church) based on when my favorite photographer in the world ( david smith) was available. my dad escorted me as the piano played pachabel’s canon. we walked down to the fellowship hall for our reception ( heavy appetizers. no band. no dancing). i loved my cake ( designed to look like stacked boxes-a blue tiffany’s box at the top). i loved my shoes(lace up booties inspired by stevie nicks- clearly ahead of my time). i remember feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. we left for our honeymoon ( san francisco- a surprise for me) in his new car ( convertible mustang).

i married her adopted daddy ( dan. one of gregg’s best friends) in 1999. i was a widow with a part time nursing job, he was an administrator. it was glorious spring morning, 4 months after he proposed. david smith, again chosen to capture those moments. i had 3 attendants ( my daughters. savannah age 6, madison age 4 & emi age 2 1/2.) our venue was a historic home & we exchanged our vows in the garden outdoors one morning early in the spring. a string quartet played as my brother walked me down the aisle. dan took a knee & vowed to love the girls forever. dare i say, not a dry eye. i loved my cake ( displayed with hydrangeas) & right now, i can’t recall my shoes. i remember feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. we left for our honeymoon (seaside-my favorite little beach in the world).

while the memories of both of those days on the one hand seem like yesterday, on the other hand feel like a lifetime ago.

i remember feeling like i had lived a lifetime when gregg died. i was 30 but in my naivety i thought widows were more like 80. so i felt like an 80 year old in my heart with 3 baby girls. when i called my girlfriend (one of the 8 bridesmaids in my first wedding) to tell her i was marrying dan (one of gregg’s groomsmen & long time best buddies) i didn’t feel 80 anymore, but more like a giddy school girl again.

whenever i tell anyone that i have four daughters, more times than not “OH MY- FOUR weddings??!!” is the usual response. followed by a big smile from me because clearly i had no idea what “OH MY-FOUR weddings??!!” really means. and honestly, i’ve just now begun to peek into this world!

i’m absolutely thrilled & tickled for savannah as she begins to plan for her big day!! these are the days that i think as little girls we all start daring to dream about!

i’d love to walk you through these next several months with us as we plan for her big day. you guys know i’m nothing if i’m not transparent. having said that, if you’re a parent of a tween & up you know that they aren’t always thrilled with their lives being shared by their mom on social media. so. while i usually tell my story, i hope to tell part of hers with grace and with her permission.

things have changed big time since i got married. & i’ll be honest right out of the gate-the wedding industry intimidates me. weddings have become these gorgeous, jaw dropping, styled events. what’s made to look effortless is in actuality, a well planned effort by a team & usually a large crazy-talented one at that. the photography-wow- the photography is artistic and awe inspiring. i’m a newbie to this world & it’s lingo. our budget is considered average yet we’re planning a wedding in atlanta…which has become quite the wedding city…and not a lot of average is going on.

my hopes are that you see first the joy that we have welcoming trevor into our family. he’s a gift from the lord that i prayed specifically for while i was pregnant with savannah. we couldn’t be more over joyed. i hope you see & are encouraged about this stage of parenting if you’re a young mama. & if you’re sending off your first born to college, maybe some of our little tips will encourage you for what might be your next phase. i don’t have a plethora of friends planning a wedding right now, so i’ll gladly share how we’re doing what we’re doing if you’re planning one yourself.

over these next few months i’ll share my prayers and our plans, along with some highs & lows along the way. as of right now, we’ve signed no contracts & set no date. trevor is still in russia until the middle of next month. but there is much joy & excitement in our home. group texts & google searches are in full force. we are grateful & expectant!!

(for those of you on instagram, savannah’s hashtag is #savandtrev4ev & my planning hashtag is #smksbigday)


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January 22, 2016 - 9:49 am

natalie - oh girl, i am so so so happy for your girl! (and i’d love to see more pictures of your wedding days!)
can’t wait to follow along with y’all’s wedding journey. so exciting!!

January 22, 2016 - 9:56 am

Amy - This is so fun! I know sav may not want to share everything, but I’ll be looking forward to anything she does approve for us blog followers! They are such a cute couple! Meanwhile, I’d love to see some pics of both of your weddings including the details you mentioned! I just love your family, although we’ve never met!

January 22, 2016 - 10:07 am

Karen - So happy for you!! I remember these days with Lauren. So much fun. My only advice is to not get caught up in the what we should do. That can make you crazy. It’s kind of like building a house. It can get out of sight before you know it! But such a sweet time for a mama and her girl! Can’t wait!

January 22, 2016 - 10:47 am

Cat - I have been reading your blog for what feels like forever, and I am so excited to get a glimpse at this season in your family’s life! As a newlywed myself, I remember the pressure to have a perfect Pinterest-worthy wedding all too well, especially with a large group of girls from my town getting engaged and married within the same year. When I was stressing over the planning/budget/etc. my husband’s Nani reminded me that if we put our best effort into our marriage then our perfect wedding day would come naturally and of course she was absolutely right. Praying for and with my husband and our families and friends for a Christ-centered marriage and focusing on that really made everything else seem much less daunting. Enjoy this time! Can’t wait to see more!

January 22, 2016 - 11:11 am

Rebecca - This might be my favorite yet, of all your blog posts. 🙂 I am so happy for your family, and your sweet girl. I cannot wait to read about all the details. My first wedding sounds just like your first wedding, but maybe more than just a few years earlier. Weddings then were simple and sweet…the dress, the church, the fellowship hall, cake and mints. Now, weddings are huge social events. I can’t wait to see what Savannah plans. I’m sure it will be exactly right, just for her and Trevor. Congrats!!

January 22, 2016 - 11:32 am

Cathy G. - I’m so excited for you!!! My daughter just celebrated her 6 year anniversary to her wonderful hubby on the 16th….and!!! We got to babysit the grand babies!!!!! Her wedding was one of our most favorite days of our lives and we recall it often …..we look thru they wedding book she made for us all the time! Have a ball…. And find yourself a gorgeous dress too! It will be such a special day!!!!

January 22, 2016 - 12:16 pm

Stacie - I can’t wait for the wedding planning posts! I feel like I am walking a close path with you and your daughters as my daughter is a sophomore in college too. I pray she is as blessed to have a Dan or a Trevor in her life!! Bring on the planning posts!!

January 22, 2016 - 12:27 pm

Fran HIEBER - I love you Paige, I remember when I first saw you, standing in the narthex of Crossroads with your parents. It was 1986? Maybe not sure of date? What I am sure of is I thought you were the most beautiful girl I had ever seen! Very clear image in my mind! We were privileged to share Marilyn’s dream(F&D) I shared your joy as you married Dan.
Now I am excited to share your joy for Savannah and Trevor.
Blessings, Fran

January 22, 2016 - 1:08 pm

Lisa Mothersead - Your daughter’s creativity will be a huge help. My hub and I had a simple church wedding 35 years ago and that was really the way I wanted it – beautiful dress, flowers, and food. My mom (a musician), a bridesmaid (florist), and church helper (gourmet baker) did most of the work and it’s smart to ask for help. Bigger isn’t always better. Enjoy!

January 22, 2016 - 1:36 pm

Ann - As a mama to three girls (8, 6, 2) I am always excited to read your advice and follow your journey. I can only hope that it is a bit of a peek into my future with my girls, as you all seem to have a great relationship. Thank you for sharing!

January 22, 2016 - 3:32 pm

Maria - I love this! I cant wait to follow along and pray for you girls as you plan both spiritually and physically.

January 22, 2016 - 4:37 pm

Susan - So looking forward to all you have to say and show as well Paige! What excitement your household must be having!! Blessings to you!

January 26, 2016 - 3:53 pm

hena tayeb - aww this was such a beautiful post

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