Our Wedding

The Gift Box Series: Wedding Gift Superlatives

One of the most enjoyable parts of engagement and marriage is registering for items to start your new life together. Kitchen accessories, appliances, and bedding suddenly become exciting because they represent the start of life with your forever roommate. We spent hours making lists and talking about what we would need. I know that every couple is different and uses things differently. We eat fairly healthy, so we, for example, would never need a deep fryer, but for some people, deep fried Oreos might just be a family tradition. After a year of living with the things we were so blessed to receive at our showers and reception (seriously, THANK YOU to everyone who supported us. Your gifts were so generous and so appreciated), we now have a good idea of what we see as those necessities of wedded life.

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift to give someone else or you are trying to decide what you want for your own registry, I hope our little list will be of some help!

I'm going to skip things like silverware and dishes because everyone knows you need a plate to eat from. Although I will say, we love our French Perle dishes by Lennox. We didn't register for fine china and instead went with something that could work in both a casual and more formal setting.

1. MOST LOVED KITCHEN APPLIANCES

Food Processor

Our food processor was a gift from my Grandma, and we didn't know how much we would love it. We both grew up in homes without food processors; I didn't really know why I would need one, but I use it at least once a week (sometimes more). For the healthy eating types like us, it totally steps up our game. I make salsa, homemade nut and agave bites, homemade almond flour, zucchini bread, riced cauliflower, and so much more. It has saved me so much time and money.

wedding gift superlatives

Vitamix All hail the Vitamix. If you don't know anything about this amazing contraption, you will probably think it is just a blender. Oh no sir. It is so much more. This is a splurge item, but it is carried at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (premiere wedding registry destination), and for healthy eaters, it is a fabulous way to put those leftover gift cards from the returns you make to good use. My in-laws graciously gifted one to us, and we use it so often!

You have probably seen the Vitamix presentation at Whole Foods or Costco. It is a super high powered blender that is designed for a whole foods lifestyle. We make fruit & veggie smoothies every morning, and it is unlike any blender I have ever seen. Learn more about the Vitamix on their website here: www.vitamix.com

2. MOST LIKELY TO BE PART OF LIFELONG MEMORIES

Memories Quilt

wedding gift superlatives

One of my former Sunday School teachers gave us a gift that was both sentimental and practical. I hope to do the same for someone else. She gave us a beautiful quilt and included a note about how we should make memories with this quilt. Don't worry about getting it dirty. Take it on picnics and camping trips and use it to snuggle with in the winter. I love the idea of a quilt following us through our marriage and can't wait to see what adventures we will have.

wedding gift superlatives

3. MOST BEAUTIFUL CHINA DISPLAYED IN OUR HOME I absolutely loved receiving beautiful dishes and fine decorative items that weren't on our registry because I have specific memories of who gave me that gift, and as a girl with the love language of gifts, these simple and beautiful items are priceless. I love the gold glazed turquoise bowl from my high school English teacher and mentor and the white china bowl set from my Grandy (a china connoisseur), just to  name a few.

wedding gift superlatives

4. MOST PRACTICAL This was something we actually purchased with gift cards after the wedding but our Shark Vacuum was a winning buy. It was affordable (at least as far as vacuums are concerned), it is compact, and it works like a charm. It is funny how becoming an adult makes you excited about things like vacuums.

wedding gift superlatives

5. MOST OFTEN RECEIVED I've heard for most brides, there is one item you seem to receive in spades. For us, that was bowls. Above is pictured just a very small sampling of all the bowls we received. We got lots of mixing bowls, serving bowls, salad bowls, and all-purpose bowls at every shower. And, a year later, I use almost every single one on a regular basis. Apparently a couple can never have too many bowls!

wedding gift superlatives

6. MOST USED ITEM WE DIDN'T REGISTER FORA chopping block! This was something that would not have had space to sit out at our tiny apartment kitchen, but now that we have more counter space, and now that so much of our diet consists of fresh veggies and fruits, I decided to use some of that leftover gift card money and head back to Macy's where I invested in this amazing Martha Stewart chopping block. It looks beautiful, and it gets so. much. use.

7. LEAST GIFTED REGISTRY ITEM

Linens! Eventually, between the showers and the wedding and the gift cards, we were able to get all the towels and sheets we needed, but for those looking to purchase gifts for a bride and groom in the near future, keep in mind that many people seem to go for the kitchen items and forget about the bedroom and bathroom!

8. MOST AWESOME ITEM NOT MADE IN THE USA

Our Bolivian hammock from my Aunt and Uncle who live in Bolivia. I don't have a picture of it hanging up, but it is handwoven in beautiful blue colors. Sometimes the best wedding gifts are the ones you didn't register for at all!

9. MOST USEFUL FOR BOTH HUSBAND AND WIFE

Tools! In a world of water pitchers, bedskirts, and salad spinners, a good old-fashioned cordless drill is just what a newlywed couple needs to maintain relational balance. We received several tools as wedding gifts, and we loved not having to buy those things with our own money when it came time to work on our new home!

wedding gift superlatives

10. BEST COMBINATION OF AFFORDABILITY AND SENTIMENT A framed wedding Invitation is a simple way to give a bride and groom something they'll remember. For the budget conscious guest (that means me), you can pick out a pretty frame and insert the invitation you received in the mail for less than $15. Winning. We had someone do this for us, and it even made its way onto our gallery wall in the living room.

So there are the superlatives for our first year of marriage year book. BTW, Jeremy wins MOST LIKELY TO STEAL MY HEART DAILY. Way to go, babe.

In addition to the items listed above, here are some other practical items from our registry that we wouldn't want to live without: 1. A non-stick wok. This came free when our large Calphalon pan set was purchased, and we seriously use it almost every day. Not only is it great for Asian food, but it works great for pancakes, ground meat, sauteed veggies, and most things we want to make. 2. Our knife set. We love having nice knives for cooking. I hope these last forever. 3. Our Keurig. Because coffee is the nectar of life. 4. Analon Baking Sheets. These things work like a charm, are truly nonstick, cook evenly, and aren't that pricy. Win. 5. Our beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Not an every day item, but comes in handy when we I want to bake. And it is so pretty. 6. A crock pot. We love our Hamilton Beach Set N' Forget because it is fully programmable, it comes with a meat thermometer, and it locks on the top to make traveling easy.

So there you have it. Our personal perspective on wedding gifts. And there are so many things I couldn't even mention that we use regularly. We truly are grateful for every gift we received and every gift that the Lord blesses us with daily!

Chandler & Jeremy Part 7: Style Me Pretty Feature

This little blog has become not only a fun place to engage with family and friends about what I am doing in our newlywed life, but also a place for me to keep track of our life for myself...a virtual scrapbook of sorts. I have spent several posts recounting the joys of our wedding day, but one more small joy that I have yet to recount was the chance we had to be featured on Style Me Pretty Texas Weddings last October.

Style Me Pretty is my favorite wedding blog, and we were honored to be a featured wedding. Once I saw the amazing photography by Becky & Dan of Yellow Skinny Photos (who I could not recommend more heartily; they are truly a treasure), I felt like our wedding may just be a fit for Style Me Pretty, so I submitted our photos for editorial consideration, and a few weeks later, I got an email that we were going to be featured on the Texas blog! What a blessing.

It was really fun to see what photos the team over at SMP chose to highlight our day.

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smp feature
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Jeremy & Chandler Part 6: The Honeymoon

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! Last year on this day, we were honeymooning in Mexico. So to celebrate...a tribute to the honeymoon. After months of wedding planning and the most wonderful and exhausting day of your life comes to an end, God's gift to couples is this lovely thing called a honeymoon.

Whether it's spent in the mountains, by the beach, in Europe, at Disney World, or simply a stay-cation at home, honeymoon week has been statistically proven to be one of the best weeks of all time for couples around the globe.

You can finally just be married. No fuss. No answering questions. Just two people.

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It was a week of firsts for Jeremy and me. First sleepover...and all stuff that goes along with that. First vacation together. First time out of the country together. First all-inclusive resort for either of us. First time waking up next to each other. First time to truly be alone for more than a few hours--even in 3.5 years of dating. Even if we had been at home for a week, it would have been great, but the fact that we got to go to a romantic resort in Mexico made it even better. We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach in the Riviera Maya. We loved our room... We went cave snorkeling, zip lining, and rappelling. And we saw the Mayan ruins at Tulum. As a lover of history, this was definitely a highlight for me. We played tennis every day. And went sea kayaking. And tried our arms at archery. And we lounged by the beach while friendly waiters brought us food and drinks. We bravely fought off giant-sized iguanas. We got dressed up and ate completely delicious four course dinners every night. The bill was already paid for, so we really felt like we were getting the special treatment when we were never presented with a check. Then we came back to our room and watched movies and ordered ice cream room service. Every night.

I remember lounging in the pool one night after dinner and saying to Jeremy, "This really is magical." I meant it. The perfect balance of play and relaxation. And we only argued onceat which point I huffed off to the balcony and shed a few self indulgent and sulky tears because of something completely ridiculous. Typical. But then we made up and got back to being blissful. Real talk.

Here's to many more lovely trips to come in the future. Vacations together are the bomb.com.

We would not have had such a great honeymoon without an amazing travel agent who made the planning so simple. She took great care of us! Be sure to check out Carlie Finch at 2 Travel Anywhere, LLC!

See the rest of my wedding reflection posts. Part 1: Getting ReadyPart 2: The CeremonyPart 3: My GroomPart 4: The ReceptionPart 5: Details

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Jeremy & Chandler Part 4: The Reception

I think it's pretty obvious that I love weddings. I think that's because I am a firm believer that marriage (when done right) is one of the most beautiful institutions on God's green earth. He created marriage to be a picture of His love for us, and I feel privileged to see glimpses of that picture displayed in the marriages of godly couples that I know. That's why we cry when we see an old couple who has been married for 60 years and continues to love each other in the sickness of old age. That's why divorce hurts so badly--because it wasn't meant to be that way. And that's why we celebrate the start of a marriage with a wedding. There is nothing wrong with going to the courthouse to get married, but a wedding is such a beautiful chance to see the heart of a couple up close and rejoice with them as they begin an incredible journey. All that said, the ceremony is a time for happy tears and sentiment as we take part in rituals that signify the two becoming one, but the reception is the time for laughter and merriment as we celebrate a bride and groom making much of God with their union. And I just love some good merriment.

jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception

So, here is a little glimpse into our reception. We rented a limo for leaving the reception, so we went ahead and used it to transport part of the wedding party from the ceremony to the reception site. It was a 40 minute drive, and it turned out to be the perfect time to relax and talk and enjoy some time before the reception. We took along a few friends and the photographer and enjoyed some sprite in champagne glasses and laughter as we reminisced about the ceremony and the morning before. I know there are so many different ways to run a reception. Here was our order of events:

- Jazz band starts to play - Guests arrive/cocktail hour/socializing time - Presentation of the wedding party - First dance of the bride & groom - Father of the bride prays to kick of the meal - Dinner time! - Wedding party finishes meal and goes outside for more group photos while guests finish their food. - Father/daughter dance - Mother/son dance - Cake cutting - Toasts - Everybody dance! Party time! - Garter/bouquet toss - Everybody dance some more! - Bride & groom leave the reception.

Phew. I get exhausted and exhilarated all over again just reading through that.

We worked so hard and put so much love into every detail of the reception, but I am saving all the information about decor details for another post coming later this week.

The reception went so smoothly, and I loved getting to celebrate with everyone we loved. I truly feel like I was able to absorb every moment and I remember it so vividly. I could not stop smiling and laughing throughout the whole evening.

jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception
jeremy & chandler reception
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Here are some of our favorite reception photos. Perhaps one of my funniest memories came after we had stepped into the limo and the door was closed. All of the emotions that I had kept at bay throughout the day came to me in one great monsoon, and I immediately started uncontrollably crying. My poor groom could hardly keep from laughing as I blubbered between sobs, "This was the best day of my life. I'm just *sniffle* so *sniffle* happy..."

And I was. So emotional for about ten minutes as I let the feelings wash over me, but I was just so happy. So happy that everything went as planned, but even more so because I was now married to Jeremy.

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And so we set off for our week of honeymoon bliss...

To be continued...

P.S. We spent a lot of time and love on every little detail of the wedding day. Flowers, centerpieces, cake displays, and clothes were all a labor of love. For more on that aspect of the ceremony and reception, check out this post about DETAILS. 

Chandler & Jeremy Details

All photos were taken by the amazing Yellow Skinny Photos. All flowers were beautifully arranged by SCF Events.

You can check out the rest of our wedding! Just click on the links below!

Why My Imperfect Marriage Is Better Than A Fairytale Ending Wedding Memories: The Things I Couldn't Plan Part 1: Getting ReadyPart 2: The Ceremony Part 3: My Groom Part 5: Details Part 6: Our Honeymoon (Coming Soon)

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