Archive for the ‘Wedding Recap’ Category

He Makes Me Laugh

If you don’t know Ryan Arthur, you are really missing out.

He is one of the kindest, sweetest, most sensitive, loving, cutest, funniest and funnest people I know. 🙂 And I could go on and on with the adjectives…

Here is a snapshot of why I love being with him. These are some of the worst pictures of me ever (seriously), but I love the moments they capture because of the complete joy.

He makes me smile. He makes me smile so big that my eyes disappear and I have a double chin.


When I am with him I am filled with so much joy that I just burst out in laughter.

And I laugh…

And laugh…

and laugh.

Whether I’m in his arms…

or gazing into his eyes…

I am in my happy place, and I just can’t help but smile.

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful…” -Proverbs 15:13A


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Day 2 of wedding dress shopping took me, my mom, my older sister Brook and my BM Kelly all over middle Tennessee. It was a full day! We started at the Bridal Warehouse in Goodlettsville, which reminded me a lot of David’s Bridal, but a little cheaper probably. They were helpful, but the experience definitely wasn’t as nice as it had been at the high-end bridal boutiques in Nashville. Guess that’s part of the whole “get what you pay for” thing. While we are in that area, we also stopped at Second Time Around, a consignment store in Hendersonville that Mrs. Cheap had written about in a wedding article she wrote. I didn’t find anything that I liked in my size; the selection is obviously dependant on what they have gotten in from consignment customers. They were nice enough to call me when an empire waist dress in my size came in. But I had already found my dream dress by then.

We then drove all the way out to Murfreesboro, to visit A Bride’s Storey. Even though we called ahead and had an appointment, they were really busy that day and didn’t have time to help. We felt like we were wedding dress shopping pros at that point and just helped ourselves. With my sister and BM helping pick out dresses and my mom helping me get into the dresses, we did a pretty good job of helping ourselves. They did have some nice dresses in their shop and some reasonable prices, but they didn’t have anything that I just had to have. I took the lack of service as a bad sign, so I would have had to find a really incredible deal there to actually purchase anything from them. We stopped by Fashion Atelier on our way out because we saw a sign about wedding dresses. We found out that it is actually a seamstress shop and Tatyana, the owner of the shop, makes custom wedding gowns. She was very nice and had some pictures of some nice gowns, but when I asked her about lace gowns, she said I could probably get a better deal with a manufactured gown since lace is so expensive. She was more than happy to make one for me though. I decided that I should probably stick with the cheaper route and we continued on our way to Franklin.

The first place we went in Franklin was the Bridal Gallery of Franklin. The girls working there were nice and attentive and we were the only ones in the store at the time. By this time, I was exhausted from the four places we had already been that day, but I was also determined. So we found several dresses for me to try on, and pushed through. So glad I did. There were two dresses at this store that I absolutely loved, and for the first time, when I came out of the dressing room, everyone just oohed and aahed.  I was a little torn between the two dresses, but I just knew that I would be perfectly happy in either one of them on my wedding day. Wedding dress shopping Day 2—success! We had our last appointment for the day at David’s Bridal, so we decided to go ahead and keep our appointment to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything. From this experience, I can tell you that even if you have an appointment, do NOT go to David’s Bridal on a Saturday. That place was a mad house! I didn’t really find anything in David’s Bridal that was for me. I found a couple that could have been, but they were nothing compared to the two dresses I found at the Bridal Gallery, and the ones at David’s Bridal were also more expensive! Contrary to popular belief, David’s Bridal does not have the least expensive wedding gowns.

When I got home that evening, I realized that the two dresses I loved so much (and everyone else loved on me), were the two dresses that I had in my wedding planning notebook! I was so happy to know that the dresses I initially loved were the ones that looked the best on me.

The next week as I was still trying to decide between the two dresses, I got an email from The White Room in Lebanon saying they were having a 10% off sale for Columbus Day. I immediately called and asked if they had the two dresses I liked—and they did! I made an appointment for Saturday, February 14 (last Valentine’s Day), and me and my sisters went out to Lebanon that morning to make the ultimate dress decision. (While my sweet fiancé watched two of my nephews so my sister could come with me—how perfect is he?) I had such a great experience with The White Room. Ashley was the one who helped me try on all the dresses, and she was very attentive. I tried on several other dresses just to make sure, but when I put on the original dress I fell in love with, the one I saw on Ashley’s Bride Guide, we all just knew. It was the perfect dress for me. And I bought it that day. It was $100 less than it had been at the Bridal Gallery, and it was 10% off which meant even more significant savings.

So yes, I bought my dress on Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect present for the man I love. When I got back to town, Ryan and I had a date at Savannah Tea Company, which happened to be our cake vendor for the wedding. They have an annual Valentine’s Day Tea, which is a 5-course meal. We definitely recommend it. We also recommend them for cake, but we’ll talk about that in another blog. After that we went to Macy’s and Williams Sonoma to register for wedding gifts. All in all it was a very romantic and fruitful Valentine’s Day.

Here is my beautiful dress that I bought that day:

On a side note, it turned out to be fate that I got that email from The White Room and did not get my dress from the Bridal Gallery in Franklin as they ended up going out of business and locking their doors so that several brides, some who had already even paid full price for their gowns, were not able to get to their dresses. I’m not sure exactly how that worked out for everyone, but my friend Lora was involved with that, and they did end up getting their money back on their credit card after a lot of hassle. Someone was definitely looking out for me during the wedding planning process and on our wedding day.

We hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day this year!

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Ok ok, I know I said I would post our love story a week ago…but did anyone really expect me to do anything on time? 🙂 Maybe I should have made a resolution to be more punctual and timely in 2010. But that would probably just be too much pressure…

We would like to be more consistent with our blog. We just need to decide how consistent we want to be. I love daily blogs because they are just so dependable. However, I don’t think I have enough time on my hands for a daily blog. I’ll have to think about this some more and discuss it with the hubs and get back to you about this goal. Ryan’s last post was about us being one of 2Duce2’s top 5 videos of 2009. If you haven’t yet, be sure to show us some love and vote for us by going to 2Duce2’s Blog and putting our name and number in the comment section (#4 Ryan and Savannah).

In other exciting wedding-related news, we received another shout out on Ashley’s Bride Guide (ABG) yesterday! Even though the wedding is over, I still love weddings and check ABG on a regular basis. In fact, I still toy with the idea of getting into the wedding industry myself one day. The question is—could I plan an awesome event like my own wedding for a complete stranger? I’m just not sure… But that’s a blog for another day. Ashley featured us in her post on the best 2009 weddings as one of the best overall. In fact, what she said exactly was, “We saw so many beautiful Nashville weddings, each as spectacular as the next but the one that just stands out, the one that is still our favorite for 2009 is the wedding of Savannah and Ryan, a.k.a. the ‘Red Chuck Taylors’ wedding as so many readers like to call it.” How awesome is that?!?! It just makes me so proud and makes my heart happy. We decided from the very beginning that we just wanted our wedding to be an awesome time for our family and friends and a true reflection of us and our love for one another. I think that’s exactly what we pulled off. 🙂 Check out Ashley’s complete post of the best 2009 weddings here.

Now as far as the love story is concerned…that is the goal for tomorrow. 🙂

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The big plan for our wedding recaps was to start at the beginning and work our way through the process. And I think we will do that eventually… 🙂 But Sunday night’s episode of Desperate Housewives reminded me about our premarital counseling and how thankful I am for that experience, and I’ve been thinking about it all week. So what better time to blog about that than when I am feeling inspired?

I always knew that I want to do premarital counseling. Coming from a divorced home, it had always been important to me to find ways to overcome such a fate for myself and my future husband. Divorce is messy and painful, and it leaves so many scars in the lives of those who have been through it. I learned at an early age that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves, and I vowed then and there to not become part of that statistic. I also learned somewhere along the way that couples who go through premarital counseling are less likely to get divorced. I wanted to do premarital counseling to give myself that fighting chance. Not to mention, residents of the state of Tennessee have to pay $99 for a marriage license, but there is a $60 discount for couples who go through pre-marital counseling. More likely to stick together and $60 off? I’ll take it!

So this is where Terry Smith comes into the picture.

Ryan and I have been attending church with the Family of God at Woodmont Hills for some time now. So when we were discussing our premarital counseling options, Woodmont Hills seemed like the perfect place to start. We called the church office and were directed to Terry Smith for our counseling and quickly had our first appointment scheduled.

To be honest, I was actually a little nervous on the way to our first session. I had heard several horror stories about how uncomfortable, awkward, pointless or painful premarital counseling had been for friends and acquaintances of mine. And between those horror stories and the information I derived from the movie “License to Wed” with Mandy Moore and Robin Williams, the picture I had in my mind wasn’t a very good one.

After our first meeting with Terry, all of those fears were laid to rest. We spent the first session learning about Terry’s approach to premarital counseling, which mainly focused on creating a genogram for each of us. A genogram is a lot like a family tree, but it goes into more depth by also taking other important relationships into consideration and allowing you to visualize the patterns between the relationships in your life. It was such an amazing experience for both of us—a meaningful discovery process that forced us to be honest and open with one another. Hopefully, we can go into more details about the counseling experience in another post down the road. The overall message we learned during this process is that as much as we try to overcome negative feelings and experiences from our past, they are still inside and have the potential to negatively affect our relationships today. We have to consciously choose to not let those childhood defense mechanisms rule our lives. But even more importantly, we need to take the time to be aware of one another’s past and the reasons why we may react the way we do. When you know that, so many things a person does in a relationship make so much more sense.  

If you read the subject line of this post, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Desperate Housewives. Well, in Sunday’s episode, Tom and Lynette (who are married) hire this older gentleman Roy to be their handyman and do some projects around the house. But every time Lynette tells Roy to do something, he goes around her and asks Tom what he wants. When Lynette confronts Roy about this, Roy tells her that Tom is the man of the house, and he is just trying to show him the respect he deserves for that position. Lynette immediately fires Roy and later tells her husband Tom what happened. So Tom goes to Roy and explains it all to him. He says that Lynette grew up without a father and with an alcoholic mother, so she had to be responsible for everything. He goes on to say that as a result, Lynette has a fear of things falling apart and feels a need to control things. He says that even though Lynette can’t control everything, she can control Tom, if he lets her. She he does. Because it makes her feel safe. And that is his job as her husband—to make her feel safe.

Sounds like Tom went through one of Terry Smith’s classes. Even though Lynette might have control issues that she needs to work on, Tom knows his wife and he loves her and he realizes that her actions now are a result of what she went through in her past. He doesn’t yell about it or try to force her to change. He just acknowledges it and gives her what she needs. How beautiful is that?

And that’s why I’m so thankful for our premarital counseling. Because even though we haven’t quite perfected it yet, it gave us that foundation of knowing one another’s past and patterns in relationships.

 I have a tendency to be a little long-winded. I think Ryan might have summed up everything I’m trying to say here in a couple sentences. He said he thinks one of the big reasons people fight is because they don’t put themselves in the other person’s shoes (and we’re guilty of that too). What Terry taught us to remember is that we are all broken, and we need to be sensitive to that.

By the way, we definitely recommend Terry Smith at Woodmont Hills to anyone looking for premarital counseling. You can get the church’s contact information here: http://www.woodmont.org/. Terry also has a blog for his poetry that you can check out here: http://yourstorymatters2him.wordpress.com/.

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Ryan and I watched “Barefoot in the Park” two nights ago. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a play by Neil Simon that was made into a movie in 1967 starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. I was reluctant to watch the movie at first because, as much as I love old movies, sometimes they make me fall asleep if I watch them at night. But Ryan talked me into watching this one the other night, and I’m so glad he did. It was so funny! I’ve decided that it should be a required watch for all newlyweds. The film starts off with a newly married couple embarking on their honeymoon and continues to show their first two emotional, event-filled weeks together as husband and wife. What perfect timing that we watched it just 2 ½ weeks after our wedding! And we didn’t even plan it! We’re just that good. 🙂

If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it! And if you have, watch it again!

In other news, if you are friends with me or Ryan on Facebook then you already know, but for the benefit of all the non-Facebook users out there: we made Ashley’s Bride Guide!!! Ashley’s Bride Guide (ABG) is a Nashville-based bridal blog and a great resource for local brides to find vendors and inspiration. I stumbled across ABG when Ryan and I first started talking about weddings over a year and a half ago! We’ve seen so many weddings featured on the blog over the past 18 months; it’s so flattering to actually see our own wedding featured there!  To be featured in itself is flattering enough, but to top it off, Ashley (who sees tons of weddings each year) went on to say our wedding is one of her favorites for 2009! Check out the post here. How exciting is that?!

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Savannah mentioned in the previous post, our wedding was about showcasing our personality. Part of that personality involves taking pictures and videos of everything. And not just of everything, but duplicates of everything. When Savannah and I were first dating, I had a bunch of photos developed from the first 6 months of our relationship. There are 1500 of them. And that’s just the good ones. I went through and picked out the unfocused ones, or the ones from what Savannah claims is her bad side, or the ones where I have a booger and a nose hair hanging out. We love images of the past.


 Because we are such visual people, our wedding had to be visually appealing. We pulled that off beautifully with the wedding. With so many details and personal touches, it made everything so us. October 3rd is gone, but definitely not forgotten. Savannah and I hired two of the most amazing visual moment capturers Nashville (if not the world) has to offer. Jonathon Campbell Photography and 2Duce2 Videography captured every rubber stamped embellishment, every red shoe, every smiling face that was at the wedding and presented it in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of. Savannah and I are so excited to see their end products. We can’t wait!


To put you guys in as much anticipation as we are in, you should check out the blog to see our wedding teaser video from 2Duce2 and the three blogs from Jonathon Campbell Photography with preview pictures of all the wedding festivities (Blog 1, Blog2, Blog 3). Big thanks to Eugene and Heather Brown, Jonathon and Sharon Campbell, and Michelle Hartz from Hartz Photographic for capturing some beautiful memories.


More to come…

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Now that our amazing wedding finally took place and the mini-moon is over, Ryan and I are trying to put everything back in place and get used to the daily grind again…only this time with a married life spin. You know, consolidating insurance and bank accounts, changing my name, putting away the wedding gifts, etc. We are definitely newlyweds. And loving it. 🙂

During the wedding planning process, we tried to blog about the whole experience and keep everyone in the loop, but it didn’t quite pan out for us. There was just way too much going on. Now that we don’t have a wedding to plan, we’ve decided to do a series of wedding recaps to let others know about some of our great ideas and awesome vendors from our amazing wedding day.

Ryan and I are both really sensitive people, so it made sense that our wedding was always really important to us. But over the course of the wedding planning process it grew into something much bigger than we ever expected…something bigger than we originally intended…something bigger than either one of us really. It became not just one day to mark the beginning of our new lives together, but an adventure together that tested the bounds of our relationship and an experience that symbolized, or perhaps better put—embodied, our love for one another.  It became the essence of who we are together as a couple. It might seem crazy to put so much stock into one day that really does go by so quickly. But that’s just what it comes down to now when we look at the aftermath of it. We look at the pictures and the video and we relive that day. And when we do, we see us. We see an event that perfectly captured our spirits and perfectly captured the day when our spirits became one intertwined.

 With all of that said, I’m so excited to do this wedding recap series because I’ll get to relive that experience over and over again. I hope you enjoy reliving our day with us, and perhaps you’ll garner some good ideas and useful insights for your own wedding or to pass along to someone you know getting married.

Here’s a look at some of our wonderful vendors you’ll get to hear more about:

Venue—Two Rivers Mansion, Nashville, TN

Photography—Jonathon Campbell Photography

Videography—2Duce2 Videography

DJ—DJ Bob with REM Entertainment

Wedding Dress—The White Room

Bride’s Headpiece—lottiedadesigns on etsy.com

Bride’s Bouquet—Brocade Designs

Hair and Makeup—Amy Lynn Larwig

Tuxedos—Street Tuxedo

Catering and Bar Service—MAFIAoza’s

Wedding and Groom’s Cakes—Savannah Tea Company

Wedding Cake Topper—mudcards on etsy.com

Cake Stand and Wooden Centerpieces—Zach Spicer

Wedding Invitations—Hatch Show Print

Wedding Bands—Genesis Diamonds and Platinum Jewelers

Party Rentals—Liberty Party Rentals and Grand Central Party Rentals

Lighting—Nashville Event Lighting

Transportation—Ragtop Picture Cars

PhotoBooth—Party Booths

Ring bearer Bowl—palomasnest on etsy.com

Boutonnieres—Debbie Kraski

Day of Coordinator—Lindsay Cox

All of these people + help from our family and friends + hard work + inspiration = the best wedding team. EVER!

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