“Our” Dress

I know what you’re thinking … 2 posts in the SAME week – WHAT?! And it’s a pretty long one y’all!


Today I had my second dress fitting. Can I just tell you that my dress has made me INCREDIBLY anxious throughout this process?! I never really thought I struggled with body image issues… until I got engaged. Now why is that I wonder? Why, at the the one moment in your life when an amazing man is declaring his love for you & you start planning your life together, do you start to doubt how hott you look?! Ladies it makes no sense!! HE LOVES ME. HE’S ALREADY SAID HE WANTS TO BE MY HUSBAND. So why then do I start to work-out non-stop, count points & calories & just really focus on my body? When I started thinking it was all about ME, that’s when. When I lost sight of the entire point of the wedding, of why we’re getting married, and of my completely perfect dress. As I did a little soul-searching, here’s what I concluded:

After we got engaged I was BEYOND excited to try on dresses. Of course I had an idea of what I wanted and I couldn’t WAIT to try on those pretty white gowns. I had so much fun shopping; I adored trying on gowns of all styles and fabrics and finally finding “the one”. Now, I’m about to say something that might not make a lot of sense but try to stay with me…

“My” dress is “my” dress because of Matt.


When I lost sight of the entire PURPOSE of the dress, I lost sight of who I was IN the dress. I started freaking out about a little arm fat here, or back fat here… I forgot about WHY I was wearing it in the first place and WHO I was wearing it for.

Let me explain:

“My” dress was the eighth (or ninth?) dress I tried on but it was the first dress that actually made me FEEL like a bride. Although I loved other elements of previous dresses, this dress was… well, it was a FEELING I can’t describe. Because I’m emotionally driven, I knew I needed a feeling to know if a dress was “my” dress. As excited I was to try on dresses, I was incredibly nervous about it because Matt and I have VERY different taste. I like things with a little “wow”, a little “pop”, a little “fun”… and he’s more classic, traditional, timeless movie. I went into the shopping process thinking ruffles, sparkle, a modern-high-fashion-meets- southern-belle-look – even though Matt would have been completely content with a simple satin a-line. 2 peas in a pod right?! 🙂

“My” dress… well this dress has it all. No, I don’t mean it has all the details listed above – it had MORE. It had that FEELING. I feel like a woman, HIS woman, when I put it on. I feel like a little girl all grown up, a princess meets timeless romance. I feel like HIS bride. It’s the absolute PERFECT combination of Matt and I – for me, that’s so symbolic for our marriage!!! In less than 2 months, everything I do will have him attached to it. MY life is no longer mine – it’s OURS. I belong to HIM – I AM HIS, forever.

Take a minute to let that sink in will ya? That’s SO amazing y’all!! God designed our union to glorify HIM in all ways possible. In order to do that, we have to completely rely on God and fulfill our roles as husband & wife. It doesn’t make me any better or any worse than him, God has just defined different roles to make marriage work. That’s what I feel like my dress means… it’s the beautiful, material object that reminds me of who I am when I’m with him and how I want us to be together.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I were marrying anyone else in the whole world, “my” dress wouldn’t fit because “my” dress is really “our” dress. It’s a perfect mixture of who he is in me, what he brings out in me and what I hope to be as a wife to him. I know, I know, I’m incredibly sentimental and emotional about it (haha) but it’s how I feel!! Side note: I’m not saying every girl feels this way!!! Some girls just have a calming realization that “their” dress is, in fact “their’s” and that’s totally fine!! I’m just an emotional girl so it sort of makes sense for me to overanalyze my dress experience! 

When I put my dress on today (after a few embarrassing tears were shed about some silly body image issues – GET OVER IT KATHERINE!!), I was looking at myself in the mirror thinking how unbelievably PERFECT my dress is for Matt, for me, for 072013 and for the start of our life together. Who cares if my body isn’t completely toned and sculpted like a VS model! When will it ever be?! As I stood in front of her mirror I could fee the Holy Spirit changing my way of thinking… reminding me that “my” dress is “our” dress and that that man adores me, which is why he chose ME to be his wife, and not some other girl. And that’s why I chose THIS dress, “our” dress, to be “my” dress – because no other dress would so perfectly define who we are but this one.  I’ll be a bride, HIS bride, in a stunning white dress that could only and will only ever make me think of him. I’d say that means I found “the one” huh? Both in man & in gown 🙂


pure joy. by katelyn james photography (our girl! EEKKK!)

always, kat


A Night Wedding in July…


I always knew I wanted a night wedding. Always.

Maybe it’s because I’m a night-owl at heart, or that fact that life just seems to get a little more magical when the stars come out… whatever the reason, night weddings have always had a piece of my heart.

I can’t wait to see the tent lit up at night. I really want to have that moment where I walk away from the crowd with my then-husband, and we look back to peak at the beautiful sight of our night wedding. I’m hoping is unusually cool for July but let’s face it, that’s not gonna happen 🙂 I’m also PRAYING for no rain. NONE. It’s not invited. But it is nighttime in JULY and thunderstorms tend to have a mind of their own in the summer months. So if it rains fierce & quick like most summer storms are, I’m already telling myself to not cry, or stress or be overly anxious. It’s our WEDDING DAY after all – God’s gonna do with it as He will! If it rains, my dream is one of two things: (a) it rains during our indoor ceremony & the amazing catering staff is able to put the pieces back together before the reception or (b) it rains after 10pm when Matt and I have had our to-die-for photos and everyone has enjoyed the pretty details and had some of the delicious food! I hear it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day – as long as it’s not a monsoon during our reception, I think I can live with a little good luck 🙂


always, kat

Paper Problems


I have changed our wedding invitations SO many times. I think there’s at least 10 drafts saved to my mac right now. And the sad thing is I would title it “Wedding Invite Final” to make myself think “this is THE one” … welp now I just have “Wedding Invite Final 1” Wedding Invite Final 2”, etc.! I’m definitely being 100% picky about these pretty little things!

I really think the invite helps set the tone for the wedding & this is what guests will have up on their fridge leading up to the wedding. I want them to be traditional, fun and fit “us” so well. Matt and I looked at several websites for ideas but I new ultimately I wanted to design them. (Designing our Save-the-Dates was complicated enough for my picky self, I should have been prepared for the Invites to be just as bad!) I knew right off the bat that as much as I LOVE paper products, I preferred photography, flowers and good food more. Therefore, the bulk of our budget went to those aspects of the wedding. Designing all of our paper products was a way for me to be creative with the process, make sure everything flowed together AND save money! Matt came up with a super fun and very “us” idea for our RSVP card, and I love the simplicity of the Reception card and the Details card … it was the actual INVITATION that I kept looking back over. I ordered them from Smartpress (the same place as our Save the Dates) and I’m SO glad I ordered a hard proof. When it came in the mail and, you guessed it, I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t that THEY did a bad job, I just wasn’t happy with the font color or the Invite design. After an incredibly late night re-designing, I THINK and I HOPE this is the FINAL FINAL! These beauties have to be in the mail by the end of May and they require a little bit of DIY once they come in so I desperately need to LOVE this design. Fingers crossed y’all!! 



Bridal Shower & A [late] 3 month update!

It has been absolutely crazy around here y’all! I am so sorry I haven’t been on and updated everyone. Matt and I have officially started looking at townhouses to live in after the wedding so I spend my nights searching craigslist, trulia and other various sites for possible home options!! But a lot has been happening in #072013 world too 🙂 

My VERY first Bridal Shower took place on April 20th. It was absolutely beautiful and the girls did such an incredible job. I felt so loved, encouraged and definitely didn’t want it to end!! It was also super excited to open all the precious gifts for our new house … YAY for decorating and organizing our space! (No, I really AM excited to do that!!). 


love this group of silly women!

The 3 month mark has also come and gone … can you believe?! In less than 3 months we will be MARRIED! Completely ridiculous y’all!! Here’s a few things we’ve gotten done in wedding planning world:

-booked a rehearsal dinner location with Matt’s parents

-finished ordering the bridesmaid gifts, flower girl gift, father of the bride gift & parents of the groom gift

-ordered rose petals for our ceremony

-finished all but 1 sign for the reception!!

-ordered our invitations (eeekkk!) 

-filled out the Wedding Day timeline for our amazing photographer

-lost 5lbs. (YES!) and therefore scheduled my first dress fitting! 

-found jewelry for my dress (bracelets & earrings) 

-found a babysitter for the church nursery during the ceremony 

-DIY’d our “mr” and “mrs” toasting glasses

-officially picked all ceremony music (now onto the reception!) 


almost all of my amazing bridesmaids (isn’t that view stunning?!)

Here’s what I’m focusing on THIS month:

-finish the last sign

-make “mr” and “mrs” chair signs

-make “reserved” table signs

-stamp, address and mail the invitations!!! 

-continue working on my “wedding dress body” 

-work on love story table 


I KNOW these next 2 1/2 months are going to go by so fast. Between trying to find a house, our friends wedding festivities, 2 more showers and both our bachelor/bachelorette weekends – it’s about to get a little chaotic over here in Harrisonburg! But you know what? I wouldn’t ask for anything more 🙂 


always, kat