A little preview…

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/matt-and-katherine

Hello blog friends!!! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve been able to write!!! Everyone told me that our wedding day would FLY by and sure enough, it did!!! And then between the honeymoon, moving Matt in and another sweet friends wedding, the weeks AFTER the wedding have flown by too!!! I still don’t really think I’ve been able to catch my breath.

I wanted to write a quick little post to let you know that yes, I’m still alive and yes, this little blog will continue even though #072013 has come and gone. However, right now we don’t have internet in our townhouse so that makes things a little more difficult… AND the blog is getting a facelift and I just can’t wait to show you more of what’s in store 🙂

Please sit tight for a little bit and I promise the new & improved blog (along with a pretty big announcement!) will be up and running soon… complete with an “after the wedding” post series and a few others I’ve got up my sleeve!

Here’s a few pictures of our wedding day to get you through 🙂

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/matt-and-katherine

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/matt-and-katherine

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/matt-and-katherine






It’s wedding week and I CANNOT believe it!!! I just can’t stop smiling when I think that THIS SATURDAY I will be marrying my groom! There are so many things I’m excited for about this week… Wednesday Matt & I drive back to our hometown; Thursday I’m spending the day running around with my Mama finishing up the last minute details; Thursday night, 3 of my sweet bridesmaid and my flower girl come into town and I’m so excited to have some time with them!! Friday we are delivering the decorations to the reception and then spending the afternoon being pampered! I can’t wait to see our friends and family at the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner, then attend a lingerie shower thrown for me by my Maid and Matron. And then… WEDDING DAY arrives!!! Saturday is going to FLY by and I am beyond excited to see everything I’ve envisioned come to life, spend the day with my girls, put on that gorgeous dress and marry my best friend.

Please pray the weather is beautiful (so far the forecast looks good!!!!) and that I won’t sweat the small stuff the day of the wedding. I want to remember every moment 🙂 





WHAT?! Can you even believe it?! In 19 days, at this moment, guests will be arriving to the church, our wedding will almost be underway, and my last name will almost begin with an “S” … it’s surreal!

Matt and I went back to Fredericksburg over the weekend. We took home a lot of the decorations,  centerpiece vases, etc and it was SO exciting!! It was a relief for me to be done with a lot of it and it was exciting to know that the next time we move them, it’ll be set-up time!! We also printed our guestbook, looked at the guest list, got our wedding bands and nailed down a few other details. The next time I go home will be 1 week before the wedding (for my hair/makeup trial!), and the next time Matt and I drive home together will be FOR our wedding … AHHH!

Almost all of my little projects our done, the day-of timeline is finalized and has been sent to my DOC to send out to the vendors, and my 20 day “clean eating” diet is under way. Now all that’s left is hoping the 10 day forecast calls for GORGEOUS weather with no rain 🙂




30 days ’til the Big Day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can you even believe it?! My mind is having such a hard time wrapping around that fact!!!! 30 days from this exact time (9:34pm), we’ll be MARRIED and dancing the night away at our reception. WHAT?!

Today so many sweet friends showered me with texts, facebook messages, tweets and even an adorable PACKAGE! Matt and I enjoyed date-night complete with tacos and tomorrow, I get to spend ALL DAY crafting my little heart away. Can it get any better right now? I’m so excited to spend the day just getting things done. I’m hoping to have a lot of things checked off the to-do list come tomorrow night 🙂

I can’t believe we’re one month away from the best night of our lives. It’s bittersweet… it’s oh so exciting, surreal and I can’t stop smiling when I think about.



Why all the details?


I’ve talked a lot on here about the details of our Big Day… what the ‘maids are going to where, what types of flowers we’re going to have, how amazing our photographer is…

But someone said something to me the other week that really, really hurt & got me thinking about WHY I really do care about all the lovely details. (I know this person does not read this blog so therefore I don’t feel like I am calling him/her out however I’m not going to use their name. I’m only sharing this because it struck a cord with me that I think needs to be addressed.) This person was talking about how it’s completely ridiculous that I’ve put so much time & effort into the wedding; they were saying that everything about it is a scam, a waste of money and that Matt should want a wife who cares about more things than the wedding day. This person was also so blunt as to tell me that, unlike me, when they were married they made the MARRIAGE more important than the wedding.




I really had absolutely no idea what to say. I think I said something similar to “bless your little heart” and walked away. Embarrassingly, I am have then gone on my lunch break & shed a quick tear or two.

Although I know this person truly does NOT like me (I think we established that one!)and this was all said out spite, it still got me overanalyzing WHY I’m doing what I’m doing. WHY is this SUCH a big deal?! WHY have I spent a YEAR of my life planning?! WHY have I been dreaming of this for my ENTIRE LIFE?

Because it’s the first day of the rest of our lives.

Cheesy, but true! Our wedding day isn’t about the flowers or the dress or the food, it’s about our commitment to one another and to God, before those we hold most dear. The details helps us to EXPRESS that. I get an opportunity to shower my groom with what I do best… plan! And Matt and I get an opportunity to, as a couple, define who we are to our closest friends through the decisions we make about our big day. It’s the first day of the rest of our lives… why would we not want it to be amazing?!

Yes, the details, oh the details… they make my heart so excited I can barely stand it! And I pray every.single.day for no rain on July 20. And I’ve counted and recounting all the wedding decor to make sure it boxed, labeled & tagged just right…

But absolutely NONE of this would mean anything if Matt wasn’t the groom. I want our day to be dream-like, enchanted, romantic & magical because I have prayed for 24 years, dated him for 6 and loved him for 5… and now we have forever. How amazing!!!!

Now y’all know I love to plan. It’s always, always been a part of who I am. I strongly believe plans make things go smoother; they make the final outcome more enjoyable; and I honestly just have a really good time planning & organizing practically ANYTHING (it’s a problem, I know). So obviously planning our wedding has been a BLAST. I have had SO much fun!!!! I loved picking the fonts for our invitations and deciding on the color rose petals should go down the aisle. I find so much joy in all of those simple details. Does that mean I’m more excited about that then being his wife? Absolutely not! 

I read a quote on SMP one day that hit home with me. Forgive me for not remembering the exact wordage but to summarize: the blogger was saying that bride’s care so much for the details that make their big day so special because there is so much LOVE behind those details. AMEN! Why else would bride’s spend months and months on all of this!? Does it really matter what font we use on our invitations or if the rose petals scattered down the aisle are pink or white? No, not really. In the end, the vows will be said with the kiss sealing the deal… I’ll be his wife come 7:30pm July 20, 2013 and I truly want to cry just thinking about THAT detail 🙂

So to those of you planning a wedding: plan on, sweet brides, plan on! Pour your heart, pour your love into those details … but never, ever loose sight of the end result.

And to those of you who find all this “wedding planning business” a hunk of bologna: My heart is so sad for you. And not because you have no passion for planning, or you hate picking out wedding fonts & rose petal colors, but because you, dear friend, don’t have the desire to shower your groom with the details of the day, to pour your love out into an event that, God-willing, only happens once in a lifetime… and is the start of your very own happily ever after.



a little life/planning update


It’s been another whirlwind of a month… It’s JUNE and I just can’t believe it!

So much has been accomplished since my last post: my sweet bridesmaids and Mama threw me my 2nd bridal shower! It was such a fun day!! It made me even MORE excited to see everyone on the wedding day (if that’s even possible!). We also starting MOVING and PAINTING and I am just SO happy! Life is really chaotic because our townhouse is literally full of boxes in every.single.room and my organizational mind feels a little overwhelmed! I know slowly but surely this place will become our “home” … I just have to be patient with the process! It’s so fun to start dreaming about Matt and I living in this little home. I promise to posts pics as the rooms slowly take shape 🙂

 A lot of wedding to-do’s have been crossed off, too!

1. We met with the DJ and planned our reception

2. We met with our DOC (day of coordinator) and she made me feel a lot less stressed about the day-of! 

3. I’ve been tweaking our day-of timeline so that’s almost ready to be sent out to the vendors

4. We finalized our order with the florist!

5. I had my 3rd dress fitting – picked out the bustle and my gorgeous belt & veil are so close to being done!! 

6. Received all of the bridesmaids gifts – now just have to get my sweet Mama’s

7. Finished designing all but 1 of the paper goodies – so close to being done!! 

I still have quite a few things to finish up before the big day but it’s so amazing to see it all coming together! If you’re planning a wedding, how’s it going?! Even if you’re not, how’s LIFE going for you?! 🙂



“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