The Best Wedding Decisions We Made

Wedding planning is one of those things you cannot fully understand or appreciate until after your wedding. In the throes of it, it can be super stressful and feel like a roller coaster of emotions. Side note: If you’re a bride-to-be, hang on and try to enjoy the ride! Some days are super exciting and others are draining. So often, a lot of time, sweat and tears goes into the wedding day. Some brides have things they regret in hindsight, but I’m thankful there are very few things I would have done differently. Today, I am sharing our totally un-regrettable, best of the best wedding decisions. These are the ones that really stand out, the ones we would make again in a heartbeat and the ones that made our day feel extra special.

Best of the Best Wedding Decisions We Made - Un-Regrettable Wedding Plans - Wedding Plans, Wedding Decisions and Wedding Planning Tips - SCsScoop
All our wedding photos are courtesy of Joffo – www.joffoto.com!

Our Best of the Best Wedding Decisions

1. Writing our own vows.

Will and I wrote our own vows a couple of months before the wedding. During the ceremony we read these to each other out of personalized vow books before reciting the traditional vows to each other. It felt very meaningful to share in our own words our love and personal commitments to each other in front of so many family and friends.

2. Getting a month-of coordinator.

My mom and I tag teamed a lot of the wedding planning, but by the time we got to a couple of months from the wedding day there were still a lot of details that needed to come together. I was also extra busy with work at that time. So, I was very grateful to have our coordinator Cara. During the month leading up to our wedding, she checked on vendors, finalized our timeline and ensured we hadn’t overlooked any details.  She was amazing to have on hand the day of our wedding, too. There were details I envisioned checking on in my head before the ceremony, but it was logistically not possible. That’s where our month-of coordinator came in and kept everything in line.

RELATED: Highlights & photos of our spring wedding.

3. Incorporating family into our day.

From our wedding party to the details of my dress, we planned for our family to be a big part of our wedding day, but I didn’t realize just how special that would feel. Weddings symbolize a new union and the beginning of a new family, but Will and I both know that we would not be the person the other fell in love with if it was not for our family. I did not realize just how much it would mean to have our siblings stand with us during the ceremony until it was happening. To honor my late grandmother and namesake, I used the sleeves from her wedding dress on mine and wore the veil she made when my mother got married. I also wore a cocktail ring from my paternal great-grandmother. All these touches made us feel even more special and so loved by our families.

4. Relaxing on our wedding day.

A few minutes before I walked down the altar, my good friend and bridesmaid said I was one of the most calm brides she had ever seen. Do not get me wrong I was a bit of a mess in the last couple weeks leading up to the wedding, but I deliberately told myself (and Will told me too!) on the night before our rehearsal dinner to let go of the small things, focus on the great reason behind the wedding and just enjoy it. I am so glad I can look back on our wedding day and say that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

5. Starting our honeymoon two days after our wedding.

The week leading up to our wedding, I did not have a lot of time to think about our honeymoon or pack. Our wedding weekend also FLEW by and we were in desperate need of a nap come Sunday afternoon! I’m so grateful we relaxed on Sunday evening and finished packing for our honeymoon, instead of rushing to an airport the morning after our nuptials. I know many people delay there honeymoons these days, too, but it felt very special to spend that first week of married life with just the two of us. Getting back to work after the honeymoon was a different story though!! Hellooo reality haha!

Best of the Best Wedding Decisions We Made - Un-Regrettable Wedding Plans - SCsScoop

So there you have it the best wedding plans we made! I would love to hear your thoughts on the wedding plans or details, you think matter most (whether from personal experience or from wedding guest experience). If you are  married, what are the moments that stick out most to you? What are the plans you are so glad you made in hindsight?

Let’s chat in the comments!

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

RELATED: My advice to brides-to-be and some help with setting up your gift registry and $50 credit for setting up a registry on Zola!!  😉

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How You’ll Know He’s the One – A Letter to My Younger Self

How You'll Know He's the One - A Letter to My Younger Self - SC's Scoop

Today is Will’s birthday and it just so happens to be exactly one month until our wedding day (seriously, where did time go!?). I am soaking up this special time and decided to do something a little different on the blog today. This is a post that is (selfishly) more for myself. If you are not in the mood for a mushy post about love, then I would just stop reading now. This post is something I wrote to remember what this time was like in my life, and what it was like finding Will and knowing he was the one for me. I think everyone’s journey to love is a little different, so here is mine. This is a letter to my younger self, the one who would lay awake at night feeling so strongly that there was a man out there who would be the love of my life. The girl who would stay up wondering,  “How will I know he’s the one?” and “When will I meet him?”

How You'll Know He's the One - A Letter to My Younger Self - SC's Scoop
All photos are courtesy of Joffoto.

How You’ll Know He’s the One

Sarah Camille,

When you meet the great love of your life, you will know. There are people in your life who have experienced this and are telling you this, and it can be hard to understand, hard to believe, until you experience it. There are people in your life who are telling you not to worry about the future. They tell you it will all work out. “God has a plan,” they say. Do not doubt them. They are 100% correct.

Now as your future self, I know the picture I just painted sounds pretty great. I am sure you are skeptical, and you should be. Life leading up to the day you meet this man will be challenging. You will face some personal challenges and have some really tough, failed relationships. While there will be some terrible days, the days and years when you are on your own serve an invaluable purpose.

It is during this time you will discover a better understanding of who you are. You will be tested and criticized in ways that will make you question, “How in the world will things improve?” It will not be until you truly believe that you deserve to be with the love of your life that he will appear. It will happen right after a truly awful day and you will not see it coming.

You will have a feeling of comfort and familiarity the minute you meet him and you will know in your heart that he is the one for you. He is the man you have been waiting for.

I know you want more details, but they do not really matter. All that matters is that you have found him.

Now, your relationship will not be perfect. Sure you will have lots of laughter and fun together, but you will face challenges pretty early on. There will be a support within your relationship that will make it feel like you can face any of life’s challenges, so long as you are together. And, it will be abundantly clear from the beginning that you two are connected. He will be the man you dreamed of and he will be more than you can imagine, all at once.

It will make sense when you meet him. So in the meantime, enjoy your life exactly as it is right now. Have faith and trust with a peaceful mind that it will all work out exactly the way it is supposed to. You will know he’s the one, when you meet him.

Hugs,

Sarah Camille

 

So, there it is. That is what I would tell my younger self about how you’ll know he’s the one for you. For me, I knew in my heart Will was the right guy for me from the very beginning. I was skeptical and worried first that maybe my heart was wrong. I’m so thankful it wasn’t!

What it means to be “the one”

Now when I say that Will is the one for me, I am really saying I believe he is my soul mate (and I am so excited for our marriage!). But, I realize that not everyone has this kind of experience. I believe soul mates do not always fall in a traditional/stereotypical guy-girl relationship. I think soul mates are simply two people with whom there is a deep connection of the souls. Some people have a few of these in their lifetime, while others may just have one. I think soul mate relationships can be in the form of sibling relationships, friends, marriages and so much more.

Those are my personal thoughts. I would love to hear your thoughts on soul mates and experiences. How did you know your partner was the one? Was there a specific moment that made you realize she or he’s the one for you? Was it a yearlong process of realizing this? Are you still looking for the person you are meant to be with? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments and let’s chat.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

 

 

 

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How I Got My Dog & Maddie 15 Years Later

How I Got My Dog & Maddie 15 Years Later - SCsScoop.com

My dog Maddie turns 15 today! So, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the story of how I got my dog and how getting Maddie enhanced my life. I am an animal lover by nature, but I have grown up with different pets and never had a connection to a pet like I have with Maddie. I believe some people end up having a pet or two in their lives that they connect with more than others, much like how there are people we just instantly become friends with. Maddie feels like that pet for me. But before I explain, let me rewind and share with you how I got my dog.

How I Got My Dog

For years before I got Maddie, I was begging my Mom and Dad for a dog of my own. My Mom continually had a reason for us to wait. And while her reasons were valid, the dream never left my mind. In fact, we already had a dog in the house. But, my older brother picked out Jo when I was two, and it always felt very much like she was my brother’s dog. At the time I was asking for a dog, I was entering those awkward, early teenage years, and I think I really just wanted something of my own.

Finally, when I was 13, it was time. We had moved into a new house and my Mom said that after a house-warming party, we could look for a dog. On the morning after the party, I distinctly remember coming downstairs with the classified section of the newspaper in hand and several puppy options circled. My Mom (thankfully!) stuck to her word and we hopped in the car to look at the puppies I had found in the paper.

Sadly, the first couple options did not work out. The first place just had a weird vibe and the second place didn’t have any girl dogs. I think I knew in my head exactly what I was looking for and it was upsetting that I was not just finding the dog I had envisioned immediately. That said, if you are looking for a dog, go with your gut. I’m definitely glad I did that day.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

The afternoon was coming to an end, so we decided to pick one more place to visit. We went to a beautiful farm and walked over to the barn. The owner said they had one more girl Bichon puppy, and he quickly went to get her for us to see. I will never forget him walking out with what looked like a small handful of cotton with a black button-nose and eyes. She was adorable! My Mom and I looked at each other, and we instantly knew – this would be my dog.

How I Got My Dog & How my Dog Enhanced my Life - SCsScoop.com
Here is Maddie a couple of days after I brought her home. She weighed a whopping 3 pounds at nine weeks old.

As we drove home, the puppy laid on my chest as I decided what to name her. I named her Madeline after the character in the well-known children’s book series, and decided to call her Maddie for short. Maddie and I became attached instantly. I took the lead in her care-taking; feeding her, teaching her how to go up stairs and taking her out in the middle of the night when she needed to go to the bathroom.

I like to think that Maddie understood instantly that I was her “mom.” I know this may sound crazy if you don’t have a pet! But, since the day I got her, Maddie has followed me around everywhere. Family and friends have all commented over the years how they can tell she prefers me.

How Getting a Dog Enhanced my Life

Fast forward through high school, college, finding my first real job, living on my own, meeting Will and so much more, Maddie has been by my side through so many ups and downs. Maddie loves being outside, going on walks and being in the presence of people. She is that dog that will follow you around the house, monitoring you, until you sit down. Maddie also loves (even at 15!) doing sprints around the house upon my arrival home.

Now that Maddie is 15, I have lived more of my life with her than without her. Maddie’s sweet and happy disposition continually gets me through rotten days and reminds me that so often the little details I worry about will not matter in the long run. If you have a dog like Maddie, I think you will understand what I am talking about. Dogs love you and greet you with a smile every day, no matter what. If only more humans (including myself!) could express their love so openly and regularly.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
—Roger Caras

Maddie continues to teach me lessons, make me smile and remind what is important in life every day. As she gets older, I can only hope the years I have left with her will bring her the same level of happiness she’s had so far in her life. Now, if only I could find a way to tell her how grateful I am for all the years I have had with her sweet soul!

I would love to hear your pet stories! Is the story of how I got my dog similar to yours? Have you ever had a special connection to a dog or pet? Do I sound like a crazy dog-mom or can you relate to my thoughts?! Tell me exactly how you feel and what you think in the comments section.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

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