Mary and Ricky's Love Story!

mary and ricky - grace and serendipity pensacola wedding

I am so excited to be sharing this with you today!  One of the things I'll be adding to my blog in 2015 is sharing Love Stories with amazing couples that I am planning weddings with!  I think this will be one of my favorite additions ... and I am hoping my couples will enjoy looking back at their pre-wedding memories in the future as well! The first pair of lovebirds I'm sharing with you for 2015 is Mary and Ricky!  They are two of the sweetest people I've ever met.  They live out of town, but Mary drives in monthly for us to meet in person.  Every single time we meet, I leave our meetings with butterflies of excitement of things we are working on together, because she is just so excited about her wedding day!  Goodness their wedding is going to be fun. And sparkly. And romantic. Just plain swoonworthy. Thank you to Megan of Southern Grace Photography for sharing the photos from their engagement session with me, and I can't wait to see what she captures on their wedding day!

Read about their love story below, and Mary and Ricky, enjoy these last few weeks of your engagement together!

Your Names:  Mary and Ricky

How did you two meet?  We hopped on the band wagon and met online!

When did you know that Ricky was the one for you?  I would say less than a week of knowing him, I knew he would be the man I marry.  I remember telling him that if we didn't get married, we had to be best friends. I'm so happy that I get to marry him AND he's my best friend!

Ricky, when did you know that Mary was the one for you?  Around the same time she knew, I knew she was the one for me.  It just made sense and was so easy being with her.  If there are such things as soulmates, I knew early on she was mine.

Alrighty Mary.  How did Ricky pop the question??  Were you surprised?  Did you have any idea??  It was in the most magical place in the world, Disney World! We had been planning a trip for a few months and I had my suspicions that this trip was it, we were going to get engaged. I was so excited. So we made it to Disney and I started doing some digging. I asked him if I needed to paint my nails for anything and snooped around his luggage to see if he was hiding the ring in there and nothing. He didn't break a sweat! So I decided that this wasn't it and I was going to forget and enjoy my vacation. Well the next day we made a plan to go on my favorite ride first. We boarded the Haunted Mansion (I'm obsessed!) and about a minute into the ride, he leaned toward me and said, "Babe, I know this is your favorite ride and I want you to remember this forever.  Will you marry me?" I was in shock!! I didn't even say yes at first! I just turned to him and said, "Are you serious?!" It was perfect.

grace and serendipity - pensacola wedding planner

When and where are you going to tie the knot?  Our wedding is in late February at the Museum of Commerce in downtown Pensacola. When we were deciding what date we wanted, it took us a while to figure it out. I wanted it to be cold (I can't sweat on my wedding day!) and he wanted to make sure it wasn't close to Christmas, so we decided on the end of February!aa

Describe your wedding day in three simple words:  Best. Day. Ever.

Now, share a few of the details!  Do you have a theme or feeling your wedding day will encompass? There's going to be a lot of purple, pretty gold and lace! It's going to be unbelievable! I basically just put together all of my favorite things and it's turning out to be perfect!

mary and ricky's engagement session - grace and serendipity wedding pensacola

Out of everything, what is the most important to the two of you on your wedding day, other than becoming husband and wife?  Since the beginning it was really important to us to have all of our families and friends there celebrating. Our families live so far apart that most of them have never met! So we wanted to make our wedding really fun. It's the only time all of our family and friends will be together. It has to be epic!

Do you have a favorite wedding blog or magazine?  Is Pinterest an option? Haha!!

What have you loved most about planning your wedding?  I have to be honest, wedding planning is not my thing. I have so much respect for wedding planners! Without Kristin, I would be lost. My favorite part of the whole process was early on. We were deciding a venue and I was trying to tell Kristin what I was looking for. It was like she was in my head! She suggested a venue that would be perfect for us and told us how we could make it extra special. I was so happy, I cried!

What has been the most difficult part when it comes to planning?  Planning a wedding is overwhelming. The most difficult part for me, was trying not to get too overwhelmed!

Have you always dreamed about your wedding day?  Or, was the day you got engaged when you first started thinking about it?  I had always known the colors I wanted but I didn't really know anything else until we were engaged.

Are you going to celebrate with a honeymoon after your wedding? We're going where it all began, Disney World! I can't wait! We're going to do all the things we did the first time.

grace and serendipity - pensacola wedding planner

Mary, what makes you the most excited about becoming his wife?  I'm mostly excited for things to stay the same but get better at same time. I can't wait to continue to see him come home from work everyday but as my husband. It makes me giddy just thinking about it!

Ricky, what makes you the most excited about becoming her husband? Waking up to her everyday and figuring out life together. Having a team mate for the rest of my life!

When it comes to marriage and your life together, what are you looking forward to the most? Besides the obvious stuff, we're both looking forward traveling with the same last name. It seems silly but that will be our favorite part.

Picture your lives five years from now. What do you see??  We see a lot of adventures and so many new memories.  In five years, starting a family and just enjoying every day together!

Do you have any advice for newly engaged brides, or those in the middle of planning? Don't panic! It's a lot. Just enjoy it. Enjoy every minute of it! Remember what it's all for. It's going to be great no matter what!

grace and serendipity - pensacola wedding


Congratulations Mary and Ricky, I am so excited for your wedding day to be here!

A Letter to my Son {mama thoughts}

maternity session - ashley victoria photography - grace and serendipity
ashley victoria photography - maternity session

In just a few short weeks (or days at this point), I will be holding a new little miracle in my arms.  If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen photos and details as we have prepared for our soon-to-be-here little guy, and now that we have everything as ready as it can be for him, all I can think about is what it will be like once he arrives.  It is exciting, worrying, and exhilarating anticipating his arrival, and I am very curious as to when he will make his debut.

My days have been filled with planning wedding details and designing invitations, and every evening has been filled with thinking about how much life will be different after he comes.  To say that my mind is constantly churning is an understatement - it is filled with thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams for what's to come.  Especially after Heaven received an angel baby of ours in the fall of 2013, this pregnancy has been very different for me.  But now, more than anything else, I keep coming back to what I want him to know.  So below, I decided to write it all out.  As a way for me to remember what life was like, these last few weeks before he was here.  This little boy will complete our family, making us a family of five, and I want him to know just how very loved he already is.  I can't wait to meet him.

To Our Son,

We can't believe that you are almost here.  For the last few months, you have been steadily growing and making me very aware of your presence.  The last couple of weeks in particular, you wake me up every night at 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning, because you are either practicing your ninja kicks or plan to be quite the dancer from all of the bouncing around you are doing.  As much as I would love to be sleeping, because I know that that time is about to become extremely limited after you arrive, at the same time, I love it.  I love feeling you kick, tumble, and turn about, sometimes with gentle patters, sometimes with massive force.  I can't help but think about you all the time, and want you to know just how very loved you are.

We have prayed for you for so long.  You are joining a family that is soexcited for your arrival.  Your big brother asks about you constantly, your big sister gives you a hug and a kiss good morning and goodnight, with many little "hi baby brother" moments in between, where she waves at my belly and pats it continually throughout the day.  When she talks closely to where you are, you instantly are awake and kicking.  When she pats your current home, you instantly move.  That only tells me that the two of you already have an incredible bond, and I hope that you grow up having an incredible friendship together.

The last few days have been filled with finishing touches for your room.  And now that it is complete, I find myself going and sitting in the glider where I know you and I will be spending hours together.  My mind constantly thinks of all of the things I want for you - and the best way I know how, being the listmaker that I am, is to write them all out here for you.  I want you to have adventures.  Get dirty.  Build forts.  Use your imagination.  Pretend to be a superhero.  To not be afraid to stand up for what you know is right, and always tell the truth, no matter how hard it may be.  Experience life with joy under your feet.  Share your toys, make friends wherever you go, use your manners, say your prayers, trust that things will always work out in the end, take chances, be yourself, and just have fun!

I want you to know that you have been prayed for, and I have wanted to be your mom for as long as I can remember.  From the time I was a little girl, I have always wanted to have a son.  I have been blessed with your big brother for the last 12 of his 17 years, and now, and now, knowing that you will be here soon, you will be the final piece to our family puzzle.  God has chosen us to be your parents, has chosen you to have your two other siblings, and although He is the only one who knows His plans for you, I am so excited to be a part of the ride that will be your life, and so glad to get to call you my son.

I love you, my son, and we all can't wait to meet you.  Take as much time as you need in your cozy little home, and whenever you are ready to take on the world, we'll be ready to guide you every step of the way.


Photos above that mean the world to me taken by Ashley Victoria Photography

Shop Small This Holiday Season!

Shop Small This Holiday Season!

I am SO excited to be sharing this post with you today!  There are so many amazing small businesses out there, and this season, I really want you to encourage to shop small.  Below are ten amazing businesses that all offer products that have been designed or created to make life more organized, adventurous, pretty, or just plain fun, and they all make fantastic gifts for people in your life.  There is such a wide variety that I am hoping you will find something for someone on your list (and perhaps even something for yourself)!

Seersucker Wedding { Wedding Inspiration }

Seersucker Wedding  { Wedding Inspiration }

For a fun and fabulous insiprational wedding blog post today, I knew that I just had to post about this simple Southern beauty of fabric - seersucker.  It is actually National Seersucker Day today too!  (isn't it fantastic that it has it's own holiday??)

I love this fabric and think that it is such a fun texture element to add into your wedding.  And, if you are looking for a way to add a little bit more prep into your wedding day, this may be just your answer!

Why I Don't Want You to Have a Pinterest Wedding

Why I Don't Want You to Have a Pinterest Wedding

Pinterest. There is a pretty good chance that by now you have probably heard of it.  A few years ago, when it first came to be, I swooned and completely fell in love with it.  Pinning, pinning, and more pinning took place multiple times of the day for me.  I personally love to use it, and if you follow me, you know this as hardly a day goes by where I don't pin something either new or re-pin something from someone else.

{ Celebrity Wedding } "The Bachelor" Sean and Catherine Wed!

{ Celebrity Wedding } "The Bachelor" Sean and Catherine Wed!

I have to admit it.  I am a complete sucker for The Bachelor.  I wouldn't go so far as to call myself part of "The Bachelor Nation", but every year, I try to tell myself that I don't need to watch the show, (much voiced by my husband, who is definitely not a fan), but then, every year I get totally tangled back up into the unrealistic beautiful fairytale that is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. (and I think that Sean and Catherine may be my favorite couple from that show yet.)

Winter Wedding Ideas { Wedding Inspiration }

Winter Wedding Ideas { Wedding Inspiration }

Here in Pensacola, it doesn't snow.  Ever.  However, today we are home, and as I look out my office window, I can see sleet, which eventually is supposed to turn into snow (whhaaaatt??!).  To say that I am excited, as a Minnesota girl, is a major understatement.  My husband has never seen it, so I think he's pretty excited as well, since his work kept him home as well.  My stepson keeps peeking out of the windows as I think this house is filled with excitement

{ Wedding Inspiration } The Boutonniere

boutonniere ideas - grace and serendipity

At pretty much every wedding, there are bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres that are worn by the Bridal Party. Sometimes they are very formal, but other times they have a little bit of whimsy to them, depending on what kind of wedding it is.  I personally think that a boutonniere is a great place for the groom to add some of his own personality into the flowers.  After all, if you are the bride, you probably chose the bouquet of flowers you're carrying because you love them, right?  From the colors to the styles and the textures, there's a pretty good chance you selected most of what you'll be holding as you walk down the aisle.  The majority of the time, the groom has a boutonniere to complement you, and that's etiquette-ly correct!  However, it would also be great if you infused his personality with yours into your bouquet, so that the two of you can complement each other.  Or, make it something he is excited to wear, rather than something that he has to wear.

Historically, boutonnieres were originally called "button hole flowers", as they were tucked into the button holes on the lapels of men's jackets.  They were created to do the same thing as bridal bouquets, which is to ward off evil spirits, bad smells, and diseases.  Most men's jackets even used to have small hidden vases built right into the lapel - can you imagine that?

Etiquette-wise, the groom's boutonniere should be slightly different than the groomsmen, the Father of the Bride, and the rest of the fabulous men featured on the wedding day.  However, nowhere does it say they can't have a little fun twist added in.  See a few of my favorites below that are a little different than the norm ...

grace and serendipity - winter wedding inspiration ideas

I love the one on the left because it is still handsome and rugged looking.  With the fiddlehead fern curling out beside the greenery, it's not a typical "flower" boutonniere.   The one in the middle is a succulent, which is actually a cactus.  I am pretty sure that if a guy gets to wear a cactus, he'll be happy.  And then on the right, you have the beautiful orchid, but it is surrounded by rope.  This would be better for a wedding perhaps with a nautical or boating theme, but it still would be great for a gentleman who loves to be on the water.

grace and serendipity - winter wedding inspiration ideas

These two are probably more fun inspired - but can you guess what's so unique about the one on the left?  The guitar pick boutonniere on the right side would be great for a guy who loves to play a guitar (or, if that is a bit much for you, placing a guitar pick into a boutonniere that has flowers mixed in as well would be great!)

The one on the left is actually a flower, yes, but then also has dried wheat and hops added to it, which may perhaps be a favorite of many gentlemen, because those items are actually used to make beer.  How fun would that be?

grace and serendipity - winter wedding inspiration ideas

And lastly, who says that the ring bearer has to blend in with everyone else?  I love this idea shown here, to have the little guy wear one of his favorite toys built onto the boutonniere of his very own.  Who said that legos aren't wedding appropriate?  I would be willing to bet that that would be a boutonniere that a little boy would love to wear.

Don't be afraid to think "outside of the box" when it comes to wedding details.  There is no rule stating that you have to have things just a certain way.  It is your wedding, where your personalities can be shown in as many different ways as you would like.  Why not add a special detail into the boutonnieres as well?

For more boutonnieres, along with bouquet ideas, check out my Pinterest board here !

Happy Planning!




Featured Image // Collage 1 left, middle, right // Collage 2 left and right // Ring Bearer