Wedding

A Honeymoon in Aruba: Where to Stay and What to Do

I’m only about two years late on this post but it’s finally here! A recap of our honeymoon to Aruba! First, let me tell you why you should choose Aruba! Aruba is “The Happy Island” and it really does live up to its slogan, everyone is super nice and it’s one of the few Carribean islands where you don’t have to stay on a resort. It’s extremely safe so you can go all over the island and explore.

Where to Stay

While there are resorts on Aruba, staying on a resort isn’t required in Aruba since it’s so safe. We stayed at the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino. They have normal rooms but the top floor is reserved as the “Tradewinds Club” that costs extra but gets you amazing views and lots of food and drinks! I felt like it was pretty close to a resort vibe with the upgrade to the Tradewinds Club. We ended up staying there and it was awesome. They had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lunch and dinner were a sample of food from the restaurants at the hotel and this is what we ate every day (minus one night) and it totally fills you up! They also have free cocktails every evening with a fully stocked bar where you can just make your own drinks (this part was the best!!!). They had good booze too, think Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, etc. They also had a stocked fridge with pop and the local beer that you could get throughout the entire day. So if you wanted to drink for free all day, your options would just be the beer and then wait for the hard liquor in the evening.

All the “Chill” beer you want! 

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The Marriot Stellaris also had an awesome pool, great restaurants, and a casino! We only went to the casino for a bit but it was cool to walk from the beach and into a casino and feel like you’re in Vegas!

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If you want another option, there are tons of hotels along the beach all side-by-side and they all seemed pretty similar. Next door to the Marriot was The Ritz-Carlton and holy crap that place was really nice. We walked around the hotel and it was beautiful. Very upscale. If that’s the style you are looking for, I would recommend The Ritz.

We almost stayed at The Renaissance Resort but the only downside is that it’s not on the beach, however, they do have a private island that you can go on and there are even flamingos on it! Chances are you have seen a video of this on your Facebook timeline, it’s that magical looking paradise with flamingos walking around!

What to Do

Safe to say there are lots to do on the 19.6-mile long island of Aruba. Here’s what we did below!

Snorkeling Tour

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The waters are crystal blue and amazing! Neither of us had snorkeled before which a pro tip on this one; if you have never snorkeled before, try practicing before you go! I ended up swallowing so much salt water that my stomach did not feel so hot.

We went on the Mi Dushi snorkel tour (they also offer other boat rides, but we did the “Taste of Aruba”) and it was a great experience! We went to 3 different locations, the first one was an easy one for beginners and the other one was easy too then we did one hard snorkel dive in the deep waters where there was a shipwreck! If you’re an experienced snorkeler, you could’ve dove down and saw it since it’s not too far from the surface. On our tour we got lunch and I think it was my favorite meal there. My mouth is watering thinking about it. It was fish, rice, and I think veggies with a dessert. They also had alcoholic beverages for all you could drink, but not going to lie, I barely had any it didn’t seem like the others were really drinking either. You’re in the water most of the time.

The Mi Dushi tour was also a great deal for 4 hours of snorkeling and lunch! They also stop and let you jump off the boat and have some fun.

mi-dushi-snorkel-aruba

There I go!

Road Trip!

Again, one of the great things about Aruba is how safe it is! You can rent a car and go off and explore the island on your own! As fun as it was, we got super lost and it made my pretty car sick thanks to all of the small, winding turns up hills and the road signs are not the same as in the states… But it was still great! Might be the highlight of the trip actually because it was just us two navigating our way around this island. The island is barely 20 miles long so you can go to both ends and stop numerous times in one day. We found ourselves in a lot of places… like a random baseball game, the cliffs by the ocean, even PIZZA HUT! Side note: They have Pizza Hut and Taco Bell so we ate at both to taste test it. Spoiler alert: It tastes exactly as it does in America. Lol

pizza-hut-in-aruba

Also, are you ready for one of the best parts of this mini road trip? The car. And it’s even better if you know Brandon and I (we’re both small people, and this car was perfect for us).

tiny-aruba-car

tiny-car-in-aruba

Just look at that beaut!

We did drive to my favorite place in all of Aruba, rock wish gardens next to the coolest cliff I’ve ever seen.

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aruba-ocean-cliffs

Now here’s something you HAVE to do if you visit Aruba. Leave your “wish rocks” on the beach. There were piles of rocks all over the place, and they are left from others who have visited. You are supposed to pick flat rocks (as many as you want), and then start your “tower of devotion” they can contain a wish each.

Here’s mine!

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rock-piles-in-aruba

wish-rock-pile-of-devotion-aruba

We also stopped at a couple of other beaches and even went snorkeling again (by this point we were practically pros)!

Archaelogoical Museum of Aruba

For all my history buffs out there! It’s a small museum and free of charge. It’s close to downtown so I would suggest getting dropped off there by a taxi then walking around to the shops. You shouldn’t have to plan a ton of time at this museum since it is smaller, but it’s fun to see everything and learn more about the history of this island. It’s definitely a place they don’t teach you about in school!

The outside of it is beautiful too. Just look at the colors of these buildings!

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chilling-at-the-aruba-museum

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Go Shopping!

They have a mall and the downtown area (aka Oranjestad) that is perfect for shopping and getting street food! I even got a coconut drink that a guy cut with a machete and even let me have a whack at it! The shops are great and something for everyone. They have typical souvenir stores, beach stores (think: like Pacsun), grocery stores, and basically everything. It’s a cruise ship stop so you’ll probably see a lot of people purchasing things they need. I actually bought a straightener at one of the electronic stores because I forgot mine at home #FirstWorldProblems.

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The Kukookunuko Party Bus

Saving the best for last on this one. YOU GUYS THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! The Kukoo Kanuku is a party bus that takes you around to bars of Aruba and they have a tour that includes a dinner as well. We did the dinner one and it was awesome, it’s a great opportunity to make friends on your trip. We made a few friends that we saw throughout the trip (a couple even gave us their snorkel gear because they didn’t want to take it on the plane – and now we own snorkeling gear! BOOM)

But for real, please go on this if you like to have a good time. They start off by picking up everyone at their hotels. Then, we went to the beach for a kick-off champagne toast and then to our first bar.

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Next up, we ate dinner at some random place (if you do this option, don’t be afraid when they take some backroads to a dark place…) The food was awesome and it gave you the chance to meet everyone on the bus. Keep in mind, if you aren’t interested in meeting new people and you’re just hanging with your sig. other, that’s okay! You won’t feel pressured to talk to other people. But once the drinks get flowing you might think otherwise…

They have a special deal where you can purchase a small water bottle from them for like $10 and then when you go to the bars, you can get really cheap drinks in your water bottle (think $3 and under) – this also brings up an important point: They will accept American money and debit cards at some places.

Highly suggest purchasing the water bottle, though, it’s a great deal!

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I would love to flood this post with pics from this night, it was EPIC. Please promise me you will consider this if you visit Aruba!

Save this post for later by pinning it!

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The Ultimate Wedding Day Survival Kit

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My mom #blessed us with this on our big day and I’ll admit I busted out laughing at her when I saw her roll in with this giant tote, but half way through the morning, we actually needed this stuff!! *GASP*

I stole the epic list from my mom to share because this thing was LEGIT. Just grab a medium-sized Rubbermaid tote and stock it with this list. BONUS: You can print this baby off and use it! Also, this makes a great bridal shower/wedding/engagement gift!

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Wedding Tips That May or May Not Save Your Life

*Repost from Feb. because it’s wedding season again! 

I started writing this post back in November but I’m just NOW finally getting around to posting it. Talk about procrastination AMIRIGHT? I started writing it because I had all these wedding thoughts swirling in my head and now I’m already forgetting everything, so I figured I better get this out in the world before I forget some great tips that might help out a new bride or groom gettin’ hitched! 😉

I wrote my first batch of unsolicited advice before the wedding but now I have the “legit” advice since it actually happened. And it’s vital that you know this information before you walk down the aisle.

Just kidding, not really, but these might be really, really helpful!

And bare with me, this post might get lengthy!

First off, here’s what I’ve learned from other weddings that I realized are crucial for guests.

The things I remember most from weddings – how much fun I had. I also remember these:

1. Did I ever go hungry?

I will never forget when someone had fun snacks later in the night. One friend had grilled cheese bites and another had Taco Inn burritos and Culvers ice cream! You just don’t forget things like that… 😉

We went with popcorn. I’m personally a popcorn FREAK, so it was natural to have popcorn with M&M’s, pretzels, and peanuts to add in. And it’s a pretty affordable option if you get massive bags of popcorn and hit up Sam’s club for the fixings.

One other thing – make sure the main food is good and remember people have different dietary restrictions. I’m pescatarian ( the only meat I eat is fish ) so I have often found myself eating random things or picking around the meat. It sucks. And I’m nice about it, but a lot of people will get instantly annoyed if they go hungry because they couldn’t eat the food.

2. Did I have fun?

"Get it, Rachel!"
“Get it, Rachel!”

This is obviously a given. But it all stems back to one thing: The DJ. When we were hiring a DJ, we took it the most seriously, because if you have a bad DJ, there’s no bouncing back from it. It’s not that DJ’s can be bad, it’s just they aren’t the style you might be looking for. When people get DJ’s they want one thing–to dance. So look for one that has done weddings like yours (for example, we knew we would have a young crowd, so we made sure they were used to keeping the party bumpin’!)

What to spend your money on

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Bomb Kit Kat bites that were tasty AND affordable!

Now this is simply my opinion and it’s totally cool if you don’t agree with me ( it’s a good thing if you don’t, it makes every wedding unique ) 🙂  But I really don’t understand how some parties drop a ton of money on things that won’t last like flowers or focus on the smallest details that jump up the wedding tab like crazy. If I had a big wedding budget, I would have gone all in too, but we had a large wedding so budget needed to be allocated accordingly (you know, for the important things: booze, food, good DJ…) We wanted a fun party for both young and older people alike, so things like fancy details and precious flowers weren’t necessary.

Baby's Breath = Beautiful and Affordable Flowers!
Baby’s Breath = Beautiful and Affordable Flowers!

If your wedding is more for an older crowd or a fancier bunch, then this isn’t a tip for you.

I like to think of money worth well spent on things people can actually enjoy and be a part of. Like, food, because they can taste it. Drinks, because they can enjoy it and taste. Music, they can listen to. Catch my drift? Table decor they see obviously but it’s not something they can actually taste or feel, leaving them likely to forget what it even looked like.

Use Pinterest at your own risk

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This is a repeat from my last wedding blog post. Okay, but before I go any further, I do have to say something: I have seen pictures from some weddings that looked straight off of a Pinterest board and wow, it was amazing. So beautiful and hell yeah do it if you can/want to spend the woman-hours doing so. By all means, go for it girl!

It’s just not my thing. At all. I actually started to despise Pinterest once we really started planning and understanding prices/budgets. There are so many ideas and you can’t do them all, so why keep bogging yourself down with more thoughts and ideas? I found out quickly that I had to draw a line and stop searching for the perfect color, perfect table decoration, and just let the pieces fall where they may. However, this is also coming from someone who would’ve liked to have a wedding planner instead of trying to pick out things myself!

Just be real with yourself when you’re looking at Pinterest. My only tip is to remember that what you see on Pinterest is probably super expensive. You start to get a sense for what things cost once you get going. I will never forget the slap in the face that Brandon and I had when we first realized how much everything would cost. We thought we had it planned from the start – A downtown wedding, which yes, will be pricey, but we will have the ceremony and reception in the same place and keep it to 250 people with a starting price of $12,500+ for just rental space, food, and bar. Um yeah, my parents pretty much laughed in my face. To be completely transparent, we may have spent that, but at least we got a heck of a lot more out of it.

The slow times and crazy times of planning

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The one thing that was nuts about “planning a wedding” is how there is like literally nothing to do for months. MONTHS! It’s actually super annoying. Because then you do everything at once. but if you have a solid year until the wedding and the places/vendors are booked. There’s really not much you can do until it gets closer. I mean you can definitely get ahead, but for me it just didn’t feel right until it was closer to my wedding. There was zero motivation because every time I sat down to try to figure out what colors I want, I would get flustered and stop and come back to it another night (or month).

The most stressful part of wedding planning

"All I could think of is 'Where is the booze?'"
“All I could think of is ‘Where is the booze?'”

I was most surprised that this was the most stressful thing about the entire wedding planning process, but guess what it was? Invites. Damn invites.  

I truly had no idea how much work they would be. This is also probably because I was extremely indecisive on colors, theme, etc. But my goodness they were hard. The Save the Dates were the easiest because those you just have to get out there and can make them super fun or really plain – there’s no right or wrong to them. Minus the part about creating the guest list, though. The first “hard” part with wedding planning is DA LIST. Because then you start factoring prices into the mix and deciding where to draw the line can get really intense.

When it came to the invites. Oh hot damn, talk about dumb traditional things that you have to do. Like, did you know that when using numbers you have to spell them out? It would’ve been easy just to work with someone professional, but then you’re shelling out so much money and we had like 350 invites to send so we were trying to use our resources. We went with a printer in town which was one of the best ideas ever (seriously, use a printer, they are so much cheaper – we had them do our programs too). Then came the design. We worked so hard and also procrastinated really bad. Brandon ended up using his minimal Photoshop and InDesign skills and whipped them up. Which was helpful because there are so many edits that having someone on hand to do them quick is the way to go. There’s another golden tip by the way: You will do a lot of invitation and program edits. If I could do it again, I would pick a design on Etsy and have them make it and get them printed here in town. That is one of the best tips I can give you!

Oh! Don’t forget about postage. So if you want to add string, extra papers, etc. it might cost more for stamps and those rack up the bill so flipping fast, it’s scary.

Registering

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Oh, boy was registering fun *insert mischevious grin here* I love shopping. I used a little checklist from a wedding book on what to register for. I didn’t register for everything on it because let’s be honest, I’m not going to be using a cake stand anytime soon…

We live in an apartment, so we actually had to buy storage just to put all of our new kitchen stuff in. It’s fun to register for things, but don’t get too scanner-happy, remember to ask yourself where that pressure cooker is actually going to go. Also, I don’t know if this is how it is for other couples, but we got a TON of gift cards. So remember that if you don’t register for everything, your guests will most likely just give you money or gift cards to do with what you please. Be sure to check your lists after wedding showers too to make sure it doesn’t need to be replenished.

We also found that if you register really early, some of the items will go out of stock, so keep an eye on your registry (without spoiling your gifts to see what you’re getting)! 😉

My best tip for registering? Be aware that you are going to get lots of things that aren’t on your registry. We ended up with so many food storage things and pizza stones, which was odd but great because we love pizza! Ha! But the problem is finding a place for it all…

Most important: Don’t worry, be happy.

I can not stress this one enough. I don’t understand why some brides get all stressed and worried – you’re depriving yourself on one of the most important days of your life!! I understand that some people are more “type-A” and controlling  (in a good way) than me, but you gotta let everything go and just enjoy the moments you’re living in.

There is no reason to worry, about anything. There’s a ton of people working for you and if something is wrong, someone will be on it! And if you’re worried that you can’t depend on someone to take care of things for you, hire a wedding coordinator or ask a family or friend that you can trust with the job.

Also, remember that if something does happen, like your hair isn’t as perfect as you would like, or your nail chipped – you will not remember it after your big day.

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Other Random Tips

+ Use Google docs to keep you and your other half on the same page and organized!
+ Have fun!!
+ Did I mention have fun?

If you have any questions or need someone to talk to about the wedding, hit me up!

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Honeymoon Day 1: Orlando, Florida

Our one-month anni is on Monday and boy, did that first month go fast! We’re still happily married – we did it!!!! 🙂

One of the best parts of our first month was the honeymoon by FAR. Our first day was spent in America at good ole’ Orlando ( *cough* Harry Potter World *cough* )

We landed in Orlando Monday and took a $50 cab ride to our hotel. Yes, $50. Orlando Y U charge so much for a cab? We stayed at a hotel just walking distance from Universal. We could only stay a day, so we bought a one park pass, which they will try to convince you isn’t possible but oh baby, it is possible! When we bought out park tix, the cashier was visibly upset that we were only doing one-park. Maybe if it didn’t cost us our kidney we would do two parks SIR.

The first ride of the day was Twister! YAS. In my top 3 fave movies. It was a pretty cool experience. The ‘nado simulator even had a flying cow, and you could even see the string attached to it dragging across the room. 🙂

Me and Dorothy chillin.
Me and Dorothy chillaxin.

Next up, the one. The only. HARRY POTTER WORLDDDDDDD!!

It was even better than I thought it would be. It was so realistic. Whoever constructed that is amaaazing.

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I did everything one should do when entering Harry Potter world *in a British accent*.  I got a wand ( $40 later… ), indulged in a butterbeer, ate fish and chips at the Leaky Cauldron and waited 1 hour and 20 minutes to go on the Gringotts ride which was totally worth it! Seriously, that ride was so weird/awesome/cool! It was weird because over half of my life I have imagined HP and watched movies and this was the first time I was IN it. Sorry, nerd alert over here! But fo realz. It was a DREAM COME TRUE!!!

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Like my shirt? Shoutout to Rachel for the threads!
Like my shirt? Shoutout to Rachel for the threads!

So things I learned. Diagon Alley is expensive. I don’t know how peasant witches and wizards survived. My wand was $40 and it doesn’t do anything. You could get the ones that interact, but I was too afraid to even ask how much that cost. Butterbeer wasn’t too shabby, only $11 with the souvenir cup. You could also do $5 for w/o the cup. I feel for all of those families who take their kids to the theme park. Probably spend their college tuition there. YIKES.

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harry-potter-world

Here’s what the outside of HP World looked like. Muggle disguise. You clever little theme park, you.

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Next up, Fear Factor.

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Always a good time watching others do the work while you sit back and enjoy the rest of your butterbeer. That is until they drank nasty crud and then I stared at the rest of my butterbeer like uhhh… no thanks.

We walked around some more, did a couple more rides. Including the E.T. Adventure. Which was a little creepy because it was an older ride. The fake people in it and old mechanical E.T.’s were freaky. Actually, you know what it reminds me of now thinking about it? Those old story houses at Vallas. Remember how dusty they are and they move with slight crickety movements. EH. SO FREAKY.

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We made a Brandon stop to NBA City, of course. Then got our drank on with some breakfast shots!!

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Then, at Margaritaville where we ordered THIS:

VOLCANO NACHOSSSSS *As I turn into the Hulk*
VOLCANO NACHOSSSSS *As I turn into the Hulk*

Also, this.

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Do ya get it?! ^

Universal was good to us. For sure need to go back and see the whole park! Did you hear that Universal cashier?! One day we will actually be rich and enjoy the whole park 🙂

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Cheers to you beautiful plot of land.

 

From One Name to Anotha…

Oh. My. Gosh. This post will go down in history. Literally. You know why? I only have one week and five days until my last name goes from Leonard to Gries.

WHAT THE?

Never thought I would see the day… This is crazy, people. Leonard will be all I’ve ever known for 25 years and 3 days. Leonard is me, it’s who I am. I always said that I would never change my last name ( yay, feminism ) but now that’s it’s time, I’m more than okay with changing it to match my best friend’s name ( *que “aww” ). It’s something I haven’t really thought about during the wedding planning, but now that it’s almost here, it’s a little shocking! In a good way, but still …WHOA!

I’ve been given the legal documents to change the name and everything is prepared to go down in less than 2 weeks.  The good thing is my name is shorter and if a new Twitter-like site emerges in the future I can actually use my full name ( hence, @StephanieLeonar ). So that’s a plus. Everyone on the O-town streets will still be like “you look like a Leonard.” So that’s another plus. I just can’t fool anyone with this Leonard nose.

The downside: people sometimes can’t pronounce Gries right, and usually everyone gets Leonard on their first try. However, I have gotten a “Leo-nard” – which is just redonkulous. 🙂

Fun fact: I was saying Gries wrong for awhile too. I was pronouncing the “s” as a “z”. I have no idea why, I think I just need to go back to 1st grade.

I also keep thinking about when people try to find me in Facebook or Linkedin, they will struggle because everyone will forget that the last name is different. I’ll help ya’ll out at and keep it Stephanie Leonard-Gries. 😉 I GOTCHU! Also, the Twitter name is staying the same, I’ve worked too hard to claim that as my own since 2009!!! And email is to remain the same too, ain’t nobody got time to re-subscribe to email newsletters!

Another pro: I can officially purchase my entire name’s domain! Stephanieleonard.com has been taken forevs. SO GOT YOU OTHER STEPHANIE LEONARD.

Last but not least…

I’m excited to share with you that since I’m legally changing my last name, I figured I might as well just get a whole new title. For now on, you shall call me “Steezy Gries”. I feel like it just rolls off the tongue better and makes people assume I’m a rapper. Which is fine with me.

 

…jk 🙂

Getting Married? Here’s Some Unsolicited Advice.

The wedding is officially 26 days away. June, you’ve come so fast! And that makes me both super excited and nervous with a dash of stress. I love that we’re getting married but man, do I hate the planning! It’s not my thing. Pinterest makes it look like all fun and games until you see a price and figuring out you have to get crafty for 400+ people. It’s not a good time… unless you know how to make it fun 🙂

Here are some major unsolicited advice I have for the newly engaged. Especially ways to save some extra moo-lah and put it towards the honeymoon!

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1 |  The more “Pinterest-y” it is, the more expensive and difficult.

I can’t knock Pinterest too hard, but Pinterest is like an evil stepchild for wedding planning. It’s fun to pin and be inspired, but I’m tellin’ ya, that shiz is expensive. I was mind blown to discover that the more “barn-styled” the wedding it is, the more pricey. If you can make it happen, by all means go for it. But seriously, if you want an outdoor wedding, you have tons of things to consider and to rent. I’ve always been pretty laid back, but when it comes to wedding planning I’ve learned just do what makes sense. From a budget and time-consuming perspective. You might want something cool, but for real, no one really remembers those little details. Just think about the weddings you went to before you were engaged. Do you remember anything else besides the food and how much fun you had? Probably not.

Key takeaway – Be modest. If you have the time, energy, and money to put towards all of the little Pinterest things, then go for it.

2 | Plan meetings

This is a HUGE one. It’s so easy to talk about the wedding with your family and friends all the time, but you’ll get exhausted. There’s so many unanswered questions and things to consider that your brain will FRY if you think about it 24/7. We discovered that planning meetings with each other and our family was the way to go. If there’s something that needs to be settled, then send a google calendar invite and handle it then.

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3 | Times have changed.

Something I have also discovered is how much non-traditional weddings have become. I love it though, because it makes it more unique and formed to you and your fiancé. This will be good for your family to know, most likely they haven’t dealt with a wedding since theirs (unless you have siblings). Changes that I’ve noticed is that people don’t use a veil to cover their face anymore as they walk down the aisle, candle lighters aren’t necessary, you can do your ceremony however you wish depending on your religion, of course. It’s best to get together with a wedding coordinator and have them help you with what’s common and what’s not anymore.

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4 | Don’t buy everything from the bridal store!

Trust me on this one: purchase your dress there but that’s it. Seriously, they jack up the prices on veils, accessories, etc at like 400%. Also, don’t get alterations there. There are lots of people who do it from their home and as a side business and charge around $20-100. Depending on what you need, maybe a little more. But, here’s my story – They wanted $200-300 on alterations for my dress at the store and instead I’m getting it done for about $70 (possibly less) and she’s making the veil and it’s only $20. Veils at the bridal store are hundreds! It’s INSANE!! Don’t fall into the bridal store’s trap! A good way to find alteration alternatives is to ask around on Facebook or find a wedding Facebook group in your area and ask on there.

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5 | Facebook can help.

Going off the last tip, get on a Facebook wedding group. Unfortunately, I discovered this a little too late and I’m pretty mad about it. Brides will sell and sometimes give away their wedding decorations. You can also ask numerous questions like where to get cheap veils, belts, etc. Here’s the one in Lincoln, NE I would recommend: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348256688588771/  (You will have to ask to join).

6 | Use family and friends to your advantage.

Make lists of things that need to be done with all of the details and such, and assign it to host couples, friends, and other family members. Everyone is more than willing to help out. More reason not to stress, no matter what happens, it’s your day and someone will be there to step up and help make the show go on. 🙂

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7 | Invitations and programs aren’t a walk in the park.

We learned this one the hard way. We decided to make the invitations ourselves, which was great because you save boatloads of money. The only bad thing: there are SO MANY formal ways to do it. It’s pretty nuts. Like, did you know that everything should be capitalized? Neither did I. Did you know that you should spell out the dates and times? it’s dumb and I don’t know why it’s like that, but it is. Our invites turned out great but here’s what I would recommend – Go on Etsy and find an invite template. They will make it for you and send you the files, then just find a printer nearby to print them. You’ll save so much money and the invites will be done the right way the first time around. OR work with someone who makes invites, and get on it early – there will be plenty of revisions to go through.

Same with programs, go online and look at how other programs have been done. They are pretty formal as well and needs to list everything out pretty formally.

This is just seven tips and I have a lot more where this came from! Now I have to get back to wedding planning… 🙂

15 Cheap Date Ideas

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Ya’ll. I need to share some great ideas with ya! So right now, Brandon and I are doing premarital class. It’s awesome, I have to say! Most people probably think of premarital class as boring, strict, one-sided – but it’s not! It’s so much fun! If you’re newly married and in the Lincoln, NE area I HIGHLY suggest Lincoln Berean! In class yesterday we were talking about going on dates! It reminded me of this little google doc I created almost a year ago with ideas for cheap date ideas! I just had to share 🙂

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IDEA #1 | Groupon + Wine Tastings 

I had to put this one first because this is my fave date of ALL TIME. So first off, wine tastings are amazing. Booze + cheese + bread = HALLELUJAH! There’s usually always a Groupon or deal floating around for tastings.

IDEA #2 | Netlfix binge!

Not gonna lie, we did this Saturday. Like, all day. I brought the air mattress into the living room and binged on The Blacklist, then followed it up with Brandon’s pick: the Kobe documentary. So basically it was Steezy: 5 hours of Blacklist, Brandon: 2 hours of Kobe, Both: 2.5 hours of a movie. As you can see we were complete PILES. But at least we were piles together, AMIRIGHT? 🙂 S go grab some popcorn, junk food, wine, dranks, blankets, pillows and watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, etc!

IDEA #3 | Puzzle + Wine

Are you starting to see a wine pattern here? 😉 Grab a puzzle and get some drank / food and you’re set! Sometimes it’s nice to have nights without the TV.

IDEA #4 | Shoot some hoops at your local Y

OR you can just find a playground outside if you’re #blessed with nice weather. If you know our relationship, you know this is probably Brandon’s fave activity out of this list. Top games = H.O.R.S.E. ( of course ) and a little 1-on-1 action.

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IDEA #5 | Thrift Store Shoppin’

*cue this song* So here’s how it works. You each get $10 to spend on each other. You then find the best ( or worst ) stuff for your partner using your $10 then give it them as a gift. It’s awesome. We once went to the Party Outlet and did this too. Equally just as great. You can even double this into a couple dates and find some old furniture and turn it into a lil’ DIY date 😉

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IDEA #6Restaurant Hop 

THIS ONE I WANT TO DO SO BAD. Probably because I love food. Who doesn’t? Anyway, here’s how this works. So first off, be HUNGRY. Because what you’re gonna do is go to one place for an app, a new place for a drink or app, another new place for the main course, a different place for dessert… You can make this elaborate as you want – heck, make this into a drunken feat and hop around a line of bars and have 1 drink at each place!

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IDEA #7 | Happy Hours for Two!

This one is easy. Try new happy hours in your area! You might discover something new and amazing! Best of all, it’s cheap!

IDEA #8 | Pinterest ( Attempt ) Night!

This one just sounds like a good/bad time waiting to happen. Good because you’re having fun and trying to make something. Bad because you’re most likely going to end up on pinterestfail.com. You can either build something or try a new recipe. I’ve been dying to try this one.

IDEA #9 | Bowling!

This one might be a given but so much fun just to do the two of you! Go when there’s beer specials too, or better yet, during cosmic bowling!

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IDEA #10 | Ice Cream + Walks

I’m stealing this one from our pastor in premarital class. I thought it was cool! He use to walk to the ice cream place  with his now-wife and they would walk around neighborhoods and talk about what kind of house they want in the future while they ate their ice cream. Now that just tugs at my little heartstrings you guyzzz

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IDEA #11 | Make dinner at home

This is such an easy one but yet, I forget about it all the time! What if you guys cooked something together and saved a boatload of money and watched each other attempt at cooking. If you’re a good cook, then you’re lucky. Brandon is probably the better cook than I so it would just be fun watching us trying not to burn the place down!

IDEA #12 | Two Words: GAME. NIGHT.

This is the rival date to “puzzle night”. You could even combine the two and have an ultimate party. Stay home, maybe even order a pizza and just play games all night! You could even play truth or dare if the night starts to get booze-filled. 😉

IDEA #13 | Go on a bike ride!

If you don’t have bikes, you can usually rent them from somewhere nearby, especially if you’re close to a college, they will usually have some. Go to Trail Link to discover new paths around town!

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IDEA #14 | “Poor-man’s Mini Vaykay”

I’ve got a couple options here for this one…
A. ) Go on a one-day road trip. Find new places to discover around your town / city.
B. ) Be a tourist in your own town! Find new places neither of you haven’t been to and start exploring!

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IDEA #15 | Model + Photographer

Go all over the place and take pictures of each other! I always joke that Brandon is my “little model” and he hates it. Obvs. But still! I would love to walk around town and get my pictures taken and heck, maybe you’ll even get a new default out of it! 😉

Am I missing any other good cheap, date ideas peeps?

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isaidYES

This weekend was not an ordinary weekend… 🙂 :*

How it went down:
So we went out  to dinner for our 1 year anniversary, everything was super normal. I seriously wasn’t expecting anything! Then we stopped at B’s work to drop off leftovers. He told me he had a surprise for me (still not expecting anything). He played a movie of us and in the middle of it he said he had to go to the bathroom. Then at the end of the video, still no Brandon is back! The video then tells me to go up on the roof…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO1lJFaFkZ8%5D

Wouldn't be a proper #Greezy proposal without a Tim Miles asking me to marry Brandon via a Basketball!
Wouldn’t be a proper #Greezy proposal without a Tim Miles asking me to marry Brandon via a Basketball!

TMiles

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Our families were watching from the hotel’s windows across the block!!!
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Amazing… <3

It wouldn’t be proper without a party afterwards…! 😉

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party

Couldn’t ask for better family, friends and of course, a better love of my life/best friend/and everything in between to ask for in a fiance. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else 🙂

XOXO,
Steezy