That’s right. We officially have only one month to go! (Actually less – when I started writing this post, it was actually the one-month mark, but I got a little distracted!) I cannot believe it. June flew by, and now July is going even faster. After my last post, I took a trip to Pittsburgh to see Jon. The main thing we did that weekend was…paint our living room! Not exactly a restful Saturday, but I am really glad we did it. It immediately makes it much more homey. Friday night we bought three paint samples and tried them on the wall. We ended up choosing one called apricot butter, which I didn’t really understand until after staring at it for hours! Now I think it’s a perfect name for the color.

Here are a couple pictures of the finished product:

Jon has had such a great experience in Pittsburgh so far. He has truly been blessed with more fellowship in his three/four weeks there than I asked for or imagined both of us having, possibly in all of our time there. We honestly didn’t know if we would make any good friends at all. Of course we hoped we would, but we didn’t know what the Lord had planned. Already Jon has a great group of friends! This all began with my friend Annie, who grew up in Pittsburgh and has amazingly kept up her connections with her friends and church there, even after many years of living in NC. We met her friend Jamie and Jamie’s husband (also Jon) on our first trip to Pittsburgh to find an apartment. Both of their families go to the church Annie grew up in (Providence PCA), so they have both been there a long time. There are three other young couples from Providence they are good friends with, and I got to meet them all when we went out to lunch after church on Sunday.

The Lord has been so faithful to provide opportunities for Jon to meet people and do social things, and Jon has been really great about doing all of those things! Let’s see….he started playing on the church softball team! They’ve had three games so far I think. He went to the church’s men’s fellowship night at a bar….he went to a music festival downtown his first weekend there….he went to a cookout on the 4th of July…and he started going to a guy’s Bible study that meets at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings! 6:30!! I know, hard to believe….

I had a couple days at home when I got back from Pittsburgh before going to Virginia with my mom and younger sister for the 4th of July. It’s a family tradition that we go to our family’s friends’ grandmother’s house in Moneta, VA! We’ve had to skip years here and there, but we’ve gone most of the years since I was about 5! There is always a great fireworks display in Roanoke, which is my favorite part.

Any spare I time I had between these trips and since I’ve been home I’ve been working hard to cross things off the wedding checklist! On the car ride to Virginia we worked out the positions of the bridesmaids and groomsmen at the front of the church, as well as which groomsman will escort each person being seated.

I selected a DIY ceremony program design I found via Pinterest a couple weeks ago. I’ve picked out the paper to use as well, and my friend and bridesmaid Caitlin is helping me design the text – yay! (She is awesome with stuff like this – I’m so happy to have her help!) They are going to require a lot of hands-on work to assemble once we get them printed, but hopefully with enough hands it won’t take too long!

I’ve figured out most of the details for the ceremony, like the order of worship and the music. Our pastor even sent us a draft of his whole sermon so there will be no surprises. We’ve decided to sing “In Christ Alone” for the congregational hymn – probably my favorite hymn, if not both of our favorites. The words are so powerful. Jon and I also chose to have communion served to us near the end of the ceremony. We love the idea of this being our first act together as a married couple – being reminded of and experiencing Christ’s forgiveness. The one thing I haven’t decided on yet is which scripture passage to have read – there are so many I would love to include…

Moving onto reception details….I got my linen rentals nailed down, finally. I’m renting napkins from Party Reflections in a solid soft peach color for all the guests except the bridal party, who will all be sitting together at the head table. Instead of peach napkins at the head table, we’ll have peach tablecloths. I’m using Alexander Homestead’s ivory tablecloths on all the other tables, and ivory napkins on the head table.

We’ve made some progress on the outdoor lounge area that I’ve been imagining and hoping would come to fruition! For a while it didn’t look too promising, but now it’s coming together. A.H. has a wooden bench we realized we could use rather than buying or finding our own loveseat and hauling it over. Now I just need to find a couple throw pillows to dress it up. My mom’s friend offered up a low table to go in front, and my florist is planning a little arrangement on a tray to go on that table. We have one chair that will work well once I paint it, so now I just need to find one more chair. I bought two chair cushions today that I’ll tie on to make them more inviting. It helps that my mom and two of her friends are now in the “drab to fab” business of finding, re-doing and selling furniture, decor items, etc.! Check out Southern Marketplace where my mom’s booth is!

Along with this outdoor lounge area at the cocktail hour, we’re also going to set up an escort card station so people can find their cards with their table number on it while they’re mingling. I got the idea to hang the cards on the slats of shutters on Pinterest a while ago. We have a few shutters that will hopefully work so far, but we still need at least one more. We’re going to have to bring at least one table, probably two, to set these up on, because A.H. unfortunately doesn’t have any extra tables I can use. We’re probably going to bring a desk my mom bought to fix up and sell at her booth, along with at least one card table.

A couple weeks ago I painted a different type of shutter – a tall, exterior one – to use as a way to display the menu. I painted the top and bottom panels with chalkboard paint and painted ivory borders around them. I’ll write the dinner menu on the top panel and either continue it on the bottom, or use that space to write a thank-you to everyone for coming.

My photographer sent my bridal portraits to me last week, so I spent a lot of time looking over those to select just one to have printed and framed at the reception. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two now, so it might be time for a family vote…I also have to decide how large to print it and how to frame/display it…

Let’s see, what else….I figured out my bridesmaid gifts a couple weeks ago and I’m really excited about them! One half of the gift is an order from etsy that should be here within the week, and the other half is a little DIY project that I started working on this week.

The groomsmen’s gifts are their ties and suspenders, but I recently put a little extra personal touch on the ties as a surprise for them!

I ordered our plastic beer cups and wine glasses…we had to either rent them separately from the venue or bring them on our own since the venue doesn’t serve its own alcohol.

Lastly, I finally chose a rehearsal dinner dress, helped my mom find one as well, and bought my going-away dress!