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Category Archives: Practical Planning

The First (Break) Dance

I ran across this video via the Huffington Post wedding page. I’m lacking in the Russian language department, so I have no idea what is being said, but it appears a dance-off broke out at this wedding. I have to say, it’s better than most of the dancing I’ve seen at weddings before.


Wedding Dress Trends for 2014 – Sleeves

Claire Pettibone Beauty, courtesy of

Claire Pettibone Beauty, courtesy of

Last week the wedding website Style Me Pretty featured an interview with bridal gown designer Claire Pettibone. When asked about wedding dress trends going forward, she said, “I am loving sleeves…whether short or long, I think strapless may have finally had its day.”

Oscar De La Renta Spring 2014, courtesy of

Oscar De La Renta Spring 2014, courtesy of

This thought has been echoed in several other places recently, with industry experts seeing more and more of what Wedding Bells magazine called “sophisticated coverage.”

BHLDN Rococo Gown, courtesy of

BHLDN Rococo Gown, courtesy of

For the record, I don’t have a problem with strapless dresses. I’ve seen many gorgeous ones and when I got married they were vary much en vogue. But I do know of brides who have tried in vain to find something with sleeves, only to find either a $10,000 price tag or sleeves accompanied by an extremely deep v-neckline. My dress was actually a designer knock-off, made by a local seamstress for a fraction of the cost. I wanted sleeves, but couldn’t find a dress with them for less than several thousand dollars.

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2014, courtesy of

Monique Lhuillier Spring 2014, courtesy of

So I was encouraged by this news and wanted to pass it along. It’s only a matter of time before this trend finds its way throughout the bridal industry. I think it allows for more creativity and diversity in dress selections, and frankly, more peace of mind. A strapless dress has to be fitted so perfectly to give the bride assurance she won’t lose it in the middle of the ceremony.

Carolina Herrera Spring 2014, courtesy of

Carolina Herrera Spring 2014, courtesy of


Temperley London Titania Collection, courtesy of and

Temperley London Titania Collection, courtesy of and

What do you think? Would you prefer sleeves or strapless, or somewhere in between? 


Music Monday – Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder

I might be late to the party, but I just discovered this song and really love it. It’s certainly not your typical “wedding song,” but it tells and sings of the glorious redemption story, which makes it perfect for the wedding of two believers.

Revelation 1:5b-6 says,

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This song rejoices in the blessed truth that Christ has washed us with his blood. There is nothing better to sing about on your wedding day!

This version is recorded by Jars of Clay featuring Martin Smith. Lyrics by John Newton and music by Laura Taylor of Indelible Grace.

New Series for the Fall

This past week I traveled to Branson, MO with my mom, my grandmother and my two children. I had planned to sneak away for a bit and write, but realized an hour outside of Nashville I left my computer sitting inside the door of my home. So I had an unexpected vacation from blogging. Truthfully there wouldn’t have been much time to write anyway, and my kids probably enjoyed some extra time with their mom.

My oldest starts Kindergarten next week (let’s not talk about it…I’m about to drown my sorrows in a pint of Blue Bell Banana Pudding ice cream) and things around here will soon get into some semblance of routine. Once that happens, I’m excited to explore some new blog topics:

– Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law relationships

– Wedding vows

– Thank You note tips and etiquette

And of course the random non-wedding-related posts thrown in there as well.

I’m also going to be doing a series on pre-marital counseling, using some ideas and thoughts from readers (thanks!). I actually wrote some introductory thoughts on this subject, posted this past week on the Revive Our Hearts blog.

Read What Premarital Counseling Didn’t Teach Me here. And, just as an aside, this is not meant to belittle premarital counseling. Most of my counseling was actually in the form of books I read. I know many counselors who do a great job preparing couples for marriage. The point of the post is that no amount of counseling can prepare us for the unknown–only understanding Christ’s supreme value can.

Thanks for reading!

Weddings on the Web–Lies Brides Believe and Vows After 20 Years

Today I want to highlight a couple of recent blog posts that should be helpful for couples currently planning or heading toward that stage.

The Wedding Vows–20 Years Later –  First, this post by Steve McCoy is a reflection on the wedding vows he and his wife committed to one another twenty years ago. It’s honest and heartfelt and beautiful, and something you probably only fully understand when you’ve walked through twenty years of marriage. All the same, it’s a truthful look at marriage in a culture that either romanticizes or demeans it.

Lies Women Believe While Wedding Planning – This helpful post by Brittany Lind looks at five common myths about weddings and wedding planning. This is a great one, and as an added bonus it includes a picture from Brittany’s own wedding, which looks like it was spectacularly colorful and super fun.

Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Pre-Marriage Counseling–What Do YOU Think?

'couple-reading-books' photo (c) 2012, Erin Kelly - license:

Writing has been a little spotty of late around here. I’ve been in VA spending time with family while my husband was in Belgium shooting a missions video. So rather than writing, I’ve been going to the beach, hanging with my precious niece and, thanks to my kind parents, sleeping in!

At some point in the next few months I plan to revamp this blog to create a better forum for both wedding-related and non-wedding posts. In the meantime, though, I’m working on a couple of series I hope will be helpful.

I need some help with the first one.

Many of the pastors I talked with in writing the book stressed the importance of pre-marital counseling. So I would like to do a series focusing on the need and the content of these counseling sessions.

If you have been through pre-marriage counseling and have thoughts on the subject, this is what I’d love to hear from you:

1. What are the most helpful things you took away from pre-marriage counseling?

2. In retrospect, what do you think would have been helpful that you did not hear from your counselor?

3. Any other thoughts (resources used, format of sessions, who did your counseling) you think might be helpful.

Thanks in advance for your help with this! I love the variety of responses I receive from people as it really aids in giving a full picture of the topic at hand.

Please feel free to pass this on to others as well!

Music Monday – “Beautiful” by Phil Wickham

The lyrics for this song by Phil Wickham are below the video. I’ve heard of this being used as a processional for a wedding, but it would work great for corporate worship or a special number during the ceremony. I particularly like the last two verses. And the time lapse video images below are just gorgeous.

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful