Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest List

I was certain we would be different.

Turns out, we're the same as all the engaged couples who have gone before us: we hit a wall with the guest list.

As I laid in bed last night, full of ideas and caffeine from a 5-hour road trip, I went over our experience with said list.

I must admit, before I even had a ring on my finger, I created a mock list. "Let's just get an idea!" encouraged my mother. Because of this running start, the process has been largely painless.

To begin, Adam and I utilized Google Docs which allowed us to simultaneously create our individual lists with ridiculous ease. The fact that we could both access the list at any time was beyond helpful. Plus, the autosave feature guaranteed our updates were recorded with no fuss and skipped the frustration that comes when you're a couple who uses both Excel and Numbers applications.

Initially, we each compiled a list which ran side-by-side. For each list, there were 3 columns: # of invitations, Full Name, # in attendance. This allowed us to keep tally of the number of invitations needed; encouraged me to go ahead and properly record the name as it should appear on the envelope; and kept a total head count for the caterer, bartenders, favors, etc.

Tip: Be sure to not factor in children under a certain age if you've reached an agreement with your caterer.

To help organize the chaos and make sure we covered all our social bases, each list was divided into different spheres of interest: Family, Extended Family, Family Friends, Hometown Friends, College Friends, Knoxville Adults, Knoxville Community, Work, etc.

This will look differently for each couple, but identifying the areas/stages of your life helps trigger your thought process as you compile your list.

So, there we had it: our beloved guest list, a true labor of love.

Then the conversations began.

As we kept in communication with our families, we recognized the need to reorder some of our personal priorities and preferences. Because we are having a "smaller" wedding, the natural tension that came with increasing the "Family Friends" category at the expense (both literal and figurative) of any other category was hard to swallow.

With the help of Miss Peggy Post, we're coming to terms with the maintenance required of any guest list. With each step, Adam and I remind each other that on July 16 we're going to be married in the presence of people who undoubtedly love us - and because of that, I have experienced a clean conviction as we make hard decisions.

The decision does not linger and it does not nag. And it does not indicate a wavering friendship or pride/prejudice. It's simply confirmation that we are honoring our parents, we are honoring each other and we are honoring the Lord.

So, as I laid thinking of this list, I also thought of the coffee I drank on the drive home last night. And then it came together in that weird midnight way: you can liken our guest list to a skinny no foam hazelnut latte - my seasonal drink of choice (yay, holiday cups!).

While it's a tall order that receives an occasional roll of the eye... you can't deny it was made with intention and precision. By cutting the foam (thanks, Emmy!), you end up getting more (for what it's worth), and the sugar-free hazelnut keeps it flavorful while being a healthy, slim-and-trim decision.

Yeah, yeah... that's enough, Kate.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Slice of Life

Our trip to Virginia is winding down. I'm currently watching Adam and mom play wii tennis.

This long weekend has been highly productive and enjoyable. Here's a quick rundown:

- Thursday: 14 side dishes were served at family Thanksgiving (in addition to the turkey and ham). Thank goodness I cancelled that dress appointment at JCrew on the 26th. Aside from eating, we announced the date and location to my family which was warmly received. Let the crafting begin!

-Friday: Roadtrip to DC to visit Sara and eat Jumbo Slice. Adam and I are thankful for Sara for many reasons, but she outdid herself taking impromptu engagement pictures for our save the date. Mom is insistent upon me keeping them under wraps until we get the STD in the mail (awful acronym, I know) - so, hold tight. Mr. Postman will be here before you know it!

- Saturday: We watched Tennessee vs. Kentucky (go Vols!) and Eat, Pray, Love (go E. Gilbert!)

- Sunday: We designed our save the dates and wedding invitations in one sitting! As if we weren't already in love, we're IN LOVE all over again. Adam will finalize the photo for the STD once he returns to Knox, and we plan to place our order by Dec. 6! And we're rollin', rollin'.

So, that's that. This weekend was a retreat and a treat. We are so thankful!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Kate and I are about to head to Harrisonburg to visit with her family for Thanksgiving. Woohoo!

Last year Kate joined me and my family in Morristown for a feast and now it is my turn. This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home... EVER. I'm sad that I won't be with my family but at the same time excited that I will get to experience the holiday with Kate's family.

I'll be comparing turkey techniques, pie provisions and cranberry sauce craftiness. Just kidding! It's gonna be good.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It still feels tentative- this whole wedding thing.

You don't get married every day, so every step of the process feels entirely foreign. I'm tempted to not spill any of the beans for fear of it all being a big fat lie. But it's not, and I'm slowly opening up my hands and embracing the reality:

We're getting married on July 16 at the Maple Grove Inn.

Deep breaths,

Oh, and PS - I was rear-ended this afternoon while running out to buy the 5th edition of Emily/Peggy Post's wedding etiquette book. Pfffffff.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Together, Adam and I have created something wedding-related that makes me beam with joy and anticipation.

I'll reveal the surprise on Nov. 28.

It's so fun working with Adam!

No wonder I met him on the clock...



Right now, what gets me more excited than wedding bells is an impending reunion with Sara, my bestie, Adam's secret spy and the illustrious maid of honor. Adam and I will be going to DC this Friday to celebrate Sara's birthday, and it will be the first time we've seen each other since the proposal. I wonder if my parents will continue to let me take Sara on family vacations once I'm married :)

Doesn't she look like she belongs in Tennessee (with me) ?


Who, What, Why, When, Where?

Ok. There has been a lull in blogging. I came down with a cold last week which I took as an indication of taking on "too much, too fast."

While I have decided on a dress for myself and my bridesmaids, we have yet to nail down a date and location which makes me feel largely unproductive. However, when I consider what I've truly accomplished and researched, I recognize I'm no slacker.

Thus far...

- The guest list is 98% done
- Invitations have been narrowed down to two possible choices
- Quotes have been received from 2 photographers and 1 videographer
- A revised menu has been submitted to the chef at our desired venue
- Kegs have been price-checked from a local beer market
- Favors have been decided upon

During this entire process I have searched tirelessly to find the one decision that needed to be made in order for everything else to fall into place. Being of such a logistical nature, I was convinced there was going to be a magic order to all of this.

Truth be told, I'm stumped. All I can do is make sound decisions that compliment one another and uphold the values Adam and I have for our wedding.

With that being said, Adam and I value the presence of our family and community. Our wedding will certainly be a celebration of the good work started between the two of us, but it will also be an expression of our gratitude for all those who have loved and labored along with us.

After much conversation and research, I am thrilled to announce that I'm getting married in Knoxville! Although my parents were hesitant to walk their only daughter down the aisle in Tennessee, it has become clear that we're all taken with the Maple Grove Inn, a historic bed and breakfast in West Knoxville. It truly has a Virginia feel in the heart of Tennessee.

In the words of my father, a true Virginia Cavalier, "It is definitely a destination worth traveling to!" Being a retired English teacher, he usually doesn't end his sentences with prepositions, but anything goes these days for the Father of the Bride.

So, stay tuned as the date is announced!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All dressed up and no where to go

I'm convinced that no sample dress photographs well. Between the camera's flash, the clips and the smudged make-up, it's hard to capture the excitement, thrill and beauty of "The One."

But that doesn't stop any BTB from taking a picture from every angle! Duh.

Therefore, I have a slew of pictures of myself in the dress I'll be wearing on..... SIKE. We don't have a date. I'm all dressed up with no where to go!

Luckily, I won't be alone. I also purchased my bridesmaid dresses yesterday.

Let's not forget this was on day 8 of engagement. Moreover, the fact that I hadn't even asked anyone to be my bridesmaid. Pfff. I sucked it up and made giggly phone calls in the JCrew parking lot. Not exactly what I was going for... but, ya know.

I went from one emotional high to another as our parents met for the first time last night! But I can barely process that at the moment.

I'm still stuck on the dresses...


p.s. - my dress won't be in until late March or April... so we can at least say the wedding will be after that!

I put a ring on it - heck yes!

We're engaged!!!

Oh... that was over a week ago... sorry for the delay folks!

Unlike my lovely fiance, I am not the best at keeping up with blogging. This, however, may be my great return to the blogosphere.

The photo above was taken just moments before I popped the question.

I had known for weeks and weeks that I wanted to propose in the mountains. Just a week and a half before on Oct. 26 I asked her father for permission. Two days later I drove (secretly of course) to Morristown, my hometown, to pick up the ring. Needless to say the next week and a half were agonizing.

I kept the ring hidden in my apartment where Kate and I hung out several times during that period. A couple of times I had to run out to the car to get something or would go to the grocery store and would have to leave Kate alone with the ring. I kept thinking, "I hope she doesn't find it!"

The day before I proposed, Kate and I were getting ready in my apartment before going to a wedding. She might deny this, but I could have sworn she eyeballed the exact spot where the ring was. My heart skipped a beat, but not because I was scared she knew. It was because I knew what I was about to do the very next day.

It was a fun game keeping certain people in the know while keeping Kate completely out of the know. I think it was a success. :)

Moving on...

Last night our parents met for the first time as we had dinner in Morristown. It was funny because Kate and I had just watched "Meet the Fockers" the night before. As I watched Dustin Hoffman practice his capoeira in the front yard while his wife, Barbara Streisand, taught a special version of yoga, thoughts rushed through my head about what kooky things my/our parents might do upon meeting.

Needless to say, everything went well and nothing mortifyingly embarrassing was revealed. Maybe that'll happen at the rehearsal dinner!


HTB (husband to be)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Dress

With a minute to spare, I make tonight's deadline.

Impromptu dress shopping with mom MAY have resulted in a winner.

Verdict is still out...

Therefore, I need to go to bed because apparently I'll know in the morning.


p.s. More on this experience later!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jesus Calling

Some of you know that I love love love a little devotional titled, "Jesus Calling," which was given to me by my mentor, Leah. The more I share my heart for it, the more I discover people have already nabbed a copy for themself. I'm convinced, this book is transforming people's understanding of how much God loves them-- myself included.

This morning's passage was right on, which, let's be honest, comes as no surprise: Jesus knows what's up.

"This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.

Sometimes my children hesitate to receive my good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from me. My kingdom is not about earning and deserving, it's about believing and receiving.

When a child of mine balks at accepting my gifts, I am deeply grieved. When you receive my abundant blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice. My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony, (Psalm 23:5; John 3:16; Luke 11:9-11; Romans 8:32)."

This served as a simple reminder of how the Lord recognizes and relishes in my joy and excitement as a bride-to-be. Jesus is participating in this process with me -- like my father or like my bridesmaid -- which means He supports me, He'll listen to me and He won't leave my side. But the greater truth is this: it's all from Him... and will remain all His. He has orchestrated this good gift in and between Adam and I, and I'll be forever grateful.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Adam and I had lunch with his mom this afternoon. It was the first time we've seen any family since the proposal and it was so much fun! Cheryl jumped right into registry musts and I tried to show off as much of the wedding binder as possible. "Look at me! Look at me!"

I'm thankful for Adam's family and his relationship with them. It increases my excitement to see my parents on Saturday, and then for the Brimer and Heubach soiree on Monday night! We are merging families; two becoming one.

Today's most exciting happening occurred when Kim at the Georgetown JCrew booked my FIRST bridal consultation for Nov. 26 at 1 pm. Kim made my day (and perhaps has already made my wedding) by allowing me - the one and only "non-emergency" appointment - to be booked on Black Friday.


I feel like what a sparkly sequin must feel like.

This whole dress shopping thing has unfolded in such a sweet manner. Initially, I suggested that my mom and I try to squeeze in some Knoxville appointments this weekend. However, my spirit was immediately uneasy.

Without a date/location (and therefore no conversation with potential bridal party members), buying a dress just seemed out of order. The date and location will certainly influence the style of dress, and moreover, I want to savor and share the shopping experience with pronounced members of my bridal party.

It won't be a perfect experience... I'm not in la-la land here... but I can be intentional in how I go about this.

And I can always hope to be sipping champagne in the dressing room.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cake Walk

Today I bought a screen print of a towering layered cake at the "Pot & Print" sale hosted by the UTK printmaking students. It's full of peach, coppers and browns... which I'm eating up at the moment.

Aside from my beloved binder, this sweet little poster is my most favorite homemade wedding item ever. Maybe we'll frame it and display it by the cake table :) :)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Forty-eight hours later and I'm engaged in real time... and fighting the planning bug.

Conveniently, neither Adam nor I had to work the day after the proposal. However, that did not stop me from waking up at 5 am to a stomach full of butterflies and absolutely no frame of reference (sidenote: married girlfriends are such a blessing).

Throughout the day, Adam and I continued to run into simple joys...

- remembering to call each other "fiance"
- signing up for brimerwedding@gmail.com (I admit, that was MY joy)
- ecstatically realizing we'll get to register for a new hand mixer - but let's just be honest, it's all or nothing!
- sweetly asking permission before jumping to assumptions

Over lunch today, I purchased a 1.5" bright red binder with 10 pocket divider tabs. Although we've set a three-day no planning grace period, we'll begin a conversation tonight with Carrie Jo to prepare for the 239,847 decisions that lay ahead.

In the words of one dear cousin, "It's not about the cheese tray."

In my own words: One tab down.

Actually, I have eliminated two tabs: Cheese Tray & Get-away Car.


Oh, sweet mercy. Done and done.

If this is what planning looks & feels like... then, bring it on.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Ohmygosh, I'm engaged to Adam Brimer!

Overcome with joy and encouragement, we are both (tired and) thrilled!

While hiking yesterday through Big South Fork in northern Tennessee, Adam proposed atop Angel Falls overlook. Amidst the "oh my gosh-es," there was a cheerful YES!

We are lucky enough to have captured the proposal on video which allowed for this screen shot of the bended knee and freak-out hands:

Despite several months, and I mean seh-heeev-er-uuhl months, of (borderline bitter) anticipation, I can say this:
It wasn't a minute too late-- or too soon. It was absolutely perfect. The Lord is so good and faithful!

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord," Luke 1:45.

The last 24-hours have passed as a peaceful whirlwind.

Hike --> Freak-out Phone Calls --> Celebratory French Fries --> Video chat with Kimberly and Sam in Roma!! --> Welcome Ben and Audrey from Nashville --> Church --> Freak-out Hands --> Engagement Party -> Freak-out Hands while eating pizza

My head and my heart cannot process quickly enough; it would be most convenient if my sentences were fill-in-the-blank.

But that wouldn't make much for a blog.

Peace & love!