Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Through sniffles and sneezes I await the Christmas holiday. I head home tomorrow afternoon to snowy Virginia (double yay!). Joining me for the ride is another Virginia/Knoxville bride-to-be! I look forward to her company and conversation.

On Monday Adam and I exchanged Christmas presents for the first time as fiances; second time ever; and last time before we're Mr. and Mrs.

Honestly, I couldn't have asked for anything more on top of the joyful and thrilling engagement. Christmas came early this year -- at least the gift part!

Thankfully, Adam's presents didn't try to compete with the sparkling one I now permanently wear. Let's be honest, how could it?

Regardless, I don't think I could have taken another feminine, delicate, blushingly romantic gift. Therefore my new Carhartt overalls, hiking socks and winter gloves speak to my heart in a different tone.

My gift to Adam (above) played off his 2009 gift to me. This Timex made exclusively for JCrew has been burning a hole in my pocket since Nov. 1. It's now in its rightful place: on Adam's wrist.

Gifts aside, Christmas will be flighty this year. We're both celebrating with our families, however I will join his crew after my parents leave on the 26th for a trip to Mexico.

I'm anticipating it all to feel rushed and surreal. However, I'm (desperately) hoping to enjoy my last Christmas alone with my parents.

With stinging eyes,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pin It!

I am forever indebted to my dear engaged friend Amelia.

She introduced me to the fabulous Pinterest, and it's a bride's dream. I will sing its praises from the hilltops (and down the aisle).

Pinterest acts as a virtual & personal bulletin board as you browse the internet. When you find inspiration bits, you "pin" them to boards you've dedicated to encompass your vision - tablescapes, flowers, attire, etc.

As a life-long, die-hard collage enthusiast, this is an absolutely beautiful & utilitarian gift.

No more emailing myself links and filing them under "Brimer Wedding."

But this is not just a gift to brides - it's incredible for anyone who wishes to keep a visual library. Check it out, request an invite and wait anxiously for its arrival.

Happy Holidays,

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Look at this sweet JCrew number. Unfortunately, it sold out yesterday while I was being indecisive. (That comes as no surprise.)

As I wait for various spring collections to be released, I'll shake my head at what slipped through my fingers and refocus on what I'm looking for in bridal jewelry.


That's a pretty loaded request.

And after critically thinking through the JCrew bib, I'm not sure that it fits the bill.

I mean, a bib necklace? I bought one in Washington, DC the spring of 2009 and it totally got shot down.

The super-sized accessory dates back to ancient Egypt and Elizabeth Taylor. Much later, a Cartier bib necklace was given to the Duchess of Windsor by her husband in 1947.

I'm sure there were more notable pieces in between (didn't we all just LOVE the Stormy Seas necklace from Anthropologie?), and I'm sure there are more to come.

What I'm not sure about is whether I'll wear one at my wedding.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vendor: Wedding Invitations

The invitations and save the dates arrived on Friday.

Admittedly, the thought did cross my mind to wait until Adam and I were together to open the box. It was a strange twilight zone moment where I felt an insane sense of urgency to move forward yet was paralyzed by indecision.

Meh. It didn't last long.

I ripped open the box to reveal the most darling dainty & rustic wedding stationary I could've imagined. They are pitch perfect.

Then I was struck with indecision again:
  • squeal to my mother over the phone
  • squeal via text to my roommate
  • squeal in person to Adam
  • squeal to myself
So, in all my 24-year-old glory, I skipped through the hallway squealing and waving a single invitation until my mom picked up the phone-- thankfully, she picks up the phone 97% of the time I call her.

She listened as I described every inch of the invitation, then promptly asked me to mail her a sample.

They arrived on her doorstep yesterday.

She loves them, too. I can just hear her squealing.

For lovely and affordable wedding stationary, check out Wedding Paper Divas.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


All this time thinking about me, me, me... and I have no idea what the groom is to wear!

Never once did I stop mid-blog scroll to admire that boutonniere or those cuff links-- let alone, give much thought to the question of tux, suit, vest or sleeve-roll.

(Needless to say, this has opened up a whole new reason/way to survey wedding blogs.)

Thankfully, Adam's opinion does count, and he's been helpful in brainstorming ideas. However, it's tricky to argue why a tan suit wouldn't look right with my dress when he has no idea what I'm wearing.

Ho hum.

Which brings me another point: It's 7 months until our wedding and sometimes I can't remember what I'll be wearing.

Sure, I have pictures to which I can refer, but those hardly do anything for my memory on the days where it seems like it's a matter of life or death to remember the exact shade of (insert color) I chose or how breathable (insert fabric type) will be in the July heat.

I will say, what has been extremely helpful - from ordering invitations to meeting with the florist - is having a swatch of fabric on hand from the bridesmaid dresses. Funnily enough, my swatch is in the form of a silk JCrew ruffled blouse I bought along with the dresses.

I just LOVE seeing that hang in my closet!


Friday, December 3, 2010


I apologize for the delay. A week or so ago I mentioned that Adam and I combined forces to create something for the wedding. Well, here is it... hot off the press!

We submitted our love story to Smitten Photography's 4th annual LOVEstory contest with the hope of winning a wedding photography package from one of our favorite photographers with Knoxville roots.

The parameters of the competition allowed us to be creative, and so we gave it our best shot.

Drawing on our newspaper roots, I wrote an article to tell our (well, more so my side of) our story while designing a front page to truly illustrate it. Adam did a fantastic job making the spread, as well as his photos, look old and wrinkled.

(I'm working to figure out how to post the full size .pdf so you can actually read the text... until then, the copy is at the bottom of this post)

Sadly, we didn't make the final cut, but it was such a fun project for Adam and I to share as a newly engaged couple and as a writing/photography team that we're thankful to have entered.

Please visit Smitten Photograhy's website on Sunday, Dec. 5 to vote for the lucky couple who will win a dream photography package!


P.S. For my newspaper friends, we were REQUIRED to keep it within 8.5" x 11"


by Bride-to-Be

Hot off the Market
Knoxville photographer and Virginia writer set deadline for wedding

I fell in love with Adam in a beauty salon.

To clarify, I was not daydreaming under the dryer or gushing to the stylist over highlights.

Rather, I was running late to a four-hour hair and make-up makeover I was covering for the newspaper.

As I barreled through the salon’s door full of apologies with reporter’s notebook in hand, I was told the contestant was already in the changing room, and invited to take a seat.

I turned around and there he was unpacking his lighting equipment: Adam, the new staff photographer I’d rarely seen in the newsroom.

Little did I know he would be on assignment that day, let alone on my radar.

As I hurriedly took notes on bobs, bangs, and bronzer, I took note of Adam.

He was politely witty; he could carry a conversation about music; he was a pro at the name game. Moreover, he was resoundingly confident n what he was doing. I could smell Jesus on him.

My nerves, frazzled from work anxiety, fell into a peaceful sleep; in their place sprung a bewildering and steadfast attraction to “sweet, calm, generous, funny Adam,” as he was coined in my journal the same night.

“My full range of emotions is exhausting. I don’t even know the kid and I’m positive that I like him,” I wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this. It’s like going from zero to 60 without him even in the car.”

And so it began.

While I admit to always chomping at the bit, our story is slow and steady.

We forged a friendship across cubicles and behind cameras, dodging questions from coworkers while concealing our blushing faces over the copy machine.

I learned the true meaning of patience and pursuit as I waited for something that actually wouldn’t begin until I dated someone else and Adam ended a relationship with another.

Our story has proven that when the perfect comes, the partial will pass. When I met Adam, my limited understanding of love began to shed- how it sustains, how it remains, and how it gains in fullness.

I caught a glimpse of something eternal in the salon- something stronger than the ammonia fumes: Love has perfect timing, but adheres to no deadline.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

DIY: Bridesmaid Invitations

There's nothing like a good craft around the dining room table! With thanksgiving, I sat down over the holiday to finish a project I started well before deciding on dresses and dates: the bridesmaid invitations.

If you've been following, you'll remember the execution of this plan was thwarted when I found the bridesmaid dresses before these little suckers were dropped in the mail to my unsuspecting bridemaids-to-be.

The idea came from a blog post I remembered from August 19, 2009. Yes, people, 2009. Some ideas just stick with you- plus, the star feature on Google Reader helps, too.

From the looks of the original, a card serves as a formal invitation to join the bridal party while the paper doll chain reveals the other gals in the line-up.

While I had already asked my attendants, I did not reveal the composition of the entire bridal party until now. Therefore, the invitations did serve a specific purpose other than fulfilling my childhood dream circa 2009.

A note on the hilarious spread above:
  1. The infamous wedding binder. Here is it open to the "stationary tab," as I was working on the invitations, of course.
  2. Crafting cocktails. A mixture of champagne, orange juice and cranberry juice.
  3. A porcelain marker jar. Only my mother would keep markers in a porcelain jar.
  4. Throwback souvenirs. Has anyone been to the Flying Monkey in Key West, Fla. ?
And here is a picture of my finished product!


P.S. - Ensuring the hair had a nice swoopy side bang was the trickiest part of the entire craft.

Life's like a garden

Kate's last post made me think of the lyrics of one of my favorite (albeit guilty pleasure) songs.

David Wilcox wrote a song called "Block Dog" where he says "Life's like a garden, I'd like to tend it with my wife. You dig in one spot, dig a straight row. You're only digging to hide the bone. When I lived so free, alone, I had an empty harvest."

I expect there will be digging and sweating, but there will also be fruit. And I guess it isn't linear like plant/reap/enjoy and the seasons aren't necessarily... seasonal, but in its own way each fruit undergoes its own growing and maturation process.

Put on the gloves Kate; I know we're going to have a big garden. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Well-Watered Garden

I've been chewing on my friend's blog post about marriage for a few days now. For the full read, click here. For the abbreviated version followed by my commentary, see below.

as for knowing if you love someone and then if you should marry him…

the longer i’ve been married, my view of this question has become less romantic. i think the question is more about deciding if you want to commit to a life-long relationship. this is a difficult and laborious commitment but one that, i think, has deeply sweet fruits. i haven’t been married for very long (in the wide scope of things) so i am far from a full understanding of my vow. so far i can say that it has been more difficult than it has been fun. but i do feel that i have a priceless friend that (given my character traits), i would not have outside of marriage. i think that this is of value and will continue to become more valuable the longer we commit to it.

deciding if this sort of arrangement aligns with your values and priorities is the first question (i think its okay if it doesn’t).

after this, the specific person you chose becomes less important. i say that because, whoever you marry will grow and change and not be the person you originally picked. and also because, no matter who you pick, you will learn their flaws and forget their beauty and be sometimes annoyed and sometimes you will loathe them (well, i do at least).

not to say that you shouldn’t be diligent and thoughtful in the choosing of a partner. but i guess, the most important thing to consider is if the person has the same commitment and expectations and values for marriage. and after that it just gets down to preferences. think about the things that are most important to you and make sure that those things are supported and valued by your partner and vice versa. i guess i’m saying that feelings of love don’t answer this question. feelings about/for a person are indicators of something going on inside of you and it is good to try and understand what they are pointing to. but they don’t know how to make decisions (especially life-long vows).

I've chewed on this because it's so dang good.

What some may find "less romantic," as Ashley put it, I find thrilling - the grit of marriage. The stuff that's going to require a mixture of head, heart, and help; the necessity of communication, commitment, and community.

The idea is almost too large for me to even put into words. All I can squeak out is a "thank you" to women like Ashley who attest to the fullness of marriage. Or to newly engaged Amelia, who through tears and smiles, has overflowed with love and fear since the day she said, "Yes!"

I'm right there with you, girlfriend.

It's healthy and formative for couples to realize marriage is going to be more than good looks and butterflies.

Some days are going to be gray and overcast. Others will require a lot more shoveling and pruning- we'll probably have to get down on our hands and knees in the dirt and grit. But in the end, there's this picture of a rich marriage to which I cling (Is.58:11-12):

we'll be like a watered garden...

our ruins shall be rebuilt;

we will raise up the foundations of many generations;

we will restore the streets to dwell in.