#wedwellbrides: Jill

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Today we're chatting with Jill Matthews - the blogger babe behind @suttonandgrove and @jillmatthews! I was first drawn to Jill's page because of her focus on conscious fashion. I love eco-friendly clothes, but never know what brands to shop! Then after finding her page, I became even more interested when I saw her and her husband, @lukematthews have a blog together called Sutton and Grove. Husband-wife duos are always so impressive...I mean, how many couples could really blog together? They showcase such a beautiful way of living, so I was thrilled when we got to chat about her own wedding experience! 


What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

I did my weddings as cost effective as possible, so that meant a lot of DIY. We spent quite a bit of time researching and creating alternative decoration ideas, venue options and catering. We ended up having a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception with a friend who made all our food from scratch but it definitely was hard putting all the pieces together. 

What was the best part of being engaged?

Engagement was fun mainly because it meant we could start planning our wedding. We were only engaged for four months and put together our wedding together that quickly as well. It made things a little stressful but I was ready to be married so I was happy to do it all. 

What shifted for you since getting married?

I think the understanding of compromise.  We often think compromise is all about giving up who we are and essentially cutting parts of ourselves and passions out so as to work and live together. I would say though that healthy compromise comes with allowing your spouse to be who they are and you being you and finding a way to be cool with each other doing so. This means that maybe you can’t have EVERYTHING as organized the way you would have done things before,  etc but you find a way to work together and be okay with it. That has really helped us in our marriage and was something that had to be worked through for a few years. 

What would you tell other brides-to-be right now?

Be confident in your love choice of your soon to be spouse, and find a way to remember and document that confidence, because that feeling and confidence you have now will be your insurance when things ever get tough in coming years. For me, whenever things are tough and I start to get upset I remember back to my reasons for why I chose Luke and that responsibility of that confidence that I had and it always make me grounded and assured in my choice to still be with him. 

What was the biggest surprise you had while planning your wedding?

There wasn’t actually any surprises during my wedding planning because we did our wedding in my parents back yard (for the reception) and the ceremony in the park next to their house and everything else as far as decorations and details I did myself with my helpers so I had a really good handle on things. The only thing I would say that was a surprise was that it got colder than expected on the day of the wedding and the guests didn’t all plan to bring sweaters/jackets (but that was on them)! 

How have your perceptions on marriage shifted since being married?

I think I’ve realized that it’s a lot more of a companionship than a sexy, exciting, romantic relationship that movies make it out to be. Not that there isn’t aspects of sexiness and romance but I think that at the very core  of marriage, we are each others witnesses to life. We get to walk through life with someone next to us, every day who sees us more than anyone else will and that is something so special despite all the sexiness, hardship and adventure.

Anything else you would like to share? 

My sister got married a couple weeks ago and I shared a quote at the end of my speech that I feel sums up marriage quite well. It’s a quote from the end of the movie Forces of Nature by a bishop from the 16th century and it says; 

"Marriage has less beauty but more safety, than the single life;  it is full of sorrows, and full of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and those burdens are delightful.”

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#wedwellbrides: Alexa

Real talk with Alexa from @thebreezybride, her wedding, and the transition to marriage. 

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

For me, it was balance. I started a new career six months prior to my wedding and was eager to excel on all fronts. I was lucky enough to have an amazing planner (@tessalynevents), but even so, planning our wedding felt like a full time job. When I had five spare minutes I always devoted them to work, wedding planning or some social obligation. That meant that I made very little time for myself, which retrospectively made me more stressed. Managing our family's expectations wasn't as hard as I expected, but it was taxing at times. 

What shifted for you since getting married? 

As an only child, I've always been independent and extremely close to my father. It's been interesting to notice that to a certain extent, getting married means relying on my husband for certain things I used to rely on my father for (read: car help, taxes, etc.). Also being married means I now make decisions as a team and not just an individual. If I want to jet off on a trip, I need to consider our long term goals instead of my short term impulses. I also feel much more grounded and relaxed, I'm not sure why but I felt like I started living more once I got married...Probably because I'd been planning the damn thing for 1.5 years and could finally relax once it was over. On a more obvious note, our bond truly deepened when we made that commitment to one another and it became a lot easier to be vulnerable. 

What would you tell other brides-to-be right now? 

Have faith that everything will work out perfectly—even if it doesn't. As a bride-to-be, I placed so much pressure on myself to make everything perfect and look perfect. The truth is that nothing is ever perfect and you just have to go with the flow. You uncle might have a bit too much whiskey, your bridesmaid might wear yellow nail polish instead of a neutral, but that shouldn't take away from your experience. It's your day after all. 

Also, you're still you on your wedding day. I was frustrated that my wedding dress showed one of my tattoos, but I got that tattoo for a reason and I shouldn't try and hide it to fit some archaic bridal beauty standard. Do whatever feels true to you and trust your instinct above all else. 

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Five Pre-Wedding Rituals to Make Your Day Memorable

Written by Helen Schultheis - aka @dressedbyhelen


Your wedding day will happen in the blink of an eye so take full advantage of your “getting ready” hours with your nearest and dearest. Now is the time to give and receive gifts, listen to the wise words of your elders, breathe deeply, and bask in that pre-wedding glow. Here are five ways to make these moments meaningful and memorable:

1. Bridesmaids/ Girl Gang gifts: Your babes have been there for you from the beginning, swooning over your ring, planning your bachelorette and shopping for your wedding dress. Show them your gratitude by giving them a unique and heartfelt gift. They’ll feel loved and appreciated while you happily wipe away a tear or two.

2. Good luck charms: If you adhere to the American tradition “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” prepare for family members to gift you with an heirloom. In other countries around the world there are rituals and traditions involving ribbons, henna, rice, veils, and even liquor to wish the bride well— you never know, your family just might
surprise you!

3. A family moment: Gather your female relatives and hold hands while your mother or grandma says a special blessing or meditation. Let this womanly energy inspire and ground you before stepping into your wedding dress.

4. Just breathe: If you feel stress and anxiety starting to invade, try the ancient “4-7-8” breathing technique. These three phases of inhalation, retention and exhalation will provide your mind and body a peaceful moment.

5. Cheers to you: Having a small glass of champagne or prosecco before the ceremony starts will take the edge off without making your head spin. Mix your desired sparkling with fresh squeezed OJ or colorful berries for extra pizzazz— and don’t forget to get your photographer to capture the moment! 



#wedwellbrides: Emily

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Find her on instagram, @itsapetitelife

What has planning your wedding been like?

Planning my wedding has been a dream come true. I’ve had this day planned for as long as I can remember so being able to now actually put my ideas together is the most incredible feeling. We’re only a few months into our engagement & have two years before the wedding but we want to be as organised as possible to hopefully keep the stress at bay & make it as enjoyable as possible. I’m not having a wedding planner as I feel I know enough & am capable to do it all myself with the help of my wonderful fiancé who has the same taste as I do, & my incredible bridal party. Saying that though, there’s so much more to think about than just flowers & candles. And as much as I would love to say “It’s all about the bride!” I’m starting to now realise that isn’t so true!

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

It’s funny because the morning after my now fiancé proposed, we woke up & both said that we automatically felt a shift in our relationship. Even when i’ve been in long term relationships before, there’s always been that every so slightly worrying thought of them finding someone else, however as soon as there’s a ring involved, there’s that sense of security & our relationship now feels completely settled & ready for the next chapter. 

What was going through your head during the proposal?

Kristian did an incredible job with the proposal! He took me to Paris for a long weekend & proposed to me the second night we were there whilst having a meal in the Eiffel Tower. I was so wrapped up in the fact that I was going to Paris that it never even occurred to me the reason why we were going. The Eiffel Tower lights up every hour on the hour from dusk till dawn, so at 8pm Kristian took me outside just as the light show had started & whilst he was making his speech, my mind (and heart) were racing. “Eiffel Tower, romantic meal, the lights, YES!” I couldn’t string full sentences together in my head.  But there certainly was no question of whether we were ready or not because of course we were. And I still smile thinking about it months after.

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#wedwellbrides: Amanda

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#wedwell bride and Seattle blogger, Amanda, tells us about planning her wedding and how she handles disagreements with her fiance. Check out her own blog, Call Me Winters, and instagram @callmewinters.

We are so happy to connect with you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your love story? 

I am a PNW native in the thick of starting a new job, planning my wedding and creating content for my blog, Call Me Winters. My fiancé Mason and I got engaged in Brooklyn last October and will get married next March. I’m glad we have a long engagement because planning a wedding is a lot of work and can be stressful if you aren’t keeping your priorities on what really matters. Right now, we are trying to decide which caterer and photographer we should hire.

What has planning your wedding been like?

We have a long engagement (15 months) so planning started with finding the venue, picking a date, and asking our friends and family to be members of our wedding party. I know we need to book a caterer and photographer soon because the wedding is a year away, but it's a little overwhelming to weigh all your options and stay within budget so I'm procrastinating.

What ways have you been staying healthy throughout this process?

I put an effort into exercising, self-care, and keeping things in perspective. I take walks on my lunch break 2-3 times a week. I also take a bath or do a facemask to relax once a week. Mostly, I just try to check in with myself regularly to make sure I'm not on the verge of becoming overwhelmed or having a breakdown.

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

We've always had a happy relationship but we are SO happy being engaged and knowing we're going to be married.

How have you and your partner handled wedding planning disagreements?

We talk a lot about our differing priorities, our budget, where we can compromise, and what is the most important to us in the big picture. It helps us not get too nit picky or upset about things that don't really matter.

Mason and I talked a lot about what ultimately is the most important to both of us: Having a great time celebrating our marriage with our family and friends. We want them to look back on our wedding and have it stand out as uniquely ours. By focusing on that, little disagreements like whether we should put more money into craft cocktails vs. a videographer are easier to manage.

How have you handled moments in planning where you were unsure of yourself?

I turn to my fiance, friends and family, Facebook groups, coworkers -- if I have questions I always ask for people's thoughts and recommendations. It helps me feel more confident in my decisions.

What was going through your head during the proposal?

I couldn't quite believe it was actually happening. I was so shocked and excited and happy. It was unreal and overwhelming in the best way.