Tag Archives: Wedding

What I Learned from 1 Year of Marriage

At the beginning of this month, George and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. This makes me a marriage pro….NOT. I know I still have a TON to learn about marriage. However, after reflecting on the past year, I have jotted down 10 things I have learned about being married. This past year has really been an incredible ride. Some days it feels like we have been together forever, and some days it seems like the wedding was just yesterday.


So if you are looking for a little marriage advice from a newlywed, or just want a glimpse into my dream. Here goes!

 Every day is  like being on a date

I have had 365 (plus a few) date nights in a row. And it rocks. Every day, every night I get to spend with my favorite person. We have found that if we want to go out, we need to make an effort to make Friday night plans in advance. If we don’t, it will always be a pizza, a Redbox, and sweats. Here’s the catch though, I love Friday night’s like that 🙂 Don’t worry we are not hermits, we get out plenty, its just that I used to have a bad case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that has totally vanished.

Before: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix by yourself = lame

After: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix with your husband = a date night of relaxing bliss to look forward to all week long

If I want something done, I can’t be picky about it

I’m a control freak. I am particular about the little things. I have learned if I want the dishes (or enter any other chore here) done I can’t be picky or I end up doing them myself.  So what if he uses a little too much soap, I am not the one scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing after dinner.

If you don’t want to live in a battlefield, don’t start a battle.

Some things don’t matter in the big picture. If I got upset every time the toilet seat was left up, I would spend more time chasing him down to yell at him than it was worth. I can choose to get angry, find him, yell at him, ORRR I could put the seat down and go. (Middle of the night exception…if I fall in, you bet I’m gonna wake him up and let him know haha).

Also don’t miss understand me, its not about bottling up the anger, or becoming a push over. If something really does bother me, I try my best to have a sit down conversation about it.  The angry, heat- of-the moment, conversations usually don’t go as well.140104_560

Forgive quickly

I admit, this is one is very much a work in progress. One huge difference between a room mate and a husband, is after a fight, you know he still loves you. A fight with a room mate could potentially, hopefully not, but potentially, ruin the relationship forever. When the lease is over, you can move out, life moves on, and never see them again. Moving out/divorce is NOT an option in my marriage. So why stay angry? Anger is hard work, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to get rid of. Take a few minutes, cool down, think about the situation and what needs to be changed in the future, then forgive and move on. Heck, making up is the best part. Get there as soon as possible!

You catch more flies with honey

Some times when I am feeling like I haven’t been getting the love/appreciation I want/ deserve, I tend to get bitter and crabby.  I can really start to feel down when he doesn’t seem to notice me, appreciate something I’ve done, or hasn’t been particularity affectionate. I can either begin to sulk, snap at him or I look at myself and the way I have been treating him lately.  Getting angry sure won’t make him want to love on me. These things tend to go in cycles (he wasn’t feeling appreciated so he didn’t seem to appreciate me etc.). When I step back, I almost always see something I wish I was doing better in the relationship. Then I am honest and explain myself and my feelings, and bring up the items I want to work on along with those I wish he would pay more attention to. It’s kind of like  the saying,   “If you want to be treasured, be treasure.”  Work on yourself first before you point out the other’s flaws.

Love is not a feeling

In marriage, some days you don’t feel the giddy “puppy love” you felt on the wedding day. That’s okay. Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. No matter how I might be “feeling” inside, I made a promise to love, respect and honor him. He might not seem so “loveable” at all times, but its my job to love him, and his job to love me. Those moments (or days…maybe even weeks or months) pass, and uncover new amazing reasons to fall more and more in love with one another.


I read a book before I got married that talked a lot about how men yearn for respect in the same way women yearn to be loved. Of course it works vice versa, but something in men’s wiring associates respect deeply with being loved.

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

It doesn’t mean that women don’t need to be respected or men don’t need to be loved. Its simply drawing attention to some ways that God made men and women different and therefore

have different needs. This is something that I have kept in mind throughout  the first year of marriage. Poking fun of my husband or correcting him in public are big signs of disrespect. If something bothers me, its best to address it in private.

 Team work

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together”.    – Robert C Dodds

Such a great quote!  We are not the same person. We do not always agree, but we can come to a compromise. We often say to each other “Can you be on my team here?”. We might not totally understand each other all the time, but we do work to stand together. Looking at each other’s point of view, discussing the situation broadens our perspectives.  We are not that couple that does EVERYTHING together.   We both have our own activities, some of our own friends, and enjoy alone time.  I think this is really important in all relationships (dating and married).  We can exist without one another, but we are better versions of our selves when we are together and/or have each other’s support.


 Blow money is essential

 I am a budget nerd. George and I have some lofty goals for our finances and savings, as a result, we keep a tight budget. I really think  having this “blow money” would help anyone who argues about finances even if you don’t keep a formal budget. In our budget we have a section for each of us that is called “blow” money (Dave Ramsey FPU Term). This is kind of similar to an allowance. This is a set amount that we have each month to spend on whatever we choose. As long as you stay in the limit, no arguments are allowed. It can be saved up over the months for something big, or blown on little items here and there. For example… I have a lot of cute boots. Do I need more boots? No. Does George want me to spend our money on boots I don’t  need? No. BUTTTTTTT. If I find  a pair I really want, and have enough in my budget for them, he can’t complain that I spend too much money on shoes.  If George decides to spend his blow money on remote control helicopters, or silly phone apps, I can’t get on his back (if he keeps it in his limit). The rest of our budget money is generally used on stuff we need, or purchases we decide on together.  We have some rules on determining what is considered a “blow” purchase, but I could write an entire post on that. (Comment or message me if you have questions on this). Overall, it really keeps us from having financial arguments.

It’s great to start off every day with a hug, kiss, and a smoothie.

My favorite place in the entire world is snuggled up my face in his chest for my morning hug before I leave for work. It’s hard to have a bad day when I start it off feeling loved, protected, and provided for by my man.


Here is to many many more years of marriage to my favorite husband and to many many more life lessons to come. I pray that I remember these lessons years down the road and remember this feeling of love, gratitude, and excitement I have towards my husband. This year has been an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful for the family and friends that have been there as support to our relationship and as an example of love in our lives.

Do you have any advice for year two? Comment or message me please!


Something Borrowed, Something Blue…and Something Homemade

Something Old

Yesterday I went over the something old, something new that I wore on my wedding. Today I have the borrowed and blue…and homemade!

My borrowed item was the necklace I wore. It was from my mom’s jewelry box. I had tried on and bought a lot of necklaces, but when I brought them home and tried them on with the dress they just didn’t go well. With the neckline of the dress and the beading and detailing I needed something simple. This little heart necklace was perfect.


My blue were these beautiful earrings. I found them in Johannesburg South Africa when I went on my trip this past summer. We had just set a wedding date before leaving for the trip. When I saw these earrings I just couldn’t pass them up. George funded them for my birthday present 😉 I loved the style and the shine and it was great to have gotten them in a place that made such an impact on me.



These earrings are really special to because forever they will remind me of South Africa, my wedding, and my husband.

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Okay you caught me… I know homemade is not part of the rhyme, but sometimes you just gotta take things into your own hands. Since our wedding was January 4th I knew I would need some type of coat or shawl to keep me warm going from place to place. I began looking for a white fur coat around Christmas but just couldn’t find what I was looking for. A few things were close but REALLY expensive, and I just couldn’t see myself spending a ton on something I would probably only wear once or twice. I had a free Saturday in January and Banoo and I went to EVERY store in the Zona Rosa. I mean every store, even Justice! Finally we gave up and decided to take a risk and head to the fabric store with the help of the fabric store lady we headed back to my apartment with a bag of fur and a pattern. After wrestling with a pattern for the first time, some internet searches, and a helpful friend, I ended up with this!



My homemade fur coat! This was the very first time I used a pattern, and I thought it turned out really well. It was exactly what I had envisioned. How cool is it that sewing our own clothes can reduce any limitations. If you can’t buy it, make it! Plus with a coupon and a sale, this beauty only cost me $20!

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More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!




Something Old, Something New…

Something Old

Everyone knows that saying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and if a bride wears all four she will have good luck on her wedding day. Well I couldn’t risk the good luck! Here is my something old and something new 🙂


I wore the same veil that my mom wore when she married my dad 27 years ago.

232323232-fp53489-nu=6284-798-239-WSNRCG=368953;99-32-nu0mrjBefore we went dress shopping, my mom, sister and I all tried on my mom’s dress and veil. The veil was attached to a huge head piece. My mom pulled it out of the bag and said something along the lines of “This is hideous, I must let someone borrow my veil and they sewed it on to this ugly thing. ” Well we looked back at the photos, and it was the same head piece my mom wore, but her hair covered most of it. Whoops! Her style has changed since then.

232323232-fp53882-nu=388--9;6-637-297;9;6728239ot1lsiBut it was in great condition and I loved the length and little pearls along the bottom. It ended up matching the color of the vintage lace on my dress perfectly. Needless to say, I removed it from the head piece and sewed it on to a clip. I loved having this special connection to my parents wedding on my wedding day.

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Thanks Mom!

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I absolutely love my something new!

IMAG1203This beautiful bracelet was a gift from my Godmother Aunt Ann. I was the Jr. Bride in her wedding when I was just three and it was special to have her read scripture at my wedding. She gave the bracelet to me before the rehearsal dinner and I was so excited. She picked out the most gorgeous bracelet ever! It is so my style and went well with the dress. Someone told me before the ceremony to make sure it was on my right hand so it would be in the photos. I don’t remember who said that, but thank you! I love these photos of the bracelet while we are holding hands.

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Such a special gift! Thank you Aunt Ann! 140104_258

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Click here for “Something Borrowed and Something Blue”.

More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

Wedding Make up- Guest Post from Katie

I am so very excited for my first ever “guest post” on the blog today. Katie from “katieraines.blogspot.com“. I was so incredibly trilled when Katie agreed to do my wedding day makeup:

A) Because she always looks beautiful. Even though her beauty is a God given gift, I know she has so much talent when it comes to make up (hair, fashion, decorating, and more).

B) It was really great having a friend who knows me well and knows what I look like on a normal day so on my wedding day I still looked like myself (just a total glam-ed out version!)

Katie really did her homework and made me feel so incredibly beautiful on my special day. When I mentioned I liked a little purple in my eye shadow to highlight my green eyes, she practiced and tried many options until she found the perfect look for me! I also loved the fact that we spent an entire football game in her closet playing with makeup, trying on dresses, and girl talking while our husbands watched the MU Tigers play. 

Read below for her great beauty tips:

“I was so flattered when Julie asked me to be a guest blogger today! And even more flattered that she requested I do her makeup on her wedding day!

Julie has become such a special person to me. We relate so well on so many levels -We like girly things, home decor DIYs and our husbands are both obsessed with Dr. Pepper. What more is there?

Photo 1

But in all seriousness, Julie is a joy to be around. She is bubbly, witty, and absolutely charming (you meet her and you love her)! She made a stunning bride!

Photo 2

Below is a step-by-step list of all products used for Julie’s wedding makeup. I will introduce the product and explain why I chose to use it!

Let’s do this!

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

Photo 3

Since primers are not an every-day product for me, I had to sample quite a few to finally land on this one. I wanted an irritation-free, lightweight primer and that’s exactly what this is! I blended this over Julie’s face as a base for her concealer/foundation.

Benefit Boi-ing in light/medium

Photo 4

As one of the top rated concealers on the market, this was a no-brainer. Boi-ing easily blends and provides excellent, natural looking coverage. Julie has great skin, so I just used this on a few areas with a little redness.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW25

Photo 5

A few weeks before the wedding I went with Julie to test out a few foundation colors at MAC. Being able to sample the product always makes me feel confident, as well as the bride.

One thing I always ensure is a low SPF foundation. The higher the SPF, the more likely to give a “ghost white” glow in photos. No good! Mac Studio Fix has a low SPF of 15 and provides a very natural matte finish that photographs incredibly well.

realTechniques Expert Face Brush

Photo 6

I wanted to call this brush out separately because it is absolutely wonderful to blend liquid foundation. Using a brush provides even coverage, less irritation and isn’t as messy as using your fingers! RealTechniques brushes are great for makeup experts or newbies and sell for only $9.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Photo 7

Once you get past the awkward name of the product, you see how awesome this stuff is! I chose to use this at the tops of Julie’s cheek bones to provide a dewy glow. Since her foundation is fairly matte, adding an illuminator helps liven things up and provide a subtle, healthy peach gleam.

Benefit HOOLA

Photo 8

Julie has a beautiful round face, so I used a matte bronzer to accent her features. I applied Hoola in the following areas:

-the hollows of her cheeks to accentuate her cheekbones

-the sides of her nose, from bridge straight down, so it appears long and thin

-along her jawline to appear sharp and strong

-the top of her forehead along her hairline where sunshine hits

I wanted the contouring to be subtle, so I blended very well.

Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Blush in Rose Pearl

Photo 9

I used a small amount of pink blush on the apples of Julie’s cheeks. She has a wonderful amount of color naturally, so I was careful to not over-do it.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

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Eye primers eliminate creasing, so I was sure to prime Julie’s lids before applying any shadow.  I have been using this particular primer for years and trust its results to last all day and night.

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Urban Decay NAKED (1) Palette

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There are 3 colors I used from the Naked palette on Julie’s eyes.

First I applied “Sin”, a muted pink champagne shimmer, to her eyelids.

Then I used “Naked”, a buff matte, along her crease.

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I used Toasted, a deep mauve, on the outside half of her lid. I also used this along her lower lash line.

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Then I used 2 other colors from different palettes.

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Sonia Kashuk Eye on Fall #12

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I used this dusty purple in the corners of Julie’s eyelids to create a subtle “smokey” look. It swatches a lot differently than it appears in the pan, and is absolutely beautiful on the eyes!

The muted pinks, rich mauves with a hint of dusty purple bring out the green in Julie’s eyes and create a sophisticated look without screaming PINK or PURPLE! They all have taupe/brown undertones giving them a beautiful, neutral appearance.

Revlon Colorstay Coffee Bean

Photo 17Last I used this matte cream color along Julie’s brow bone to define her eyebrows.

I applied all eyelid shadows with MAC 286 and lower lash with Elf Eye Shadow Brush.

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Maybelline Define-a-brow in Dark Blonde

Photo 19

I used this to fill in Julie’s eyebrows and give them shape. This is the absolute best eyebrow pencil for blondes because of its beautiful taupe shade without any odd red tones. Every single time I try this on someone, they get hooked! It’s the best!

Tarte Amazonian Clay waterproof liner in black

Photo 20I used this along the edge of Julie’s lower lash line as well as the upper lashes to create the illusion of thick, full lashes (although Julie already has amazing lashes). I kind of consider this my “signature”… I always add a dark line on the lid. I think it looks flattering on everyone!

I like this specific eyeliner because it stays put and is easily blend able. It’s not quite as sharp as other liquid eyeliners and appears more “soft”.

Photo 21

Covergirl Lashblast Waterproof in Very Black

Photo 23I have used Lashblast for years and believe it provides the maximum amount of volume by doing a few layers. I had Julie apply her own mascara because it was too difficult from my angle -her eyelashes are so long that they touch the tops of her eyelids! Lucky girl!

NYX Lipliner Pencil in 860 Peekaboo Neutral

Photo 24I applied a subtle neutral pink to outline Julie’s lips. She used a thin layer of chapstick with her own lipgloss on top. The lipgloss was a very similar color to the pink cap on this NYX liner. Perfect choice!

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

Photo 25The last and final step was applying a generous amount of all nighter spray. I don’t understand how this stuff works, but it does. It keeps makeup on all day and night. She didn’t even need to touch up!

Photo 26Stunning!!

So blessed to be a part of Julie’s big day! Thankful for our friendship. And also for our love of makeup 🙂 ”

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I hope you enjoyed this post from Katie! Her blog is my favorite, and I know you will enjoy reading about her beauty tips, her great decorating style, her crazy little dog, and getting a peek into her honest heart. Check out her blog here!

More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

Music: Our First Dance

George is an easy going guy, and didn’t have many opinions on the wedding decisions (the colors, the menu ect) so when he made a suggestion for our first dance I was excited for him to have a say.


We had heard the song at a Need to Breathe concert featuring Ben Rector.  Ben had also worked at the same camps that Geroge had work at, and was a bit of a local celebrity. The song is called “Forever Like that”.  It was a perfect soft song with sweet lyrics.


“I wanna love you, forever I do. I wanna spend all of my days with you. I’ll carry your burdens and be the wind at your back. I wanna spend my forever – forever like that.”


Still leading up to the wedding I couldn’t kick the idea of a choreographed dance.  My sister and I worked on one for my cousins wedding a few summers back. It was just so much fun. I think it also brought some variety to he series of slow dances and kept the attention of the guests.

All my CJA girls know how I love a good choreographed dance . Our Junior year in high school  I helped to choreograph and teach 150 girls a dance to Christina Million AM to PM. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but it was  hit. Growing up my friends and I would love to create dance moves to the hot Backstreet Boys songs and practice our moves with Daron’s Dance grooves.

I came across a perfect song choice and some inspiration, and had to push a little to get the other half on board. We came up with the moves (loosely based off a dancing with the stars routine) and got them down in just a couple of nights pre- wedding. Since we were living in different cities we didn’t have the option of practicing much in advance. It was tricky doing spins in that dress and with big heels, but we made it work. It really meant a lot to me  when George worked so hard to take part in something I love, even when he claims not to be a good dancer. You be the judge.




So we ended up with this as our first dance and then invited the rest of the bridal party to join us for a traditional slow dance to “Forever Like That”.

It turns out our DJ got a little confused and played the wrong song, then corrected himself. Our poor bridal party slow danced with each other for almost two songs straight. (Since most of them had significant others that were not part of our party, I am sure it was a little on the awkward side. Lucky they are all great sports!)




Moral of the story we did both dances and it was wonderful! I also learned something new about George in the process. He has the moves. He was very hesitant about it at first,  but once he committed he worked really hard to make sure that everything was perfect. He practiced the steps until his footing was absolutely on point. Doing it half -way was not an option. Once I saw this in the performance, and I see it in his everyday choices . He made a commitment to me when we said our vows, and I know that he will continue working hard in our relationship for our marriage to be on point!


More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!



Songs: Father Daughter Dance


This one was a toughie! There are so many great songs to choose from about the bond between a father and daughter. I went though tons of options to find just the right one to show off our special bond. I have always been a bit of a daddy’s girl. As he said in his speech (and many other times), when we thinks of me, he still pictures me a his little girl. I know it was really hard for him to believe that I was really getting married when he imagines me as his little Julie Bug. He usually refers to this picture


Or this one.


While I was at work, I had some updates to do. Usually I find a good playlist to jam to on my headphones and get down to business. I found a playlist of father daughter songs that are typically used at weddings and thought it would be a great opportunity to multi-task. If I heard one I liked, I could jot it down real quick. BIG mistake! I was listening and imagining the moment where I would dance with my dad, and all the great memories we have made together, and ended up crying at work. Like more than just a few tears. Like real crying. I had to go for a little walk around the office to freshen up my red face.


Word of warning, if you are emotional and don’t want to cry in front of people, wait until you get home to click on the links below. These links were my top choices for songs with my dad. I sent them to him, but he threw me for a curve ball and chose “Tough Little Boys” by Gary Alan.

This video may have also made me cry at work. There is something about military dads and little girls in pink dresses that just brings a tear to my eyes. PS watch for the girl in the watermelon dress at 2:51. My sister and I had these dresses! A personal fav 🙂


My dad and I.


Like the song says “When tough little boys, grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again”. Yes we both shed a few tears during our dance. We kept trying to make the other laugh so we wouldn’t cry.


“…Scared me to death when you took your first steps and I’d fall every time you fell down. Your first day of school, I cried like a fool and I followed your school bus to town…when tough little boys grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again…”

Photo by Teddy Menke
Photo by Teddy Menke

“…Well I’m a grown man and as strong as I am,sometimes its hard to believe, that one little girl, with little blonde curls could totally terrify me…”


“…Well I know one day, I’ll give you away and I’m gonna stand there and smile and when I get home, and I’m all alone well, I’ll sit in your room for a while. Well I didn’t cry when Old Yeller died at least not in front of my friends, but when tough little boys grow up to be dads they turn into big babies again ”


Here are the songs I had narrowed down. (Beware, may induce tears)

“I loved her first”- Heartland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg8Z69B6RFQ

“My Little Girl”- Tim Mcgraw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz6xBobaqZg

“You are my sunshine” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29eHk_H_hHc

“In My Daughter’s eyes”- Martina Mcbride http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vafzteL3FBE

“My Father’s Eyes” Amy Grant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECqVbfdreE

“Cinderella”- Steven Curtis Chapman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWMBC6yoME

“Stealing Cinderella”- Chuck Wicks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KHAaRxyuQk

“Just Fishing”- Trace Adkins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IheODRwalEw

“Daddy’s Hands”- Holly Dun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q_E6pUwySg

Oh and check out these great pics of my daddy walking his little girl down the isle.




I think he was imagining me more like this.

From my Aunt Ann's wedding. I was 3
From my Aunt Ann’s wedding. I was 3

More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!

Music: Mother Son Song

Photo by Teddy Menke
Photo by Teddy Menke

Neither George nor his mom are really huge dancers. Okay let me clarify, George can DEFINITELY bust a move, but he has to be in the mood/ with the right people/ the right song/ be a full moon. Haha.

My point is that they were a little nervous about being up in front of everyone dancing at the wedding together. I had an idea in mind, that might make them feel a little more confident. They were a little hesitant about it at first, but it turned out great!

George is rather skilled in his two-stepping abilities from his days as a camp counselor (The camp had a county western themed party each year).  So George led Kathy onto the dance floor to the song “Wagon Wheel” (The Darrius Rucker version) and they two stepped to the appropriate lyrics “Rock me mamma like a wagon wheel”. Everyone thought it was super sweet and let them have fun rather than the slow traditional song.


They did a great job, and even threw in some fancy spin moves.


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If you are looking for some Mother/Son songs for your wedding, here are some others I was considering. So many great choices!

“Wagon wheel” by Darius Rucker

Never Alone Jim Brinkman and Hillary Scott

“Perfect Fan “By: Backstreet boys

  • Ignore that it’s a BSB song (or embrace it) VERY sweet song thanking Mom for all she has instilled in him including faith and grace and independence

“You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins

  • From Tarzan. Great song about mom promising that the bond will never be broken. Who doesn’t love Phil?

“Then They do” by Trace Adkins

“I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack

  • Classic wish to live life to the fullest

My wish by Rascal Flatts

  • A wish for a wonderful future

“Thank you mom” Good Charlotte

  • Cool mom song…not sure if it’s a slow dance but I’m sure you could figure something out if you liked it

I turn to you Christina Aguilera


More on my wedding series below, and still more to come!