Best Day of My Life: Wedding

This post and $50 Amazon gift card giveaway sponsored by RegistryFinder.com.
As always, all opinions are my own.

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Do you want to know the best day of my life?
Because it wasn’t my wedding day. Not one bit.

Nope, it was the day after our wedding.
When the hustle and bustle had settled down.
When the planning and silly anxiety was behind us.
When we could stop worrying about trying to please everyone.
When we were alone. Together. Forever.

Waking up next to Ben for the very first time,
giving his hand three squeezes,
pretending not to be self conscious about my morning breath,
eating breakfast in our pajamas,
with our cell phones turned off,
looking across the table at one another while we put jam on our toast,
knowing this would be our view for eternity.
THIS was the best day of my life. The best.

From a very young age,
dreams of getting married and starting a family always occupied some part of my mind.
The older I got, the bigger those dream became.
I remember always feeling anxious for that “adult” portion of my life to begin…
The portion of life where you wake up next to the person who fills your soul with love,
and you’re cuddled up next to your squishy and adorable little creations.

But even with constant thoughts of marriage,
I wasn’t that girl who day dreamed about a big wedding.
Or sketched the perfect white gown in her notebook.
Or had the venue selected before I entered high school.
I wanted a husband, sure. But the wedding was just an added bonus.

I suppose this lack of interest is part of the reason that I decided on a VERY relaxed and casual wedding.  A wedding where the guests could literally kick off their shoes and feel the grass between their toes.
A picnic style wedding.
With blankets.
And baskets.
And bubbles and beach balls.
And bright colors.

{note that all of these photos are low quality. i literally used my camera to take a photo of the pics in my photo album. picture of a picture to be exact.}
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The aftermath.

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Each family received their own picnic blanket with a basket filled with fun treats and games.

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The mad hatter cake.

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The first dance. And those dimples.

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The point of no return for my hair.

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Headed to our equally casual honeymoon in Catalina.

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There’s a great story behind this picture of me lugging my clubs up the stairs. One day I’ll have to tell it.

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I forced Ben to get this henna tattoo with my name. He didn’t put up much of a fight.

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Nearly seven years later, and I look back at these photos with the fondest of memories.
Though we dated for two years before we were married, this was our real beginning.
The start of our forever.

We came home from our honeymoon to a tiny one bedroom apartment filled to the brim with gifts. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

We had registered at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Crate & Barrel.
Which was great.
Except that there were things from other stores that I also loved and wanted for our new home.  Places like Restoration Hardware, Macy’s, Pottery Barn and Amazon.

I wanted oh-so-badly to be registered everywhere, but I felt ridiculous and even tacky including all of these places on my wedding and shower invitations.  I didn’t want to have the “registered here” portion of the invite be longer than the actual details of the celebration.  So I stuck with my top three picks and wiped visions of those Pottery Barn pillows and RH picture frames from my mind.

To make matters more complicated, Ben and I had a second reception in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  A town that didn’t have much of what we registered for, making it difficult on those trying to find us a gift.  How great it wold have been to be able to seamlessly register at their local department stores as well!

Enter RegistryFinder.com, who I wish was around for MY big day.
Now, when planning a baby shower, bridal shower, wedding (or really any celebration with gift giving), you only need to include the web address to RegistryFinder.com on your invitation and your guests can go online and search for ALL your registries in one place–making it easier for you to register at all the places you want, and easier for your guests to find the perfect gift. And if you’re like me and have over a dozen baby showers and weddings to attend this Summer, you no longer need to stress out about keeping track of all the invitations–because you just need to visit RegistryFinder.com and search the names of celebration you’re attending. Viola! I love companies that create smart, simple tools.Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 7.09.01 PM

THE GIVEAWAY
Visit RegistryFinder.com, give it a whirl, then come back here and leave a comment telling us how this tool could be helpful to you. By leaving a comment, you’ll be entered for the chance to win a $50 gift card to Amazon. For a second entry, tweet or facebook a link to this giveaway (including exactly the following hashtag in your message: “#SweepstakesEntry”). Leave the URL to that tweet or pin in a comment on this post.

No duplicate comments. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Ashley Stock

Comments

  1. Love your reception idea!! So cute and creative! It seemed like it would’ve been so much fun. You guys are such a beautiful and happy couple :)

  2. Gorgeous wedding. It looks so fun and relaxed. I can’t wait to show this to a friend who is expecting a baby so she can put all her registries in one place!

  3. Wow! I just went to the site, typed in the name of a friend getting married and bam! There she was with the registries ready to be clicked and searched. So awesome and so helpful rather than printing the long and confusing registry at the store. Thanks for this post! Loved reading about your fun wedding.
    P.s. Did you get married with a different wedding ring than the one you have now?? Either way, they are both gorgeous!

  4. This will be great to show my brother and future sister in law! Thanks!

  5. This site is great! My friends wedding is in September, I just typed her name in and it found her & links directly to the registry. No hassle of going to individual store sites, genius!

  6. Your wedding was gorgeous! I always find it awkward to ask engaged friends where they are registered. Now that I know about this website, I’ll search there first!

  7. What a fantastic site! I’m so glad you mentioned it because I’m currently planning my own wedding and have been stumped on where we’d register being from a small town. I will definitely be using this site and look forward to the beauty of the rest of our lives together. I have thought about a picnic reception, but had never seen it put together so well! Thanks for sharing and as always, being such an inspiration. :)

  8. this is a really good idea for regesteries! thanks. and your wedding pictures are great!

  9. Anna Vollmer says:

    Great idea for registries. I’ll have to let all my soon to be mama friends know about it to bad I didn’t know about it before my baby shower just last month!

  10. Jackie Campbell says:

    My brother on law is getting married in July this year. He lives in a small town and is from New Orleans, where the wedding will be. This sight would so come in handy for those that live in both places. :)

  11. Your wedding reception sure looked fun and relaxing! this makes registries easier to find, great idea! =]

  12. Courtney says:

    This would be so great for my sister’s upcoming shower!

  13. What a fun reception. I sure love the LA temple, that’s where I was married. :)

  14. Oh my goodness…how fun! I love the picnic idea! Registry Finder would have been amazing to have way back in 2006 when I got married :)

  15. Michelle says:

    This is great! I loose invitations all the time, so this is wonderful:) This would help me so much because I seem to misplace the invitations all the time and I can never remember where they registered. My friends and I are all in the season of baby making, so this will definitely come in handy and I will spread the word!

  16. Shannon says:

    I have a lot of friends having babies so it would make life a lot easier to just search in one click and figure out from all the places where they are registered, a great site.

  17. Shannon says:
  18. Candice williams says:

    I love the idea of being able to use this in the comfort of my own home. I have a very active two year old and it would be so nice to use this vs hauling him out to the stores to see the registry in person! I love that I could look through friends and family members lists in my pjs with my morning coffee in hand! Sounds amazing to me!!

  19. Great idea for registries! I’ll have to let all my soon to be mama friends know about it!

  20. Julie Stephens says:

    So much easier to find registries! Love it!

  21. I wasn’t obsessed with our wedding either. I kept saying, “I just want to be with you in every day life.” I also had people tell me that things would be different after we were married, kinda like my husband was putting on some act until we got married, but he was the same sweet guy and almost 8 years later he still is!! :)

  22. kimberlymr28 says:

    Brilliant!!! Where was this site when I got married?!

  23. Miranda M says:

    It’s baby season in my family so with so many sisters-in-law being pregnant it’d be nice to keep straight who wants what and even what gender babies are being born!

  24. Jessica Miller says:

    This is going to be great! I’m just working on my registries for my first baby shower! YAY!!

  25. With a toddler, I don’t have time to get to the store anymore, so being able to shop online at multiple places would be awesome!

  26. Kirsten says:

    My baby shower is coming up in just a few short months (eek!), so this would be perfect for all the scattered bits of baby things, since just one place doesn’t have all the adorable goodies I could possibly want for my little ladybug. :)

  27. My cousin is getting married this summer and I’ve been helping with the wedding prep. I will definitely be telling her about this website for her registry!

  28. Noelle g. says:

    Such. Fun and cute wedding. Hopefully will be expanding our family in the near future and could definitely use this tool.

  29. Thank you for saying your wedding day WASN’T the best day of your life – I felt the same way. But I feel like no one ever says that. Escaping off, just the two of us, was way better than the hustle and bustle of the wedding. It’s not ALL about the big fancy wedding people!

  30. April V says:

    Oh my goodness! I LOVE that it can be used for weddings AND babies!! And that you don’t have to tell everyone a list of all the different stores your registered at!! They can see them ALL with one click of a button!! LOVE.

  31. What a great idea for any celebration-birthday gift requests, holiday gift requests, etc, especially for family that doesnt leave nearby

  32. Such a nice relaxed wedding! My husband and I had a laid back vacation in Catalina too!

  33. Krista Schrotenboer says:

    Have used registry finder before and it worked great! Love your beach theme wedding- how fun!

  34. What a fun idea for a reception! I love that.. :)

  35. Melissa C. says:

    beautiful wedding! and the site is awesome- I have 11 weddings to attend this summer and it should definitely help me find gifts for each couple easily!

  36. Awwww!! Thanks for sharing your photos, they are are SO NICE!!

  37. hausfrauChelsea says:

    I love that it can be used to create a baby registry! I had no idea! Thanks for helping me learn new things about stuff I ‘thought’ I knew!

  38. I just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it! I hadn’t heard of Registry Finder before reading your blog. So easy to use and to find registries. It will definetly come in handy in the future.

  39. Right now all of my friends are having babies, so I would use this to figure out where the heck they are registered!

  40. whitney says:

    This is an awesome idea! We have lots of friends and family out of state, so I’m sure I’ll use this a lot for wedding and baby gifts.

  41. kathy h says:

    I will definitely keep this site in mind when my sons get married!

  42. Not entering – I’m far from weddings and babies. :)

    This post was beautiful, though. I love the picnic idea and how happy you are in your photos. You make a beautiful couple! I think I might speak for a few people when I say we’re ready for the next part of your love story!

  43. JoEllen says:

    With my husband being a leader in our church, we are invited to a lot of weddings. This would be so helpful when finding a gift for the special couples!

  44. What an awesome website! Since I’m pregnant, I could use this to my advantage for baby registries! Even though I feel like I have most of what I need since this is baby #2, everyone keeps bugging me to make registries. Is it a bad thing if I want to register at Target and put cereal and toilet paper on there? :)

  45. this is such a great idea I can’t wait to search the next time my friends are getting married.

  46. This is awesome, I wish I had known about this before we registered. There are a few items at stores like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Anthropologie that I wish I could register for.

  47. Tweeted it– https://twitter.com/LeHobbylobbyist/status/335568564327153665

    And I love the sentiment of your post too, so true.

  48. Margaret Murphy says:

    Im getting married in August and this sounds awesome!

  49. Rosemariee says:

    This looks like a great idea! Would be perfect for my friend’s who are getting married next year.

  50. LOVE IT!!

  51. Ashley-
    had no idea you did such a laid back wedding! i love that. i agree the wedding day, is not the best! haha.
    and i still try to get dylan to get a real tattoo of my name.

  52. This takes a lot of the gess work out of gift giving and saves a lot of time, which is precious to me these days!

  53. Julie Bledsoe says:

    Few of mine friends are having babies, I will have to tell them about this site. Wish I would have known about this a month ago so my bestie could use it as well. Thank you for the giveaway!

  54. Your reception was so awesome! That would be seriously such a fun wedding to attend. Love love love your dress! BEautiful!
    I love how this registry could be used more universally and doesn’t leave you with only one store option, great idea.

    By the way, thank you again for speaking at the elevate conference. I have been blogging for over 4 years now and lately have been feeling in a funk about it all and your words were perfect for me; helped me remember why I do it all again. I will be blogging about it tomorrow :)

  55. Sonia Mazur says:

    This would be awesome when trying to get all the fun baby registries to pull up all in one place. Thanks for the chance to win!

  56. This tool would have been helpful for my wedding too. We had a lot of family from out of the country, so this would have been great.

  57. If I ever were to have another baby, I’d definitely would use this resource. I’ve always thought it didn’t make sense to sacrifice an item I REALLY wanted because it wasn’t in a “normal” store people could easily get to. It’s great to be able to point people to one location, yet include many store options.

  58. What a smart idea! This will be helpful for all the brides my business works with. I love all things wedding and helping brides have less stress and more joy.

  59. Lynette says:

    I love that there is an “other” section. This would be helpful for other exciting life events like a college graduation!

  60. Kelly D says:

    I plugged in the names for a wedding I went to earlier in the month and it brought up the registry. This would be helpful because sometimes it’s hard to remember where people are registered or they might not even tell you. This would help me get someone the gift they want.

  61. Kelly D says:
  62. Elizabeth says:

    I can’t wait to use this when it becomes time for babies!

  63. christie says:

    i sort of dabbled with it, but had already done most of my registering by the time i stumbled upon it. kind of wish i would’ve stuck with it, or found it sooner!

  64. I am a huge fan of simple weddings. I love your idea!! We had a very simple wedding on a farm by a pond. Perfect!
    I love the site, so easy to find friends Will have to share this with friends. thanks!

  65. Um, how could it NOT be helpful? No more listing registries on invitations or having to ask where someone is registered… Amazing!

  66. Such a great site! I love being able to have one stop to find this!

  67. love this registry tool! So simple.

  68. Krista W. says:

    I am currently planning my wedding and this is perfect. I’ll be able to not only send my guests ONE place to find where I’m registered but it will help me easily see what I’ve already registered for. I don’t need two of the same items! :)

  69. Kelly Holmquist says:

    I am planning my own wedding and am so happy I found this before sending out my invites! awesome! xoxo

  70. This is so great! It puts all of the information that I want in one place! Thanks!

  71. cassandra says:

    That really is fun to use. We have.several weddings we are attending this summer and that makes it easier than trying to keep track if where everyone is registered.

  72. Kendall says:

    This website would be so helpful for planning for baby #2!

  73. Erica Lord says:

    This is actually such a great website! Especially because sometimes the wedding announcement doesn’t say where they are registered and it can be a pain to look at all the websites looking for them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  74. I think its awesome for when I loose an invite or dont remember where they re registered.

  75. This will be so helpful for our family weddings that are out of town. We have very few shopping areas where we live so most of our shopping is done online anyway. What a great way to browse without having to find all of the individual registries!

  76. Chelsea Nickels says:

    So easy to use!! My friend just had her baby a little early but was registered at 4 different places!! You get the full run-around when using the actual shop page registry finder- takes forever!! I love your wedding photos, so beautiful and full of life!!!

  77. Hannah Blackburn says:

    I am planning my wedding right now, and I loved your insight on what really is the best day. I can’t wait to experience it for myself!

  78. Kristen Johnson says:

    I think it makes it easier on those who are giving gifts as well .

  79. Julianne J says:

    It’s awesome! I am going to a wedding this weekend and I didn’t know that they were registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond! That’s more fun than the standard target.

  80. Julianne J says:
  81. Very handy!

  82. I will share this with my best friend, who is getting married. Perfect!

  83. Love this! Wish it would’ve been around when I got married.

  84. Sarah R says:

    This tool has already been so helpful to me in looking up where couples are registered. All in one place, no need to ask around or go searching for those little notes included in the announcement/invitation (IF they even were included).

  85. Rachael Werth says:

    I am needing to buy a wedding gift for an upcoming wedding and this site is easy peasy

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