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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.

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.}

The aftermath.



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



The mad hatter cake.


The first dance. And those dimples.


The point of no return for my hair.




Headed to our equally casual honeymoon in Catalina.




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


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

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

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.

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  • Reply
    Megan Robinson
    May 17, 2013 at 5:41 am

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 5:58 am

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 6:04 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Amanda Renea
    May 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

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

  • Reply
    Joelle Malenic
    May 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

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

  • Reply
    Anna Vollmer
    May 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Jackie Campbell
    May 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    Sarah M.
    May 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I shared as well https://twitter.com/Momlovesl/status/335397668715114496

  • Reply
    Candice williams
    May 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    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!!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

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

  • Reply
    Julie Stephens
    May 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    So much easier to find registries! Love it!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    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!! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

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

  • Reply
    Miranda M
    May 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Jessica Miller
    May 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Noelle g.
    May 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April V
    May 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

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

  • Reply
    Krista Schrotenboer
    May 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    What a fun idea for a reception! I love that.. 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa C.
    May 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Lily Rose
    May 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    jessica w
    May 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    kathy h
    May 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    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? 🙂

  • Reply
    May 18, 2013 at 1:07 am

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

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist
    May 18, 2013 at 1:32 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist
    May 18, 2013 at 1:33 am

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

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

  • Reply
    Margaret Murphy
    May 18, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Im getting married in August and this sounds awesome!

  • Reply
    May 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 18, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    LOVE IT!!

  • Reply
    cassaundra hull
    May 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

    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.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Julie Bledsoe
    May 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 1:23 am

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    Sonia Mazur
    May 20, 2013 at 5:59 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Melissa Morris
    May 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

    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.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

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

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    May 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    May 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm


  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    love this registry tool! So simple.

  • Reply
    Krista W.
    May 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    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! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly Holmquist
    May 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 1:10 am

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

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

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

  • Reply
    Erica Lord
    June 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Jonique Beach
    June 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Chelsea Nickels
    June 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    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!!!

  • Reply
    Hannah Blackburn
    June 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Kristen Johnson
    June 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

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

  • Reply
    Julianne J
    June 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Julianne J
    June 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I tweeted! https://twitter.com/juliannejohnso6/status/341584260030939137

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Very handy!

  • Reply
    Resa T
    June 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

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

  • Reply
    Sarah R
    June 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    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).

  • Reply
    Rachael Werth
    June 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm

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

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