Tag Archives: Wedding

Things I’m Thankful For

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday of the year.  Much of that has to do with the fact that my family has the best traditions ever for Thanksgiving, therefore making it my favorite.  If you’ve been reading my blog since last year, you might remember that I wrote a two-part post on the fun that my family has during Thanksgiving.  Part one talked about some of the traditions that we have and part two expounded on one of those traditions, also known as “share time”.  I was so looking forward to Thanksgiving last year, just as I do every year.  But then the day before Thanksgiving something happened…we received the news that my grandpa had a severe form of leukemia.  He was rushed to Stanford for intense chemotherapy, and suddenly our Thanksgiving tradition was at a screeching halt.

But, having the awesome family that I have and living in the hope of eternity in heaven altogether through Jesus Christ, we pulled together last year.  We loaded ourselves and our Thanksgiving feast into our cars and all twenty-some of us headed 4 hours up north to Stanford to spend Thanksgiving together as a family.  And although last year’s Thanksgiving involved quite a few tears, it also involved a lot of joy, a lot of memories and a lot of thankfulness.

Last year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went on date #1 with a very special man.  Our first date consisted of us going to my family’s calf ranch for a little tour and then we had enchiladas at my favorite restaurant in downtown Visalia.  Who knew that two and a half months after date #1, I’d be engaged to that special man?!  Six months later we got married.  And now, we’ve been married for almost 4 months!  And the cool part is that although Grandpa was still battling leukemia, he was able to be at our wedding.

Phil, Grandma, Grandpa & I on our wedding day

About a month and a half ago, Grandpa passed away and went home to be with the Lord.  This Thanksgiving is going to once again be one filled with tears, but also with a lot of joy.  It’ll be filled with memories, but a lot of thankfulness.  And so this year I’m thankful for a lot of things, but I’m especially thankful for these:

1.  My God.  This year I did a Bible study called “The Inheritance” and it was so cool to learn that I’m an heiress.  For those who called Jesus their Savior, we receive our inheritance of an eternal kingdom as well as the Holy Spirit.  We’re co-heirs with Jesus!  How crazy is that?!  I just feel really blessed that God chose to adopt me into his kingdom so that I could be called his daughter.  I’m thankful for his forgiveness, which I need often.  And I’m thankful that He truly gives us His peace and His strength when storms pass through our lives.

2.  My husband.  What a guy he is!  I won’t gush too much because he’ll probably be embarrassed and the rest of you would probably be annoyed, but he really is the best husband a girl could ever ask for.

3.  My grandpa.  The legacy that he’s left behind is awesome.  I think that my family is as close as we are because of the life that he lived, putting God first and his family second.  Along with my grandpa, I’m thankful for my entire family.  I often have a hard time explaining to people how close we are…mostly because people don’t understand.  Many people have good families and are close to their families, but my family is still different somehow.  We like to hang out with each other.  A lot.  And I love it.

God is good, all the time!  All the time, God is good!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone 🙂

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Wedding Wednesday: RSVP Etiquette

Only 17 days left until August 4th!!!

We are officially at less than 3 weeks.  Which is crazy.  Sometimes I have to go through the next 3 weekends in my head and say, “Ok Bri, this weekend you have a bachelorette party for Stace to go to, and then the following weekend you & Phil are getting the house all settled & put together, and then the weekend after that…YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!”  I have a conversation like that with myself…at least twice a day.  It’s not that I forget my wedding date, it just seems surreal how close it is!

But anyway…wedding is soon.  Check.  Now, today I’m going to discuss RSVP etiquette.  Nothing that I’m about to say is rocket science, it’s just plain & simple, things that you should do & should not do when responding to a wedding invitation.  Some of the examples that I give are things that I’ve seen on my response cards, and others are stories that other brides have told me that they saw on their response cards.  Ok, here we go!


  • Put your name on the line where it says “M” followed by a line.   That is the spot for you to put the names of the guests that are attending.  I have heard stories from quite a few brides who received response cards back in the mail where 2 people said they were attending…but they forgot to write their names down!  So which 2 people out of the guest list of 400 are coming?!
  • Put your full names on that line.  In other words, don’t put “Mr. & Mrs. Flores” because there’s always a possibility that you’re not the only “Mr. & Mrs. Flores” invited to the wedding.  Also, put everyone’s full name.  Such as “Mr. Ernest S. Flores & Mrs. Sharmae Flores.”  If you just put “Mr. & Mrs. Ernest S. Flores” there’s a chance that the bride doesn’t know your spouses name & therefore won’t know what to put on your seating assignment.
  • Put the number of guests attending the wedding next to the little area that says “Will Attend,” “Accepts,” “With Pleasure” whatever.  Don’t just check it…put a number.  If you cannot attend, then check marks or x’s are acceptable.


  • Invite someone who isn’t invited.  Look at whose name(s) are on the invitation.  For example, if it says, “Mr. & Mrs. Ernest S. Flores & Family” then guess what…the whole family can come!  If it says, “Mr. & Mrs. Ernest S. Flores” then only the 2 people named are invited.  If it says, “Mr. & Mrs. Ernest S. Flores & Austin Flores,” then only those 3 are invited.  Austin does not have a guest allotted for him.  If the invitation were to say, “Mr. Austin Flores & Guest” then Austin may bring a guest.  Again, if your name is not on the invitation, you are not invited to the wedding.
  • Invite yourself to a wedding.  If you think that you were supposed to be invited to a wedding, say that the bride or groom is family & you are certain that you’ll be invited to the wedding, but you didn’t get an invitation.  Do not go over to Cousin Suzie’s house & add your name on their RSVP card.  It is possible that the engaged couple forgot to send you an invitation and fully meant to invite you.  In that case, call the bride or groom…or one of their parents & ask if you were invited.  To which you, wait for your own invitation or give a verbal response.

Simple, right?  I don’t even know if these are official rules of response etiquette, but I’ve experience enough of these & heard enough stories from other brides to know that for every wedding, almost every single one of these rules is broken, and if everyone could just follow these simple do’s & don’ts, there wouldn’t be so much turmoil in a bride’s life when it came to the guest list!

On another note, one of my bridesmaids/best friends from high school, and myself baked over 180 peanut butter balls & mini cheesecake bites this past weekend for the dessert bar that we’ll have at the wedding.  We sample both items, and by the end of our baking time, our feet were hurting, as were our stomachs from eating way too many sweet treats!  But we’re glad to report back to you, that both items taste exceptionally delicious!

Renae & I modeling our tasty “Belko Buckeyes” aka the peanut butter balls

That’s all I’ve got for today…happy Wedding Wednesday everyone!

Wedding Wednesday: RSVP Cards

Wedding Countdown: 38 Days

I skipped out on Wedding Wednesday last week because it was pure madness!  Last week we put the invitations in the mail, which was one of the happiest, best feelings ever!  Having the whole invitation situation loom over my head was becoming a bit daunting.  But, they’re done.  El fin.  Finito. Finished.

And now, I feel like I’m ready to tackle the rest of my wedding to-do list!  I’ve totally been in a bit of a wedding planning rut the past few weeks.  I haven’t had any desire to do wedding stuff & all I’ve wanted to do is hang out with Phil!  (which, is probably a good thing since I’m marrying him and all!) but I just needed some motivation in the whole, planning department.  Thankfully, one of my friends got married this past weekend & her beautiful, fun wedding inspired me to hit the wedding plans hard again.

At this point, what I’m most excited for is to receive our RSVP cards back in the mail.  I put a line on the bottom of the RSVP card that says, “One Song Guaranteed to Get You on the Dance Floor.”  I’m p.u.m.p.e.d. to see guests’ responses to that!  So, if you are holding on to your RSVP card, send it to me!  I can’t wait to see it!

I love ecstatic responses like the one that my sister-in-law put on her RSVP card! Kelsey, I liked your response too! 🙂

So, that’s what’s going on this week.  I’ll be talking about some DIY crafts on next week’s Wedding Wednesday!


Wedding Wednesday: Shower Time

This past weekend I had my first shower.  My future mother-in-law and sister-in-law threw it for me.  It was so beautiful!  They did a “picnic” theme, as it was on a picnic that Phil asked me to marry him.  We had delicious tea in canning jars (I love canning jars!) and the picnic theme was accented in light turquoise.  It was perfect.

I enjoyed my time meeting the ladies that have watched “Philly” grow up through the years.  That was one thing that I noticed, they clearly have all known him since he was little because there was not one person who did not refer to my 25-year-old fiance as “Philly.”  I felt very showered with love by the fact that these women who had no idea who I was, took time out of their Saturday’s to meet me.  Not only that, but we definitely received some awesome gifts off of our registries as well!

This week continues to keep me busy with wedding plans as our invitation send-out deadline is next week Friday.  Yes, I’m kind of freaking out right now, thank you for asking.  Ahhhhh!  🙂  I’ll get back to work on those invites & leave behind a few pics from the shower for you to check out.

Ciao bellas.

From Left to Right: Phil’s momma, my ma, me & my grandma

Some bridesmaids & guest book gals….they also happen to be family 🙂

Socializing during the shower

Wedding Wednesday: The Cake Debate

I don’t like cake.  The only cake that I halfway like is cake from the box.  Like, Rainbow Chip or Funfetti cake.  Yes, I like those a lot, actually.

Phil isn’t a huge fan of cake either.  We both like sweets.  I think it’s safe to say on behalf of the both of us that we love chocolate, but cake just isn’t our temptress.

So then there’s this looming question when you’re getting hitched, but you don’t like cake.  I’ll call it “The Cake Debate.”

Do you have cake at your wedding, or do you skip it? 

I mean, cake is expensive.  Wedding cakes especially, and they usually don’t taste that great.  Whenever I’m at a wedding, if cake is offered, I never eat it.  Never.  Simply put, I think that cake = expensive + gross

But then there’s the other side to this debate:  cake is a tradition.  And some people really do like cake.  What about those momentous pictures of the bride and the groom cutting the cake?!  You can’t skip those!

What’s a bride to do?  Compromise.  So, compromise is exactly what we’re doing!  We’re having a cake, but not a huge cake.  A cake big enough to cut and give us those great pictures that we’ll be able to put in an album and show our children someday years down the road…but a cake small enough to keep our pockets from being emptied and our freezer from being stocked with more leftover cake than we’d ever want to eat.

Ah yes, compromise is a beautiful thing.  Now, do we have any cake flavor suggestions out there?  We’re all ears!

Our cake topper. “B” for Belko!

Wedding Wednesday: Gift Registry

Last week Friday, my future mother-in-law texted me and asked where Phil & I were registered at because she needed to put that information on a shower invitation.  I read her text message and realized that we really hadn’t registered anywhere yet!  At which point, I texted Phil and said, “We need to go register for stuff on Sunday!!!”  So, register, we did.

On Sunday we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I was having slight anxiety before we got there because my cousin (and one of my bridesmaids), Michele, told me that the people at Bed, Bath & Beyond followed them around while they registered.  Well, I strongly dislike when sales associates are overly helpful.  For example:  following people around as they register.  Or shop.  Or browse.  Whatever, just don’t follow me!  I have a hard time making decisions that way.  Anyway, I expressed my anxiety to Phil on the way to the store and he sweetly calmed me down and told me he would ask them not to follow us if they tried, and that I had no need to be anxious about it.

Thankfully, the helpful Bed, Bath & Beyond employee was the perfect amount of helpful.  He got us set up with the scanner and showed us a good pots & pans set to register for, and then he told us to let him know if we had questions and let us venture off on our own!  Sweet freedom.

I’ve also been registering online at a store called Sur La Table.  They have stores, but the one nearest me is 45 minutes away.  Which isn’t far, but…online shopping is my new favorite thing.  Since registering is similar to shopping…I went online.  Sur La Table is the only store that has the dinnerware and silverware that I like.  I’m so pumped about the dinnerware.  It’s called the “Pearl Collection.”  If you need to register for dishes, check those out!  I won’t even care that you copied me.  😉  They also have some fancy cooking apparatuses, as well as some fun cow oven mitts.  (And you know that I registered for the cow oven mitts!)

For the last place, I was deciding between Macy’s & Target.  Initially I went with Macy’s, but after browsing for nearly an hour, I had only registered for 4 things.  At which point, God opened my eyes to the light:  Target.  I don’t know why I didn’t choose Target before.  Target’s like…my favorite store.  They have everything.  Everything, I tell you.  Phil & I registered for a few more items there.  Phil loved Target’s scanner gun and the camping section.  Nothing more manly than guns & the outdoors, right?  My fiance is a manly man.  Holla!

Registering has been a lot of fun.  It’s a blast getting to pick things out with Phil & knowing that they are going to be things that we use to build our life together.  And that’s what marriage is all about:  two people joining together!  Our biggest issue with registering is that the “suggested” number of items that we register for for the size of our guest list is 800 items.  So far we’ve registered for just over 300 items.  And I feel like we’ve already registered for everything!  So here’s where you guys can help me, if you’ve registered before:  Is there anything you didn’t register for that you wished you had?  What gift off of your registry do you use all of the time?  Any other registry advice?