#happilyeveraxten engagement photos

Friday, July 31, 2015

A few weeks ago, my main squeeze and I ventured down to Dundee, Oregon to meet up with Bryan Rupp for our engagement photos. Bryan was referred to us by a coworker, and as I did my research prior to calling him, I found out he had done many weddings for folks I went to high school with. I thought, wow... what a small world. This was totally meant to be! 

As we arrived in Dundee that morning for our 8 am appointment, I got nervous. What if we smile weird? What if K and I look super awkward in our photos? Bryan reassured us that we didn't have to be anyone else but ourselves, and that definitely put us at ease. We took photos by this beautiful lake area called the Paddle Launch, and just a few steps away was a gorgeous hazelnut orchard where we took some more serious photos. I absolutely loved the gold wheat field we stumbled upon too. Those were all within less than a minute of each other, but it seemed as if we went to four very different locations. He was amazing to work with, and I think he captured wonderful photos that day. I'm beyond thrilled to share with all of you a few of my favorites today. (The rest can be found on Facebook for those of you who I'm Facebook friends with.)

Thanks, Bryan for capturing these happy moments! 
We can't wait for our  #HappilyEverAxten wedding photos next year. 

wedding planning, episode two.

Friday, July 24, 2015

This past weekend, we officially kicked off the #HappilyEverAxten festivities with a bridal party brunch. I met with my bridesmaids and man of honor at Rockcreek Seafood and Spirits and enjoyed delicious beignets, coffee and an amazing breakfast.

During the brunch, we discussed a few important things such as color palettes, dress styles and then of course, a few initial idea for the Bachelorette Party! To note, they wanted to keep it a surprise, so this chat was more of a "What do you not want at the party..."

Overall, it was a great chance for my cousin Anna to meet and get to know the other girls in my bridal party. As well, it was her first time meeting my best friend and man of honor, Robert. What was so special to me was that we were all ADPis and it's really awesome to see that sisterhood is forever not just four years. (insert cheesy, teary-eyed emoji)

So thankful and beyond blessed to be surrounded by great friends this past weekend and look forward to continuing the celebrations and planning for the big day!

Fellow brides-to-be, how have you kicked off your wedding planning?

the house hunt. // the journey and our last hurdle

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

image via

As some of you may know from a previous blog post and my recent pins, my main squeeze and I have been house hunting. I kid you not, this process has been an emotional roller-coaster.

In total, we've spent about four months aggressively stalking all real estate sites and meeting with our agent. If someone were to stumble upon our pre-"open house" planning sessions, they would think we're crazy. We have Zillow on my iPad, Redfin on his, the MLS listings up on our laptop, and then Windemere and Google Maps on other various screens.

During this journey, we ran into a bunch of obstacles. We realized the neighborhoods we wanted to live in... Welp, everyone else wanted to live there, too. We learned that photos on Zillow are really deceiving; i.e., we toured a house that I'm 100-percent convinced was built for gnomes. Three bedrooms, my butt mister... that house had barely a one bed, and splitting your attic does not mean two bedrooms. We also discovered that neighbors are important, especially normal ones because we definitely ran into some questionable folks near the houses we toured.

We put in our first offer.... didn't get it. That night, I cried. No, I actually balled my eyes out. I had fallen in love. The second offer, there were nine bids. I didn't even breathe or flinch when K told me we didn't get it. I was becoming numb to this cold, competitive market... didn't want to get our hopes high again. With the shutdown of our two offers, K and I got a little nervous. Both of us had invested so much time looking for our new home, and we knew from talking to our friends who were builders/investors, that the market was only going to get worst. Were we really going to get outbid every time?

But then about a week after our second offer fell through, we found this cute little gem of a house in a neighborhood we merely skimmed over... it was totally not on our radar, and the house was sorta of hidden away. Kellen forwarded me the listing, and we thought, "Well heck, why not? We've got nothing to lose." So K and I met up with our agent that day, and as soon as we walked through the front door, we just knew -- this is it! We fell in love.

Bonus, the house is ten times bigger and better than the previous two offers we put in. It is close to the city, but far enough where we can call it a semi-suburbia residence. That same day, we put in our offer... and then the waiting game began.

Over the past few weeks, we've been going through our inspections, a few rounds of negotiations that almost made me pull my hair out, and then dealt with a little drama, aka the seller was being a huge diva. Finally today, we're getting over our last hurdle -- the appraisal. I'm hoping the next time I'm updating you on our house hunt, it will be us squealing with the keys to our little bungalow of a home. [insert praying hands emoji]

Fingers crossed that we'll hear good news today!

wedding planning, episode one.

Monday, July 13, 2015

#HappilyEverAxten is well underway folks. Some say I went turbo speed and got a little too crazy, but my fiance is beyond thrilled that we're ahead of the game. 

Within one month of our engagement, we secured our date, ceremony location, reception venue, our photographer and took our engagement photos! Oh... and I also found my dress. I guess that's what happens when two "Type A", highly organized/OCD folks get engaged... you get a lot done, hella fast. 

Where are we getting married, you ask? For the ceremony, we've chosen a beautiful cathedral and are having a big, traditional Catholic wedding. Fun Fact: My family has gone to this church since I was a wee little one, so it definitely has a special place in my family's hearts. And for the reception, think rustic meets industrial for our venue -- exposed steel and wine barrels. Large open windows, lush greenery and twinkle lights. It's very modern, romantic and a little whimsical. 

Color Palette? I'm in love with the rosy blush, cream, grey and platinum scheme.

Our photographer? The amazing Bryan Rupp. I heart his charismatic personality, his stunning talent and how at ease he made me and K feel when we were at our engagement photo session. Simply the best! 

Now that we've gotten through the big pieces, I feel like we can take our time with the rest of the planning. I mean we have a whole year! With that, I've been practicing my calligraphy (see above and check out my Instagram for more!), and want to incorporate this personal touch to the wedding. So far, I've created all of my bridal party invitations from scratch (thank goodness for Paper Source!), and hope to do some more fun little DIY projects for the big day. I'm thinking of creating my own seating chart, the table numbers, maybe even self-addressing the invitations with script. 

Those are all the details I have for now! 

Follow along my Pinterest board for a taste of what's inspiring #HappilyEverAxten, 
and feel free to share any wedding planning tips. 


big life moments: marriage and house hunting

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Blah blah blah I know... I haven't written on here for a whole month. Let me repeat.. a whole month. You can call it a hiatus or me being lazy.. but I'll be the first to admit that it just wasn't a priority (sadly). And before I get bashed or "I can't believe you just said that" finger pointing at me...let me explain. 

First, you can't blame me for romping around town and basking in the glow of my engagement... secondly, I've also just been swamped with the start of this crazy process for both wedding planning and house hunting.

Did you hear that? HOUSE. I know. We're absolutely nutso to be going through both of these huge life moments at the exact... same.. time. I've heard that about a bajillion times so far already, and I can't tell you how fast my heart pitter patters each time I say both of those things out loud.

And it's not exactly the easiest of things either. The housing market in Seattle is a mad zoo. It's competitive. There are bidding wars... which makes me feel like it's The Hunger Games to find your dream home. Prices are skyrocketing and hopeful, optimistic first-time-home-buyers like myself and my main squeeze are just overwhelmed as international investors are buying everything left and right.. in cash.

So yes, my weekends have become not as sexy as they used to be. We've traded date nights for Zillow stalking, wine and takeout, and on week nights, I'm doing wedding research. Instead of my random shopping adventures, I've been pinching every penny for the future casa. I've pretty much said "goodbye" to Nordys and "hellloooo Home Depot". (This is only temporarily, right?)

And for those in the Seattle area who have recently bought a home or in the process - I feel your pain. My heart has been broken.. not once, but twice. And my main squeeze and I are reevaluating what's most important for this home. Is it location, space and/or schools? I feel like in this market either you get A with a hefty price tag or B and C but with a 45min+ commute each way to work. We're weighing our pros and cons right now, and doing our best to figure it all out.

As we continue on this marathon of house hunting and wedding planning, I'll be sure to fill you in. There's going to be a few vent seshes (apologies in advance), some tears and hopefully, high-pitched squeals when we start to get everything a bit more concrete.

Until next time...

If you recently bought a house or are looking for one, 
feel free to share your tips via tweet or comment below!

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