NOTE: Our spam filters are designed to catch comments with multiple links in them and send them to moderation. Because of this, your comment on this post may not show up immediately. But have no fear! It will be counted, and will likely show within 24 hours of you commenting/entering the contest!
Hello, hive! We’ve got another great giveaway for you today! Keep reading to find out how to enter for your chance to win a $250 gift card to Blue Nile!
What’s not to love about Blue Nile? They’re exclusively online and the biggest online retailer of certified diamonds, engagement rings, and fine jewelry. Is bigger better? YES! The perfect diamond for you—size, cut, clarity, and price—is definitely at Blue Nile. They have over 100,000 diamonds to choose from…yep. 100K.
If s/he already put a ring on it, but you’re still looking for that perfect “something blue,” we love Blue Nile’s selection of jewelry in sapphire, topaz, and aquamarine—a blue for every color palette!
Featured (Clockwise from top right): Diamond Curved Necklace 2ctw | Halo Diamond Earrings 1ctw | Blue Topaz and Diamond Pendant Classic Akoya Cultured Pearl and Diamond Earrings | Classic Akoya Cultured Pearl Strand Necklace | Fleur Diamond Earrings 1.5ctw
Pearls, platinum, colored stones, gold, silver, platinum, and more…whew. Jewelry makes the perfect gift for your family and bridal party that they can wear for your wedding and beyond. Shop anytime, with 24/7 live and commission-free customer service, free FedEx shipping on all orders, and a comprehensive education and guidance section helping you with your purchasing decisions every step of the way, day or night.
Are you ready to win some fine jewelry?
Entry is simple:
The grand prize winner will receive a $250 gift card to Blue Nile, and two runners-up will receive $100 Blue Nile gift cards!
You have until 11:59 PM PST on May 28 to enter. Good luck!
No, I’m not married yet. But I did get an important change to my name this weekend. And no, I didn’t change my last name. It’s even better. This weekend, I went from Miss Blue Whale to Dr. Blue Whale!!
Seriously, it feels amazing!! Everyone said I was crazy for planning a wedding while finishing my dissertation, but let me tell you, it’s so nice to know that graduate school will not be hanging over my head during the wedding. (Okay, yes I do have revisions to make which will take several weeks…but I passed the defense, and that’s what matters!)
Plus, my parents and my aunt came into town to attend the ceremony, and it was soooo nice to see them one more time before the actual wedding. (I haven’t seen them in a couple of months.)
(WARNING: This is kind of a lengthy post with our ceremony readings, vows, and etc. If you’re not into these kinds of posts, feel free to skip this one. In a nutshell, we went totally old school with our ceremony but used a couple of slightly less popular scripture readings.)
After we made it to the front of the church, Pastor Mark wasted no time in jumping right into the ceremony. We stood there patiently, our fingers nervously intertwined as we gave each other sideways glances. It almost felt like I was back in junior high trying to catch the attention of the cute boy across the classroom—except the cute boy had already asked me to marry him, and we were moments away from being husband and wife!
Pastor Mark began with a brief statement on the gift of marriage:
“We gather in the presence of God to give thanks for the gift of marriage, to witness the joining together of Justin and Rachel, to surround them with our prayers, and to ask God’s blessing upon them so that they may be strengthened for their life together and nurtured in their love for God…in marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life; created, ordered, and blessed by God. This way of life must not be entered into carelessly or from selfish motives, but responsibly, and prayerfully. We rejoice that marriage is given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
Let us pray: Gracious God, you are always faithful in your love for us. Look mercifully upon Justin and Rachel, who have come seeking your blessing. Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them so that with steadfast love they may honor the promises they make this day, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.”
After his opening statements and prayer, Pastor Mark addressed each of us so that we could give our declarations of intent.
In case you missed my first (and I thought only!) entry in the hair drama journal, click here for some background. Long story short: Mr. B made it clear to me that he does not want my hair fully up, even though I love having an updo. I then bought a dress that led me to believe my hair needs to be up. I thought I could get away with it.
Flash forward to a few days ago: I was messing around with my hair, putting it up in crazy styles, and asking Mr. B what he would do if I walked down the aisle like that. At one point he very seriously said he knew I would not “do that to him” and that he knew I would have my hair “showing in some way.” Cue panic. What?! Why did I think he would be OK with my hair being up?!
Well, now I am back to the drawing board and I need some help. My original compromise style inspiration was this:
I do not plan on showing my dress but I will tell you this—it has a very pretty keyhole back, similar to this:
Nicole is selling a vintage-inspired Mon Cheri wedding gown. She is asking $500 for the size-six gown.
Have a wedding item for sale? Post it with pictures in the Weddingbee Classifieds, and you might see it featured on the blog!
Other great items for sale:
A lot of commenters have asked me about what it was like to plan a wedding while also studying for the bar exam. It’s that time of year again, so I figured I’d address that now.
Studying for the bar exam was, without a doubt, one of the hardest things I have ever done. Maybe THE hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was time-consuming, intellectually challenging, and physically and emotionally exhausting. You know what else is all of those things? Wedding planning. So here are my tips on how to combine the two without going insane.
Choose your date wisely.
The busiest time of studying for the bar exam is the last month before the wedding. The busiest time of wedding planning is the last six to eight weeks before the wedding. Unless you have a lot of help, I would recommend picking a wedding date that’s at least two months after the bar exam. We got married exactly two months and four days after I finished the bar exam, and I’m happy that we had that much time in between the two.
A long time ago, when I had time for Pinterest, I pinned the following photo onto my wedding board with the caption, “Love this look for wedding nails!”
Image via Nature Nails by Tenshi no Hana
When full-nail applique kits started becoming popular, I looked for the lacy look I had pinned and couldn’t get out of my mind. Imagine my excitement when Essie introduced their new line of Sleek Stick Nail Appliques, one of which was aptly titled “Embrace the Lace”!
After all the traditional parts of the wedding reception, it was time to dance! I just wanted to let loose and dance with our friends and family, and be silly, and prove that a big old wedding dress wasn’t going to stop me! Plus, this cutie was ready to get on with the dancing, too.
I asked BM Pow to help me put together a fun dance playlist, since she is on the up and up about contemporary music. For the classic tunes, I left it up to Matt with very few songs on the “no play” list. That list consisted of “Celebration,” “YMCA,” and various line dances. And I didn’t really care if people requested songs. At this point, I had sort of washed my hands of “planning.” I just wanted to dance!
I know this topic of name-changing has been covered numerous times, but I just wanted to add in my two cents since I’m getting married this week.
Image via One Wed
As a kid, I never liked my name. My first name isn’t common at all here in the US. (It is, however, very common in French-speaking countries…which meant nothing to me since I didn’t live in a French-speaking country.) I remember getting so annoyed as a kid when we’d go on family vacations and I’d never find my name on those touristy tchotchkes (key chains, license plates, picture frames, etc.). I’d give my sister the side eye every time she found her name and was able to buy said tchotchkes (she has a very common American name).
I feel like this post should be titled something like “LOOK AT ME. I HAVE TONS OF PICTURES OF MYSELF AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THEM.” I mean, I know it was really helpful for me to look at other people’s engagement photos to know what I wanted and what I didn’t, but I still feel a bit weird posting all of these photos of myself…
That being said, “LOOK AT ME! I HAVE TONS OF PICTURES OF MYSELF (AND SPARKY) AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THEM!”
(*cough*) I mean—please take a look at our engagement photos to help you plan your own engagement sessions…
All following photos by Love Song Photo.
We started in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle, in a little park called Parsons Garden.
Pretending like we like each other or something…
From there, we wandered out into the neighborhood.