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Get ready engaged (and soon-to-be-engaged) gals: today’s your lucky day!! In the spirit of gifting experiences, we could think of nothing better than giving you ALL the things you’ll need for creating a memorable wedding planning experience. I wish I’d been lucky enough to have all these resources (both pretty and practical) during my engagement season, and you can bet that I give them to all my best gals when they get engaged. We know that your wedding day will be one of the most meaningful experiences in your life, and we hope these tools help with your planning and preparation!!

1. Southern Wedding Magazine V9: For practical information and pretty inspiration
2. The Southern Weddings Planner: To keep track of all the details and assist with wedding etiquette
3. Marriage Certificate: To commemorate your big day
4. Vows Booklet Set: For crafting your vows and keeping them close (pocket of your wedding dress perhaps?)
5. The Wedding Day Journal: To remember the planning process, big day and early days of newlywed bliss
6. Welcome Home Guestbook: For documenting all your visitors and sweet memories in the weeks and years after getting married

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One winner will be drawn on December 19th!

kristin Written with love by Kristin

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Over the weekend, KPW and I were visiting his family in North Carolina. We spent Saturday afternoon cleaning out his old desk drawers, which were overflowing with college notebooks and more than a few sports magazines. The prized find in between his Poli-Sci notes and the 1993 ACC Tournament Guide was his Communication 120 spiral notebook. The particular notebook is extra special because it is from the fateful class where we met a dozen years ago. While flipping through the notebook, we uncovered tic-tac-toe scribbles on the back of class notes (don’t tell my mama and daddy I was too busy flirting with the cute boy who was sitting behind me to pay attention), as well as KPW’s fall exam schedule, written in very distinctive handwriting (ahem, mine) at the back of his book.

This got me thinking about the digital age and the power of the written word. Most people I know exist in a world full of email, text messages, and an ever-growing list of social media channels. In this digital age, writing things down can feel a little awkward and potentially unnecessary. However, I feel it’s incredibly necessary and something we should intentionally work to do on a somewhat regular basis. In my humble opinion, there is something wildly entertaining (and a bit romantic) about pulling out a pen and paper to capture life memories in your unique handwriting.

From our engagement session with Martha Manning

While I’m a known lover of exchanging handwritten cards for all the holidays, for me, picking up a cute card is far easier than documenting memories. While I love the idea of writing things down, I’m not the best “journaler,” so I need prompts. If you can relate, here are some of my favorite resources to help capture your married life memories and give you the chance to put pen to paper:

1. Christmas Memories Book: My MIL gave this to us right before our first Christmas. I may or may not have squealed out loud because I had my eye one for ages, ever since I spotted a family friend’s set of Christmas journals when I visited their house during the holidays. We keep ours packed away with our Christmas decorations and pull it out the weekend after Thanksgiving to fill out for the current year.

2. Wedding Day Journal: This little SW journal is one of my most prized possessions. It was created after a few conversations when I insisted that everyone should complete the SW Real Wedding interview. Even if you’ve been married for a few years, I think this little journal is a great way to capture memories and re-remember your wedding day.

3. Blank Journal: For anyone a little more comfortable with free writing, I think having a gorgeous leather journal and a time on the calendar a few times a year blocked out to capture family memories is brilliant idea. I especially encourage you to take it on vacation to document adventures and other memories! We kept a travel journal from our first anniversary trip and I love re-reading those small memories (closing down the Turkish restaurant around the corner from our hotel on our second night in London) that we might have otherwise forgotten about!

4. The Life Handbook: This little book is perfect for collecting stories and life advice, and a great way to connect during holidays, rainy weekends, or when extended family is visiting. I am also a big fan of taking this on long road trips to help pass the time and scribble down fun memories.

After twelve years of dating, KPW and I have exchanged our fair share of notes and cards–and I’m not the only SW gal who has dated her husband long distance at some point. Taking the time to walk down memory lane and remember funny, sweet, or silly things you shared can be powerful. This can happen on a specific holiday (like a birthday or anniversary), or on a random Saturday afternoon in August ;) Having a pretty box that you can keep out in your bedroom or living room is way better than keeping these special items tucked in the back of a closet or under a bed! There are tons of options out there, but these gold foil boxes are my personal favorite.

I love being able to go back and open up these books and boxes, add to them, and continue to capture our life as it flies by year after year. What a sweet legacy to leave for our future family! Let me know if you have used any of these resources or have found another fun way to capture your memories!

kristin Written with love by Kristin

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Per Emily’s advice, the day after my wedding (actually, while I was on the plane to Italy for my honeymoon!), I opened up a Word document and typed up EVERYTHING I remembered about the magical day before. I included each detail that popped into my head, from what I ate for breakfast, to the way the breeze felt during our first look, to the words my dad whispered to me when he gave me away, to the songs I remember dancing to with my best girlfriends at the reception. I’m tremendously grateful to have recorded all those memories in one place before they could slip away, and while my document served me fine, I would have loved to have the Wedding Day Journal in my carry-on bag as a more keepsake-worthy space for them! We launched this product about a year ago, after hearing time and time again how much brides love filling out our real wedding interview that we send to accompany every feature. Each of the SW gals grabbed a journal as soon as they came in, no matter how long they’d been married, but the closer you are to your wedding when you fill it out, the better!

Want to take a closer look? Here are a few of our favorite pages!

P.S. Have you signed up for our Fruitful Summer series yet? There’s so much goodness in store whether you’re dating, engaged, newly married, or have a few years under your belt! See it all here.

Marissa: After eight years of marriage, BDK and I love reminiscing about our wedding through the prompts in the Wedding Day Journal. It’s surprising how many sweet moments flood right back after chatting through the pages. Even the simplest of questions, like about our first dance, can trigger all the feels!

Lisa: I love that the Wedding Day Journal prompts include the “why,” not just the “what.” Dave and I worked so hard to fill our wedding with things that are meaningful to us, and the Journal provides plenty of space to tell the stories behind everything. The perfect example? The “Why We Chose Our Locations and Date” page. You’ll probably never forget your wedding date or venue, but this will help you remember the heart behind those decisions, too!

Kristin: The idea behind the The Wedding Day Journal is so close to my heart. While I remember that day (and all the days leading up to it) so clearly, there’s no doubt that some sweet details are going to fade with time. KPW and I exchanged traditional vows, just like our parents, as a nod to our history and and the beginning of our legacy together. To add our own touch, we also shared promise statements, with very personal promises that reflected the heart and desires for our marriage. I still cry every time I read those exchanges, and love that I have not only our promises written down, but also the reasons why we decided to say them in the first place.

Emily: Since I didn’t know what I would want to remember (or what I might forget!) from our wedding day, I chose to write down everything! In addition to the big moments, I love that our Wedding Day Journal prompts you to record even the minutia, like how you spent your cocktail hour, so that you have it for posterity.

So much fun, don’t you think? Along with plenty of wedding-related prompts, there are also pages to write down memories of your engagement, honeymoon, and the beginning of married life. It’s such a special place to record these things for yourself and your beau, but I also love thinking about how sweet it will be for future generations to read! Treat yourself to a Wedding Day Journal, or pick one up for a newly engaged or married friend, in the Southern Weddings Shop.

P.S. The journal is also part of our super popular Southern Weddings gift set!

lisa Written with love by Lisa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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