Tag Archives: two brides

Can we really afford this?

Today was a breakthrough day for us in wedding planning. We made two big decisions today that made me feel instant relief in the HUGE amount of anxiety I have had about our wedding for the last 2 months.

When we called our wedding sales consultant to chose our date she asked us if we would be open to applying to be cast on the upcoming season of the DFTW TV show. It would require us to move up our date (to accommodate their filming schedule) and reduce the size of our guest count (because of our budget) so we were a little reluctant to do it, but Sue has a winning way and she convinced us to give it a shot. She sent me a link to apply and said that 2 of the 3 casting people had met us at the showcase and really liked us so she really wanted us to give it a go and just see if they want to work with us and what they could do to help us plan a dream wedding.

I sent in the application that night and heard back the following morning. We scheduled a video interview with the third casting agent for the next day to have a relaxed chat about us and our wedding plans.

We were told to look presentable because they would be using the video to present us to the producers if they liked us. We talked to the CA and she asked us about how we met, the proposal, any wedding preparations we had already made, and what we would want for our dream wedding.

Our main hesitation was that since we are paying for our wedding on our own we needed the 18 months of preparation to come up with the money to fund our 50-60 person wedding. We told them that in 5 months there was no way we could have the money to pay for the wedding we are currently planning… we would have to do Disney’s smaller wedding package that allows only 18 guests. The casting agent told us to just be very transparent in our video about our budget and the fact that we would only change our plans if they could help us create something truly magical for our guests with the money we have.

She said all of the casting people loved us so she would be preparing our video for the producers… but here’s the stressful part: IF the producers liked us they would get back to us to do a background check but she had no idea when that would be. IF they didn’t like us we wouldn’t hear from them again… So we basically had to go on as though none of that happened and just wait to see if they would call, if not at least it was a kinda fun experience and an honor to be considered.

Waiting on this has caused me a ridiculous amount of anxiety- can’t really explain it because I know it sounds unreasonable. I basically felt like I couldn’t move forward with anything because there was too much up in the air. We made the decision today that even if they called us we will say no. For several reasons we felt like it was time to make our own decision on that and mentally shut the door so we could move forward. So we did! I instantly felt better…

The other thing we did was decide to take all the money we have saved for the wedding and dump it into my credit card debt. I should have all my non store debt (besides my car) paid off by January. When I was working my last job my income was super unreliable and I got into more debt than I care to admit just paying bills on lean months… plus a big trip expense that wouldn’t have been an issue except that I spent about a year making less a month than I needed to live… Paying off three cards today alone feels amazing! It was hard to take the money we saved and use it, but we are saving what could amount to over a thousand dollars on interest. Plus with no credit card payments I will be able to recover that money in a short period of time. We want to have all of our wedding paid for in cash, but one of my major worries is that something catastrophic could come up and we wouldn’t be able to make our goal. Now I know that if the worst does happen we have a bigger safety net and that feels really good. I made several mock budgets with a range of guest totals and other possible expenditures. We spent about an hour going over them and I think we are getting closer to figuring out where we will be able to trim the fat and where we feel like we have to splurge. It now feels like it won’t be impossible to have this wedding, yay for spreadsheets!

Feeling really thankful this weekend for Amanda being an amazing partner and caring so much about me.


The wait is on…

What do you do when you are over a year and a half out from your wedding and you are just so excited to be doing something but there isn’t a lot you can do??

Spend hours a day on the internet learning everything you can about wedding planning, I guess. So this week not a lot has happened.

We have gone to 3 different Ben Bridge locations, a Tiffany’s retailer, Kay Jewelers, and Zales. I really never thought I would want to have a big central stone or a set. I was thinking a medium width white gold band with some inset diamonds. After a few trips to the jeweler I have surprised myself by falling in love with giant rings and rose gold. I may need to get a second job with a jeweler to pay for this new love for sparkly rings. The first time we went Amanda found a ring she liked right away, and she has been looking at the same ring every time we go to a different Ben Bridge. I found a rose gold band with morganite stones halo’d in diamonds that I really liked but the width of the stones is a little too wide for me and it rubs against the inside of my fingers… not the end of the world but maybe not the ring even though I thought it was really pretty. I tried on several bands while we were there and of course LOVED the $5000 radiant cut diamond 5 stone platinum band, but it is way out of our first ring budget. So I tried some other styles as well and learned that I do actually love all the sparkly big rings. Here are a few I have tried on so far…

And here are some Amanda has tried… This first is the one she likes very best!

We did go try on some more rings last week and I found one I really love. The jeweler was kinda putting some pressure on us- which is the first time this has happened… just warning that this ring might not be around if we try to wait until closer to the wedding to buy it and that rose gold and morganite is not a super common combination for wedding sets so we might not be able to find something I like as much if it sells out. One of the previous Ben Bridge jewelers we tried on rings with had told us that if we saw anything online that we liked we could let her know and she would get it in to the store for us to try on. We both really liked her so I emailed her and asked if she would be able to get that ring and one other for me to try. I feel like she would be more honest with me about the likelihood of this ring disappearing and I know if she is holding it in a store for me to try on it buys me a little more time at least.

I felt like with my dress I had to make a snap decision. I don’t regret buying it but it felt like a now or never kind of situation and I don’t want our rings to feel that way. I want to feel like we have time to really think about what we want and try on a lot of rings and styles. Amanda is still pretty sold on her ring right now but I think she still wants to browse a bit and I don’t think her ring is at risk of being discontinued. Hopefully we get a chance to go to a few more jewelers and try on more styles before I need to make a decision. One major plus is that if I get a set like this I can start wearing the engagement ring part as soon as we get it, instead of having to wait until after we get married like I would if I just get a band. I can’t wait to wear that pretty pink ring!

So that is ring shopping so far… Even if you are not engaged or in the market for a ring I would recommend going and trying on some rings for fun! You never know, you may realize that you love sparkly things too.

Also a final note on this- we have really liked the staff and experience with Ben Bridge so far- minus the one pushy sales person who may very well have been looking out for me… They haven’t turned up their noses at our smallish budget, instead they have been finding rings that work in our price range and offering options like lay-away and financing. They have a great upgrade program for diamond rings where you can bring your ring (you purchased from them) in and get the value you paid for it towards a ring of 2x the value or more when you are ready to upgrade. I don’t think I would part with my ring I was married with but it is a nice option for someone who isn’t as sentimental. They have also been very friendly and welcoming to two brides ❤

Update: I got the ring!! I decided on the rose gold with the pink morganite tear shaped stone. Best part is that I get to wear the engagement ring portion immediately. I am very pink and sparkly.

This week in wedding planning: 20 months and 2 weeks?

Since we don’t have an exact date for our wedding yet I am just going for a best guess… This week:

  • Started a Wedding Binder
  • Window shopped for rings
  • Decided on our wedding party
  • Made some priority lists
  • Created fun Bridesmaid proposal gifts

So I guess in this post I will cover how I went about creating a wedding binder. I know our wedding is a long way out but when I think of the HUGE amount of planning that needs to be done it’s hard to do nothing and wait for the “appropriate time” to start planning.

I am an over planner maybe? Or at least an enthusiastic planner, and I am excited so I need to be doing something. I thought it would be good to start a physical planner… Pinterest is great for pooling ideas but it isn’t as organized as an actual journal or book. I looked to pinterest and google for advice and found some ideas and free printables… not a ton that worked for me but I stole bits and pieces from a bunch of spots and then created my own when I couldn’t find anything I liked.

A great resource for planning a wedding at disneyland is This Fairy Tale Life. That site has some planning lists and “what you need to know”‘s specifically for a DL wedding. I grabbed the checklist from there and started making a list of the tabs I would need in my binder… Took a few revisions but I think I have the set-up the way I want it. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone making a wedding binder for a Disney wedding or any other wedding.

My categories are

General Information

  • Planning (schedules and calendars)
  • Vibes (colors, themes, atmosphere)
  • Misc

Serious Business

  • Budget
  • Vendors
  • Contracts


  • Guest List (contact info and rsvp)
  • Invitations (ideas and drafts)
  • Guest Experience (enhancement ideas, favors, etc)


  • Venues (ideas and photos of possible venues for both ceremony and reception)
  • Ceremony (schedule, decor, rehearsal info, music)
  • Reception (decor, ideas, timeline, music)
  • Catering (food, cake, booze)


  • Clothes (for both of us)
  • Rings
  • Wedding Party Attire


I found that for our wedding this was the best way for me to break down and organize ideas and information in a format that was easy for my to find and utilize. Here are some photos as well…


Two engagement rings…

After some thought and a few days of engagement bliss Amanda and I decided that I should have an engagement ring as well… I mean we are both the bride, and the bride should get to wear an engagement ring, right?? Who knows… we just both wanted to have a visible token of our engagement, and since we can do whatever we want we did. I got a matching smaller width tungsten ring to go with hers. I returned the two previously purchased rings that did not fit her and ordered my ring. I know I mentioned before, but the ring company we purchased from (EMBR) was really helpful and easy to work with. The rings are inexpensive, the company is great with communication, and they deliver quickly. When we got my ring Amanda wanted to put it on me, so she took her turn proposing, and of course I said yes 😉

Here are our two rings together and I like mine so much I will probably just switch it to my right hand when I get my wedding ring.


She said YES!!!

After a week of not sleeping well, having no appetite, and probably making Amanda think I was crazy because I was being so sensitive it was FINALLY Sunday morning. I am a horrible secret keeper and I just like to tell her everything and it was really hard to omit something so exciting and big from our interaction.

We got a little bit of a late start down to the parade which was probably good because I was so anxious waiting to propose. We had two good friends from portland in town with us as well as my two co-conspiritors (her mom and one of my best friends, Shea- whose proposal at Disneyland we were present for). When she went to use the bathroom one of our friends went after her to keep her distracted (brilliant work Christina!) while I went to talk to the announcers at the stage. I got them on board with my plan, they were excited too, and they said they would call us up to the stage right before the parade started.

The announcers began warming up the crowd and said that pride was all about love and that they had some friends who wanted to give us a real life demonstration of love and could Sara and Amanda come up to the stage. I pulled her up there- she definitely knew what was going on at that point.

I had about 5 different variations of my proposal planned out but I told myself not to overthink it and just go with the flow once it was happening. I told a little story of how we first came together, only stumbling over my words a little bit and taking her wrong hand, then asked her if she would marry me. I had more to say but I was afraid I would start rambling and I didn’t want to keep her up there forever. My beautiful princess said yes, and I felt so relieved that I had pulled it off and had given her a proposal that I thought was worthy of her love.

We got to walk back to our friends and her mom (my future mom too!!) and get hugs and pictures. Her mom had gotten us “bride to be” sashes to wear for the day and she put them on us. I asked if we could have a quick little walk so I could have a minute to decompress with her. I let her try on the second ring I had brought with me that day but it seemed like the size 6 fit best. I got to hug her and cry for a few minutes and apologize for being difficult that week. She said she had no idea I measured her finger (not that I recommend that as an accurate technique).

We got to spend the rest of the day with our people and lots of little moments hugging and kissing and being excited together. It was a pretty great day ❤

Thank you to our dear friends Shea, Adrian, Trish, and Christina, and of course MOM for helping make this day so memorable and special. We love you.


If at first you don’t succeed buy a few more rings and hope for the best…

So after ordering Amanda (aka sleeping beauty)’s ring I was sent a shipping confirmation and eagerly awaited delivery. When it arrived on Tuesday I was so excited I ran upstairs to the mailbox to get it and barely made it in the door before opening the mailer envelope. I loved the interior envelope it came in so I did make sure to stop and catch my breath long enough to grab my camera and grab some photos.

I love the ring and the packaging, not to mention the speedy service and I would definitely recommend this company (EMBR) to anyone looking for a tungsten steel ring. Unfortunately after trying it on my finger I knew it would be too big for Amanda’s delicate alien fingers and I was going to either have to propose knowing the ring was too big or try to get a smaller size before Sunday.

Here is the ring perfectly fitting my child sized sausage-like fingers

So I contacted 2 people- My future brides mom, and the company (via Facebook) and they both replied within the hour. Mom was on top of it by helping me reassess ring size by measuring her own ring since their hands are similar sizes and agreed that having a ring that fit her that day so she could wear it immediately would be ideal.

I started to think I would be safer having two more sizes of ring when I proposed, so if the first didn’t fit I could have a second option and hopefully at least one of the THREE RINGS I will have in my possession will fit her perfectly. The Company representatives at EMBR were really nice and said that any ring that didn’t fit could be returned for a full refund, so I felt really safe placing an order for another two rings. Hopefully they will arrive by tomorrow to ease my anxiety about having the right ring in time.  Note to self and other sneaky proposers- string is not the most accurate way to measure someones finger, especially if you are trying to do it without them noticing!

Cross your fingers that she says yes and all my frantic measuring and ordering pays off!


How to somewhat successfully get your girlfriends ring size without her knowing

This week Amanda, hereafter referred to as Sleeping Beauty and her other aliases, started a new job. She has been working hard, getting up on a new early schedule (as she used to work evening shifts), and has been riding the high of the stress and excitement of a big life change.


Let me diverge for a minute- about 6 months ago I found THE RING. I saw it online in an instagram ad… note to small business owners, apparently those sometimes work. I knew the second I saw it that this was THE ring for Aurora. See she’s not your typical girly girl. She wants a more simple band, she doesn’t wear jewelry in general, and she doesn’t like to wear feminine things in general. So when you are a girl proposing to another girl, and she’s not the blingy engagement ring type, what do you use to propose? I want her to be able to select her own wedding band. I feel like that is something you will be wearing every day for, hopefully, the rest of your life and it has to be perfect for your hand. So I wanted her to have an engagement ring and a wedding band as two separate entities… unless she just really loves the engagement ring so much that she doesn’t want a second band.

I saw the perfect ring that just called to me for SB. It is black tungsten steel, won’t bend or scratch, and it has a red anodized interior. Black and red are her favorite colors. Now this may or may not sound like a plus to you but for Aurora it is- it was inexpensive and easily replaceable. She sometimes loses things and is not used to wearing and keeping track of a ring. I wanted this to be something that she would not have to stress about ruining or losing. It could happen, and I want it to be easy to replace while she gets used to having a ring. The only thing that was keeping me from buying this ring was that I was unsure of what size to get. I would have had it for months waiting for the right time.

I have been thinking about the proposal for awhile. When to do it? How to do it? While I am an introvert, and would probably like to be proposed to in a more intimate setting, SB is not. She is an extrovert, she likes big, bright, loud, shiny! I knew that the perfect proposal for her would have to be something largely public and grand. Of course I think she would accept any proposal but I wanted to make it perfect for her. I finally settled on a when and how but now the time is getting close and I still don’t know a ring size.

Being the planner I am I had actually tried to get her ring size in the past when I made her a ring around Christmas time in a metal smithing class I took. The ring was just a for fun ring and I didn’t realize that when you make a ring you should actually make it slightly too tight because once you completely polish it the ring will have actually increased in circumference. By the time SB got her ring it fit her middle finger much better than her ring finger. One more complication was that Aurora has been doing crossfit lately and has lost some weight and I think her fingers have gotten smaller. So now I just know that it has to be smaller than the ring I made her. How much? No idea.


So back to our story. I devised a plan to try to measure Auroras finger. She would be hanging out with some friends on friday night and no doubt celebrating her new job. I was hoping she would be drinking a little extra… Usually when she is out late with friends she sleeps on the couch so she won’t wake me up by coming in to bed. Frequently with the tv on. I was hoping she would pass out in the living room with the tv on and would be sleeping soundly enough and with enough background noise and stimulation that I could measure her finger without her waking up…

I had cut a decent length of dental floss and my original plan was to tie it on her finger and then use cosmetic scissors to cut it off, but I convinced myself that she would feel the scissors if the string was appropriately tight. So I opted to use a marker to mark the string where it crossed on her finger. I had all my supplies ready, plus my phone as a camera to take a video for her mom, when my alarm went off at 2am.

I went out into the living room and my plan was foiled! The tv was off and her hands were tucked in the blanket. I had to think fast! I woke her up and told her she should come in the room since I was up to go to the bathroom. She came to bed and I put on the tv “so I could fall back asleep”. I held her hand and waited until it seemed like she was sleeping. Then I very smoothly (probably not smoothly) loosened my hold on her hand and wound the string around her ring finger while holding her hand further out. I crossed the string over her finger and quietly (probably not quietly) removed the cap with my teeth- I only had one hand. I marked the string where it crossed with the marker and then removed the string gently (probably not very gently). I had done it! Then I dropped everything on the floor and had to get out of bed to pick it up. While I was out of bed on the floor picking up my phone, the marker, and string Sleeping Beauty opened her eyes and asked me what I was doing. I told her I dropped my phone and I was sorry if I woke her up. I would be right back because I had to go to the bathroom. I left the room and measured the string with a measuring tape. I erred on the side of it being too big because I wasn’t sure if I had actually been able to get the string tight enough. This resulted in my 3am ordering of a size seven ring. Was she awake the whole time just pretending to be asleep so she didn’t ruin my secret plan? Totally possible and I will definitely ask her after the proposal. Also she had marker on her hand in the morning and probably wondered how it got there.

Until next weekend I will be constantly stressing and second guessing myself that a 7 was the right size. Until then we just all have to wait to find out!