Our Wedding Day!

This post would not be here if it weren’t for one thing. All the glory of this day goes to God!¬†It’s hard to believe that Taylor and I have been together for four years now. Neither of us knew how God was working when he took a boy from South Carolina and a girl from Pennsylvania all the way out to Fort Collins, Colorado. We were both accepted to a seven week summer project with Campus Crusade for Christ. What most people don’t know, is that I applied to one project, and Taylor applied to three! Most students don’t get denied their first and second choice, but Taylor did, forcing him to go to Colorado that summer. From there, God started working in BIG ways, and here we are today!

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To begin, thank you so much to everyone who helped make our wedding day so special. Our engagement was roughly 9 months, and it took a lot of hard work and prayers to make everything come together just the way we wanted. We were so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who traveled all across the United States to see us!!

On the morning of the wedding, it was stormy and the wind was being difficult. However, The Lord answered our prayers and opened up clear blue skies with a gentle breeze. Just in time to get married!!

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This sign was handmade by my beautiful bridesmaid, Lacie!

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Our “Plan A” didn’t include a tent for the ceremony. However, the event rental company told us that we had to make a decision 5 days beforehand. At that point, the weather was questionable. Although we didn’t want the tent originally, and we didn’t actually need it, it still looked okay!

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The letter S on the tree was handmade by me. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a giant wooden S, then purchased some fake flower heads from Amazon. I think it was the perfect touch for our ceremony!

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When planning all the little details, it was really important to Taylor and I that we incorporate our passion for traveling and the outdoors in a subtle way.

My parents and I hand made this wooden sign, which listed some of the different places that the two of us traveled to. We also borrowed an old suitcase from a family friend for the cards!

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The bridesmaid robes were purchased from the Etsy shop, LovinglyOurs. I was very impressed with the quality and customer service. They were shipped quickly and they fit each bridesmaid perfectly! I also really loved how there was a variety of colors to choose from and several fonts.

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The suits were ordered from Generation Tux. After being disappointed with the navy suits available at some stores, Taylor found Generation Tux online. We took a leap of faith by measuring each groomsmen by hand, but they all turned out great! There were a few minor sizing glitches, but the company sent replacements overnight. Each groomsmen received their tux two weeks before the wedding, and had a week afterwards to return it. Most companies don’t allow you to pick it up until a day before and they make you return it the very next day!!

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We thought it was only appropriate that the groomsmen enter by boat! ūüėČ

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My wedding gown and all of the bridesmaid dresses were ordered from David’s Bridal.

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We decided to set up a cupcake bar with yummy cupcakes from Brett’s Bakery! We had vanilla, red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, salted caramel, and cookie dough!

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All of the gold cupcake stands were made from old plates and candle sticks I found at goodwill. I just glued them together with industrial strength glue and spray painted them with metallic gold paint.

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Originally, we strung lights for our “Plan A” setup. When we chose “Plan B,” the lights were strung in all the wrong areas. They still looked pretty from a distance though!

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Our wedding was truly magical and flew by with a blink of an eye! Taylor and I were overwhelmed with love and support from all our friends and family. It’s not everyday that you have everyone all together under one tent! ūüôā We couldn’t have asked for a more special day together, and we can’t wait to begin this new chapter.

Once again, THANK YOU to all our dear friends and family for making this day possible!! ‚̧

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Photographer: Marian Ashley 

Flowers: Mill Street Florist

Event Planner: Missy Willis

Cupcakes: Brett’s Bakery¬†

Food: Mutt’s BBQ

Life Update: Moving, Wedding & Football

Hello Everyone!

Taylor and I have been¬†MIA on our blog lately because we’ve been super busy and adjusting to new changes. After three years of having a long distance relationship, we are finally living in the same city!! The closest we’ve ever lived to each other, was 3 hours. It is so surreal being able to date like a “normal” couple. Now, we’re only a 15 minute drive away. We’re very thankful to be where we are today, and wouldn’t be here¬†without the love and support from our friends and family.

We’ve both officially moved from South Carolina to Florida! Taylor accepted a graduate assistantship with the University of Florida, where he will complete his Masters in Athletic Training, which will take him two years to finish. He’s also¬†started doing research in hopes of going on to complete his PHD. Needless to say, he’s been busy!

A lot of people have been asking us about our living arrangements while we’re down here. Before Taylor moved, he wanted to stay somewhere comfortable without spending his entire salary. He did a lot of research and nothing stood out to him. One day, he came up with the idea of living¬†in my parent’s camper at a local campground!! Ha! I was completely against the idea, so I rent an apartment. However, Taylor¬†has spent the past 3 months living in a camper. If you know Taylor, you know that this is right up his alley! If you want to see a post on how he does this, just let us know in the comments.

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As for myself, I moved at the beginning of September. It was difficult leaving the job I loved and my new friends, but I’m happy we’re finally together. I’ve been working with a company located in Jacksonville as an SEO content writer. The position allows me to work remotely, while incorporating my love for writing. I’ve also taken a full-time position with Chick-fil-A! I had several interviews with companies around the area, but after a lot of prayer and direction, Chick-fil-A was the best place for me and my career goals. I look forward to growing professionally and making advancements.

So far, transitioning to Florida has been smooth. As most of you know, Taylor and I are huge Clemson football fans! We moved from the ACC to the SEC and we’re trying to love the Florida Gators as much as we love the Clemson Tigers. It’s tough, but we’re working on it. ūüôā

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The two teams keep our weekends filled with A LOT of football. When we’re not in Gainesville, we’re traveling to¬†Clemson games. So far, we’ve¬†traveled¬†to see Clemson play Auburn and Georgia Tech.

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As for¬†the wedding, the big day¬†is quickly approaching! Our time as an engaged couple is flying, but with all the holiday’s drawing near, the time is only going to pass quicker. So far, we’ve locked down a date, venue, florist, theme, guest list, dress, and¬†photographer. For those of you who don’t know, the wedding will be held in South Carolina during May 2017. You can read about our engagement here.

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Every time I think we’ve got everything under control, I realize there’s¬†50 other things to do! Currently, we’re working on save the dates, our registry, and our honeymoon destination! We’ll be honest, we had NO IDEA how difficult it would be to pick a honeymoon location. We’ve been scouring the internet looking for the best hotels, flights, and accommodations. There are a few destinations we’ve been eyeing, but nothing has really stood out to us yet. We’re ready to find that “wow” place! We’re always welcome for suggestions!

Thank’s for reading! ūüôā

 

 

Finding Flights

Taylor is the king of finding great airfare deals! When people ask us how we afford to travel so often it boils down to the cost of airfare. We NEVER pay the crazy full price for any of our tickets and people are usually amazed at how little we pay.¬†Besides a lack of time, most people don’t travel because they¬†don’t want to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for a flight.

The internet is loaded with articles¬†that will tell you how many days in advance to book a flight or which days you shouldn’t fly on, so¬†this is not going to be another one of those posts. Because let’s be real, nobody actually buys their flight because this website said approximately 62 days before your trip¬†your flight¬†will be the cheapest. We also understand that everyone’s circumstances are different. What works best for us, may not work for someone else.

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The biggest piece of advice we can give you about finding the cheapest flight possible is always be persistent and be willing to be spontaneous. As soon as you know where and when you want to go, start researching flights. Flights change daily, so it helps to keep checking. However, airlines will drop their prices when they want to fill a flight and if you’re looking to get away on short notice, you can find excellent deals!

The number one site that we use is Sky Scanner. This website cuts our research in half by listing all the best deals from several different airlines all in one search. This saves us¬†from having to go to¬†each airline’s website and retyping everything. Taylor uses multiple pages to search different days, different airports, and sometimes flying to a destination just to catch a cheaper flight to where we originally wanted to go.

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One of our favorite features on Sky Scanner is the ability to look at the entire month and see which day is cheaper to fly to-and-from a destination. It’s no secret that flying on a Tuesday-Thursday can be A LOT cheaper than Friday-Monday. If your schedule is flexible, consider leaving on one of these days to save you a few dollars.

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Another favorite is Skip Lagged. This site will show you if your final destination is a layover for another flight. For example, when Taylor and I were looking for flights to San Francisco, all the flights were several hundred dollars. Taylor went on Skip Lagged and found a flight that was from Philadelphia to Phoenix, but the layover was in San Francisco and it was half the cost! We were only packing carry-on bags so it was such a smooth process. DO NOT MISS THIS: If you are checking in your bags, you may run into some trouble. When you go to check in a bag tell the ticketing desk that you want your bags sent to the layover location and they should¬†do this with no hassle. It doesn’t hurt to check with the airline before you book the flight.

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When looking at the picture above, you’ll notice we were looking for¬†a flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia. There were two flights that were going from CLT to LGA with a layover in PHL. By getting off the plane at the scheduled layover, we were able to save money. Win! Because of legal issues, you can’t just book the flight directly on this website. Unfortunately, you have to write down the flight number, airline, etc. and then go to the airline’s¬†direct website to book the flight.¬†Although it takes a bit longer, it can definitely be worth it. Also, YOU CAN NOT BOOK A ROUND TRIP TICKET!¬†If you book a round trip ticket and get off at the layover destination the airline will cancel your remaining flight plans. So you need to book¬†one way flights to-and-from your destination.

Don’t limit yourself to one airport. If it takes you an extra 15-45 minutes to get to another airport it’s worth researching, especially if the flight is cheaper! For example, it only takes us 20 minutes to get to the Greenville Airport and 1 hour to get to the Charlotte Airport, BUT the Greenville airfare is almost always double the price of Charlotte. So that extra drive is always worth it for us, even after parking expenses. You can use your better judgment with this.

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Don’t park in the parking garage unless absolutely necessary.¬†Don’t get me wrong, parking garages seem like an easy idea, but we would disagree. Not only are you overpaying, but you have to drive around looking for an open parking spot and then carry all your luggage down the stairs, across the street, and then into the airport.¬†Most airports have long -term parking lots where you can park your car for as little as $5 a day. This includes 24-7 transportation to-and-from the airport. They will pick you and your bags up at your car and then drop you off directly at your desired gate while unloading your bags. These parking lots are typically called¬†Park and Fly¬†or¬†Park and Jet¬†etc.

If you are from America and looking to do an overseas¬†vacation,¬†look for the cheapest country to fly into. For example, Taylor and I wanted to go to¬†China, but flights were outrageous so we looked for other options.¬†We discovered that it was much, much cheaper to fly in-and-out of Thailand and then catch¬†a separate flight into China from there. We could have spent $1,200 on a flight to China, but the flight in-and-out of Thailand and the flight to China totaled only¬†$800. So we were able to spend 5 days in Thailand while saving $500! Make sure you leave a little wiggle room for delays and the unexpected if you don’t plan on staying in the other country.

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If you are already at the airport and have an idea when you will be flying next, ask the airline desk what their best prices are for that date. During our long-distant relationship days, Taylor and I would already have an idea when we would see each other next and what airlines were offering online. When one of us was flying, we would go to the desk in the airport and ask for their price and they were ALWAYS offering a better rate. We’re not sure why, but it was totally worth it! One time, Taylor got himself a $50 round trip flight which was a fourth of the price airlines were offering online!

And last, as scary as this may be, airlines¬†know EXACTLY what you are researching, how often you bring up a webpage, how often you‚Äôre on the page, and what you‚Äôre clicking on. Websites¬†will raise their airline prices if they notice you searching for a flight, different hotels, and different restaurants in a specific area. They will know exactly when you‚Äôll be there and how desperate you are to get there. Scary I know, but very true. The best way to avoid this is to delete your ‚Äúcookies‚ÄĚ and web history. You can also try searching in the incognito window if you are a google chrome user.

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If you enjoyed reading this post and want to see similar content, make sure you “like it” and follow us by clicking on the “Follow Us” button in the menu! Thank you! ūüôā