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    You Heard It Here Last.. I'm Engaged!
    COAT + DRESS: E's Closet/ BELT: BCBG/ SHOES: Steve Madden/ EARRINGS: Taylor/ RING: Ashley both from Emily Maynard for Towne Reese

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    You Heard It Here Last.. I'm Engaged!

    Assuming you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably heard the news but if not, I'm here to let the cat out of the bag. I'm ENGAGED! And no, it's not to someone I met on a reality show or even a dating site, but to an amazing man I met through my church, Forest Hill, in Charlotte. I should've known all along that God was going to do things His way!

    And trust me, I can already hear all of the Debbie Downers out there saying, "Again?!", but let me be the first to say, this time it's the real deal. I promise! We've been dating for over a year and have known each other for much longer. I used to teach a jewelry making class at a middle school that my church adopted and Tyler was one of the coordinators of the  program. Well, every Thursday I could count on him to come help me carry all of my beads out to my car at the end of class. The only problem was he was so good looking that I could barely make eye contact with him, much less have a normal conversation. I kind of pride myself on being able to have an interesting conversation with a wall if need be, but for some reason I was so intimidated by him and the fact that he showed me no interest at all just made it that much worse! Fast forward a few years (and a few attempts to find love on tv) to our first date and we've been inseparable ever since! I'm so grateful to God for bringing him into our life because he's been the biggest blessing to Ricki and I both. I can truly look back now and see how God has guided me through everything, even the hard times when I thought I'd be alone forever, and used it all to make me the person I am so that I'd be ready. Goodness knows I have a long way to go to be the person He created me to be, but I couldn't have picked a more amazing man to get to spend the rest of my life with and I can't wait to see what all God has planned of us as a family!

    And because so many of you have asked, here's a pictures of my ring(s)! I told him I didn't want a traditional engagement ring and that I just wanted some simple bands. He went above and beyond to say the least and they couldn't be more "me". I got a good one :)

    ringsmall

    With all of that said, I need some serious advice. HOW IN THE *#&@! DO YOU PLAN A WEDDING?? If it were up to me, we'd run off to Vegas tomorrow but I know my mom would probably never forgive me. The only problem is, I don't even know where to begin! I went to a wedding convention (who knew there was even such a thing?!) with a girlfriend and literally walked around in a daze. So, for all you wise, married women out there.. What would you have done differently? The same? What's the next step after pinning everything you can possibly pin? Can I just give my wedding board to someone have them figure it out? Do I even need a wedding planner?

    Ok.. I'm officially stressed out. Clearly, I need some help so leave me all your tips in the comments!

    And just because I think he's the biggest babe on the planet, here are some more family pictures :)



     

    275 thoughts on “You Heard It Here Last.. I'm Engaged! ”

    275 Comments / Add Your Own

    • Beautiful! Congrats! My advice: remember "it's about the marriage, not the wedding". The end result is your husband so no matter what it will be perfect. And I would go to theknot or a similar website with a wedding planning checklist that tells you what you should be doig when. It's a good way to organize your bridal tasks:) best of luck!  

    • Congrats Em! So happy for you all!  

    • First of all, congratulations! Here is some advice from an old married woman. (33 years old, 7 years married)
      1. Spend more time, money, and energy on your marriage than your wedding--the world gets that backwards. Often.
      2. Make sure the wedding reflects who you are as a couple, not whats on trend right now.
      3. Don't get hung up on it being perfect. Something will likely go wrong. And it will be ok. When you wake up the next morning, you'll still married to your love. And if you've followed my first piece of advice, that's all that will matter.  

    • Hi Emily,

      I got married in 2010 before Pinterest was a big thing, so I had to rely on google images and TheKnot.com was my savior. But I was a DIY wedding planner for my wedding. I planned it out by myself (which I wanted to do) and we did our wedding stationary ourselves (hubby is a graphic designer), I picked out my cake design, I did my own table arrangements, my Dad made our arbor and I decorated it... basically all decor was DIY. And I loved it. And trust me I am not a crafty person at all. I always hear some brides say how their wedding planning stressed them out, but I loved every minute of it. It was fun for me. So no, you do not need a planner, but it depends on if you want to design your own wedding and be in charge or if you think it is too stressful then please hire a wedding planner so you can enjoy the process. That is my biggest advice: enjoy it. Other advice is, on your wedding day, pull your new husband aside and enjoy even just 5 minutes alone (no photographer, no family, etc.) just enjoy that moment, because the rest of the evening will be so busy and will fly by! I hope you enjoy the process like I did! And I am not a professional planner by any means, but I am in your local area, if you ever need any help, please reach out. Take Care! -Megan  

    • Congrats, Emily! You and Ricki look so happy. Having watched you since your beginning adventures with "The Bachelor," it is so exciting to see that you've fallen in love with God's perfect choice for you. His plan always prevails! Beautiful rings, by the way :)

      I got married almost 2 years ago... the day was so special but, ultimately, the investments we put into our marriage and not just the wedding day have been the most valuable to us - premarital classes and counseling, meeting with our pastors, and doing some good reading together (I would recommend "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas.)

      With that being said, my actual wedding planning advice would be to choose what you want and what you love and not be too concerned with how "dated" it might look in 20 years! All wedding photos will eventually look dated ;) Just have lots of what you love!! Congrats again!  

    • The first place to start is choosing a venue, that will help you narrow down your date. The south is full of gorgeous venue locations. It's the perfect place to get married. Then I feel the next most important decision to make is your photographer. All those tiny details that you spend months pinning and planning and making will be easily forgotten in the whirlwind of your wedding day if you don't have the right photographer there to capture them. I'm going to shamelessly plug myself here... I would love to shoot your wedding. Check out my website and for more up to date postings my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chelseyheidornphotography). I'm based out of Atlanta, GA and willing to travel wherever. I would love to capture your memories. Congratulations, you deserve all the happiness in the world. You make a very beautiful family.  

    • Adrienne Clarke January 31, 2014 at 9:40 am

      You should definitely get a wedding planner! They will help guide you through the process. You don't want to stress too much over it, You should enjoy it! Check out CarolinaWeddingDesign.com! I go to school at UNCC and I want to be an event planner when I graduate. I think they have beautiful designs! You will be such a beautiful bride! Don't worry!  

    • Keep the wedding simple. I am actually so thankful that Pinterest wasn't around when I got married 17 years ago. It's too much. The day goes by so fast, you'll want to only remember the special times with Tyler, Ricki and your family. Not whether or not the flowers were in the right spot or if the steak was too rare. Many blessings to you. I am so happy for you. What a great encouragement you are!  

    • First off, congratulations! I know for those of us who have been fans of yours for a long time, we all knew this day was coming! My husband & I just got married last August and I can honestly say that day couldn't have been more perfect. We found a venue in Nashville that was an all-in-one package, which included a wedding planner. I seriously can't say enough great things about the whole premise they have going. Their package deal includes literally everything from invitations to sparklers, except you bring in your own photography/videographer. We had one 3 hour meeting to go over every detail about the wedding, where I just brought my ideas (and Pinterest boards :) and handed it over. After that, we had another meeting to taste the catering options and cake, and listen to the variety of bands/DJ's that were available. THAT WAS IT! It took so much stress away from my daily life and planning other things. With a wedding planner, you can have as little or as much input as you want and usually once they have an idea of what your vision is, they can run with it. In my case, they made it better than I ever imagined!  

    • CONGRATS! Wedding planning is fun. It's a lot. It's stressful. It brings happy tears and more!
      MUST HAVE's for our day were...
      -Amazing photographer + Videographer!! I love rewatching our day and hearing/seeing the moments I missed or forgot
      -Before jumping into heart of planning decide what are the top 2-4 BIG deals to you that are MUST haves if its in the ceremony, how you get ready, what the theme is, how the reception flows etc... For me it was photo/video, how the reception order/flow will go, and the little moments I wanted to create with my girls in the morning. Could have cared less about flowers and the food but my mom passionately cared...so third tip...
      -DELEGATE!! You don't have to do it all!
      -Look at pintrest for inspiration but not too much cause you will just get discouraged by all the DYI'ness people do!

      So happy for your family!  

    • Congrats! My dream job is wedding planning but my only advice is to take it one step at a time...and, when it gets stressful, take a big deep breath. Thank you for sharing this post too. Gives me HOPE approaching age 27 in a few days that God's going to work out my love life also!  

    • Congratulations, Emily! I´m so happy for you! And happy birthday!!  

    • After getting married and photographing so many weddings my biggest piece of advice would be to consider seeing each other before the ceremony. I would never force someone either way but in my experience I feel the moment is much more special when it is just the two of you in a quiet space. When walking down the aisle you can easily get caught up in everyone looking at you and loose concentration on your soon to be husband. Meeting quietly gives you a chance to take it all in and maybe pray with each other. I can be a very special time that you may not get once everything gets started! If you are looking for a wedding photographer I would love to help in any way! God Bless!  

    • Yay! Congrats! I was also a single mom when I got married too!!!
      First off I think your last two engagements don't count because it's reality TV and they pretty much manipulate you to get engaged. People shouldn't judge because most likely if we were in your shoes we would have done the same thing!

      Well my hubby and I made a few mistakes and ended up having our second daughter before we were married. I had baby girl number one with a man who was abusive- so when my now hubby came along we knew he would adopt Grace. So I wanted to make that the most important part of our wedding. To this day Grace calls my wedding day the day she married daddy. Not only did we take vows to love each other but also our children and my hubby did a special vow stating he would love Grace as his own child.

      That's all that mattered to me...that the wedding would be about our family!

      I really wanted to go to Vegas but family pressure wouldn't allow us too. I was feeling pretty down because I had a 4 month old and a 4 year old and wasn't my normal slender size so it was hard to get excited for a wedding but it seriously worked out!!

      I cut out pictures of what I wanted and I had a good friend of mine take care of every detail. She acted as my wedding planner and seriously took all the stress off of me. She would call and say would you like this or that. I said what I wanted and she did it! So my best advice is to delicate so you don't have to worry about a single thing leading up to and on the big day.

      My next advice is to let little things go. My best friend on her wedding down seriously lost it because the flowers weren't just right. Seriously who cares about the flowers being perfect? They'll be dead in a few days! Move on and enjoy the day!

      Also because I had kiddos and there would be a few other kids at my wedding - I set up a children's area and I called it "Grace and Olivia's reception" with a special sign. I hired sitters from our church, had coloring books, fun activities and an area for nursing moms to nurse in private. I also had the kids eat first. It was really fun for them and my nieces and nephews had a great time too!

      Lastly one thing we did that saved us money was we catered our food from my husbands favorite Italian restaurant. I got that advice from my friends dad who is a chef. He told us that if you're at a venue without a proper kitchen get your food catered from a proper restaurant! People still talk about how good our wedding food was! It worked out well plus the restaunt took care of serving everyone and we didn't have to bother with a catering company. Plus it was super personal because we had a few of my husbands favorite entrees. It was great!!

      Seriously enjoy the special day and the fun of planning!!! Delegate delegate delegate so you don't have to worry about a single thing!

      Oh ya and one more thing. Hire a great photographer because these will be your first official family photos!!!  

    • Thank goodness for my sister who helped me put what I had in my head together for my wedding and make everything look gorgeous. The most important thing to me was my photographer. I wanted to make sure I had pictures to remember this amazing day! I would say to get someone who can take all the idea and pins that you have and help you create the day you have been waiting for. Best wishes. XOXO  

    • After getting married and photographing so many weddings my biggest piece of advice would be to consider seeing each other before the ceremony. I would never force someone either way but in my experience I feel the moment is much more special when it is just the two of you in a quiet space. When walking down the aisle you can easily get caught up in everyone looking at you and loose concentration on your soon to be husband. Meeting quietly gives you a chance to take it all in and maybe pray with each other. I can be a very special time that you may not have once everything gets started! If you are looking for a wedding photographer I would love to help in any way! Congrats and God Bless!  

    • After planning my sister's wedding and friends, the best and biggest thing you can do for you is to get a wedding planner, if not atleast have one the week of to coordinate and help with anything that comes your way. This will help you enjoy this chapter so much more. You actually will have more time and energy to focus on the marriage and not just the wedding. You will of course still be able to pick out everything and do all the fun planning (pinterest is wedding planners best friend). I promise you a wedding planner is worth every penny. Praying for all of you and wishing you much happiness... (don't listen to any Negative Nancys... you deserve the best, the Lord's best!) xo  

    • Hi Emily,

      Congratulations! I watched your season of the Bachelorette and was happy to see you find love, and am even happier that you seem to have found the real deal right in your hometown. So awesome :) Also - I have just started a small photography business and we're booking a few weddings for this summer. I am sure you'll probably have a super experienced, fantastic photographer to capture your day officially but if you'd like an extra perspective on the big day, we would love to come, fade into the background and catch some of the little, candid moments (for free!). If this is something you might be interested in, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Congrats again :)

      Katie  

    • So happy for you! The Lord knows our plans before we even do :) Fun to hear about it! As far as wedding planning, its fun! First things first, book the hall, the church, and whose marrying you...then a wedding planner can take it from there :) So happy for you and God Bless!

      Rachel  

    • I would highly recommend a wedding planner! I am engaged right now and she has made the whole thing so easy for me! She tells me when I need to make decisions, guides me along the way, gives me advice, and tells me when things are out of my budget!  

    • First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! I'm SO happy for you and the little peek into your journey is so awesome. I love that you can see how God was working it all out! I've been praying for you!

      Second of all, get a wedding planner! I'm getting married in June and not having one is so hard, and I'm a very organized person! Don't let people get you down. Stick to what you know you want and if you change your mind, make sure it's still YOUR decision. For me the hardest part has been having everyone's opinion thrown my way, and most of the time people are just trying to be helpful.
      Start off by deciding as a couple what you want to accomplish. What do you want your guests to take away from your wedding? Go from there and keep that at the forefront of everything, and then it will be perfect. Oh, yeah! And enjoy the process :) don't stress out because the marriage is waaay more important than the wedding.
      Congrats and good luck!  

    • Are you going to be restocking the cross bracelets like you have on? Love it! Congratulations!  

    • The biggest thing I can say about planning a wedding is be true to what YOU want. Don't worry about other family members wants, what others think is appropriate, tailor the wedding around what makes you happy. Also, I got married on the beach, barefoot, with my closest family and friends, and they we celebrated after. It was intimate, simple, and the way to go. Congrats!!! You three make a beautiful family. XOXO  

    • Congratulations!!!!! Love the rings!  

    • My only suggestion is definitely get an awesome photographer! So happy for you! Can't believe you found someone equally as hot as you!! God bless y'all!  

    • Oh and I cannot wait to see you with a baby bump! Hope it's soon!:)  

    • Do it your way! Do not let people sway you in your choices. I loved my wedding, but I feel like something smaller and much more simple would have been best (and way less stressful!). Just stick to your guns, once the big vendors are booked its all about the details which you can handle as you go. Good luck! And a big congratulations!  

    • How exciting Emily!! Congratulations, your ring is gorgeous!!!

      xo Ash,
      www.sincerelymissashley.blogspot.ca  

    • First of all, congratulations!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited for you! I'm so glad you are able to look back and see how God was working it all out. That's the best. I've been praying for you!
      Second of all, get a wedding planner! I'm getting married in June and I already regret not getting one in the beginning.
      As far as planning: Start off by deciding as a couple what you want to accomplish with the wedding day. What do you want your guests to take away from your wedding? Go from there and keep that at the forefront of everything. Whatever you do, DO NOT let yourself get swallowed in stress. The marriage is so much more important than the wedding, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. Talk to someone if you feel yourself heading that way. ENJOY the process! Soak it all in, you'll fall even more in love with him if you live in the moment and have fun with the planning. Best of luck to you and congrats!!!! :)  

    • Don't stress over the details and don't spend a fortune! On my wedding day, the only thing that I cared about was walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams-- and I had spent months preparing and planning for a gorgeous, princess event. Get a good photographer, get the dress of your dreams, and don't worry about the rest :)  

    • I say go for the wedding planner. I was like you and pinned EVERYTHING and thought "I don't need a planner....I can do this." It would have taken a lot of stress off me if I had someone there telling me exactly what I needed to do, how much of this do I need, how many of those......!!!!! BUT when it comes to your wedding day, you could care less if you chose the right flower or the right colors.....all that matters is that special someone you see at the end of the isle that you are going to spend the rest of your life with!! Ugh...tear....it takes me back a year ago to my wedding :) happy planning!!!!!  

    • Congratulations Emily! So glad you have found someone to be your partner in life, its truly the best.

      My advice from getting married a year and a half ago... GET A PLANNER. (I am sure you will) They know the ins and outs and make everything so much less stressful. They also keep you on track.  

    • Congratulations Emily! The rings are beautiful!! (I see a trend starting here...)  

    • Congratulations!  

    • Hi Emily,

      Congrats! I'm getting married in 99 days so if you need any advice, I'm planning a preppy southern wedding in Hilton Head Island. I also grew up in WV and have a special place in my heart for the Greenbrier :) My mom takes me there every year for a special weekend. A fiancé is such an amazing blessing from God and I am so happy for you!  

    • This is awesome! Congratulations. I love the pictures. You guys are a great looking couple.
      My wedding advice to you is to DO WHAT YOU WANT? It's your big day and it should only be about you and your family. Second, check out southernweddings.com, they have some great inspiration and a list of vendors in your area. Third, don't stress. haha! (Is that possible?!?!)

      Good luck with everything! You're going to make a beautiful bride.  

    • Congrats! You & Ricki deserve to be happy! Keep God first & everything else will fall into place!  

    • Congratulations! So exciting. Yes to the wedding planner. We had one - saved my sanity! Totally worth it! We did "destination" in Chalreston (although we love in Charlotte our family and friends are from the Midwest, plus we got engaged there!). It was breath taking and so nice to share such a beautiful & a special place to us with our dear family and friends. Happy planning!!!!  

    • Congratulations Emily! I am so happy for you!! I got engaged on January 1st, and I too am feeling overwhelmed by planning a wedding! I cannot wait to hear about your planning process and to get inspired by your wonderful ideas. All the best to you!  

    • Congratulations Emily!! You will make a beautiful bride! I would recommend hiring a planner just so you don't get overwhelmed or stressed. You have amazing style and taste so I am sure you have some ideas of what you want or in vision on that day. I think you are incredibly strong and am so happy for you and what your future holds! God bless you and your family, and congratulations again! xox  

    • I am so very happy for you, God's timing is always best!  

    • This just melts my heart! I'm so happy for you and the way that your little fairy tale has turned out perfect! I have always been a big fan of your heart and how genuine of a person you seem to be. I'm not married so I can't really give any advice, but I will say to not stress about the day's little perfections and just dwell in the love and blessings that surround y'all!
      Xo - Victoria.  

    • Congratulations!!!! So exciting. May God bless you with a beautiful marriage.  

    • I was martied 7 months ago. We were engaged for 18 months before the wedding. This was one because we wanted a summer wedding and two did not want to stress planning a wedding in 6 months. It seemed like a long time but I was not stressed and able to spread decisions out. We made big decisions right away...date, venue, DJ, and photographer. Then made other decisions slowly over the 18 months. We started by picking 3 dates we wanted for our wedding date. Then we estimated how many people we might invite. Then we called venues that would hold our estimated number of guests and asked which of our three dates they were open.

      As for wedding planner. I wanted to be very involved so my Mom and I did it ourselves with help from family and friends. It was so fun and I was not stressed because I knew what I had planned.

      We had about 350 people at our wedding and was told it was so organized and just a blast.

      Hope this helps!  

    • Congratulations! You all look very happy and should enjoy the wedding planning, although stressful. My best advice is try on a bunch of dresses as I bought the third one I tried on and later wished I had looked further!  

    • Hey Emily,

      Congrats!

      There are several things that I learned while planning and living my wedding day. You most def. want a wedding planner. It was the best decision that I EVER made. I hardly ever got stressed out, thats what she was for. Also, you have to have to have a videographer. You will most def. regret it if you dont.

      Happy planning!  

    • The only thing I regret about my wedding is taking others opinions into account when planning it. This is your day, the day all of us girls dream of, so make it the way you want. It will only happen once.  

    • Neillie Butler  /  website January 31, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Hello Emily! I am excited to hear about your engagement! How much fun! I own a wedding planning company in Birmingham, Alabama. We travel all over the southeast planning weddings. We love a sweet love story and appreciate a beautiful southern wedding. If you need help, please check us out! www.marieeami.com!

      Happy Planning!!
      Neillie  

    • Congrats! I love how God knows his plan the whole time but takes us through a journey to get there :)

      As far as wedding planning goes, I did mine without a wedding planner, and it was fine! We had a day of coordinator through our venue which was a blessing because she made everything happen while we got ready.

      Get your venue, photographer (that is what I'd splurge on because its all you have to remember the big day!) Videographer, florist, the dress, caterer, cake, DJ, the BIG stuff done early. (Most venues eork with a caterer etc already and can point you in the right direction) They take care of pretty much everything and you can show them pinboard inspiration to get ultimately what you want :) the rest of the small touches like favors, cocktail hour activities for your guests, gifts for your wedding party, etc... Keep it simple. Keep it sentimental. You don't want a million things to try to remember on the day of for people to set out, just make the day what you and your fiance find special and bring it to life!

      I did our wedding at our dream venue, and since it was so gorgeous it was easy to keep everything else simple and stress free. I love our photos, and I'm happy I had a coordinator the day of to take care of the details! It was fun and unlike what other brides may say, I remember every second and cherish that celebration my husband and I had with all of the people God placed in our lives.

      Enjoy! Have a quick engagement! No need to wait once you know the man God has for you! And have fun! It is such a special time, but marriage itself is even more special.

      Blessings sweet Emily!  

    • Congrats!! I got married 4.5 months after we got engaged. People make it so much more complicated than it needs to be! Pick a place and a date and make sure it works for the most important people. Then send out simple Save the Dates via postcard or email. Get a dress. Pick a photographer and use the same one for engagement photos so that you are comfortable with them for the wedding. At the end of the day the only things that are really important are you, him, your families and the officiant. Everything else is just sprinkles on top. Have fun! :)  

    • Emily -- Congrats!!! Question: Where did you get that BEAUTIFUL cardigan/overcoat?! Stunning! :)  

    • Congratulations to your family! He is super cute, enjoy!  

    • Here's the first tip! Don't get stressed! Hire some one to stress for you! Your wedding should not be stressful! Let your friends and family help you out! I am so happy for you and wish you all so many many years of love and happiness! He sounds like a good person! Looks like little Ricki might have a new sister????  

    • Congrats, I think everyone has been rooting for you to find happiness. My biggest regret from my wedding is our photos, we just didn't have a great photographer. In the end, your pictures are all you really have of that day (other than the jumble of memories). It was such a hectic day, as we drove away I started crying because I realized I didn't even look at my beautiful cake. I mean I ate it, but I didn't LOOK at it. I would say make sure you enjoy the day, be present, and find yourself an amazing photographer!  

    • The photographer is most important :) Someone who can capture every sweet moment between you, Ricki and Tyler. I know some AMAZING photographers who are based in Atlanta but travel all over the South East to shoot wedding. I'm sure you know your fair share of photographers too, you should at least check them out. www.scobeyphotography.com  

    • I am currently engaged and theknot.com has been a a lifesaver for knowing how to plan my wedding! The most helpful thing for me has been the wedding checklist they have which has helped me to know around what time everything should be done (and what exactly "everything" is!) They also have great articles with advice on everything wedding from how to pick a dress to how to word invitations. I would definitely check them out!  

    • Hi Emily, congrats on getting engaged! I am getting married in 99 days, so if you need any help I am planning a southern wedding in Hilton Head Island. I also grew up in WV and have a special place in my heart for the Greenbrier. My mom takes me there every year for a special weekend (and of course I've placed many notes in the love box). A fiance is such an amazing blessing from God and I am so happy for you!  

    • Annette Thurmon  /  website January 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Congratulations!!! This is such a fun time. Best advice I can give, enjoy this process. Take it bit by bit. Don't let planning overwhelm you. Everyone will give you a million opinions. Do what is special to you Tyler and Ricki. Make it about the three of you. Incorporate things that you love into the ceremony. Keep God first as you plan.

      A wedding planner would be VERY helpful! One of the best who has an location in Charlotte is Ashley Baber Weddings. Known her personally for years and she is the sweetest best planner out there. She also planned my sister in laws wedding which had over 300 people and it went so smooth!

      Do take your Pintetest pin print outs to all you meet with. Having visual inspiration really helps those involved in your wedding create the vision that you want.

      Lastly, if you haven't found a wedding gown I would SO love to make a custom, one of a kind gown for you. I'd love to make one for Ricki too!! It's such a special thing to get to create your own wedding gown. With your background in jewelry design you know how fun it is to create and make somethingbthat really represents you. I'd love to offer that to you!

      Congratulations again and may God bring you even more blessings!! Happy Early Birthday too! Xoxo, Annette  

    • Congratulations! Who is the other little girl in the last pic?  

    • Congrats Emily! You truly deserve all the happiness that comes your way! I've been married for 2.5 years and it has been awesome. My suggestion would be to first decide on a date, location and then venue. From there it's pretty simple to start picking out other things. If all else fails I'm sure ABC would love to air your wedding LIVE on TV!!!??!!! HAHA you would have every resource at your fingertips then! Enjoy this special time in your life! xoxo  

    • My wedding was pretty small, just about 150 people. My momma is a rock star and helped a lot, but having an official "wedding planner" was a gift from God. Even though my mom did a lot, she was actually able to enjoy the wedding day because the planner had everything under contol. Start small... picking two or three colors that you like, and if you are going with stark white or more off white or ivory. From there I just compiled tons of magazine picutres for my planner and was constantly emailing and texting her pictures. After sending her all kinds of rediculous pictures we sat down and noticed a trend. It really snowballed from there. I was very focused on making it uber girly and sexy, but my main concern was the reception after so everyone would have a good time. The best thing we did was get an open bar for everyone. Then the power went out in the small town im from, right before the reception. You can plan till your hearts desire but sometimes its not in anyones hands. We were saved by my centerpieces that had beautiful lights in them but we couldnt even have our first dance to music and it could have been a dizaster but everyone still crowded around us and we had our first dance to a friends iphone turned up all the way. Eveyone was crying and it was so special. It was the most intimate and perfect moment of my life. My dad ran a generator to the dj and eveyone started drinking. The power came on later but eveyone was having such a great time I don't even think they noticed......I hope I helped a little - Cait  

    • The best advice I can give is DON'T STRESS AND ENJOY IT. I know, easier said than done. BUT, if I could go back and slow down the wedding planning and not stress so much, I would, in a heartbeat. Everything just goes by so fast and you have to remind yourself to just stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy every single minute of it. Oh- and GET A VIDEOGRAPHER!! You're going to wake up the day after your wedding and want to remember every single detail of the day before but it's going to be such a big stressful blur that you're going to want a videographer. That and your photographer are I think, the most important things to really research and splurge on. When the dust settles and your big day is over, all you have left are the memories and you want to remember every single detail! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You're going to be a STUNNING bride.  

    • Congratulations!! I am so super excited for you and I don't even know you in real life! Haha. But how cool is that the way God had it planned all along! For me personally, the less time you have to plan a wedding the better - totally not the norm for everyone else I'm sure. I planned mine in 3 months! It worked for me because I didn't really have time to second guess myself on everything - I just had to make a decision and be done! I would suggest a wedding planner to help with the details and pulling your vision together. They are also a huge help in executing the wedding on the day of and taking a lot of the stress off of you! My husband is a wedding photographer and I find that the wedding's with planners go a lot smoother! Although, you could totally do without. Again, congrats and all the best to you guys!!  

    • Emily, I couldn't be happier for you,Tyler and Ricki! I was so heartbroken when you and Jef broke your engagement. I thought I would never see a more perfect pair than you and him.I was hoping that one day, you'll get back together. Looking back, you and Jef look good together from the outside but your personalities differ.Jef is very sporty and outgoing and you are so timid and a homebody.God has other plans for you. You and Tyler look better together and if you pray together, you stay together. I'm so happy for you and very hopeful for your bright future together! Best of luck! Can't wait for the wedding!  

    • Congrats!! Your ring is gorg!  

    • Congrats Emily!!! I haven't quite been living under a rock, but I try to ignore rumors so this is news to me! I am about to celebrate my 5th anniversary with my husband. I had a big DIY wedding that was, in my opinion, perfect because it turned out exactly like I wanted. Obviously I would do it differently today because my taste and trends have changed. However, one peice of advice that I can tell you works for any wedding.. give yourself plenty of time to plan (I had a 15 month engagement and used every bit of it) and stay organized. I had seven bridesmaids and on the day of, each one of them had a personalized agenda for when they needed to be where and what they needed to be doing. I also had a very firm rule - If something goes wrong and I dont need to know...DONT TELL ME! It made the day stress free and perfect. I live in Charlotte so I'd be happy to lend advice on any subjects that you're worried about. We had our reception at the Ballantyne Coutry Club and it couldn't have been better! Best of luck to you and your babe (*whistle*!!).  

    • First, let me say that I loved you on reality TV!! I love that you let God lead you to the love of your life!! That's the only way to go! I'm 36 and have been married to my college sweetheart for 13 years. My biggest advice would be to do exactly what you want. Don't try to please everyone. Don't invite 300 people like your mom's random co-worker so that their feelings don't get hurt. I did that and had over 300 people. It's too big! Make it personal and intimate so that you can remember everything from your amazing day. If you want a destination wedding, then do it! The family and friends that are the most important to you will be there. Hire a wedding planner to deal with all the craziness so you don't have to. Most importantly, on the big day take many timeouts to stop and take it all in. Look around, notice every detail and savor the most amazing day of your life! Congratulations!! I know you will have an amazing day!!!  

    • Congrats. As a fellow sister in Christ and newly married girl, our main goal was to make Jesus known. I wanted the gospel to be preached and people to know the intention of marriage... Not our happiness but His glory made known.

      We had our friends and family do a ton and it felt like home. Wasn't crazy over the top & that made it perfect. My advice... Keep 1st things 1st!  

    • Hi Emily! So happy for you! It's an amazing feeling when you've found someone just right for you! I would say I wouldn't focus so much on the details. It stressed me out way too much and looking back on the wedding and reception I wish I would've toned it down so I could've just relaxed and enjoyed being engaged. I was so stressed about pleasing others and planning my wedding around other peoples wants and wishes that I wasn't able to chill out during our engagement. Oh and if anything make sure you absolutely love your photographer and videographer. Those were the most expensive so I wish I wouldn't have cared as much about the little decorations and just would've splurged on someone amazing...to this day I hate our pictures and wedding video :(  

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy  /  website January 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Congratulations! I'd say get the "big" things out of the way first. Pick a venue and a date -- the venue will probably give you a coordinator to work with and a list of recommended vendors. Then book a photographer, DJ and caterer since those tend to book quickly. After that, you only have to worry about little things. It should be a fun time, just enjoy it! Oh, and I completely avoided those wedding conventions/shows when I was engaged -- way too overwhelming!!  

    • Hi Emily,
      Congratulations on your engagement!!! Wishing you many blessings in this new chapter in your life! Cherish and embrace it!
      My best advice to you throughout your whole wedding planning is to not let your wedding get bigger than you and your soon to be husband. I am also Christian and am a woman of faith and I recently heard an AMAZING sermon on weddings and marriages. Remember a wedding lasts one day but your marriage is for a lifetime! Weddings are most times a direct reflection of what your marriage will be like. Make your wedding a celebration and praise to God for joining you two in matrimony rather than making it so focused on you, you, you. When you're wedding is focused on you, you,you.. Your marriage will be too. However, if your wedding is focused on God, your marriage will be too, and God promises his love is everlasting, like I am sure you want your marriage to be. Have that present with you at all times throughout your wedding planning and you will see all the blessings fall in place on their own. I have been a huge fan of yours and been on Team Emily since the first time I saw you on TV, and I couldn't agree more that this was all part of God's plan for you. Continue strong in your faith and I wish you nothing but the very best!!!!!!!!!  

    • You should definitely hire a wedding planner. You don't need that much stress. The Event Hosts here in Charlotte are the best. Here is their website and pinterest. They can help with everything and they are local. They are also featured on The Knot.

      http://weddingscarolinas.com/

      http://www.pinterest.com/tehcharlotte/  

    • Ever since I got married, I have been telling my friends the same thing: make sure this wedding planning process and the day is FUN and enjoyable! As soon as something becomes an unnecessary stress or you find yourself arguing about flowers - cut the stress out immediately even if it means eliminating that "certain decor piece" of the wedding! Because when it's all said and done, it's about a MARRIAGE, not a wedding. And when the day is done, you want to look back and know that God was glorified in the process and in the day. That's what's it's all about anyways, right?! Even though I don't know you, I'm so happy for you! God is a gracious, sweet God.  

    • I'm so happy you've found your happily ever after. You're an amazing inspiration to me and I'm so happy you share your life with us. I got married in May and it was the most amazing day. My advice is a long, stress free honeymoon to bask in martial bliss! :)  

    • Austin Hubbard  /  website January 31, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Hi ,

      My name is Austin Hubbard and I work for an amazing company called The NotWedding! =I think you'd be a great fit for our event and would love to speak with y'all about how you could be involved!

      The NotWedding is an alternative to a traditional bridal show where a group of hand-selected vendors get together and throw a big fake wedding. Brides attend as wedding guests so that they can experience firsthand what the vendors can do – taste the cake, hear the band, smell the flowers. The event is complete with an emotional ceremony (a real couple renews their vows), delicious dinner and exciting dance party reception!
      Our three main goals at The NotWedding are to promote small and local businesses, inspire brides and grooms, and encourage solid and committed marriages!

      We've hosted events in Atlanta, San Diego, LA, New York City, Charleston, Nashville, Orlando, Cape Cod, and Wichita, and have plans to expanded to some fabulous new cities in 2014 including Savannah, Greenville, Columbia, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Birmingham, etc! We are coming to Charlotte this August!

      The videos on our About page give you a better idea of what previous events look and feel like. Watch our Marketing Video for testimonials and success stories from past vendors. Read our Media Kit to find out more about who we are and what vendors can expect to receive from participating. Also check out our Press and Props for a list of blog coverage as well as more kind words from our past vendors.  

    • Start the planning process by figuring out your timeline and setting a date(s). Have a few options in case your venue isn't available. Choosing your venue is a first priority and from there, all of the other details will fall into place and center around that. This will help you know how soon to find a dress (should do that soon too, because it takes awhile to arrive..then there are all kinds of fittings). Good luck! And soak in every second of your special day! Don't stress about anything, the whole process is such a precious time!  

    • 10 years and 2 kids later, I am still so happy we chose a destination wedding. I started planning a traditional wedding and quickly realized I was not the girl who needed to have a day all about me. We took our family and closest friends to Playa Del Carmen Mexico and tied the knot at The Royal Hideaway. No stress. No giant spotlight on me. It was intimate and so perfect. Destination wedding is the way to go!  

    • Emily, Congratulations! So happy for you guys, you two make an absolutely beautiful couple! Sometimes God has a funny way of making everything work out in His perfect timing :) I wish you all the best!  

    • Emily
      Ofcourse congratulations! And I'm a little biased because I am a wedding planner but there are so many benefits to having a wedding planner. A wedding planner can help you save time and money. We point you in the right direction, narrow down the best venders for what you want and budget, keep you calm and less stressed, keep you on track as to what to do next and can even help you with family Wedding issues and questions. I have had multiple clients where their parents have hired me and then after the wedding the bride and groom will tell me that I was the best thing they could have had and thankful for their parents hiring me or had bride and grooms after the wedding say the realized I was worth every penny and more. Our goal is to make you happy and make your day the best it could possibly be. There could be a million things that go wrong that you will never ever know even happened. But that's part of our job. I always tell brides if you don't hire me hire a wedding planner. Trust me they will be one of the best investments in your wedding.  

    • After you pinned everything - stop, take a breath, and decide what are you most important items and then you go from there. For us it was photography, our rings and my dress. We found a great local photographer, the rings and after 2 tries, the dress. Pick colors with the season in mind - red is a beautiful color for a wedding... but not so much in summer. Coral is still a hot wedding color but not so much in winter. Pick your bridesmaids early, make sure you have people who will not only be helpful in stuffing invitations and throwing fantastic bridal shower/bachelorette parties but will help you keep your cool when things get stressful. I had a wedding coordinator who stormed out on me right before my reception which was her portion to plan and she took some decor so I'm anti - coordinator.  

    • Congratulations Emily! Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting, and yes, stressful experiences of your life! Enjoy every second of it though! My advice would be to take one step at a time, don't let the "bigness" of it overwhelm you. I didn't use a wedding planner but if you're not sure of a concept or where you'd like to start a planner will help immensely. Best of luck!  

    • My wedding was a disaster, but my marriage has been a complete success. My advice? Flowers, table settings, favors? You will forget. Vows. Focus on the vows. Those will be the things you should always remember.  

    • Wow, you guys are beautiful. I'm so happy for you Emily. You deserve it. I loved you on the Bachelorette & continue to love you from my home in Vancouver, Canada! Keep smiling & rocking your awesome style. You are an inspiration to all. PS - Surely you'll have a multitude of wedding planners volunteer to plan your dream wedding, so don't stress!

      Cristina  

    • Glad to hear the good news, and that you found a Christian man- they are the keepers! (;
      I've been married for 6 years and my best wedding advice is to plan something you like, not what you think others will expect. Also, keep it simple. I imagine you'll find fun simple ways to glam it up, but don't try to put every cute idea into one wedding. Otherwise, you'll be overwhelmed. (: One last thing- the most important part of a wedding is the honeymoon. In all seriousness, focus on that and save your time off work for it instead of wedding prep. You only get one honeymoon and it is the most special time between you that can't be relived. Squeeze in an extra day or two if at all possible, and I promise you'll never regret it!  

    • Hi Emily, Congrats! Yes, if you're as freaked out as I was at the prospect of planning a huge day, you will need to get a planner.

      They offer all kinds of packages anywhere from "do it all for me" to "I need a little guidance and for someone to coordinate the day-of" but yes, you should have a planner!

      They will be able to suggest the best of everyone and give you deals on packages. My planner upfront cost a bunch, but ended up really saving us money and keeping us on budget. completely worth it!

      If I were to change just a few things I'd - hire a videographer, worry less (it'll all come together), and focus even more on how lovely it is to just be engaged.

      A lot of women go straight into psycho bride planning mode (I can tell you're not like that)...I think it's so important to relax, celebrate, call each other fiance/fiancee cheesily, and sit down and really try to come together and figure out what you want the day to feel like, how you can really show your personalities (hint - all the cookie-cutter pinterest ideas aren't it usually haha), and during those super stressful planning days just keep in mind its about the marriage.

      Also, choose those bridesmaids (if you're having them) so so soooo very very very carefully because they can make or break those pictures and memories. Really try to think 10, 20, 30 years from now do I really want to see them in most of my pictures? Are they really a true blue friend?
      I would have kept my party a bit smaller, to be honest, which is sad but true!  

    • Congratulations, what a beautiful family! The thought of all you have to do for wedding planning can be stressful. I'm in the midst of planning my wedding in May and got engaged in August. Everyone says you need at least a year to plan but I definitely disagree! Yes, there are lots (and lots) of parts to planning a wedding, but it's important to have fun and enjoy the process because you're really just planning a huge party where all your family and friends get to celebrate you two, your love and the beginning of a new family.
      My number one piece of advice is that I would absolutely recommend getting a wedding planner. I don't have one, but the venue I have has an event planner and I would be lost without her. They can be expensive (which is why I didn't get one) but they are experts at making your dreams and visions (and Pinterest boards) come to life, as well as helping you keep your sanity. Without one there is too much coordinating, emails and phone calls that you have to do all on your own and that is where it gets overwhelming.
      Wedding websites like theknot.com are fun too because they have tons of information and they help you remember or realize things that go into wedding planning!
      Just try and remember to enjoy it because it really is fun when you don't let the stress take over. Good luck :)  

    • I am in the wedding planning process now, my biggest advice is give yourself plenty of time! And hire a wedding planner, at least for the day of! I also found this amazing post, and I think it's so great: http://annealmasy.com/5-lies-the-wedding-industry-is-selling-but-were-not-buying/

      Just make it a day for both of you to celebrate your love!

      Congrats!  

    • Congratulations! The bands are amazing! I make non-traditional guest "books" for weddings.
      www.etsy.com/shop/amandagdesigns
      Good luck with the planning!  

    • Emily!
      I feel like I know you... As I've watched you online and followed your blog for quite some time. Major congrats! I so admire your faith and know that God has worked all things together for good for YOU! How amazing!

      My husband and I are wedding photographers! We have seen lot of weddings! And I mean lots. :) it's so fun to see how weddings reflect brides and grooms. I think that's my biggest piece of advice... Is let the wedding reflect you three (Ricki included:)).

      I think simple is best & flowers do make a difference. Finding a good photographer and if your budget allows (video) - you would never regret it. Josh (my husband and I) still watch our wedding video and now get to share that with our son, Jude. All of that to say - you will be a beautiful bride and ultimately let Jesus be glorified in your special day!

      Oh and ps. We would love to have you check out our website :) so many fun weddings and good ideas on there and possibly would love to chat about your wedding day photography!! :) (long shot, but you never know... We love capturing love stories that are centered on God, too!!)  

    • Congrats, Emily! So happy for you. Keep the wedding small and personal. For me, the most important two things are: make up artist and photographer! Book your favorites that you have always been following. Negotiate!  

    • Hey ,
      Congrats! Yes I would absolutely get a planner! It will save the you the stress and worrying about if something doesn't go smoothly at the wedding.

      I would decide what are the most important elements for your wedding and make sure you get those vendors booked first.

      Put together wedding inspiration files on your computer, for flowers, lighting, theme, venues, etc.

      Hope this helps you :)  

    • Congratulations Emily! I hope you enjoy your time being engaged, and that you are able to tune out all the negative comments. Cheers to your happy time and best wishes!  

    • Congratulations!!! My advice to you would be to not overthink it and keep things as simple as possible! I over planned and overspent and didn't remember what was at half of my wedding. I had 2 of my best friends help me plan my wedding and it was the best decision I have made. They were people who knew me and my husband and could help bring to life a simple and intimate rustic wedding. We started by picking out the venue and then once we found the perfect place my wedding visions went into overdrive and it all fell into place. Wishing you and your family many great years of god's blessings over your life. Happy wedding planning :)  

    • I am so happy for you! Congratulations, Emily! You deserve the very best. And I can see how genuinely happy you are in all of these pictures!  

    • I was going to say that don't go overboard financially, but I sit back and look at my wedding and think "If I could have afforded that, then I would have loved it". So no..don't kill yourself with a huge budget, but if you can afford a bigger nicer wedding and no stress about the dollar signs, go for it! Just don't go into debt to have a wedding!

      My biggest advice, invest in an awesome photographer. Great photographers are http://www.allegrasstudio.com/2013site/weddings/, and www.sarahparentphotography.com. Also, food...people are food snobs and good food is key. Cake, make it taste better than have it look better :) And for sure...open bar. No one likes the cash bar :) Have fun little details that your guests will enjoy...Cotton candy? French fries and milkshakes as a night cap or something? Little something's that are not cookie cutter wedding and leave your guests saying that was a really fun night. Don't forget the little ones (as I assume it will be a child friendly event)...have tables set up with coloring books and activities for them to go and play with while their moms and dads get to enjoy the night as well...and in this matter, if budget is of no concern, hire a couple people to watch the kids so that mom and dad get to enjoy the night fully!!

      The end result won't go as planned, it never does. Something won't go right, or something will be lost or ripped or something. The end result is that you are marrying the love of your life...and that regardless, the day will be absolutely beautiful because God will make it such. Best wishes!!  

    • I got married two summers ago, and it was definitely overwhelming to plan a wedding. I didn't have a wedding planner because of the expense, but I did hire a day-of wedding coordinator which was THE BEST. I highly recommend getting one if you don't get a full-on planner. She was the go-to person for anything that inevitably went wrong so neither myself nor my mother had to stress about it on the big day.

      Also, toward the end I started getting pinterest-envy and trying to DIY a whole lot of projects. Cut yourself off from looking at Southern Weddings magazine two weeks before the wedding - there's just too many ideas and you'll find yourself thinking " should I add this?" and adding unnecessary stress to yourself.

      Congrats!! I went to Forest Hill when I lived in Charlotte - David is an amazing pastor.  

    • Thank you for sharing. I have missed your posts lately. So happy for you and your family.  

    • First, take a deep breath. Mine is a month away so I really understand being stressed!
      Second, before you talk to anyone else think about what you want. What are the things that are most important to you? Is is your dress, is it flowers, is it the reception. This helped me figure out a budget as well. Next I would ask you fiance what is important to him.
      Third, delegate task. I tried to do everything and got very overwhelmed very quickly.
      I would also say to listen to other people suggestions. You may not use them but at least they will feel like they are part of the process.
      I would book your wedding (ie reception hall, church, venue) first and then that will help you decide on other stuff!
      Mostly just enjoy the time...we have had some many things go wrong in our planning but no matter what goes wrong I know that I am marrying the man God picked for me and that is all that matters! Congratulations!  

    • Monika Page Havens January 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      It is so refreshing to hear of your love for Christ! Congratulations on your engagement, what a beautiful blessing marriage is. As you already know a marriage with God being the center, will never fail. Focus on Him daily and you will grow together in ways you never knew possible. I get so excited about weddings I could jump on a plane to help you plan today :) lol. Anyway my best advice would be to pick one item each week to organize. Ex. Week 1 Find the perfect invitation, spend that week (or few days) getting those ordered. Then move to next task such as flowers... The main reason brides get overwhelmed, is they try and organize it all at once. Once task at a time! Just like God likes to work on us, one day, one task at a time. I am a stylist/makeup artist in the great Las Vegas and have been a part of helping many brides on their big day! Stay in prayer and in the word during this wonderful exciting time. Anxiety and stress are not from Him! Peace and patience are! I am blessed to have a Godly husband who looks almost like a brother to your fiancé! What a resemblance! Wow! We included my stepson in the ceremony and it could not have been more perfect! I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd. Would love to share the idea with you contact me if your interested! God Bless you and your sweet family. Praying for you! XOXO
      P.S. I have lots of Christian family members in Charlotte I wonder if you know any of them.
      Your sister in Christ~~~ Monika  

    • Congrats Ms Emily!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you, Ms Ricki and Tyler. You deserve nothing but the best. I'm only 22 ( and single) so I can't help you too much in the way of advice or wedding planning just yet lol. But I LOVE weddings and I am obsessed with wedding themed Pintrests, Instagrams and Tumblrs. Not to mention Charlotte's wedding industry is awesome from what I've seen online and I'm sure there are plenty of local wedding businesses that would love to help you out. I'm so glad you finally found the one and your family can continue to grow. God Bless you all, I wish you love, peace and happiness. (:  

    • WRITE A LIST OF ALL THE IMPORTANT PHOTOS AND THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE/FAMILY THAT YOU WANT PICTURES WITH. ♡  

    • On wedding planning:
      You could hire J.Lo., but she'd probably go after your man:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPUFHhA4lqg
      or you could hire Franck Eggelhoffer:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKFtRedJxTw
      just be sure to bring your mom and dad, so they can have some fun too.

      On marriage:
      Some say, put the children first, but that comes from judges and social workers, who are keen to which spouse makes or has more money. Others say put your spouse first, but if your spouse dies or leaves you, your children may hold a lifetime grudge because, they figured it out.

      I say always objectively defend the one(s) not present, be it spouse or child(ren), but know and follow the Ten Commandments most of all. In other words Be Yourself.  

    • DURING THE CEREMONY HAVE YOUR PASTOR ASK YOU AND YOUR FIANCE TO LOOK AROUND FOR 30 SECONDS AT WHO CAME, HOW THE CHURCH LOOKS AND TO JUST TAKE IT ALL IN. ALSO, A GOOD VIDEOGRAPHER IS A MUST. I USED GODFATHER FILMS. HERE IS MY WEDDING PREVIEW VIDEO WWW.VIMEO.COM/82593104  

    • Congrats Emily! I'm sure you will be the most beautiful bride. Can you please do a post on the nail polishes you use? You always have the most amazing neutral colours without them being dull.  

    • "HOW IN THE *#&@! DO YOU PLAN A WEDDING??"
      Truer words have never been spoken. (Says the girl planning a wedding in 5 months in the year 2014)  

    • Congrats! I would say do not let anyone, including family, guilt you into doing something their way. If you're not completely comfortable with it, the result won't be what you wanted.  

    • My advice is "don't sweat the small stuff." I know that sounds cliche but it's the truth. When all is said and done, you will not remember the color of your napkins, how many rose petals were on the aisle or even what your cake tasted like. What you will remember is the way you felt on that day and the memories you created. Keep it simple. :)  

    • I am so delighted that you have found your forever. I have been a big fan of yours and cheering you on since I first saw you on TV.
      My husband and I just got married and I felt the same way, how do I plan a wedding? Where do I start. I first got the location and just focused on that. Then after location and date was picked I moved on to what the vision was for the wedding. I wanted my husbands opinion and he said small and meaningful and more important 100% us. So I thought about it and I came up with the theme soft, romantic. That then lead me to pinterest and once I knew the theme and what we wanted it came pretty easy. Center pieces, decor all pinterest and inspired me even more. So in a way pinterest planned our wedding....LOL....Just be true to you both. First just take a deep breath and it will all comes to you.  

    • Congratulations Emily! I got married in October and my advice is to keep it as small as you possibly can. We had just our immediate families at our wedding and it made it more special and way easier to plan. We will likely have a party this spring to celebrate with friends and other family members. The most important thing is the marriage, not the wedding itself.  

    • Congratulations!!! I love what you wrote and how you are already centering your marriage on God! That is the most important thing! Some of my favorite parts of my wedding were the moments between me, my husband, and The Lord. We had prayer time and a unity piece included in our ceremony. The only thing I would have changed would probably be to invite less people! Invite the people that are really special to you and your groom and those will be the ones who are truly so happy for y'all and will love celebrating with you!! Other than that my wedding was everything I dreamed!! I felt like a princess and married my prince!! :))  

    • Hi Emily,

      First of all, Congrats! It's just a blessing. Second, while I know that the wedding band I manage is a bit farther away, having been on the vendor-side of weddings now for quite some time, I can tell you this:

      Breathe - it will all be ok and everything will be wonderful. Something is going to go wrong, and by that I mean that you shouldn't stress about every single little detail - have a fun time, pick things you love and people you love to help you make this day special, but I completely agree with a comment above - focus on the marriage and not the day, it's just one day!

      The four biggest areas (and potentially most stressful) are:
      1) Venue (once you've got that, the rest is a breeze)
      2) Caterer
      3) and/or 4) Entertainment (i.e. live music or DJ or combo) and Photography
      **These two are interchangeable depending on what is more important to you**

      Even the dress isn't that big of a deal, as you can take your time and find just the right one. Pinterest is a great starting point, but what I've found is that people get so into DIY projects or wanting every single thing they see that the overall theme ends up getting lost - have fun, pick a few important special or kooky details that you love (drinks in mason jars and a fun bride's special cocktail, activities for the kids (should you be having a family-friendly wedding), your favorite colors accented, but don't try and incorporate everything - you've got your whole life to have fun decorating and using every other idea that comes to mind!

      Have fun - that's it, and don't stress too much - it's just one day :) If you think the big day will have more than 100-125 guests, I would highly recommend a wedding planner, as they take the fuss out of a lot of simply details and duties - even if you don't hire one for the entire duration of your engagement (most have options - full package from start to finish, 3 months prior, and even just Day-Of planners). They're worth every penny for your sanity.

      Just remember, this is just another fun day you get to spend with your family, friends, and all the people you love, so be happy and feel blessed, and have fun!

      Sincerely,
      Ariel Haan
      ariel@thefeverlive.com
      www.thefeverlive.com  

    • Ekkkk I am so in happy for you. God works in mysterious way and has a plan for us all. I was a single mother and met my husband seven years ago. He has been such a blessing to both Brady and I. So we do find our Prince Charming's and so happy you have find yours.

      Ok wedding advice....I agree with the marriage first (weddings are mainly for everyone else) and a great relationship has God as their center. As far as planning I wish I had hired a wedding planner. I used theknot and emily post, but it was so overwhelming. My husband and I got married where he was stationed at the time (he is Navy) and I was too familiar with the area. I relied on reviews and well....I didn't get the "fabulous" service I had read about. I also agree with don't sweat the small stuff things will arise the day of and just roll with it. You are stunning, happy and positive just enjoy the moment. A good photographer is so important. Our photographer was terrible and I still cry to this day. Hopefully someday we will renew our vows and I can get some great photos of us. We didn't even get a photo of the two families together. Best of luck with all the planning and a lifetime of happiness. If you need any more advice reach out happy to help. I am a SAHM and would keep me busy while the hubby is off saving the world ha ha ha ;)  

    • Destination wedding with family and a few close friends.
      BEST.DECISION... EVER.

      love your dress. love your photographer.

      congrats!  

    • Congratulations, Emily! I followed your Bachelorette season and am so happy for you and Ricki :) I'm from Charlotte, NC, and I used to take violin lessons with the Pastor's daughter at Forest Hill. Really like that church. You're right that God always does things his way and they are always better in the end!

      I'm a wedding photographer/videographer and I'm also planning my wedding now, so I know from both sides (planning and being a vendor) that weddings are a huge, but satisfying undertaking. I love working at weddings because I have the happiest clients in the world and love watching committed couples give their vows! Planning weddings? Not as much fun at first. I've got most of the big stuff out of the way, so it's more fun now!

      My advice is first decide on 2 things: budget & head count. Come up with your top three priorities and have Tyler come up with his. Then you'll know what you have to work with and how crazy you want to get! I think if you're pressed for time, a good wedding planner is a Godsend in terms of getting you great vendors and putting your mind at ease. And of course I recommend signing up for a great photographer and videographer ASAP! :) Perhaps you want a loving husband-and-wife-to-be team to do your media (www.nicholasdonner.com)...

      Best wishes to you and your family!  

    • Congratulations! What an exciting time. Wish I could go back, slow down, and ENJOY my engagement! Definitely can be stressful, but just remember that it's not about the wedding. No matter what happens, you'll be married at the end of the day, and focusing on that is wayyy more important that the wedding. Get a good Christian marriage counselor for pre-marital counseling! We've been married two years and can't imagine not going through counseling to help us prepare! Also, get a wedding planner book. It had a checklist of what you need to do with a timeline of when to have it done by :). We used a lot of small, family owned companies for all of our details. Mainly to support small businesses, but also to have a more unique wedding :). You'll have so much fun and it'll all turn out perfectly in the end! So thankful God provided you with such a great Christian man! Couldn't imagine being married to someone who doesn't follow God! Congrats again!  

    • Congratulations! I absolutely LOVE your stacked rings. Have fun planning your wedding. XO.  

    • Hi Emily, Congrats on your engagement! Such an exciting time! My piece of advice that helped me SO much was that I made a monthly to-do list. I spread out all the planning throughout the year of my engagement. It helped SO much to spread it out by month. So your not left with planning everything last minute! I hope this helps :)  

    • I'm so happy for you and your growing family! I'm happily married for over 4 years and are expecting our first child. Remember it's all about the love between you two, God and your daughter. I suggest having something very small like literally just parents, siblings. Get a really good documentary photographer who can capture the moments so well friends and family who didn't attend can feel like they were there! They'll be so happy for you and you can show them the pictures at a celebratory brunch when you get back from your honeymoon. Likewise, you'll want a videographer for the same reason. Keep the flowers effortless. All you need is your love. This worked for me and my husband! Keeps the bond together so much more intimate, personal and stronger and keeps the purposeful intention on your marriage not the wedding. Thanks for asking to hear from us! Best wishes!  

    • For my sisters wedding, we did everything ourselves (flowers, DJ, decor, etc). It was exhausting. So for my wedding, if someone else could do it we hired them. Don't create extra work for yourself, your family, or bridal party. Rely on others, ie professionals, so you can enjoy the planning and the process.

      Id suggest a wedding coordinator for the day of the wedding versus a wedding planner. Or both! Ultimately do what is easiest for you. And don't fret about expense, because you only get one wedding!  

    • Honestly, the simpler the better. It's not worth all the hullabaloo. The vows (to each other and most importantly God) and ceremony are the sacred part-make that the best part. As far as the party (reception) goes-keep it simple! Less is more! Make it about each other, friends and family and not the venue or amount of decadent decor/food. Congrats!!  

    • www.theknot.com is the best planning tool a bride-to-be can have! They have links to all kinds of questions and answers (especially those tricky) etiquette ones. We have watched you through your TV experience and are so happy that you and Ricky have found happiness!  

    • Yes! Get a planner! If I had to re-do my wedding 1,000 times I would use the planner every time! I didn't have to worry about a thing on my wedding day and neither did my mom, friends, etc. It was all under control! Also he/she can help you find a venue, the best cakes, etc! You will not regret it! Congrats and Best of luck!  

    • Congratulations! :) My advice on where to start would be to first decide where do you want to go on a honeymoon and when is the best time to go there and then set the wedding date accordingly. For example if you want to go to the Caribbean resort you wouldn't want to do your wedding in August, because that's their hurricane season and you would be limited with options.  

    • What an adorable family! Congratulations on becoming engaged to the love of your life. I too have learned to let go and let God, it's amazing the things that fall into place once you turn your will over to Him :)
      I too don't have any clue about wedding planning, I most likely will end up doing a destination wedding with only family and close friends. Just thinking about all the work it takes to plan a wedding exhausts me lol. I am definitely hiring a wedding planner when the time comes.
      Anywho.. I'm very happy for you, your new fiancé, and little Ricki. Come back to visit Morgantown some time, we miss you!! ;)  

    • My advice would be to first make sure you have a big enough reception hall. Mine was too small and wish I wouldn't have settled. Also, make sure to get a good videographer! You will be so glad you did! And DON'T STRESS! It's not worth it. Have fun! It's stressful to plan, but make the most of it because you can't go back and wish you would have enjoyed the planning process more! Have fun and congrats! <3  

    • First off.... CONGRATULATIONS! No skepticism here... just pure joy for you that you found your love! Second, my only piece of advice is don't skimp on your wedding photographer. Your wedding pictures are the one thing that you will have and cherish FOREVER. Pick a photographer that's your style, experienced, and with lots of people skills, regardless of the price... it will be worth it! No i'm not a photographer, just a recently married gal who is super happy with my wedding pictures. All the best xoxo -Kimbra  

    • Congratulations Emily! I went to post, and it said the internet wasn't connected...and alll the words just left! But I wanted to say just how amazing it has been to watch your loves unfold...and to see you write "I should've known all along that God was going to do things His way!" Seriously brought me to tears. Im constantly reminded of how through our own selfish decisions we can do something that isn't in his will and ultimately will fall apart...but to be put back together by grace and love through him. Ahh! It makes me so excited about my future, but for now it's all about you and celebrating what God has in store for you now! So excited, blessings to you and little Ricky and fiance :)  

    • Read 101 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married.

      Hire a wedding planner, 100%

      Get the big stuff done first (venue, food, dress, Entertainment-dj, string quartet, etc., photographer and videographer -you HAVE to have one..so amazing!)

      Don't do your hair and make-up in a way that you wouldn't normally. You will want to look like yourself when you get your pics and video back:)

      Remember ultimately you are hosting a party. Make sure the people you have hired get to eat. BUT be a little selfish..you are the bride after all!  

    • I think you already would, but stick with classics. Classic colors, classic shapes (dresses). It's a very rare thing to find a trend you will feel great about when you look at your pictures in 5,10, or 20 years. And, less is more. Trying to include and please everyone is not only ridiculous, but impossible as well. And it will ruin YOUR special day. Congratulations and best of luck!!  

    • Don't get stuck on the details (which is hard not to do thanks to Pinterest!) Remember Your wedding day is about your special union, not about table cloths or flowers. The day after, all those material decisions won't matter anymore but you will remember the spirit of your wedding day forever! So focus on the spirit, not the stuff. Congrats to you all!  

    • Congratulations, Emily, Tyler & Ricki! God absolutely works all things for the good of those who love Him.

      On wedding planning:

      1) Set a budget. This will help you as you start visiting venues and selecting your vendors. Here is a list of items that you will likely be spending money on: Attire, printed materials (invitations, menu cards, programs, etc.), venue fee, food & beverage, wedding cake, photographer, videographer, rentals (if not already provided by the venue), band/DJ/emcee, flowers, hair & makeup and officiant. Specialty linens, uplighting and a professional wedding coordinator are optional enhancements, but not necessary.

      2) Start with finding your ceremony & reception venue(s). This will help you secure a wedding date and time. Then, send out save-the-date's so your family and friends will be sure to be there!

      3) Find your dress. Dresses need to be customized and altered, so allot at least six months if possible so that you don't have rush your order or select from only the samples in the store.

      4) For all the other vendors, shop in the order of priority. For example, if a good videographer is most important to you, book him/her first. I recommend looking for no more than 3 vendors in each category, and then choosing one from the three. Vendor selection is most time consuming part so try not to overwhelm yourself with too many options.

      5) Three months prior, send out your invitations. Give guests one month to RSVP. You will then have a month to follow up on all the guests you have not yet heard from. About one month prior to your wedding, your vendors will start asking for final counts so they can prepare accordingly.

      6) At the 3 - 4 month mark, start putting together your timeline. It should include the arrival times of all of your vendors, taking into account the amount of time they need to set up. Decide the order in which your wedding party will be walking in, select your songs. Where do guests go after the ceremony? What time does the reception start? Are you having your first dance right after your grand entrance or do you want it to be the last thing on the program before open dancing begins? Other potential things to include in your timeline are speeches & toasts, family acknowledgements, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, father/daughter & mother/son dances, slideshow, games, etc. When you finalize your timeline (approximately 3 weeks prior), send it out to your vendors so they are on the same page.

      7) While a professional wedding coordinator is not required, I do recommend that you have someone as the point of contact for your wedding day, such as a trustworthy & organized friend. You should be enjoying your day and not worrying whether or not your officiant has arrived yet! Vendors should check in with a designated person and that person will have a checklist to make sure all the to-do's get done.

      8) At the end of the day, you are celebrating love. Everything else is just the cherry on top! So no matter what happens, focus on that love and you will have the best day of your life. Enjoy!

      "We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19  

    • My hotel room caught on fire, my cake completely crumbled, and someone yelled out "Get some, Ty" in the middle of my ceremony! Through it all, I smiled and had the time of my life because I was marrying the man I loved and nothing else mattered. Just remember that! What's to stress about when you've already met the man of your dreams? The hardest part is done.
      XOXO, Brittany Tyjeski  

    • Hey Emily and Tyler and Ricki too, Congratulations! Let the fun (and craziness begin) I too often think about eloping to a beach somewhere and having a simple non complicated wedding planning process, but what fun would that be?! I got engaged in Septmeber to the love of my life and our wedding is this coming May. So we have been busy little bees. My first point of advice would be to go to the bookstore and buy a wedding planning binder (I have the one by Mindy Weiss) and it's truly a lifesaver. Every detail you need to know is included wether you do end up hiring a wedding planner or not this is a MUST have! I hope you enjoy every second of the process as I have and never let the planning overtake the truly special reason your doing all of this in the first place. I know your day we be beautiful! Love and Prayers -Samantha  

    • Use all the free online resources available - we used planning lists, address sites, etc. We then got a planning binder that allowed us to write everything down that we tried (vendors) and pricing.
      And PINTEREST, PINTEREST, PINTEREST! Half my wedding was from Pinterest. So many good ideas others have shared!  

    • I would love to plan your wedding!!!! :)  

    • I'm a single girl who can often get disheartened in the love department so thanks for giving me hope! Maybe I should start going to church more to find my Justin :)  

    • Congratulations Emily! May God bless you! Honestly there can be so much advice given, but get a wedding planner, or someone who can help you get everything done!  

    • Alexandra Pinkus January 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Congratulations, Emily! So happy for you! I assume you will have Lauren photograph your wedding - isn't she incredible? Truly one of the nicest people I have ever met. She photographed my friend's wedding and I was just amazed at her work and spirit.

      As someone who just planned a wedding herself (in NC no less!) I must say that you need a planner. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to suggest Michelle Wright, who is located in the Triad area of NC, but I know she would do a Charlotte wedding. Emily, she's an angel. A woman of God and someone who picks up on every last detail - nothing goes untouched by her. She actually listens to brides and helps them to shape an unforgettable day for not only the bride and groom, but also family and friends.

      Best of luck on your wedding - as someone who has followed you for awhile, I am so happy you have found someone that completes you and makes you feel like the most special person in the world.  

    • Do it quick you don't need more than 6 months and no more than 150 people...
      smaller the better!  

    • Brian Schindler  /  website January 31, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Being a man, innately my advice might not be useful. Being a wedding photographer, I hope that it moves me up a little higher on the ranking!

      - Your wedding should be a reflection of you and Tyler - If you want to do something, do it. Don't think that tradition reigns supreme. Traditions all started because someone thought it'd be a good idea, a good choice for them, or maybe even fun.
      - Hire people you trust - get to know every vendor you plan on hiring and make sure the connection is there. All of us should have the mindset of making your vision come to life, not just booking another client. If the connection with the person themselves isn't there? Let 'em go.
      - Invest in what's important - Stick to your budget and invest in things that will mean the most to you. What will make you remember your wedding day? What will transport you back to your first moments as husband and wife? No one else can decide these things for you.
      - Have fun - being engaged is such a short chapter of your lives together. It's also a chapter that can get jam packed really quick. Make sure to make time for the two of you, and the three of you, to make memories that help catapult forward your new life together.

      All the best to You and Tyler. And here's my shameful plug of if you need a photographer, I know a guy. And he's probably available and would love to shoot your wedding. (psst. it's me).

      God bless.  

    • Hi Emily,

      Wow, so much great advice on here. I couldn't read it all so sorry if this is repetitive. Congratulations on the engagement! I just got married a little over four months ago and I planned the whole thing myself.

      - The first thing I did was set a budget. Things easily start to spiral out of control if you don't set a limit when the word "wedding" is attached to it. Figure out how much each family is willing to contribute and how much you and your fiance are comfortable contributing. The next steps will be selecting a date and venue (remember that budget).

      - It's definitely possible to plan a wedding yourself. It takes a lot of TIME and ORGANIZATION. So if you want to plan it yourself, have a longer engagement (ours was a year and two months). If you want a short engagement and you can afford one then I would recommend a wedding planner to make things less stressful for you.

      - Someone recommended pre-marital counseling of some sort. We didn't think we needed it at the time but we spent a weekend away at a pre-marital counseling retreat and even after nine years of dating we learned and better understood things about each other. It was nice to get away and spend some quiet time together before the craziness. It laid an excellent foundation!

      - It was upsetting and stressful planning a wedding sometimes. But it's all worth it when you look into each other's eyes and say your vows. Be sure to appreciate the moments that are truly about the two of you, and not everyone else.

      - Things will go wrong on your wedding day (it's inevitable). When our ceremony started my coordinator was no where to be found, a groomsman accidentally sprayed champagne on my dress, and the caterer served the wrong beer. I could go on. Be flexible and stay classy!

      - We decided to write our own vows but gave them to each other to read the morning of the wedding day. So they were still personal but private. We also decided to see each other before the ceremony. I'm so glad we did because we both lost it and neither of us wanted to do that in front of everyone.

      - www.knot.com has a good timeline of events/details to planning already when you set up an account. Things can be adjusted as necessary but it was nice to just be able to check in online and see where in the process of planning I should be.

      - Add little touches to make it personal. Both my dad and grandmother had passed away, who I loved very much. So I had picture charms of them added to my bouquet so they would still be with me. I wore a necklace of my mothers. It's those little things that will make it feel special.

      I could go on forever but you'll be just fine. Try not to stress out too much and enjoy everything. Happy for you and your little family. Happy planning!  

    • I would try to pick a time of year or date AND venue first. Those are the biggest things. Then the details can follow the themes of the season and/or venue. It helped me a lot. That's how I did mine and everything else kind of fell into place. Read reviews of vendors. Decide what type of feel you'd like your wedding to have that will help also. Laid back? Formal? DIY? Fancy? A special theme?  

    • Hi Emily,

      I have been a fan since the first time I saw you on the Bachelor. I am so happy for you and Ricki!

      I have been married 13 years to my best friend. We were friends first too and really got to know each other's hearts before falling in love. I fell in love with his heart. We just celebrated our 13 year anniversary on January 20th. I agree with many of the comments above, the marriage is the most important (as I'm sure you know). We had that thought at the front of our minds during the planning of our wedding. Our wedding was beautiful! We did not have a honeymoon because we were saving for a house. If I could go back, I would have gone on a honeymoon with my husband. The babies came right away and then we did not want to leave them.  

    • Congrats Emily! Being engaged is one of the most special times in a girl's life so first piece of advice is not to panic and to savor this moment. Once you are married you will never be engaged again so soak it up!
      Once you are ready to begin planning the first thing to do is pick a venue. I found that once I was able to nail down a venue it really helped to inform the rest of my wedding. My husband John and I just got married in October at a beautiful rustic restaurant in St. Helena California. It is in the middle of wine country and the place had a very country, rustic vibe. Based on that we decided to keep the whole wedding consistent with that theme--we had wood tables with burlap runners, outdoor firepits, gingham ties for the boys and a romantic and not overly formal dress for me.
      No matter what it will be the best day of your life because you are marrying the man of your dreams and you will be surrounded by family and friends. But the best advice I can give is pick a place that is special to you both and then let the rest of the things fall in to place based on that location.
      Best of luck and warm wishes to your growing family.  

    • Congratulations on your engagement. I've always been told the best place to meet your spouse is at church! Anyway- I've been married 2 years going on 3 come April.
      My husband and I got married at the beach in NC. We had a simple wedding, kept the guest list to 150. The day from start to finish was very intimate. We invited our families of course and our close friends. If we had not talked to someone in at least a year; they were nixed off the list. We also told our parents; mainly our mothers, that their "list" could only include people we knew. We did not want to be introducing ourselves to our guests at our wedding (so many people end up doing that!). We wanted the entire wedding day to be about God, our relationship and our family and friends.
      My advice would be this:
      Spend less money on the wedding and invest in your marriage. SO many people get this backwards. I often think that people should actually have the big party aka wedding at their 10 year anniversary- after you have really accomplished the work that marriage requires.
      The wedding should be a reflection of who you are and not what is popular.
      I do not think a wedding planner is necessary. I planned our wedding myself and had friends help put it all together. I sorta went in this order and "winged" it and had the entire wedding planned in 6 months.
      Most of all- have FUN. Wedding planning should not be stressful!!!! Don't be afraid to ask others for help!  

    • BEST WISHES to the three of you! (That's what you say to the bride & "congratulations" to the groom!) I've been married ummm, almost 13 years and my biggest advice...don't let your mom overhaul your dream! I was young, 22 when I got married (to a fella 6 years my senior). For me that was too young, I always say I wouldn't change who I married but I wished we had waited a little bit longer. Anyway, somehow in all the hullabaloo, I lost myself and what I wanted. In the end, the only part that was "me" was the color of my bridesmaid's dresses and I had to fight, even change the season of our wedding to get that. Well, the style of my cake and half of the flavor was my choice as well...the rest, my mother. Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful BIG wedding, written up in the editorial section of local newspapers. Billed the event of the town, "Hollywood came to Wake Forest" but it wasn't me and it definitely wasn't my husband. We wanted to elope, both our parents did. But my mother said, "weddings are for the community to accept a married couple as one" blah blah blah. I've been keeping a notebook (and now a secret pinterest page) for 13 years of all the things I wish I had in my wedding, maybe one day we'll renew! Good luck with the planning and if you are really a busy busy busy person who doesn't want to be that involved, then go for it...hire a wedding planner.  

    • First, best wishes, Emily. God does have a plan always.

      As for the wedding- any way you can simplify your life is good- because you want to enjoy the day. And the idea that the wedding shouldn't overshadow the marriage is key.

      That being said, get together with a trusted and practical friend who will honestly edit your ideas so you can decide which are crucial, which would be great, and which will add so much stress to the event that you're better off without.

      I'm sure your day will be beautiful. And I'm trusting your marriage will be blessed.  

    • I got married last July and I thought my wedding was perfect. Yes we had glitches, but all in all it went great. Advice. The wedding sites are helpful and stressful at the same time. I used weddingwire to keep everything organized. It helped. Those lists though are VERY overwhelming! I stopped following them because they eventually stressed be out too much.
      1. Secure a location. Probably the most stressful part of planning a wedding. Once this is done though, a weight is lifted and things start to fall into place more easily.
      2. We didn't have a wedding planner... i was the planner. But our caterer and my SUPER amazing photographer helped me throughout the process. :D

      Best wishes and enjoy the process and the day. And remember. It is okay to be stressed. It happens, it's your wedding. So stress all you want, just not the day of.  

    • Def a photo booth  

    • www.freebirdpaperie.com for custom invitations! :) I'm a Christian and would love to help you out!  

    • GET A WEDDING PLANNER!!!!!!!
      I got married in 2012 and we had one. Given I did work for the company and that was the only way we could afford it but I could not have done it without one!!! From working so many weddings and knowing all the little details that must be worried about the day of there is no reason the bride and that family should be so stressed. That day is for you and your family to relax and celebrate your love not spend hours fighting about where a centerpiece should go. So spend the money and get one so everyone on that day can just relax and enjoy the day!!  

    • Heidi Crowder is the absolute best!!! She'll give you the best vendors to use and coordinate it all. She's with Carolina Weddings and Events.  

    • Wow, 141 comments you might not ever read mine ;-) I love the idea of handing my pinterest off to someone to plan the whole thing for me, it would have been a LOT easier that way LOL! I also planned my wedding, and used forums and facebook groups and tons of pinterest links to find things. I really enjoyed the planning, but didn't have a whole lot of help because my bridesmaids live far away and my mom was in poor health. I think I would have loved a wedding planner but couldn't afford it. It actually makes it harder to make decisions the more people you have helping because everyone has different opinions. The hardest thing probably was the bridesmaid dresses because i had a style in mind and a couple of my girls were bigger up top and they did not want sweet heart strapless, so I let them choose, then we decided on 2 different styles, but the whole trying on process was a little stressful with them.... Everything else I sort of had what I wanted in mind, collected inspiration pics via pinterest and wedding wire, picked my vendors (actually found a groupon for my photographer, and there are tons for photobooths - which I TOTALLY suggest, guests LOVE IT). I didn't do anything completely organized, my venue did a lot of the work since it included a lot of things (had both ceremony and reception, included center pieces, table linens etc... they just gave you a couple choices and you can choose a vendor if you wanted any other options, I just went with the basic). I think you have plenty of help and probably plenty of people that want to do your wedding, you will be just FINE :-)  

    • Congrats Emily!! So excited for you and Ricki.
      I have been married for 10 years. Marriage is the best!! I know many people have already said it is more about the marriage than the wedding and I agree! Looking back on my wedding there are several things I would do differently. After 10 years of marriage and looking back I honestly don't remember many of the details. I LOVE looking at our photos so I definitely recommend investing in an amazing photographer and maybe even more than one! I wish I had taken that advice and invested in more than one photographer. And definitely a videographer.
      Of course invest in the dress of your dreams! It is your day and you should feel more beautiful on this day than any other. And going back to the pictures, you will be looking at them for the rest of your life and you want to look at them with no regrets.
      And lastly, don't sweat the small stuff! Try to enjoy it not stress too much. On your wedding day really try to live in the moment and take it all in! Good luck.  

    • Congratulations! After reflecting on my wedding, my best advice is to only have guests that are the most special people to you both. We had such a big wedding, and there are people in my photos that I don't know. Strangers shared our special ceremony and wedding moments, and I wish we had only the people who were closest to us there. It is your time, and you can keep those photos and memories special by making sure people you love are in them. I hope this helps. Best wishes!  

    • Spend the time and money on the marriage not the wedding! Small and intimate with closest friends and family! Don't go crazy! It's what your comfortable with not everyone else! If you want big then knock your socks off girl! All in all live, love and enjoy it all! Best of luck!
      Marie  

    • Keep it private!! We had a 50+ person weekend wedding celebration up in the mountains, ceremony and dinner outside next to a lake, the whole resort was only for us and we hiked together the day before. Then it was on to cake and dancing inside a candle lit barn to an amazing band. It was the most beautiful, quiet, celebration with only those closest to us. And reflected our values. The smaller, more quiet you can keep this despite media attention, the more you will be able to bring heartfelt joy and remember all the details without the stress (i.e. the last Bachelor televised wedding was atrocious at best). I think a destination weekend wedding can do that depending on location but it's all about picking a private location and I think a wedding planner just raises the stress level. Keep it simple, elegant, meaningful and fun for all ages! That's my 2 cents, good luck and congratulations!  

    • Congratulations! My husband and I decided from the start that our wedding was going to be about the marriage, and we wanted everything about the day (weekend) to reflect that idea.

      -We only had our family and close friends attend--people who are, and have been our support system. They were the people that when things get tough would be there for us to lean on, and help support and foster our marriage. I think there were between 50-70 people. Because there were not a ton of people, we had the time to talk, laugh, cry and pray with them, and they were a very integral part of the experience.

      -We paid for everything ourselves. Making the financial investment into our wedding ourselves was a way of reiterating of our commitment to the relationship. We were putting our money where our mouths (and hearts) were so to speak, rather than having our parents foot the bill. Budgeting and paying for our wedding also was a great learning experience on how the other person earns, saves and spends money, as well as how to compromise when your ideas about what to do with money do not mesh.

      -Most importantly, we spent as much time (or more) preparing for the marriage as we did the wedding. When we sat down to make plans for the ceremony, we would make sure to spend just as much time discussing our relationship and plans for the future. We had marital counseling. We also read "Love Languages," and "Lies at the Alter." Lies at the Alter is a book about really understanding what the vows you are taking mean, and how those promises will affect your lives. For example, when you say "in sickness and health" do you really mean if he becomes paralyzed, has a traumatic brain injury and his personality completely changes, has an addiction, cancer etc, you will stay with him and foster the relationship? It has great questions that really prepare you for the commitment you are making.

      Whether big or small, extravagant or simple, remember that it is about the commitment you and your fiance are making to each other before God. Don't let anything else get in the way of that principle and it will be perfect no matter what happens on that day!  

    • Congratulations! Hiring a wedding planner was the best decision ever (other than deciding to marry my husband of course). Good luck!  

    • Natalie Shaffer January 31, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Emily, Congratulations! Beautiful story of how God brought you together. As far as weddings go- you don't need our advice- but I will say that I have NO regrets about my wedding and wouldn't do one thing differently. I would get married everyday if I could afford it...lol! We had around 35 guests (immediate family and best friends) and got married at Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, CA in November at sunset. Our wedding was picturesque, intimate and romantic. We have pictures in the vineyard which was a beautiful bridal setting. We got married outside and had a champagne toast out on the lawn and moved into the wine cave for the most amazing wine and dinner. Calistoga is an Auberge Resort and it was top notch. Beautiful honeymoon suites as well. I honestly wouldn't change a thing. www.calistogaranch.com. Check it out...it doesn't disappoint.  

    • It's been 25 years since my wedding day and did it all myself. I loved it and didn't stress...like so many people have said make it about you and your future husband and family with Ricki then the cermony itself. I wanted a very simple cozy wedding....I had about 125 guests and only had family (close family ones who were an active part of my life--not every aunt, uncle or cousin I never saw). I wanted a country wedding so I got a great venue at a beautiful farm that had 3 converted barns for wedding venues and they were so helpful and it was absolutely beautiful. We also did a budget where we put the bulk of the money on our honeymoon trip which would be OUR time then we did on the entire wedding which was just one day. Enjoy/Cherish/ but most of all don't stress...the hardest part is over...you found the man that God has handpicked for you...the rest is all of icing on the cake!  

    • Emily Elizabeth January 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Congrats! I chose 3 themes I wanted people to walk away thinking about...it made me narrow down every kind of choice from the cake to decor to my dress...my themes were simplicity, family and God...and the whole day went perfectly!  

    • CONGRATS EMILY! I am so happy for you! I think you should get a wedding planner, it will make your life so much easier and less stressful! Never stop blogging, love you!  

    • Congratulations, Emily! You're a beautiful couple & family. At our reception we had the DJ play an upbeat song. He announced that we had until the end of the song to take a picture with every person at each table. It was fun running around to each table and when we got our pictures back we could actually see every person that shared our special day with us!  

    • Eloped 5 years ago just the hubs and I. We had a reception a couple months after our wedding. I missed my mom at the wedding but wouldn't change a thing. Only the hubs and I share those precious memories. Splurged for an awesome venu and photographer. It was heavenly!
      Congratulations marriage and now my son are my biggest blessings!!God is good all the time :)  

    • Congratulations! Pick three things that mean the most to you and really focus on those things instead of needing everything to be perfect. Wedding planners are a brides best friend and don't procrastinate or else you will be overwhelmed the week of the wedding, best wishes to your new family!  

    • Slowdown, take your time and enjoy it all. The one thing I regret the most is not soaking it all up while planning, and truly enjoying it. I think planning it should be just as fun and romantic as the day itself.  

    • Hi Emily!
      Congratulations! I'm sure you are both excited and take great comfort in this wonderful commitment and the covenant to come! I just got married 7 months ago and my biggest "I'm so glad I did that at our wedding" was that it was small, we used most of our budget on our photographer to capture every little candid moment and we had someone there wedding day to just tell us what to do every step of the way. That, by far, was the biggest "amen!". Having someone there to tell you where to go & what to do was such a relaxer. It completely freed us up to be lost in the moments, focused on the covenant and just enjoy this once in a life time life change. It was THE perfect day at our tiny little wedding in a tiny white and brown wooden chapel. I got to sit back and relax and delight in the gospel being shared..I got to sit back and ogle my soon to be husband.. I got to enjoy my close friends and family just after we got married because it was so small we had time to have genuine time with them. Another thing I was grateful for was we had a very intense premarital counselor. He didn't shy away from tough topics, didn't leave a stone unturned and brought out hard uncomfortable things. You can never be fully prepared for marriage but it gave us a huge framework for bringing our lives together and living out our covenental marriage.  

    • Congratulations, Emily! You're a beautiful couple and family. At our reception we had the DJ play an upbeat song. He announced that we had until the end of the song to take a picture with every person at each table. It was fun running around to every table and when we got the pictures back it was nice to see everyone who shared our special day with us!  

    • I'm not married so I can't help you in that department but girl, you've got a keeper! He is so handsome (and let's be real.. you're gorgeous) and looks to be great with Ricki. Isn't God's timing always the craziest?! Congrats to the three of you!!  

    • Congratulations. You will make a beautiful bride! Please hire a professional wedding planner. You or your friends should not be stressing out on your wedding day. Something always goes wrong and your planner should be the one stressing, not you. Best wishes to you and your beautiful daughter. Very happy for you.  

    • Honestly, I don't understand all the criticism you used to get. I admired you for knowing exactly what you wanted in a guy and didn't accept anything less. A lot of women settle for any man that will give her the time of day. You knew you were a catch, so you weren't going to "settle". I really admired that. And look at you now... You found the perfect guy for you.  

    • Hi Emily,

      Congrats on your engagement! I know you've gotten a lot of beef after the show. I just wanted you to know that from what I saw, I really liked you. I'm a young 20 something also in the midst of dating and growing into a woman, and I think that Ricki would be proud if (you ever let her) she saw your season. I thought you were wise, genuine, and tough on the guys - which is expected. I'm sorry things didn't work out for you through that but I'm glad you found something organic with your new fiance!

      Love and peace!  

    • Congrats Emily! This is so exciting!!
      I am 25 and I am also engaged. Our wedding is in 2 months. The FIRST thing I recommend is to pick a date. If you aren't hung up on a particular month, then I suggest you have a 6-8 month engagement. Mine engagement is a bit longer (due to my fiancé's NFL schedule) and let me just tell you...the waiting it's torture. SECOND, book your venue...they go fast. THIRD, & most importantly...do not stress. Wedding planning is fun, but it is NOT as glamorous as everyone thinks. It get's hard, but it's so worth it on the day of...so I am told.  

    • I am so happy for you Emily! I hope that God guides both of you in your marriage and future and that you grow closer to the Lord. :) Me and my 20 year old girlfriends love reading your posts and outfit ideas. Can't wait to see your wedding ideas. God Bless!  

    • I'm thrilled for you, Emily! God's way really is always the best and it's amazing to look back and see His faithfulness!

      I have been married 7 years, have a 5 year old daughter, and have my own custom bridal gown illustration business, Made by Adri. I was also born with Spina Bifida and have 20 surgeries. God's really used art in my healing process and I love using the talents he's given me to bring joy to others!

      If you'd be interested at all in a painting, please contact me and I'd love to make you one as a wedding gift!

      Adri  

    • Congratulations, pretty girl! So happy you've found true love. I got engaged this past Fathers Day (June 15th) and we were married just two months later, on August 17th. While pinning my life away, I found a quote.. "When you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right now." That quote hit me like a ton of bricks. We decided the traditional 6-12 months (or more) engagement was not for us and I went into full force wedding mode. My advice to you; if you're really and truly ready... Don't wait. It was so easy for me to make decisions because I knew I didn't have time to waste. I went with first instincts and gut feelings and didn't have time to second guess. With the help of The Good Lord and our families, I had an absolutely gorgeous wedding and it was exactly how I imagined the best day of my life. Good luck to you!  

    • Cali Camlbell  /  website February 1, 2014 at 1:55 am

      Firat , Congratulations to you and your beautiful family! What a blessing the Lord has bestowed upon you. I would just like to say, as a Certified Wedding Coordinator myself, I would at least hire a month of coordinator. A wedding coordinator will do exactly what the job title says, coordinate your wedding. You will need someone to make sure all vendors are at the venue on time and paid. They will be there to rid any problems and execute your vision for you while you relax. They will make sure every thing works out in case if an emergency. Make sure you do research a d interview potential wedding coordinators as just like a shoe, sometimes they aren't the right fit for you! Also a coordinator will direct you to all the best vendors and even get you discounts! Good lick and happy planning! PS. Yes you can give your wedding board to a coordinator and they can do everything for you. :)  

    • Congrats on your engagement!! What a beautiful family you have! God Bless you all on this amazing journey of life:) and what unique and gorg rings!!! He seems like a keeper!

      Peace, love and Blessings!
      Emily D  

    • Emily, you were meant to appear on The Bachelor/ette so we could all be shown such a wonderful example of grace, elegance, humour and strength, all which you exude. Your wedding will be glorious, congratulations and thank you for sharing your lovely man with us. It's nice to know men like him exist out there. From Andrea in Australia.  

    • Hi Emily,
      Congratulations!! I'm very happy for you. Wedding planning can be fun and stressful at the same time. My husband and I have been married for 5 years. I was our wedding planner. :) If you want to do it yourself and have the time, you certainly can, but a wedding planner would be great too and I'm sure very helpful. If you are going to do it yourself, I'd recruit a few folks to help you and delegate. First, you'll need a budget, and an approximate count for your guest list so you can pick the venue and the date. There are a lot of wedding planning sites to help guide you on a timeline. I would suggest having the reception immediately following the wedding.

      We got married in the morning, had a fun afternoon reception, and then met folks out at a local restaurant at night with brunch the next day as we had a lot of out of town guests. This gave us more more time to visit with everyone.

      Remember to have fun, enjoy the process, and focus on the picture - a long and happy marriage. You'll get a lot of advice but try not to please everyone - it's your wedding after all!

      Best wishes ;)  

    • No matter what you do make SURE you have a great photographer, beacause when it is all said and done all you have left are memories and pictures.....You dont need a wedding planner-just some good friends, an old barn, sheer curtains, lots of candle light and other dim lighting, and flowers, flowers, flowers!!!! Congrats and God bless! So happy for you!  

    • Tizzerts at Suarez bakery in the park road shopping center= best tasting cakes EVER..they've been around the charlotte area for over 10 years now, so they are doing something right:). The wow factor on park road (close to the Dilworth shopping center) have cakes that you must take a second glance because they are so perfectly made! The inside of the store is AMAZING..The ambiance is just perfect for a bride to be to enjoy her cake choosing experience. The wow factor is like a cake "boutique" to best describe it. If you haven't already chosen a groom ring, Skatells at Carolina place mall are awesome, family owned, good people. Okay, that's all I have lol. Hope this helps:)..congrats and good luck  

    • Shae Westerlind  /  website February 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

      As everyone has labelled well and truly for you - its all about the marriage and less about the wedding per se. Throw the wedding 'rule' books out of the window and have a day celebrating your love that is all about you and Tyler and Ricki - everything else will just speak for itself then. I recently wed my amazing God sent husband in October 2013 in Australia. Here is the video trailer which may help:
      http://vimeo.com/83371801
      I did a lot of DIY to keep costs down, but in saying that I realised (even though Im a girly girl) I didnt care about the flowers or the cake, I just cared that we said our vows in front of those we love and enjoyed every moment. I made the flower bouquets with my sister in law, and ordered a plain cake and everyone loved it even more, as it had the personal touch and hosted everything that represented Shae + Filip.
      Sending you the best wishes - just enjoy every moment - its an incredibly journey :)
      x  

    • Dear Emily,
      I am so happy for you! I felt the same way about my husband when we first met, I could hardly look at him. My advice is to keep it simple. Invite only family and close friends. My husband and I got married on the beach with 8 of our family members. It was very intimate, personal and spiritual. The less people the less stress. I agree that the photographer and videographer are super important because years later that's what you will have to remember that special day and of course the dress, but I don't have to tell you that. With your great style, I am looking forward to seeing your dress! I'm sure you've heard that marriage is work and that's true, even with your soul mate. Acceptance, patience, respect and kindness are all aspects of love that will keep you going when times are tough. I'm thankful you have found a good father for Ricki and a good man to share your life with, you all deserve that.
      Your friend from Atlanta,
      Kristin  

    • Emily Congratulations! You may feel like your time on TV was insignificant, but you were saved for such a time as this. God used you on that show to bring grace and dignity back to womanhood. Thank you for being willing to be used by Him. God does do things in His time and way but it is rarely the easy, short, or straight way. There are usually twists and turns along the way. Make your wedding about your family. Honor God and invite Him into the planning and it will be a great day. remember the wedding is one day but marriage is for life. Have a great one!  

    • Firstly: Congratulations on the engagement. I am so sooo happy for you. :)

      My only advise is: Invest in a better than 'just a good' photographer. Invest in the best one you can find. A picture truly says a thousand words, and the one thing you (and your children and grandchildren ) will treasure till your old day will be your wedding-book/album.
      Make sure that you keep in mind that the lighting for the pictures is extremely important. As you may know, the best lighting is in the morning and just before sunset in the afternoon. Just saying.


      Kind Regards all the way from South Africa
      X  

    • Emily,

      Congratulation girl!!! I've been following you since Bachelor. Bening a single mom myself for so long (12years) and one failed marriage - I completely resonated with your plight. I met the love of my life on plentyoffish daring website and all I can say is when you know - you know. He knew on the first date - it took me the second to be sure. A year and half later we are more in love now that when we met 7 Sep 2012. Got engaged 01 Nov 2012, found out we were expecting 01 Dec 2012 and married 30 Dec 2012. It was all very fast - not to mention I had also been laid off Oct 2012 - so he really was and is my modern day knight in shining armor!! :-). Just thinking about all the details that go into a wedding was completely overwhelming...I had to stop bc I would start crying when I didn't even know where to begin. In the end it was very simple and clear...my mama always told me to keep it simple focus on the vows, groom, dress, flowers and cake. Everything else will fall into place. She was so right. I did my own hair, ordered a dress and seamed it myself, made my honeys Packers Cheese cake as the grooms cake and family helped pitch in for food. In the end it turned out more beautiful that I could have imagine - esp being unemployed and it help bond our families together during the process. Good luck darlin and remmeber in the end it is between you and your love!  

    • Emily, congratulations! Your rings are gorgeous. A good friend of mine loves your 4 rings and the style of each ring. Are you at liberty to share the brand / designer of your rings?  

    • Hi Emily,

      I am so beyond happy for you and Ricki!!! I knew God had special plans for you!! My advice is to keep it simple. Make this day about you and your love as well as a celebration for finding one another. I would also not stretch it out and make the plans sooner than later...that way you can start your life together as God wants for the both of you...I am thinking a spring wedding would be nice?????  

    • Bottom line, get a planner. I waited until three months before the wedding to admit I was getting a little stressed and could use more help. Best thing I ever did. If I had to do all over, I'd get her from day one!!!  

    • Emily,

      So happy to hear you are in love and engaged! I was always rooting for you watching you on TV and am so happy for you!!

      I have been married for almost 3 years now, and pretty much designed my ENTIRE wedding with my now husband. We didn't have a huge budget, did the majority of it ourselves. I made the bouts, the bouquets, the programs...everything. I made the bouquets mainly of paper and ribbon flowers, and that would be some of my money saving advice--flowers. Keep it simple, no one will remember them and you can be creative with different alternatives! At the end of the day, it was a ton of work but that's the part of the wedding itself I am most proud of (other than marrying my husband, of course!)

      Just create a day that's all about the two of you (and Ricky, of course.) Personal details, intimate, something that people can walk away saying, "I know who they are." That's a great feeling. I'm including a link to some of our DIY projects if any provide any inspiration!! Wishing you tons of love and luck and congratulations!

      http://www.stylemepretty.com/tri-state-weddings/2011/11/29/new-jersey-wedding-by-courtney-dudley-photography/

      Best,
      Dina  

    • Jollene Hastings  /  website February 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Congratulations, Emily! Thrilled for you to find the man God intended for you...right underneath your nose in His house. If I can help you with wedding planning or wedding videography, let me know! My company is called Two by Two, and founded on Christian values, inspired by the verses in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Though I'm based in Missouri, I do travel. I love all things wedding, and would be honored to help! Please feel free to check us out and Like www.facebook.com/2by2events, or Follow @2by2events on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. P.S. Pinterest is a visual encyclopedia of resources, too!  

    • Dear Emily, Congratulations on your engagement. I won't offer any wedding advise except "don't sweat the small stuff". He is handsome and you are beautiful especially in spirit. BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY LIFE. Lori - from Frisco TX  

    • I wouldn't change a thing about my wedding, I loved every second of it! However, at the end of the day I would get an awesome photographer and or videographer because after all that money was spent...thats all I have to show for it :) Well, that and a great husband! Pinterest was very helpful and Etsy as well! If you need a photographer, check out my friend below and the pics she's done for us over the years! Good luck!!

      http://lindseyleephotographyblog.com/?s=april+%26+cody  

    • Brittany Gray  /  website February 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Emily! Congratulations on your engagement!!

      We at Fancy Face Inc. have always been fans & now that this is the real deal, we would LOVE to do your makeup/hair for your wedding day. If you don't have a glam-squad together for your special day yet, we got you girl! ;)

      Check out our site & let us know your thoughts!! ...

      www.fancyface.ca

      xoxo  

    • Maria from Australia February 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Congratulations to you both !! Arranging your wedding is one of the most beautiful time in your lives ... it's a day to look back on and always remember with your husband and ofcourse your beautiful daughter... so dont' stress...but be happy to be arranging this glorious day that you will be united as husband and wife.. as long as you know which church you will be married in and where you would like to have your venue the rest is a piece of cake....  

    • Congratulations! I'm so happy you finally found the one. I would recommend a wedding planner for sure. I would have lost my mind if it weren't for her. Pick the perfect venue, and then focus on the details. We went with the Cliffs at Glassy Mountain, so after we picked the location, I knew I wanted a rustic elegance if there is such a thing. I kept it under 250 people. Otherwise, I think it can become overwhelming. I did a lot of things myself, and my husband was also very involved in the process. We made it fun. Try not to stress, and enjoy every second. You deserve it!!!  

    • Congrats! Sounds like a great guy...only advise, don't let the wedding become bigger than the marriage and/or the groom.....keep Carrie Brashaw in mind when you start planning the wedding (Sex & the City)...simple is spectacular!  

    • Congrats Emily and Tyler!!! I am so happy for the both of you! I know that God brought you both together, and I wish you all multiple blessings and a wonderful life together! Good luck planning your wedding!

      Love,

      Meredith  

    • Lisa Pleasant  /  website February 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      FROM A WEDDING PLANNER:

      Congratulations, Emily! Planning a wedding can be so extremely stressful, especially if you have never planned one before! Hiring a wedding planner takes away all of that stress and lets you focus on the fun parts, and on fully enjoying your experience and your big day. I have a 100% happy bride track record (ok, I'm knocking on wood now :) ), and have had the chance to do some amazing wedding here in Charlotte, surrounding areas, and down in Florida. Check out my site when you get a chance and let me know if I can help get you going in the right direction!!

      Again, congratulations!

      Lisa Pleasant
      www.lisapleasant.com
      704-293-2566  

    • Come to CO and I'll plan your wedding for you!! The first thing you should do is talk about guest list, style of the wedding, and budget. Then you can start looking for venues and securing your date, from there you move on to other vendors and then details. :)  

    • Ok now we want to hear his side of the story too!!! Why didn't he ask you out those times when he first met you?? :) tee hee Congrats and so happy for you!  

    • Make it simple and truly enjoy the day and it's meaning. Wedding ceremony and dinner/or lunch with family and small group close friends. By keeping it simple, you are not engaging in the hoopla. Rather you are embracing your gift from God and celebrating your union with the people that really matter. Weddings that become too large take on a circus like atmosphere and somewhere in that, loose their precious meaning and become a hollywood showcase.  

    • I'm kind of a work-a-holic and I don't own a TV because I'm never home. I watched your season of the bachelorette on abc.com on my laptop. I never have time to take lunch much less read the news, much less read gossip websites.... so I guess that qualifies me as LIVING UNDER A ROCK! Congratulations, this is such exciting news!!! I adore you, and though you're probably 4 years younger than me I really really look up to you. Goodness gracious if I could have half your class, grace, and beauty I'd be living a dream! You are seem so genuine and amazing and I'm glad you've found one that stuck!
      xo
      Mandi  

    • Emily,
      Just start wherever u want to. I had a wedding planner it was the best thing in the world. The morning of my wedding all I had to think about was my girls/my mom n looking stunning for my handsome groom.
      Photographer
      DJ
      Venue
      Maid of honor
      Bridesmaids
      Flower
      Colors
      Pastor
      Cake
      Menu.....
      Pin the rest and give to ur wedding planner and enjoy ur amazing time with ur lil girl n groom.
      Those will be the times u treasure is ur meetings with ur wedding planner where u can say yes it's a go or I'll be back next week try again.

      Hints.. Pin all the pictures u want from ur photographer save to camera roll print out at target mail to photographer for them to check off that day... Best thing I did.

      Look online for bridesmaids dresses... Order in all of them and try on n choose your favorite one then..order in a ton of sizes have ur girls over for fittings/wine then get online n order them in their sizes. Then ship the rest back..Sooooooo much stress lifted off u.

      Good luck! Just begin wherever u want! Make sure you realize it's how u want to make it. If u want to run off to Mexico then go make it magical!

      Xoxo  

    • After being married 26 years and finding my husband and being married within 6 weeks(talk about whirlwind), the only thing I can say(and the hardest thing to do) is - Don't panic.
      Considering all the hoopla that you have been through over the last few years, and if you want something quiet, take this to heart. Think of somewhere that the two of you cherrish, be it in nature or a building, plan a small wedding that has extra meaning to the two of you. If family/friends don't like it...does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?? As someone else said, the day is only the day, but that day is actually YOURS and if others don't understand, then do they really have your interest at heart??

      We live on an island and found a park that we love to visit so we had our wedding there in a quiet/out of the way place in it, only had 15 people there that were our family and we had a picnic/bbq dinner.

      Last but not least, many say that they were nervous on their wedding day. What I found out is when you actually find the one that you are meant to be with, there were no nerves on that day but excitement that filled everything.

      Enjoy your day together and whatever the two of you want is what will make it special, not my ideas or anyone else's as I've already done it, it is now your wedding and your wants/desires as a couple that matters.

      Have fun and the best of luck for your future!!  

    • Congratulations Emily! Gorgeous couple xx  

    • Two words: Wedding Planner

      Tell the wedding planner what you want and stop stressing, it will all be just as it should be on your wedding day. Too many brides do not get to ENJOY their own special day and events because they are too busy worrying over all the plans and arrangements ~ I KNOW!!  

    • My husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary yesterday. :) We planned a very quick, very small ceremony on top of a hill in Pennsylvania overlooking a beautiful river. Only ten people were in attendance and after the ceremony, we went to our favorite restaurant for our "reception". I made my own flowers out of red burlap and did everything else myself as well.

      I would be honored to make your bouquet(s) for you wedding as a gift to you. I understand most bride's want lovely real flowers for their wedding, but if you would like something you can keep forever, please let me know.

      My etsy website is www.janes2daughters.etsy.com if you would like to check out my bridal items.

      Many blessings to you, Ricki, and Tyler!  

    • That is great! I am so happy that you have been able to find love and share your love. It is so true that God will intervene and bring along the right person, in his way and timing.
      CONGRATS!  

    • Congratulations Emily! First enjoy your engagement. I am a woman who has been married for 36 years, and I enjoy my life with my husband. Second, decide what type of nuptials you would like. You are not traditional, so embrace that when planning your big day. Listen to your heart and go from there. Marriage is a promise to each other to "love" no matter what obstacles get in your way. Respect each other's need for space apart and share your experiences with each other. We all have a need to pursue our own interests, that is what makes us special. Then when you return to each other it was like you were never apart. Much happiness to you as you plan your wedding adventure.  

    • First and foremost Congratulations! I am a mother of the bride and my daughter got married this past October. Now I would say, first figure out what time of year you would like the wedding to be. Taking into account the weather if it will be an outdoor wedding. Then figure out how many people would be attending. This sounds easy but it can be stressful. For example, do we invite that 2nd cousin I haven't seen in three years? Important if you figure each guest can cost $20 or more when you factor in food and drink.Then after that, you look at wedding venues and see what dates they have available and hopefully they have a date similar to what you want and can handle the amount of guests you want. Put down a deposit. Then start looking for a dress. If you special order one, they can take months to arrive. Select your colors. Select brides maids styles too. What foods do you and you finance love? My daughter is vegetarian but her husband not so she had a lot of sides such as pasta and salads etc.. and some chicken also. It was greek food and delicious. Anyway hope this will start you out. If you just can't handle the planning. Hire a planner. That's what they are there for.  

    • Dear Emily,

      I am glad you finally found the "right one". As someone who has been following you through your Bachelorette days, you helped me deal with my grief as a widow who lost a beloved husband after 29 years.
      Here is my advice - a wedding is only for a day to be celebrated and shared with family and friends. It is the marriage you like to work on. As both of you are strongly involved in church, attend as many marriage preparation classes given by real couples NOW. I would rather go to these marriage preparation classes than wedding conventions!
      When I got married, as an only daughter, I had a big wedding - planned, of course, by my mother. My fiance and I decided to focus on the wedding ceremony - we worked on our vows together. Needless to say, my mother was happy with the wedding BUT we were very pleased with the commitment we made on that day.
      Fast forward to 29 years later - my husband was dying of cancer and we took our last trip to Switzerland with our only child. We discovered a chateau up on a hill outside Lucerne with the most beautiful views of the alps. Since our wedding anniversary was approaching and while being served ice cream, the three of us held hands and renewed our vows.
      Nothing could beat that Em - a celebration of life lived together through trials and tribulations and health adversaties. My husband passed away a few months later - the last words I whispered in his ears were "Thank you for sharing with me the last 29 years of your life!"
      Pray that you are sustained by HIM throughout your marriage....the wedding is just one day in your life.  

    • lol, go to vegas!! that's what I want to do. I'm way to much of a perfectionist to handle all of that pressure. plus, built in activities for any guests who want to come :) best wishes ~  

    • Beyond happy for you!!! All in the Lord's perfect timing!!! He could not be cuter for you ... & I trust that he will also lead both you & ricki well. Congratulations to a smokin' hot couple that looks made for each other!! (Tips: get a photograph that you LOVE.. worth the splurge.. and a videographer. Have a day-of coordinator. Don't feel like you need to walk around to very table or talk to every guests.. Ppl will find you, but make sure to stop & take in your wedding day often & remember the evening. Also, pre-marital counseling/books/ convos btw y'all about communication & conflict & expectations.. Focus on the marriage as much as the wedding ;) xoxo!  

    • You guys look so great together. Congrats to you Emily and your fiance! Be blessed in your life, you deserve to be happy! :-)  

    • Congratulations, Emily! My husband and I are celebrating our 6 year anniversary today! Though we planned our wedding a few years ago, my two pieces of advice as you're planning are: pre-marital counseling (I really recommend the book we read during our premarital counseling "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by John Gottman) and to make sure to plan extra time throughout the big day so you don't feel rushed while getting ready or taking pictures and can enjoy special moments with Ricki and Tyler. Oh, and take advantage of the catering and cake tastings, they're fun dates:) Congrats again, I'm so happy for you, Tyler and Ricki!  

    • Congratulations! I've been married for almost 7 years and have two beautiful children with my babe. My wedding was perfect and I wouldn't change a thing.. really! Here are my tips I would pass along:
      Don't wait over a year. Too much time to plan = too much unnecessary stress
      Pay top dollar for pictures and video b/c those will be your true keepsakes in the future
      You don't have to overdecorate to make a big impact
      Enjoy all the experiences while you are engaged
      Planning the wedding may feel like a 2nd or 3rd job, and how you make decisions as a couple during the process doesn't necessarily mean that's how you'll make decisions together for the rest of your life.. most woman are naturally more interested in the wedding plans, my guy was not.. and that was okay.
      Find a helpful website that gives you a timeline as to when and what do while planning the wedding (or simply hire someone). One person can't possibly plan the whole event, especially when you have your baby girl to take care for the better part of the day.
      Have fun and good luck!!!  

    • Congratulations!!! So happy for you!!
      I've been married to my honey for almost 2 years. The most important thing to do is book your venues ASAP; this will help narrow down dates and also kinda guide you with the rest of your planning. Also definitely make sure you have a good photographer; that was one of the things we chose to invest in and it was totally worth it. Another thing to invest in is the entertainment during the reception; that way you can just have fun at the reception and not worry about anyone getting bored. The biggest thing that helped me and kept my stress level down was knowing that no matter what happened that day, I would be married to my best friend. When I didn't know what to choose I just closed my eyes and asked God to show me; I'm convinced he cares about what color the bridesmaid shoes should be!

      Be warned that for some reason people get very opinionated about weddings and will want to put their two cents in; keep in mind that this is YOUR day not theirs and you don't have to please them. Your wedding will only happen once; it's all about you and Tyler.  

    • Emily,
      I watched you on both bachelor and bachelorette and admire your life and convictions. I am so glad to hear that you and little Rickie will finally be a family with a man that God sent your way. It seems that when we go "looking/chasing" love it never works out. I believe that is because we are trying to control what is not ours to control. When we finally give over control to our Father, it just seems to happen naturally. God bless each of your and the life that I know He has for y'all.
      Sara  

    • Congratulations! Websites like allfreediyweddings.com are lifesavers when it comes to wedding planning! They have all kinds of ideas and advice... Makes planning a whole lot less stressful because they do a lot of the thinking for you. Make sure your must-haves are available on the date you want before setting the date!  

    • Have a "wedding planner" that knows you well and can make decisions that don't need your attention. That may not be a professional wedding planner, but someone that knows you and loves you. Pick out the things that are really important to you and give them your attention. For the other things, give them an idea of what you like and let it go.
      After it is all said and done that things that will matter:
      1. Cake! Spend less time on what the cake looks like and pick out one that TASTES GOOD! Then...instead of saving the top layer for your first anniversary - have someone responsible for boxing up the top layer and take it to the hotel! Wake up the next morning and enjoy your cake!! Frozen cake from a year ago isn't so good!
      2. Pictures! A good photographer (or 2) that will photograph the journey - before the wedding, your first glimpse of each other, and all the casual stuff. And put lots of little cameras on the table for guests to capture their own shots - you will love looking through all of these!
      3. Reception fun! Plan to have fun at your reception with music and dancing and not all the fluffy stuff. Sing Vanilla Ice and Baby Got Back and Friends in Low Places and HAVE FUN!

      And really - that is what marriage is all about. The wedding will last a short time, but if you invest in your marriage - that will last a lifetime. Decide it is ok to eat cake in bed for breakfast sometimes. Make memories - take pictures of life, not just the formal stuff. Take pictures of the lopsided snowman and the dinner that didn't turn out quite right. And always make time to have some fun.  

    • DESTINATION WEDDING for you family and closets friends only, then reception in your hometown for everyone else. Wish I'd done that. Or, pay a coordinator to do everything for you. In my mind there's no other way to go. Way too stressful for what's supposed to be "the best day of your life" if you try to plan and execute most, or even part of it yourself.  

    • I highly recommend Pastor Boulware at Forest Hill for both pre-marital counseling and to officiate your service. I Mike Boulware married my husband and I almost two years ago and I couldn't have asked for a better Godly counselor to prepare us for both the wedding and marriage!  

    • I planned my wedding in just THREE months and it was everything I dreamed of! For me, it was all about making lists, starting with Must haves for decorations, Make if we have the time decorations and a running list of things that needed to be done before the wedding and by when. I kept this on Google Docs so I could access it anywhere (even on my phone!) and update it when I needed to. It was helpful to see what I had done and what still needed to be done!

      I am a traveling wedding photographer, so feel free to reach out if you need one :) Beyond that, I would say that having a videographer is most important. We just got our video back and I cried like it was happening all over again, but I also couldn't stop smiling. That is by far my favorite investment!

      Last but not least, I know wedding planners can help, but if you get organized and have the time, you can save yourself some money. My family was a GREAT help with making DIY things and my friends helped set everything up the day of (of course, I had a detailed list of where everything went and who was at what table), but I really didn't see the need for a wedding planner!

      Good luck and I am SO happy you've found your perfect match! It's a good feeling to know who you're going to spend the rest of your life with, now enjoy it and take in every moment! And let me know if you need help with anything...with the amount of weddings I've photographed and planning my own in such a short time, I feel like an expert! Cheers!  

    • Whenever my husband and I were planning our wedding our goal was for Christ to be glorified. We were coming together as one in Christ and that was a huge deal. We wanted people to know the love that Christ shown us. We had a time of worship, God's word was presented, and then my husband washed my feet and I washed his.. We wanted Christ to be glorified in our wedding because that resembles us most. It was the most beautiful day not only because we were getting married but because God was glorified and he is the only reason we are here. On earth the greatest love we have is with our spouse but the day we are all in heaven Gods love will be the greatest. So enjoy every second with your husband it's a blessing from the Lord, and God gives us a tiny glimpse of his love through our husbands.  

    • Kelly Beissinger February 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Emily, I am so unbelievably happy that you have found your happily ever after. I have loved you since the first time I saw you on the bachelor and honesty you have been a HUGE inspiration in my life. I lost my fiancé in a car accident a few years ago, and you and your story helped me get through the most difficult time in my life. You are the definition of class and beauty (inside and out) and I wish you and your family all the happiness in the world. Thank you for being a role model that so many look up to.

      I too met a man and am now married after going through such a tragic loss. My advice for you is not to have a long engagement. I believe it's more stressful the longer you have to plan a wedding, instead of having 6-9 month engagement. Start by picking the venue and defiantly get a wedding planner. Good luck! I'm sure your wedding will be everything and more your heart desires!  

    • ERIN CONDREN WEDDING PLANNER. best investment ever.  

    • Congrats! I was the same way when I was planning my wedding! My advice: let your mom do all the hard work! That's what I did and my wedding turned out beautiful and stress free!  

    • Congrats Emily! So happy you found the "one". Thanks for sharing your journey with the world! I got married 3 years ago and was totally stressed with every small detail. Wanted to go away with just my hubby and have it be just us two.
      But... We didn't, and the wedding turned out beautiful. I made the mistake of doing a lot of things that were important to his and my family (not necessarily things that were important to us) and we fought about those things and I regret that. Just keep focused on what is important to you and your fiancé.... I am glad we got married in our church because faith is very important to us. Marriage is one of God's most sacred gifts, and it was very special to be in front of Him and or family and friends. So forget the details because you won't remember what color table cloth you have! :)  

    • Congratulations, Emily! I am so thrilled for you and Ricki. I've watched you on television from the very start and never have you come across as a girl desperate to nab a guy - rather you were a young lady I could relate to, someone who was willing to find real love anywhere it might turn up, even a reality show! You're one of the prettiest gals on this planet with a heart of GOLD and that resonates in everything you do. So happy to see wonderful things happen to wonderful people. All things happen for a reason - every twist and turn and wound and joy. When you show others love and do the best you can, amazing things happen!

      ... never been married, just wanted to share my thoughts and send my love! xo  

    • Congrats!!! I love your unique ring idea... so cute!

      http://leetwoman.blogspot.com/  

    • Not that you need help because you have the best style, but I am still a newlywed (may 19,2013) so all of this fun is still fresh on my mind! You totally do NOT need a wedding planner! I planned my whole wedding with my fiancé on the other side of the country and in my last semester of college! Start with your guest list because I'm sure it will be huge! Get that and your venue out of the way first so you can "save the date." Then your photographer! All of the best ones get taken fast! I think the next step is the dress since it will take a while to get it in, also the most fun step in my opinion! Haha but from there just flowers, music, food, invites, linens, and all the little details just fall into place! You will have the most beautiful wedding so don't stress, just enjoy it! Advice: don't listen to everyone's opinion. You know your style more than anyone else. And the most important part, make sure someone makes you a plate of food to go! You will be so busy there will be no time to eat! My wedding dinner was at Arbys with the hubs because of the chaos! Ha have fun!  

    • Congrats!! I have enjoyed following you since the bachelor, I love your style! I read somewhere that your fiancé gave Riki a ring too! I think that is awesome. My husband also gave my daughter a ring when we got engaged. He actually asked her first! He said "you know I love u with all my heart, you are my precious little girl and if u let me I will spend the rest of my life protecting you." Then he gave her a ring and turned to me and then proposed! We had 3 more children together and will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this month! God is sooo good. One thing I would have done differently with my wedding is to not get wrapped up in what everyone else wants! It's YOUR wedding make it yours. :) May God bless you and your family with many years of love and happiness. xo  

    • I am so happy for you Emily!! You are right, he is a babe!! I think you need a wedding planner to guide you through all of this but I know that whatever you decide, it will be beautiful. You have great style so I really don't think you will have a problem. The most important thing is to have fun. Enjoy every minute of it!!  

    • Congrats Emily!!  

    • Congratulations my dear you look so happy and have a gorgeous hubby! Can't wait to see your wedding pix and see you preggers! I absolutely love you you're such a great person inside and out! Wish you would do some hosting or something so we could watch you on TV more often! For the wedding....I would either get a planner or a good friend to help you a lot it's overwhelming. Make sure everything is in writing and you see the flowers, picture examples before hand! Think of how you always wanted your wedding and do it that way not any new trends that could change. That's what I would do if I went back:) now I have two little beautiful boys so good luck with the babies in the future!! Xo  

    • Been married to the best guy a girl could ever want for the past almost 15 years! I also met my man at church also and have only fallen more in love over the years. He fell in love with my son and asked him if he could marry me before he did me! The morring of the wedding they went and played basketball to loosen up the nerves. He wanted me to have a fairy tale wedding and I did all the planning. We got married at an Historic Victorian Home in town with vineyards and an outdoor wedding in Spring. My favorite part of the celebration was we hired a horse drawn carriage that brought me out to the arbor with my daddy and son. After the ceremony they gave rides to the guests. We also gave roses to our moms and grandmoms after the ceremony to thank them publically. We had communion during our cermony and I loved it. A singing artist sang our favorite song during our commuion Breath of Heaven... We had a caterer serve tritip barbecue and they packed us a picnic lunch... so glad about that we were too in love to stop at a resturant on our way to the honeymoon. Our photographer took a group shot of the entire wedding party and guests.. still my favorite and some of those loved ones are gone now. My only regreat is that it went by so fast after months of planning. My suggestion is have a weekend event.. not to large, intimate for what you to want. Enjoy the day and include God in all your plans that day and every day. I can honestly say that our love for each other and Christ has grown. I wil pray for you both and Ricki.. may your day and your marriage be a blessing to you all.

      Ps Three weeks after the wedding I found out I was pregnant... 9mos later a little boy.. We love our Dean... and call him our Love Child!!!  

    • Congratulations! Love your non-traditional rings :)

      The number one piece of advice I can give is hire a wedding coordinator (ESPECIALLY if you don't like details or are disorganized and tend to procrastinate). If that isn't in the budget, a day of coordinator will be a LIFE SAVER. I promise, having one will take so much stress off your back that you can actually enjoy the planning.

      Have fun with it and trust yourself!  

    • First CONGRATULATIONS! Wonderful news. He is a looker. hehe

      When I married my husband I was just so happy that wedding details didn't mean anything. We were high school sweethearts and at the point of engagement we had been together 13 years. I was so excited to just start our lives together that wedding details didn't matter. However like you I had a mother who would skin me alive if we eloped so what did I do. I recruited. LOL I had some family and friends that LOVED to plan weddings. They took the lead. Each one loved John and I and pulled in elements of our personalities and us as a couple and came up with some fantastic ideas. Very personalized. It was so much fun. We had our service at the church where I went to Catholic school. One of my friends fathers is a Deacon so he married us. Was moving and wonderful. Our reception was at Woodlawn Plantation which is George Washinton's Grandaughter's house overlooking the Potomac River. This was organized by none other than my Dad of all people. He is a history buff and it is a historical landmark and is also tax deductible. LOL John and I walked into our reception (which was outside in tents with gardenia gardens all around us) completely floored. There were all of our favorite foods, it was catered by the same place that does some Presidential receptions. My favorite flowers (gerber daisies) were everywhere. The bar was stocked with the beer my husband loves and my favorite wine. It was amazing and we were completely surprised. It was the most amazing day of our lives because it was really about us becoming a family. Not the wedding, the party or the gifts. So we had the best of both worlds. Wrapped up in one another and having the best and most beautiful wedding (that actually made it into advertisements for some venders). It was perfection. But what I remember most was walking down the isle and looking at the man I adore and knowing life was going to be wonderful. It was almost like ABC doing the wedding for me. LOL  

    • Congrats to you and Ricki! I am so happy for you guys. God bless!  

    • First thing congrats, you deserve it ! Second recommend keeping it intimate . I know you know what a mood board is. I would do something like that that evokes an emotion or mood for your wedding and let your wedding planner take care of it. Don't stress over the small details. We all know you love the bling,and romance but let this be about you all and not about STUFF . Pictures are key . Professional as well as candid shots. Take time for yourself to take a look at everything before it all begins so you can take it all in and you don't miss anything. Then take a few minutes with your husband and step back and look around and take it all in. It will be over in a flash and then your lives as husband and wife will begin. Begin preparing now for that as well. Always a fan and congratulations  

    • Practially speaking, I would hire a wedding planner. It was absolutely worth every penny. Also, if you know something needs to be done and you know what you want then do it. Don't wait until the last minute or until a ridiculous timeline tells you to do it. Finally, don't forget to plan your wedding for your guests. I've seen people pay and plan for aesthetics, but not have enough food for their guests. Not cool.

      However, after all the planning and preparation, the thing that made my wedding an incredible and wonderful day, was praying throughout the day that I would bring Christ's kingdom with me wherever I went and with whatever I said. I wanted to be a calm, joyful bride, who loved and appreicated my guests and gave to them as much as they gave to me. He truly honored those prayers. It was an incredible day. I loved it, my husband and family loved it, and so did my guests.  

    • I agree with previous comments. Keep the priority of Marriage first with Jesus and then the wedding. If there is one thing about the wedding I would tell you is spend the money on a great photographer. Long after vows are made, the dress and tux put away, food is eaten, and fun is had, What do you have left??? The Pictures!!!! They connect you to the memories, the people, and the special moments of your day. Ask Jesus to be glorified and someone lost to get saved through your wedding day. Congratulations and God's Many Blessings!!!! Amanda from Olive Branch, MS  

    • Congratulations! I think you are such a lovely person. I've been a fan since you were on The Bachelor. I'm so happy to hear you have found THE ONE! True love is worth waiting for. As someone else has said, the marriage is more important than the wedding. I think many brides get that backwards and get sucked into the commercialism of the wedding business. Stay true to who you are as a couple and a family. It's about the love between you and that should be the focus of your special day. We had 75 people at our wedding and I wouldn't have done it any other way. I only wanted the most important people in our lives to be a part of our personal and special day. I had so much fun planning my wedding 15 years ago! I think it should be fun and not stressful. Again, congratulations! Your style is impeccable and classy and I can't wait to see what you choose!  

    • Congrats to you and million times over! :D

      My best advice is to keep it as simple as you can. Make it gorgeous, make it YOU, but weddings are *so* short and I think, it's so much smarter to put all that cash into something that is long lasting!  

    • start with theknot.com it'll give you everything you need to know and yes - a wedding planner is worth it!!  

    • Gwenda Scrimshaw February 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Emily

      My name is Gwen Scrimshaw - I am an avid fan of Bachelor/Bachelorette. I congratulate you Tyler and Rikki on your engagment - and comment God does work in our lives if we let him in.
      Always felt Sean was the man for you but has his own bride to be.  

    • Congratulations Emily! You two look perfect together :)  

    • CONGRATULATIONS EMILY!! I am so happy for you! I just got married 9 months ago, and wowww is it a stressful time ;) but luckily, it really does end in one of the best days of your life. My now-husband and I sat down together and made a list of goals for our wedding to guide the rest of our planning. We wanted our wedding to feel like a giant party that we would throw for our friends, and that goal really helped us focus on what was important to us. Plus we made lists of everything we have LOVED and HATED from the many weddings we have been to-- use other people's experiences to help yours ;) good luck!! xoxo  

    • I would 100% get a planner and yes you can hand your board over to them! Haha
      The best advice I received was to hire a videographer. Do not skimp on this. Still to this day even after being married for 2 years we watch it together once a month! Also, sit down eating is always fancier and more organized.
      The dj/band is always the person who handle the timing and schedule during the wedding- so find a good one!
      Good luck you were always my fav! Hope you have an amazing wedding and life together!  

    • Emily,

      Wow! So many advice!! Might be a cliché but PRAY,PRAY,PRAY!!! Rd
      Psalm 1:1-3 (what does the end of verse 3 say??) It's a promise from The Lord, Jesus Christ! In short,
      after 2 failed marriages without The Lord in my life.... The Lord blessed me with a godly husband. How? Prayer, surrendering and trusting. Been married for 14 yrs & to this day ( since my beloved husband asked my father for my hand in marriage), my hubby takes me on a date weekly & writes me love notes! God will let you and your fiancé know, what HE has in mind for you! Be unified in being "Still" and listen!! God bless you! Believe, trust & obey!

      My wedding & honeymoon was paid for by The Lord. If you would like to know how, try to reach me! Much love my sister in Christ!  

    • As a wedding planner myself, I would HIGHLY recommend hiring someone to assist. Let me make that clear: ASSIST you and Tyler; a lot of people mistakenly think that a planner is someone who makes the decisions for you and a great wedding planner does just the opposite...they make suggests, research the best options, let you make the decision, and implement your choices. You have a great sense of style and I'm sure have plenty ideas of how you'd like to remember your day; take those to a planner and let him/her work with you (and possibly an event designer) to make it all a reality. You will enjoy the process and the day itself if you let go of some of those details, questions you may have, and the nagging "what did I forget" panic. This, of course, will give you the opportunity to focus on the marriage and your future together, just as you should. :)
      Regardless, I wish you, Tyler, & Ricki a lifetime of blessings. God is truly good.  

    • Emily - I have been watching you on the Bachelor since day 1, and am truly a huge fan. You are the gold standard for all future bachelorettes as being the most genuine, sweet, funny bachelorette and bachelor contestant out there. I am so happy you're engaged, and wish you all the best, sincerely.

      Colleen  

    • What size sweater are you wearing ?  

    • Er... Well, if you were engaged twice before I would hope you'd know how to plan a wedding... >.>

      So happy for you though! Looks like you found a good one, and you'll make a gorgeous bride. :) Best of luck to you, Tyler, and Ricki!  

    • Congratulation Emily! I am very happy for you. Love your style...keep blogging...I love it!  

    • Dear Emily,
      He is perfect for you! I'm so glad you found the love of your life. Thank you for sharing your story about how you both met! I wanted to offer my advice to you on planning your wedding. First, It seems to me that you are not the traditional type - as in you don't like to do what everybody else is doing because it's boring. You are a bit overwhelmed and I understand because I am also in the first stages of planning my wedding. So here is my advice- do what you want ..you are a very intelligent woman and you have brilliant ideas! Also have Ricky help you plan it, because kids are full of wisdom and they are honest. Planning your wedding should be fun not stressful!  

    • Don't stress! Planning your wedding should be fun... and I know that sounds crazy right now but it's true! You want it to be a positive, fun memory.. so don't let it get the best of you! Pinterest is AMAZING for gathering ideas... search everything from centerpieces to decor... anything you can think of to get an idea of what you like and don't like. Book the bigger things first like venue, photographer, etc and then let the little details follow! Just take it week by week... like, "this week I'm working on finding the right chair cover, next week it will be music, etc." You can find whatever works for you but don't forget to let it be fun! And always remember that at the end of the day, all that matters is being married to your best friend. After that, you'll laugh remembering how you thought placement of napkins was such a big deal :)  

    • He is hot Emily!!!!! I'm so happy for you to have come this far. Sorry I can't offer you any wedding advice since I'm not married myself but I hope you share wedding details and many pictures! again congratulations you two look amazing together  

    • This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog but I am making an exception. I cried when read this post. My faith has been struggling and I found your faith in Jesus and story encouraging. Trust in God is so important. Thank you so much! ~another emily  

    • Adrienne O'Connor, Ruffles & Tweed  /  website February 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      The biggest congratulations to you and your family, what an exciting time!! You deserve nothing but the best and especially deserve a stress-free, fun, relaxed, and pampered planing process, so you should absolutely hire a planner/designer. I would be honored to help you plan the perfect day, making it a beautiful reflection of you and your family with lots of personal touches and oozing with love and joy. Let's chat!: adrienne@rufflesandtweed.com - 877.630.4062 xo  

    • Destination wedding all the way!! I never wanted a big wedding just family and close friends. Super easy to plan, you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. I loved our wedding and the best part was how stress free it was, we had to do some wedding businessy things the first day but that was it! We played and enjoyed our family and friends! I was not stressed about anything!!! I would recommend destination to anyone!!  

    • Emily,
      Congratulations! I am SO SO happy for you and Ricki! You are so deserving of this happy ending! I watched your journey on TV with the rest of the world (rooting for you the whole way!) I live in Asheville and Am a wedding photographer, so if ya need one of those, that would be like a DREAM! ❤️I left my website! Congratulations again! XO -brit  

    • Congratulations on your wedding. God is good... all the time!
      My daughter had her wedding on a plantation in Charleston, March 2012. She also waited for the right man for a LONG time and God provided the best!
      My granddaughter had her wedding in Charlotte with reception at Myers Park Sept 2013.
      Both were exceptionally beautiful. Both very different. A professional planner will certainly
      help with the vendors and especially on the day of the wedding. Money no object, you can have your hearts desire. If however you want to be really involved in the process you might consider
      doling out that which you cannot do. You will save a ton of money. And believe me, you will
      spend money on a wedding!!!

      The wedding, beautiful and memorable is only the wedding...the marriage lasts forever. Remember to keep things in perspective and make it a fun, relax experience and keep
      Tyler and Ricki involved in some small way.

      After 53 years of marriage to my childhood sweetheart it only gets better. Keep God
      as your center and you'll do fine.
      If you need to look at the "book" (our wedding tips) let me know.
      Best of luck and prayers for the three of you on your new journey.

      DJ  

    • Congrats!!! I am a Forest Hiller too- I am also friends of Linda & Rick. My two daughters got married over the past two years. I agree with all comments above concerning work on the marriage - Forest Hill has a great premarital program to prepare you on things to get to know about one another out side of the lust love right now haha.

      Then off to the wedding planning - we'll visualize what you want - I would suggest you do get a wedding planner and there is a great friend of mine that does this full time in Charlotte, Heather Bryson- Carolina Event Design - I did my girls and they turned out beautiful- they only had apx 150 guest .

      Once you determine what you want - you'll need to identify the location and lock it down. I would say though - if your wanting something simple - an all inclusive - little planning for you and you just show up in your dress.  

    • You should hire a wedding planner! It will save your sanity. Checkout amorology.com - heather is incredible! Her ideas are so unique and beautiful!  

    • SIMPLE. Don't put all your focus on the wedding DAY. Just get married. Don't stay engaged for long......what's the point in that. Congrats! May god bless your family!  

    • So happy for you! You deserve it girl!!
      I was married in 2010, here are my tips:
      1. Invite less. We were so excited to be getting married that we told the world and ended up having an enormous wedding. I am in the entertainment industry and am used being the center of attention and reciting text in front of big crowds is nothing new to me. With that being said my one regret is walking down the aisle with my dad and being handed off to the man of dreams and having so many eyes on me. I immediately wanted it to be more of a tender intimate moment. I would have preferred just our families and good friends (150 tops). You only have one night, make sure you can absorb and appreciate the people that you have invited to experience this with you.
      2. The two most important qualities of a successful wedding are a good band and good food. The band being slightly more important. You want people dancing all night and leaving saying they were impressed with the quality of the food. Almost 5 years after I still have people telling me how much they loved the food and that they danced all night!
      3. Know that your wedding is the best time of your life, but there is a possibility that someone very close to you is having a hard time with your happiness i.e., the movie Bridesmaids. This is a very real thing that happens. People are going though divorces, break-ups, wedding envy, old maid syndrome, you name it. And someone very close to you might take it out on you. Just be sensitive to that and if it does happen, don't take it personally! It happened to me and many other friends of mine on their wedding days. It's just human nature.
      4. You will look gorgeous in anything you wear so don't obsess. Going with something timeless is always a safe bet! Personally, I see you in a ball gown with a heavily beaded bodice.
      5. Get a good videographer!! You will not regret this! It is the only way you can keep this special moment with you forever.
      6. Pick the venue first, but know how many people you intend to invite and make sure the venue can accommodate your number.
      7. Hire a planner if you can. I am a control freak and did it all myself and I am lucky I didn't pull all my hair out the day of the wedding.
      NOW...AS FOR MAINTAINING A HAPPY MARRIAGE…
      That is a another list…;))
      Good luck and I can't wait to see pictures on you blog of all the progress you are making!  

    • What a hunky man! Congratulations to you both! How nice you met where your heart is- at church. I'm married 38 years and my best advice is to make the wedding Your day- not bending to everyone else's wishes. Lots of great advice in these comments. I know from watching you how special you are, and I'm so glad you finally found the ONE!  

    • Emily, first off congrats!! I am so very happy for you. I have loved you since you were on the bachelor :) like you said in your blog...DO NOT run off to Vegas, you will regret it. I wanted to do that and then have a big reception after but ended up doing the whole wedding and planning and I couldn't have been more happy. I highly reconnect hiring someone to help keep you on track. I had no idea where to begin so she helped tremendously. But, it is so much fun to pick and plan everything your self. The day will be amazing, I'm sure, but it goes so very fast. So don't try to make it all perfect just enjoy the day with the man of your dreams, your daughter and you closest friends and family. Xo  

    • Girl, I know how you feel! I got engaged in October and the wedding is in October this year. It is a super stressful time as I'm sure you've noticed by now, but the way I'm going about it is just getting a list off the internet of what you need to do by what month and try stick to that (although I'm a lil off schedule...oops). But it seems to be working. And budget... I'm not sure if I've repeated what anyone else wrote as I didn't actually read most of the other comments, being too busy planning a wedding and all - tee hee, so forgive me if I have.

      Just one last thing, isn't God great!? So happy to hear that you have a God honouring relationship. I, too, have been in a similar (well sort of) position having been in the modelling world for a good few years, you don't realise what is right under your nose :)

      Well, here's to our amazing God-fearing fiances and to a long and happy marriage for us both!

      K
      xx  

    • Emily, I am thankful that God has used your testimony to show that love and romance is the best when orchestrated by the Lord. <3 I could never go on reality shows but seeing your walk and your faithfulness to Christ is inspiring and encourages my walk too, thanks for being faithful, love, Susan  

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