Category Archives: wedding

final countdown

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the final countdown to my wedding day is here.  today is 2 weeks away from the day i’ll be walking down the aisle to meet my groom.  to say i was excited wouldn’t even come close to describing it.  i’m thrilled. i giggle a lot. i can’t wait. :)

we’ve finalized the layout for the reception, the details for the cake, and today we will be talking with the florist, caterer and picking up the marriage license.  yay!  i’ve picked up my dress, picked out the jewelry and am starting to pack up my apartment and prepare to move.  i’m monitoring the weather in Niagara Falls so I know what to pack for the honeymoon.

on top of that, i’m training for additional responsibilities at work.  i’ve spent nearly every day for the last few weeks in meetings and training sessions and taking notes and learning a whole new project that as soon as we get back from the honeymoon i will be taking over the responsibility for our plant.

its been a struggle to keep it all balanced… to be focused on work while at work, to focus on wedding stuff when I need to and to focus on relaxing and spending time with God too.

I read through Colossians last night.  I was encouraged because it seems that Paul either had never come and visited them or that he hadn’t been there in a long time.  but there was a closeness and a unity through Christ that was evident in his letter.  The Holy Spirit reminded me that his words were for me as well, and though I’ve never met Paul either, that through Christ, it applies to me too… and I need to listen and seek to learn from him.  One of his charges to the church was the following:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Col. 2:8-10)

Its so easy to get taken captive by the philosophy of the world when it comes to wedding planning and work responsibilities.  The world says that your wedding day is the most extravagant, “princess-like” day of your life.  to one degree, i completely agree in that it should be a very special important day, but in reality, it is still merely a picture of the excitement and joy I should have in anticipation of the return of my Jesus.  The most important part of my wedding day is not the human traditions that Ted and I will choose to include in the ceremony and reception… its not the spirit of the world that we want to display… its the spirit of Christ… a model of love and humility that is foreign to our unsaved friends and family who will be there.

Christ is my authority first and foremost.  Christ is Ted’s authority.   That’s why with joy I can do as Ephesians says and submit to him out of love for Christ.  I’ve been filled with Christ.  My body belongs to Him.  My will conforms to His.  that’s why I don’t want to be deceived by the world’s philosophy that submission is a bad thing… I don’t want to be caught up in traditions and events and miss what God is doing in and through me.

In the same manner, I want to keep that perspective at work.  Though I’ve been called to do this job and the new responsibilities are important  and I need to see it with all seriousness and diligence, it is not the most important thing to me.  The reason that God has me in this job is so that I can bring glory to Him, whether in words through sharing the gospel with my coworkers, or in deed by doing everything to the best of my ability for the glory of God.  According to the spirit of the world, a successful career is one of the best blessings I can ever get in life.  But according to the Bible, I am supposed to put to death my old self and be renewed in the knowledge of my creator (Col. 3:10).  Me seven years ago wanted to be the Ambassador to Germany or in some other governmental position involving language and intelligence.  I wanted to be somebody.  But I praise God that He continually closed those doors I pursued and has led me along pleasant (albeit sometimes painful) paths of righteousness.

I want to reflect Him… no matter the season or change, I want my life to mirror the greatness of God and to be a light to the darkness around me.  I don’t want to just preach a gospel message at my wedding and count that as “enough”, I want my life to be a picture to my friends and family of the grace that has captured me.  I want to be different than what’s around me.

i’m not dead… i swear

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though it would seem that there is no life left in me (due the the lack of posting on the blog) the fact is that I am, in fact, not dead.

wedding plans are coming along nicely.  the date is offically set for May 14th. The wedding will be at Laurens Rd United Methodist church in Greenville (that’s where Ted’s parents got married) and the reception will be at the Davenport in Greer.  We are in the process of talking to caterers for the reception, i’m going to reserve the cake today, we have picked out our musicians for the ceremony and some of the music, we’ve booked the honeymoon location and i bought my dress on Saturday! :)

there’s still lots to do though…  we need to get our passports and order invitations this week so we can have both of those sent out in time… and this Saturday we’re talking with a florist and picking out fabric for our bridesmaid dresses.

registering for gifts was fun!! :)  we’re not quite finished, but we have registered at Williams Sonoma and Target.  We’re about halfway done with the Target registry and we are going to register at Lowe’s too.  its fun to pick out what we like together and plan for our house.

that’s about it for now.  i’m just trying to remember to breathe, eat and sleep.  in that order…  :)

exciting news!!

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Ted Riley and I were matched on e-harmony August 28, 2009 (which also happens to be his birthday). We went on our first date a few weeks later, on September 13th. It was about as close to love-at-first-sight as I think any relationship could be. Ted said later that he knew by the second date he would never find someone else like me again (haha… he was right on that one… such discernment.) :)

Well we hit the ground running in September and haven’t looked back since. He met my parents two weeks later, and I met his family about a month later, when they came to town to visit (they currently live in MS). He helped me move my piano (that’s when I knew he was a keeper!), took time off work to take care of me when I was sick, camped outside Target, in the cold, for 4 hours the day after Thanksgiving so I could buy DVDs for next to nothing… over the past 5 months, he has constantly sacrificed over and over… whether it was money or time or just effort he’s given to encourage and help me. I have grown to love this man in a way I never knew was possible.

Over the past few months, we’ve talked about wanting to be married to each other. Financially, I didn’t think it would happen any time soon, since his car died (aka committed suicide by throwing a rod through the engine) shortly after we met. I’ve spent many nights learning to trust God with the timing when everything in me wanted to push (ok, there were also many times i dropped not-so-subtle hints too). :) Knowing my lease was up this coming summer was a source of struggle for me… Where would I go? What do I do then? I’m a planner by profession, i wanted to plan the next few months and years… and I couldn’t. I just had to trust that this WAS in fact going somewhere and it’d all be okay.

Well, enough blabbing… on to the real reason ya’ll are reading this… the STORY! :)

For Valentines day, Ted told me he had an entire day of surprises planned. He mentioned he’d pick me up before lunch and I would need a dressy change of clothes for dinner. He seemed a bit nervous about the whole day but I figured that was simply because it was our first Valentines day together and i know he had planned so many details (being the sappy romantic that he is) that he just wanted it to be perfect. I was also wanting the day to be perfect… and was kind of struggling with that… Ted was very helpful in reminding me that its not all about the hoop-la of the holiday, its about us enjoying each other and enjoying the time we got to spent together. That was such a helpful stress reliever and I was really just able to relax and enjoy the day with no expectations other than enjoying the day with my sweetie. Being the romantic that he is, he planned the day as a “trip down memory lane” … complete with little gifts and cards throughout the day. He came to pick me up and had flowers (really BEAUTIFUL ones) and a card. To anyone who can’t handle “sappy” you might want to stop reading now… its gonna get a little (or a LOT) mushy!

Each “surprise” was introduced with a card and a poem. This was the first poem that was in the card which came with the flowers:
1. “And now… we’ll start the day of Valentine’s
with flowers and a kiss from me
and then a walk down memory lane
with a trip for lunch to Rafferty’s.”

We first met at Rafferty’s on September 13th, exactly 5 months prior to the day. So, we sat there at lunch and just laughed about how nervous we both were that first date and how we both over-analyzed everything… from what we wore to what we said… to how many times I had to get up and pee because I was so nervous (but anyone who knows me knows that this had nothing to do with me being nervous) :) sigh.

On the way to Rafferty’s he gave me another “clue” card and a gift bag:
2. “And for the ride, you may enjoy
A song or two that rings out true.
And if you listen carefully,
You’ll hear the hope that lies in you.”

The CD is called “the hope that lies in you” by the Glorious Unseen. It was one that I had wanted to get for a while. So, we listened to that in the car as we drove around town for the rest of the day.

After lunch, another card, which read:
3. “And now that we have reminisced
And shared a meal and memories
The next location is your guess
And what you guess I want to see :)
To aid you in your figuring
I’ll offer you a simple clue:
I’d love to see you choosing stripes
But solids seem to be your due.”

We then headed to Bailey’s (where we had our second date) for a few rounds of pool, where Ted once again consistently won every game (except for the one where I cheated!) On the way there, though, came another gift:

4. “And on the way I have a gift,
Another sliver of my plan.
I hope you have a pleasant “knight”
When next you journey to Catan.”

The gift was the game “Cities and Knights” an expansion kit to Settlers of Catan (one of our favorites games). I read the instructions in the car when we were on the way to Baileys for the pool I mentioned above.

After pool (where Ted wiped the floor with me), came card #5:
5. “By now you no doubt know my plan
And what is next you clearly see
But join me if you will, my dear,
For a cup of Underground Coffee.”

On our second date, after Baileys, we went to Coffee Underground and sat there and chatted for a while. We “recreated” that date this day, except I got coffee instead of tea :)

After coffee, came card #6… and another note that had no card:
6. “Another gift I have for you
As we are heading place to place.
This gift will hang from both your lobes,
And frame your pretty, smiling face.”

The gift was a pair of silver and pearl lotus flower dangly earrings. The next note read as follows:
6b. “Another card I do not have
But somewhere else I’d like to go
But first let’s change and freshen up
Then see a bell tower lined with snow.”

So, we went back to his house to change and get dressed up for dinner. After getting changed, we headed out to Furman for a nice (albeit cold) walk around the lake. He brought the final 2 cards and one gift bags with him for our little stroll. Card #7 reads:
7. “To end the journey of today
The final stop is just ahead
If you can guess the restaurant
Then be you proud, and be well fed
The choices there are plentiful –
Exotic meats and fish and fowl
A glass of wine would go well too
So guess the place, we’ll head there now.”

Dinner was at Saskatoon, an exotic game restauraunt. Before we headed there though, he had one last gift. I opened the bag and there was nothing but a big red bow inside. With a goofy grin, he put it on his head, and then told me to open the last card:
8. “And now the day is nearly through
With only one gift left to see.
I’ve saved the best for last, of course,
And want to offer simply …ME!”

While I was looking at that and just laughing at the goofiness of Ted standing there with a bow on his head he said something to the effect of “I meant that… I really want to offer you all of me. And there’s another part to that gift.” He then got down on a knee, and at the same time, my jaw hit the pavement. I was like “what are you doing… you don’t even have money for the ring yet… where’d that come from… ??” (there were multiple thoughts going through my head all at the same time.) I mean, i KNEW what he was doing, but i just didn’t believe it! I had really convinced myself that it wouldn’t be for several more months, and was just blown away by him keeping it a secret so well (but looking back, WAKE UP EMILY… ALL THE CLUES WERE THERE!!!!) :)

He said that though he had planned the entire day, he didn’t plan what to say at this point. Being that my mind was a pile of happy mush at this point, I don’t exactly remember what he said… but I think somewhere in there was “will you marry me?” I started bawling like a fool, still in shock that he was actually proposing to me! (again, probably not a surprise that Emily started crying at a moment like this… note to self, buy a wedding dress with pockets for tissues) :) I’m assuming I said yes, being that I have a sparkly ring on my finger now. :)

We ate dinner at Saskatoon, but to me it felt more like a cloud. I am honored and humbled to have his affection and love. I look forward to soon becoming Mrs. Edward Riley and beginning our lives together as husband and wife. Stay tuned for wedding updates… :)