|“Happily Ever After Starts Here”|
A couple months before our engagement party, I started thinking about things like invitations, favors, and guest books -those traditional elements of any marriage celebration. As I mentioned before, we weren’t really interested in traditional… so I started brainstorming the possibilities.
Of course, invites were a must:
|Invitations – engagement photos courtesy of The Mom|
But to be honest, I didn’t really like the idea of a guest book. This was a small family gathering, after all, so a page for people to sign, saying, ‘we were there!’ seemed pretty unnecessary. I had seen an idea floating around the internet that intrigued me, though – a book of empty envelopes, waiting to be filled, and a stack of note cards for people to write on. At first I thought it was cute, a nice activity for people to do if conversation was slim… but then I tried to imagine what my parents would write to us, what our siblings would say, what advice people might share…
So I set about making one.
At the time, I was also hunting around for a birthday idea for The Fiancé. I looked at my scrapbook, with only a couple of pages used for the envelopes, and before I knew it my heart was set on filling it with things that reminded me of us.
|“Friend (frend) n. 1 a person whom one knows well and is fond of. 2 an ally, supporter, and sympathizer. 3 loves you for who you are. 4 unconditionally accepts you”|
|“Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly” – Rose Franken|
I started with photos – all the photos I could find! When that wasn’t enough, I wrote down all the things we had said to each other that stood out in my memory, the sweet things, the funny things, and added them in.
|“You Complete Me”|
|“If the statue of David were modeled after you, it’d be a much better statue.” – Me|
When there was still room in the book, I moved on to my favorite quotes about love, friendship, and togetherness. I was obsessed with searching for new inspiration, while still keeping the book secret, a surprise for The Fiancé.
Once I’d gathered enough, I put it all together, creating a mash-up of scrapbook and photo album. I left a couple pages blank in the back of the book so we could add to it later, tied it with a ribbon, and tucked it away where he wouldn’t find it.
Along with a card, and a fancy dinner at one of Ann Arbor’s finest restaurants, the book was a well-received gift. A compilation of our lives together thus-far, a memento of where we’ve been and a tribute to where we’ve yet to go.
And of course, it doubled as our ‘guest book’ for the party. I was pleased to see people flipping through the pages, and leaving us more sweet, funny, and wonderful messages in each envelope. It is only fitting that the people who mean so much to us be included in our book – thank you to everyone for giving us your kind words, advice, and humor!
And since this is only the beginning of the road for us, I ended the book with a quote I hope to repeat for many years to come:
|“Here’s to all the places we went. And all the places we’ll go. And here’s to me, whispering again and again and again: I love you.” – John Green|