Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Economy of Salvation: Something Borrowed

{creative ways to save your pennies on the most expensive day of your life}

Not too long ago, I made an inspiration board to help you pick your Something Blue.  You didn't think I'd forget about Something Borrowed, did you?  This tradition is so great, not because it cuts you some costs (although that certainly helps), but because it's a great opportunity to look through the little treasures that are special to you, your your family, and your friends.  If you need some ideas to get you started, borrow (sorry) from one of these:

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6 of Four Photography
  • Jewelry is a classic, pretty choice that gives you tons of options.  Maybe you've always adored your mom's pearls, your sister's Tiffany bracelet (lucky her), or your best friend's statement earrings, and what better day to break out the good stuff?  Think outside the (jewelry) box, too: pin one of your grandma's brooches onto your sash, switch a well-loved charm from a bracelet to a chain, or re-purpose clip-on earrings as shoe clips.
  • Borrowing can be sentimental, but it doesn't have to be.  It's so fun and girly to share makeup and beauty stuff when you're all getting ready together on your big day.  A swipe of lip gloss, a spritz of perfume, even a few bobby pins...it all counts!
  • Every girl needs a fantastic purse to top off her bridal look and carry around the essentials.  If someone you're close to has a great clutch in your wedding colors or in a nice, neutral metallic shade, ask her to borrow it!  Special and practical.
  • I saved my favorite idea for last!  In all likelihood, your family has at least one or two meaningful religious articles: your parents' wedding rosary, a crucifix or medal, or maybe even a relic.  How special is it to incorporate things like these into your day?  Picture a rosary wrapped around your bouquet, or keep smaller items around your neck or in your pocket.  I have a rosary blessed by Pope Benedict, a St. Benedict medal I got on a retreat so close to my heart, and a Miraculous Medal I received when I consecrated myself to Our Lady in college- I hope my collection grows over the years, and I can't wait to loan these special things to my daughter for her own wedding!
Now, tell me about you!  Do you have your special Somethings picked out yet?  What do you dream of borrowing?



Monday, May 28, 2012

Rite Resources: Paloma's Nest


Remember my stamped salt dough projects from a few months ago?  Ring bearer pillows are cute and all, but are you seriously ever going to use a tiny, lacy pillow again?  I love the idea of a ring dish as a more useful, less showy alternative.  Salt dough is totally affordable and customizable, but if you're willing to splurge a little, look what I found!  Paloma's Nest is an Etsy shop specializing in all things wedding and keepsake-related.  Their online store features absolutely beautiful handmade ornaments, charms, and their signature item, ring bearer bowls, with plenty of celebratory and romantic phrases stamped into pretty white porcelain.  Practically everything they carry would be perfect for both your wedding day (they have adorable bouquet charms) and the start of your life together (jewelry holders are so practical, and check out their Christmas ornaments!).  And, I think these pieces' simple beauty makes each one a wonderful addition to your family's heirlooms- share them with your sisters, cousins, or best friends to use for their own weddings.  Here are a few of my favorites.  I think it's love!


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Amor Vincit Omnia Jewelry Bowl

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Customized Dove Ornament

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Love One Another Zippered Pouch 


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Kiss Me With a Thousand Kisses Jewelry Bowl


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I Carry Your Heart Ring Bearer Bowl

Aren't these gorgeous?  What do you think?


Friday, May 25, 2012

Inspired: Salud!*

{wedding candy}

*Spanish for, Cheers!

Okay.  It's starting to really feel like summer.  I say, what better way to welcome it than with a laid-back, Mexican fiesta-inspired bash?

Start with a bold palette and add some lacy white details for good measure.  I love the thought of a bright bouqet against your crisp white dress!  Flowy skirts for you and your bridesmaids will fit right in with a casual vibe.  Oh, and don't forget a few colorful accents, too!


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1. Helene Bridal  2. Zappos  3. Pinterest  4. Essie Fiesta (of course!)  5. Kate Spade
 Pick up the fiesta vibe for your reception, too, with colorful or silvery tableware, pretty lanterns, and elaborate paper decorations (bonus: those babies come nice and cheap).  Keep things simple and solid (maybe white?) to keep the whole shindig from feeling like a costume party.  Best of all, practically every Latin American country is Catholic, so those votive candles with icons on them would be a perfect centerpiece (I found these ones that aren't as gaudy as usual)!  Here's an idea: accompany the candles with nice pens and slips of paper, asking your guests to write down a prayer for the two of you or an intention of their own that you can pray for.  So much more personal than a guest book, and a phenomenal way to give thanks for everyone who comes to celebrate with you.


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1. Save On Crafts  2. McKay Church Goods  3. Mexican Sugar Skull  4. Pinterest

Oh, and one more thing: I've been seeing these oversized, tassled balloons all over the place lately.  Isn't this one so perfectly festive?  I feel like it'd fit this sort of theme exactly!


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You only get one wedding day, so light it up.  Cheers!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lectio: For Love of You and Make You Feel My Love


{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

You know how Augustine says "our hearts are restless until they rest in You?"  Sometimes you're just overcome.  There's such a hunger in us for love, which takes the forms of fiances, friends and family, and the Blessed Sacrament itself.  If God Himself is pure love, it makes sense that all of our longings lead back to him.  I call it the Ache- it's that deep, deep desire for intimacy, for being really seen by someone else, and for something more than this life.

Anyway, I've been on a kick lately for music that's got the Ache- songs about searching and hoping that aren't too polished or perfect, but are unafraid to show a few scars.  You know, a voice crack here; a wobbly note there.  So much honesty.  That said, here are my offerings to you today...

Seriously, is it possible to dislike Audrey Assad?  With her clear, pretty sound and honest, prayerful lyrics, I really don't think it is.  Quite a few of her songs are on the faster-paced side, compared to most songs of worship, but I'm imagining a slowed-down, quiet version of her song For Love of You for a prelude or for a meditation after communion.  With lines like

You are my deepest longing
so I see you everywhere
It's you I'm chasing after
'cause I'm captivated by who You are
and how You move
I'll follow you forever,

how can you not stop for a second and contemplate how the Father's love is magnified in such a human way through your husband?  Listen to Audrey here:



Another question: is it also possible to dislike Adele?  Her voice has that raw edge that kills me.  On her first album, from before we all knew her (me included), she covered a beautiful Bob Dylan song, Make You Feel My Love.  It's all about the feeling of loving someone so much that you want, so so badly, for them to know that love.  It's the sense that nothing you do could ever possibly express the depth of your emotions and your willingness to put the other person first.  You know?  Not all of this is about the sentimental, glamorous side of love (sample lyric: "The storms are raging on the rolling sea / and on the highway of regret"), but I think it's that exact realness that makes this song so romantic.  Oh man.  A willingness to suffer, to empty yourself, to face the ugly things, and to lay down your life?  Sounds like the Cross to me.  Sounds like the most beautiful act of love.

Have a listen here:


No words.  None.  Am I the only one who's ever felt what these songs express?!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post from Andrew! NFP, Part 2

Note from Stephanie:  Last week, my husband Andrew shared his musings on patience, awkwardness, true love, and yes, cervical mucus in a post about Natural Family Planning.  You totally wanted to read about that, I'm sure.  If you missed it, check it out here.  And now, without further ado, more ovulatory thoughts from the man himself.

I talked about a few of the benefits of NFP on last Monday.  Unfortunately, my creativity only goes so far, so I'll just tell you some more benefits of NFP, as experienced by me and my wife.

  • Communication—Almost all people who practice NFP mention how it helps communication.  Why'd I wait until now to mention it?  I'll leave you to muse that one over, since I'm not sure myself.  But I am sure that NFP helps communication.  When you’ve talked about mucus together, everything else is cake.  My number one suggestion to couples who are struggling to communicate is to talk about mucus together.  I haven’t come up with a number two suggestion, because my number one suggestion is so bad that no one comes back asking for any more advice.  But it really has improved our communication.  We discuss her charts, where she is at in her cycle, and even her mucus signs.  This is not a joke.  But I found it easier to talk about almost everything after discussing some incredibly personal details.  I've always been pretty daggone comfortable talking to Steph (as she happens to be my best friend), but NFP resulted in a really deep level of comfort (after the initial discomfort of texts describing her mucus.  Which she actually sent me.  While I was at work.  It was terribly hard not to laugh, since she is an even more clever texter than she is a clever blogger).  Also, we are discussing fertility, so usually the conversation has something to do with sex (few things are as seductive as the word "ovulation").  Because of the inherent link between NFP and sex, we've found ourselves more open when discussing love-making than we thought we would be.  NFP truly is a blessing for me and Steph in regard to our communication.
  • Health—I’ve learned so much about how a body should work, and ways that the Pill (or a number of other forms of contraception) can really screw that up. I've learned tons about my wife's body, and as someone who loves her very dearly, I want her to live healthily and happily.  Also, despite how weird it is to be quite familiar with mucus, I feel much more knowledgeable.  I don't always talk about mucus during dinner conversations, but it's good to know that I could.  
  •  Countless honeymoons—There is something ineffably special about the days leading up to love-making.  We felt it before our marriage, and we feel it renewed each month as we track her chart.  Some people say that NFP therefore takes the spontaneity out of sex (I actually worried about that before we got married).  We've found, though, that it builds a nice anticipation.  We don't predetermine the nights we will make love, but we know the days in which we can (since we talk about it fairly often), which allows for both anticipation and spontaneity.  
  We've both found NFP an incredible, if subtle, part of our marriage, which is the entire reason we decided to become NFP teachers (it's not the pay, seeing as we make a meager 0 dollars an hour, and few benefits not listed about).  We've seen the wonderful effects of NFP in our marriage, and I hope that you see some of its fruits in your own.

-Andrew

Friday, May 18, 2012

Love Notes: Take This Ring...


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...as a sign of my love and fidelity, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 When I stumbled across these incredibly sweet wedding bands that hide something special--your spouse's fingerprint--I got to thinking about the endless, sometimes overwhelming choices of what to inscribe in your rings.  There's always the tradition of engraving them with each other's names or initials, along with your wedding day, but there are also dozens of other options to remind you of the beautifully holy, joyful struggle you're about to enter into.  Try these ideas on for size (ahem):

Is there a Scripture phrase you love, maybe one that will be a part of your wedding Mass?  The Bible contains some of the most breathtaking words ever written, and sentiments like these, which are all taken from the USCCB's list of wedding readings, are constant reminders of your sacrament:

  •  "Male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27) might have a special resonance for you if you're a Theology of the Body fan.  It's a simple, profound statement of who we are and the kind of pure, divinely inspired love we're meant for.
  • Ephesians 5 paints such a clear image of what it is to be a bride and bridegroom (you know, it's the always-misunderstood "wives be subordinate" one).  Wouldn't it be amazing for your ring to read, "as to the Lord," as a reminder of exactly how to be subordinate to your husband, and for his to say "as Christ loved the Church," as a reminder of how he's to lay down his life (Ephesians 5:22 and 5:25)?
  •  "Do whatever He tells you," Mary's words at Cana (John 2:5), not only recall that Jesus' first miracle took place at a wedding; they wonderfully state that she always guides us, by grace, towards His will.  Our Lady.  What a boss.  In the best way.
A line from a prayer with special significance for the two of you will make you smile and give thanks almost every time you fidget with your rings or take them off to do the dishes or something.  Over a lifetime, that's a lot of prayers of thanksgiving, and who couldn't use more of those in her life?  Andrew's and my rings say "Before thee we kneel," from the Memorare.  Way before we started dating, he told me it was his favorite prayer, identifying the feeling of safety and comfort only a mother can provide, and it became a prayer we often said together before saying goodbye and at the end of the Rosary.  It was among the last words he said before asking me to marry him!  I think you can see why we chose to wear them.

Lastly, so many couples have beautiful stories about the saints' intercession in their relationships.  I love the idea of engraving your wedding bands with "Ora pro nobis" or "Pray for us," so that your fingers sport a constant little reminder to invoke the prayers of whomever it is you two have a devotion to.

Okay, ladies.  Your turn!  Wedding ring inscriptions can be such an intimate thing, but I'm going for shameless curiosity here.  What's written in yours?  If you haven't purchased or engraved them yet, what do you want them to say?




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lectio: Grace Before Meals

{recommended reading}

You know how every bride seems to get some version of that big Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the wedding rings on the cover?  Regardless of whether you struggle to boil water or you're after fancier things like the perfect piecrust, I think every girl needs at least one book of recipes she can turn to. And holy smokes do I have a suggestion for which book.

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I met Fr. Leo Patalinghug when he was assigned to the seminary on my college campus and occasionally did the university Masses.  This deeply holy man is all at once hard-hitting, challenging, and hilarious, and a few years ago he started Grace Before Meals, a ministry intended to evangelize the family, bringing it closer to holiness and to each other through home-cooked meals and quality time around the dinner table.  As someone who loves to cook, His cookbook of the same name is full of simple, yummy dishes like pasta bolognese, seared eggplant, and Asian-style fajitas (he beat Bobby Flay on his show Throwdown with that one), but it's not just recipes in these pages.  The recipes are organized according to the liturgical year (there's a simple pasta and salad supper for Fridays in Lent, and some delish creations for Thanksgiving and Advent), and each one is accompanied by a reflection for the particular holiday, family milestone, or time of year.  Although Grace Before Meals is aimed at reviving family dinners, I think this book would be the perfect gift for a bride to be (or, treat yourself!).  Even if babies are a few months or years away for you, each chapter feels like an accessible, motivating mini homily that can give you a new perspective on the days you've celebrated for years and open up some thoughtful points of discussion between you as an engaged couple.  Your future family will be a wonderful witness to your love and marriage- might as well get started now, don't you think?

Read more about the Grace Before Meals movement and snag yourself a copy of Fr. Leo's book here.  He also hosts a cooking show, Savoring Our Faith, on EWTN Sunday nights at 8:30!

PS- In case you missed it, check out this meatless recipe for your next Friday dinner date!

Friday, May 11, 2012

D I Y: Crown of Flowers

For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 
-Luke 1:48

It's Our Lady's month, and what better way to honor her than with something special for your dedication to her during your wedding Mass?  This flower crown is a pretty alternative to a bouquet.


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Inspiration courtesy of Militia Immaculata, my college prayer group
 To make one, you'll need: about 3 feet of thick floral wire (mine was wrapped in paper that made it look kind of like a vine), 6 feet of thin floral wire, 4 or 5 stems of silk flowers with multiple blossoms, scissors, wire cutters, and pliers.

Start by bending the thick wire into a circle with the ends hanging off, like this:


Bend the ends like you're tying the circle into a knot, but instead of pulling the ends tight, twist them all around the edge of the circle to thicken it up.  This forms the base of the crown and gives the flowers something to hold onto.



Now you can start adding all those gorgeous flowers.  Cut the blossoms off the stems, leaving only a one or two inch tail on each one.  To attach the flowers to the base, cut a four to five inch piece of the thin floral wire.  Pick up a sprig, hold the stem parallel to the edge of the circle, and begin wrapping the wire around it, anchoring the stem to the base.



Continue wrapping wire around the flower stems, attaching them to the circle.  Use the pliers to tuck the ends of the wire in and to make sure the flowers are attached nice and tightly.  The blooms look best, I found, when they all face in the same direction.  As you attach them, fluff the petals out a little to hide the wire and fill in any gaps. 








Total gift.  Since this crown doesn't use real blooms, I humbly recommend saving it for your sisters' and future daughters' weddings!



How are you going to honor Our Lady this month and on your wedding day?





Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Economy of Salvation: A Perfect Ten

{creative ways to save your pennies on the most expensive day of your life}

It's a universal truth: at your reception, practically every woman you invited will ask to see that sweet new wedding band.  Add that to picture-taking, and your hands will constantly be on display throughout the day.  Another truth, though, is that manicures are expensive.  I'm aware that I'm going out on a limb here, but I actually prefer to do my own nails.  There's less pressure if you chip one, your house smells way better than a chemical-filled salon, and you can watch a movie or something while they dry.  And, of course, it's way cheaper than shelling out for a fresh coat of paint every week or two.  Beauty-related wedding stuff like makeup, new perfume, and even extra bobby pins adds up fast, so it can't hurt to save some cash wherever you can.  Get together with your bridesmaids right before your big day and do those digits yourself.  Check out these pretty picks:



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Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Pink Slip
  See?  Even the name of this polish tells you you can do a salon-worthy job all by yourself.  I think I've got the basics down, but when it comes to any advanced nail-related talents, I'm a total kindergartner.  My hand, for example, has never been steady enough to wield one of those French manicure paint pens.  I bought this color on a whim last summer, right before my own wedding, and was happily surprised to find out it somehow turned my nails a nice pale pink while whitening the tips.  It was just like a French, but without the frustration!


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OPI in Italian Love Affair
 Well first of all, there's the name (I am a total consumer sucker for names like this.  When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be a crayon and makeup color namer).  Second of all, this is a nice opaque, cotton candy sort of pink with just a tiny bit of shimmer.  Beautiful!


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Essie in A Crewed Interest

If you're more of a peach than pink sort of girl, this shade looks like such a gorgeous choice.  It reminds me of a seashell in the nicest way.


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Essie in Anniversary Gala

And, if you want something a little more sparkly, I think a great, glimmery pink like this one looks fresh and classy.

There's one more good thing about doing your own wedding day mani!  Since you get to keep the polish, you'll always have a great memory to associate the color with every time you reuse it.  So special.





Monday, May 7, 2012

Veritas: Michael and Stephanie

{real life love}

Lots of girls (and guys) pray for their future spouse, sometimes long before they even meet them.  Who knows how many graces your future husband received to get through exams, reject sin and temptation, and grow in virtue, all because of your intercession?  What if you were even priming his heart for a new way of understanding absolutely everything?

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When Stephanie and Michael met, she'd been praying for her future husband since she was 17.  She didn't want to date anyone who wasn't completely serious about his Catholic faith, since she knew it'd play a huge role in her future marriage.  He was an agnostic who'd never been to any church before.  But, they hit it off right away.  Really!  A few months after they met, having concluded that they'd never be romantically compatible, their first unofficial date involved a long dinner, a tour of Steph's college campus, and watching Power Rangers on Netflix, all intended to prolong a great conversation that neither of them wanted to end.  Because of the differences in their faith, Stephanie says "we clearly had a mutual attraction and were intrigued by one another, but neither of us thought anything more would develop."  Still, the Lord was pulling on their hearts.  That night as Stephanie was getting out of Michael's car, she realized she didn't want to close the door on this sweet boy she had so much in common with.  So, she listened to what the Holy Spirit was telling her heart:

I began by saying something like this: "Here's the deal.  I like you...I think you are awesome.  I would totally date you, but religion is really important to me."  He responded with, "I know."  And I immediately said, "No...I don't think you really know.  I went on to explain why my previous relationship had ended when it became obvious that my Catholic faith wasn't something we shared...because of this I couldn't get involved with someone that didn't share this faith with me because it was the single most important thing to have with the person I would someday marry.  Michael was probably caught off guard by my honesty, but after a couple of minute he explained that his family wasn't religious and no one had ever actually asked him what he believed or even encouraged him to figure it out.  He had always believed there must be a God but he didn't know anything about different religions and had never been to church, but he said he would be open to figuring it out and having me help him learn.  I was extremely wary of the fact that he might just be saying all this because he was interested in me so I quizzically shot back with, "So if I asked you to go to church with me this Sunday, that wouldn't weird you out?"  He said no and that he would go.  I had not expected him to be so open minded and had thought I could easily dismiss him as a person I would never date- and then I wouldn't have to deal with the fact that this man was so wonderful. But God had other plans.



As if that weren't hard enough, Stephanie was also preparing to move to another city to begin a year of service with the Dominican Volunteers USA.  She wondered how, if she and Michael continued to date, faith would play a role in a long-distance relationship.  Amazingly, after going to Mass with Stephanie for the first time, Michael told her he'd left feeling rejuvenated and he wanted to go again!  She says that "as we spent time together we were dumbfounded by how deeply we each held the same moral values and beliefs. Whenever Michael spoke I thought to myself, 'this man sounds like a Catholic who doesn't yet know he's Catholic.'"  As Stephanie left home and began her year with the Dominicans, Michael continued going to Mass by himself, which helped her set aside any worries she had about the sincerity of his interest.  "I wasn't there to nudge him or go to daily Mass with him."  Long story short, Michael joined RCIA and was baptized into the Church this past Easter!

Prayer and lots of wonderful conversations told Michael and Stephanie they were exactly right for each other.  Michael remembered Stephanie mentioning early on in their relationship that she hoped her great-grandmother's engagement ring would be hers one day.  So, after asking for Steph's parents' blessing, Michael had her great-grandma's diamond set into a beautiful brand-new ring. A few weeks later, they finished praying the rosary in the garden of a monastery Stephanie had recently visited for a retreat, which Michael had decided would be the perfect proposal spot.  It was super cold, and a few other people were around, so he was forced to anxiously wait until they were alone and he could pop the question.  Here's his account of their proposal:

I could tell Stephanie was getting really cold and wanted to go inside.  Holding hands, we started to walk back to the chapel and I made sure to let Stephanie lead so her back was turned.  At this moment I stopped walking.  I got down on one knee and started to pull the engagement ring out my pocket while starting to deliver my proposal.  I can still recall the expression on her face; it was a mixture of pure joy, excitement, and a bit of shock.  I started to say that there was a reason why I wanted to pray the rosary outside in the cold...I began saying that she was my best friend, I loved her, I couldn't picture my life without her, and that I wanted to grow old with her.  After saying this, I stated that we both took a leap of faith together when we started dating, so then I asked if she would take another leap of faith with me and marry me, and she said yes.  


After Stephanie said yes in the rosary garden, they prayed for their marriage in the monastery's Adoration chapel, lighting candles and entrusting themselves to the Holy Family's intercession.  Since their engagement, Stephanie says wedding planning has been surprisingly easy from a distance, since both she and Michael are good at planning and delegating without over-thinking too many details (if only we all were!).  She feels so blessed " to be able to support [Michael] on this faith journey and was his RCIA sponsor, which helps to show the depth of our journeys individually, but also as a couple supporting and encouraging one another."  Though they're in separate cities for now, the pray together every day, even if it's just a quick Hail Mary at the end of a phone call, and made a New Year's resolution to pray the rosary together every week, which Stephanie says has "deepened our trust in Our Lady and in her intercession and guidance for us as a couple."  They also continue to pray to the Holy family, "understanding that they are the holy example of what we strive to become for one another," and several other devotions.

Their wedding is on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels.  Incidentally, Michael and Stephanie met for the first time on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, when, of course, the archangel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and bear a son!  God is so good!  Hearing their story, I'm floored by the Lord's providence in preparing two seemingly different people for a life together in marriage.  If you're reading this and haven't met your husband yet, find hope in Steph's unfailing prayers and love for Michael before she even met him, and in the Holy Spirit's power to convert hearts and draw them to Him.  Oh, and be sure to visit Stephanie's blog, I'll Follow You Into the World, to read more about her year of service and life as a Catholic young woman!  You can read her reflection on their proposal here.

Authentic love is always a miraculous gift, and a love like this one is such a sweet, sweet surprise.

Want to see your love story featured on Captive the Heart?  Email me at stephanie.captivetheheart@gmail.com!





Friday, May 4, 2012

Inspired: Anthropologie Style

{wedding candy}

If you've never had a chance to go to Anthropologie, picture the quirkiest, most glamourous flea market ever- a store full of sweet vintage-y clothes, delicious perfumes and candles, and mix and match home decor, all surrounded by enough books, knickknacks, and detailed little displays to make you want to move in.  Plus, the window displays always include lots of homemade-style touches turned into artwork, like paper chains, lanterns, and wire sculptures.

If you have been to this fabulous store, you know that everything costs an arm and a leg.  Luckily, Anthro style is easy to imitate and would be right at home at a vintage or rustic-style wedding.  If you're a bride who loves whimsical, girly touches, here is your idea file.  It would be easy to scrounge yard sales and thrift shops for unmatched dishes in antique-looking patterns (use them to make tea cup candles or cake stands for centerpieces) and for old jewelry that you can fashion into a trendy, gorgeous brooch bouquet- if you have any, you can add your family members' pieces to your bouquet, too!  Forego more conventional bridesmaids dresses in favor of cute patterned frocks, and be sure to add in at least one or two bold touches, like an embellished veil, statement necklace, or pompom-festooned reception display.   Lace, pretty upcycled items, and big, simple decorations...your picks belong in a window.  Find your inspiration here:


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1. Etsy  2. Modcloth  3. Martha Stewart  4. Nordstrom  5. Swell Caroline  6. Etsy  7. Pinterest
 



How would you add vintage flair to your day?



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Spirit Rejoices: Set Me As A Seal

{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

At the risk of appearing lazy, I would just like to say that while this feature usually highlights two songs at a time, one for your Mass and one for your reception, I purposely chose just one this time.  Sometimes I think I am lazy, actually.  But not at this particular moment.

Anyway, what Catholic girl hasn't dreamed of Matt Maher's Set Me As A Seal as her wedding song?  This completely stunning duet borrows verses from the Song of Songs, using the passionate, awestruck feelings between two lovers to reflect on the Father's love for us.  That kind of love, the kind that reminds us we are His bride, is the purest, strongest, most faithful kind.

Pure, strong, faithful...sounds a lot like marriage, right?  As much as we can only imitate His divine love, at least.  Even though lovers today might not say things to each other like "your teeth are like a flock of ewes to be shorn," this song definitely highlights the beautiful poetry of this Scripture (4:2).  How can you not swoon a little hearing lines like "you have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride?"

The reason I chose just this song this week is because I think it'd be equally at home as a hymn during Mass or as a first dance.  If you've chosen the Song of Songs for your first reading, or even if you haven't, imagine the beauty of hearing its words echoed in song during the Preparation of the Altar.  Incidentally, that would be right after you say your vows!  Or, imagine what a quietly profound song this would be to dance to.  Yes, it's about longing, intimacy, and even deep desire, but it's so much more than something sexual that could make your grandma blush- it's nothing less than the love of Christ that you've just promised to give to your husband all the days of your life.

I'm thinking there's a good chance you already know this song, but if you don't or if you need a moment to just revel in love's general loveliness, listen to the song here:




What do you think?  How would you make this song part of your day?


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