Relief For Our Wedding Location

Hi guys & welcome back! Today’s post is about where Dan and I have decided to have the wedding. Not necessarily the venue just yet, but the location. Unfortunately this location was hit hard during the recent hurricanes and so I wanted to bring light to that.  I’ll start off with saying that both Dan and I truly find peace by the water. There’s something so relaxing and pure about it, my favorite part being the smell of the ocean. Since I moved down here, Dan and I have tried planning trips out to the coast as often as possible. The coast is part of his sales territory so he gets to spend a lot of time out there and when I can come along, I jump at the chance. We have fallen in love with New Bern, Wilmington/ Wrightsville, and Oak Island/ Southport areas, each a part of some of our favorite memories. 

Naturally, we have chosen the coast for our wedding location and more specifically, Wilmington. Dan and I have so many memories and favorite places in this town that it made complete sense. We’ve even talked about buying a home there one day. Wilmington is a special location for us because of how it makes us feel. Every time we are in town, we have our rituals. I grab coffee from Port City Java, we grab drinks at Front Street Brewery, and on occasion I let Dan drag me to the Eagles restaurant and bar; Copper Penny.

When we are in Wilmington, it feels like home.  You can only imagine how quickly our hearts dropped when we heard of the damage on the coast. The community is a strong one, but it will take time to rebuild. Dan had time and was able to go out to the coast the week after Florence and helped out in New Bern. The damage was heart breaking, but the way the community was rallying together was a whole other feeling itself he explained when he got back.  Since then we have gone back to Oak Island and Southport and have seen the damage there too. On the way we stopped and checked on someone Dan works with by Lake Waccamaw and the damage was all too real.

This post was a hard one to write because we did not and are not going through the damage and rebuilding that those on the coast of the Carolinas are, but it would be naive to simply not acknowledge it as it’s a place we hold dear to our hearts. This post was important because it hit close to home and we personally know people affected. This may not be the most uplifting post I ever write, but it’s an important one with a message of charity, unity, and perseverance. To show those that have not seen the damage, just how real it is and to spotlight the coast as a place we love! With all the time we spend on the coast, I’ll share some local favorites of ours in another travel post down the road. 

If you have ever wanted to help, here are three organizations that Dan and I have known about and supported: Samaritan’s Purse, American Red Cross, and the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund. Please know that there are so many other organizations helping! For any disaster, especially in your community, I urge you to use your voice to help those in trouble. Even spending your money locally is a big help for the community’s economy.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of devastation throughout the country and we can all do something to help, whether it be time, money, or supplies. I’ll leave off today’s post with a quote I found online that resonated with me.

As always, thanks for stopping by today and I’ll see you next time.  “With all the time we spend on the coast, I’ll share some local favorites of ours in another travel post down the road.” – Daryn Kagan

xx Alicia

Getting to Geraghty: My Engagement Story!

Welcome back! If you’ve been following me, you know I got engaged in May of this year, May 12th to be exact! It was a day full of more love than I could ever imagine or put into words. Today is a post that I’ve been going back and forth about sharing, but figured- why not! I’ll break up the post with the setup, the day it happened, what I learned after the fact, and my ring. 

Leading Up To The Big Day In the beginning of the year, we were going through a lot. Between changing jobs, Dan being a bone marrow donor, and traveling constantly, we were burnt out. Dan knows how much I’ve been missing home and surprised me with plane tickets back to Rochester for Mother’s Day weekend! I was ecstatic that I actually cried. I couldn’t wait to be home and just spend time with family.  When I pack to go home I like living in yoga pants and comfy shirts, well because I’m home. This time around I was told we would be doing a brunch on Saturday so I packed a few nice things.
I flew into Rochester and couldn’t wait to see the kitchen remodel my Godparents completed. While I was there, my Godmother gave me a present for our pup. I wanted to show Dan so I went to Facetime him and he didn’t answer. He finally called me back and told me he was at a sports bar with some friends. Honestly I hate traveling without him to see family, so I missed him. That same day we spent some girl time getting our nails done and I skipped on a trim…which I still regret, but it is what it is.

The Big Day The next morning I was getting ready for brunch, running late and annoyed that everyone else was moving at a snail’s pace. My Godmother told me that we would leave and everyone else would meet us there so we didn’t lose our reservation. As she drove, she wouldn’t say where the reservation was, but that “she was following Papa’s directions”. At this point I was very hangry and was so confused on why she kept getting lost in a city that she knew so well. 

Finally we turned into Castle Park leading to Warner Castle and Sunken Gardens; a beautiful place I went to often during high school just to be alone and think. My Godparents also had their wedding photos taken there. When we got there my Godmother pretended not to know where we were, which was not amusing to me (facepalm). I reminded her and asked her why Papa would send us here and she only said “Maybe he has a picnic setup.” and you can only imagine my hangry rebuttle. Again- FACEPALM. 

As we turned the corner of the castle, there was a photographer and I thought we were in someone else’s pictures as it’s not uncommon for people to take wedding, senior, and family pictures there. I kept stepping back telling my Godmother to move away and do the same…until I saw the handsome man that is my future husband now in his best navy suit carrying flowers. He completely surprised me! He walked me down the beautiful cobblestone stone stairs I used to spend hours on until we got to the middle of the garden. I couldn’t stop talking since I was so nervous until I asked him if this was it and all he did was smile, got down on one knee, and asked for my hand in marriage. 

We took pictures and my head was still spinning. I cried, laughed, and was speechless the whole way through. We went to brunch with my God family and Dan told me that we would actually be driving an hour to go and see my mom, sisters, and extended family since my Brother-in-law had his graduation the same day. Later that day we drove down and celebrated my Brother-in-law’s achievement and it was the first time in a long time that all five of my mother’s daughters were all together. The day was so much more well thought out than I could’ve imagined. I was so grateful and full of joy and honestly words can’t even describe my feelings that day. We didn’t share the news until three days later after we had time with my family and to ourselves. 

After The Fact There were some things I did not put together throughout all of this which I’m sure you guys could tell. Actually I missed a lot, so this is going to be a list as I sit here and laugh at myself. 

  • Dan called my Godmother to ensure they would be home that weekend. And yes, he did ask both my mother and God parents for my hand, which I found thoughtful. 
  • When he saw me packing, he made my Godmother call me and tell me to pack something nice for a “brunch”. 
  • When I called him the night before he was already in Rochester. Instead of being at a sports bar, he was in his hotel room with ESPN on in the background. 
  • The morning of, he was texting my Godmother as she was getting “lost” in the city. 
  • He started planning this in March, which I find to be so impressive. 
  • He chose the date 5/12/18 for a very distinct reason and I cried twice as hard. 
    • 5: The day we had our first kiss.
    • 12: Our anniversary day.
    • 18: The day I shared the Sunken Gardens with him. 
  • He built my ring based on a picture of a ring I had saved from more than two years ago. 

The Ring

Dan had my ring custom made locally at Allen’s Jewelers, which is owned by the most amazing family! Their diamond dealer is actually from Rochester which only made my ring more special. So here’s the breakdown of my dream ring! It’s a 14kt yellow gold band with a white gold head holding the main diamond of the trilogy setting. I have a princess cut diamond in the middle with two round cut diamonds on each side. Within my band, there are 16 smaller round cut diamonds as well. I have detailing within the band which is one of my favorite things about the ring itself! 

Wow- that was a lot, but I loved writing this! I’m so glad I was able to share such a special day with you all. I would love to know about your special days, so leave me a comment below! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below as well. As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you next time!

xx Alicia

Getting to Geraghty: My Person

Hi guys and welcome back! This wedding post was going to be more about the proposal itself, but I thought it would be more important to talk about my relationship with Dan, as well as another important issue that I’ve mentioned before- mental health. I’ve rewritten this post about four times making sure I was being transparent, but also going back and editing things out of fear, but I reminded myself that I promised relatable and truthful content to you guys. That’s what you all deserve.

Dan and I have been together for over 4 years, but have known each other for 6 years since we met sophomore year in college. Two of those four and some years were actually long distance, making trips back and forth between North Carolina, Ohio, and New York. When I moved down to Charlotte in 2016, it was the best and worst year in our relationship. We were adapting to living together, I was home-sick, and we hadn’t spent over a week together in two years! Through all of this, it’s worth knowing I’ll be marrying the man that has supported, fought, and loved me through some of my hardest and darkest times. While raising me higher, building me even stronger, and loving me harder at my best times. (I know mushy, but I mean it!)

Now our journey has been anything but smooth. Just like any relationship, we worked through trust issues, past burdens, future aspirations, and priorities. We challenged and continue to challenge each other on personal opinions, career decisions, our goals and more. Most importantly, we struggled to understand each other mentally and emotionally. It takes a lot to understand how someone thinks and feels, which we have worked so hard to communicate and share with one another to learn.

With that said, this week has not been an easy one unfortunately for me. I have probably cried more than five times for a multitude of things…and yes I’m aware it’s only Wednesday. For seeing my family on Facebook and feeling like I’m missing out. For losing some unsaved pictures and items on my computer. For the fear I have of my upcoming genetics tests. For just feeling alone and stagnant. I can’t explain every overwhelming moment and how in less than two seconds I found myself crying hysterically. What I can explain is the love and light that wrapped around me once Dan caught me in the moment or I talked about it with him after.

This post was important for me to write because I think it’s so important to praise your partner. To thank them for what they give you every day that’s intangible. Dan is my person. He is why I am comfortable sharing my struggles. When I am at my lowest, he will bring me to the highest point of  happiness. He is the man I will spend the rest of my life with and I couldn’t be luckier because I found a person willing to invest in me just as much as I invest in him. We are partners, we are equal, and we do not judge. We lift, support, laugh, love, and most importantly listen to each other.

We are still a work in progress because individually we still are as well. Embrace this because life is ever-changing and I hope we are still like this at 50 because that will mean that we have never just settled. I urge each of you to find that person. It doesn’t need to be a significant other. I truly believe everyone needs at least one person to go to that will understand that their feelings are valid and although they may not be able to describe them, they still support you. You are not mentally unstable, you just work through things differently. I got lucky and found mine at 19, but it was an acquired adjustment. I also wish for all of you to find a supportive significant other in life at some point, so that you have a consistent listener. Everyone deserves to break down once in awhile and have someone else help put you back together, especially in the comfort of your home you’re building. I do not find that to be weakness, I fully believe that it takes strength to do such. It takes strength to struggle, be vulnerable and ask for support or help.

Mental health should never be ignored. That is why I am so grateful to have a future husband that believes in its importance just as much as I do. A man that when down, does not blink an eye when I shower him with love just as he would me. This post may not have been a wedding update, story, or list. But it was a post dedicated to the true reason for even having a wedding…because I have found my person that makes me better, wiser, funnier (although he doesn’t agree), and stronger- in every facet of my being.

If you made it through this, I thank you for letting me pour my heart out today. Thank you for letting me share my appreciation for this wonderful man. For allowing me to express one of the biggest reasons I wake up everyday and love him more. Why it was so easy to say yes when he asked for my hand in marriage. And for being able to be open and honest talking about my mental health. I hope you all find calm, patience, and strength in someone as I have because I sure have needed him this week. As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you next time!

xx Alicia

Getting to Geraghty: You’re Engaged, Now What?

Getting to Geraghty: You’re Engaged, Now What?

Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog. It’s an exciting time in my life and I wanted to share it with each of you. I am starting a wedding series to document my time planning and what better way to kick off that series than with some things I’ve learned so far…being 4 months in. 

When you get engaged, you are so overwhelmed with love and happiness. Dan and I were in Upstate NY and we spent a lot of time with my family before ever telling anyone or announcing it on social media. This would be my piece of advice, take some time together and soak in all of the emotions and memories before announcing the news to friends or on social media.

Now you’ve taken the time and everyone knows you guys are engaged, what now? Well, I say TREAT YO SELF! After the initial surprise went away I picked a few wedding magazines to indulge in, The Knot being a favorite of mine, and I also bought myself a small “bridal” gift. My friends and family gifted us things as well, but I really just wanted to treat myself to a few small things to celebrate my excitement. Side note, if you have never stopped by Simple Sentimental on Etsy- you are missing out! I got a gift from a friend of mine from her shop, which is where I purchased my first gift for myself!

Dan and I got engaged in May and we already knew wanted to give ourselves time so we decided on 2020 fairly quickly. With that said, we decided to go over a few things and pick up planning again in October. This is from personal preference, especially as we were getting into the summer and had a lot of travel plans on the calendar. Along with the year, we discussed our budget, an ideal season, a rough headcount, and an area. My advice would be to discuss those big pictures items first and then decide on when you want to start getting into the actual planning of the wedding. That will vary for everyone, but it was nice to know we were on the same page and prepared for when we started planning. When you talk about those things beforehand, it can really set the stage for what kind of wedding you may have which I think is really important and will take a lot of stress out of the process for you.

Once we got settled, we planned a casual engagement party for our friends back in NC. If you have the time, try and celebrate with your friends! It’s one of the best memories you’ll have and it’ll mean even more when you get to share it with friends you love in person! This will be your village throughout planning so a celebration, no matter the size, I would highly suggest.

My last tip for you would be to start a Pinterest board. I know, I know, a lot of girls already have them, but I didn’t and if I did I think my board would look a lot different. My taste has changed over the years and I suggest you start fresh with a new set of eyes on everything. Keep in mind not everything may be Pinterest perfect on the wedding day, but it’ll be great to draw inspiration from everything you find. Along with a board, I keep a notebook of ideas and lists as well.

Oh, I forgot, I also bum rushed to Facebook and joined all the Wedding related groups for fun. Yup, I’m one of those…

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Either way guys, I am just getting into the waters of actual planning, but with this series I’ll keep you updated with any books, resources, items I buy for this process. I’ll also be sharing a lot of this on my YouTube channel, especially when we go to knock off one of our to-do’s…our venue being one this coming October! Take this advice and these simple tips I have shared and use them to start your engagement on the right path. I am just so grateful I have had an enjoyable engagement thus far and I’m so excited to continue to share my experience with you!

If you’re engaged and planning as well- let me know! This is a series I am looking forward to and I hope you are to. If there are things within the process you will want me to ensure I document, let me know and I’ll do my best to slip it in a blog post or video. As always, thank you for stopping by!

xx Alicia