The holidays are a very popular time of year for lovers to get engaged. Thinking back to 2012 when we did, it was such an exciting moment. My sister Lauren got engaged towards the end of last year and while we were able to spend time with her soon after, we had yet to celebrate the exciting news with both her and her fiancé (she had to come back to the states to get her visa). That’s when we decided to spend New Year’s in Northern Ireland with them. We had one of the best trips we’ve ever been on and during our downtime, we started to talk about her initial plans for the wedding and all that comes along with it.
Earlier this month, Macy’s came to me looking to partner regarding their registry and the huge sweepstakes ($10,000 cash to go towards your big day!!!) they were offering for couples with a valid Macy’s Registry. Normally I would pass on most wedding related topics because we got married so long ago, but after speaking with my sister, I realized that not everyone has a clear plan when registering, I know we didn’t. And we still receive so many questions from readers asking for wedding advice- from dresses to planning, registry and everything in between. Everyone has their own motivations for the items they place on their registry based on the kind of lifestyle they live and what they already have. My sister for instance, is at a different point in her life compared to me when I got engaged. For one, she’s quite a few years older than I was and already has a home with her partner that’s filled with most of their basic needs and more. So I thought it would be a fun and fresh perspective to turn today’s post over to my sister Lauren, our “resident engaged person”, so she can share what she’s planning on registering for at Macy’s, which was where we registered as well. They have just about everything and anything you could want and need, making them an ideal spot to register.
I’ve always admired my sister. She’s such a strong, independent, smart and courageous woman. She used to be a tv producer in Hawaii before deciding to sell all of her belongings, pack up and pursue her love (and great talent) of art while traveling through South America solo. Pretty much everything in that sentence are things that scare me, which is one of the reasons why I look up to her so much. She’s a glass half full type of person and her contagious love of life and pure joy spreads to everyone around her. I could carry on about how wonderful she is and tell her whole story about how she met her now fiancé, but I think it’s best if you guys get it from her side…so Lauren, it’s your turn to take over now!
Before I turn this over to Lauren, I thought I’d give you the specifics of how to enter the sweepstakes, in case you are recently engaged or happen to know someone that is recently engaged. To enter Macy’s Wedding Registry Sweepstakes $10K for Your Big Day, all you have to do is create a valid Macy’s Registry this month and enter right over here! No purchase necessary. Ends 1/31/18. Full rules here.
In 2015 while traveling solo through South America I met James at a hostel in Valparaiso, Chile. He is from Northern Ireland and had taken a career break from the fire service and law school to travel around the world. We started chatting in the common room and immediately hit it off. After spending a few days together we went two months without seeing each other before meeting up again in Colombia. We traveled together for two months all over the country, from Cartagena, Medellin, San Gil to San Andres and completely fell in love. (You really get to know someone when you travel with them!) James eventually had to go back home for work and school and I needed to go back to the States for a friends wedding. We made plans to stay together and started our long distance relationship. I’ve spent the past two summers in Northern Ireland and he’s come to visit during his winter breaks. This past September we went on a sailing holiday in Greece where James proposed to me at sunrise. We had taken a stand up paddleboard off the sailboat about 20 minutes before the sun rose and paddled out to the middle of a bay. The sky and water were brilliant orange and there was a stillness and peacefulness that felt so calming. We watched the sun come up perfectly between two mountains in the distance and over the water. Just after the whole sun broke out from the horizon he held up a ring around the sun and asked me to marry him. It was extremely romantic.
Since getting engaged we have mostly focused on getting my visa so I could move to Northern Ireland permanently. Now that I’m here we can focus on wedding plans! We are getting married June 2019 here in Northern Ireland on the Antrim Coast. I’m so excited to create my own wedding invitations and I’ve been dress shopping with my mom and sisters. While I haven’t found the one yet it’s been fun spending that time with them. Among venue hunting and wedding pinning, we’ve started thinking about our wedding registry. Being in our late 20s/early 30s we already have a home and have it filled with electronics, bedding, dishes and things we love. Usually these items make great wedding gifts, however since we didn’t need a lot of this stuff we tried getting creative with our wedding registry. Here are a few of the items we would love to receive for our wedding…
Espresso & Cappuccino Machine– We are big coffee drinkers! Even on a busy day, when James is running off to work and I’m heading up to my studio we take time to sit together with a cup of coffee and catch up or just chat. It’s become a daily ritual that I love. We currently have a Nespresso machine that we use daily and we would love to upgrade to one that can make cappuccinos and lattes – our favorite coffee drinks – all from the comfort of our own home.
Cold Brew Coffee Maker & Milk Frother– As mentioned above coffee is like water in our house. We go through a few mugs a day. In the summer when it warms up a bit there’s nothing like a nice cold coffee. I love the sleek design of this cold brew coffee maker and the fact that it becomes a thermos! Perfect for using in my studio or for James to take with him to class. We might actually need two!
Plush Robes– Is there anything more newlywed than matching robes? I love the idea of waking up every morning and enjoying our coffee in these plush super soft robes. In fact, I might never change out of my PJs and just paint in my robe all day.
Mug Set– We have such a random mix of mismatched mugs that we have each collected over the years. We recently redecorated our kitchen in black and white with pops of teal and blue and we would love to have mugs that matched. We spend so much time in the kitchen and and it would be so nice to have cute mugs to use when we have friends or family over for a cup of coffee or for our daily coffee date. I love the simplicity of these Kate Spade mugs and that the detail looks drawn on.
Steamer– We would love a handheld steamer that we can use both at home and while traveling! Clothes always get wrinkled when packed up in a suitcase so it would be nice to be able to quickly smooth them out but also have a steamer that doesn’t take up too much space. This one is the perfect size and weight and would be used all the time!
Suitcases– We both obviously love to travel -that’s how we met! But at that time we were both backpacking. Since then we’ve taken shorter trips and our backpacks aren’t practical anymore. We would love to upgrade to these Samsonite suitcases before our honeymoon and use for many more trips in the future!
Pizza Stone Set– We both love to cook but sometimes there are nights where neither one of us want to. On these nights our go-to dinner becomes pizza. I love the idea that you can get that crisp pizza oven taste from your own oven with a pizza stone!
Knife Block Set– I’m so lucky to be marrying a man who not only enjoys cooking but is great at it! He makes wonderful pastas, steak, and even bakes yummy frions. It’s amazing he’s able to make all of these things with the sad set of knives we have! I think a fresh set would be such a nice gift for him (and for my belly)! This set has such a great variety for whatever we are cooking and would match perfectly in our kitchen. Both sleek and useful!
Square Grill– There’s nothing better than a BBQ’d burger and veggies on the grill! In the summer we love to BBQ as much as we can when the sun is out! Unfortunately, where we live, that’s not often so we would love a grill that we can use inside to get the taste of summer on days that just don’t want to cooperate. I love that this one can be used both on the stove and in the oven. It’s so practical we would end up using it all year round!
Thank you to Macy’s & Shopstyle for sponsoring this post.