Guest Takeover: My AWESOME Fiancé

Hello, all you sexy little weirdos! I have hacked into my future wife’s blog and now I get to do what I have always wanted to……….write a blog strictly dedicated to Ryan Gosling’s left pec…..WOOF.

Just kidding…

SO, as most of you can guess from the title, I am the one who is engaged to the lovely, beautiful, amazing, kind, caring and incredible woman who runs this blog. Brittany A. DeRenzis or as you know her, BrittanysBasicallyLiving. Can we talk about the fact how her initials spell “BAD”. How could I NOT fall in love?!

She told me I could write about whatever I wanted, so I will write a little about inspiration and where it comes from. Not just for me but in general.

Inspiration is a very loose term. People can get inspired from multiple different types of art, music, travel experiences, anything really. With something that is so broad and open to interpretation, I think it would be stupid for someone to try and actually define inspiration.

To feel inspired is really just to feel change. You saw something, something happened, and it made you feel differently than you did five minutes ago. That’s all there really is to defining it.

I think too many people get depressed over the feeling of useless inspiration. The feeling of wanting to do something and feeling different but convincing yourself that there is no possible way you’d be able to do it. The thing is, useless inspiration is just as valid and true as inspiration that causes others to create music or art or a film, or even to throw a rock through a window. What matters is how you feel and how you decide to carry out this new amazing feeling you’ve just felt. Even if that is just enjoying the fact that something was actually able to move your emotions that much.

You may be wondering how this ties into my fiancé. Well, for two reasons:

  1. She inspires me every day

As cheesy and corny as this sounds it is 100% true. She has always been an advocate for me when no one else was. She’s tells me to follow what I feel, not what I know. She is always there with me to experience new forms of music and art and film and it makes me happy to be next to her.

2.  She feels.

When I say she feels. That may seem simple. Well, newsflash, it is. She feels love. She feels hate. She feels anger and lust and anguish and anxiety and confidence and insecurity and is not afraid to tell me what she feels.

When she watches or hears something that inspires her, she is able to recognize and appreciate the mere fact that something was SO powerful that it was able to move her.

THAT is why I love her so much and THAT is why I want to marry her and spend the rest of my life with her. Because even if we’re listening to a song, she is taken a back that something so powerful just gave her goosebumps. And she can do nothing but feel  her arm, stroking it back and forth, amazed that she just went though that change from something that she didn’t know existed five minutes before.

Some of us never find someone who you can find a real connection with. I was lucky-enough to find that person at 20 years old. Almost 7 years later, we still go to bed happy every night, and we always look for things that can help us feel a little different than we did five minutes before.

That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

-Chris

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Wedding Planning: The Venue

So many people told us “Good luck!” and “Try not to stress too much!” when it came to picking a wedding venue. They clearly don’t know me very well!

My fiancé proposed to me on November 9th, 2017. We had our venue booked by December 3rd

I wanted to start the process right away and I wanted to make sure I found a place that we could make our own! So, I started doing research.

Too many venues in Westchester and NYC are very plain and all have the same décor and they don’t let you customize things too much. On top of that, they are extremely expensive! The average for a moderately sized venue for just under 100 guests in Westchester County is about $140/person, before all the taxes and fees and so on.

If you’re looking into NYC and Brooklyn, forget it. There is a beautiful venue called The Foundry in NYC. It almost looks like a giant greenhouse, and since we are having a very boho-inspired wedding with lots of greenery, this place looked perfect. BUT, the cost for food & beverage was $150/person and that didn’t include chairs, tables, linens or any entertainment whatsoever. After all the chair rentals and linens and so forth, you’re looking at almost $200/person or maybe even more.

We wanted something different. So we thought outside of the box. We wanted a place that had a beautiful view, not a window that looked at NYC or a brick wall. We wanted a place where we could bring in any décor we wanted (as long as we didn’t put holes in the wall). So, we looked a little more north.

The further up north (away from the city) we looked, the more that we discovered there were these tucked away gems of venues that offer amazing packages. We also thought about all the people that would be traveling to the wedding. Some from upstate and some from Westchester, where we live.

After only 3 weeks of looking and researching, we went to Cove Caste in Greenwood Lake, NY. Greenwood Lake is about 30 miles west of the Tappan Zee Bridge (I will never call it the Cuomo Bridge). We went and saw that this place was BEAUTIFUL! It has a restaurant with an outdoor bar downstairs, along with a stage on a mini beach for live music! Upstairs was the room for the reception. It is incredible! It has these beautiful big windows that look right out on to the lake. The ceremony has an altar down near the water on a stained wood platform. What was the really great part was the difference in cost and what we got out of it. They include all the tables and linens and chairs and even wedding cake. They offered a signature cocktail we can make for our wedding and they are letting us do any kind of décor they want! They even own a 2 bedroom apartment across the street where they have the brides and bridesmaids get ready!

We just went to our tasting with our parents and ate on the water, and we couldn’t be happier that we chose this place. It actually is less travel time than having to get down to Brooklyn on a Saturday night, which worked out better for all of our guests!

The main point of all this is that if you plan ahead, do your research and know what you want, there is no reason to settle for a regular venue that overcharges. A wedding is your day and you are the one that makes it memorable.

You may think three weeks is fast, but it could be worse. It only took me an hour to choose my wedding dress!

Planning A Wedding: Where To Start

When I got engaged, I think I waited a full 24 hours before I started planning! I’m a planner at heart and I couldn’t wait to start the process, so I figured I would share my journey with the internet and help someone else get some pointers too.

WEDDING PLANNER:

I got mine from Kate Spade.  Kate Spade-Bridal Planner ($48.00)

I’m in love with it, it comes with all the information you need and even timelines of when you should start. I know there apps and websites where you can plan weddings, but I think it’s a nice idea to have a binder full of the process. It even has inspiration pages you can cut and paste on! A couple years from now it’s going to be great to look back and see everything all together. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

WEDDING APPS/WEBSITES:

The Knot – The Knot is probably the app/website I use the most. If you’re more of a digital type of planner this one will be great for you.

It has checklists, vendors, guest lists, wedding websites and also a wedding vision quiz to help pinpoint what kind of style wedding for you, and even colors!

The Wedding Spot – The Wedding Spot is an amazing app/website that gives you estimated quotes from vendors. This really helps if you have a budget and what to know right away what kind of price you’re looking at because sometimes it can take days for vendors to get back to you.

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INSPIRATION:

Pinterest – Pinterest is the best place to find wedding inspo, it’s full of wedding dresses, themes, flowers, days and everything you can think of to plan a wedding! It’s a MUST have while starting out to plan and figuring out your style. It may even help you come up with creative things to do for your own day.

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Happy Planning ❤

Do you like this series? Want more? Let me know in the comments =]