Before the ring-

Before the Ring: Preparing for Marriage

Two years ago today, a dream came true.  

The boy I love asked me to marry him. He got down on one knee and slipped a ring on my finger.

While the proposal was a sweet surprise, entering married-life together was always our plan. We had spent the past two years preparing for marriage.

I recently wrote Why Marriage is Easier than Dating and have been inspired to write more about our dating relationship – which in our eyes was the preparation for a happy, faith-filled marriage.

So here are a few ways we “prepared” for marriage:

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A Year in Review: Catie Bee Blog

A year ago, I started blogging.

And I had no idea how much joy it would bring me. 

For the past year, I’ve used blogging as an exciting way to connect with others around the world and provide insight on a variety of topics. Whether I’m writing about Disney audition tips, wedding decor ideas, or just the emotional highs and lows of being a young adult – I hope to make someone’s day a little brighter with a buzz thought.

This year, catiebee.com has had readers from 54 countries. Isn’t it amazing how writing can take us to so many places?  That’s my favorite part about blogging. Even though I’ll never get a chance to visit most of those countries, I still feel as though a little piece of me is out there in all sorts of neat places – thanks to readers and fellow bloggers.

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I’ve learned a lot about designing, editing, and marketing this past year through blogging. It’s been exciting to share and promote my artwork on my blog. I’ve come a long way from not knowing the difference between a page and a post, but there is still so much I’d like to learn.

I have a few blogging goals for next year – the most important one is being more transparent in my work.

I’ve recently been drawn to blogs where writers express their feelings/soul so effortlessly. In our harsh, critical world consumed with perfect resumes and flawless first impressions, I deeply admire those who can show who they truly are without fear or borders.

In short: I want to use this blog as a safe place to journal – to go deeper than I have before. 

Thank you to anyone who has read a buzz thought. Here’s to another fun year of sharing stories with you.

❤ catie bee

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“Home Sweet Home” – Catie Bee Art

My awesome friend from college Matt wanted a special art piece to surprise his parents.

They recently moved into a new house, and he + his siblings thought a painting of their old home would be a precious gift to their parents.

I absolutely LOVED painting his childhood home with watercolor paints and even added his adorable dog Nash! This is an 8×10 piece in a 11×14 frame.

My favorite part of this whole experience was receiving a text from Matt saying that his parents and siblings loved it, and his mother had tears in her eyes when she saw this for the first time. It warms my heart when art brings joy!

Thank you, Matt!

❤ catie bee art

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8 Shopping Tips: Your Dream Wedding Dress

“Congratulations!! What style wedding gown are you looking for?”

“Um… I don’t really know.” I said to the stylist, who was already listing a million different types of wedding dresses: Simple dresses, ivory dresses, lace dresses, tulle dresses, blush dresses, long dresses, short dress….

I quickly felt overwhelmed and totally lost standing in the middle of a bridal gown store.

Brides – let’s face it: whether or not you know what you are looking for, wedding dress shopping can be confusing, overwhelming, and even discouraging at times.

And sometimes it isn’t until you find “the one” when you feel as though all the chaos was worth it.

Have no fear. Here are some tips for wedding gown shopping:

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Disney Doodle: Pocahontas

Pocahontas is such a badass.  

And totally underrated.

A friend from high school ordered this Pocahontas painting to give to his beautiful girlfriend for her birthday.

I’ve never painted Pocahontas before, so this was a fun project!  I have to admit, I sang (very loudly) along to the movie soundtrack as I painted with all the colors of the wind. 

More Disney Doodles on insta @catiebeeart and @catieheginbotham

❤ catie bee art

Our

Our Adventure: Ireland, Scotland, England

CatieBee-102After two weeks of exploring Ireland, Scotland, and England… we are finally HOME!  

My husband Wes and I dreamed of taking this adventure together since our wedding day.

A few weeks before our wedding, we learned of Wes’ Scottish ancestry, and he became fascinated with all things Scottish.

So my wedding gift to him? A plot of land in Scotland.

On our wedding day, I handed Wes an envelope with the certificate of sale for the plot of land and a note that read, “Our next great adventure??” 

From that moment, we made it our goal to visit our plot of land within the next year …

Wes agreed to the idea of planning this entire trip himself, as I was tired of making decisions and creating schedules after our wedding.  He taped a map of the United Kingdom on a wall in our home office and made a list of all the incredible places we were to visit. (I didn’t even see the full itinerary until we arrived at the airport on our first day).

Within the first few hours of our vacation, it was obvious to me that the amount of research for this trip was extraordinary.  I am thankful for my husband’s hard work and love of travel.

We loved every minute of our first big overseas adventure together, and I dream of the day we return to the British Isles (keeping my fingers crossed).

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I will be writing more in depth of the great adventures, beautiful hotels, breath-taking views – but for now, here are some photos of Ireland, Scotland, and England:

Ireland

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Scotland
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England

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A Letter to all Disney Brides: Your Wedding is Not Childish

“Oh, you’re getting married at Disney? Isn’t that…. childish?”

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“Um, excuse me?”

Dear Disney Brides,

Your wedding is not childish.

Your love of Disney is not childish.

YOU, my friend, are awesome. And definitely not alone in this situation.

Unfortunately, you may hear criticisms from family members, friends, and even complete strangers regarding your Disney Wedding. (Side note: they are probably poor unfortunate souls who have never experienced the delight of a Dole Whip or Mickey bar).

What many people fail to realize is that Disney Weddings are beautiful because they are unique.

 

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7 Ways to Cut Down the Cost of a Disney Wedding

Make a list of “must haves” or a wish list:
Making a list of “must haves” will help you sort out which elements of the wedding are the most important to you – be it decor, photos, attire, etc.  If you’re like me (and the majority of people in this world…), you simply can’t afford to have everything, so decide on the things that will make your day special and beautiful to YOU.  Remember that as long as you have your spouse, the other “stuff” doesn’t matter.  It’s just stuff – and sometimes, it’s expensive.

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Since high school, I dreamt of having chocolate-covered strawberries at my wedding.
Read my wedding “wish list”

Cut out the carriage:
I know for a lot of Disney brides, this is a big MUST-HAVE…  which is fine! Having a Disney Wedding is the only way to hop on Cinderella’s coach, so I understand that appeal.  But before you start going over-budget because of the horse-drawn carriage, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it go with the theme of my wedding?  If you are having a “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, then probably not…
  • Is it worth letting go of something else?  As wonderful as the carriage is, is it worth giving something else like characters? Confetti canon? Rose petal toss? Food?
  • When I look back, will I regret not having it?
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    To be honest, I was so nervous the morning of my wedding that after the limo ride to Wedding Pavilion, I thought to myself “Wait, how the hell did I even get here…?” I don’t even remember transportation. If you can’t afford it – don’t sweat it.  You may be like me and not even remember how you got from place to place.


Disney’s Escape Collection & other Packages:

My husband and I wanted an intimate wedding with our family and closest friends. Disney has smaller packages that are less expensive and there are plenty of places to get married at Disney that won’t break the budget. Do some research, talk to a wedding planner, and reach out to other brides to find out all the different options. Don’t say no unless you’ve done all the research! Read about Disney’s Escape collection here.

Say No to Extra Decor:
Having wood tables, chiavari chairs, and/or up-lighting sounds super great, but if you are on a budget, these are the things that typically go unnoticed.  We wanted all of these things but later found less expensive alternatives and were able to add the decor and entertainment that we decided was the most important. To be honest, we didn’t miss any of those items!

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Tossing traditions:
Saying goodbye to some reception traditions was a good way to cut the cost of our Disney wedding.  Turns out, getting a fake bouquet for the toss is really expensive!  Who knew?! These things are small, but small things can really start to add up – so start sweating the small stuff!

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Find a Pre-owned/purchased dress or veil:
There are plenty of never-been-used or pre-owned wedding gowns and veils out there.  I found my veil for $60, and it was a beautiful, well-made veil.  You never know what you’ll find, so if you’re looking for that perfect Alfred Angelo wedding gown.. be sure to ask your Disney Bride sisters for help to find one on sale.

Catie and Wes - 0084Hire an Outside Photographer:
Disney wedding photographers are amazing – that much is true. However, there are PLENTY of talented photographers outside of Disney, many of whom have worked for Disney Weddings before. Even though Disney Wedding Photography can be part of the enhancement costs, use the enhancements to purchase things you can’t get anywhere outside of Disney such as entertainment or decor.