wedding - ceremony II

-some favorite ceremony moments captured by our photographer, eleise theuer-

prelude - "cello suite no. 1 prelude" by j.s. bach
bridal party processional - "dawn" by jean-yves thibaudet
bridal processional - "liz on top of the world" by jean-yves thibaudet
recessional - "till there was you" by the beatles

xo, mrs. kelsey bethune

first anniversary

A year ago today, 
I walked down the aisle to you,
the man who has given me joy, knowledge, happiness & adventures. 

you are my beloved, & I am so grateful for everything you are.
thank you for loving me so well.
thank you for holding me so hard.
thank you for completing me so unconditionally.
I can't wait to see your old man hands holding my old lady hands,
knowing that they've been through it all together.
you are my someone,
& I delight in every day that God gives us together.

I love you with my everything, JSB.

xo, your kelsey

wedding - ceremony

some details from our ceremony... one whole year ago!


flowers by katy cashman
wheat, pink wax flower, seeded eucalyptus, garden roses, lavender, rosemary
tissue paper poms - diy
tissue paper, thread, fishing line
wedding programs - diy

look for another post on our ceremony later tonight while I'm stuffing my face with frozen year old cake. we have a pretty special day planned... which you'll hear all about after I finally get through these wedding posts!

xo, kelsey


wedding - making pretty

the morning of our wedding started at about 9 a.m... nice & slow.
the weather was perfect & I was so calm. so relaxed. & highly sentimental.
Allison, being the sweetheart she is, brought over homemade cinnamon rolls that we all snacked on while we packed our bags for the day.
all of the bridesmaids arrived at our getting-ready venue,
& we spent the morning painting nails, taking turns getting our hair done, playing with make-up
& ohyeah, putting the programs together. (last minute detail. no biggie.)
we had music blaring, the windows open...
just an all around lovely day to get married.

mrs. bethune hanger - lila frances
hairband - untamed petals
wedding dress - pronovias
ballet flats - charlotte russe

I have to add that my grandmother & mom, talented seamstresses that they are,
listened to my vision for my dress & added the cap sleeves from the hem trimmings...
such an elegant addition.
I had no intentions of wearing a strapless dress,
so when I fell in love with one, my mom got on the phone with her mom, & figured out the solution.

these amazing ladies also constructed my veil in a day,
which is so special to have & hold onto, for my *someday* daughter to wear.
I just love that.
I also wore some of my mom's perfume that is just a classic smell of hers...
my something borrowed.
okay, that and her pearl earrings.

& lastly, yes. you read it correctly.
after searching high & low & waist level at every shoe store I could drive to or search online,
I was stuh-riking OUT in the shoe department.
it was either too expensive, too fancy or not unique.
so when I found these little flats at Charlotte Russe for a whopping $10...
I turned to Emily (my maid of honor & shopping voice of wisdom),
& she said, "yes. buy them."
as if she knew that I was thinking "buhht... Charlotte Rus... ehh..."
we stitched on the ribbon later that evening & presto.
my perfect wedding shoe.

we're almost to the "I do!" part!
clearly, my favorite.

for now, I'm going to settle into the couch with the husband for the rest of this Cardinals game.
World Series, babehhh!

xo, kelsey

wedding - rehearsal & dinner

such a whirlwind of a day, this was.
I don't even remember dressing myself, although I have a vague memory of Amelia curling my hair...
family was arriving, decorations were going up, & our wedding was suddenly in full swing!

it's probably bragging a little,
but I'm pretty sure we had the smoothest, happiest, non-chaotic rehearsal in the history of rehearsals.
thanks to agonizing "pre-rehearsals" to time the aisle walking earlier in the summer,
& our wonderfully spectacular coordinator, Amelia,
there wasn't a whole ton of work to do except getting to the end of the aisle!
our little flowers girls - Sara Kate & Corrie - showed up with paper pieces to practice dropping their flower petals...
& very quickly got bored with the whole process.
they're the best part of these photos ;)

I just want to hug whoever came up with the rehearsal dinner idea.
having so many faces in the same room that are so well loved is overwhelming.
we should get married more often.

one of the best things about a Bethune boy getting married is that Jared's dad makes the rehearsal dinner.
yes, makes it. all of it.
one of the worst things about a Bethune boy getting married is
being the bride & trying not to eat yourself into a coma because it's all SO GOOD.
we were treated to mediterranean cuisine & ohmylanta.
my dad still talks about it, & I still crave it. 

this last picture was snapped as everyone was leaving,
about 10 minutes before Jared took me outside for the big honeymoon location reveal.
that's right... he planned the whole thing by himself, & all I knew was to pack for a beach!
it was a really perfect, quiet moment after crazy day of running in 43542 directions,
as we stood under the October stars & he showed me a map, pointing to St. Croix.

"you said you wanted to see the sunset over the beach, & that you didn't want to fly for hours...
so we're staying on the west side of the island. you'll get a sunset over the ocean every night."

he's a dreamboat, I tell ya.

xo, kelsey


wedding - invitation suite III

so, the bridal party was totally game for our October wedding,
the save-the-dates had been sent,
the color palette chosen,
& it was suddenly invitation time.
there is something completely surreal about picking out invitations to YOUR wedding.
it was a magical time.

I had known for a long time that letterpressed invitations would be the ideal for our someday wedding.
once we were engaged, I quickly realized that looking is a lot less expensive than purchasing letterpressed invites.
so! we did a mixture of DIY & letterpressed invite cards.

some of the DIY flair:
-hand dyed edges on our "dining & dancing" cards
-I designed "dining & dancing" cards
-hand cut + glued belly bands
-hand cut + tied "B's"
-invitation calligraphy by phoebe (sister-in-law) *wish I had a sample!

creating our invitation suite was a lot of work, & definitely had plenty of hiccups 
(like, only half of our envelope liner order arriving with no time to wait for more)
but certainly a labor of love, & a sweet time with family & friends as we put it all together.

Invitation + RSVP Card: Bella Figura
Envelopes + Envelope liners: The Paper Source 
RSVP Stamp: Stampout Online
Belly Band (paper + paper cutter): Michaels
Wedding website: WeddingJoJo

xo, kelsey

wedding - invitations suite II

we decided pretty early on to use this color palette:

I went from everything from yellow to salmon to mint before finally settling on this.
looking back, I'm actually pretty impressed at how well we stuck to it.
being the wedding-loving person I am,
I knew early on that I wanted a pretty feel - very romantic & rustic.
you'll see off whites, book pages & rosey/dusky colors in the rest of the suite, as well.

the save-the-dates were a little agonizing to pick out!
I kept telling my mom that I knew it'd be the first taste that the guests will get of our wedding's flavor,
so this process was incredibly important.
that being said, I think what we ended up with was perfect.
(apologies for the horrible lighting)

The save-the-dates

these lovely save-the-dates were fun to make & pretty easy... once the supplies were all in!
I quickly enlisted sisters from both sides to cut hearts for the envelopes out of an old book that Jared's mom provided,
& we set to work stamping 23rd's with the teensiest heart stamp (thank-you, Mrs. Alexander!).
I also had my heart set on upright (top-open) envelopes & we found the perfect color a week before they had to go out.

Jared's sister & I spent about 6 hours addressing these babies,
because as beautiful as my eggplant, upright envelopes were...
They sure could suck up some paint from that paint pen!
Bonding time, right, Phoebe?

Heart stamp: Stampin' up!
Envelopes + Paper: Paper Presentation
Paint Pen: Michaels

wedding - invitation suite

the minute we got home from our trip to DC (that quickly turned into the most exciting weekend ever!!),
my mom started planning to have both of the families + bridal party + our pastors over to my parents' house to celebrate together.
I had a week to pull together some bridesmaid cards, & came up with these in a pinch...
you know, in between snuggling with a precious new puppy & celebrating Christmas + 2 bethune birthdays + new year's eve.
the cards were blank from Target & I added the bee+stitching to the front.
needless to say, there was no needlework involved when jared asked his groomsmen to be in the wedding ;)

Stay tuned for Part II & III later tonight!

wedding - engagement story

it's wedding week, guys!
this time next week, jared & I will be spending our 2nd October 24th together as married couple.
I'll be posting our invitation suite later tonight,
 but I figured it was only right to start off with how this whole wedding began...

the following is the "official engagement story" that I shared on facebook
once we got home from what we now lovingly call our engagement trip, Christmas 2009.
& now, a little story that begins in Fredericksburg, Va,
with a seemingly innocent visit to levi & heather's for a couple days of r&r...

"Where to begin? Jared & I have always known that we were dating with the intentions of marrying one another, knowing from the beginning that we had been deliberately brought together for a wonderful purpose that God had for us, even if that didn't end in marriage. (Although we hoped it did!) The plan had always been what I call "The Four Year Plan," which was centered around my parents' only stipulation: finish college.

Around September, I sat Jared down & explained to him that even though I COMPLETELY understood that we may not realistically be able to get married in 2010, my heart was maybe going to hurt a little still. He completely understood & I set to praying very hard for a peace about the timing of it all. Which, I am happy to report, God was really giving to me.

We had planned a trip to visit Jared's brother & sister-in-law in Fredericksburg back in November, hoping to get in some good family lovin' with some relaxation and general DC frivolity. Was I thinking that this would be a GREAT proposal opportunity? Sure, the thought crossed my mind! (Um. But that happened every day. So...) But like I said, I was positive that I was supposed to be patient & tried not to presuppose anything. And besides, I knew that we were picking up a golden doodle puppy for my mom's Christmas present. I kept telling Jared that it was going to be the best weekend ever, simply because of the puppy. He knew that there was at least one other reason why I might think so, too.

Monday, the 21st of December, we set off for DC from Levi & Heather's home in Fredericksburg, only to be met with hours of holiday/snow induced traffic on what was supposed to be a 45 minute drive - Max. We left at 1p.m. and arrived in Georgetown around 5, both of us tired, hungry & mildly testy. Determined to make the most of our day in the 'city,' we walked around Georgetown for a while, then settled in a little Italian restaurant for dinner. I'd say we sufficiently calmed our stomachs and minds while we were there. Looking back, I was getting love-eyes from Jared all night, & he was saying sweet lovey-dovey things that made me forget all the traffic-y frustrations of the day. Gee, I love him :)
what I thought was going to be my most overwhelming moment of the evening - my first Anthropologie STORE visit
our Italian dinner

After dinner, we went to a little shopping center ice-skating rink & got our skate on. Again, was I thinking that this would be a perfect proposal opportunity? Maaaaybe. But we turned our attentions to not falling and soaking up the end of 'our day.' DC traffic scared us off from going into the city to skate, so we settled for this cozy little rink outside of the City.

The rest of the story requires me going back a bit. Sophomore year, Jared was bringing me home for Christmas break from GMU. The entire drive back, we were driving under a meteor shower on 295, & had our foreheads glued to the windows to watch all the shooting stars. Jared declared that "there was something wrong with the tire" & that we needed to pull over. I was clueless. We ended up in a parking lot, where he put on Norah Jones' "Peace" & we danced under the meteor shower. (Oh, there was nothing wrong with the tire.) It was a moment :)

So, we leave the rink to head back to Levi & Heather's. End of the day, right? Yeah, I thought so too. We're driiiivin', listening to Christmas music, taaaalkin'. Suddenly, we need gas. According to Jared. From the way he's acting about this gas crisis, I'm thinking we're going to end up on the side of the rooooad, stranded for hours in the snow... We pull off at an exit & desperately seek out a gas station. The only one we found, of course, was only the convenience store part of a 7-11. I'm saying things like, "Well, now what do we do!!" & Jared merely pulls into a parking lot with snow everywhere, under a street light.

I'm a smart girl. I know what's going on. He wants to dance with me, just like two years ago.
"Iiiiiii'm onto your game. But it's like 18 degrees outside. & SNOWING!"
"Just dance with me."

& I did.

Norah Jones is playing, a song that we both love, & I'm shivering. I say something about how wonderful the day was, no matter how wonderful it wasn't. He's pretty quiet. Then he stops. & looks down. & I'm sticking my face in his saying, "Are you okay?"

He looks up at me & struggles for words & all he spits out, I kid you not, is:
"In life..."

I looked at him, mildly confused, & then he starts saying all these wonderful things about love, & us side by side, & God blessing us &... Well, that's about all I remember before I start putting it all together. I think it mostly started coming together when his hand reached into his pocket. Neither of us can tell you what he said - It was such a blur. My hand goes over my mouth & a thousand things are going through my mind. But then he goes down to one knee, & there's something REALLY sparkly in his hand (Thank-you, streetlights!) & says those blessed words: Will you marry me?

He's sitting right next to me & he says all I said was "Yes! Yes yes yes! Yes!" & I believe him.

We just stood in the parking lot, smiling & hugging. & no, I didn't cry. Crazy, right?? I was in utter disbelief & just couldn't stop staring at him. He finally said, "Kelsey! You're getting married! To me!" We just started laughing & I somewhat realized we were actually engaged. We got back in the car & I started the "WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY?" questioning before I realized that we hadn't taken any pictures of the 'where.' So, we turned around & took pictures.

I finally cried once I started talking to my mom & spoke the words, "Jared proposed!" I called him my fiancé for the first time during that conversation. I had prepared myself to wait for a lot longer to actually hear a proposal, so I was completely shocked. My cheeks hurt so badly from smiling. He picked out the most PERFECT ring & isn't just me, or my style. It's us. I have to stop & smile at him every once in awhile while I write this. It's too surreal. Jared Bethune is my one & only! & I'm marrying him!

We're getting married! & I could not be happier!! God has used every last minute of the last 3 1/2 years to build up to this 'engaged' period of our lives. Yeah, I'm excited about the wedding, but I am even more excited to know that instead of counting up to when we finally get to be engaged, we're counting down to the day that we actually get to be husband & wife. & that date will be revealed in a bit, I promise :)"

-  -  -  -  -  -  

some extra photos from our return home, when we surprised my sister + grandparents with an engagement announcement,
then the whole family (minus dad) with the puppy we had stashed at the neighbors' house while we shared our news.
looking back, I'm a little amazed at how big of a night it was at the Essmann house!

I bet you didn't realize that our engagement story is also our Ellie story, huh?

 it was really wonderful reading back through all this & reliving the pictures from that fantastic week.
if you know me, you'll know that I adore sparkly things, puppies, Christmas & weddings...
so you can imagine the cloud 9 that I was floating on, both of us using the word fiance/fiancee every chance we got.

although we both agree that "husband" & "wife" are much more fun to say ;)

xo, kelsey


birthday snapshots

1. birthday flowers - delivered to work, greeting me at home & from sister+BIL
2. the long & songful car ride to a very not-open apple orchard in Williamsburg... still lots of fun ;)
3. the pumpkin picking alternative to apple picking!
4. pumpkin carving supplies & necessities
 5. workin' hard on mom & dad's back patio
6. our very bored audience
7. the finale - my owl + lissy's branch + jared's creepy/cute face
8. a most delicious caramel apple cake... so.much.yum.

such a wonderful day.
I've got a 12 hour day tomorrow that is going to begin much too soon,
so I'm off to sleep.
some exciting stuff is happening on the blog this week - keep checking back!
my agenda for monday is 1. sleep in 2. blog blog blog...
& I'm totally excited.
but maybe a little more excited about sleep. not gonna lie.

happy weekend!
xo, kelsey



it's my birthday!
we celebrated with my family last night, so J&I are enjoying a birthday date night this evening.
23 feels pretty great, & a little more respectable than 22, to be honest.
it has already been wonderful, even if I did have my first ever birthday-at-work today.
thank you all for the birthday lovin' over all these social networks - you are truly wonderful beings.
i'm off to enjoy my honey darlin' & open presents...
eee! birthday!

image provided by amelia, who cheered me up immensely when I received it in a birthday e-mail at work.
love you!

xo, 23 yr. old kelsey


home again, home again

ahhhh, we're back! 

I didn't really explain before, but J & I decided earlier in the year to save money & not take a trip for our 1st anniversary.
but THEN! a door was opened this summer & we were able to get tickets to NYC for a super cheap discount.
we didn't really have a plan for how we were going to afford our hotel, 
but literally the day after we found out about the tickets, Jared's brother & sister-in-law announced that they were moving to the city.
so, God is awesome in the little surprises and the big provisions.
& hey, plane tickets totally count for the traditional 1st year "paper" gift, yeah?

I am all sorts of exhausted. 
I'm really going to miss the daily workout of going, you know, anywhere, in NYC.
it was extremely fantastic & romantic & autumn-y & fun.
the city was great, as usual, but we also just relished in our time with the bro-&-sis-in-law.
nothing says best friends like wine & How I Met Your Mother: Season 3 for HOURS on a rainy afternoon ;)

it's october! my favorite month of ever. the year. all time. love.
the amazing clouds as we were flying home this afternoon reminded me so clearly of WHY we waited alllllll the way till october to get married.
& the day did not disappoint. that sky on october 23rd, 2010 was unforgettable.

anyways, I am pumped for all things fall.
I've never debuted my fall attire in greenwich village before, but it definitely started the crisp autumn weather on the right foot.
I'm trying to mix fall festivities into our anniversary "at-home" celebration later this month,
but I've sadly picked this month to start an intense diet & workout regiment.
we have a portrait shoot next month, & my workout schedule has certainly been a little bit more relaxed than this time last year ;)
but hey. apple cake in small portions is still like, a healthy cake.
orrrr something.

I'm trying this writing thing out, as opposed to all photos all the time.
sorry if it's boring, but I just can't even bring myself to upload photos from this weekend tonight.
*musttttt sleeeeeeeep...*
however! I still have my dad's camera that I sniped for the weekend,
& my hope is to actually get that wedding invitation suite post up that I promised a while ago.

for now? I'm going to revel in how giant my apartment feels right at this moment after a weekend in NYC. 
it pretty much feels like I have a catering kitchen & a ball room dancing studio in my family room.
I'm quite sure this feeling is gonna pass quickly.

enjoy this perfect weather, friends!

xo, kelsey


the big peach - the city

A last set of snapshots from Atlanta:
1. Hotel views
2. Our walk through Centennial Park to go... umm, anywhere.
3. Legit margherita pizza, which pizza joints at home can't figure out. I was thrilled.
4. Atlanta food trucks! & really truly the best hot dog I've ever had.
5. Our last day adventure to an art festival. Perfect weather + should've gone with flats.

Honestly... There should be more pictures.
But I have a really bad habit of forgetting my *borrowed* camera, AND my phone stopped charging halfway through the trip.
But c'est la vie :)

We are quiiiite enjoying ourselves in NYC this weekend with Jared's brother & his wife.
It's been perfect fall + NYC weather.
I'm mostly just excited to be coherent this October & able to slow down & enjoy the season...
Last year was a BIT of a blur ;)
We'll be home on Tuesday night! 
See ya thennn...

xo, kelsey