Third Wedding Anniversary Etsy Gift Guide

My yearly wedding anniversary Etsy gift guide is here! This year we’re tackling the traditional three year gift of leather! B and I always try to stick to the traditional theme of each wedding anniversary so luckily, finding something custom, unique and special made from leather wasn’t as tough as cotton, which was last year. We always like to make our anniversaries special and B always does an incredible job – last year he was so thoughtful with his cotton gifts, I realized I need to step-up my game. So B, if you have stumbled upon this before our anniversary – stop reading here, spoilers below!

Leather represents shelter and security for the third year, much like what a marriage and the home you build with each other symbolizes.

– The Knot

Leather Monogram Valet Tray. This next gift is from a formally local small business, William and James, (they just relocated to North Carolina) that I was introduced too via the Home for the Holidays pop-up shop! Luckily, they also have an Etsy shop, so ordering was super easy and effortless — plus the owners Billie and Jimmy were super responsive to confirm the customization was correct, which was reassuring as a buyer. I ended up ordering the monogram leather valet tray, which I thought would be nice for B in his dressing room, to hold his ear buds, wallet and other goodies. I was also beyond impressed with the way it arrived, in a beautiful branded box, all wrapped in tissue and just perfect for gifting in! They also have leather coasters, earrings and other fun accessories – I was happy to support a formally local small biz too.

Custom Leather Travel Tags from Etsy. Funny story, we were gifted these as wedding gifts, unfortunately the wrong info was added so we’ve never been able to use! Last Christmas was gifted my mom and dad some tags from Etsy to go with their new luggage, and it was the perfect gift — so I knew just where to go, as I’d already seen the finished product. I ordered from TAleatherworks on Etsy – these are affordable, customizable and arrived quickly! I wish we would’ve had them before our recent trip, but they’ll be fun to have in the future.

Valet Tray by IronandGrainUSA | ToriLoLeather Card | Orange Bridge Supply keychain | ToriLoLeather leather clutch

Don’t worry guys/gals, if you’ve stumbled upon this – I have a few more other honorable mentions I found on Etsy that are a little more well suited for your wifey. This luggage tag from Bramble and Beene, is a bit more anniversary specific and fun. Or this leather valet tray from Iron and Grain USA is also customizable and a bit more 3rd anniversary specific listing off the days, hours and minutes making up 3 years. I love this leather clutch from SanTanLeather – it’s compact and versatile – and offered in a variety of colors.

This leather keychain from Orange Bridge Supply is a cute and customizable option too, I actually gifted this to B for our wedding present with our wedding date and our little saying “Yeah, Me Too” onto it — it has definitely been worn with love these last few years. I also love this leather card and handmade leather purse from ToriLo Leather – she is located in the UK, so I would be careful to make sure you have enough time if you’re ordering internationally!

Not celebrating 3 years? Check out my Two Year Gift Guide and how I celebrated Year One.

Besides leather, the modern gift for three years is crystal or glass, the color is white or jade and the gemstone is pearls! I’ll definitely be making B a homemade card, and find a few more things to help make this anniversary special.

Two Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

November is a special month — because it’s the month B and I finally tied the knot!  As you may or may not know there are “traditional” anniversary gifts for each year with a specific theme.  There is a list that has the traditional gifts paired with modern twists, and personally I like to try and stick to the traditional.  Last year I gifted B with papers sharing that I was finally going to change my last name (yes, after almost a year!).  So if you’re like me and on the hunt for something original, unique and spoiling your loved one, here are some Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift ideas with shop-able links!

The meaning for Cotton for an anniversary gift is “Cotton’s woven threads symbolize how you become more interconnected as time goes on and learn to be more flexible.”

Handmade Cotton Bud Ornament from Etsy. Etsy was the first spot I went to for inspiration, especially looking for something a little more unique and personalized.  One of the first things that caught my eye was this ornament — not only is it on theme, it’s also something that could easily be DIYed and even more customized as a anniversary keepsake. But for $14 with customization, you can’t beat it and I love ornaments to capture moments throughout our lives.
TwoAnniversary-beelife(2)
Custom Embroidered Socks. This was another Etsy find that gives endless options to customize and make special for your man!  With so many different patterns and the ability to provide your own embroidered text with your wedding date, inside joke, wedding hashtag, or monogram — you really can’t go wrong with this.

His & Her Robes. Honestly, this was my first thought when I saw the second anniversary traditional gift was cotton. I jumped on Pottery Barn to see what was available — and even customizable. I liked the Vincent’s Men Robe, but it couldn’t be customized in the size I would need to get for B. I also loved this Bambo Waffle Robe from Williams Sonoma which also has monogram and different length options plus its on sale – not to mention there is just something about the waffle pattern that is so luxurious! Lastly I was searching on Land’s End for his and hers which had some other more holiday specific robes that would be perfect for Christmas pajamas!
TwoAnniversary-beelife(1)
China is the modern gift theme which could be anything from a trip to China — a nice China dish to add for service — or even ordering Chinese food for a fun date-night in. The color is red, could be a ruby ring (hint-hint guys for the ladies) red garnet is also an option since garnet is the gemstone for two-years.

Have you already celebrated two years — do you stick to the anniversary gift themes? Or not?

bee (1)

Why I Finally Decided To Change My Last Name

Confession time:  I wasn’t planning on changing my last name once B and I tied the knot – in fact I was pretty adamant about not changing it.  Everyone always asked me, “Well what does B think about it?” … and at first he didn’t love the idea, but as we talked about it over time he grew to understand my perspective and was accepting of the idea.  And no matter what people’s responses were to me saying I wasn’t going to change my name – because people definitely had opposing opinions – I knew that B and I were on the same page and that was all that mattered. In fact,  we actually joked more about B changing his last name instead of me changing mine.
name change - the bee life (1)
Now, it’s only fair of me to not share ALL my reasons of why I didn’t want to change my name – and those closest to me know. And if someone asked and REALLY wanted to know, sure I’d tell them, but I’m not going to just offer it up. *tongue out emoji*

But onto the good stuff about WHY I decided to change my name and HOW I shared the news with B. The reason why might sound really really stupid or even a little silly… but I wanted people to know that B and I were married.  Sure, most people knew, we both wear rings – but there were little moments in everyday life, that made me pause and have to explain, “No my husband’s last name is Wildebeest.”  I also felt that the whole point of being married is being one with each other as a union and in those little moments it didn’t seem that way at all.

So, as these little moments in life continued to happen over the course of our first year of marriage, I began throwing around the idea of changing my name – first to friends and then worked on convincing my stubborn self.  The first anniversary gift is paper, what better gift to give B than surprise him with my new social security card with my new name on it? … as the year went on, I continued to pitch myself on the change while those little moments continued to happen and build the case.  Plus, I knew B would be psyched, deep down happy, and not expecting it at all.
name change - the bee life (2)
Needless to say, I was a little nervous when I finally told B for our anniversary, because he’d gotten so OK with me NOT changing my name – that I wasn’t sure if he would really care anymore.  But he was so excited about it and not to mention completely shocked (and in a bit of disbelief)!

Final confession.  It’s still a bit of a struggle for me, I fought against conforming for so long and have a deep love for my maiden name that it hurts my heart a little – dramatic? Maybe, but I know that in time the change won’t even phase me, and that I’ll always be EB deep down.

To help with my name switch I enlisted HitchSwitch they provided detailed check-lists and pre-filled paper work to make the transitions easy while helping me feel not so lost navigating all the different updates! I still have a few updates to make, but all the major ones are checked off the list. ❤

bee (1)

 

Beach Portrait Session Photo Credit: Marina Claire & Co.
Wedding & Engagement Photo Credit: Timothy Logan Photography

Cheers to One Year!

Yesterday was B and I’s official one year wedding anniversary.  It’s amazing that it’s been one year, sometimes it feels like our wedding was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like it’s been years! I was looking back at my wedding final update on The Bee Life, and it was fun to read the 6-things I was looking forward to the most.  As a refresher, here they are along with some fun memories for each.

  • Seeing the reception venue all set-up and all the tables put together – it has all been a vision in my head for well over a year… and I can’t wait to see it all put together. This was one of my most favorite parts, luckily we were able to get in on Friday to get stuff set up before the big day – the venue was everything we dreamed it would be and more, completely obsessed.
  • Walking down the aisle to B and seeing him all done up in his suit! This was a surreal moment, I was trying so hard not to cry – which I was successful keeping it together.  This part was such a blur! But seeing videos of this, I was sprinting down the aisle, ha!, probably so I wouldn’t cry.  Recap: Our Ceremony
  • My Father/Daughter dance – it’s going to be a tear jerker but that’s all I’m saying. I loved this moment and it definitely got a lot of guests teared up.  We danced to A Whole New World from Aladdin, which happened to be the same song my dad and I danced too when I was about three – and we had that video playing in the background as we danced to it again!
  • Dancing the night away with B, our family and friends.  So. much. fun.
  • Eating MY wedding cake and drinking champagne! Our cake was so delicious and I didn’t drink nearly enough champagne!!
  • Finally being B’s wife! The best part.

One Year - the bee life
If you missed all our wedding fun, catch-up on some old posts; Girls getting ready and the groom getting ready pre-wedding.  And check out the links above for the Venue and Ceremony!! Our wedding was pretty perfect, and our first year of marriage has been a nice coast through and happy to have all the wedding festivities behind us!

Cheers!

bee (1)

 

Here are some helpful wedding planning posts if you’re getting ready for the big day! Creating Your Sweetheart Table, Planning Your Honeymoon, Tips for Creating Your Wedding Registry, 8 Wedding RSVPs You Won’t be Expecting, and Tips for Swoon Worthy Engagement Pictures.

#EmnBWed – September Update

It’s about that time for another check-in on our wedding planning… or, surprise, surprise, lack thereof. When I was planning ahead for this post I had ideas on what I would share, hoping to share progress and real updates, but, that didn’t all go as planned, alas back at square one. So instead of forgoing the post and not having any true updates (besides what I am about to share), I wanted to share my experience in case someone else is  going through the same thing as they plan their wedding or in case someone experienced what I did, and can share a word of wisdom or two.

img_1701-2_tlo_cc
photo cred: www.timothy-logan.com

I’ve heard the nightmare stories of wedding planning, although most of those happen closer to the wedding or in the planning steps of actuality – not during the hypothetical talks of ideas or wants….  all I can say is that if it gets worse (the opinions, guilt and lack of support, mainly from family) then I am quitting and throwing in the towel. Right. Now. Most people who know me, know that being stubborn is one of my finer qualities, *winks* and I bet would be surprised at the ease of me giving up, but just the decisions or debates around hypothetical’s is exhausting… it’s defeating.

I hit a breaking point over the weekend.  I told said person I am no longer discussing “the wedding” with them, until further notice. And only in that moment was said person, acting to be “OK” with everything I have been saying since day one. Nope, sorry, don’t believe it.

I have been joking and throwing out the idea… to well, everyone about eloping to try and warm them up to the idea, because… well… I’m pretty <f88k88> serious about it.  What I see in other weddings is that it becomes quickly about everyone beside the bride and groom. And in my mind, that day, the wedding, is just strictly that – all about the bride and groom. I want that special moment, that commitment, strictly between B and I.

At this rate, we won’t be getting married until 2019… (if it’s not eloping)… so I guess I’ve got awhile to figure this whole wedding thing out.  Wanting to be different in the way things are done, is not always the easiest way – especially if you’re the first one to do it.

I just want easy and simple – classic and elegant – me and B.

Cheers to being different!

Missing out on other wedding updates? Catch-up with:
Wedding Woes || Our Engagement Pictures || #EmnBWed – The Date 

Wedding Woes

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you.

I’m a bit afraid to start planning our wedding, it’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve resisted planning for a few months… and why whenever someone asks if we’ve started or have a date I give a sigh, try not to roll my eyes and say, “no.”

Wedding Woes - the bee life
Photo cred: Grey Likes Weddings & Rachelle Derouin Photography

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why? She should be so excited to plan her wedding and everything that comes with it!

Yes, I am. But I am also very afraid of everything that is going to come along with it, and I blame everyone else whose gotten married or is getting married, especially my friends and family – you’ve all scared me poop-less!

To keep it simple, here are all of the reasons why:

  • I don’t want to be a traditional bride; I don’t want a bridal shower, I could care less about a bachelorette party, and I would prefer to forgo the whole wedding reception thing and just elope. But I can’t. (Now you’re probably saying; so do it, it’s you’re wedding! But is it? I know I am going to get pressured into things, because other people want that for me.)
  • I don’t want to end up hating my (future) family. With my non-traditional ways, I am sure I will piss of a few people or unintentionally hurt some feelings – but I really want to live up to the saying; “It’s my/our wedding.” Although, I already know there will be some compromise.
  • It’s just SO much money… for one day. I just want a killer dress.
  • Everyone has an opinion, and wants to share it. I have one too. *smiles*
  • If B and I do get our way for our wedding, we will end up making a lot of people mad – because they won’t understand that it’s about us and not about them.
  • Either way, I don’t think there is a way to avoid hurt feelings or drama.

Not to mention, I’ve been to, two bridal showers so far this year, and each of them have had drama; hurt feelings, tears, and stress (at least behind the scenes).  And in between all of that and the planning more drama, petty family crap, that I frankly don’t want to deal with. I cut out the drama in my life a long time ago and have since kept it to a minimum. At a time in my life that is supposed to be so happy, I don’t want to remember so-and-so didn’t come because they had hurt feelings.

And if I give into the pressures, I know I will still end up loving my wedding and having a great time, only because I’ll have B by my side… but I can’t help but cringe in fear every time someone mentions my bridal shower, or bachelorette party or the rehearsal dinner and just think to myself – umm I don’t want one!

I know, poor me. But seriously guys, I need some help, especially before I get started!! Any advice? Tips? Experiences from when you planned your wedding? How did you overcome some of the stereotype traditions, or not?  Is it worth it?

Many love and thanks in advance!