Category: Wedding

What I’ve Learned In 4 Years of Marriage

Kyle & Destiny Johnson

I’m really excited to share what I’ve learned in 4 years of marriage, not because I think I know all the answers but because marriage is so interesting. Your marriage can reveal your biggest life lessons and develop your longest lasting relationship. In 4 years I have learned so much from friends, family, books, blogs, and most importantly my husband. I am a rookie at marriage; we are still in the very early stages and we haven’t even moved into the kids stage but, I wanted to tell you a few marriage tips I believe to be pure gold…

Fight With Resolution in Mind

In marriage, disagreements will arise. The question is not if you will fight, but when. Arguments can stem from important life choices or they can develop from dirty dishes in the sink. Regardless of the problem, remind yourself that the goal is to resolve the confrontation you are having with your spouse. Many times people argue with their goal being to prove they are right or even more so that their significant other is wrong. Usually this leaves both parties feeling frustrated and hurt. Change the way you think, instead come at the problem with your mind set to end the argument with a resolution. Is “being right” worth getting divorced? Remember you are in this for the long haul.

Go to Bed Angry

Now this may not work for everyone, but I highly recommend it. I have found that in the heat of an argument, emotions and exhaustion can escalate an argument quickly. I urge you to sleep on it. If the situation is not life or death, drop it, go to bed and evaluate your position in the morning. Some people say they just can’t sleep when they are angry but take some deep breaths and learn to LET IT GO. Go to bed angry, wake up and see if you still feel as vehement as you did the night prior. If yes, set aside a time to talk it out and think about what you could apologize for first. Did you say hurtful words you didn’t mean? Did you overreact? First think about your responsibility in the issue before pointing fingers.

Assume the Best Intentions

This one is tricky so let me explain. Some personality types take everything personally. For example, stinky socks on the ground are not just laundry left on the floor because your spouse is lazy/busy, but instead a personal insult to you as a person. Again, this one takes a mindset change. When your spouse does something that is hurtful, annoying, careless or rude DO NOT assume they did that action on purpose to stab you in the heart. Assume the very best case scenario and if you can’t find one ask kindly what their intentions were. Think instead, “I know my spouse loves me and doesn’t do things to purposely hurt me, he/she must have been too busy or just has bad habits”. 

Think of Everything as 100% Your Responsibility

It is so easy to think if marriage as 50/50. We naturally want “fairness” in our relationship or evenly split responsibilities. This idea of half and half just isn’t realistic. Someone is always going to make more money, someone is always gonna be a better cook, and someone is bound to be the tidy person in the relationship. Many times we get angry with our spouse saying, ” The _____ is your responsibility and you have not done it!”. Then we huff and puff, doing the deed that went undone and begrudge our spouse for it. We may not say it, but we sure do think it, harbor it, and remember it for life. Always assume all the household chores are 100% your responsibility. This works best when both partners have this mindset of course. If you feel your spouse is not chipping in as they should, repeat after me, “Hey honey, I really appreciate it when you do __________, thank you for working so hard”. In the blank, insert anything they already do well that you can praise them for, that you really do appreciate.

Read it, memorize it, and say it until you are blue in the face. After a solid month of not asking for help AT ALL ( no nagging, no hints; just shut up and do the task you want done yourself) you move on to phrase two, “Hey honey, I really appreciate it when you do ____, thank you for all you do for me. Do you think you would be able to help me ____ when you have time?”. Plan this conversation at the best possible time, when they are the least tired, well fed, awake, and preferably in a good mood. Mix this in with with phrase 1 and be patient. Give them grace and love to help them WANT to help you because ultimately who wants to help someone that is always yelling or nagging?!

For more in depth details on this one, read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

Put In The Work

Any career, sport, or hobby you want to be good at takes work, time and effort. So why do you assume marriage will come naturally with no work at all? Ask yourself, “What can I do to be a better wife/husband?” and “How can I better my communication skills?”. Read the books, do the research, study your spouse, and put in the work! Set out to be the best spouse ever!

Make Time For Your Spouse

Truth about humans, we always make time for the things we enjoy doing. We always have time to watch our favorite show on Netflix, but somehow we are just “way too busy” to eat healthy and workout. We always have time to go on social media, but we are “too busy” to have a date night. Sometimes we forget that we need to set aside time for each other so we can remember why we fell in love. You may be at the point where you don’t enjoy your spouse anymore because you haven’t been putting in the work. If that’s where you are at, this should be a red flag that you are not making time for your spouse. You are setting your team up to fail by not planning quality time together. 

Eliminate Negative Talk

Saying negative things to your spouse or about your spouse is a solid NO GO! Become conscious of how you speak to your husband or wife. Are you putting them down with sly remarks, sarcastic jokes, little comments, or cuss words? Are you talking bad about them to friends and family? If you were a cheerleader for your spouse, how would you be doing? If your positive words were water and your spouse was a tree, would there be any leaves left on it? Check in on your words, become aware of what you say, and eliminate negative spouse talk. 

Those are just a few of my big Ah-Ha moments I’ve had, but I hope you have enjoyed them! Wishing you all the best in your marriage and if you made it to the end of this I’m proud of you, that’s a great start!  

Wedding Announcements & Invites

Please know that I chose these invites before I ever became an affiliate with Wedding Paper Divas, but this post does contain affiliate links. As always, this is my own opinion and I wrote this post because I love this company and the invites are adorable. Thanks for your support.*

Wedding Paper Divas Sale

So you’ve probably read my post 5 Things Not to DIY at Your Wedding and thought to yourself, “Nah I can do it, she is probably exaggerating”. Well, if you are in doubt, you can ask my bridesmaids. They were there the day we spent eight hours washing, printing, cutting, and ironing my 200+ wedding invitations on vintage hankies until we were completely exhausted. After that experience, my Maid of Honor was smart enough to have the bridal shower invites made by the professionals and she was definitely right. She ordered the invites on Wedding Paper Divas and they were absolutely divine!

Wedding Paper Divas

Our Delightful Decor Shower Invites were adorable and saved us so much time and money!  The scalloped edges and the pearl shimmer paper are just something you can’t DIY and even if you could it would be a PAIN. The invitations for our tea party themed shower totally fit the setting and my Maid of Honor was the most wonderful host in the whole world!Destiny's Bridal ShowerDestiny's Brial Shower BridesmaidsDestiny's Bridal Shower Food Display

This shower was one of the most amazing parties I have ever been too. Everyone got dressed up and had pinkies lifted while we sipped all types of gourmet tea! I really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Bridal Shower from my best friend. Aww I just love her so much!

Destiny & Manika

There is something so special about having all of the women in your life together in one room to wish your marriage happiness, love and laughter. We couldn’t resist a goofy photo opportunity in our hats!

Destiny's Bridal Shower Attendees

Anyway, I am super excited because I have a lot of friends who are planning weddings and right now they are having a SALE! You can save 40% off Save the Date orders using the code 0806DEAL or New customers save $50 off orders of $159 or more using the code WPDSAVE50159 at checkout! I wish they had this when I was in the market!

P.S If you need help planning weddings, I am all yours. I LOVE IT! And if you can’t decide which invites to go with, I always vote in favor of the most unique ones.

Weddings From A Guest’s Perspective

Little girls are groomed to plan their wedding day their entire lives. They imagine their special day and focus on how to make that dream come true. Sometimes brides forget that a wedding is only as enjoyable as the experience given to the guests.

This summer we have three weddings on the books, last summer I planned my own wedding, and the year before I was Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding. Needless to say, I LOVE WEDDINGS. After being a bride, bridesmaid and a guest I have a better understanding of how to make weddings enjoyable for everyone including the long lost guests you are paying to have attend your big day!

The guest is often forgotten about when it’s time to budget. Brides think, “Where can I cut $$ and not give up my $200 veil?” Well, from a guests perspective there are 5 things that make or break a wedding.
Hierarchy of Wedding Guest Needs
In order of importance starting from bottom to top (similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) I have created this handy visual to help you understand what matter most to a wedding guest.


Free alcohol makes every wedding guest grin from ear to ear, but it can also mean someone taking it just a little too far. Our wedding was open bar: beer, wine and a champagne toast. Our guests were delighted and we didn’t break the bank, which meant a good time all around. Even if it’s only for an hour, guests love free booze.


Catering is always expensive at weddings, but it doesn’t have to be super fancy for guests to enjoy it. Go for crowd favorites like pasta, salad or even barbecue!


Alcohol + good music= dancing. Guests on the dance floor makes for a fun wedding. I highly recommend getting a great DJ with up-to-date music. Don’t forget it is your job to give him a list of songs you want ahead of time so you don’t end up with the electric slide on repeat all night long.


Rain, sweltering heat and lack of air ventilation does not make your guests want to stick around for 4 hours. They’ve made an effort to be there, bought you an expensive gift and want to enjoy themselves. If your going to have a long ceremony, do it in the comfort of an air conditioned building where guests can relax. If the forecast says rain or snow, make sure you have a back up plan so no one is sopping wet in their formal attire. Having a wedding reception area that is foolproof will relieve so much stress the day of.


The most memorable parts of a wedding are the personalized touches you put into the littlest details. In my opinion, personalized vows, incorporating special family traditions, adding pictures of the couple and including handmade items make a wedding unique. Take the time to add your personality to the wedding and your guests will always remember it.

Every Brides Worst Nightmare

Today, I was chatting with a friend who just got married this past month. We were laughing at all of the little things that went wrong at her wedding and comparing them to my wedding last August. While reminiscing, we were both glad everything eventually worked out for the best but we agreed there were definitely details we wish we could have planned for to have made the day a little less stressful.

No matter how many checklists you have or how OCD you are about the details, things are bound to go wrong on your wedding day. My first memory of wedding mishaps, was as a junior bridesmaid. The priest got into a car accident on the way to the ceremony and the wedding was delayed an hour and a half! It’s like all odds are against you when it’s your turn to wear the veil. Flowers wilt, cakes melt, and bow ties disappear right before the ceremony and there is nothing you can do but let it go and remember the purpose of the day…..the marriage, not the wedding.

Sweetheart Cake

See this beautiful little sweetheart cake? This buttercream baby decided to melt into a puddle of frosting a few hours before my wedding began and that was one of the tiniest details that went wrong that day. My grandmother-in-law was a cake ninja and frosted it from scratch with me, the bride, not even knowing until after the wedding had ended! My husband and I laughed about it the whole way back to our honeymoon suite. Whimsical Bridal Bouquet

See that beautiful bridal bouquet, well the florist and I obviously have different color ideas of lavender and mint. The BRIGHT pink dahlias and royal blue ribbon were a surprise to me completely but don’t worry, I rocked that bouquet and at the end of the day I was Mrs. Destiny Johnson. Everything was perfect, regardless the color of my floral arrangement.

Destiny's Wedding Chapel

The craziest part of my wedding day was changing an all outdoor wedding ceremony and reception to an all indoor wedding ceremony and reception. The most ridiculous part was getting married in a church I had never seen before! Walking down the aisle, was like a dream. I saw my husband-to-be before me and everything else faded away.

I am so thankful for people who worked so hard to make our special day so memorable and now I look back at these little blunders and laugh. God knew all along he wanted me to get married in his house and not the beach! I couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out and we ended up using two venues we would have never been able to afford if it hadn’t been for the unexpected hail in August.

For all the brides-to-be just remember to breathe, sip a mimosa and keep your eyes on the prize. After all, a lifetime marriage is much more beautiful than a wedding for a day.


5 Things Not To DIY At Your Wedding

5 Things Not to DIY At Your Wedding

When a woman becomes engaged it’s like she quickly become addicted to all things DIY and suddenly evolves into a hoarder of burlap, lace and doilies. Thanks to Pinterest we are inspired to have every detail of our weddings hand stitched with love. In our heads we think, “I love glitter and ribbon, I don’t need to buy anything pre-made! I will save so much money if I just DO IT MYSELF!”. Unfortunately ladies, the truth is DIY does not always save you money and it certainly does not save you time, which can be your most valuable asset with a wedding in the works.

After planning my entire wedding last August and doing almost everything on my own or with the help of my crafty team of bridesmaids (DIY ninjas as some may call them), I learned I should have just bought some of the details I envisioned for my perfect day. To save future brides time and money, I am sharing my top 5 things not to DIY at your wedding.

1. Invitations

If I could give a bride one tip on how to not waste your wedding budget, it would be not spending $$$ on DIY invitations.  For my wedding I got this crazy idea to DIY my invitations, but not just simple paper invitations….I wanted them to be written on vintage handkerchiefs. Why you ask? I have no idea, but this was probably the biggest time consuming DIY affair ever. We spent a whole day looking for 200 vintage handkerchiefs (it was a miracle we found them). Once we found them we were so excited but they were about $1.50 each so my bill came out to about $300 just for the old handkerchiefs alone. Even though they were absolutely adorable and completely unique…I wouldn’t recommend spending this much on a detail you send away to all of your guests and never see again. After buying the printing supplies, envelopes, and paper for  RSVP directions I had spent around $450 on invites alone and spent a full day with 5 people helping me.

DIY Cost: $450
Hours Spent: 16 hr

Store Bought: $300
Hours Spent: 2 hr

If I would have bought invites online like I had originally planned to I would have spent around $300 and saved 14 hours of my time and my bridal party’s time. I highly recommend Wedding Paper Divas for gorgeous wedding invites. My maid of honor ended up buying the bridal shower invites there and they were absolutely perfect in every way and so easy!

2. Table Numbers

Moss table numbers

Even though I absolutely adored my handmaid moss table numbers made with all of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding, I do not recommend making your own table numbers. You can find some really inexpensive and just as adorable table numbers online that will save you loads of valuable time, sure they may not be handcut and glued with love by your seven bridesmaids and grandmother, but no one will know and no one will care. These were really difficult to transport without breaking and were really confusing the day of the wedding since we had 15 tables and 21 individual numbers to match up.

DIY Cost: $150
Hours Spent: 20 hr

Store Bought: $20
Hours Spent: 3 hr

If I could do it again I would print out table numbers and buy frames from the dollar store to put them in. Still a little DIY but much more simple and easier to pack and unpack the day of.

3. Floral Bouquets

Whimsical Bridal Bouquet

This is one thing I am proud to say I did not DIY on my wedding day, but I have been in enough weddings to know it is not worth it to DIY your wedding bouquets. The bouquets are such a beautiful part of the ceremony and especially bridal party theme, they can definitely make or break your photos. I have had friends who ordered fresh flowers and made their bouquets the day before or morning of and let me tell you ….it is not worth it. If you are not a florist and do not want to worry about tulips wilting or roses looking brown, spend the money to get your bridal party bouquets professionally done.

DIY Cost: $700
Hours Spent: 8 hr

Store Bought: $500
Hours Spent: 2 hr

I had Whole Foods florist make 7 bouquets , 9 boutonnieres, and 2 corsages for under $500. My only regret is I wish I would have paid to have a test bouquet made way before the wedding so I could have the florist make exactly what I envisioned. Although my bouquets were not what I had in mind they were gorgeous and I only spent 2 hours with the florist. On the day of the wedding, one of my bridesmaids picked them up fresh and ready to go with no effort or stress for me, the bride.

Keep in mind florists can purchase flowers in bulk straight from suppliers at wholesale prices; they also have all of the tools and supplies that are needed to make bouquets beautiful and sturdy.

4. Table Floral Arrangements

purple and mint cupcakes

One day I wash shopping at Trader Joe’s and I saw these adorable purple potted flowers for only $3.99 each! I knew they would be perfect for the centerpieces so I worked with the florist at Trader Joes ( yes they have someone in charge of all of those super cheap and gorgeous flowers) and she helped me order 20 potted Campanulas for my tables to pick up the morning of the wedding. We only needed 15 for the tables but we bought a few extra for the cake table and buffet table since they were so inexpensive!  I cannot express how perfect they were and how cool it was to buy flowers that the guests could take home and plant instead of throwing away at the end of the night. This is the easiest store bought purchase to make at your wedding…potted flowers! No vases, no water spilling, no ribbons to tie, just beautiful live flowers!

DIY Cost: $200 (at the minimum for 15 center pieces)
Hours Spent: 8 hr

Store Bought: $80
Hours Spent: 1 hr


5. Videography

I am so glad I did not decide to skip having a videographer at my wedding. I know a lot of brides have family or friends take amateur ceremony videos or cell phone videos of their wedding reception but when the wedding is all said and done, all you have left are the photos and the video. DON’T DIY YOUR WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY! Quite a bit of my wedding budget went to videography but I do not regret it at all! I watch my video all of the time and it is such a great way to remember your special moment. I found a videographer willing to shoot our whole wedding for under $1,000 and since it was on a weekday he even dropped down the price! If you are getting married in the Reno Tahoe area I highly recommend Mabble Media.

DIY Cost: $0
Hours Spent: 8 hr (gathering b-roll from friends)

Professional Cost: $900
Hours Spent: 0 hr

I hope this is helpful for all those brides to be! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or things to add to the list of what not to DIY at your wedding.

*Please note I am an affiliate with Wedding Paper Divas, but they did not pay me to promote their products.