Mariel's Bridal Shower

Celebrating the Future Mrs. Swan

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We showered the Future Mrs. Swan with lots of love last weekend. I would have never moved here without Mariel so this was a true celebration of so many things!

Sometimes God sends people into your life to elevate you and Mariel is that person for me. She is my God-given sister. 

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Our lives changed FOREVER when we became best friends and roommates. We knew we would conquer the world together. And amongst that, God sent us our husbands. We met the boys July 11, 2015. It will be 3 years in a month and I just sit at awe at what all God has done.

Venue:

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Mariel's shower was at Childress Vineyards.

Food:

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I immediately knew we had to have pancakes. Pancakes are Mariel's absolute favorite food in the world. So we went with a brunch menu. We served mini pancakes, fruit, and bacon on a pretty little stick. We also had a biscuit bar and a bagel bar to complete the brunch menu.

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Dessert Table:

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This one had to be a show stopper. There was a 3 tier cake in the center with cake pops, swan cookies, and other desserts around it.

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The Cake was everything. We added fresh flowers to give it a little something extra and a glittery "Future Mrs. Swan" cake topper on top. We elevated the cake with a tall cake stand.

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There were also mini donuts, heart shaped rice krispy treats, and mini cupcakes. All of these are Mariel's favorite sweets.

Drinks:

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When the guest arrived they were handed a glass of champagne with cotton candy sprinkled in the champagne. I don't think anyone loves cotton candy as much as she does so this was a must.

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We also had a mimosas bar, lemonade, and a water station with fruit infused water.

Party Favors:

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Party favors were wine and bath bombs so that her guest could have a relaxing night.

Love is in the details

Welcome Sign:

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When you first walked up to the vineyard, there was a gold plated mirror that said Welcome to Mariel's Bridal Shower. I had a girly one inside when the guest were greeted.

Fresh Flowers:

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Flowers can really make a venue come to life. The vineyard supplies farm wood tables so I ordered a lot of greenery and placed it down the center. I added white hydrangeas along the greenery to set it off. It was gorgeous!

Flowers can be EXPENSIVE! But bargain shopping is my speciality. I got a quote from a florist and they quoted me $10,000. (LOL). My mom told me that you could order flowers in bulk from Costco and Sam's Club! BEST IDEA EVER! I highly suggest this for Engagement parties, Bridal showers, and weddings. You get so much bang for your buck. Tiffany and I set out all the flowers ourselves and it only took a few hours.

Dramatic Backdrop: 

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One of the most important parts of a Bridal Shower is the backdrop for the bride to open her gifts. This will be photographed the most during the shower and once she's done opening gifts you can use it as a photo backdrop. I used this to make it extra special:

1. A grand chair for the Bride to sit in

2. Balloons around the frame of the backdrop

3. A board with "Future Mrs. Swan" on the front

Gold Balloons:

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Balloons are something that I'm really obsessed with. We used the gold letter balloons for The Bff Blog campaign and those are some of our favorite photos. This is a really cool and cheaper way to decorate a big space. I bought all the balloons off of Amazon.com. The biggest I could find were 42" balloons and they turned out perfect.

Chairs:

I rented gold chairs to make the room pop. The chairs were everything! It brought everything together.

Draping/Up Lighting:

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I had the sides of the room draped and up lighting added in the room to brighten it up. This is necessary for darker rooms.

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The countdown for The Swan's begins!!!!

XO

Whit

AD's 28th Birthday Party

Tips and Tricks on Party Planning

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Before I was married to Austin, I was an Executive Assistant and a big part of my job was entertaining and party planning. I've always loved throwing parties and especially Austin's birthday. He does so much for everyone else so it's nice to do something for him. 

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A few years ago, the CEO of DOW Chemical gave us some advice that I'll never forget. He told us to never let a birthday go unnoticed. He said always do it big for both of our birthdays. He gave us several other life tips but this really stuck with me. I think of adults and how they do so much for everyone else especially with kids so we made a promise to each other that we'll always celebrate no matter what.

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Party Planning Check List:

1. Venue: Book where you're going to have the party

2. Theme: Pick a theme. Pinterest is a great place for ideas

3. Food: Figure out food that goes with the theme

4. Cake: Find a good bakery and put your order in early

5. Party Decorations: I like a 'one stop shop' so Party City is always my go to

6. Invites: Make sure you get the word out two week prior - I always have AD's friends pass it around the race shop 

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TIPS:

1. Balloons make any event look over the top. Party City has so many choices just make sure you get double of everything. Two is better than one

2. It's better to get too many decorations than too little. More is better in party planning

3. A two-tier cake makes for a great center piece

4. Go easy on the food - stick with something you can order in

5. Don't forget the candles!

6. Don't forget the cake in the fridge

7. Have someone take photos for you. It makes things easier on you

8. The same thing goes for videos. Always get it on video!

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Austin's party was Luau themed. We did it at our pool and I rented a blow up slide. I did this two years ago and the slide was a huge hit. The slide is as tall as the barn. LOL. I kept it simple with food and just had pizza, chips, and cookies. I usually forget something every year and this year I forgot the cake. UGH! It was such a cute cake too. We were having such a good time I just completely forgot it in the fridge. 

We always like to dress the part so I bought Hawaiian leis for everyone to wear. Austin had a special leis since he was the birthday boy. And of course me and Mariel took it to a whole another level.

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The best thing about birthdays is that it brings everyone together. We all have busy schedules and our own lives but when you celebrate someone who has lived another year on this earth, it's just special. Thank you to all our friends and family who came to celebrate AD! We love Y'all.

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Cheers,

Whit + Mariel 

Brows: Microblading

Microblading Tips

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Microblading is one of the best beauty tips I can give anyone who needs help with their brows. Coming from someone who used to have horrible brows, I've done my research. Here's everything  I can tell you about Microblading.

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TIPS:

1. Do your research and make sure you see pictures BEFORE you trust them with your face

2. Double check their price before you make an appointment. Some people will charge more if you don't ask before you book the appointment

3. MAKE SURE THEY USE NUMBING CREAM - if they don't offer it, get up and leave because it is necessary for you to be numb during this process

4. Don't overpay for poor service - Research, research, research!!!

5. Follow all of the directions for your after care. This is the most important part

6. Every professional has a different style of microblading. Make sure you love ALL of their brows that they display on their social media.

5. Find a professional who draws consistent, symmetrical, and clean brows

Down time?

Day 1: You will love them. Coloring will be dark but understand that will fade

Day 2: They will look extra dark

Day 5-10: Your brows may/may not peel a little bit

Day 10: Brows may look lighter. Depending if you peeled or not

Day 10-14: Brows will be perfection

 

Kess' Sleeping Beauty

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Holly at Kess' Sleeping Beauty

I researched for months and months for the perfect microblading professional in the Charlotte area. HANDS DOWN, the best person I found was Holly from Kess' Sleeping Beauty. She is absolutely phenomenal. She has the BEST service I've ever received and draws the prettiest brow stroke.

The prices are even better. She charges $450 for microblading and most charge around $600. This last up to one year. She also does permanent makeup. I didn't try any of that but I can tell you that you will be thrilled with her brow service.

If you are around the Charlotte area, check out her work on instagram. She has people who travel all over to see her. Tell her Whitney sent you if you go!

Cheers,

Whit + Mariel

Instagram: @Kess_Sleeping_Beauty

Website: www.kesssleepingbeauty.com 

 

Sleeping Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks


1. Essential Oils - Major key! Lavender will put you to sleep within 30 minutes. The oils relax the body and soothes the soul.


2. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps and caffeine, especially in the afternoon - Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.


3. Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends - This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night. 

4. Evaluate your room - Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool –  between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.


5. Exercise daily - Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.


6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and  pillows - Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of  allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up.

Cheers,

Whit + Mariel 

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Wedding Dress Shopping in NYC

Mariel said YES to the dress

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In the blink of an eye I felt like I was engaged and here Whit and I were again, in New York, searching for the perfect dress. I must say God continues to amaze me more and more with this entire wedding planning process.

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Everything about our trip to New York was amazing. I had my mom (Victoria Lane), my future mom (Maribeth De' Braal), and of course my bff (Whitney Dillon) right by my side to find the dress I will wear on one of the biggest days of my life.

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After going through the process once before with my bff, Whit and I felt like we were NY pros, on finding the perfect dress. I used all the tips Whit suggested and we learned even more going the second time around.

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Wedding Tips      

1. Have a game plan! Make sure you schedule appointments with your favorite stores, boutiques and designers. Know their policies and what time they a lot appointments.

2. Research before hand your favorite types of dresses so you have an idea before you start trying on. There’s so many different types of dresses so it can be overwhelming if you haven’t done any research on the type of dress you like. 

3. Take in every moment of the experience. Bond with the people around you and focus on all the love surrounding you. Don’t stress yourself out over the things you can’t control. 

6. Whitney couldn't have stressed this more.. Don't Tell! Once you've found your dream gown, delete the evidence off your phone. Don't give any details so everyone can be surprised. The dress is a statement and you can't make one if everyone knows. The style, material, brand, and price is 100% confidential. 

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The best part of searching for my wedding gown was the process of sharing it with the people closest to me, and seeing the looks on their faces. It gave me, my mom, my future mom, and maid of honor a chance to bond on a deeper level.

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I know for a fact after this weekend we are all closer. Its important that you, your maid of honor,  mom and mother in law create a bond because you will all work very closely together in helping you prepare for your big day. After this weekend I felt an overwhelming feeling of blessed to have so much love around me.

Good luck to all my brides searching for the perfect gown!

Cheers,

The Future Mrs. Swan

Daytona 500 Champions

Daytona 500 was Faith in the Flesh

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It was Jesus! I know this sounds crazy but the Lord spoke to us before the race and told us AD was going to win. The Lord works in perfect timing. It may be hard to understand His plan before but you must trust that He is in complete control going before us turning our no's into yes's, opening our shut doors, and paving ways out of no ways.

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Austin winning the Daytona 500 was so much bigger than him, than us, than Nascar, it was about God.

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The 3 team are the Daytona 500 CHAMPIONS. We made history. We saw history being made right before our very own eyes. 

 Austin Dillon with Dale Earnhardt / Daytona 500 / 1998 

Austin Dillon with Dale Earnhardt / Daytona 500 / 1998 

So let this sink in. 20 years ago, my husband, Austin Dillon, was in victory lane with Dale Earnhardt. This year was the 60th anniversary of the Daytona 500. It was an extremely special year to win and especially with the 3 car. The history behind Austin, Richard Childress, Dale and the 3 car is so special. This win was like a story book ending.

 Austin Dillon in Victory Lane / Daytona 500 / 2018

Austin Dillon in Victory Lane / Daytona 500 / 2018

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Bubba Wallace finished P2, right behind AD. He’s the first African-American to finish that high in the Daytona 500. On top of that, Derrell Edwards, was the first African-American over-the-wall pit crew member to win the Daytona 500 last weekend. History was made in so many different ways. Thank you Jesus!!!!!

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 3 team crew / 3team1dream

3 team crew / 3team1dream

We all knew this year was going to be special. 2018 is the year of greatness. 2018 is the year of increase. 2018 is the year of the woman!

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 Our family / Whitney, Austin, and Gucci Girl Dillon 

Our family / Whitney, Austin, and Gucci Girl Dillon 

Austin and I recently were married on December 9th, 2017. I’ve been praying for the number 3 team since I started dating Austin a little over 2 years ago. I knew amazing, unreal, incredible things were coming our way the moment we said I do. There is so much power and value in knowing that God brought us together for a bigger purpose and for a bigger reason. We’re here for more than just winning races. We were joint together by God to change the world with love. I also believe that the entire 3 team was brought together for a bigger purpose.  

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 Austin Dillon / Crew Chief, Justin Alexander

Austin Dillon / Crew Chief, Justin Alexander

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Listen, this is the year of saints! Mariel’s mama told us this was the year of Greatness and if we walked by Faith and not by sight, the unbelievable would happen. Many people don’t know that before Austin and I got married my biggest request was for him to be baptized. 

Pastor Ray (our Pastor who married us) baptized Austin, his dad Mike, and mom Mrs. Tina all before the wedding. It was such an emotional and powerful night at the barn. You can't tell me God does not reward His servants.

What’s even crazier about this win is that we were able to experience this as a family! Both Mariel and I’s biggest dream was for Paul to be on the number 3 team, and Paul made the number three team this year! We were able to all experience this victory together. Unbelievable.

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 Rick Ward, Shawnee Ward, Austin Dillon, Whitney Dillon / 2018 / Pre Race Daytona 500

Rick Ward, Shawnee Ward, Austin Dillon, Whitney Dillon / 2018 / Pre Race Daytona 500

The day of the race

Before driver intros, we had a group of people praying over Austin in our bus. After the prayer, it was just AD and I in the bus and I told him that he was going to win on the last lap. I told him that it wasn't going to be pretty but remember Faith over Fear. My last words were walk by Faith, not by sight.

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Our first thought when he won?

JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! God demonstrated Faith to so many people that night. It was all about what FAITH can do. “Walk by Faith not by sight” is written on my vision board along with winning the Daytona 500. Both of these happened that night and so many witnessed it.

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 Austin and Jackie (AD's PR)

Austin and Jackie (AD's PR)

Champions Media Week

The next day, we had a Champions breakfast where they presented the Daytona 500 Champions jackets. It was so cool to have the entire 3 team there for media. I love watching this team interact with each other. It's a brotherhood and these guys are all like family.

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Every team member signed the winning car (including me) which will stay in the museum for one full year.

Austin and I flew to NYC all week for more media. We are officially exhausted but the really good kind of exhausted. Here is a picture of AD on Live with Kelly and Ryan! So cool.

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What a week! I will never forget this moment or this feeling. I want to end with this... Walk by Faith, not by Sight! Be good to people and always do the right thing.

XO

Whit + Mariel

Just sit back and ride

Just sit back and ride

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Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Just sit back and ride... This is what my daddy would tell me growing up whenever I would ask, “Are we there yet?” “Where are we going?” “Will so and so be there?" It would never fail, my dad would say, “baby girl, just sit back and ride.” That’s one of the best lessons my daddy taught me, and didn’t even realize it. 

God is constantly trying to tell us the same thing. When we give our lives to God, that means trusting him to be the drivers in our lives. We must know and trust that he won’t take us anywhere that wasn’t in our overall best interest. God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Whit and I moved to North Carolina December 3rd, 2015. That is going on 3 years ago, we knew God was leading us there. Of course once we finally arrived we had our doubts and wanted to know all the details right then and there on why God lead us to North Carolina. We had the support of our families but we also had a lot of 'nah sayers' that thought it was the worst idea ever. But it was Gods Plan, not ours or anyone else’s.

Who would have thought three years ago our lives would unfold the way it did. Whit is married to the man of her dreams and I’m engaged to man of mine. We are next door neighbors and are all apart of Nascar. My fiancé is on Austin's team this year and I couldn’t have created a better scenario for our lives. We serve and intentional God y’all! 

Everything he does aligns with his promise. 

When God is driving, allow him. And always remember.. just sit back and ride.

XO

Whit + Mariel 

Miss North Carolina United States

Official Judges 

Thank you Johnathan Kayne for styling us this weekend. We are two of the official judges for the Miss North Carolina and Miss South Carolina United States pageant. Good luck to all the beautiful ladies competing for the title! We can't wait to meet you bright and early in the morning. Check out our instagram story for behind the scenes. XO!

Cheers,

Whit + Mariel 

My Best Friend's Wedding

The wedding first hand

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December 9, 2017 was one of the most amazing moments in my life. It was insane to see my best friends, Whitney, and AD, become one.

Weddings are so much bigger than many of us realize. It’s an oath you take before God. It’s a chance for us humans to get a glimpse of the love God has for us, through the love we are supposed to have for our spouses, which is unconditional.

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Unconditional love is the love that God has for us no matter what. His love remains patient, and kind. It does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.

Love Never Fails. (1 Corinthians 3:4-8)

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Being Whit Whit’s Maid of Honor was so much more than just standing next to her in a sparkly dress. I could see my best friend enter a different chapter in her life. To witness how far she’s come spiritually, and to see her dreams unfold into reality was one of the proudest moments of my life.

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Aside from this wedding being one of the most beautiful events I had ever attended, you could FEEL THE LOVE all around you. The room was filled with love everywhere you turned, and with people who were truly excited for the union of her and AD.

Austin and Whit are a true testament that real love does exist. Real love is worth waiting for. It may seem difficult during the time, but when you wait on who God has in store for you, it is incredible. It leaves you speechless.

Marriage is a God union, which means only God can orchestrate a successful marriage, where you experience the abundance that He has to offer you in your life. Something I thought that was so beautiful, was before Whit and AD got married, her biggest request was for him to get baptized. He did a couple of days before the wedding and it was such a beautiful and emotional moment. Their relationship is so much bigger than what is seen on pictures and on social media, it is a God union.

I asked Whit when she came back from her honeymoon, “Did she feel different?” Her response was, “Absolutely.” She felt in her soul that she was a brand-new person, and that a new person was born, Whitney Dillon. How awesome is that! And I got to witness it, right by her side. I am forever grateful. Congratulations Austin and Whitney Dillon! I love you two more than you will ever know.

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XoXo – Mariel , love you bunches!

Austin and Whitney Dillon's Wedding: Part 2

Wedding Fashion

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One of the best parts of a wedding is choosing all the dresses and suits. My passion is fashion so our favorite part was picking out everyones wardrobe. From the bridesmaids and flower girls to the ring bearer and pastor, I wanted everyone to shine.

Bridesmaids Dresses

My bridesmaids were glowing at my wedding. It made me so happy to see each of them standing by my side on our special day. The girls wore champagne gowns by Mac Duggal with rose gold heels by Steve Madden.

 Dresses by Mac Duggal

Dresses by Mac Duggal

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Flower Girls

Can we take a moment for the flower girls? Kinsley, Tay Tay, Chapel, and Ellison were the hit of the wedding. I really wanted the older girls to look like mini brides. Chapel was too little for a mermaid style dress so we ordered her a poofy princess dress from ETSY. 

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We had their dresses custom made to look like my wedding gown and I can't get over how adorable they were. They completely stole the show. 

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I love Kinsley, Tay Tay, Chapel, and Ellison so much. Each of these girls are so incredibly special to me and I can't wait to watch them grow up and turn into amazing women. 

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The Dress

I've been so excited to show you guys my wedding gown. It's a Pnina Tornai Couture gown from Kleinfeld Bridal. I actually went to Kleinfeld's for this exact dress. 

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The moment I put it on my body I knew this was the one. I felt like this dress was made for me. I chose a cathedral veil with bling draping the entire bottom. I loved the skinny straps with bling, the corset detailing, and the girly bow. It was sexy but I still felt like a princess.

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I love seeing this moment in photos. I was so excited to see Austin I couldn't take it. He had no clue what kind of dress I was wearing and there were so many emotions going on... the first look was so much fun. 

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The 'first looks' are so much fun. My girls went crazy and Austin fell to the floor. LOL. We're all very dramatic.

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Austin and the groomsmen wore suits from Stitched. When you opened Austin's suit, it had all of our engagement photos on the inside.

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Best time of my LIFE!

Part two coming next.

Love,

Mrs. Dillon 

 

Austin and Whitney Dillon's Wedding: The Details

Details, Details, Details....

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Theme

We chose Childress Vineyards as our venue. It is one of the prettiest venues in North Carolina. The theme of our wedding was rustic glam. My colors were rose gold, gold, and a hint of blush. Everything I chose was very classic - white flowers, gold bridesmaid dresses, and a white wedding cake. I didn't want to look back in 10 years and say, "what was I thinking?"

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Tables and Chairs

We had all sorts of tables. Farmhouse tables, round tables, and cocktail tables. Each of them had different table cloths to create dimension. I'm in love with our gold chiavari chairs. I really think they brought everything together.

The warmth of the room was unreal. A lot of times white tents look 'cold' but our team did an amazing job to keep it warm. Quick tip for brides choosing white tents - We didn't chose 'crisp white' for our tent. We went with ivory for the ceiling and blush for the sides. 

 Childress Vineyards / Lexington, North Carolina 

Childress Vineyards / Lexington, North Carolina 

Venue

God smiled on December 9, 2017. He blessed that day with every desire of mine and Austin's heart. Literally, everything we wanted came to pass.

It doesn't snow much in North Carolina and I can't believe we had a winter wonderland for our big day! Austin originally wanted to get married in Montana for the snow so I was thrilled when he got the one thing he wanted most for our magical day.

 Reggie's Flowers / Lexington, North Carolina

Reggie's Flowers / Lexington, North Carolina

Flowers

My bridesmaids bouquets were classic, elegant, and glamorous. I chose different variations of white flowers. Reggie's Flowers in Lexington, North Carolina came through with the flowers. They did such an amazing job.

The flowers were one of my favorite things of my wedding. Some people skip on the flowers for the price but they made the venue come to life. I suggest skipping on other areas.

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Also, I met with Reggie's Flowers for 15 minutes. I told him what I wanted and he brought it to life.  The biggest advice I could give any bride is let the experts do their job!!! They do this for a living, not us. I showed him some pictures and said make it glamorous. 

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Some tables had tall center pieces, others had small vases. The groomsmen and bridesmaids table had a massive row of greenery down the center with white flowers. 

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Now, let's talk about my bouquet.....

The Bouquet

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I'm so obsessed with my bouquet holder. I found this company on instagram and fell in love with her work. There are certain things that are next level and this is one of them. It put that extra touch on the bouquet. 

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I love anything extra so obviously I wanted the biggest bouquet Reggie could possibly make. It weighed 15 pounds. YES, I said 15 pounds. Shout out to my maid of honor for having to hold it the entire ceremony. You the real MVP!

I could sit and stare at these photos for hours and hours. Thank you Reggie's Flowers and his staff for making all my dreams come true. You killed it! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

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 Maxie B's / Greensboro, North Carolina

Maxie B's / Greensboro, North Carolina

The Cake

Maxie B's made our beautiful wedding cake. We had a lot of different flavors but our main flavor was Fun Fetti. The other flavors were strawberry, chocolate, lemonade, pumpkin spice, and oreo.  I wanted it all white, as tall as they could make it, with flowers hanging off of it. Reggie's did the flower and added a touch of bling. Again, the details are unreal. 

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Chandeliers

For my chandeliers, I chose to have an assortment of different sizes. I had the largest size over the dance floor and smaller ones around the parameter. 

We added drop lighting to certain things we wanted to highlight in the room. You can see where there is a spot light on the cake. 

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Flower Wall

I wanted to highlight our flower wall. This has been a trend thats been going on for several years. When Kim and Kanye did it I was obsessed and knew I wanted one for our wedding. I wanted to mix it up and do something a little different than the usual flower wall. We added greenery with massive flowers, white roses, peonies, and smaller white flowers. Again, it gives dimension. This was our backdrop for photo ops.

Red Carpet

We also had a red carpet with a backdrop that had our logo. Austin had this idea to incorporate a red carpet. We have so much fun in Vegas for the awards banquet and wanted to bring it to our wedding. We never had the chance to get a picture by it but it was a really cool touch.

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Bar Signs

My wedding planner, Ashley Hartman, made our bar signs. She is so talented and I couldn't have done any of this without her. 

A huge hit of our wedding was Jimmy the bartender. He is the best mixologist I've ever seen and made the freshest, most delicious drinks ever imaginable. 

I think it's a cute touch when you name your own drinks. For the ladies, the 'Feeling Whitney' was the biggest hit of the night.

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The Ceremony

Childress Vineyards has a pavilion so we used it for our ceremony. We draped the entire pavilion with ivory and the front had blush draping. We had tons of chandeliers and gold chiavari chairs.  

It felt so Heavenly. I truly felt like a princess getting married. It was just so magical and beautiful. The drapes almost looked like beautiful clouds hanging over us. It was perfect.

The flower petals, vases, and candles were also done by the winery! Their little touches made everything so complete.

Videography

Heartstone Films did an amazing job with our video. We don't have the full version but here is a sneak peak - CLICK HERE

Photography

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Kristin Byrum and her hubby Aaron did an amazing job on our photos. They also did our engagement pictures. We loved them from the start and they made us feel so comfortable. They are some of the best photographers around and we highly recommend them.

Stay tuned for more to come this week.

Cheers,

Mrs. Whitney Dillon

Rehearsal Dinner

December 8, 2017

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Our wedding weekend was so amazing and magical I can't even put into words how perfect everything turned out. I love all of the photos and can't wait to finally show you guys!

Since the rehearsal dinner's all about the groom, we did the theme cowboy rustic. It was so romantic and beautiful. The winery does an amazing job on every little detail. 

I want to thank Mike and Tina for making this night so perfect!

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 Bridesmaids: Lindsey, Lacey, Mariel, Nakisha, Kristen, Kirbee

Bridesmaids: Lindsey, Lacey, Mariel, Nakisha, Kristen, Kirbee

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My favorite part of the night was listening to the speeches. I must say, my girls knocked it out of the park. Mariel, Lindsey, Kristen, and Nakeisha made me cry like a little baby. The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships... and I'm blessed beyond measure to have these girls in my life.

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I have to give the biggest thank you to Mrs. Tina. This is the only picture we have together just us from the rehearsal. She's the most amazing mother-in-law I could have ever asked for. When I was single, I prayed so hard that when I met the man of my dreams, I would love his mom just as much as I do him. When AD came along and I met Tina I knew he was the one. He was God sent and so was she. Mrs. Tina put her heart and soul into this wedding and I can't thank you enough for all of your hard work. I love you to the moon and back!

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Clearly, we had the time of our lives. Thank you to all of my family who drove through a snow storm to get to us. I love you all from the bottom of my heart!

Cheers,

Mrs. Dillon!

Chemical FREE Products: Spero-Hope

Chemical FREE All-Natural Products

Products by Spero-Hope

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BE SMART CONSUMERS. Know what you are purchasing and putting on your body. Your skin is your largest organ. Once you put on any product, your skin absorbs it within 20 seconds so everything is in your bloodstream. There are so many cancerous causing chemicals in our lotions, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, etc.

They say women use up to 17 products on their bodies every single morning. They may be packaged pretty but don't let them fool you. Please Please Please don't pollute your body.

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I found this amazing company called Spero-Hope. The owner, Jamie, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 years old with two young boys. She is now cancer-free and has devoted her time and energy to a chemical free life. She's doing all she can to help others become aware of harmful chemicals so please check out her amazing business.

My favorite products are listed below:

1. Body Butter: Lavender Vanilla

2. Deodorant: Chamomile & Sage

3. Bath Bombs: ALL are amazing

CLICK HERE for Spero-Hope LLC

These products are soooooo worth the purchase. We have to spread the word to as many people as possible. Christmas is right around the corner so give a gift everyone will love and appreciate. You could save a life!

XO

Whit + Mariel 

NASCAR Red Carpet

NASCAR Awards Banquet

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What an EPIC weekend! Vegas will never be the same. This was our second year walking the NASCAR red carpet and we had a blast. 

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Life is so much more fun with your bestie by your side. It's even better when you have so much love and support around you.

Here's a recap of Champions Week in Vegas + all the details.

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I had so much fun designing my dress with Johnathan Kayne. I knew exactly what I wanted and he made it into a reality. I love working with JK and appreciate him so much for going out of his way to make me custom pieces.

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I wanted my look show my personality - fun and crazy with lots of bling. I also wanted a really messy high ponytail. We went really short with long sleeves so my legs were the main focus. Again, so much love goes to Johnathan Kayne for slaying this design.

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My heels and clutch were made with broken glass to really bring the bling and to set off the whole look.

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Mariel killed the carpet with a custom Jovani gown. We always want to look the same but different so 'bling' was the theme for the night.

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For the after party, Mariel changed into a fun sparkly party dress. Again, the same but different. We had the best time! Here are all the pictures and make sure you check out our instagram for the full video of the proposal.

Whitney: @WhitneyWard

Mariel: @MissMarielLane
 

Cheers,

Whit + Mariel

Paul and Mariel's Engagement

Meet the Future Swan's

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What an EPIC night in Las Vegas! This was by far one of the best proposals I've ever witnessed in my entire life. Paul surprised Mariel in Vegas after the NASCAR awards banquet. He also surprised her with their parents! 

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There were so many people who made this possible but I want to give a huge thanks Cari Cellini. She took Paul's idea and made it into a reality. 

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There was soon much love in the room it literally gave you chills. Thank you Jesus for bringing two incredible people together. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS WEDDING!!!!

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MY BEST FRIENDS GETTING MARRIED Y'ALL!

CONGRATS to the happy couple, The future Mr. and Mrs. Paul Swan!

XO

Whit + Mariel

Fun Fall Fashions

All in the Accessories

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Fall fashion hasn't changed much from last year to this year. We took pieces we had in our closet and paired them with fun accessories. This year is all about the furs, barrettes, and thigh highs.

Here's some ideas to pair different outfits. Hope you love them!

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Whit's Outfit Details:

Express: black sweater dress

Stuart Weitzman: Thigh Highs

TJ MAXX: Furry black purse

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Mariel's Outfit Details:

Forever 21: barrettes 

H&M: black thigh highs

TJ MAXX: black fur cross body 

Forever21: Skirt and turtle neck

XO
 

Whit + Mariel

Fall Recipes: Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

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Yes, this is a thing! This Lasagna Soup is AH-mazing. The flavors are perfection and I can't wait for you to try this one. DELICIOUS and easy!

Ingredients:

∙ Serves 8

Meat

  • 1 1/2 lb Italian sausage

Produce

  • 1/2 cup Basil, fresh leaves

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • 4 Garlic cloves

  • 3 cup Onions

  • 2 tsp Oregano, dried

  • 1 28-oz. can Tomatoes, fire roasted

Canned Goods

  • 6 cup Chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste

Pasta & Grains

  • 8 oz Mafalda or fusilli pasta

Baking & Spices

  • 1 pinch Pepper, freshly ground

  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 tsp Salt

  • 1 Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Oils & Vinegars

  • 2 tsp Olive oil

Dairy

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 8 oz Ricotta

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add meat, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Enjoy!

XO

Whit + Mariel 

Engagement Photos

The Future Mr. and Mrs. Austin Dillon

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I think it really hits you when you get your engagement photos back... WE'RE GETTING MARRIED! We had so much fun shooting our engagement photos at Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. I've always been a huge fan of 'The Notebook' so I wanted to shoot at one of the plantations. Here are a few of my favorite photos...

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Charleston is incredibly romantic. I have to give AD props for shooting the day after his Darlington race which he placed 4th! YAYUH. He's not big into photos but he was a champ. 

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Sometimes you have to get creative with outfits. I envisioned a romantic, bohemian style, white lace gown. I couldn't find what I was looking for so I made my own. This was a short white dress with long sleeves. I found it on clearance for $30 so I bought three of them and sewed it into a long gown. It ended up being around $90.00. Score!!

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I wanted the theme to be bohemian. I'm in love with the look of boho brides. Effortless, timeless, and dreamy.

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I have to give a big shout out to our incredible wedding photographers, Kristin and Aaron with Kristin Byrum Photography. I searched through tons of NC wedding photographers and their photos stuck out the most. They make you feel so comfortable right off the bat and they love Jesus. 

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I can't wait to marry this man! I love you. I love you. I love you. 

XO

The Future Mrs. Whitney Ward Dillon

Bridal Shower

Whit's All White Bridal Shower

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I can't believe I'm about to be MRS. WHITNEY DILLON! Ahhhhhh, you guys I'm so excited. Less than 4 months away!

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My beautiful bridal shower was just how I like it, over the top and intimate. It was hosted at Childress Vineyards because it's the prettiest Winery you'll ever visit. I have three people I can't thank enough for putting all of this together - My Maid of Honor, Mariel Lane, wedding planner, Ashley Hartman, and Future Mother in Law, Mrs. Tina! These three put together the most BEAUTIFUL bridal shower I've ever seen and I am so grateful and blessed to have such amazing people in my life. 

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Love is in the details and these girls made me feel oh so loved. Every single detail was so thought out and screamed "whitney." Thank you for making me feel extra special on my fun day. 

I'm also so thankful for my family who drove up from Tennessee, as well as my North Carolina friends and family. Thank you for showing me so much love and support. I truly appreciate each and every one of you more than you know. 

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We had everyone wear white to get into the wedding spirit and that was one of my favorite parts. I loved the romantic feel to the party with a little rustic and a lot of glam. As you entered, you were served a glass of champagne and seated in the main room. Mariel had Beyonce playing as we ate dinner. 

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There were fresh flowers everywhere. We had a flower crown bar where you could make your own crown to take home. I think the biggest hit of the night was the desert table. The table was full of candy, mini cupcakes, mini donuts, large pink donuts, and cake. It was all so delicious and beautiful. 

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How perfect was the pink chair with the chandelier? The chalkboard backdrop with "future Mrs. Dillon" was beyond perfect. They had another photo backdrop when you walked in that said "Kiss the Miss goodbye." I keep staring at all of the photos and I can't believe how perfect everything turned out.

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I can't thank everyone enough for coming to celebrate. I CAN'T WAIT to celebrate my big day!!!!!! This shower was the kick off for everything to come. WOO!

XO

Whit + Mariel