• By the Groom/Husband
  • Wedding Planning: A Groom’s Perspective

    As far as I’m concerned, there are four levels of involvement:

    1. Interested
    2. Unqualified
    3. Utterly Confused
    4. Bringer of Monetary Sanity

    Interested: Proposal. Outcome: Success. But, good lord… Can you imagine how this guy felt??

    In most cases, I end up either interested or utterly confused. Of course, there are times when I’m simply unqualified for the task at hand. For example, I couldn’t have possibly been qualified to help determine what wedding dress Miss Gator chose because I’ve made a commitment to wait to see her in it on our wedding day. Being completely uninterested, for me, is rare enough to ignore for this list.

    I’m going to try and briefly detail each level of involvement to help you get a better understanding of what you (for any future grooms reading this) or your spouse-to-be should expect to feel during the course of planning your wedding…

    Honestly, I like this one the most. As you can tell, I’m a proactive groom… I mean, heck… I’m blogging on my bride’s wedding blog. From what I’ve heard, most brides can’t even get the groom to help pick out a cake (cake testing is FREE… come on…). But, I digress. Miss Gator and I are both designers by trade and hobby—we like getting involved in making cool things that others can enjoy. Simple as that.

    So, here’s a list of the things I’ve been most interested in during this looonnggg wedding planning escapade:

    The beaches of Maui. Oh and look! Orange & Blue… how appropriate! Source: Hawaiian

    • The technical stuff (our wedding website, this blog, you name it…)
    • Planning the Honeymoon (how could you not be interested in going to Maui?)
    • Music for the Ceremony (love me some strings)
    • Videography (Miss Gator will be doing an article on this once we get it all finalized)

    Of course there have been a few times where I’ve been highly interested and then had to be the bringer of monetary sanity. One shining example is the wedding ceremony chairs. Miss Gator wanted these white wooden chairs for the ceremony—you’ve all seen them, they’re very nice—but, you see, the problem was that we are planning a wedding with 150 guests and an approximately 15-20 minute ceremony.

    White Wooden Chairs

    From what I recall, the rental of these chairs was somewhere in the realm of $350! Can you believe that? I mean, don’t get me wrong, the chairs were nice but there’s just no way to justify that kind of expense for such a short amount of time… It’s not Miss Gator’s fault though; she was blinded by a most- innocent lust for a beautiful wedding—the wedding she deserves.

    Being UCF alumnus, the occasion in which I would find myself unqualified for a particular task is highly unlikely. Program advanced digital interfaces? Sure. Build a robot? Piece of cake. Calculate the world’s new highest prime number in my head? Verging on impossible, but, sure, why not? Choose the flowers for our wedding… I think not.

    Miss Gator’s inspiration board

    Men (most of us anyway) are just not wired to think about, let alone understand, all the minute details of life. This is why we have women in our lives—to make sure we don’t forget birthdays and to remind us to send thank you cards to the people who care about us… Frankly, I think this ineptitude probably stems from my (and probably many men’s) general lack of attention to the trivialities of life. I’ve found that I’m more adapted to thinking about the grand or, rather, long-term goal. The downfall with that way of thinking is that I sometimes might miss out on key opportunities to actually achieve that long-term goal—and that’s where Miss Gator comes in. We make such a great team because she frets (healthily) about the minutiae of everyday life while I focus on our longterm stability (of course, we both dabble in each other’s forte from time to time) . In any case, I was not qualified for concocting the grand plan for this wedding, so I guess my argument is moot (Miss Gator hates that word) anyways.

    Some things I found I was unqualified for:

    Utterly Confused
    Being utterly confused is really more a part of being a guy than it is about being a groom. Women are, all too often, confounding, confusing, and complicated. One particular instance comes to mind, actually, and it has to do with photography. A second round of engagement photos, in fact. My first thought was that our photo shoot with Starks Photography was already amazing, why do we need more? Also, the idea seemed presumptuous—who the heck is going to want to see all these new photos?? Of course, some of you know already that we actually won the second shoot with Lindsey of Pure Photography.

    Super cute photo from Miss Gator and I’s second engagement shoot.

    Even though we had won the session, I was still skeptical of what the heck we were going to do with the photos. I just didn’t understand… you might say I was utterly confused. Needless to say, Miss Gator is very convincing and, so, we went through with it… and now I see why. The pictures were awesome, they were free, and the whole experience was just fun. Sometimes you just have go have some fun.

    I would compile a list of the things I don’t understand, but without understanding them it’s hard to list and describe them. If I think of some, I’ll update the article.

    Bringer of Monetary Sanity
    Yes, sometimes Miss Gator gets a liiittle bit outta control. The poor girl, she just wants the perfect wedding—the wedding of her dreams—the one she’s been dreaming about since she was a little girl. Then the big mean Mr. Knight has to come and yank it out from under her. Naturally, it’s got to be more like when someone rips the table cloth off a table that’s covered in fine china without disturbing a single piece of it—I don’t want to crush her dreams, I just sometimes need to remove the fancy table cloth. Know what I mean? I wish I could give her everything she deserved… and, maybe one day I will be able to.

    A few examples of nixed ideas:

    • Crazy-expensive wedding shoes: $298
    • Millions of bridesmaids gifts
    • Reception at a number of really expensive venues (we would’ve had to reduce our guest list by 1/3).
    • Honeymoon to Europe (we kinda both came to this conclusion)

    Overall, the wedding planning experience (so far) has been a testament to how blessed Miss Gator and I’s relationship is. When we work together, anything is possible even if it means that I have to crush dreams of a fantastically-perfect wedding to settle for the practically-perfect wedding. Or that she has to drag me to a photo shoot at Blue Springs to prove that it’s worth it. I love her and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life working towards our goals together.

  • Videos
  • Video Love for Your Viewing Pleasure

    As many of you know, I have a great love for cinematic Wedding videos. I don’t watch them often (if I did, I think I would constantly have my ‘ugly’ cry face on… yes I have an ugly cry face… you will probably see it in about 3 months and 11 days) but came across this little trailer and had to share it with you all. The sequence leading up to the Bride and Groom seeing each other for the first time on their Wedding Day is simply breathtaking!

    hagit + jared // a trailer from stillmotion on Vimeo.

    {sigh} so sweet :-)

    I know it’s Mr. Knight’s week for blogging… but I just can’t help myself, I miss ya’ll way too much not to blog once this week! And this video is too (short and) sweet, not to share.

    ♥ ya’ll (Yes I’m southern… we say “ya’ll” down here. You best get used to it!)
    Miss Gator

  • By the Groom/Husband
  • Meet the Groomsmen

    Ya’ll have heard a lot about Miss Gator’s bridesmaids and how awesome and sweet they all are. Well, I have to agree with Miss Gator—they are all really the perfect bridesmaids. She’s been blessed with so many friends and family to support her on our wedding day. In fact, we’re both blessed in that sense. Sadly, you haven’t heard too much about the groomsmen, save the article about the best man’s Christmas gift to us… So, without further adieu, as promised, I’m going to attempt to create “interesting” aliases for my groomsmen (sorry if they suck) and give a brief back-story on each of them…

    Little Knight (Best Man):
    Little Knight is my little brother, hence the name Little Knight. In truth, he’s really not so little any more—he’s grown into quite a man in the past few years.

    Mr Knight an Little Knight at the engagement party.Little Knight and I at the engagement party 2 years ago!! Can you believe it’s been almost two years since we got engaged?? Crazy…

    Growing up, Little Knight and I were your typical brothers… arguing, fighting, name-calling, etc… it’s healthy brotherly-love and one of the reasons why we know each other so well. Of course, we weren’t always beating on each other; in fact, most of the time we were just good ol’ buds watching/playing football, playing video games, building forts, teasing Sweet Bridesmaid and Mama Knight, or finding something else crazy to do. We really are quite a dynamic duo when we work together.

    Little Knight’s a free-spirited 19 year-old who’s still trying to find himself. He’s very intelligent and has incredible potential. In fact, he’s going to be making Miss Gator and I’s rehearsal dinner slideshow/movie since he has a new-found knack for video editing. Honestly, it’s hard to not like this guy—he’s going to make a heck of a best man and lifelong friend.

    Proficient Groomsman

    Here I am with all my siblings at Proficient Groomsman‘s wedding in 2008. It was a really awesome/beautiful wedding on the beach.

    Proficient Groomsman
    is my accomplished big brother. Unlike with Little Knight, Proficient Groomsman and I never really argued, fought, or name-called. Proficient Groomsman and I have a very different kind of relationship since we didn’t grow up in the same house. Of course, that doesn’t make him any less of my brother—it actually made him somehow more of a role model to me. Growing up, we usually only saw each other one or two weekends per month, if that. When he went to college at Clemson, we saw each other even less. But, just to give you an idea of what this guy’s like if you don’t know him already… He’s a helluva surfer, was a great soccer player, got a scholarship to Clemson for his amazing diving skills (on top of the fact that he had a 4+ GPA in high school), is fluent in Spanish, he could make a second career as a comedian, is a great father, husband, and brother, is a good Christian, and spends his days saving people’s lives as a paramedic. I mean… Come on… What a guy!

    Geeky Groomsman
    I think Geeky Groomsman and I have more in common that any of my other groomsmen. I’m pretty sure we met in cub scouts in first grade but I could be wrong… it might have been earlier. In any case, it turned out we lived basically just down the road from each other which made it easy for us to forge a lifelong friendship. We spent many-a-night together, staying up late playing TMNT on his NES. During the day we’d play two-hand touch with Little Knight and other kids from around the block as well as build forts way out in the woods. We’d also spend hours punting and throwing the ball back and forth in my cul-de-sac. Of course, when we got in high school we played football on the varsity team together. All those days spent punting back and forth was probably what made me a good enough punter to be the varsity Special Teams MVP in my junior year. Geeky Groomsman was a first-team all-state left offensive tackle in his senior year. In high school, we both became big computer geeks (not to be confused with computer “nerds”), hence the name, building our first computers in our freshman year. We both worked in construction for my dad which is why we’re now both IT professionals. We are still major geeks.

    Justin and Mr. Knight chillin at the Knight/Gator Engagement PartyHere we are chillin’ out on Miss Gator’s parent’s  back deck during Miss Gator and I’s engagement party.

    Geeky Groomsman is one of those guys that you know you can always rely on. He’s honest, fun, and has a great sense of humor. Plus, it’s always nice having a guy around that can lift three times as much as you.

    Rocker Groomsman
    Rocker Groomsman and I have a long history together—he was my first real friend. We met at Jungle Hut beach when I was only 3 years old. I think he may have been 4. We’ve been friends ever since.

    Old picture of Mr Knight and Mark in the Blue Ridge mountains.Man, now this is an old picture. Definitely not the oldest I have, but, this is a classic… look at that fro! This is up in the Blue Ridge Mountain chain around Thanksgiving time in 2003.

    Rocker Groomsman and Mr KnightA more recent picture of Rocker Groomsman and I at Miss Gator and I’s condo in Gainesville last summer. Bad angle for me…

    We went to pre-school together but, unfortunately, we didn’t attend the same elementary or middle schools. When we finally got to high school, I think we only had one class together. Can you believe that? Nevertheless, throughout all those years, we stayed best friends because we’d make up for not seeing each other during the week by sleeping over each others’ houses basically every weekend (and basically every day during the summer). We’re both musicians but Rocker Groomsman has certainly taken his skills to a higher level than I have (can you tell by his name). He plays several instruments and has been in several bands, including his own. He plays trumpet, bass, guitar, and keyboard. I’m more of a “classical” [crappy] musician playing flute, oboe, and dabbling in piano/keyboard. I was also in the drumline in high school but that doesn’t really qualify me as a drummer. He definitely plays the drums better than me.

    Rocker Groomsman has a really funny sarcastic kind of humor that makes him really fun to be around. I wish I got to see him more often.

    Humanitarian Groomsman
    Humanitarian Groomsman and I met through our better halves. Humanitarian Groomsman is the husband of the lovely Sunny MOH. We met before they were married (or engaged for that matter).

    From Left-to-Right: Steve, Mr Knight, Miss Gator, and Sunny MOHSunny MOH and Humanitarian Groomsman had a really beautiful wedding just down the road from where we are having ours. What a good lookin’ bunch we are.

    Lemme tell you something… this guy is impossible not to be friends with. He’s got this way about him that is just indescribable. For instance, he can’t be but a buck-fifty but can eat like a sumo wrestler. Or how ’bout this… he wants to make a website (just for the heck of it) that categorizes and shows-off paper restaurant napkins. He explains, “they’re so interesting… they’re all different”. But, of course, there’s a more serious side to him. He and Sunny MOH are both humanitarians through and through—they spend countless hours a week helping the poor and less fortunate. Whether it be working at the food bank, caring for refugees from places like Mumbai or Myanmar, or just taking care of his wife, Humanitarian Groomsman’s remains a model for selflessness.

    Super-Fly Groomsman
    Super-Fly Groomsman is Rocker Groomsman’s little brother. I’ve known him since he was an infant and he’s like a brother to me in some ways.

    Old picture of Mr Knight and Kevin at Nana Jackson's House in Panama City.Another old-school picture from 2005. I think we were pleading to go water skiing up at my Nana Jackson’s house in Panama City. Check it out… I’m sportin’ my UCF Knights apparel…

    Super-Fly Groomsman and Rocker Groomsman come from a family that is very close to my family and I. We’ve been on vacations to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cruisin’ to Cozumel, and have taken a couple trips to Panama City to hang out at my Nana’s house. I consider them my second family and would do anything for them. Coming from such a good family, Super-Fly Groomsman has a strong work ethic and is planning to join the United States Air Force when he graduates from high school. He’s always been intrigued with air warfare history. He can pretty much name anything that flies (see what I did with his name…? It was Miss Gator’s idea… sorry…). He has other talents too… Like Rocker Groomsman and I, Super-Fly Groomsman plays the drums; and, from what I’ve heard of him, he’s really quite good.

    Well, that pretty much sums them up. Sorry if that was boring for you ladies who come here to read about girly things like rehearsal dinner dresses, shoes, and inspiration boards. I’m doing my best here.

  • By the Groom/Husband
  • Mr. Knight Can Blog Too!

    It went something like this:

    Miss Gator:
    You’re gonna write some articles for Gator Bride this week.

    Mr. Knight:
    What? Why’s that?

    Miss Gator:
    Because you are, and I said so, that’s why.

    Mr. Knight:
    Okay… What am I supposed to write about?

    Miss Gator:
    I dunno… something.

    Mr. Knight:
    [looks at Miss Gator like a student after being assigned a pop quiz]
    I’m really pretty busy this week sweety.

    Miss Gator:
    [looks at Mr. Knight with eyes of discontent]

    Mr. Knight:
    Yes dear...

    Mr Knight's LikenessIn reality, I’ve actually been thinking about doing this since the inception of Gator Bride but just haven’t quite had the time. Okay… that’s a lie—I have had a few spare moments; but, in those “spare moments”, I generally spent watching Dexter, Football, or sleeping. In any case, with Miss Gator possibly MIA for the next week, here I am on this not-so-lovely Saturday afternoon (the weather’s horrible) and I’ve got some spare time to figure out how to coerce you to keep reading my entries—I’m not quite as quirky/peppy as Miss Gator.

    After some careful self-reflection and a small bag of Doritos, I think I’ve compiled a decent list of my entries for this week:

    • Meet the Groomsmen
    • Wedding Planning: A Groom’s Perspective
    • A Budget Bride = Thankful Groom
    • How to Make a Successful Wedding Blog

    How’s the sound, y’all? Will those keep you entertained or will it have you running for the hills? If you have any suggestions for articles that only I could write, or questions you’d like to have me answer in a “Ask The Groom: Answers” article, please put them in the comments.

    Mr Knight

  • DIY
  • A Very Special Custom Wedding Map

    Wow… how did I get so lucky as to have such awesome future In-Laws?? Not only is Mr. Knight’s Mom throwing me a Bridal Shower (which I’m super excited about) but, Mr. Knight’s Dad has made us a super sweet map for our invitations!

    Mr. Knight and I have been busy working on our invitation design, and when it came to making a little map to let our guests know where our ceremony and reception will be, we were stumped. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to draw (as you can see in my little cake sketch), but for some reason I just wasn’t getting pumped up about this map. So, we enlisted the help of Mr. Knight’s Dad, who whipped us up 2 drafts in about a week. We just received the final copy of the map this week and are quickly sending it off to the printer to have it printed with our RSVP cards, accommodation cards, and Menu Cards.

    But, I just had to give ya’ll a sneak peek at this cute little map. I will be having the ‘big reveal’ of our invitation suite after all our guests receive their invitations (sometime around the March 10th mark). Enough of my jibber jabbering, check out this sneak peek for yourself!

    Um… How cute is our likeness drawn at our ceremony site? LOVE IT! And those palm trees? Beautiful!
    Map drawn by Knight Dad

    We are so incredibly happy with how the map turned out, Knight Dad did an amazing job and we are so honored that he did this for us. I just can’t get over how cute this little map is!

    I have to say that everything is really coming together with our invitations. I am having a ton of fun designing all our stationary and wedding paraphernalia. Maybe I should make a business out of it? It sure has crossed my mind a few times in the past weeks.

    We also just finished designing water bottle labels for our ceremony. They are all printed and ready to go… now we just need about 180 water bottles. :-) Stay tuned!

    On a side note:

    I have been a very stressed out little Gator Bride, and I’m about a week out from my midterm presentation for Thesis. So… if I go MIA for a few days… or maybe a week, please bear with me! I will return to my little Gator Bride Readers!! You may be having a guest blogger in the next few days… So certainly stay tuned for that! It is about time ya’ll heard from my other half, Mr. Knight. :-)