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She Wrote a Year-Long Journal to Surprise Her Groom on Their Wedding Day

Every day for a year Valerie wrote a letter for her love, Michael. Come wedding day he got the romantic surprise of his life with a leather bound journal containing 365 pages filled with beautiful words from his bride. Luckily Pat Moyer came along to photograph and we’re thanking our lucky stars to share their incredible love story on our pages.


“My goal was for it to be a source and constant reminder of

why I love him so that even on our hard days he will always

have 365 reasons why I love the man who he is.”

-Valerie, The Bride


Al Fresco

From Patrick Moyer PhotographyOne year before the wedding. Valerie began writing a journal for Michael to open on their wedding day. For each day of the year leading up to the big day, Valerie wrote one page for him to read and had it bound with his initials burnt into the leather.

From The Bride…After Five years dating, Michael took me on a surprise “birthday trip” to Belize. While on the beach he asked me to be forever his.

In each new entry I wrote about a reason I love him, my hopes for the future, I documented the milestones in our engagement, and reflected on marriage and scripture passages. My goal was for it to be a source and constant reminder of why I love him so that even on our hard days he will always have 365 reasons why I love the man who he is.

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Photography: Pat Moyer Photography | Coordination: Bash Please | Floral Design: Twig & Twine | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Brown Linen Design | Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Whoa Nelly | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | DJ: Vox DJs | Band: Jason Sulkin | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks | Beverage Services: Pharmacie | Rentals: Town And Country | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Rentals: borrowed BLU | Veil: Erin Cole

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10 Tools You Need for a Perfect Pizza + Ice Cream Date Night

If you ask me, there’s no better food combo than pizza and ice cream. Pizza is one of my husband and I’s favorite meals to make together during the summer and is actually pretty easy to master once you get the hang of it and have the right gadgets. But the pièce de résistance? Is the ice cream (or in our household, gelato) that follows. Find the recipes and all the tools you need from Macy’s to conquer this winning combo below!

Whether you and the new hubs want to enjoy a romantic date night alone at home chef-ing it up together or you decide to host your closest friend for a weekend gathering, this BBQ Short Rib Pizza from Abby is where it’s at. You only need to equip your kitchen with a few simple tools from the Macy’s Registry to enjoy this meal time and again.

BBQ Short Rib Pizza Recipe


Sweet Tomato BBQ Sauce
BBQ Short Ribs
Store bought pizza dough
1 russet potato per pizza
Buffalo mozzarella
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
½ stick of butter
¼ cup of flour
1½ cups of warmed whole milk
¾ cups shredded smoked gouda


  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Mix up your Sweet Tomato BBQ Sauce and spread a thin layer on your rolled out pizza dough.
  3. Cook your potatoes about halfway through so they are a bit tender. This will allow you to easily slice your potatoes into thin slices. Season your slices with salt and pepper.
  4. Start topping your pizza, first with your potato slices.
  5. Layer on slices of buffalo mozzarella.
  6. Layer on your pulled BBQ Short Ribs
  7. Season your assembled pizza with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Depending on the thickness of your crust, you’ll want to cook your pizza anywhere from 10–20 minutes. Less time for thinner crusts and a bit more time for thicker crusts.
  9. While your pizza is cooking, prepare your smoked gouda cream sauce that you’ll drizzle over the pizza when it’s done.
  10. Melt a ½ stick of butter and add in a ¼ cup of flour, stirring for 1 minute.
  11. Add 1½ cups of warmed whole milk, stirring continuously.
  12. Add ¾ cups shredded smoked gouda, stirring until totally melty and delicious.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  14. Remove your pizza from the oven, drizzle with smoked gouda cream sauce and serve!

Martha Stewart Collection Two-Tone Paddle BoardOXO Pizza WheelMartha Stewart Collection Mercer DinnerwareVera Wang Wedgwood Polished Gold 5 Piece Place SettingPyrex Bake, Prep + Store SetCuisinart 8-Cup Food ProcessorCalphalon Classic SharpIN Self Sharpening 15-Pc. CutleryAll-Clad 3 Piece Pizza Stone Set

Coconut Gelato with Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn


2½ cups whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup cream of coconut
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt


  1. Combine milk, coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil, but be careful not to scorch. Combine corn starch and cream of coconut and add to saucepan.
  2. Cook on low and whisk often so that clumps do not form. The mixture is cooked when you can run a line on the back of a spoon without the mixture coming back together.
  3. Pour mixture in a glass dish and let sit until at room temperature. Once it has cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
  4. Add mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Half way through, slowly add the coconut flakes. Transfer to a container and freeze until desired firmness.
  5. Serve topped with Ava’s sea salt caramel popcorn and enjoy!


Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet & Ice Cream MakerOXO Ice Cream Scoop


Get inspired with the full Outdoor Entertaining 101 right here!

Photography: Leila Brewster Photography | Video: Elysium Productions

15 Fabulous Outfits to Wear to Any Wedding This Fall

Everyone loves Fall for its crisp air, changing leaves and snuggly sweaters. But the layers of sweaters, jackets and booties you love in your everyday life don’t really work when you’re a guest at an autumn wedding. So, how do you dress for the changing seasons and the celebration? We’ve got you covered with outfit ideas for every wedding on your social calendar. Take a peek — you can thank us later!

Fall Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas
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Fall Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas
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Heading to a Wedding? Read These First!

Common Guest Etiquette Mistakes | Decode the Dress Code8 Things Never to Wear to a Wedding

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See The Love Story That Started in an Elevator

If you’re looking for the sweetest meet cute in the whole wide world, then I’d like to introduce you to the dynamic duo that is Steven and Fiona. For their love story? It started in an elevator, and the aftermath? It’s nothing short of stu-hun-ing. From the perfectly pink florals to the shockingly beautiful ceremony, Bethany Erin and Brad & Monica have captured it all to share both below and in The Vault!


“They got on the same elevator. On the ride up,

Steve overcame his nervousness and

talked to the prettiest girl in the world”




From the Groom…It was December 2011, Fiona was assisting with an audit and Steve was working hard on the 10th floor. They both wanted the free lunch offered by the building management to get in the mood for Christmas. They both got on the same elevator going down and up. On the ride up, Steve overcame his nervousness and talked to the prettiest girl in the world. They kept in touch after that fateful free lunch, and at one point they lived one block away from each other in Addison. After Steve and Fiona both worked their hardest to get the timing right, they finally started dating in 2014. It started with Steve overcoming his nervousness once again and bought Fiona a dozen roses from the only florist open on a Sunday afternoon. Life has been very easy for both Fiona and Steve since then.

From the Bride…Steve and I started to plan for our wedding since the beginning of 2016. We picked May 15, 2016 which is a Chinese lucky date for our marriage. With our busy schedule at work we managed to pick the perfect venue at Marty Leonard Chapel and Fort Worth Club in early February. Planning was slow before I met Bethany; she’s a talented photographer and super nice person. I liked her immediately after the first meeting. She gave me so many vendor recommendations and style suggestions, which helped my wedding planning go much more smoothly. I booked our florist and wedding coordinator shortly after I booked Bethany. With the help of Katie, my wedding coordinator, Steve and I got a really good deal for DJ service. During the whole planning process I enjoyed looking at Pinterest and found my inspiration there. The venues we picked were beautiful even without wedding decorations so I thought that would be less stressful. However, two days before the wedding I was so stressed out because I realized I forgot to count some flower decorations. I reached out to my florist, Lauren of The Backyard Bouquet, and asked her if she could do more flower decorations and a garland for the wedding car. Despite it being a last minute request Lauren finished everything perfectly! Katie and Bethany worked very closely to ensure that Steve and I would have an executable timeline for the wedding day. Thanks to their hard work everything went smoothly on the day of. I didn’t need to worry about a single thing, and just got to be happy and pretty. Our wedding day was filled with best wishes, happiness and laughter, but I remembered that when I was waiting outside of the Chapel to go down the aisle with my dad, I suddenly felt nervous but once the door opened and I saw Steve’s grinning face the nervousness went away. Another moment I remembered was when Steve and I were standing at the altar and listening to our minister announce us as couple, I was so touched by the meaning of marriage. I know that life will have ups and downs, but together we will conquer everything and live a wonderful life.

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Photography: Bethany Erin Photography | Cinematography: Brad & Monica Wedding Films | Event Planning: Katie Frost Weddings | Floral Design: The Backyard Bouquet | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue: Marty Leonard Chapel | Reception Venue: The Fort Worth Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Mengmilan | Hair + Makeup: Ewald Wang | DJ: Le Force Entertainment | Officiant: Rev. Brian | Ceremony Music: Jenny Glass

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