Our Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts

 Fridge covered in adorable save the dates, calendar quickly filling up, and many joy-filled and long awaited reunions in the near future...is this sounding familiar? It's wedding season!!  As invites come in I love looking at everybody's registries and getting a glimpse of each couple's style and an idea of what their future home together will look and feel like--it feels like a sneak peak! Registry perusing has also made me reflect  on our own registry and which things have  proven to be our most useful wedding gifts. We were beyond blessed by the generosity of our wedding gifts, and are so grateful for  each and every one of them, but it is definitely  interesting, (and in some cases surprising!) to see which we have ended up utilizing most in our day to day life a year and half later! Read on for the low-down.

Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts:

1. Cast iron skillet: I was a little wary of the seasoning process that comes along with cast iron, but after a little bit of research I realized it is cinch. We use our cast iron all the time, for everything from sauteeing to baking. We even brought it camping last year!

2. Kitchen-aid mixer: This was a gift from my bridesmaids and a staple in our kitchen. Although it does take up space on our galley-sized counters, it sees enough use that we haven't been able to justify putting it away. 

3. Tea kettle: I am in love with anything Le Creuset as their pieces are as beautiful as they are long-lasting and functional. We use our kettle every day, usually multiple times, to fill our french press or make cups of herbal tea. 

4. Dining Room Table: While our table wasn't on our registry, it is one of our most beloved gifts. My dad and I found it at an antique store in Pensacola, and my parents gave it to us as our wedding gift. We had no idea at the time though that the table and accompanying chairs are almost exactly the same as the set that John's mom and dad had in their first apartment in New York, which John's mom shared with us during her toast at our rehearsal dinner. Tip: Round tables are perfect for smaller homes where space is at a premium, and they remain versatile in bigger spaces where they can serve as breakfast tables in a kitchen or even a foyer table. 

5. Nespresso Machine: Oh, how we love our Nespresso. We can't say enough good things about the quality of the brand and their pods--we even did a side by side taste test with shots of Nespresso espresso and espresso from a traditional machine and the Nespresso easily held it's own. While it certainly is a luxury appliance, it is such a treat to be able to whip up our own cappuccinos or iced lattes, and we have almost entirely cut out our Starbuck's habit, which has been great on our wallet!

6. Pots and Pans: If you have been following along with The Gallivant for a while then you may have picked up on the fact that we are big foodies and love to cook, especially moi. When compiling our registry we were encouraged by  older and wiser foodie friends to register for top of the line cookware (despite the price-tag) because ultimately it would produce better food, wear better, and last longer. Like decades longer. We went for a mix of All-Clad D5 and copper-core pots and pans, and we opted out of a set so that we could customize a bit. 

7. Lamps: Lighting isn't necessarily the first thing you think of with a registry, but we were gifted some beautiful lamps that we adore. The chinoiserie-style set in our bedroom on either side of our bed completely make the room, and we have a couple of others that really elevate our living space. Turns out, lamps are an easy way to make a space look chic, even if it is still in its stage of "first-home style/decor schizophrenia." 

8. Couch: This is another gift that wasn't actually on our registry, but which makes our home/entertaining/reading/netflix-binging life so much more comfortable. John's mom gave us a beautiful couch when we got married and we just love it. Although we didn't register for ours, I have seen large furniture items on registries before and think it is a great opportunity for family or friends (and maybe even the wedding party) to band together and pitch in on a bigger gift. 

9. Dutch Oven: Another Le Creuset fave. From chili to coc-au-vin to bread-- this classic staple is endlessly versatile. 

10. Breville Smart Oven: John was obsessed with registering for a good toaster oven and I just didn't get it until we started using this puppy. Not only does it toast beautifully, but it is an actual little oven so we have done everything from cook chicken to make cookies in there! It is a life-saver during meals that are composed of multiple dishes that require the oven, and the clean up is way easier. Win win!

11. Cookbooks: This one doesn't need much explanation but needless to say, cookbooks make great engagement/wedding gifts, and we use ours all the time. 

12. Extra Sheets: We registered for both extra sheets for our bed, and for our guest room twin beds. Having extra twin sheets is particularly useful because we have often had guests back to back while living in Pensacola, and being able to just throw on a clean set and not have to wait for the set in the washer/dryer is a god-send. 

A quick note on our registering process: While compiling our registry I had a lot of reservations. I didn't want to register for too much, I wanted to be considerate of my guests (ie. lots of different price points) and I had a hard time registering for things that we didn't really need, but would love in our new home. My mom kept repeating to me, "Now is the time." over and over again, and she was completely right.  If you are anything like me, it helps to remind yourself that giving newlyweds gifts to help them start their life together and furnish their home is a  time-honored tradition, and the people who make up your village will enjoy doing it. It is an opportunity for them to give you something that you love or really need, and as is the case with many bigger gifts, something you may not be in a position to afford for some time.  Plus, everyone will love to see how you use their gift in your new home when they visit!

Anyone else have any wedding gifts that they couldn't live without? I am so curious to hear--obviously many of ours are food-centric because that is a big part of our lifestyle, but I would love to hear which gifts you love and still use in your daily life. Comment below, and stay tuned for a post about a few things that in hindsight  we wish we had registered for! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Our Wedding.

P.S.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

{Marriage} Six Months Later...Our Wedding!

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! Yesterday marked six months (!) of marriage for John and I, so  we went out on a super fun date, and then popped a little champagne!

Instead of the usual monthly update, I thought that this month I would finally post about our wedding. I have held off partially out of busy-ness, but also because our wedding still felt so fresh and in a sense sharing it meant that it really is over, which was a little bittersweet. Jemwed (as we affectionately call it) felt like this incredible season that culminated in a spectacular day, and we were so blessed by everyone who shared and supported us in it and through it --from the engagement parties, showers, our reception in Fredericksburg, to our wedding weekend in December. 

All the photos in this post were taken by our amazing photographer, Leah Haydock, and her assistant Audrey. A big shout out and thank you to this dynamic duo for capturing our day in such a beautiful and authentic way. 

Maria working her magic. 

Maria working her magic. 

I spent the morning of the wedding at M. Lekkakos, in Wenham, being completely pampered and beautified by Maria and Lyssa. I have known both these incredible ladies for years, adore them, and truthfully feel as thought they are the best of the best in the Boston area. 

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Lyssa, my beloved stylist,worked wonders in taming my mane.

Lyssa, my beloved stylist,worked wonders in taming my mane.

Meanwhile, the boys were all primping over at Tupper Manor--putting on shoulder boards, tying bow-ties, practicing sword arches, and shooting some pool.

John designed custom bow-ties for all the guys with our great friend Mike, from Dogwood Black, and they rocked! DWB even did little ones for our ring bearers, which were precious. 

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I had a very handsome stand-in at this point...

I had a very handsome stand-in at this point...

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When I was done with hair and make-up I headed home to my parent's house to meet my lovely bridesmaids so we could all finish getting ready together. 

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(My dress was from Bella Rosa Bridal, in Richmond, Va. I worked with Camberly, and both my mom and I loved her--so helpful and kind, and she really knew her stuff when it came to picking THE dress.)

Back at the house my dad, always the gentleman, popped some bottles for us. 

Toasts were made, presents were opened, and a few sweet tears may have been shed....

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I just adore each of these women so much. 

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And then it was time to get into our wedding clothes!

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Scout didn't quite understand why for the first time in his life everyone was fussing over someone else.

My mom and Godmother helped me into my dress...

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And then we let my Dad in for a quiet moment with his little girl. 

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Who am I kidding--we are both suckers!

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My beautiful ladies in red waited downstairs for their first look.

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My (not so) little brother, Blair, popped in for some family photos before heading back to John and the other groomsmen.

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I was lucky enough to get to wear the veil that my mom, aunts, granny, and great-granny had all worn before me.

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All the flowers, including our gorgeous bouquets, the boutonnieres, flower-girl crowns and baskets, and the reception flowers, were done by Kerianne Steele and her team at Les Fleurs, in Andover. We were going for wintry without being overly Christmas-y, (since it was after Christmas, not because we don't love Christmas!), elegant yet whimsical, and a little different. I wanted lots of greenery,  touches of dark vampy reds, berries, pinecones, lots of gold and white and birch for the reception. Even with limited availability due to the time of year, Kerianne completely understood my vision and totally took it to the next level. I cannot say enough great things about Les Fleurs-- if you live in the Boston area than their store is totally worth a trip, especially if you are planning a big event or looking for a florist.

Love these people.

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My beautiful Godmothers, Libby and Hope.

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The boys and John's family made their way to the church for some of their own photos.

John tied his nephew and ring-bearer Draper's bow-tie.

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John and Drake, best-man and groom, Richey bros.

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There was some silliness.

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Oh, and adorableness.

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And then it began!

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Oh, I love you.

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Our Pastor, Dori, gave an amazing message a how and why we love and serve in marriage and in life--because Christ first loved and served us. 

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Soon enough, we were husband and wife!

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Had to make a quick pit-stop on our way out to kiss our little Goddaughter, Callie.

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Off to Tupper Manor we went!

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I got a little love from my handsome godson and ring-bearer, Will. 

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We took some pics... 

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So handsome.

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And then we joined the party!

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Our sword detail prepared to announced us...

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But first--the rite of passage was a kiss!

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And another...

And another!

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Our AMAZING band, Nightshift, played a killer rendition of Coldplay's Yellow for our first dance.

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We sat down for dinner and some wonderful toasts...

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Jenny, from Jenny's cakes, did our cake. Wasn't it beautiful?  We chose pumpkin spice, white cake with lemon, rasberry, and passionfruit, and chocolate cake with chocolate truffle, expresso buttercream, and toffee. They were INSANE.

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Have I mentioned that our band (quite literally) rocked? For the rest of the night we had the time of our lives with all the people we love.

It was incredible. 

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Brother-sister jam sesh.

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A huge thank you to my parents for not only making this all possible, but for being such a beautiful example of marriage to John and me. It was a joy to see you enjoy the night as much as we did.

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How cool/beautiful is my mother in law? Not only does she have serious moves, but she also threw us the most special rehearsal dinner the night before.

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The love of my life.

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One of the most special/hilarious parts of the night was when all the Navy guys sat me down on the dance floor and serenaded me with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," inspired  by this.  Watching this on our video seriously brings tears to my eyes because I love these men so much, and am so grateful for how they have adopted me since John and I first started dating.

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Oh hey, party people.

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These pictures speak for themselves. It was a glorious day. 

Johnboy-- I cannot believe that you became my husband six months ago. I know it's not a real anniversary, but I still want to tell you this-- I love you even more today than I did that day. Neither of us are perfect, but I am honoured to go through the sanctification that occurs in marriage with you. Thank you for letting me be me, encouraging me, inspiring me, pushing me, making me brave. I am so proud of you. I love laughing with you. You are a man after God's own heart, thank you for continually pointing me towards Him. 

Finally, a big thank you to Marie, Colby, and the rest of the team at Tupper Manor. You all are so talented and organize--you made our planning painless and our night amazing. Rockstars. 

Here is the line-up of our dream team of venders:

My dress: Bella Rosa Bridal

Bow-Ties: Dogwood Black

Photography: Leah Haydock

Videography: Boston Wedding Films

Hair + Makeup: Maria and Lyssa at M. Lekkakos 

Band: Nightshift Entertainment

Cake: Jenny's Cakes

Venue: Tupper Manor

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for reading!

#jemwedforever.

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. I already shared our incredible video on the blog, but if you haven't seen it than you can check it out here :-)

P.S.S.  Like what you are reading and want to keep up with our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin


The Past Few Weeks + Our Wedding Video

Flight Suit Friday

Happy Monday everyone! We had the most wonderful weekend exploring, relaxing, and enjoying being outside. I have some exciting posts coming up, but first wanted to share a little bit about the past few weeks…

Last friday was a really exciting day for John because he celebrated his Flight Suit Friday! Flight Suit Friday signifies the end of the academic portion of API (Aviation Pre-Flight Indoctrination,) and is the first day that flight students get to wear their flight suits to work.  API is a grind, such a grind in fact that some students don't make it through. Though you can have up to 2 fails, the passing mark is intentionally high, and the material is being thrown at these brilliant men and women at a mile a minute. 

Putting their class patch up in the O Club!

Putting their class patch up in the O Club!

Sillyness....

Sillyness....

To be honest, the past few weeks have not been the easiest. In fact, they have been hard. Hard in ways that I didn't think we would feel so early in our marriage. I would never want anyone who reads the Gallivant to make the mistake of thinking that our lives are easy all of the time, and marriage is a breeze. I know you don't think that, but I also don't want to seem like I am hiding or glossing over the hard parts. I have always been so grateful when people in my life have been honest with me about hard things, real things, and so I hope to be completely honest with you, my dear readers, and when appropriate--share our struggles, and more importantly, what we are being taught through them. 

I have this bad habit of looking into the future and setting expectations. I could call them goals, or dreams, but what they truly boil down to are expectations. As John and I approached our wedding in the fall,  our future looked like this to me: We would get married, move to Pensacola where John would go through IFS, API, Primary, potentially Advanced, and then we would move to wherever the Navy sends us next once he has his wings. 

In short, we both realized over the course of API, as things didn't go exactly to plan, that we had been holding far too tightly to our expectations. Neither John nor I seriously entertained the idea that the progression we imagined for our immediate future may not unfold so smoothly. But the truth is that sometimes the way our God works is entirely unexpected. API turned out to be much more challenging than we had imagined, and for the past few weeks I have hardly seen John, as he has been studying pretty much 24-7. Every fiber of his being was focused on getting through this phase, and every fiber of my being was focused on supporting him and taking care of him. This has been stressful, and exhausting, but it also brought us to a place of surrender that I don't think we would have been to if not for the trial.  We realized that we needed to let go of our expectations, and ask God what His plan entailed for us, even if the answer may not have been what we expected or wanted. We also realized that in order to make it through the remainder of API we needed to fully rely on the Lord for strength, wisdom, and perseverance. We remembered that Jesus is our peace, and we also remembered how quick we are to forget that. 

In the past three weeks, I have learned so much about being a wife, especially in terms of supporting my husband through a situation that I have no control over. I am learning that an inevitable part of marriage is that there will be times in our life where one of us will be going through something that has the potential to radically affect both of us, and yet the other will be completely helpless in the situation. It's terrifying, the ugly parts of us call it unfair, and yet thats marriage. That is truly cleaving to each other, sharing a life, and choosing to love. 

Friday was a wonderful day and I was overwhelmed with gratefulness as well as pride. I could not be more proud of my husband, as well as relieved to have him back for a few weeks! One of the best parts was that one of my best friends, Emily, was with us to share in the excitement and experience this neat Navy tradition. 

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At the end of last week we received the preview to our wedding film, which I am so excited to share with you guys! Our film was done by the incredible Jim Greene of Boston Wedding Films, and we seriously cannot recommend Jim and his team enough. They were wonderful to work with, and truly captured our day in the most thoughtful way. 

In light of the past few weeks, I especially love what our Pastor, Dori, says at the end of our wedding video: "A husband and a wife meeting one another's needs as they look to God for His help--that's a real beauty."

I just want to quickly say thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, and visited in the past month. Your words and presence were so encouraging, probably in ways you didn't even realize. 

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Navy lingo throwing you off? Check back into The Gallivant this week for a Flight School crash course! 

P.S.S.P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!

{Marriage} 1 Month- Meet John and Emily Richey!

Source: Leah Haydock Photography

Source: Leah Haydock Photography

So, we celebrated our one month anniversary last week, which inspired the idea for this series. We hope that this will, in a humorous way, keep everyone up to date on how things are going down here in Pensacola, assure our friends that we have lives, and document the life stages of our marriage. Like a baby. After all, we don't have a baby (and won't anytime soon, so don't get your hopes up Mom!) or a puppy, so this is the only thing we have to update people on in infuriating detail... Also, I hope one day we will read way back in this blog, see this post, and be like Remember when we used to eat omelets every. single. day? Oh yea...then we got jobs.  So here goes! 

Richey One Month Update

Favorite Meals: Turkey Sandwiches, Tuna Melts, Onion and Mushroom Cheddar Omelettes, Roast Chicken, Chicken Milanese (from this cookbook. Insane. )

Favorite Words: Adventure, Emily's Job, Funemployment, Plane, Solo, Hutch (we need one like thisbut probably not in teal...)

Favorite Snacks: Pistachios, Smoky Edamame Hummus (recipe coming soon!), and greek yogurt

Favorite TV Show: "The West Wing." We are addicted! Love how quick the dialogue is, and taking in the fact that we are debating the same issues today that we were in 1998. Nothing changes.

Favorite Game: Settlers of Catan. Never heard of it? Neither had we until three weeks ago. Now we are completely addicted. 

Currently Reading: John is hooked on the Hunger Games, and is reading Catching Fire. I am so jealous of this being his first time! I am trudging through the first installment of William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932While it is slow going, I am growing quite fond of the little boy who was Winston Churchill, and am definitely enjoying it. 

Meanwhile In Pensacola: Last week we were hit by a very unseasonable bout of cold weather, and were amazed at the panic that ensued. All of Pensacola was shut down for three days because temps dropped below freezing, and there was a night of wintry mix. While we appreciated the excuse to drink the hot chocolate we impulsively bought at Publix a few weeks ago (because there was a two for one deal) we also thought it was a bit ridiculous. Yes we are Yankees. And yes we are cynical...but working on it!

Finally: John soloed his first flight! And I got my first freelance editing job! 

IFS Solo

Anyhoo, more updates to come soon! How bout them Broncos? I mean...

xxxx

Emily and John

P.S. Thanks for stopping by ;-)