CrossFit Couple: Quinn & Riley

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

Sometimes I get wedding submissions that leave me utterly speechless. As I scroll through the photos, I literally have to step back in awe of the beauty of them. For instance, this bride, Riley is beyond gorgeous! Her groom, beaming. The sunlight, shining. The details, so darling. I pinch myself that I get to do this. I get to share this amazing couple's amazing wedding photos and, in a small way, be part of their most special day. It's truly an honor to introduce Quinn & Riley and share their beautiful wedding with you, photographed by Amber of Amber Cather Photography.

Quinn and Riley got married at Willow Creek Falls And Vineyard in Georgia, a venue with a stunning view of the water, which, by the way, these two spend a lot of time on the water! Fly fishing! They also CrossFit and they didn't hesitate to incorporate their love for these sports in the wedding.  Hence the barbell, fun cake topper, and fly-tie boutonnieres, made by the groom himself!

Picture perfect and perfectly them. What more could you want from your wedding?

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

My Q&A with Quinn about finding love, starting CrossFit, and planning her dream wedding. 

When did you start doing CrossFit? I believe it was late August 2012 and my husband (boyfriend at the time had been doing CrossFit for about 6 months).

What box to you belong to? We belong to CrossFit 30513 in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

What prompted your interest in the sport? I had been on a sports team for as long as I could remember. Having recently graduated college and having been on a sports team, I had missed the camaraderie of being part of a group. Also, I wanted to get into shape with friends who I enjoy being with and that would push me to my best.

Did your fiancé/husband participate too? Yes, he is actually the one asked me to come try CrossFit for the first time!

Did you two meet at a box, or meet before you started CrossFit? We have known each other since we were 6. We grew up together about an hour and forty five minutes north of Pittsburgh and our families were in the same group of friends. We literally grew up playing together. I went off to college in Michigan and he got a job in Blue Ridge when I was only a Sophomore; so I finished out my four years, graduated and then I packed my car and moved south to Blue Ridge in September 2011.

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

Tell me about the engagement! Was it a surprise? We had talked about it but I wasn't sure when it was going to happen. A friend of mine had asked me to go with her to see some of her friends who in a band play at a local bar. When I talked to Riley about it, he was very persistent about he and I going out to another local bar, the Blue Ridge Brewery, for a date and he wanted to dress up. He doesn't dress up very often, so I wondering what was up.

The next morning as Riley and I were driving into work, thoughts were flying in my head, what if it was the night he would propose? Just with the thought it could happen, butterflies filled my stomach. Once Bill and Shannen Oyster (Riley's boss and his wife) got to the workshop, I told Shannen that tonight may be the night and asked her if she and Bill would go to the Brewery with us. As two excited school girls would do, we talked and talked about how it would happen.

As work came to a close, I made my way down to Oyster Bamboo, so Riley, Bill and Shannen and I could go to dinner. Right as we were leaving the shop, Bill and Shannen said they are going to drive down and meet us at the Brewery. So, Riley and I took our time walking, looking in all of the windows of all of the shops. As we got closer I saw these two people sitting outside on patio furniture in front of the L & L Beanery. As we continued to get closer I said to myself, isn't it rather cold to be sitting outside, and then I realized it was Bill and Shannen with their phones in their hands. Right as I was about to say something to them, I saw out of the corner of my eye Riley get down on one knee. In complete shock, I turned to face him and as nervous as he can be Riley asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Before he could stumble over anymore words I said yes while Bill and Shannen captured it all in video and pictures.

We did finally did celebrate with dinner and drinks at the Brewery. It was an amazing night and one we will never forget!

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

When you first started Crossfit, what was your initial reaction? (Mine was something like: omgthisishard but I LOVE IT! Lol) I loved the intensity of it. I was hooked from go!

What was your aim in doing CrossFit? To get stronger? Lose weight? For pure enjoyment? I would definitely say it is a little bit of all three. I enjoy the people who are there, love the fact that I am losing weight while I am getting stronger.

Is Crossfit a big part of your relationship? In what ways? Yes, it is something that we do together and we look forwarded to it. We are both so busy with work and volunteering that we really like having CrossFit to do together.

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

What made you decide to do some CrossFit photos on your wedding day? We love CrossFit! :)

I absolutely love the touches of fly fishing throughout your wedding! How long have you been doing that? Riley has been fishing since he was a young kid with his older brother and father. It has always been a big part of his life.

What peaked your interest in it? I will fish with Riley if he asks me to go with him knowing that it is what he loves to do.

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

How often do you go fly fishing? Riley goes as often as he can. He works with Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods, they make bamboo fly rods. Bill Oyster, Riley's boss recruited Riley during one of the classes he attended with his father, to work with him. Riley lives and breathes fishing. :)

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

Do you have advice for other women interested in doing CrossFit prior to their big day? If you want to lose weight before your wedding, this is defiantly the way to do it!

Would you suggest they do it? I got my dress a year ahead of time, if I could do it over, I would have gotten it like six months out. I had to cut back on weights and pull-ups because if I gained more muscle, I wouldn't have been able to fit in my dress.

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you about your diet, too. Paleo seems to be the diet of most CrossFitters - do you eat paleo? I do not, but I am a lot more conscience on what I do eat. Being human, I have my cheat days when I over indulge more then I should but not very often. CrossFit has helped me rethink on what and how much food that I do eat during meals.

Would you care to share your time on a favorite benchmark WOD? (So we can be jealous!) We recently did The Fury and I was the only one in the class to finish, 56:15 was my time and this year we did Fran and I did it in 6:15. Not the greatest times but I have improved so much in the year and a half I have been doing it.

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

What's your favorite CrossFit move? Anything but burpees or thrusters! :)

Do you relate any elements of CrossFit to marriage? To have our marriage last, we know that we have to continue to work on our marriage to make it stronger like CrossFit does for our overall health!

CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather
CrossFit Wedding_AmberCather

Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding with us!

Photographer:  Amber Cather Photography | Event Venue:Willow Creek Falls And Vineyard | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Brides & Booze: Surviving the Bar Scene

If there's one thing I learned since embracing a healthier lifestyle it's just how awful alcohol makes me feel. I know, I know, alcohol?! You mean a few glasses of wine, a beer, or delicious apple martini? No, not exactly. I'm talking about overindulging in alcohol or, going out with the intent to get drunk, which is a pretty typical tradition for brides and grooms-to-be. I'm all for having fun and pre-wedding festivities are great for creating memories and relieving stress, but for me at least, it's a thin line between a good time and a really, really bad time. I don't think I'm alone in this either. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a bride - decked out in her party dress, veil, and shot necklaces - stumbling out of a nightclub or bar. Even though this is the norm (her friends might even applaud themselves for her this wasted), binge drinking - especially! - wreaks havoc on our bodies and can have both physical and emotional lasting effects.

If you're a bride trying to survive the bar scene, here are some tips to keep you from going overboard!

Brides and Booze

1. Water:

There's a reason you wake up dying of thirst after a night of heavy drinking - alcohol dehydrates the body! From "... alcohol blocks the release of a hormone that is needed for water reabsorption. Without this hormone -- called antidiuretic hormone, or ADH -- the kidneys do not reabsorb the water; instead they excrete it as urine." Ahh, it makes sense now, huh? "Breaking the seal" isn't the only reason you have to pee every ten minutes!

2. Remember these four words: soda water and a splash!

For the longest time I never knew what to order when I walked up to the bar. I'd usually copy the order of one of my more savvy friends, with a "pineapple malibu" or, divert to the good ole' vodka-cranberry. But now I always order vodka with soda water and a splash of juice. Juices are full of sugar, which isn't good for you waistline or wedding day glow, and this little trick can save you a few hundred calories!

3. No, tonic is not better.

Tonic water has just about as many calories as regular soda so it's not helping you avoid calories or sugar to order a vodka-tonic and, personally, I don't think they taste great. Go with soda water. Read #2 above.

4. Eat something healthy beforehand.

If you're out to eat, order something healthy! This small act will remind you of your goals and get you off to a good start! Rather than trying to fill up on carbs to absorb all the alcohol you plan to drink, start the night with a new approach - order healthy and you'll likely be more conscientious overall. Will power is like a muscle, the more you exercise it (say, by ordering something good), the stronger it gets - and the easier it will be to order a healthier drink, too.

5. If you go for beer, go light.

Light beer can be as little as 100 calories for 12 ounces, but beware: not all beer is created equal! Blue Moon is 220 calories! But, if you go light, there's a few bonuses beyond the lesser calories: it will last longer than wine or cocktails because it's bigger and it's carbonated, which will make you feel full faster!

6. Water and ice coffee to cure the hangover.

Coffee is acidic, just like alcohol so the last thing your body needs after a night of putting back acidic drinks is another few acidic drinks (coffee) the following morning! Ice coffee is a lot less acidic than regular coffee and at places like Starbucks, they usually add water to the americano when it's iced -- not to mention all the ice (i.e. water) in your cup! The more water the better to get re-hydrated!

7. Sip water between drinks. #obviously Read #1 above.

8. Order drinks that look like alcohol (but aren't)

I love this idea from the article, how to drink less without your friends knowing it

9. Log it as you chug it!

There's nothing like a little MyFitnessPal to bring things to the forefront... oh, you didn't realize that blue moon completely ruined your calories for the day? Log it and the truth will set you free!

10. Think of all your hard work. Period.

11. Go with a non-drinking friend.

Some of my friends are heavy drinkers but some aren't. I always feel less inclined to go balls to the wall when I'm with one of those non-drinking friends. You know, the one that just enjoys the company and doesn't have to get drunk to have a good time!

12. Keep a photo of yourself nearby for motivation.

Who doesn't have a few selfies saved to their phone? I know I do! But this one is different - it's a REMINDER of your goals and your focus. Whether it's an old picture of when you were overweight (and likely miserable) or one of you now in a bikini ALMOST to where you want to be, check in with yourself and then act like you give a damn (and gulp some water)!

What do you do to control how much you drink?

Are you a heavy drinker?

Image from Nancy Neil via Santa Barbara Chic / Graphics added by Fit for a Bride

Choose your Caribbean or Latin American Wedding Destination

This post is sponsored by Marriott and JW Resorts on behalf of BrideClick, LLC, but all opinions expressed are my own. Some friends of ours recently announced they’re having a destination wedding and it got me thinking of all a big day in the tropics has to offer! I can so easily imagine it – clear waters, sunny skies, cool cocktails, white sands, and that feeling that there’s no place in the world you’d rather be! It’s fun for you as the bride and your guests -- what’s not to love about destination weddings?


The difficulty is really choosing where to have a destination wedding, isn't it?

The details are pretty straight forward -- tropical flowers, a welcome bag and, well, you decide: shoes or no shoes? That's the beauty, right?

Right! The beauty is knowing you can slip away to someplace picture perfect like Aruba or a little wild like Cancun and volia! Your dream wedding and dreamy honeymoon are all rolled into one, waiting for you to enjoy it -- get that? Enjoy it, not stress it!

So then, where is YOUR perfect destination wedding destination? The Caribbean or Latin America? The Grand Cayman or Curacao? Well, the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) collection represents 8 Marriott and JW Resorts properties in 7 beautiful Caribbean and Mexico Destinations, and, CALA has provided this fun Matrimony Quiz to help you decide which resort is right for you!

I love the fact that they've taken into account little details like no passport necessary? Or if you like the casino scene.

Take the quiz and let me know -- where's your dream destination wedding?

Are you planning a destination wedding? 

What's your ideal destination for a wedding away from home? 

Image credits: Deep Blue Photography / Max Wagner via Martha Stewart Weddings / Embie Events on Etsy  / Blue Sky Weddings / Leslie Castle Photography via Jet Fete