Wedding Weight-Loss: Engagement Party Recap!

jen and rene

Last Friday was the big day — our engagement party! I can’t even imagine what I’m going to feel like on my wedding day. I woke up extra early to pack everything up while Rene picked up the flower centerpieces from the florist and the empanadas we made for the party. I had a make-up appointment at 2:30 and a hair appointment at 3:45, and before I knew it, it was time to leave.

My dress from Rent the Runway arrived on Wednesday, and I absolutely loved it. I ordered a size 14 and a size 16, and I ended up wearing the 16. The straps and chest area was a little big, but it gave me enough room to breathe and not worry about anything. The back-up dress I had purchased (just in case the Rent the Runway dress didn't work out) was a size 14, and that fit me perfectly as well. I don’t even remember the last time I was able to zip up a 14 without worrying it was going to bust open! From now on, the sizes will just keep getting smaller, and that is a really good feeling.

jen and rene engagement party

I got to the hall an hour and a half early to set up and brought my dress with me so that I could change right before our guests arrived. My family helped me with everything, and it looked great. We had 170 people (I know, it really was like a wedding), so we had 18 round tables. I put black tablecloths on the tables with my centerpiece — a Mason jar spray painted with silver glitter with white hydrangeas, a black or silver picture frame with the table number, and three white votive candles.

diy centerpiece

I had the place cards with table assignments on the table in the lobby for when the guests arrived, and when they walked in the room, I had a table displaying the favors, photos of Rene and me, candles, extra decorated Mason jars, and eventually the cake. The room looked perfect, and it was everything I wanted it to be. 

engagement party decor

Once I put my dress and shoes on, I knew it was going to be a great night. I looked great and felt great! The four hours of the party (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) went by so quickly, I barely remember them. Rene and I welcomed everyone as they came in, danced the night away (our DJ was awesome!) with our friends and family, drank a lot, mingled with everyone, cut the cake together, and just had the best time. My father made a beautiful toast, and then Rene surprised me with a pair of diamond stud earrings in the middle of his speech. I’m so lucky to have him — he’s amazing.

For dessert, we put out the cake, plus freezer pops in buckets with ice for our guests so they could have a refreshing treat. They were the hit of the party! 

engagement party cake

Guests also loved our favors, which included two mini black and white cookies wrapped in a clear bag with a cute tag.

engagement party favors

I couldn’t believe it when it was all over. Rene and I both didn’t have time to eat at the party, but we heard the food was great, especially the empanadas. We ended up going back to my parents' house, eating leftovers, and sleeping there. Let’s just say we both did not feel good on Saturday morning when we woke up, but it was totally worth it. Best night ever! Our friends and family are still talking about the party, and we got some really great photos to capture it all. There is nothing better than having every single person in your life that you love all in the same room celebrating for you.

bridesmaids at engagement party

Monday, August 19

The weekend went by so fast. Saturday, Rene and I spent the day in bed (hungover), reminiscing about the party the night before. I get so happy when I think about the awesome time we had. Sunday, we painted our bedroom, which was fun. I’ve been begging Rene to paint it because I hated the color, and it looks so good now. We went with a gray color with the trim in white, and I’m so much happier. It’s amazing what a change of color can do! Eating wise, I had a terribleweekend. I pigged out Friday night after the party, plus all day Saturday and Sunday, eating whatever I wanted and not working out once. Bonne is going to need to kick my butt into shape this week!

Work today dragged on. Rene and I went to PF Changs for dinner after running some errands. I ate egg drop soup, steamed shrimp dumplings, and shrimp with brown rice. I definitely went over my caloric intake yet again. I haven’t even stepped on the scale since the last time I was with Bonne because I’m scared!

Tuesday, August 20

I’m finally feeling back to normal from the craziness of last week and ready to get myself back into shape. I ate a salad with tuna for lunch and went to the gym with Rene after work, doing a half hour on the elliptical. For dinner, Rene had made his very first sauce with meatballs and sausage, and it was so good. We put it over Barilla Multi-grain thin spaghetti, and it was the perfect meal after working out.

Wednesday, August 21

I woke early up this morning and took a 5:45 a.m. spin class. I sweat like it was no one’s business, and it felt great. The new gym I joined has brand new spin bikes with a heart rate monitor that shows the resistance level, calories, RPM, and more. They are awesome! I’m so happy I went this morning because now I can’t wait to go again tomorrow. It feels great to be back in the swing of things.

stationary bike

For breakfast, I had two hard-boiled eggs and a skim latte. I ate a nectarine as a mid-morning snack. For lunch, I had another salad with tuna and some fruit. I went food shopping after work and then made broiled tilapia over spinach with sautéed asparagus.

Thursday, August 23

I went spinning again this morning. The instructor for both of my classes this week is really motivating. I chatted with her in the locker room about my blog and my weight loss journey and she was so supportive. I will definitely keep going back to her classes.

I had a large iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda for breakfast, and leftover tilapia, asparagus and brown rice for lunch. My little brother leaves to go to college tomorrow at Cortland (upstate NY), so Rene and I went to my mom and dad’s for dinner. My dad made whole wheat spaghetti and meatballs; a sauce with mussels, clams and shrimp; and homemade pizzas. I ate what I wanted to, but didn’t overindulge. I’m so happy for my brother but sad to see him leave.

Friday, August 23

Happy Friday! This morning, I ate three hard-boiled egg whites and got a skinny latte from Starbucks for breakfast. I brought baked eggplant made with olive oil and whole wheat breadcrumbs for lunch (fresh eggplant from my dad’s garden!) that I can’t wait to eat. Rene and I are going to the gym when I get home from work, and I’ll do some cardio on the elliptical. My shoulders were really sore when I woke up this morning from spinning. I need to not put so much pressure on my shoulders and arms and spin more with my core muscles. We are training tomorrow morning with Bonne, so we'll have a quiet night, and I’m praying she doesn’t work my arms too hard!

—Jennifer Crow