Friday, March 28, 2008

Save the Date Drama

So last week I had the day off work on Friday and met with our stationery designer to pick up the save the dates for our October wedding. Since we have so many family members and friends who will be travelling to Chicago we knew we wanted to have them out 6 months ahead of time. They were over 2 weeks late getting finished, but still in time for the deadline we set for ourselves. I pick them do a quick glance and am very pleased. I admit that this was my mistake- I should have looked closer when I picked them up.

I collect addresses from my parents and Andrew's parents, and I start addressing envelopes. I get everything addressed and then I really sit down to look at the save the dates. This is when I freak out.

The wedding website is wrong. Our actual site is through, and I really like it. The site listed on the STD is BriannaandAndrew dot com. Not even close. I'm flipping out, and Andrew is positively irate.

I then remember that the Knot has a few wedding websites recommended that can be purchased. I go online to wedding tracker and am able to find that BriannaandAndrew is available. I buy it, and will be using that homepage to redirect people to our actual homepage.

Crisis avoided, problem solved, and now I have a new project for the weekend, getting everything to link up before the first STDs arrive. Still seething, mind you, but very relieved. We decided to go out to dinner after that since we were both too edgy to cook.

Now, I'm planning to DIY the remaining pieces and end our relationship with this vendor. The lateness I could let slide if the quality was worth it. Now I don't have that feeling. So I'll be going over some websites and checking into the costs and hopefully finding some easy to follow instructions!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Planning and Procrastinating

I've had some good luck this week making progress. Here's how it got started.

Friday last week I had the day off work and was able to meet with our stationary designer, Jen at Card Ink. I picked up our save the date cards. She and I talked about the pieces that are still left to do; invitations, menu cards, program covers, escort cards; and looked at a timeline for each and the information she'll need to complete the design and the printing/assembling. I'm so excited!

I can't wait to get the save the dates out to everyone. I have a few addresses that I still need from my parents, but I've got more than enough to get started. I'm addressing the envelopes myself with a calligraphy pen I picked up at a Micheal's near our apartment. I've only got a few done, and while they're not professional calligrapher quality, they still look really good. One of the things Jen and I decided is that I'll pick up the envelopes before the invitations are finished so I can get a head start on addressing those.

I was able to get in touch with Nichole at Harp Melodies and she's already sent me a contract for the ceremony. We heard her play at the tasting event we went to in February, and it's beautiful. Because of the stairs and such in the church, she'll be on the floor in the sanctuary, probably near the front. Soooo exited. I've already signed the contract and sent her the deposit. We'll meet sometime this summer to go over song selections.

I was able to get in touch with the company we want to use for our DJ, and they've sent me a contract for the package we'd like that I can review. Everything looks like it's in order, but I'd like to make sure my dad has no additional questions before we sign anything and make it official.

I've got plans to head up to Geneva the first weekend in April, and I've already made two appointments. First, I'll be heading to Veiled in Elegance and officially ordering the dress. I'm so excited! I'm a little bummed that Kathy won't have the sample in stock yet, but I know it's absolutely the right dress, so I'm not worried about changing my mind or anything like that. After that, we'll be meeting with a potential photographer. I'd like to get a better sense of his packages, and the fees associated with each. He also offers videography so if we can I'd like to get both from him.

I booked appointments for cake tasting and for a tasting with the country club for the reception. Those aren't until May, but it's nice to have them on the calendar.

I heard from one of my bridesmaids, Shannon, who let me know that she's already ordered her dress. I'm so excited! I can't wait to hear how they come out. I bet hte girls are going to look beautiful. I've ordered part of their gifts, and they've already come in. They look better in person than I expected! I ordered one for myself first, thinking that if it didn't come out great, I wouldn't feel as bad just spending the money on myself. I can't wait to get the final pieces of the gifts and have everything all together.

It's starting to feel real. I can't believe how quickly it's coming! So the rest of this week is all about getting envelopes addressed and getting them over to the post office.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rainy Monday Afternoons

Rainy Monday afternoons are perfect for sitting on the couch with a great movie or a good book. Maybe throw in some hot chocolate and a sleepy puppy curled at my feet and I'm a happy girl. Am I doing those things right now? No, I'm working. And only freaking out a little over the to-do list for the wedding.

Why am I freaking out? I made the mistake of looking at the entire list. Not this week or this month but the entire thing. Sure we've gotten 70 items checked off, but there are still 130 to go. That seems like an awful lot to do in less than 7 months. I'm printing it off for our moms so they can see what's left and what I might need to add to the list. I'd also like to show them what's completed. I think they'll have good suggestions for what to add and hopefully they'll be impressed with all I've done on my own.

We have to address and send our save the dates this week. Which is very doable, but we have no addresses for more than half the list. DAAAAHHH!!! The save the dates may wind up with printed labels and I'll do the calligrpahy for the invites. Or I'll do the people that I have and just send the rest as the addresses come. Hate that idea, hate it.

I'm going to meet with the stationary designer this weekend and set a firm timeline for everything that's left. Here's what we have: invitations, programs/covers, menu cards, place cards, thank you notes, table number signs.

We need to finalize the contract for our DJ. Andrew and I agree that the guy we're looking at will do a great job. Just need to make sure my dad has no additional questions. I think he and my mom are on vacation this week. I should know that.

There are a bunch of little details that I've been able to confirm with the church for the big day, which is a gret feeling. I've got a list of some of the small fees that are associated with the ceremony as well and I'm going to start getting those paid. Not that I think it won't get done, but I think it would make me feel better to get a jump on a few things. And get a few more items off the list.

All these tiny details. And only 7 months. My eye is twitching.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Big Decision

So I've been thinking about the bouquet toss. What should we do? In general I don't really like the bouquet and the garter toss. Plus, I think we're going to have a small number of single ladies at the wedding. If we do a toss to the single ladies, I'd like to do a break-apart bouquet. That way it's still a little different. But I've had some other ideas as well. Maybe we do an anniversary dance and honor the couple who's been married the longest by giving the wife the bouquet. Maybe we ask the married men to come up and toss to them so they can give it to their wives.

It's a tough decision, and really I'm not sure which way to lean. Hence the poll on the side of the page.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Little Items Off the List

As any bride can attest, the list of questions to answer and little things to do can seem daunting at its best. It's as if everything that gets done leads to three more things to do. This week, so far at least, has been my attempt to get those details under control. Here's a little bit of what I've done since Monday.

* Reviewed photographer websites with Andrew and ranked the photogrpahers who are avaiable on our date.
* Sent photographer details, including pricing information, to my dad for his review. Since he is footing the bill for most of the details, I've given him final veto power on our vendors.
* Contacted three DJ's to confirm availability.
* Again, compiled details to send to my dad about the various packages we could select.
* Contacted our church to confirm what information they need from us in regards to the pastor conducting our ceremony. They have been incredibly easy to work with and have had very few requests for us. Because of this, I like to get things done for them as quickly as I can. I'll have to get the details to them tomorrow.
* I contacted our stationary designer to confirm when we'll be able to pick up our save the dates. I also asked some naggy questions about what item should be next on the list, and whether we could start to pay some of the deposits on the remaining items or if we'd have to wait until we had a confirmed head count. I also asked about adding an item to the list as we'd like to use our monograms as stickers on the out of town guest gift boxes/bags.
* I contacted a local harpist about playing for our ceremony. She is currently available, although we may not need her if my college director is able to play for us. She's got a $100 deposit to hold the date, and I'll have to see what we do about holding her or if we're not going to worry about it.
* I ordered something for the bridesmaids as a part of their gift last week, and it's come in. It looks like I only have one more piece to get for them and the gifts will be ready to take to my parents' house for storage until they're ready to be wrapped and given.
* I filled out the two forms we need to provide our pastor at the beginning of our marriage-prep counseling sessions.
* I signed up for the new member course at the church so that I'll officially be a member by the time of the wedding.
* I called the bakery and booked a consultation for the second weekend in May.
* I booked the tasting for the country club so we can finalize the reception menu, for the same day as the tasting.
* I booked the appointment with the bridal salon to get measured and place the order for my dress.

All this, and I'll still be able to go shopping with my future mother-in-law tonight as our celebration of my birthday. I think I've earned that girls' night I'm planning for Saturday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Birthday Weekend & Very Calm Evening

Sunday was my birthday, and I spent the day with Andrew. We went to church with his parents and came home for lunch and just relaxed for most of the afternoon. Andrew went out to see a friend of his, or at least so I thought. He came back with our placemats that Crate & Barrel is getting ready to pull from the shelves since they're seasonal, and he didn't want us to miss out on them. He also had a beautiful new vase from Crate & Barrel and the most gorgeous arrangement of flowers I've ever seen. I was so suprised and cried a little when he came in with everything.

We went to dinner at the Corner Wine Bar, down in Broadripple that night. We had a great time. We're looking at going back later this month for one of their wine tasting events.

Yesterday I was surpised with cake at work, always fun. Nothing too interesting happened, but for the first time in a long time, I was completely relaxed last night. No stress left over from work, no worries about the next day. Andrew and I had a great dinner, that he cooked. We watched some TV and then just relaxed with each other.

I pulled up a the websites of the photographers I like who are available on our day, and he wnet through them and told me which ones he liked. I'm sending their details to my dad today so that he can look at them as well. Since he's the one who'll be writing the checks.

With all of that done, I poured a glass of wine, found a comfy spot on the couch, and cuddled up with the puppy who proceeded to curl up on my lap, fall asleep and start snoring, loudly. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night.

Friday, March 7, 2008

So glad that it's Friday

I'm ready for the weekend. This was a pretty busy week to begin with, and especially when you factor in Andrew's accident.

We've got ballroom dance lessons tonight, and then dinner with his parents. So far the lessons have been really fun, and we're getting pretty good with some of the basic steps. We're pretty good with cha-cha and fox trot, still working on swing, and getting very comfortable with a traditional waltz. We weren't able to pick our song before this lesson, so hopefully we'll have that decided for the next one. Kriistina, our instructor has offered to owrk with us to choreograph our first dance. I'm really excited about that. It'll be so much nicer than us just standing there swaying like we're still in seventh grade. I didn't bring my shoes with me this time either, but I think I will for the next class. I may ask Kriistina how soon she thinks I should start practicing in the actual shoes I'll be wearing that day.

After we get home, I think we're in for a very low-key night at home, possibly with one of Andrew's friends coming over, but really I think that's about it.

Tomorrow I have to go the license branch and renew my plates. Not very fun or exciting, but very necessary. The fun part will come after that when I go to get some contact lenses. I've been saying that I want to get them fora while now, and I do want to have them and be comfortable in them before the wedding. I'm kind of excited, but a little nervous too. It's kind of my birthday present to myself.

Yup, I said birthday. Sunday is the big day, I'll be 27. I'm not sure exactly where we're going or hwat we're doing, but I know we're going out to dinner somewhere. It should be fun. It'll be niceto have a Sunday just to the two of us since we're usually pretty busy. We'll see what we wind up with!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Close calls

I am incredibly lucky. Andrew was in a pretty bad car accident on Tuesday. I left work early and met him at the ER and stayed with him and his mom until the doctors said he was ok to go home.

He was driving on 465 on his way home from a meeting and the roads were icy and slushy, and the weather was just generally bad. He was in the far left lane, and someone attempted to merge into his lane and cut him off. He braked, which I think anyone would have done, in order to avoid getting hit and lost control of the car as it started to spin. He remembers making eye contact with the driver of the semi behind him and then his car was pushed into the cement median. The entire trunk of his car was smashed in, to a point where it looked like he didn't have one.

I was so scared on my way to the hospital, I had no idea what to expect. He was still strapped to the board that they put him on in the ambulance to restrict movement in case of any serious back/neck damage. He was uncomfortable, but he was ok. After much waiting and a few more x-rays, the doctor came in and told us he was ok.

He's got a few sore muscles, and just a little bruising from the seat belt, but other than that. he's completely ok. I can't imagine what I'd do without him. I'm so glad he's ok.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Shoes just arrived!!!!

So we got home last night and we've got a note on our door that UPS tried to deliver a package for me. This afternoon Andrew swung by the apartment office and picked it up. I ask him who it's from and he says Lindsay something from Hague Bridge. I pause and ask if it could be "Haute Bride." He says, oh yeah, that could be it.

I ordered the shoes about a week ago when they were having a big online sale. FABULOUS discounts on some amazing shoes. I saved nearly $100, including the cost of shipping the shoes from California to Indiana. They are exactly what I was looking for and in perfect condition after the shipping.

My beautiful shoes are here! Along with a fiance who apparently cannot read.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Random Recipes that Come from Our Kithcen #1

So we're sitting at home trying to decide what to have for dinner. We had a pretty random assortment of half-full jars in the fridge and didn't want to go grocery shopping. Andrew decides to grab some pork chops that we'd planning to use this week and just make something up. Here's what our dinner turned out to be:

Breaded pork chops with sun-dried tomatoes and crumbled Feta cheese on top; served over a bed of fresh mushrooms and baby spinach, with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side.

It was awesome. I just finished a few left-overs that I brough into the office for lunch. Still incredibly tasty.

I think this means I'm in charge of cooking tonight.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Not So Busy Weekend

For the first weekend in about 3 months, Andrew and I weren't booked solid from Friday night to Sunday night. We had a chance to be lazy on Saturday morning, even letting the puppy hang out on the bed with us while we watched some cartoons. We were able to take our time running errands and doing some chores around the apartment, and we totally took advantage of the beautiful day and went for an hour-long walk with Loki. He was so excited to play outside! We went out on Saturday and slept in again on Sunday morning. That doesn't happen nearly as often as I think it should!

We were able to go through some things for the wedding, and it looks like we've narrowed own our list of possible photographers. We also got some possible dates narrowed down for the shower his aunt is hosting. I made the second edition of our bridal party newsletter and sent it out to everyone.

This week will be a little more busy than last week, but it's all still pretty fun!

I got an email from my cousin Stephanie over the weekend and decided that I need to do a better job keeping up with everyone. It's always been a little bit hard since I was in Chicago and now Indy and they're in Philadelphia, but we're all basically grown ups now, so it should be possible to stay in touch at least. I'm not sure how I'll do it, but I'll try and come up with something. Even if all it turns out to be is sending emails or making phone calls, it'll be better than what I'm doing now. I miss everyone, and it's hard to imagine that they've only met Andrew once. I'd like for them to see him at least once more before the wedding. I think we'll be able to go in June when my two youngest cousins graduate from high school. We'll see what I can work out.