Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Masters

The final to-do list that will just keep growing till it's done and over, but here is what I still need to do with 3 weeks left.

Book transportation
Finish seating chart
Make escort cards
Finalize schedule
Book Rehearsal Dinner Catering
Send Rehearsal Dinner e-vite
Make baskets for ceremony programs
Finish design of programs
Get programs printed
Get/Wrap attendant gifts
Finalize flowers
Make a list of all must-take shots for photographer
Make out-of-town bags
Confirm times with salon
Purchase ceremony music
Finalize vows
Make must-play list
Get HairCut
Get Manicure/Pedicure

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where did 70 days go?

Oh hello there blog.

I've been quiet lately. The RSVP's are coming in a few everyday, we are at about 100 guests. There have been other accomplishments too, but lets just skip those little updates and get to the juicy stuff.

Its less than one month away, today is the RSVP deadline.

26 days and we will be celebrating our behinds off! 26 days and I'll be married. Wow, saying that is kind of exciting. I feel like we were just at 100 days... where did 70 days go?

KJ and I sat reading through some vow samples this evening and it kind of hit home. It was really exciting, kind of nerve wracking, at partly unbelievable. So, feeling kind of nostalgic here is the story of "us".

KJ and I knew each other, very very vaguely 3 years prior to us actually meeting. We were in our college marching band together but he was a few years older. We each had our circles and they didn't cross over too much. However, even in a 300 person band, a name and a face sticks with you.

So, three years later KJ and I actually met on the weekend of Bridesmaids J's 21st birthday. In true college fashion J had planned a whole weekend celebration for her big 21. We had planned to crash at Bridesmaid J's friend's, Groomsman E, house for the weekend as he lived in a huge old house that could sleep a small country. When we arrived at Groomsman E's we walked in to an empty and half decrepit house with two boys sitting on the couch playing some version of PlayStation Baseball. Boy 1 was KJ. Boy 2 was another of the roommate. KJ and Groomsman E had been roommates and friends for a few years, so hanging out with Groomsman E on Bridesmaid J's birthday, was an inevitable meeting.

Now, here is where the story gets boring - KJ was sick all weekend so besides saying hello from across the room, and having him try to sit in on a lame game of Hearts when he was running a 100+ fever... well nothing else happened. And nothing else was going to happen if you asked me then - boys were not on my priority list at the time we met. I had recently broken up with someone and was enjoying the single life. KJ on the other hand had different priorities...

There were house parties and other reason, like watching Lost from the beginning, why Bridesmaid J and I returned to spend time at Groomsmen E's house that summer. We had probably visited 3 or 4 times (I was living in the city and Bridesmaid J in the 'burbs so we tried to plan weekend trips every few weeks) before KJ and I really got to spend time together. And the first time we did was a night I will never forget!

Now, I can't spill all the reasons why this night was one of infamy, but to summarize, finding one individual passed out in a car that was not theirs at 6 in the morning, with a half eaten banana in their hand and one of the tail lights on the car pulled out... well, how COULD you forget that?

Oh yeah.. it was also the first time KJ and I hand hung out alone. So sometime around 4 in the morning after a few classic movies (ie Spinal Tap and Ghostbusters), a good amount of beer ::pointing finger around the room, I don't drink beer so it wasn't me::, and taco bell (ok, this one was me, I'm a sucker for a taco) people started to trickle on to bed, and I got a craving for some good ol' fashion french toast. (OMG, french toast is the best breakfast in the world). I may have suggested some breakfast to a certain boy with a car, who may have thought 'ah ha! Now is my chance' and offered to take me to IHOP (mmm, classy).

You would be surprised by how many people are at a campus town IHOP at 5am on a Saturday. The place was packed and the waitresses looked exhausted! So we dined and dissected our lives over french toast and eggs. It was weird... something clicked and I kind of felt angry with myself. ANGRY! Why angry? Because, as I had said, recently broken up, did NOT want to get into this game again.

That breakfast is ingrained into my head, there was something so hilariously ironic about sitting at an IHOP in the wee hours of the morning, the first rays of sunshine blinding me through the windows, yet being able to just talk and appreciate the fantastic company I was in - completely sober.

Now, before you go thinking I'm one of those hopeless romantic types and KJ drove me off into the sunrise in a charcoal escape, you can put on the parking break.

Yeah, NOT happening. So we had some chemistry - I took a chemistry class in high school and that didn't turn out to well, what makes you think this experiment would!

We went our own ways after that weekend and hopefully would see each other again (so what if Bridesmaid J had to listen to me blab for 3 hours on our way home the next morning). I was off to Florida with some SAI sisters for our national convention and KJ was off with his band to play Warped Tour.

Like any good business person should know, its all about the follow up. I was a little surprised when I got a phone call in Orlando from some 217 number I had no idea who it was. It couldn't be from KJ because he never asked me for my number (which he lost points for). He did however ask Bridesmaid J for it (ok, plus a 1/2 point for the follow up). But plus about 10 points for other follow-up methods:

I was in Florida when the "package" arrived... My mom was anxious to see what the heck was in this box from the person whose name she had never heard of. I did my best to keep her nose out of my business and when I got home, I opened the package to find an adorable little pug puppy stuffed animal (I may have shared my obsession with these snot-nosed little cutties over breakfast). Being a gift from a drummer, I thought it completely fitting to name the little guy Styx.

So Styx and I returned to campus (for good) in July/August and spent time with KJ, et al. It wasn't too much longer before we decided to try actually dating. Keyword "TRY". KJ was moving out of Groomsman E's house to go finish school elsewhere, which means not only was I dating someone, I was dating someone long distance.

It wasn't until about KJ's birthday in October that we found our relationship sea legs and figured out seeing each other on the weekends could in fact work. And sense then, we haven't looked back. What started out as chemistry, turned into a hypothesis, an experiment, and ultimately, a lasting formula.

...and it's only the beginning of what is yet to come.

The end.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Great Goodbyes

As some of you know, two of my dear friends got new jobs and are leaving where we all worked together for bigger and better jobs. Topped off my our old director leaving about a month ago, that brings our 4 person department down to 1 - Me. So, I've been besides myself crazy. But alas, that's for a different post.

These two friends decided to take me out to brunch this morning for an "office wedding celebration" minus the office. While we celebrated their departure yesterday in the office with a pizza party and milkshakes, this kind of acted as a last goodbye, as I wont see them for a few weeks.

We met at a local restaurant known for its AMAZING breakfast food.

As we dined on the patio we talked about new endeavors and wedding plans - they presented me
with a card and my first set ever of SILLY BANDZ - the princess set :D

After a yummy meal, we walked over to a local ice cream and sweets place (Grahams).

Now, I was told that we were going there because one of the girls cousins worked there (which they do) but when I walked in I was greeted by two presents (easily identified for any Bride-to-Be as Bed Bath & Beyond's silver & purple wrapping) and a beautiful PINK gift bag, marking this trip to Grahams as a little impromptu shower!

We ordered a round of chocolate fondue, talked, and played a little trivia game called COFFEE SMARTS (super cute gift for your favorite barista, btw!) In between I had the chance to unwrap a new coffee machine, a bag of Starbuck's Breakfast Blend, 3 bottles of Sugar Free Syrup (which is awesome because S.F. Syrups make my diabetic-friendly coffee addiction possible), and two adorable coffee cups. Funny enough, the coffee cups were from one of the sets of plates KJ and I discussed early on: the Misto collection from Bed, Bath and Beyond! The girls didn't even know these mugs were our favorite coffee cups ever when we were looking for dishes - such a small, and happy, world!

The gifts were great because much coffee will be needed to keep me productive at work in the next few weeks. I am lucky to have worked with such fantastic people (who will both be at the wedding) and even luckier to be able to celebrate with them both!

Thanks for the GREAT morning, ladies!

Marketing Department (plus 'Little H', 2nd from left) at our last event of the season!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wedding Shower Part Deux!

Last weekend, courtesy of my mom, MOH S, BM K and BM J - KJ and I got to celebrate our marriage again at our second wedding shower which was at Houlihan's in Geneva. I learned my lesson after forgetting to take pictures at the first shower and kind of went photo crazy at this shower. It was so much fun and I loved seeing family and friends who I hadn't seen in some time - here is a quick recap:

MOH S, BM J, Me, and BM K... we really missed BM B who had to work. I have a good looking bridal party!

... Best Man K and Groom KJ enjoying the fun, maybe... I can't quite tell from their expression.

There was some socializing...

and LOTS of food...

and games for all to enjoy...

...even Father of the Groom K played along!

It was a great afternoon that KJ and I really really enjoyed!

And at the end of the day I got to take home the amazing sunflower centerpieces that MOH S provided. They made the perfect backdrop for some pretty e-ring shots.

Houlihans was a great place for the shower. They had a beautiful private party room which was the perfect size for the shower - and the service was awesome. The gave us a small menu with about 6 options so everyone could choose their own meal, which was nice. There was lots of laughs all through the afternoon - such a great way to celebrate!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shoesday Chronicales - Part 5

As I was writing Part 3 about my online shopping I went back to visit some pages and grab pictures off the websites to post. It just so happened as I was looking for a picture of Kate Spade's Lovely shoes (pictured below) on zappos, I came across a new pair of shoes I had not seen before!

Kate Spade, Lovely

Badgley Mischka, Xango

At 3 inches, a peep toe, and pink - I was crazy excited but still reluctant to commit. I took a few days to mull it over, and wound up ordering them!

Wondering if this could possibly be the pair of shoes I would wear on my wedding day I waited and waited the 5 long days it took for the shoes to ship to my work address. When they finally arrived I tore open the box and carefully worked my way through the pristine wrapping holding my new shoes.

Upon opening, I thought they were just "ok". When I tried the shoe on my foot - I new these would not be my wedding day shoes.

First of all, the shoes were to big. I wear an 8, but had tried on some Badgley Mischka shoes before that seemed small, so I ordered and 8.5. The shoe probably had 1/2 an inch extra space in the back. I could always exchange them but the size was not the only issue.

A 3 inch heel was what I was looking for, but this shoe was terribly uncomfortable. Maybe the way it was built, but it felt a lot higher than 3 inches and I knew I wouldn't be able to cope with these all day.

So I packed up the Xango's and put the return label back on the box.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Labor of Love #2

The invitations are in the mail - hallelujah!

In an amazing effort by KJ and myself - our invitations made it to the post office early Tuesday morning and we've had a good response that people have seen our pretty pink envelopes filling up their mailboxes already.

Warning to any soon-to-be brides out there, DIY Invitations are SUPER stressful.

They are also worth it - take a look at our completely one-of-a-kind custom

It all started with a bag:

and inside that bag was a lot of paper courtesy of Paper Source:

I had never been to Paper Source, but its one of my new favorite places. Its so colorful inside!!

Very important in DIY Invitations: A Mom with pretty handwriting and a heart of gold, willing to hand address envelopes for hours and a time.

Exhibit A - Mom's pretty hand writing:

And I've talked a lot about BM (Best Man - NOT Bridesmaid Kris) Kris' design talents - here they are in real life:

He worked from the inspiration invitations that I ordered (but never actually came in the mail) from

BM Kris also designed a Directions Card and our RSVP Cards:

KJ took over postage and stuffing while I manned the hot glue gun to assemble the ribbons and wax seals.

Before stuffing, each invitation was topped off with a Moo Card - the idea came from the super crafty ladies of weddingbee:

And a must have for any DIY Invitation project: a fiance willing to personally lick 111 pink envelopes:

I think I've said it over 20 times in the last four days, but I LOVE our invitations. I feel bad for loving them so much, because "paper" was one of the things I was willing to let take a back seat in wedding planning. I feel they get thrown out so quickly, or lost, or like a lot of my invitations - coffee-stained. But when you put hours and hours of work into these invitations, well they kind of find this very special little place in your heart.

I sent them out Tuesday and got the first RSVP back in the mail today! I'm SO excited, so keep 'em comin' folks!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends...

I've been light on the blogging as of late.

And thats because the past weeks I've been working on the BIGGEST DIY project... ever.

This project started as something small and simple, a way to save money, and has turned into a monster undertaking.

Le sigh... I'm about 20 minutes away from going to pick up the invitations from the printer, and I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can honestly say that our best man, Kris, and been aaaamazing in this whole processes. Kris is a Graphic Designer who also did our Save-The-Dates. Without his time and hard work we wouldn't have our very special and one-of-a-kind invitations.

I've learned a lot through this project - and I'd love to spend a few minutes sharing my new knowledge about DIY invitations.

#1. It's never as easy as it looks.

I found some inspiration invitations on The invitations actually looked pretty simple in design, but cute, something that fit what I was looking for. When we had went to Kris and asked him to design something based off the inspiration invitations I had no idea how difficult it would be to make these no-hassle invitations. Probably close to 48 hours of design time later, and a hand drawn font by our designer - our invitations were getting close to what we wanted.

#2. Printers suck.

The wonderful store Paper Source offered a multitude of paper sizes in every color of the rainbow, including a 5X7 invitation and a 4x6 size, perfect for an RSVP card. What the store doesn't tell you is that no printer (Super Print, Kinkos, etc) can print on paper smaller than 8 1/2 x 11. Well, I take that back, Super Print was able to print on the smaller size, but they would charge $50 in set up for each run because they had to put it through the printing press. We had a total of 7 different images to be printed - which means in set up fees alone, before copies, the printing would be upwards of $300.

My new favorite store, Paper Source, is awesome, but it's also 30 some miles away from my apartment so getting there is a little bit of a hike. All in all, I had to put about 200 miles on my car going back and forth between the store (3 trips), and one emergency trip that I called my mom on. Again, thanks to the wonderful Kris, he suggested making a final trip to Paper Source to return the pre-cut paper, getting the same paper in 8 1/2 x 11, and having the printer cut it. (For about $350 LESS than what I was quoted).

#3 You can never estimate enough cushion time.

One of my jobs and work it to put together the budget and projections for all of the marketing projects. With all these projections, I over estimate their expense just a little in case anything happens and we need to do a second run or make changes late in the game. It winds up working out really well, because most of the time the projects are right under projections and we are under budget in our expenses.

Sadly, I'm don't have the same skills when it comes to projecting time. I thought that design and printing would take about 3 weeks. In looking back through my e-mail, my first invitation-related e-mail to Kris was May 5th. This project has now been 7 weeks in the making... no wonder I haven't been blogging lately!

and finally, #4. Just because another bride has it, doesn't mean you have to.

Wax Seals, embossed print, Moo Cards, Ribbon Belly Bands. I did SO much research that I was over stimulated on invitation ideas. I wanted them all. I'm happy to report I have pretty much everything I wanted (well, not embossed invitations, those were clearly out of my budget) - it just took a whole crap load of time and effort.

I'm going to have the invitations in the mail Wednesday. Well... I say that tonight, but if I learned anything through this, they will probably be in the mail Saturday. Lots of assembling lie ahead. Pictures coming soon!!