Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 26.

Chris and I are getting married in 26 days.


There is still so much to be done!  I've just decided that I want to ditch the OOT (out of town) bag idea and opt for a customized gift instead....something that everyone will have and use!

I've also decided that I do actually want to take my own photographer with me.  I hate that I waited so long to figure this out.

I've decided that I am going to go ahead and order fresh flowers instead of going with a paper bouquet or faux flowers for my wedding party.  Its just something about fresh flowers...

Chris has finally shifted into 2nd gear...he went out today and started purchasing some things specifically for the trip.  Me?  I think I have everything I need.  I could probably start packing today!

Things left to do:

Go over the long list of things to do for the Cocktail party.

Print everything and put it into my folder (itenarary, conversation strand with wedding coordinator in Mexico, pictures of make up and hair do's I like, etc.)


I continue to be abnormally cool, calm and collected about everything.  From the beginning, I vowed to stay stress free.  I think I've done a good job of cutting off things that caused me a little stress.  Afterall, this is why I decided to do the wedding away and have a very small bridal party, right?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fire under my feet.

It is April 16, 2013.  In exactly 2 month and 2 days at this exact time, Chris and I will probably be having dinner in the Riviera Maya.  We would have arrived earlier that day.

It is April 16, 2013 and I am ONLY on the third stage of planning with the wedding coordinator at the Barcelo.  You see, due to the simple fact that I have been so busy at work, the wedding planning has taken a bit of a back seat...just a little.  Thanks goodness for "stages" because as the coordinator emails me with the next set of tasks, I get to work!

Within the past 10 months, I've managed to pick a place, set the date, pick ANOTHER place, set ANOTHER date, make the arrangements, get a dress, pick the menu, get a photographer, pass out when my photographer lets me know he couldn't make it after all, pay off the wedding and now I am at the phase where I have to pick the location and come up with seating arrangments for the actual wedding reception...even though there are STILL folks who are trying to make arrangements.  Yep.  So far, we have a total of 34 people (including us) going! I phase 3:  Who to sit next to whom.  How many tables?  To assign or not to assign?  Thank goodness for the destination bride forum and other fabulous brides who have paved the way for folks like me who haven't a clue.  Here is what I am thinking:

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this place setting!!!  A starfish and an orchid (or not) along with a simple card on the cloth napkin with the menu inside.  I am absolutely doing this!!!!

Because we are having a cocktail party the very next weekend after we return from Mexico, I am in the process of planning that as well.  Lucky for me, this past Friday I found out that one of the parents at my school is a cake/cookie/cake pop extraordianaire!  I talked to her today and I have decided to hand over the dessert bar totally to her.  Her creations are beyond exquisite and I have no doubt that what she does will be so impressive that she will drum up more additional business than she can ever imagine!  Be sure to like her page on Facebook (YellowCake with Sugar) and check out some of her creations:  She is SUPER reasonable and an absolute joy to work with!  Here is my inspiration for the dessert bar:

Finally, after turning up my nose at the man who was going to charge me $9 a person to cater finger foods, I've secured  my friend Monica to "cater" the cocktail party! She has been coming up with wonderful ideas ever since I've asked her.  I've also assembled a team of amazingly creative women to handle the day so that I can be completely hands off!  The step in the planning of the cocktail party...the cocktails!!! FOUR signature drinks...stay tuned!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Countdown.

SOO much to little time!  With less than 3 months to go before our big day, I find myself unbelievably calm.  There is so much to be done, but for some reason I am still coasting on my new job high!  Thank goodness I have a 3 day work week this week so I have 4 days to get the invitations for the destination wedding done and sent out to guests who have confirmed their reservations and are definitely coming to the Riviera Maya.

Creeping up right behind invitations would be my Bridal Showers.  Right now, there are 3 being planned.  I hope to get atleast 2 more registries going this upcoming week as well.  I have got to do a better job of getting my address and email lists compiled.

I know I've been saying this, but I really need to kick my workout plan into overdrive.  When I bought my dress, it fit like a glove and I was told not to lose or gain.  I do want to look good on the beach, so I have my own personal goals that I will have to work hard on in order to see some results in less than 90 days.

The end of March also brings the confirmation of our caterer for our at home cocktail party as well as the finalization of the wedding menu.  Both of these events are going to have some amazing food, drinks and desserts!  I also need to get on Pinterest and get some drink ideas for our signature drinks as well as some trinket ideas.

I am a little all over the place,  understandably.  I have had an amazing year filled with change for the better!  I am so thankful for fabulous friends who have stepped in, volunteered to take care of tasks and are keeping me on track.  I need to be kept on track.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The dress.

I booked a fitting at David's Bridal in November to try on wedding dresses.  It was never my intention to walk out of that place with a dress.  I was simply going to try on different styles and get my measurements taken.  As a matter of fact, I already had an idea of what my wedding dress would look like.  I had long ago made the decision to get this dress made in China:

Because my style is "different," this dress, to me, would go right along with what everyone would expect to see me in.  I found someone (on Ebay) who could make it for me for right under $300.  $300 would be my budget as I had made my mind up that THIS was my dress.  Done deal.  Really no need to search, right?

So I go to David's Bridal with my sister in law and my good friend, Desiree.  Both of who would be brutally honest with me.  On this wintery day in November, I got stuck with a consultant who was probably young enough to be my daughter and would be of no help to us...other than the fact that she was sugary sweet and used to be a student of my SIL.  Bless her heart. Oh, and heaven help her!

The dress consultant was running over with her prior appointment.  Everyone who knows me knows that I will not wait more than possibly 20 minutes when it comes to my food or service that I am paying for.  At the 21 minute mark, my Desiree and I got up and began pulling dresses ourselves.  The manager politely and quietly just got us a fitting room without asking any questions.  We were on a mission!

The young consultant would only have to pull 3 dresses for me by the time she was available.  We pulled 4, one being a dress that was on clearance that looked plain and simple through the protective bag and another, very similar to my dream dress, with lots and lots of ruffles at the bottom.

With my Wendy and Desiree in place, the fitting began.  I picked these ladies because they are very matter of fact and would not let me think that I looked beautiful if I didn't nor would they tell me what they thought I wanted to hear.  They both also LOVED my dream dress and would stay focused.  Easy pezzy.  Or so I thought.

The fitting began.  It was brutal.  "No ma'am, take it off."  "That dress is hideous."  "Uh, uh, nope."  *Silence*  Poor dress consultant.  She didn't stand a chance.  They tore her selections to pieces.  LOL.  They went on to show her the picture of my dream dress.  She, too, was reeled in at this point.  However, once I tried on a dress with all the ruffles at the bottom, it completely swallowed me.  I was a disappointed.  Other than the side strap, the ruffles were the beauty of my dream dress!  As she started to go away to put up the dresses that had gotten the thumbs down, there was still that one left for me to try on...the plain and simple one I pulled.  She told me, "They are not going to like it, but you can try it on."  I took one look at the price tag and did just that.

When I appeared from the dressing room, there was silence...A different sort of silence this time.  I turned and looked at myself in the mirror and I was speechless as well.  Not only did the dress fit like a glove, but it was not so plain and simple after all.  It was a trumpet with a different neckline...strapless, but not sweetheart.  It was my exact length with my heels on and would need NO alterations what so ever.  The dress consultant immediately added a sparkling sash around my waist and a fascinator on my head.  Both critics chimed in together, "That is your dress."  I rang the was indeed my dress.

I couldn't believe I walked out of the dress store with a dress!  If I told you how much I paid for it, you wouldn't even believe me!  Let's just say both the sash and the fascinator were more expensive than my wedding dress.  I ended up buying a Vera Wang cocktail dress for my at home reception, the sash, the fascinator, my wedding dress AND a hot pink dress (for no reason at all) all for under $600!  WINNING!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

All that glitters...

Last month I received a phone call from a TLC producer.  She left a message and I called her back, hesistantly, thinking someone was possibly playing a cruel joke on me.  The producer told me she pulled my information from a wedding database.  She went on to give me details on an upcoming destination wedding show that she wanted us to be a part of!  She asked many questions about we met, what we did for a living and asked about our families.  In return, she didn't have many specifics about the show other than it was new, would be televised on TLC and should offer us many incentives in return.  I remember getting off the phone with her with mixed feelings.  Why?  Because part of the deal would be that we change our location to Puerto Rico.  The other part of the deal would be that we move our wedding date UP to April. in next month.  YIKES!

I waited for Chris to come home that evening to spring the news on him.  To my suprise, he actually seemed interested!  I would speak to this producer a few more times before the obvious would be determined.

In talking to our travel agent, we would lose all of the money we had already put down on our wedding in Mexico.  Additionally, all of our guests would lose their deposits as well.  You see, the wedding would be held on an island that isn't much travelled.  My guess is that this wedding show would increase tourism and boost the economy.

I told a handful of folks...all who were very excited at the possibility.  TLC wedding shows are over the top and amazing!  Who wouldn't be excited about that?

Needless to say, it didn't work out.  As I compared the Riviera Maya to the Island in Puerto Rico there was actually no comparison.  Not only was Mexico more beautiful, but our resort is breathtaking and the Puerto Rican Island couldn't offer the same.  When it was determined that we were much too far in to turn back, I rolled full speed ahead.

To date, I am currently picking the menu and I've booked my photographer.  We are going to be paid in full by the end of this month.  After that, I will pick my flowers, linens and begin working on my playlist for the reception in Mexico.  By the end of March, the invitations for the at home reception should be stuffed, addressed and ready to go in another month.  I am also currently registering.

I can honestly say that I am SO very glad I decided to go with a destination wedding.  I couldn't even begin to wrap my mind around trying to plan a wedding here in Houston.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fasting in February

Even though I could use a spiritual fast, I've decided (and said outloud to Chris) that I am going to go on a spending fast for the month of February in an effort to curb my OUT OF CONTROL spending habit and to begin buckling down financially to pay for our wedding.

Chris posted this profession of mine on Facebook last night, and it appears as though a lot of my friends and family members don't think I can do it.  What they don't know is that I am right in the midst of some changes and February is booked solid for me, so I will be so busy that I won't even have time to shop! Hmph.

Though I will probably go into some sort of shock and have withdrawals, I've made allowances for myself to still be able to buy the neccessities such as gas, toiletries, groceries/lunch.  I am just cutting off completely my spending on clothes, shoes, scrapbook items and things for Jackson.  As I type this, someone comes and hands me the latest Michael's circular.  Ugh.  Temptation.

As for the wedding plans (the true reason you continue to read this blog), I am now in communication with the planner in the Riviera Maya.  We've already begun talking about things such as the live music we want, food choices, reception ideas, flowers, etc.  I am already loving the decision to do a destination wedding!  We literally have to show up, dressed, with money in hand.  Sweet!

Chris has already started looking at suit options.  I am loving sand.  I think he is loving gray.  I want him to wear a tie and hanky.  He does not.  We still have to work on getting on one accord here.

For the month of February, since I won't be shopping, I will focus on getting my registries set up, begin exploring hairstyle and make up preferences and getting invitations ready to be sent out (for both the destination wedding and the at home reception.)

For me, this process has been a seamless one.  I am grateful.

Now to tackle these last four pounds I need to lose.  Joy.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

5 months, 2 days, 1.5 hours from now...

I've been really relaxed about the nuptuals up until this point, but now I am in overdrive!  Our wedding is in 5 months and there is still a lot to be done!

A few weeks ago, the bestie and I went to the Bridal Extravaganza with tunnel vision.  I went seeking out linen vendors, suit/tux places and Photo Booths AGAIN!  I entered many drawings and didn't win anything this time, but I did vow to go to a few open houses so I can see what is out there, even though my plans are set.

My girls have all ordered their dresses.  We decided on the color "guava."  How fitting for an island girl, don't you think?  Its a gorgeous color and everyone is going to look beautiful in it:

Each one of my girls will have a different dress in this color, showcasing their own individual styles.  We decided on a fabulous peep toe from DSW in the color Nude.  I've already bought their jewelry as well.  We are exactly where we need to be here.

The fellas?  Well, thats a different story.

Chris is busy training for the MS150 and I am in the middle of selling my house, so I won't bother him too much about it this month.  However, this time again next month, I will be ON HIS *bleep.*

Pray for us. LOL!