February 28, 2013 – Timeline
This is probably my third or fourth attempt at creating and sticking with a blog. Since I know that this is my fourth or fifth attempt at creating and sticking w
ith a blog, I most likely have six or seven blogs out there in the cyber world to which I’m almost positive I do not remember the site name, and/or my username, and/or my password. Hence, I am at this paradoxical cross-roads between “Do I start another?”, “Do I search for the old ones?”, “Will I stick with it this time?”, and “Uh boy, I need to write this all down…”. I think I am going to go with the latter two and try, for the sake of my boggled brain, to write down the things that are going on in my life from now until I finally do get married. Wait, let’s start this journey from when I actually got engaged…that’s a bit more logical, considering I have done A LOT of things between then and now. I wouldn’t want anyone to miss all THAT stuff!
I guess I will start with a time-line of the major milestones from when I got engaged to now:
- August 12 – Patrick (my fiancé) and I went on a cruise and the first night on the ship he proposed to me with the beautiful diamond ring I had said I liked back in June when we went “shopping around”. We had been dating for just about 5 years (it would have been exactly 5 years in October).
- September(ish) – We decided pretty early on in the month of September when we wanted to have our wedding, where we wanted it, and roughly how many people we wanted to invite. I knew that I wanted to get married about the same time that we got engaged (so basically a year of engagement), so setting a date was easy breezy. Patrick is easy breezy too and didn’t care when we were going to “get hitched”. August 10th was our original date but a huge international road race and hundreds of thousands of people who were going to flood onto Cape Cod that weekend pretty much settled the decision to CHANGE it. I chose the weekend prior and now our wedding is set for August 3, 2013. Next on the agenda was notifying the people who we wanted in attendance. Oh man…people…who people…what people…how many people…?! The panic started to hover over my head, which at the time was clear and had the answer for everything. Things I knew for sure at this point: date, location, and time. From the beginning, Cape Cod was the place I was going to get married. I knew that it would be expensive to hold such an event up there, especially during the middle of tourist/vacation season, but I had a plan a-brewin’. My dad and step-mom have a huge yard and a beautiful garden and I wanted my wedding there! It would be perfect. I had called Leanne (step-mom…stay with me), and asked her if I could have my wedding at the gardens of Uncas (this is AKA my dad’s house but long story, but I’ll explain eventually). She cried and said that she and my dad would be honored to host! Ok good. Location and VENUE down! Date down! People and those dang pesky save the dates…up next. Ohhhh last but not at all LEAST, during this month I purchased my wedding dress. I had been looking on Pinterest for hours at night since I got engaged and found my perfect dress! I’m the type of person who knows what they like and that’s that. I can also see something just briefly and know that I will like it (LOVE IT, in this case). The dress was absolutely breathtaking (the model in it helped just a bit…) and was under my budget ($1000). It was an Alfred Angelo gown and there was an Alfred Angelo store close by (how perfect is that!). I made my appointment (on their website) for 1 week ahead and requested the style dress I found online in the comments box (that way they can get the dress if that particular store doesn’t have it). I went in for my appointment with 2 of my bridesmaids (Erin – Patrick’s sister and Sandy – my friend) and I had the sweetest attendant/stylist. I told her and showed her a picture of my dream dress, and then she had me try on EVERY OTHER SINGLE STINKIN’ dress in the place…just so I would really know if that dress was in fact MY dream dress. Of course, all the others looked pretty on but I didn’t get THAT feeling (the one where you just see yourself walking down the aisle…you know…THAT feeling). Stephanie (the attendant…) saved my dream dress for last and I knew the second I slipped that heaping pile of taffeta and organza up over my legs that THIS WAS THE DRESS! As soon as I walked out of the dressing room my 2 bridesmaids just started tearing up. I had not seen myself yet because the dressing rooms didn’t have mirrors (strange). I walked up on a pedestal in front of a three-way mirror, took one look, started to get hot and tingly, and then LOST IT! I was crying like a baby. This was totally my dress. A party of women (totally unrelated to me) turned at my commotion and started to whisper and point and cry too! They were so enveloped in my blubbering joy that they had totally missed the entrance from the dressing room of girl for whom they were there (how embarrassing and RUDE…hahaha). Needless to say, I felt like a princess in my dress and there was also a sale ($100 off) if I bought before the end of the month…DEAL! Total price for my GORGEOUS dress – $849!
- October – Either the end of September or the very beginning of October, Patrick and I got his younger sister, Erin, (who is extremely artistic and loves photography) to take our save-the-date pictures in the gardens of Winter Park, FL (Patrick and I live in Florida, but my family is up in Massachusetts.). She has an extraordinary talent for getting a great shot, not to mention an amazing camera too! She produced professional grade photos and edited them just a bit (for lighting, etc.) and gave them to me on a CD. My next line of business was to find a company that made save-the-date magnets. Magnets, in my opinion, are the best. If you mail a postcard type thing then it easily gets lost in your recipients mail and will soon get misplaced or find the bottom of the trash. On the other hand though, a magnet can be slapped on the refrigerator and forgotten about…but not lost or thrown away! I still have magnets up from save-the-dates of people who have been married for a couple of years now. It’s a cute little reminder of kindling love, friends, family, but most importantly, it holds up my Chinese food menu! I am thinking a stylish save-the-date with maximum function and usability! Magnetstreet.com was my answer. They have totally customizable save-the-dates from throw-away postcard form to the savvy magnet, the formal wedding invitation, table number cards, thank-you notes, and everything in between. I went with just the save-the-date magnet however and there were a few options to choose from EVEN THEN! I could get a photobooth-like photo strip which allowed for a few different picture uploads and this came in a large or small size, there was a “large” single photo magnet which wasn’t huge, and then a “small” single photo magnet which was actually pretty tiny. I went with the large and it ended up being about a rectangle the size of my palm up to my first knuckles (yup…visualize this). The cool thing about Magnetstreet.com is that you can customize each template to incorporate your own colors, styles, fonts, and sizes! I think the original template I choose used baby blue, but my colors were more along the lines of burlap and lace (browns, neutrals, and whites). They also give you an option to format and edit your photos too (nothing cray-cray, just options to crop, zoom in or out, and change tones to black and white, sepia, etc.) Additionally, any sample you get that costs money (some samples are free, others range from $1 – $3), they credit your actual order that amount! I purchased quite a few samples because I am more of a visual and touchy-feely shopper (get your mind out of the gutter), and when I finally did place my order I used the coupon code they sent me and they credited me $30 (the price I paid for all my samples). I ended up getting the larger of the magnets (already said that), which come with envelopes included in the price, and I paid roughly $110.00 for 75 of them (this includes the $30 credit too – so total $140.00). Like I said, I already knew, ROUGHLY SPEAKING, the amount of people we wanted (and could fit) at my family’s garden so 75 magnets would be plenty. You have to realize too that you won’t need a magnet for EVERY SINGLE person, just ONE for each household. I was about to get all depressed because the order quantities jump after 75 to (I think) 150…I would have been way over quantity and budget trying to purchase a magnet for 130 people (the amount of people we originally planned for). Anyway, that was done. Now on to the PRELIMINARY Guest List J Also, during the middle of this month I had a school conference in Boston that I was attending and thought the weekends would be a nice time to visit family and do a little wedding planning along the way. In the four days I spent at home (2 weekends, stay with me) I accomplished a cake tasting which my sister (also my maid of honor) put together, a preliminary meeting with a potential caterer (which since then we booked because he is AWESOME), and booked a DJ (a family friend who used to be a cop but now DJs at weddings for funzies). The cake tasting was a lot of fun. I went with my sister, Kierstin, and my mom. The baker is a family friend. Well…me, my mom, and my sister had all worked at this little tea shoppe at one point or another and we knew the baker, Beth. She now owns her own place. Beth had made us three cupcakes to try out a few flavors. They were: chocolate cake with chocolate ganache (I picked this for my second tier), butter cake with raspberry preserves (I picked this for my bottom tier), and finally a lemon cake with lemon curd (was delicious but did not pick). What I DID end up telling Beth I wanted as my top tier was strictly for the sake of Patrick’s Groom’s Cake. It is funfetti, the END. As for the DJ, her name is Cheryl, and she gave us a discount so we booked her right then and there. My dad and Leanne know her and said she was awesome so faith in my decision rests in their hands. Our deposit for Cheryl was half the total cost ($450). So, all in all, I accomplished a lot but I still have to email Beth and give her pictures that I found on, surprise-surprise, PINTEREST! so she knows the colors and detailing I want on the outside. It is all coming together, slowly, but surely!
- November – Actually, all throughout the process I had been editing an Excel sheet of guest names I made from the beginning. I would call my parents and ask their advice of who to invite and who not to invite. Same thing with Patrick’s parents too. Let me tell you something, you CAN’T invite everyone in your family, unless you have a limitless budget (or lack of budget for that matter). I have a huge Italian family with step-family on both my mom’s and dad’s side. If I invited everyone I knew in my family the guest list would easily hit 300+ people pretty quickly. Patrick and I stuck to: (step)parents, (step)grandparents, aunts, uncles, 1st cousins (I also invited some of my step-cousins because they live close by—like next door—and I don’t want to be that person…), and a handful of close family friends (from all sides). Our friend list included the friends in our wedding party. I formed my bridesmaids pretty quickly; it really was a no brainer – Patrick’s two sisters, my sister, and my three best friends in the world. Patrick’s groomsmen were pretty easy to decide as well – his two brothers, my brother, my half-brother, my step-brother, and his best friend. This list was edited, formatted, shredded, cried over, bled over (I’m not kidding, I got a paper cut), and dreamt over MANY a night…and it STILL HAS NOT been finalized because I have yet to send out formal invitations. Work in progress… I did however whip up a few bridesmaids invitations. After selecting my side of the wedding party (possibly late October/early November) I wanted to formally ask the girls if they would be my bridesmaids. I tried my hand at making my own invitation “package” and it actually came out really well (although I honestly think that just having a company make the invitations would have been a lot cheaper and less time consuming than what I did). So, I went to Michael’s and Jo-Anne Fabrics and picked out some card stock, vellum paper, hot glue gun/sticks, a few yards of lace ribbon, a few yards of twine rope, a real cheap cricut cutter (the one that just slices paper – NOT the automated one) scissors that have the wavy cutting edges, wedding favor “treat” boxes (the clear fold yourself boxes for mints or chocolates), plain print-on envelopes, and printable label tags. I think I must have spent $60 on all this stuff! That’s insane! Don’t do that! What I did was I created a fun little invitation for the girls and I printed this on the vellum paper. I made the font this pretty cursive (totally readable though). The invitation was maybe 5×7 inches so I had to resize my paper in word to fit that and print at that dimension. Next I layered dark card stock with lighter card stock in my Neutral Palette range of colors and glued the vellum invite on top (I only glued the very top edge). Next I hot glue-gunned on the lace and twine to the top to cover up the ragged edge where I glue-sticked (I’m just making words up at this point) the vellum paper. These fit in the envelopes, on which I printed each girls name in cursive (that was a BITCH to figure out in the printer…get lots of “throw-away” test supplies). I then created another card on the card stock that gave the girls instructions on dress shopping and color coordination, introductions to each of them contact info (so now each girl should have everyone’s phone number and email address), my clothing sizes (for bachelorette/shower gifts), and information on booking accommodations (I would prefer my wedding party book FAR in advance because they are integral to the wedding!). I also included the actual gift, which was a cute Alex and Ani bracelet I had purchased for each girl while I was on the Cape during my conference in October. Alex and Ani are a little boutique shop that just exploded in popularity. They make adorable, HIGH QUALITY charm bracelets and are really inexpensive. I got each girl something unique to them such as an initial, a charm that stood for something that reminds me of them, etc. Also, I included a few individually wrapped sugar cookies from Starbucks which I put in the favor box, and added a tag that said “Eat Me”. I then added a mini individual serving of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) with a tag that said “Drink Me” (do you see the Alice in Wonderland theme emerging…garden, tea, treats, shabby chic, eclectic…) I packaged all this up in a box with some champagne colored tissue paper and gave to each of the girls one by one as I saw them (I could have easily shipped them to the girls but I’m pretty sure that mailing alcoholic beverages is illegal).
- December – I asked Santa to give me everything I wanted on my “Wedding List”. I told him that I already made a list, checked it twice (sometimes twice in one day!), and that I absolutely was not inviting any NAUGHTY people to my wedding. I am assuming he chose not to comment, because I have not heard back from him. Patrick and I sent out deposits for the other major venders: our caterer, Bob Oldsman with White’s Catering, and Undercover Tent Co. Back in October my dad and I met with Bob and he was just a laid back kind of guy. He showed up in jeans and made us feel like we were the most important people he had to talk to that day. He made everything sound easy, worry free, and the food….uh the food sounded DELICIOUS. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to do a tasting because the very next day he was flying down to some sort of tropical island south of Florida where he caters destination weddings. The deposit for our caterer was $500 and the deposit for Undercover Tent Co. (Bob works closely with them so we chose to go with them as well) was $1000. Also in December, I started to work out A LOT more. I have never been out of shape, I just wanted to get really toned. I started CrossFit (which I do 3-4 times a week) and I was also continuing with my training to run the Disney Marathon in January.
- January – Hopped back on the wedding bandwagon because December was too hectic to really think about things. I sent out my save-the-dates because I finally had a proper guest list. I also got in contact with my aunt (my dad’s sister), Barbara, who was dying to make my invitations for me. She is a total arts and crafts buff. She quilts, she cuts, she tapes, she glues, she is AWESOME! She was so excited and gave me all sorts of websites to look for the supplies needed for DIY invitations. CardsandPockets.com and mygatsby.com where two of the websites she suggested I take a look at. Granted, these websites can make invitations, but they also sell the supplies needed to Do It Yourself – hence the “DIY” above. It should be noted that I am not very artsy-craftsy, nor am I a great coordinator of the artsy-craftsy supplies, so I just told her the colors I wanted and she basically handled the rest. About a week later I got a package in the mail from her containing samples of envelopes and invitation “pockets”, font styles, paper styles, stamps, lace, bows, and pearls! It was all amazing. The hard part was choosing what kind of invitation I wanted my Aunt Barbara to make. I also decided upon my invitation wording too (like I said, I’m one of those people who knows what they like…I don’t mess around!) I would decide on the wording for accommodations/directions/RSVP cards later.
- February – After looking…no, no, no…STALKING Pinterest on a daily basis, I knew three things: I was getting a one of a kind bridal headpiece, I was wearing cowboy boots, and I wanted Pat to do the garter toss by putting my garter around a football and then throwing said football (that is happening). Now, about that bridal headpiece. I saw this stunning headband-type headpiece on Pinterest, which lead me to an Etsy shop called Deloris Petunia. I think the actual shop owner’s name is Courtney. The shop showcases the intricate and dazzling handmade one of a kind bracelets, necklaces, bridal headpieces, rings, earrings, and little flower girl dresses. There may be more but I was so focused on the headpieces! They were literally STUNNING! I had to have one. The cool thing about the Deloris Petunia Etsy shop is that some of the “models” aren’t actually models at all but actual brides who had bought the headpieces and LET Deloris Petunia use their images. They are real people who have blog links within the description of the headband so you can see even MORE incredible photos of their wedding. They are brides, who like me, wrote ALL about their experiences both before and after they said “I do”. Since these headpieces are hand crafted and one of a kind, they are pretty pricey. The ones I was drawn too, of course, were the more expensive of the bunch. It didn’t matter. Well that’s what I told myself. I worked hard and saved up and damnit I wanted a Deloris Petunia headpiece. It could be something I pass down to my little girl (if ever I have one) for her something borrowed on her wedding day. I can’t wait to get it in the mail. Oh yea, I forgot to mention that they are back ordered until April. Yea they’re a popular little boutique in California so get your headpieces while you can or when you can!
This leads me to the present. I will continue on with another post after your eyes have recuperated from reading this one…