Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don't forget your checkbook!

I know a lot of brides (and probably even me) will have to have almost everything paid for the wedding before the big day.  For example, my caterer requires balance paid in full 30 days prior to the wedding.  My DJ needs payment at least two weeks before the big day to allow time for processing.  My florist however will let me pay on the day of the wedding...ain't she sweet?

However, I don't necessarily want to be dealing with payments on the day of the wedding.  Unfortunately, there's no way around it completely.  So I will be sure to have my checkbook on hand (or a credit card if that would be allowed/accepted) for those last minute purchases or fees on the day of the wedding. 



Here's a few things to consider or think of that you might need to be prepared for:

1)  Tips!  We plan on having cash tips in envelopes for our vendors and giving them to the coordinator on the wedding day.  They will have increments of cash in them such that when it's time to tip a vendor (DJ, photog, videog, etc) as they leave, the caterer will confirm with me or Mr Fix It as to how well we think they provided their services.  If they blew us away, she'll hand over the envelope with all of it's cash in it.  If they pissed us off or did something wrong, then we can pull out some of the cash and not tip as much at our discretion.



2)  Overtime.  Thankfully, I had a planning meeting with my photog 2 weeks ago and figured out that I was going to need him for two hours more than I originally booked him for based on the schedule we came up with for the wedding day.  My contract states that overtime is charged at an hourly rate of 10% of the total contracted price.   But let's just say the groom's parents show up an hour late for pictures and we ask our photog to stay an extra hour to compensate on the day of the wedding?  Well then the overtime fee goes up to $300 an hour for the wedding day!  Be sure to ask how overtime is charged and assessed for all your vendors.  You never know if you're going to want/need to ask them to stay longer on the wedding day.

3)  Shortage of food or alcohol.  This is especially important for those of you that are handling catering or alcohol yourself.  Hopefully it won't happen, but what if you suddenly find that the bar is out of beer at 9:30!  You may have to send someone up to the local liquor store or discount grocery chain to get some extra cases and you'll need some moola on hand as I don't think they're going to offer to pay for it themselves!

4)  Decor items or florals ruined.  A friend of mine had her florist show up on the day of her wedding with a van full of wilted and dead flowers!  It was an insanely hot July day.  She was devastated.  They made a quick run up to Costco and had a friend buy a bunch of bouquets of roses and quickly assemble them for some bouquets and such. 

I love the motto "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst."  It's always good to anticipate potential emergencies or issues that might come up on the day of your wedding.  And having extra money on hand to be able to pay for unexpected expenses is an absolute must!  You don't want to be tearing into your wedding cards during the reception to see if anyone gifted you some cash you can use to pay for a wedding related expense!

Can you think of any other things that might come up on the wedding day you should be prepared for?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh, how sweet it is! But what the hell is that crease?!? (Seriously Saturdays)

You may remember reading about my least favorite part of the entire wedding here.  I am not super excited about our cake.  Originally, I wanted a cupcake tower - which I would, in fact, have been super excited about.  At one point, Mr Fix It even gave in to the idea...briefly.  Because then he ripped the carpet out from under me and insisted we have a cake.  Not traditional mind you - just a cake.

So we had come up with some ideas for different and unique cakes.  To which our caterer then shocked us by trying to charge an *extra* $1,000 for the one cake we really wanted.  (Remember our cake was supposed to have been included in our catering package.)

Well, that wasn't gonna fly and while she made decent cakes, they kept deterring us from our desires to have fondant on the cake we wanted and from trying our own fondant recipe we wanted to have them use.  They kept going over and over again about how buttercream is the way to go but we are anti-buttercream. 

Mr Fix It had had enough (so had I), so he said, screw it!  Let's just give the money to your mom's friend that makes cakes for all your other family functions.  Fine with me because I am seriously over the cake.  I don't care if it's falling over as long as it tastes good (that's not true actually). 

Well, we met with our friendor who is only charging us $1.00 a slice for our cake.  Mr Fix It is going to build the stand for her because we want offset round layers.  We discussed cake flavors and are happy with having two layers in red velvet with a real cream cheese frosting and another layer with white cake and raspberry filling with a whip cream frosting and then the 4th layer will be lemon with lemon filling and whip cream frosting.  Apparently the whip cream frosting is not as sweet as buttercream and our friend really encouraged us to use it. 

Well, we told her that we'd love to have her try this marshmallow fondant recipe we found.  It is supposed to be the same consistency as regular fondant but actually tastes good instead of bland or dry.  She was on board and made a small test cake for us to see and taste.

Here's what we got:





Now please understand that apparently the cake was perfectly smooth and flat when she first made it.  She gave it to my mom who transported it and stored it in a fridge until I could get it the next day.  My mom insisted it did not look this way when she was finished with it and handed it off to her.  I did notice yesterday as I was reviewing the recipes I had emailed her that one of the web sites said you should not refrigerate marshmallow fondant, so I don't know if the refrigerator did something to it or if time itself had it's way with gravity or what.  I am going to ask her about the refrigeration part and if that is all that the problem is, that would be amazing!  Perhaps the proportions of the ingredients need to be adjusted, too?  But this creasing and melting look that is not perfectly smooth is unacceptable! 

The good news?  It actually tastes phenomenal!  The cake was super moist and yummy...I'm still eating it almost 5 days after it's been sitting in the fridge, too and it's still moist and good!  The frosting (cream cheese) was not too sweet at all and you could not even taste the fondant!  The fondant tasted good (or rather let the cream cheese overpower it).  But now we are stuck trying to figure out what to do because our friend does not think the marshmallow fondant is going to work and we really don't want to have to go with gross tasting fondant!

Mr Fix It insists we must use the regular disgusting fondant if this is what we are going to get because it is more important to him that the cake looks good rather than tastes good.  (sigh)

So now I need to call her next week and follow up on what our new options are.  This cake thing sucks!  Seriously!

P.S.  If you'd like the recipe for the marshmallow fondant, you can find it here or another one here.  It's actually super yummy.  She's never worked with it before so like I said, it could just be that something needs to be adjusted.  ???

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm a Bride on the Brink!!!

I'm really getting to the brink (see the P.S. below), but for now check out this feature I got to be a part of over at the blog on MyWeddingFavors.com.  I am so excited to participate in this fun little spotlight they post called 'Brides on the Brink.'  It's an interview with brides who are within 3 months of their big day and is meant to share some encouragement, advice and information with fellow brides about planning your wedding.


(Technically, I'm 49 days and counting now - not 30 yet - thank God!)

And while you're there, browse around their site and check out all their cool little favors and items they have to offer - I smell a giveaway coming VERY soon on my blog that you might be interested in if you like what you see at http://www.myweddingfavors.com/!  Check back on March 1st!

P.S.  Remember how I said that I was praying for the 'no' responses to come in because we ended up inviting 224 guests but our venue (and budget) has only been allotted for 202?  Well, as of yesterday we are halfway to getting the 22 'no' responses we need!  Isn't that silly?  I am actually hoping for about 19 more no's (not just 11) because I have about 8 other friends I'd like to be able to invite that are on our 'B list' still :(  Hopefully we'll get a ton of RSVP's in this week...the reply by date is a week from today!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Doin' it *UP* right - Light it up!

This is our reception room:


As you can see, it's pretty with it's little chandeliers, unique tiled floor and stone fireplace that rests in the center of the room.  It's going to hopefully comfortably hold about 200 people come wedding day.  And in the light of day like this, it's a nice room.  But it will be almost dark by the time our guests are escorted into this room come April 16th.  And I want to transform it into a romantic, fun, and vibrant space.

So I was super excited to hear about all the lighting our DJ, Generations Entertainment, was able to provide us at a very affordable price!  Below are ideas of what are lighting will look like based on the different elements we are incorporating.  (All of these photos are from our venue, Rancho Las Lomas)

We will have about 16 red uplights lining the perimeter of the entire room.  The tablecloths are a bright turquoise color (you can see them here in the centerpiece post).  So I want to bring in the red accent with the lighting.


It will not be nearly as dark as this because we will use the chandeliers and wall sconces for some extra help.  Mr Fix It does not want it to be super dark in the room (at least not until the dancing is full blown underway!)  Our DJ also suggested that it's not a great idea to have lights in a room that are turned off...he said something about it just doesn't look right usually.  So thankfully, all of the lights in this room are on dimmers so that we can have them turned on with some very subtle lighting so that the uplights and candlelight on the tables all ties in well together to give a soft romantic feel but still leaves the guest with plenty of visibility.  (Of course, we'll turn up the house lights during the toasts.)

Here's a shot of the room with the chandeliers off but the wall sconces slightly dimmed:

I originally considered the aqua colored lights...like maybe alternating red and aqua throughout the room...but we just weren't feeling it:

Photo courtesy of Generations Entertainment

This picture reflects the room with just the chandeliers and wall sconces turned on and no additional lighting provided.  However, it's also still daylight outside. 



Mr Fix It doesn't know it, but I also threw in the cost of having a GOBO light of our monogram projected onto the fireplace behind our sweetheart table.  I was getting such a deal I just couldn't refuse!  Obviously these are not our names, but it will look like this on the fireplace:

Photo Jim Kennedy Photographers

Ours will look like this:


Finally, we will also have the cake lighted with two pinspot lights.  These will give it just a little bit of a glow and set it off as a show stopping piece of the reception and decor.  Let's just hope the cake is worthy of the spotlight!  :)

                               

So, what are your thoughts?  Will you be incorporating any additional lighting outside of what your venue provides or any special effects or extra added lights?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look at me, look at me!

Ok, so there's been the big debate over whether or not the bride and groom should see each other before the big moment - the walk down the aisle :)  I think a wonderful post about whether or not to see each other before the ceremony can be found over on Budhoop's blog.  She offered some great truths about the reasons most people are for or against this idea.  And as she said, it's really a matter of personal opinion. 

For some, there is nothing like this moment:

Where the groom sees his bride for the first time that day...all dressed up in white with hair and makeup beyond beautiful.  Let's face it, a lot of guys cry.  It's pretty sweet.  And even if you don't want to see each other before the actual ceremony, there's still some fun ways to get some 'teaser' shots in before that big moment: 

Photo:  Rancho Las Lomas

Jenn over at a Bride's Brain posted about her First Look yesterday.  Check it out here.

As far as why we have opted for the 'first look'?  It's very simple:

1)  I don't want massive anxiety the first time I see Mr Fix It.  I will be all anxious and nervous and if he does cry or gets all emotional, no one will even notice because let's face it - everyone is looking at the bride at that moment!  Mr Fix It calms me down and seeing him several hours before our ceremony is going to put me at ease and keep me in a relaxed and fun mood.
2)  We can't stand having to wait for two (or more) hours for the bride and groom to show up at a reception before we can eat and get the party started.  A cocktail hour should be just that - an HOUR!  But when you have to take hundreds of photos after the ceremony, it's draining and keeps guests waiting.  I personally don't like it.
3)  We want to be a part of our cocktail hour.  We have hired a strolling magician to entertain guests during cocktails and we do NOT want to miss out on all the fun and tricks!  I mean since we are the ones paying him, shouldn't we also be able to enjoy his services?  Besides, the reception is already a difficult place to try to greet and chat with all your guests.  Having that extra hour in a relaxed setting during cocktails is a great way for us to get some extra time in with the guests.

Those are our main reasons for knocking out all of our photos before the ceremony.  Yes, it means that we'll have to start hair and makeup at 8 am for us ladies.  And yes, the guys will all need to show up about 4 hours before the wedding (but they'd have to be there an hour before anyway to greet guests and seat them anyway).  Besides, that 3 hours or so that we will be knocking out lots of photos gives us the chance to not feel rushed and enjoy ourselves. 

So how will we do our first look?  As Budhoop suggested, they are in fact staged to a degree.  Here you see the bride making her way to her groom who has his back to her so as not to ruin the 'moment' they turn to see each other:

Photo Robert Mullins Photography

In this one (and with our own plans) the groom will walk up behind the bride to greet her.  How amazing are all of these next sequence of shots that were taken by our own photographer Robert Mullins? 

The groom takes her hand as she turns to see him for the first time:


He takes in all her beauty:


Look!  He's even getting emotional!


And they get that one special intimate moment with just the two of them to embrace and just be in love:


I can't wait to share the idea we came up with for me and Mr Fix It's first look.  I won't go into all the details as you'll see it on video at some point in the next several months, but I will say that when I told my future sister-in-law about the idea, she started getting teary eyed :)  And yes, our first look will include our family to some degree....not just the two of us.

So, are you / did you opt for the first look?  What do / did you like or not like about it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting overwhelmed...

I am getting overwhelmed...there's still much going on and all is generally good.  But oh my...the days fly by like seconds lately!

And I want SO badly to sit down and catch up on all my daily reads of my fellow bloggers and I have just been so super busy at work and so super busy with DIY projects at home...really more just assembling stuff....but still.  It's time consuming putting together 180 favor boxes with tissue, takeout boxes, ribbons tied in bows and favor tags.  And then putting together 25 circus boxes filled with goodies for our family children.  But I can't wait to show you all the pics our photographer will get at the wedding of all these fun details.

I have also finally found the perfect votive candle at a local candle store to fit in my luminary table numbers so that I don't get the stupid shadow of the rim of the votive holder.

This week, I'm working on assembling ribbon wands and writing thank you cards from the bridal shower Sunday.  I'll post about these later this week.

I am so glad I am getting stuff done, but feel like such a slacker still.  And feel like I am missing out on all that has been going on with all of you!  Please forgive me and know that I will eventually catch up and be back over there...for now, I am learning that I need to keep my posts short and simple (and hopefully filled with pics).  It's just too hard to sit down and write some of the lengthier posts lately.  Which is funny since I am so long winded usually!

So since I can't seem to get over to all of your blogs lately...do me a favor and leave me a comment on this post about what's been going on with you lately!  Share something fun or exciting or something you're glad you've recently accomplished...and share something that you're maybe bummed or sad about or that is stressing you out that you need to vent about.  At least I'll feel like I am somewhat in the loop when I can jump back over to your blogs!

And before I forget:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR FIX IT!!! 
YOUR LAST ONE AS A SINGLE MAN!
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

PS  As of yesterday, we've officially received half of our RSVP responses back!  Only 112 more to go!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The card box post

We've all seen very pretty unique card box ideas.  You know what I'm talkin' about?  The place on the gift table where guests who bring you cards to your wedding (usually filled with gift cards, checks or cash) leave the envelopes?  In today's day and age, brides have come up with creative places for them to be left rather than just throwing them on the table.  Though that is perfectly fine and always acceptable, it's kind of nice to have a box, basket, or whatever to collect them in so that they don't get lost, dropped or misplaced.

Some creative options I have seen are things like this:



Serendipity Designs




Some people like to get a little more creative and do something like this:




I liked most of these ideas...very creative.  And of course you can always just set out a simple bucket, basket, box, etc.  But one day I came across this super cute idea that can last forever.  It's a photoframe card box that is able to be locked with a key so you don't have to worry about people taking the cards out...hopefully none of your guests would do this but if you are at a venue where strangers may be able to walk by, something to think about?

I have had this box saved in my favorites for almost a year probably and just bought it yesterday with some cash I received as a gift at my bridal shower :)  Thanks cousin Erin and Aunt Sylvia! 

 
                               

Anyway, I am going to put some pics of me and Mr Fix It in it and then on two sides it will have signs that my sister designed indicating it is a card box.  It's from this site.  It might be a little pricey for some but it's on sale for $69.99 right now for the 8x10" box.  And the cool thing is, you can take it home to use as a decorative frame even after the wedding...you can even put flowers in it, too!

I'll be sure the photog gets some detailed shots of the little signs my sis made in the box on wedding day.  I'm hoping to have this in my hands within a week or so and this is one of my very last wedding related purchases other than the groomsmen's gifts and the candy for the favor boxes. 

So what did (or are) you all doing for your card box?  Or did you not even use one?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Posting your to-do list on your blog

I remember a while back posting some kind of to-do list on my blog and I mentioned that it was not really for any of you but moreso as a journaling opportunity for me as I look back on this blog years from now. 

And I have seen many other brides do it, too.  I thought it was a good way to keep track of our progress for myself.  I also noticed other brides who post their task lists usually ask "Am I missing anything?"

Honestly, with 54 days to go until the wedding, it's becoming more stressful than helpful and so now I skim over those type of posts.  Mostly because there is no way in hell I am going to be able to think about whether or not someone else is forgetting something - do any of you honestly pull out your own to-do lists and perform a side by side comparison to fellow bloggers' lists to let them know what they're forgetting?

Besides, all I end up feeling is stress about my own to-do list and how there is still so much to do.  It makes me physically nauseous to read these posts now. 

So while I'm not knocking anyone who chooses to do this (since I am sure I'm in this category), I just wanted to vent about the stress and freak out mode that I enter when I click over to a fellow blogger bride's blog and see their updated to-do list...please forgive me if I don't comment or can't help you figure out what you're missing.  It'll probably just make me think of something *I* am missing and stress me out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Can I just have a minute, please?!?

I talk often about my sister's wedding just over 3 years ago.  It was such a fun and special day.  We had a great wedding party that kept us laughing from the rehearsal all the way to the after party at a local bar. 


And our photographer...well, he just took the gorgeous wedding party and made them look even better!  :)


However, as my sister's MOH, it was also really chaotic acting as a day of coordinator for her.  I feel like I either missed out on a lot of the fun and special things or I was rushing through them to make sure the next thing was taken care of. 

She got married on Labor Day weekend in San Clemente, CA  and the traffic was horrendous!  The ceremony started an hour late because we were waiting for lots of guests to arrive.  On top of that, it was an extremely hot summer day and the wedding was outside on the lawn at a golf course/club. 

While my sister was tucked away in the wine room with the rest of the maids, I was out wandering around organizing the photog, videog, and DJ. 



I also had to get about 5 guys lined up in golf carts and instruct them as to how they were to drive the maids down to the ceremony one by one. 


I had my father and the florist waiting for my sister's arrival so that once they started their walk down the aisle, the florist could straighten out her train for her...it was a *LONG* walk along the grass.



It was finally time for the ceremony to start...everyone was seated.  The beach balls she had left for the guests to throw around while they waited for the ceremony had all been collected.






As I approved that the golf carts were lined up and everyone was in their place, I ran back to the wine room to grab the bride and her maids.  The photog and videog were already down by the ceremony site so it was just us 5 ladies in the wine room at this point.  And as I entered, I could feel myself running in my heels and dress.  So I sat in this chair next to my sister, took a deep breath and said "Can I just stop for a minute?" 

I looked around at the girls and we were all pretty anxious about what was about to take place.  So I just said, "Can we just pray together real quick?"  And we all sat in a circle, holding hands, loving on my sister and I just said this prayer.  I don't remember what I said but I know I thanked God for these amazingly beautiful and fun ladies who were such a special part of this journey and I know I prayed for my sister and her soon-to-be-husband to have a blessed day and a God-centered marriage.  And then I prayed that God would help us all just slow down and take in every moment...enjoying it, not rushing through and not taking it for granted.

When I finished, I looked up and the girls said "Thanks for making us cry right before we're about to walk down the aisle!"  We then all laughed and tried to blot away tears and check our makeup and then we were out the door and off to the ceremony!

I was kind of bummed later that our photographer wasn't there to capture the moment because I've seen some friends do this at their own weddings now since I always tell them to stop and take a moment just before the ceremony to pray and soak it all in and just *BE*.  But even though we didn't get any pretty shots like this:



It was kind of nice to just have it be an intimate quiet thing with just us girls. 

The best advice I can give to you ladies as you get ready for your big day is to not rush anything!  The photog is yelling at you that you need to cut the cake?  The DJ is telling you that you just must line up immediately for the grand entrance or the coordinator is screaming that the guests have been waiting for 30 minutes for the ceremony to start?  Who cares?  They can't do anything without you!  You're the bride. 

So take a moment to just be *IN* the moment.  If you feel so led, ask someone to pray for you and your hubby or whatever.  Or just stand together with your loved ones holding hands in silence and taking long, slow breaths.  Whatever it is, just relax...in that moment, right before you find yourself walking down that aisle and all the chaos begins, just stop and remember this moment....for you'll never get it back again :)

*  Praying photo courtesy of Melody Flannery.  Unless otherwise indicated, all photos taken by Eric Cotter of Jim Kennedy Photography

Friday, February 19, 2010

This Way to the Wedding ---->>

Thanks to Get Married's Blogger Brides (where I was first introduced to the world of blogging), I found this wonderful little shop on Etsy called the Back Porch Shoppe.  I ordered myself a custom made sign in our wedding colors to place on the corner of the street directly across from our venue's entrance.  (You see the street curves around and is a little 2 lane highway leading into a canyon where u-turns are not the easiest thing...so I am hoping this sign on the side of the road will direct guests into the entrance and help them avoid passing our site.)

Now all that's left to do is have Mr Fix It attach some brackets to it so we can hang it on a little stake in the ground.  :)  What do you think?  Are you doing anything like this?  Have you found (or been inspired by) any vintage type looking signs and such to help direct your guests?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anxiety vs. Stress in Wedding Planning

Check out this bride to be:


Ever feel like you're going to end up like her?!?

I have been engaged for about 14 months now.  And the wedding is 56 days away!!!  But for 14 months, I have literally been planning, preparing, deciding, organizing, choosing, DIY'ing, ordering, assembling, eating, sleeping and breathing my (our) wedding!  I have had about 2 (maybe 3) wedding nightmares, nothing major...just things going wrong like the reception not being set up correctly or things getting left behind at home.  Nothing unusual or to worry about.

I have actually loved being engaged and planning my wedding.  I wouldn't change the length of my engagement for anything...it has been a relaxing, smooth, easy process.  Now of course in the final stretch, I am getting caught up with all the thoughts of all that must be done still.  Trying to keep my head on straight and stay on top of the to-do lists and such.  However, the past month or two, I have suddenly felt a huge amount of...well, something I can't put my finger on.

When people ask if I am excited about the wedding, I say "Of course."  And I am.  However, when I bring up that it's getting to be a little overwhelming, the first word out of their mouth is that I'm 'stressed.' 

I lovingly inform them that I am truly not stressed out about the wedding or all that is left to do.  I know that a lot of brides feel that way at the very end.  They rush to get things done and feel they've taken on too much.  They start throwing ideas and things out the window that they planned to do or incorporate for lack of time or patience to follow through with their dreams.  But not me, I already have the 200 favor boxes assembled and wrapped in their pretty bow with the tags on them.  I already have just about every purchase for our wedding day done and packed away in my house except for the candy favors.  Alterations are well under way and the RSVP's have been rolling in.  And I left myself plenty of time to call guests who forget to respond so I can still get the caterer the final numbers without feeling...well, stressed!

But what I am feeling...UGH!  I hate it.  As I mentioned way back here I am prone to fainting spells, light headedness, dizziness, and just overall feelings of nausea.  And that's what I've been feeling lately when I start to think about the wedding sometimes.  It's not *THE* wedding I'm worried about.  I think it's more the pressure of impressing everyone attending.  Or the fear of knowing all eyes will be on me.  Funny thing is, I am so *NOT* an introverted type person who doesn't like being in the spotlight.  Granted, I'm not a show off or a center of the stage type of gal either.  But I have always loved teaching people, talking to people, basically being up at the front of a class or on the stage of an auditorium sharing lessons or life experiences, etc.  So you'd think that this wedding thing should be a piece of cake for me.

So why the hell do I get so freaking anxious sometimes?  It's even gotten to the point where I went to my physician two weeks ago and asked him to prescribe me sleeping pills and Xanax 'just in case' I can't sleep the night before our wedding or I start to freak out come wedding day.  I have no intention of using them but knowing they are at my disposal is almost comforting. 

So what is it I am feeling?  Merriam Webster defines stress as:
A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.

And MW defines anxiety as:
An abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.

I definitely don't worry about things like whether we'll run out of food or if the flowers will arrive on time or if anyone will get embarassingly drunk.  I have most of the planning done and though I am a little overwhelmed and concerned that we may not get me and my daughter moved into Mr Fix It's house in the easy timeline we have set for ourselves pre-wedding, that is something we can always do/finish when we get back from the honeymoon if necessary.  I am not feeling fear about getting married or wondering if I am making the right choice...I have no cold feet or doubts about me and Mr Fix It. 

So what is it?  Am I anxious?  Am I stressed?  Or am I just feeling the normal things all brides feel at some point in their wedding process?  What are your thoughts?  Or what feelings have you been struggling with in working up to the big day?

I should mention that I do not feel this way all the time.  It's just brief moments that come up out of nowhere.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Saying I love you is really unnecessary

You've seen this, right?


In yesterday's post, I shared about how Mr Fix It didn't say the words "I love you" to me until a trip to Cabo almost five years into our relationship!  So this poses the question, how long is too long to wait to say "I love you" to someone?  Or even better, how soon is too soon?  Or if you really want to go there, is it even *necessary* to say I love you to someone?

For me, it wasn't.  And here's why:

After the first couple months of dating, Mr Fix It and I talked about his ex-wife and divorce and previous relationships.  I remember one very specific conversation where he casually mentioned, "I will never again tell a woman that I love her until I know for 100% certainty that I am going to put a ring on her finger."  He probably never thought much of it again.  But I stored it in the file cabinet in my brain.

It struck a chord with me.  I appreciated it.  I respected it. 

I think in today's world, we use those words way too lightly.  I remember in high school a pastor saying that "Guys use love to get sex, and girls use sex to get love."  I didn't want to be one of those girls giving it up just to hear my guy say "I love you."  And I respected that Mr Fix It wasn't going to use those words casually.  As a Christian, many biblical passages speak truth to me about humanity, relationships and what it means to 'love' others.  There is a verse in 1 John 3:18 that reads: "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."  You see, to me, Mr Fix It had a hundred other ways that he let me know how much he cared about me in actions.  The words he spoke were amazing and nice and were something I desired for sure.  But you know what truly showed me how much he loved me?  The first time we went on a camping trip with his family. 

We were camping at Trinity Lake in No Cal and would go wakeboarding every day.  To get onto the boat, you had to walk down the bank of the lake and through this super muddy, orange, murky water.  It was gross.  Well, as we headed down there one day with Mr Fix It's brother, sister-in-law and some friends, Mr Fix It stopped at the bank and picked me up over his shoulder.  At first I screamed thinking he was going to throw me into the lake.  But then I realized, he was carrying me over the water and gently set me on the boat so I wouldn't have to get all dirty.  The other wives and girlfriends made a few jealous comments about their guys doing the same for them :)  That little chivalrous act meant more to me than simply saying "I love you."  He proved it.

I could go on for days about all the little things that I appreciate so much more because I recognize them as his 'loving gestures' instead of taking them for granted.  As I mentioned yesterday, we split up for a while in the middle of our time together.  And once we got back together, I immediately started telling Mr Fix It how much I loved him.  And one of the very first times I said it to him, I told him "Don't say it back to me."  He asked me why and I told him about when we were first dating and how I remembered his comment about how he won't say those words again until he's ready to put a ring on a woman's finger.  He just smiled. 

It may seem awkward to say I love you to someone and get responses like "You're so sweet," or "Thank you so much," or "I know you do."  But for me, it didn't matter.  I knew how he felt about me.  And so on that day in October, 2008 when we were strolling along the white sands of a quiet beach in Los Cabos and he looked at me and said "I know you've been waiting so long to hear me say this, but I do love you."  Oh man, I just melted.  I knew it was forever. 

It took 5 years for him to get there.  And for some, that may be way too long to wait.  But I knew he had been hurt.  I knew he had been taken to the cleaners, had his heart ripped out and stomped on.  I knew he was jaded and unsure of whether he could trust a woman again.  And I knew that we loved each other.  So I was willing to let him get there in his own time.

In all honesty, I had actually given him an unspoken deadline.  I had told myself a little earlier on that if we hit our five year anniversary and he hadn't at least started talking about marriage, then it was probably gonna be time for me to move on...I mean I was 36 at the time (37 now)...I wasn't a spring chicken anymore!  :)  So I found it funny that 4 months before that 5 year deadline, he finally brought it up...and it was all on his own.  I never once said anything like "So when are we gonna talk about marriage?"  And just two months before our five year anniversary, he put the ring on my finger :)

So, tell me about it, ladies.  How long would you wait to hear (or say) the words I love you?  Is there any way you can possibly put a 'deadline' on it or a timeline?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The relationship timeline

In 10 days, Mr Fix It and I will have been together for 6 years!  And in just about 60 days it will be our wedding day!  So I thought it'd be fun to share a quick rundown on the timeline of me and Mr Fix It's relationship:

*  Feb 19, 2004:  Mr Fix It sends me an e-mail via match.com.  Being the computer addict that I am, I of course respond immediately.
*  Feb 20, 2004:  Mr Fix It is *NOT* a computer addict and hates them...thus he instructs me to call him or there will be no further communication.  :)
*  Feb 26, 2004:  After having talked on the phone several days in that first week, we meet up for our first date at the Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum.  We have a great conversation and walk around the shops and Mr Fix It has no problem showing his affection by wrapping his arm around my waist.  Though I was not used to this kind of 'forward' behavior on a first date, I felt oddly attracted to him and the night did end with a little smooching. 
*  August, 2004:  For the past 6 months, Mr Fix It has still gone on a few more 'first dates' from some online women he met but was up front and honest with me about the fact that we were only 'dating' during that time.  I was okay with it...patience is a virtue.  But now, he has told me that he is done with dating and I am officially his girlfriend (smiles all around!).

*  Spring, 2006:  For whatever reason, Mr Fix It and I are both feeling unfulfilled in our relationship.  Though we have no major problems or issues between us, we discuss this and decide it is best to part ways.  However, we do remain in touch via phone calls over the next year.
*  Sep 2, 2006:  Mr Fix It attends my sister's wedding and though we are 'just friends' he sits at the main table with my family. 
*  March, 2007:  Mr Fix It and I are now in more regular communication and even hang out once in a while.  After close to a year apart as official boyfriend/girlfriend, we casually decide to start dating again.
*  April, 2007:  I am suddenly more in love with Mr Fix It than I had ever felt in our previous 2 year relationship.  Being apart for a year has made both of us realize that we just needed some time apart and perspective to see what we really appreciated about the other.  Our relationship is now full force back on and better than it had ever been in the past.
*  Spring, 2007:  I can't help but often tell Mr Fix It how much "I love him."  In fact, I say "I love you" to him often.  His reciprocation is sweet but never with those words.
*  Oct, 2008:  Mr Fix It takes me to Cabo San Lucas for my birthday.  We have the most amazing time in an incredible suite at a phenomenal resort.  Our first night there we sit at a table in a dark restaurant and Mr Fix It tells me that he does not want me running around telling everyone I told him this, but "he can totally envision spending the rest of his life with me."  (swoon)
*  Oct, 2008:  While still in Cabo 2 days later, Mr Fix It and I take a walk on a beautiful sandy white beach.  It seems there is not one other person anywhere in sight and we walk for miles.  On the way back down the shore, he takes my hand and says "I know you have waited for almost five years to hear this, but I really do love you."  (melting)
*  Nov, 2008:  After returning from Cabo, Mr Fix It now tells me almost every time he calls me how much he loves me.  While laying on the sofa together watching tv one night, he casually says "I guess maybe we should start looking at some wedding venues."  I smile quietly and say "That sounds good."  (trying not to burst with psycho-future-bride fanatacism and overwhelming plans galore.)
*  Mid-Nov, 2008:  We begin looking at some wedding venues.  The family begins to ask why we're looking at venues when we're not engaged.  Shhh!  Don't say anything, is what I'm thinking in my head.
*  Dec, 2008:  Mr Fix It takes me to Los Angeles' jewelry district to look at some engagement/wedding rings.  (is this really happening?)
*  Christmas Day, 2008:  Mr Fix It proposes!  Woo-hoo!  Hallelujah!  It's finally happened...seriously, someone pinch me! 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post which will explain what I know you are all thinking:  Why the heck did she stay with a man who took five freaking years to tell her he loves her?!?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Week...

Disneyland - So last Saturday I took eight 14 year old girls to Disneyland to celebrate my daughter's 15th birthday - apparently she is the oldest of all her friends :)  We were so amazingly blessed as it did not rain once in the entire 11 hours we were there!  And yet, at home, all the parents were telling me how it was pouring showers just 20 minutes away from D-land.  We were really watched over by the Lord that day and had a great time.  It wasn't too packed either so we barely had to wait in lines over 10 minutes or so.

Birthday Dinner - Tuesday night me, Mr Fix It, my mom, my daughter, her dad and his mom all took Little Miss out to dinner for her official 15th birthday.  So much fun to just celebrate my little girl turning into a little woman.  Afterwards, me and Mr Fix It went back to my place and listened to a message on finances and investing given by the pastor who is marrying us in preparation for our next pre-marital counseling meeting.  Only two more to go!

DJ Planning Meeting - Last Friday I had such a fabulous 2 1/2 hour meeting with my two DJ's, Pete and Justin.  Justin is a serious music officianado and I am so excited about what the two of them are going to do at our big event in just two months!  We finalized our time line of events for the ceremony and reception and I shared me and Mr Fix It's idea for what we want to do with the grand entrance.  Pete and Justin had some great input and ideas to fine tune everything.  Then I showed them the beginning of the video that I am surprising our guests with at the ceremony just before I walk down the aisle.  They both laughed and said it is their favorite part of the wedding so far.  :)  Justin is also excited to get to see our strolling magician at the cocktail hour.

Photog Planning Meeting - This past Friday I met with my talented photographer, Robert Mullins to finalize the schedule for the wedding day since we want to be sure to get all of our pictures done before the wedding ceremony.  Robert is amazing in that he puts up with my anal controlling need to share all kinds of photos with him that I save off of blogs to give him an idea of the style I am looking for on our big day.  I hope he doesn't think I am over-directing him.  :)

Wedding gifts - We got our very first gift purchased off of one of our three wedding registries last Monday!  And it was one of the more expensive items, too - our knife set.  It's a 20 piece set of kitchen knives and steak knives that sits in a very cool modern black block.  Can't wait to see who bought it for us!  Yes, I stalk my registries online to see if anything was bought!

RSVP's - The invitation responses continue to roll in daily.  It's so fun to rush home and check the mailbox to see who has returned their reply.  So far, everyone that has responded has said they're coming, except for my grandparents who live too far away and cannot travel and their daughter (and her son) who will be on a missions trip during our wedding :(

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to make gift opening entertaining

If you've been to a birthday party or bridal shower, you know how 'fun' it is to sit in a room and watch the guest of honor open their gifts for what could be 30 minutes to 2 hours!  Seriously, it's pretty boring sometimes just hanging out with a bunch of people waiting for something entertaining to be opened or for it to be time for the guest of honor to open your gift.  But maybe that's just me? 

Anyway, to offset this - particularly at bridal showers - there have been some fun ways to include the guests during this part of the party.  The most common thing that has been done of late is playing the 'bridal' bingo game.  (Also done at baby showers)  This is where the guests are given a blank bingo card and told to fill in names of items or gifts they think the guest of honor will receive.  As the bride opens her gifts and you realize she got that blender she wanted, you get to cross off blender on your game card.  First guest to yell bingo wins.  This can be a pretty fun (and even funny) game but it wasn't what I wanted to do for my sister's bridal shower three years ago.

So what did we do to involve all the guests?  We made it a fun little trivia game that would make us all laugh - AT the BRIDE!  Yep...super fun.  Here's what you do:

1)  Come up with a list of questions about the groom (or even the couple if you want but should be mostly about the groom).  Be sure to come up with enough questions so that there's one for every guest at the party.

       Questions can be things like:  *  What was Groom's favorite sport in high school?   *  What was Groom's worst subject in elementary school?  *  Who was Groom's best friend growing up?  *  What does Groom call Bride as a pet name?  *  What is Groom's favorite food that Bride cooks for him?

2)  Now you'll need to go interview the Groom to get all the answers.  Do this secretly of course so the Bride doesn't know what's going on.

3)  Print up all the questions and answers on individual cards.  When it's time to open gifts, pass one card out to each guest.  Whenever the bride is about to open someone's gift, that person reads her their question.

4)  Here's where it gets really fun:  If the bride gets it wrong, she needs to put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth!  Now think about this...we had over 40 guests at baby sis' shower.  And she didn't do too hot on her trivia knowledge of the groom.  So half way through the gift opening, she could barely speak and looked like a chipmunk storing up goods for the winter.  It was very entertaining and the guests all had a good laugh trying to stump her. 

Anyway, you can alter this game however you like but it is a fun way to make the gift opening a little different and get everyone 'in on the game.' 

And here's a little sample from baby sis's shower showing her opening gifts and playing the game...note the cheek full of gum and how she is chewing like a cow!



What are some other ideas you have heard of or incorporated to make the gift opening different?

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to handle a groom who'd rather have gone to Vegas

Let me preface this by saying, I again, am so sorry for not having been around the blogosphere enough to visit all my fellow bloggers' sites and post comments.  I truly enjoy reading them all but this past month or two has been so crazy at work and things are really gearing up with the wedding just over two months away now!  That said, I have caught back up at work to be able to catch up on all of your lovely sites so thanks for your patience in sticking it out with me and not fully abandoning my place of 'thoughts.'  :)

So it happened again last night:  We were out to dinner with my mom, daughter, her dad, his mom and his sister celebrating Little Miss's birthday.  And then my daughter's Aunt asked Mr Fix It if he is getting excited about the wedding.  And you know what his response was?  "Well, I've already been through this before.  So I'm really only doing this for her.  I would have been totally happy just going to Vegas to get married."

So here is my open letter to Mr Fix It (which I guess doesn't really make it an open letter?)  :D

Dear Mr Fix It:

Can I just start off by saying UGH! ???  I get it...you've been married twice before.  And you would have preferred to have saved the thousands of dollars this wedding is costing us (read: ME) to put towards a house (which would be a second house, since you already have one!).  I get that you think I'm being anal, and obsessive and 'a freak' about all the details and things I would like to have at our wedding to celebrate our love and shower our guests with. 

I get that you think our wedding colors look like the 4th of July theme.  I understand you think it is silly to have things like lighted luminary table numbers with pictures of us in them and you're getting flack from your lame fellow surfer friends and brothers because I put stamps on the invitations that had our picture on them.  I have totally come to terms with the fact that you will never sit down to help me stuff favor boxes, wrap bows, or assemble invitations.  I could barely drag your ass to register for gifts that would benefit you!

I fully understand that you have had a sucky, unexpected year financially, physically and emotionally.  So I have not once made any comments about the fact that you want to 'wing it' on our honeymoon and not book any hotels for our two week stay in Brisbane, Australia and Bali, Indonesia.  And I don't expect to be surprised by any high end five star resort type stay when we get there either.  Not that I am complaining...I am fully amenable to your idea of letting the wind lead us to adventure and trusting that as my new husband, you will definitely find a way to provide a room for me to lay my head down on a pillow that won't be infested with mosquitoes or cockroaches the size of the neighbor's kitten! 

I gave in to the fact that we had to switch our tuxes for the fathers and ring bearers to older versions than the groomsmen will wear to try to cut down on the costs that *your* family and friends were griping about!  Nevermind the fact that I already gave up our house to them so they have somewhere to sleep on *OUR* wedding night. 

I am thrilled to death when you (on rare occasions) make mention of something or some idea you actually *like* that I have come up with for our wedding.  Unlike you, who constantly tells me that your friends or family think I am going overboard on our wedding (which is funny since your sister and sister-in-laws have told me how excited they are for the big day and how amazing they know it'll be), *MY* friends and family consistently send me e-mails, texts, phone messages, etc telling me that they are so excited to share in our big day and know it will be amazing.

So could you please do me a favor the next time someone asks if you are getting excited for the big day and just fake it?!?  Just tell them yes, we can't wait.  Just appease me to show that you have some sense of the joy, love, emotion and memories that I am envisioning will kick off the rest of our amazing lives together.  And that while trivial and unnecessary, the details and ideas and vendors that I am planning and booking all help bring together our family and friends in a once in a lifetime event that I personally have been waiting 37 freaking years to plan and participate in!

So would it kill you to pretend like you don't think this is all a complete waste of time and money?  Thanks so much.  I love you.

Born to be Mrs. Beever

PS  I should say that I really wasn't all that upset when he made the comment last night.  I just said to him and my daughter's Aunt that 'even though he has been through this before, he's never been through it with me nor has he ever done it the amazing way that we are planning on doing it.'  To which he of course agreed and said he knows that the guests are going to totally enjoy it and that it will be a great day.  Now, why couldn't he have led with that?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My almost disastrous wedding gown purchase!

I found this site, Julius Bridal, online.  They're based in New York and make gowns in China (where almost all wedding gowns are made) and sell them online.  They are known for creating knockoffs of designer gowns or custom gowns for fractions of what you would normally pay.  I was so excited because I found a dress on their site I thought would be perfect for me for about $400!!!

This was what I originally planned on purchasing:


I loved the gown, but when I tried on a similar style in a bridal shop, I didn't like how it looked 'on me.'  It was more like a down comforter or quilt.  So that was out.  I then spent 2 months searching through 7 salons looking for a gown.  At the last place, I finally found the Maggie Sottero SaBelle gown and fell in love.  I posted about it last week here.

But at the $1400 price tag, I hadn't planned on spending that much for a gown.  I contacted Julius Bridal.and showed them the dress asking if they could make a knockoff of it for me.  They said they'd make it for $700 or $800.  More than what I originally planned on paying but way less than the Maggie cost from a salon.

My mom and sister flipped out on me telling me it was not worth it to chance having a gown copied like this.  Especially by an online store.  I started researching these type of sites.  You need to be really careful, because they advertise their gowns as though they are actually the designer's dress...but in reality, they are creating a copy of it...not selling you the designer's actual gown.  And they do it for anywhere from $250 to $800.  Sounds great, right?

I read lots of positive reviews about Julius Bridal and felt okay with asking them to make it.  Spoke with their representative and she told me that it turns out they had just recently made a copy of my exact gown for someone else.  So she e-mailed me pictures.

This was the SaBelle gown by Maggie Sottero:





And these were the pics they sent me of their 'copy' of this gown:









I mean, it's sort of obvious that they were copying the dress, but it was *NOT* the same dress as what the original was.  The back in particular is completely different!  I would have bawled had that gown shown up on my doorstep!!!  Thanks to Mom, she offered to compensate me the difference to buy the original SaBelle by Maggie Sottero so that I didn't have to spend more than I budgeted for a gown.  And I also negotiated a phenomenal price with the bridal salon so I bought it for even less than what the ticket price was!

My advice:  If you're thinking of buying online, don't!  At least not if you want an extravagant, detailed type of gown.  Interpretation is almost always lost in communication.  Have you ever checked out the site Cake Wrecks?  They should have one for gowns!

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