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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sneak Preview Pics

My dad's friend is a photographer and he worked our wedding as a favor to my dad.  However, my dad is also a photographer and couldn't resist taking MANY pictures himself.  I'm still waiting on the ones from the official photographer of the day, but I did get a few sneak peaks from my dad.

That's All Folks

After tomorrow, I will have been married for 2 weeks!  With the wedding and honeymoon over, I decided to recap a little on the day.  (More on the honeymoon later).

Things about the big day:
1)  I gave myself lots of "extra time" in the schedule and was extremely thankful that I did.  I used all of it!  Here's the schedule that  my bridesmaids and I used and I think it was the perfect amount of time (I had 5 bridesmaids and 2 people doing hair and make-up).  

6 AM- Everyone showering
7 AM- Breakfast at hotel
7:30 AM - Hair and make-up in bridal suite
9:15 AM - Getting dressed
10:15 AM – Dads first look pics
10:30 AM - First look pics
11:30 AM - Bridal party pics
12:15 PM - Family pics
1:00 PM – Light snacks
1:30 PM- Get ready for ceremony 
2 PM - Ceremony

2) I'm crazy and I made a day of binder - I put my MOH in charge of it for the big day.   Here's what it included:  
  • Contact info for all immediate family and wedding party members (in case someone was missing for pictures, etc.)
  • Day of schedule for everyone with a few extra copies in case anyone lost theirs (I gave them out at rehearsal dinner)
  • Contact info for each vendor with notes on when they should arrive, what they needed to do and if they were owed anything or if they were paid in full
  • Envelope for each vendor that was still owed money with money inside it (for MOH to distribute as needed)
  • Section for each vendor - each section included the contract/proof of payment and any forms or important info vendor might need (copy of ceremony for reverend, song choices for DJ, hair/make-up pic for stylist, etc.)  I pulled several things from these sections throughout the day.  
3) I made a hanger for my dress (Mrs. ______) and hangers for my bridesmaids dresses with their names on it.  I LOVED this for the pictures and so did the photographer.  She said it really pulled it together.

4) My bridesmaids and I shared a room the night before the wedding and stayed up almost all night chatting (especially me and my MOH).  It kept me relaxed.  

5) We did a first look and I am SO glad that we did.  It was literally the best part of the entire day (husband agrees). We did out first look pictures, exchanged gifts and then just sat together and talked.  It helped us both to relax.  

6) I didn't get nervous until the ceremony started  and I realized that everyone was watching us.  After a few minutes though and my fiance grabbing my hand, I was relaxed again.  (Also, I definitely cried and did not care at all).  

7) We tried to see everyone during the cocktail hour (that way we didn't have to "visit" every table during the reception).  

8) We did the hora (since husband is Jewish) - it was a great way to open up the dance floor and everyone loved it.  

9) We had a photo booth which everyone loved and we got a flashdrive and scrapbook with all of the pictures in it afterwards which we really enjoyed looking at.

10) After going back and forth, I did end up doing bathroom baskets.  It turns out they were well-used and we received several compliments on them.

11) My dress had a corseted back (instead of a zipper) which I became more and more thankful for as the day went on.  I was able to tighten and loosen it as necessary (which was great for after I ate way to much during cocktail hour and then for when I wanted to dance and not have my dress fall down).  

12) Things went wrong - dresses didn't fit right, buttons popped off jackets, we had no idea how to cut the cake, the reverend used the wrong version of the ceremony, we forgot to do pics with just the groomsmen during the wedding party pics, and I'm sure there was more.  But it really just doesn't matter.  Have fun and celebrate!

13) The one thing that really surprised me was how fast everything went - the day was over so quickly.  I was both sad (because we were having such a great time) and relieved (because we were SO tired) when it was over.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 Days

I don't know where the time is going, but we only have 5 days left until the wedding.  Fortunately, almost everything is done.  Our list of things left to do is almost finished!

·                     Find/buy lip color
·                     Gift card for sister
·                     Assemble welcome bags
·                     Write thank you cards for wedding party/family
·                     Wrap gifts
·                     Decide on underwear
·                     Get mimosa supplies

Oh and get ready for the honeymoon of course!!  In exactly one week from today, we'll be in Jamaica sipping delicious drinks on the beach.  Time can't go fast enough.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

So Many Signs

Not really, but it sure feels that way.  We made up signs for our signature drinks (2 copies - one for cocktail hour and one for the reception) and then we made this sign to go at our guestbook table.  I just wanted something small and cute to go there.  We printed all of our signs on cream colored cardstock and put them in silver frames.  I wanted to share a picture of how they turned out, but they're already at the venue.

Signature Drinks

              After thinking long and hard, we were finally able to come up with our signature drinks.  Here's what we're having.  Wedding Bells if my fiances go to drink and I have a feeling that there won't be too many people ordering that one, but had to add it!  Dreaming of You is a drink that my fiance made up for me one day when we were out at the bar.  And Wedding Cake is just something I found that sounded absolutely delicious and we had to add it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Final Countdown!

Exactly 1 week until the wedding.   We have our final meeting with our venue tomorrow, so we have to get everything ready to drop off.  With that being said, it's crunch time - so much to get done today!

I'll update later.  :-)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Perfect Fit

I had my final fitting yesterday (which one of my awesome bridesmaids traveled down for to learn how to do the bustle) and everything was perfect.

I couldn't have been happier with how the dress turned out.  My seamstress also sewed in the blue heart into the dress as a last minute request and didn't charge any extra to do it.  (I decided to use an old blue shirt of my grandfathers, who passed away a few years ago, and have a heart cut from it to sew into my dress over my heart).

So now I have my dress back home (YAY!) and my something blue for the big day.
Note:  I had my heart done a little differently.  This was my inspiration picture.  I'll post mine later.  :-)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Groomsmen Gift Meltdown

On September 11th we ordered our groomsmen gifts and the seller (located in Hong Kong) shipped them us (located in NY) the next day.  After she shipped them, she gave me the tracking number, which I immediately looked up.  It had the message:  Origin post preparing shipment, loosely translated, "your package is waiting to go through customs".  However, 8 days after she shipped it, it still just had the same message. 

I decided to call USPS.   The woman I spoke to informed me that it could take up to a month to clear customs in Hong Kong and then another month to clear customs in the US and THEN it could be shipped to me.  In other words, I was looking at upwards of 2 months until the package arrived and there were 10 days until the wedding - probably not going to work.

In a panic yesterday morning, I emailed the seller and ask if she could resend the same order with express shipping (at my expense) after explaining the whole situation.  About an hour after I sent this email, I received an update from USPS, informing me that my package was in NY at a post office only about 4 hours away.  So in a matter of an hour, my package went from a sorting facility in Hong Kong, through their customs, through US customs, and made it's way to NY.  Talk about fast service.  Fortunately, I was able to message the seller and tell her that everything was alright and the package would arrive on time.  

Morals of the story:  (1) Don't trust USPS tracking and (2) start early if you're shopping online (and allow over 2 months if your package is coming from another country).  Lessons learned.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Groomsmen Gifts - Finally!

The first plan for the groomsmen was to get them these awesome ski socks.  All of the groomsmen ski, so he was going to get him these socks and a gift card to have their skis tuned, waxed, and sharpened next year.

However, he decided that gift cards were to boring and that he wanted something else, but had no idea what.  So at the 2 week mark, I was FINALLY able to convince my fiance that he needed to decide on his groomsmen gifts.

After throwing around idea after idea, he settled on getting all of his groomsmen a set of cufflinks.  He will be getting bullet shell cufflinks for his brother and One Piece (an anime show) cufflinks for the other guys.  And since we already bought the socks, the groomsmen are receiving ski socks and cufflinks - a little bit of an odd combination, but at least we've figured it out.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Two Weeks To Go!

Exactly TWO weeks left to go - only 14 days!

Things still left to do:
  • Book manicure/pedicure for day before
  • Find/buy lip color
  • Guest bag goodies
  • Bathroom basket supplies
  • Groomsmen gift (ordered, just waiting to arrive)
  • Sisters gifts
  • Write thank you cards for wedding party/family
  • Wrap gifts
  • Finalize music choices/meet with DJ (this Wednesday)
  • Find extra camcorder
  • Email photographer final "must take" list
  • Meet with venue for final time
  • Make signature drink sign
  • Print escort cards
  • Assemble menu holders
  • Frame for signature drink sign
  • Pens/markers for guest book
  • Final alterations (this Friday)
  • Decide on underwear
  • Order cupcakes
  • Stamp cupcake boxes
  • Bring bouquet charms to florist
  • Pull apart flower petals for ceremony
  • Decide on wine bottle for rehearsal dinner
How are there still so many things left to do??

Oh and we have to pack for our honeymoon!!!  (Leaving for Jamaica in 16 days!!!)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Garter Art

I searched everywhere for a pretty and reasonably priced garter with NO SUCCESS.  Craft stores sold cheap ones, but they looked cheap.  The ones that I wouldn't mind wearing cost no less than $50 and the ones that I really wanted were priced at $80 and up.

So being as cheap frugal as I am, I decided to make my own.


  • 4 ft. of stretch lace (found at Hobby Lobby) - with 40% off coupon $1.50
  • Metallic "stickers" 3 pack (found at Michael's) - with 50% off coupon $1.50
  • Floral embellishment 2 pack (found at Michael's) - with 50% off coupon $1.50
  • Needle and white thread
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

1.  Buy stretch lace and an embellishments you want for your garter.  Determine how much lace you need by measuring around the area of your thigh you want to wear the garter on (I doubled that length because I wanted to make a set).

2.  Wrap lace around thigh and cut to desired length.  Sew ends together using matching thread.

3.  Attach embellishments.  I hot-glued everything on with small amounts of glue and then sewed them on as well.  This will vary depending on what you use.

4.  Flip garter inside out.  Roll onto something to hold its shape (I used a rolled up newspaper in a plastic bag, a magazine in a bag would work just as well).  
5.  Create a zig-zag pattern with the hot glue along both the top and bottom of the garter.  Let dry.  This will help to keep the garter from sliding down your leg.  

Here is the end result (garter set for under $5):

Happy Birthday To Me!

My birthday present - 20 days until the wedding!  Ahh!!!!  I can't believe it's so close.  So many things to still cross of my list, though we did make some progress this past weekend.  My fiance was AWESOME and finished ironing the last of the chair sashes for me.  He ordered his groomsmen gifts finally - I'll be sharing those soon.  I finished up part of my bridesmaids gift and we figured out gifts for the parents - also coming soon.  We also met with our venue coordinator for our second to last time and figured out some things.  AND we officially applied for our marriage license!!!  For now I'm going to go and enjoy my birthday, but I'll come back to update you on all of our progress.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Last Call

After pulling together all of my resources (including facebook messaging a friend to ask for someone else's email address since fiance doesn't know how to contact this person) I was able to get back the final RSVP's.  I can't believe how many people did NOT send in their RSVP's - instead I received responses in person, over the phone, via text message, on Facebook, even carrier pigeon (not really, but one of my fiance's friends threw it out there as an option).

Anyway, all of that aside, we are having a grand total of 95 guests (not including ourselves) at the wedding (we invited a total of 149,so that means 37% declined).  Our minimum (a.k.a. the number of guests we're paying for no matter what is 110), bringing us 13 shy if you include us.  So we met with our venue and they were EXTREMELY generous and added on a bunch of extras to make up for the difference.  This is what they had told us they would do in the case that we came out below the 110 minimum, but we had no idea how generous they'd be.

I'd share, but I don't want to give anything away in case any guests are reading.  I'll be sure to fill you in post-wedding.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bend and Snap (Bridesmaids Keep Out)

I FINALLY finished the hangers for my bridesmaids dresses and I'm BEYOND happy with how they turned out.

Here's what I used:

  • 12 Gauge Hanger Wire (100ft. roll), bought at Home Depot for $5.99

  • Wooden Hangers (6 pack), bought at Home Depot for $6.99
  • Ribbon (extra that I had from invitations, but you can pick up a roll from any craft store)
  • Pair of Wire Cutters and Pliers
  • Drill
  • Hot glue gun
1.  Cut 6 ft. of wire per name.  
2.  Leaving about 6 inches on the end, start to create their name. (You can print out their names in a nice font and try to follow it, but I found that free-styling worked much better for me.)
3.  If your hangers have a pant bar like mine did, you'll need to remove those.  I found that if you just pulled on it firmly the bars came right out.  
4.  Drill (or have fiance drill) holes for the wire to be inserted into.  The holes that we drilled were basically right where the holes for the pant bar were.  
5.  Center the name on the hanger and cut off the extra wire, leaving some extra to insert into the holes.
6.  Put a blog of hot glue in one hole and insert the end of the wire, pushing firmly.
7.  Repeat for the other end of the wire in the other hole.
8.  Decorate however you'd like.  I made little bows from ribbon with tacky glue and then attached them to the hangers with hot glue.

Here's the finished product (6 hangers for $12.98) (I left mine off since it's Mrs. "_______").  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Seeking out the Stragglers

Today's mail just arrived we are still missing 8 RSVP's (out of 149) - and they were due 8 days ago!!!  I can't believe this - we've even called, emailed and texted people.  The update on the breakdown is below:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September has Started

September has started, which means that I'm getting married THIS month!  We have 28 days until our wedding and so much left to do.
  •          Apply for marriage certificate
  •          Book manicure/pedicure for day before
  •          Book hotel for wedding night
  •          Get guest bag goodies
  •          Bathroom basket supplies
  •          Iron sashes
  •          Parent gifts
  •          Groomsmen gifts
  •          Sister gifts
  •          Finish hangers
  •          Thank you cards for wedding party/family
  •          Wrap gifts
  •          Finalize music choices
  •          Email music to DJ
  •          Meet with DJ
  •          Find extra camcorder
  •          Email videographer info sheet
  •          Email photographer final photo list
  •          Decide on order of events for reception
  •          Meet with Joe for final time
  •     Late night station sign
  •       Decide on signature drinks
  •          Signature drink signs
  •          Print table numbers
  •          Print escort cards
  •          Find bases for table number and menu holders
  •          Frames for signature drink sign/cheesy toast sign
  •          Pens/markers for guest book
  •          Finish dress alterations
  •          Have heart sewn into dress
  •          Decide on bra
  •          Decide on underwear
  •          Make garter
  •          Order cupcakes
  •          Buy cupcake box labels
  •          Get charm for bouquet
  •          Bring both charms to florist at final meeting
  •          Wine glasses for ceremony
  •          Pull apart flower petals
  •          Decide on wine bottle for rehearsal dinner

The list just keeps growing!  So much to do and so little time.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mail from Mickey and Minnie

We've received our second celebrity RSVP (see the first here)!  (They've sadly beat some of our actual guests and RSVP's were due 6 days ago).

Monday, August 26, 2013

Your Response is Requested today!  RSVP's were due today and here's where we're at.  We are still missing 27% of our RSVP's (honestly, that's better than I expected).  Also, we have two people who took it upon themselves to write in a random guest on their RSVP - both friends of the fiance, so he has to make some phone calls.

I'm giving it another few days and this weekend I'll get in touch with those who still haven't RSVP'd.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kohl's Chaos

I warned you recently about my issues with Kohl's wedding registry.  Since then, I have had more issues with them.  I was out at my bachelorette weekend and received an email saying that the Ninja XL Blender was purchased.  AWESOME!

After the weekend trip I checked the registry.  I was surprised to see that it showed the blender as unpurchased.  I decided that the e-mail was incorrect and the blender actually hadn't been purchased. Three days later....the blender arrived in the mail.

I went back to the registry to check it again.  The blender still showed as unpurchased.  I tried to update it myself to say that it had been purchased, but was unsuccessful.  Finally, I decided to just delete it from the registry.

The main reason that I went with Kohl's for our registry was their 10% cashback perk.  From the time you register to the date of your wedding, you earn 10% cashback (which they give you in the form of a gift card) for each purchase made off your registry.  I was worried that because I deleted the blender, I wasn't going to receive the 10% back for it, so I planned to call within the next few days.

Then, we had a surprise in our mail yesterday - a second blender, purchased by a different guest.  So this morning I called Kohl's.  I explained the entire situation to them and was surprised by their responses.  I was told that I wouldn't receive the 10% back on either blender because I deleted it from my registry.  I explained again that I deleted it to avoid receiving multiple blenders.

Finally, after being transferred multiple times, I was told that they would add it back to my registry and show that 2 were purchased and I assured me that I would receive the cash back for both. I'm hoping that this is true, but who knows.  I only have one more item on my Kohl's registry and I'm just hoping that someone buys it soon, just so I don't have to deal with them any more.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Home

My fiance and I recently became happy owners of our very first home!  As promised, I finally have some pictures for you.

The messy office - still working on this one.

Downstairs bath

Kitchen/dining room

The kitchen

The dining room

The living room.

Hallway/coat closet


 Upstairs bath

Spare room #1 - still in the works

Spare room #2 - still in the works/currently the wedding room

Our bedroom.

The basement - also still in the works.  Finishing it is going to be our post-wedding project.