Three Days

We’re in the home stretch.  I never thought I would make it.

Last week I went in for what I thought was my final dress fitting but the seamstress had decided to take out my dress more in the back.  Instead of JUST taking out the back, she also took out the waistline, which never needed to be taken out from the get go.  When I put it on I immediately felt that the waist was really loose and when I stepped out of the room and looked at myself in the mirror I did not like what I saw.  There was just no waistline and in my head I was thinking “if I knew the dress was going to look like this I never would have bought it.”  I told them that it was too loose in the waist and she said they could take it in…but they kept saying how pretty it was and I honestly have not felt more ugly in my life.  As soon as we left I was in full meltdown mode and started crying.  My mom tried to force me to go back in to let them know how upset I was, but I didn’t want to make a scene so I called the next day instead and reiterated that I wanted the waist taken back in.

I picked the dress up today and it was back to the way it was supposed to be.  I am extremely relieved.  The day of the dress fitting last week and the day after were very emotionally taxing for me for some reason.  I just laid in bed and cried when I woke up the next day.  For some reason I kept thinking about all of the things in general that have upset me and it was really hard.  I feel totally fine now…maybe I just needed to have a meltdown and get it over with. Or maybe it was the Blood Moon.

I also now have an ailment which I have been referring to as “Wedding Brain.”  It’s like Pregnancy Brain but there is no physical reason for it…it’s strictly psychological.  You can tell me something and three seconds later I forgot we even had the conversation.  It’s a good thing I eventually do remember…I wonder what surprises I have in store for myself today!

One of the hardest parts of planning this wedding has been that life doesn’t stop just because you’re getting married.  You still have your job, your everyday responsibilities and everyday payments to worry about on top of organizing a huge life event.  Doesn’t the universe care that I’m getting married!? Now that we’ve paid all of the vendors it has been a huge load off of my mind.

My state of mind right now:  slightly nervous, slightly anxious, slightly excited, slightly feeling like it’s not really happening.

RSVP, Find Out What It Means to Me

Every wedding article I’ve ever read describes RSVP time as the worst part of wedding planning.  It was annoying but definitely not the hardest part of the process.  To everyone who RSVPed: thank you, I appreciate you.  To everyone who didn’t RSVP: you’re dead to me.  Ha. Maybe.

What I don’t understand is why people can’t bring themselves to drop the envelope in the mail.  The postage is paid for, the envelope is addressed…all you have to do is fill out two little boxes.  We really did need to know exact counts because our meals are plated, so we had to give the number of each specific meal to our coordinator.

Kara had explained to me that she received a bunch of RSVPs right at the end of the due date, so I anticipated a mailbox full of RSVP cards come September 10th.  On September 11th I was still due about 25 RSVP cards, which is approximately 50 people.  I immediately put my dad on the case and had him contact people he knew, then I had Joey contact a few people, and I contacted a couple of people myself.  Some people’s RSVPs came late, which was okay because we planned for it and had two weeks extra allowance before our totals were due.  A lot of people just gave a verbal “no” because I guess putting the little X that goes by “regretfully declines” is just. too. difficult.

It is so rude not to RSVP to any kind of formal event, let alone a wedding.  It’s hard enough (and expensive enough!) getting the invitations out, and to not get a response is basically saying “I don’t even like you enough to put the RSVP in the mail.”

Our final number of invited guests was 164 and our final number of attendees is 126.  I was mildly upset with some of the people who declined until I realized how much money we were going to save.   We planned for 150 guests so it was a great relief when our budget actually went down.

I had my first dress fitting a couple of weeks ago, which went well except for the alterations charge.  All I needed was for it to be let out in the chest and they gave me some ghastly number which I will not repeat, but what am I going to do? It’s too close to go around looking for a different alterations person.  I guess that’s why they wouldn’t give me any kind of estimate the day I ordered my dress.

The closer we get to the wedding, the less there is to do because I do everything way ahead of schedule.  No vendor has to come looking for me; I done paid them and followed up too.

One of the main things I still have to finish is my vows.  It has been surprisingly difficult for me to convey what it is I feel.  I’m not a romantic person at all and having to say the words out loud isn’t making it easier.  I used these as a point of reference but have strayed pretty far from them.  We’ll see what comes to me.

Just Over A Month

The closer the wedding is, the less stressed I become (for now) because I have less and less to do.  Pretty soon there will be nothing I can control and it will be in the hands of my vendors.  While to some people that might be scary I am at a point where I am welcoming it.  People keep asking me if I’m excited and I don’t really know how to respond to them because the answer is no.  For the past year my life has been checklists and payments and fighting, so I’m really just looking forward to everything being over.  I will be excited after we make our last payment….so about a week before the wedding.

Last weekend was our Bachelor/Bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  I know you guys aren’t going to believe this because it never happens to us, but a bunch of stuff went wrong, including Joey being too sick to even attend his own bachelor party.  I should have drank more and maybe I wouldn’t have cared as much about all of the things that went wrong.  I won’t even explain.  I’ll just post photos of the good times.

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We finally did book a spot for our rehearsal dinner, but not before having an experience that you can read about in my Yelp reviews here.

Two more days left for people to turn in RSVPs and we are only missing 50 people’s responses! Woo!

The Bridal Shower

The wedding is two months from today.  TWO MONTHS.  CUE THE FREAK OUT.

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Last weekend was my bridal shower.  Because I am a busy body control freak I knew a lot about it beforehand.  Just like everything else with this godforsaken wedding it was difficult choosing a location.  The bridesmaids had great ideas of places to host it but some places never responded, some places were rude, and others, outrageously expensive.  We decided on Compari’s in downtown Plymouth.  I had never eaten there so we took a shot….and it was GREAT!

They have a room in the back that separated us from the restaurant diners.  The color we chose was aqua and it looked great against the walls!

The bridesmaids set up a “Something old, something new,…” theme which I didn’t know about and it was so cute.

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Nail polish favors with heart cut outs.  Thanks pinterest!

One of my favorite things ended up being the “something borrowed” advice book from the guests at the shower!

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My parents

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My maid of honor Rachelle

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So many gifts!!

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Bridesmaid Kara, one of my best friends and mom to our flower girl, Kaydence

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My bridesmaid aunt/friend Laura and her daughter, Carli, our jr. bridesmaid

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Our flower girl, who started helping us open gifts and then eventually took off with some of them

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Cake made by my grandma

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Groom, bride, and my future mother-in-law

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Something old…photos of us.  Homecoming and prom photos included!

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Centerpieces

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Ashely, my bridesmaid and future sister-in-law

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Bridesmaids, bride and groom!

The time FLEW BY.  I think I am starting to understand what people mean when they say to enjoy the wedding because it goes by extremely fast.

I felt unexpectedly overwhelmed at the shower.  I couldn’t even eat because my stomach was so tight.  I couldn’t sleep that night because I was having anxiety over all of the presents that everyone bought us.  I need Xanax!!

Speaking of the gifts…I wasn’t really expecting the mess.  I should have made room and cleaned everything before the shower but I wasn’t thinking.  We had four full loads of dishes of JUST new items.  It took several days to get everything put away and organized.  I had to completely rearrange our kitchen in order to make everything fit.  Now our kitchen looks soo classy.

I’m glad I listened to all of those articles that tell you to do your thank you notes right away.  I only have a few left and it’s nice to not have to worry about it.  It took quite a while but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the wedding thank yous!

It was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the shower without having to do any work.  My bridesmaids did such a great job… the little details were amazing and everyone had a good time.  I can’t believe it’s already over!!

The Little Things Kill

I haven’t been blogging lately because there haven’t been any major happenings with wedding planning (besides people asking me if I’m done planning yet. Is getting married like childbirth where afterward you forget how painful it was?) It’s mostly been a bunch of little things, which I suspect is how it will be from now on. (Did you like my Bush reference? I am soooo cool!)

First and foremost: we have stuffed the invitations! Kara and my parents came over to help put them together. We opted for pocketfold invites and it was really helpful to have a number of people to create an assembly line putting them together. It didn’t take long at all with so many people helping. Last week we mailed the first batch: parents and some out-of-towners. We already got an RSVP from Joey’s dad and I started freaking out because I do not have my excel spreadsheet ready! I’ve got to get it together! It still doesn’t feel real at all and I don’t know that it will until it’s happening.

Second: I cannot find silver ribbon! I looked at Joann Fabrics, Michaels and Meijer and no one has silver!!! I need it for the cake. If you know where I can find some, help a sister out.

Third: WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO FIND A REHEARSAL DINNER LOCATION. We can’t do it at the venue because it’s 21+. We can’t do it in any places in the Detroit area because no one has parking. We can’t do it at any number of restaurants around my house because they either don’t have the time available that we need, they don’t take reservations, or the minimums are crazy. ($1,000 min? Get over yourself, Andiamo.)

Lastly: All of this stuff is so, so expensive. I work for Joey currently and it would help to have a secondary revenue stream so I am currently looking for another job! Don’t you want to hire me when I only need 15 days off this year?

All of my vendors keep saying “you’re so chill. You’re so laid back.” Hahahahahahahahahaha let’s just wait and see.

Honeymoon Planning

The tickets have been purchased…we are officially going to Italy!

We started talking about where we might like to go last year.  We knew for sure we were leaving the country.  Neither of us have ever left North America so we had to apply for passports. I looked up all of the information online and filled out our paperwork. We went into the Post Office about a half an hour before they closed.  There were literally no other people inside besides the employees.

I barely had the words out of my mouth that we’d like to apply for passports when the lady proved the USPS’s quest for complete uselessness and she said that we needed an appointment for that.  She dismissed us and I said “uhhhh can we make an appointment then?” “What date and time?”  “Thursday at 2pm.”  She seemed so bothered as she pulled out some personal appointment book and wrote our appointment down in pencil.  It was like I had time warped back to the 1950s.  “Okay you’re all set for 12:30.”  “Well that’s not the time I said.  The time I said is 2pm.”  I know the USPS hates me as much as I hate them.

At our scheduled appointment I pulled out all of our forms to be mailed.  I had typed most of it but filled in a couple of answers in pen that I didn’t have the answers to originally.  I handed over the forms and she said “This can’t be in blue ink.  Has to be black.”

I’m pretty sure she made that rule up but she literally handed me all of my stuff back like I wasn’t about to get my passport and tried to get ready for the next person.  I grabbed a black pen and re-wrote over the information and shoved it back to her.  No fucking way was I coming back a third time.  She accepted our forms and took our birth certificates.  I wasn’t aware that you had to mail your original b.c. with your forms and they mail it back to you but thankfully we received our passports and our certificates back without a problem.

My first choice for the honeymoon was Greece but Joey was worried about the “civil unrest.”  He really wanted to go to Italy and it didn’t take much to convince me.  Who doesn’t want to go to Italy?

Rachelle referred me to her friend who has been to Italy a few times and got married there.  He gave me a rundown of some major cities and the pros and cons of each.  Between the info he gave me and researching online, we ultimately decided to go to Rome, Florence and Venice, with most of our time spent in Rome.  I also wanted to visit Lake Como but it’s going to be pretty cold in northern Italy during that time so we opted out of it.  George Clooney will just have to get along without me!

Originally we were planning on flying into Venice, then taking the train (Europe apparently has an awesome train system) to Florence, then down to Rome and leave from Rome.  This did not turn out to be feasible because one way tickets to Italy are almost as expensive as round trip airfare.

We considered using a travel agent but for some reason most of the agencies here don’t do European travel, and the one we spoke to that does said that they don’t really save you any money but offer guidance navigating, so we decided to book all of the details on our own.

The process has been grueling.  Finding an affordable flight without multiple stops or a super long layover time proved to be tough.  We ended up booking through Expedia.  If you’re just booking a flight I would recommend going straight to the airline but since we were doing a flight and hotel package it ended up being much cheaper through Expedia.

I’ve been looking up tours and day trips at viator.com.  It seems to have great reviews and I am all about experiencing as much as possible!  One of the more annoying things I have encountered while planning is when I am looking for the best things to do around the country and there are lists that say “watch the sunset” and “take a walk.” WOW I was not going to do those things until you told me, thank you for the helpful guide!

If you’ve ever been to Italy I would love any advice or input!  I can’t wait!!!

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The WIC

When I first got engaged my mom’s coworker referred me to the site A Practical Wedding.  There, you can find real brides blogging about all kinds of issues.  Some you will be able to relate to and some will make you thankful and appreciative when you’ve been a real whiny brat about things that really aren’t that serious.  It’s a site that will make you feel all kinds of things from reflective to compassionate to downright pissed off for your fellow brides.

Along with blogs from brides, there are also blogs from the staff.  They answer difficult questions and write blogs of their own relating to weddings, marriage, and families and everything that comes with them.  Mentioned various times throughout the site is the acronym “WIC.”

WIC stands for Wedding Industry Complex.  Meg, the Editor-In-Chief of A Practical Wedding, explains the two aspects of the WIC.  One is the Wedding Industry itself and the other is the Societal Expectations of a Wedding.  As vulnerable brides we are all being manipulated to conform to what the Wedding Industry and Society tell us are the things we need in order to throw a great wedding.

As soon as you mention the word “wedding” people within the industry begin to salivate because they can jack up the price, knowing that you will most likely pay it.  I just booked our limo to take us around Detroit for photos in between the ceremony and reception.  The max time we need is two hours and yet the cheapest limo I could find was $400.  Funny how the price was very similar for 6 hours when I needed a limo for a party.  Kara and I went to a couple bridal salons looking for a dress for her daughter who will be our flower girl.  Kaydence will be a year and a half old at the time of the wedding and it was almost impossible to find a dress her size.  I didn’t realize that flower girl dresses can take 3 months to come in after being ordered or else I would have just gone on Etsy ( I mean, come on ) and started looking for one there.  We didn’t have time to waste to try ordering dresses from Etsy that we couldn’t see in person so we ordered from a bridal salon.  The dress ended up being more expensive than the bridesmaid dresses.  When I was telling Joey about the price he didn’t flinch but instead said “Yeah, because how many times are you going to order a flower girl dress? They need to get as much money out of you as they can.”

There are some things that whether society cares or not I think are a “must” just because of my personal beliefs and taste.  However, as I plan my wedding I do find myself thinking about what people are going to think and say about our wedding and it has come into play during the process.  But really…who cares?  It should be about you and your significant other and it should be exactly how you want it.  You want to serve pizza for dinner?  Go for it.  You want to buy your dress from a department store?  Cool.  You’re getting married at your house?  That’s awesome.  What the industry tells us are the things that we have to do are completely fabricated by the Wedding Industry in order to suck your wallet dry.  While we are all affected by it somewhat, especially when parents are contributing to the problem, it’s important not to lose sight of what it is you really want.  In the years to come the only person who will be thinking about your wedding day is you and your fiance, and you want to be sure it was exactly how you wanted it to be.

Tuxedos

Joey and his groomsmen all went to Men’s Wearhouse in Novi to pick out the tuxedos.  If Joey didn’t have a good sense of style I would have gone but I trusted him to pick something dapper.  They made a day of it and after the tuxes were chosen went out to eat and then out for wine and cigars while I was at home painting the kitchen like some kind of chump.

While I do not take it to the same extreme, I am my mother’s daughter and I ask a lot of questions.  I need to know the 5 Ws & H, and when it comes to weddings, if I don’t get these answers I immediately freak out.

“What day are the tuxes due back?”

“He didn’t tell me.”

“Why is the pick up the Thursday before the wedding?  That’s not enough time if they fuck something up.”

“That’s just what he wrote down.”

“He wrote this pick up thing out for November, not October.”

“Oh…well he said October.”

“Why are measurements due in June?  That’s too early.”

“He said you could get remeasured.”

“Until when?”

“Not sure.”

Therein lies the major difference between Joey and me.  I have to know everything about everything and he’s cool with the information someone offers.  Obviously I immediately made plans to go to Men’s Wearhouse and straighten this all out.  I got the pick up moved up one day and the drop off got moved one day later because they had them due back the day after the wedding, and I also had her put a note to allow measurements through August.  I picked out our ring bearer’s tux while I was there.  It was crazy busy in there because it is both wedding and prom season right now and you HAVE to make your voice heard.  They talk over you and half listen so you need to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

Back to the kitchen renovation.  We are redoing our cabinets and painting the walls.  If you’re ever like “I’m gonna redo my cabinets myself!” I’m gonna stop you right there.  Sanding, priming and painting sounds easy enough but with cabinets it takes ten times as long and there is nowhere to walk or cook because wet cabinets are drying on every flat surface available. We’ve been working on it almost every weekend for a couple of months now.

There is a silver lining for a home project during wedding planning; you have something else to focus your energy on.  I would never take this on a month before the wedding or anything but we are still a few months out and it has been nice to have responsibilities other than strictly wedding duties.

We have officially ordered our invitations and sent over the guest list for printing on labels so we should be able to see them very soon!  Retyping every person’s name and address into a specific Excel format was tedious but I guess not as tedious to me as it was for Joey to read off the addresses to me as he acted like he was dying during the process.  Make sure if you are using labels for your invitations to print the list and cross reference to your guest list to make sure you didn’t leave anyone off.

In other news, Rachelle sent out my shower invitations!  Very exciting and moving very, very fast.

 

Traditions & Trends We’re Skipping

Joey and I are both very non-traditional people.  We are getting married in a casino, we bought our house together when we were 19 & 20, and we dated for 11 years before getting engaged.  We don’t follow rules for the sake of following them.  While some of what we are doing with our wedding is very traditional, here’s a list of things you won’t see.

1) A Photo Booth:  Photo booths at weddings seem to be the hottest trend.  While their presence at weddings doesn’t bother me, it’s not something that he or I would ever have at an event.  I’ve heard “the photo booth was the best part of the wedding!” one too many times…if someone said that about my event I would have a meltdown.  I want everyone on the dance floor and socializing with each other, not waiting in line to take “funny” photos that you now see at almost every wedding.

2) The Garter Dance/Toss:  First of all, I wouldn’t subject Joey to that.  Also, isn’t that awkward to do in front of your family?  And finally, I don’t want to wear a garter all day.  It’s gonna be hot as hell in my dress as it is.

3) The Dollar Dance: I didn’t even know what this was until recently and I wish no one ever told me and I could go back to a simpler time where I thought that it didn’t exist.

4) Multiple Wedding Dresses:  I understand the concept behind them when you want a dress that you can dance easily in, but it’s not something I’m interested in doing.  I’m only getting married once and I want to wear the dress for as long as I can.

5) A Naked Wedding Cake: Because they are stupid.

6) Music Requests: The reason for this is twofold.  First, Joey and I are both really into music and we don’t listen to a lot of music that is popular right now.  Everyone will know and love the songs that we have chosen to play (several hours have gone into carefully selecting the playlist) but I know inevitably someone would request a song I hate, and I could only put so many Bruno Mars songs on my “Do Not Play” list.  Second, when we went to watch our DJ at a wedding, there were people coming up and putting in requests.  A couple of my favorites: Linkin Park, and “that three doors down song.  I don’t know the name of it but it’s really sad.”  The playlist is CRUCIAL to the vibe of the party and I will not allow it to be placed into anyone’s hands but ours. The songs must be DANCEABLE, not just a song you happen to like…but no one is going to be thinking about that except for ME.

7) Music Fake Out: The bride and groom are having their first dance, and then everyone thinks the music cuts out, but really it’s a ruse and the bride and groom start doing Thriller or some other coordinated dance.  Except it’s not a ruse because it’s been done so many times.  It was funny and cool at first but not so much anymore.

8) Wedding Programs & Favors:  Because it’s one more thing to worry about and pay for and no one will miss them.

I’ve been feeling a little bit better this week.  I’m plowing through my list like a boss.  After three proofs our invitations are on order.  Kara, my mom and I went shopping for bridal jewelry and I’ve got some Badgley Mischkas coming in the mail this week.  Getting closer!