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!!!
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.
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.”
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.