Friday, October 29, 2010

Very Zen: Honeymoon Day 3

We went to the Chinese Classical Gardens and after drinking tea and strolling along a perfectly beautiful garden, left feeling impossibly relaxed and chill. 

To counteract this, we immediately headed to Voodoo Doughnut, a Portland staple wherein you can purchase doughnuts covered in Fruit Loops, or shaped like voodoo dolls (stabbed with a pretzel stick!)

There was also POWELL'S WORLD OF BOOKS, which is a 3-story bookstore quite literally larger than a city block, and Pittock Mansion which, despite being closed, offered us a beautiful view of Portland with Mt. Hood in the background.   

Today's Breweries included Rogue (which was impossibly delicious), and Widmer (which was frankly disappointing).

Breweries:  2
Samplers:  7 
Pints:  6
Unique Beers:  10

After failing to hit enough breweries, we changed the game plan.   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learning is Fun: Honeymoon Day 2

On day two we expanded our knowledge by going to OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) which was fun and visiting the Zoo which was lovely but lemur-less.  Of course we took that new knowledge of science and animals and drank it away at three more breweries. 

And thanks to Greg for making us a delicious dinner.

Pint Count: 8
Sample Count: 6
Unique Beer Count: 14
Brewery Count: 3 (Rock Bottom Portland, New Old Lompoc, Lucky Labrador)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Plane! The Plane!: Honeymoon Day 1

Well, we're in Portland... and no one is surprised it's raining.  We couldn't be happier.  We hit 2 breweries (one before we even got to Portland!) and a bar already, and making plans to hit what we can while we are here.  Wish us luck.

Pint Count:  10
Unique Beer count: 8
Brewery Count:  2 (Rock Bottom Minneapolis and BJs)  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

...and now for Something Completely Different: -1 Days to Go

Everything went fantastically.  It was a hectic day, and it went by in a snap... but we took away many memories.  Don't worry, this does not spell the end of this blog, not yet.  We still have a honeymoon to post about and also pictures and videos and other such aftermath.  We'll keep you posted in...

The Honeymoon Parts 1-7 

and 


Where's Our Memories At? 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Married!

Right.... about.... now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Gettin' Married in the Morning: 1 Day to Go

Well it's upon us.  Everyone is in town.  The Rehearsal Dinner is done (thanks Mom & Dad!) and everyone is well and rehearsed.  The only thing left is to try to get something resembling a reasonable night's sleep.

See everyone tomorrow!

Wedding Part-ay: 2 Days to Go

Thank you to everyone who could make it to our knock-down drag-out wedding party.  Thanks to all the non-karaoke people who braved karaoke and to the festive people who came in costume.  We love you guys.

It was really useful in unwinding, and we're so glad people got to meet each other before "The Event"

I took pictures, but you're likely not to see any till after the wedding.   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Massage in a Bottle: 3 Days to Go

In honor of the last stretch before the big day Rob and I went for a couples massage tonight, courtesy of his parents.  It was much needed.  The lady who did my back commented about how my lower back was "all knotted up" and recommended I put some ice on it to reduce some of the inflammation.  I am currently complying whilst getting a few things done.     

At any rate, the massage has done wonders.  It has given us new resolve to get everything done what needs to get done.   

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cut the Red Wire: 4 Days to Go

You know those scenes in movies where the timer on a bomb is ticking down and the person trying to defuse it is desperately trying to do ten things at once to prevent the explosion?

We're still assembling all the pieces for the reception, putting in the last minute details with the caterers and designer and DJ, finalizing the rehearsal dinner, cleaning the apartment for a small shindig we're having on Thursday, picking up packages, etc etc etc...

And if we don't get it done on time.. KABOOM!  Wedding all over the place.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Copy and Paste: 5 Days to Go

Pretty much everything is getting set in stone now.  Time to print and assemble all the programs and table signs and escort cards, set up the guest book, flower girl basket, and so on and so on.  Simple tasks but time consuming and last minute.

Oh and I got a call today... my tux is in.  This just got real.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dead Man Walking: 6 Days to Go

Yesterday was the day of my Bachelor Party, the celebration of the end of my wild ways.  Yes it's all gray skies from here on out.  Appropriate pictures can be found here. 


Ten of my best boys and I started off at Sullivan's Irish Pub where they were having a pig roast (manly!) and improved beer selection in honor of Cleveland Beer Week.  Upon arrival I was told to pick a beer so I chose a tasty (and high in alcohol) IPA without realizing they were serving the beer by the boot-full.  Not that this dissuaded me from having a few more.

After that we moved on to The Beer Engine where, predictably there was more beer drinking (including a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale which was amazing) and eating of fine fine health food, like whole burgers dipped in butter or burgers with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.

There was much toasting, celebrating my impending loss of freedom and mourning Ohio State (though the less said about that the better).  Many thanks to Vin for organizing the whole thing and Nathan, Dave, Peter, Tim, Justin, Jeff, Garrett, Nevin and Matt H for attending.  Oh and Matt G and Aimee for crashing and presenting me with a wine cork with some strange T&A.  It was a fun and suitable adieu to my bachelorhood.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Feel Pretty: 7 Days to Go

The days leading up to the wedding are filled with primping and pampering the likes of which I have never experienced.  I am not, as I'm sure it is clear, in any way girly.  But a wedding is a special time, so  I had a hair appointment today to get my first professional highlight ever.  Tuesday is my brow appointment, which I'm dreading.  There's a massage Wednesday and a hair trial / nail appointment Friday.  A girl's work is never done!!! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Forget Your Booties: 8 Days to Go

We're finally close enough to get some idea of what the weather will likely be like on the day of our wedding.  Sure, we know what to do in the event of cold or rain (except where our photos will be taken), but it's a different matter entirely to make that decision.  Here's about 7 different forecasts for you so you can experience a bit of what my current manic state is like.  Enjoy!  

Weather.com:  Sunny , 61F 
CNN:  Sunny, 61F 
Cleveland.com:  Partly Sunny, Showers, 66F
NOAA:  Partly cloudy, low 60s
Accuweather: Periods of Rain, 67F
Yahoo:  Sunny, 61F
Intellecast:  Sunny, 61F
  

 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Match Made in Bacon: 9 Days to Go

My fantastic work associates, boss and staff threw me a "man shower" today at Great Lakes Brewery, complete with bacon roses and gifts of tools and grilling stuff.

After a year and a half it still feels weird that people are gathering to celebrate us.  As someone who has always been content to blend into the background, it never ceases to amaze me how many people have gone out of their way for us through this whole process.  I'm not sure I could really fully express my gratitude.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my awesome work shower today!  You guys are awesome!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Lost Art: 10 Days to Go

Real bow ties... no one uses them any more, no one sells them.  It's sad.  Not that I plan on actually using one in terms of tying and wearing it, but just to drape around my neck half way through the night as if I'd slickly undone the tie I was wearing earlier.

I thought it would be easy to walk into a men's store, walk up to the counter and declare, "One bow tie please."  But alas, it it a lost art.

Gem is Outrageous: 11 Days to Go

I had a meeting at Timeless Moments today, and I'm totally getting a bracelet made from my flowers after the wedding.  The one I ordered looks like this, but will be purple and white.  Tell it I love it. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well that Was Easy: 12 Days to Go

Erica and I had been fearing the process of assigning the seating chart for some time now.  We even blogged about it a while back, joking that it would require 500 attempts.  So we've been putting it off, or at least gave it a spot on our "to do list" that was as late as possible.

Turns out all that fear was unfounded.  While working on some early seat assignment prep we kinda accidentally slid right into it and within no time at all we had all the tables pieced together.  I'd say it was one of the easier things we've done in this entire wedding planning process.

We're hoping the good luck sticks with us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gourd For You : 13 Days to Go

Had a wonderful time today at the pumpkin festival with Vin, Jodie, Charlotte and our little flower girl, Lucy.  We practiced her leaf-sprinkling routine, which went very well.  She's such a sweetie!

We also attempted to go shopping for honeymoon clothes, which did not go well.  I blame poor timing. 

Coffee Now, Damnit!: 14 Days to Go

I had my second dress fitting today, and it went pretty well.  The dress fits me beautifully, and there's just a few adjustments to go.  Best of all, I learned two things today.

1)  Dress fitting appointments are EARLY!
2)  They really frown on bringing coffee into a shop filled with white dresses.    

Friday, October 8, 2010

Good Day Sunshine: 15 Days to Go

How about that weather eh?  I know I know, we picked Fall for the Fall weather, and this is too darn summery.  But you know what, with an outdoor evening wedding, we'll take it.  Also its waylaying our fears about the leaves changing too soon.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for October 23.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Raise Your Right Hand and Repeat After Me: 16 Days to Go

We went and got our marriage license today.  When the woman at the counter told us to sign the form and raise our right hand, we both thought she was joking.  She clarified "seriously, raise your right hand."  We had to comply and swear that the information we provided was true and that we loooove each other (actually they don't care so much about that last part, just that you have an ID and know your mother's maiden name, for the sanctity of it all).  Like so many of these experiences lately we had to stop and remind ourselves that for the rest of our lives, we will never again do what we did today.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To do or die: 17 Days to Go

We spent the night assigning to do items for every day from here on in.  To say it looks daunting is an understatement.  It looks, in a word, terrifying.    

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We have Picture & Sound: 18 Days to Go

Final meetings with our photographers and DJ's went well and serve only to underline how close the big day is getting.  Name pronunciations, picture locations, wedding schedules and more rule our lives right now.  Along with everything that's ruled our lives before.  It just piles up.  And then on October 23 we can throw off that pile and par-tay!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just for Us?: 19 Days to Go

Have you seen the Terminal Tower lately?  It's colored a beautiful purple.  I assume that's in honor of our wedding.  It is, after all, a celebration the whole city needs to be aware of.

Thanks City of Cleveland... It's nice to know you care!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tale as Old as Time: 20 Days to Go

After dancing with dad, I've determined it's going to be very difficult not to be blubbering with tears the entire day of my wedding.  I have no idea how I'm going to make it through intact.  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Daddy's Girl 21 Days to Go

In Coshocton for our lovely county fair... and to practice the daddy / daughter dance with my daddy.  It's going to be adowabwle.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Month it Happened: 22 Days to Go

It's officially October... and therefore the month of our wedding.  It's easy to get into he mindset of having this big looming far off date - that always seems like it's never really going to happen.  It's easier, it seems, to have that complacency blasted away. 

Tonight, as the clock turned over from 11:59:59 to 12:00:00, Rob turned to me and said "Well, Sweetie, it's October."  That's when it slammed into me like a truck - I'm getting married.  This month.   In 22 days. 

 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teaser Trailer: 23 Days to go

This is all getting a little surreal.  Every nook and cranny of our day is now becoming infused with wedding.  We were late for a friends birthday party because we are at Lowe's buying, of all things, gravel.  For what you say?  Our guest book.  We hope you've never seen one quite like it. 

    

Blue Velvet, if you Please: 24 Days to Go

I've been making signs for the bar.  We've got a specialty cocktail (a pumpkin chai "martini" we are calling Falling in Love") and three special beers to tout about.  Robert won't let me put up the sign that says "Heineken?  F*** that S***!"  Geesh.  It's like this is going to be a classy affair or something.       

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bit by Bit: 25 Days to Go

It's one thing to make up a mock escort card to one's liking.  But when you get down to it, having to make over 100 of them is a bit more time consuming.  It's time to start working on all the little fiddly bits: escort cards, programs, and table signs one by one...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding Room: 26 Days to Go

After two showers, Erica and I are shocked at everyone's generosity.  My advice to anyone who has a house filled with cluttered drawers, cabinets and closets... finding room for new stuff is the best way to motivate yourself to get organized.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Fling Before the Ring: 27 Days to Go

After the shower, a few of my closest buddies and I went out to have a girly good time.  It was exactly the sort of Bachlorette party I wanted... fun, intimate, laid-back, and just a tad silly.  Yes, there are pictures of that event, and many of them are terribly embarrassing. 

First, we started at Steak on a Stone.  I had never been, and was admittedly curious about cooking my own meat at the table.  Not only was it a good time, but the food was mouth-watering.  We had a no-frills steak, cooked just about as freshly and juicy as you could want, and everyone got to choose two dipping sauces.  Naturally we ended up sharing so we each go to try something like 8 sauces each.

Having gotten sufficiently meated, we moved on to the exercise portion of the night.  Doing our best impression of a gaggle of teenagers, we headed to the rollerskating rink.  There, no one managed to break a leg, though several of us managed to fall down.  We skated till we could skate no more, which admittedly was varying times for all of us.

Then it was on to the "drinkin'" part of our evening.  We started at the Lakewood Winking Lizard, where I managed to fight my instincts to drink beer and stuck with girly pink mixed drinks.  After having a couple there, we ended the night at Corky's where we had a terrific time despite the presence of the is-almost-never there terrible karaoke guy.  

After all of this, a few of us (by which I mean me, my MOH Shanda, and my mom) were ready for more.  More food, that is.  We hit Denny's.  Hard.  Then we hit the bed.  Harder.

Thank you to Shanda, Jen, Becky, and Alicia for coming out with me, and for being such good sports.  Thank you especially to my mother for her generosity, and for keeping an eye on all of us and getting us from point A to B, back to A, to point C, then to point D and E then to F and back to C.  You are far better than any limo, because I would much rather have the memory of having you there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Showered Part Deux: 28 Days to Go

 Our Cleveland shower was lovely.  Thank you to everyone who made it out, and for your generosity.  Pictures of the event are up (and the fun everyone had in the game area after), so feel free to check them out.  If you have any, feel free to post them.

Dave and Busters was very accommodating, and the food was yummy!  The room was vary movie-theaterish, which was right up our alley.     

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Calm Before...: 29 Days to Go

By this point, we know the drill.  Tomorrow is our Cleveland Shower and we're sooo looking forward to it.  There's not much more we can do tonight, so we wait...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Enchanted Forest: 30 Days to go

We had our florist meeting today... finally.  It could not have gone better.  Michael mentioned things we wanted (and had written down) before we even brought them up, had great ideas for things we didn't know how to handle, and brought the whole shebang in at budget.  Our wedding is shaping up to be beautiful, and this has left us with a satisfied and accomplished feeling that we really needed to give us a good boost as we go down the final stretch.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Adieu To Do: 31 Days to Go

We made our last major "To Do List" today.  Sure there may be small things here and there that pop up, but for the most part we're now prepped for all the tasks of the last month.

And there's only 50 items or so.  What a breeze!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Final Touches: 32 Days to Go

Putting the final touches on some of the elements of the Cleveland Wedding Shower coming up this Saturday, not to mention the Bachelorette Party.

Just to clarify... not the "final touches" on the Wedding.  No, we're still nowhere close to those.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things Getting Done: 33 Days to Go

The ceremony has now been written.  It's done.  Wow.  Also, of note, the area we set up in an apartment corner and dubbed "Wedding Central" has been pared down and moved.  It's still a daily part of our lives but no longer a "same room as us" daily part of our lives.  I can feel the end near.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whirlwind Week: 39-34 Days to Go

Whew, what a week! But don't worry, we haven't forgotten about our blog here.  We've just been busy setting up vendor meetings, making last minute plans for vendor meetings, working on seating arrangements, assessing guest lists for the wedding and shower, working on wedding shower and bachelorette and bachelor party plans, and realizing that all of those elements of the wedding we've been making on a trial basis, actually need to be done on an actual basis. (escort cards, guest book table, table signs, etc etc)

So I guess the insight after all of this is.... we need a bed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Design: 40 Days to Go

We're both very excited.  We finally booked a meeting with our florist/design consultant.  Pretty wedding here we come!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Photos: 41 Days to Go

Last weekend we headed down to Coshocton to raid Erica's parents' photo collection.  This weekend it's Rob's Parents' turn.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

To Alcohol...: 42 Days to Go

This year, Cleveland Beer Week falls smack on the same week as our wedding.  That's bad.  But it starts a few days early, which means it covers the date of my Bachelor Party.  That's good!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Delicious Autumn: 43 Days to Go

The skies are cloudy, the air is brisk, the leaves are beginning to change (too soon! too soon!), which means Autumn is upon us, which means October is upon us, which means it's all so very close.

I love this change in season, but this year it brings with it anxiety and anticipation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Tale of Two Blondes: 44 Days to Go

Today we stopped by Dave and Buster's to check out the room and the AV situation for the Bridal Shower.  It looks like we can do just about anything we want that my Macbook can provide (can anyone say "Power Point Quiz").    

We're also going to do a photo slideshow, featuring as many "awwww" pictures as our respective parents will part with.  As such, we've been scanning lots of pictures, the biggest result of which is that we realize just how blonde our children will someday be. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All Alone: 45 Days to Go

Erica's last minute work trip means I'm experiencing the single life again if just for a night.  This consists of doing dishes, surfing Facebook and watching movies -- Exciting!  Alas, the bachelor's life was never for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All the Best Meetings are Taken: 46 Days to Go

Time to reconnect with all of our great vendors and start scheduling meetings to nail down all the specifics.  I think this, once again counts as planning to do the planning.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ready. Set. Action!: 47 Days to Go

Spent a few days down in Coshocton country with the Talbots, accomplishing several wedding-related items while we were there including Bridal Party 2 prep, Bachelorette Party planning, father/daughter dance practicing and most importantly interviewing Erica's parents for the wedding video.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Leading the Way: 48 Days to Go

There are several disadvantages to being an older sibling.  One being that you have to do everything first... like planning a wedding.  My younger brother is also engaged.. so he gets to watch me flounder around.  Bah!  I'm going to have to get a bigger allowance or something to get back at him. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Addressing the situation: 49 Days to Go

I had my first dress fitting!  It went very well, actually.  It needs to get taken in, but not as much as people feared.  Plus, we're making it a tad shorter in the front so my rockin' purple shoes will peep out when I walk.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Terror: 50 Days to Go

Today at the 50 day mark, we've set aside a good fifteen minutes to dedicate to being terrified.  And then back to our regularly scheduled work work work.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sticker Shock: 51 Days to Go

September shall henceforth be known as the month of writing GIANT CHECKS!!!!!  Seriously, I'm having a hard time fitting all the letters in the line where you write out the amount of the check in words here, people.   

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Insight: 52 Days to Go

A brief break today to soak up some unexpectedly sentimental advice... not to us personally, but still we'll take it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rockabye Baby: 53 Days to Go

Rob and I have already been integrating the gifts from our shower into our lives - which feels almost wrong because we're not married yet.  But I figure the earlier we start, the more use we get!  The iPod speakers my mother gave us have been especially useful for lulling us to sleep at night - as we have been a bit stressed out.  On account of getting married, you see.   

Monday, August 30, 2010

Now That's Progress: 54 Days to Go

A couple months ago we set up a table in the corner of our apartment and dubbed it "Wedding Central."  After about a week, Wedding Central filled up so up went a second table, dubbed "Wedding Central Annex."  For months, both areas were filled with projects, gifts, files, books, signs, etc.

Today, enough progress has been made that Wedding Central Annex was no longer needed and has been taken down.  Insignificant as it may seem, this is in fact the first act of wedding de-escalation we have performed.  It's actually a bit sad.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sale!: 55 Days to Go

We have to make sure that we leave a good impression on Portland.  And with the autumn looks coming out, we two of great fashion sense purchased Honeymoon outfits today.  West Coast here we come!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meta-List: 56 Days to Go

Yes we have a list of things to get done for the wedding.  But sometimes the thing we have to get done is updating our list of things to get done.  So we must make another list of things to get done and write on it "Update list of things to get done," and that's something we got done today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

When I Was Your Age: 57 Days to Go

Nifty little ideas often come with not-so-nifty work.  Utilizing a photo slide show of Rob and Erica growing up for the Shower or Rehersal Dinner or Wedding Video is a cute idea, but one that requires finding oodles of old pictures.













Like this one of Rob as a hummel figurine.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let Me Tell You: 58 Days to Go

Further proof of no escape from wedding insanity-- consider: even when we're out enjoying non-wedding activities sooner or later we'll be chatting up someone asking the most basic of questions, "so what's new with you?"  and since wedding rules our lives, that's what we end up talking about.

And if we perchance end up talking with someone else getting married, someone who understands the madness, the conversations can be epic.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Off!: 59 Days to Go

You know, it's one thing to say "we have lots of time" before the wedding, and it's another to actually believe it.  Our schedules are full for the next two months - but not necessarily with only wedding stuff.  There's films to be made, birthday parties to attend, obligations to fulfill and then there's just the regular life stuff.  Add "wedding" in there, and there's narry a free day on my calender.

We're going to feel so lazy post wedding!    

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Honeydew List: 60 Days to Go

We're back to the wedding grind again.  We had finally checked everything off of our list, and now it's full again.  And although there's a lot of annoying "write this really big check to vendor A" and "contact vendor B and ask them why they haven't gotten back to us yet" in there... there's also a lot of "finalize the ceremony" and "decide which song we want to cut the cake to"... and that feels nice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Go! Go! Go!: 61 Days to Go

After a big event that requires a lot of prep, like a shower, it's easy to want to take a break, a week or so off from thinking about every little detail.  Such breaks are simply not possible.  Today is two months until the wedding.  We're on schedule with our "get done list" but that doesn't mean we're not constantly thinking about how full that list still is.

Oh and also we went shopping for new clothes for the Honeymoon today.  Hooray vacation!

Pictures!: 62 Days to Go

Pictures are up from the Clifton Park shower.  Feel free to add any you have! 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clifton Park Shower: 63 Days to Go

The shower at my Grandmother's house is over - and it went really well.  She worked really hard to make sure the house was ready and everyone was fed and happy.  Rob and I are so grateful to her for doing this for us - and to all our friends and family for their time and generosity. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thinking in the Middle of the Day: 64 Days to Go

We tried to work on the Honeymoon on our trip from Rochester to Utica then Albany, but the fact that 1)  I get car sick when I read 2)  We were too busy singing our awesome car playlist and 3)  The brewery tour was longer and beerier than we expected (plus, I had to drink some of Robs on account he was driving) made that just not possible.  At any rate, we're in Albany safe and sound.   

To Grandmother's House We Go: 65 Days to Go

In Rochester, of all places.  Headed to Albany tomorrow for the *thing*.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods: 66 Days to Go

It's been a night of packing, checking, and double checking.  We're on our way to New York tomorrow to visit my very awesome grandmother - who is graciously throwing for us a rockin' Bridal Shower.  My New York family will be in attendance - as will my east coast bridesmaids.  I'm so excited about seeing everyone I could just about explode.  Also there's a pool.  What more could you ask for?       

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Customer Disservice: 67 Days to Go

What was supposed to be a five minute stop into our Tuxedo Rental place to drop of a groomsman's out of town measurements turned into an hour long debacle.

I don't blame the people working there as much as the man trying on a tux, being difficult, not allowing them to help any of the other customers in the store.  I understand that people are particular (heck, we are) but why do you need to have a ten minute whiny conversation about the shoes?  They're shoes!  They're black.  They have laces.  You put them on and they protect your feet from the elements.  And when that was done he started on the suspenders.

Monday, August 16, 2010

No Peeking: 68 Days to Go

This upcoming Saturday is our first Wedding Shower and it's very exciting.  Information on what it's like to prepare for a shower, have a shower, and recover after a shower is likely to follow.  But right now I can tell you what it's like 5 days out:  The unending temptation to peek at our registries is getting unbearable.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eso si que es?: 69 Days to Go

Our apartment is filling up quickly with wedding schtuff.  There's scraps of paper, drafts of table signs, returned RSVPs, the last few invites and probably a badger in there, too.  The point is, planning a wedding is messy work.  I can't wait until it's all over and we can go back to Rob's socks everywhere instead.     

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Technology!: 70 Days to Go

Our website has a fancy super-involved feature that allows us to draw up an exact schematic replica of our reception space, make little tables and figure out the seating arrangement.  Unfortunately all the complexities were too difficult.

So we moved on to creating an Excel spreadsheet to manage our seating arrangement.  But that was also not working.

So we pulled out a notebook and started writing things down in pencil, yet weren't able to visualize it.

And finally we found a successful method.  Little pieces of paper with people's names on them, spread out across the floor.  Who needs technology?

Friday, August 13, 2010

We are Gathered Here Today: 71 Days to Go

Is it what every modern couple does or is it a sign of far too much micromanaging that we're basically writing our entire wedding ceremony?

Not that we're writing writing it from scratch.  We've got some books from the library with a lot of samples that are a great help.  Basically we're picking our favorite bits, trying to leave out anything that goes on and on about how much misery we'll face together (bummer man), or items about how marriage is the most important thing ever (harsh on the single people in attendance) or suggestions that our marriage is all part of God's special plan (he should focus less on us and work more on making the Browns better... seriously, we'll be fine).

Hopefully when it's all done it'll be yet another accomplishment, micromanaged to success.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You've Got Mail: 72 Days to Go

Got our first several RSVP's in the mail.  Don't worry we won't update you on every response from every person, but we can't help but be excited.  It's like getting the surprise at the bottom of the cereal box every day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Someone's Gotta Be First: 73 Days to Go

Kudos to Leah Stampe and Rob Latsch, the first people to RSVP for our wedding.  Hooray!  And they did so using our convenient online RSVP tool.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Wanna Be In Pictures: 74 Days to Go

In preparation for upcoming celebrations, we have a sweet photo website where you can view and upload pictures to the various events of our wedding.  In fact, please do!   

Monday, August 9, 2010

And They're Off: 75 Days to Go

Aside from a few addresses we have yet to collect, the invitations are in the capable hands of the United States Postal Service.  Which means this is probably the last blog we'll be writing about invitations.

But don't worry because now our world will become about responses, and RSVP's and who's eating what and sitting with whom.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Musical Chairs part 1 of 500: 76 Days to Go

Have you ever tried to solve a rubik's cube?  with your hands tied?  in the dark?  while decoding the Zodiac killer's puzzles?  If not, I really can't explain to you the process of figuring out a wedding reception seating chart.

We started work on ours today (the first of many sessions I assure you).  I promise we'll have it all figured out by October 23rd.... of what year, I don't know.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Tide is High: 77 Days to Go

I've been working out in preparation for the wedding in the only way I know how:  swimming.  I was a competitive swimmer from ages 8-19, and I find it to be the absolutely most effective and enjoyable way to get in shape.

The rest of the world, it seems, does not agree. 

Maybe it's just the times I go, but it seems the only people who swim to work out are over the age of 60 or are doing some sort of physical therapy.  Is swimming really that déclassé?   Am I so out of touch? 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cooperation Makes it Happen: 78 Days to Go

How thankful are we to our parents, Vin & Jodie, Jen & Nathan and Peter & Olivia for coming over today to help us assemble wedding invitations?  The task was daunting and would have taken just the two of us days.  With everyone together it took us about four hours.

Everyone gave their time and effort to cut and paste and assemble and all for us.  We feel very loved and could not be more appreciative of them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Always Wanted to be a Writer: 79 Days to Go

"Proper etiquette for wedding invitation envelopes is to hand write them," is what someone on some website somewhere wrote quickly and conveniently using their computer.

Tomorrow we'll be having people over to assist us in writing outer envelopes, inner envelopes, pasting, stamping, and otherwise assembling all of our invitations.  What we're doing tonight is really only very tenuously related to the big party that is our Wedding.  We're preparing for the preparing of the inviting of people to the big party.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You're the one that I want: 80 Days to Go

Toasters and blenders and food processors, oh my!!  Why is it that stores can't seem to keep anything in stock?  It's hard to maintain a wedding registry when item 203a gets replaced by 203b then soon after, 203c.

Thank goodness for the internet. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In 44 Cent Increments: 81 Days to Go

Wedding Invitations rule our life.  Today it's time to spend a small fortune on postage.  If Erica hadn't pulled the invitations out of the way after I spilled all my wine on the table we wouldn't even have to worry about all this.  I'm just trying to help.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pigpenmanship: 82 Days to Go

Okay, handwriting... don't fail me now!

Instead of going to bed early tonight like we promised ourselves we would, we stayed up late obsessing over our penmanship.  Those wedding invitations aren't going to address themselves (that would have been an extra buck per envelope), so we better just suck it up and get to it... tomorrow.

Oh, and the verdict is in!  We weighed an invite at the USPS and officially know we won't have to sell blood just to buy stamps.  A bit of advice to anyone getting married in the future, though, postcards are awesome.    

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Break: 83 Days to Go

No wedding planning today.  Cedar Point instead.  Tired.  Bed now.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time is on My Side: 84 Days to Go

Nothing underlines the insanity of wedding planning like putting together your calendar for the month.  This August we have three whole free days... exciting.  Not like the other days will be filled with hard labor or anything.  There's much fun to be had.  Much much much much fun.  Exhausting levels really.  I'm not complaining.

Friday, July 30, 2010

They're Heeeeeere: 85 Days to Go

The invitations have arrived! The invitations have arrived!  We were very excited to come home to a delivery today.  Our invitations have arrived and we do love them.  But with all things in this process, that means more work must commence.  Invite assembly, envelope stamping, stuffing and fancy penmanship skills must now be applied.  More hard work to follow. 

For each wedding task accomplished, three more take its place.  And these are the things about which we are genuinely excited.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Must Play List: 86 Days to Go

Started filling out or DJ's online forms today, letting them know what songs we want and where, what are the must plays (sentimental songs we sing to each other at karaoke, awwwwwwwwwww) and what are the do not plays (anything about cheating or breaking up).

Don't forget to request songs for the reception on our website!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Hip to be Square: 87 Days to Go

The invitations shipped today.  We want to get them out by the middle of August, so get ready to hear all sorts of exciting tales of double-sided tape and misaddressed labels!

Unfortunately, I just found out that it apparently costs more to ship square invites than rectangular, regardless of weight.  Yay, mounting costs!      

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Being Difficult: 88 Days to Go

Our many thanks go out to the staff of David's Bridal in Canton for bearing with us even though we stayed well past closing.  It's nice to encounter people who are friendly and accommodating and we (being Erica, myself and maid of honor Shanda) all being familiar with working customer service, apologized profusely.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beervana: 89 Days to Go

What the heck are we going to do in Portland, of all places, you ask?  Well, we spent a good chunk of tonight planning just that.

For starters...

Raccoon Lodge
Widmer Brewing Company
Alemeda Brewhouse
Full Sail Brewery
McMenamins Brewery / Movie Theater

...yeah, we're going to be just fine

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pulling the Trigger part 2: 90 Days to Go

As promised we pulled the trigger on our honeymoon plans today.  Sleeping on it didn't really give us any added perspective (not that we needed any, we were pretty happy with things yesterday) but it did put us one day closer to the deadline so it had to be done.

Perhaps I should be more actively excited that we're definitely going on a honeymoon and the plans are finally made.  I'll get there as soon as I get over the horrible dread that we did something wrong and there's no going back.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pulling the Trigger: 91 Days to Go

The honeymoon is all planed, worked out, decided upon and ready to go.  We just need to click the button and make it happen.  Of course we're sleeping on it and pulling the trigger tomorrow.  Making plans isn't that difficult.  Signing contracts, finalizing sales, clicking "go" and being filled with the immediate dread that we've done something horribly wrong and there's no going back... that's the hard part.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Somebody loves us!: 92 Days to Go

We got our first official wedding gift in the mail!  Exciting!    

Thursday, July 22, 2010

S-T-R-E-S-S: 93 Days to Go

Some days you have a hundred things to do and you fly through them with success and tenacity.  Some days you have only a couple things to do but you want to do more.  Some days there's nothing you can do even though there's still a lot to get done. 

And those days might be the most stressful because you realize just how little control you have over many of the elements that go into the day that will ultimately have your name on it.  You look for some meaningful lesson in all the frustration but it's late and there's no real resolution so you hop into a comfortable bed with your fiance and think "well... life could be worse."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Limo or not to Limo: 94 Days to Go

We've been struggling with the question of whether or not to get a limo for awhile now.  It seems like such a fun idea, and it looks nice in pictures... but...

It's not like we have to get from a ceremony location to a reception.  The only place we would need to get a ride to would be the photographs... and I don't relish the possibility of paying a driver to wait around for a couple hours.  Besides, I'm sure we could spend the $400 or so in a much better way.

So I think this means no limo.  Ah, well. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leaf Me Alone: 95 Days to Go

It's 11:30.  Are we in bed?  Nope.  Are we partying hard?  Nope.  What are we doing?  Assembling 100 leaves on strings.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Light Days: 96 Days to Go

Today all we did was practice dancing, pick up dress accessories and jewelry, update the registry and make a map for our out of town guests.

And that is what we'll be calling a "light day." 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Few Words: 97 Days to Go

Went to Claire's birthday party today, which was adorable.  Lucy remembered what we taught her about being a flower girl.  We also worked on ceremony wording and bought a few supplies for the table signs.  Quite exhausted but also quite happy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's in the details: 98 Days to go

Got my wedding purse today, my veil and headpiece yesterday, and the jewelry is waiting to be picked up at the UPS.  The accessories should now be all together.  Super!   

I also managed to entirely forget to do the one wedding thing I slated for myself today - calling the salon to finally book my hair and makeup appointment.  Boh.     

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Big Countdown Begins: 99 Days to go

What do you do with less than 100 days until your wedding?  Something every day, that's for sure.  For the next three months we will be eating, sleeping and breathing wedding.  So we thought we'd update the blog a bit every day from now until then for two reasons.  First, it might be entertaining for people to find out all the crazy things to be done.  And secondly, it'll be helpful for the detectives to put together the pieces when they find we've spontaneously combusted leaving behind only a bit of charred tulle.

So on day 99 we finalized the menu (mmmm tasty tasty fall foods, hope y'all like squash), nearly finalized the schedule, got the ball rolling on decorations, clarified the logistics, continued to cement the inclement weather backup plan and ate cake.  The cake wasn't because of the wedding, but instead due to a friend's recent birthday.  However anything that puts you into a stress-relieving sugar coma quickly becomes an integral part of the wedding planning process.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Best and Worst of the Internet

I cannot imagine planning a wedding without the wonderful series of tubes that is the internet. It has been an indispensable tool for finding vendors, estimating costs, and purchasing various bits on the cheap. However, it hasn't all been icanhascheezeburger and woot... there's been a good amount of hosanna1 in there as well. It's a minefield out there, and no one gives you a map! In that spirit, I present to you the best and worst of the wedding internet.





WEDDING PLANNING WEBSITES
Best - weddingwire.com. Budget tool? Check. To Do list? Check? Seating Map? Check. iPhone App? Check. Good stuff here. The build-your-own wedding website offered here even coordinates with our invites... as in, they were made to match each other. Nice. Honorable mention goes to theknot.com, which fell short of many of the categories listed above... but is filled with great ideas and articles.

Worst - weddingabc.net. Here, you can "make you own wedding place card". Also, don't miss this poorly written guide to wedding photographs, complete with the gem: "Another thing that you would need properly done would be the make-up of the bride and the bridesmaids. As a matter of fact, even grooms today wear a bit of make-up so that would look great in the photographs."

PHOTOGRAPHER WEBSITES
Best - www.genevievenisly.com. Has lots of beautiful examples of photos that stand on their own as works of art, and best of all... no annoying soundtrack. It can be done! Too bad she is waaaaay out of our price range.

Worst - (not safe for work) livingstonephotography.com. Wins mostly for the "boudoir" section. I understand the idea behind wedding boudoir photos... as a loving gift to your groom-to-be. However, they have to be done in a very classy manner and these, well, are not. Watch the slideshow for a good laugh! Some of my favorite moments: a bouquet covering the lady business, really bad tan lines, and (I am not kidding) an engagement ring around a nipple.

DISC JOCKEY WEBSITES
Best - selectivesound.com. Proves you can have a nice website without music or videos all over the place. Love the searchable song list! Yes, Laura, they have Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart!

Worst - arizonadjmusic.com. This lady can be your DJ, your band, your officiant, hell... she'll even marry the groom herself if that's what it takes to be your DJ/Band/Officiant. You can even listen to her sing a duet of "I got you, Babe" with herself, you know... just in case you were worried your wedding day would be about you and not her.

HEADPIECE WEBSITES
Best - wedding-veil.com. To be fair, I haven't received my shipment yet, so I can't speak to their customer service, but I must say I was very impressed by the variety, customization, and especially the prices of this website.

Worst - mariaelenaheadpieces.com. I'm not sure what's worse, the looping soundtrack or the complete lack of information. Maybe it's the ethereal way the ladies are photographed, making it impossible to see any detail in the items. Maybe it's the fact that their items seem to only be worn by redheads.

ACCESSORY WEBSITES
Best - zappos.com. I cannot say enough good things about zappos. Shoes are easy to find, and shipping is free and speedy. Best of all, if you need to return shoes (like the beautiful yet painful ones), it's also free shipping.

Worst - catanfashions.com. I really disliked these guys. They were rude, unhelpful, and seemed to not have time for me once they realized I wasn't going to spend $5000 on a dress. So, tell me, if you want to be such a high-class place, Catans, why the ugly and not helpful website? Why?

Well, there you have it! I hope this little guide has been useful! And remember, the internet is a terrible place.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Runners Up

Well we've selected all of the fantastic vendors who will help us make the wedding into a special event!  Throughout the process we've placed a premium on customer service and I think we've found a collection of folks who surpassed the high bar that we've set for our wedding.

But, alas, not everyone can be fantastic.  Along the way we've encountered a few examples of less than phenomenal customer service.  I will now relay the stories of these meetings in a tone of condescension and mockery.  Enjoy! As expected, all names have been changed to protect the guileless.

Wedding Reception Location Lady at Big Mansion
Most people like to plan out the details of their own wedding.  Erica and I, being people, fall squarely into this category.  Thus it was a little concerning when WRLLaBM (we'll call her) started going through every detail of the reception declaring "This is how we do it here."  Maybe we should be thankful for her desire to alleviate us of the burden of having to plan our own wedding.  But explaining that the cake had to be in a different room because "that's the way the mansion wanted it." might leave the guests a tad troubled.
Helpfulness: D+
Politeness: C-
Creepiness: C

Videographer Man
When someone contacts you and declares "We've decided on you, when can we meet?" it's usually best to jump up and make it happen.  Answering with "I still have more questions." (and more questions, and more questions and more questions) and then finally scheduling a meeting only to cancel it multiple times is not advised behavior.  Also not advised, waiting weeks to call someone back and giving bad explanations like "I'm so busy around tax time," or "I just plain forgot." (which made me appreciate the decency of a good excuse.)
Helpfulness: C+
Politeness: B-
Dependability: F

Quick tip for the gentlemen readers, the above paragraph is also good advice re: courtin' the ladies.

Certain Local Wedding Dress Retail Chain
This story I relay through Erica who scheduled an appointment for a dress fitting at a certain local wedding dress retail chain and arrived on time only to have to wait, and wait, and wait.  But perhaps she misunderstood the nature of wedding dress appointments.  Maybe they're more like doctor's appointments than she realized.  Still if that's the case, the least they could do is provide you with a month old issue of Healthy Living to peruse while you wait.  Instead (after about 45 minutes of waiting) Erica's mother decided to fill her time by looking through dresses on her own, resulting in a rude salesperson chirping "Are you being helped?"  Her response, "We're supposed to be!"  Turns out all the salespeople were busy helping customers who were buying more expensive dresses.
Helpfulness: D
Politeness: F
Ability to keep Erica's mom happy: F-

Tuxedo Rental Lady
I'm no fashionista, but I do have a decent sense of what looks good (thank you Project Runway!).  Still, if I'm making a ridiculously misguided choice I'd hope my salesperson responds by gently inching me toward something more acceptable instead of declaring "You're doing that?" with disgust or "Are you serious?" and then forcefully nudging me toward styles that match less (I'm fashionable enough to know that if the groom has a one button jacket, the groomsmen shouldn't have three button jackets), but are far more expensive.
Helpfulness: D-
Politeness: D-
Voice's ability to reach pitches audible only to dogs: A+

Mr. DJ
This DJ was probably my favorite bad vendor.  He started our meeting by forgetting our meeting, then telling us that he'd forgotten our meeting, then chewing the remaining scraps of his dinner throughout our meeting, stopping briefly to spit a little on his shirt.  He attempted to impress us by referring to weddings he'd worked by the names of the couples.  "Oh yeah, we did that for Frank and Sandra's wedding," he'd say as he showed us a photo.  He did this over and over and over.   Was he just good at remembering names?  Possibly, but he kept forgetting ours.  We did appreciate him cluing us into his reception routine by cracking every bad joke he knew during our meeting.  Example: "So then we'll select a song to play during your cake smashing... I mean cutting ceremony, yuk yuk, hardy-har-har, eh? eh?"
Helpfulness: D
Politeness: C
Joke Quality: Jeff Foxworthy

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Footwear Fail!

Ode to the shoes I cannot have , even though I ordered 2 pairs to make sure I had the right size and waited 3 months till they came back into stock, and when I tried them on they hurt my feet just badly enough that I had to remind myself that I didn't want to suffer on my wedding day even though the damn things are freaking gorgeous.



The aubergine hue an obsession
And rosettes desire possession
But a four inch heel
Had little appeal
And this sent me into depression.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stop the stereotypes, I want to get off!

At times in this whole wedding planning process, I get annoyed at the implication that I, as one who lacks a Y chromosome, have been planning, dreaming about, and obsessing over my wedding since I got my first princess doll shoved into my hands. This is just not the case for me and I assume, despite what all the wedding books, magazines, TV shows and websites say that most brides have not thought of their entire life thus far simply a warm up for a single day.

I mean, look at this girl! She's oozing sweet dreams of wedded bliss. Bonus! She even has her hand on her uterus!

I think the thing that annoys me the most is that it seems to be so accepted that all little girls want is to be pretty (and a mommy). I'm not saying that those are bad qualities... they aren't... and I'm not saying that we don't encourage our girls to aspire to more. But I think we need to give our little girls fewer dolls and more LEGOs.

But that's not to say this hasn't been a ton of fun. It really has been!

Take my dress, for instance. The gown is really the epicenter of the little girl wedding-dream princess-crown thing... but admittedly, despite my being hard hearted when it comes to such fantasies, I really enjoyed trying on dresses. I didn't have a "the one" moment, nor did I or my mother burst into tears, but I did select a dress that could be described as "sexy" and "airy" and "classy" and is entirely unlike anything I would have imagined when I was 6. These are all excellent things.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...

Has it really been that long since we updated the blog?  Well what happened was, we just plain forgot we were getting married.  Seriously, though folks, writing a blog is like being on a diet.  You inevitably take time off for the holidays and then never get back into it.  So here's what we're going to do.  We're going to pretend that this was what we wanted to do all along.  Yes Wedding Blog Phase 1, May 2009-October 2009 went along smashingly.  Then the six month hiatus that was totally part of the plan came and went, and now it's time for May 2010 - October 2010 Wedding Blog Phase 2: The Re-Weddening! (in which we'll discuss topics like dress purchasing, flower arranging, honeymoon planning, seat charting and oh so much more!)  Stay tuned...