Update 22: 71 Days To Go!

It has been some time since I’ve posted about the general details of the planning process, as my last post was dedicated to sharing the details of our honeymoon, and I finally feel like I’m at a place where I can justify an update!

DIY

A massive part of the past few weeks has been dedicating my weekends to DIY. I remember, months and months ago, a friend asking me if we were doing a lot of DIY projects, to which I had responded, “no, not that many.” However, after coming up with ideas and seeing how much prefab versions of those ideas cost (and how awful the typography was), I realized it would be more cost effective and, simply, better to do things myself. The answer I gave to my friend was knocked right out of the park.

Fast forward a couple of months and we’ve DIYed our card box, ring box, favors, stationary (that was a given), table numbers, signs, cake stand, cake topper design, and guest book design—plus a few other things I’m sure are escaping me. This weekend is dedicated to purchasing the last of the signage materials, staining as many of the wood elements as I can manage, continuing signage work, and definitely continuing favors, which has been an ongoing, evening project for me.

Once this next chunk is done, it’ll be onto the last of the printed materials and finishing a few things here and there, but we’ll be close to finished.

FINAL Things

I had a very exciting moment this past week, as I set out to begin scheduling vendor follow-up meetings before our coordinator heads on a two-week vacation in a few days. I was going back-and-forth with her, our caterer, and the venue owner to schedule a walk-through the other day and she mentioned scheduling a call to go over details about the day, before our final walkthrough.

**Cue wide-eyed deer in headlights look**

Now, that walkthrough isn’t for a month. But I was suddenly astounded at the thought of any meeting being final. HOW ARE WE TO THAT POINT ALREADY?!?! It set off a slight panic in me; but more so than anything, it got me incredibly excited and—shocker—a tad emotional because I get to marry my best friend so soon. I had a very real and long-lasting, “Holy crap, I’m getting married” bout.

But now, we have our final catering selections meeting scheduled for tomorrow, the walkthrough with our coordinator and caterer scheduled for the first week in May, my general hair appointment (to color my hair and match the extensions I got) on Wednesday, my hair and makeup trial for the following Wednesday, my first gown fitting for the 14th… we are moving right along!! Not to mention, I’m aiming to get as many final payments out this weekend as possible for vendors who have a set price (not dependent on final head count).

Phew!! We’re gettin’ there!

A Fit Bride

If you’ve been following other areas of my blog (though it’s been a while since I’ve talked about the subject), you may know I’ve been on an endeavor to get fit and healthy over the past 4-5 months. It is super common to hear that a bride wants to be in great shape for her wedding and I am no different.

I have been exercising every day, both slimming down and gaining muscle. I’ve been tracking my progress along the way (photos to come in a couple of weeks) and I have seen some incredible results up to this point. I didn’t set June 9th as my goal date, but April 14, which is when my fittings begin.

Though my reasons for wanting to get in shape extend far beyond our wedding (a.k.a motherhood (when the time comes)), it has been a great motivator for me along the way. I won’t get into all the reasons I’ve made the changes I have, but I will share why the wedding has a role in it.

Every woman wants to feel beautiful on her wedding day. So yes, I’ll say it: I want to feel beautiful on my wedding day. That doesn’t mean I am in the best shape of my life or my skin is the clearest it’s ever been or there isn’t a flyaway hair in sight. It means that I feel good in my body. I feel healthy and radiant—I feel on the outside the way I do on the inside. I’ve accepted a lot of things about my body over the years, but I still don’t want to be thinking about any of my perceived flaws on my wedding day. So I’ve put in the work and made some real lifestyle changes for the better. Can’t wait to share progress!

Wrap it up

It is crazy to think that we are just ten short weeks from our wedding already! It feels like yesterday I was going out of my mind waiting for Nick to propose. We have a lot left to do, but are in a great place for being 10 weeks out… like really great. It’s been incredible seeing all the details come together and I can’t wait to see what these next few months will bring!

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Update 21: 98 Days to Go!

How nice would it have been if I actually posted on a milestone date: the hundredth day from our wedding, like I planned?! Well anyway, that didn’t happen because my work week was crazy, but we are officially in the double digits people!!!

If you haven’t had a chance to read Update 20, today’s post is about… dun dun da dun… OUR HONEYMOON! Granted that will be much more exciting when I write about it after the actual honeymoon; but, I am in a strange wedding-planning limbo, where things are happening, but they don’t quite yet warrant a blog entry, so this is what you’re getting!

Where it started

So this is no longer new information, but way back when, when Nick and I first began thinking about our honeymoon, there were a few things we were looking for. First, we were looking to go somewhere new. I think we both toyed with the idea of going back to Aruba, which was our first vacation together and our favorite to date; but, we saw this as an opportunity to have a brand new experience. To that point, we removed Europe from the list because that “new experience” turned into looking for a new-to-us culture.

Combining that with my personal checklist of three things: beach, culture, and yoga, we landed in Asia. After a volcanic eruption put the kibosh on my dream of Bali, we turned our attention to beautiful Thailand.

Starting from scratch

Because we were now faced with starting our research over, the conversation of hiring a travel agent was introduced. I felt that if we didn’t get some help, our honeymoon would either suck or not get planned at all.

The process was very simple, though our eagerness to finalize the details made it feel long. We had a phone consultation, during which our agent got all our info, our wish list of things to do and see, and our preferences for locations, hotel-types, etc. She then took that information and started her research, which included reaching out to their contact in Thailand, all to put together an itinerary

Because we were dealing with experts, they made some incredible suggestions based on what we wanted to do, what was important to us, and when we were going. In the end, they gave us one itinerary for the two locations we asked for; but they also gave us a second itinerary, in which they suggested adding a third location, Chiang Mai, and a location switch: Phuket to Koh Samui, both in addition to a definite visit to Bangkok.

The itinerary

After seeing the two itineraries, we knew the three-city option was perfect for us. After a minimal change in a flight time we requested, the itinerary was complete and ready for booking. I can now say we are officially booked for the trip! So what are we doing?!

June 10–11: Flight from Newark to Bangkok—approx. 19 hours in the air and a 2.5 hour layover in Hong Kong… ouch.

June 11–14: Bangkok– In Bangkok, we have a few things planned: a visit to the Grand Palace & Wat Po, a cruise along the Chao Phraya River, a stop at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), bargaining at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, and a late night Tuk Tuk tour on our final night.

June 14–16: Chiang Mai– A quick visit to Chiang Mai starts with a visit to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, which is a 600-year old temple near the summit of Doi Suthep mountain, in addition to temple visits to Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh.

Day 2 is dedicated to a full day at the Elephant Nature Park, where we will start the day by helping staff load food in their trucks for the elephants, before traveling to the park to get an incredible chance to learn about their rescued elephants and the challenges elephants face in Southeast Asia. Then they teach us how to safely and properly bathe an elephant—after which we’ll get to actually get to do in the river! To round out the day, we get to feed the elephants before enjoying some Thai cuisine ourselves!

At some point—and this is super exciting—we’ll get to meet up with an incredible friend of mine from college, who is skipping our wedding because she’s… wait for it… living in Chiang Mai! We have yet to coordinate specifics, but I’m thinking an evening with her sounds perfect!

June 16–21: Koh Samui– The bulk of our honeymoon will be spent on the island of Samui. The first full day is the only day we have something planned and it will take us to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan by speedboat for a day of snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing on the islands.

The rest of the week is up to us and it will include a ton of relaxing, sunbathing, and yoga, since the hotel that was chosen for us is a wellness sanctuary and holistic spa resort. We get complimentary attendance to their fitness activities, which includes optional morning and evening meditations, pranayama, a wide array yoga classes, and a number of other activities—it’s a dream!!

June 21–22: Bangkok, then home– Our trip ends with a quick overnight stay in Bangkok, in preparation for our 18.5 hour flight and 2 hour layover in Tokyo back home. The best part is that, even though we fly out Friday, June 22, because of the time difference, we get home Friday as well—leaving us with Saturday and Sunday to recuperate at home before going back to the real world.

Wrapping it up

There are people out there who think we are nuts for going on such a far trip for our honeymoon, when we could easily find a beautiful and interesting place closer and still have a wonderful time. I’ll be honest: no, I am not looking forward to 20–22 hour trips each way. But, we know ourselves—what is important to us as travelers, what we like to do, and our plans for the future. We know this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that the next few years will inhibit traveling, especially to anywhere like this; so yeah, we’re going to deal with the painful flights and have the honeymoon of our dreams.

It’s a huge relief to not only have the honeymoon planned and booked, but to have a honeymoon that feels like us planned and booked. We’ve worked hard over the past year and a half to save for our house and our wedding. While the honeymoon won’t mark the close of all our current endeavors, it will give us a much-needed break to celebrate such an incredible new chapter.


I’m at a strange point when 98 days still sounds like a lot… even 90 days sounds fine, which is coming up next week. What doesn’t sound fine (even though it’s the same thing) is THREE MONTHS. Don’t get me wrong; I am so excited to marry Nick—I can’t wait. But there is much to be done and to know we are almost to the three month mark is simultaneously thrilling and horrifying haha.

I’m tackling quite a bit this weekend, so I think I’ll feel better here within the next couple of weeks; but things are coming along and, most importantly, coming together! More to come soon!

Update 20: 112 Days to Go!

It’s taken about a month, but I am really starting to feel like I’m getting back to normal excitement levels for our wedding. When we first got engaged, I think I felt the way most brides do: incredibly excited, in love, and so ready to dive in. After the years of dreaming, pinning, and Say Yes to the Dress binges, I was finally a bride. I was planning my wedding to the love of my life; how could that not be exciting?!

Well, as I mentioned in a post from just under a month ago, it reached a very serious level of disappointment I never anticipated—for reasons I won’t get into. I even reached out to a number of my married friends to see if they felt that way when they were planning and almost every one of them did. I didn’t wish that upon anyone, but at least I wasn’t alone in that.

But, after a full, weeping meltdown in one of my bridesmaids’ cars, another way-too-adult conversation with my mom, many emails complaining to my dad, and endless talks with my fiancé, I began to refocus my attention and it’s been much better ever since. We still have too much going on and are still way too busy; but, being mindful and present in the wedding plans and forgiving to the things and people who have made it tough, has made all the difference—I’m having fun again.

Itty Bitty Things

Gone are the days of big updates, since all our vendors are booked. I look at my very messy to-do book and there’s still a lot, but we’re talking DIY projects, print materials, decor items, gifts, and vendor follow-ups.

DIY Endeavors

I am in the process compiling items for various displays (dessert table, memory table, etc.) and I’m making a number of signs to include in different locations. We also chose to make our own favors, since what I wanted to do would be laborious, but much cheaper to do myself. I thought the first step in the process would take forever and I that I’d spread it out over a few days, but got it all done in two and a half hours. There is still more to be done, but the worst of it is over!

As I mentioned in the last post, I decided to wood burn and stain a card box, since I couldn’t find what I wanted; I am also doing the same for our ring box. I think about all these items finding a place in our home, so you can bet my goal is to make them fit our taste and vision for the new house. I’m pretty sure that even the stain I’m using will be utilized on a number of furniture pieces!

This weekend, I am starting our invitation suite. I have to admit, I’m struggling with a direction, but I know it’ll work itself out once I start designing. I have colors, fonts, and graphics, thanks to our logo and Save the Date, so I think it’ll come together. Once those are done, that will open things up for me to do the signage and other print materials. I consider this the final hurdle for me before I can rapid fire the rest of our projects.

Sending Things Out

For items I’d like custom made by people with the proper resources, I’m sending artwork out. This includes our invitation suite, a custom cake topper I’m having laser cut, and our guest book—another thing we thought about fitting into our home. I will admit I feel like a total snob when I say there was no chance I’d opt for a non-traditional guest book that would need to be displayed on a wall or something like that. I don’t mean to insult anyone who likes those, but I prefer to open a book and reminisce on the day and our guests, not stare at their awkward signatures and messages on my wall. So thanks to Etsy, we got a laser-engraved, wood guest book that we will proudly display in our home.

By the way, Etsy is the greatest resource for brides and grooms. I got gifts for my bridesmaids that came in and I’m obsessed. One of their gifts came so beautifully packaged, I simply didn’t want to open the wrapping. Then to find someone who allowed me to upload my own design for the guest book was a godsend. Safe to say that, for many items that I don’t feel I can craft myself, I opt for Etsy.

Leavin’ on a Jetplane

As of this past week, our honeymoon is officially booked! Let me tell you… going with a travel agent was by far the best decision we’ve made for our wedding planning process. I had never used a travel company before, so I was nervous about how expensive it would be, but it was shockingly inexpensive and the extra money we spent was well worth it, compared to what would have been an agonizing process if we had done it ourselves.

Now, we have what is sure to be an incredible honeymoon booked, from the many flights, to hotels, to excursions, and even down to the transfers! We are doing all the things we wanted to and it’s going to be simply unforgettable. So where are we going in Thailand and what are we doing? Well, I think I’m going to save that for another post!

Wrap it Up

This weekend and next is all about wedding, wedding, wedding. I have other things I need to mix in there, but for the most part, it’s my focus. I’ve set a goal for myself to have everything that can be done, finished by the time I go away for my bachelorette, which is towards the end of April. Deep down, I really want it all done by the end of March, but April is the back-up.

Nick goes away for his bachelor party next weekend, so my plan is to not make any plans, so I can focus on a fun wedding weekend. I’ll miss him, of course, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t psyched for four days of tackling these DIY projects. As I’ve said before, I’m not going to be sharing too many visuals of the projects we’re doing—I don’t want to give everything away; but, I will try to share the experience and any photos I can!

Keep an eye out for my next post, which will be dedicated to sharing all the exciting details of our honeymoon in Thailand!

Update 19: 133 Days to Go!

I went against my better judgment this morning to write a blog post. Let me tell you something: I have a lot to do this weekend. However, if I can continue to blog once a week on Saturday mornings (at a minimum), I think it’s a habit I’d like to keep.

Wedding Central

It has officially begun: the house is turning into wedding central. Now that we are onto the last vendor we’re going to need—the transportation company—everything we have left is details, details, details. Last weekend, I began the myriad of purchases that need to happen for decor, gifts, and favors. One week later, we’ve got boxes and bags starting to accumulate in the dining room, foyer, and even the garage.

My primary goal in all the decor elements is to try and make setup and breakdown a smooth process for myself and everyone who helps out. For that, I’m talking numbered storage containers and a master list that says what items go in which container and where they go during and after the wedding… (yes, I’m neurotic). Now that we have a better understanding of our honeymoon departure (more to come on that below), we may not be there for break-down, so I want to make it easy on the folks who are. Y’all may roll your eyes now, but it’ll help!

DIY Kickoff

As of this week, I have officially started what will be a huge part of the next few months: wedding DIY. Surprisingly, the day isn’t quite as DIY as I would have thought and I’m grateful for it. On my list is our invitation suite, along with other printed materials, our card box (which I’ve already started), favors, dessert labels, table numbers, and various forms of signage. All things considered, I think it’s a pretty decent list to tackle in 4 months. Of those, the favors are going to take the longest, which is why I have already started the process!

would like to keep most of the final pieces a secret until the day of, but I will be sure to share some sneak peeks along the way! You can grab a quick look at the first DIY project I’ve started—the card box—here. I wasn’t finding one that I liked (that was reasonably priced), so I bought an inexpensive box and have decided to wood burn and stain it! The wood burning is done, but not without accident (essentially stabbed myself with the tool). However, it gave us an additional hashtag: #burningthewoodward, so not a complete loss! lol

Honeymoon Bliss

Yesterday, we received proposals from our travel agent for two variations of our honeymoon itinerary. The first included two cities: Bangkok and Phuket (which is what our original plan was); the second was three cities: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui. Essentially, after we spoke to our travel agent, she got in contact with her connection for Asia destinations. Based on the types of things we wanted to do and the time of year we were going, they wanted us to consider the three cities of option 2. Well, after reviewing the proposals, we couldn’t have agreed more.

Once we finalize everything I’ll share more about it, but so far it looks like we’d be getting into Bangkok the 11th and leaving the 14th, flying to Chiang Mai until the 16th, then flying to Koh Samui until the 21st (this is the beachy, relaxing portion of the honeymoon), before flying to Bangkok so we can fly home on the 22nd. The itinerary looks incredible and we are definitely feeling the excitement. More to come soon!

Keep On Keepin’ On

One of the things I am trying to do is stay proactive. These last four months are going to fly and are only getting busier with each passing day. I know I am doing very well when it comes to time, but I don’t want to feel too comfortable. We are in a really good spot and I’m going to work to keep it that way!!

Update 18: 140 Days to go!

I hate to admit it, but I have a few drafts sitting in my account that never got finished. I’ve gotten into the strange habit of starting to write, but then allowing myself to get distracted (usually by wedding items), and the next thing I know, it’s hours later and I still haven’t finished the post. With our schedule being what it has been, that’s meant I needed to either cut things short and rush, or they didn’t get finished at all. My mantra for the next 140 days (eek!) is “one thing at a time” and right now, that thing is writing.

It’s a wedding update!

Wedding Bands: When it comes to the wedding, we’ve been busy. After a few visits to the jeweler, we have officially ordered our wedding bands and we can’t wait to see them in a week or so. Word to the wise: confirm business hours before you make an unscheduled trip to see a wedding vendor.

Honeymoon: Last week, we had the exciting task of speaking with our travel agent to get the ball rolling for our honeymoon. If you didn’t know already, our original destination was Bali, but after it was announced that a volcanic eruption was imminent, plans changed. While we were able to get past the disappointment pretty quickly, the reality of starting research from scratch set in and I wasn’t about it. I knew how much we had going on and starting that whole process over didn’t interest me. Fortunately, we were pointed in the direction of a travel agent who is now taking care of the details for our honeymoon to Thailand.

The consultation call we had went very well. We think she did a fantastic job of hearing what was important to us and where we wanted to focus our attention. All her suggestions were in line with what we really wanted to do, so we felt confident leaving things in her hands at the end of our call. We did receive an email telling us that a third city was recommended to us, based on the things we deem priorities, so we’re just waiting to hear back on a proposal so we can get that wrapped up!

Registry: Last weekend, we finally set up our registry. We went to two locations to get the ball rolling and, for the most part, it went very well. It took some adjustment when we got there to keep all parties focused on the task at hand, but when we got into a groove, it was pretty fun. To be quite honest, my anxiety was getting the better of me, but I was blessed with one of those “here’s some perspective” moments when—oddly enough—I lost Nick in the store for a minute. When I went looking for him, I rounded a corner to see that silly fiancé of mine across the store, looking at a toaster, but with his hand inside, pretending to be electrocuted—effectively sending me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. It was my favorite part of the day and a reminder that, no matter how stressful this process has become, that incredible weirdo will be waiting at the end of the aisle for me… and that’s all that matters in the end.

Frost Yourself: The next day, I enlisted the help of one of my bridesmaids to come shopping for shoes and earrings with me. A task that I thought would take an hour or so ended up being an all afternoon/evening affair (I guess I cared after all—who knew); but we were determined to find the perfect set. I originally planned on going alone, but was happy I decided against it; she got me through with flying colors in more ways than one and we had a lot of fun. Now that the shoes I ordered just came in the mail yesterday, I’m all blinged out for the big day! Just need some extensions and unmentionables (oh la la), and I’m all set!

Moving forward: I have set an ambitious goal for myself of wrapping up as many of the details as I’m able by the end of March/April, so we can sit back and relax in the final months leading up to the big day. I’d rather tackle the necessary last-minute details when the time comes and not add to the list unnecessarily. This weekend is all about purchasing a few items we need for decor, favors, and my personal ensemble, plus starting our wedding stationery—all tasks I am very excited for.

That Crazy Life I Mentioned

Here’s where I want to get real. I promised as much transparency as possible with this section of my blog, so long as it doesn’t affect other people, and I’m going to give that.

Fact: In the grand scheme of things, I haven’t enjoyed planning my wedding very much.

We have had some pretty great moments in planning this wedding and—don’t get me wrong—I can’t wait to see it all come together and know it’s going to be worth it in the end; but, there have been so many unforeseen obstacles and disappointments that I’ve been left with a sour taste in my mouth.

We have a lot going on in our lives right now and, let me be perfectly clear, we did not plan for all this to be happening simultaneously. However, that’s how things worked out and we just have to roll with the punches. It’s safe to say Nick and I simply can’t wait for the dust to settle. We’ve been caught in this sandstorm for over a year and a half now, with the house hunt, wedding planning, and work just swirling around us incessantly. So yeah, we can’t wait for the day we wake up on a beautiful Saturday morning in our new house—as a married couple—with nothing to do, knowing that all of this is behind us. But that aching desire to see it all over has made it that much harder to enjoy ourselves during a time we will not get back. Throw in those obstacles, disappointments, and personal struggles with anxiety, and you’ve got a difficult mindset to overcome.

But… I’m trying.

I don’t want to miss these last 140 days. I don’t want to let obstacles, distance, or other people ruin my experience anymore. Because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the day I get to wake up and say, “I’m getting married today,” will be the best day of my life… and none of this will matter when I am walking down that aisle, saying my vows to my best friend, or dancing the night away with the people we love the most in this world.

For the first time in a while, I feel genuinely excited about what we have left to do. It isn’t all that much, but the goal is to be mindful, present, and remember what it’s all for in the end. This process may have looked different than I always pictured, but it’s time to embrace and celebrate every twist and turn before it’s gone.

Update 17: 154 Days to go!

So apparently I’m not so great at having a Saturday morning without a blog post. Hey, I’m not complaining—I love when I feel the urge to write… and CAN. Question is, what on earth do I want to talk about? I have bits and pieces from different sections that I could touch on, but I’ve got the wedding on my mind, so I’m running with that (as you probably guessed from the title).

Ring-ing in the new year

Yes, I already used that pun on Instagram, but it works. Last weekend, Nick and I paid our first visit to our jeweler to discuss wedding bands. It was an exciting day for me, but mostly because I was excited for Nick. This is a kid who doesn’t wear jewelry, with the exception of watches and the bracelet set he asked for at Christmas, so I was excited to see him try wedding bands on. For me, things were simple; I have my engagement ring and want a band to match. I had already made the decision to do a plain band to save money, so the hard part on my end was over.

The band on my ring is custom, so a custom band with diamonds is more money than I’d like to shell out for myself. So, I’ve decided to start with a plain band that matches the contour and width of my engagement ring, with the intent to perhaps get the diamond band down the road for an anniversary, if feasible. I could note here how people have already done the “disappointed head tilt” at hearing me say I am not getting a diamond band, as if there’s something inherently wrong with that, but I will just leave it at the passive aggressive statement and move forward. 🙂

So, my half of the consultation was easy. Nick, on the other hand, had to take in and digest all his options: gold vs. titanium vs. cobalt, vs. all the other metals rings come in. I could see we had two price points: one around what mine will be and one… higher. I knew where Nick’s head was going as I listened to the jeweler do his sales pitch, but Nick isn’t a diamonds kinda guy, so it’s not like we were talking anything too extravagant. I felt that, at the end of the day—though any chance to cut costs has me intrigued—I’m sitting here with my beautiful engagement ring… the band budget goes to Nick.

We are going back today and Nick is ordering his white gold wedding band haha.

Breaking it down

We are three days away from the 5 month mark (eek!), so I’ve been feeling ready to get down to business and start wrapping up the loose ends. I started a wedding notebook a while back and it’s been put to good use. I needed a space where I could simply write notes, reminders, lists, etc., so this seemed to be the best solution. Because organization is incredibly important, I start with a “just get it on paper” list every so often. There’s no order to it; I just get it out of my head. Once that slows down, I can then break it into relevant lists.

Each night in the second half of this week, I’ve dedicated some time to working on the updated list and its contents. But, let me tell you, this is definitely the fun part. Besides transportation, the honeymoon, and our registry, the remaining big items are done; I can’t describe what a relief that ends up being. So my list is now filled with follow up emails to vendors, budgetary to-dos, purchases, and the “little things.” The list is long, but certainly more fun than stressing about choosing a vendor before someone else does.

Budgeting Blues

One of the things I had on my mind was the impending influx of payments we’ll be dishing out. To book most vendors, we’ve had to put down a deposit, so we’ve already made a number of payments, but since we’ve crossed the six month mark, more deposits have been made and, as I said, it’s time to tackle the little things (which means spending money on the little things). I found myself suddenly (and unnecessarily) fearful of our larger payments coming due for vendors and not having the funds available.

To put myself at ease, last night, I sat down and took a look at our payment sheet. I essentially took the total cost for our current vendors, subtracted what we’ve already paid, then subtracted that number from what we have currently saved in our budget, in order to see how much we have left to play with. Our honeymoon budget was then subtracted, to give me a final number for how much I had available for everything else (based on our current savings).

My nerves kicked in because I have us saving until we move into our house, which will likely be after the wedding. It was the mentality that if we are saving up until the wedding, what happens to the 100% of payments that need to happen at least a few weeks before? However, after my reality check, my nerves were silenced and I know how much we have available to keep the ball rolling.

All in all, we are in a really exciting spot. We have a busy 5 months ahead of us, but again, we’re to the fun part, in my opinion. I have to wrap this up quickly because we have to not only go order our rings, but sign off on the blueprints for our house!!!

THAT MEANS DIGGING AS SOON AS THE GROUND IS READY! AHH!

Ok, more to come soon!

Update 16: 175 Days to Go!

Good afternoon everyone!

First, I want to start off by saying that I gained a few new followers recently and I genuinely can’t tell you how much that means! So, thank you and welcome!

Today is another gorgeous, just-the-way-I-like-it Saturday here in Delaware. As an adult, I don’t watch the weather so religiously as I did when I was a kid (which is only because “snow days” aren’t a thing for someone who works from home). With that being said, yesterday’s snowfall was a complete surprise to me until someone mentioned it a few hours before it started! We’ve had a bit of snow already this season—nothing major—but today is the first day I woke up to a snow-covered morning and it was positively perfect.

I’ve actually been very much looking forward to this weekend, since I don’t actually have anything planned. I don’t have anywhere to be, but have plenty to do. If I play my cards right (and smart), I will have a relaxing, but productive weekend. It’s a blend of Christmas prep, work for clients, freelance work, and various shopping endeavors. Throw in some reading, movies, and staring at the Christmas tree and you’ve got my weekend in a nutshell!

Get to the topic

As the title reads, today is dedicated to a wedding update and, my goodness, it’s a big one (at least from my perspective)! We have officially finished all the “big” items in our wedding planning endeavors!! As of yesterday, we have completed the following:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Photography
  • Wedding gown
  • DJ
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Coordinator
  • Officiant
  • Bakery
  • Bridesmaid Gowns
  • Florist
  • Rentals

Yesterday, I took a few hours off from work to head to two wedding rental locations. The first stop was a small shop right in town that rents wedding staging items. I was able to get a number of items we’ve had our eyes on, such as a sweetheart table, items for centerpieces, a display table for dessert, the ceremony backdrop (notice how I’m keeping things vague hah), and a few other items for decor. Once that was completed, I drove down to Dover to set up rentals of extra banquet tables, chargers, cocktail tables, and extra ceremony chairs.

Rentals were becoming a source of stress for me, as I knew the longer I waited, the more likely it was I would miss out on the items I wanted; so, I promised myself I would get it done before Christmas. To have succeeded in that endeavor feels incredible and the realization that, besides our honeymoon, rings, and transportation, all big ticket items are complete. Heck, Nick is out getting his suit as we speak!!!

The big picture

I wouldn’t say I’m someone who’s been “dreaming” of their wedding day since they were a child. I pictured it, yes, but the image continued to change as I changed. It wasn’t until I was in college that I really began to think about my wedding day and it still transformed even more since then—specifically since meeting Nick. A few years ago, I would have said a fall wedding with rich jewel tones. Now? We’re having a spring wedding with dusty neutrals.

With each passing check off the to-do list, I see the picture coming together. It’s as if I’m filling in pages in a coloring book—it becomes clearer, brighter, and more beautiful with each space filled. I think once we settled on flowers, it became impossible to not tear up at the thought of everything. Again, Nick is out getting his suit right now and I’ve cried twice haha.

There is still so much to be done—almost annoyingly so, but I’m starting to feel more resolute in my decisions. I’ve also promised myself that, now that the biggest things are out of the way, I would try to have fun with the rest. It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of wedding planning and wish it would all just end, but I also don’t want to miss out on this time; I’m only doing it once! So my plan is to slow down to enjoy the holidays, then pick up in the new year and go to town!

Update 15: 178 Days to Go!

So to get myself moving (I hope), I decided to start my morning with a post. Even better, it’s a wedding update! Last night, we met with our florist to get a quote on the flowers we want; I’m using exclamation points, so that should be an indication that it went well!

A Bridal Confession

Let me quickly tell you something about myself: I completely lost interest in reaching out to a million of the same type of vendor so I could compare. I did it for catering like no other and it was exhausting and time consuming. To my other brides, some unsolicited advice: do your research, but listen to your gut. Wrap yourself up in a blanket, grab a glass of wine, and spend a couple of hours doing the research. Send some emails, do the back and forth, make some phone calls if need be; but if someone is jumping out at you, focus your energy on them.

Some vendors required more effort than others, but with our photographer, baker, officiant, and florist, it only took one meeting with each to seal the deal. Now, let me tell you why. In case you didn’t know, wedding planning is not easy (*insert gasp from the audience here*). There are a million things to be done and it’s very hard to keep track, even with the plethora of resources. When we looked for a venue and caterer, it was incredibly time consuming because we searched every. single. nook. and. cranny. to find them. However, I have been fortunate enough to have a vision and, for everyone else, as soon as I realized they fit the vision (and budget), our deposit was in their hands. I only scheduled one meeting with one florist, because I was almost positive this would be the right fit for us.

A Vision Confirmed

When we sat down at our consultation, I was excited, but nervous. I had no idea how to approach flowers or how to estimate that portion of our budget. I had even less of an idea if my vision would match what we budgeted. Luckily, there was some flexibility in our number, but I was still praying we wouldn’t have to stretch too far.

The consultation was primarily walking through each of the floral elements: bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony, centerpieces, fillers, hair flowers—the list goes on. I brought my neurotic wedding florals Pinterest board with me and, believe it or not, that paid off BIG time.

Pinterest, in my opinion, has become a staple in wedding planning. I had a board entitled “One Day” since I was in college—well before I met Nick. When we got engaged, I’ll admit it: I broke the wedding portion of my Pinterest down into categories… and it gets worse. I had a Flowers and Decor board for most of that time, but realized that there was significant variation in many of my pins. Now was the time I needed to make decisions, so I broke it down further.

I brought that deconstructed Pinterest board to her and she said it made her job so much easier because all of my pins had the same exact flowers in them. I knew the primary florals and greenery I wanted, but this board helped her to choose the rest of the elements to create the vision. But then the time came when there were no more sections to fill in, no more arrangements to discuss, and that meant it was time for the estimate. We sat there, thinking about all we had discussed, and were convinced there was no way we’d stay at our budget. We guessed she was going to come in at $800-900 over what we budgeted. She came back in, sat down, and I actually let out a cry of relief; we were under budget by $300. There were still elements we hadn’t estimated yet, but regardless, that was wonderful news.

And then there were six

I forgot to post on the actual day, but we are officially under the six month mark until our wedding! So far, we have completed venue, caterer, photographer, DJ, officiant, coordinator, baker, and now florist. We are hopefully finishing rentals and booking our honeymoon by the end of this month, and then it’s on to details—of which there are many.

I feel really good about where we are and what we have left. With each check off my list, I see the day coming together. I think about how exciting it will be to take on the little things and put the final pieces into the puzzle. To me, we are really getting to the exciting part and, after almost a year of engagement, it’s an incredibly welcomed time in our lives. I hope to update you soon with the news that all the big stuff is really done, so that we can roll into the new year and have some fun!


Photo by:
unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

Update 14: 202 Days to Go!

Two days in a row; who am I?! Well, I’ve come to learn that I’m a when-the-scene-is-set type of writer. For example, this morning has brought another sunny, bright, though windy day my way and my hubby-to-be is still sleeping on his day off. I woke up early with wedding planning on the mind, as today will be partially devoted to just that. I decided to get out of bed and put my mind-racing to good use, which led me here about an hour later.

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To add to the beautiful morning, I’ve got a comfy sweatshirt on, my morning cup of coffee, and this beautiful new gem playing in the background. The other day, Nick told me he got us an early Christmas present and it came yesterday! After finding a treasure trove of vinyl in the basement of his grandparents’ house (where we are staying), he felt inspired to buy us a record player of our own, so he did and I am in love.

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For those of you who don’t know, I am a very big fan of jazz, which is why I can guarantee my hunt for our own vinyl collection will include a large amount of it. This morning, to further set the scene, I’ve got Jackie Gleason plays Romantic Jazz on and, seriously, what else do I need to feel inspired to write?!

As the title and category suggest, this post is—in fact—a wedding update. In my last update, I covered a myriad of topics, including hiring a coordinator, cake tasting, and our honeymoon. Since then, we haven’t gotten anywhere on the honeymoon planning, since we were busy vacationing, but we did  button up the cake decisions, as well as the bridesmaid gowns!

HOW SWEET IT IS

As I mentioned in our 230 day post, I had another appointment scheduled to go back to the bakery up in Wilmington to try some more spring/summer-centric flavors for our cupcakes. When I arrived (by myself since Nick had to work), I was presented with five additional flavors we asked for, in addition to the original flavors we tasted during the first round—talk about every kid’s dream! I only tried about a quarter of each cupcake and brought the rest home for Nick to try.

In the end, the owner and I were able to talk a bit more about icing options, decor, and the wedding cake details. After Nick tried the cupcakes later that day, he and I agreed on the flavors we’re going to go with and, while I have a few more items to tackle in this area, for the most part, the bakery is set and ready to go!

THE BRIDEY BUNCH

Two weeks ago, I had 4 of my 6 bridesmaids come down to Delaware for our gown shopping weekend. I was excited to see the girls, as most of my bridesmaids live hours away and I don’t get to see them often. I was disappointed not everyone could make it, but that’s only because I miss them all so much and can’t wait to have them all together for the first time! Let me tell you, thank goodness I have the girls I do: they know me well enough to know what sends my anxiety through the roof and they were incredible the entire weekend.

So how did it go?! Well, we started at the shop where I bought my gown in town: Louis Marie Bridal. I gave the girls a few small guidelines and had them start pulling gowns they liked. It felt a tad chaotic at first, but it worked. I knew certain elements I wanted to see, but more than anything, I wanted them to feel comfortable. So, after each gown was shown to me—unless I hated the style—I had them try it on. I tried to be as objective as I could, often replying “maybe” if it was a contender or “no” the second they got out of the dressing room if it wasn’t right. I apologized halfway through because I realized my beautiful girls were coming out in lovely gowns and there I was coldly saying, “no” sometimes almost immediately. With four girls trying on countless gowns, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to make decisions if I thought too much. Of course they understood!

At the end of the first store, we had three gowns: the first two were very similar, but we liked one element of the first dress and another element of the second dress. What didn’t work on each was a dealbreaker for that specific gown, so we were in search of a happy medium and unfortunately, it wasn’t at that store. We did find another gown that was simple and elegant, so we kept that in the back of our minds as a backup. However, I knew in my mind as time went on that it wasn’t the one.

So off we went to the second appointment we had scheduled. We ended up being late to the appointment, but when I knew we wouldn’t be on time, I got in contact with the shop to let them know and they seemed fine with it. This is where the day took a dip.

We arrived at this other store, which had wonderful (and plentiful) reviews, and my instincts told me to turn around immediately. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to just up and leave, but we were on a mission and my girls weren’t going to let me walk out before we succeeded. To begin, we were shuffled into this tiny, dank, and dirty store in an old house, where we were promptly and excessively told how the owner had somewhere to be by 6, so we needed to be done and out well before… good start.

She then walked us through the house, pointing out the racks we could pull from, before leaving us to our own devices in a small back room overrun by a sea of gowns. Thank goodness we knew what we were looking for because we each took a rack and pulled what worked. I stumbled on a navy gown that didn’t appear to have what I was looking for, but it stood out and I added it to the pile before sitting on a quaint, oh-so-stained chair while I waited for the fashion show.

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Cozy, right?? No wonder there was a sign saying “no photos.”

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This was their organizational system for the swatch books…

With a number of gowns in hand—none of which appearing to be my happy medium gown—the three girls that were left had to go into one rickety dressing room together and try them on. It was like speed dating for gowns. One by one, they were nixed as my anxiety got worse and worse. Of course they knew I was over the store and was convinced we weren’t going to come out of there with a gown, but they worked their butts off to shift the mood and eventually did.

Did I mention how much I love my bridesmaids??

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After a few rounds of different dresses, there was one gown left: the navy dress I picked up for the hell of it. They went back into the dressing room and it got quiet. My cousin proceeded to walk out in the most perfect happy-medium gown I could have imagined. I would have loved to say, “wrap it up,” but there was no way I would give that place my business; so, we took the information and went on our way.

DESPERATION

The one piece of useful information from this awful shop was that this gown’s brand (D’Zage) was, in fact, a child brand of one of the designers carried at Louis Marie (Bill Levkoff). I knew the brand itself wasn’t carried at the store, but perhaps they could get it in for me since it’s technically part of the Bill Levkoff brand. So on Friday, I went in to Louis Marie and explained how I’d rather put my girls in a burlap sack than purchase from the store we went to; but, my spiel was met with a disappointed “I’m so sorry” head shake. So, in a last ditch effort, I pulled out my horse of a different color. She had never heard of D’Zage, but made the call anyway.

Apparently, D’Zage is a sort of guinea pig brand for Bill Levkoff. The line is put in about 100 stores nationwide and, if certain styles sell, they are added to the main line. So what did that mean for me?!

We were set. I put the order in on Friday and my girls will have their bridesmaid gowns!

IN CLOSING

Before the year is out, we have a lot to tackle. My goal is to get as much done as early as is feasible so we can enjoy the months leading up to our wedding instead of scrambling. By the year’s end, we should have all our vendors, outfits selected for the adults in the wedding party, preliminary rentals, and solidified ideas for all decor elements, so we can focus on fine tuning from that point on. It’s a lot, but once it’s done, we will be so much better off for it (especially since they should be breaking ground on our house before the year’s end as well)!

That’s all for now, though… Until next time!

Update 13: 230 Days to Go!

Good morning and happy Saturday, everyone! We are 230 days away from the big day and, my, do I have a lot of updates for you! In my last post, I shared the woes of having to cut the guest list and it received wonderful and supportive feedback. Since writing that post and making those decisions, we’ve worked hard to apply the sentiments across all areas of planning. The goal has been to put our happiness, well being, and marriage above all else. It’s meant pulling back when needed, sticking to our budget, and finding ways to lessen the stress of planning the day.

COORDINATION IS KEY

The first way to cut back on stress, particularly in the weeks leading up to and the day of the wedding: hiring a coordinator. We had multiple meetings with two coordinators (after doing a ton of research to narrow the focus) and our decision came down to a few things. First on the list was price (of course). We loved meeting with a local coordinator, but the pricing was too high for us to get on board with. After all we had gone through to make recent cuts, we couldn’t justify blowing the coordination budget (we’re talking a jump in price of $800 here). Beyond that, our other option—and chosen coordinator—felt right to both of us. She is younger, more hands-on in the ways we need her to be, and only slightly over budget.

So, what were we looking for? When it comes to a day-of coordinator (or in our case, a month-of coordinator), they are responsible for helping us create a timeline, keeping us to that timeline, and coordinating with vendors to make sure everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there. But here is where our coordinator had me: set up and break down. Our venue only books one event per weekend, meaning we have the place from Friday thru Sunday morning. The venue staff sets up tables and chairs Friday morning, our caterer comes in to lay out the floor plan and linens, then we will come in with a small army to do as much of the decorating as we can. My goal is to have this so organized, it gets done quickly and without too much pain involved.

But here’s the thing. At least until the next day at around 4:45, my last name is Kreischer… that means: what can go wrong, will go wrong. I can hope and pray for a seamless set up, but again: Kreischer. I wanted the comfort of knowing our coordinator would step in the morning of to oversee final decorating, floral placements, dessert placements, etc. If you know me, you know that my level of fine-tuning is not something to be implemented the day of my wedding. I need to be far away from “details” and enjoying a relaxing, exciting day with my loved ones.

On the other side of the day, I’d love to do a send-off with Nick. We haven’t decided on plans for that yet (and I’m still bitter they don’t allow sparklers), but we’ll figure it out. Once we are gone, I’d love to have someone step up as the ring leader to ensure everything gets where it needs to go (and not have that fall on my mother or other family members). So yeah, she had me at “set up and break down”—romantic, right?? Safe to say, Nick and I are continuing to create a team of vendors we trust and know will have our backs.

HOW SWEET IT IS

Just over three weeks ago, Nick and I ventured up to Wilmington for our first cake tasting! Through our catering package, a cake via and one of four bakeries is included, so we went to the one we felt came with the most recommendations to start. We sampled some lovely flavors and chose one for our cake. However, I will be going back next Saturday to taste some additional spring/summer-centric flavors that are more in line with what we’d be looking to do for the rest of the dessert selection. I’ll leave it there for now on this subject, but it was a very successful day!!

THE HONEYMOON

This weekend, Nick and I will be starting our honeymoon research over, as our previous choice is no longer a viable option. Nick and I have been to Aruba, Puerto Rico, and are going to Jamaica in a few weeks. We love island getaways, but have done them together before on multiple occasions. We’ve also been to Europe separately and, while that’s certainly on our list of trips to take together, it wasn’t what we wanted for our honeymoon.

What did the checklist include?

  • At least a pool, beach, or both
  • Yoga (would be a plus)
  • Things to do/see, but not so much that every second is filled—we’ll need some serious relaxation!
  • A culture neither of us have experienced before

So where did we end up choosing??

Bali.

And where is there now an imminent volcanic eruption?

Bali.

Luckily, we hadn’t booked anything yet—though we were a matter of days away from doing so—but we were definitely disappointed. Safe to say we accepted that a new location would be a better choice. After Nick had a brief love affair with Bora Bora (which averages $11,000 for a honeymoon—no thank you), we ended up going with our original tied-for-first location of…

Thailand!!! 

So now the more in depth research begins. We are both incredibly excited and know it will be the trip of a lifetime (that’s the goal, anyway)! More to come on that as we move forward, of course!

IN CLOSING

Planning our wedding continues to be topsy-turvy. It has its highs, its lows, and plenty of in betweens. We’re chipping away at our list and have just a few more things to tackle before we hit the lull, but one thing remains constant; I can’t wait to marry my best friend at the end of it all. We’re trying to get beyond looking at planning as just another collection of to-do items we can’t wait to check off, and are trying to find the excitement in it as often as we can—we don’t want these next 230 days to pass by in a blur of hazy memories.

Next up, we’ve got save the dates (which I’ve been putting off), honeymoon decisions and bookings, cake tasting round 2, a very exciting weekend with four of my bridesmaids to choose gowns, and then it’s off to the florist to button that up!

So sorry for the length, but I needed to play catch up! Until next time!! ❤