Another month bites the dust: 7 months to go!

I hope everyone had great Christmas and New Year’s celebrations; it feels like forever ago already! This post is 50/50 wedding update and rambly blog post/life update. Or maybe it’s more like 30/70…you be the judge.

In the days following my last post, I moved out of my dorm room and into Tom’s parents’ house. And let’s just say it was a miracle that everything fit in his car and still had space to look out the rearview mirror. Except I was crushed under 3 packed bags the entire 2 hour ride home. But I wore my seatbelt. Safety first!packed car

A few days later, we spent Christmas Eve with Tom’s mom’s side of the family. It was so exciting because it was our first Christmas together!!! (Read more about that in last month’s update)

On top of that, I think I’ve worked the past few years on Christmas Eve because Walmart only closes on Christmas Day. Since I never really had plans, I always volunteered to work on Christmas Eve. Let those with families spend the day with them and enjoy some time off. My time will come, some day. Plus, the time-and-a-half won’t hurt my bank account. So this year it was nice to finally have the holidays off.

It had been decently warm for the few days leading up to Christmas, so I was kind of bummed that there wouldn’t be at least a little snow for Christmas. But later on Christmas Eve, after we had eaten dinner, opened our stockings from Tom’s grandma, and nibbled on dessert, lo and behold it started snowing! And they were big, fat flakes! It was so pretty and perfect for Christmas Eve.

When we got home later that night, Tom and I were talking and I mentioned that I hoped he liked the presents I got him. He said something about my possibly getting a present before Christmas. But he never handed me anything or told me to go look behind the desk (A Christmas Story reference, anyone?).

I went to bed, started up Netflix, and checked my emails, only to find that Tom had purchased dance lessons for us! Now we (hopefully) won’t look like complete fools at our wedding! And we can have fun together doing something different! That definitely put a huge smile on my face. 🙂

The next morning, Tom’s sister Casey made the announcement that it was Christmas morning (haha, thanks Case) so we all got up, had a light breakfast, and then it was time for presents. I got all amazing gifts and am so thankful for everything I received (which was way too much).

One of the gifts Tom and I received was an ornament from Casey to celebrate our first Christmas together as an engaged couple. Which is funny because our friends got us one too (a different one) a few days before when we hung out with them! I had mentioned to Tom that we should get one of those ornaments this year, but we never got around to it; now I’m really glad we didn’t!

Ornaments

We spent the rest of the day with his family, his aunt, and grandma, eating dinner and just spending time together. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable day.

The weekend after Christmas was dedicated to traveling upstate to visit my mom, my Godmother Josie, and my friends. All in a matter of 3 days. Yeah, I seriously had a schedule set as to who we saw what day.  I hated feeling like I had to make appointments with people because of our quick visit, but I did not want to leave without seeing everyone. It was a whirlwind weekend, but it definitely filled my heart to full capacity.

Tom and I traveled by bus to Rochester, rented a car, stayed in a hotel, and spent the entire weekend running around, making sure to touch base with everyone we planned to. I’m so thankful that he took a weekend off to do all of that for me. I dragged him all over, and he didn’t complain once. I’m also very thankful that all my friends, my mom, and my Godmother like him…otherwise, there’d be problems.Main St. Pizza friends lunch

We visited my mom Saturday and got to give her our Christmas presents; she’s been pretty down lately because she’s so sick and tired of the nursing home. I know she’s been frustrated and I was hoping that our visit would bring her spirits up a bit. We brought her Chinese food on Sunday, so I think that made her feel a little better too.

She’s also been upset about her inability to attend our wedding. I think she has a newfound determination to make it happen, but I keep assuring her that if she can’t make it we will livestream it for her. Plus, we’re definitely having a separate reception in Batavia soon after. A less stressful situation is much better for her, and I think she would have a much better time with a smaller event with more people she knows (AKA her family).

Before we knew it, it was New Year’s Eve. We stayed home and had hors d’oeuvres that night, watching the NYE festivities on TV. When the clock struck midnight, with Tom by my side, I realized, We’re getting married this year! Yippee!!

Now that I’m done with grad school (hallelujah!!!) and the holidays have passed, I have more time to focus on the remaining pieces of the wedding, as well as finding a job. We got our Save the Dates delivered recently, so my next task is to address and mail those suckers ASAP.

We also had customized labels made to stick on STDs (haha, still can’t get past that) going to people living upstate and elsewhere to announce our separate reception there. That way they know that there is a second option in case traveling 7+ hours by car (1 hour by plane) is too much or whatever the case may be. Second chances are great, right?

My future mother- and sister-in-law ordered their dresses this past weekend! I got to go and see them try dresses on and they look stunning in the ones they chose! I feel like I haven’t been doing much to prepare for this wedding recently, and 7 months feels like forever away, so having that reminder was exciting.

I’ve been putting finishing touches on our wedding website since the URL is on the STDs and (hopefully) people will  start visiting it once those get mailed. I’m really excited because I’ve learned a lot about customizing sites and have finally realized why Tom is so nitpicky about how things look on websites! I find myself judging websites a lot more than I did before…

I’ve also been looking into flowers and think I found a style that I like, so I have to contact a couple florists to see who I like better. I’m hoping that since I have this Friday and next Monday off we can get to the venue to pick out the menu and such. We also have a DJ/MC in mind, so maybe we can check them out this weekend as well. So much to do. Until next month, cheers!

Christmas picture

Wedding Update: 8 months to go!

Holy cow this past month went fast! With Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago and Christmas coming up, I just now realized that yesterday marks 8 months until our wedding. This week also marks my last week of graduate school, so my mind has been focused on writing final papers, studying for final exams, and moving out of my dorm room.

Crazy schedule aside, we did get quite a few things established and figured out this month, one being the entire bridal party. I had mine picked out awhile ago and they all said yes! Tom knew who he wanted yet kept forgetting to ask when we hung out with them. But finally, all in one weekend, we either hung out with or he contacted all of his guys. And wouldn’t you know, they all agreed! Yay friends!

While discussing this over breakfast this past weekend with Tom’s folks, I mentioned that I was trying to find some nice gifts for my girls. Tom’s dad suggested we just make t-shirts for everyone with one of our awesome beach pictures on them. So I wanted to try it out. Do you think they would love these or what? I mean, this girl looks happy about it.tshirt

Along with getting the bridal party all figured out, my friend and Maid of Honor, Courtney, helped me figure out the dresses for the girls! While perusing the internet, I had found a dress that I really liked but it was only sold online. Then, back in October, Courtney came down to Long Island and tried on a few bridesmaid dresses, but none of them jumped out to me.

We went to this one place, Estelle’s Dressy Dresses in Farmingdale, that I had looked at online and saw a couple dresses I wouldn’t mind trying out. Not only was the size of the store overwhelming, but so was the amount of cheetah print, sequins, feathers, peek-a-boos, and neon-pink-to-neon-orange ombre floor length tulle dresses. Picture these dresses, but add more sequins and feathers, and take away fabric.Estelle's Dressy Dresses sample shot

I mean, these dresses would be okay if you were going to a rave or party in the Dominican Republic. Or in the dark. But for a wedding? Girl, please. It was comical (although disappointing and frustrating) at how horrendous these dresses were and the fact that people were walking out of the store having purchased something.

As much as I wanted that original online dress, it can be a pain when trying to figure out sizes, whether alterations will be necessary, how the online colors compare to the real-life colors, etc. The cool thing with the company, Wedding Shoppe Inc., is that they have this great policy called Find-Try-Buy that allows you to order samples of their brand of dresses you like for $1 each. They send them to your house and you have three days before you must send them back to the company. Although you specify your size when you order the samples, you may not receive exactly the size you requested due to the availability of the samples. You also may not get the color you are planning for your event, so that can be kind of unnerving.

So Courtney did this for me, ordered two different dresses (both very similar) and sent me pictures when they came in. She said the material was great, and the shapes were nice even though they sent her dresses 1 or 2 sizes too big. And wouldn’t you know it, I liked my original pick the best. So she ordered the dress in the correct color (the samples were both black, which is not the color I want for the dresses) and the correct size, and I’m so excited because it looks awesome…from what I can see via Skype…

So now we have everyone set who will be involved in the wedding – the officiant (we knew who that would be when we joked about marriage back in Geneseo! Little did we know…), the bridal party, and the flower girl and ring bearer.

I did our wedding registry this month too. That was surprisingly stressful. Fun at times, but also stressful. The traditional way to do this is for the couple to go to the selected store(s) together, obtain a set of those scanner guns, and then go nuts scanning bar codes. When I think of registries, I think of the scene from 27 Dresses where Jane and Kevin are in the store completing her sister’s registry.

After Jane scans two identical (except for the color) roasting pans, Kevin comments, “Good God, another one?”

Then she moves on to scan a vase when she says, “And this isn’t just another vase (she says vozz, he corrects her); this is the ‘vozz’ that Tess will get out when George brings home flowers…just because he felt like it.”

“And this,” Kevin says dreamily, “this is the rooster-shaped umbrella holder that will hold all of George’s umbrellas.” He sighs and smiles for added effect.james marsden 27 dresses rooster shaped umbrella holder

Well, we did not do any of this. Tom hates shopping and was ready to just forego the idea of a registry altogether. But it’s nice for the bridal shower or whatever, so people have an idea of what we like and/or need. And I figured it would just be easier to do it all online; that way reviews are readily available, I can take my time researching the best items, figuring out good prices, all that jazz.

So I registered on Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and then decided to register at Target as well. Both are reasonably priced, but Target works well for more everyday items, where BB&B has some great quality items, as well as a wide selection of everything.

amazon_registry

And then, about a week or so later, we found out that Amazon does wedding registries. What??? Yes. And you can download a little Amazon button that acts as a Pinterest button – so if you’re on a website like Target or BB&B or Crate and Barrel, and you like an item, just press the Amazon button and a window will pop up allowing you to add that item to your registry. Plus, it finds matches on Amazon if they exist! How cool? So yeah, I switched everything over to Amazon. Some of the items are linked back to Target and BB&B because either Amazon did not have them or I specifically liked them better.

Last, but certainly not least, we picked our photographer this month! I talked about this in my last update, but I had made an appointment with that other photography company and still was not 100% sold on their portfolio. Our friend from college, Jon, was actually my first pick from the beginning. He’s done a few weddings for other couples from Geneseo, as well as numerous other events. Plus he was a photographer for Geneseo, so obviously he’s pretty awesome. But hey, if you don’t believe me, check out his portfolio and tell me he’s not cool. I dare you.

I think we’ll be going to the venue soon to pick out our menu and hopefully negotiate some more on finagling a dessert in there or something. We now just need a DJ/MC (we have one we’re looking at, we just have to check them out and see their prices) and a florist, and I think that about covers everything. Invitations and the wedding website are on the list of things to get done soon…as has been the story every other month.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas this coming up week – relax and enjoy time with loved ones! I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures taken on Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving

Wedding Update: 9 Months to go!

Down to the nine month mark! This past month has been more thinking and visualizing rather than actually making concrete decisions and plans. I mean, we have our venue and I got my dress, the rest is a cake-walk, right?

One thing I can happily say is that I haven’t been a bridezilla.

Right, Tom? RIGHT?!?!

But seriously, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t done any crazy complaining or stressing. I mean, I’ve watched some of those shows with crazy brides, and they totally stress me out. I can’t make it more than 2 minutes before I need to either change the channel or walk out of the room.

Like, these women are nuts. And it makes me question the sanity of the chump that asked them to spend the rest of their lives together. You really want to spend each and every day with her? And then there are her friends/bridesmaids whom she treats like total garbage. How have they not ended the friendship? Why did they agree to be in her wedding? And how on Earth do they restrain themselves from punching her in the face?!

Breathe, Holliday. Breathe.

But since I haven’t been stressing too much, I was so surprised when I had this crazy wedding dream/nightmare a couple weeks ago. I wrote about it here, so check out how strange it was.

I guess the one thing that hit home the most with that dream was the part about my mom not coming. I’ve been stressing about this the most and trying to figure out possible ways to get her down here. And then the guilt sets in.

Am I selfish for having my wedding down in Long Island instead of upstate? It has been less stressful planning it down here, and yet I feel like a horrible daughter in making it more difficult for my mom to come.

So I’ve been looking into finding resources in order to get mom down here:

  1. Her friend offered to pay for transportation down here – plane, train, whatever – so that’s one less thing to worry about. Realistically, a plane would be the best way because she can’t sit in her chair for more than a few hours.
  2. From there, we’d need to find transportation from the airport to Long Island (and vice versa when she goes home).
  3. We would need to have an aide with her to take care of anything she’d need that we can’t do.
  4. Along with the aide, the nursing home uses a Hoyer lift for these transports, so we’d probably need one of those.

Is there such a thing as renting a nursing home room or assisted living space for a night? That would be great!

On top of all this, the most important thing is keeping her stress level as low as possible. Stress exacerbates her condition, so we would need to make everything as easy on her as we could. This was actually one of the reasons we didn’t hold it upstate.

No matter what we plan, in the end, her MS will rule the day and decide how she feels. So even if we did hold it upstate, there’s always a chance that she may wake up that morning and feel like total garbage and be unable to attend anyways. See my dilemma?

Whew, okay, let’s move on. I’m becoming a stress-ball again.

On a lighter note, I’ve been designing our Save the Dates. In the wedding world, they call these STDs for short; I know, weird. Tom suggested skipping the STDs…wait…ahem, let’s just use Save the Dates. Come on Holliday, be mature.

You know you were thinking it too.

So Tom suggested just skipping Save the Dates and going straight to the invitations. Because we are having a wedding that has the potential for a lot of out-of-town guests, it would be a great idea to get a head count earlier than typical timelines suggest. This way we will have an idea of how many hotel rooms we might need to block, how many guests in general for ceremony and meal preparations, and how many would attend a separate reception if we held one upstate.

On top of that, we need to figure out a picture we both like to put on the Save the Dates and/or Invitations; we might need a few depending on what design we go with. Tom and I both like the Save the Date postcard idea, so if we do send STDs, we’ll probably go with something like this:Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 10.47.25 AM copy

Except Tom isn’t a fan of the front picture. Which brings me to finding a photographer…

So an appointment had been made to meet with the photography company that works closely with our venue. Except someone (I won’t name names) slept through said appointment. Normally I think this would stress me (or anyone) out, but to be honest I’m not too impressed with that company’s portfolio.

Since they are based in Long Island, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the original appointment anyways, since I have grad school and work during the week. I’ve had my eye on two other photographers whose work I find so much better, but obviously they’re a bit pricier. I want the photos to be amazing, so I really don’t want to skimp and end up with crummy pictures just to save a few bucks. But I also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, either.

So I made an appointment with one of the other photography companies I liked better, and I’m hoping that things will go well and we can decide to go with them. I’d also like to set up an engagement session with them. This way we can become comfortable with our photographer and we can all get an idea of what we want for the big day.

A couple weeks ago, we asked Tom’s dad to take a few pictures at the beach where we got engaged since he has a pretty nice camera. We have this running joke about not wanting super awkward pictures, so I mentioned poses like the ‘peering around a tree at each other’ pose. So we made a point to take a picture like that for fun, knowing that it is something we want to avoid with actual engagement pictures.tree

Even with our desire not to get awkward pictures, we got plenty of them that day. Not because we were super pose-y or cheesey, but because it was super windy and sunny at the beach. We wanted candid, we got candid. All I have to say is watch what you wish for. Outtakes might be posted on our wedding website, so wear a diaper for that experience.

Speaking of, Tom and I got to sit down and work on the website together last weekend. Tom did most of the work while I sat next to him and made my suggestions for overall look and functions. I’m always so amazed when I watch him do stuff with computers!

How did you know what to do to fix that? How did you know to type that? Where did you learn all this stuff?!

I’ve learned a lot along the way because he knows how to break things down and explain them to someone who is not completely technology illiterate but is nowhere near his level of knowledge. It was a nice bonding time for us and hopefully the site will be up soon.

screenshot 1
October 2011

On top of all that, I realized that this year will be the first time we get to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together! Tomorrow, November 17, is the three year mark since we met, but we haven’t actually spent a major holiday together because of the whole 400-miles-between-us thing. We’ve talked over Skype on such days, but to actually be able to be with each other and share the joy that those days bring makes me really excited.

And (okay, let’s get cheesy for a second) kind of emotional. I mean, you have no idea how long I’ve waited to be able to spend special days – holidays, birthdays, even just going out on dates – with Tom. It’s crazy thinking about all the time we spent so far away, all the things we couldn’t do, all the experiences and memories we couldn’t share because of the distance between us.

September 2012
September 2012

Through the difficult times, the frustrations, the doubts, the short visits, the extreme loneliness following the short visits, and the inability to share all the good times without a screen between us. After 2 years of that, you can imagine how ecstatic I am knowing that Tom and I no longer have to endure these!

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. –Romans 5: 1-5

Yes, we will still have frustrating times; I understand that marriage does not magically take away problems. If anything, problems will be brought to light or created as a married couple spending a lot of time together. But we’ll be able to work through them face to face. God seriously tested our relationship, and now we’re going to be joined in marriage! And I’m pumped!

So I told Tom the other day that we might just need to get one of those cheesy “Our First Christmas” ornaments for the tree this year! And we can put one of our awkward beach photos on it. Like this one:IMG_0184 copy 2

Or maybe something more like this:

IMG_0192 copy 2

All I know is there are plenty of awkward pictures to choose from. And all I can say is that we’re a couple of awkward people. And we must embrace it.

So, to put a twist on Romans 5: 3-5,

We rejoice in our shared awkwardness because it produces our endurance to deal with each other’s awkward characters. Let us hope that we can get pictures a little less awkward. If not, we have no shame because God loves us no matter what.

My Dream Wedding (Literally)

So I had a very vivid and clear dream last night. It was about my wedding. And it was not something I would hope will happen on the real day…

I got in the car and the policewoman said, “I’m going back to the station, do you want a ride?”

I don’t know whose cat I was holding in my lap, but it was trying its hardest to get out of my grasp. I glanced at the clock on the dashboard of the cop car.

1:35. My wedding was at 2. “I better not, seeing as I am supposed to get married in 25 minutes.” I was surprisingly calm despite the fact that I had less than half an hour before my wedding was scheduled to start.

I exited the car, let the cat go, and was on my way. Luckily I was already at my venue, so there wasn’t any travel time to worry about. No one ever gets married on time, so it won’t be terrible if we start a bit late.

When I got to the bridal suite, which was more like a wooden canopy that would double as the altar, two of my bridesmaids were waiting for me. They were going to style my hair, except I remembered I hadn’t had a chance to shower yet and I’m pretty sure I had worked out earlier, so my hair was in need of more than just a curling iron and hairspray.

“I was hoping to at least use some dry shampoo,” I said. But there was none available, so I just had to deal with what they were able to do.

The next thing I knew, there was a golf caddy letting us know that it was tee-time. Tom and his groomsmen had planned a golf outing before the wedding. Shouldn’t they have done that much earlier? Maybe it was busy and it had to be pushed back? Hmm, I hope they play quickly and are back in time for the ceremony.

The masseuse/makeup artist then came by to my “suite”; he seemed very fabulous, although his face was kind of scary. He went over the pricing of the treatments he suggested for me, put some foundation on my face, and was quickly on his way elsewhere.

Well I guess today is all about simplicity, I thought to myself. Today is about our marriage. I guess my hair and makeup don’t have to be too much. But at least I know my dress will be gorgeous.

Speaking of, where was my dress? I glanced to my right and saw it crumpled on a shelf. It still looked clean, so hopefully no one would notice if there were a few wrinkles.

All of a sudden, I saw my whole family walking into the canopy. My whole dad’s side of the family was able to come, which was something I had been unsure of since the wedding was a 7-hour drive for most of them. I was so happy and started greeting them with hugs and “I’m so glad you could make it.”

I then came to the sinking conclusion that my mom hadn’t been able to make it. I don’t remember telling her where the wedding was going to be, and therefore I don’t remember her saying she would be there. I felt terrible.

At this point I was all set to go; I had my wedding dress on and all of a sudden I heard the processional music begin. Oh my gosh, I’m not even in place! Tom can’t see me until I’m walking down the aisle!

So I grabbed my dad’s arm and we walked around the back of the wooden canopy so that the guys could get in place at the altar. As we made our way around, there was a whole marching band that had set up on the porch of the main building and started playing and singing a happy song to get me pumped about my wedding. They were holding a banner too, although I can’t recall what it said.

Wow, this is so nice! After all the chaos of the past 25 minutes, things are going pretty smoothly. And I’m excited to finally be getting married!

I glanced down at my dress as we walked. I think it looks nice! And I’m glad I worked out earlier because it fits great!

I couldn’t wait to see Tom’s face when he saw me. And see how handsome he looked in his tux. We made it to the aisle and started the processional. But then, about halfway down, my dad started speed walking. I tried holding his arm tighter and saying, “Whoa, where are you going? Slow down.”

He broke free from my grasp and ran the rest of the way, leaving me stumbling the rest of the way. When my dad moved out of the way, I had a clear view of Tom. He was lounging in the chair I had been sitting in earlier. And he had his everyday clothes on. Jeans. Sneakers. Striped blue and white polo.

“Are you serious? Why aren’t you dressed up?” I asked.

“I was just golfing,” he replied. I was really upset at the fact that he wasn’t taking this seriously. I then realized that my dad had been wearing a flannel shirt, cut-off shorts, and sneakers this entire time.

This isn’t a freaking hoe down! This is my wedding and I can’t believe no one is treating it like one!

Without saying a word, I just walked away. I walked around the back of the canopy, the way we had gone earlier to make it around to the aisle. The band and singers were all still set up on the porch, probably waiting to play some celebratory tunes when the ceremony was over. But they realized that this was not a good sign, that I was walking away without my groom in tow. They started chattering inaudibly, probably making up scenarios as to what had happened.

I walked down the busy road in front of the venue in my wedding dress and heels. God only knows what those in the cars passing by were thinking of me. I probably looked like a tragic mess. Greasy hair. No makeup. A wrinkly wedding dress.

I continued walking until I came to a beach. I went and stood in the sand and the water. Something was going on there; a bunch of large machines were floating on the water. They weren’t boats but more like large metal boxes as large as buildings. A crowd began to gather, so I decided I should probably leave.

I walked back down the road toward the venue thinking that hopefully the day could be salvaged. A few speed bumps shouldn’t completely bring this special day to a screeching halt. As the wooden canopy came into view, the dream ended.

Thank goodness.

Wedding Update: 10 Months to go!

A little less than 10 months to go! There honestly haven’t been many changes since my last post. But with good reason…

Long Island knows how to do weddings. I mean, it’s like a wedding factory down here. And not in a bad “get in, get out, bring on the next one,” wedding-a-minute type thing. But down here, it’s so competitive that they are all ready to offer you as much as they can, all in one place, to make your wedding and life easier. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Some of my friends that have gotten or are getting married upstate were/are so stressed dealing with so many different vendors because each aspect of their ceremonies and receptions were/are being taken care of by a separate entity. Our venue is our ceremony site is our reception site is our caterer. So it was so exciting getting to check multiple things off the to-do list just by booking our venue.

Plus, most venues down here are partnered with photographers, cake bakeries, florists, etc. whom they have worked with and trust enough to recommend. We have an appointment in a couple weeks with the photographer they recommended, so hopefully they fit our vision. Since they have worked at our venue many times, they know all the good spots for pictures.

Bottom line: nothing corny. Like these awkward wedding/engagement photos.

Pricing down here makes much more sense, too; at some of the upstate venues I looked at, it was as if you were casually eating out at a restaurant and had to pay for everything separately. And I mean everything. You want chicken? That’ll be $5 per person. Steak? $9. Choose your sides: you want potatoes? That’s going to be another $4 per potato-eating person. And so on, and so forth.

I realize that’s not how all places are up there, but there is nothing that complicated down here. You get a menu that lays out every single thing offered: you get to choose 8 hors d’oeuvres from a list of 20, then you get to choose 3 entrees which all come with sides, you choose whether you want an open bar or just the beer/wine/signature drink choice, and so much more. And you get all this for one flat rate per person depending on what month you are getting married.

Note: June-October are the most expensive. Obviously. If you’re looking for a bargain, get hitched in December or January – it’s about $30 less per person! But personally I would not want to be trudging around in the cold with the possibility of snow.

So needless to say I’m extremely happy to be saved from all the stress that I’ve heard and seen others go through when planning their weddings. The biggest thing on my mind lately has been getting a dress, but I guess I wouldn’t say it has been really stressing me out. Of course I want to look amazing on my wedding day, but I knew I would find one that I liked. Plus, we have 10 months; I was told to find one no later than 9 months before the wedding in order to allow time for fittings, alterations, etc.

I have been scouring websites and building up my ‘Love and Marriage’ board on Pinterest with dresses for a couple weeks now. Plus, my friend and maid of honor Courtney had been planning to come down this week so that we could go dress shopping with my future mother-in-law, so I wasn’t too worried.

And I’m happy to say that I found my dress!!!!!!!!

There’s an awesome story behind it, but I think I’ll wait awhile to tell you. It’s actually one of the dresses on my Pinterest board, so that’s fun! I thought it was pretty when I saw it online, but it’s so hard to know how a dress flows and what it feels and looks on you until it’s actually on you.Pinterest board

All I know is that as soon as I saw it on me, I was so overwhelmed with happiness. And there were tears. I didn’t get this way with any of the dresses the first time I tried some on, and I was kind of unsure as to whether I would have a teary reaction at all. But I know myself and if there wasn’t a tiny bit of water works, it wasn’t the dress.

And it happened. I cried. Mrs. Harrigan cried. Although she had tears for pretty much all of the dresses I had tried on previously 🙂 But that’s to be expected.

I originally wasn’t much into the idea of a veil, but when the lady at the bridal salon put one on me, it all just fit together. After awhile of ogling at myself, she asked if I wanted to try other dresses on. I was kind of unsure. I figured since we were already out, why not? But when she asked what style I wanted, I just looked at myself, still wearing the dress, and said, “This.” She smiled and said, “So is this your dress?” And I said, “Yes, I love this.” And that was it!

The biggest thing for this next month is to get the wedding website all set and looking pretty so that people can actually start using it. I’ve been putting content on there and trying to make it look nice, and Tom has to do more functionality stuff to make things work better and so that people can RSVP on it. Other than that, this month has been smooth sailing.

It’s been nice without added stress of having to take care of so many things this past month. Especially since I wasn’t with Tom (other than short Skype chats here and there) for 3 of the last 4 weeks. With work, school, my friend visiting from out of town, and Tom going to Amsterdam for a weeklong work trip, it was very hectic for both of us. But then we got to spend last weekend (and it was a long weekend for me with Columbus Day!) together, and it was wonderful. ♥994024_10151628897921526_1623688149_n

Wedding Update: 11 months to go!

Wowee what a crazy couple of weeks. It’s insane that I’ve been engaged for almost a month now! We just went to a wedding 2 weeks ago, so it was nice to get ideas for our own. And it was fun getting to dance together for the first time since we met almost 3 years ago!

Annnd of course I don’t have a single picture of the two of us from that night. I know the photographer got at least one, but I don’t know about getting my hands on one. If I can find one somewhere (anywhere!) I will insert it here.

In these quick 4 weeks, we’ve made progress on our own wedding! We were able to check off the most important thing: the ceremony/reception venue.

Figuring out where we wanted the ceremony/reception was a big decision. I’m from Batavia (between Buffalo and Rochester; “practically Canada” I tell most downstaters) and Tom is from Stony Brook (Long Island. And, no, that is not considered part of New York City), so it was a tough decision to make since most of our respective families live close to where we each grew up.

One of the biggest factors was my mom; if we held it in Long Island, there’s no way she would be able to make the 6+ hour trip by any mode of transportation (I realize a plane would be shorter, but then you have to think of getting there early and going through security, and then trying to get her on the plane in her motorized chair…). Plus, the stress of all that would do her in. We would honestly need to hire a nurse or something to do all that.

Okay, so we’d have it upstate. Again, she would have to travel a distance to get to the venue since there’s nowhere in my hometown that I want to get married in. Again, stress would ensue and make matters worse.

We went so far as to make a pros/cons chart:pros and cons

Long story short (too late?), after Tom and I discussed it with my mom and got her input, we’ve decided to have a ceremony and reception down here in Long Island on August 16, 2014. Then, for my mom and others that can’t make it, we plan to hold a separate reception/party upstate in my hometown. This separate shindig might be soon after, depending on how hectic our schedules are; it could end up being a month or two or four after. Who knows?

Although I’m really bummed about my mom not being able to see me get married (and I know she is too), we still have time to maybe figure something out so that she could come. If not, we plan on hiring a videographer so that she can see the whole thing; maybe we can look into hooking up some live-streaming? Has anyone had any success with that?

I did try on a few dresses the other day; I liked a couple, but not enough to commit to one after my first visit.

I think that’s it for updates at this point. Until next time! Cheers.

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