TEN FREAKING DAYS?!?!

10 FREAKING DAYS!!1!!! I can now count down the days on my fingers! Yay, math!

Also, don’t we look like a stock photo of a happy couple in that picture? It was taken at a rooftop party with a bunch of Tom’s former co-workers last month and I think it’s a great picture!

So the past 10 days (since my last update) have been very stressful on my end. Knowing that I have so many little details to remember and keep track of and accomplish in a short amount of time has been really getting to me. Plus, Tom’s been spending a lot more time at work because they have a huge deadline coming up. So on top of having a lot of things hanging over both of our heads, we really haven’t had much time to spend with each other. Bummer.

BUT! In 9 short days, Tom will begin his weeklong vacation from work for our rehearsal dinner, wedding (EEEEeeeEEe!!!1!!1!!), honeymoon out in Montauk, and then upstate reception. So we will get to spend a ton of time together…and spend it as husband and wife, no less!

PLUS! I’ve been slowly conquering those details and the to-do list has been growing increasingly shorter. And my stress levels have been a little more stable. Thank God!

Let’s see…I’m pretty sure both of us are all set on our bridal party gifts. If not, we still have a bit of time.

My soon-to-be sister-in-law Casey has helped me with a bunch of stuff, so thanks Case! We got welcome bags for out-of-towners staying at the hotel we’re working with and so she helped me decorate the bags. My soon-to-be mother-in-law has done everything else for the welcome bags, so thank you Mrs. Harrigan!

I finished the escort/seating card display!!!! You have no idea how happy that makes me – it allows me to check off a bunch of items from my to-do list and it looks great (if I do say so myself)! Casey and I were working on it last night, and I ended up finishing it up this morning.

I won’t be back out in Long Island until probably Wednesday morning/afternoon of next week, so I’m glad I got these big things out of the way. We have to drop all of our decorations and such at the venue on Wednesday evening, so it had to be done before I left today.

My next update probably won’t be until later next week, so until then, go outside and enjoy life! And eat cake – cake makes everything 10 times better!

Wedding Update: 7 weeks to go AND Happy Birthday Tom!!!

First off, make sure you wish Mr. Tom Harrigan a very Happy 26th Birthday (tomorrow)! Although he hates them because they mean he’s getting older, tell him that birthdays are special and he’s becoming wiser and that he needs to enjoy every passing year. Especially because this is the last birthday he spends as an unmarried man, so next year’s will be that much better! I love you, Tom!

Okay, now to the wedding stuff. Less than 50 days ladies and gentlemen!

RSVPs are slowly trickling in; I’m excited every day when I check the mailbox and find one or two tiny envelopes. There are still about 3 weeks left until the respond-by date, so not too much a rush is necessary.

Downstate bridal shower thank-you notes have been sent, so that’s a big check off the list! Most upstate notes have been written but they’re still a work in progress.

We’ll be emailing our venue coordinator, Rich, about our menu selections this week. I remember last August/September when we met with Rich and booked the venue and he told us we didn’t have to choose our menu until two months before the wedding. That seemed like light years but it’s happening so soon now!

Maybe we should contact the cake bakery to give them our decision for the cake, too. And I think we have a couple additions to our florist order, so I’ll call her soon. Heck, I may just talk to all the vendors soon so I can make sure everything will be as it should. And to keep track of the stuff we have vendors for. And to make sure I remember everyone we need to pay. That would be good.

I think we’ll book our accommodations for the upstate reception this week – flight, hotel, rental car, etc.

I started getting some gifts for my bridesmaids, so I feel a little accomplished in that area, but that’s also a work in progress. We’re still working on ideas for Tom’s groomsmen. I mean, how many flasks, tie clips, money clips, cuff links, or pocket watches do guys really need in their lifetime? And do they actually use any of these things, honestly? I could see using the flask once in awhile, but if anything more than that we have a problem. So we’ll see what he ends up going with.

Okay so if you remember I purchased a laptop for my mom so that we could video chat, send emails and pictures, and so that she could watch the wedding. First off, I still have to figure out how that will work in terms of the venue’s Internet situation, where the camera is going to be, whether someone would have to man (or woman) the camera, etc.

Well, when I was upstate, I revealed Mom’s present to her and she was in disbelief. I couldn’t really show her how to use it because it was Sunday so no one was in the office that could tell me the wi-fi password; it’s a Chromebook and everything needs Internet to work. So I went back the next day and wouldn’t you know no one in the office has a clue what the password is. Apparently someone changed it and they can’t remember what they changed it to. Really?

They keep assuring Mom and I that they will set it up for her in my absence and make sure she sees the wedding. It has been over a week now and it still has not been resolved. “That’s just terrific,” is something my mom says when she’s none too happy, so I think that would fit perfectly right here.

I’ve been worrying more and more about my dress fitting coming up in 2 weeks. I mean, what if it doesn’t fit? I know I just had it on a couple weeks ago and it fit, but what if I can’t sit in it comfortably? What if the alterations still don’t make it look like I want it to? And I still haven’t figured out my shoe situation because narrow your search between 1” and 2.5” heels it’s like a no-man’s-land. And if you’re lucky and do get a few results, they aren’t dressy enough or they’re just plain ugly. And I have horrible feet to begin with, so that kills the search completely. I’m going to check out David’s Bridal tomorrow because they seemed to have a few options that weren’t terribly horrible.

I know, I know, #firstworldproblems.

Anyways, that’s pretty much it for now. In the next week or so, as RSVPs continue coming in, we can begin making the escort card display and seating chart, but not much else can be done until head count is finalized.

Happy Birthday Tom and Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Wedding Update: 2 months left!

Okay, can time just speed up now?? It’s so cliche but where has the time gone?! We’ve been engaged for almost 10 months already?!

But at the same time, it feels like it was forever ago. Does that make sense? Probs nobs.

Does anyone else say that? I said that to Tom last night and he was like, “Who says that? And what does that even mean?”

I say it, and it means probably not. Only it’s more e-fish. Get it? Like, efficient? Anyone? No? Alright, let’s move on.

So the past week and a half was crazy insane.

Like seriously. This post includes not only wedding updates, but also life updates because, well, it’s my blog and I do what I want. Are you ready?

Last weekend, I wrote about my progress with invitations. I’m glad to say that I’m 99% done (there are a few stragglers that Tom needs to find addresses for) and have sent out any and all invitations that I could! I put the majority of them in the mail on Sunday the 8th (the day after I wrote my 10 week update post on our wedding website) and have already gotten a bunch of response cards back!

Instagram - invitations

I’m using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of responses as they come. I made a column of all the people we invited, and then made columns for the downstate and upstate festivities, under which I will write the names of people in relation to how they responded. So I’m keeping track of who has responded, how they responded to each event, and also how many are coming. Exciting stuff! Yeah!

The next day, Monday, I accepted a teaching job for next school year! I’ll be the newest addition to the math and science crew at Mary McDowell Friends Upper School here in Brooklyn and I couldn’t be more excited! I worked there this past year as a paraprofessional, employed by a family whose student attends the school. I’m ecstatic that I get to work with (almost) everyone again this year, only as a teacher this time! I’m sad to see people go, but wish them all the best in their amazing future endeavors (one guy is going to Malaysia to teach math!) and know they’ll kick butt wherever they are.

Tuesday was a ‘no school’ day so I spent the day cleaning and relaxing. Wednesday was the last official day of school for my student, and it was a half day, so I got to chill a bit that day too. I went and got a spray tan so that I wouldn’t blend in with my ivory colored bridal shower dress. Although they were two different dresses, both of my shower dresses were similarly pale and would not mesh well with my pastiness.

Shower Dresses

Thursday I got my hair colored and blown out. I’m telling you, I would love it if those girls would wash my hair and massage my scalp like that every other day. It feels amazing! And the stylist was able to get my hair straight and swishy! Please come home with me!

Friday was flight day, so I spent the morning packing and getting ready to fly upstate for the weekend. I hadn’t heard anything bad in weather reports, so I left for the airport around 2 so that I would arrive about 75 minutes before my scheduled flight time. Everything was going smoothly – the subway was on time and connection times weren’t long, and I got to the AirTrain in great time.

And that’s when Delta emailed me saying that my flight was delayed an hour. I texted my friend in Boston, Michelle, since we were originally flying in to Buffalo around the same time, and I also texted my friend in Buffalo, Courtney, to let her know since she was picking us up. Michelle said her flight was cancelled and wouldn’t be getting out until the next morning. We discussed what it could be due to – both of us were looking at fairly clear skies!

I got to JFK and my flight was still only delayed an hour which was good. I got my bag checked and, wouldn’t you know it, when I walk out of security and check the departures board, my flight was cancelled. Delta kindly sent me an email letting me know that everything was good and they rebooked me for a 4pm flight the following afternoon.

Oh hell no Felicia Day

Little did they know, that would not work seeing as my bridal shower was at 1pm the following afternoon. So I stood in line for over an hour and the agent was able to rebook me for the 8am flight the following morning. She was really kind and wished me congratulations and good luck on my bridal shower.

Back home I went, this time only with my small carry-on, which was convenient but also meant that all of my beauty products were somewhere in the airport instead of at my fingertips. This meant that I would look like a bag lady until I got said products and the use of someone’s bathroom mirror and outlets upstate. And I was worried that something would happen that would cause my luggage to be lost, and then I’d look like a bag lady all weekend. Nonetheless, back on the AirTrain and subway I went, annoyed but sure everything would work out fine.

Except it was lashing rain when I got out of the subway. Thunder, lightning, the whole shebang. Luckily, in said carry-on, I had my umbrella. Okay, I guess it was a good thing we didn’t try to fly.

The next morning, when I went to leave at 4:30am to go through the whole process again, my sneakers were still wet; not pleasant. Everything went fine and before I knew it, I was landing in Buffalo…where it was about 20 degrees colder than I had packed for. My checked bag made it there fine and, wouldn’t you know, Michelle’s flight was only about half an hour ahead of mine! So it all worked out perfectly!

We got to Batavia in record time, enjoying some TimBits and caffeine on the way, and I was (finally!) able to beautify myself. The entire day was party day – bridal shower, lingerie shopping (oh la la!), and bachelorette party. It was so great seeing all of my friends and family! I want to thank all the ladies who planned and attended my bridal shower this past weekend – it was a fabulous time and I can’t begin to tell you how special I felt. I’ll be writing a post about it soon so stay tuned!

Bridal party

Sunday was relax by the pool day with my friend Jenna whose family generously opened their home to me all weekend. I’m so glad we got a nice sunny day to enjoy! Monday was spent visiting my mom and Godmother before I had to take off once again. My friend Becky drove me to the airport and we got to talk like we used to in college, just shooting the breeze…figuratively and literally since the AC doesn’t work in her car and it was like 84 that day, so the windows were all down! My car was the same exact way a few years ago so it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

My flight home was very smooth and it was so nice to get home and finally not live out of a suitcase! And, of course, see and hug and talk to Tom! I am so grateful that I was able to see and spend time with so many wonderful people this weekend. I miss that so much and I know that it will probably only get harder as everyone gets married and starts having kids and whatnot, but I want to make a point to get together at least once or twice a year because those relationships are so important!

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