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!

Bridal Shower #2

What a crazy and stressful and fun and relaxing weekend.

My upstate bridal shower was set to start at 1pm on Saturday, so I booked a flight for Friday afternoon, allowing a relaxing night before the partying began.

But then my flight was delayed and later canceled on Friday evening due to thunderstorms traveling across the Northeast. Luckily I was rebooked for the next morning at 8am, which still left time to get prepared (physically and mentally) for the shower. You can read more about my crazy weekend in the 2 month update!

Everything worked out fine and I was blown away at my friends’ love and creativity. But, then again, I wasn’t. They’re my friends for a reason, right? Of course they love me and I know they’re all amazingly creative and thoughtful; I guess I was just taken aback at how everything came together beautifully even though only 2 of them are currently living in the same town as the shower and as each other!

Room Decor

The shower was held at Sweet Ecstasy Bakery in Batavia. Now, I know you may think that sounds like a strip joint, adult toy shop, or something, but I promise it is a great location for lunch or some other special occasion. My Aunt Gracia had originally sent me the brochure as an idea for the upstate reception at the end of August, but I realized that the largest room most likely wouldn’t be big enough (it holds up to 55).

We arrived a bit early to decorate and check out the venue a bit before everyone started to arrive. It was great to finally be back with my best girlfriends again – making your life and home in a new city and being far from familiar faces is so difficult. You realize just how much you took for granted all those times you just hung out watching TV or sat in the backyard roasting marshmallows or had the ability to just go out to lunch on a spur of the moment thing. But then again it makes the times you do get to see each other that much more special and precious.

It was wonderful just throwing around our familiar jokes and stories while creating new ones. And it made me so happy to see friends from different “groups” come together and get along. Not that I thought there would be a problem between any of my bridesmaids, but not everyone gets along with everyone else (AKA life). I have the best friends.

So we got all the decorations out, made the place look even more beautiful, and people started arriving! I got to see family and my mom’s long-time friends whom I haven’t seen in (literally) years. It was so wonderful knowing that I had the support of all of these ladies and I can’t wait for them to meet Tom, whether at the downstate wedding or the upstate reception, because I know they will love him.

I was especially ecstatic that my mom was able to make it to my shower. Not only because I haven’t seen her since December, but also because she doesn’t get out of the nursing home much. I know she was so happy to see me, her friends, and family that she also hasn’t seen in years.

Mom and me

Once everyone showed up, my friend Megan took over as game hostess. And she rocked it – look out Vanna! I must admit I was a bit skeptical about playing bridal shower games – I’ve heard of and played a bunch that are so cheesy and lame, they just seem like time-wasters.

But not these games – these games rocked. The first game was Name That Tune Love Song Edition. Everyone was so into it! The prizes were cute little cups filled with a bunch of mixed mini chocolates – Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Ways, etc.

After the game, we ate our delicious lunch and then it was on to game #2 – He Said, She Said: Facebook Edition! It was the cutest game: given Facebook statuses that Tom and I have posted, guests had to guess who said each by circling either the mustache (Tom) or lips (me). I got them all right, so I got a cup of chocolates. Boom, memory. Also, let me just say that the two of us are very witty in our status posts.

Then it was time for presents; I got so many great items and beautiful cards, so thank you to everyone!! Thankfully people offered to take the larger ones and ship them to us downstate because there was no way I could take them all on the plane back home.

Presents pose

And then: Cookies and Cream Marble cake. Sorry, do I need to repeat that? Could you not hear over your mouth salivating? I don’t blame you, I could totally go for a piece right now. It was so amazingly good. And a few truffles, petit fours, and macarons were placed in the middle of the tables as well. Overall, I would give the food a 10/10, hands down.

Did you think it ended with cake? Nope! They had one more game for me and it was fantastic. And difficult! It was like the couples quiz game; Megan said she asked Tom a bunch of questions and I guess how I thought he answered. Got it? Well it actually ended up evoking a question from our Pastor’s wife about Tom and my first date. I just kind of said, “We went to Starbucks on campus in Geneseo.”

Courtney's story

But my friend Courtney (whom I befriended through Tom) took over and told the whole story of Tom getting ready for said date, his being gone for over 3 hours for said date, and his reaction after said date. It was so nice getting someone else’s perspective on it; she had everyone’s attention and they all ‘aww’ed afterward.

Everyone started heading out after we thanked them all for coming, taking their Bath and Body Works hand lotion favors with cute little tags on them. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful for everyone who took part in that day.

The owner of the bakery was exceptionally nice as well – she was focused on making sure we had everything we needed the entire time. She did a fantastic job on the food, cake, table set-up, and her hospitality was superb. I definitely recommend Sweet Ecstasy Bakery!

To my friends in my bridal party: thank you all for setting the whole thing up, for being great friends, and working so well with each other! I am so glad to have you in my life, not just for throwing me a great party, but for the wonderful times that we’ve had together in the past and that we will have in the future. I love you all.

Bridal Party

I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone again in August!

Wedding Update: Bridal Shower #1

This past weekend I was so blessed and honored by the beautiful bridal shower hosted by my future mother- and sister-in-law.

The day went off without a hitch. To start, the weather was absolutely amazing; leaving the house and being greeted by the sunshine was fantastic.

Pre-shower sunshine

Not only that, but the restaurant, the food, the staff, and of course all of the wonderful ladies that attended made for a perfect shower.

We arrived at The Country House in Stony Brook and everything was decorated beautifully. We had the largest of the 4 dining rooms and as we entered the room, a large punch bowl greeted us. It was filled with a champagne and fruit juice mix with blackberries and strawberry pieces floating in it. I immediately took a glass and was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t too bubbly but also wasn’t too juicy; I ended up having 3 glasses without feeling any effects, so it wasn’t strong.

Each table was set featuring lavender napkins and centered with a bouquet of flowers. I chose a seat more towards the middle of the room so that I could mingle with everyone instead of being set apart from them all. Mrs. Harrigan bought a huge balloon featuring wedding bells to tie to my chair, making it known who the bride-to-be was.

Big Bride Balloon

I met so many women that I had only heard stories about and sent save-the-dates to, so it was great finally putting faces to names. Meeting some of Mrs. Harrigan’s work friends was fun because I’ve heard hilarious work stories featuring them.

Once everyone had shown up, the staff served us salad to start before bringing out the entrees – a choice of chicken marsala or salmon with risotto. I went for the salmon and it was divine.

After the main course, they brought out the coffee, tea, and cake. This cake. Oh my goodness was it delicious. It was a vanilla cake with a chocolate mousse filling and buttercream frosting. The actual cake part was so moist (ugh, I hate that word), and the frosting was so soft. And to top it off, there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Let me tell you, it was Heaven on a plate.

Cake

Once all the place settings were cleared, it was time for presents. It was great because the staff members of the restaurant were at the ready so whenever I was finished opening a present they would come over and take it to another spot in the restaurant. This way I wasn’t accumulating a pile of stuff around me and it made the process of loading up the cars easier.

I could not believe just how many presents were filling up the present table. I (and Tom, by default) was way too spoiled, but I’m so excited about everything I (we) received. Thank you all so much for your kind and entertaining company, loving support, and well wishes.

As people left, they were reminded to take a favor, these adorable little mason jars wrapped with burlap and lace and filled with jelly beans. My sister-in-law found it on Pinterest – she finds the best stuff on there.

Tom went out to lunch with his friends and his dad while us ladies were at the shower, so they came at the end of the party to help with loading the cars and to mingle a bit with those who were still around.

Lovebirds

I have my second bridal shower in 2 weekends upstate where I will get to see my friends and family from home! I am beyond excited to see everyone and have a fun-filled (and hopefully cake-filled!) weekend.

As time continues to wind down and August 16 draws closer, I get more and more excited to be marrying my best friend and (officially) becoming part of the Harrigan family. I love you all and thank you for everything.