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!

We’re getting married in 3 weeks!

Oh my gosh, time is flying now. Mostly because I’ve been busy every single day – between wedding planning, trips back and forth to Long Island, and unpacking stuff in our apartment in Brooklyn, days have just been zipping by. And there’s still a bunch to do.

I’ve finally gotten all but maybe 2 RSVPs. It took a bunch of phone calls and messages, but I got them all…except for those 2.

I found a dress at Target for the rehearsal dinner! And it was on sale! And it’s really cute! Boom. Savvy.

Tom and I bought two GoPros this past week! We decided that they would be great to use for the wedding, honeymoon adventures, and just to record exciting things in our lives. We might just start our own YouTube channel(s). Any video requests – let us know. I’m going to our venue this weekend to test out the internet and cameras. Fingers crossed!

I figured out the seating chart (for the most part) and I did it with the posterboard and Post-it notes like I said in my last post. Great idea because there were plenty of changes and none of them needed an eraser! I texted Tom a picture of the seating chart when I finished and he said it looked like flowers. It is pretty, if I do say so myself. I ended up color-coding the sticky notes, keeping track of the different groupings of people attending (friends, family, parents’ work friends, etc).

Seating chart

Yesterday morning, Tom and I went to the City Clerk office in downtown Manhattan to get our marriage license! I didn’t realize how many people get married right at the Marriage Bureau; there were so many people dressed up, buying and holding flowers, and taking lots of pictures. One couple even had two little flower girls all dressed up with them – I think they were the couple’s daughters.

Meanwhile, Tom and I wore very casual, matching outfits. Not on purpose, I promise! I got dressed first, so he clearly saw my outfit, and therefore I cannot be blamed for this incident. I didn’t even realize until we were on the subway going to the City Clerk office that we were both donning a very similar color of blue top and khaki bottoms. Great.

We came to his parents house last night and both his sister and mom noticed our matchy-matchiness right away. “You look like you’re in Disney World right now,” said Tom’s sister. Yes, yes, we are well aware.

I got my hair colored today because my roots were coming in. I wanted to do it now instead of waiting until the week of the wedding and risking something awful happening with the color or something. Plus I have gray roots so I color my hair every couple months or so, and it was time to get those suckers done. I’m not 100% gray, but if I let my hair grow out, it would probably look salt and peppery…except I haven’t had my natural hair color 100% since I was about 16 years old. It sucks.

I’ve been finishing up filling in the escort card template and last weekend, Tom’s parents and I put together the display board. So once I get the escort cards all set, I can start figuring out how it will all go together. I am so incredibly excited about this escort card display.

Escort card display

I’ll probably go to Staples or something to print out the escort cards. They could be done on a regular at-home printer, but I guess Tom’s parents’ printer tends to leave ink lines down pages sometimes. I don’t want to take that chance, especially because we’re using card stock which costs much more per unit than regular white printer paper, so I’ll just take the template files to an office supply store to print them.

My final dress fitting is this Tuesday afternoon, so I’m not eating until then. And then I won’t eat again until the day of the wedding. At the reception.

Nah, who am I kidding. I ate pizza and chicken wings last night for dinner. The chicken wings were gross because they were from Dominos and were nothing like upstate wings which are the bomb-diggity.

It’s crazy every time I think about the fact that we will be married in 3 weeks. Like, it’s unreal! Yeah!

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: 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.

Wedding Update: T-minus-3 months!

90 days folks. Ninety. Days. That’s like how much time stores give to return items. In 90 days, there will be no returns, exchanges, or refunds. No exceptions.No refund or exchangeSo this month, I (once again) have not done much. I bought my plane tickets to go upstate in June for my bridal shower. I also chose the color for my girls’ shoes. Do those count?

Oh, my friend and I picked out adorable outfits for her twins (our ring bearer and flower girl)! They will probably steal the show.

I just talked to our Pastor last night and he informed me we should figure out exactly what we want for our ceremony – whether we want special music, readings, etc. We haven’t really talked about that but we definitely will make some decisions soon!

I literally just booked our wedding night hotel room – jacuzzi tub?! No way! Yes. Yes way.

But yeah, it seems like everyone else has done more work this month than me…

My bridesmaids and maid of honor have been taking care of bridal shower (and bachelorette party?) stuff. And I have no idea what to expect, which is how it’s supposed to be, but I am usually the type to know all the details. But I love surprises and my friends are amazing, so I’m not too worried.

My coworker was asking about my bachelorette party and what I wanted and what I thought they might do for me. All I really want is to have fun with my girlfriends, have some drinks and maybe go dancing (either at a club or bar or in one of their basements). I’m not picky.

She then asked about having male strippers; I told her that if she knew me and my friends, we aren’t into that kind of thing. “Look, I know the bachelorette party is mainly for the bride, but it’s also for the friends to have fun. You never know, some of them might be into that kind of thing.” Ohh if she only knew my friends. I think if they got me male strippers, after puking in my mouth a little, I would ultimately laugh out of discomfort and the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

Chris Farley Patrick Swayze

And no phallic straws, cakes, glasses, necklaces, tiaras, piñatas, etc. please. I’m sorry but it had to be mentioned. I’m not worried that my friends will do that kind of thing, but I just wanted to make a general comment. Good Lord the things people come up with.

Moving right along, my mother- and sister-in-law have been planning a bridal shower for Tom’s family and friends down here. My mother-in-law made a trial hair and makeup appointment with a guy her sister and friend both love and recommended. Woot! I’m excited to be made pretty!

She also found a large picture frame at a garage sale that is going to be perfect for my escort card display. It was a picture originally sold for $70 at Home Goods (the sticker was still on the back) that she purchased for $3. The picture is ridiculously ugly and I can’t imagine who would pay that much money for it. But yeah we’ll take the picture out, replace it with a piece of burlap covered wood, and then hammer nails into it to hang keys from. I saw it on Pinterest so hopefully it turns out okay.

Oh! Oh! I have been looking for outfits for my mom for the upstate reception! Boom! Werk it gurl. So yeah I asked her what kind of outfit she would like to wear and started searching online for dresses and shoes. I have to get her approval so I will show her my finds when I’m back home for my bridal shower weekend next month.

I’m super pumped because she will be able to view them on her new laptop!!!! I bought her an Acer, but shhhh, she won’t get it until I go up in June. I will play around with it, download applications she will need, and get used to it so I can just explain how to use it instead of us both learning together. I got it mainly so that she can have email so I can send her pictures, listen to music, watch me get married, and also watch cat videos on YouTube! She has no idea, and I’m really excited, and I hope she likes it, so don’t tell her!

Let’s see, I’ve been working out at least twice every week so that I can be sure to fit into my dress! I’m using the C25K free app to get me running about 3 times per week; I used it last year when I was training for an actual 5K, and it worked wonders. It’s an 8-week training program that is meant to be used 3 times per week to increase your endurance and ultimately run a 5K in about 30 minutes (to average around a 10-minute mile).

C25K app

Personally, I’ve been using the app to keep me from getting bored while running. You should definitely check it out if you’re either training to run a 5K or get bored while running and need a little guidance to improve your endurance.

So I’m thinking this next month will be filled with addressing invitations, trying out hair and makeup styles, testing a spray tan or two, bridal showers, and continuing to grow closer to Tom (aww, I know, cheesy) as our big day draws ever nearer.

Wedding Update: 4 months and counting!

Gah! 4 months! That’s it?!

And yet at the same time, we still have a whole 4 months? Let’s do this already!

This month has been insane, but I haven’t done much in the wedding planning department. We’ve been focusing our efforts in other departments, and since we’re already pretty far ahead of schedule for the wedding planning stuff, I don’t really mind.

I ordered our invitations and they came in the mail so I’ll start addressing and sending those puppies off within the next month!

I have two bridal showers set on my calendar – one is with my friends and family upstate and the other is for Tom’s family downstate. I’m excited to meet Tom’s family members whom I haven’t yet met, and see my family members that I haven’t seen in years. And my mom and my friends who I haven’t seen in a couple months. That’s just too long!

My bridesmaids and I were discussing the details a bit for the shower and one of them agreed to bake me a giant heart-shaped cookie. I hope I get a bite of it before someone goes mental on it.Bridesmaids stupid cookie bridal shower Kristen Wiig

Tom and I completed the difficult task of cake-tasting this month. Man, oh man, I’m pretty sure nothing on the wedding checklist will be that stress-inducing. I mean, we had to try 5 different buttercream topped cupcakes. And we could only choose one.

Oh who am I kidding? This was probably one of the best and easiest checks I was able to mark on the checklist. We cut the cupcakes into fourths so that Tom, his parents, and I could each have a taste. We each narrowed it down to our top 2, and all of us overlapped on one of the flavors. So that was what we chose! And it was so deliciously easy!Cake tasting

I guess the highlight of this past month happened just a couple days ago, when Tom and I went to his friend Jason’s wedding this past weekend in Maryland. It was a blast! I wore one of Tom’s sister’s dresses and got a few compliments on it (thanks Casey!) and even tried out false eyelashes for the first time!

I must say they looked pretty cool and I will definitely feel more comfortable wearing them at my own wedding. When I only had one eye done and asked Tom’s opinion, he thought both eyes looked the same. I realized either I have super great eyelashes to begin with or he is blind. I’m glad they weren’t super noticeable; I just wanted to enhance my natural lashes, so I guess that was accomplished.Tom and Holliday

So anyways, while sitting outside, waiting for the ceremony to start, I turned to Tom, smiling, and said, “This will be us in 4 months!” He looked so handsome in his suit, I got butterflies. It was such a nice feeling.

Jason and Amanda totally lucked out with the weather for their outside ceremony – it was a sunny 70 degree afternoon. And apparently it had rained the past few days. I hope we are just as lucky!

Vows were said, the kiss and proclamation of ‘husband and wife’ were made, h’ors d’oeuvres were had, the usual dances and toasts were made, dinner and drinks were consumed, and dancing and laughing were had and enjoyed. Everything was wonderful. It was a fun and fantastic (and much-needed!) Saturday night away from the every day worries of work and life. It made me really excited for our own wedding!

Jason and Amanda are a great-looking couple, and it’s completely obvious how much they love each other.  And I had only just met them that night! Also, they told me they read my wedding blog updates; it was nice knowing someone enjoyed them! I don’t get feedback like comments or likes on my posts (I only see numbers of views) so I never actually know who reads them until someone tells me or makes a comment in person about something they read on my blog.

Although they’re on their honeymoon as I type this, maybe they’ll read it when they come back. Except now they don’t have to worry about wedding planning, so maybe they’re done reading for good! Either way, congratulations Amanda and Jason! I didn’t get any pictures of your wedding on my phone, so I’m hoping I can snag one or two from Tom’s phone later today…keep an eye out!

Not only did we have a great time, but we found out towards the end of the night that one of the women at our table is the daughter-in-law of the pastor that is marrying us! How serendipitous! She was just talking to another couple at the table about shooting guns (they’re all from upstate, so shooting guns in terms of hunting) and mentioned ‘Dave and Babs.’

I cut in, “Wait, Dave and Babs (last name here)?!” She said yes and then everything made sense! She knew who I was because her parents-in-law talked about the wedding as ‘the one in Long Island that they really don’t want to travel to.’ They don’t like traveling long distances, so they were very hesitant about coming. “But it’s our dear, dear Holliday,” Babs said. They have nothing to worry about as we are taking care of all of their travel necessities.

That was just so wild that we were sitting there, sharing stories and laughing at the same table for hours before we realized our connection and bonded that much more! I have to say that’s one thing I miss when living and working in a big city; you meet or encounter so many people every single day, but you never get those connections like you do in a smaller town.

I guess that’s pretty much it for this month’s update – sorry there isn’t more to spill but I’m sure the next 4 months will come with many stories and more stuff to talk about. If not, oh well. Less stress on this girl!

Oh, and if you didn’t get enough of our knack at taking bad pictures (as seen in our outtakes post), here are a couple more.

Attractive

Engagement Photo Shoot Outtakes

So here it is.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for.

Even if you didn’t know it, I assure you, you’ve been waiting for this moment.

The moment when you see just how awkward and ridiculously hilarious two people can look. And how fantastic it is that it was caught on camera.

The moment you find out that 99% of engagement pictures turn out looking like hot messes, only to produce a select few worth editing and retouching to make somewhat presentable photos.

Then again, that might only pertain to this situation.

The moment you realize, uh oh, you might need to change because, hey, you think you just wet yourself from laughing so much.

*So if you haven’t already done so, you may want to psyche yourself out and look at the decent ones here to prepare yourself for this. Kind of like the calm before the storm type deal.*

So now, without further ado, here are the (seemingly unending) outtakes from our October photo shoot; I didn’t include every single one because some are repetitive. Now grab your Depends, make sure you’re sitting down, and let the mayhem begin.

My friend Courtney was downstate for that weekend and came along for the shoot, so she makes a great addition to a couple of the pictures. 🙂

Oh and if you don’t automatically see anything wrong with a picture, make sure to examine both of our faces, Tom’s eyes, my hair, our body positions, etc. You’ll always find something…

Well, congratulations if you made it this far! I’m even more impressed if you did it without peeing your pants. I mean, I was part of the shoot and have looked at the pictures multiple times since October. They still get me to the point of crying; sometimes from embarrassment, but mostly because they’re hilarious.

Let me know what your favorite(s) is/are and don’t be afraid to like and/or bookmark this post. That way you have easy access to a surefire pick-me-up when you’re feeling blue. Or need a good ab workout.