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: 10 Weeks?!

Holy cow, time is flying!

So I made a decision this week – hold your applause – to make the updates weekly now because the last 2ish months will contain the most activity. All the big things have been taken care of over the past 9 months, and they were more spaced apart. I’m realizing that everything from here on out will take more time and effort; all the little things are and will be the most time-consuming!

Well, since my last post, a lot has happened; by the end of this post, you’ll see why we need weekly updates! Most of this stuff happened last weekend, actually.

Last Saturday was crazy. My future mother- and sister-in-law spent practically the entire day together running around doing wedding stuff with me. Our first mission was to go to the bridal salon where my dress is from to get a sample of my veil to take to the hair stylist. When we arrived at the dress shop, they said I was able to take my real veil for my hair trial; so exciting!

They had called earlier that week and said that my dress was also in and that I should schedule my first dress fitting in July – eeek!!! – so we scheduled it for July 8 (my sister-in-law’s 22nd birthday…so we will be celebrating all day). I’ve been thinking about what shoes I should get to wear with my dress, but was unsure of how tall I could go without being too tall for my dress. The lady at the salon told me I could just try on my dress if I wanted, and then try on a few of the shoes they had for this purpose.

So there I was, putting on my wedding dress! It was just as pretty as I remembered. And it fit (whew)! But something just didn’t look right; I realized it was a little too poofy and stiff in comparison to when I tried on the sample. Long story short, I don’t remember there being crinoline under the dress.

poofy huge wedding dress

When I go for my fitting, I will see how it looks with the crinoline steamed flat but may just have them remove one or both layers. I also found that any shoes less than 2.5″ will work for my dress, so I’ve started hunting for possibilities so I can get them and start breaking them in.

Before going to the hair stylist’s house, we went to a kiosk in the mall to look for a pretty barrette or hairpiece to use. I ended up choosing a sparkly barrette and some little gems that you twist in the hair when it’s finished.

When we got to the stylist’s house, I told him what I wanted for my hair first. He did a loose version of it and we tested out the barrette and the veil, and they worked beautifully together. My hair looked and felt really nice and soft even though he sprayed a bunch of hairspray on my hair. I don’t think I’ll end up using those little gems on the day of the wedding, so that stinks because the kiosk charges a buttload for all of their items.

It was then time for makeup. On a daily basis, I really only apply makeup on and around my eyes. That is, of course, unless it’s that time of the month and I have more need for concealer on my face. Even though he prefaced (pun intended) my makeup trial with, “I really push brides to stay as natural as possible,” I was half expecting him to put a bunch of foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eye makeup, etc on my face. But I’m so glad he didn’t. He only put concealer on my eyes, around my nose, and on the one pimple near my mouth, and then set it with a little powder.

Heavy makeup

I was kind of nervous about how much blush he put on; I know they say to put a little more on than usual because otherwise you look washed out in pictures, but this seemed kind of excessive. He also put some blush on my eyelids and I wasn’t a huge fan. The blush was a peach color so my eyelids (and cheeks) looked very pink-y orange. I told him I think I’d like to try a little eyeshadow, so he showed me the options and they were gorgeous; I definitely want to use them when the day comes. As long as I don’t look like a clown, I’ll be happy.

I also didn’t really like the lip gloss he used at first; it was too glittery and frosty for my liking. I showed him my favorite lip gloss for everyday use and he said, “Oh, you must not wear any makeup!” because it is just a natural pink color. So he got a lip gloss that had a little more color and was more on the mauve-y side. He then said he would use a different blush that would complement the lip color better.

When we left, my mother-in-law commented that my makeup looked less harsh in the natural light versus the lights in his salon. I’m glad I spoke up about my thoughts and opinions though because I still wasn’t a fan of the super peach-y color on my fair skin.

Which brings me to the next shenanigan…

We were home for maybe half an hour before my sister-in-law and I took a trip to the tanning salon. I have been talking about going and trying out a spray tan for awhile now to get an idea of how it might look for the wedding. I didn’t want to just try it for the first time days before the wedding because what if it turned out looking ridiculous?

I could’ve ended up looking like an oompa-loompa. Or Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars. Or any cast member on Jersey Shore.

Orange

We went to the Beach Bum Tanning Salon since my sister-in-law is familiar with the place. The guy at the desk was really friendly and informative and helped me make a decision about the color. I went with the light color (duh) and opted for a bronze boost to give me a deeper undertone without making me look orange. He took me to the spray booth, explained what to do, and left me to it.

The actual spray process took maybe 3 minutes but it felt a lot faster; it was the post-spray that took a little longer. I felt kind of sticky, even though I stayed in the booth for the entire final drying cycle, patted myself off with the towel they provide, and danced around for a bit to dry off. Yes, I looked like a freak. But you get your own room, so whatever.

I left looking a little tanner because of the bronze boost, and it only got darker throughout the night. So since I had been running around all day, that night I decided to relax a bit and began addressing invitations!

I practiced my curly capital letters in order to get my prettiest writing and, since starting, I’ve become more confident and it’s become a lot easier. So far, I’m about 90% finished with addressing, stuffing, and postage-ing invitations and have about 30 extra ones in case we find more people we want to invite. I’m so glad I opted to pay a bit more for self-adhesive envelopes – best decision I’ve made so far. I have only messed up on a few of the envelopes so that’s pretty darn good!

Practice cursive writing

As the night went on, I could tell my skin was getting darker, and when I woke up the following morning, I was quite surprised by how dark my face looked. I mean, I could’ve been Puerto Rican or something. Luckily it toned down a bit once I showered, and my mother-in-law said I looked healthy and not orange. All good things!

Not only did my glow-y skin made me look healthy, it also complemented my bridal shower dress way more than my pasty skin did. My dress was a cream color, so instead of my skin matching my dress, you could actually tell where my skin ended and my dress began.

Which brings us to my bridal shower! Since this post is so long already, I’ve made a separate post for my bridal shower here!

My next missions for the following 2 weeks include:

  1. Finish addressing and mailing invitations
  2. Write and mail thank-you cards for bridal shower #1
  3. Figure out escort cards – I have the idea in my head, I just have to find somewhere to purchase them or figure out how to create them myself.
  4. Find a dress for and attend bridal shower #2 – I am so pumped to see everyone!!!!!
  5. Stay active – my last day of work is next Wednesday, so I will have a lot of free time to eat chocolate.

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

Wedding Update: 5 months and counting!

This month has been on the stressful side…

Tom got a new job in Brooklyn at the end of February, so now we’ve both been doing the 2-hour train ride. That’s 2 hours each way. Every. Single. Weekday. And we don’t even take the same trains; they are each staggered 2 hours apart.

So with our daily 4-hour commutes, we deal with a mounting lack of sleep and lack of lives outside of work Monday through Friday. We’re lucky if we see each other for more than half an hour each day, so we’ve been living for weekends. Relaxing, chill weekends. Hence why this post is a day late. Deal with it.

Luckily (or maybe not so much) I have plenty of time during work to whittle away at wedding stuff, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Either I’m too tired, or I’m observing or helping out in a math class, or want Tom’s opinion before moving forward with something.

With all that said, I’m excited to say that we have seriously gotten a lot accomplished this month!

1. We (finally!) agreed on an invitation design, which is a Godsend. They’re simple yet elegant, which is the overall feel I’ve been going for.

2. Tom, his parents, and I went to a bridal showcase at our venue. Even though we are already going with this venue, I missed out on the last showcase, so I wanted to see what the food tasted like and see what vendors they offered. We still needed a limo and hotel company, so we figured we could check out what was there.

The food was great, they had the bar open, we got to try cupcakes from our cake bakery, and I got to revisit the venue and remember how pretty it is!

3. We also talked to a couple of local hotels to block rooms this month. And I had no idea how complicated this could get! I honestly thought it was just a simple phone call to the hotel, tell them you want to block rooms, they say okay, give you a coupon code or something, and then you tell your out-of-town guests the phone number to reserve rooms.

Not so much. My Invisalign technician and I bond every time I’m in the office for a visit because she is also getting married this year. She said she was stressed out with the whole hotel thing too!

The first hotel I tried calling is partnered with our venue. When I called, no one answered, so I left a voicemail. After a week, my phone call had still gone unreturned. Luckily, they were at the bridal showcase, so I told them about this and she was super apologetic. Unluckily, “August is a very busy month, so rooms would be very limited.”

Then I contacted a hotel closer to Tom’s house. Again, I left a voicemail that was not returned. So that weekend, Tom’s family and I went to said hotel and spoke with the guy at the front desk. He apologized and nonchalantly mentioned that they had previous problems with the woman whom I left a message with. Doesn’t sound promising for her!

He gave us the business card of the woman (a different woman) in charge of blocking hotel rooms, so I emailed her the next day. She responded shortly after, congratulating me on my upcoming wedding but also telling me they had no availability for that weekend. “You could try the Marriot or Hyatt Regency.” Wow, really?

Tom’s dad is a master negotiator. He’s negotiated with our venue multiple times and has totally gotten his way. So we gave him the task of calling and working his magic on the hotel woman. So here’s what happened:

He tried booking 10 rooms on their website for the weekend we need. He did not get any errors stating that they had no availability for these rooms. Ammo. So he called the woman. Six. Times. Without leaving any messages.

“I realized this woman was the type to let calls go to voicemail so she could think about her response before returning the call.” So sneaky! I’m learning so much.Sneaky sneaky

After the sixth call, he left a message saying he needed to block rooms for a “family function”. She returned his call, saying they didn’t have availability, but he pulled his ‘I went online and didn’t have a problem’ card. Then he asked how many rooms they had and how many were already booked for that weekend. Suddenly, she had 22 rooms available!

Well, since that whole shenanigan, we’ve realized that another hotel is going to work out better for what we need. They can already guarantee us more rooms, have already sent us cards that we can include in our invitations, and just gave us all a better vibe. Plus, they’re less expensive than the other one, which is great for the guests who do end up coming down!

4. We have a venue for our rehearsal dinner. Tom’s parents and I went last weekend to a vineyard in town and, even though everything is still kind of brown because spring hasn’t yet sprung, I can tell it’s going to be gorgeous and I’m really excited! They went back today and talked to the owner, so we got that set!

Harmony Vineyards Stony Brook

5. I also ordered Tom’s wedding band! He tried a couple on and picked out his favorite, so it’s not going to be a huge surprise on his end.

6. I booked our upstate reception venue! The cool thing is that when I called and told the woman our date, she looked in her book and said they were already scheduled to host an event. HOWEVER!!! She said the customer hadn’t yet put a deposit down. So she called them and called me right back. They changed their date to October, so they no longer needed it that weekend in August. Which means we got it!

7. One of the most exciting things that happened this month is that we booked a bed and breakfast out in Montauk for a 3-night mini-honeymoon between the downstate and upstate weekends! Eeeek, I’m excited!Montauk lighthouse

8. One of the least exciting is the fact that I’m having more frequent wedding dreams (read: nightmares). They’re so ridiculous, and I’m embarrassed that these worries are consuming my sleep, causing me to wake in a panic. But they do make decent blog posts.

I am on spring break from work for the next 2 weeks, so I think I’ll set a goal to get the legal stuff started – marriage license, and all the stuff I have to do to change my name. Although everyone tells me that Holliday Chatt sounds cool. Hyphenated name maybe? No, that would make for such an obnoxiously long name.

I’ve gotten more used to Holliday Harrigan; sounds funny at first, but now I can sign my name. How math-y and cool is that? Or I can just write 4 vertical lines and then draw a long horizontal line through them all. Boom, two H’s. Or half of a train track. Regardless, super easy!

Wedding Update: Halfway There (6 months to go!)

We are halfway there folks! There are only 6 months left in this journey to the altar! And guess what…saturday night live so freaking excited kristen wiig

A lot of progress has been made this past month! We finalized the bridesmaids’ dresses so all my girls can put their orders in and I can’t wait until they receive their dresses so I can see them and have peace of mind in that department. The online company that the dresses are from is actually sending me a swatch of the dress color so I can use that to match the guys’ ties.

Speaking of, Tom and I agreed on the guys’ attire, so we just need to go somewhere like Men’s Wearhouse, find the tuxes we want, and get measurements and orders in. This one is a front-runner:

dumb and dumber orange tux dance gif

We sent out Save the Dates about 3 weeks ago, and it made me feel really good to hear that people thought they looked nice! The following week, I started looking into invitations; goodness, I just finished getting the STDs out, do I really need to start getting invitations already? I’ve let Tom look at a few that I personalized and we have an idea of what we both like, so that’s progress.

Since we sent out our Save the Dates, our wedding website is now public! If you want to go check it out, it’s right here; it includes not only the updates I’ve published here on my personal blog, but also has the proposal story and will continue to have new wedding-related posts that I might not post on here.

Also, we received our first engagement gift this month! One of Mrs. Harrigan’s co-workers/friends (who is invited to the wedding) gave us a set of BEAUTIFUL crystal champagne flutes. They are absolutely stunning, and surprisingly heavy!

Waterford Crystal Believe Flutes

We went to a florist last weekend, and I have to admit that this was one of the pieces of planning that had me kind of stressed. So far, everything has been fairly stressless – our venue, my dress, the bridal party attire – and yet I’m worried about flowers. Is that weird or what?

I had ideas about what I wanted, but there are just so many options when it comes to bouquets and centerpieces and other arrangements. I think most (if not, all) flowers are pretty, so it’s hard to narrow it down! I mean, you can start by figuring out the color(s) you want to use, but after that you still have so many options and combinations!Wedding flower collage

I figured it was time to start hammering out the flower situation, so I made an appointment with a florist in Melville, NY since they have worked with our venue before. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of meeting with multiple florists and having to go over the same layout multiple times and then have to choose which one to go with and then start doubting my ideas and decisions.

The lady we met with was very knowledgeable and thorough in all aspects of the typical wedding flower arrangements. She sat with us for about an hour and a half going over everything from bouquets and centerpieces to boutonnieres and corsages.

We decided that since she was so great and we would be getting everything we wanted/needed, we would just go with this florist instead of shlepping around to others and spending more time when we could just get it done and over with. I’m really thankful that Tom agreed to go with me because I know it’s not something he really wanted to spend a couple hours doing on a Saturday.

Not only did he come with me, but Tom actually contributed his ideas and opinions! I honestly don’t think he realizes how happy that made me. It may seem silly, especially to guys, but I’m sure that all engaged girls out there can appreciate those moments when our grooms participate in the planning process, no matter how small the task. Unless you’re a bride who wants no one else’s opinion but your own; that’s fine, carry on.

But seriously Tom, you’re amazing for picking out flowers. I love you!stefon aww gif saturday night live

Anyways, I guess we can step off the corny train now.

I really want to go cake-tasting. Like, bad. I don’t think that has to happen until about 2 months before the wedding, but I want to go now. I want 20 different flavors of cake, with buttercream frosting, all cut into bite-size pieces, so that I can pop those suckers in my mouth and savor each and every one of them. Except, then we have to decide on only one for the wedding. Bummer.wedding cake tasting

We’ve discussed the honeymoon situation and I think we’ve come to a decision. Since we’re getting married in the middle of August in Long Island, holding a separate reception upstate the next weekend, and I’ll (hopefully!) be starting a teaching job soon after, I don’t see us having time to go on a proper (i.e. week+ long) honeymoon for awhile after. So we’ll go on our honeymoon over winter break; not only would that give us a few months to settle into married life (living together and me starting a new job, for starters) but it’ll also get us out of the cold for a bit!

Alrighty, well, until next month: cheers!

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.