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: 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!