Six? Seis? Sechs? Sei?

I am getting married in six months. According to Real Simple Weddings, here’s what I should be doing:

  1. Select and purchase invitations. Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly.
  2. Start planning a honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
  3. Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
  4. Meet with the officiant. Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).
  5. Send save-the-date cards. 
  6. Reserve structural and electrical necessities. Book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, lighting components, and so on.
  7. Book a florist. Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, which is why you can wait a little longer to engage one. Plus, at this point, you’ll be firm on what your wedding palette will be.
  8. Arrange transportation. Consider limos, minibuses, trolleys, and town cars. (But know that low-to-the-ground limos can make entries and exists dicey if you’re wearing a fitted gown.)
  9. Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).

I’m pretty tight on 1,3,6,7, & 8. # 4, meeting with the officiant, will probably happen in January after the hooplah of the holidays is over. Besides, now that band is almost done I will finally be able to peel myself out of bed on Sundays to attend church and I’d like to get that going again before I waltz in like a deadbeat and tell him how to marry us. #5, the Save the Dates, are in process. I, being a perfectionist, sent myself a test one just this morning. As soon as it arrives, unscathed, I think I’ll be shipping them off to my guests. #9, the day-of-timeline, has been on my mind for months. I have been thinking about the logistics of carefully orchestrating the moments of my big day. I still have nothing on paper, so I guess I should hit that up.

But the big whammy, #2, the honeymoon, is breaking my heart. We had such grand dreams. We thought it was possible. I’m pretty sure it is not. 😦 I want so much for our big day and the more I think about it, I would rather spend my money on that moment instead of a vacation. Plus, M is busting his buns to pitch in and I don’t want to over-tax him. I think we’ll probably end up finding a last-minute 4-night tropical thing a few weeks after the wedding, and will maybe plan a big trip for our 6 month or 1 year anniversary. But I’m not going to lie, there’s a little bit of sting knowing that I won’t be jetting off immediately following my ceremony to lands afar. But then again, who can do that anymore if they’re paying for their wedding themselves?

Either way, I am happy that I only have 6 months left. Yes, it’s stressful, but I’m ready for it to happen. I’m ready for my planning to end and just let the chips fall where they may. A constant worrier, I know I will be in knots up until the moment I walk down the aisle, but I’m still psyched for its end. Correction: I’m excited for our real life to begin. In the interim, if you know of any cheap last-minute travel sites or you’re willing to lend us your awesome cabana/timeshare/ grandma’s house in a cool location, hook a sister up! We’re not picky, we just require wifi and a big tub. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

November 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Have I Told You Lately That I Love…My Florist?

Just wanted to share with you a cute little video that my florist now has on her web site. As I’ve mentioned before, Necoh, the owner of Royal Design Flowers and Events is so easy to work with and I’m super excited to see the flowers she’ll create for me next May. If you can throw some business to this wonderful local establishment, please do!

Thanks for reading! – A

June 23, 2011. Tags: , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Lesson Learned: Flowers

When I first started planning the wedding, I immediately resigned myself to the fact that though I love flowers, they just weren’t in the cards. Keep in mind, those were the days when I also thought I could get out of this spending under $10,000 – and I was taking it as a personal challenge to do so! Clearly, I have since been set straight and have revised my budget, thus my search for a second job. But oh, those simple days!

Flowerless Centerpiece (Not ours, but still cute!)

I knew I wasn’t going to NOT have flowers, but I’ve opted for centerpieces without them so that really cut out a huge expense. I’ve also decided on some simple options for décor at the church, so there isn’t going to be a big flowery show there either. And I plan on doing my own flowers. Ok, that’s a lie. I planned on doing my own flowers, until my future mother in law found out about it.

She told me that it would be too much, that I’d be so busy, that there’d be no way! Ah, but did she give us money for flowers? Not exactly. Her contributions (which are many, AND very appreciated!!) are going toward a few other things like photography and even a bit toward my gown. Thanks, Momma M! But she did convince me to meet a family friend who has been a premier Philadelphia florist for 30 years. I knew his work, and I knew it was expensive. But we were told we’d get an old friend discount. His band played at M’s bar mitzvah, so I did have a little hope that the price tag wouldn’t be crazy.

When we arrived for the appointment, there were flowers everywhere – and too many. They’d asked me to send inspiration photos and so I sent a pdf of flowers I liked, explaining why I liked each photo, and what I wanted for my wedding. Instead of having mock-ups based on the inspiration I provided, they had flowers just waiting, and I was to put my bouquet together with them.

Now let me interject a sidebar. It seems that florists handle this in 3 possible ways:

  1. They show you bouquets or sketches of what they have in mind and you tweak it with them.
  2. They show you FTD books and say they’ll add stuff, but really you’re lucky if you get the picture as is. 
  3. They have the flowers and you put it together with them.

For a multitude of reasons, I prefer option #1 and I’ll tell you why. At the family friend’s place, there were SO many options. We took forever to build up my bouquet. They told me peonies were too expensive, so we did something else. Then I added some purple stock, but that was later replaced with orchids. And then roses were added. And then some of this, and some of that, and more of those, and a ton of these!!! Before you know it, I had a giant monstrosity that looked NOTHING like my photos, had flowers that I didn’t want like roses and orchids, and weighed a ton! They were trying to convince me that it was pretty. It could have been, but it wasn’t and I was so overwhelmed by the experience and WAY too many choices that I couldn’t tell the difference. And then came the quote. It seemed quite high, but it was the preliminary. The real quote was coming via email on Monday. We told ourselves that the real quote would have that good old discount. When it arrived, it did not.

Heartbroken, I started searching again. I hadn’t wanted all this stuff to begin with, but once I opened the door to let myself dream just a little I couldn’t go back to my sweet idea of roses with hypericum berries. The damage was done and we needed someone who was affordable and beautiful. After googling, I came across this blog for Royal Design Flowers, a small flower studio in Philadelphia. The blog is what sold me, because the owner Necoh just seemed so sweet and would go above and beyond if needed.

When M and I met with her later that week, we went to her small studio in a collective of studios situated in an old Mill – it was super cute. She showed me what she saw based on my visions. We talked, we had some tweaks, I got ALL the flowers that I wanted, and even at the absolute biggest and best options for what we could have chosen, Necoh came in WELL under the family guy’s quote – including a huppah rental! Not only that, her quote came with break downs so we could see what the cost would be if we chose to get the bouquets in different sizes AND she included photos so that we could see how large a small bouquet would look against a person holding it versus a medium or large. In the end, she won our business because she was flexible, honest, and her work looked beautiful.

I’m so happy this is all over, but I’ve learned a few tips that I’ll pass along to you:

  • It’s great to listen to your friends and family, but always go with your gut.
  • Try not to let high pressure or fast-paced situations with vendors get to you. YOU are paying them, so they can slow down a little if you need it.
  • The first impression is usually the correct one. If you feel “some type of way” about a vendor, trust your intuition!

I’m so super psyched to see these flowers next year, and I can’t wait to show you. I know you’re going to love them as much as I do!

Thanks for reading! – A

May 4, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.