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.

Incredibly Engaging – How I Saved on Engagement Photos

It may come as no shock to anyone who has read at least one post on this blog that I am a busy girl. It may also not be absurd to say that this is because I am working several jobs to pay for my wedding. Why, you may ask, would someone run themselves ragged for one day? Because it’s supposed to be the best day of your life! That being said, I am also a bargain hunter and have often considered the financial repercussions of what I’m doing. Some things I consider “must-haves” while others are “nice-to-haves”.  Admittedly, the line between the two is noticably blurry anymore.

Anyway, one of our original “must-haves” of save the date cards that included photos of us was running into the “nice-to-have” category when I realized that our amazing wedding photographer charged so much for engagement photography. The services for the big day are mainly covered by Mama M’s generosity, but the remainder, including engagement pics, are on us. When I sat down to look at the dollars and cents, I really started to assign value to these photos. Yes, it would be amazing to have these pictures but are they necessary?

Though they weren’t necessary, I had done a lot of hoop jumping to try to get prepared for them, particularly with my braces coming off. I had appointments scheduled back to back in an attempt to get my chompers ready for their close up. I felt committed, but I really couldn’t mentally justify the big expense on something unnecessary when I still hadn’t paid for my gown alterations. So what’s a gal to do?

Que Craigslist. I posted the following ad:

Build Your Photography Portfolio –
Free Dinner/Modest Honorarium Barter (Philadelphia)

We are looking to help you build your artistic portfolio and serve as models for a fun engagement photo shoot. Our idea is that we’ll shoot at two locations. One is a beautiful old stone church with rolling grounds and beautiful landscaping that will serve as a great backdrop to capture that wonderful Fall afternoon lighting. The other is a classic chrome diner where the waitresses are 100 years old and the milkshakes come in tall glasses with whipped cream and a cherry. We’re looking for an artistic eye that can see the beauty in something as simple as a piece of pie with ice cream melting on top.

We are moderately attractive people who photograph fairly well and we think our ideas can certainly serve as promo material for your budding photography business. We’d like a DVD of the raw digital images in an agreed upon format. In exchange, we’re willing to offer you the finest in diner cuisine after the shoot and also a small honorarium that we can negotiate. Obviously we understand that you are not working for peanuts, but you have to understand that we are also on a crazy strict budget. But don’t worry, we’ll let you get pie. 🙂 Also, we have a wedding blog in the Philadelphia area that we would mention you on/ post a few example pics, so it wouldn’t be too shabby of a plug. Our florist has actually booked 3 clients from the kind words we’ve said about her! 

Would you believe this ad in the “Creative Gigs” section got me 20+ emails from photographers? It was like Christmas! I emailed them and asked for sample photos and info about themselves. Ultimately, we settled on a really talented and ambitious duo from Benjamin Lackey Multimedia.   Please feel free to check out their growing portfolio, or ‘like’ them on Facebook. As college students at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia these guys are building a business from the ground up. They were SO great to work with, super personable, and they have also helped us out in getting what we’re looking for in terms of affordable video coverage for the big day. I can’t say enough about Ben and his partner Mike, but they REALLY saved the day. Our shoot with them was so comfortable and honestly as close to ideal as possible. We were all on the same page and the pictures came out wonderfully, don’t you think? Huge thanks to them for their help!

 

 

So please feel free to utilize Benjamin Lackey Multimedia. Good guys, affordable prices, and fantastic results. They may not always work for pie, but they are worth the $, I promise. 🙂 And if worse comes to worst and you can’t afford engagement photography, feel free to use my idea and see what photographers you can round-up in your area. By the way, I ordered my post cards from Vistaprint for free, so the savings just keep coming! Keep an eye out for those deals and you can save a ton on your save the dates too.

Thanks for reading! – A

November 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . 2011. 1 comment.

525,600 Minutes

The clock started ticking at midnight: I am officially getting married in one year. Ok, we’ll call it a year and a day, since next year has a little leap in it. I’m starting to feel the pressure, even as I type this, because I feel that now the heat is on. Yes, it can be done in much less time. But I have a full-time job, a few side jobs, and way too many cute DIY ideas to pass up.

Here’s what I’m asking of you: every now and then, just put some good thoughts out into the universe so that I don’t snap. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

May 6, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

How NOT to Send Save-the-Dates

I’m not usually one to repeat gossip about people that I don’t really know, but I thought this little nugget of information had been mentioned enough times to warrant it true. So let’s start at the beginning.

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest weddings of our time will be taking place later this year, that of Prince William of Wales and long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. Often dubbed “Waitie Katie” by the British tabloids, she endured 8 years of dating to put a ring on it, and what a ring she got! She gets to wear the beautiful sapphire once donned by William’s mother, the late Princess Diana.

One would assume with all this blue blood pumping through everyone’s veins that this wedding is going to be a pretty classy event. You would also think that tradition would be VERY important to Queen Elizabeth II, who is footing the bill for the 1800 guest shin dig. And yet, she saw it fitting to send out save-the-dates via FAX. Yes, fax. I get that they’re pretty busy over there at Buckingham palace getting this wedding together in a matter of 6 months, but you think someone would have raised their hand to site Miss Manners and her views on wedding etiquette.

Feel free to read one of the numerous reports on the fax heard round the world here. And please know, if you’re invited to our blessed nuptials, you will receive a little more than a blurry digital image. Although all those fax confirmations sure would cut down on the “I guess it got lost in the mail” excuses…

Thanks for reading! -A

January 27, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. Leave a comment.