Saturday, August 27, 2011

The To-Do List Continues

A few weeks ago I posted my to-do list that was seriously stressing me out. Luckily, I've made a serious dent in my list since then, so here's my little update for you:
  • Finish writing and mail shower thank-yous
  • Pick up wedding dress (Yeah, I'm a little behind on that one...)
  • Schedule tasting with reception venue
  • Purchase centerpieces for reception tables (We're making our own instead of ordering flowers or something.)
  • Request time off work for the rehearsal (At least time off for the honeymoon has been approved!)
  • Find and buy wedding shoes
  • Maintain sanity
    Phew, that's a lot of work! And even though we haven't finished buying our centerpieces, I was able to pick up a few items for these this morning. Now if I could just hunt down some Michael's coupons I could get everything else we need.

    Unfortunately, (almost) finishing one to-do list means there's an entirely new one to start. The good news about that, though, is that the wedding is so close we don't have too much left to accomplish anymore. Thank goodness.

    My job is going to be even more stressful during the next month, so I may not be able to get too much done, but Drew's internship ends in a couple weeks giving him more time to get wedding stuff done. Here are the tasks we'll be working on next:
    • Finish purchasing centerpieces
    • Finish designing our wedding programs and place cards
    • Get wedding dress altered (don't even get me started on the panic this is putting me through)
    • Buy gifts for our wedding party
    • Buy thank you notes for wedding gifts
    • Make final payment for our rings
    • Go through our "play" and "do not play" lists for the DJ
    • Apply for our marriage license!
    Minus wedding dress alterations, I'm feeling pretty good about everything on this list. Nothing is too difficult or time-consuming to accomplish (I hope) and we're getting SO close to finally being done with planning and actually being married! Ahhh!

    So on a related note... anyone in the Saginaw area know of a tailor I can take my wedding dress to for alterations? The boutique where I bought my dress wants to charge me my parents an arm and a leg to do it, so I need to find somewhere that's relatively affordable.

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Wedding Recap #3

    (I didn't take any pictures at this wedding/reception, so sorry if this post is super boring.)

    Last weekend Drew and I attended our third and final wedding as an engaged couple (we're next!). Our friends John and Carolyn tied the knot on Saturday in a beautiful ceremony and had a gorgeous and amazing reception to top everything off. Plus, they had a pretty handsome/awesome best man ;)

    What I Liked
    I'm feeling list-y and, since I don't have any pictures from this wedding, I feel the need to break things up so this whole post isn't extra-long paragraphs. Also, I liked a lot about this wedding ceremony and reception.
    1. Seeing the church all wedding-ed out. John & Carolyn got married at Hopevale, the church we attend and the church where Drew and I will be married in less than two months! The church moved to a new building a year ago, so neither of us had seen a wedding in the new (modern) sanctuary. Seeing the space all dressed up for a wedding definitely helped us visualize what our own decorations and flowers will look like on our wedding day.
    2. The gorgeous reception venue. Okay, seriously, the Temple Theater in Saginaw is so pretty. Not only did the couple have their names displayed on the marquee outside, but the ballroom was so stunning. So much so that I can't resist posting this picture to share the pretty.
    (not from this wedding, but it looks about the same) via
    3. Laughter. I don't think I've ever laughed so much at a wedding, and I mean that as a good great thing. John's dad, a pastor, officiated the ceremony, which was not only incredibly awesome and sentimental, but gave the ceremony an extra-personal touch with stories and slip-ups. I loved how this ceremony was fun but still personal and sincere.

    What I Learned
    1. Relax and have fun. This wedding was seriously so much fun. I'm so afraid I'm either going to be so nervous I want to puke (from being the center of attention) or crying my eyes out (because I'm sappy) at my wedding ceremony. But throughout John and Carolyn's entire ceremony they just looked so happy, calm, and excited. After all, they each got to marry their best friend that day. I need to think about the joy of the situation and how happy I am to marry Drew, and not think about everyone staring at us or my potential sappiness.
    2. We need to get our stuff together. Like I said, the reception was so freaking gorgeous. But beyond how pretty the venue itself was, the centerpieces, escort cards, cake table, everything fit together so well and were so so pretty. Drew and I have a lot left to do in terms of figuring out our reception decor, but we were so inspired by John and Carolyn's reception. We actually spent a good chunk of their reception talking about what we liked and what we want for our own reception.
    3. Weddings are awesome. Less than 50 days til mine and Drew's, and it can't come soon enough. It's going to be a great day and the start of an amazing marriage. If our wedding is even half as beautiful, fun, joyful, exciting and full of love as John and Carolyn's I think we'll be in pretty solid shape.

    Congratulations again to the happy couple and your beautiful, wonderful day!

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Thankful Thursday

    I'm obsessed with blogs, and I recently found a new healthy living blog to stalk daily: Ali on the Run. It's an awesome blog by a magazine writer (jealous!) who is incredibly inspiring to me on the workout front (I don't care about being a fit bride, but I do care about being fit) and is hilariously awesome.

    One of my favorite features on Ali's blog is Thankful Things Thursday, where she chronicles things she is thankful for every week. I love these posts so much, because sometime life sucks but it's important to remember that we always have something (or someone) to be thankful for. So in keeping with my goal to avoid the stress-monster that is planning a wedding, I decided to start my own list of things I'm grateful for this week with Thankful Thursday.

    Here we go!

    Excel spreadsheets. Normally I hate Excel because I have to use it so much for work and, frankly, it's kind of an ugly (although practical) interface. But without the organizational powers of Excel I would have a really terrible time organizing our guest list, and probably wouldn't have realized we forgot to send out a couple invitations (sorry!).

    Nice neighbors. I'll be honest, I really don't know anyone in my apartment building (except for the receptionist from the Chamber of Commerce who lives across the hall). But the other day when I was unloading some boxes of wedding gifts from my car to haul into the building, a nice old man opened the front door for me when I was obviously struggling to both hold the boxes and open the door. He probably saved me about fifteen minutes worth of frustration. Thanks old neighbor guy!

    Picking up my dress this weekend. The store where I ordered my wedding dress has been holding my dress for about a month now. I'm thankful my appointment to try it on and pick it up is finally this Saturday! Now I just have to find my shoes and hope my dress fits...

    The end of summer weddings. Okay, I'm not really thankful that summer weddings are over. I had so much fun at each of the weddings we attended and picked up so much great inspiration for my own wedding. However, the end of summer weddings means something very exciting: Drew and I are the next wedding! It's almost here! Only 51 days to go! I'm really excited.

    Drew. Duh.

    That's all for now. Check back next week so see if I remember to write another Thankful Thursday post!

    What are you thankful for today?

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Wedding Shower Recap

    Last weekend my wonderful future-mother-in-law hosted a wedding shower for me at our church. My parents and older sister drove eight hours from Illinois to be at the brunch shower, along with lots of local friends and family.

    I had an amazing time, and I still can't believe how much love and generosity everyone showed to me and Drew. Thank you so much to everyone who attended, prepared food, and helped make Saturday a special day for us! I'm even more excited for our wedding in October now!

    The shower started with a delicious brunch buffet, prepared by many amazing ladies in attendance. Breakfast casseroles, coffee cake, muffins, fruit salad, and many more tasty treats were on the menu. My parents even brought up cupcakes for dessert from Trefzger's Bakery in Peoria for a taste of my hometown.
    Eating tasty food with my moms!
    After brunch, we played a "purse scavenger hunt" game where different items were read off of a list, and we got points for each item we had in our purses (or wallet, in my dad's case). Some items were pretty standard, like a library card or lipstick, while others were a bit more unexpected, like pepper spray. My favorite part of the game was when my dad, the only male in attendance, scored more points than some of the ladies!

    Once prizes were awarded to the those with the most points, we moved on to the main event - presents! I still cannot believe how blessed Drew and I are to have such generous people in our lives. We were completely spoiled by everyone's gifts - dishes, bath towels, family cookbooks, and so much more.

    Quilt from my Grandma Anderson.
    Family (and my handmade belt!).
    Drew and I drove everything down to my apartment the next day, and we seriously spent hours unpacking and setting stuff up (we're still not done!). The best part was seeing my apartment start to look and feel more like our place, rather than just my apartment. Everything's a bit more home-y all of a sudden, which is super exciting and makes me wish Drew lived here now.

    This weekend Drew and I will be busy with wedding stuff, but not for ourselves. Our friends John and Carolyn are getting married tomorrow! I am so happy for them and so excited to celebrate with them tonight and tomorrow (and figure out how the heck they're decorating our ultra-modern church sanctuary). Congratulations to an awesome couple!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Too Many To-Dos

    I had my wedding shower on Saturday, but I still haven't posted a recap pretty much because I'm lazy and work is transitioning from crazy busy to "there's such a thing as personal time?" My wedding shower was amazing, and everyone was beyond generous to me and Drew. Thank you so much to everyone who attended and helped make my shower fun and awesome! I promise I'll finish my half-written recap post soon.

    In the meantime, the wedding is only 59 days away! I'm so excited we finally made it under the two-month mark, but the stress of all we have left to accomplish is starting to creep up on me. Drew and I have been using the checklist from The Knot to track our planning progress, which has been incredibly helpful. According to our list we have 75 items left to complete, although most of those are bogus "day of" and "after the wedding" items that include tasks like "Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!"

    Um, thanks, The Knot, I think we've got those covered. The list actually has been helpful, though, for keeping us on track and even ahead of the game for bigger stuff like mailing our invitations and booking our photographer. 

    Right now I feel like we have a million things left to take care of before the wedding, but my major (wedding) to-do list for the next couple weeks looks like this:
    • Finish writing and mail shower thank-yous
    • Pick up wedding dress (Yeah, I'm a little behind on that one...)
    • Schedule tasting with reception venue
    • Purchase centerpieces for reception tables (We're making our own instead of ordering flowers or something.)
    • Request time off work for the rehearsal (At least time off for the honeymoon has been approved!)
    • Find and buy wedding shoes
    • Maintain sanity
    We obviously have a lot more left to do before the wedding like make place cards and programs, but for now I'm trying to keep my focus on the priority tasks. Including finishing that wedding shower recap post...

    Do any other brides-to-be use the checklist on the Knot (or did any married ladies use it while planning)? Am I the only one who checks my list every day to see if there's anything I can check off or to make sure we're not accidentally six months behind on something?

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    My Favorite Wedding Websites

    I've spent a lot of time over the past eight months collecting inspiration, tips, and ideas about weddings and marriage from various websites. Because the following websites were so helpful to me, I thought I might share my favorite links (in no particular order) for any brides-to-be that are reading this and might enjoy them as well!

    A Practical Wedding. After spending the first couple months of wedding planning caught up in the world of insane DIY and ridiculous budgets, plus websites seemingly devoted to weddings, but not marriages, I finally stumbled upon A Practical Wedding. This website offers up seriously sane wedding and marriage advice, and isn't afraid to tackle difficult issues like death, divorce, and religion.

    100 Layer Cake. Beautiful pictures and insane inspiration are all over this blog. Check out the accompanying website for vendor listings and super cool DIY projects (like the ruffled belt I made last week).

    Martha Stewart Weddings. I can't make a list of my favorite wedding websites and not include this. It's simply amazing and has been particularly useful for me with cake decor and flower ideas.

    Inspired by This Wedding Blog. A wedding PR company showcasing some amazing events and photo shoots they've helped execute, plus general inspiration posts and even business tips.

    Of course this list would not be complete without a link to my wedding website (well, my other wedding website with more practical information about the wedding itself).

    Anyone have any favorite wedding/marriage websites that I left off of my list? Let me know!