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Seating Arrangements

Two weeks before the wedding my mother and I sat down to plan out the seating arrangements. A process which apparently requires huge pieces of paper taped to the wall, countless sticky flags, markers, excel spreadsheets, and a lot of patience.

We made sure to call all parties involved in the wedding planning with questions about table companion compatibility and within a couple of hours we ended up with this

and this

After the seating chart was finalized I got to work on the place cards. My wonderful friend/coworker gifted me with her left over place cards (she lost them and then found them after her wedding) which I promptly put in a safe place, moved that safe place to my desk at work so I wouldn’t forget them, and then forgot them. I wanted to get the place cards done so I turned to option number two, the matching set that came with our invitations. The only problem was that they were individually printed with a design and had to be hand-written. I started writing names and table numbers just to see how it would turn out and before I knew it I was done.

I resurrected my dinner selection stamps and got to stamping. I referred to my food choice spreadsheet and divided the place cards out into ‘meat’, ‘crab’, and ‘veggie’ piles.

The stamping took no time at all and turned out great.

The whole place card process took just about two hours and is completely done!

Our Songs

Picking songs for a wedding reception is not easy. You of course have the first dance as a married couple, the father daughter dance, and the mother son dance. WHO KNEW there was more to it than that? You have to pick a cake cutting song, a bouquet toss song, a garter toss song, a bridal party introduction song, your introduction song, cocktail hour music, and dinner music. It’s massively overwhelming.

John and I both asked our mother/father respectively to pick out their top three songs for our dances with each of them, we narrowed it down from there.

For our first dance song we picked our top eight after a couple of hours on youtube and itunes listening, choosing, and narrowing down. We decided to pit each song up against another in a single elimination playoff type bracket (can you tell the groom to be was involved more than a little bit in this project?). We listened to the songs back to back picking our favorite (often times after some discussion about danceability, lyric choice, etc) and ended up with a championship round between two very different songs.

Then we decided to dance. And almost simultaneously decided to get some dancing lessons via youtube. The dancing experiment turned out a little something like this:

Bride: “No its back shift slide step”

Groom: “No, shift slide step back”

(More video watcing)

Bride: “HE CHANGED IT why is he doing something different?!!”

(Trial ballroom dancing)

Bride: “This isn’t right”

Groom: “BUT we look good!”

We “danced” to each song in the final and ultimately chose the one that had the better lyrics, was easier to dance to, and that we both loved.

Luckily having a playoff song series gave us seven other songs to use for things like cake cutting, tossing of both bouquets and garters, and intro songs.

We dragged it out much longer than we needed to but had an amazing night laughing, dancing, and youtubing together as a soon to be married couple.

Hair (mis)Trials

For some reason I took little to no interest in booking a hair and makeup artist for my wedding. So in early April I decided that I should probably start looking and possible set up a hair trial or two to find the right stylist. My ambivalence toward the process translated into a less than enthusiastic internet search and a hair trial appointment for April 18th. My mother accompanied me. I did the trial…my hair was weird, and my makeup was…interesting. Somehow the sweet-talking stylist convinced me that we could change everything on the day of the wedding and that I just needed to update her via email with any changes that I wanted made.

This is about where I should have been seeing the huge red flag and hearing warning sirens and putting on the brakes BUT instead I forked over the ridiculous booking fee and “reserved” my wedding date. My inexplicable lackluster attitude towards hair and makeup had just cost me a tiny fortune. Fast forward two weeks and there’s no sign of a contract from the company, I email and get a response days later with a completely incorrect and contradictory contract. It is at the point that I also learn that the stylist has booked another wedding on my wedding morning. The contract was missing half of the services that I requested, I learned there would be no makeup artist just my hair stylist doing makeup, AND that the booking fee was simply to hold my date and that no part of it would be applied towards the cost of my services.

WAIT WHAT?! I can’t even begin to explain to you how bewildered I was. I paid her to reserve my day exclusively, which she didn’t do, and to show up. That’s it?! Fast forward two weeks riddled with back and forth emails, unreturned voicemails, and a third draft of a contract that was STILL wrong, at this point we decided to kiss our non-refundable booking fee goodbye and move on.

My wonderful mother/wedding planner/amazing human being tirelessly researched local hair and makeup artists who would perform services on location, had wonderful reviews, and still had availability on June 2nd. Miraculously she found a hair and makeup TEAM and we book a trial for May 24th (as in 10 days before the wedding). The trial went perfectly, my hair was wonderful my makeup was flawless and I left completely happy with the results. The uncertain feeling about changing hair styles on the day of and having ridiculous makeup were completely absent from this trial. I left feeling good about EVERYTHING.

I literally booked my last wedding vendor a week before my wedding..yikes.

Bachelorette Parties

Yes, you read that right, parties. Logistically having two bachelorette parties made the most sense. One was a one night local event that occurred the night of my bridal shower and the other was a weekend out of town at the beach. My traveling out of town friends/bridesmaids could come to the local party without having to make travel arrangements into the area again for the beach party. It was the perfect plan, AND I got to be a bachelorette twice.

The first bachelorette party took place in Arlington. There may or may not have been dancing, drink, and an occasional nutella laced crepe at 3:00AM.

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Apparently I was very excited.

The beach bachelorette party took place about a month later and was a fun filled weekend extravaganza in Ocean City. The first night we left the hotel with no real idea where we were going. I said ‘let’s walk left’ and as luck would have it there was a dive karaoke bar just a couple of blocks to the ‘left’. We of course dove right in and with the courage of alcohol performed many wonderfully off key renditions of all of our 1990′s radio favorites including but not limited to The Real Slim Shady (this happened more than once during the 3 hours we were there), Barbie Girl, and The Spice Girls.

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There are videos which thankfully will never grace the presence of the world wide web. After getting our karaoke legs warmed up we decided that every single person singing at the bar would LOVE for us to back up sing/and or dance for them. I’m not kidding when I say we were on stage for a solid hour. It was hilarious.

Day two consisted of the cutest bachelorette party tank tops in the world, beach time, a trip to Seacrets (a wonderfully awesome bar serving drinks on the water) during the day, happy hour back at the hotel, and then back to Seacrets at night.

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It was an amazingly ridicul

Our Final Walk Through

About five weeks before the wedding we met our caterer and lighting vendor at our wedding location to go over final details regarding the big day. We planned out table arrangements, arrival times, lighting design, and went over a rough timeline of events.

We walked the venue and mapped everything out, added a half-hour onto our rental to allow everyone enough time to set up without having to be in the same space simultaneously.

AND we saw some deer (I asked them politely to please not eat any flowers near the ceremony site)

It was an hour well spent and now we can do things like tape huge pieces of paper to the wall to finalize the wedding timelines.

Girly Bridal Things

And just like that the wedding is only one week away. It’s amazing how fast time flies in the final month.

Rewind one month and we’re at my glorious bridal shower brunch. I am obsessed with brunch. It’s weird, i know but brunch is hands down my favorite meal ever. Making my bridal shower a brunch theme at a brunch time was a no brainer for me and luckily my maid of honor happily agreed. I wasted no time pinning my little heart out on Pinterest with millions of brunchy ideas. The shower itself was seriously more than I could have asked for. Everything was amazing. There was champagne/mimosa bar:

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Tons of delicious food:

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GAMES!

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And a lot people who I love and care about:

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We did the whole present thing (don’t worry I sent out my thank you cards). 

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And of course my seriously awesome artistic and crafty friends managed to take a million mismatched ribbons and make a rehearsal bouquet complete with ribbon wrapped stem. Unbelievable. 

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I couldn’t have asked for a better bridal shower, my maid of honor is absolutely amazing. 

Crafts!

Round one of craft trials took place in August. Round two took place last week! I tried out some alternative methods for creating candle holders enhanced with lace and managed to produce some semi-adequate results. I purchased some 1.5 inch lace ribbon and glued it to the bottom half of the candle holder.

I tried hot glue first. It was a huge failure. The hot glue was visible through the lace and even more visible when the lights were off and the candles were lit.

My second glue attempt was with clear Tacky Glue. I applied it with a paintbrush It went on clear and was invisible with the lights on as well as with the lights off. One problem, it didn’t dry very quickly. I soon realized that leaving the lace Tacky Glued to the holders unsupervised and unsupported left them extremely prone to gravity and made them an overall failure as a project. I elected to loosely tie some extra invitation ribbon around the lacey area. This worked much better than my previous idea to remain constantly vigilant of any gravity induced slippage for the six hours while they dried.

I tried some different and “unique” approaches to enhance lace coverage:

But ultimately stuck to the original method to reduce seam visibility and increase consistency between candle holders. I made three, tied them up with ribbon, hoped for the best, and went to bed. To my absolute delight, I awoke to perfectly laced and DRY candle holders. Three down, 57 to go!

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