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THE Tuxes

Remember back in September when we stopped by the tux store to make some preliminary tux color and style decisions? Well we hadn’t done anything remotely tuxedo related since then. John got all seven groomsmen and my father on board for a Sunday night party at Joseph A. Banks to knock out the measuring, down paymenting, and ordering of all of our ceremony tuxes. The Thursday before the tux extravaganza I popped over to J.A.B. to finalize the style, color and texture of every piece of the chosen tuxedo. When I got there I was handed this massively overwhelming gem:

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I was told to flip through it and pick out vest/tie colors and textures. John and I had previously decided on having the vest match the coat/pants exactly to create a cohesive look with or without the jacket on (apparently boys don’t like to wear tux jackets in hot June weather). J.A.B. didn’t have a sample or a fabric swatch of the jacket available at the store and matching vest swatches to a picture of the tux wasn’t cutting it. They offered to have a sample jacket sent to the store (3-6 business days) but of course my procrastinating self had waited until the last minute AGAIN. I chose something that I thought might possibly match it and was told that when the sample jacket came in we could switch the order to something that matched better.

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Unfortunately, I left the store in a semi-panicked state. After flipping through the swatch book for 40 minutes I was quite certain that they didn’t even offer a close to matching vest color and the thought of ordering something before I could see it in person absolutely terrified me (I’m wasn’t being dramatic at all THESE ARE TUXEDOS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT).

After talking to John about the tux fiasco we decided to head over to Men’s Warehouse to see if they had a sample jacket in store or had a jacket swatch or could get one sent over sooner than 3-6 business days. The next day we walked into MW and were blessed with this glorious sight

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John was clearly thrilled.

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Can’t you just see the excitement? I, on the other hand, was bouncing around in my chair absolutely thrilled with the existence of this jacket sitting inches away from me (seriously, it doesn’t take much). MW had all of the sample tuxes, vests, and ties on site. We picked all three out and got John measured.

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Two days later all eight of the boys showed up on time to place their orders and get measured as well.

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Two months out, and we have tuxes!

On a different note, the bridesmaid’s dresses came in! Here’s a sneak preview:

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Navy and Gold!

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Fitting #2

Only two months to the day until our wedding!

Last month I had my second dress fitting. The seamstress had starting working on the additions we discussed at the first dress fitting and had taken the dress in the appropriate number of inches (as measured in January). The additions were pinned on (nothing permanent yet) but they absolutely elevated the dress to a completely different level. I couldn’t believe how she had taken my, expertly articulated (yea right) description of what I wanted and translated it so perfectly into existence. The dress is truly one of a kind now.

My prancing a twirling had to be kept to a minimum due to the hundreds of tiny blood thirsty pins protruding menacingly from the dress, BUT I managed to celebrate my excitement over the dress’s beautiful transformation standing still and bobbing happily in place (I’m sure I didn’t look ridiculous at all).

The dress has to be taken in again (female readers will share in my absolute joy over this development) way to go half-marathon training, so my third and last fitting is scheduled for a week before the wedding. That’s only SEVEN days before actual big day. That makes me entirely and absolutely nervous but it’s the best and only way to ensure a perfect fit on the day of.

I WISH that I had pictures to share of the fitting but, alas, that would ruin the wedding day surprise. So instead I’ll leave you with this, an expertly cropped, ridiculously tilted picture of my dressing room door. You’re welcome.

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You’re Invited

After literally months of receiving invitation samples in the mail, ordering more samples, and being extremely conflicted about making a final decision we finally ordered invitations. I originally wanted to go with letterpress invitations but when it came down to price there was no way that I could justify the extra expense (we’re talking THREE times as much as all of the other invitations in the world).

After a lot of back and forth and some frustration (I may or may not have threatened to not order any invitations at all EVER) we managed to sit down and make a decision. We ended up picking one of the styles that was in the very last batch of samples that I ordered at the beginning of February. Remember when I promised not to order any more samples back in OCTOBER? Apparently I have no sample ordering self control (and an extreme procrastination problem). We ordered and received our invitations from http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com earlier this month. We hit a small snag when the order arrived sans our chosen and paid for inner envelopes. A quick call to customer service, a transfer to a supervisor, and some extreme haggling later we had inner envelopes being overnighted and 10% off our invitation order. For envelopes a day late I’ll take it.

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We got to work labeling the response card envelopes, and putting stamps EVERYWHERE. Our invitations required a lot of assembly which included the use of scrapbooking glue, ribbon, stickers, and our custom made rubber return address stamp.

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It took two nights of solid invitation assembly but we got it all done.

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The invitation fun didn’t end there. I basically guessed how many invitations we would need to send out. Sure I had an excel spreadsheet that told me exactly how many invitations I would need but during some momentary lapse of practical decision making, I placed our invitation order without double checking.

We knew that a couple of our guests had moved since we sent our save the dates out. It took us (read: me the procrastinator) two weeks to sit down and finalize the address labels for the invitations. So while they were assembled mid-March, they sat naked on our table without address labels until the end of the month. After finalizing all of the addresses I printed them out onto labels, well not all of them. I ran out of the labels that I bought for the engagement party/save the dates with 10 address labels left unprinted. I had to make a next day trip to Office Depot to buy 300 more (yea that’s the smallest increment of clear laser printer labels that you can buy, who knew). Luckily, after all was said and done everyone on the list got an invitation with only TWO to spare.

Now that the invitations are out it’s super officially official, we’re getting married in just over two months!

A Whirlwind

February was a busy month on the wedding planning front. We:

– Booked two blocks of hotel rooms

– Met with the florist to solidify our floral vision

– Met with our DJ to disucss details

– Booked ALL of the transportation for the wedding day including shuttles, limos, and towncars

– Booked our honeymoon airfare

– Worked on our ceremony wording and vows

We booked two blocks of hotel rooms at sister hotels in Leesburg. They share a parking lot and have a variety of amenities that are available to guests at both hotels. We booked our transportation including shuttles to and from the hotels for the rehearsal dinner and on the day of the wedding.

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We met with the florist to finalize some design ideas for the big day. We had to decide what type and number of centerpieces that we want for each table.

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We had our first meeting with our DJ who we booked in JUNE of last year to discuss timelines and music selections.

I finally booked our honeymoon airfare after booking our honeymoon in June. I’ve been monitoring airfare for our trip since then and finally decided that the price wasn’t going to go down anymore. We have two flights and a boat ride to our island so the logistics of our travel days had to coordinate with the travel arrangements made by the resort.

John and I are fortunate enough to have a friend of John’s family officiating our wedding ceremony. He sent us fifteen pages of possible ceremony wording. EVERY THING was included in the initial wording. We had the task of cutting it down to a manageable 4 pages. We’re still working on personalizing certain aspects of it and truly making it our own.

It’s been a whirlwind!

We’re Registered

We finally registered. Crate & Barrel has this awesome deal where you can sign up with your significant other to register for your big event on Sunday mornings before the store opens. They serve champagne and it is supposedly a wonderful time. Unfortunately John and I are VERY busy people and couldn’t make any of the scheduled private events. So last weekend John and I braved the Saturday crowds at Crate & Barrel to start our registering adventure. We checked in at one of the registers and were given one of these bad boys…

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We immediately started scanning kitchen items starting with plates, bowls, and mugs.

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Within five minutes we were immediately overwhelmed by forks, knives, and spoons. I had no idea that these three simple utensils came in so many shapes, sizes, textures, finishes, weights, etc.

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But seriously, it’s enough to make your head spin. Luckily we agreed on a simple and modern style and booked it away from the silverware mountain. John and I carefully combed our way through the store scanning and entering entities along the way.

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Every single thing in that store comes in ONE MILLION different varieties. They don’t just have glasses, they have drinking glasses, and high ball glasses, low ball glasses, big glasses, little glasses, and so on and so forth. If you have never considered the weight of a glass in your hand or the thickness of the glass in that glass, registering is a shocking introduction to how insanely crazy it is to be an adult and have adult things in your kitchen. We currently have a random assortment of different colored plates, cups (I say cups because 98% of them are plastic and were gathered during various soirees during our college years), eating utensils (some of these may or may not be plastic as well), and a hodge podge of pots and pans with mismatched lids. We try to keep it classy.

We had a ton of fun imaging ourselves in our new fancy kitchen sitting at our kitchen table (cleverly hidden by our new table cloth) sipping out of juice glasses (WHY are these so small?!) and pulling our cloth napkins out of their napkin rings. We tried to register for things that we would actually use (read: not juice glasses OR napkin rings) and that we would get a lot of use out of (sorry pitcher with no handle, you are useless in our new, fancy, practical kitchen). And I have to say, that scanner was a neat little toy. I’m not sure why, but every time I scanned something and it popped up on the screen I got a little bit excited that it MAGICALLY knew what we were looking at (I get it, barcodes, technology, blah blah)

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After we walked around for an hour scanning everything in sight, we plugged our magic scanner into this machine

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where all of our choices were added to our registry. We got a five page print off  and turned our scanner back in. The lady thanked us and gave us a PRESENT!!! You’re welcome Crate & Barrel, thanks for having us.

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John and I decided to take the easy way out and register at Bed Bath & Beyond online. We wanted to get a well rounded registering experience. After I created the registry I was greeted with a few precious online congratulations

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and

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Navigating the website from the comfort of our couch was awesome. We added things like bed sheets, towels, and big kitchen appliances. I’m glad that we had the in store/scanner experience but I also liked the ease and convenience of online registering.

We also registered on www.honeymoonwishes.com.
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This website allows you to register for activities, adventures, and upgrades during your honeymoon. There are a variety of activities and packages that your wedding guests can purchase for you to enjoy while on your honeymoon. We chose things like swimming with the sea turtles, spa packages, sunset dinner cruises, and beach picnics. It’s a neat way for people to contribute to your wedding experience!

And after all of our real life and virtual hard work we are now officially done registering!

It Fits

Last weekend I had my first wedding dress fitting.

Earlier, on the day of the fitting, my mother and I went to the mall to try to find some appropriate undergarments that would be unnoticeable under my dress. When we arrived at the undergarment store I had to fill out a survey, one of the questions was “do you believe that a bra can change your life?” It was at this moment that I feared this would be some kind of holistic bra experience. I was, to my dismay, absolutely correct. The store ACTUALLY uses a holistic approach to bra fitting meaning no tape measures, fitting guides, or common sense. They literally want their bras to change your life. I played along and quickly found something that would work for my fitting a couple of hours later. Luckily, I didn’t have pray to the bra gods or sacrifice a sock or worse,  my current bra beliefs to get the bra. Surprisingly they accepted all major credit cards. Regardless of how odd the experience was, I found a bra. The trip was a very strange great success.

My mother and I carefully loaded my dress into the car and took it BACK to the bridal boutique for my first fitting. As I mentioned before, we are doing a little more to the dress than just taking it in, so alterations have to begin a littler sooner than usual. Here’s a hint…

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NO MORE HINTS, you’ll have to guess from here on out. We got to the boutique and I changed into my dress, complete with holistic spiritual bra, slipped on my first pair of shoes and stepped out to be altered. We requested a particular seamstress that the boutique uses based on her expertise with the material shown above. She wasted no time in pinning the billions of fabric layers up about a foot (I’m short OK) so that I wouldn’t trip on them on the big day. I nervously told her all about my fear of falling down the set of stairs on my way to the aisle and she assured me that the alterations would allow me to walk, dance, sit, stand, and be married with no major tripping issues (fingers crossed). She explained to me how each layer of fabric would be altered to a certain length so that as I walk each layer will push the one on top of it out of the way.

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She was literally a blur as she scooted around the perimeter of my dress expertly pinning fabric away from the floor.

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We agreed on how much to take the top of the dress in and discussed the more complicated additions and alterations. And after hearing about my veil aversion, she even agreed to custom make a veil so that it will be EXACTLY the way that I want it.

We managed to get in and out of the boutique in under an hour and I left with a renewed sense of love for my perfect dress. Seeing it pinned to the right length gave me my first real glimpse of what the final product will look like. AND I made an appointment for my second fitting on March 17th.

Too Many Tables

We have linens! I’m talking about table cloths for EVERY table at the reception. I know, I know, linens are in no way exciting but after my first experience with the linen sample binder I was anxious to get into the linen showroom to nail down this pesky wedding detail.

If you have a regular 9-5 Monday through Friday job good luck getting to the linen showroom. It’s only open during silly hours like 10-2 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Luckily, I had an extra vacation day to burn and so my mother and I made an appointment for the middle of a Monday.

This is what we walked in to.

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A full showroom packed with linens, glassware, plates, chairs, and pretty much anything else that you can imagine. If you want clear oval shaped plates with glow in the dark trim, I’m pretty sure that you can find it here. We were led into a back room that was draped from floor to ceiling on all four walls with this…

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A MILLION table cloths. Luckily our linen consultant knew what she was doing. I brought along some samples of colors that I wanted to incorporate into the reception and she wasted no time pulling five or six linens that fit the bill. I got to see how each of them looked actually on a table.

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And let me tell you, the linen samples look SO different from the actual linens. Seeing a small piece of fabric does not do the entire pattern of a linen any justice. I remember seeing a few of these swatches in the original linen binder and not liking ANY of them. Seeing them on the table gave me a realistic sense of how my whole table vision (linens, flowers, candles, etc) would come together. Comparing different cloths next to each other allowed me to eliminate linens more easily.

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After a little bit of back and forth, setting and unsetting the table, taking off and putting back on the same linens in different combinations, and changing my mind a couple of times, I managed to pick my dining table linens. I felt a huge relief upon making the final decision. As I started getting ready to leave I was informed that we weren’t quite done yet. Apparently there are a lot of different kinds of tables at a wedding (these linen people are sneaky) dining tables, cocktail tables, cake tables, favor tables, place card tables, DJ and Bar tables, TOO MANY TABLES.

I made some easy choices pulling from my second and third dining table linen choices and assigning  them to the cocktail/place card/favor tables and cake tables.

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I opted for plain white linens for the DJ booth and bars simply because fancy linens for nonsense tables get expensive. We also finalized the exact plates, glasses, napkins, and silverware for the reception. Luckily for me, Raspberry Plain provides gold chiavari chairs free of charge.

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(Source)

And so, after an hour at the showroom, we now have more tablecloths than I ever imaged one wedding could require, FOUR different kinds of linens at that. The consultant gave me little swatches of my final choices so that I can coordinate with the florist (apparently this is necessary) and we walked away unscathed. TADA!

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