Photos of the best day of my life

This gallery contains 36 photos.

As you all know, we finally tied the knot on August 24th, 2013! As promised in my previous post (https://recipesontheriver.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/how-we-planned-a-wedding-for-under-6500/) here are just a few of the many awesome photos that were taken by my friend and talented photographer Tia. … Continue reading

Surviving the last month

So I’ve been MIA again. My last post was over 6 weeks ago, which is pretty terrible, good thing I don’t do this for a living. My list of excuses: wedding planning, turning 30, surviving my Bachelorette Party, buying a new fridge and trying to be a functioning adult to the best of my ability.

Official Wedding Countdown is at 26 Days!!! I finally broke down and installed an app on my Iphone to help me countdown the wedding and our Honeymoon in France (48 days). I’m also horrible with math, besides weren’t apps and smartphones put on this earth to make our lives easier, and also maybe to avoid human contact?!

And yes, as stated in the opening paragraph, I turned the big 3-0 at the beginning of the month. It really wasn’t that bad, I don’t know what the fuss is all about… I should add that I can’t even get a book of matches (the legal age here is 19) with out being asked for ID, so that makes the transition a lot easier. We have very good genes in my family! We decided to celebrate my birthday by having a BBQ on the hottest day of the summer, it was a great chance for our families to spend some time together before the wedding and I got presents and an ice cream cake 🙂 This was also the weekend that our fridge decided to die…. So as a present to myself I bought a brand new stainless steel refrigerator for 730$, BAM! Right in the adulthood.

I would also like to share my bachelorette party experience with you, since I went on a rant (https://recipesontheriver.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/its-all-under-control-i-have-a-nerd-wedding-binder/) about them not that long ago. Let me begin by saying that my MOH (maid of honor for you non wedding people) and bridesmaid did an AWESOME job planning the entire day. They kept me completely in the dark (except for the date) which was fun and terrifying all at once. They started off by giving me my modest “bride to be” light up pin, we then headed to spa for my first manicure/pedicure ever (where have these been all my life?), followed by a trip to the frozen yogurt place (gotta watch those calories!) and then we met up with my mom and a group of my favorite ladies at an Italian restaurant. We then headed over to my house where they presented me with a tiara, sash and feather boa that I had wear while eating penis cake sitting next to an inflatable doll named Peter Peckerhead. It was perfect, they planned the low key and relaxing day that I had imagined and threw in just enough penis cake and feathers to make it a day I will always remember. Thank you girls, from the very bottom of my heart!

Now it’s time for my latest nugget of wedding planning wisdom: Surviving the last month

With only 26 days to go, I’m in the final stretch or “crunch time” as some people like to call it. With good reason, I literally felt like my brain was being crunched by a giant wedding planning troll this afternoon. All these thoughts were flying through my mind, things I need to do, things I don’t want to forget, things that need to be organized, things that still need to be decided… I ended up with a full blown migraine, and I’ll admit I was on the verge of crying. I took a hot bath, lots of advil, and then a nap. Things seemed a little better when I woke up, but that troll was still gnawing at the back of my mind (need more advil). People have been asking me more and more lately if I’m excited for the wedding, to which I have been responding “I’m excited for it to be over”, I call this the wedding planning blues.

Historically the last month of wedding planning is always the worst, any bride will tell you this. And you think “pfffff how bad can it be?”… Let me tell you it can get CRAZY! There are lots of little things that need to be done now, that could not have been done earlier. A few days ago we had to apply for our marriage license, where we live this document is mandatory and is only good for 3 months, so you can’t get it right away, but you don’t want to leave it to the last minute (trust me). I also had to go for my gown fitting, again another important task that can only be completed close to the wedding day. You also have to keep track of all the guests that will be attending, and somehow get a hold of the ones you have yet to hear from, all so you can get a final head count and order enough food for the reception. See, these are all very important things that can not be done a head of time. There are lots more, but I don’t want to be here all night.

So here are my tips for surviving the last month:

1} Go ahead, freak out a little. I don’t mean cry hysterically while ripping your hair out (but if you do, that’s ok too), I just mean it’s all right to panic a little. I’ve been trying to be the calmest bride I can be, but there comes a point where even a usually calm person will reach their breaking point. It doesn’t mean you are weak, or unorganized or about to have a nervous breakdown. It just means you’ve had enough for now and you need to take a deep breath and a step back. Things don’t seem so bad when you can look at them form a different perspective.

2} Make a list. I’m a list kind of person, I make lists all the time, it seems to help me a great deal. But, even if you aren’t a list person, this may be the one time you will want to give it a try. I was getting very worried about forgetting something important, when a friend of mine (and new bride) suggested I make a list, and slowly work at it. I decided one night to sit down an write all the things that were flying through my head, in a few days I had already crossed some things off, and I had added a few things as well. This list also helped me set my priorities, I realized that having my dress fitted and getting the marriage license were the two MOST important things on my list. In reality, even if the other things don’t get done it’s not the end of the world, I can still get married (legally) and all this planning won’t be in vain. You can also find timeline lists at http://www.theknot.com/, they are very detailed, they even lists thing to do AFTER the wedding!

3} Try to be normal. I know, I know. What is “normal”? Being normal for me is routine. Try to do things in your everyday life that you would do even if you weren’t in the middle of planning one of the most important days of your live. Aside from going to work everyday, try to keep your nightly routine as well. If you walk the dog every night after you have supper, make time to do this as often as possible. Also try to keep your sleeping schedule the same, don’t stay up late every night trying to get the place cards done while drinking a gallon of coffee to stay awake. I strongly believe the best stress buster is eating well and getting lots of sleep. Tackling your to do list is a lot easier when you’ve had a good nights sleep, and don’t worry, I have an incredibly hard time turning off my brain at night, so I know this piece of advice is easier said than done.

4} Relax! Do something that you find relaxing. I like to sit in a hot bubble bath and read a good book (which I did this afternoon), writing this blog as we speak has helped a lot, and this weekend we are going to Bar Harbor, Maine for a camping trip. Just because you’re planning a wedding doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have a life! A few people commented that I was taking a vacation very close to the wedding day, shouldn’t I stay home for the long weekend and do wedding stuff? HELL NO! In my case, I don’t get any “real” vacation time until September when we leave for our honeymoon, and if you’re like most working stiffs, you only get 2 weeks off every summer (if you’re lucky). So this means I have not had a vacation in 1 year, and I NEED A VACATION! From work, from life, and especially from wedding planning! I can feel it in my brain, little things irritate me and it doesn’t take much to make me angry/upset/worried, so this camping trip is necessary to my sanity. So find out what keeps you sane and do it, before you turn into a wedding planning zombie who eats bridal magazines and rsvp cards. Besides, if you check off enough things from you list, you can take a well deserved weekend off.

5} Delegate when possible. I’ve mentioned this tip before, but its a good one, so I will repeat it. When it’s possible ask for help, your bridal party, family and friends are all there to help you. They want to see you happy, especially on your big day, so ask for help when you need it. Don’t feel like you need to do it all alone, I’m sure even brides who have a planner still need help and DYI brides need it even more. This tip also applies to decision making, I’ve found myself saying this more and more “do whatever you think is easiest or best”. I’m paying professionals for their services and also for peace of mind. For a control freak this might be extremely difficult, but these people know what they are doing, and do it well. I’m excited for the wedding day for lots of reasons, one of them is to see all the ideas, hard work and planning come together to create the best day ever.

So those are my tips, now if I can remember to practice what I preach I’ll live to write another blog, hopefully a Post-Wedding blog!

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Here’s a picture from our camping trip to Bar Harbor last summer, so you can see for yourself see why I find this place so relaxing 🙂

Will our wedding be one giant “faux pas”?

I decided to take a break from playing Candy Crush (like I need another reason to procrastinate), to get something off my chest. I did the math again, and there is now 95 days till we say I Do! So I had to get back into wedding planning mode, calls are being made, decisions are being pondered and the invitations are FINALLY ready to go.

This also means I’ve been on pinterest a lot, being a DIY bride, I’m always looking for new ideas to make our big day easier and more cost effective. Over the last few months I’ve been reading various blogs about all kinds of wedding planning tips, most of them have been very helpful. These ladies http://confederacyofspinsters.com/ have a great blog, very insightful and hilarious, I like to read their posts when I’m suffering from what I like to call “wedding brain”.

However, I’ve come across some pretty useless and outrageous information as well… I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, writing a blog is hard work (as I have come to realize very quickly), and I know that I have to take all of these “tips” with a grain of salt. I am planning a low budget, laid back wedding, so my posts will be in this style as well. If you’re planning a huge, budget busting, high class wedding, then move along sista, this blog is not for you. But when I read titles such as “helpful wedding tips” or “10 ways to have the best wedding day”, I am very hopeful, only to be disappointed that I will never get back the 10 minutes of my life I just spent reading that pile of nonsense.

Case in point, one post suggested that you are the WORST hosts/humans in the world if you do not have an open bar. They mention that you normally would not ask guests to bring their own alcoholic beverages when you invite them to your home. Of course, in certain circumstance, this is true, but I am usually not in the habit of inviting 120+ guests to my home all at once. If we were having a very small and intimate wedding I would LOVE to have an open bar for my guests, I would also LOVE to own 12 wiener dogs, but that’s not realistic. However, I am not an inconsiderate person, the wedding is on the beach in August, so I will be providing refreshments for our guests, they will be free and non alcoholic.

Another post explained that seating arrangements are necessary so that your guests will not feel stressed out when it comes time to find their seat. I can see this bit of information might be useful if you know before hand that there are certain people that do not get along at all and should not be seated at the same table. I like to think that our family and friends care about us enough to get along for a few hours, and our venue is large enough that people can spread out a little. We also plan on having tables near the head table reserved for our immediate family. For these reasons I don’t feel that a seating arrangement is necessary, I’m excited for our families and friends to mingle and get to know each other, and I can guarantee that the lucky person sitting next to my uncle Louis for the evening will not be bored and far from stressed out.

I also read that having a gift registry is very important so that guests will be able to chose a gift that you need or will enjoy. My fiance and I have been living together for 5 years now, everything we could possibly want or need, we already have. I understand if the couple is just starting out, but honestly, even couples that don’t live together yet probably have enough things to fill two houses! When some couples move in together they have two sofas, two beds, two tables… New towels and an engraved silver picture frame are nothing to sneeze at, but think about it, what is the one thing can you give someone that will make them happy and and they will enjoy/use? MONEY!!! With Canadian couples dishing out an alarming 26,000$ on average for their wedding day (http://weddings.about.com/b/2009/02/11/wedding-industry-still-strong-in-spite-of-recession-necessary-luxuries.htm), don’t you think they could use a little extra cash?

One thing that comes to mind when I read these tips is “old fashion”. Some couples might feel that a wedding filled with customary traditions is very important to them. Several factors play into these decisions as well, for example, your up bringing/values and who is paying the bill. If your parents or family are paying for the entire wedding they will be influential when it comes to the planning. Is your family traditional or more laid back? Will your grand-mother disown you if you do not get married in a church, or is your mother in law to be making her own tie dye dress for the special occasion?

I understand that some guests travel from far away, and that making your guests feel important and comfortable should be a priority. You also want your family and friends to feel like they are part of the day, and we all know that without all of them, it just wouldn’t be the same. But this can be done in simple and thoughtful ways, without sacrificing your budget or your vision of the perfect day.

the biggest piece of advice I can give is to try and plan things the way YOU want to. This can be easier said than done, even if you have complete authority over all the decision making, it can still be very easy to be influenced by others. Parents, the wedding party, planners, professionals, bloggers (ahem…) are all outside forces that can sway your decision one way or another. We seem to get so wrapped up in making sure that we do not commit any “faux pas”. Just try to forget what others will think and plan a day/ceremony/reception that will make you happy. This entire 24 hour period (yes, only 24 hours) is a celebration of you, your partner and your love for each other. It will be over in a flash, and the day after, you should wake up tired, disheveled and happy! And this blissful state should be caused by all the fun you had and the love you felt, and not because your table runners matched the chair covers perfectly.

Here’s a little zombie love from a few years ago, wonder what kind of wedding they would plan? Something outdoors with a brain buffet?!

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