Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not motivated for a wedding....

Ok so don't read into the title just yet! It's not what you think.

I had lunch with John yesterday since he's been working a lot lately and we barely saw each other this weekend since I was visiting my sister. And the conversation went a little something like this:

J: I was thinking how awesome it would be to receive pictures of you for my birthday since it's my last year as a single man.

Me: (almost spitting out my food) What? Umm you mean boudoir photos??

J: What are boudoir photos?

Me: Who put this stuff in your head?

J: No one, just a random thought.

Me: Normally a bride gives her groom the day of the wedding boudoir photos.

J: Oh, I didn't know that.

*side note: his birthday is in the middle of August*

And so the conversation continued on but I wasn't sure if he was serious or not. This came from way out of left field. I wondered who put that bug in his ear! My first reaction was not a good one but I didn't let him know that. I just kept it inside to boil. This was just so random I was still in shock. I didn't even think he knew about pictures like this.

I've never really given the idea some serious thought. I personally didn't think he would like a gift like that. I saw Mrs. Cola's Boudoir photos on WB recently and they looked amazing and she's like me "size wise" so I knew not to worry about that.

So I came back from lunch and couldn't stop thinking about this random conversation we just had. I really would love to surprise him with a little black book of photos but I don't think I have hundreds of dollars to spend right now. So I took to the classified section of WB to see if anyone is offering boudoir sessions in the NYC area. My search didn't go far since the listing was one of the first ones. Laura Pennace is a photographer who is looking to expand her work outside of wedding photography. I was shocked at the price! I thought it would be at least $1000 for a session.

So I contacted Laura and we exchanged e-mails back and forth all day and it was so easy to talk to her and ask questions. All of a sudden I got this sudden urge to get my butt to the gym so I can look good in these pictures. I thought to myself, ' a wedding doesn't motivate you but a boudoir session does. Huh, that's kind of funny.'

So as you can see the title of this post isn't what you thought it was. I am still so excited for this wedding, 81 days!

I am meeting with the photographer today to discuss ideas and get to know her better to establish a level of comfort which is her number one concern. I'm very excited and still a little in shock that I'm actually going ahead with this.

More details to come.

Have you considered a boudoir photo session?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reality Bites....

I've been a bad blogger and I haven't updated you on a sensitive subject but I was honestly waiting for the outcome to write this post. Remember back in April I wrote about the decision to not invite his father? If not, click here.

About two weeks into May I got a text message from my FI saying to send an invitation to his father and not asking any questions and to just trust him. Ok. I wasn't exactly happy with that text but I trust him and I sent it out that day. I honestly did not think that was a smart idea because I'm sure by now (this was in May) that they got word other family members received invitations and they didn't. I was right. His sister mentioned to us over Memorial Day weekend that their father was upset he didn't get an invitation. Now it looks like we sent one just because he was upset when really my FI wanted to do the right thing and let this be his last attempt at reconnecting with his father.

It makes me sick to my stomach waiting for their reply. RSVP due date was June 1st and of course we still get responses to this day. And today was the day I opened up the envelope and saw this:

Sorry for the sideways photo but my computer is being weird and it automatically uploads like this! So tilt your head to the side if you haven't already and take a look.
CLEARLY they checked off 'will attend home reception' and then crossed it out. On purpose? By accident? Definitely on purpose and to make a point. I'm livid and I'm hurt. Its not that I didn't see this coming but you always hope to see the good in people. I called John up and told him and he just said "ok" like it was nothing. I know what happens when he is quiet like that. It will take a couple minutes to sink in before the emotion starts to show. A few minutes later I got a text saying that he will cut them a check for $800 (if you don't remember that story click on the link above) that he owes them (from 2002!) and a letter to his father which he says will now be easy to write. That's $800 that could be used to celebrate our wedding without them BUT its his money and if that's what it takes to end this chapter in his life than I'll stand by him. I don't agree but I support him.
I know that we are only months away (86 days to be exact!) from our wedding and to focus on this negative energy is a waste of time. We have the people we love sharing our special day with us and that's what should matter most. Gosh, it's easier said than done! I want to send back the RSVP card in a frame that's engraved saying "Best Dad Ever!" It's taken a lot of strength to hold back from dialing his step-mother and going off on her. But I won't.

I will just sit back and hope one day his father looks back and realizes how big of a mistake he made by not being part of his son's life. Karma.....(and now I break into a little singing ditty of Justin Timberlakes "what goes around comes around" LOL...laughter is good).
Any drama making your blood boil lately? Do you find the closer the date, the more emotions come out (i.e. drama)?

With this ring....

...I thee swoon. Or drool!

I received my wedding band in the mail the other day and I can't take my eyes off of it. Way back this winter I explained that my engagement ring was a green diamond. Oh, you don't remember? Read here. So when it came time to pick out my wedding band, it was easy as 1-2-3. I wanted a matching band. So I called up Diamond Nexus Labs and spoke to a representative. She was super sweet and she remembers working on my appraisal for my e-ring. How cool is that?? She looked up my information and had everything ready to order. It was that simple. It would take a week to create since it's a custom order and then a couple days to ship.

Say hello to my little friend.....

This little box comes in a bigger white box with a beautiful green bow and Godiva Hot Chocolate. I forgot get pictures of that since I was ripping the box open at the time, can you blame me??

Oh it's such a beautiful sight. I didn't want to take it off. And no, I don't think it's superstitious to 'try' it on before the wedding. I wanted to make sure it fit right (wink wink).
Tried to take a snazzy photo with the ring box but it didn't exactly work that way. All these photos are courtesy of my 5mp camera phone. Not bad to be honest!

And there you have it folks. Just another thing to check off the list! I couldn't be happier with our choice and I absolutely love working with this company. Not only are we doing our part for the environment but we also aren't breaking the bank.
Have you bought your band yet? Are you happy with your results? Does the box stare at you and call your name out to wear it? LOL

Friday, June 18, 2010

A little getaway 3 months prior

So yeah....today is officially 3 months until we get married!!! HELLOOOOO people! Remember when I was kicking my heels for it only being 7 months?!! Honestly it's really starting to kick in that the big day, the day I've been dreaming about since I was little is around the corner!

Since most of my vacation days and all of John's vacation days are being used for this wedding we have decided to get away for the weekend to relax and de-stress! We normally take vacations every 6 months so we are dying to go away right about now and we can't. So we are going camping with our favorite couple (and also his best man) in Eastern CT!! We went camping at the same place we did last September and had such a blast that we wanted to go again when it was a bit warmer. It's a great little getaway that doesn't cost much and we can enjoy the scenery, play games, grill on a open fire and drink beer! woohoo!!

Our campsite and hopefully the same one this time around. Little funny side note: our tent is the brand new Coleman one (orange) and our friends is the 1987 coleman version (just guessing). On our last day we woke up to a rain storm our friends old tent was swimming in a pool of rain and leaked while our tent was dry. Needless to say we bought them a new tent for our adventure and it happens to be the same tent we have so we should have no problems this time around!

Our friend Bob playing the ladder game. Ever place this while talegating?? It's awesome!

Snuggling by the campfire. *side note: this was 2 weeks before we got engaged*

End of September can be cold so we huddled by the fire.

Anybody else using all their vacation time for their wedding? If so, what are you doing to get away from the planning to unwind?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Relief at last!

So much weight has been lifted off my shoulders after this past weekend. Why you ask? Because I got to FINALLY reunite with my dress after a 6 month separation period. Remember I had a moment of insecurity and doubt? Well all the fears have gone away and I can finally sit back and know that I picked the right dress! I fell in love with it all over again! My sister helped me get it on and once it was zipped up I had the biggest smile. Although I freaked out a bit when I couldn't zip it up myself and my sister had to help but it's all good now.

I absolutely love everything about the dress and I didn't have to use 'chicken cutlets' for the "ladies" like I did initially since it made me look flat chested. Not anymore, woohoo!

I love the back, it's my favorite part of the dress and exactly why I opted out of having a veil. I didn't want to take away from the dress by wearing one. I also used my hair pieces to see if it flowed with the outfit and I couldn't be happier with my choice. My sister absolutely loved the look and asked me, "say Yes to the dress?" LOL
I'm hoping my mother can help make a simple little bustle using the buttons that go down the back of my dress since it's a smaller train. I really don't want to spend money on alterations since I don't need anything else done.
I didn't want to take my dress off to be honest. I just fell in love all over again and it made me so excited for the big day. 95 days away!! How is your dress situation going? Have you tried it on since?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

With this watch I thee wed

Ok not really but it got your attention, right?!

So let's talk about the groom's gift or shall I say the gift I'm going to give my husband to be. Now that sounds much better!

Since John works in construction he doesn't get to dress up nicely as often and as an electrician he really shouldn't wear metal (i.e. rings or watches) since they conduct electricity. So you'll probably ask yourself at the end of this post, "so why did she buy him that?" but hear me out first.

Before he got into the construction business he used to own a bunch of nice watches and loved wearing them. Although he lost them all especially one that his sister gave him for her wedding in 2005. He always mentioned this one watch which was made by Victorianox. I've had the idea of getting him a really nice watch for a while now, more like since he first mentioned it. I thought getting him another Victorianox watch would be a safe bet since he loves that brand and get it engraved too.

So I found the perfect watch but the price was astronomical! So I waited and kept looking at other websites to find a better price and I'm glad I did.

At the time gemnation.com had this watch for almost $200 off. Isn't it gorgeous?!! I was waiting for my bonus from work to buy it and it's a good thing I didn't because I had the pleasure of hearing him mention what kind of watch he liked during a recent trip to JCPenny's.
Here's how it went down: We were shopping with his step-father in JCPenny's for shirts and we were bored so we walked over to the jewelry/watch section and I didn't even say a word and he goes, "If I had to pick a watch I would pick this one" and points to a watch by Relic; which I never even heard of, and it had a blue background. The watch wasn't much money either and I just stood there freaking out on the inside and being calm on the outside.

I came into work the following day and looked at all the blue backgrounds that Victorianox makes and LUCKILY the watch I originally wanted is also made in blue. Phew! AND I could get it for $200 off and engraved. Life is grand!
I showed the picture to 2 of his buddies for their opinion (also showing the other watch) and they both picked the blue as well. So I bought the blue one and got it engraved. I'll share my engraving story at later time since it needs its own post.
Four days later I get this lovely box in the mail. I was so excited and I couldn't wait!

It came with a 2 year warrenty and a manual. I realize that this box is a bit big to hide and I have to think about who I can give this to without him noticing!

This picture isn't very clear but the blue background ISN'T as blue as the picture above and I was a little disappointed. It was more like a blue gray-ish which reminds me of the color of our dresses...which I guess isn't so bad. I really do love this watch and I'm still uber excited to give it to him.
Are you getting your fiance anything for the day of the wedding? Anything unique and cool?

Friday, June 4, 2010

This will be me in about T minus 2 hours! Happy Friday everyone!!!! My best friend Diamond in the Rough is in town for a wedding so we are going to be hitting up Happy Hour tonight. I'm very excited to see her!

Also, I have an appointment tomorrow to get my hair colored. Looking to go blondish (gulp). I have had people comment on a picture I posted on social media site about how they love me with lighter hair. I have natural light brown hair so I can get away with it although I just started tanning (don't scold me for fake and baking I can't have any tan lines!) so it might not look great right away. We shall see.

This is the picture everyone kept commenting on. This was taken September of 2006 just after me and my FI reconnected. So cross your finger that the boat load of money I'm spending is worth it!!

What is everyone else doing on this beautiful weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Generic Thank You

I always get excited to receive thank you cards from friends and family that got married not only for the picture(s) but also the sincere hand written note. I like to know that they took the time to personally thank us for being part of their day.

I"m not sure if this is a new trend but I just received a thank you card from my FI cousin who got married in October (yeah way to be proactive and send them 8 months later) and it was really unique. It was probably done through shutterfly or snapfish and a mural of pictures from the big day. I love the concept! Only downside was a generic computer generated message went along with it. No hand written personal thank you, just the same generic message everyone got. Isn't that kind of inpersonal? I mean we gave a very generous monetary gift and that's the thanks we get?!!

I understand that sending out thank you notes and writing each card is time consuming and boring but I really think it means a lot to those who receive them. What are your thoughts? Have you received any generic computer generated thank you cards?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just throw it in the bag..Part 2

My prayers have been answered in the land of wedding planning!! Remember how I couldn't decide on what kind of bag to use for our OOT bags in the Dominican? Well I owe my life to the Dollar Tree Store BIG TIME! I found L.L. Bean-like bags for $1 each! Yes you read that correctly - $1 each! If I could moon walk right now at work I would but I'd probably trip on my own feet and fall so I will just dance in my seat!

Our neighbor had the box by accident for the day so it was a pleasant surprise at 9:30pm to receive a knock on the door. It was such an easy process and shipped within a week!

Assorted colors that are perfect for the beach! "Large 19x6¼x14" totes are made of a canvas-like polyester with double-reinforced flat bottoms, handy front pockets, and comfy double-reinforced carrying straps. Material also has a water-resistant coating on the inside for wet towels, suits, and more."

Big enough to fit a towel, flip flops, sun screen and more! I loved the durability too.

Of course I had to try on to show you the actual size since it can be hard to tell in pictures. Little known fact: I shoved paper towels in the bag to give it shape.

I was able to be 36 bags for $36! Here I was about to spend anywhere from $6-$19 each on bags. So happy with my discovery. I highly recommend using these bags for that beachy tote look. I even used it this past weekend as an overnight bag to see how well it withstood all my clothes and hair products! Little known fact: I even brought it to work with me today!

I wanted to thank you all for your suggestions in my earlier post! What unexpected item did you find that made all the difference in your planning? Was it a favor? Decorations?

*all photos taken on my personal camera*

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Turbulent Tuesday!

After a busy holiday weekend I truly hate coming back to work. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way but I also couldn't sleep last night since I started to really feel the stress of planning a wedding. I thought this wouldn't happen to me until later but its started.

But first a lovely picture from this past weekend at one of the many BBQ's we attended.

ugh i'm so pale!*Personal photo*

Ok I've already expressed my concern over what to put in my OOT bags for guests. This past weekend I decided to go on tripadvisor.com to check out the reviews on the resort since I haven't done that in a long time. Seriously what was I thinking?!! I started to read the reviews of guests who stayed at the resort over the last couple of weeks and the negative comments started to get to me. As a former travel agent I stressed to clients about reading that website and that everybody has different opinions and to not take focus on them. Ha! And here I am going against my own advice, smooth move Kristen!

I laid in bed as my mind raced a mile a minute. "What if the check-in process is horrific and they don't have their rooms ready? What if the adult upgrade we paid for isn't worth it? What if they don't like the restaurants? Are my OOT bags too big? (more on that later!)"

I could go on and on with my concerns. Remember we vacationed at the sister property two years ago while this resort was being built and I hear nothing but fantastic things about the other resort. I chose to go with the newer property because of the higher quality rooms and the Elegance Club option which is for adults only. I fear the upgraded option might not be worth it and my guests will think this all was a waste of money!

As I sit here and write this I battle with myself. I know this is all part of the experience of getting married but at the same time I can't help but worry about what my guests will think! Have you started to stress about your big day? What were you worried most about it?