Wednesday, July 13, 2016

121 days and counting

Monday marked the four month countdown until the big day!

I celebrated by paying for the next chunk of our wedding at the venue!

In the spirit of wedding planning, I figured I'd share some updates:

1) I updated our {wedding website} to include information on the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  Since our venue was named a

they're rather busy and have an afternoon wedding on the 10th.  This meant our rehearsal had to be at 1 pm, which is ridiculously early.   They have more availability on the 9th, but that's really not fair to our out of state bridal party members to have to pay for another night at the hotel.

I let our bridal party know of the confirmed time last night and know some are unable to take the day off work.  Luckily we have a super smart bridal team and they know how to walk in a straight line.  

We haven't finalized the dinner part of the rehearsal practice, but I'm strongly leaning towards a Mexican restaurant.  Afterwards, interested ones will be headed to Gilley's at Treasure Island on the Strip for some free line dance lessons and a good time.

I picked Gilley's not only because I frequent there, but it's a smoke-free establishment, has no cover charge on Thursdays, is all ages until 10 pm, and offers free line dance lessons. There is live music at 9 and the Toughest Cowboy competition at 10 pm.  It's also located inside a casino, so those who aren't brave enough to try the mechanical bull or show off their line dancing skills can gamble or grab drinks.

Disclosure: I plan to leave at 9:15.  (A show at TI starts at 9 pm and there's a lot of elevator traffic at that time. I've been stuck in that crowd one too many times!)  My MOH and I are doing a bestie sleepover the night before the wedding. I want a full night's sleep, but some Netflix and popcorn time first.

2) We submitted our passports.  Mine was a renewal but his was a first time, so we had to go to the post office in person.  Luckily the closest post office (a mile away) is open on Saturdays (and it only took a hour to get an appointment!).

One of us is clearly excited about passports...

...and one of us is B.  CVS's prices increased from the last time I did my passport (a decade ago?), but it was still significantly cheaper than the post office (which was charging $30 to unprepared applicants--yikes!)

The good news is I renewed my passport before it expired AND I can change my name for free within a year.  Since we aren't taking our honeymoon right away, there will be time (7 months in fact) for me to deal with all that name change hoopla.   My loving husband to be also commented that my first passport picture looked a little...assassin like.  Luckily round two is much less Jason Bourne-esque.  

3) We confirmed the wine choices for dinner and the wedding day menu.  My favorite type of wine wasn't an option (and I'll stick with champagne...or Jack & Coke), so I turned to my aunt, MOH, and MOH's mom for adviceEveryone had pretty much the same opinion, so that's what I went for!  (Neither my mom or his mom are big wine drinkers, so I outsourced the decision to loved ones.) 

4) My bridal shower is coming up at the end of the month. My future MIL is hosting it at her house and I'm super excited for a champagne brunch with the gals.

We did invites from Shutterfly:

I'm super impressed with the quality and the speed of Shutterfly.  Plus, I'm discovering they're like Kohls in the sense that there's always some sort of sale occurring which is excellent for those who are fiscally responsible, but also like pretty shiny things.

 B is getting fitted that day with most of his groomsmen and his dad, so while they are off on their manly adventure (I think lunch is happening too), we'll be sippin' champagne and playing party games.

I'm not allowed to help with any of the set up (or even allowed to see the house before the shower).  My future MIL has banned me from helping because she wants to pamper me, which is incredibly sweet. I told her I feel really bad not helping because I don't want to come off as a diva bridezilla, but I lost the discussion.  My lovely gals (the ones who are able) are heading over the night before with all the decorations and games while I sit at home binge watching TLC.

5) The invites...

I was bound to have a bridal freak out and it so happened to be with regards to the invites.  They have not been ordered yet and I know that's breaking lots of wedding taboos.  With our wedding package, we have credit on their website towards our invitations.  The first ones we liked were $200 over the allotted budget from the venue and that wasn't even including the 150 cocktail napkins we're supposed to be ordering.  Yikes! Not doable.  So we went to our second choice (my first choice!) for invitations.

There's pretty wording on the front that says "love is in the air".  However, the wording cannot be moved and with almost all our pictures, part of B's face was covered up.

One set of engagement pictures worked with the invites.  However, it was the pictures around the crashed airplane...

As amusing as it would be to have a crashed airplane with "love is in the air", that doesn't really say formal wedding invite.

So we're retaking pictures with our photographer on the 23rd of this month.  Our friend did our first round of pictures, but our wedding photography package includes a free engagement shoot (which we didn't know about until recently).  So we're going to Red Rock at sunset and our photographer knows which invites we want to do, so she'll make sure to take them with a lot of natural scenery on the left side of the shots.  We'll use the rest of the shots to make our photo guest book.

6. The guest book
Speaking of the guest book, B changed his mind.  I've {shared about these} before:

But he's worried it won't be large enough (and he may be right, just no one tell him I said that!)  So we'll still use one in our pictures, hang one, but will have our guests sign our photo book.  (Which again, we'll totally utilize a 40% off coupon from Shutterfly!)

Plus guests will be less likely to skip signing the guest book because it's a tad more traditional (an actual book as opposed to a painted sign).   

7. Logistics.

I shared pictures of our card box, table numbers, and so forth with our wedding coordinator.  I'll be delivering all the of the decor at the rehearsal and will get to enjoy the morning of my wedding without stressing about setting up.  We've got a few small things left to figure out, but we're in really good shape!

Up next?

Making the ring box (spoiler: it's an old copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that will be made into a book safe.  The chosen chapterThe Unbreakable Vow.)

Finalizing and laminating some photo booth signs (once again, Harry Potter themed!)

Ordering groomsmen giftsHe knows what he wants and I've contacted a few Etsy sellers to ask for a discount because we're getting so many. (No shame!)

Ordering a large gallery portrait for our guest table (and you know, wall in our home).  Our friends Kurt & Olivia had one at their recent wedding and it was gorgeous.
Figuring out transportation after the wedding.

Pair up the groomsmen & bridesmaids.  We don't know who is walking with who and should figure that out.  We don't have even numbers, so some of my girls will be spoiled and walk with two groomsmen.

Finalize wedding music.  I know what I'm walking down the aisle too...but we've got a big bridal party and they don't want to walk in silence.  One wedding we've recently attended had an accoustic version of the Friends theme song and it was perfect.  Another had the epic instrumental music from Jurassic Park (where they first see the dinosaurs) and that was beyond perfect for their wedding (which also included dinosaur cake toppers dressed in wedding garb).  To the uninformed guest, it was really pretty orchestra music.  I've been vetoed on the Harry Potter music and Batman theme songs, but I've got a few ideas I need to run by B. 

Booking the groomsmen suite.  B thought he could just get ready at the house...with all the pets. I vetoed that. If I get a room and all my girls over for a morning of snacks and pampering, then he should have the same.  Except the boys room will have significantly more beer and less champagne & fruit.  He claims they'll feed themselves, but I'm ordering some sandwich platters from Costco for the rooms.  It'll be cheaper than 10 men finding food in the hotel (or ordering room service).

Dress fitting (August 7th). 

The vows...I should get on those.  We're having our lovely officiant proof them before hand to make sure they sort of go together.  I'm aiming for a nice mix of sweet, sentimental, and a tad sappy.  Our wedding is a serious event, but I also want it to reflect the fun side of our relationship.  B has been informed that under no circumstances will his wedding vows include references to bodily noises.  Yes, I had to explicitly state this expectation because I know my future hubby's sense of humor. 

The honeymoon.  B finishes college next June (he thinks...maybe May) so we're working around that major life event. 

I've shared before and I'll share again: a long engagement is the way to go!  

A year and a half has been perfect. I've had time to shop and wait out sales. I've had time to spread out purchases.  I've had time to ponder my options and make informed decisions.  Plus (perhaps most importantly), I'm enjoying this process with B. 

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