Our Wedding, Part Two

Welcome back! Last week I posted the first half of my wedding update and it felt really good to get the pictures out of the vault and onto the world wide web! Now let's get to the second half of the wedding- the reception! It was super fun and definitely the most fun wedding I've never been to! And I'm not biased or anything, haha.

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We did the typical bridal party entry, and I decided I wanted to do that things they used to do in the old days when the bridal party would stick their arms and bouquets up and the bride and groom would walk through it. We didn’t have a real “bridal party”. We had my parents (short), John’s mom and her escort (short), my sister (short), the officiant friend (short) and John’s sister and her boyfriend. So, they all basically stuck their arms up in the air sort of like a bridge and we walked under. Honestly, I was so happy that we got to do it (cue the fist pump of joy) that I didn’t even notice that they weren’t actually touching.

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We moved into the dances afterward, and John and I swayed to Say You Won't Let Go. We don’t slow dance (ever) and I found it to be sweet but repetitive, so I asked him to twirl me. He asked if I was sure, then gave me a whirl, which was really fun!

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I danced with my dad to Butterfly, Fly Away by Miley Cyrus and John danced with his mom to All To You by Scott Keo.

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Then, we moved on to speeches from John’s brother, my sister, and my dad. I was always curious what my dad would say at my wedding, since he’s a funny and cheesy and crazy guy (see where I get it from?) and he didn’t disappoint. Then, once he finished his speech, my sister came back up and looked nervous. AND THAT’S WHEN I KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING.

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You see, months and months before, I had stumbled upon this video and had half-jokingly sent it to my dad and sister on Facebook, saying that if they didn’t do a Disney parody at my wedding, I would never forgive them. Then I completely forgot about it because you know… wedding planning. So when they came up I knew what was happening. They sang several Disney parodies, including “I Owe” sung to Heigh-Ho from Snow White, all about how John needed to work overtime to pay for the wedding. They pulled out these construction hats and marched in place while they did it, which was hilarious. I hope my videographer captured the whole thing. I’ll post it on YouTube!

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After that, everything was pretty typical. We ate, danced a bit, and cut the cake, then went outside to take some nighttime photos.

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It was raining again at that point, so we got some really cool rainy backlit photos! John wasn’t impressed with the photos at first. I didn’t understand why, because they were GORGEOUS. And he goes, I don’t like that fake starry sky they added. Once I explained to him it was the rain, he loved them as much as I did.

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My sister came out to look for us at that point, and told us that we only had about an hour left to the reception. I had decided early on that I wanted to be 100% present for my wedding, so aside from a couple of glasses of champagne, I didn’t drink until after the cake was cut. I figured at that point, all the “important” stuff would be done, and I could let loose and have fun a bit. We went back to the venue, and I gathered a few of my friends to help me get ready to party. One friend went to the bar to get me 2 of my favorite drinks. My sister and a coworker helped me use the bathroom in privacy, then we all dressed me up from head to toe in my party gear. I met John in the bridal suite, he got dressed, and we emerged.

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Ok, no surprise that I like parties. But, one of my favorite things is light-up stuff at parties. I’m like a kid at heart. On one of our first dates, John took me to a bar with his friends, and a guy was selling some light up necklaces and he bought me one. I wore it until it broke. So, we decided that we wanted the last hour of our wedding to be 90’s music, full of fun dancing, light up party supplies, and laughter! John and I added some special gear to our outfits- a light-up bow tie and suspenders for him, a light-up flower crown and sneakers for me!  No one knew about our plans for the glow-light “after party” so they were all really excited and got dressed up. It made for some really funny and psychedelic photos. Plus have you ever seen a bride wearing glow sneakers under her dress?! Probably not! 

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Everyone loooooved the light up stuff! They all got decked out in necklaces, rings, sunglasses and bracelets. The DJ took requests, so everyone was loving the music! Seriously, the dance floor was so full and it seemed like everyone got up at some point to dance! It made for some amazing and pretty trippy photos.

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We added in some Greek line dancing (of course) and watched as some of my parents’ closest friends knew all the moves despite not being Greek, and watched our friends struggle to keep up. Overall Greek dancing is fun either way, since you’re basically in a long, winding line and moving along while kicking.

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The last hour lasted a little longer, since we had an extra hour with Our DJ contracted and the venue was able to clean up the tables while we played and danced. Another reason why the Woodloch was amazing! So we ended up with probably an extra 30 minutes of fun. The day flew by, so I was happy to get any extra one to relax and enjoy myself.

Our Wedding, Part One

This morning I woke up to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Sure, it’s a cheesy love song like any other, but for me it reminds me so much of my wedding day. It filled me with such immense love and emotion today that I decided to sit down and finally write the recap of my wedding! For those who don’t know, John and I got married on September 2nd, 2017, after being together for over 6 years. It was an absolutely amazing day (despite its imperfections) that flew by so quickly. I wish I could go back and live it again, this time with understanding eyes. It was so surreal at the time that I felt like I couldn’t process what was happening. After nearly two years of being engaged, and all the wedding-related struggles I could hardly believe the magical day had finally come. 

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Our wedding was held at the beautiful Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA. It was about 2-3 hours away from most of our family, so it ended up being a nice weekend away for most people. Those of us involved in the wedding drive up the night before to drop off all the supplies, us curly haired girls had our hair pre-straightened to save time the next day, and we had the rehearsal dinner. Once we arrived at the resort, it was a whirlwind. We rushed over to the salon, then got dressed, went to the venue, and started assembling our lantern favors with a team of about 8 friends, family members and 2 wedding planners from the venue. Our  rental car (a huge SUV) was stuffed to the max. We even had to get a cargo box for the roof rack! The lantern favors were packed nice and compactly in their boxes, so we decided to make an assembly line the day before to quickly assemble them in the place where they would be handed out. Then we did the rehearsal (which, for some reason I was SO stressed about) and went over last minute details. Then we rushed back to change for the rehearsal dinner. There was barely enough time for a shower so I didn’t even get to wear makeup. Then, we got there and no one was ready yet! So, I was probably the most casual one at my own rehearsal dinner haha. I was originally supposed to stay at the rental house with my sister, but my stuff was all at the house with John (we rented our own small house) and I decided to stay there. It was probably better, because I know my mom was stressed out so I probably wouldn’t have been able to sleep! 

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The day started like any other. I woke up next to John, and we excitedly realized that this was our wedding day. We got dressed and got ready to part ways when we realized it was FREEZING outside. Early September is usually warm on the East Coast, especially since it’s right at the end of the summer. 80’s are a norm. The whole month was filled with 90-degree days. We woke up to like, 40 degree weather! It was also unbelievably foggy and misty. Although the weather called for possible rain later that day, I remained hopeful that we’d be able to have our outdoor wedding ceremony. 

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The rest of the morning was a whirlwind. We all gathered at my parents’ rented house and the stylists came to do everyone’s hair and makeup. I didn’t have bridesmaids (only my sister as maid of honor) but I wanted to take photos with some of my closest friends, so I offered them the option to get their makeup done. About 3/4 of the way through my hair & makeup, my photographer Lora Reehling came and started taking photos. It still felt 100% surreal. For starters, I didn’t think to request the nicest home available, so my parents ended up in a basic house filled with plaid wallpaper, red floral curtains, and wood everywhere. I can’t do anything but laugh about it now, but it made for some interesting photos.

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I want to take a minute to talk about what I wore, especially that dress! As you may remember, I tried on about 80+ dresses before I was just about ready to give up. I tried on nearly every ball gown-style dress in my price range, and nothing felt right. I kept thinking that maybe a ballgown wasn’t the way to go, but I kept being drawn to them, so the attendants would keep bringing them to me. I know a lot of brides don’t want a ball gown, but try one on and fall in love. I figure this is probably why they kept bringing them to me. I was the opposite. I wanted to wear a ball gown… it made SENSE for me to wear a ball gown. But I would always start by telling them, I tried on a lot and I want to try other things. As soon as I tried this Maggie Sottero dress on (with the intention of wearing a poofy ball gown skirt over it, by the way) I immediately knew it was exactly what I wanted. It had the sweetheart top, the fitted bodice so you could actually see my body, and a poofy skirt at the bottom so that you could get that princess vibe that we all knew I needed. Every other dress I tried on, I kept wondering if John would like the way it looked. When I tried this one on, I didn’t even question it. I knew he would love it, and more importantly I loved it! Since I had originally planned to wear a blush pink dress and instead wore ivory, I went with blush pink accessories. My shoes were by Badgley Mischka and they were pefect! I knew I needed a wedge for an outdoor wedding, and I loved seeing all the shoes with amazing rhinestones online, so I needed a pair for myself. I loved the scalloped design on the wedge. It was very Little Mermaid, which fit in perfectly with my wedding decor! Then, my veil which was custom made in PINK TULLE! I knew I wanted a pink veil when I saw one on Facebook a while back, and I kinda wish I had been braver and gone with a slightly bolder pink. Most people didn’t notice that it was pink because it was so subtle, but it really matched the whole ensemble well! 

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Ok, back to the wedding day! We took some group photos with my girls before I started to get dressed. That’s when I started getting the calls, since rain was on the horizon. They asked if I wanted to move the wedding indoors, and I refused. I said that unless it was actually raining, I would get married outside no matter what. The outdoor ceremony is what we loved the most about Woodloch, so I wasn’t about to give up that easily! As I was getting dressed, John and his family were outside taking photos.

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Once they were done, it was my turn to go outside. And almost like twisted fate, JUST AT THAT MOMENT, it started to pour. I was ready to curse the skies, but my photographer leaped into action and found an area under a tree that had natural cover. We stood under there taking photos for at least 30 minutes with barely a mist coming through. Unfortunately though, it was during these important photos that the calls started coming in, asking if I would make the decision to move the wedding indoors. We still had about an hour to the ceremony, so I said that unless it was raining at the time of the ceremony, I did not want to move it indoors. Well, after about 30 calls from the venue (and John) asking if we could please finally move it indoors, the decision was made when the ceremony sound guy said that he would not be putting his equipment outside in the wet grass. Having a silent wedding where the officiant is screaming so everyone could hear her was not my idea of fun, so I finally agreed to have it indoors. (PS- still mad that it rained that day!! It was the only cold and rainy weekend day in all of September).

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The next 20 minutes or so was such a blur. I arrived at the venue and was whisked into the bridal suite while John waited near the bar of the main dining room. Everyone lined up to go into the ceremony while I hid in the bridal suite downstairs, waiting for my cue. That’s when they told me that John, who barely shows emotion, was already crying. He had insisted to me, and everyone else, that he definitely would not be crying. He didn’t understand why anyone thought he would cry, yet here he was! Already crying before even seeing me. Once John was safely inside the ceremony room, I was led upstairs. Up until this point, it all seemed surreal. When I came up the stairs, rounded the corner, and saw my sister, I suddenly realized this was really happening. We are very close in age, so we would always talk about our wedding days and I always knew she would be my maid of honor. Seeing her all dressed up- with her hair done and makeup on, holding a bouquet- it slapped me right in the face with emotion. And for a second I really thought I was going to start crying right there. Luckily, it went away as fast as it came, because I didn’t want to mess up my makeup! Haha.

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It finally became my turn to enter, and the doors opened. It’s so surreal when this happens. I know I keep saying that word, but it’s the only thing that described it! As I walked towards John, who was full on weeping at this moment, I found it so strange that he was the one crying since I was the one that would cry randomly just thinking about the wedding for the past year.

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The ceremony was performed by a longtime friend of mine, Sable, and she did an amazing job. It was personalized, sweet, and funny. We decided we wanted a short ceremony and to write our own vows. Unfortunately, we didn’t set the time aside to actually write our vows, so there we were on the day of our wedding, scribbling away. Surprisingly though, our vows came out really good! I definitely operate better under pressure (as my college career filled with all-nighters had shown me) so waiting until the last minute ended up being just fine, although a little bit stressful. 

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Although weddings are generally pretty serious, there will always be those awkward or funny parts that make it human, real and relatable. For instance, my flower girl decided her moment in the spotlight wasn’t over, and refused to walk down the aisle more quickly. She stole the show and everyone loved her, so I’m 1000% ok with that!

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Then, when it came time for the vows, I thought that my officiant had been given my vows along with her speech, which the venue had printed for us. She said it was time for my vows, and I looked at her while she looked at me. Then she looks at me semi-sternly and says “yours vows!”, assuming I hadn’t heard her. I look at her, then John who’s waiting patiently, and I say “I don’t have them”. Everyone gets awkward, like uh oh she didn’t write them! But then the wedding planner for the venue came rushing up the side with the printed vows and we all had a laugh as I jokingly pulled an imaginary piece of paper from the only place I could have hid them, my cleavage. 

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Then, the most “important” and funniest part of all. In the Greek Orthodox church, after you’ve been married by a priest, the maid of honor comes up and takes these special crowns called stefana, and exchanges them on the bride and grooms heads 3 times. Then, she holds them in place as you take 3 steps around the altar, symbolizing your first steps as man and wife. We did not get married at a church, so I wanted this symbolic walk around the table as man and wife to be included. We practiced it about 10+ times the day before the wedding. I didn’t want it to look awkward. We had the whole thing DOWN and ready to go. Except, we got married inside which was MUCH smaller than outside. And my dress’s train was MUCH longer than any of us (even me!) had anticipated. So there we were, walking single file, with my sister trying to hold her dress, my dress, and the crowns. At one point, John’s brother had to jump in to hold my dress for me as we all circled the table in giggles while everyone laughed along. John had practically left us all behind, and it’s actually one of my favorite memories from the ceremony. It’s a reminder that plan as you will, things can always go wrong!

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As luck would have it, the rain stopped just after our ceremony (ironic much?) so we were able to go outside for some photos. We did our family photos at the top of the hill, then ventured down towards the lake for “bridal party” photos and our one-on-one session. Although I am still a little bitter that we got rained out of our outdoor ceremony (cue exaggerated fake cry), I am really grateful that we were able to take some gorgeous photos by the lake. It truly was an amazing location to start our life’s journey together.

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The Truth About Planning a Wedding

Wedding planning seems quite glamorous. You get to try on gorgeous wedding dresses, you get to pick flowers, look at beautiful venues, create a stellar guest list, be the center of attention. There are so many little, amazing details, and as an added bonus, you get to tell the person you love that you want to be with them forever and ever. It's going to be the greatest day of your life. No pressure. 

However, no one expects how unbelievably stressful wedding planning can be. I sure as heck didn't expect it. I love planning parties. A wedding is basically just the biggest, greatest party ever, right? Riiiiight. 

The truth is that there's a reason why so many couples say they're happy it's over. While most engaged couples start out with a dream in their heart and a twinkle in their eyes, they quickly realize they are in over their heads. And guess what- it's ok! So whether you are currently planning, already had your wedding, or still willing your boyfriend to ask, here's the truth about wedding planning. 

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Your budget will double and it'll make you want to cry.

They always say, take your budget and double it. And people scoff. I know I did. "No way," I thought. "I can't even afford to double my budget." Next thing you know, you're eating ramen and walking 5 miles to work because you had to invite your college friends, wanted the better photographer, or just underestimated how much everything would cost. Hint: it's probably almost double what you think it'll cost. 

Your family members will have their own expectations for the day.

Although it's your wedding, everyone thinks it's their wedding. But remember this: unless they're willing to pay for it, they don't have a say. That means that if your parents think you should get a nicer venue for your rehearsal dinner, they need to pay for it. If your grandmother wants a church wedding in addition to your outdoor ceremony, she needs to fund it. Or, if your mother in law thinks that each person needs an invitation with hand calligraphy instead of printed, she needs to pony up the cash. If you did what everyone wanted, you'd go crazy, broke, or both. So choose your battles and what you'll allow other people to dictate for you. Chances are, when you ask them for for the $1k or $7k to fulfill their request, it won't be quite so important to them. 

Your partner might not care about the little details and it'll make you want to cry.

Even though it's so important to you that you decide between satin or linen napkins, your partner might not care, at all. Same goes for picking individual flowers for the centerpieces, whether the women should get corsages or pins, and if the bridal party should wear open or closed toe shoes. And at some point, the unreasonable bridezilla in you will rear her ugly head and make you want to cry. You might even actually cry, and say things like "do you even care about this wedding?!" The truth is that with all the tiny decisions you're faced with (that seem monumental to you) there's a great chance you'll get overwhelmed. And your partner may get overstimulated and give up on decisions. It's all normal, it's all ok, and it'll all get figured out. 

You won't be able to find your dream dress, or be able afford it, and that'll make you want to cry.

There are so many gorgeous dresses out there. There's one for you. And that's what makes it even harder. There are SO MANY dresses and you can only choose one. It's ok. Try on as many as you want, but create a deadline for making a decision. The only thing worse than wearing the "wrong" dress is wearing no dress, or wearing the only last-minute choice you could find. Don't do that to yourself. You might be in the bridal salon, or watching Say Yes To the Dress, near tears. It's a stressful thing, and those gorgeous dresses change from something so fun to those mean biotches in high school that made you second guess yourself. Don't give the dresses that power. You'll find the right one for you. Finding a great guy you want to spend your life with is even harder, and you found that, right? And I bet he thinks you're beautiful no matter what.  

Did I mention you'll want to cry?

Because you will. Over napkins, over your dress, over your mom hurting your feelings. You name it, it'll make you want to cry. Movies, touching photos, videos of a puppy getting rescued. It'll all bring you to tears. So go ahead and cry. Or eat a bowl of ice cream. You'll get over it. And it's ok to cry. Wedding planning is emotional! 

Your wedding isn't as important to everyone else as it is to you.

There will be people that you really thought would be there. And they won't. And you'll definitely be mad, and you'll definitely judge them. But that's ok, you can decide whether or not to go to their wedding. Kidding! Kinda... Just know that just because people don't make it doesn't mean they don't care about you, no matter how much it'll feel that way. And the truth is that you'll be so busy on that day, you probably won't realize. Plus they'll see photos of what they missed out on and they'll have serious FOMO from then on. 

Time is a tricky little thing.

It's constant, and yet it seems like it can go quicker or slower. Waiting for your fiancé to ask you to marry him for 12 months? Brutal. Planning your wedding in 12 months? Where did the time go! You'll think you have so much time to plan, until you suddenly realize you don't have nearly enough time. Print out one of those timelines and check things off as you go. And also know that there will be things you do in an opposite order. That's ok too. We picked out our rings before we picked out our wedding song. So be it. As long as it gets done, that's all that matters. 

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The little details will kill your budget.

Favors, wedding programs, calligraphy, tips for the staff. These are all things that'll throw your budget off track. Create a list of things you need to pay (like tips) and the things you want to add on (like wedding programs) in order of cost and/or importance. Then, add them in as you go along and see what budget you have left. Or, just throw caution to the wind and keep buying until you empty your bank account. That's an option too. 

Everyone and their mother will ask how the planning is going.

And they don't really care that much, so don't start ranting to them about the florist picking lilies when you told her how much you hate them, and did you mention how the venue changed their carpeting and now it doesn't match the table linens anymore? How could they do such a terrible thing to you on this most important of days?! Instead, be prepared to answer with some generic cheerful but funny stuff, like"it's going well. Luckily we can agree on what to watch on tv even though we can't agree on which color linens to get." This way, people aren't afraid to get married, or to ever ask you anything again. 

Don't sweat the small stuff.

"What do you mean blush pink and carnation pink look the same," you'll wail. But your partner won't know what to say. And your mom might not, or your sister, or your friends. And that can get stressful when you're trying to make a decision. So, if you find that everyone is baffled and doesn't know which pink to go with, or they all say "I don't know, it looks the same to me," chances are your guests will feel exactly the same way. So, seriously... don't sweat the small stuff. There are so many parts to a wedding and in the end it'll all fit together beautifully. No one will notice and if they do notice and have the gall to point it out to you, eff em. Someday they'll get married, or their kids will, and they'll see how hard it is. With so many big decions to make, don't make yourself crazy (or broke) over the small ones. 

You'll want to elope about 17 times.

You'll joke at first like, "wow, we could have eloped and gone to Europe for a month with all this money." Then you'll get stressed and say, "if we had eloped we wouldn't have had to deal with this stress." Then it'll turn into "hey if we elope now this will all be over and we don't need to worry about Aunt Tricia arguing with Uncle Hank and if grandad's allergies will act up in our outdoor ceremony or if it's ok that your mom wants to wear off-white. Let's just run away, ok?!" Somehow you'll power through it all and enjoy your wedding day. And you'll agree that it was all worth it. 

Pinterest is a trap.

I love Pinterest just as much (or more) than the next gal. It's great for finding ideas and inspiration. However, it's also a perfect way to feel inadequate with your wedding choices, find unnecessary ideas that'll blow your budget, and cause you to pick out trends that you actually don't even like. So, use Pinterest wth caution. Remember that most events you see on there were done by a professional, and even though something might not look expensive, it very well could be. So do your best, use it for inspiration, and don't let Pinterest bully you. 

Phew, that's a lot! I hope you're all laughing and nodding in agreement right now. Or, thanking your lucky stars that you're still single or that your wedding planning nightmare is over. The truth is that although it's stressful, you've got to find the fun in it. This is your wedding. Make the planning process fun. You'll (hopefully) only do it once. And if you have to do it twice? That's ok too. You're better prepared the next time around ;)

What's one thing you didn't realize about wedding planning until you were too far into it? Was there anything you'd do differently? Any advice for couples in the midst of wedding planning? Let me know in the comments below!

Wedding Planning Update- Less than 1 Week!

The wedding is only a few days away, and I truly cannot believe it. It feels surreal, and I can't wrap my head around it. I don't know what to do! Here's what happened the last few weeks, in my very last wedding planning update!!!! 

I got sick. Twice. 

I went with my sister to Mexico, and caught a stomach bug. I was on antibiotics for a few days, during which I felt absolutely dreadful. The whole she-bang lasted about a week and a half and I finally felt better in time for my bachelorette party. Fast forward a week and I've got a sore throat and a bunch of people at my job are sick. That sore throat turned into a full on cold- we're talking runny nose, body aches, cough... the works. Why me!? It's ok though, because I'm determined to stay healthy (hah!) for the wedding. Throwing all the positive vibes out there!

I called all my vendors. 

I set up calls with all my vendors to follow up on all the services we will be receiving, the time they'll be arriving, and payment due dates. I also informed them of any last minute changes that happened. It's reassuring to check all the boxes and make sure that everything will be perfect on the big day! 

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I had my bachelorette party. 

Aside from my "sister bonding trip" to Mexico, I had my bachelorette party! My sister planned it amazingly. She did a tropical flamingo and pineapple theme, and she decorated our hotel room beautifully. It's such a shame that our hotel room had such terrible lighting, but don't worry. I collected everything she brought (except the balloons) and I'll be doing a blog post about it for you guys! 

Planning for the unknown

As the forecast changes every 2 minutes, I'm basically unsure what the weather will be like on Saturday. Will it rain? Please no! It's an outdoor ceremony! As I beg the weather Gods to throw me a bone here, I have to plan for a rainy day wedding. I'm ordering cute umbrellas for the photos, planning decor for an indoor ceremony, looking up rainy day wedding photos for inspiration. I even ordered myself a cute pair of rain boots! 

 

Tying up loose ends

I've spent the last few weeks running around to get everything done. I really wish I didn't leave so much for this week (or like, anything besides getting my nails done) because it would have been nice to be able to relax and rest instead! My fiancé luckily did not catch my cold, so he's been extraordinarily helpful and I really owe him one! 

 

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Picking up my dress

Since I've basically been sick all of August, I've been losing weight like crazy and my dress doesn't fit! I was supposed to pick it up on Saturday, but I lost enough weight within 2 weeks that it was falling off of me. I started doubting that I picked the right dress, sine I couldn't even sit it in properly! I was very nervous to pick it up this week, since I've been sick and barely eating all week and I couldn't imagine it fitting. Luckily it fit perfectly, and I can't wait to wear it!! 

Finalizing the seating chart

We had a few last minute additions to our guest list (yay!) so we adjusted our seating chart and began working on creating the tags. My printer decided to suddenly stop working (fun!) so I might just get that new printer I always wanted. We're thinking of getting this one! It's affordable, prints over the wifi, and does great photos!

Final Thoughts

My catch phrase for the past week has been "no rest for the weary". I really just need a nap but there's so much to do! Nonetheless- I need to feel better, so I'm getting all the rest I can get. Whatever doesn't get done won't really matter in the end, but how I feel on that day is important!! 

Phew! Can you believe this is my last update before the wedding!? I kinda can't. I'm only sliiightly excited for the wedding, mostly because the dominant feeling is terrified. I really hope I get better in the next few days!! 

Any other brides out there leave stuff for the last minute? Anything that you gave up on since there just wasn't enough time? Let me know in the comments! 

Wedding Planning Update- Just 1 More Month!!

You guys... YOU GUYS!! There is exactly 1 month until the wedding day!!! Holy cow, where did the time go?! I swear it feels like just yesterday that we picked out our venue and really started planning. At the same time, it feels like a freakin eternity that I've been planning this wedding!! 

If I could describe the last month in one word, I'd probably pick hard. Or emotional. Or "the worst". Yep, with the pressure of the wedding day fast approaching and the flurry of RSVP's coming in (or not coming at all...) I'd say this month was one of the hardest so far. Let's see what happened, shall we?

 

Hair and makeup trial/trip

I did my hair and makeup trial! Since my wedding venue is about 3 hours from my house, I decided to do a weekend trip over there with my gals so they could give me advice and also see the venue. We traveled to Honesdale, PA (about 30 mins from our venue) and stayed at a cute little hotel. We had some laughs and dinner/drinks, then went for my hair and makeup trial the next day. I originally wanted a natural look, but I realized that translated to slathering me in makeup and trying to make me look like myself again. It resulted in me looking like a fake version of myself! So I decided to go a little more glam and I liked that look much better. I can't wait for John to see me on the day of :) 

 

John suit- picked up

John's suit got picked up and all his alterations are done. We also picked out his shoes and belt, tie, etc. All he needs is probably a shirt, because the one we bought a few months back is a little loose on him. I'm so excited to see him all dressed up on the big day. 

 

First dress fitting- done

I had my first dress fitting last month, and my amazing seamstress is stitching away to make my dress look dreamy on me. I'll be heading over next week for my second fitting! I'm so excited to see the dress when it actually fits on me. I'm kinda nervous, because what if it doesn't look as good as it did with the clips?! Wedding dress shopping is so stressful. Guys are lucky they only need a suit! 

 

Custom made veil- ordered!

I wanted my veil to have a little something extra, so I decided to make my own. However, that was going to take time I don't have so my lovely seamstress/designer is going to make one for me! I'm so excited to see how it turns out. It's got a little something special, and I'm so excited to wear it. 

 

Crafts Day- Done!

I gathered up my friends and family for a crafts day this past weekend. I had so many things on the to-do list and so little time. It was great to have an assembly line of people ready to help. I don't think I can emphasize enough how amazing and relaxing it was to have everyone there helping me. I finally felt like I could breathe for a minute! I highly recommend having people over to help. I have some tips here

 

Wedding Ceremony- Planned

Can you believe that we didn't have our ceremony planned, like at all?! We are having a friend do the ceremony and we finally sat down this past weekend to get the details laid out. She's going to draft something up for us within a few weeks and then we'll do a trial run! 

 

RSVP's- Returned

This month we sent out our wedding invitations and got back our RSVPs. Since our wedding is somewhat of a destination wedding, we had sent them earlier to make sure people were able to reserve their rooms, which were blocked off until 6 weeks before the wedding. Getting back RSVP's was one of the worst parts about planning so far. First off, I recommend adding an option for online RSVPs. It's not only cheaper (a special bonus) but it's easier. We sent out so many cards that weren't returned and got texts back instead. Postage wasted! 

Then, the actual responses. I already knew that people (mostly on my side) were a bit unhappy with the distance of our venue. The truth is that it's a little far (about 2 hours away for most people) but there were family members on John's side where they would have to travel about 2 hours just to get to our house, or other areas that were close to my family. Stuffy reception halls, the same ones everyone else had their weddings and parties over the years, was not where we wanted to have our wedding. It resulted in John getting about 6 no RSVPs and me getting a whopping 30+. This included friends and close family members. And I'd be lying if I said that each one didn't feel like a small stab in the gut. 

 

Seating Chart- Done

While the RSVP's made me want to crawl in a hole and cry, the seating chart kinda put things back into perspective for me. John and I used this method to do our seating chart, and it was actually extremely helpful. We picked different colors for each of us, for friends and for family, 4 colors in total. I realized that although John had nearly all his family coming, I still had a lot of friends (that I consider family) and some of my parents' close friends that I have known for YEARS coming. Seeing all my pink and purple seating tags made me see the people coming, instead of only focusing on those who can't. I'm still trying to get over the rejected feelings I have for those not coming, but I at least feel better for now. 

 

Emotions- All of 'Em.

Ugh, this month was a rollercoaster of emotions. I don't ever want to do that again haha. I had the highest of highs (OMG our wedding is only x days away!) and the lowest of the lows (Why doesn't anyone love me? Why did we bother to throw a wedding if no one would come?) I felt pretty shitty for a large portion of this month, as I anxiously waited for RSVP cards from guests who had only complained about distance, or otherwise made my wedding seem like an inconvenience to them. For a little while I thought I'd only have my closest friends and my parents there for me. I feel like I sound like a whining baby but seriously, you don't realize how upsetting it is until you see all those "no" boxes checked off. 

 

My Wedding Hashtag Got Stolen-

I almost forgot... someone took my wedding hashtag! I first searched the hashtag when I picked my venue and literally no one had ever used it. I tagged a pic of my venue with it. Within a year, 2 people had used it and one more is using it after my wedding! This was another irrational freak out I had (Bridezilla coming out) but I decided to just ignore it. In the end, I know I used it first, plus I own the URL. As a friend said... "hashtags are a trend. URLs are forever." So everyone's going to have to sift through some other brides to find my photos (hah!) but I'll keep posting my stuff on there too. That's what happens when you go from a practically non-existant last name (Sarlis) to a popular one (Cardona). 

Also a note- your wedding hashtag is supposed to be UNIQUE. So, don't use one that someone else already did.

 

I feel like this post was heavy, so I'm going to try to wrap this up with some advice, and maybe a positive note? Ummm... uh.... don't focus on the people that didn't come. Focus on the ones who did. Any time someone says something negative, remember that they aren't criticizing you, but they're just upset about how if affects them. Then, re-read a text from someone that was excited or call a family member that you know is excited. Tell them something fun and positive you did (We just ordered the favors!) and see how they get all excited. For every Negative Nancy, there's 5 others that are Happy Harriet's. (that's a scientific fact, but don't look it up :p). Also you get what you put in- so if you call a family member to complain and be negative, you'll probably breed more negativity and it'll be harder to shake. So try to focus on the good. Easier said than done, but that's my advice :p 

 

Need to do:

Bachelorette party- later this month I have my bachelorette! We are going to Philly, and I'm really excited. I've never been to Philly before, but my sis went and it seemed colorful and fun. She was telling her coworker about her upcoming trips and her coworker was like, wow you guys like Pennsylvania, huh? I guess we do! We're going 3 times this summer, between the trial, bachelorette, and wedding haha.

Final fitting and jewelry- I need to get my dress all perfectly fitted, and I need to get some jewelry to go with it. I also need to decide what I want. Dangly earrings, or studs? Necklace or no necklace?! I have no idea, but I need to decide soon!!

Finalize the little loose ends- I created a Trello board a few months back and added in all the tasks, and it's actually been really really useful! I think I'm going to do a blog post about it, because it's really helped me to stay organized and get everything done. I'm down to the last few tasks, and yet somehow my board looks just as full as a month ago! It's amazing how many little things there are to do for a wedding!

Looking for some party planning tips?

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Phew! I'm tired. This was a rough month of planning, but it's over now, and the wedding is so close I can practically see it. If I have time, maybe I'll do a post 2 weeks before with some last minute wrap ups and details. Otherwise, your next post will be from Mrs Cardona herself!!

So... any last minute advice? Did you get really bummed over your RSVP's? Think I'm simply crazy? Let me know in the comments below!