Happy Turkey Day! I wasn't going to blog today, since it's a holiday, but I slept in today, and I'm all amped up to have tomorrow off again. I know I should be in bed, especially since I'm going Black Friday shopping tomorrow with my nephew (a tradition we've maintained for the last three years), but I simply had to share my wedding/Thanksgiving annoyance.

A.P. and I decided not to make the Thanksgiving meal this year (we did most of it last year - see pictures below). Instead we went to my mother's. Everyone brought something simple and my mother had the turkey made by this Chinese restaurant (which I know sounds strange, but was soooo delicious). It was a simple meal, and most of my family was there. It was low key, but exactly what I needed.

Since A.P. and I finalized our date last weekend and have our venue and our photographer booked, we figured we would start telling people the good news. It's been a big issue for a lot of people, most of all for my sister. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before (and I'm too lazy to look through old posts and find out), but I should preface this story by telling you all that in between my brother being in the hospital and my mother having surgery, and A.P.'s mother passing away, my sister dropped this bomb on us that she and her husband would be moving to Bangalore for two years. When she told me this, I was excited for her, and she kept asking me if I was freaking out. I didn't get it, but then it sunk in: she was worried I'd be mad because we'd be getting married next year. I was very honest with her; I told her I was happy for her and thought it was a great opportunity, and if she could make it back for the wedding, great, and if not, oh well. She swore up and down that it was important to her and she would make it.

Since she broke that news, I've had a lot more time to process her decision and while I'm still excited for her, I've realized that, like most of the decisions my sister makes, this decision was steeped in selfishness. When she volunteered to move for her work (note the word volunteered...she was never required to do this for work), she gave no thought to the fact that we were getting married, or that my father was turning 80 and is not in the best health mentally (we think he may be showing early signs of dementia or have some sort of memory-related disorder). She didn't even, in my opinion anyway, think much of her husband, who was just getting started in a career change. She thought only about how it was a great opportunity for her career, which is all she ever thinks, talks, or worries about. She's a workaholic. That's really not an exaggeration. And as further proof, I offer you this little fact, which is that since we announced our engagement she has only talked to me about the wedding on two occasions: 1. to ask when our date was so they could finalize their plans, and 2. to ask me "why i am getting married" (she was trying to convince me to buy a car instead of having a wedding, but that's how she started to make her point).

So, I suppose it shouldn't be a shocker that she kind of put a damper on our date announcement to my family, but it still sucks, and it caused some major tension. Here's how it went down: So my whole family is sitting around the living room, and I sort of get everyone's attention and say, "So we set a date...March 27th." And before anyone else can say anything, my sister blurts out, "Are you trying to kill me?" in this super dramatic voice. I think she was trying to be funny, but it came off really, really rude. So I replied, in a slightly bitter voice, "Well, actually it's not about you, so..." Needless to say she ignored me the rest of the night, and pretty much walked away shortly after I said that to her. After she did, I said to her husband, "Is it really that bad that it's on March 27th?" He told me that it would be hard for them to come back since they're leaving 5-6 weeks before, but that I was right, it's not about them. He told me they would really try, but that it might not happen. I honestly told him that because of work, it was either then or summer, and summer was a bad option for half of our guests. We have at least 1/3 of our guests coming in from out of town! If we had a wedding during the summer, not only would we have to pay more, but so would our guests flying in from places as far as England (and now Bangalore!). It isn't fair for us to plan a wedding around two people, and disregard 18 others.

I don't know...what do you all think? Was I wrong to snap at my sister? I'm not at all saying we're changing the date...we really just can't, but should I have factored her into our decision making more? I kind of feel like it's our wedding, and we should choose a date that works for us and makes us happy, not the other way around. Is that selfish of me? I'll let you ponder that while you check out these photos of our turkey day spread last year. Hope you all had a drama-free holiday!


Theresa Scarbrough Rocks!

Who is Theresa Scarbrough, you ask? Why, our wedding photographer, of course!

While many of you know I've got nothing but mad love for Jeremy Lawson, and I was hoping he would be our photographer, it just wasn't meant to be. For one thing, he was already booked for the 27th of March, and for another, even though I think we would have splurged and booked him, we really couldn't afford him. Our budget is 10K for EVERYTHING in a BIG CITY. Yikes! His cheapest collection was $3600. And while I truly believe he is worth every penny, I know someone somewhere was just trying to let me down easy when I found out he was booked. Because otherwise I know I would have proceeded with booking him, and felt guilty about it the whole time, and probably for years to come.

I was pretty bummed when I found out he was booked. I almost wanted to postpone the wedding and pick a date when he was available (maybe even a month or two after the 27th so that we could save up some more money to hire him), but with my work the way it is, I really can't just take off any old time, especially since this is my first year. Gnome sayne? (Read that out loud for it to make sense). Anyway, I searched and searched and searched, and finally found our saving grace. Not only is her photography amazing, but her style is incredibly similar to Mr. Lawson's! And the decision was cemented for me when I was perusing her blog and I got to the first post, and guess who I saw a picture of? Her and her friend JEREMY LAWSON.

I'm a big believer in signs, and things feeling right. This feels right, and that was my sign from whomever that I had found our photographer. Seriously, the more I look at her photography, the more excited I get to see our wedding photos. Plus A.P. and I have decided that she's a total steal! We predict that, like Lovely, Theresa Scarbrough will cost more money in a few years. They'll both realize that they're undercharging for their awesomeness! I secretly hope that they don't ever change though. Finding these two gems has made us feel more confident about our wedding, because we know we're getting great deals for amazing services. I would never want to rob other brides who are trying to DIY stuff, take it easy, and have a beautiful wedding but not blow a down payment on a house on a wedding (though some might argue 10K is that much, but in a huge city, it's a super, super low budget for a city wedding - read: actually in the city, and not the far, far suburbs). I hope that everyone feels as lucky as we do to have found their vendors, photographers, etc. It's always nice to know that you're working with good people, especially on a day when you just want to sit back and have fun.


Things We've Got Done, Things We've Nixed

So, have I told you all that the surprise wedding is out? Among other compromises I've made (note the I, not the we), I nixed the surprise wedding aspect. I dreamed of having a surprise wedding for years. YEARS, PEOPLE!! A.P. always (lied and) told me he was on board with that. Turns out? Not so much. First he was worried that none of his family members would show. Understandable. I came up with the engagement party idea. Problem solved, right? Yeah, again, not so much. Then, he proposed to me mega-early (something which still bothers me, btw...not so much because it put a damper on the engagement party plan or anything like that, but rather because while it was a really good time for him to get engaged, it wasn't really for me. I was just starting a new job, and it's been hell on earth planning a wedding and staying alive at my job.). I again nixed the engagement party idea, in favor of what I thought was a better plan, one that was a little more foolproof. I decided we could still do the surprise, but tell people it was a rehearsal dinner and then have them show up and ta-da...wedding! But this turned into yet another argument, and I gave in. It still makes me angry that I had to compromise on something that I had wanted for so long, whereas A.P. has barely done any wedding planning and certainly hasn't had an idea of what he's wanted in terms of a wedding for anything longer than a few months, but I am learning to get over it. (Read: I'm getting my way on EVERYTHING ELSE!!! Haha!)

That being said, we've done some major things on the whole wedding front. First we officially have our date: March 27th, 2010! Assuming we don't have any emergencies, and can save the money in time (so far, so good!). We also have our location: Lovely: A Bake Shop. How adorable is the name alone??? As I told you many months ago, I found out about our location through A Practical Wedding. They featured The Maiden Metallurgist's wedding on there, and when I was looking at it, it was like seeing the location I had pictured in my head for so long. Seriously. I had always envisioned this eclectic mix of tables and chairs, and lots of vintage items at my wedding. Does this fit that bill or what? (I can't do my normal Polaroids because these are panoramics.)

Lovely will be the site of both our ceremony and our reception. We decided to have it all in one location to save money and headaches. I was born and raised Catholic, but am currently living large on my heathen status, and A.P. is an atheist (which some of my family still doesn't know about), so there was really no reason to have our ceremony in a church. Lovely has a cute little courtyard, where the ceremony will be, and the dancing after dinner. Also, since no one in my family has bothered to ask me if I need any help with the wedding (they haven't even asked me if I've done any planning...lame, huh?), I figure it's not really a big deal to them where or when or how I get married. The only thing anyone seems to be worried about in my family is if we've chosen a date (mostly because they're concerned about themselves). We met with one of the owners of Lovely this past Saturday, and despite my initial fears about having the wedding there (the owners are opening a new restaurant and were really, really slow in getting back to us about things), I left feeling really confident and happy about my choice. They were brutally honest about cost, gave us pointers about how to save money on various things, and never once made us feel like they were trying to sell us anything. We're super excited!

Stay tuned...I'm planning on making a full time comeback to blogging this week (well, except for Thanksgiving...duh...gots to eat me some turkey). I'll also reveal our photographer, and some other fun wedding details!! Yay!


The Show Must Go On

Guys...I am so, so sorry that I haven't been blogging. As I've mentioned previously, it has been a crappy past few months. It feels like ever since we got engaged, bad things started happening. What a bummer! And more importantly, what a damper on wedding planning.

First there was the job, which I love, but I'm not certain I can handle (or at least I can't continue like this). A.P. keeps telling me I work investment banker hours, but sadly, I'm not an investment banker. It never seems to lighten up, and it's kind of slowly killing me. I have no life! Seriously...not only do I not blog, but I don't even read gossip anymore. WHAT THE WHAT??!!?? I have zero time for me, and that means everyone else suffers, too. My family is wondering where I've gone. My friends have barely heard from me. So much so that it's all I can do to hold out hope that they still love me enough to come to the wedding.

Then, two weeks after starting my new job, my brother landed in the hospital. My mother, who would normally attend to his health, was in Florida having a surgery. So I had to run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to stay sane, cope at my job, and deal with a sick mother and brother.

Then, just as we finally got into the wedding planning, and were enjoying the calm after the storm, a hurricane of sorrow hit us like a ton of bricks: A.P. lost his mother. We had to attend the funeral in Florida (which also cost me near $500!), and while some wedding planning was still be done, it was mostly shelved for obvious reasons.

Now it's mid-November, we're still holding out for a March 27th wedding, and we have ZERO done. It's sad. It's pathetic. And it has us questioning if we're sane.

Can we do it? I don't know. But hopefully, now that things have FINALLY chilled a bit, I can blog and you all can help us determine if it's possible! (Or make fun of me in the comments for pretty much losing my mind...just wait until you guys see what crazy things I'm trying to get done in four months!)
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