Even though I secretly dislike going to Florida with A.P., that trip did us some good. It wasn't relaxing, per se, and we were definitely happy to be home with the animals, and sleeping in our beds again, but we were so occupied with family and friends, and gifts and food, that there was no time to think or focus on wedding planning. It gave my mind a break, which was nice (and totally in line with half of the advice posted in response to my last blog entry).

We got back on Sunday and took it easy and then A.P. had the day off yesterday. We did wedding stuff, and everything we did took a load off my shoulders. Originally I was going to silkscreen the invites. There are only going to be about 45, and I figured it wouldn't be that hard. But finding time was becoming an issue, and truth be told, I'm not some master silkscreener. I had no idea where I was going to find the workspace since we are already running out of room (our tiny dining table is covered in wedding crap, and there are shopping bags underneath the table filled with crap for various DIY projects). So I finally made a decision that we were just going to have them printed. I didn't even care if they were going to be printed at Kinko's. I just didn't want to deal with this cloud of getting these invitations done.

So yesterday, we went to Kinko's and asked some questions about high-resolution printing and blah blah blah. We got a quote back, which was super cheap. We left feeling okay about our decision. We knew they wouldn't be that beautiful anymore and that they wouldn't be anywhere near as handcrafted as we wanted them, but they would be done, and sent and out of our hair. From Kinko's, we headed over to our friend C. Blonde's house. C. Blonde is designing our invites based on a sketch I made and some text I drew up in a font/pattern that I like. This is the other thing that was stressing me out about the invites: C. Blonde. C. Blonde is awesome, but she is kind of nutty sometimes. I had wanted to stop by and drop off the sketch, and explain to her how I envisioned our invitations, and she told me to just put the sketch in the mail. I didn't think she'd take it seriously, and so I kind of already imagined crappy invitations. Anyway, I didn't have stamps, and so I didn't end up sending out the stupid sketch. After Kinko's we were heading to Paper Source, and C. Blonde's house was right in the middle, so I figured we could just drop it off. I anticipated putting it in her hands and leaving, but she was actually really cool. She talked to me about what I wanted, and let us pick out the colors we're going to use, and yeah, I'm excited to see what her version of our vision turns out to be. Once we get the digital proof I will post it here.

The other thing that happened on our visit with C. Blonde is that she made me feel really calm about getting these invites done in time. I told her I was freaking out and that I was worried these weren't going to get done in time, and when I told her that we just needed them by the end of January, she goes, "You mean you don't need them in 2 hours?" and started laughing. She told me that was plenty of time to get everything done. She's also having them printed at her printer, which means, that while we're not back to individually handmade invitations, we will at least have high end printing. And we ditched our trip to Paper Source altogether, because we're getting it direct from the printer now through C. Blonde's connection. All in all, it was totally worthwhile for me to go drop off the sketch directly. It made me feel so much calmer about the whole ordeal of these invitations.

The other big relief is that I finally handed off some projects to A.P. One of the big struggles with A.P. doing any wedding related projects is that many of them require him to be more, ahem, creative. He's an analyst. He thinks with a math/economics brain. I can't ask the man to go to a thrift store or an antique shop and magically find objects to fit into the vision for our centerpieces that is in my head. So I was having a hard time handing off projects to him. But I finally came up with two: music and hotel. Since 1/3 of our guest list is coming in from out of town, we will be in desperate need of some hotel rooms come wedding day. I started to do research, but with all the other projects that need to get done, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the hotel project done. Then I delegated to A.P. Makes sense for him to take on that project. After all, it's part of the planning, and it's not something you have to be creative to do. I also asked him to start compiling music lists. I'm going to find some other projects he can help me do, but I feel better that I just asked him to do specific things, rather than "just help." It's also made us less naggy with each other. We'll see how it goes, but for now, it's a weight off my shoulders.

Stay tuned...I'm posting some centerpieces, some major details about our wedding and details from my first wedding dress shopping experience! Hope everyone had a good holiday!


Okay, I'm Kind of Freaking Out

Seriously. What have I gotten myself into??? I haven't blogged in a week and a half because I'm overwhelmed. I'm on a diet that isn't going so well as of last Thursday because of the holidays AND because I'm on vacation for the next two weeks. This means, I'm hungry and cranky all the time. I haven't done ANY Christmas shopping. Christmas is FOUR days away. We're going to Florida for Christmas to be with A.P.'s family. Half of my wardrobe is soiled and in the hamper. We have exactly THREE months until the wedding as of this coming Sunday and we have SO. MUCH. TO. DO. So, I ask you again: WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO???

Here's the reality of the situation. I'd like to lie and tell you that wedding planning is bringing A.P. and I closer together. I'd like all you girls out there who aren't engaged yet to believe the lies and the fantasy and the commercials that show the man super into it and doing everything he is asked to do. I'd like you to believe that wedding planning is heavenly and romantic and will make you feel like you are the world's only couple in love every day of your damn life, but I'd be a huge, fat liar. And I'm already kind of fat, so I don't need to add liar to my repertoire.

The thing is, I know that many of the blogs that I read even would like you to believe that men do so much when it comes to wedding planning because it's meaningful to them, too. But here's one of those few times in my life where I cross the aisle and join my average joes, and their football jersey-wearing wives. Men hate wedding planning. Even if you've got yourself a man who is doing it, they are HATING it right now as we speak. They are texting their football watching buddies (and their football jersey-wearing wives) and griping about picking out paper for the invitations. They are just being nice. They do it because they love you.

And then there's me. I'm the girl who knows this about men. I have three brothers and a bevy of male friends. I should know this about men. And so because I know this about men, I don't push A.P. to do a ton when it comes to the wedding. Sure I bitch and moan and complain about doing everything and I passively aggressively make remarks about the fact that I asked A.P. to revise the budget spreadsheet over a week ago and I haven't gotten it yet, BUT I DON'T PUSH. I just come home from my long ass day of work, and start working my second job as a party planner. And for the most part I enjoy it. I really do. I like planning parties and always have. I love picking out small details. I love how everything comes together. And I love the actual party: the nonstop fun, the memories, the laughter.

But this time, I am in over my head. There's just too much to do, and it's coinciding with too many other big things: my first year at my new job, my family's health problems, my sister moving to India for two years, A.P.'s mother passing away, the holidays, A.P.'s 30th bday, my 29th bday, and so much more that I'm probably not considering or can anticipate. And look at what we still have left to do:

- invitations (HUGE PROJECT!)
- hotel for wedding prep and for wedding guests
- favors (HUGE PROJECT)
- rings
- still need stuff for the centerpieces and for the reception - thrifting (HUGE PROJECT)
- music lists for cocktail, ceremony, dinner and dancing
- vows
- honeymoon
- registry (HUGE PROJECT)
- photobooth props
- attire (A.P.'s and my own)
- place cards

So, I ask you one final time: WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO??? And more importantly, how do I get through it? I'm writing A.P. an email right now telling him he no longer has a choice. He simply has to help me, and pretend he likes it, because I just can't go to the store and try on his freaking suit for him, and I just can't pick where we're honeymooning. I can't hand make 50 or so invitations and mailers. Because if I do, mark my words people, I WILL LOSE MY MIND.

On the plus side, I finally figured out why people have attendants. Because you throw shit at them to do, and they do it. Perhaps that's really my issue...I should have asked people to be my "throw shit at people" people.


What Has Two Thumbs and Is Getting a Photobooth for her Wedding?


The thing about having a 10K wedding in a big city is that you have to cut a lot of corners and DIY so much stuff yourself (or at least outsource those DIYs to crafty friends). One of the big debates in this household has been what we want to splurge on and what we want to save on, namely in the photography department. Though I haven't taken many photos since I started my new job, photography is important to me, and I love taking, having, and looking at photos. So I knew right away that I wanted a great photographer. Enter Theresa Scarbrough. Check and check. However, I also knew that I wanted a photobooth. I know it's becoming a cliche for weddings to have photobooths, but I have a good reason for wanting one so badly...I love photobooths!! Seriously, you should see all the photobooth pictures I have. When I travelled throughout Western Europe in college, every city I went to, I found a photobooth, and took pictures in it. If I met random people and ended up spending time with them, or if I was visiting friends, I dragged their asses in with me! Last year on A.P.'s bday, I planned a whole day of chasing down photobooths and taking our pictures in them throughout the city. Did I mention that A.P.'s bday is in January and there was snow on the ground and it was like 30 degrees out and we do NOT own a car?? Yeah, see? I'm pretty serious about photobooths.

So imagine my deep, deep disappointment when I couldn't find ANYONE who would charge under $1500 for a reception-length rental of a photobooth (and we're talking a real photobooth here, not the box that some photographers set up and 20 people can fit in there). When we went to visit Theresa Scarbrough, A.P. put the final kibosh on the photobooth (a conversation which later turned into fight, btw). I was so sad about it for so long, but finally decided that maybe I could settle for one of those boxes that some photographers set up and 20 people can fit into. I didn't want that, but I would be happy with it. In my search for a cheaper option, I happened upon Photobooth Express. Oh. My. God. AWESOME. They have totally reasonable packages and are willing to work with you on timing and things of that nature so that you can get the most out of your package. Needless to say, our wedding will have a photobooth! And it's the classic kind...updated so I have digital copies, but otherwise the same. Sweet, huh? I know we're probably still running a slight risk of going over budget, but in the long run, I know I'm going to be sooo happy. After our down payment the amount we have to scrape together is less to 1K, which makes it a little more doable, too. I figure, I can always scrape together some cash for the big dream.


It's Been So Long Since We Danced

First of all, I have to say (and I know it's not humble to say this), but yay me for FINALLY getting back into my blogging routine. Maybe it was because I was sick this week and took a day off work, but I finally had time to read and catch up on a lot of my old blogs, and can I just say, it's crazy how much has changed! Some people announced that they're pregnant, and some people wrapped up their first 100 days of marriage. So much happened, and it was so nice to get back to my old "friends," that it reminded me it had been forever since I did the blogging stuff I used to do...like the ol' Friday dance. So here it is...in all it's glory: a fabulous new Friday dance. Enjoy!

First, let's give my mom props for finding this wedding recap on Project Wedding. My mom sent it to me so I could read some tips this bride had for saving on my money, and it was worth the read (though I felt like we're already doing a lot of the things she suggested). But more importantly, it was my mother's first foray into the wedding blogosphere.

This made me crack up so hard, I almost peed a little.

The goal? To make A.P. more like this husband. Tell me you don't swoon when you read this story! Plus, one of the biggest reasons I read this blog (besides the craftiness of the mom) is because those kids are so freaking adorable!

A.P. and I already have our guest book idea figured out (we'll share more on that later), but if we didn't, I'm loving this idea featured on Victoria with Roses.

I secretly hope it rains so I get the opportunity to wear some kickass wellies like this bride.

I'm loving this poster and am tempted to buy A.P. one for his wedding gift. But I think I should find something more "manly."

This isn't wedding or relationship related, but I with just a few weeks before Christmas, I need to get more into the holiday spirit, and this adorable and easily crafted advent calendar seemed like a nice holiday project.

If A.P. and I hadn't already bought our chalkboard to display our menu and program, I would have totally done this:

Image via 100 Layer Cake

After all, it's super cute, and super easy and affordable. Oh well. There's always the next wedding. Just kidding.

How cute is this DIY engagement session? Our photographers rates for the engagement session are really affordable, so we tacked it on to our wedding package. But for those of you looking for engagement photos, but who can't afford a wedding photographer to take them, I'm loving the idea of asking someone you know who is a good photographer. (Plus look at the results! Fantastic!)

And finally, I don't know if it's because my dad was in the hospital this week, or because when we asked my friend Sea Shell (obviously that's not her real name) to officiate the wedding yesterday she asked me how we were going to incorporate my being Indian, but this wedding was really speaking to me this week. It made me hope I do my father proud, but at the same time, despite it's beauty, I realized that kind of wedding wouldn't be me either. And it certainly wouldn't be A.P., the whitest white boy.


Oh, Lord!

So ever since Thanksgiving when I announced that we had a date, my mom has been my biggest wedding confidante. It's gotten...weird. I'm actually shocked. But that's sort of my mom. One minute, she'll tell me she never thought I was the marrying kind, and the next she'll be emailing me suggestions (which she's done...more than once, and she even found Project Wedding!) Considering that the rest of my family is getting annoying about the whole wedding (this is why I wanted a surprise wedding, people), I am actually digging that my mom is getting really involved.

But then last night happened. I sent her the place cards I want to make for the wedding. Like most older people, my mother has beautiful penmanship, and so I thought she could help out and write the names on the cards. I figured it was a harmless, little DIY project that she could help with, and that way feel involved. She was excited, and started emailing me pictures of dresses (none of which are similar to the picture I sent her of the dress I'm contemplating having made). Still, that's okay, because she's getting into it, and we're bonding over it, and it's turning out to be nice. But then when we were talking wedding crap last night, she asked me if we had figured out who was going to marry us yet. I tried like hell to blow off the question, I really did. I even think I was successful, but I still had to listen to the speech.

You see, my family is REALLY Catholic. Not my siblings and myself, just my parents, my godmother, etc. REALLY Catholic. Like, my dad's sister was a nun Catholic. And my mom goes to church every Sunday, Catholic. And my godmother goes to church more than once a week, Catholic. When my nephew got baptized a few years ago, my brother and his wife chose to have it done in a Serbian Orthodox church, since that's what she is, and my mother told me, "That's okay. The Catholic church still recognizes that." So needless to say there were a lot of questions last night as to whether or not we were going to have a priest perform the ceremony or what. I tried to get out of the conversation at first by saying, "Well, A.P.'s not Catholic." But she quickly replied, "Neither was your grandfather when he married your grandmother. Neither was your aunt when she and your uncle got married." Wow. What do you even reply to that kind of mom logic? She then asked me if A.P. would be opposed to having a priest perform the ceremony. I actually don't think he would, even though he is an atheist, but I would. I don't want a Catholic ceremony. And, what I didn't tell my mom, and what I'm not going to tell her is that we are having dinner with a friend this Thursday and asking her to perform the ceremony.

That's right. I lied to mother. If that doesn't get you sent to hell, then I really don't know what does (you know, not including things like murder). We already decided a while ago that we were going to ask a friend of mine who I've known since I was 14 to perform the ceremony. There are a lot of reasons for this decision, but the big one is that I want someone there who really knows A.P. and I, and more than any of my other friends, this friend is that person. She has hung out with just me and A.P. a ton of times in the past three and a half years. She always asks how he is doing. A couple of weeks ago, we went out with her, and she hadn't seen A.P. since his mother passed away. The first thing she did was give him a hug and tell him how sorry she was to hear about his mother passing. When I talked about getting married, she was the first person that I told, and she was so excited for us. She has helped me with so much in terms of wedding planning, and doing it all after she called off her own wedding about a year ago. She's one of my best friends, and the one who from day one made an effort to get to know A.P. and include him. I love her for that, and I know she knows both of us well enough to perform the ceremony. Plus, she lives where I live. I know there are some other friends I have who would be good for the job, too, but they don't live here and trying to coordinate that kind of thing is a big headache.

Anyway, I don't know how I'm going to break that to my mother. I'm thinking of lying my way through it. Or at least that's what I told A.P. last night. I told him that my plan right now is just to keep blowing it off when she asks about it. I'm going to keep saying, "Oh man, we haven't even talked about that." Then, the day of the wedding, I'm just going to have our friend be the officiant and not say a word. I know I'll have to answer questions, especially from my father and my godmother who are old and won't understand how that could possibly be legal, but no worries. I've got a lie for that, too. "Oh they allow people to become officers of the court now and perform wedding ceremonies. Cool, huh?" Yeah...this will work out great, right???
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