Monday, January 31, 2011

Aruba, Jamaica oooo I wanna take ya...

To Barbados!

A few weeks ago we were finally able to wrap up our honeymoon plans! Barbados isn't one of the places we thought we would be honeymooning, but I won't bore/confuse you with the long story involving my parents' timeshares (which I still don't fully understand myself). Regardless, all we want is an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean, and Barbados fits the bill.

Bright and early the Sunday morning after our wedding, the future mister and I will be jetting off to the Almond Casuarina Resort in St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados.

(source - all photos)

I'm REALLY looking forward to being able to unwind with the (no longer!) future mister and the three B's - Beach, Booze and Books. One of the things we liked about this resort is that we can take the complimentary shuttle to check out the beaches and restaurants on the two other Almond properties on the island (just in case we get bored with the selection at our resort). We're also really excited about some of the optional excursions we can take:

Rum & History Tour (of the oldest rum distillery in the world - Mount Gay)
Sunset Cocktail Cruise
Outback 4x4 Tour
Turtle Feeding Trip

Daydreaming about this place will certainly help me through the winter blahs! What criteria did you use to decide on your honeymoon?

Friday, January 28, 2011

just call him mr. suave

Happy Friday!!

A few weeks ago, while we were in Charlotte picking out and picking up our rings, we also purchased the future mister's wedding suit! It is the Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald 1818 suit in charcoal gray. Both the sales consultant and tailor commented that the future mister had the perfect build for this suit (we have to agree since we kept coming back to it after looking at Jos A Bank, Macy's, etc.). It did need a few minor alterations though, so we left it in Charlotte. And this week, a shiny, new, tailored suit arrived on our doorstep!

don't let him fool you, the future mister really is excited about his new suit

now that's better!

I get so giddy thinking about how this is what he will be wearing when we get married! Now we just have to find some ties for him and the groomsmen and maybe a new shirt and new shoes.

Did any of you get excited when picking out your fiance's wedding day attire?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

second thoughts

This past weekend I had a hair and makeup trial. After it was over, I thought things had gone pretty well - the makeup looked nice, my hair needed help, but the MUA said that if I booked her she would do another hair trial free of charge. My friend who went with me said I looked nice, as did the future mister when I got home. My mom agreed when I video chatted her and so did MOH Sam when I sent her a photo from my iPhone.

But now I'm having second thoughts. The hair definitely needs work, that's a given. I was going for something soft and romantic looking:

But instead got a messy french twist looking thing.

(Can we say hot mess??)

The stylist tried, though. Apparently my hair wasn't cooperating (even though I went with dirty hair) - the curls weren't staying and after awhile it all became a static-y mess. Which is why I think she just haphazardly pinned it back and told me I need to grow it out longer. I hate long hair, by the way. My hair was much shorter at MOH Ash's wedding and I think her stylist did a great job.

Now makeup. I'm pretty good at doing my own. Case in point - my engagement photo makeup, which I ended up doing myself due to the Sephora semi-fail. So because of that, I sent the MUA these photos to show her how I like to wear my makeup.

(I threw this one in, too, for good measure)

Here are the after photos:

Like I said, the makeup looked nice, but there's just something bugging me about how I look in those photos. Maybe it's because they were taken in bad lighting with my crappy point-and-shoot. Because I do actually like the photos that I took with my iPhone:

Or maybe it's because, in person, I could tell that it was just sooo much makeup compared to what I wear on a daily basis. I've also thought that it could be because the makeup she used was warmer (i.e. golds, bronzes, yellow browns), when I usually wear cooler tones (mauves, pinks, grays) - blushing bride rather than golden goddess.

Whatever it is, something just isn't sitting right. Now I have a few different options. I can pay her the deposit to hold the date for me and just do another trial (both hair and makeup) before the wedding. She contacted me today to let me know that she has another inquiry on my date, so that decision would have to be made soon. Or I can make an appointment with another MUA/stylist and hope that trial goes better. I don't want to be left with no options and no one available if I just keep searching around. But I also don't want to jump into a contract that I feel uneasy about. What do you think I should do? Does anyone have some words of wisdom?

Monday, January 24, 2011

that's amore...

Even though it hasn't been too much work, our rehearsal dinner venue search has been a bit of a long one (at least compared to most of the other wedding decisions). The future mister and I started looking over the summer. Well, at that point we were certain we wanted to have it at our favorite restaurant. We met with them to discuss logistics only to sadly realize it wasn't in the cards (read: insane prices and no flexibility). Many months have gone by without any decisions being made, so over the holidays we decided it was high time to start searching again. The future mister contacted another restaurant a few weeks ago to find out that they're already booked for our date.

You know how they say that everything happens for a reason, right? So true. This past weekend, my future in-laws were in town to finally nail down a venue. We had dinner set up on Friday night at a quaint Italian restaurant downtown and then Saturday lunch at a local bakery/cafe with the perfect outdoor patio. Friday night's dinner was sooo
o good and everyone was so impressed, that lunch on Saturday ended up being a mere formality.

Our rehearsal dinner will be taking place at La Dolce Vita. I love this place for so many reasons.

1. Authentic Italian food - In college, I studied abroad in Italy for four amazing months. Real (as opposed to Americanized) Italian food has a special place in my heart stomach. And the owner of the restaurant is Italian, so big plus there.

2. Intimate setting - Our RD is only for about 30 people, but the restaurant is on the smaller side so we'll be renting the entire space out for the evening. One of the other options we discussed with the owner was putting dividers up...but that still wouldn't give us the privacy we want. Now we can catch up, toast, show our slideshow, etc. all without having to talk over or disturb other restaurant patrons.

3. Family style - Our FIVE course Italian feast will consist of an appetizer, mixed greens and caesar salads, two or three pasta dishes, one or two meat/entree dishes, and one dessert - all served family style. At first, the future mister and I really wanted a plated, served dinner (since the wedding will be a cocktail buffet). But after thinking about it, family style is sooo much better! Now no one has to worry about ordering the wrong dish and/or wanting what someone else has - it's all up for grabs!

4. Menu flexibility - Right now the restaurant is using their Fall/Winter menu, so what we tasted on Friday won't necessarily be what's in season come May. The owner basically said we can do whatever we want. We can choose our menu now, wait until March/April, or even request special dishes. And on the night of the RD he can make special plates for our ring bearer and flower girl, as well as the future mister's grandfather who doesn't like/can't eat dishes with a lot of Italian spices.

I could go on (and on), but you get the drift. How did you choose your rehearsal dinner venue?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

dresses are in

Right after Christmas I got a wonderful call from Bella Bridesmaid letting me know that our bridesmaid dresses were in and that they would soon be shipped out to all my girls. Woohoo! Everyone has them by now, so it's time to make some decisions about the rest of their ensemble.

First I narrowed down our shoe options to silver or raspberry and asked my lovely ladies for feedback and opinions. Although the raspberry would be an awesome pop! of color, it would probably look best if all the girls had the same exact shoe or same exact raspberry color. That seems like too much thinking, searching, stressing. So silver it is!

Jewelry?? Well, MOH Ash had the fabulous suggestion of maybe incorporating raspberry into the jewelry. That got my wheels turning and reminded me of this beautiful berry colored hair flower that my co-worker wore at her wedding in October - from My mom and I had already discussed possibly making a fabric flower of some sort to either go on the girls' sashes or in their hair. Perfect solution. So...silver shoes, silver jewelry (if they want to incorporate the raspberry into the jewelry, great, but not necessary) and maybe some raspberry flowers. Done and done.

How did you decide on your girls' shoes and accessories? Did you give them guidelines or leave it all up to them?

Monday, January 17, 2011

to and fro

We have transportation! This has been the BIGGEST headache of wedding planning, thus far, so I'm glad that it has finally been put to rest. Back in the fall I contacted a few companies and the best option turned out to be a company that rents vintage trolleys. Perfect for the type of wedding we're planning! When I asked to sign a contract and place a deposit, however, they told me no because they were redoing their pricing structure after the new year. They said they would hold the date for me and would contact me in January.

Well January came and I didn't feel like waiting so I contacted them. Long story short, after a few emails back and forth, I was told that they were already booked for my date. WHAT?!!!

Luckily I have an amazing fiance who listened to me rant when I called him from work with steam shooting out of my ears. I was able to get it all out of my system so I could respond diplomatically. The gist of what happened is that another bride inquired before me about using one trolley. Then I inquired about the use of two trolleys. They have three, so it didn't occur to them to tell me that another bride had also reserved the date. Well, when they contacted her after January, she wanted all three. This bride's wedding is, thankfully, in the same town. So a solution was worked out where we can both have the number of trolleys we want at the times we want. Phew! Now, do you want to see what our guests will be riding in?

Did you provide transportation for your guests?

Monday, January 10, 2011


This weekend we drove up to Charlotte for a visit with our jeweler. We were only anticipating picking out my band and getting the future mister's resized. If you don't remember, we purchased his band way back in 2009 because they gave us a deal we couldn't refuse. At that time, we left it unsized in their vault because that way we could receive store credit if the future mister ended up changing his mind. Well, much to our surprise, when we arrived at the jeweler, the ring had already been sized. I think this might have something to do with them thinking we were getting married in May 2010. Luckily, it's not a big deal since we still love the ring. The future mister complained that it felt funny, though - not a surprise since he's never worn any jewelry before. So the saleslady sent us home with the ring so he can practice wearing it.

I absolutely love the rose gold! It makes the traditional style just a tiny bit unique. My band is being custom made to match my e-ring and will be ready sometime in March. I can't wait!

Did your significant other have to get used to wearing his band?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

happy new year! holy crap!

Sorry for the long hiatus! Hope you all had a fabulous holiday. The future mister and I got back in town right after New Years and I've been a girl on a mission. Have I been asleep for the past three months??! Because, all of a sudden, it seems like I just woke up to discover there are less than five months until our wedding. Holy crap!

It's been such a long engagement - which I initially thought would be a great thing. I've realized, though, that the extra time wasn't as helpful as it seemed. It was a lot of waiting, waiting, waiting and then BAM! - time to hurry up and get the rest accomplished. There are only certain things that you can do so early in advance. I wrote out a (very) rough list of all that has yet to be done (rough because I'm sure I'm forgetting a TON of little things) and afterward felt like throwing up. How did this happen? I had a long engagement! I was on top of things! Ha, wedding you fooled me!

Anyone else feel like this? At what point in the planning process did it hit you?