Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where to Start?

I honestly don't know where to begin.

These last 2 weeks picked me up, mixed in relatives, more family, friends, favorites, dancing, drinking, partying, flung me around DC and Jamaica with a variety of emotions, and then plopped me down promptly in a pile of laundry, boxes, and thank you notes.
And beyond that, I have a husband.
I'm a wife!

[cue cartoon sound effect of shaking your head back and forth: oye-oye-oye]

What just happened, now?

I feel thrilled. These whirl-wind days are amazing.
I can say, without a doubt, I am having the time of my life.
How often can you say that?
But it's deep-down true.
I am having so much fun, and it's all because of Mike.
It feels so good to say that.

To answer the number one question on many minds, Was it everything you hoped it to be?
The answer:  Capital Y, Yes.

Every little wedding detail fell into place.  It was beyond perfect.  Even the not-so-good things are mere memories I laugh at or say "whoops" and move on to the better things.
There are so many great memories from the days leading up, the rehearsal dinner, getting ready, and the big day itself. 
It was everything I wanted and then some.

Part of me can't believe it's over, but most of me can swallow that fact.
We put so much work and effort into making that day happen, that it went off swimmingly.  It was gorgeous; I felt gorgeous.  Mike was handsome as ever and the bridesmaids and groomsmen were amazing.
I think I even managed not to be too much of a Bridezilla.  I think.

I don't know which post will come next, or with what frequency.
I desperately want to stay up days in a row and get all these thoughts tumbling around in my head onto this screen. 
And I desperately want to enjoy every moment with my *husband.*  (<--- that's still fun to say!)
I'm enjoying my summer off as a teacher, and as a wife.

But I will promise you pictures, soon!

Just know that Vic has been Crown'd.
And with a smile, to boot.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bride + Groom = Engagement Stress

Mike & I may be back from Jamaica, but mentally we're still riding this whirlwind adventure.  There are so many boxes to go through, laundry to wash, and things to break-down, never-mind the thank you cards!  It's all welcomed though.  The wedding might be over, but the adventure still continues.  I can honestly say I'm having the best time of my life.  Pictures to come, promise, but first, one last guest post so I can get myself together!

Liz, from Next in the City, is another favorite B2B (Bride-to-be) planning her wedding and sharing it with the interwebs.  She wrote some great advice for others in the same boat:
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Well, gang this is my first guest blog post, ever! Very exciting, thank you Vicki – and congrats! I cannot believe you are married, now husband & wife! I thought the word fiancé took some time adjusting -- the next “title” might be harder, but way more amazing!

While Victoria unwinds, I thought I would discuss how wedding planning in general affects relationships with friends, family, and of course – your fiancé! Many of my friends are already married – I have been a bridesmaid once and a maid of honor three times in the past three years – and every time another friend walked down the aisle, I was warned about the heartaches of planning. I brushed them aside, hoping that I wouldn’t feel an ounce of those pangs. However, I have and now I am that girl telling people to prepare for the sometimes unpleasant, confusing, and tricky decisions and frustrations that go along with engagements.
Friends want rights to your wedding, family believes they deserve the same rights, but where does that leave the bride and groom? Often bickering about these people and coming up with no resolution. Tiny examples of these situations include, several friends asking if they will be invited to the wedding (eeek!!!) – my response for the past year and a half as always been, “we are still finalizing the guest list” and my brothers asking me for six months straight if they will be groomsmen (“ask Jared!”). I have heard that a wedding is truly a “family experience”, and I believe to a degree it is, but when you get down to it (or down the aisle, actually), it really is all about the girl and boy whose names are on the marriage certificate.

So, my advice? Actually I probably need some, but I will say I have tried to brush aside these friend and family unpleasantries as best I can and just focus on us. All the wedding blogs I read every morning and Jared, my fiancé, have been wonderful at helping me remember this motto. So, brides: keep looking straight ahead because there is a light at the end of the tunnel – or actually a honeymoon! I see sunshine, white sand, and blue waters at my end and a lifetime of funny yet crazy memories waiting to happen. Being engaged is stressful, but life is short and sooner or later, you will be married!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day of Know How

Welcome Krysten, a favored tweep of mine.  She write a fantastic blog, of which I make time to check on the regular.  She's a girl after my own heart, sharing an Etsy & all-things-handmade obsession. I swear without us, the handmade biz might go under...

Hi all! I''m Krysten from After 'I Do' and I am super excited to be blog sitting for Vicki while she's off having all kinds of married fun!

Today I'm going to give you all some advice.  For those of you that are already married I hope you'll be nodding along with this.  For those that aren't, pay close attention!

  • Something will go wrong.  Inevitably something with the wedding planning or the wedding day (or both) is going to go wrong.  My husband and I had plenty of drama leading up to the wedding, I was in a car accident the day before the wedding, one of my readers backed out at the last minute and it rained (and we had an outdoor ceremony).  Go into your wedding planning and wedding telling yourself that something could go wrong.  And if it does, try to let it roll off your back.  Marriage isn't perfect.  Neither is wedding planning.
  • Go with your gut.  It's easy with all the wedding propaganda to get swayed.  Maybe you wanted to wear a red dress but you're on and all you see is poofy whiteness.  Maybe you want to walk down the aisle first so that you can watch your wedding party walk down after.  Whatever it may be, do what you want.  This is the one day when you're allowed to do what you want, no matter what anyone else may deem weird or nontraditional.
  • Eat.  On the day of your wedding take time to eat.  I know you're a busy bride and you think you don't have time.  I promise you will want to eat something.
  • Pause.  I've heard from so many brides that their day just flew by and they barely remember it.  Take time to pause and take it all in.  Just stop for a moment or two and take a mental snapshot.
  • Make lists.  Keep a list of your must have pictures so that your photog knows what's important to you.  Have a timeline of how you want your day to go (but also leave a little room for spontaneity).  Have a list of everything you need the day of, such as band-aids, extra hairspray, mints, etc.  Lists will be your best friends.
  • HAVE FUN.  I know you want everything to be perfect.  I know you're a control freak.  I know you're 3rd cousin is off getting drunk and trying to make out with everyone on your bridal party.  Stop worrying.  Let someone else worry for you.  It's your wedding day.  Enjoy it.

Vicki I hope your wedding is everything you want it to be and I hope you have a fabulous honeymoon!  We miss you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wedding Wisdom

I have to admit, I first began following Jess because of her last name: Beer.  I continued to follow her wedding planning journey and now she's a Mrs!  Go check her out!

Hi everyone!

I’m Jess, and I write a blog over at Being Mrs. Beer (yes, that’s really our last name!).  I’m so excited to be guest posting for Vicki today while she’s off getting hitched and heading on her honeymoon!  As a recent newlywed, I’m so happy for her and know how great (and sometimes challenging!) the first few months of marriage can be.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that after only 3 months that I know everything about marriage.  Clearly, we are new at this and still working on figuring each other and our marriage out.  Everyone says it, but marriage really is work.  Chris and I have to work at our marriage every day.  Is it easy?  Not always.  Is it worth it?  Always.

Sometimes we get mad at each other.  Sometimes I just don’t want to be around him.  Sometimes he doesn’t want to be around me.  The key to getting past this, as I learned from my parents (married 31 years June 1), is to talk about it afterwards.  Like most couples, my parents fought when I was a kid, but there was never any doubt that they loved each other.  It’s important to remember why you fell in love with your husband or wife and the promises you made to each other on your wedding day.

So here’s my best advice for Vicki and Mike as they embark on the journey we call marriage:

1.  Put your marriage first…most of the time.  Understand that each of you will need time away sometimes, whether its alone or with your friends.

2.  Compromise and LISTEN to each other.  We are still working on this one every day.

3.  Respect each other, and never be afraid to say “I’m sorry.”  Chris and I usually realize immediately if we’ve hurt the other’s feelings, and the apologies flow soon after.

4.  Always remember why you fell in love in the first place.

5.  Honor your promises to each other, from your those on your wedding day to the little ones like promising to take the trash out.

That’s all I’ve got!  Come check out my blog too – I’m in the midst of my wedding recaps, and you never know what craziness will happen next in my life (like my in-laws staying with us next month…eep!).  Best wishes to the bride and good luck to the groom!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Come Here Often?

While Mike and I are away celebrating our marriage, some lovely readers offered to guest post for me!  First up is Meaghan from The Twenties Roar.  She's planning her September wedding, so now that my journey is at the end (or the beginning?!) you can follow along with her plans!  She's a fun, sweet, lady with a handsome man ("The Boy") by her side.  And she is gracing us with the story of how they met...
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She went out with her house-mates in her 2nd year at University for a night at the local bar.  After waiting in line they finally got in, and easily found a table - curse those fake lines! Just an ordinary night, out chatting and dancing with friends.
He went out to the bar "he made popular" with a bunch of friends. After enjoying a couple of pops, he informed his friends to "watch this."

She looked up and saw a very tall boy leaning against the back of the booth she and her friends were sitting at.  Intrigued by his height she tried to listen to what he had to say, but didn't really hear him so smiled instead.

Meanwhile, he pulled out his best material - "Oh sorry, I thought this was my table." Not having heard him she simply smiled - he sat down.
The next thing she knew this tall boy was sitting beside her.  Pulling out more ace material "Do you come here often?"
She laughed in his face. "Did you just say 'come here often?'

Slightly flustered he replied, "Yes, but not like that. I just meant do you come here?"
He introduced her to his friends, "This is bean! As in jelly-bean"
She laughed at his inability to remember her name and his quick thinking... tall and funny.  Intriguing.

They danced the night away. And she gave him her number, along with her name.
She thought, "He probably won't call... but look how TALL he is!"

Seven years later, he became known as The Boy.
Eleven days shy of nine years after they met, they’re walking down the aisle:  September 10, 2011.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Advice From One Who Knows

Next up is one of the very first blogs I started reading on a regular basis.  Jayme of The Tater Twins shares amazing posts about strength, love, and her adorable kids & family.  You can also find her on the Twitter: @Tatertwins.
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While Victoria & Mike are off doing the wedding and honeymoon thing, I get to guest post!  My name is Jayme, and I have been married to my husband Aaron for over 10 years now, and although we didn't have a wedding or a honeymoon, I thought perhaps I could offer some advice anyway.  Feel free to take it with a grain of salt!

Wedding Advice:
Invite people.  We went to the justice of the peace, and it was a spur of the moment decision.  Our friends were upset we didn't include them.  Our family was annoyed we didn't tell them we were getting married until a month after the deed was done.  So I think letting people know is a good idea.

Take pictures.  Even if you don't hire a professional photographer, have SOMEONE take a picture or two of you and your spouse on your wedding day.  We have no photos of that day, and it's one thing I really regret.

Buy rings BEFORE the ceremony.  As I've mentioned, our wedding was impromptu, and we didn't even think about rings until the part where the justice of the peace asked us to exchange them.

Honeymoon Advice:
Take one.  Even if it's just camping or something equally inexpensive.  We didn't take one, and have yet to have the opportunity to go on a vacation without the kids.  So take one while you can.

General Marriage Advice:
Accept the things you can't change.  We don't fight. I think some number of disagreements and that kind of back and forth bantering is ok, healthy even- if you work it out and don't let it get bottled up and fester- but no matter how much I argue with him, he doesn't argue back. He just doesn't respond to that. It took me a LONG time to learn that. But that's just him.

Your spouse is your BFF.  Aaron is truly my best friend. I can tell him anything. I can be myself around him. I am not the slightest bit self conscious in front of him in any way. And I  think that is the way it should be.

Be there for each other.  During our first year of marriage, our first baby was stillborn. The grief counselor told us something like around 75% of marriages that lose a child end in divorce within a year. For us though, we clung to each other in our grief. It brought us closer together. I don't know that I could have gone on without him. He's my rock.

Keep things in perspective.  After our baby died, when things got stressful between us, one of us would usually say something like 'We lost a baby, this is nothing' and the tension we were having about money or whatever would seem so trivial. It helped us remember what was really important.

Even though we've been married over a decade now, I still get butterflies when I'm thinking about him or talking about him with others.  He tolerates my love for the internet, my horrible spending habits, my lack of housekeeping skills. What more could a girl want?

Victoria and Mike- I have loved watching the behind the scenes wedding planning, as I never went through that.  I hope your day is absoutely gorgeous, and all the details fall into place.  I know you two are well on your way too an eternity of happiness!

@tatertwins on twitter

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sally Turn Right

This next post made me laugh out loud.  Nicci & Tim, wife & husband combo from Changing the Universe, are no stranger to guest blogging here.  You can find them both on the Twittersephere.  Nicci wrote from her perspective in standard font, Tim's input is in italics.  Enjoy!
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My husband, Tim, and I have been married for just over three years. In those three years, one thing has kept us together above all other things.

Our GPS navigation.

Do you have any idea how many arguments have been solved by that soothing, robotic voice? Countless.

Our first experience with a GPS came on our honeymoon. We headed down to San Diego, and since neither of us knew the area and since we were planning on taking a trip up to Anaheim, I didn’t blink once when asked if I wanted to pay the extra $40 for a GPS in the rental car.

To be fair, I didn’t think twice, either. I didn’t want to risk our lives looking at a map while driving all around an unfamiliar city. And I have this minor problem where I am the only person who can properly read a map in my presence. If you’re with me and you’re looking at a map, you are obviously wrong. Does that make me a bad person?

The first thing the gentleman at the rental car desk did was program the GPS to recognize our hotel as “home.” So we headed to the car, hit “Go Home” and we were on our way. Not a single argument. Nary a “you missed a turn, jackass” was uttered.

Although Sally (as we affectionately named her) did have to recalculate once or twice.

As much as we loved Sally, and as helpful as she was, she was not without flaws.

See this map? This was a section of our drive from the hotel to Old Town, which was overrated as a destination but included the best Mexican restaurant either of us had ever even conceived of. Anyway, As we were going under Interstate 5 toward Pacific Highway, Sally told us to turn right. So I did, onto Pacific Highway. But that was incorrect. She yelled at me, I took a few more turns, and I ended up at the same place again. Again, I turned right. Again she yelled at me. It turns out that I should have taken the less severe right turn. So I’m yelling. Why would we call that a right turn when it’s just a continuation of the road? It’s stupid. Stupid!

All the while, I? Was laughing my ass off. Also, can I just say that that Mexican restaurant had the most amazing grilled shrimp I’ve ever had? And the margaritas! Oh, the margaritas. I had one. It was a big as my head. I made it my goal for the evening to finish that entire thing. And I did.

Then she passed out fell asleep on the way back to the hotel.

Whatever. What was I saying?

Oh, right. Sally continued to provide us invaluable help in locating vineyards in Temecula, the San Diego Zoo, and In-N-Out Burger. On our memorable trip over the Coronado Bridge, Sally felt the need to interrupt our most important video ever:

That was my poor attempt at a Howard Cosell impersonation. In a related story, no, I was never in theater in school. And this burrito is good, but boy is it filling.

But despite her flaws, and her rude habit of waking me up several times on the late night drive from Anaheim back to San Diego, Sally proved to be the glue that held our marriage together those first few days. I don’t think we had a single argument the entire time we were there.

Months after we returned home, I bought one for myself. New Sally (and now Robo-Sal, my phone) continues to guide our vacations and keep our marriage on the right road.

Except when I’m driving. Because real men don’t need a GPS, and besides, I always know the Twin Cities roads better than Sally anyway. Right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Every Little Thing Will Be Alright

Our next post comes to us from Ashely at After Nine to Five.  Ashley is someone easy to talk to, whose blog is fun to read, and tells it like it is.  Her handmade shop sells cute accessories (I might own 5 of her items...), too!  She recently married her love and has some advice to share.
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If I could count the number of times I received advice about the wedding planning that I wish I would have followed but didn’t, the number would be astronomical. I don’t know how many times I was told to count on things that I was convinced would never happen and to not worry about things that I was positive mattered. It reminds me of high school when everyone is convinced that those years are the most important years of their lives and that the friends you have there are your friends for life. It’s not even close to true, but you cannot see outside of that bubble until you’re out of it and you’re pointing out how much time you wasted.

Our wedding was a destination wedding in Jamaica. Never having been to one, I had no idea what to expect. This left little room for disappointment and a whole lot of “go with the flow or else you’re probably not going to be walking down the aisle” moments when we arrived. It was relaxed, laid-back, easy-going, and fun. Everything I wanted a wedding to be. Maybe it’s impossible to have a bad wedding in paradise though.

When we returned, we had a little less than a month to plan for an at-home-reception. And I thought that since the wedding went so seamlessly, of course the reception would as well. I’m 100% positive that I could not have been more wrong.

It wasn’t a disaster. Nothing overly embarrassing happened. No one was hurt and nothing was ruined. But paradise brings out the best in people. And while being home may not bring out the worst, it definitely wasn’t a standing replica of how smooth our wedding was. I had set my hopes high and ignored the advice I should have followed from the start which left me in tears when the party had dwindled down to just my parents and my husband.

If I could give any bride some of the advice I wish I would have listened to, it would be this:
  • You will not feel like you get the credit you deserve from some people, no matter how much you deserve it.
  • RSVPs mean very little to some people. Some people will show up or not show up regardless of how excited they seemed to be coming or how sure they were that it was impossible to come
  • The day truly is about you and if you spend too much time worrying about how everyone else will take certain things, it will suck all of the fun out of it.
  • Something will go wrong. And it won’t be the first, second, or third thing you expected to go wrong.
And most importantly…

  • Every little thing will be alright. When the day is done and you’re walking back into your hotel, or your house in my case, barefoot and exhausted, remind yourself that you’re one of the lucky ones. You found your perfect match.

Vicki/Mike – I hope your wedding is as beautiful as mine was and I hope your reception goes better than mine did. ;] Have a wonderful day, honeymoon, and look forward to the rest of your beautiful lives together!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Today is My Wedding Day.

Today is my wedding day.

As a little girl I dreamed about this day.  I idealized, I pretended, I dressed up.  I fantasized about what sort of man might complete me, stand next to me, say "I do."

Today I wear a white (ok, ivory) beautiful gown, the most expensive gown ever purchased for myself.  Makeup artists and hair stylists will dote on me.  My friends & family will all come to see and celebrate me, us.

Beneath all the anxiety of details falling in place, fear of the weather holding out, and desire for everything to be just right, there is one major focal point that brings me peace: Mike.

He makes water bottle labels and rain clouds disappear.  Knowing that starting today I get to have him to hold in sickness and health, richer or poorer, better or worse, makes my heart swell with joy.  I don't call it luck.  I call it meant to be.  It just makes sense.

And that makes today more than a dream come true.
Today is my reality.
And it looks pretty good to me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Checking In

I seem to wake up earlier than my alarm, every morning, these days.  No matter how much valium lulls me to sleep, I open my eyes to see that the clock has yet to even hit the hour of my rise-and-shine time.
That's ok, though, because I can use that precious time to blog!
And take it all in.

A huge thank you goes out to Lara, who stayed with me while her man gallivanted with Mike and company on his bachelor party.  Having a cool headed, creative, meanwhile easy going and not related person with you leading up to your wedding is clutch.  Lara was just that. and then some.  This girls deserves a "putting up with a bride just before her wedding" medal, award, and recognition. 
So thank you, Lara!
(btw, I also plan on saying this in real life)

My good friend Ali was the first to arrive.  In the lobby of the hotel we stifled squee's and our giddy excitement.  We enjoy happy hour, briefly, but long enough to reminisce and get some good stories out there.

Then my mom, dad, sister, brother in-law, and sweet nieces arrived. I about died of excitement then!  I took my mom, sis, and  4yo niece to get their nails done.  Let me just tell you: sparkle mani/pedis are the cutest things evah.

Meanwhile, trying to catch up with friends who flew all the way from London, we grabbed a bite and some drinks. 

OH oh, and what they say about eating: that you'll have no time?  totally true.
Also my stomach goes from being in knots to non-existent, so there's that too.

And if the last tangent didn't illustrate such, there's a heavy case of "wedding brain" going on right now.  It's like ADD with a veil. 
Start this.
Walk over to work on this.
Remember that you need a check for this.
Go back to the first thing,
only to remember that there was something else about the other thing....

Someone told me to enjoy the craziness.
Because that's exactly what it is: PURE exhilarated joy.
And I rather like it.

Now off to synagogue for our Auf Ruf!
(No post on that, no time, just go here: Aufruf)

I'm getting married tomorrow!

(please excuse anything wrong about this post. I checked for squiggly red lines under words. I clearly didn't even re-read it.  There's no time for anything! Only fun!!!!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To the Mikvah!

No, the mikvah isn't a fancy batmobile for brides, but rather a small pool.  Normally one goes to the mikvah when they seek cleansing, be it after your "time of the month," childbirth, or to prepare for some holidays or something like your wedding!  It can be used by either gender, but before you enter you must be scrupulously clean.

In Jewish tradition and observance, today Mike and I will go, separately, to the mikvah to immerse and prepare ourselves for our upcoming wedding.  We will shower & brush our teeth before we leave the house. I will remove the nail polish from my toes.  There will be no jewelry worn, or even bandages covering any part of us.  The reason for this can be interpreted as needing the water to touch every single part of your body.  If you have on lotion or any barrier, the water cannot completely envelope you.

This ritual bathing serves the purpose of cleansing and preparing us for our union. 
"In many ways mikvah is the threshold separating the unholy from the holy, but it is even more. Simply put, immersion in a mikvah signals a change in status -- more correctly, an elevation in status. Its unparalleled function lies in its power of transformation, its ability to effect metamorphosis."

It's not holy water, in fact it's not even blessed.  There is, however, a certain ratio of rain water to other water, to signify a connection to the earth.  But it's a special place where you go to transform yourself.  With each submersion there is a prayer to recite (and it's laminated, so if the paper gets wet no one worries). The first prayer for the mikvah translates into: Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.  The second prayer is often a silent one which comes from  your heart.  The third prayer is one my favorites because it serves as a catch all and used often: Blessed are You, our God, Creator of time and space,who has supported us, protected us, and brought us to this moment.

And then, poof! You're all spiritually clean and sparkly.  And Mike and I cannot "touch" each other until the wedding night!  
Which actually won't be a problem since he's going on his bachelor party immediately after, coming back on Friday.  Don't ask me how I feel about that.

But back to the Mikvah: it's a very unique, little known tradition.  It's personal yet follows with you for days after.  The submersion in the mivkah centers, clears your mind, and renews. 

 Oh and visiting the mikvah is not required, but rather Mike and I chose to do it. 

4 days until the wedding!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Floral Staging

Without giving too much away to our guests, I will share a select photo of our floral staging.  Our florist arranged one of the table centerpieces for us to see.  Seeing the arrangement allowed us to talk about ways to improve it, or even love it as is.  For example, I dislike light green roses...they look un-ripe to me; also I want to see more blue in my bridal bouquet to differentiate it from the centerpieces.  We also discussed an alternate centerpiece idea to offset the low, lush centerpieces that he created for the showing.  It was a great time to talk things over.  Plus he's a vendor that just doesn't do email.  It's amazing how far a real conversation in real life can take you!

So, here's sneak peek! 

5 days!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Water Bottle Labels: Tutorial

Thanks to Emily's inspiration, my detail-prone-self, and the help of bridesmaid Kathryn & fiance Mike, we replaced 140 water bottle labels with custom, personalized ones!

You might be wondering, Why spend valuable time changing water bottle labelsWhat's wrong with the labels they came with? or even, Are you crazy?
The answer?  Spiff.
A virtual friend of mine pointed out that no one wants a copy-cat wedding.  Everyone needs their own spiffy details that set your shin-dig apart from others.  And I have to say, when all these water bottles are set up they look pretty darn spiffy.  That's my kind of detail.

(Sidenote: Emily's tutorial is waaaayyy more helpful, instructions-wise.  I was too tired and wanted to get the labeling over with, to stop and take proper pictures to document our endeavors.  PlusAlso I decided sleep was more valuable. I'm sure you understand!)

First: remove the label from one water bottle.  Measure (or eyeball, as I did) the width and length of the old label.  Then cut scrapbook paper, or card-stock, to the same size as the old labels.  Using a paper cutter is very helpful here.

Next print out labels with your picture & words.  Apply to pieces of pre-cut paper.

Lastly hot-glue or use a glue stick to affix the labels to the naked water bottles (previous labels removed).

And there you have it! 140 bottles took approximately 2 hours to complete.  They will go in our welcome bags and be handed out at the end of the reception.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One Week Update

Oh holy hell.
Seven DAYS!
Excitement, anxiety, nervous energy,'s all there.  

Yesterday we had our final meeting with the caterer and wedding planner.  It simultaneously calmed me & gave me a minor panic attack, while we plotted out every detail & my to-do list grew ten-fold.

Friday night bridesmaid and all-around-awesome lifesaver/friend/confidant Kathryn came over and helped label water bottles.  Post to come.  and Sidenote: I am way too detail oriented.

I recently made our cake topper.  Another post to come. (again, detail obsessed)

Mike applied for, and picked up, our wedding license all without me even showing up to the courthouse once.  Hooray for proof of identification and a signature to "prove" I exist.

Still to do:

-get Mike a mani/pedi today! (hehe)
-finish writing my vows
-practice our first dance
-buy 5 more frames for the table numbers
-print out table numbers
-print out escort cards
-put said escort cards in alphabetical order
-print menu for each place setting
-pick up ketuba (which may or may not be ready by Thursday...)
-pick up borrowed earrings from jeweler
-pick up steamed dress & veil
-drop off the fifteen-bagillion things at the venue on Friday
-get my car washed
-get nails done with bridesmaids
-get one last spray tan
-pack for the honeymoon
-hope it doesn't rain on June 19th
-try to remember everything else I'm forgetting...

The part I'm most excited about? (Aside from marrying my love) -- Seeing all my friends and family together in one place, to celebrate us.  How cool is that?  It's going to be a blast!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

As Mike Sees It (3)

Hello again faithful readers of Crowning Victoria! It's been about 3 months or so since I last put together some thoughts for you all and now that we're less than two weeks away from the big day (still a bit surreal to type) Vicki and I figured it was a good time for me to do one last post from the groom-to-be's perspective.

Over the last few weeks, and particularly the last few days, after I tell people how close we are to the wedding date, they almost invariably ask the same thing: "Are you ready?" Three little words that seem like an innocuous question but are often anything but. Because if the question is asking whether I'm ready to actually be married to Vicki then the answer is "absolutely." I know a lot of people get nervous about whether their relationship will change after making it all official, but honestly Vicki and I have been dating for about 7 years and living together for about 6 years (the last 3 or so with just the two of us in a home we jointly own), so while I'm sure on an intrinsic level things will change, on a day to day level I know what I'm getting in to and thrilled about it. Vicki and I work very well together and I don't doubt my love for her or my certainty about marrying her for one second.

But there's another aspect of the question that I have been tending to think about first when this question gets asked: are we ready to actually have this wedding? Because whenever I hear the words "are you ready?" my mind immediately drifts to the many items on my to-do list, the e-mails in my inbox, and all the other details that need to be taken care of. Whenever we've felt like we've accomplished most of what needed to get done there's a new bunch of action items coming at us. I was under no illusions that making this happen would be simple, but I have consistently been amazed by the amount of time and effort required to pull this thing off.

With that being said, now that we count the time to go in days instead of months or weeks, I feel like I can honestly answer the question of if we're ready with a solid yes. That doesn't mean that we've gotten everything taken care of (not by a long shot as my still crowded to-do list can attest). But at this point I know that no matter what happens, Sunday June 19th is going to be an awesome day, one that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. All my closest friends and family together in the same room, there to celebrate me and the love of my life; what more can a person ask for? Inevitably something will get forgotten or overlooked but really, whatever it is I'm cool with it. As long as when it's all said and done I get to call the beautiful woman behind this blog my wife then all the rest is just water under the bridge.

That being said the band has been a pain in my a** so they better be worth it. :)

So let's break out those dancing shoes, squeeze into our formal wear, and get hitched. Because not only am I ready; the 19th can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flower Girl Basket Tutorial

Sure, this is a tutorial... of sorts.

Here's the way I decorate my eldest niece's flower girl basket, to match our wedding colors.

I started off with a plain, white basket, from Michael's Craft Store, intended for flower girls.

I purchased ribbon, in our wedding colors:

Using a hot-glue-gun & binder clips (to hold my spot), I attached inch wide purple ribbon  to the top of the basket:

 I was careful to tuck the ribbon over itself so as not to bunch:

After, I attached the .5 inch ribbon to the bottom boarder of the basket:

Lastly I added an apple green accent stripe of ribbon:

And ta-da! A personalized flower girl basket!

PS: hot glue gun stringies drive me craaaazy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waistline Woes

Any bride who tells you she's not dieting is lying. 
Just throwing that out there.

So for myself?
Sure, I cut back on my food intake.  Nothing drastic, or anything. I like food. Food and me? We have a great relationship. It tastes goooood. Case-in-point. 
But who doesn't want to look even better? With the proper motivation, like ahem, your wedding, you can go far, right?

I mean you can, and sure I've come far, but comfort food is so darn yuuuummmmy.

So here's how it goes for me:

About 6 months out from my wedding I gave more money than I care to admit to hired a personal trainer.  I know me.  I will purchase a gym membership, plan on going religiously, do that for about a week, and then taper off and still end up paying for it when not going at all.  That money lost is now body image gained with my personal trainer.  And bonus: she's someone I enjoy working with, centers me emotionally during my rants, and will continue to work with post-nuptials.  Super bonus: my biceps rock.

The hypoallergenic, doctor prescribed diet back in October taught me a lot about food: quality, quantity and preservatives. While there's no way in hell I still eat what or how I did on that diet, I know how certain foods affect me and try to make concerted effort to eat better.  Now consistency is my problem.  I'll eat whole, good foods for about 2 days, then fall off the wagon at a bbq and gorge on those hotdogs I try to deprive myself of otherwise.  But a few hotdogs/bruchetta/macaroni salad here and there is not bad!  I try to be realistic.  Reality is harsh when you want a flat belly, though.

Last week I asked a thin friend of mine how he does it.  He asked if I wanted the truth.  Um, yes. (Hindsight: no no no.)  Enemas and not eating.  Ok so that first part is out the window.  Nothing too extreme for me, please.  But not eating?!  We've established my love affair with food.  Sure you eat less you should weigh less.  You eat right you should also weigh less.  For the record, this friend does eat.
Moving on, I asked another friend who happens to be a nutritionist at a certain government run health organization that same question.  Disclaimer, this was at her birthday party and she was definitely enjoying herself.  Her response: Don't eat.  What?! Wait, wasn't that the skinny friend's advice?!  Now things are wonky.  She went on to explain that smaller meals are better, not totally restricting calories.  Oh, and she also advised that if I plan on drinking any alcohol, then I should really not eat. Like, at all. 
Last stop on the bad-advice train, with a happy twist, my personal trainer.  I recounted the pointers given above and she nodded and agreed.  If you don't eat you will loose weight.  But of course you shouldn't do that.  Whew.  Finally, someone who sees the reality to this bad guidance.  Then she shared how she prepared for a body building contest by basically not eating for the remaining days leading up to the show.  ARG!  She supports eating.

For the love of all things tasty, people must eat!
I'm going to write a book called "You have to eat to loose weight!" 
Not that I have any credentials on the topic. 
Just random advice from others.

And no worries, I'm eating.  And I'm working out.  And Mike and I are running a 5K together tomorrow.  And we eat really well.
Food is meant to be enjoyed.
But the jellybeans & candy cane oreos are hidden from sight.

Sidenote: I fear the google searches that will land people on this post!

The Way It Is

This is the story of The Way It Is. 

While I open my heart and pour out these seemingly "crazy" bride-to-be thoughts rolling around in my head, I'm honestly, simply sharing.  Support of how everything will turn out great, the day will be lovely, and the party phenomenal, are welcomed.  But I'm not complement fishing, here. (albeit they are nice to hear)

I  need to vent. 
Need to just be heard.
Need to use this here blog as an outlet.

Because in truth and my heart-of-hearts I know everything will turn out fine.
I know I'll be beautiful in my white dress, because there is no such thing as an ugly bride.  Wait, hold that, I'm sure there's a Google search out there to prove me wrong.  Still, it, I, will be grand.

For as much nervous energy I spend waste over-thinking worst case scenarios, the wedding, the every-little-detail will be fine.
I know that.
Doesn't stop me from thinking about it, though.

I'm hella excited.
But I wouldn't be normal if I didn't worry.
That's the way it is.

Now don't go reading too far into this post, or any other post, dear (virtual or otherwise) friends of mine.  I can tell you with full certainty that all is well.  Just making sure this blog remains a place for me to be open and honest.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just Dance

Mike and I chose a first dance song.  Then we nixed the first one and chose a different song.  Then we registered for dance classes!

While a seemingly good move and use of money, we now know we don't want a structured dance.  The class was fine, well taught, and covered good moves, but it was more of the "do it this way or it's not right" appeal that didn't sit right.  We're not those kind of dancers. 

So we learned the box step, the fox trot, and waltz.  We learned how to hold you arms up and elbows out.  We even mastered walking. Turning corners, not so much "mastered," but instead we'll dance back and forth.
At least we won't be doing the 7th grade sway.

Having said all that, our practicing schedule lacks attention. 
As in: we still need to do that.
So dear friends and family, when we grace the dance floor for the first time as husband and wife, try not to stare at our awkward footsteps. In fact, just look away.  Because it's enough that you're there with us.  We understand if you turn your head, refill your drink, or otherwise use that time to your advantage.  The photographer only needs to see us through her lens.
What I'm getting at here is this sweet, tender moment is riddled with nervous energy of all-eyes-on-you.  We want that lovey-dovey moment... on our honeymoon, or in our apartment, or in our back parking lot where we practice dancing alone. 
I'm so glad we invited you to share our day & so glad you came, just don't judge our dancing.
Then bring us both a drink.
(We'll need it!)
(not us)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Table Assignments

The word "assignments" has the smaller word "ass" in it for a reason, I'm convinced. That's because assignments are a pain in your arse.  When we sat down to create table assignments, wine was necessary for that endeavor.

We began by printing out the list of guests, in 3 columns.  The columns were to save paper but also because we didn't need the names to be humungous.  As I was cutting up the names I realized it was a good idea to keep couples together.  Logically they will sit at the same table, so no need to separate them.

(last names skewed to protect the privacy of our guests)

Then we separated the guests into groups: friends & family.  Turns out our spread is pretty 50/50, which was a nice surprise.  From there, we went into further sub-groupings. Family from each side (groom/bride) logically went with their respective relatives, then friends from college, friends from work, and family friends.  We took care to consider age groupings, because while Mike's cool cousin can hang with the best of them, I'm sure she prefers to be with her peers.
Then the inevitable happened. We got stuck. 

You might not believe the complexity of making perfect tables of 10. Or maybe you've been there, and you do get it.  Either way, not everyone comes as a couple and not everyone can just be thrown in with people.  We shuffled. We did some math (106 people divided by 11 tables...). We consulted the oracle.

Eventually we had this:

And while it's not perfect, it will do.
How long will people sit there, anyways? Maximum an hour?

I honestly can't worry myself perfecting the groups.  They work, and people will be having a great time (and drinking too).
Next task at hand: creating the table "numbers"!
(which, sorry readers, will not be revealed until guests have a chance to see it with their own eyes first!)
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