Down to the nine month mark! This past month has been more thinking and visualizing rather than actually making concrete decisions and plans. I mean, we have our venue and I got my dress, the rest is a cake-walk, right?
One thing I can happily say is that I haven’t been a bridezilla.
Right, Tom? RIGHT?!?!
But seriously, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t done any crazy complaining or stressing. I mean, I’ve watched some of those shows with crazy brides, and they totally stress me out. I can’t make it more than 2 minutes before I need to either change the channel or walk out of the room.
Like, these women are nuts. And it makes me question the sanity of the chump that asked them to spend the rest of their lives together. You really want to spend each and every day with her? And then there are her friends/bridesmaids whom she treats like total garbage. How have they not ended the friendship? Why did they agree to be in her wedding? And how on Earth do they restrain themselves from punching her in the face?!
Breathe, Holliday. Breathe.
But since I haven’t been stressing too much, I was so surprised when I had this crazy wedding dream/nightmare a couple weeks ago. I wrote about it here, so check out how strange it was.
I guess the one thing that hit home the most with that dream was the part about my mom not coming. I’ve been stressing about this the most and trying to figure out possible ways to get her down here. And then the guilt sets in.
Am I selfish for having my wedding down in Long Island instead of upstate? It has been less stressful planning it down here, and yet I feel like a horrible daughter in making it more difficult for my mom to come.
So I’ve been looking into finding resources in order to get mom down here:
- Her friend offered to pay for transportation down here – plane, train, whatever – so that’s one less thing to worry about. Realistically, a plane would be the best way because she can’t sit in her chair for more than a few hours.
- From there, we’d need to find transportation from the airport to Long Island (and vice versa when she goes home).
- We would need to have an aide with her for whenever she needed meds, to use the bathroom, and transporting between her motorized chair to bed.
- Along with the aide, the nursing home uses a Hoyer lift for these transports, so we’d probably need one of those.
Is there such a thing as renting a nursing home room or assisted living space for a night? That would be great!
On top of all this, the most important thing is keeping her stress level as low as possible. Stress exacerbates her condition, so we would need to make everything as easy on her as we could. This was actually one of the reasons we didn’t hold it upstate.
No matter what we plan, in the end, her MS will rule the day and decide how she feels. So even if we did hold it upstate, there’s always a chance that she may wake up that morning and feel like total garbage and be unable to attend anyways. See my dilemma?
Whew, okay, let’s move on. I’m becoming a stress-ball again.
On a lighter note, I’ve been designing our Save the Dates. In the wedding world, they call these STDs for short; I know, weird. Tom suggested skipping the STDs…wait…ahem, let’s just use Save the Dates. Come on Holliday, be mature.
You know you were thinking it too.
So Tom suggested just skipping Save the Dates and going straight to the invitations. Because we are having a wedding that has the potential for a lot of out-of-town guests, it would be a great idea to get a head count earlier than typical timelines suggest. This way we will have an idea of how many hotel rooms we might need to block, how many guests in general for ceremony and meal preparations, and how many would attend a separate reception if we held one upstate.
On top of that, we need to figure out a picture we both like to put on the Save the Dates and/or Invitations; we might need a few depending on what design we go with. Tom and I both like the Save the Date postcard idea, so if we do send STDs, we’ll probably go with something like this:
Except Tom isn’t a fan of the front picture. Which brings me to finding a photographer…
So an appointment had been made to meet with the photography company that works closely with our venue. Except someone (I won’t name names) slept through said appointment. Normally I think this would stress me (or anyone) out, but to be honest I’m not too impressed with that company’s portfolio.
Since they are based in Long Island, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the original appointment anyways, since I have grad school and work during the week. I’ve had my eye on two other photographers whose work I find so much better, but obviously they’re a bit pricier. I want the photos to be amazing, so I really don’t want to skimp and end up with crummy pictures just to save a few bucks. But I also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, either.
So I made an appointment with one of the other photography companies I liked better, and I’m hoping that things will go well and we can decide to go with them. I’d also like to set up an engagement session with them. This way we can become comfortable with our photographer and we can all get an idea of what we want for the big day.
A couple weeks ago, we asked Tom’s dad to take a few pictures at the beach where we got engaged since he has a pretty nice camera. We have this running joke about not wanting super awkward pictures, so I mentioned poses like the ‘peering around a tree at each other’ pose. So we made a point to take a picture like that for fun, knowing that it is something we want to avoid with actual engagement pictures.
Even with our desire not to get awkward pictures, we got plenty of them that day. Not because we were super pose-y or cheesey, but because it was super windy and sunny at the beach. We wanted candid, we got candid. All I have to say is watch what you wish for. Outtakes might be posted on our wedding website, so wear a diaper for that experience.
Speaking of, Tom and I got to sit down and work on the website together last weekend. Tom did most of the work while I sat next to him and made my suggestions for overall look and functions. I’m always so amazed when I watch him do stuff with computers!
How did you know what to do to fix that? How did you know to type that? Where did you learn all this stuff?!
I’ve learned a lot along the way because he knows how to break things down and explain them to someone who is not completely technology illiterate but is nowhere near his level of knowledge. It was a nice bonding time for us and hopefully the site will be up soon.
On top of all that, I realized that this year will be the first time we get to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together! Tomorrow, November 17, is the three year mark since we met, but we haven’t actually spent a major holiday together because of the whole 400-miles-between-us thing. We’ve talked over Skype on such days, but to actually be able to be with each other and share the joy that those days bring makes me really excited.
And (okay, let’s get cheesy for a second) kind of emotional. I mean, you have no idea how long I’ve waited to be able to spend special days – holidays, birthdays, even just going out on dates – with Tom. It’s crazy thinking about all the time we spent so far away, all the things we couldn’t do, all the experiences and memories we couldn’t share because of the distance between us.
Through the difficult times, the frustrations, the doubts, the short visits, the extreme loneliness following the short visits, and the inability to share all the good times without a screen between us. After 2 years of that, you can imagine how ecstatic I am knowing that Tom and I no longer have to endure these!
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. –Romans 5: 1-5
Yes, we will still have frustrating times; I understand that marriage does not magically take away problems. If anything, problems will be brought to light or created as a married couple spending a lot of time together. But we’ll be able to work through them face to face. God seriously tested our relationship, and now we’re going to be joined in marriage! And I’m pumped!
So I told Tom the other day that we might just need to get one of those cheesy “Our First Christmas” ornaments for the tree this year! And we can put one of our awkward beach photos on it. Like this one:
Or maybe something more like this:
All I know is there are plenty of awkward pictures to choose from. And all I can say is that we’re a couple of awkward people. And we must embrace it.
So, to put a twist on Romans 5: 3-5,
We rejoice in our shared awkwardness because it produces our endurance to deal with each other’s awkward characters. Let us hope that we can get pictures a little less awkward. If not, we have no shame because God loves us no matter what.
So I had a very vivid and clear dream last night. It was about my wedding. And it was not something I would hope will happen on the real day…
I got in the car and the policewoman said, “I’m going back to the station, do you want a ride?”
I don’t know whose cat I was holding in my lap, but it was trying its hardest to get out of my grasp. I glanced at the clock on the dashboard of the cop car.
1:35. My wedding was at 2. “I better not seeing as I am supposed to get married in 25 minutes.” I was surprisingly calm despite the fact that I had less than half an hour before my wedding was scheduled to start.
I exited the car, let the cat go, and was on my way. Luckily I was already at my venue, so there wasn’t any travel time to worry about. No one ever gets married on time, so it won’t be terrible if we start a bit late.
When I got to the bridal suite, which was more like a wooden canopy that would double as the altar, two of my bridesmaids were waiting for me. They were going to style my hair, except I remembered I hadn’t had a chance to shower yet and I’m pretty sure I had worked out earlier, so my hair was in need of more than just a curling iron and hairspray.
“I was hoping to at least use some dry shampoo,” I said. But there was none available, so I just had to deal with what they were able to do.
The next thing I knew, there was a golf caddy letting us know that it was tee-time. Tom and his groomsmen had planned a golf outing before the wedding. Shouldn’t they have done that much earlier? Maybe it was busy and it had to be pushed back? Hmm, I hope they play quickly and are back in time for the ceremony.
The masseuse/makeup artist then came by to my “suite”; he seemed very fabulous, although his face was kind of scary. He went over the pricing of the treatments he suggested for me, put some foundation on my face, and was quickly on his way elsewhere.
Well I guess today is all about simplicity, I thought to myself. Today is about our marriage. I guess my hair and makeup don’t have to be too much. But at least I know my dress will be gorgeous.
Speaking of, where was my dress? I glanced to my right and saw it crumpled on a shelf. It still looked clean, so hopefully no one would notice if there were a few wrinkles.
All of a sudden, I saw my whole family walking into the canopy. My whole dad’s side of the family was able to come, which was something I had been unsure of since the wedding was a 7-hour drive for most of them. I was so happy and started greeting them with hugs and “I’m so glad you could make it.”
I then came to the sinking conclusion that my mom hadn’t been able to make it. I don’t remember telling her where the wedding was going to be, and therefore I don’t remember her saying she would be there. I felt terrible.
At this point I was all set to go; I had my wedding dress on and all of a sudden I heard the processional music begin. Oh my gosh, I’m not even in place! Tom can’t see me until I’m walking down the aisle!
So I grabbed my dad’s arm and we walked around the back of the wooden canopy so that the guys could get in place at the altar. As we made our way around, there was a whole marching band that had set up on the porch of the main building and started playing and singing a happy song to get me pumped about my wedding. They were holding a banner too, although I can’t recall what it said.
Wow, this is so nice! After all the chaos of the past 25 minutes, things are going pretty smoothly. And I’m excited to finally be getting married!
I glanced down at my dress as we walked. I think it looks nice! And I’m glad I worked out earlier because it fits great!
I couldn’t wait to see Tom’s face when he saw me. And see how handsome he looked in his tux. We made it to the aisle and started the processional. But then, about halfway down, my dad started speed walking. I tried holding his arm tighter and saying, “Whoa, where are you going? Slow down.”
He broke free from my grasp and ran the rest of the way, leaving me stumbling the rest of the way. When my dad moved out of the way, I had a clear view of Tom. He was lounging in the chair I had been sitting in earlier. And he had his everyday clothes on. Jeans. Sneakers. Striped blue and white polo.
“Are you serious? Why aren’t you dressed up?” I asked.
“I was just golfing,” he replied. I was really upset at the fact that he wasn’t taking this seriously. I then realized that my dad had been wearing a flannel shirt, cut-off shorts, and sneakers this entire time.
This isn’t a freaking hoe down! This is my wedding and I can’t believe no one is treating it like one!
Without saying a word, I just walked away. I walked around the back of the canopy, the way we had gone earlier to make it around to the aisle. The band and singers were all still set up on the porch, probably waiting to play some celebratory tunes when the ceremony was over. But they realized that this was not a good sign, that I was walking away without my groom in tow. They started chattering inaudibly, probably making up scenarios as to what had happened.
I walked down the busy road in front of the venue in my wedding dress and heels. God only knows what those in the cars passing by were thinking of me. I probably looked like a tragic mess. Greasy hair. No makeup. A wrinkly wedding dress.
I continued walking until I came to a beach. I went and stood in the sand and the water. Something was going on there; a bunch of large machines were floating on the water. They weren’t boats but more like large metal boxes as large as buildings. A crowd began to gather, so I decided I should probably leave.
I walked back down the road toward the venue thinking that hopefully the day could be salvaged. A few speed bumps shouldn’t completely bring this special day to a screeching halt. As the wooden canopy came into view, the dream ended.
A little less than 10 months to go! As much as I would like to write about all of the things we got done this past month, there honestly hasn’t been many changes since my last post. But with good reason…
Long Island knows how to do weddings. I mean, it’s like a wedding factory down here. And not in a bad “get in, get out, bring on the next one,” wedding-a-minute type thing. But down here, it’s so competitive that they are all ready to offer you as much as they can, all in one place, to make your wedding and life easier. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
Some of my friends that have gotten or are getting married upstate were/are so stressed dealing with so many different vendors because each aspect of their ceremonies and receptions was being taken care of by a separate entity. Our venue is our ceremony and reception site, is our caterer, and will be taking care of linens. So it was so exciting getting to check multiple things off the to-do list just by booking our venue.
Plus, down here most venues are partnered with photographers, cake bakeries, florists, etc. whom they have worked with and trust enough to recommend. We have an appointment in a couple weeks with the photographer they recommended, so hopefully they fit our vision. Since they have worked at our venue many times, they know all the good spots for pictures. Bottom line: nothing corny. Like these.
Pricing down here makes much more sense, too; at some of the upstate venues I looked at, it was if you were casually eating out at a restaurant and had to pay for everything separately. And I mean everything. You want chicken? That’ll be $5 per person. Steak? $9. Choose your sides: you want potatoes? That’s going to be another $4 per potato-eating person. And so on, and so forth.
I realize that’s not how all places are up there, but there is nothing that complicated down here. You get a menu that lays out every single thing offered: you get to choose 8 hors d’oeuvres from a list of 20, then you get to choose 3 entrees (usually you choose chicken, beef, and fish) which all come with sides, you choose whether you want an open bar or just the beer/wine/signature drink choice, and so much more…and you get all this for one flat rate per person depending on what month you are getting married.
Note: June-October are the most expensive. Obviously. If you’re looking for a bargain, get hitched in December or January – it’s about $30 less per person! But personally I would not want to be trudging around in the cold with the possibility of snow.
So needless to say I’m extremely happy to be saved from all the stress that I’ve heard and seen others go through when planning their weddings. The biggest thing on my mind lately has been my dress, but I guess I wouldn’t say it has been really stressing me out. Of course I want to look amazing on my wedding day, but I knew I would find one that I liked. Plus, we have 10 months; I was told to find one no later than 9 months before the wedding in order to allow time for fittings, alterations, etc.
I have been scouring websites and building up my ‘Love and Marriage’ board on Pinterest with dresses for a couple weeks now. Plus, my friend and maid of honor Courtney had been planning to come down this week so that we could go dress shopping with my future mother-in-law, so I wasn’t too worried.
And I’m happy to say that I found my dress!!!!!!!!
There’s an awesome story behind it, but I think I’ll wait awhile to tell you. It’s actually one of the dresses on my Pinterest board, so that’s fun! I thought it was pretty when I saw it online, but it’s so hardto know how a dress flows and what it feels and looks on you until it’s actually on you.
All I know is that as soon as I saw it on me, I was so overwhelmed with happiness. And there were tears. I didn’t get this way with any of the dresses the first time I tried some on, and I was kind of unsure as to whether I would have a teary reaction at all. But I know myself and if there wasn’t a tiny bit of water works, it wasn’t the dress.
And it happened. I cried. Mrs. Harrigan cried. Although she had tears for pretty much all of the dresses I had tried on previously 🙂 But that’s to be expected.
I originally wasn’t much into the idea of a veil, but when the lady at the bridal salon put one on me, it all just fit together. After awhile of ogling at myself, she asked if I wanted to try other dresses on. I was kind of unsure. I figured since we were already out, why not? But when she asked what style I wanted, I just looked at myself, still wearing the dress, and said, “This.” She smiled and said, “So is this your dress?” And I said, “Yes, I love this.” And that was it!
The biggest thing for this next month is to get the wedding website all set and looking pretty so that people can actually start using it. I’ve been putting content on there and trying to make it look nice, and Tom has to do more functionality stuff to make things work better and so that people can RSVP on it. Other than that, this month has been smooth sailing.
It’s been nice without added stress of having to take care of so many things this past month. Especially since I wasn’t with Tom (other than short Skype chats here and there) for 3 of the last 4 weeks. With work, school, my friend visiting from out of town, and Tom going to Amsterdam for a weeklong work trip, it was very hectic for both of us. But then we got to spend last weekend (and it was a long weekend for me with Columbus Day!) together, and it was wonderful. ♥
Wowee what a crazy couple of weeks. It’s insane that I’ve been engaged for almost a month now! We just went to a wedding 2 weeks ago, so it was nice to get ideas for our own. And it was fun getting to dance together…for the first time since we met almost 3 years ago!
Annnd of course I don’t have a single picture of the two of us from that night. I know the photographer got at least one, but I don’t know about getting my hands on one. If I can find one somewhere (anywhere!) I will insert it here.
In these quick 4 weeks, we’ve made progress on our own wedding! We were able to check off the most important thing: the ceremony/reception venue.
Deciding where we wanted the ceremony/reception was a big decision. No, not what building to hold them in (that was super easy for us, actually), but what part of the state. I’m from Batavia (between Buffalo and Rochester; “practically Canada” I tell most downstaters) and Tom is from Stony Brook (Long Island. And, no, that is not considered part of New York City), so it was a tough decision to make since most of our respective families live close to where we each grew up.
One of the biggest factors was my mom; if we held it in Long Island, there’s no way she would be able to make the 6+ hour trip by any mode of transportation (I realize a plane would be shorter, but then you have to think of getting there early and going through security, and then trying to get her on the plane in her motorized chair…). Plus, the stress of all that would do her in. Then, when she got down here, what would happen if she needed to use the bathroom? We would honestly need to hire a nurse or something to do all that.
Okay, so we’d have it upstate. Again, she would have to travel a distance to get to the venue since there’s nowhere in my hometown that I want to get married in. Again, stress would ensue and make matters worse. And again, bathroom situation.
We went so far as to make a pros/cons chart:
Long story short (too late?), after Tom and I discussed it with my mom and got her input, we’ve decided to have a ceremony and reception down here in Long Island on August 16, 2014. Then, for my mom and others that can’t make it, we plan to hold a separate reception/party upstate in my hometown. This separate shindig might be soon after, depending on how hectic our schedules are; it could end up being a month or two or four after. Who knows?
Although I’m really bummed about my mom not being able to see me get married (and I know she is too), we still have time to maybe figure something out so that she could come. If not, we plan on hiring a videographer so that she can see the whole thing; maybe we can look into hooking up some live-streaming? Has anyone had any success with that?
I did try on a few dresses the other day; I liked a couple, but not enough to commit to one after my first visit. We took a picture of my favorite one on my new iPhone (as in just got it an hour before), but then we had to take it to Sprint and he reset the phone…sooo there’s no evidence at all that I was wearing a wedding dress. Bummer, but oh well.
I think that’s it for updates at this point. Until next time! Cheers.