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A mutual friend of ours recently got engaged.  Since I’ve been through the wedding planning process once, she asked me if I had any suggestions or advice as they start this huge endeavor.   I wrote here a few points upon which Joe told me it would make a good blog and I should share this information with others…so here you go.  My advice for “phase I wedding planning”  for the newly engaged.

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As for the wedding tips, I won’t pretend to be an expert, but it’s not like you plan one of these every day!!   These were things that I remember or thought as helpful in retrospect.

1)  Before you jump into planning (unless you are thinking wedding in less than 6 months)…remember to just enjoy being engaged for a bit. It’s huge!! Relax and celebrate a bit first… 🙂  (Look through magazines, at dresses…whatever is fun for you!)

2) Talk directly with you fiance and discuss what kind of wedding you both want. Family oriented? Destination? Small? Huge? Formal? Casual? Make sure you are on the same page because that scope determines everything else in the planning. Also, see how involved he wants to be. This will help eliminate disagreements down the road.

OR?


(Joe and I thankfully both really wanted all of our family there and we wanted it to be easy for out of town people to get to. This resulted in a medium sized wedding in Atlanta. Part of me would have loved the small beach wedding though!! ha!)

3) Create a budget and a rough guest list/how many people you expect to come*. These are the LEAST fun things to do, but if you find the perfect location but it won’t hold all your guests or is way out of your price range, it just leads to disappointment.  Also, doing the budget early allows you to see what kind of trade-offs you have to make. If you have $10,000 to spend, but want a $5000 dress, that means you’ll have to give up a lot of other things.


(*Early on, we did a rough count and figured out ~X number of people were in our budget. Later on in the planning process, we actually estimated the probability of an individual showing up. (my mom = 100%, distant cousin currently overseas probably not coming = 0% or 5%.  This also allowed us to say both our family, “You can invite Y number of  your friends…choose wisely.” haha!  Joe and I are also slightly more nerdy than others and organizing keeps me sane, so I made detailed spreadsheets for both the budget and the guest list.  Even if you don’t like this, it’s an easy way to keep track of it without all the information cluttering up your head!  I highly (HIGHLY!) recommend it!)

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That’s all I have for now.  I may add some lessons learned through the rest of the process, but then again I may not.  🙂  Good luck!

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THANKS! :)

Well everyone…we’re back!  I’m happy to report that Joe and I had a wonderful wedding!  We just got back from our honeymoon Sunday night.  I’m sure there will be many stories to share…but for now, I just wanted to say a quick thank you for everyone that came to the wedding and for those who wished us well from afar.  We really appreciate you and hope you had a great time as well!!  Thanks!!!

Stay tuned for more blogging…. 🙂

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Sara & Joe in the Bahamas! ❤

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Seriously…

So, I was checking in on the blog…not a lot of time for that recently as I am now losing sleep over the wedding.  It feels like finals week but with out the free food…and more showering but that is beyond the point.

…anyway, so my page views per day were obviously low for this month…~10.  Then, recently it jumped up to 180!  This is awesome, but seriously people?  What are you reading?!?  There is no new content!! I can’t really even figure out what anyone is viewing.

Anyway….in honor of the fact we will be gone for the election, get your predictions in now…what is going to happen in the upcoming presidential election???  Joe thinks riots… 😉

4 days to the wedding hoop-a-la.  🙂

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Wedding weather…

So, the wedding is 11 days away and it’s pretty much all I think about!  In my efforts to control for everything, I have been checking the weather.  weather.com doesn’t give data more than 10 days out, so I went over to accuweather.com.  Things were looking good, until I got greedy and wanted more sun.

Day #1:  “Ohhh, Nov 1…the weather will be partially sunny and 65.  Hrumph!  Only partially sunny???

Day#2:  “Nov 1….what’s this.  Periods of rain??  Well, at least its not rain all day!”

Day #3:  (today…please see below for picture)

“Seriously?  Perfect sun right UP TO the day I’m getting married??  Come on, now….”

I’m hoping that as it gets closer the weather will change.  I know weather predictions this far out are pretty unreliable (hence why weather.com doesn’t do it…)…but if it doesn’t change and it rains all day…maybe Joe and I can take one of those cute, dashing through the rain  photos…..

🙂

Curse you Alanis Morisette for you and your ‘irony’…next I expect a free ride and some good advice that I won’t take.

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Quick update!!

So, my deepest apologies for the blog drought that has hit Que Sera, Sara.  Last month was extremely hectic with work.  We had a lot of projects ending and papers that needed to get out the door.  After September, I have decided that I like my life far too much to ever buy into a consistent 50-60hr work week.   This month isn’t much better, but I’m getting a reprieve as I have a certain major event in my life coming up!

The wedding planning is coming along nicely.  I’m getting to the point that I have all my little tasks sort of scheduled out…and all the major things are taken care of…

…and I’m getting nervous/excited.  Joy helped me the other day with the final fitting so now my dress hangs from the ceiling in my closet, covered by a bed sheet to mitigate Koda hair contamination.  Every morning when I go to get ready, there it is…looming in my closet like the ghost of wedding future.  🙂

Well…that’s all I have time to write.  I have to get back to work, but again, I apologize for my lack of content.  I truly can not wait to get back to a normal schedule after the wedding & honeymoon!!

22 MORE DAYS!!!

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…and no.  Not the super cool, Ben Gibbard kind.  The real, blue short wearing, letter toting, postal service.

My trials and tribulations started probably 2 weeks ago when I started thinking about mailing the invitations.  (My goal date for dumping them in the mailbox is September 1st.)  Trying to be ever prepared, I brought a sample assembled invitation to the Post office so I would know exactly how much postage is required for each one.

Helpful man:  Everything in here?

Me:  Yep…its ready to go.

Helpful man:   Alright, that 1.4 ounces.  This means that you have to get the 59 cent stamps….which we are currently out of….seems like EVERYBODY just wants to get married….don’t know why….(-shifty eyes-)

Me:  Um…Ok – when do you expect those in?  (-thinks to self…”and Thanks so much for your positivity!!”)

Helpful man:  Sometime next week  Just stop by anytime and we should have them.

So, I bought the ‘RSVP’ stamps and made a mental note to stop by on my way to work sometime the next week to pick up the next installment of postage.  I stop by the following week to hear, “No ma’am.  We sure do not have those stamps.  Try back in a few days…”  First of all being called “Ma’am” was just too much for me (OLD!!!), but then…NO 59 cent stamps again.   Humph.  So, I left empty handed yet again.

The stamp saga boiled over yesterday.  I went to the post office again on my way to work….

Lady: Nope, we are out of all of those stamps.

Me:  (-visibly frustrated-)  Well, everyone keeps telling me just to ‘stop back by’, and you never have them.  What would you recommend me do?

Lady: Well, let me call the next closet store and see if they have any…(hurries off)

Me:  (-about to say, ‘No thank you…’)…..Ummm……….thanks.

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15 minutes pass

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Me: (-to the next post office worker currently without customer-) Excuse me sir.  The lady that was here…do you know if she is coming back?

Rude worker:  (indignantly) Did she call you to the counter??

Me:  Yes, and she said she was going to get something, but has been gone a very long time…I was just wondering if you could…..

Rude Worker:  Well if she said she’s getting something, she’ll be back.  (-huffily rolls eyes-)  NEXT!!!!

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10 minutes pass — I don’t want to be rude by leaving, but seriously, did she forget about me????

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Lady:  (emerging from back room)….WELLL!  No one except the office on Windy Hill has them.  She is holding the right number for you.  Just ask for ‘Rainy Day’ and they’ll know what to do.

Me:  Rainy day??  (all the while thinking…’Is this a name or a code word??’  I imagine myself entering the post office, cloak-n-dagger style…slinking across the lobby…looking over my shoulder…approaching the man at the counter…”I’m here for……….(whispers) rainy day.  I’m expecting a package.”  HAHAHAH)

Lady:  Yep.  Rainy day.  Windy Hill.  The one in Marietta, not Smyrna.

Me:  Thank you very much.

So, while at work, I find where the Marietta store is located, check the hours, chart a course, and head out after work.  It took me 45 minutes just to get there…but I know that the end is in sight.  The office is not in the best part of town.  It has bars on the windows and doors and is located behind a pawn shop.  I walk in obviously standing out…

Girl: Um…can I help you?

Me: Yes.  I am here to pick up stamps.   (- I don’t want to blow my cover yet by dropping the ‘Rainy Day’ on them-)

Girl: We ran out of stamps yesterday…

I told the poor girl my plight to find 59 cent stamps, I mentioned Rainy Day and was met with blank stares, I asked if this was in fact the store in Marietta and not Smyrna which they confirmed that it was…and as I was about to leave dejected…..she said…

Girl: Why don’t you just buy them online??

As I drove home, I thought about her parting words.  It’s not that I hadn’t considered that…I just never imagine that dealing directly with humans would be so gosh darn difficult….and lame as it sounds, I didn’t want to pay postage on my postage.   I fumed on my additional 45 minute drive home and resolved to call a few placed the next day then if nothing worked, just order them online.

So this morning, I called my local post office…to be met by a busy number.  After 10 minutes of trying, I gave up and went online.    (…you think it ends there…but oh no.)

To order things online from USPS.com, one must have an account.  No biggie.   User name.  Password.   Credit card.  Home free………..but you would think that the USPS was really a secret organization with all the login requirements…please see below.

All of my normal user names were taken.  I went thru 4 iterations (having to re-type everything with each try) before coming up with one that worked.  (Joe – ask me what I did…you’ll smile) The password required “Minimum 8 characters, at least 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, and 1 number”.  REALLY!?!  So, I made up one that I’ll never remember, and then, had to do the “secret question”.  This process took me much longer than I would have ever wanted…OH! and postage was only $1.  Note to self—would have been SOOOOOooooo worth it.

……so in 3 – 5 days, I will get my stamps.  My beautiful 59 cent wedding stamps.   When you get the invitation in the mail, please take a moment of silence to appreciate the outer beauty in remembrance of my 2 week battle before opening the envelope.  Thank you.

…I just hope the rest of the “simple tasks” on my list for the wedding are not this complex.  🙂

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Invitations…

So,,,our wedding invitations are supposed to come in the mail today.  I keep checking the UPS website every 20 minutes to see if they have been delivered.

….I’m excited but more so…I just hope that they are right.  I spent so much time agonizing over what to order.  (Please see Emma’s blog for an animated representation of what I went through.)  Honestly, there is so much froofy wedding stuff.  It’s hard to wade thru it all…NO.  I do not want Cinderella on my invitations.  No castles.   No roses.  No hearts.  Bleeeeh.  I did find some that were awesome.  Modern.  Unique.  …And like $10 for one measly invitation.  HAHA.

Anyway, things are coming along.  I can’t believe how soon the wedding is.  I have this binder full of tasks and “to-do’s” by month.  We are now on the 2-3 months page…when I still have tasks open from the 6-7 month one.  (-groan-)

Veee shalll seeeee………

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