Countdown to “I Do” – 4 Months

4 Months from today I will wake up laying next to my husband.  Wow.  Typing that feels so strange, and yet so very right.  4 months from yesterday will be the biggest, most exciting day of our lives.  While I sit here and think that it’s still such a long time to wait emotionally (we have been more than halfway tempted to elope several times so far),  I know that realistically it is no time at all.  The checklist of major wedding planning things has gotten a lot smaller, but that has all of the little tedious things still undone.

So far we have accomplished:

  • Flowers
  • Wedding dress
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Church and Venue
  • Invites (are printed and on there way to me as I type)
  • Cake
  • Menu/tasting
  • 99% sure on the DJ (just need to officially deposit and book it
  • Mom has a mother of the bride dress
  • Shower/bachelorette dates
  • Groom and Groomsmen attire chosen
  • My wedding ring purchased (just over a week after we got engaged..)
  • 90% on Erik’s wedding ring choice (big step forward)
  • Registries at 3 places
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Salon for getting beautified chosen

I’d say…I hope we’re doing pretty well.   Up until this point I have a been a pretty easy, stress free bride, and I really hope I can manage to stay that way.  Addressing the invitations has been stressing me out a bit, but we are using clear, classing looking labels (don’t judge, all of you “invites should be hand written” people…You have no idea how my handwriting looks..) which makes it easier….until the excel sheet doesn’t import correctly and you are stuck using copy/paste for last names and addresses of around 110 people.  That’s how I spent several hours yesterday, and even then I had about a dozen and a half that printed oddly because I originally tried mail merge first.

Technology is great until it fails you… *sigh*

 

Now is the time I start thinking about favors and place cards (I think we are using cute coasters, which knocks out two birds with one stone), what jewelry and shoes I’m going to wear (and what I want my girls to wear), bridesmaid gifts, a gift for my soon to be hubby on the big day, and fretting about organizing life when RSVP cards start to come in.  It’s all so much fun and yet I find myself easily overwhelmed as well.  I hope I get some leeway with my stress level because I have no help in Chapel Hill with me.  Erik helps when he can, but it’s more about knowing I have help available when I ask for it, which I know I won’t always have here (as proven by the fact he didn’t get home until after 2am last night..).  Despite all of that, I know that when I get stressed out about any of it, he will take the two seconds he has to give me a hug, a kiss and tell me it’s going to be fine.  If he has more than two seconds and I’m stressing about a task I’m actually doing rather than the thought of something (believe me, my thoughts stress me out 50 times harder than my actual tasks), I know he’ll offer to help when he can.  I’m reminded every day how lucky I am to be marrying this man, and I can’t wait to call him my husband.

 

While the little tasks are starting to pile up I still have a hard time believing what an easy process this has been so far.  I have an amazing fiancé, connections back home that are helping with everything: (Thank you again, Mike for EVERYTHING.), a friend from church doing invites, my aunt’s best friend doing my centerpieces (don’t worry, she’s a multi million dollar contracted architect and designer..I trust her), my sister’s bff for hooking us up with a great media team, and my mom (and future in-laws) being so wonderful throughout the whole process.

I am such a blessed woman.

 

4-months to go 🙂

My Wedding Planning Visit Home: Part 1

On July 31, 2013 Erik and I packed up the Green Hornet (aka my car, a 2012 lime green Ford Fiesta. The name is thanks to my dad…I have yet to come up with a better one) and hit the road to head back to Illinois for a long weekend.  Once we returned from this trip I would be officially losing Erik to the world of MBA (his orientation started that coming Monday) so this was the last real chance I had to get him truly involved in the wedding planning process.  The result of this fact was a road trip back home (home for me anyway) for 3 days of appointments, decisions and family time.

Thankfully Erik’s mom, dad, and sister, Kristin (also one of my bridesmaids), were going to be in Oshgosh, WI for an annual trip they take to an airplane festival type event.  This meant that Kristin and his mom were going to be able to drive to Illinois and come spend the weekend doing wedding planning with us, which was such a blessing, as I want them to be as involved with the process as they can be.

Erik and I are getting good at enduring long car rides together.  We spend a lot of the time talking about things, and yes, sometimes we hit metaphorical pot holes (to go right along with the real ones) and end up arguing for a bit, but the nice thing about that is we are both stuck in a car, so we tend to discover a problem, discuss it intensely, and come up with a solution all within the car ride.  If you and your significant other think your relationship could use some work, go on a 800 mile road trip.  It helps.  Maybe it’s because our entire relationship up until the move has been long distance (save maybe a month total of time spent in the same state thanks to various visits) so communicating is something we do well, but every time we hit a disagreement or problem, talking it out works, and even if there isn’t an instant solution, we figure out what conscious efforts each of us need to make to fix it.  Signs I know i’m with the right man 🙂

Anyway, after a 14 hour ride we arrived at my parent’s house around 9:30pm.  Romano’s pizza was there waiting for us (this was also the weekend of “make sure Brianna gets to eat (and Erik’s family gets to experience) all of the Chicago-area food that isn’t anywhere else”).  Romano’s is a place my family has been eating at my entire life, so it was nice to have that to refuel us after a long drive.  The best part about walking into my house was seeing my dogs.  That is the thing I miss the most about being home; I don’t have any furry friends to offer the unconditional love, cuddling, and allergy problems (okay, that one isn’t a loss) that I have been used to my entire life.   After a little bit of visiting with my family, we headed over to my grandfather’s house where we were staying.  He and Marilyn (his girlfriend)) live there now (for a time he lived at her place and I stayed there, until the epic flood that happened early spring), and were awesome enough to let us stay in the apartment upstairs while we were in town so I could avoid the allergy doom that would have come with sleeping at my parents house.  After visiting with Pops and Marilyn for a bit, we went to bed, having no problems passing out with a day full of driving and knowing the wedding planning chaos that was ahead.

Thursday

Thursday started easy, with being able to sleep in a bit.  Erik decided he and I should go out for breakfast, so we asked Grandpa and Marilyn to come along, and they did.  I’ve always loved watching Erik and my grandfather getting along as well as they have the few times they’ve seen each other.  We took the opportunity to sit and talk about life in North Carolina, church hunting, etc, because that was the only chance we’d have to really sit and talk to them without the rest of the family around.   Fueled my hearty grained pancakes, fruit, Egg Beaters and turkey bacon, we were ready to embark on our wedding planning mission of the day: the florist.

A friend of mine from college, Mike, is in the wedding business in the area and has been amazing with offering me recommendations for where to go for various wedding things (for which I owe him majorly), and the florist was one of the places he hooked us up with.  We went in and talked flowers with Annie, who ended up being very knowledgeable, helpful and straight forward.  Did you know that there are carnations that grow naturally in several magnificent shades of purple??  Yeah, me either.  Well now a few of those will be with me on my wedding day.  We spent about two hours with her discussing arrangements, ideas for the church, and even her nephew, who has Muscular Dystrophy as well.  I love when that sort of thing serves as an instant bonding agent between myself and people I’ve just met.  It’s sort of like finding another Alpha Chi Omega; you might have just met, but you’re now bonded in a way you weren’t before.

After spending time at the flower shop we went to church to meet with Pam, a woman from my church who has known me pretty much my entire life (as far as I can remember it’s my whole life) and is doing all of our invitations and other paper needs. We walked into a bit a of a welcome party with the group of people that happened to be in the building at that time, which was wonderful.  I feel so at home there, and have missed my church greatly since being away.  After some socializing we got down to business and spent some time discussing our invites, arguing over the RSVP cards (there were 6 people in attendance, all of which voiced opinions..it got intense at times), but finished with a good idea of what direction to go.  Ever since Pam and i have been shooting emails and PDF files back and forth, trying to find what’s just right. Today (8/24) is when I finally sent the “perfect! let’s do this!” email.

The only other thing on the agenda for Thursday was dinner with my Aunt Norene.  We went to Lonestar Steakhouse (just the 3 of us) and had good food and good conversation.  She also showed us our engagement present.  She was awesome enough to get us our crystal toasting flutes for the big day.  They’re beautiful.

After dinner we got a call that Pam was at my parent’s house with revisions in hand already, so we hiked it back over there for a bit before heading back to grandpa’s for the evening.  One busy day down and two more to go.

 

Say tuned for part 2, complete with photos.  When Erik’s mom shows up you know there will be plenty of photos.  🙂