Want To Keep Up With Amber, Alex and the whole Sweeney crew as they live life as Newlyweds?

The Check Out:

The Sweeneys

Become a Follower of this blog by clicking over here ---->

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Brilliant Penguin

Miss Penguin, that is.

Oh yes, another Wedding Bee Wonder! *Sigh* I am in awe of the woman on this board. They must be channeling Martha or something because, really I'm pretty creative and lately I require a helmet to even think hard.

I am not ashamed to say I will steal their ideas and sprinkle them around my wedding reception!
However my upbringing will completely stop me from being able to take full credit for them and I know about 300 times at my wedding reception I will be saying things like:

"Oh, my centerpieces? Thank you! Well I got the idea from Mrs Lemon on Wedding Bee....."

"You loved the favors, how sweet! Well you see Miss Penguin did it with.....oh who's Miss Penguin...well..."

My latest love is Miss Penguin's favors, which just happens to be coasters!

Oh I know, how perfect right? I have a box of 156 glass Love coasters, that got voted of the Favor Island a month back to be replaced with cookies. Well I've now started to think of booting the cookies, and bringing back the coasters and giving them the Penguin Treatment.

Once the votes are tallied I'll let you know which contestant will remain on Favor Island. Until then I'm back to my Wedding Bee bloggers, to drool over the little details....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sudden realization

Holy Crap, there's less then half a year left until I actually get married.

I need a drink.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Move over Liberace! There's a new Queen of BLING!

I'm all about the BLING! effect on the wedding. I think the sparkle is going to be really cool and I'm trying to incorporate it in as much of the wedding as possible with out things ending up looking like one of Liberace's Vegas Show outfits.

So far I think I'm safe.

A month or so back my FMIL (come on...what's that stand for?? You keeping up with the blogs? It means: Future Mother In Law) Had this really neat idea to BLING! the centerpieces a bit. So after some searching and trial runs, she chose this: Twinklets Diamond Dust Crystals

Caution: these are actual tiny pieces of crushed glass so be careful when using it and not to place it on things little fingers (or drunken fingers for that matter) will reach for it, curious as to what it feels like.

FMIL too the crystals and added them to the rim of the tallest candle holder in the centerpiece. Here they are all boxed up - finding something to put them in until the wedding was the hardest part for her she said.

And a close up of the centerpiece all done (sans the medium candles) Please never mind the pool table and boxes around it!

The close up is better then the full shot, as it looks more like "snow" then glitter - but I assure you when it's lit the sparkle radiates! It's really cool! Plus with the specks of BLING! in the charger plate the candles sit on, it just adds even more to it! It's just the right amount of BLING!

I can't wait to have it all together so take some real pictures of it!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hey, Thanks Man!

I have to admit, I can't wait for our first wedding gift to arrive in the mail. What will it be? Who will it be from? Will I be able to wait for Alex to get home from work to open it, should it arrive on a weekday. (Doubtful)

Regardless of all those looming questions, I am preparing now for this possible flooding of gifts by trying to get the Thank You cards designed. Yeah, I know I designed some a while back - but I'm not feeling the design anymore. Plus, I really want to incorporate this little "seal" that I have created which will also be used on the invite.

So, in my attempt at creation for the night here's what I managed to come up with. Either really plain, or really....not so plain....lol.

Leave me a comment and tell me which you vote for! Please, I could really use your help! The check out the other wedding stuff I've created (to see my theme, if you will) click here or here for the invites themself - including the first Thank You card I designed.




The cards will be printed on folded 80lb Linen finish card stock, professionally.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

(Un) Organized

I normally pride myself on being organized. I don't know why - because really I'm not all that organized, if I were to have to label it I would have to say that I am organized in a "chaos theory" kinda way.

I picked apart Amazon.com looking for the perfect wedding planner about 5 months ago. (See photo to left) When I got it, I loved it and I filled it quickly with everything. Pictures, receipts and ideas, names numbers - you name it. It went EVERYWHERE with me. A few months later. I banned this planner to my desk after an important receipt was left behind at my cabin.

So then I turned to my mini filing cabinet, where I've put all the other receipts and info, pamphlets, and so on. But then I realized that, you know I can't really take this anywhere with me. I mean; I can, but it's rather bulky and I'm not up on starting the new "cabinet purse" trend. Yes it's helpful, it's rather cute as well with is pink top matching my wedding colors, but still it's slowly becoming the second hand man to a wedding planner - but where would I find one just as I wanted it? And with only 6 months to go was it necessary to have one?

So the other day while walking though Target I came across a new organizer. A sturdy grey, 3-ring binder with room for everything. I picked it up and fumbled through, in awe. I placed it back on the shelf turning temptation down. The binder called to me from 10 isles away, and trust me I went back again playing devil advocate on spending the extra $17, but still walked away again.

Not too long after the fateful meeting of me and said-binder at Target, I spoke with my contact at the country club and she reminded me of the date and time for my tasting. She then asked me to bring "my book" with me when we came so she could get the vendor info she would need for the wedding day. My Book? She said it as if she expected me to have one, that every bride on the planet has one and I will not really be apart of this club if I don't have one and bring it with me.

At least this is what I have been telling myself in hopes of talking myself into buy a new planner. I go back and forth, on one hand I can e-mail her the info really easily, however think of how trendy and on top of things I will look walking in with "my book".

I will never really need this info again, however think of the keepsake value!?

In the end I have only 5 days to my tasting so I'd better make my mind up fast on weather or not I need this item as much as I think I do. And before you throw out there the "Oh it's just $17" let me remind you that we're over budget as is, have a mortgage and a 3 year old. It's never just $17!

Sometimes you need to step back

I know my blogs are normally quite funny, quirky and even a bit sarcastic, but I'd like to step away from that for a moment if it's all right with you and touch on a subject that is in fact wedding related but maybe not talked about as much as the dress or the party.

There are people who will, sadly not attend my wedding in the body but instead join me in spirit. Who will hold my hand and smile upon me as if to tell me how proud they are. Some of these people I spent a lot of time with, some just a little and some, none at all.

On my car ride home this evening from a birthday party a song came on the radio and the words touched me, prompting me to write this blog before I turned in for the night.

Jason Aldean, a country singer sang:

This past year my family
Was sittin cross-legged 'round the Christmas tree
Listenin to granddad, we all knew it would probably be his last
He was crackin jokes and we were takin turns
Tellin stories bout fishing or lessons learned
Out on the porch with him we all felt like kids again

Oh man we were livining, sitting there reminiscing
Yeah, we sang and talked and traveled back in time
We laughed until we cried

It reminded me of the hours I spent in my Grandfathers house, just before Thanksgiving in 2007, as he suffered of cancer, waiting for the good Lord to take him home. The grand kids and his soon to be Grand Son in Law, whom is more like him then he will ever have the privilege of knowing in it's full force, traded stories and we did - Laugh Until We Cried.

On this day, the 5th anniversary of the death of man I never had the honor to meet, meets me with tears. My future husbands Grand Dad, a man who's legacy still lives in the town he brought many memories too and who, if I describe as being popular wouldn't do him justice, will be one of those men meeting me in spirit the day I marry.

And in preparation for my memory table I purchased photo frame to hold a photo of each loved one gone. I plan to adorn the table with a dozen white roses and a photo of each passed member of my now family, and the family I will marry into, and sadly, much too soon I feel I have to add another frame.

My Step Grandfather, Jim has passed. Joining the ranks of loved ones in the Lords care not only a day ago. Another man of honor and grace. Who loved his trains almost as much as he loved his children. A man I didn't get to spend a lot of time with in life, but will none the less meet me with Mr S' Grand Dad and my own, to show his support and happiness of the creation of new love and the joining of 2 more families.

The realization of how precious life is has shown itself too many times in the past years, and through my sadness I can see a light. A light that shines on a day 6 months from now when Mr S and I will be joined as man and wife. A day when I, a common girl, no more special then the next, will have the distinct honor of knowing that not only is her father walking her down the isle to meet the man of her dreams and become his wife, but that 3 other men will stand there to. Guiding me down the whole way and standing there in celebration of the a love, and a legacy that with out them would not be.

The same country song I quoted before ended with even a more distingushing phrase, and I would like to share it before I go:

It's like the best days under the sun
Every emotion rolled into one
A little of this, A little of that
Kinda happy, Kinda sad

In Loving Memory, today and Always Grandpa Grundman, Grand Dad Trehearn and Grandpa Niesen. Three men who's memory is like the best days under the sun.

Cheers to lives well lived, may we all be so lucky to leave behind love as beautiful as they did. May we all leave behind memories that can make us laugh until we cry. Kinda Happy, Kinda Sad.

(And of course to Grand Dad Sweeney, not mentioned in this blog, but missed and loved just as much and joining the 3 men mentioned before in the duty of leading me down the isle.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Use of Left Hand Restircted In This Area

Not long ago a good friend of my took me out for a few drinks during her visit back to Minnesota. In all honesty, I'm a stay at home mom, I don't own and cute "clubbing clothes" and at 28 felt really out of place in the bar playing rap music I wasn't familiar with and what seemed to be a bunch of 18 year old around me.

I held a conversation with my friend, screaming over the music. We took turns scanning the crowd for people she knew that were supposed to be meeting us and I hoped that with arrival of more people we might migrate away from the dance floor to a quieter area where we could talk better.

My prayers were answered and we did migrate to the back of the bar. We had a few shots, shared a few jokes, had some beer, did a little dancing and at 1 am, I was picked up by Mr S in the parking lot to head home and sleep.

I felt pretty good about how the night went. Sure I was a bit quiet because I didn't really know the people we were with, but I enjoyed myself none-the-less.

The following night I was hanging out with my friend once more before she headed home. We were sitting around with Mr. S and one of his friend talking and my friend told me that one of her friend thought I was really annoying "flashing my ring around like I needed everyone to know I was engaged"

I was shocked. I searched my memory for any obnoxious hand movements. Did I show my ring to anyone and tell them I was getting married? No.

"What?" I asked quizzically

"Yeah, she said you were flashing your ring around all night" she said it like it was not a big deal at all. SHe didn't think I was over doing my bling, just her friend I guess.

At this point I'm not only a bit hurt but really ticked off . I ran the night back through my head and remember a lot of me shuffling my feet and looking at them, fixing my shirt and running my hand through my hair, pushing my purse strap up on my shoulder - all nervous movements, things I did to pass time as I felt I didn't belong in a conversation about "so and so and her new hair cut", or whatever.

Am I now not allowed to use my left hand because there's a ring on it and I might offend the single? I didn't do anything that I wouldn't have been doing if I didn't have a ring on my finger. And my ring isn't huge but it is very clear and does have an amazing sparkle to it.

I still can't recall a single moment when I was waving my hand about as if to show off my bling, but apparently someone was so incredibly down about her own life that she would come down on me like I was an annoying rich girl showing off hr new toys. Ha dI known I needed to stuff my hand in my pocket to keep from the light catching it, I would have happily obliged.

So newly engaged gals - BEWARE....use of your left hand may stir up controversy and may even possible piss off the single - so be prepared.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pass The Plate

Our food tasting is coming up on the 29th and I'm pretty excited. Aside from the fact that I'm totally addicted to food (oh yeah, I'm a fat kid waiting to happen!) it will give me a reason to ditch this diet and snarf down whatever I can get my hands on.

We're attending this glamorous feasting event with Mr S' parents as no one else is available that afternoon. I have to admit I was rather bummed out about this at first, I figured it would be totally fun to share a bottle of wine and show this stuffy country club what fun really looks like. But now, well I 'm just happy there will be more food for me! ;-)

Here's what we're sampling:

Lemon Chicken: Herb Grilled Chicken with a lemon pepper cream sauce
Maple Chipotle Pork Chop: Double cut pork chop with a maple chipotle glace
Halibut: Sun-dried and Parmesan crushed Halibut topped with herbed butter
New York Strip Steak: Topped with a bordelaise sauce

Mmmmm. Food.

My choice is pretty already made, I'm going with the Lemon Chicken. Mr S has to pick the second plate to offer our wonderful guests.

What are you serving at your wedding?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wii Shall Exercise

Mr S and I have had a long standing agreement, that when and if we are out shopping and happen to come across a Nintendo Wii, we will snatch it up as fast as possible and run out of the store with it, letting no one else near it. We've been looking and looking for months, with no Wii to be found. Though I must admit, we weren't staking out stores, calling relentlessly and showing up 2 hours before open - so it's not like this was the top priority in life. And on top of that, we don't' "really" have the money for it, meaning: sure we could drop the $250 - but we'd have to give up something else for a while...like eating for instance.

As the 6 month mark of the wedding countdown comes and goes, we are no closer to a Wii then were were when they first came out. I begin to realize I'm less "in shape" then I am becoming "a shape". I start to worry that my dress, which will add 10 pounds easy due to all the tulle, may make me look like Jabba the Hut.

So I start talking to Mr S about this elliptical at Wally World that was only about $200 and how I could really use it, can we afford it, can we get it, I'll pay for it myself. This went on for a few weeks. We know money is tight right now, and though he's willing to whip out a credit card for it, I want to find the money in cash so we're not anymore in debt then we already are.

The suddenly *poof* an epiphany! A glorious brilliant thought!

I approach him with the details - what if that money we don't really have for the Nintendo Wii goes toward the elliptical? What if we just skip the video game console, buy it later or even register for it (perfect gift for his brother to get us! I must drop the hint! LOL) and get in shape together before the wedding?

He thinks thats a good idea. And we're off to Wally World to get it.

Though the exact one I wanted for $200 wasn't there anymore, so we went with the Golds Gym Stride Trainer for $268.00 and propped it right in front of the tv, so I can torture myself with exercise while being entertained by my favorite CSI team! It couldn't get any better then that!! At least it's keeping me motivated and that's all that really matters!

So what are you all doing to keep in shape for your big day? Anything you found taht works you care to share with me and all the lurkers out there?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Need Help With Save The Dates,Thank Yous, Any Wedding Stationary!?

Well, let me help!

It completely escaped me until today that (ohmygosh!) I create and sell photo cards! I have a home business that I put on the back burner to plan the wedding and care for my daughter, but I have the great talent that I can hand over to your guys for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere.

So here's my offer to my fellow Hive members and my blog readers:

I'll create you a personalized Save The Date, Thank You Cards, hang tags for your favors, EVEN Wedding Invite for you to print as you wish, where you wish - for the low low price of $35.00!

So instead of paying per card at other places for up to $1.75 -$2.00 each you pay a flat rate with me and print it where you want - saving HUNDREDS!


-So say you buy Save The Dates at Lil' Duck Duck on line and you get 100 - You would spend $220.00 for 5x7 cardstock Save The Dates. (NOT including shipping)

Me Design it for you, with Kinkos printing and paper cost you would spend about $90 total!


Me Design it for you and you order from a photo printer (like a photo card in a 5x7) www.mpix does them for .89 - for 100 that's $89.00!

That's a saving of $130 either way!!!

Here's a few of my samples, remember everything is 100% customizable, change color, font, wording - whatever! And I'll send more samples by request.

I can do anything you like, so find me samples of what you want and we'll talk! E-mail me at acgrundman@gmail.com

*Please note that prices quoted are approximate. Kinkos prices and mpix prices are located on their web site. I am not responsible for price changed made by them.

Holiday Card shown here but this is an awesome layout for Thank Yous as well!

Change any wording to suit your needs! Need a Thank you, but like this lay out - you got it!

Babies, Parties, Bridal Showers, Thank You Cards - ANYTHING!

Please e-mail me with questions.
Note that the $35.00 does not include custom designs from scratch (meaning no layout to look at or design I already have), or elements I do not already have (i.e trees, blossoms - things of that nature)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stamps for Sale!

Since the post office will not take back my stamps...I have been left with no choice but to sell them to someone mailing out before the price increase on May 1st.

Follow the links to classifieds of my sales, and if you're not a Wedding Bee member and can not PM me on there, feel free to contact me by commenting on this post.

.41 Wedding Heart Stamps 220 for the price of 200

.58 Wedding Heart Stamps 120 for the price of 100

Thanks gals, I should add that I will pay for shipping with insurance on these shipments!

The Guest List Disaster of 2008

"It was a dark and cloudy night.....not even the moon light shown in the windows of Midland Hills Country Club. Hundreds were gathered for the wedding reception of Mr & Mrs S. Everything seemed calm until (dun dun dun *spooky music) the guests took their seats and (*retched scream*) THERE WERE 10 PEOPLE TO A TABLE"

Okay, overly dramatic, I know. I know. But seriously when my FMIL (future mother in law) told me that the guest list would be the hardest part - she wasn't kidding.

Let's start a the beginning of the tale, shall we? Our venue has big round banquets tables, that are designed to seat 10. When myself, my FMIL and my SM (step mom) saw them, we had really no reason to believe they didn't. Of course they weren't set up with chairs around them, so what do we know?

I start my guest list, assuming 10 per table, with 22 tables brings us nicely to the 220 that we planned to invite. Everything is going great, we don't have to (gasp!) 'B' list anyone and I'm quite happy at how organized I am.

Zip forward through time from then to the day we went to meet our Linens consultant at the venue and we are placed in a room with the table we will be using. It all seemed fine until the men, Mr S and FFIL (can you figure that one out?) put the chairs around it and we realize we have a tiny issue. Sure the table fits ten, but not comfortably.

We wander about the venue until we come across a fully set up table and out fears are confirmed, it not only looks crowded - but we can't imagine how it will feel for the guests.

Immediately we decide - 8 to a table and that's it. A decision I was really happy with. Until I got home and looked at the guest list.

Sure 8's fine, but since we can only add 3 more tables to the 22 already in there that gives us a total of 200 people in the room. No big deal you say, ah - well here's the kicker:

We've already sent out Save The Dates out to enough people to fill the 220, and that's with the 25% that decline...Since Save The Dates are as good as in invite I can't take it back, or not send an invite.

Que nervous breakdown in 3....2....1....

I start making phone calls to my FMIL, Mr S, my bridesmaid MJ and the President - just kidding! The only answer is to add more people to the tables, 9 at least. Everyone but me at this point is still kinda concerned about the crowdedness of the table. I'm not on the page of - they are getting free food, drinks and cake I think they can sit elbow to elbow for 1 hour.

As if that wasn't enough, fitting the people in. Somehow my guest list has grown with family and friends so large that I had to start a (gasp!) 'B' list. Now I spend most of my days going over it little by little, making sure I've not missed anyone, adding people, B listing, A listing and I'm about to scream. Not only is trying to decide who's supposed to be on each list, having new friends and people we've missed need to be added.

I'm afraid this list will never be finalized! So as I end this blog I head back to my guest list, for the 3rd time today and certainly not the last...

Advice: Watch the list closely, don't let your dad add 5 of his cousins you've never met, and try not to let the people know they were (gasp!) 'B' listed!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've Got The Shoe Blues

Planning a wedding is detailed and time consuming. However I did not think that the one thing I would spend the majority of my time looking for - would be shoes.

And not even shoes for me, no no no. Shoes for my tallest bridesmaid MJ.

I admit, the need to continue looking is my fault. I'm trying very hard to find something totally affordable but at the same time open toed, dressy-ish, black and FLAT! Totally 100% flat. Okay maybe a small 1/2 or even at most 1 inch lift. But none the less - F-L-A-T flat!

I've tried to get her to chop off her feet, she won't comply. I decided not to flex the bride-zilla arm on that one. I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere, hehehe.

So here's why were having such a tough time. I really don't care that she's tall. I mean come on, what can I do about it? But the dress shop doesn't do "extra length", instead they bring you up a dress size. Well MJ had to go up 2 dress sizes just to get enough length and we're worried that if we give her more then the 1/2 or 1 inch lift, the dress will appear too short and because it's a ball gown...look utterly dumb.

I've ordered the other girls shoes from www.6pm.com Highly suggested for anyone looking for designer shoes are non-designer prices! I was going shoe ga-ga on this site!

My other maids are wearing RSVP shoe in Kyra. Price = $14.70 with out shipping. It's a 2 1/2 heel which is still a bit high I think as we are walking down the isle on an incline and I don't need anyone falling on the way down. Though funny, not good for them at all!

MJ's shoes allude us still. We've gone to every site on line we could find. Plus we checked Payless, Target, Wal-Mart even!

I've tried convincing myself that non-open-toed ballet flats would be ok, but I can't do it. Then I thought that maybe the peep-toe kind would be alright but I really can't stand that one or two random toes peeking out - looks awkward...

We've given up a bit for now, taken a break and hope that something will come to us. Because if not, I'm buying black shoe polish and painting her feet!

Monday, February 11, 2008

EXTRA EXTRA! This Just In, USPS Causes Nervous Breakdown Among Young Brides..

Does the Post Office not understand how delicate a balance the stamp on your wedding invitation really is? Why must they continue to change postage 4 times a year? Why don't they just jack the price once, the total amount they will in those 4 times and leave it at that.

I have enough to do, and now on top of it all I have to figure out what to do before this monstrosity of a one cent stamp invades the beauty of my RSVP envelope and main invitation envelope.

I mean it's not even ok, it's not even reasonable - it's just plain....ugly. I don't care if thats a Tiffany Lamp on it, unless the thing is made BY Tiffany it ain't touching my precious pink invitation carriers with it's mean sticky backing!

I swear they have some horrible little old man who lives in a dungeon of a room who reaches into a basket of muck and worms and pulls out the new design as randomly as a Secret Santa drawing in Hell.

What have I done to you, Oh USPS to deserve this horrible fate?

And you know Mr S. just doesn't get it. I explained this to him in the most dramatic way possible and his reaction was "So? It's only like $2 more in stamps?"

Does no one feel my pain!?


Rain, Rain GO AWAY!!!

Want to know what the weather has been like on your wedding date, for years gone by? Simply go to this web site:

Weather Web Site

Now, WAIT! Before you go and leave my blog behind to research - you will find this links you to California, but if you input your zip or city in the box found tot he left of the page it will take you to your area.

I already did mine and have to say - I'm now even more worried about my big day - RAIN! Oh no!

Here's how this breaks down for me and Mr S. - We're getting married August 23, 2008 - here's the weather for years past:

2007 - Light to Heavy Rain all day
2006 - Thunderstorms in the very early am (12 am- 7am) with overcast the rest of the day.
2005 - Mostly Cloudy or scattered clouds through out the whole day
2004 - Over cast all day with rain in late evening
2003 - Mostly Cloudy

I'm now even more stressed about how the day will turn out. And you know, it's not so much the rain on the day of that bothers me - I can handle that. It's more that there's no opportunity for creative out door photos when it's pouring rain outside.

I guess I'll have to wait and see when the day comes. Not much I can really do about it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cookies and Coasters

Yeah, I don't think they go together either. And this post will show you it's not good to impulse buy wedding items!!!

So over a month or 2 ago I hit up The Knot and find they are having a sale on these really cute, and simple coasters that say "Love" on them. $1.99 for a set of 4, we bought 62 sets with the intent to break them down and give one to each guest.

Awesome, cheap favor coming in at about .50 each guest!

Well, about 3 weeks ago I find this awesome cake lady who's making us square cookies with our monogram on them for the wedding. I thought I'd use them as escort favors to show people to their tables.

Then I changed my mind.

And I though that maybe we could use them as a send off treat at the end of the night with milk. A mid night snack, that is becoming ever so popular at weddings these days.

Then I changed my mind.

Then I thought that maybe we could just leave them out for people to pick up if they wanted, but being worried they may not be found and we'd have a million left over....guess what:

I changed my mind.

Now, okay I can back out of the cookie thing but the deal is I'm so excited about them, I'd rather ditch the coasters more then anything....but being how heavy they are it would be hard to ship them if I sold them on ebay.

So I do what it is I do when I hit a snag, I call on my Hive - my Wedding Bee gals. They brainstormed and came up with the idea of (specifically it was FutureMrs) using the sets of 4 as Bridal Shower Favors, and the cookies for the favor at the wedding.

And this is what I will do, that and keep a couple and give a few away as Bridesmaids gifts in their toats... Something so easy to do, and I couldn't figure it out with out these girls. I'm really considering putting on my program:

"This Wedding brought to you by WeddingBee.com"

My Hive rocks!

What does it take to get a dress in this town!?

Finally we have a Bridesmaids dress!


You have no idea what it took to get this. This is dress number 3, at store number 3 and I can say whole heartedly say I never want to look for a brdiesmaids dress, again. Ever.

Let's start at the beginning shall we. I take you way, way back in time - back when my wedding party was in it's original stage and no maids had been given the boot yet, or dropped out - back about 3 months ago...

I found the most perfect Jasmine B2 dress online, love at first sight. I called a store in the area and went in right away with my sister and then maid -of -honor (MOH) Stef to give it a look. We all agreed it was perfect, and I ordered some swatches from the shop Bella Bridal as I wanted the dress (see photo to right) Black with a pink sash and I needed to see the available pinks.

A month or so goes by and I've not heard from Bella Bridal on the arrival of my swatches, so I call. They have no idea who I am, or that I have ordered the swatches. I'm a bit put off as I've personally spoken to the sales gal there 3 times and 2 of those was in the shop itself.

I simply make the decision that I will get this same dress elsewhere as any store that can't keep a swatch order straight, probably won't get the dress order right either.

By this time a maid has backed out of the wedding, and one has been booted for good reason. I've not got to replace 2 maids and then find a new shop with this dress.

I come across Our Shop, in Stillwater MN. They have the same dress AND it's centrally located for all my girls. I start getting excited - they are all going to meet and we're going to have a blast!

Upon arriving at the store, I looked for my dress in the millions of others hanging from the racks. When I didn't find it I asked a sales guy for help, as they told me they had the dress when I called. He pulls out this teal and white number which he says has the same style number on it.

I'm not convinced. My sister, who has tried it on swears on her pregnant belly - it's not the dress. All my maids are making this face like someone farted and I decide we need a new dress.

We settle on this lovely little number by Bill Levkoff, a bit more expensive but it has 2 great qualities. 1 - it's flattering and 2 ALL the girls loved it.

We go through the horrendous task of measuring everyone in a packed, over booked shop. Out seamstress was losing her mind and my girls we're all getting hungry. After an hour, we start the task of checking out, another 20 minutes PER GIRL, and the worst part is the woman in the shop are not even measuring right and the dress sizes they want to order for each girl is completely backwards.

Example, they wanted my tallest and biggest girl in a dress smaller then one of my smaller girls and the small girl in the big dress!? I had to have faith they knew what they were doing, after all the shop had been there for years, they had to be doing something right.

A day later my girls tell me they aren't comfortable with the shop either. So I called them up, got the money back as nothing was ordered yet (waiting on my 5th our of state gal to call in) and proceeded to look for a new dress, at a new shop!

Stressed out, and really sick of Bridesmaids dresses, I go back to looking at Davids Bridal, which is where I got my wedding dress. After an hour on line looking and 2 hours on the phone with my Bridesmaid MJ, we settle on one dress. Knowing it's the ONLY one there I pray to the God of Dresses and Sanity that it will work, and I scoot off to the shop to peek at it.

So there it is, hanging on the rack. It looks great.

Looks can be deceiving. I reach up and carefully check the price tag, figuring as it looks nice it must cost a fortune, right?

Phew! Cheaper then both of the first 2 dresses.

Alright, things are going good - so it must look like crap on. My FMIL (Future Mother In Law) makes me go try it on, as the black on is a 6 and it should fit. I slip it on and run to a mirror -

OMG - It's perfect, it's flattering, it's cheap IT'S THE ONE!

After 6 months, 3 dresses and 2 disaster at dress shops I have the one I need! I thought that you have this kind of anxiety over wedding dresses...lol...not bridemaids dresses!

I've contacted all the maids about the dress, and told them if they get it on and hate it - tough....lol, they are wearing it ;-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hello Honeymoon!

It's booked - Insurance is bought and now...now all we have to do is pay off the balance! LOL.

After searching the internet, annoying the crap out of my sweet Travel Agent Renee over at Carlson Wagonlit, we finally have a honeymoon booked and waiting for us 2 days after the wedding!!

The destination: Excellence Rivera Cancun

We will be staying for 10 beautiful days in this all inclusive resort for adults only! Plus our package includes great things like:

*Moonlit Beach Front dinner followed by a rose petal bath upon arrival back to our room
*Spa treatements
*10 pools
*10 resturants and 10 bars - see we had to stay 10 days....get everything in one day at a time.
and so much more!

I haven't been on an airplane since 1999 so I have to say it will be very, very interesting to see how that day we fly out goes. Plus as we are going to a tropical destination, during a summer month there are no direct flights there on the weekday we are leaving....so it will take us near 7 hours to get 3 hours away by air. O-well. I'll make sure to have a lot of zanex on hand.

Check out the web site for amazing pictures of the resort!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Please Buy Me Gifts?

I'm not one of those people that likes to ask for things, so registering for gifts has been an experience to say the least. I know it's traditional, and if I didn't I'd end up getting 45 picture frames and a dozen throw blankets with our names embroidered on it. Yet, as we stood in the middle of Macy's, zapper at the ready, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the worry that I was asking too much of my guests.

Okay, I'll admit we intentionally put a few random, over priced things on there knowing full well that we'd NEVER get them. Case in point, Swavorski Crystal Champagne Flutes, coming in some where around $400 for 2. But it's one of those things we gaze at with utter desire each trip to the mall and laugh how we'd be too scared to even use them if we had them.

We expect our guests to know that we're not exactly serious about such items.

But as we wore a path between the "every day china" and "fine china" sections of the store, I realized that I not only had NO clue what we needed, I also had no idea what we really wanted.

This is nice but I don't like that plate.

The rims on these bowls if funny.

Those coffee mugs are ugly.

Only a few things you would have heard had you followed us around for those first 45 minutes we were there. Eventually we settled on Fine China in a fabulous and beautiful design by Wedgewood called Ballet Ribbon (see insert) The set comes 5 pieces for $125.00.

Now, I'm rather laid back. Never required or thought I'd own fine china except something possibly handed down by family, so I have to be honest when I say I had a bit of sticker shock. I actually had a full conversation with Mr S. about the china, and he had to talk me into it in a way. He very logically reminded me that putting it on the registry certainly didn't mean we were requiring them to buy it for us, and if we didn't get any then "Oh Well" and we'd get some later in life. Plus he pointed out that $125.00 is a very decent price for china, especially Wedgewood. Where he got all this China and registry information at the last minute is beyond me, but like a man I doubt he'd be able to repeat it as it's been replaced with some other much more useful info like the PSI on the new air compressor he wants. At least it was there when we needed it, thank goodness one of us knows what their doing!

In the end we registered for silver wear, fine china and crystal and we left feeling very good about our selections. If we don't get any of it, it will be fine. And after the smart advice of my soon to be hubby, I don't feel snobby or greedy for doing something engaged couples all over the country do every day.