Life after the wedding

I thought that life would slow down a bit after the wedding. You know, we’d get settled in, find places for all of our new things, get back in a routine, have some time to just relax… but that hasn’t happened yet. We have been just as busy as before – the Mr. is back in school, my work hours have gradually gotten longer (can’t complain since I love my new job), and our weekends are plum full of traveling, parties or events for which we previously bought tickets. I’m not complaining because I LOVE all of the things that we are doing as husband and wife, but I do wish we had longer in the evenings to go for runs together, or a weekend here and there to go hiking or sneak away to a cabin while the leaves are changing. So here’s a peak at post-wedding life:

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Between football games in Blacksburg, work trips to Boston and birthday parties for all of our friend’s adorable children in Charlotte, I managed to run a half marathon with my friend Valerie.
DSC_0428I had to go to Atlanta for a work event, but before I left, I made my handsome husband’s favorite peanut butter cookies. (So easy: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg. Mix, bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes). I also tucked some sweet notes in his lunch boxes that I packed in advance for him (good wife award!).
DSC_0445At the event in Atlanta, I met Walter Scheib, the former White House chef and now author and speaker. His stories about the Bush’s and Clinton’s were fascinating, hilarious and oh-so-interesting. It was a pleasure to work with him that evening and to taste his delicious creations. Can’t wait to put our new cook book to use!

1395824_10100627318101603_563393216_nWe did a 5k for Halloween in our Mr. & Mrs. Pacman costumes. Our first race as husband and wife and our first Mr. & Mrs. costume (beside the wedding day get-up!). Running is one of my favorite things to do with LW. He doesn’t love it as much as I do, and more so does it because he “should” for his health, but to me, it’s great, uninterrupted time together.

Apparently, you don’t actually get hours added back into your day when you’re done with wedding planning. So, we’ve found crockpot meals give us longer together in the evenings, walks at lunchtime give us a great afternoon break and if I can drag my sleepy butt out of bed early enough (he goes to work 2 hours before me), coffee together is a great way to start our day. We’re figuring out our new married life routine, and looking forward to Fall 2014 when he graduates, and the holidays when we can relax a little!

Tackling the Guest List

Tackling your guest list will likely take more than one night and more than one bottle of wine. Before you’re engaged (and have set a budget) you imagine your guest list will include your extended families, both of your college friends, sorority sisters/fraternity brothers, a few high school friends, those friends you’ve made as a couple, and maybe even work friends (it is polite to invite your boss).

Once you get a quote back from a caterer, your philosophy on who gets invitations will likely change. At $15-45 a head, your wedding can get exponentially more expensive as your guest list grows. And you will have to reconsider some of the people that might have made your first draft list.

We started with an excel sheet and put our immediate families, our wedding party (and their +1s), and our vendors on the list. While you don’t necessarily need chairs for vendors or invitations, you do need to feed them (although it does not have to be the same food you feed your guests*). We then added extended family members that were a must and our mutual friends. Our list quickly approached 125. We discussed other friends/guests we would like to invite on an individual basis and made decisions to add or leave off of the list. THIS WAS NOT EASY. There were easily a dozen more people we each would have invited but it would have made us go over budget, and also cramped our reception area (they cannot fit over 200 people in there!).

We took several days (weeks) to finalize our list – and even at the near end we were adding people to it. You should look at it as a work in progress (until you have to give your final counts to your vendors). At some point, you’ll consider eloping, having a small intimate wedding, or tossing your budget and inviting everyone you know – and then you’ll come back to reality. Once we made our list, we used it for everything, including invites, RSVPs, seating chart and thank yous (If you do it in Excel like we did, it’s easy to copy the tab and use the same list without recreating data!)!

Even if you have an A list and a B list, don’t tell a “B list” guest that some A listers couldn’t make it, so you now have room for them (had an ex do this to a mutual friend, very tacky – but did give us a good laugh!). There will probably be some guests that you thought were “sure things” who will end up not being able to come – and it will make room for others if that’s how you want to see it. Or it can cut down on your costs.

Just remember that you want people there that you care about and that care about you. You want people there who will enjoy celebrating the love that you have found and your new adventure. It’s not about who your parents want to invite (unless they’re contributing funds!), and it’s not about not hurting people’s feelings. It’s your day. It’s about you (and your groom) and with whom you want to share your special day. Good luck!

 

répondez s’il vous plaît

If I know anything from my 7+ years of French, it’s what “répondez s’il vous plaît” means. And if I know anything from being a bride, it’s how important it is that people RSVP in a timely manner.
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We are now less than 4 weeks out from our wedding (3 weeks & 6 days to be exact), and our guests have until this coming Friday to RSVP to our big party. Thus far, we have 71 confirmed guests, which is great, but still only about half of the guests that we invited. While I enjoy the fact that they are trickling in and I’m not having to spend hours at a time adding names to our spreadsheet, I’m getting slightly anxious about those that have not responded.

We made it pretty easy on our guests by using postcards that were pre-stamped. Only a simple check to confirm they are attending, filling in of the name and number of guests required. And did I mention that we used adorable stamps?
rsvp_id rsvp_tgI am particularly fond of the wedding-spirit stamps that we used and ordered from Zazzle. They were also the exact postage for postcards, unlike the flower stamps which are Forever stamps and actually more postage than needed for our postcards. (Add that to the list of things you never thought of before you planned a wedding!). However, we did get complimented on our use of the flower stamps, and my fleur and garden loving husband-to-be was a big fan of them.

So here we are finalizing schedules, picking up last minute items, paying vendors and patiently waiting for guests to RSVP. I keep saying I’m not going to chase people down for RSVPs (see photo below), so, my hope is that when I return from my work trip this week (eeek! New job!), we’ll have a bundle of RSVPs to be added to our list and I can relax a little.
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Happy, happy, happy!

We had a splendid 4th of July yesterday – despite the rain (and by rain, I mean torrential downpours, thunderstorms and clouds all day). We celebrated my cousin’s 10th birthday – and America’s at the same time! We have been doing a lot of celebrating lately – and I apologize that this isn’t really a “wedding post” but I had to share. My ever-so-studious fiance just finished 2 more classes through Northeastern University for his Master’s and earned A’s in both (brag!). And last week, I was offered a BIG promotion with my company, while staying in the Communications arena.

I had to wait to make the announcement – which was tough – especially since I wanted to shout it from the rooftop! I applied for the job on a whim, thinking I really had no shot, it was grades above where I was, I had just earned my Master’s which they wanted but I didn’t have a lot of post-Master’s experience to apply, and I had just been promoted back in December so another jump so soon was not realistic. But alas, I had all of the qualifications and apparently didn’t sound too much like Miss South Carolina in my interviews.

I am so excited for this opportunity and all of the doors that it opens for me, and for my future family. Overwhelmingly, people have been happy for me (lots of screaming, jumping hugs in the elevators at work and tons of text messages), but I did have one person tell me “Don’t expect to be Top 10 again.” We are fortunate at my company to still get bonuses and those are based on your rating for the year. Last year, I was a Top 10 performer for the company and man, it felt good. Disappointing to be told that when I just got a “dream job” and am over-the-moon happy. However, since I’ve been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg, I feel empowered. I feel excited. I feel like I can do anything.

First and foremost, I am going to marry the love of my life and spend 11 spectacular days in Aruba with him. But then, we can focus on our careers and figure out where we want to be before we start a family. I’m not the girl who wants to be a stay-at-home mom (nothing wrong with it!). I enjoy working, and I especially enjoy new challenges and opportunities. My fiance is the same way and while he is knee-deep in his Master’s studies right now, he is well on his way to his next opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

The next 43 days hold lots of last minute details, DIY crafts and collecting of RSVPs. Counting down!

Happy weekend!

The last 60 days!

Monday marked 60 days until our wedding. We could technically get our marriage license at anytime now… but we’ll hold off for a little longer. Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary – our last June 20th anniversary, as next year, we’ll be celebrating August 17th! I still remember being so nervous before our first date (and so nervous at work that I went out of my way to avoid talking to LW face-to-face). I was so giddy afterwards and so sure that I wanted to be with him – lucky me, he wanted the same thing!
anniversaryAnd here we are, 4 years later, wedding planning our little hearts out and working relentlessly on the next big steps of our lives together (more details coming soon!). I love that I have a running & hiking partner, a concert/theatre/comedy show buddy, a travel partner and someone who is always up for a quick road trip – especially to a beachy location, my own handyman, grill master, and a best friend. We have so much fun together and really complement each other with our personalities and special OCD issues. I also love that I got a 2nd dog out of this deal, because those boys, they complete us! bowtiesReady for the weekend and another shower thrown by Aunt Jill (LW’s favorite banana pudding maker!). We are excited to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy SUMMER!

Happy Weekend!

Weekend Wrap Up

How is it Monday already? I feel like the days and weekends are flying by and we are now one week and two months away from walking down the aisle. Holy mackeral! Friday, I met with our coordinator, who certainly helped put my mind at ease! I already appreciate that we have her and know that appreciation will only grow on the day-of. We also received our perfect wedding invitations! We are SO excited to work on getting these babies out and can’t wait to start receiving our post card RSVPs!

The rest of our weekend was fun-filled including breakfast with Cory, a VT friend, and his fiance, Inna from Ukraine. After breakfast, we jetted off to our nephew’s 1st birthday party and spent some quality time with the family.

1-weekend2After the party, we checked out VBGB at the Music Factory for dinner before seeing Matrimony and Langhorne Slim live! Both bands are excellent. We hope when Matrimony hits the big time that they still come back to their local hub for shows!

1-weekendWe also received these darling glasses that we had registered for on Honeyfund.com from our sweet, sweet friend, Brandy. I am completely and totally smitten with them! I had to put them away so I won’t be tempted to use them before the day that we are officially Mr. & Mrs.!
1-weekend3On today’s agenda is booking a cake tasting/dessert tasting so we can book our final “big thing” for the wedding. I will be so happy to have all of these things on our list checked-off so we can relax up until the big day. Ha, who am I kidding? We are going to be so busy but I know we’ll love every second of it. For more things that are going on with the wedding planning, check out my Carolina Bride Blog!

Happy Monday!

A Much needed Mini-moon

We planned a mini-getaway back in January, thinking that by April we would be ready for a weekend to relax… and escape our busy lives of grad school, work and wedding planning… and we were RIGHT!
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Last weekend, we made the drive from Charlotte to St. Augustine (with a stop by Amelia Island for lunch!) and we began our 4-day getaway. Although I took my computer, I didn’t take it out of my bag the whole time! We loved exploring this old, historic city. Downtown was fabulous with shops and roads paved with bricks. Of course, we enjoyed lots of delicious food, including some favorites at: Catch 27, The Floridian, Casa Maya, Manatee Cafe, Harry’s, Tini Martini Bar for drinks, and of course, Fudge Buckets for ice cream on those warm Florida days!

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On Saturday, we went to the Rhythm and Ribs Festival to hear JJ Grey & Mofro. The ribs we had there might have been some of the best food we had all weekend. We literally licked our fingers over those! Even though it was in the 70’s during the day, it got chilly at night but we still enjoyed the show!

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We spent our other days exploring all that the city has to offer. Including Anastasia State Park’s beach and nature trail, Castillo de San Marcos, and enjoyed a run downtown around Flagler College and the bay. The weather was perfect, and our whole trip was wonderful.

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The trip helped us relax and re-focus on the upcoming months and all that must be accomplished. Only 3 weeks until I am officially done with grad school and only 4 months and 2 days until our wedding. So crazy how fast everything is happening. It’s surreal and exciting all at the same time. I’m thankful we had the opportunity to get away together.  I highly recommend a last-minute escape for other couples planning a wedding. It’s nice to not think about anything else for a whole weekend and just enjoy time with each other!

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