Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

At the end of August MOH S and I had our joint Bachelorette party weekend. Although, the concept was both of ours, S definitely did the bulk of the planning, and she is great at it! We decided to stay in town to make it cost-effective, so we stayed downtown at one of the big hotels on the harbor. We rented a cabana by the pool for the day and invited all of our close friends down to celebrate with us. Saturday morning as I went to pick BM’s J &T up, the weather was disgusting, and kind of discouraging to us, knowing we were planning on sitting poolside all day. But by the time we went up to the room to change into our suits and returned to the pool the sun was out and shining! Before we could go change, however, we had to give our lovely Bridesmaids their favors! Here’s a photo of V, one of S’s bridesmaids, with hers!

Image via V’s FB

After changing and returning to find sunshine, we officially started the party! People slowing started showing up and we lounged around the pool in true bachelorette party style.

Me & MOH S starting out the day

Me & BM K

BM J, BM T, MOH S, and V in the pool

Me & FSIL S

Me & my Bridal Party

MOH S & her Bridal Party

 

 

Our whole group!

 After our AWESOME day at the pool, we headed up to our hotel rooms to get ready for a fun night out! We had dinner reservations at Bar Basic at 8, and needed to get there on time. Around 7:40pm, we headed to the lobby bar to meet up with everyone before grabbing a cab to the restaurant.

Me and K before heading to the lobby

 

The Whole group before getting into the Super Groovy Hotel van

Me and J in the Van (there were STROBE lights!)

After leaving the hotel, we headed to Bar Basic for some amazing pizza and drinks! They make the BEST mashed potato-bacon pizza! YUMMM.

Me and BM T at Basic

After Basic, we headed across the street to a bar called the Corner, and played some Jenga while having some drinks. Overall, it was a great night!! I will admit that a few of us headed back to the hotel earlier than others to catch up on sleep! I definitely was drained from a long day in the sun. It was such a great weekend, I really couldn’t have asked for better friends.

Did you have a traditional Bachelorette party? Or do a joint celebration like me and S?

 

All photos personal unless otherwise noted

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Room Blocks

I will say, that this more of a PSA than my usual posts. I want to share my experience with this subject so that other brides can learn from it.

I’m not getting married at a hotel, nor am I getting married near a hotel. To be precise, the closest hotel in proximity to my venue is about 35 minutes. Now, this drive is mostly due to the fact the venue is on a mountain, and the hotel, well, isn’t. From the beginning, acquiring a discount rate at the hotel was never really a priority. Around February of this year, I tried to get into contact with the hotel, Harrah’s Rincon (which is part of the Caesar’s family, or vice versa I suppose). All I got was a bunch of transferred phone calls that kept getting disconnected, and emails that kept getting generic responses. So I gave up. In May, MOH S volunteered to try to figure it out, since her Mom had been planning on staying there and was interested, too. Since my drama queen of a Dad had declared that he “didn’t want to pay $300/night to stay anywhere” I thought it would be prudent to make sure he had an affordable option.

Somehow, S managed to get a hold of an actual person (something I thought would be impossible). Harrah’s group sales rep, Linda, promptly sent over a contract for me to sign. Now, I did my research prior to this, and while contracts were not UNCOMMON, I was looking more for a small courtesy room block as opposed to a large contract room-block, especially since I wasn’t planning on staying there. I emailed my concerns to Linda, most importantly the contradictions in the contract (one clause said I’d need to cover the cost of 37 rooms, the other said any un-booked rooms would be released at the cutoff date), she assured me that I would not be responsible for 37 rooms, only 10 nights as that is the minimum guarantee to get a room block. I was still somewhat reluctant, however she persuaded me that with my amount of guests, 10 nights would be easy to obtain. So I signed the contract, something, retrospectively, I should not have done.

In the weeks leading up to our 08-22 cutoff date, I was handed over to Mary, who assured me that people always wait until the last-minute, and we could reserve the rooms in my name, and then transfer them to my guests after the cutoff to avoid me being penalized. Mary was so delightful and helpful. However the one person who did call prior to the deadline (yes, ONE) had so much trouble, and they didn’t even book her reservation properly! So I sent an email to Mary, and CC’d Linda, expressing my frustration, to which Linda sent a nasty reply, that honestly convinces me to never work with their hotel chain ever again. Three weeks before the wedding I was still hoping to get my rooms transferred to others so that I didn’t end up with rooms I didn’t need. Two weeks before the wedding, my uncle (one of the few people with a reservation) asked if he could look at the contract. I sent it to him, and he informed me that the contract stated that if the hotel didn’t sell out (yes, SELL OUT) then Mr. B and I would have to pay for any remaining rooms minus 10% attrition. I was so confused and frustrated, especially since that was the portion of the contract I specifically questioned in all of my correspondence. At this point, Mr. B had to get involved. I couldn’t believe that she had so blatantly lied when I questioned the contract, because if she had clarified the contract for me, the way she did for Mr. B when I asked her, I wouldn’t have signed it. At that point, all we had left to do was cross our fingers that the hotel would sell out (as Linda promised us it would).

Mr. B has officially told me not to sign anything without his approval.

Did you have trouble with getting a room block? Or were you able to get a courtesy block without a contract?

32 Days!

Let me tell you, it has been one busy week around here. And not necessarily in a good way. Coming up to the last month has definitely been stressful. But this post isn’t about all the stress, it’s about all the fun stuff I’ve accomplished! For starters, we got our rings!! Well, FI’s still has to go get sized and engraved, but mine is in our possession! Check it out:

In the box

And on my finger!!

I also managed to finish our table numbers! I definitely spread it across a few days,  but the important thing is they are all finished! What do you think?

I also put the names on our plastic cups for poolside on Saturday. Seriously, rhinestone letter stickers, are not as simple to maneuver as one might think. Actually, they kind of suck.

Some of the letters are actually different heights, and yes, they CAME that way! But they still look ok, right?

And now, as the 30 day mark rapidly approaches, the fun part really begins: making large payments!

Did you get a lot of projects accomplished this week? Did it relieve some of the stress, or only make it worse?

All Photos Personal

Numbering our Tables

OK, I have to admit, this is one DIY project I not only put off starting until 37 days before the wedding, but I completely put off THINKING about starting it. That’s right: I didn’t even decide on what I was going to do until less than two months out! It’s true I did have a vague idea of what I wanted, but as far as actually implementing said project? I was definitely behind. Luckily, Michael’s was having a huge sale that weekend with 25% off your total purchase, and I was finally going to commit.

My general idea consisted of making good use of the (tons of) extra burlap scrapbook paper I had from making my own envelope liners. I decided that the burlap paper would look great in a white frame, with the table number in white. The first decision I made, was to get unfinished wood frames, and paint them myself. This would a) give me control over the finished look, and b) also keep costs down. But then of course there are multiple unfinished frames to choose from. When I first arrived at Michael’s, I noticed that they had unfinished frames on sale for 2/$1, when you factor in my 25% off coupon, that’s 2/$.75! I stocked my basket full of more than I needed, and continued on with my shopping. When I finally got in the long line to checkout, I further inspected the frames. While the price was great, and the quality was good enough. There was no glass or backing to the frame.So my scrapbook paper would basically just be sitting in the frame; not exactly the image I had been going for. So I returned to the wood craft aisle and pushed all my frames back onto the shelf. I then stood there for 20 minutes pondering where I should go from there. And then I saw these:

While I wouldn’t need to hang them, I looked at the bigger picture, and thought if I could take them apart, the frame would be the perfect size, and while $4.99 for 3 frames wasn’t as good as 2/$1, it was much better than some of my other options. They didn’t have enough for my total project, but I bought all they had since it was enough to get started.

First, I detached the frames from one another

Then, I had FI remove the glass and backing to prevent them being ruined by my poor painting skills 

 Then I used 3 coats of Martha Stewart Satin paint in Wedding Cake (fitting, don’t you think?)

Once the paint dried, I added in my square of burlap paper, with a centered table number. And Voila! My first table number was done!

Overall, I love how it turned out! And honestly, this project is so simple, and can be customized for any color scheme or theme. If you are looking for an easy, even last-minute way to do table numbers without using the boring traditional options, I highly suggest doing them. It didn’t take me that much time, or money, and even the least crafty person could figure it out.

Cost Breakdown:

Frames: 6 @$4.99 + 25% off coupon = $24.50

Martha Stewart Satin Paint: 2 @ $1.99 + 25% off coupon = $3.25

Scrapbook Paper: Already had

Marker and Paint brushes: Already had

Total: $27.75 or $1.54 per table!

 

Have you finished making your table numbers? Did you go the DIY route? Or purchase them and make it easy on yourself?

All Photos Personal

I’m in the zone

The highly disorganized, I have tons of time, I’d rather just be lazy than complete wedding projects zone.

The super-oppressive heat we’re experiencing right now simply doesn’t help the situation.

And not only has this zone affected my ability to complete the projects I have left, but it has also made me crazy forgetful. I’ll be on my hour-long commute home, make a mental list (since I’m driving) of what I need to do when I finally get there, and by the time I open my front door, I can’t remember what it was I needed to do. So I do nothing.

I somehow managed to forget not only my camera cord today (which I always carry), but my memory stick. That memory stick has my entire life on it. All the pictures I need, and most importantly, my wedding spreadsheet. If there is one thing that makes me completely lost during the day when I don’t have it, well, it’s my iphone. But if there is a second thing, it is my memory stick. I vowed to myself that this would be the week I turned my laziness into productivity. But to no avail, here I am, again, without the rudimentary supplies to set my week off right.

I also had a super awesome post planned, recapping K & M’s wedding, and what it taught me about the finishing touches on my planning. But it is no use to write it without the photos (since, seriously, what’s a wedding recap without photos??). So I’ll save it for later!

Did you fall into that zone in the last couple months leading to your wedding? Were you as frustrated as I am with doing nothing? Do you have any advice for getting me out of this funk?

Favors for our Favorite Ladies

Now that I’ve told you the details of the super-awesome joint Bachelorette Party we planned, I can tell you about one of my favorite elements of it: the favors for our Bridesmaids! Originally, I would never have guessed I’d be planning my own Bachelorette (well, I really never thought I’d have one at all). In my mind, it’s something the MOH or Bridemaids would plan in your honor. But since S is my MOH, and I’m hers, we’re planning it for ourselves (which knowing me, is great, since I hate relinquishing control), and planning it has been the best part!

About a month before the Bachelorette,  S emailed me with a suggestion for what we should give our ‘Maids as a favor at the Bachelorette. The suggestion she had was FANTASTIC! I wish I had come with it myself (and perhaps, had the idea of gifts for our ‘Maids at the Bachelorette crossed my mind, maybe I would have!). You see as I was planning my thank you gifts for my bridal party, her suggestion had kept popping up in my many emails from the Knot, and I loved it! It just wouldn’t work for our wedding for a number of reasons, the most important being we’re getting married on a MOUNTAIN. Now if we were having a tropical destination wedding like BM K had, or a local beach wedding like MOH S is having, this might work, but we’re not, so I left the idea behind and moved on to something else. So when S suggested it as a favor for our pool day bachelorette party I immediately said YES!! If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about Wet Bikini Bags!!

Image via The Knot

They were on a great sale and we were able to snag these babies for $8.99 each! We got blue ones for my bridesmaids, green ones for hers and white ones for us! We decided to forgo the extra personalization (for $8 more) and personalize them ourselves. Also, since we had decided to only get them for our bridesmaids who were sharing our hotel rooms, we decided to stuff them with fun pool day must-haves too! The week before we were able to sit down and do the personalization and stuff them, and they turned out great!

Our DIY personalization (this one is BM K’s!)

With everything we stuffed inside: TicTac’s, Advil, lip balm, mini sunscreen & lotion and a mini bottle of champagne (K’s is sparkling cider since she is expecting!)

We also got them plastic re-usable cups for by the pool that we didn’t have with us, but they won’t fit in the bag anyways! I will say though, these bags are WAY bigger than I expected. I was thinking they’d measure 5″ x 7″, which would’ve been large enough to hold a bikini in my mind. But these are definitely bigger than a standard sheet of paper, which means more room to hold fun stuff! I definitely recommend them if you’re looking for a fun, beach-oriented gift for your ‘Maids!

Did you plan a fun surprise for your ‘Maids for any pre-wedding activities? Are you like me and love to spoil the people who mean the most to you?

All Photos Personal unless otherwise noted

Two is always better than One

One of the (many) great things about MOH S and I getting married so close together is that we have an opportunity to share so many things, whether it be supplies we can both use, or vendors we like (or sometimes dislike), it makes it so much better to be able to share with someone who also benefits from it. Shortly into the planning process we decided that, while Bridal Showers should be about each of us, individually, it would be a great idea to combine our Bachelorette Parties!

Now I know I mentioned the other day about how much I loathe bachelor parties (not that it means Mr. B isn’t having one), and honestly the same thing really goes for Bachelorette parties (they are, after all, the same thing). But whether or not I ever imagined I’d ever have one myself, S would both want and deserve one that I would need to throw and attend. So why not have a blend of our two ideas and personalities and have a great day, we share so many friends it would’ve been silly NOT to do it this way!

MOH S & I out and about earlier this year

Photo Personal

Originally, we planned on staying at Paradise Point for Saturday night so we could lounge by their amazing pools or Mission Bay, and then head to Pacific Beach at night. We, however, procrastinated BIG time and the prices went up too high with the added resort fees. But check out this pool

Isn’t this somewhere you would want to lounge?

Image via GoThere

Back to the drawing board we went. We tried a few similarly low-key, yet more affordable options, but in the end we decided to stay at one of the big resorts in Downtown San Diego. Now, to be completely honest, going Downtown was one of the big things that I did NOT want to do. Mostly because, while I am OK going to BARS, I am not really comfortable going to CLUBS, and downtown is mostly clubs. The hotel, however, is pretty awesome, and still has a really nice adult pool. S convinced me that even if we went down there, we would only go to the more low-key bars in the area, so we could have the best of both. And on the plus side, almost everything is within walking distance so we don’t need to worry about cabs!

The Spa Pool at the Manchester Grand Hyatt

Image via Hotel.de

Are you having a Bachelorette party? Are you doing something formal, and planned out? Or just picking a day and playing it by ear? Are you as lucky as me and have someone to share it with?