Practice Makes Perfect

For the reception of course!

One of the most important steps to take in order to ensure things go smoothly on Wedding Day is having a rehearsal. I know some people skip this step, but to me it’s important; especially when you consider our wedding will be outdoors, and the majority of our wedding party will be seeing the venue for the first time that weekend. Since we have Bailey’s Thursday through Sunday, it was really up to us when to we wanted to schedule it, and with everyone’s work schedules, Friday night was just the most logical time. In order to have a wedding rehearsal, you must first have a plan for the ceremony, which is something I didn’t finish until like the week before (not that it surprises me, nor should it surprise you!). So my lack of pre-planning a ceremony aside, one of the best parts of having a wedding rehearsal is having a rehearsal DINNER. Or a pre-reception as some may call it, and lets face it, planning the pre-reception is so much harder to procrastinate on!

As I’ve mentioned many, MANY times, I LOVE our venue. But when it came down to planning our rehearsal dinner, it made me more than a little bit frustrated. You see, Palomar Mountain is BEAUTIFUL, but it is also a very low populated MOUNTAIN. There is ONE SMALL general store, and ONE SMALL restaurant. In February, we took GM R, BM K and Little K up to the venue to check it out. After we left, we were STARVING. So we figured we’d try the restaurant to see what it was like (OK, I only cared about scoping it out for a rehearsal location). Mother’s Kitchen was a cute little place, and it seemed to be a popular stop for biker’s cruising the beautiful scenery on the weekend.

Image via New Desert Times 

We were so hungry that at first we didn’t even notice that the menu was completely vegetarian. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes vegetarian food can me more delicious and filling than food with meat, but when it comes to a potential rehearsal dinner, I just can’t picture a completely vegetarian menu. The fact that we stood there for 10 minutes without even being acknowledged didn’t help either. FBIL K and FSIL, however, LOVE Mother’s Kitchen and stop in every time they’re up the mountain, so I asked their opinion. But even they agreed it probably wasn’t right for our rehearsal dinner. So back to square one I went!

Did you have to overcome any obstacles when trying to plan your rehearsal dinner? Or was picking out a location easy?

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Take-Home Treats

Seeing as I’m going to be pulling an (almost) all-nighter for a cupcake order, I have sweets on my mind. I also realized that I haven’t shared with you my semi-DIY project of bags for our guests to take home treats from the cookie bar!

In my opinion, similar to take home bags for a candy bar, the purpose of any dessert bar, whether it be cookies or cupcakes, is not just to enjoy treats at the reception, but also later on.  Since our cookie bar is also doubling as part of the favor, take-home bags are definitely a must.

I found natural colored, 5×7 treat bags online and ordered enough for each of our guests, and extras, just in case. I also ordered some really cute, burlap background Thank You stickers. Now, my original intention was to simply put the stickers on the front of the bag. However, after using my super-awesome Mason Jar rubber stamp for another project, I realized that it would be much cuter to decorate them that way.

My supplies before beginning my project: treat bags, ink pad, Mason jar stamp, and thank you stamp

First, I stamped the Mason Jar

Then, I added the Thank You stamp in the middle of the Mason Jar

All my finished treat bags!

Don’t they look great? It only took me about 45 minutes to compIete the project and I love how they turned out! And don’t worry, I found a way to still utilize the stickers I bought: they’ll be in a basket so the guests can close up the bags if they want.

Are you having a dessert bar? Are you including take-home bags, or just having it for your guests to enjoy at your reception?

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Unnecessary stress

Ok, so I have a confession to make, I am most certainly, without a doubt one of the most easily stressed people out there. One thing that makes the top of the “things that stress me out” (and therefore should be avoided) is not having control over my situations and surroundings. Yes, in my opinion, it is a general character flaw; no, I’m sorry, I cannot control it. Those close to me are used to it, and it only creeps up and bites me in the butt, every so often. But jeez, I’m planning a wedding here!! And since there are not 72 hours in a day, and I can’t magically create things (although, my fellow brides will agree, that would make things SO.MUCH.EASIER)I am finding myself having to relinquish control over more and more things as the planning progresses.

Sadly, this post is not about the fact that I have to relinquish venue-cleaning control to my mother in exchange for leaving for our honeymoon (yes, this stresses me out to a near-crazy extent). This post is instead about something, that while there are varying viewpoints on, I feel that sometimes the viewpoint I have is criticized, and I think it is important to address.

And the topic at hand, my friends, is Bachelor parties.

First of all, I don’t really understand the concept: if you’re about to get married, you’re not single, nor have you been for (more than likely) a VERY LONG TIME. Some guys use this opportunity for a welcome break from the chaos of planning (well, the chaos of listening to their Bride do all the planning) and a night out with the guys enjoying some completely innocent fun. OTHER guys, use this as an opportunity to basically do whatever they want.

Sadly for Mr. B, I have a major stigma against Bachelor Parties based on the latter of those two examples. I have always felt this way, however, it was, admittedly, made far worse by my first husband. Granted, this is not Mr. B’s fault, and he should be able to enjoy a good time with his friends based on  the innocent-good-time model of bachelor parties. HOWEVER, despite all the trust and faith I have in Mr. B, any mention of a bachelor party and I get anxiety. I literally become a crazy person. Rationally, I know I’m being completely irrational and ridiculous. The problem is: I sincerely can’t help it. I have no control over what they plan, and how it happens, which honestly, knowing my need for control, only perpetuates the problem.

It’s a tough subject because none of my friends share my opinions, and his friends, while they know how I feel, think I’m being ridiculous and basically think it’s a joke. It’s hard to deal with, especially when I’m in the minority. I know there are many brides out there who share my feelings, whether or not they’d like to admit it, and oftentimes its hard to deal with. I’m jealous of my friends who can be so calm and collected (and lax) when it comes to such issues, I wish I could just let it all go. But even when I try, it lasts about 5 seconds and I’m back to being stressed out about, well, nothing.

Are you like me and think that Bachelor Parties are unnecessary evils you wish you could just take control of? Or are you one of the cool, calm and collected ones that tells your husband-to-be to just go have fun?

Everyone needs to be on the SAME page

I realized a couple of months before the wedding, that it wasn’t only about me being prepared for the wedding. It was also about the Bridal Party being prepared. After all the chaos that I have seen unfold at friend’s weddings in their last couple months, and knowing that our wedding was (slightly) out-of-town, I knew that getting everyone together and on the same page was very important.

So back in April, I sent out a Facebook invite setting aside a day in the last 60 days where the entire bridal party could get together, I could disseminate information (and also KNOW they got it) and everyone could have one last chance to hang out before the hectic-ness of the last THIRTY days set in. To be honest, I had visions of grandeur for this BBQ. I pictured myself having packets of handouts and schedules and lists. I figured we’d push a couple picnic tables together and I would stand in front of them like a CEO at a large board meeting explaining to them, in detail, what was going to go down. YYYYEAH. That did NOT happen. When it came down to it, it was more about everyone enjoying themselves: the guys at the BBQ, the ring bearers getting to play together in the sand, the girls talking about the disorganization of the guys, actually getting to sit down and (briefly) meet with M about cake (bottom line, I trust her to make it perfect with no direction whatsoever).While everyone was eating I went between two tables bringing up the miscellaneous things I did need to discuss, trying to keep it casual and trying not to come off as a bridezilla dictator. But at the end of the day, the BBQ was awesome! And I’m so glad we had the chance and forethought to plan it!

Here are some awesome photos of the event!

GM R, MOH S, BM T & BM J (and S’s FI in the background)

GM R, Mr. B, Mr. B’s Bro K, GM Vegas by the grill

BM N & his girlfriend M

 Ring Bearers N & K enjoying the sand at the yacht club

Our Two group Pics (minus BM J who had to leave early, and GM E who didn’t make it).

The first Serious, the second, with my signature hands move. Have I mentioned how many awesome friends we have?

Did you do anything fun with your bridal party in the last couple months before the wedding? Did you make it a formal meeting, or decide to just let it be a relaxed fun time?

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Procrastinating on not-so-little-things

One thing that I successfully managed to procrastinate on was who was going to do my make-up. I honestly went back and forth about it, but really, just kept putting off making any kind of decision. I’d go an entire month thinking I’d just buy nice makeup and do it myself. But then, in May, while watching my friend T finish her makeup before we went out I came to the revelation that I.SUCK.AT.DOING.MAKEUP. I mean, this is a fact I’ve always known, but my false confidence in thinking that I could “wing it” for my wedding day finally struck a chord with me. But that only lasted a week or so, and two months later there I was, still without a MUA and still without a plan.

Thankfully, my friend V knew how to help, she gave me the contact info of one of her friends, who she goes to for hair and make-up, and knew would be able to help me…IF she was still available. And lo and behold, a little over two months before, she was, of course, already booked. This is when panic set it. I spent a couple of days agonizing over the fact that it wasn’t that I WANTED to do my own makeup, now I was going to HAVE to do my own makeup!

But then V came through again, and this time the MUA she suggested WAS available! (and I breathed a GIANT sigh of relief) L was so nice over email, and I was easily able to set up a trial with her. My only hope with the MU trial was to have it on a day that I would be able to appreciate looking great (i.e., not cleaning day), since I did have to pay full price for the trial.

I didn’t know what I wanted out of my wedding day make-up, but L definitely hit it out of the park! I LOVED my wedding day look, and let me tell you, I did not make it easy on her with my crazy sunburn from the company picnic! What do you think?

 

Right after the Make-up trial

And four hours later (and yes, my face was as RED as my chest!)

I LOVE how my make-up came out, and am glad that I let her do what she thought would look best. Did you have a distinct vision for your wedding day make-up? Or were you like me, and left those kinds of decisions to the professionals? Either way, were you happy with your decision (or thankful you did a trial to avoid disaster on your wedding day)?

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The one who makes life come to life

After realizing my dream readings didn’t really exist, I began to search for wedding readings that were non-religious, sadly not from my favorite literature, and also did not have the witty sarcasm that many readings have. Through all of my searching, it became clear that no matter how I changed the wording in my google search bar, the same readings kept coming up. Although this initially made it difficult to choose, I soon began to notice that some of my favorite of the seemingly slim pickings, were from Children’s Literature.

Now if there is one area of our upbringing where Mr. B and I differ, it was our aptitude for reading. See, I LOVE reading. Once I get into a book, there is no going back, and more often than not, I’m done with it in a matter of hours. Mr. B , on the other hand, hasn’t so much as picked up a book in the 4 years we’ve been together. He just.doesn’t.enjoy.reading.

 As I tend to do when requesting Mr. B ‘s opinion on wedding related issues, I chose my top three options (Mr. B always is a much a better contributor when not asked to just come up with ideas of his own accord), and let him choose from there. When I picked out the three options I would present him with, I figured he’d have absolutely no idea where they came from or why I picked them.  But much to my surprise, he knew they were all from “kid’s books” ( I promised him BONUS points for figuring it out!)

I had narrowed it down to three options, and was hoping he would pick his top 2. Here our are top 3:

Image via Spirited Shannon

From The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Image via Amazon

From The Irrational Season, By Madeline L’Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearfulgamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created,so that, together we become a new creature.To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

Image via Whimsy

And From Now we are Six From A.A. Milne

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

I decided prior to sending him his choices, that I would be happy with any combination (although my favorite was the one from The Velveteen Rabbit) as to not be disappointed by letting him choose.

Which two would you choose from that selection? Any guesses on what Mr. B chose?

I was in the middle, before I knew that I had begun

When choosing what would be read at our wedding ceremony, there was only one REAL qualification: nothing religious. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Mr. B and I are having (much to FMIL’s dismay) a completely non-denominational wedding. To me, if I include even slightly religious wedding readings, it defeats the purpose. Yes, I know that our wedding can be whatever we want it to be. But it is important to me to keep religion completely out of it. So when it came to choosing our readings, I knew I wanted to stay away from anything overtly religious. But there has got to be tons of awesome non-religious wedding readings, right? WRONG. At least I kept running into the same.darn.ones.EVERYWHERE! And the ones I found definitely offered some slim pickings…

As I was looking online through these readings, I was hoping to find a beautiful passage from one of my two favorite books: Gone with the Wind or Pride and Prejudice, you know, without having to re-read them (because I’m a busy Bride and I definitely don’t have time for my favorite things, you know, like reading). Sadly, however, my searches were fruitless. I couldn’t find any passages suitable from GWTW, and could only find one from P&P, and it was (in my opinion) too short to fit the bill for what I consider a “reading”:

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

Because Colin Firth will always be my favorite Mr. Darcy!

Image via Virgin Media

So now that my search for passages from my two favorite books were out, I was back at square one.

How did you pick your ceremony readings? Were you able to pick out readings from your favorite books? Or were you forced to start over after a fruitless first search?