Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wedding Sneak Peak.....

More recapping and many more pictures to follow. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding Week Part III - the Nephews are HERE!!!

So Thursday started bright and early. Initially, I wasn't supposed to work. But due to the craziness of the week and not being able to stay late Wednesday, I decided to go in for an hour before people got there just to finish up a couple loose ends. So I was up at 5:30, at work from 6:30 - 8, and managed to finish up a couple things, assign some miscellaneous items to staff, etc.

After that, I headed to the gym (still hoping to be in optimal wedding shape). After an hour, I left to clean up and start my errands. After showering, my errands included picking up 2 gift cards, going to Kinkos for the escort cards and programs, picking up bread I could eat for communion, going to Lakeside to pick up gifts we had ordered for the nephews (ring bearer and usher gifts), stop at the bank, and pack for where I was staying the next 2 nights. Oh, and I wanted to clean my house. And I needed to be at the airport by 2.

Yeah, right......

Left the condo around 9:30. Headed first to Kinkos. Let's just say figuring the right way to face the program paper, flipping pages, etc. took quite awhile. As in, I was done around 11:00. Then to pick up gift cards, bread, and make nail appointments. That took until around 12:30. (Everything takes longer when you're in a hurry.) At that point, I decided I would have to pack that night as I was about to pass out from hunger. I also was fielding calls from the limo people, wedding coordinator, and even work...

Eventually (slightly late), I headed to the airport to pick up the world's cutest children and their parents. Caleb and Evan had arrived!!!! Oh my goodness. I can't explain how great it was to see them. Evan was a little wound up from the plane trip. As in hilariously laughing and running around - the effects of jet lag on a 2 year old! We got back to my parents' house, and my dad had decided he would make airport runs #2 and #3. You see, there really is only one flight that's an option when flying from Singapore to Detroit. And really only one from Malawi to Detroit. The other flight didn't coordinate with either, so three runs (the middle one being in rush hour) was the only one available. They had to wait for awhile as my dad couldn't get back there in traffic in time, but it was okay.

John got to my parents' house and met my brother, sister, and nephews while we waited for my dad to get back with his family. Once they arrived, we ate dinner while my dad and brother left for the airport again. (See what a great dad I have?) This time, to get my cousin Daniel, who not only came in for the wedding but was a groomsman!

Oh my goodness. My nephews. Seriously. They are both adorable. They both are loving, sweet, and funny. Caleb, now 4, is so big now. He reads and everything. Evan, who said like 5 words last time I saw him, is a little chatterbox. Too cute for words. My heart...... they have it! (Don't tell John. Well, he knows. He has it too!)

Oh, and also, we had a groomsman and his wife stop over with their baby to shower before a meeting. That was also just arranged that day - yikes. My mom is also quite the trooper.

After dinner, we hung out for a little while and then John, his mom, sister, and brother-in-law to the house they were staying at. I was going to wait there for my beloved Ashley to arrive, but it was late and I still had so much to do that I decided to go back to my house after getting them settled (I knew from Ashley's texts that she was still 2 hours away) and pack and clean up a little.

I got the packing done... did a quick stop at Meijers, and around 11:45, Ashley texted me to say they had arrived!!!! Yay!!!!! I picked up my dear, dear friend (who had ridden with "best" man and random guy 16 hours with no air conditioning!!!) and headed to the house where we were staying. We got there and briefly talked to my other friend and bridesmaid who was staying with us (as John and his family and 2 friends had taken over here house) and then headed to bed.

The next morning was setting up for rehearsal, which we were set to start at 8:30 (meeting at the condo to get the wedding stuff loaded, then be at the church by 9). I had a 10:00 nail appointment that morning. I had asked the bridal party if anyone wanted to go; the Ashleys did. It was nice to have that time with my two honor attendants!

Before leaving the house that day, we did a little brain dump. I thought of things that needed accomplished. We made a list and people who could helped (getting my rings cleaned, being in charge of making sure I ate, wrapping some gifts, and more). It was lovely.

We get to the condo at 8:30 to find they had loaded up the wedding stuff (yay!) but were under the impression we should stop for breakfast as they hadn't bothered to eat (boo!). Even fast food, do you know how long it takes 12 people to get breakfast at Burger King? I was determined to stay calm, but it wasn't the easiest task.

We finally get to the church. My amazing friend Jody is there; as were Jason and Jessica (more great friends). We unloaded the vehicles and I had about 15 minutes to describe what I wanted before leaving.

Ashley and I head to the nail salon where we were meeting Ashley. (Not at all confusing!) They were getting pedicures and I was getting a manicure and pedicure. The pedicure went smoothly. The manicure - not so much. I'd never had gel or acrylics before and they're quite the time consuming process! Especially when you smudge them leaving. Three times..... yes, they redid the one nail THREE times.

Three hours later, we finally left the nail salon (for good!). Ashley needed her dress hemmed, so I needed to drop her off to do that, go to Lakeside to pick up the ring bearer gifts, and get ready for rehearsal (all in less than an hour and a half). This wouldn't be so bad except a) Lakeside is a half hour away, b) the place to drop her off was a fifteen minutes the other direction, and c) I also had to go because theknot.com had messed up an order so bad that it wasn't arriving until that day so I needed to see if it had arrived. I was seriously thinking I was going to be late for my own rehearsal.

Saved by Linda, a bridesmaid who arrived in town about 8 hours earlier than expected that day! She went to the store to pick up the Things Remembered gifts. :) That saved over an hour.

Gifts weren't at the house when I left, so while I was frustrated, in one way it was one less thing to worry about (5 gifts less to wrap). So I headed to the place I was staying at. There, they reminded me to eat (hehe. seriously, I was shaking) and I was able to do my online check-in for the cruise.

I quickly got ready, and got to the church for rehearsal. Everyone else did, eventually, as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding Week Part II

So, where we left off last time, we were having problems with the best man, we needed to find a limo, and we had no music for the ceremony. Stress levels were rising.

Sunday night, everything (this word being used loosely as you'll read in following posts) with the best man resolved. He decided to stay for pictures. We also bought approximately 30 cards at Hallmark - bridal party totalled 25 by the time you include ushers, guest book attendant, program attendant, etc. Then we had a reader, two singers, two pastors, etc.

On Monday, I worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. During breaks at work, I looked into limos and printing for the programs. I had finished the program on the computer without realizing that printing them would be so expensive.... way more than I had expected. So I was trying to find solutions.

We ate dinner with dear friends who John was staying with for the week (he had pet sat for them the previous two weeks). After that, we went to get John a hair cut (I went with him so they would cut it how I wanted it!), and went to Staples and Michaels to find program paper (as a solution to all the printing) and escort cards for the reception. We were completely unsuccessful with the program paper, but successful with the escort cards. I dropped John off around 9:30, and then headed to the gym. I went home
and typed up the escort cards.

I also called a friend, Amber, who was singing in our wedding to ask if she could play the piano for the wedding as well. I thought it was a long shot, but.... she could!!!

On Tuesday, one of my bridesmaids came to do errands with us! Our tasks were:
*pick up several more corsages and bouitineers (they didn't have enough when I bought the other ones)
*programs, programs, programs
*buy sandals for John to take on the honeymoon
*and, oh yeah, we need gifts for our ushers and ring bearers! We wanted to get them something for now (fun) and a keepsake type gift. For the ring bearers, we were totally covered on the "for now" but we had no idea what to get 4 boys, ranging in age from 2 - 8 for a keepsake.

Hobby Lobby had everything we needed for the bouitineers and corsages. As well as.... something else that I can't remember. Family Christian bookstore had paper we could use for the programs; unfortunately, it would require redoing the WHOLE THING. As in, the program that I had worked on for 3 hours was no longer any good. Yeah.... a bummer. But eventually I decided it was worth it.

A quick run to the mall had us getting John's sandals and ordering gifts for the nephews (ushers and ring bearers). We then exhaustedly returned to Dyanna's (the bridesmaid who was with us) and we ate dinner. Another long day over. Except it wasn't over..... I sat up redoing the program template until around midnight!

Wednesday was supposed to be date night, but we had too many last minute things to do. Reception music CD, taking things to different places, etc. And we still needed to find transportation. So we had to cancel our date night. :( It was supposed to be our night to relax before everyone came to town the next day, but it wasn't to be. After work, I had an appointment for some beauty treatments, and after that, we made time for dinner at Outback. Other than that, was more errands.

In good news, we found a limo! They said they would be able to hold the whole bridal party and their price was very reasonable! Yay! So now we had transportation for the WHOLE bridal party to the pictures and then to take us to the hotel after pictures. Yay! (Again, this will be another important detail later!)

In bad news, the night was stressful because of a certain member of the bridal party ONCE AGAIN causing drama. It had started the night before, but really came to a head that night. Yes, the one who wanted to leave early for pictures. To recap, this same person had a) originally decided he was bringing 3 extra people with him, b) changed that to 1 extra person, c) maybe wasn't coming, d) was coming but leaving early, and e) now was coming and insisting he could bring an extra person to the rehearsal dinner (in addition to the wedding, where he already was bringing an extra person). Problem is, we were already at capacity for the rehearsal dinner location! We were already pushing what they had told us our maximum was. Plus, after all the drama, to be told "I'm doing this no matter what you say or what proper etiquette is" isn't fun. But we were afraid if we said no he would decide not to come. At that point, I didn't even care that much except he was the transportation for my maid of honor. Sigh. Eventually, I decided just to e-mail him that I didn't think it would work for him to come, but we'd let him know.

Thursday was a big day. Three airport trips kind of big! Yay! Oh, and when I didn't have to work.... or did I? Part III coming up!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wedding Week - Part 1

Hi, readers! I'm back! I'm going to do a series of posts on the wedding/honeymoon experience, starting with the week leading up to the wedding. Once we get to the wedding one, there will be plenty of pictures!

First off, it's hard (make that nearly impossible) to believe that these events were happening a MONTH ago. Really? Wow. I thought time was flying because of the wedding, but it's been even faster now! (One reason I really need to start writing? Because I don't want to forget things.)

So about 3 weeks before the wedding, we made a master list of everything we could think of that we needed to do. From thank yous to the attendants to buying markers for the guest book, it was all on there. And then I added to it throughout. I also assigned dates to do it all. The goal was to finish everything the weekend before the wedding so we didn't have anything to do the week of the wedding.

Now, I knew that that was highly unlikely. My theory was that if we didn't have anything scheduled for that week, we would be able to do anything that didn't get done. And it kind of worked! Come that Monday, we still had a lot to do, but nothing overwhelming except last minute things that we had to wait on.

Don't get me wrong.... we were busy. Making matters worse was we were in the middle of a huge crunch at work. A 10 hour a day average for the 3 weeks leading up to the wedding.... yeah. Working 10 hours a day, working out daily in an attempt to lose weight for the wedding, plus doing wedding stuff is busy!

So, the weekend before the wedding got crazy. On Friday, I got a text saying that our musician for the ceremony might not be able to make it. Kind of an important position to fill! However, they wouldn't be able to tell us for sure until Monday!

Sunday, our last weekend as a single person, consisted of church, packing for the honeymoon, and buying cards for the attendants and everyone else involved in the wedding. And dealing with drama from the best man who let us know he was planning on skipping out of the wedding reception early to go to a Tiger game. Now, this might not seem like that big of a deal, but we were taking most bridal party pictures after the reception to minimize the time our guests had to wait between wedding and reception. John didn't really want to tell his friend no and risk upsetting him, but I was very upset at the thought of not having the whole bridal party there for pictures. Now, if it were for a great reason (sickness, something unavoidable, etc.) I would not have been a bridezilla. But to go to a baseball game of a team you're not even a fan of?

Also, that weekend, it became apparent that it was important to John that we get a limo for the reception to pictures to hotel. I had thought it was one of those things that would be cool but not necessary. Then we thought we'd found one, and he was so excited that I decided, if at all possible, I was going to get one for him.

So now, we're less than a week out, we're possibly down a best man for pictures, a musician, and we have no transportation.

Part 2 to follow!