Wednesday, November 26, 2008

He's coming, he's coming!

Tomorrow is the day, and boy do I have a lot of lists to make still.

E is coming out for the Thanksgiving weekend to see me and help on some wedding details!
As difficult as it is to plan without him here--I know that when he gets here, the last thing I'm going to want to do is spend our time getting stressed about little wedding details.

So here is my goal:

Spend time with family
Keep wedding planning simple and straightforward
Do a little every day
Don't talk about wedding nonstop!

E is not a big fan of talking via even now that we have a cell phone plan together, we aren't using all the minutes we have. This means that when we talk, I have a million things wedding-related to talk to him about and he gets overwhelmed or frustrated. He always lets me know what he thinks of my ideas and asks what he needs to take care of, but certainly doesn't obsess about every detail like I do.

Does your future hubby get sick of talking wedding 24/7? How stay afloat when you feel drowned in wedding planning? Do you ever just need to stop wedding talk and focus on eachother?

Monday, November 24, 2008

no cake!

The night we got engaged, FH took me on a dinner cruise.
We didn't talk much about wedding, but the one thing we decided, before anything else, is that we didn't want a cake. Neither of us has ever liked why pay that much money for what we could both consider is a decoration more than a dessert.

I know we are breaking tradition! No cake in eachother's face, no picture cutting the cake together, no cake for our guests? It practically won't even be a wedding (or so my family is telling me!)
But we came up with a much better idea....

yep, a chocolate fountain with tons of goodies to douse in chocolate!
I can't be the only one to resist the cake tradition. What fun dessert ideas are you having at your reception?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I finished designing my save-the-date last weekend with my cousin (Thank you!!) Here is a peek before it goes out to all the guests!

(chocolate brown and sage green are our wedding colors)

The actual s-t-d went out with a link to our website information at the bottom...but i left them separate for the blog. We decided to email the s-t-d to save postage and printing costs.

The orginial picture I was going to use from our e-pics was this one, but I thought it looked too serious...and I wanted it to look happy! But this picture is so 'us'

Friday, November 21, 2008

two-reception invitations

my future MIL just emailed me saying that she still hadn't come up with any ideas for what to do for invitations. What to do...

Here is our dilemma:

We are having a rather large (200 people) wedding and reception in the midwest, where I am from (and where a huge majority of our guests are from). My FH and his family are from southern california, and my FMIL is hosting a small dinner party-type reception the month after our wedding for those who couldn't travel (more for friends than family)

We were stuck on how to word invitations, because I didn't want to send wedding invitations to all of my FMIL's friends (and she has LOTS of them), but already some of them were asking when the wedding is and that they would plan on traveling to Chicago for it! We don't have I didn't know what to say.

I bee-lined (no pun intended ;-))it over to the weddingbee boards for some help. After a week of research, here is what I came up with!

-+-We are sending out invitations to all of the people(friends, family, etc) in the midwest for the midwest wedding and reception, as well as close family friends and immediate family of my FH.

-+-We are putting california reception inserts in the invitations of both sides of the immediate family, wedding party and the close california friends.

-+-All of the other friends and more distant family will get a wedding announcement with the california reception insert (we will use the same insert in the wedding announcement as in the midwest invitation)

make sense? Yeah, it took me a while to figure it out too.

Thank you to all of you bees and friends who have gone before me and helped me to handle this invitation situation!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dress Quest (i.e. Dress Mess)

I still have a hard time admiting i am an impulse shopper, because I always budget my money. I just spend it on the wrong things.

Anyway, take that habit to wedding dress shopping. Of course, the first dress i try on is the perfect one. It is classy and Jaqueline Kennedy styled and simple. I love it. And it is exactly my budgeted cost. I tried it on twice and got rave reviews by everyone in the store (moms and other brides)...but my family and my BM's still weren't convinced.

Fast forward to one week later. I found a new favorite dress that looks entirely different, and is roughly 1/3 more $$ than the first. But this time I am convinced this is the one! I find out I can get a much better deal on dress #2, if all my bridesmaids purchase their dresses from the same boutique (which will cost about $15-25 more per bridesmaid)

I am having a hard time not purchasing dress #2 yet, but I wait, because this dress is one thing I can't splurge on...and I feel a tiny bit guilty about making my bridesmaids pay more.

Then, I search the bee boards again and find the website
I find a dress similar to the "one" that is pre-owned but never worn. So dress #3:

Now I am stuck. Do I save a couple hundred $ for dress #3 that I haven't seen in person or tried on...or do I go with the one I've pretty sure about, which will cost myself and bridesmaids a bit more, or do I start over and visit more places? (I've been to 4 stores by now....but there are plenty of others)

I am getting impatient. I just want to have this dress decision done!

How have found the dress of your dreams and still gotten a deal?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Engaged! --but you already knew that.

I figured on the one month anniversary of E and I's engagement I would post the big story of the engagement.
Still hard to believe when I look down at my finger at work...or any time, and see that big shiny diamond looking back at me! I feel so blessed. This wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime to come!

So, here is the story, for those who haven't yet heard.

On October 17th, my great Aunt and Uncle and grandparents invited me out to a nice dinner downtown on Navy Pier to thank me for house sitting for them.

E was at home in CA spending another Friday night studying...or so I thought.

As we were walking down Navy Pier, I heard my name being called. I ignored it because I wasn't sure it was directed to me, and if it was, I thought it might be someone I didn't want to see. After the second time he yelled "Katie!", I turned.

About 15 yards behind me stood E, looking handsome as ever, all dressed up. I started running at full speed, my heart pounding. I dropped my purse halfway there, and jumped into his arms.

It took me a minute or two to realize it wasn't a dream; that he was really standing there, and by then he was already down on one knee, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. I think my response was "Of course I'll marry you!!" I was crying and shaking and so surprised. I couldn't believe he was here!

Then my family came over and took some pictures and took off. Grandma was so relieved to not have to keep the secret anymore! We called our immediate families(who all knew what was coming) and spent some time walking around Navy Pier and talking before boarding The Odyssey for a dinner cruise. It included a four-course meal, live music and dance floor and fireworks off of Navy Pier. Soo romantic.

After dreaming about it and waiting, I still can't believe he pulled everything off and completely surprised me. I am such a nosy person! But I'm looking forward to more of these surprises in the years to come :-)

Here is a picture from about 3 minutes after the of the only ones that turned out.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I have fantastic photographer friends who started their own business about a year ago doing mostly outdoor, family photography. My family has used them twice for family pictures...and I knew there wasn't anyone else I would call when it came time for our engagement pictures.

The day after we got engaged, I mentioned it to FH and he thought it was a little too soon. But with the opportunities to see eachother only about every two months..and with only 8 months until the wedding, we figured we had better do it sooner. The other good reason to get them done ASAP is that since I live in the midwest, waiting until any later than October to take outdoor pictures is not a generally safe idea!

I called up my photographers on Saturday morning to tell them the good news and to see what their schedule was like on Monday. Turns out, they had a cancellation on Saturday afternoon and could do it then. FH and I rushed out shopping to find something to wear since neither of us expected it to happen so soon.

After the insanity of trying to find the perfect thing to wear in about 1.5 hours of shopping, not having my hair styled how I wanted it (I had a hair appointment the very next week! how frustrating)...the pictures still turned out fantastic. Here are just a few of my favorites!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reception Location

After the hectic but thrilling engagement weekend...and picking out a date only to find out another couple in our church was getting married the day after (the nerve!) we decided not to announce a date until we had the ceremony and recepton locations booked.

Kelsey (sister of the bride and amatuer wedding planner) has called 25 wedding locations within about ten miles of our church in a southwest Chicago suburb. Only five locations were available on June 19th (our second best date). We booked appointments for all day Saturday to see the locations, look at menus, pricing and packages.

After a couple of bad experiences (over-priced, ugly mauve banquet halls, and an appointment where our contact never even showed up), we went back to the place we started the morning out with: Old Oak Country Club. It is a tucked away, intimate clubhouse with a room that seats 200 maximum. (just right!) There are three picture perfect locations for outdoor photography, and there are plans to have a gazebo built by next summer.

The executive chef/wedding planner Juan could not have been nicer or more helpful. In fact, he almost offered Kelsey an event planner job on the spot. [for anyone who is curious...she is definitely going to look into it]

The banquet room has all the right ingredients, although smaller than I imagined. Dance floor, 3 walls of floor to ceiling windows and one wall of mirrors(which really make the room seem bigger), a brick patio to the west, a deck to the north, and a flower garden to the east. Sounds pretty perfect, huh?

I was so tired of looking after just one day (and impatient! who is surprised?) that I think this location got elavated to the top pretty quickly, and I didn't stop to consider any of its faults.

But on Monday, Dad and I went over on our lunch break and signed the contract. I hope this is the right one!

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