I’m going to take a shot in the dark and assume this is more common than you may think. But hey, I also could be very very wrong. We had every intention of having a full-blown wedding rehearsal. We had never even fully done our handfasting ceremony in its entirety, nor had anyone else been to the ceremony site to see where everything would take place. A rehearsal was definitely a must. But then something funny happened: people were late, I was tired, all of a sudden people started showing up for the rehearsal dinner, and then somehow the actual rehearsal seemed less and less important. In fact, it seemed unnecessary. I’ll let you in on a little secret: by the time we had arrived at the venue the day before, I had given up on being a neurotic, stressed-out bride, and had just come to the conclusion that the best thing for me to do was just go with the flow. (I may or may not have revoked this opinion the next morning during setup, but that’s a story for another post.)
Since rehearsing the actual wedding ceremony had been scrapped, we moved on to bigger and better things: rehearsing the RECEPTION. Originally, we had a bit of trouble deciding how we wanted to go about our rehearsal dinner, mainly because of the seclusion of our venue. But in the end we decided on a laid-back BBQ with our immediate family, wedding party, and guests who were already on the mountain the night before. I let Mr. B pick out the food, and I have to admit he did an excellent job. He opted for us to have carne asada tacos, Coronas, margaritas, and even decided to man the grill! I know a lot of you bees would not want your grooms to be “working” at your rehearsal dinner, but I know that manning the grill with his groomsmen was one of Mr. B’s favorite parts of the night!
BM N, GM R & B, and Mr. B manning the grill
In addition to Mr. B and the groomsmen at the grill, most of our wedding party had helped us set up the multi-purpose room for the event that day, and MOH S was in charge of warming the tortillas. (Have I mentioned we have AWESOME friends?)
One of the great things about our wedding venue was that we had it from Thursday through Sunday. So the Thursday before the wedding, Mr. B, GM R, and I headed up the mountain with two full carloads of wedding stuff ready to get this show on the road. Seriously, our cars were STUFFED to the brim with (almost) everything we would need for the next few days of festivities. A couple of hours later we had arrived at Bailey’s and the guys were excited and ready to unload the cars!
Mr. B and GM R on the porch of the Bailey House
OK, they weren’t quite as excited about unloading the car as they were about the well stocked pond and the prospect of fishing once the cars were empty. But excited is excited. So once everything was in the house, the boys set off for the pond, and I got busy
setting everything up relaxing.
Well hive, it’s been awhile. I made a New Year’s Resolution to finish the Buffalo Recaps by the end of January. And it’s, ummmm, April. Clearly I am EXCELLENT at making and KEEPING New Year’s Resolutions. I blame pregnancy brain. No? That excuse doesn’t work on Mr. B either. But, now that I’m officially on bed rest until Baby Buffalo makes her debut, I figure now is a better time than ever to show you the details of the Buffalo wedding because now I have exactly the opposite of an excuse for procrastinating! I hope you have all had a wonderful first quarter of 2013 planning your weddings. Here is a quick recap of things leading up to the Buffalo wedding before I start in on all the good stuff.
We FINALLY got engaged one July day on Catalina Island. Then I jumped feet first into wedding planning and had my dress before anything else, only to decide I needed a 2nd dress (something I NEVER thought I’d do). I got really picky about wedding venues and then accidentally came across the perfect place, only have to do some date re-arranging with my MOH. I went on a quest to find the perfect country cover band for the wedding, only to have them break-up, and not tell me. I did quite a few DIY projects and we decided to drink our beer from mason jars. I started to slack off in the final month of wedding planning due to finding out we were expecting Baby Buffalo, and then got crazy busy in the last week before the wedding when I found out I was a BEE! After the wedding, we took off for a relaxing week in Maui! We planned a fun outdoor mountain wedding and looking back, all the stress and work was TOTALLY worth it! I can’t wait to share all the details with you, so stay tuned!
XOXO Mrs. Buffalo
After our adventurous day at the Maui Ocean Center, and a few more food comas, we decided that it was time to make the trip up to the Haleakala crater. Now, everything that I had read and heard about the crater said the absolute best time to get there was for sunrise. This would have been a great adventure had we done it in the first couple days before acclimating ourselves to Hawaii time. But, alas, we waited until a couple of days before we headed home. The night before we used my iPhone to figure out how long it would take us to get there, and approximately what time sunrise would be the next day. Sunrise was set to be about 6:10am that day, and according to SIRI it would take us…two hours (?) to get there.There was no way this pregnant lady was getting up at 3:30am to make sure to get there on time. So, we gave up on the sunrise idea and set out for the crater about 7:00am. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day, and despite the windy mountain road, I managed to not get carsick (trust me, this is VERY IMPRESSIVE). We arrived at the park about an hour later, and we were SO GLAD that we didn’t give in and leave at 4:00am to get there an hour or so early for sunrise only to have to sit that time in the freezing darkness.
Even in the sunlight it was pretty chilly, but the views were spectacular!
If you had asked me pre-pregnancy what Mr. B and I planned to do while on our honeymoon, you would have gotten lots of different answers. I would likely have told you things like zip-lining and hiking; zip-lining because I’d never done it (and the honeymoon is the perfect time to try new things) and hiking because it is one of our favorite things to do on vacation. Things at the top of Mr. B’s list would likely have been hanging out at the beach and snorkeling; the first of which I was definitely willing to compromise on (we were, after all, going to Hawaii) and the second of which I said I’d think about (which, trust me, is an improvement). But when I found out I would be pregnant on the honeymoon, we had to adjust our plans for adventure.
We arrived in Maui around 5:45 PM, right when it was getting dark, and since it was a Sunday night, there wasn’t much to do in the way of adventures. So we scouted out what turned out to be a great (and quick!) dinner (more on that in the upcoming food post) and called it a night. The next morning we set out on our way toward Wailea to see what adventure we could stumble across. Seeing as it was still pretty early (thank you, time change!), nothing seemed to be open, so we just kept on driving. We followed the road all the way till it ended at Makena Beach and got out to walk around. Now, prior to leaving the condo that morning, we hadn’t discussed any strenuous activities, and while I did bring a bathing suit in my bag, I had worn a strapless bra under my sundress (not a mistake I would make again). So when Mr. B decided he wanted to take a mini-hike, as I call it (OK, it wasn’t REALLY a hike, but it definitely was more than a stroll in the park, and definitely more than my strapless bra was willing to commit to), I wasn’t completely on board right away. It was a beautiful walk, though, and we saw a lot of beautiful scenery and a LOT of wild goats!
One of the many goats we saw! We loved that this one was on the beach!
As I mentioned here, the Buffaloes were graciously gifted a honeymoon in Maui! We set off the morning after the wedding, and because of the distance from our wedding venue, we needed to leave by 9:30 AM. Now, on a normal day, 9:30 AM is not that early. And since I’m pregnant, I wake up pretty early (since I go to bed relatively early), BUT we were responsible for clean-up. And I’m a control freak. So, despite all the trust I have in my friends and family, I was more than a little nervous about not being able to
supervise help the clean-up process.
Since our flight left San Diego in the early afternoon, even with the time change we didn’t arrive in Hawaii until nearly sundown, and by the time we got to our condo it was already dark! We dropped off our bags and headed in search of food since we hadn’t eaten since the beginning of the plane ride, and let’s face it—the food on planes isn’t exactly gourmet. We found an AWESOME little Italian place (which I will review in my separate, and VERY necessary post on the AMAZING restaurants in Maui).
Hive! I cannot believe it has been over a week since my last post. But in all truth, it has been a BUSY couple weeks in the Buffalo world. Two weekends ago MOH S got married! As her MOH, the days leading up to the BIG day were crazy for me! We had some weather scares (thankfully it was only windy and not rainy!) and I ended up whipping up her cake at the last minute. No wedding is without snags, and all things considered the wedding turned out beautifully, albeit a little bit cold!
The best view of the ceremony location! The wind was so strong at one point I had to hold onto the end of her veil to keep it from going crazy!
The one thing that Mr. B REALLY wanted for our wedding was a photobooth. Now he didn’t ask for a lot, but initially, it just wasn’t in the budget. Then one day, a few months into planning, BM K called to tell me to check Groupon because there was a promo for Photobooth rentals! Now, at that point, I had never actually purchased a Groupon. While it was a GREAT deal, I was more than a little paranoid that I would pay the money up front and then my date wouldn’t be available! (I clearly did not understand the Groupon return policy at that point either). So I called the company first to inquire if my date was even an option. Boy am I glad I did, too! The owner, Kevin, told me that my day was, in fact, available, but that if it was OK with me, he’d rather honor the Groupon pricing but have us book directly through him. By reserving them that way, I simply had to put down a $100 deposit, and that felt much better than having to worry about going through Groupon. Mr. B and I were so excited that we would be able to have awesome photos of our guests with fun props at a great price, and I was happy that Mr. B was able to get the main thing he wanted all along.
A few weeks after booking our photo booth, Kevin called me back to tell me that one of their booths had been damaged, and was not insured leaving them down a booth. He said they would be unable to work our wedding, but had talked to another company and they were available and willing to take over our booking. Since I had paid our $100 deposit, and the company he would be transferring us to required a $200 deposit, he offered to pay the difference of $100 for the inconvenience. Since we were already planning on the photo booth, and the new company’s pricing wasn’t too far off from what we were originally planning to pay when the extra $100 was factored in, we graciously accepted this offer and transferred our booking to Sterling Photobooths.
OK, in retrospect, what seemed like “our little secret” in the last month before the wedding was in fact quite a big secret. Also, while this is the first time I will be revealing it to the hive, I will say I suck at secrets in real life and am a horrendous liar, so it didn’t stay a complete secret very long at all.
The Monday before our joint bachelorette, I woke up Mr. B rather abruptly to shove a surprise in his face. I was so overjoyed, I could barely contain my excitement. Being completely asleep, it was difficult for him to immediately share in my excitement. Of course if you had this shoved in your face at 5:30 AM in the dark, you would probably be confused, too.
I can officially say that Mr. B and I were part of this growing trend. Back when we first got engaged, I didn’t put much thought into guestbooks. I clearly was more concerned with finding the right location, band, and dress, and some of the smaller elements were just not that important to me yet. I’d always seen cute guestbook inspiration like this:
Image via Etsy shop Nostalgic Imprints
There is one element of the wedding that I was SO excited for, yet in the end I had to be rational and ended up cutting. You see, thanks to the miracle that is Pinterest (seriously, as much as I love it, it can be DANGEROUS), I found inspiration in photos like these:
MOH S scheduled my bridal shower for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and I was so grateful for the day of rest before and after! S wanted my shower to be a complete surprise, so I didn’t even get an invitation! I was told what time to be there—15 minutes early so that I could complete one task before the guests arrived, filling out our “Almost Newlywed Game” questions! Now, in all truth, I kind of knew about that one, since Mr. B thought it was important to ask me if “S had emailed me the questions too.” But he was very careful not to give me any of the questions (or his answers) away once he realized the point of the game, so I was on my own.
Once the guests started arriving the shower took off. I felt so loved to have so many of my family and friends show up to celebrate my upcoming wedding! One of my favorite surprises was that S had given everyone a recipe card to fill out with their favorite recipes and then she compiled them into my very own cookbook! I guess she knows how much I love to be in the kitchen!
As far as the answers to the Almost Newlywed Game…I was surprisingly on point. My only pitfall was that one some questions, I was trying to decide between two answers and usually I picked the wrong one! So even though everyone else got a laugh out of it, I had the self-satisfaction of knowing I was right.
My answers to the Almost NewlyWed Game (before crossing out the incorrect answers)
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). The group sales rep at Harrah’s, 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), and 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.
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 BMs J &T up, the weather was disgusting, and kind of discouraging to us, since we knew 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 Facebook page
After changing and returning to find sunshine, we officially started the party! People slowly started showing up and we lounged around the pool in true bachelorette-party style.
One of my pitfalls when it comes to my love of everything DIY is my ability to get really excited about a project, rush out and buy the supplies, complete my first one, and then feel so accomplished that I save the rest for “later” (since I, you know, have TONS of time). I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve done this—sometimes it astonishes me.
So this project came about back in May when I realized that I had so many miscellaneous things to put in my BM gift bags, and all we had for the groomsmen was their super awesome money clips and their ties. I had also ordered some personalized golf tees, but hadn’t decided how to package them yet. And then one day I came across these Martha Stewart DIY instructions on how to etch glass at home! After waffling around the idea for a few days, I decided it was a cute, cheap way to add an extra little something and also package the golf tees! So I went down to the local Dollar Tree and picked up six pint glasses to transform into monogrammed glasses for the guys. But I also needed to pick up the other supplies to get my project accomplished. That Friday night, my mom and I had a “date” to get Mother’s Day portraits done, and I asked her, if we had time, would we be able to stop by Michaels (since I had planned to complete the project the next day and I had a good coupon). We made it to Michaels about 10 minutes before closing, and we rushed around to gather the appropriate tools. After six minutes of searching, we still couldn’t fine etching cream. Frantic, I concluded that it was a Martha Stewart tutorial so there must be some in her section. So after quickly grabbing a bottle of her Frost Etching Effect paint we were in line and out the door.
The next day, as I was working on the project, it soon became clear that I was doing something wrong.