As our special day looms on the horizon, Mr. Palm Tree, MOH Mem and I are busy tying up all kinds of loose ends to get ready for the weekend. Bees like Miss Scepter have written about the day before the day before and I’m here to follow suit. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t get to sleep in and have been on-the-go since about 8:00am. Boy, this shindig and the whole lifetime together thing better be worth it. . .
Please accept my lack of an interesting segue and feast your eyes on All The Things, Palm Tree style:
Many Bees have written about getting their nails did—Mrs. Turkey treated her girls to Nails and a Nosh, Mrs. Boa Constrictor discussed her bold color preference. This girl went to a nail salon in a mall, recommended by a friend, and opted for a gel manicure and pedicure in hopes that the color would last through the wedding AND the honeymoon.
You can’t really tell because of the flash but I do have an accent finger! Some extra sparkle.
Purple is my favorite color and it hasn’t played a single role in our wedding, so I wanted to incorporate it somehow. My fingers and toes are this subtle, shiny shade and I’m super pleased.
After my recent dramatic post, I’ve decided to regale you all with hilarity in the form of my past. I’ve mentioned once or twice that I was kind of a bitch in high school, but this time there are PICTURES.
all photos personal
Sophomore year of high school. Oh yeah, guys, this is real—except, I didn’t say any of that. One of my classmates was on the yearbook committee and they needed a filler, so they used me. One of my first claims to fame.
In high school, I was such an affected, miserable girl. I felt like I had no place in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun for a lot of it and I wasn’t, like, pushing people into lockers or anything. I was mostly just a bit of a know-it-all with a chip on my shoulder. I think my attitude was basically, “Yeah, well, my life is tough and I’m better than this high school and I CAN’T WAIT TO LEAVE and never come back, so THERE.” You know.
Before Mr. Palm Tree and I started dating, I was all “I don’t want to find a boyfriend in high school. Why do I want to be tied down? There’s no one here for me, anyway.” I was serious, too. I remember hanging out with BM Tiny Dancer one night shortly after Mr. Palm Tree and I started dating and her saying, “I can’t believe this is all coming out of your mouth. You didn’t want any of this but you seem so much…happier.”
Please enjoy the musical stylings of Europe, provided for your reading pleasure.
Hive, I’m in the final stretch. I have gone from counting a year and some months, to just months, to weeks, to DAYS. Single-digit days at that.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a little bit crazier than usual (which is saying something—I’m kind of bananas). There has been so much going on lately that hasn’t even been wedding related. I’ve been working like crazy; there have been a lot of personal happenings and just general stuff. Granted, it’s helped the time fly, for which I am grateful, but it’s also found me in a weird place.
I’ve been so scatterbrained and, well, blonde lately. For instance, I was working an event earlier this week and had to park both my car and the catering van in a parking garage. I lost both vehicles…and by “lost” I mean that I walked the entire seven or so floors of the garage looking for both of them, only to find them both on the first and second levels. I’ve been unable to focus lately and have caught myself staring off into space or having completely blank moments. It’s so unlike me.
I think I’m losing my mind, so just be aware that it’s entirely possible I’ll start talking/writing like a a loon. With less than three weeks to go, a minor list of to-dos, an incredibly packed work schedule, and an even more packed personal schedule that doesn’t really lend itself to food, water, and/or sleep, I’m just going to exist in a permanent state of delusion. That’s OK, though, because it will all be so worth it. I just wanted to give fair warning to all.
Anyway, hive, it’s here: the Palm Tree RSVP breakdown. I’ve always loved these posts from other bees, and the type-A nerd in me loves to see things categorized so neatly.
We invited 226 people (93 invitations), in the hope that about 200 would show. Our total guest count is 186.
…or, more accurately, The Moon on Our Good Night.
Well, hive. I did something I promised myself that I would not do—not because I didn’t care, but because I tricked myself into believing that if I didn’t acknowledge the possibility, it could never come to fruition.
Yes—I admit, I…I…I…
I checked the 30-day forecast.
Screenshot via WeatherChannel.com
I know, I know.
I love everything about our wedding—really and truly. I’m in love with our colors and their meaning; I’m all about my girls and their get-ups (both bridesmaids AND flower girls); I think my dress is so dreamy and perfect for me, even though it’s not what I thought I wanted; our invitations are very fitting; and of course I’m a HUGE fan of our venue, our photographers, and all of the other vendors playing a role in this shindig.
There are some weddings, though, that I stalk see and they just make me swoon. I mean, get out the smelling salts, I might utter “I do declare” and flutter my eyelashes, someone catch me before I hit the floor, straight-up swoon. So, with under a month to go (eepies!), of course I find myself Pinteresting in a completely different direction. I’m sure some psychology-based folk would be able to chalk this up to some subconscious desire or something, but I’m just going to stick with the fact that I’ve always been a dreamer and a thinker and I’d be doing this regardless.
So, hive, without further ado: This is the story of The Palm Tree wedding-that-wasn’t.
Image via Wedding Paper Divas | I actually ordered this with an “eight free samples!” discount/promo.
I could never have an outside wedding in Pittsburgh, with the unpredictable weather and everything else that needs to be considered, but I would have the most whimsical, magical wedding, full of fairy lights and twinkles. This invitation would set off the tone perfectly from the get-go—and, you know, if it didn’t, or if it didn’t match, who cares? It’s my wedding-that-wasn’t and I’ll do as I please. HMPH.
Let’s get real, hive: if there is one thing my friends and I know how to do, it’s party. For real.
My bachelorette weekend was absolutely amazing. Yes, I had a full weekend, and yes, it’s really because I’m that damn special. Really, though, it’s because a chunk of my core group of girlfriends live across and/or out of the state, so we had to make it worthwhile! Plus we wanted a night of under-21 fun built in, for BM Badonk.
About a month prior, MOH Mem designed and sent out these bad boys:
I don’t really have words for my excitement. Although my shower was wonderful and, really, everything wedding related has been wonderful, I knew the bachelorette party would be where it was AT, you guys. There was a really cute silver bow in the upper right hand corner (our cats got to it). Behind the little info card read our whereabouts/plans for the weekend—Dave & Buster’s on Friday and McFadden’s (one of my favorite bars in Pittsburgh) on Saturday.
Despite their brief appearance as photo bombers in my shower recap, flower girls Pad and Pie have not been properly introduced or discussed. These girls became a part of my life during my junior year of college, when I started to babysit them. The babysitting grew into nannying during my senior year, and they’ve been a steady part of my life since then. I cannot imagine my life without them, their wonderful, strong, amazing mother, or their collective words of wisdom (both wine-fueled and not ).
It was no question that they would be our flower girls. In fact, those were Mr. Palm Tree’s words when I brought it up to him way back when. “Is it even a question?”
Pad and Pie’s mom and I searched for.ev.er for the right dresses for them. I, personally, am not a fan of white dresses for flower girls. I know that’s the standard, but I’ve just always envisioned my flower girls as my splash(es) of color, to match their vibrant personalities and overall cute and “awwwwwww”-inducing-ness.
We searched high and freaking low, almost the entire time I was engaged, for inspiration. We were thinking everything from petti-skirts to formal dresses in colors (we went from navy blue and pool to the yellow and grays that we have as part of our overall color scheme).
One of the things I never realized about being a bride was all the stuff that would actually have to be done leading up to the wedding. That might seem ignorant, but honestly, I’ve always been such a planner that sometimes the DOING eludes me (it’s why MOH Mem and I make a good pair—I’m the planner, she’s the do-er). One of these things was having my dress bustled.
I freaked out about two and a half months out when I realized that I didn’t have my dress bustled nor did I have plans/an alteration appointment. I had been pushing it to the bottom of my list…truthfully, I thought it was just, like, included with the dress. I know, I know, that’s such an airheaded thought, but seriously, I thought that there was some sort of thing just sewn in and we’d just have to attach it post-ceremony. Womp womp wommmmmp. Once I realized that wasn’t the case, I still put it in my “things that can be done later” column. Before I knew it, it was “later” and it wasn’t done. EEEEEEEEEPIES.
Originally, I had asked BM Tiny Dancer if she’d ask her mom if she’d be willing to do it. She’s sewn quite a bit in her life and had made a lot of BM Tiny Dancer’s costumes. After seeing the pick-ups and the appliques, though, she wasn’t confident and didn’t feel comfortable undertaking the project—with which I was totally fine. I’m glad she was honest. I was having mini panic attacks, though, because I was reaching out to alteration specialists all over the city and they were quoting me an ABSURD amount, and the ones that were reasonable had no openings until August. All my fault, I know, but that knowledge meant nothing. I was lamenting this to BM Y, who said she’d see if her mother were willing to take it on; after all, Mama Y had offered to sew BM Y her wedding gown from a pattern. When she said yes, I was SO excited and SO relieved.
Small disclaimer: I am so, so sorry for my absence, hive. As a reader, I would always be all “pfffft where did she go?!” when bees would be MIA for a bit, and then when they’d post this exact disclaimer I’d think to myself that I’d never do that. Well, I’m eating crow, folks. Life definitely got in the way of EVERYTHING over the past few weeks, perhaps the biggest change being my career. I left my full-time job as a lease analyst and accepted a full-time position at the catering company I mentioned in this post, as the Assistant Catering Director and Catering Supervisor. It’s kind of a dream job; it’s a lot of planning and coordinating and I LOVE it, but it came out of nowhere and was definitely not planned. I would never have actively chosen to leave my job two-ish months away from my wedding, but when there’s an opportunity for a dream to come true, you have to take it. As corny as it may sound, I almost think that becoming a bee (another dream come true) inspired me to open myself up to other things…just a slightly revamped, more positive mindset.
Anyway, this new position is vastly different from my old one, especially because I went from working 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, with occasional extra hours as a part-time caterer, to having hours that vary, no set days or times. It’s very go-with-the-flow-y. For instance, I worked 47 of the past 72 hours—but I loved every second. I promise I’m finding my groove, though, and I have TONS to share with you all, so consider Miss Palm Tree back in action.
Moving right along: I worked my first wedding in my new position this past weekend, and I caught myself getting choked up at really random times. One was when the bride and groom were cutting their cake. Honestly, hive, as I sort of insinuated previously, I’ve never given much thought to cutting the cake. It’s so low on my list of things I care about—a few pictures, a smear of icing, and then we’re done. But as I watched them (admittedly, somewhat hawk-ily, because we had to swoop in to retrieve the cake for cutting and serving), I got teary! I told my coworker, “I’m having a moment and I can’t believe it.” It was just such a symbolic moment between the two of them. All night, they had been dealing with others and posing for pictures and being pulled in different directions, but this moment was just about the two of them. It was beautiful and so sweet…see what I did there?
I had my hair and makeup trial recently and I have to tell you all, I cannot believe I’ve hit THAT time. Time for a trial and vendor meetings and everything else. The Palm Trees are a little more than one month away and it’s INSANE. After a year and a half of planning, it’s so exciting to be so close.
I digress—this post is about my hair and makeup trial and at the risk of spoiling everything, it was so incredibly successful. First and foremost, I love Nicci, of Bella Brides by Nicci is phenomenal. She is so talented and just knows what she’s doing and how to do it. I’m sure this is par for the course for beauticians, but truthfully, this is the first time that I’m getting my hair and makeup done professionally for an event. In the past, I’ve relied on my friends (who are also talented, don’t get me wrong) and I was just thoroughly in awe of her abilities.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, I love big hair. I’ve always known that I’d want my hair half-up, half-down, big and curly. Of course, as I learned when we searched for both my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses, sometimes what you think will work just doesn’t. I am so excited to say that this DID work and I’m in love with the result.
I brought Nicci four inspiration pictures, including the following:
The other three were all Carrie as well, of course. As far as makeup, I had zero inspiration. I told her that I wanted something that really made my eyes pop. She delivered on both counts, in my opinion.
all photos personal
When I first started planning our wedding, the idea of a DOC was so foreign to me. Is this not a wedding planner? Wait, this person swoops in and just does everything on the wedding day? How does this person know everything? I was so confused—I mean, really, all I thought of was J.Lo in The Wedding Planner.
Image via The Wedding Planner Wikipedia page | “Those who can’t wed, plan.” Amirite?
I was very much convinced that it was unnecessary for us. I am way, way, way, WAY too type-A to hand the reins to someone else. I didn’t care if we worked with this person all throughout our planning, it just wasn’t happening—I could never trust this person to remember how to do A, to make sure B got done, and not to forget where C was supposed to go, you know? Not for me, not for us, not for our wedding. Pass.
I’m sure you’ve all figured out where this is going—just like with my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses, I was wrong. (I’ve probably said that more times blogging than in real life. Feel special, hive. )
I discussed how we set up our invitations and now, without further ado, I’m happy to share them with the hive. Like I mentioned previously, these were a labor of love and I’m excited to be able to share the finished product. (If anything, I see it as one more use and I am trying to get as much mileage out of these babies as I can. At least there is no garbage can on the internets, right? )
all photos personal unless otherwise noted
Where we left off—the mock-up invite, addressed to none another than Ms. Summers and her soul mate
Before I forget to mention it, I used the font Quickier, downloaded for free from dafont.com and also the small-caps version of Andalus, which I believe comes standard with all Microsoft Office programs.
Hive, I have to be honest with you. I still have a little bit of bitterness and/or resentment toward our invitations. They are GORGEOUS, don’t get me wrong, but MOH Mem and I put so.much.time. into them. I swear on all that is sacred: I still have nerve damage in my thumb from holding the scissors for hours.
We DIY’ed these suckers, bottom to top. I know—Miss Palm Tree, the self-proclaimed DIY Sadim (Midas backwards), DIY’ing INVITES. All I can say is that I’m stubborn, determined, in a probably unhealthy relationship with all things paper, and so grateful for MOH Mem (and also BM Tiny Dancer, who helped in intervals and on a smaller scale).
Personal photo / Yeah. This happened.
Advice from Miss Palm Tree: I love our invitations, but honestly, if you have room in your budget, buy them. Or at least source parts of them out—the printing, the assembly, whatever. Not only did I create/tweak a design and the wording, but I printed it onto card stock. We cut the card stock and used adhesives to stick it onto fancy backing paper (that we also cut to size). We cut the RSVP cards and put them in their envelopes. We hole-punched hearts, we cut ribbon, we hole-punched info cards, we assembled the cards on the ribbon, MOH Mem tied the ribbon (the one time I tried I ripped the sides of the invite…sigh), I addressed the invites, we stamped and sealed them. It’s a lot, hive, and it took us two sittings—one of which consisted of well over seven hours—to complete them. All I could think in the back of my head was, “These are going to end up in the garbage.” I’m not even hating on that. I get it: paper, clutter, whatever. Of course you’re going to recycle/throw away the invitation because why keep it? Granted, I keep the really nice ones, because I’m sentimental and goofy, but there are plenty that still make it into File 13, you know? That’s fine. But to know that’s the inevitable end result of our bruised thumbs and damaged nerves and chunks of time…siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Pour one out for the homies, hive. Invitations can be a bitch.
Enough misery. Let’s get to the details. I purchased the envelopes from Envelope Mall, on the recommendation from a coworker. This was a total win. I went with the Stardream line for everything, including the backing paper.
As I mentioned in the posts about our dress experiences, my bridal party is fairly far flung. BM Blackout currently resides on the West Coast and Rev. Fun is representing the ATL, while the rest of us are in/near Pittsburgh. When we were together for the dress extravaganza, we hammered out dates for the shower and bachelorette party. It was best to just pick ‘em and commit, making sure they were on everyone’s radars well ahead of time.
Personal photo from BM Y / Me with my adorable “Miss Palm Tree on Weddingbee!” announcement and decorations. How freaking cute is this?!
I know I’m a tad crazy about this “getting things done early” kick, but I just wanted to say that I would recommend having a shower a little bit earlier to ANY and EVERY bride. First of all, my girls did a seriously kick-ass job, and although they would’ve made it baller no matter what, it helped that they had so much time to dedicate to it and to be able to do things in bits and pieces. Second of all, as a bride, I cannot imagine having a shower super close to the wedding. Although I didn’t do much in terms of action, knowing I’d have to dedicate what would likely be an entire weekend to something when there were 93,598,345,987 time-sensitive things going on at the same time would stress me out to the max. Third, it was nice to include a passive aggressive “Hope to see you at the wedding!” line in the thank you notes as a gentle nudge to return the RSVPs. Fourth, it is so nice to have a little buffer in between everything and really feel like you’re in the midst of your wedding season the entire time. Late February shower, early April bachelorette party, late May wedding – it’s honestly like the whole first half of the year. I’ll only be doing this once, I want to relish every single moment of being a bride because it won’t come again for me, you know?